Familiar Angel by Amy Lane: Exclusive Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

One hundred and forty years ago, Harry, Edward, and Francis met an angel, a demon, and a sorceress while escaping imprisonment and worse! They emerged with a new family—and shapeshifting powers beyond their wildest dreams.

Now Harry and his brothers use their sorcery to rescue those enslaved in human trafficking—but Harry’s not doing so well. Pining for Suriel the angel has driven him to take more and more risks until his family desperately asks Suriel for an intervention.

In order for Suriel to escape the bindings of heaven, he needs to be sure enough of his love to fight to be with Harry. Back when they first met, Harry was feral and angry, and he didn’t know enough about love for Suriel to justify that risk. Can Suriel trust in Harry enough now to break his bonds of service for the boy who has loved his Familiar Angel for nearly a century and a half?

Title: Familiar Angel
Author: Amy Lane
Release Date: October 20, 2017
Category: Paranormal
Pages: 200

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Cats on a Mission

By Amy Lane

So, shapeshifting cats are a particular fantasy of mine. I featured them in The Little Goddess series, in which the humans shifted into cats of human size—and I loved them. The gag of the cat licking his privates who suddenly turns into a human will never get old.

But the cats in Familiar Angel are, well, familiars. There is no mass-conversion in familiar shapeshifters. They’re just cat-sized cats.

And believe me, I played with this concept as much as I possibly could.

One of my favorite moments in the story is when Harry wakes up and his brother is beside him reading from a kindle. “His paw moved and the light flashed, and he turned the page.”

Because if you’re a cat who can read, wouldn’t reading from a kindle be the best thing in the world? No opposable thumbs needed!

Harry and his brothers hunt mice for themselves and rabbits for people, kill spiders, spy on bad guys, and occasionally fish. When they don’t feel like being human, they cat. When they find they have to communicate with other people, they human—but they don’t have to be happy about it. And when they fall in love…

They struggle.

Because they found their cats 140 years ago. They’ve gotten comfortable hiding from hurt, hiding from anger, hiding from fear.  When they cat, they don’t have to deal with the terrible complexities of human emotions. They just have to hunt mice and lick their privates—but that doesn’t necessarily prepare them for the real world.

So as much fun as writing the cat parts were—Edward fighting the guy with the semi-automatic weapon and winning, Francis becoming the ultimate killing machine in the body of a fuzzy Siamese space-cadet, Harry pouting in the stream shallows before learning to fish—it was writing the human parts that were the most fascinating.

I mean, I’m pretty sure my own cats love me—as long as I feed them. They come to me for companionship, the bitch at me when I’m lacking in sensitivity to their superior selves, and I really am their best bet in the winter when they need full-sized body heaters during the cold, dark night.

But I don’t think they’ll ever be in love with me.

And writing that transition, between the self-protective cat and the vulnerable human, was maybe the most fascinating part of writing the book.

I have to say, although it’s an unusual genre, I hope people check in to see Harry, my brave warrior cat, fall in love—and Edward and Francis after him.

Good kitties!

“Hide!” Harry had just enough presence of mind to grab Francis’s other side to help Edward pull him through the thicket of brambles that lined the river. Bleeding, dirty, breathless, they slid to a halt in a hollow between the blackberry bushes and the hill, lying on their stomachs, Francis sandwiched between them. Francis, who had received a terrible scratch from the corner of his mouth to the corner of his eye, moaned in pain. Harry shushed him, and Edward placed a gentle hand over his mouth.

A woman, clothed in blinding, glowing white, burst into the clearing with a man—man?—draped over her shoulder. His clothes were red velvet, and thick curly hair grew all over his face and large skull, like a goat’s.

His back feet were cloven.

“Leonard,” she begged. “Leonard… darling. Wake up. Wake up. I need your help.”

Leonard—the thing… man—rolled his head, much like Francis had done, and moaned. “Emma, leave me. If they find me with you… if they find Mullins here….”

“Mullins!” the woman whispered. “Mullins—I’m losing him. Oh please—Mullins, he’s losing himself again.”

“I’m losing myself again!” came a terrible growl, and another Leonard-like thing stepped into the clearing—this one very obviously glowing red. “Emma, we need to do the ritual. I can’t….” The monster thing, Mullins, let out a horrifying series of snuffling grunts and growls. “I’ll turn,” he said, sounding tearful—if a beast could be in tears. “I’ll turn and gut you both.”

“I understand,” she whispered. “You’ve been very brave. Here.” She set Leonard on the ground then and started to pull items from a leather satchel across her shoulder. “We’ll do it right now.”

“This isn’t the ceremonial place!” Mullins said, sounding despondent. “It’s not cleansed, it’s not prepared—”

To Harry’s surprise, Emma put a tender hand on the beast’s cheek. “My sweet boy, you’ve been too long in hell. We don’t need the trappings of the spell—although the things in those hex bags should help us focus. We just need ourselves, and our good intentions, and our desire.”

Mullins’s grunt was self-deprecating. “The road to hell is the one paved with good intentions,” he said gruffly.

“That’s only because the demons trying to get to earth walked that path first,” she said, sounding cheeky. In their quiet interaction, Harry got a better look at her. Not young—over twenty—but not old either, she was beautiful in every sense of the word. Straight nose, even teeth, perfectly oval face, and blonde hair that streamed, thick and healthy, to her waist, she was what every boy should dream about when he went to sleep hoping for a wife.

Harry didn’t dream about girls, but he could look at this one and know the appeal.

But it was more than the physical beauty—and she had it all, soft hips, small waist, large breasts—there was the kindness to the beasties. The gentleness and calm she radiated when Mullins had threatened her.

Suddenly Harry had a powerful yearning for his mum, when she’d been dead for nearly five years.

“Here,” Emma said, breaking the sweetness of the moment. “Take the hex bags—there’s ten. Make a pentagram with me and Leonard in the center. I’m summoning an angel, love. You may want to leave when you’re done. I’ve no guarantees he’ll be friendly to you.”

“That’s not news,” Mullins said dryly and began his task. “Do you…. Emma, I know you’re powerful. You summoned my master for knowledge on power alone. But all else you have done, you have done out of love.”

“Including persuade you to our side,” she said. While he set the hex bags, she was stretching Leonard out before her, stripping his shirt with deft, practiced movements. The skin underneath the clothes was smooth and human, and Harry felt nauseated at the abomination of beast and man.

But Emma seemed to care for him.

“It would be worth any torture,” Mullins said softly, pausing in his duties, “to know Leonard will live.”

“Come with us!” Emma begged. “I may not love you like I love Leonard, but you’ve been a good friend to us. Please—”

Mullins shook his head. “It’s not enough to break me free,” he said, and his bestial smile would haunt Harry and Edward for years. “Someone would have to love me enough to sacrifice for me, and make no mistake, Emma. This will come down to your sacrifice. You will be stripped of your power, your youth—are you sure you want to do this?”

Emma let out a sigh. “I would live a mortal lifetime without worry,” she said softly. “But I do not want him all alone without me. ’Twould be cruel.” She closed her eyes for a moment, and then—

Harry gasped and heard Edward do the same.

She was looking right at them.

“I’m about to do something very wrong,” she said, great conviction carrying in her serenity. “But I think something very right too. Carry on, Mullins, but run as soon as you are done.” Her voice dropped. “Please, my friend—I’ll have enough weighing on my soul for tonight’s doings as it is.”

Mullins continued to bustle, and as he set the last hex bag down, Emma began to chant. Mullins traced a circle in the dirt around the outside bags, and then, when the circle ends touched, he pulled out a knife.

Emma nodded unhappily at him and then bit her lip as he cut a line on his palm and let the blood drip on the sealed ends of the dirt line. He and Emma looked at each other again, a strong friendship locking their gaze, before he turned and lurched away, his gait awkward and crippled on his cloven hooves. Harry felt some compassion for him then, poor beast, good friend—but his gaze didn’t linger.

He was too busy watching the white light around Emma grow larger, filling the space inside the pentagram like a bowl.

The light exploded outward, filling the clearing itself, and then one more time, just a few feet more.

Harry and Edward stared at each other, terrified.

They were in the light circle as well.

“Glory!” Edward whispered, and Harry was too shaken to quiet him.

Francis stirred between them and opened his eyes slowly. For a moment Harry feared that he’d startle and scream—Harry certainly would have raised a bloody great hue and cry—but then, Francis wasn’t Harry.

He parted his bruised lips and smiled.

“An angel,” he breathed, and Harry turned his attention back to the center of the clearing.

Where an angel appeared.

Harry’s heart stopped in his throat. Tall—because of course, right? An angel would be tall. Clothed in robes that glittered like diamonds, whiter than pearls he was. His hair was a marvelous flame-gold color, red like a sunrise or an ember. His face was more handsome than sin—bold, straight nose, full lips, a square jaw, eyes of warm, solid brown.

Harry’s groin gave a painful throb, and he almost wept. Those things—those dirty, filthy things that were done to him by rough miners and haughty bankers with gold in their grubby fists—those things were not right here.

Not with an angel.

Not with this angel.

Harry’s eyes burned with the perfection of this angel.

“Suriel,” Emma breathed.

 

Amy Lane has two kids who are mostly grown, two kids who aren’t, three cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.


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Monthly Author Column: Victoria Sue stops by with Exclusive Excerpt from The Alpha Prince

**As always, TCO is excited to have Victoria Sue stopping by with her monthly column. This time she dropped off an exclusive LONG excerpt to her newest release, The Alpha Prince, as she was running out to catch a plane to GRL. (I get to hug her lots on Wednesday!!!!) So, check it out, and see what’s happening in the world of Askara.**

 

The Askaran desert can no longer sustain the secret hybrid population of wolves bred from those sent there to die for their crimes. Justice knows the time has come to lead his wolves to a new life, but soon realizes his pack could never be governed by nor swear fealty to the cruel and despotic Alpha of Solonara—Darius—so he hatches a plan to fight and ultimately kill the Alpha, his heir, and take over the territory.

Cashel should not exist. It was unheard of for an Alpha-heir to be born an omega, and Darius has made every day a torment for his son. After spending years failing to breed another heir, and desperate not to have to give his territory away to another pack, he finally turns his attention back to Cashel and a whole new nightmare begins.

Justice’s whole life has been about righting a wrong and delivering the very thing he was named for. Meeting Cashel, and finding out he is his true mate, sends his carefully constructed plans and promises up in flames. When he discovers Darius’s cruelty runs deeper than any of them imagined, he is faced with a last desperate choice between his love for Cashel or his loyalty to his people.

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Justice stood by the window as soon as Sorin’s first rays bathed the sky. He had barely slept, and not just because of the noise from the powerful storm that had swept the skies last night. Not that he wasn’t used to rising immediately as the suns shone over the desert, but there was a bigger problem that had prevented him getting any rest.

Cashel. The prince he had come to kill was his mate. They had all agreed the heir was to die—as well as his father, on the assumption they were both just as bad—but now what did he do? His wolf had told him they were mates as soon as they had touched; and the animal’s distress at leaving him in his own bed—and not immediately claiming him—had nearly driven him mad. His wolf was an Alpha as much as he himself was, and they usually worked in harmony until Justice had made himself leave Cashel last night. The thought of Cashel being anywhere he wasn’t had nearly brought on a shift last night. Even now, Justice’s skin was tight as it stretched to contain and leash his animal’s power.

He hated the cluttered room and suddenly longed for the wide open plains from home where a wolf and a man could breathe in harmony. He also disliked sleeping anywhere his stallion Kashir wasn’t. He supposed he could understand horses not being allowed in the bedrooms—a bare smile graced his lips—and even though Zane had promised to stay with his horse, it still seemed wrong. In the desert horses were only second in importance to water, and Kashir had saved his life more times than he could count.

He gazed at the courtyard below, already busy. There seemed to be some sort of market being set up and Justice watched in interest as a cart containing what looked like beer was pulled into place. He stiffened suddenly, his sharp ears picking up the footsteps and the door latch lift but before whoever was attempting to walk in could even open it, he whirled and lifted his Kataya. The blade was never out of his sight, and only not on him because he was currently naked. The serving girl that entered his room looked up, promptly shrieked and dropped the full jug of water she was carrying which smashed noisily onto the stone floor. Two gammas came running in, swords drawn. “Might I suggest,” Justice said evenly, lowering his blade, “you warn all house servants to knock before entering my chamber.”

The gammas nodded nervously and practically carried the shaking woman out of the room. In another few seconds two more servants were back with a mop to clean the water and more hot water so Justice could bathe. He actually longed for a bath. He had had two since they had crossed the sea, and still marveled that water was so plentiful it could be wasted on such an extravagance.

What was Cashel doing right now? Was he also bathing? Was he taking soap and gliding it over—

A snarl echoed in his head as the animal inside him attempted to get free. Justice closed his eyes and took some deep breaths. He couldn’t claim his prince before the games were ended and he sent a signal to the nine ships moored out of sight waiting for it. And then it would still take three days to travel from Salem.

He was just pulling his breeches on when Zane and Armand knocked and entered the room. They promptly collapsed onto the chairs by a small desk, and helped themselves to the bowl of fruit.

Armand looked around at the small but opulent room and whistled slowly.

Zane snorted. “He hates it,” he pronounced and took a huge bite out of an apple.

Armand’s eyebrows rose up. “You hate it?” The disbelief was apparent in his voice.

Justice shrugged. “It’s a little cloying.” There was just so much in the room that was completely unnecessary, and even in the middle of the night when the temperatures in the desert dropped dangerously below freezing, he had never slept with so many covers on a bed in his life. Decorative pottery and books seemed to litter every surface. In fact, when he had been shown the room he had questioned the gamma, thinking he had been directed somewhere already occupied.

Zane’s voice dropped. “What is it?” Zane was regarding him steadily. He knew Justice wasn’t as calm and unruffled as he usually seemed, even if no one else could tell. “Did you meet the omega?”

Armand scoffed but he kept his voice low. “From what I heard in the kitchen last night, I wasn’t expecting our Alpha to be in his own bed this morning.”

“Damn, Justice.” Zane’s eyes widened. “That’s fast even for you.”

Justice ignored the teasing. “He was sick.”

Armand shrugged. “It matters not, seeing as he’s going to be dead soon anyway.”

Before Justice realized what he was doing, his claws were around Armand’s throat. Armand immediately went limp in his grasp and, rasping for breath, tilted his head to expose it a little more. It was a tremendous show of true loyalty and absolute submission.

They could all smell the blood as it ran down Armand’s neck. Justice’s nostrils flared and he took a breath, his anger barely receding enough for him to relax his grip. Another breath and he took a step back and dropped his arm, the claws retracting. “You will not touch him. Ever.”

Armand immediately sank to his knees. “Gravest apologies, my Alpha. Please know I would never insult your mate, and I pledge my life to protecting his as well as your own.”

“He is your mate,” Zane said. It wasn’t a question. Justice’s response could be taken for nothing else.

Justice blew out a long breath as his wolf was back under his control. He nodded, accepting the apology and the declaration. He might regret this reaction against one of his closest friends, but he would not apologize for it. It would demean them both.

Justice walked to the window and took a deep breath, trying to calm down. He could smell the fragrant Juno bushes and their small white flowers that reminded him of his mother when he had been young. She had managed to grow one in a small pot and his father had allowed her to keep it even though the only things usually granted water were what kept them alive. The flowers were prolific here, of course, and he would make sure any of his people that wanted would have a garden redolent with them.

He had things to do first, of course.

“How do you wish to proceed?” Zane asked carefully.

Justice understood the question and how this changed their plans. He was disgusted by the show of his mate last night and didn’t understand how his father could have done what he did. Children were a gift on Arrides, and there was not one that wasn’t fiercely loved and protected. “The plan still stands with obviously the caveat of claiming my mate as soon as the games are completed and our warriors are ready to attack.”

He understood the look of disbelief Zane and Armand both had. It was unheard of for an Alpha to wait to claim his mate. The ritual courting between his people was superseded by the need for an Alpha to find his mate. Simply because any that tried to prevent it risked being mauled and killed by a very angry Alpha wolf. Justice didn’t know if he had the strength to wait for the games to finish before he claimed Cashel. “I may have to take one day at a time. I may have to move things up, even.”

“Alpha,” Zane started, which made Justice pause. Zane had called him Justice since they were old enough to talk. Calling him Alpha meant he was including the pack in whatever he was going to say. It was Zane’s none too subtle way of reminding him of his responsibilities. “I understand you wish to give your wolves time to get here, but we have to think of the safety of your mate and the health of the pack. Another six days is too long.”

Justice knew what he meant. The phrase “the health of the pack” really meant the health of the Alpha. The two were intertwined at such a basic level, one couldn’t be happy and prosper without the other. The pack needed Justice to claim Cashel.

 

 

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The Alpha Heir by Victoria Sue: Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

Man and wolf. Sworn enemies in the battle for Askara. Can hate and betrayal ever lead to love?

Caleb Harken has spent six years wrongfully imprisoned for his father’s treachery. Tortured and reviled by the very wolf pack he should have been leading as Alpha, he is not surprised to learn he’s finally to meet his death at the hands of the human rebel leader, Taegan Callan.

Taegan gave up his dreams of a life-mate and a family after seeing too many humans butchered at the hands of the wolves—even if Caleb doesn’t seem to be the bloodthirsty savage he expects, and even if he starts to long for a different kind of future with the wolf.

Can Caleb become the Alpha he was always meant to be and lead his pack, or will he finally realize that winning his freedom means nothing when he has already lost his heart?

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Caleb sat hunched over on a fallen log just by the track that led down to the barn they kept the horses in. Taegan could practically feel the misery in the hunched shoulders, the bowed head, the way he favored his left arm even though he didn’t have it in the sling anymore. His arms were bare. “Caleb?” he called out quietly, not wanting to startle him, but Caleb never moved even though Taegan knew he would have heard him.

He crossed in front of the log and sat down, putting both mugs on the ground and passing him the poncho. “It’s cold out here.” For a second, he didn’t think Caleb was going to take it, but lifting his head he reached out cautiously. Instead of passing it to him, Taegan bunched it up and carefully went to ease it down over Caleb’s head. Caleb recoiled sharply, and Taegan stilled his hands. “Let me help,” he said. “You’ll get cold.”

Caleb lifted his head, the brown eyes suddenly so dark. “And you care, why?”

“I don’t know,” he said wretchedly, then shook his head, the gesture a denial, as Caleb widened his eyes in response. He hadn’t meant to admit that.

“I think it better if I sleep in a different cave until you decide what to do with me,” Caleb muttered.

“No—” he bit off. Caleb was hunched inwards. He was incredible. Giving. He soothed so many bitter corners in Taegan’s soul. He wanted to keep him, but it was impossible. Silas had once told him that many years ago, wolves fell in love at first sight. But Taegan was a human and he didn’t understand this odd compulsion to be with someone he had known barely two weeks. Maybe it was just a good healthy dose of lust.

“I’m not going to apologize for Ralph and Adams. The guards,” Taegan added, then felt ridiculous because of course Caleb would know who he meant. “They were doing their job.”

Caleb didn’t reply. Didn’t move.

“But I was wrong.”

Caleb’s head came up quickly. The surprise written all over his face.

“You didn’t deserve that assumption from me, and I apologize.”

Caleb ducked his head.

Taegan passed him one of the mugs of tea and unwrapped the bread. “My mom says you haven’t eaten.”

“I’m not hungry,” came the whisper.

Taegan put his untouched tea back on the ground. He reached out slowly, hooking his finger under Caleb’s chin and lifting it, immediately drowning in the stormy brown eyes, dark and brittle with misery. He had done that, him. He leaned forward and Caleb leaned back, twisting his head away. The rejection stung in his gut.

“Please eat,” Taegan said, dropping his hand. Caleb had been doing so well and the last thing he needed was Taegan upsetting that.

But Caleb didn’t move, didn’t look up. “What are you going to do with me?”

He had treated Caleb abominably. Taegan paused and for the first time in two years did something that wouldn’t help their cause, but was the right thing to do. “You are free to go. Now. If you want to walk down that hillside, I won’t stop you.”

Caleb’s head shot up. “You’d let me go?”

Taegan swallowed the husky denial. “I wish with everything I am that you are not the Alpha heir and I am not the rebel leader.” He let that sink in. Caleb’s eyes still fixed on his. “Especially after last week.”

Caleb’s eyes dipped, and Taegan reached out and touched his arm. “It should still be wrapped. It’s very likely broken.”

“I-it doesn’t hurt.” Caleb’s gaze lifted and Taegan stared. He was drowning in the golden depths. He’d thought Caleb’s eyes were brown, but the center simmered with chocolate and grew lighter outward until the flecks of amber almost turned them copper. Long golden brown lashes framed them, and Taegan took small comfort that the dark shadows under them had gone.

“You don’t eat enough.” He said almost brusquely to cover what he wanted to say. What he wanted to do. “Please eat something.” The words were quiet but no less pleading.

Caleb stared at the offered bread. He took a breath. “I think I forgot how. If I wasn’t hungry it was one less pain.”

“For me.” Taegan knew he had no right to use those words. Caleb owed him nothing.

Caleb took the thickly buttered bread and inhaled. “It smells wonderful.”

Taegan nudged him gently. “It tastes even better.” Caleb took a bite and Taegan beamed. Such a small victory.

“When will you plan to get the kids?” Caleb asked after swallowing. He sipped his tea and took another bite.

“I have two team leaders that get back from Solonara tomorrow. I haven’t the numbers without them.” Caleb chewed and seemed to consider what Taegan said. “It would help if we had any idea what time of day this is planned for.”

“Noon,” Caleb said immediately.

“Of course,” Taegan agreed instantly. It was the time Aylin started to cover Sorin. He should have known. How was it possible they were talking when everything in him wanted Caleb’s lips for another purpose?

Caleb finished the bread. He watched Taegan intently as if waiting for something.

“I owe you another apology also.” He would have been blind to miss the flash of pain that darkened the brown pupils nearly to black or the hiss as his words connected. Caleb misunderstood. He didn’t regret one second of it and wasn’t apologizing for it. “I loved every second of the time I spent with you. How I found the strength to leave my bed that morning is beyond me.”

Caleb’s slow, heart-stopping smile was worth every word of his confession. “So why did you leave me?”

“Because I am taking advantage.”

“Because I can’t stay,” Caleb supplied flatly, answering his own question.

“So, will you leave?” Taegan didn’t want the answer. Should he mention Silas’s crazy bonding theory? He couldn’t let Caleb go if it would hurt him, but he couldn’t take back his offer either.

“I know I can’t stay forever, but I won’t leave until Neal and Rayne are safe. I still think I should be the diversion you need.”

Caleb was touching. While they had talked he had crept closer, but it wasn’t charged with the same emotion as the last time. This wasn’t sexual but all about warmth, compassion, and comfort. He knew Taegan was having difficulty retelling some of his worst moments, and he wanted to support him. It would be so good to have someone by his side, but Taegan had lost that right a long time ago. Caleb’s eyes softened as he listened. It seemed to come as easy to him as breathing, but Taegan knew it was dangerous. Caleb was dangerous because for the first time Taegan wasn’t thinking about his responsibilities to other people.

He was thinking of himself.

“Taegan?” It was Cy. “We have an injured messenger bird. I think you need to come. We should have got the message yesterday but it has a damaged wing.”

Caleb stood and took Taegan’s empty mug. “I have a story to read.” He smiled and Taegan watched him go.

The wolf that eventually won his heart would be a very lucky man.

Victoria Sue:

Wrote her first book on a dare from her hubby three years ago. Loves writing about gorgeous boys loving each other the best, and especially with either a paranormal or a historical twist. Had a try at writing contemporary but failed spectacularly when it grew four legs and a tail.

Is an English northern lass but is currently serving twenty to life in Florida – unfortunately, she spends more time chained at her computer than on a beach.

Loves to hear from her readers and can be found most days lurking on facebook.

www.victoriasue.com

@vickysuewrites

https://www.facebook.com/victoriasueauthor/– sign up for my newsletter and download a free story The Wrong Alpha

Victoria Sue is giving away a free ebook from her backlist to one commenter to this blog post. Tell us what appeals to you most about The Alpha Heir.

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King of the Fire Dancers by S.T. Sterlings: New Release Review and Excerpt


When he’s propositioned by a wealthy stranger, it seems Coy Conlin’s impoverished life is about to be upgraded. But before he can share the news with his family, he comes home to find his grandmother murdered and his little brother missing. To make matters worse, he’s thrown in prison along with every other shifter under the Sovereign’s orders.
August Seaton left his laboratory job at the Asuda Registry to become a Registry officer. But after a mission with his partner goes horribly wrong, August ends up with Coy’s dead grandmother on his hands, and Coy thinks he’s the murderer. Worst of all, his partner discovers his secret.
August is a shifter. And now he’s Coy’s cellmate. Coy and August must survive each other, abusive guards, and a scientist hell-bent on forcing Coy into a breeding program.
Teamed up, the pair escape prison and journey across the country. With the Registry hot on their trail, they have enough things to worry about. Falling for each other wasn’t supposed to be one of them.

King of the Fire Dancers
Author: S.T. Sterlings
Series: Shift Happens
Release Date: August 14, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-947139-59-6
Format: ePub, Mobi, PDF
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Category: Romance
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Word Count: 89700
Sex Content: Explicit
Pairing: MM
Orientation: Bisexual, Gay
Identity: Cisgender


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Chapter One Excerpt

King of the Fire Dancers
S.T. Sterlings © 2017
All Rights Reserved

There were two things that Coy Conlin was exceptionally skilled at. The first was dancing. The second, and more unconventional, was turning into a dragon. Both were in his blood and took years of trial and error to perfect, but the former wasn’t a danger to those around him. It wasn’t easy maneuvering a dragon body, especially not one as big as his. Dragons had claws, scales, and fangs. He even had the misfortune of retaining his proneness to seasonal allergies, which sure as hell took explosive sneezing to a whole new level. Still, thanks to his grandmother—a dragon shifter like him—he’d mastered shifting and everything that it entailed from a young age.
Like hunting.
His prey was a slender boy with white skin and blue eyes. The boy raced past, auburn hair catching the wind and blowing about his head. He scurried through the dried grass, his pale, gangly legs kicking up dirt as he rushed to hide behind a large tree. Laughter disguised as a growl escaped Coy’s mouth. As if a mere tree would provide the boy sanctuary.
Coy hated flying. Dragon or not, he preferred to keep his feet—and claws—securely grounded. But, humans were often smarter than they looked, and he knew that if he continued to creep along the ground, the boy would feel the vibrations caused by his heavy footsteps. And so, he pushed off, sharp talons grazing earth as he hovered above the coarse ground. His wings, as wide as sails on a cutter, pierced the air and sent forward a powerful gust of windblown, dusty dirt. He flapped them again, creating a mini dirt storm between himself and the tree and, most importantly, his prey.
A shower of prickly leaves and thin, brittle branches fell to the ground. Seconds later, the boy emerged from behind the tree, arms up and over his head, shielding himself from the downpour. Amidst the cascading debris, Coy caught the look of determination on the boy’s face. Wedged tightly in the boy’s grip was a rock, jagged and angled, the tip pointing toward the sky. A rock? Really? A puny, misshapen hunk of slate? What good would that do against a ninety-foot-long dragon with scales as black as onyx and five times as hard?
A rock.
The little idiot.
The boy let out a wail of a battle cry and charged forward, gripping the rock in his hand like a warrior wielding a sword. There were hundreds of ways Coy could have reacted, and most would have ended with the boy dead on his feet. Instead, he stood there, a beacon of massive power and pride, and allowed the boy to attack. He didn’t feel the impact of the rock smashing against his leg, though he did see the resulting blood. It wasn’t his. It would have taken much more than a rock to puncture his scales.
It was the boy’s.
The force behind the thrust of his hand had caused the rock to ricochet off a section of scales and created a shallow cut in the center of his reddened palm.
Coy had been specific with the rules—no blacking out, no crying, and no bloodletting. If any of those happened, the game ended immediately. And, although the human tried to hide it, he was definitely bleeding.
“No, wait. I’m okay. I swear it. I’m fine. Look. It barely—”
The protest fell on deaf ears—literally. Coy couldn’t hear—or see—anything during the transformation. It was as if he were alone in a black, soundproof room, nothing but darkness and depth and the feeling of endless falling. His heart rate quickened, slamming against his chest like a musician’s calloused hands pounding against a hand drum. He inhaled through his nose, focusing on the rhythm and physically and mentally controlling the pace of his heartbeat. He calmed his mind, grasping at emotions pulsing like lightning, smoothing them out until his vision began to return. First, blurs of colors: reds and browns and a single blob of white standing directly in front of him.
Then, all at once, everything returned.
“It’s barely a scratch,” the boy muttered, folding his pale arms over his chest.
“Too bad,” Coy replied, rubbing at his jaw. It felt good to use his vocal cords again. He was incapable of speech as a dragon, just limited to snarls and hisses…and fire breathing. That last one came in handy. “Rules are rules, Ari.”
Ari—Coy’s adopted brother—frowned. “You didn’t even give me a chance.”
“A chance to what?” Coy rolled his shoulders in an attempt to relax some of the tension in his muscles that came from shifting. “Find another rock? What was that supposed to do?”
He trudged away from his younger brother, crushing dead grass beneath his bare soles. He spotted his discarded sarong lying by a fragment of slate, the latter’s golden-brown surface highlighted with speckles of fiery red. The color was reminiscent of his own skin, warm brown with red undertones—the exact opposite of Ari’s. Even if Ari had somehow managed to slightly injure him with his dumb rock, the bruise would have been difficult to see. One of the many perks of having brown skin was that it didn’t display bruises well. Growing up, that played to his advantage with the number of fights he got into.
Ari pouted. “It was the only thing I could think of.”
“Yeah, well.” Nude, Coy bent down to retrieve his sarong. “That type of thinking is going to get you killed. Or worse, you’ll get your ass kicked.”
Ari rubbed his bloody hand against his sweat-soaked tunic. “How can getting beat up be worse than dying?”
Coy watched as the blood stained the faded fabric. Ari had already outgrown most of his clothes. What he had left was either tainted or torn. Coy would have to take up private performances at this rate just to make sure he could afford to buy Ari clothes.
“If you’re dead, you won’t have me around to rub it in.” He grinned at Ari and then motioned toward the open wound on his hand. “Better not let Dinina see that. You know how she gets.”
He wrapped the thin, cobalt-colored sarong around his waist, securing the two ends into a knot. They’d spent half the morning outside, which meant he’d spent just as long in his dragon form. He’d be exhausted later, but it was worth it. He always had fun hanging out with his little brother. Still, he felt like he was forgetting something.
And then he remembered.
“Shit!” he shouted, the sound so loud and sudden that it startled an unkindness of ravens perched in a nearby tree.
“What is it? What’s wrong?” Ari asked, blue eyes wide with concern.
There were several things wrong, and all of them could be summed up with two words.
“The Registry.”

**SPOILER ALERT** I really liked this.

Coy Conlin is a dragon shifter who enjoys a career as a popular fire dancer at a circus, and recently acquired a wealthy, ah, patron. He makes enough money from their dalliance to quit dancing (if he chooses) and live quietly with his grandmother (also a dragon shifter) and his adopted brother Ari, a human. They live in the kingdom of Asuda, where shifters are the minority and are monitored by the Registry, who perform regular and kind of demoralizing interrogations and bodily inspections of all the shifters in the kingdom. Shifting is tightly regulated, and shifters are chipped.

Registry officer August Seaton is a new recruit and while Coy is appreciative of the guy’s looks, you might guess that these two will embark first upon an adversarial relationship before anything else fun and sexy can happen. That’s okay, I can wait! Coy is justifiably resentful towards the Registry, but his instincts lean towards a teasing and sarcastic nature. Despite Coy being a part-time dragon, and a large human to begin with, he’s more likely to verbally spar and bait his opponents than resort to violence or physical resistance. Coy has some family-related trauma from his youth that still haunt his dreams and while we know August’s childhood caused him to grow into a friendless near-recluse, we don’t find out why right away. August, like many humans, believe that shifters are sub-humans, but he also feels compassion for them.

The king experiences a tragedy that results in all shifters being imprisoned indefinitely. During the sweep Coy’s grandmother is killed and August allows Coy to believe that August killed her (he didn’t because that? Would be unforgivable). Until roughly the midway point of the book, we see Coy in prison, how he and the other shifters are mistreated and further dehumanized, and his hatred for the Registry — and August in particular — fester and grow. The two are then thrown together and the remainder of the book involves an escape attempt and the two men learning to trust each other as they grow closer.

I won’t say the first half is dull or moves slow. It’s necessary and we learn about the attitudes towards shifters, and how Coy and August interact with the world, themselves and each other. Coy’s not simply an angry guy, he’s a bit of a tease and a flirt and knows how to charm people for what he wants. August keeps to himself and being a lonely shut in, it’s easy to see how he is manipulated by his partner, Fate, and others. Their initial interactions are understandably tense and it’s not until the second half that the action really takes off. Once they spend time together, August loosens up just a bit, and he and Coy have an easy and fun bantering relationship. I laughed a lot and just really enjoyed how they were with each other. It wasn’t until I was 80% in that I realized this is actually part of a series — which is good because it was nowhere near getting wrapped up at that point. As you might suspect, these two really start to care for each other, throwing them into confusion as they each deal with their preconceptions about the other and of course their own personal traumas keeping them from wanting to give themselves to another person. This is a slow burn and we only get a teasing amount of gratification before it ends and we’re left waiting, wondering when the next book will be out. Talk about angst! I can’t wait to see what happens next.

3 pieces of eye candy, with the caveat that I think I might be a bit stingy considering the smile on my face when I finished. I’m wary of committing when I don’t know when I’ll get the next fix, er, book. Basically I’m holding this review hostage until I get the next installment and I can make a more informed decision!


S.T. Sterlings is a university librarian, a part-time instructor, and a full-time fangirl. She is originally from Virginia but currently lives in Southern California with her two sons and her maniac of a dog.

Website: http://www.ststerlings.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ststerlings

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Chasing Destiny by Megan Erickson: New Release Review and AWESOME Guest Post

Some live on memories…

Almost dying during a pack uprising has a way of shaking things up. I’m no longer Mr. Laid Back now that there’s an itch under my skin I can’t scratch.

On a volunteer mission that goes beyond the walls of our compound, we enter the territory of a pack long thought dead, and find ourselves on the business end of their spears.

What I’m not prepared for is what I find within their walls—The one shifter I never thought I’d see alive, the one I’d mourned twice, the one I’d always loved. He is alive, and if I have anything to do with it, he’ll stay that way. But he’s got secrets, and exposing them could lead us to an enemy worse than the bloodthirsty undead shifters wanting to kill us all…

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Oddest things I found while researching for the Silver Tip Pack series:

  1. Don’t search Etsy for werewolf. Don’t do it! I thought I’d mosey on over there to see if they had any cool things for giveaways and instead I came away with the knowledge that someone, somewhere, makes werewolf dildos. I never needed to know that, and I don’t think I’m a better human for it.
  2. There are a million YouTube videos about werewolf shifting. This one is a great compilation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfUrSodTwDw There is even one entitled “Man shifts into werewolf live on camera.” Okay. Sure, Jan.
  3. I need to thank the Underworld movie franchise for their lychan special effects because they have provided me with endless gifs to promote these books. Thanks Underworld producers! http://gph.is/28VF6yy
  4. Plumbing! My characters might be shifters, but the have working toilets and showers.
  5. Building supplies! My packs live in fortified compounds. I had to figure out how they’d build these compounds, and what they would use. Also farming. Dystopian writing is hard, but fun. 🙂

Okay, I seriously don’t read paranormal wolf/shifter, etc books, and I REALLY don’t read dystopian, cause well…I don’t know, I just don’t. However, with it being Megan Erickson, and with the above guest post, how could you not? I mean really…I had to!

And I loved it. I need to just stop judging a book by…well what I think it will be like. 🙂

Chasing Destiny, being book 2 in the Silver Tip Pack series, can be read as a stand alone (and since I didn’t read book 1, I can vouch for that). The author does a great job explaining the things you (likely) would have learned in book 1 that you need to know. And I was able to follow along, and get to meet, and fall in love with all the characters.

This is a second chance love (if being young teenagers when you lose your first love counts) between Bay, the brother to the Silver Tip Pack leader and Nash, the man who everyone thought was dead.

What an emotional punch when these two see each other again. Bay never stopped thinking that Nash was out there, and never stopped wanting him back. Meanwhile Nash did everything he could to keep himself away, knowing it would likely kill him to stay away and everyone he loved if he considered returning. His mind told him to stay away, but his heart and his mate would not let him go, and that was the emotional punch the reader takes as they read this. There is so much love between these two, no matter how hard Nash tries to deny it, and push it away, for the betterment of everyone, it can’t be denied, and we are fortunate enough to come along as Bay fights for Nash, until Nash is strong enough to fight for himself. *Spoiler* Nash gets there, but it takes a HUGE revelation for him to do it, and the reader will love every second of it.

So, here’s what I learned…that there better be a book 3, because I want to know what happens to Bay and Nash as they continue on their path, and there might be a couple others in the pack that I definitely want to follow into their HEA’s.

Once again, Megan draws me in, as she always does, and I don’t want to leave…except now I have to go read one of her series I haven’t yet… 🙂

4 pieces of eye candy

 

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My Omega’s Baby by S.C. Wynne: Quick Review

Enemies to Lovers.

Blade Carr and Wyatt Smith are bodyguards from rival agencies who can’t stand each other.
Blade is a younger omega who thinks, Wyatt, a slightly older alpha, is arrogant and disrespectful. Wyatt believes Blade is nothing but a cocky punk. But when Wyatt receives a death threat, his boss decides the last place anyone will look for him is at Blade’s house.

Both men dread spending time together and are shocked when, despite their dislike of one another, they are suddenly physically attracted to each other. When they give into their lust one night, Blade just wants to pretend the perplexing night of passion never happened, but when the younger omega discovers he’s pregnant, the two men are forced to form a closer bond as they try to find a way to come together for the child.

This is a heartwarming, but steamy, 55,000 word story featuring a non-shifter Alpha/Omega world and contains mpreg (male pregnancy). This is a standalone fated-mate, gay for you story and Book One in the: Bodyguards and Babies mpreg series.

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If you are hesitant about the “omegaverse” or mpreg, this is a good one to get you started. It is fairly light on the omegaverse, with only some history thrown in by the mother of one of the main characters, and the mpreg is super rare in this world. So rare that the main characters had no idea that it could happen. SURPRISE!

And to add another trope in- it’s an enemy to lovers story. One body guard tasked with protecting another bodyguard from a rival agency when it is believed that his life is in danger. They’ve had a long held dislike for each other and neither are happy with the arrangement. Both are also straight. Another surprise!

After one night of purely lust driven sex, the omega of the two winds up immediately pregnant. How they navigate that as a sort-of-but-not-really-but-maybe couple drives most of the story.

So while it was a good story, some parts were a little cringy,like when Blade, the man who is pregnant, sounds like a stereotypical whiny pregnant woman that I read about in all of the books before I left traditional MF romance. And I’d like to know more about the history of the alpha and omega wolves that no longer shift. There is more to the story I’d like to delve into.

But overall, it was an interesting read and even though none of this could happen in real life, it still didn’t seem too out there.

3 pieces of eye candy

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Thick & Thin by Charlie Cochet: Release Day Review includes Giveaway

thick-and-thinsynopsisIn a matter of days, Dex has been kidnapped, tortured, killed, revived, become half Therian, offered the chance to become a spy, and accepted a proposal to marry his jaguar Therian boyfriend, Sloane Brodie. It’s been a lot to take in, and although Dex is still trying to wrap his head around everything that’s happened, he knows he has to move forward.

After the events of Smoke & Mirrors, Dex and Sloane find themselves in one of the most frightening situations of all: revealing the truth to their Destructive Delta family. When the dust settles, nothing will ever be the same, and it’s up to Dex to prove that in the face of change, the one thing that will always remain the same is family.

Title: Thick & Thin
Series: THIRDS: Book Eight
Author: Charlie Cochet
Release Date: February 1, 2017
Category: Mystery/Suspense; Paranormal: Werewolves/Shifters, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 95

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denise review

Every time I read something by Charlie Cochet, I am so impressed. She continues to amaze me with the depth she adds to all her work, whether its a THIRDS novella or her holiday series. Thick & Thin is no exception. It isn’t just the depth of the characters or emotions that are so impressive. The depth of the stories are so multi-leveled that although these COULD be read as stand alone, a reader would miss so much of the setup for future, from beginning to end.

To start Hell & High Water with Dex, and learning quickly in that book that his parents were killed in the riots, when he was only 5 years old, to then come full circle to Thick & Thin, and get a better understanding of what actually happened takes planning, plotting and more planning. In book 2, you see set up that comes to fruition several books later, and so on.

With Thick & Thin, Charlie takes a short novella, packs a super punch, leaves the reader hanging (only slightly), and wanting more of what is ahead for the entire family of Destructive Delta. In addition, this was a necessary component to the series. Although people have been dying for the next book, this was needed to prepare the reader for what was coming. Her completion of one or two story arcs, in a 95 page novella, and setup for Seb and Hudson’s book is such a great balance of loving what you’re reading, and wanting what is ahead.

Sometimes in a book series with so many books, the reader can get bored, and move on, yet there is absolutely no chance this reader (or most) is moving on, and the second I get my hands on book 9, I will be hiding away from the world so that I can soak up every word of it.

Not a single spoiler! You NEED to read this! That is all. 🙂

4.5 pieces of eye candy

4.5-pieces-of-eye-candy

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Alpha King by Victoria Sue: Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt (NSFW), and Giveaway

The Alpha King Book Coversynopsis

The Kingdom of Askara has been torn apart by conflict for centuries, where humans exist as subservient beings to their werewolf masters. Legend says it will only be able to heal itself when an Alpha King and a pure omega are mated and crowned together, but a pure omega hasn’t been born in over a thousand years.

Luca is an Alpha-heir eagerly awaiting the choosing ceremony on his twenty-fifth birthday and the gifts granted by whichever omega he mates. His small pack is destitute due to the decisions of its ruling council, but being only an Alpha-heir, he has no authority to challenge them. Not until now—this moment he has waited a long time for.

Kit grew up as a street-rat, an unlicensed human who would never be more than a slave for whichever master owns him. Then one day he came across a young Alpha-heir, attacked and dying of poison, and found out their fates were suddenly entwined.

Luca needs to take over his pack and save his people. He cannot afford to be distracted. But when he meets Kit, he develops abilities indicating he is not just a pack Alpha, but the King his world has needed for a thousand years.

Is Kit really the cause of Luca’s newfound power, the true mate he needs? How is it possible when the young man isn’t even a werewolf, and as merely a human, a mating is not only forbidden, but for Kit, a sentence of death?

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excerpt

NSFW

“You have magic fingers,” Luca drawled, not opening his eyes. Kit moaned. Luca’s eyes shot open at the noise.

“Turn over.” Kit managed to gasp out, gratification washing over him at the speed at which Luca moved, all eager. Luca sighed slowly and relaxed. Kit threaded his fingers through Luca’s hair and gently massaged his scalp. He had to get himself under control. He was fast losing the ability to reason.

“How’s your headache?”

“What headache?” Luca said dreamily and he rolled lazily onto his back.

Kit’s fingers grazed Luca’s arms and he took each hand in his own to press his thumbs into Luca’s palms. Luca groaned again. The sound vibrated through Kit, fluttering where it settled in his belly. Kit closed his eyes and trailed his hands up and over Luca’s chest, letting his fingers tangle through the dark hairs and reaching his nipples—

A strong hand clamped into his and Kit’s eyes flew open. Luca’s deep gray eyes were wide open and fixed on him. His full lips lifted teasingly in an enquiring smile. Suddenly Kit’s mouth was too dry to even swallow. “You are, I think, overdressed my little omega.”

The words trickled down Kit’s spine and his cock twitched and hardened. Without waiting for a response, Luca sat up, immediately towering over Kit. Kit’s hands rose to his shirt but Luca batted them away impatiently and grabbed the hem. Kit lifted his arms quickly, or else it would tear as Luca pulled it up and threw it on the floor. He pressed a hand into Kit’s chest and Kit lay down obediently. It took Luca barely seconds before Kit was completely naked and he flushed as Luca looked admiringly at him. Luca lay down on his elbow next to him, and gently cupped Kit’s throat with his big hand. No pressure, no threat, but it was clear Kit was completely at Luca’s mercy. His breath caught and Kit could feel the desperate need to be touched flow through his body.

“Sire,” Kit breathed and watched as the gray in Luca’s eyed deepened nearly to black and his pupils distend.

Luca licked his lips. “You trust me.” It wasn’t a question, even as Kit caught the faint hint of wonder. More of an acknowledgement.

“I-I belong to you,” Kit whispered. A tremor seemed to skitter down the length of Kit’s body. Need beat in his heart. Desperation to be…loved? Was that what it was? He had always known his purpose but he hadn’t expected the effect Luca was having on him. In his innocence, he had imagined more a partnership. Friends, hopefully. He had never dreamed they would be lovers beyond the first mating, but having experienced Luca’s touch once it was all he craved.

Werewolf mating didn’t mean exclusivity. True mates were so rare they were merely whispered about. If the years he had spent crouched in the cupboard listening to his mother and the men and wolves that visited her had taught him anything, it was the higher up on the ladder the individual was, the more morals that were abandoned on the climb. It was neither his place nor his expectation to expect fidelity from Luca.

“What is it?” Kit opened his eyes at the question, not having realized he had closed them. He squirmed restlessly. “What do you need, my little omega?” Luca asked solemnly, his hand leaving Kit’s throat and trailing lower. Kit could barely retain the gasp as Luca’s fingers brushed his nipple. “I think you want my touch?” Luca continued, the slow, deliberate stroke of his hand threatening to drive Kit insane. “I think you need to feel and you need taking out of that pretty head for a while. Just imagine what you want me to do,” he added as his lips descended on Kit’s.

Kit cried out, a small, sharp, needy sound in the back of his throat. His arms lifted and slid over Luca’s back as he bent down over him. His lips were heaven. Firm, warm. Insistent until Kit obediently opened his and then softened as Luca’s tongue snaked in and touched his own. His pulse beat in his ears, ricocheted down to his groin and his cock pulsed to the same rhythm.

Kit arched as much as he was able to and moved as Luca’s hand stroked lower. The first touch on his balls was so perfect Kit nearly came then and there. “Hush,” Luca soothed. He had known, but then Kit was so hard. So needy. He ached to have Luca take him. Kit stopped breathing altogether when Luca’s fingers moved underneath him.

“Luca,” Kit begged, his voice breaking in the desperate, overwhelming need swamping his body.

“Turn over,” Luca broke off and ordered. Kit hurried to comply, not wanting to waste a second. He lay with his head on his arms, ass up, and was gratified to hear the pleased sound that rumbled out of Luca’s chest. He had three growls that Kit now knew. The angry one where people had better run, the teasing one that seemed to be reserved for him so far, and this one. The desperate, possessive one that he also hoped would be just for him. Luca stretched his arms and smoothed the skin on the back of Kit’s neck, making his hands glide down Kit’s spine and over his ass. Kit gasped as he felt Luca’s thumbs part his cheeks and his fingers slide down his crack to his hole. Kit knew he was wet.

“You have no idea how this makes me feel.” Luca’s voice was low. Vibrating. Full of heat and longing. “How did I ever get to be this lucky?”

Kit was sure it was rhetorical, but as Luca’s finger slipped inside, he was incapable of any words anyway. Kit pushed back, silently begging. “Please.”

“We need to go slow.” Luca’s voice cracked and exultation bloomed in Kit that he had the power to affect Luca so. It made him feel powerful by association, and, as Luca slipped another finger inside and his cock jerked, invincible also.

“I’m ready,” Kit begged. He would combust if Luca didn’t touch him, didn’t fill him. “Made—”

“For me. Yes, yes I know.” Luca withdrew his fingers and let out a shallow breath. Kit mourned the loss until he felt something infinitely larger and wider than Luca’s fingers at his entrance. Luca pushed and as Kit gasped, Luca felt underneath and smoothed Kit’s aching cock from tip to balls. Pre-cum jerked from the end, slicking Luca’s fingers. Luca groaned and smothered kisses onto Kit’s back. In one long glide, Kit was filled. The heat, the pressure, the fullness was incredible. Luca withdrew partially and slid back. Kit gave a low, needy cry.

“Luca,” he moaned. “Please. Please.

“Tell me,” Luca commanded, and words spilled from Kit’s lips. Nonsense words. Loving words. Begging, writhing. How perfect Luca made him feel. How beautiful he was. How Kit’s body would always belong to Luca, and how his heart was already there. Kit didn’t stop to think what he was saying. His King had opened the dam and Kit couldn’t close it. He panted, whined. The pleasure in his body, in his mind, unstoppable. Never ending until the pleasure made him delirious and finally at Luca’s shout and the arching of his body everything seemed to explode and shatter. His balls pumped until they were empty and even Luca’s firm fingers couldn’t coax another drop.

Kit was floating, not even sure his mind was still tethered to his body. It was only the large arms surrounding him and the warm solid chest he was pulled against that anchored him. He felt a kiss on the top of his head where he was tucked under Luca’s chin. Luca’s hands roamed gently. Stroking, petting, alternating gentleness and possession. Like he had the right to Kit’s body.

Which was true.

He did.

But not just that. Luca didn’t just hold Kit’s body in those big hands. He cradled Kit’s very soul.

alpha king

meet the author

Victoria Sue wrote her first book on a dare from her hubby two years ago and he says he has regretted it every day since. Loves writing about gorgeous boys loving each other the best, and especially with either a paranormal or a historical twist. Had a try at writing contemporary but failed spectacularly when it grew four legs and a tail. Loves her wolves!

Is an English northern lass but is currently serving twenty to life in Florida – unfortunately, she spends more time chained at her computer than on a beach.

Loves to hear from her readers and can be found most days lurking on facebook.

www.victoriasue.com

@vickysuewrites

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Victoria Sue is giving away a back copy of any of her previous releases. What is it about this story that intrigues you? Leave a comment and you can win.

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The Soldati Prince by Charlie Cochet: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post, Review and Giveaway

soldatiprincebtbanner

Character Interview

Hello, all! Thank you so much for joining me for the last stop of The Soldati Prince blog tour. Today we have a special treat. We have Riley Murrough, our Soldati prince, and instead of me asking him a few questions, I decided I’d let Khalon’s best friend and second in command, Rayner, do the honors. Take it away fellas.

Rayner: *waves at Riley* Your highness, I’ll do my best to make this as painless as possible.

Riley: *narrows eyes* I don’t believe you for a second.

Rayner: *laughs* Why don’t we start off with an easy question? Who do you think is more handsome, me or Khalon?

Riley: Who do I think is more of a pain in the ass? The answer would be both. You are definitely both a pain in the ass.

Rayner: *looks amused* That’s not what I asked.

Riley: *arches an eyebrow* Really? Because that’s what I heard.

Rayner: I’ll admit, I can be a challenge, but as far as a pain in your backside, from what I heard coming from your bedchamber the other evening, I would say that Khalon—

Riley: Oh my God, shut up! *goes red in the face*

Rayner: *laughs* Very well. What was the first thought that crossed your mind when you saw Khalon?

Riley: I’m hallucinating.

Rayner: The second?

Riley: That’s a lot of leather.

Rayner: *chuckles* And when you were told who you were?

Riley: What did I think when I was told I was the intended mate and prince of some magical dude who changes into a tiger that lives in another world? Hm, let me think about that. *pretends to think* That someone is out of their damn minds, and it’s probably me. As you will recall, I was a little freaked out.

Rayner: *smiles* Perhaps a tad.

Riley: Sure. If a tad means flipping one’s mind. Then yes, a tad.

Rayner: And at precisely what point did you decide Khalon was not, in fact, a bastard?

Riley: I believe the word you’re looking for is “asshole”, and that took some time. *blushes* I don’t know exactly at what point. There was so much going on, what with the demons out to tear at my mortal flesh and harvest my soul, but at some point I realized that maybe he wasn’t such a jerk. That he was actually a good guy underneath all the growling and scowling.

Rayner: Are all humans that grumpy and inarticulate before coffee?

Riley: Yes. You have your magic, we have ours.

Rayner: *blinks* Coffee is magic?

Riley: Are you kidding? You yourself have witnessed its power to transform a zombie into a functioning human being. *points at himself*

Rayner: *laughs* Of course. And how do you feel about our illustrious king now?

Riley: *blushes* Um, he’s hot. Like, really hot. And his smile is pretty amazing. He’s pretty amazing. *shifts uncomfortably* He’s caring, and gentle, and sexy. Why am I telling you all this? Things are good between us. We’ve been through a lot together, and I’m looking forward to what happens next.

Rayner: As am I. *winks at Riley*

Riley: *rolls his eyes* I should get going.

Rayner: Left Khalon alone in bed, did you?

Riley: *stands up and narrows his eyes at Rayner* You know what, Rayner?

Rayner: Shut up?

Riley: *grumbles under his breath as he stalks away*

Rayner: *laughs* He is almost as easy to wind up as Khalon. *smiles wickedly* Almost.

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synopsis

thesoldatiprince300

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Gay Romance, Shifters, Demons
Series: Soldati Hearts
Length: Novella, 97 pages
Published: Nov 23rd, 2016
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781634775809

One moment, Riley Murrough is living a normal life working in a coffee shop, and the next, he’s running for his life from demons, learns he bears the mark of a shape-shifter king from a magical realm, and—worst of all—he’s destined to become the mated prince to the arrogant tiger-shifter he would rather strangle.

Khalon, the shifter king, is equally distraught at the idea of being bound to a human prince, and along with his Soldati warriors, he sets out to return Riley to his own world, where he belongs. On their journey, they might discover why the goddess brought them together—if they can escape the demons and make it to her alive.

First Edition short story published as The Soldati Prince in Charmed & Dangerous by JCP Books LLC, 2015. Second Edition has been re-edited and extended to novella length with new content.

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denise review

I’ve always said that it is harder to write a novella than a full length novel. With a novella, the author has to make you care about the characters almost immediately, get to know them, and do all that in a limited amount of works. Charlie Cochet is a master at that, and The Soldati Prince is a perfect example of that.

I really enjoyed the storyline for this novella, even though as I’ve said many times before, I rarely read shifter books. But of course, when it is Charlie, I don’t hesitate. She has made me love shifters so much more than I ever expected (I’ll probably still never be a vampire or werewolf girl, but hey, its a start!), and she did that by creating characters with heart, and soul, and men that may be slightly broken in some way, but are made whole by the finding of their other half.

This novella does all that, and then adds in a ton of humor, which I was not expecting at all! Riley made me laugh out loud more than once. He did not take any crap from Khalon, no matter that he was King or not. The scene at the breakfast table, with the coffee (read it and you will get it) had me laughing and highlighting, and even going right back at the end of the scene and re-reading it. So funny!

These two circle each other, trying to figure out what being a mate with someone they didn’t expect (or even want) actually will mean for them, and its fun to see that Riley is Khalon’s equal in every way, despite Khalon’s best efforts to keep it from being so.

Another winner by Charlie, and of course, leaves me wanting more for a certain second in command. 😉

4.5 pieces of eye candy, for humor alone, not to mention the rest of the story!

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meet the author

Charlie_Cochet_by_madison_parker150Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

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This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Fight the Tide by Keira Andrews: Release Day Review and Five-ish Good Questions

400x600_Fight_the_Tide_KeiraAndrewssynopsis

Adrift in a post-apocalyptic world, they only have each other. Is it enough?

A virus that turns the infected into zombie-like killers spreads through a burning world thrown into lawless chaos. Lovers Parker and Adam have escaped to the open sea when they hear a message over the airwaves from a place called Salvation Island—a supposed safe haven.

Orphaned as a child, werewolf Adam has always longed for a pack. He’s eager to investigate the island, but Parker doesn’t think for a nanosecond that the voice on the radio can be believed. He doesn’t trust anyone but Adam and is determined to keep it that way. They don’t need anyone else complicating their struggle to survive. Or do they?

Danger on the high seas can surface in a heartbeat, and if Parker and Adam aren’t careful, the current will drag them under.

This gay romance is a dystopian adventure featuring a werewolf, his boyfriend, and their struggle to find a place to call home.

morgan review

I was so excited to get my hands on Fight the Tide and it did not disappoint. This story was just as great as the first. Keira tells her stories in such a way you feel like you’re really there and the writing is amazing. I never knew what was going to happen next and she kept me on the edge of my seat. I caught myself screaming at my kindle at one point! Ha! The emotions were everywhere with this one.

Fight picks up right where Kick leaves off. Parker and Adam are taking it one day at a time out on the water and just trying to survive. This is truly a post-apocalyptic world they are living in now and the things and people they encounter are exactly how I believe it would play out.

Parker tends to underestimate himself a lot. He starts to feel he’s lacking in some way and may not be everything Adam needs. He has some serious struggles and getting to see him work through them and come out on the other side shows just how resilient he is.

I have to say, the sex scenes in this one were fantastic and hot as hell. Be prepared for your jaw to drop and you might even have to fan yourself a little. Just damn… Parker and Adam have a sweet relationship and I enjoyed seeing it grow more and more throughout the story. No matter what happens and what they face they always have the support of each other.

We eventually get to meet a small group of survivors in need of some assistance. I really liked all 4 of them and I thought they brought a lot to the story. We get to meet some new wolves as well and learn a little more about Adam.

I could go on for days about this but I don’t want to give anything away. I can’t stress how much I love reading about the world Keira has created. If you haven’t read Kick at the Darkness, make sure you check that out first before you start Fight the Tide. This was an amazing story and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. I still have lots of unanswered questions and I want to learn more about the Wolves and the Virus. I am a zombie/ paranormal/ horror freak and Keira has rocked my world with these stories.

5 HUGE pieces of eye candy from me!!!!

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tco-friday five-ish

  1. Fight the Tide got a HUGE 5 pieces of eye candy rating from Morgan. So tell the readers anything you can on what might be ahead for these two guys? Are there a set number of books you envision for the series?

Thanks so much to Morgan! There will definitely be a third book for Parker and Adam, and also a fourth book centered on a character you’ll meet in Fight the Tide. That’s all I have planned for now, but who knows what the future will bring?

  1. You always have such a unique vision to your books. The Forbidden Rumspringa is still the most surprising book to me. What was your inspiration for this series?

Thank you. My inspiration for the Kick at the Darkness series came from a lifelong love of dystopian stories, and certainly more recent TV shows such as The Walking Dead. Also the X-Men in regards to having special abilities that must be kept secret.

  1. Parker and Adam now live in a post Apocalyptic world, just trying to survive. What do you think is the most unique aspect of the world that you created for them? Is it something you can envision happening in the present day?

When I was researching the first book, I discovered that once the power grid goes dark, experts think the infrastructure would fall apart alarmingly quickly. Let’s hope we won’t find out! It’s a challenge to be unique considering how popular zombie and werewolf stories have been in recent years, so I suppose the aspect that stands out in my books is the combination of the two genres.

  1. What one thing are you most excited about with this book? Okay, you can make it as many things as you want.

The thing I’m most excited about is how the universe has clicked into place. After the first book, I wasn’t sure what would happen to Adam and Parker, and now they’re firmly on their path. I’m also excited for readers to see their relationship deepen and grow as they face more challenges. They don’t always agree and aren’t perfect, but they are 100% committed to each other.

  1. Last question is always the fun one. You write sex scenes that are hot, and with characters that likely would never get together but for inauspicious circumstances. What do you want to write as a sex scene sometime? Your dream fantasy sex scene.

Ohh, good question! I love writing sex scenes. I wrote my first fisting scene for Fight the Tide, which I realize can be controversial and not everyone’s cup of tea, but I hope readers will keep an open mind. As to my fantasy scene… That’s a tough one! I don’t really have any limitations, and it always depends on what the characters want. So we’ll see what the future brings!

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giveaway

TCO would like to give away a copy of Fight the Tide to one commenter. So, tell us, what do you envision as the scariest part of being in a post-apocalyptic world?

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.