TCO Exclusive Guest Post: Victoria Sue – A Five-Minute Valentine

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TCO is so excited!!!! Victoria Sue has offered to do a monthly guest column on Two Chicks Obsessed, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. First, because we absolutely adore this woman…and if and when you meet her, we guarantee you will too. Second, because she always brings the fun, sexy and delicious times. And third…because she is British, and you know that at some point, we will be doing some sort of audio interview. 😉

So, without further ado, Victoria Sue is here with her first guest column, which is a fantastic little bite out of her fantastic new series. Book 1 is called Five Minutes Longer, and if you haven’t read it, grab it now, because you will want to read it as soon as you read her Five-Minute Valentine short.

Enjoy!

 

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A Five-Minute Valentine

 

“So, are you going with the traditional flowers and chocolates, or are you being a bit more creative?”

Talon blinked at Gael, having no earthly idea what he was talking about. “Please don’t tell me you forgot,” Gael said flatly.

Talon paused, his mind going a mile a minute. It wasn’t Finn’s birthday. “Fuck,” he swore succinctly. Fucking Valentine’s day was tomorrow. Gael slapped him on the back, grinning.

“He’s a guy,” Talon said defensively after a few seconds.

“Who’s a guy?” They both glanced up as Vance came down the corridor toward where they were standing outside the medical bay.

“Finn, apparently,” Gael drawled.

“Huh?” Vance looked from one of them to the other in confusion.

“I mean he’s not going to be into all that stuff, flowers and shit,” but even as Talon spoke the words, he knew it was a lie. Gael just raised an eyebrow. Vance barked out a laugh.

“You forgot Valentine’s day.”

“You could just take him out for dinner,” Gael suggested.

“When?” Talon nearly wailed not even attempting to disguise his I know and freely admit I’ve fucked up voice. It was nearly ten p.m. They had just finished up a really long day and they’d all eaten take-out earlier. “He’s going on that crime scene forensics course tomorrow, and I have no idea what time he’s gonna be done.”

“There are one or two places that will be open late in Ybor,” Gael mused. “Although, Friday and Valentine’s Day? It’ll be a zoo.”

Talon nearly growled in frustration. He hated eating out. Hated the stares, the whispers when they saw the mark on his face. The fear and mistrust many didn’t bother to hide. “Gianelli’s,” Vance pronounced naming their favorite Italian restaurant. Gianelli’s had a private back room, and they had originally gone to celebrate Doctor Natalie’s engagement. The doc had gotten Gael the private help he had needed when he was diagnosed with skin cancer and had kept it away from the bureau. When she’d asked them to come, they couldn’t say no. They’d all been eating and suddenly heard the sound of raised voices in the main dining room. It had turned out there was a birthday party going on, except the boyfriend of the birthday girl had objected to her ex thinking he could turn up and it had quickly become a fight. Talon and Vance had just grabbed a man each by the collar and hauled them outside. It had been over and done with in a few seconds, and the owner was so grateful his restaurant hadn’t got wrecked, they’d all drunk complimentary champagne. It was the only place the team ever went to eat out, not including Betty’s Diner.

Talon pulled his phone from his pocket and started dialing the number. Three restaurants later he gave up in disgust. Everywhere was slammed. The others didn’t take bookings but were expecting wait periods of at least an hour and the thought that he had no idea what time Finn was going to be back made the two early slots he was offered impossible to accept.

“Can’t you stop and get him something on the way home?” Vance asked.

“The truck’s in for service. We’re both in Finn’s.” In fact, any second his boyfriend was going to come out of the locker rooms looking for him. As if Finn had heard him, the door opened at the end of the corridor and Finn came out with Sawyer. Finn was laughing, and Sawyer was shaking his head in amusement. Finn looked up, and Talon met his green eyes. Everything in him soothed instantly. He wanted to do something special. He didn’t want to do chocolates and flowers, and yeah, he’d stuffed up the chance of both because he’d forgotten. Forgot Finn was normal, and he was anything but. Forgot his boyfriend was and would always be the very best thing that had ever happened to him. Forgot he wasn’t supposed to take him for granted. His lips curled upwards in the answering smile to Finn’s soft one.

“You done?” Finn said softly and gasped as Talon drew him in close to his body. Finn looked around, alarmed.

“Everyone’s gone home,” Talon murmured desperately wanting a kiss.

“Well, we haven’t,” Sawyer groaned, turning and following a chuckling Vance. Gael threw him a pointed look and then ruffled Finn’s hair.

“Knock ‘em dead, tomorrow, kid.”

Finn’s eyes sparkled, all eager. “I can’t wait.”.

Talon smiled indulgently. He couldn’t imagine anything more boring than discussing the nuances of directional blood-spatter, but he knew Finn had just bought a book by a famous forensics scientist in preparation for the course and Talon had already been lectured by his boyfriend on the value of it. Apparently, the book – Forensics for Fiction – had been written for authors, but Finn had raved about it and had even gotten their boss Gregory interested. Their team didn’t have the experience to handle murders in any way, and to be honest, they were having enough problems with the living, but Gregory was trying as hard as he could to plug all the numerous gaps in their training.

And Finn was an asset Gregory had recognized when he had been too stupid to. No, he had to get Finn something special…

 

 

Talon was fairly pleased with how things were going so far. He’d deliberately turned off Finn’s alarm and woken him up with breakfast in bed. Just a little too late to have Finn worrying about anything other than ramming down his chocolate chip muffin and racing in and out of the shower. He’d arranged for Gael to pick him up as he was still without the truck and after Finn had disappeared in an eager blur, he was showered and ready for Gael when he showed. Gael quizzed him immediately when he’d arrived, but Talon had just said everything was in hand. Gael had grinned and called him a lucky bastard. Which he knew. He had a dozen stops to make when he got his truck back but was waiting outside the training area next to the Tampa PD building when Finn came out of the door. Finn looked in surprise when Gael took his keys from him and promised Finn his “baby” would be safe and sound in their parking garage when he needed it tomorrow. Talon steered a bemused Finn to his truck and got him settled in there.

He started the truck and turned around. “You thought I’d forgotten, didn’t you?”

Finn opened his mouth, then closed it, and Talon smiled at the pink flush that started in his neck. He leaned over and pressed his lips to Finn’s, satisfied when he felt Finn’s hands creep around his back. He pulled back and then nearly—for a split second—thought to hell with the plan and wanted just to drive Finn home and carry him to bed, but he didn’t.

“I hope you’re hungry.”

Fifteen minutes later they pulled up outside Betty’s Diner. “What are we doing here?” Finn asked in astonishment. Talon grinned and jumped down from the truck and was at Finn’s door before he’d recovered from his shock enough to open it. Betty served breakfast and lunch six days a week, closed at 3 p.m., and it was the first place Talon had ever taken Finn to. To be honest, the diner looked closed. All the shutters were down, and it looked like the usual emergency lighting was on when you glanced at the door.

Talon just smiled and clasped Finn’s hand which he almost never did. He led Finn solemnly to the door and opened it. “I screwed up and forgot to book anywhere early enough.”

But Finn didn’t answer. He was too busy staring at the setting inside. Betty stood beaming, but even Talon was impressed at the table. All the smaller tables usually in the middle had been pushed to the side against the booths. The only table left was set up in the middle of the now empty floor. Talon blinked at the snowy white tablecloth and napkins, and the two candles flickering gently. The bottle of champagne he had dropped off earlier was chilling in the ice bucket. There were rose petals sprinkled over the table, and a single rose in a vase next to the candles.

Finn’s hand tightened in his, and he glanced at him quickly. The green eyes he loved shimmered as he stared, and then Finn gazed back at Talon and swallowed.

“It’s beautiful, Betty. Thank you,” Talon said, quietly.

“How?” Finn swallowed, and Talon guided him to the table. Talon didn’t answer because Betty was busy serving the soup. Finn inhaled. “My favorite.”

Betty beamed. “Of course,” and then she sniffed in that what did you expect kind of way. Talon’s belly growled as he smelled Betty’s homemade tomato soup. He’d spent all day worrying about making tonight perfect and hadn’t even thought about eating anything.

“How was your day?” Talon said.

Finn’s face lit up, and Talon listened as Finn eagerly told him what he had learned. They finished their steak and Betty pulled over a cart with some tiny deserts for them to share, and pressed a set of keys into Talon’s hand. “You just lock up when you’re done.” Finn stood up and threw his arms around her, and she chuckled and left them alone.

It was immediately quiet, and Talon swallowed down his suddenly dry throat. “You would be right thinking I forgot about Valentine’s day…I did.” Talon watched the green eyes he loved widen a little at his pronouncement, but then Finn’s face softened, and his smile was back. Gentle, forgiving and sexy as all hell. He was crap at sharing, but Finn deserved the truth and so much more.

“Normal life stopped for me the day I woke up with this.” Talon gestured to his face, then took Finn’s slim hands in his because he needed the touch. “Grandma and Grandad tried, but after Grandad died I stopped bothering.” He shrugged. “I never saw anything worth celebrating.” Finn’s hand tightened in his. “No, that’s not even strictly true. It…” Talon swallowed again, searching for the right words. “It was as if normal life didn’t involve me. Other people had lives. Went to ball games, hell – even dated. So, I didn’t forget exactly. I knew it was Valentine’s day. I just stopped thinking anything like that applied to me.”

Finn’s eyes glittered, and Talon brought Finn’s hand up to his mouth and kissed Finn’s palm. He needed a few seconds to cover his own eyes becoming suspiciously bright. Talon slid a hand into his back pocket and brought out an envelope. He squeezed Finn’s hand before he let go and straightened the envelope a little before handing it over. Finn’s lips parted soundlessly. “Yours is at home.”

Talon understood immediately. “And I bet you would never have said a word about it if I hadn’t.” Finn would never try and make him feel bad. Finn’s lips curled up into the shy smile he loved. “Open it.”

Finn tore the envelope and grinned when he saw the card. He arched an eyebrow. “This is a valentine card?”

Talon chuckled. “I think it’s a birthday card, but I managed to find one with nothing written on it. He watched as Finn read the words Talon had written and saw the lump travel down Finn’s throat.

super hero with heart

“I think this is you, not me,” Finn said quietly. “You’re the one with the super abilities.”

“Come here,” Talon ordered quietly, and Finn got up, and Talon drew him close until he was sitting on his lap. Talon gently raised Finn’s chin with his finger until their eyes met and held. “Every day. Every day you make me a better person. Every day when I can’t love myself, you do it for me. You have the biggest heart of anyone I know, and I don’t know how the hell I ever got so lucky that you make room in it for me.” Talon thumbed the moisture from under Finn’s eyes and captured his lips with his own.

He had gone to five stores before he had found the card he wanted. It had a picture of Superman on it, and Talon could hear the words as he had written them.

“You are my hero. Love is your superpower, and you save me with it every day.”

 

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The Alpha King by Victoria Sue: Quick Review includes Giveaway

The Alpha King Book CoversynopsisThe 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? (MPreg)

morgan review

What an epic emotional ride!!  The Alpha King kept me hooked from the very first page. She killed me and then brought me back to life multiple times during this story. This was unlike any shifter or MPreg i have ever read. There was so much depth to this story and I love the new world Victoria Sue has created. The scenes are described in such detail that I felt as if I was actually there. MPreg is my guilty pleasure and this was one of the best I have read. The birth scene was so different and worked perfectly. I don’t want to give anything away but it was realistic while working great for a male at the same time.

The characters are amazing. Every one has so much life and I felt like I got to know them personally. Kit and Luca had some serious chemistry and I adored them both from the first meeting. Even when Luca was being hardheaded and I wanted to smack him, I still loved him. They had so much to overcome and I enjoyed every minute of their story.

Victoria Sue is such a talented writer and can seriously rock a story. I cannot wait to see where this series goes and I can’t wait for the next one.

Definitely recommend this read.

5 pieces of eye candy from Morgan 🙂

5-pieces-eye-candy5

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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

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

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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.

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

12 Days of Kissmas: Victoria Sue: Exclusive Short Story and Giveaway

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TCO is so excited to bring you 12 Days of Kissmas. We have 12 of your favorite authors ahead over the coming days, bringing you beautiful pictures of men kissing that the authors have chosen themselves, along with exclusive posts, excerpts, and giveaways. The idea sprang from a conversation with an author that just turned into a “what if…”, and when I started asking a few authors, they immediately said they were in. Make sure you enter the giveaways, as there are lots of them! Thanks for stopping by, and a HUGE thank you to all the authors for their generosity, and loving spirit. Happy Holidays to everyone!

 

Victoria Sue is stopping by today with an awesome Kissmas picture, and exclusive short story featuring her characters from Five Minutes Longer, published by Dreamspinner Press.

 

Two super hero gay lovers kissing in the sky

tco exclusive

A Five Minute Christmas

Talon was going to kill him…again. Finn really hadn’t meant to invite anyone else. Their first Christmas Day and they’d promised each other they were going to eat turkey in bed. Just the two of them – all day.

Thanksgiving had been a complete bust. Some cop over in Gainesville had decided to arrest an enhanced fifteen-year-old for threatening a store owner that morning except it had turned out the kid was just trying to get help. He was mute and lived alone with his elderly grandmother. She was just pulling a baked ham out of the oven, and she’d had a heart attack. The kid wasn’t trying to threaten anyone, but the store owner had taken one look at the mark on his face; the lightning bolt shaped scar that all enhanced had, and assumed the worst.

So, Finn was determined Christmas was going to be perfect. He had all the recipes from Connie, Vance’s mom, and she had completely understood when they’d turned down the offer of going to their house for dinner. They’d said they might stop by later, but that was when Talon had pulled Finn into his arms, kissed him stupid until his knees gave way, and gruffly told him they would be spending the day in bed. At least he’d waited until they had got to the car to impart that particular news, though.

And he really hadn’t meant to invite Gael.

They’d all been chatting as they’d gotten out of their uniforms the day before. Talon had to go see Gregory over approving a possible new agent that he absolutely refused to discuss with the rest of the team, and Finn had asked Gael casually if Wyatt his younger brother was visiting him for the holiday.

“Nah,” Gael had shrugged. “Wyatt’s got a new girlfriend. He was invited there.”

Finn had paused. “So, are you going to Vance’s then?”

“Probably.”

But Finn had known instantly Gael was lying. Vance had a huge family, and the place would be packed. Gael had a tell when he was stressed. He pulled at the bottom of his scarred cheek with his teeth where it touched his lips. The scar his dad had given him when the drunk had held a twelve-year-old Gael down and tried to burn his enhanced mark off with a gas lighter. Because of the looks of fear Gael got – his mark and the way the left side of his face was all scarred – Gael hated crowds unless he was in uniform. Finn knew damn well he’d spend the day alone in his apartment.

“We’d love it if you came to us,” the words were out of Finn’s mouth before he thought twice, and the shy, hopeful, look Gael gave him made the thought of imminent death at the hands of his boyfriend worth every second.

Not that Talon was an ogre… much. He’d listened as Finn had haltingly told him an hour ago either he was gonna have to get out of bed, or there was gonna be three of them in it. Talon had kissed Finn on the nose and told him he was a softy. Finn had just copied Talon’s trade mark raised eyebrow. It had been Talon who had insisted on staying with the kid at Thanksgiving. Taken him to visit his grandmother in the ER to see she was okay, and then got him settled at the group foster home near where they all lived. Talon was as soft as Finn, he just hid it better.

“It smells amazing,” Gael had greeted them and held up a bottle of the expensive Dutch vodka Talon liked. Finn had waved them both out of the kitchen, flushed, and mildly panicking at what now seemed an insane amount of food he’d bought. They’d both offered to help, but he was relieved when he heard the sound of the game coming on and stared at the mess in the kitchen. In his eagerness to impress his boyfriend, he’d gone a little over board. Finn grinned – understatement.

An hour later he was reading Connie’s instructions on how to make the green bean casserole when the doorbell rang, and he walked out of the kitchen smiling in shock when Vance stepped into the apartment.

“Hey, buddy!” Gael grinned at his friend, a little flushed as he and Talon had been experimenting with the Dutch vodka and the eggnog.

“What are you doing here?” Finn said in surprise as he nearly tripped over Olly. Talon’s black lab was ecstatic every time one of the team came over, and she’d rushed to greet Vance. Vance shrugged.

“There’s like fifteen kids at mine,” Vance grumbled and sat on the corner of the sectional. The sofa dipped alarmingly.

Talon chuckled. “You mean you’ve got no TV to watch the game on?” Vance grinned and chinked the beer bottle with Gael’s glass as Gael passed it to him. Finn immediately reversed back to the kitchen to peel more potatoes.

“Hey,” Talon followed him back into the kitchen. “This isn’t about you being in here, and me being out there. I wanna help.” Talon bent his head and kissed the back of Finn’s neck, and turned him around gently taking the potato peeler out of his hand.

The doorbell rang, and Talon groaned. Finn pushed him out. “Go see who it is.”

Finn came out of the kitchen a few minutes later and stopped in astonishment as their boss; Tony Gregory stood talking to Talon. Finn blinked. The man looked quite good in jeans. Couple that with the peppered gray hair and easy smile and he looked about ten years younger than normal.

“Sir?” Finn squeaked in alarm. Shit, were they gonna get called out?

Tony turned and smiled. “Don’t worry. I was on my way to my sister’s, and I was passing so I just thought I’d say hello.” He pushed a bag awkwardly under the tree and said his goodbyes hurriedly.

“Hey, Talon?” Gael called and picked up a present from under the tiny Christmas tree. “Santa’s been, and you haven’t opened your presents.” Finn flushed bright red. Oh dear God, no. He knew exactly what was in that and the last thing he wanted was it opening in front of anyone else. Gael saw his face and grinned evilly.

The doorbell rang for the third time. Talon just leveled Finn a look as he got to his feet, but Finn had no idea who it was.

But I really should have he thought, as Sawyer and Eli walked in. “We’re not stopping,” Sawyer said hurriedly, and Eli dug his hands into his pockets and looked at the floor. “We were just on the way past.”

Finn gave his boyfriend kudos for not so much raising an eyebrow at the obvious lie and bolted back into the kitchen.

“Finn?” Finn looked up from stabbing the turkey as Eli came in. “Talon says we could stay, but I wanted to check with you.” He looked down at Finn as Finn poked the thing with a knife. “I think it’s dead,” he said dryly.

Finn didn’t look up. He knew Eli was looking at the disaster area that was their kitchen. He was probably going to come out with some smart comment about Finn being as useless in the kitchen as he was at the FBI. The sound of a faucet being turned on had him looking, though. He tried not to gape as Eli started stacking pans to wash.

“You don’t have to do that,” Finn stammered.

Eli ignored him and quietly carried on. In five minutes working together, they could actually see counters. “Thanks,” Finn said.

“I never had this,” Eli replied so quietly Finn barely heard him. He flushed slightly. “I don’t mean the food.”

Yeah, Finn had sort of guessed that. “Clearing up a disaster zone?” Finn quipped.

“Can I help?” It was Sawyer. Finn made a quick decision. Trying to do everything was just pushing people away. It was dumb.

“Mash,” Finn said nodding to the potatoes.

“With cheese?” Sawyer rubbed his hands gleefully and opened the fridge.

“You doing green bean casserole?” Vance asked from the door.

“I was thinking about it,” Finn replied cautiously. “Your mom wrote down how to do it.” His own mom had always just bought pre-prepared shop items.

Vance chuckled. “Mom thinks she knows the recipe but dad has perfected it over the years. You got any bacon?”

Finn grinned as Talon and Gael walked in. The small kitchen was getting kind of full. Talon took over the turkey and Gael pushed Finn down on a chair producing two beer bottles. One he opened and passed to Finn, one he threw at Vance who promptly opened it and mixed it into the sauce he was making. Gael started frying bacon under Vance’s watchful eye. Talon just cleared up as people finished with things.

“Where are we eating?” Talon suddenly said, and Finn nearly choked on his beer; their kitchen table was barely big enough for two of them, and Vance was two people just on his own.

“That’s easy,” Vance said. “We just put everything out on the counters, plate up what we want and go sit in the there.” He nodded to the lounge. Finn smiled. He was going to do this elaborate place setting idea he’d seen on TV, but suddenly Vance’s idea seemed better.

The meal was easily the best thing Finn had ever eaten in his life. He was perched on the floor with his back wedged in between Talon’s legs. The game had finished, and Gael was eyeing the bag Gregory had pushed under the tree. “Hey, this one’s got my name on,” and he dragged the bag out. “We’ve all got one,” he chuckled and passed everyone a present from the bag.

Talon approved the bottle of wine he opened. Vance chuckled at the key-ring with the tiny free weights attached and the card that said Vance had to try and not break these. Gregory had actually had to get the team their own gym at the field office because Vance kept breaking all the equipment in the regular one. Sawyer got an Amazon gift voucher and Eli a book on old Harley Davidsons which he was thrilled with. Finn opened his eagerly then blushed a deep red at the T-shirt inside.

Talon grinned and held it up so everyone could see another Superman T-shirt to add to his collection. Talon cleared his throat. “Actually, Gael can you pass me that small red envelope?”

Gael pulled an envelope out from behind the tree that Finn knew for sure hadn’t been there that morning. Gael passed it to Talon, and Talon solemnly handed it to Finn. “Merry Christmas.”

Finn took it with shaking hands. His boyfriend’s blue eyes darkened. He opened the envelope, and a key slid out. Finn looked at Talon in confusion. Talon stood up. “C’mon.” All the team followed Talon as he solemnly walked Finn to the elevator and down to the parking garage. Talon came to a stop next to his monster truck and then moved Finn to the side so he could see what was next to it.

A gleaming blue Mustang coupe. Finn stared, completely unable to find words. Sawyer took the key from him and got behind the wheel and started the engine. He got back out and handed him the key. “It’s a sweet ride.”

Finn swallowed quickly. He’d bought an old Taurus three months ago, and no matter how many times Vance’s uncle tried to fix it, it had constantly let him down. He’d wanted to be independent as usual, and instead of asking for advice he’d bought the car straight off the lot. It had been a disaster, but Talon hadn’t even once given him shit about it.

“How did it get here?” Finn asked in awe.

“Sawyer drove it here, and Eli followed in his car,” Talon answered.

Finn’s eyes narrowed, remembering how Talon didn’t seem fazed at Gael’s arrival. His eyes narrowed. “You knew everyone was coming.”

Vance chuckled. “Like we were gonna miss this.”

“Besides, we’re family.” Gael cuffed Finn on his head. “You gotta include us.”

Talon turned him around so he was facing him. “Do you like it?” he asked, and Finn heard the catch in his breath. Finn smiled and launched himself at Talon to be caught and wrapped up in his big strong arms. All these months he’d tried to be independent. Worried every minute he wasn’t strong enough, fast enough, or even capable enough around his enhanced team, and it was dumb.

They needed to be needed just like him. Every one of them was his family from Talon who kept his heart beating to Eli because he’d included him.

It was going to be the best Christmas ever.

fiveminuteslongerfs_v2synopsis

Talon Valdez knew that when he transformed into an enhanced human, his life and his dreams were finished. Reviled, mistrusted, and often locked away, the enhanced are viewed as monsters, despised by the public, and never trusted to serve in the military or any law enforcement agency.

Years later he gets a chance to set up a task force of enhanced to serve in the FBI, but with one proviso: each enhanced must partner with a regular human.

Finn Mayer dreamed of joining the FBI since he was fourteen and made every possible sacrifice to make it happen, including living with his selfish mother and bullying homophobic brother and never having a boyfriend. But his undiagnosed dyslexia stopped his aspirations dead in their tracks. His last chance is to partner with Talon, an enhanced with fatal abilities who doesn’t trust regular humans with their secrets and wants Finn to fail.

Four weeks to prove himself to the team. Four weeks for the team to prove itself to the public. And when another group threatens their success—and their lives are at stake—four weeks for them to survive.

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Victoria Sue is giving away an ebook copy of any of her books, along with a $25 gift card!!!! Just comment on this blog post telling us who your favorite superhero is and why.

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Five Minutes Longer by Victoria Sue: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post and Excerpt

fiveminuteslongerfs_v2
synopsis

Talon Valdez knew when he transformed into an enhanced human, his life and his dreams were finished. Reviled, mistrusted, and often locked away, the enhanced were viewed as monsters, despised by the public, and never trusted to serve in the military or any law enforcement agency.

Years later he gets a chance to set up a task force of enhanced to serve in the FBI, but with one proviso: each enhanced must partner with a regular human.

Finn Mayer dreamed of joining the FBI from the time he was fourteen and made every possible sacrifice to make it happen, including living with his selfish mother and bullying, homophobic brother and never having a boyfriend. But his undiagnosed dyslexia stopped his aspirations dead in their tracks. His last chance is to partner with Talon, an enhanced with deadly abilities who doesn’t trust regular humans with their secrets and wants Finn to fail.

Four weeks to prove himself to the team. Four weeks for the team to prove itself to the public. And when another group threatens their success—and their lives are at stake—four weeks for them to survive.

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Guest Post

Holding Out For A Hero!

No, I wasn’t gonna go all Bonnie Tyler on you. This is far more my style.

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Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They’re just braver five minutes longer.”

And yummier…

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But I digress…We’re talking about Finn, Talon, And Superman.

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So how did Superman get into my book? He snuck in… He actually appears the first time on the front of Finn’s boxer shorts.

When Talon undresses him.

And takes him to bed.

Okay… so Finn is actually asleep at the time, but still.

Talon did his best not to stare at the lithe little body that followed Drew out, remembering how it felt in his arms the night before. Talon had tried to shake him awake at first when he came back from the bathroom, completely stunned he was still there. He looked like shit. Talon could see the dark shadows under his eyes and his own blood that stained Finn’s pants and his shirt. The jacket had been discarded.

In the end, Talon just picked him up. Then what did the kid do? Instead of lying there while Talon took him to his spare room, he moaned softly and curled up in Talon’s arms, burrowing his head in the crook of his neck. Talon had nearly groaned right back, and had hurriedly laid him down on the bed. Finn had let out a deep sigh, and Talon just stood and stared and thought about how uncomfortable he looked. With resignation he’d undone Finn’s pants and slid them off his hips. He’d chuckled softly when he saw the Superman shorts. He would bet any money Finn had never wanted another living soul to see those.

My Superheroes:

Talon – 29 years. Developed his ability at adolescence as is common with enhanced humans. Comes from a politically motivated family who decided that instead of acknowledging they had an enhanced son decided to lock him away in an insane asylum as a child and then pretend he didn’t exist as an adult.

Finn – 24 years. Has dreamed of joining the FBI since he was fourteen, survived but his poor test grades due to undiagnosed dyslexia stopped it happening until one day he gets a call from the FBI about a new secret unit being set up.

All Talon wants to do is change public perception. He wants to stop any other enhanced child going through the same as he did. He wants to stop the bigotry and mistrust and hopefully turn the monsters that the public see into heroes.

He has two problems with that. He’s given a regular human partner that is well, too breakable. Talon’s ability is deadly, and Finn is at risk.

He also has to keep a huge secret from Finn. Their abilities are evolving, changing. If the public found out, being locked up would be the least of their problems. Talon and the rest of the team aren’t just fighting for their freedom anymore; they’re fighting for their lives.

Drew took another swig of his bottle.

“I know I’m being set up to fail,” Finn said. “I know full well the only reason I’m here is because the agency wouldn’t take me normally. I’m dispensable.” He grinned to soften the words. He didn’t want Drew feeling guilty by shooting down his dreams.

Drew sighed. “Caught that, did you?”

Finn smiled, but he couldn’t help the twist he felt in his gut at having it confirmed. Seemed like everyone knew. “But you’re already a trained agent. The failure of this team isn’t going to impact on your career, surely?” He was convinced there was something Drew wasn’t saying. “Tell me about the others who didn’t make it.”

Drew looked up, startled, and Finn’s stomach took a quick dive. That was it. His innocent question to keep Drew talking had hit on something. He waited patiently.

Drew started. “You’re the fourth that I know of.”fiveminuteslonger_fbbanner_dsp

“All already agents?”

“Yeah. One of them—Hillier—was a close-combat specialist, and even he couldn’t put Vance down. That’s his ability, Vance.”

“Close combat?” Finn queried.

“No, incredible strength. Think Superman-type shit.”

Finn blinked. Wow. “To be honest I kind of thought most of the abilities were exaggerated on TV. I mean, how come they’re not set on world domination or some such shit?” He was joking, but he shut up when Drew didn’t laugh. Okay, so he was officially getting a little more freaked out.

“Because there’s not enough of them, and so far the incidence seems to be confined to the US.” Drew played with the label on the bottle. “What do you know?”

“The first kids were born in the seventies. There’s been no cause identified. Suspicions vary from everything from genetics to pesticides,” Finn replied promptly. “There have been some major crimes reported. There was one guy who raided banks…. Something to do with being able to crack computer codes. Another who seemed to be able to do something with explosives. But there hasn’t been anything major since the task forces were implemented.”

“All that is true, and because the circumstances were very isolated, no major panic has happened. The government has never tried to initiate any sort of testing without consent, despite the law affecting the deceased.”

Finn nodded. They passed a law ten years ago stating any enhanced would be subject to special postmortems. There were a few religious groups that made a fuss, but Finn was surprised at how little people seemed to be disturbed.

“I don’t think I would get into trouble telling you this, but we’ve had at least fifteen years with the rate of transformation being very low. You know transformation….”

“Yeah, yeah,” Finn quickly agreed. That was when the enhanced first developed their abilities and the mark on their face, usually around adolescence.

“And you know the enhanced are sterile?”

Finn swallowed. He heard that on the news. Actually he heard some religious nut saying it was God’s wrath, punishing the abominations so no one else had to suffer.

“Thing is, when they found that out, it was as if people weren’t worried anymore. Aliens or super beings weren’t going to take over the world.” Drew chuckled. “I think that’s why we never had a mass panic on our hands or anything.”

“But you’ve got some super beings,” Finn argued.

“Yeah, and no other law enforcement agency will touch them. Gregory thinks that’s very shortsighted.”

He has a point, thought Finn. “I guess a lot of the abilities are being kept out of the news. What you said about Vance, for instance. First I’ve heard about anything like that.” And the thing Talon did in Gregory’s office, which was downright scary.

“Yes, the government has been downplaying things for years.”

“So why did none of the trainees work out?” Finn finished his beer and waited to see if he was going to get an answer.

“Two failed the standard questions on the first day.” Drew grinned. “At least I know you passed those.”

Finn hesitated. “You do?” He cleared his throat.

“Yeah. You wouldn’t still be here. Seriously, they didn’t tell you? That sucks.” Drew finished his beer also and stood. “The third one had a massive argument with Talon and quit. Said he wasn’t working with murdering freaks.”

“Wow,” Finn said. “And the fourth one? You said there were four.”

“I didn’t tell you.” Drew almost glared at Finn.

“Okay.” Finn’s heart sped up a little.

“I’m not sure exactly, but I think Eli lost control.”

“What happened?”

Drew shrugged. “Look, it’s not for me to say. I wasn’t there. All I know is that Michaelson was carried out of the gym on a stretcher with severe burns and never came back to work.” He grabbed his car keys off the table. “Six weeks ago.”

 morgan review

This new world Victoria Sue has created is pretty damn epic in my opinion. It has an X-MEN feel to me which makes me love the story even more.

There is a part of the human population that begins to show traits of being ‘enhanced’, which means they develop certain abilities, and it can show up at any age. First they develop a mark on their cheek that distinguishes them from the normal every day human and then they start to show unique powers, so to speak. Some even develop multiple abilities.  These enhanced humans are feared because they are so different and in a world filled with hate and prejudice they are shunned and mistreated. Having that mark on their cheek also keeps them from being able to blend in with the normal every day human so they are not able to hide who they are.  Most people believe the enhanced to be a threat so they struggle to live and be granted even the most basic of human rights.

Finn and Talon are brought together when a new task force is created combining humans and enhanced to show the world they are capable of working together. Finn has had a rough life and despite his dyslexia he has strived his whole life to become an FBI agent. Talon is distrustful of everyone except for his fellow enhanced team members and has had a pretty crazy life himself. He disliked Finn on sight and I enjoyed seeing Finn break down his walls throughout the story.

The emotions with this are crazy so be ready. Victoria Sue had a fantastic idea when she created this world. She has a cast of amazing characters with different traits and personalities. Each of them has a story to tell and I can’t wait to see where this series goes. I definitely enjoyed this story and it gets 5 pieces of eye candy from me.

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meet the author

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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The Innocent Auction by Victoria Sue: Guest Post, Release Day Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

innocent auction

synopsisTheir love was a death sentence. 

Deacon, Viscount Carlisle, was aware of the slums and gin-lanes of London. Just as he was aware of the underground traffic that furnished the brothels and bath houses with human innocents. He was also aware that the so-called justice system would hang the accused without much of an attempt at a defense, unless the unfortunate had deep pockets to pay for it. 

He just hadn’t expected to be directly involved in any of it. 

It started with a plea for help and ended with forbidden love, the love between a Viscount and a stable-boy. An impossible love and a guarantee of the hangman’s noose. 

Will Deacon fight for Tom? Will he risk the death sentence and take that fight from the stately halls of his English mansion to the horrors of Newgate Prison and the slums of London? 

Or will he realize that if he doesn’t, death will be a welcome end to the loneliness of the sentence he is already living?

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Author Guest Post:

I joked with Denise that this book was so incredibly hard to write because nearly every paragraph took research. I guess we both thought it would be a good idea to prove it!

The Innocent Auction is set in London, 1810. It’s the era of Regency Romance – that some very well-known romance writers excel at – all the way back to Jane Austen and her famous Pride and Prejudice.

I wanted to be a little different.

Homosexuality in 1810 was a hanging offence. To be honest though, most offences in 1810 were hanging offences. In the main there were three types of punishment – death, deportation, or fines. Prison was not the long-term affair that it is today. Prison was merely a holding area. One of the worst types of imprisonment was the “prison hulks.” Old rotting ships in the Thames harbor. Prisoners would be held here until the next ship deporting them to the Americas or the Indies would sail. At night there were no guards. They simply locked the doors. The survival rate wasn’t high.

To give you an idea of the justice system then – there wasn’t much. Liberty was often bought. There was nothing resembling a modern police force. Prosecutions were usually done by the victim. In my book the charge of sodomy is brought by the supposed victim’s father, who has other reasons for his accusation.

Crime and punishment were high drama in 1810. Public executions were one of the most popular forms of entertainment, and were still carried out until 1868. England’s severe punishment system for major and minor crimes was known then as “The Bloody code.” Crowds to watch a hanging could be up to seven thousand people.

Most people buy calendars at Christmas. Animals, famous people, football teams even. One of the most infamous prisons at that time was Newgate. Newgate calendars were popular sellers – filled with engraved pictures of prisoners, executions, and trial scenes.

An alternative punishment was “Standing at Pillory.” The pillory was a devise made of wood or metal with holes securing the head and hands of the prisoner. The punishment was humiliation. Crowds would pelt the prisoner with everything you could think of. Rotten food was probably one of the most pleasant things. Sometimes the crowd would get too violent and the prisoner would end up maimed, or dead.

And often the ride in an open cart to the pillory was even worse than when the prisoner got there. In the 18th and 19th century, the population of England was so extremely hostile to anyone engaging in homosexual relations, the prisoners were lucky to survive the journey, and many didn’t.

To give you another example of the justice system – or lack of it – in 1810 a male brothel was raided by the Bow Street Runners, the pre-cursor of the police service. Around twenty-seven men were imprisoned, and the resulting sentence of pillory caused all the shops to close that were on the route as the crowds were so large.

The saddest footnote to this, and incomprehensible to our modern-day justice system, was that a sixteen year old boy was arrested two weeks later as a result of the publicity from the raid. He was not present when the brothel was raided, but he was still hung on hearsay and supposed confession for his involvement.

There were many other things that needed research. For example – how long would it take to drive a horse and carriage thirty miles? Did you know that tin baths were lined with soft linen as tin wasn’t pleasant to lie against? Servants hauled buckets of water to and fro, as there was no running water or indoor plumbing.

I’ll be totally honest and admit to cheating a little with the language, and not just the fact that I dialed the accents back a little. In regency England boys didn’t refer to each other by their first names. Their own mothers wouldn’t even call the eldest son and heir by their first names!

I also refer to the pox. Syphilis at that time was rife. Prostitutes were even named on lists that gentleman referred to. “Harris’s list of Covent Garden Ladies.” And “Man of Pleasure’s Kalendar.” (actual spelling)

There were no condoms, and definitely no handy tubes of lube. I had to be careful with my cursing, and learn how people spoke to each other, ate and dressed.

To end my research…the word “fuck” dates back to the fifteenth century. It used to mean “an attack or strike,” and not necessarily a pleasurable one. Funnily enough one of the first authors to use it in the fifteenth century was a man named Richard Head. I wonder if his nickname was Dick?

denise reviewI started reading Regency Romance when I was a teenager. I would get in trouble for staying up too late reading, or for taking two hours to wash the dishes because I would read my book (with rubber bands on each page) while I was doing said dishes. My grandmother had boxes of them, and I would just read them all. So, to say I love reading that period would be an understatement. I also hold it dearly to my heart, because it founded my love for reading romance novels, and the ever present HEA.

What a ride this book was! Deacon, such a man of honor, could not leave a young boy behind when he could see the suffering. Then having him sent to one of his properties, only to find him later and immediately feel a connection to him. That young boy, Tom, grew to be a man who had eyes only for Deacon, from the time he saw him. It was sweet and loving.

These two didn’t have an easy road, during a time when “buggering” was an offense punishable by hanging. But at the same time, they could not leave each other, despite thinking it was a better option for the other. Beau, meanwhile, broke my heart. What a sad story he brought on himself, and Deacon never felt anything but love and devotion for his blood brother, and would have done anything to be there for him, and truly did. I cannot imagine how challenging it must have been for gay men at that time in the world. At this point and time, it isn’t easy, but 200 years ago, it was such a heinous crime, you could be drawn through town, have rocks and garbage thrown at you, and it would be considered entertainment.

I will say, I could not figure out how these two men would be able to find their way into a life where they could be together, live together and love one another. And not only did Ms. Sue do that, she surprised me in how she got that to happen, without it seeming completely out of the blue. One hallmark of Regency Romance has always been, you must marry for money or convenience, and in the end, that came in to play, although from a different angle than I was expecting.

The research done on this book was incredible. Just as Ms. Sue indicates in her post above, every sentence needed research. I was in awe, having read so many, for so many years, of all the little things that came into play. Everything from a climbing kid, to the information on who was playing at the Theatre Royal was part of just every day conversation with these characters, and yet it lent realism to the story.

I truly enjoyed this story so much, angst and all, and would love to see Ms. Sue write another one. And the epilogue, well worth waiting for.

4.5 pieces of eye candy for me.

1-4.5 pieces of eye candy

excerpt

Deacon opened the door to his room and gaped in astonishment. A tin bath was set in the middle of the room. Steam rose from the water within and the sides were lined with fresh linen. There was a tray with all manner of breads, cheeses and meat laid out, as well as a bottle of Deacon’s brandy and a glass. Tom was just emptying another pitcher of hot water into the bath.

“Tom,” Deacon said delightedly.

“M’lord. I thought as you had no valet.”

Deacon smiled, a huge wide grin that lifted the darkness that had seemed to settle in his insides since they had come from Newgate. Then he paused. The guilt which had assailed him all day came back with vengeance, and he pictured Beau on that thin mattress.

“Don’t, sir.” Tom took a step towards him. “There is nothing you can do for Master Beau tonight, and you have done far more than most. I’m not naysaying its importance, just perhaps asking you let it go for a few hours?”

Deacon gazed at Tom steadily, then turned, took a pace back to the door, and turned the key very deliberately. He turned back and started unbuttoning his waistcoat. “On one condition.”

Tom’s eyebrows raised.

“You don’t call me sir…or m’lord…or your lordship. Not tonight.”

Tom took two steps until he was stood flush with Deacon’s body. “Let me.” Deacon’s hands fell from his buttons and he inhaled slowly, letting his head fall forward onto Tom’s chest. Tonight, Tom could do anything he wanted.

Tom slid Deacon’s jacket from his arms and tossed it onto the chair. He finished unbuttoning the waistcoat, which then joined the jacket. Tom unraveled his cravat slowly, Deacon unable to contain a moan as his fingers touched his neck.

Tom gave the low order. “Lift.”

Deacon obeyed immediately, the repeated memory tugging at both their smiles.

Once Deacon was shirtless, he thought Tom would unfasten his trousers, but he hissed in shock when Tom bent his head and fastened his lips around one of his nipples.

“Oh, God.” Deacon breathed, his eyes slamming shut as the glorious sensation of Tom’s teeth on his skin razed a fire in him that sped unchecked to his groin. Deacon sucked in air as Tom’s lips continued south, but Deacon’s hands caught him. “Get in the bath with me.”

Tom’s eyes caught the same flames that were burning in Deacon, and they both rushed to undress. Deacon stepped in the bath and sighed contentedly. The water was good and hot, and he settled with his back firmly to the edge. Tom hesitated “Come here,” Deacon instructed. “Sit in front of me.” Deacon caught Tom by the hips as he stepped in, then twisted him so he settled down in between his legs. Tom stiffened a little, but Deacon wrapped his arms around him and brought him snugly against his chest. Deacon groaned as Tom moved and settled against him, aware that Tom must have been able to feel the evidence of his arousal.

“Sir—”

Deacon grabbed Tom’s cock, and his voice cut off on a squeak.

“I’m sorry,” Tom gasped out as Deacon’s hand gentled. “I don’t know what to call you.”

“And you cannot call me Deacon?”

Tom groaned as Deacon rubbed his length firmly and circled his thumb around the tip. “I am frightened I will forget.”

Deacon licked the skin on Tom’s neck, a very sensitive patch from the way he moaned once more.

“I don’t think there’s any danger of that, but do whatever makes you feel comfortable. Sir if you like, just not m’lord for pity’s sake.”

Tom turned to lick the edge of Deacon’s jaw line. “Yes…sir.”

This time, Deacon groaned. “Every time you say that, I will be imagining you in this bath.”

“And every time I say it, I will be imagining your lips on my cock.”

Deacon’s cock throbbed at the visual, unable to respond further when Tom lifted his arm and settled his hand on Deacon’s face to pull him around for a kiss that silenced them both. His cock was rubbing hard in Tom’s crease and Deacon still had his hand in Tom’s groin, feeling the weight of Tom’s ballocks nestle in his fingers. Deacon stretched his head a little further and met Tom’s mouth. Tom made a little noise in the back of his throat at the contact, and Deacon felt himself grow even harder. He wanted nothing more than to thrust himself into that hot, tight hole. Deacon broke off a little, realizing he needed slicking up to do that. He wouldn’t hurt either of them.

Leaning Tom back, he sluiced water over his chest. He reached for the soap and the cloth, rubbing it up and over Tom’s nipples and making him quiver in delight; his nipples peaking, red, delicious. Deacon lowered the cloth onto Tom’s groin, and the lad thrust himself helplessly into Deacon’s hands. “S-sir,” he begged.

Deacon was as hard as Tom, and it nearly killed him to withdraw his hand. But not now. Tonight was going to be about lazy loving. About clean sheets and lots of time. His stomach rumbled; he was suddenly hungry. “Stand up,” he said gently, steadying Tom as he tried to rise.

“You’re bad for my balance, sir.” Deacon’s arse clenched at the word sir. Tom had been bad for his balance since the minute he had come home to Rawdenscliffe.

Tom stepped out and wiped a towel over his arms and chest, casually scrubbing his legs.

“No,” ordered Deacon, as the lad’s hand strayed to his groin. “I’ll dry that.”

Tom’s pupils distended and his face flushed. He picked up the other towel, letting his own drop heedlessly to the floor. “Sir?” He opened the towel wide for Deacon to step into as he got out of the bath. “Let me,” Tom whispered, then dried Deacon so thoroughly that every inch of his skin was thrumming in anticipation by the time he was done.

“Are you hungry?” Tom asked, going to toss the towel before Deacon took it off him.

“Not for food,” growled Deacon. He proceeded to gently dry Tom’s cock and ballocks until the lad was swaying where he stood.

Deacon raised Tom’s chin with his finger and stared into the heavy-lidded eyes. “You’re beautiful.” And he swallowed the moan as he kissed Tom’s swollen lips. He bent, swinging Tom into his arms.

Two steps barely and he was at the bed, gently laying Tom down. “Move up,” Deacon said. Tom shuffled a little so Deacon could lie beside him. “Tom, I have to ask…”

“Not with a man, sir,” Tom answered hurriedly, and Deacon nodded.

“Then we will go slow.” Deacon bent and nuzzled his neck, and he arched his head back to make more room.

“I- I’m not sure I can last for ‘slow,’ sir,” Tom stammered while Deacon sucked at his collarbone, working up a mark that would be hidden by his collar, whilst his fingers found Tom’s leaking cock fully pushed out from his foreskin.

“Then let me do this.” Deacon bent his head and quickly sucked Tom’s cock into his mouth.

“Oh, oh, my God, sir. I cannot—” Tom writhed and Deacon felt the man’s cock pulse in his mouth. His fingers strayed to the skin under it, then further until they touched Tom’s puckered hole. Deacon dragged his nail along the skin and Tom arched into Deacon’s mouth, filling it with the bitter taste of Tom’s seed. Deacon was a little stunned for a few seconds, then a pleasing sense of satisfaction when Tom’s inarticulate noises chased the bitterness away. He eagerly cleaned his cock with his tongue until Tom finally hissed, and he let go.

Tom groaned and Deacon moved higher to watch him as he lay, sated. Deacon traced Tom’s kiss-swollen lips with his finger, and his heavy lidded eyes fluttered open, a barely there smile lifted the corner of his mouth. “Sir…”

Deacon smiled. The satisfaction and pleasure imbued into three letters spoke volumes.

Deacon sat up a little, and Tom was immediately contrite. “Sir, I…you haven’t.”

“We have all night.” Deacon leaned over, pressing another kiss on Tom’s lips. He responded eagerly, and Deacon hummed in pleasure. Tom was good for his ego. He reached over for the brandy putting it between them on the bed as Tom sat up. “You only brought one glass.”

Tom blushed. Of course, thought Deacon, he would have. Tom would not have wished to assume. “It matters not, we can share.”

Tom smiled, pouring some of the brandy into a glass and passing it to Deacon. Deacon took a sip and swallowed, but made no attempt to take the glass. Tom took a sip and coughed a little. “Wow, sir.”

Deacon smirked. “There are still some Parisien jewels accepted in London.”

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