Welcome Erin Leaf to Sunday Spotlight! She's here to share a bit from her new release, SOULMATE!
Soulmate (Soulmates 1) — by Erin M. Leaf now available!
Guy Keaton doesn’t want a hookup or a soulmate or anything in between. When he lost his wife to cancer, he knew he’d be alone for the rest of his life. He has a grown son, and his woodshop, and in a world where those born with powerful gifts are few and far between, that’s all that really matters.
Theo Fraser’s empathic gift is rare and strong. He isn’t looking for love, but when he meets Guy, everything changes, because he knows that when you find your soulmate, you hold on tight and don’t let go. The only problem is that Guy thinks he’s straight, and Theo doesn’t know if he can convince a man already set in his ways to change his mind. Will Guy be able to give up his grief and accept Theo’s love? And what happens when a terrible betrayal forces them to fight to keep each other alive?
Story Excerpt: “You seem very sure I’m bisexual.” Guy put his hands in his pockets.
Theo paused on the trail. He could see the trailhead just up ahead. “Aren’t you?”
Guy looked at him. “I was married for a long time.”
“That’s not an answer.” Theo took a risk and stepped closer. “I know a great way for you to find out for sure.” He ignored the little voice in his head that was telling him not to be an impulsive idiot. He looked back down the trail and waved a “wait” signal to the two bodyguards trailing them. Julio had already reached the trailhead, and Theo knew he was checking out the car. They were as alone as they were going to get right now. And it’s just a kiss. It’s not like we’re going to have sex in the middle of a hiking trail.
“How?” Guy asked, sounding wary.
“I kiss you right here, right now. If you like it, you’re bi. If you don’t, you’re not.” Theo waited, knowing even as the words left his mouth that nothing in life was as simple as what he’d just suggested. He knew that even if Guy enjoyed the kiss, there would be some serious questions for his soulmate to wade through before he came out the other side. Guy had just spent most of his life thinking he was straight, and denying the feelings that were buried deep all along. And I know firsthand that it isn’t easy to change beliefs you hold onto too tightly, Theo mused, thinking of his parents. He shook off the bad memories. Now was not the time to dredge up that emotional shitstorm.
“That’s crazy,” Guy said, half smiling, and half looking like a man about to run for the hills. “You could be a shitty kisser.”
Theo smirked. Guy hadn’t said no. “I’m an Empath. I’m incapable of being a shitty kisser.”
Guy laughed, as Theo had intended. “So the rumors about Empaths are true? They’re great in bed?”
Theo didn’t reply. He let his silence speak for him.
Guy ran a hand over the back of his neck. “This is crazy,” he muttered, repeating himself.
Theo’s cock swelled as he sensed Guy’s tentative arousal. And fear. Don’t forget the fear, he thought, as his power instinctively reached out to his soulmate. Guy was the one person in the world he would never be able to block out. He sensed Guy’s attraction to him, and his anxiety, as well as his bone-deep weariness with being sad. The relaxation he’d felt just a little while ago on the trail lingered, too.
“Yeah, okay. What the hell,” Guy said, stepping closer. “What’s the worst that could happen?”
Theo grinned. “You sound like a man trying to decide if he should try out a new taco, not a kiss.”
“It’s just as terrifying,” Guy replied instantly. “You never know when a taco could be harboring one of those insanely hot peppers. I could get burned.”
Theo reached out and put a hand on Guy’s shoulder, willing him to relax. “I’m not a habanero, Guy,” Theo murmured.
“You might as well be,” Guy said, his voice catching.
Theo moved his hand from Guy’s shoulder to his cheek. “Shh.”
Guy’s eyes widened.
Theo put his thumb on Guy’s lips and sensed a sudden spike in the older man’s arousal. Here goes nothing, he thought, just before he leaned in and kissed his soulmate for the first time.
Guy froze as Theo’s lips touched his. Theo’s mouth was soft and expressive, and so damned hot he thought he might go up in flames if he moved even an inch. He stood there, trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with him, when suddenly his Craft power lit up through his body. Energy rushed through him, and he reached out to grab Theo’s arms. He meant to push him away, but he found himself clutching at the younger man as if he were a life raft and Guy was drowning.
“Easy,” Theo murmured against his mouth.
“Fuck.” Guy kissed him back, searching for … what? He had no idea. All he knew was that he’d never felt so damned aroused in his life. His cock shoved against his pants, hard and hot and insistent. He groaned when Theo slid his hands into his hair and kissed him again, licking into his mouth with intent. They were the same height, so Guy didn’t have to crane his neck down the way he’d had to in order to kiss Pamela. It was strange. Hot. More than that, though, he felt unbalanced. Confused.
Theo gentled the kiss and pulled back. “There.”
There? Who was the man kidding? Guy stared at him. Was Theo as stunned as he was? The younger man’s mouth looked red and slightly swollen. I did that to him, Guy thought, and then, But I’m straight.
“Dammit,” Theo muttered, and then he stepped closer and kissed Guy again.
This time, Theo pressed himself up against Guy’s torso, and for the first time in his life, Guy felt another man’s hard-on against his hip. “Jesus,” he gasped, unable to stop his body’s instinctive thrust forward. He grabbed Theo’s arms again, absently reveling in the man’s strength, and pulled him closer. “What the fuck is happening?”
Theo answered by biting Guy’s lower lip.
Guy moaned into Theo’s mouth, and walked them back until the younger man’s body hit the sturdy oak tree at the edge of the trail. Guy’s Craft flared again, and the tree shuddered as his energy hit it, but then Theo slid his tongue into his mouth and he didn’t care about anything except the younger man coaxing him to open himself wide. He did, and Theo bit him again. Guy’s erection swelled, and he gasped. He slid his hands down Theo’s arms to his hips.
“Oh, God,” Theo said, head thunking back against the tree as Guy pushed into him.
Welcome Adam Charles back to Spotlight - he's here to share a peek at his new release, His Chance, the first book in the new series, Taking a Chance.
Alex has loved his best friend Robbie’s brother, Chance, for almost a year. He wants to do something about it, but he always feared saying or doing anything would hurt his relationship with Robbie. So when Robbie says Chance has a crush on him, Alex begins to hope. Will he be able to tell Chance how he really feels, or will he let this opportunity slip through his fingers?
Alex shoved his hands into his pockets as he made his way across the parking lot to his apartment building. He pulled his keys out as he reached the stairs and glanced up at the sound of voices.
And he looked right into the most perfect eyes he’d ever seen.
Chance smiled at him before glancing down shyly. “Hey, Alex,” he said as he moved down the stairs past him.
“Hi, Chance.” He started to step toward Chance but stopped and drew his gaze away. His best friend and roommate Robbie was bouncing down the stairs after his little brother, grinning at Alex. “Hey, man. We’re gonna go grab some pizza? Wanna come?”
I’d love to, but all I’ll be able to do is stare at your baby brother and get tongue tied.“I already grabbed something earlier. You guys go ahead. I’m just gonna turn in early.”
Robbie shrugged. “Okay. See ya later.”
“Yeah, see ya.” They began to walk away, and before he could stop himself, he added, “Bye, Chance.”
“Bye,” he called over his shoulder without really looking back at Alex.
Alex watched a minute longer before rushing upstairs, feeling anxious.
Chance was no kid—he was a junior in college—but Robbie definitely looked out for Chance and sheltered him at times. Alex felt his face grow hot as his mind filled with thoughts of being with Chance, both of them naked and breathless.
His throat tightened as well. It was so much more than wanting to fuck Chance. Alex wanted the younger man there with him every single day. He wanted them to do everything together, to make plans for the future together.
He wanted Chance in his life because he was in love with him.
Alex wasn’t even sure exactly when it had happened. He and Robbie had graduated from college three years ago, just a few months before Chance had started. Once the fall semester came, they’d shown Chance around and hung out with him. Alex had liked him right away and gotten used to having him around, and somehow, it had just happened.
Alex wouldn’t have believed you could fall in love without having ever even touched someone, but he had. And he had fallen hard. Far harder than he’d ever expected to. He closed his eyes as he undressed, and the entire time, he thought of Chance. He thought of his laughter and his smile. He sighed as he thought about the way Chance always played with the seam on his jeans when they watched movies or TV together. Sometimes, Alex longed to reach over and still his hand and then simply hold it. He wanted to know how soft Chance’s skin was, how strong Chance’s grip was.
Alex grasped his throbbing cock and moaned. Thinking of Chance always got him close to the edge. At times, that was a problem, but right now, he could indulge those feelings and find a measure of release.
Alex turned on the shower and got under the spray. He leaned back against the wall as he pictured Chance on his knees under the cascade of water, his mouth open and his tongue coming out to swipe over Alex’s cock.
Welcome Bailey Bradford back to Sunday Spotlight! She's here to share an exclusive excerpt from her new release, Mr. April, book four from her Calendar Men series.
Will is certain there’s truth to the phrase that no good deed goes unpunished.
William Blunt thought posing for a charity calendar would be fun. Instead, it’s kind of tedious and stressful, and his boyfriend begins to display some alarmingly jealous behavior. Once the shoot is over—again—he’s ready to move on to other things, one of which is, eventually, a healthier relationship.
Breaking up isn’t hard to do, and Will vows to learn from his past dating disasters. What he doesn’t count on is meeting a man whose smile turns his world upside down. Baz is gorgeous, but more than that, he’s intriguing and funny, and he seems to be as interested in Will as Will is in him.
But all is not smooth sailing, and a murder complicates the personal issues both men are already struggling with.
Baz Bennett spotted the tall, brooding man the moment he walked into Busca’s. While not what one would consider classically handsome, he was attractive in all the ways that flipped the fun switches for Baz. Broad-shouldered, gorgeous brown hair that was long enough to be pulled back into a short ponytail, a neatly trimmed beard and features that were rugged and masculine—wideset eyes, thick eyebrows, a long nose that tipped down just the slightest and a mouth Baz wanted to lick.
Well, he wanted to lick all the man’s parts, but that’d get him fired since he was working, and drooling over a customer was frowned upon.
But Baz could work the odds in his favor for getting a date with the stud.
He leaned over to Nessa, the hostess. “Hey, Nessa. I’ll give you twenty bucks if you seat that tall stud muffin at one of my tables.”
Nessa was old enough to be Baz’s mom, and she acted like that was what she was. She flicked an annoyed glance at him even though her lips twitched as she fought back a smile. “You know we’re not supposed to do that.”
Baz gave her the best puppy-eyes he could manage. He’d worked on that expression for many a day in front of a mirror. “Please? He looks lonely, and I’m lonely. You wouldn’t want me to die all—”
“Oh geez, cut it out. You’ve got a customer at table seven staring at you and holding an empty glass.”
“Oops.” Baz darted one more glance at the handsome man before hurrying over to table seven. His smile was genuine as he took the proffered glass. “Sorry about that. Would you like the same thing, sweet tea? And maybe a slice of pie for dessert? On the house, since I wasn’t as quick as I should have been.” He’d pay for the pie out of his tips and without regrets.
“Yes, and pie would be great. Pecan, please.”
Baz assured the customer he’d be right back, and when he returned with the tea and pie, his heart did a little happy dance when he saw that Nessa had done him a solid after all.
“You’re the best,” he mouthed to her as she winked at him.
Baz straightened his black apron and hoped his hair was still gelled to perfection. Five hours on his feet could, however odd it seemed, mess it up. He was glad Nessa had set Mr. Stud at the last table in Baz’s area, which meant there was an empty table on either side of the customer. Baz tried for a sultry smile as he sauntered over.
And damn, up close, Mr. Stud was even hotter.
“Welcome to Busca’s. My name is Baz, and you are?” Not his usual server line, but hey, a guy could flirt a little.
“Uh.” Mr. Stud blinked at him a couple of times then set down the menu Nessa had given him. “Um. Will. Is that— Is exchanging names a thing now?”
Baz moved closer to the table. “Well, Will, it isn’t the norm, but I am exceptional, and I’d bet you are, too.” He said it with enough cheese to make sure Will knew he was joking, at least about himself.
Will didn’t disappoint. He chuckled and the warm, free sound of that little slice of happiness made Baz’s chest tingle. “You’re something, that’s for sure.”
Baz grinned and winked. “Is that something good, or something bad? Because I can be both. I’m very good at being bad.”
Will laughed and Baz felt like he’d won a grand prize.
“I bet you are.” Will leaned back in his chair and gazed at Baz with the prettiest green eyes he had ever seen. They were bright and rich in color, and Baz could have stared into them all day. “I’ve only been here once before. Tell me what you’d recommend for me tonight.”
Baz repressed a lewd comment that would have been out of line. Besides, it was too soon to be offering himself up on the table. “Well,” Baz drawled, reaching for the menu. He flipped it open. “A big, strong guy like you needs his protein.”
Will almost choked on his own saliva. “Oh yeah?”
“Do you like oysters?” Baz asked. “We have the best Oysters Rockefeller you’ll ever taste.”
“Oysters aren’t really an aphrodisiac.”
Baz waggled his eyebrows. “That’s because you’ve never had ours.” He sniffed and caught a scent of shifter. “Hm. What are you, stud?”
“Stud?” Will laughed as he shook his head. “Are you working me for a big tip?” Baz couldn’t help it. He leered a little. “Not the kind you’re insinuating I’m after.”
Will might have blushed. It was hard to tell with the lighting and beard, but Baz thought he saw a hint of color through it.
“Too much?” Baz asked. “Should I rein it in?”“I...” Will pressed his lips together.Yep. I went too far. Time to be a professional. “Okay, then. The Oyster Rockefeller is divine,
but if that’s not your cup of tea, we have an incredible bacon-wrapped shrimp appetizer, or our house salad, which is unlike any other house salad you’ll ever have. If you’d like a steak, our dry-aged bone-in ribeye is melt-in-your-mouth perfection. There’s also the porterhouse if you’re really hungry. It’s huge at—”
“I just broke up with my boyfriend.” Will ducked his head. “Sorry. You didn’t want to know that.”
“Au contraire,” Baz countered. “I want to know whatever you feel like sharing. I think you’re very attractive, and I should be doing my job instead of flirting.” He made a split-second decision that could get him fired if word got back to the owner...if the owner weren’t family. Baz jotted down his number on the pad he kept in his apron, even though none of the servers were allowed to write down customers’ orders. “Here. If you just need a friend, I can do that. If you want more—” He waggled his eyebrows again as Will took the paper from him. “Now, let me be all professional and get your order in so you can lose yourself in a fabulous steak.”
Will looked at the piece of paper, then he smiled and tucked it in his shirt pocket. “Thanks.”
Baz tucked the notepad away. “No problem, and no pressure. I tend to come on strong in all things. A bit too much for some guys to handle, and I know that.” And he wasn’t going to confess his so-called shortcomings to Will. “If you need more time to decide what you’d like to order, I can give you a few minutes. Would you like something other than water to drink?”
Will closed the menu. “I’ll have the bacon-wrapped shrimp, because bacon, and the New York Strip, medium well, with a baked sweet potato, fully loaded. I’d like the red lager, too. I think that’s about it.”
“You get a roll with your meal. Whole wheat or white?” Baz asked.
“Neither. I’m good without one.” Will handed the menu to Baz. “And thank you. I mean it. You brightened my evening.”
Baz fluttered his lashes as he took a quick bow. “I live to serve. Or serve so I can live. You know how it goes with bills.” He winked and thought he could get addicted to Will’s laugh all too easily.
Bailey spends her days spinning stories around in her head, which has contributed to more than one incident of tripping over her own feet. Evenings are reserved for pounding away at the keyboard, as are early morning hours. Who needs sleep? Writing is too much fun, and there are too many characters bouncing about, tapping on Bailey's brain and demanding to be let out.
Caffeine and chocolate are permanent fixtures in Bailey's office and are never far from hand at any given time. Removing either of those necessities from Bailey's presence can result in what is known as A Very, Very Scary Bailey and is not advised under any circumstances