Release blitz and #giveaway: Gateway to Love by Sarah Hadley Brook

 

 
Length: 32,793 words
Cover Design: Brooke Albrecht
 
Blurb

Ten days to finally make the leap from friends to lovers….

Craig and Mitchell have been friends for years, but each of them reached a point where that camaraderie became… more. Mitchell’s kept his feelings close to his chest. So has Craig, but now that they’ve graduated from UMKC, he knows it’s his last chance to show Mitchell they’re meant to be before their careers take them to opposite sides of the country.

He insists they can’t leave Missouri behind without one last adventure. Mitchell agrees to a road trip to visit all the touristy spots and say goodbye to their home state.

As they spend their days and nights together, buried feelings rise to the surface and hope blossoms. When their journey ends with a dance beneath the Branson stars, will they find love and a future together at the end of the road?

 
Excerpt

THE SOUND of a horn jolted Mitch from a sound sleep, and he blinked his eyes for a moment, staring out the window at the busy highway.

“Sorry. Some idiot guy almost hit us. I had to lay on the horn,” Craig explained.

Mitch straightened himself in his seat and rubbed his eyes. “No worries. Sorry I fell asleep.”

Craig grinned at him. “You should be. I’ve had to listen to your snoring for almost two hours.”

“Hey, I don’t snore. You do, but I don’t,” Mitch said emphatically.

Craig snorted. “Whatever. I can hear you through the wall at night.”

“I don’t snore,” Mitch reiterated, and frowned when Craig chuckled. Then he started feeling bad about sleeping so long. “Want me to take a turn at the wheel?”

“Nah. Maybe when we stop for lunch? Although, we’ll probably be in Hannibal before then. We’ve only got about an hour and forty-five minutes left, give or take.”

Mitch nodded and checked his phone, but he couldn’t help watching his best friend out of the corner of his eye. Even after knowing him for four years, Mitch was still blown away by the reaction he felt whenever he looked at Craig. He’d certainly never forgotten the first day they met. It was imprinted on his brain forever.

That first day at Longview Community College had been brutal. He’d had to spend two hours in the admissions office because when he’d shown up for his first class, the professor didn’t have him listed. By the time his schedule was corrected, he’d missed two classes and was nearly late to his third.

He’d slid into an empty seat near the door just as the teacher turned around from the whiteboard. Someone next to him giggled and he glanced over to see the cutest boy he’d ever laid eyes on. Mitch had felt dumbstruck as his cheeks heated in reaction.

“Close call,” the kid had whispered with a nod toward the teacher. “I heard she doesn’t put up with latecomers.”

Mitch pulled himself together and smiled.

It wasn’t until class was over that they were able to talk.

“I’m Mitchell Moon,” he’d offered, as the guy rose from his desk. “Everyone calls me Mitch, though.”

Craig had beamed at him, his blue eyes sparkling a little as he leaned down until their faces were only inches apart. “Hi, Mitchell,” he said with a wink. “My name’s Craig Pruitt.”

And that was that—they became instant friends, bonding over video games, movies, and their love of Star Trek. It was the kind of friendship only found once in a lifetime. Mitch had come out to Craig within the first week of meeting him and his friend hadn’t even blinked.

There was only one problem with their friendship—Mitch had never been able to shake the attraction he felt for Craig. And over the years, as they earned their associate’s degrees from Longview and moved on to UMKC, their bond grew and his feelings for Craig only strengthened.

When Craig had confided in him that he thought he was bisexual their sophomore year, Mitch’s hopes had been raised, but by that time he was firmly planted in the friend zone. So he did what a best friend should—he supported Craig as he came to terms with things and accepted who he was. He’d admitted that he’d had a crush on a guy in high school, but it ran its course and he never acted on it. As far as Mitch knew, Craig had only dated two guys since then, nothing panning out toward a full-time relationship, though. But he’d had his share of casual hookups with men. Craig had gone a little wild when he’d first come out as bisexual, but had calmed down over the years. In fact, Mitch couldn’t remember him even going on a date during their senior year.

He’d seen the types of men Craig seemed to be attracted to, and they were nothing like Mitch, so he’d tucked his feelings away again and told himself not to go there anymore. It was an ongoing internal battle, but most of the time, he had a handle on it.

This last year of college, they’d found a cheap two-bedroom apartment near campus and moved in that summer. Sharing a small space with the man of his dreams had been hard. Especially when Craig often walked around their place wearing only a pair of boxers.

Mitch was honest enough to admit he’d fantasized about Craig too many times to count and would probably continue to do so long after he’d moved. Maybe that’s how it always was with a first love or major crush.

In his heart, he knew being apart would be good for them. Well, at least it would be for Mitch. Maybe he could finally go out with someone without constantly comparing him to Craig. But in the meantime, he continued to fight the attraction. The desire. The love. Because that’s what it had turned into. Love. Over the years, the longing, the emotional connection he felt with Craig, it had all turned to love. He wasn’t even sure when it had happened, but there was no denying Mitch was in love with his best friend.

And just when he was close to being free, there they were. One last hurrah before moving out of state. One last adventure with Craig.

What was he going to do without him? He turned to stare out the window, his eyes blind to the passing scenery. All he could see was a future without Craig, and it was shrouded in gray. Mitch was so tired of fighting his feelings. He chuckled to himself. He was the stereotypical guy in love with his best friend. He knew it was useless, but if Craig had asked him to go to California with him, Mitch would have dropped everything and followed him out west. He knew how pathetic that sounded, but when it came to Craig, Mitch didn’t care what others might think.

About an hour later, Craig pulled over to a gas station to fuel up and grab some snacks. Mitch used the disgusting bathroom, holding his breath as he did his business, quickly washed up, and made his way into the convenience store.

Craig was at the counter paying and held up a bag of items.

“I’m just going to get a drink,” Mitch told him as he walked past Craig. His friend grabbed his arm, wrapping his fingers around his wrist.

“I already got you your Dr Pepper,” he told Mitch with a smile. “And your Kit Kat.”

Mitch wanted to respond. Wanted to say thank you. But all he could do was revel in the sensation of Craig’s touch. Electricity prickled his skin, skittering through him.

“Mitchell?” Craig’s voice was low. He sounded worried.

“Sorry. Just… forgot what I was going to say,” he lied, knowing he sounded lame. He noticed Craig hadn’t let go of his wrist and raised his eyes to meet his friend’s gaze. Mitch was surprised at the intensity. The large black pupils. The flushed cheeks. “I-I’m… fine. Thanks for grabbing some things for me.”

Craig studied him, looking like he wanted to say something, but finally let Mitch go and they walked back out to the car and settled in.

“Less than an hour left,” Craig announced.

Mitch tried to tamp down his excitement, but it was difficult. He’d always wanted to visit Hannibal. He’d read all of Mark Twain’s stories, and knowing he was from Missouri had encouraged him when he’d dreamed about becoming a writer.

Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English had put him closer to that dream. Being hired to work on a grassroots website devoted to getting people registered to vote had been exciting and he was looking forward to starting next month. He was less excited about the magazine internship. West Virginia tourism was definitely not something he remotely cared about. He’d only taken it because his sister, Samantha, lived in West Virginia, where the magazine was headquartered, and she had helped him get the interview. Plus he could stay with her until he got a feel for the area. Samantha was also providing him with apartment information, so he would have several to check out when he moved.

The magazine hadn’t been in his original plans. He’d wanted to stay in Kansas City after graduation and work on his writing. His dream was to become a published author. Mitch lived to write, creating fantasy worlds and bringing characters to life. Over the years, he’d managed to put some money away, through his work at the coffee shop. Add what he’d been given as graduation gifts from his mother, his sister, and various relatives, and he was confident he could afford to give the writing thing a try for a while—as long as he had a roommate and a part-time job.

When Craig announced he’d taken a job in California, working for a nonprofit that helped homeless teens, Mitch’s plans took a nosedive. While he’d been proud of Craig, the idea of staying in Kansas City without him was depressing. If he was going to start a new chapter in his life and really get over Craig, staying where he’d be constantly reminded of their times together was out of the question. Writing would have to take a back seat to making a living. Mitch was trying to be an adult and make responsible choices—decisions that would help him move forward.

Maybe a new start in a new city would help him finally find a man that he could be in a real relationship with.

He just had to survive this trip without telling his best friend the truth he’d hidden for years.

 

Author Bio
Sarah Hadley Brook lives smack-dab in the middle of the Heartland and is the mother of two wonderful young men, as well as two cats. During the day, she works in the nonprofit world, but reserves evenings for her hobby-turned-passion of writing, letting the characters she conjures in her mind take the lead and show her where the story will go. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, working on dollhouses, trying her hand at new recipes, or watching old movies and musicals. In her ideal world, Christmas would come at least twice a year, Rock Hudson and Doris Day would have costarred in more than three movies, and chocolate would be a daily necessity. She dreams of traveling to Scotland some day and visiting the places her ancestors lived. Sarah believes in “Happily Ever After” and strives to ensure her characters find their own happiness in love and life.

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Release blitz and #giveaway: Year Two (Would It Be Okay To Love You #4) by Amy Tasukada

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 113 pages
 
Would It Be Okay To Love You? Box Set (Books 1 – 3) – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

An ex-playboy. A robot geek. Can their love last when the whole world finds out?

Robot fanboy Sato has spent too much time alone hiding the love of his life. But when Sato comes out to his parents, it doesn’t end well. He no longer wants to conceal their relationship, but he doubts his boyfriend is ready.

Aoi might spend all day moaning as an erotic voice actor, but he doubts his legion of fangirls will approve if he comes out. With his career on the line, Aoi feels like Sato has pushed him to the breaking point.

As Sato opens up to more people about his sexuality, can they find a compromise that will make them both happy, or will it be too much for Aoi?

Year Two is the fourth book in the gay romance series Would It Be Okay to Love You? If you like Japanese culture and sizzling romance, you’ll love this year-in-the-life anthology collection.

Buy Year Two to confess your love today!

Amy Tasukada lives in North Texas with a calico cat called O’Hara. As an only child her day dreams kept her entertained, and at age ten she started to put them to paper. Since then her love of writing hasn’t cease. She can be found drinking hot tea and filming Japanese street fashion hauls on her Youtube channel.

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Release blitz and #giveaway: Love in the Clouds by Sarah Hadley Brook

 

 
Length: 62,771 words
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

Rafael Patino has a great life in Rain Valley. He’s a teacher at the high school, has a great group of friends, and enjoys the occasional baseball game. Other than the sporadic call from his drunken mother, he’s pretty content.

He’s also been in love with his best friend Dustin for nearly a decade. Years of keeping those feelings under control are put to the test when they begin a summer project together.

Dustin Vance builds furniture for a living, has just earned his pilot’s license, and has an amazing best friend. When he buys a 1976 Cessna Skyhawk, he asks Rafael to help restore it, then travel with him to Wisconsin for the largest aviation convention in the world.

As they spend their days working on the plane, they begin to spend their nights together. Will they find love in the clouds, or will they stall out before they even take off?

 
Excerpt
 

A cool breeze blew past him as he walked out into the night. Rafael texted Dustin before he pulled out of the parking lot, letting him know he was leaving the hospital and asking about Mac’s phone number.

He put the phone back in his pocket and made the short drive home. He wasn’t going to check his phone if Dustin answered, but he didn’t hear an alert anyway. Dustin was probably sound asleep in his bed. He might have to get that number in the morning.

As he turned onto his street, he saw a vehicle in his drive and smiled when he realized it was Dustin’s. His best friend had a key, so he was probably inside. He pulled into the drive and parked behind Dustin’s Honda, peering inside just in case, as he headed inside.

He flipped on the entryway light as he closed the door and found Dustin sprawled out on his sofa, sound asleep, his arm crooked over his head. Rafael was pulled to him like a magnet and he was too damn tired to fight the urges at the moment, so he gave in and let himself look. Dustin’s T-shirt rode up, showing a stripe of pale skin and Rafael imagined it was soft and silky. His fingers itched to slip under the hem. He stared a little too long, though and by the time he dragged his gaze up to Dustin’s face, his friend’s eyes were open and he was staring right back at him, a smirk on his lips.

“You want to take a picture of … something?” he drawled out teasingly.

Heat flooded his cheeks and he forced a chuckle. “Whatever.”

Dustin rose from the sofa and strode over and hugged him hard, as if just remembering what had happened. “God, I’m so sorry, Raf. Is the girl going to be okay?”

Rafael nodded, but wrapped Dustin up in his arms, letting his head fall to Dustin’s shoulder.

They stayed like that for a while. With anyone else, Rafael might have been embarrassed that he was fighting the urge to cry. Dustin held him tight and shared his strength. It crept into Rafael, shored him up. Helped him get past the image of Daisy huddled in that hospital bed. At least for a while.

When he finally pulled away, Dustin kept his arms around him and Rafael was too exhausted to read anything into it.

“Why are you here?” Rafael’s voice was quiet as he stared at Dustin.

“Because I know you, Raf. I know you care about all of your students — you open your heart to everyone. But I also know you’ve been particularly worried about this girl. I just didn’t want you coming home to an empty house.”

Rafael’s heart cracked more and he was raw. Open. Vulnerable. The world had reared its ugly head and shown its hideousness and he was lonely. Bone tired and lonely. And he didn’t want to be lonely. At least not for the night. He swallowed hard. “Will you … stay?”

Dustin nodded, no hint of hesitation in his blue green eyes. “Of course.”

 

Author Bio
Sarah Hadley Brook lives smack-dab in the middle of the Heartland and is the mother of two wonderful young men, as well as two cats. During the day, she works in the nonprofit world, but reserves evenings for her hobby-turned-passion of writing, letting the characters she conjures in her mind take the lead and show her where the story will go. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, working on dollhouses, trying her hand at new recipes, or watching old movies and musicals. In her ideal world, Christmas would come at least twice a year, Rock Hudson and Doris Day would have costarred in more than three movies, and chocolate would be a daily necessity. She dreams of traveling to Scotland some day and visiting the places her ancestors lived. Sarah believes in “Happily Ever After” and strives to ensure her characters find their own happiness in love and life.

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Release blitz and #giveaway: Promises by Ruby Moone

 

Length: 32,000 words approx.
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb

Captain Charles Hawkins has returned from the Napoleonic wars desperate for solitude. When the man who saved his life asks a favour, he feels honour bound to agree, but the request fills him with horror.

Sebastian Farrah knows the only useful thing he can do with his life is join Wellington’s army. He has tried everything else and failed. He agrees to his brother’s ridiculous request to spend a month in the country because it is the only way his brother will agree to purchase him a commission.

Charles and Sebastian clash but quickly form a bond that deepens into much more. However, they are running out of time. Charles begs Sebastian to stay, but Sebastian knows to do so he will be forced to reveal what it is that stopped him from succeeding in everything. The shameful secret he carries from the schoolroom.

 
Excerpt

Another week passed, and Farrah had become an integral part of the household. He was everywhere. Working in the garden, eating with him, accompanying him when he left the house to tour around the estate, working with him with the shipping company, although he was still curiously resistant about that. Charles watched him apply himself to his evening meal with gusto. The man ate like a horse but hadn’t a spare inch on his frame. All the physical work meant that he had arrived in reasonable shape for someone who did nothing but gamble and drink, but now, now he was bursting with good health, humour, and a physique that made Charles want to weep with envy as he thought about his own skeletal frame. There was a warmth to his companionship that made getting up in a morning easier. He realised just how much he was enjoying having him in the house. As they talked, he hoped that he was helping Farrah to see that there were options open to him that didn’t involve him risking his life on the continent. To see that there were a whole host of things that he was good at. Farrah’s comment about the army being all he was good for had stayed with him and it surprised him how annoyed it made him that his family had allowed him to feel that way, and constantly surprised that Farrah seemed to believe it.

Coulson arrived with the tea tray and Charles smiled as he realised Farrah had lost that slightly frantic look he’d had on realising there was no port or brandy on his arrival. When Coulson had retreated, Charles raised his cup in a toast.

“Congratulations on another sterling week Mr Farrah.”

Farrah laughed and raised his cup in response. “Congratulations on putting up with me for another week. You deserve a medal, Captain Hawkins.”

“Nonsense. No medals required.”

Farrah tilted his head on one side and observed him. “You really are the best of men. I know I’m not easy to have around. Too loud, too … much.” He laughed again.

And there he went again. He really seemed to believe that his company would not be valued. That he would be some sort of burden. Charles was stunned when he realised that in that moment he wanted nothing more than to take him in his arms and tell him in no uncertain terms that having him in the house was no hardship, and not only that, he discovered he wanted to hunt down the people who had told him that he was a burden, or a nuisance, and hurt them. It was a disconcerting.

He had to fight to retain his composure and answer in kind. “Piffle. You’ve brightened the place up no end. Once you’d sobered up, that is.” He kept his tone light, but his heart was thumping.

“Really?”

For a big, handsome, seemingly confident man sometimes there was a hint of such wistfulness about him, and it was there full force in that softly spoken word. It was filled with such fragile hope it hurt something inside Charles.

“Really.” Charles spoke softly and something in Farrah brightened. “Now, stop fishing for compliments and tell me what the plan for tomorrow is.” He had to resume his usual brisk tone because if he didn’t, he would have … Charles’ heart stopped in his chest. Oh God. Oh God.

He wanted to kiss him.


 

My name is Ruby Moone and I love books. All kinds of books. My weakness is for romance, and that can be any kind, but I am particularly fond of historical and paranormal. I decided to write gay romance after reading some fantastic books and falling in love with the genre, so am really thrilled to have my work published here. The day job takes up a lot of my time, but every other spare moment finds me writing or reading. I live in the north west of England with my husband who thinks that I live in two worlds. The real world and in the world in my head…he probably has a point!

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/RubyMoone/?ref=bookmarks
Twitter – @RubyMooneWriter
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/rubymoone/

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Release blitz and #giveaway: Dawn (Expedition 63 #3) by T.A. Creech

 

Buys Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books
 
Length: 31,400 words
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Expedition 63 Series
 
Book #1 – Dusk – Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books
Book #2 – Dark – Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books

Blurb
Sequel to Expedition 63 Book 2: Dark

Yakecen Sinohui can see the end in sight for the stranded crew of the Station. Each breath is a countdown until they’re able to return to Earth, until the poison clouds have cleared enough to leave. Though it’s a bad idea, Yakecen is drawn into the orbit of their resident biologist, Eli, someone who has kept Yakecen’s head in the game with his sunny presence.

The universe, however, has one last middle finger to give the weary crew.

Eli Palamo doesn’t object to Yakecen’s covert attention. He’s pined for his friend from the first moment they met, and isolation has strengthened their bond as the hardships forced them lean on each other completely. Yakecen is all he’s ever wanted. Nothing will be enough to tear them apart, if Eli has anything to say about it, not even Yakecen’s own demons. Definitely not the end of their disastrous mission and their fight for survival.

 

About the Author
I am a house-parent to a rambunctious small child and happily mated to an equally rambunctious military spouse. My adventures in writing began with fanfiction, and once I was hooked I never looked back.

While I’ve always tried to make my fanfiction unique, what I enjoy most about creating original work is the ability to delve into my stranger ideas without worrying about how I might apply them to someone else’s world and characters. With my own creations, I take pride in twisting familiar tropes into something new and unexpected.

When I write, it is with the intention that my stories will leave a lasting impression. I hope you enjoy the characters and the worlds I create, and that they help you to find a place to exist, for a while, outside of your own.

-T.A. Creech

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Release blitz: Thief of Hearts by Ruby Moone

 

 
Length: 72,000 words approx.
 
Blurb
 

It’s 1806 and aristocratic, bastard born jewel thief, David Lambert has few rules in his life. Never bed the staff, never bed a man more than once, and never kiss. In the space of one weekend, all his rules are shattered by a stunning, violet eyed footman with a secret.

Jeremy Naylor thought he had found the man of his dreams. Thought he had found the one person that might, just might, understand him. But in one shocking moment his dreams are destroyed, and he is forced to run for his life.

When Jeremy is flung into Newgate for a crime David committed, it’s a race against time to get him free and David is forced to face up to his past, his family, and accept that he might have a future if he has the courage to fight for it.

 
Excerpt

David hammered on the door of Charnley’s Grosvenor Street mansion and, finding the door unlocked, let himself in. He strode through the hallway, boot heels ringing on the marble floor, and was met by a flurry of agitated staff.

“Get me Charnley. Now.”

The butler emerged and addressed him in condescending tones, but David brushed him aside. “Where is he? Study?” he stalked across the hallway and headed for the study door with the staff flapping behind him. He threw open the door, but there was no-one inside.

“Charnley!” he bellowed. “Get out here now.”

The flurry of footmen was swiftly replaced by burly, determined looking grooms, so David pulled out a brace of pistols from the back of his breeches and aimed them.

“Hold it right there,” he said, and the men stopped. “I have no quarrel with you, but I will see Charnley. Anyone who tries to stop me will be shot. Those of you who know me know I will do it.” He raised the pistols and waited. No-one moved.

“So, where is he?”

“What in God’s name is going on?” Charnley appeared, leaning over the gallery balcony, then running lightly down the stairs wearing only his shirt sleeves and waistcoat. “Lambert, why are you causing ructions in my home? For God’s sake, man, put the pistols down.”

“First, call off your lap dogs.”

With a flick of a hand, the staff were dismissed, but David held onto the pistols. “Shall we?” he asked, nodding towards the study. He slammed the door shut behind them with his boot.

“Get him out. Whatever you want from me is yours, just get him out.”

Charnley frowned. “What the hell are you talking about?”

David stalked across the room, gun in hand and put the muzzle against Charnley’s chest. “You have until the count of three to tell me you will get him out. If you do not, I will shoot you and get him out myself.”

Charnley staggered back and held up both hands. “What … who are you talking about? Get who out of where?”

“One.”

“Lambert, I do not know what…”

“Two.”

“God… man will you … Oh Christ. Not Naylor?” A look of genuine shock on Charnley’s face surprised David.

“Three. Yes.” He pushed against Charnley’s chest.

“Yes, yes… of course I will help. Just put the fucking gun down.”

David lowered the pistol slowly, and Charnley backed away, one hand going to his throat. Sweat stood out on his brow.

“Get your coat, get down to Newgate, and undo whatever lies you told to put him in there. Now.”

Charnley lifted both hands. He was a little taller than David, and heavier having a few years on him, but he was treating him with a healthy respect. “Now, listen to me.”

“I’m listening. Get your coat.”

“David, I will do everything in my power to get Naylor out, but we have a serious problem here.”

“Which is?”

“He is not there because of anything that I did. I did not order his arrest.”

My name is Ruby Moone and I love books. All kinds of books. My weakness is for romance, and that can be any kind, but I am particularly fond of historical and paranormal. I decided to write gay romance after reading some fantastic books and falling in love with the genre, so am really thrilled to have my work published here. The day job takes up a lot of my time, but every other spare moment finds me writing or reading. I live in the north west of England with my husband who thinks that I live in two worlds. The real world and in the world in my head…he probably has a point!



Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/RubyMoone/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter – @RubyMooneWriter

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/rubymoone/

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Release blitz and #giveaway: Commanding Officer Thomas by J.M. Snyder

 

 
Length: 14,204 words
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb

Lieutenant Lee Mallory spends his time off duty playing video games. There isn’t much else to do while stationed on the USS Nova out in deep space.

Unfortunately, a run in with his commanding officer, Jonan Thomas, strips him — and everyone else onboard — of their gaming privileges.

Thomas has had it in for Lee from day one, when they got off on the wrong foot. Now, banned from using the game server in the rec room, Lee sneaks online in his quarters after hours, looking to play.

That’s where he meets a fellow gamer onboard who’s interested in a different kind of game. As much as Lee wants to hook up, though, he can’t afford to get into any more trouble.

Can Lee take command — in the game and in the bedroom — without further aggravating his CO?

 
Excerpt

Lee kept an eye on her as she benched the weight, but most of his attention was diverted to the sexy guy now doing side planks. Lee toyed with the idea of approaching him, but how would that look? Hey, I saw you exercising. You’re kinda hot. Any way he played it out in his head, he knew it sounded like nothing more than a bad pickup line.

The guy jumped up from the plank and ran in place, feet a blur, knees pumping double time. Then he started doing lunges, alternating legs and turning a quarter turn with each set.

As he turned, Lee admired the way his little gym shorts pulled taut across his pert ass. When he added arm crunches to his routine, the muscles in his arms stood out, veins cabling in relief.

Lee watched, entranced. He liked this one — so energetic. What would that energy be like in bed? His dick stirred at the sight of the guy’s buttocks flexing beneath the thin fabric. He imagined them both naked together, in his quarters, that round ass clenched tight and waiting beneath him. He could almost feel that pliant flesh in his hands as he massaged those ass cheeks, kneaded them, then pushed them together to ease his cock between them. He could almost see the dark tip of his dick peek out between the juicy twin mounds as he humped them once, twice, God. Just thinking about it made him hard.

Below him, Brenna made an exasperated sound. “Dude, you’re tenting. Chill.”

Lee shifted his legs to hide his budding erection. Budding? Hell, a few minutes more and he’d get off on his fantasy alone.

The barbell clanked back into the rack and Brenna sat up. Then she grabbed her towel off the bench and wiped the sweat off her face. With a sigh, she said, “Look, I know when I’m being ignored.”

“I’m not ignoring you!” Lee jiggled the barbell. “Come on, you need to get in your reps. I’m sorry –”

“It’s fine,” she assured him. “I’m done. Go talk to him already, will you?”

Sudden fear lurched in Lee’s chest. “What? I can’t. I don’t know him.”

“But you want to,” Brenna said. “So go over there and introduce yourself.”

“No!”

Across the gym, the guy they were discussing stopped exercising abruptly, as if he’d heard them. He raised his left leg, then reached back with his right hand to grab his foot and pull it back into a slow stretch. After a moment, he switched legs. Then he twisted at the waist, and he caught Lee staring.

Lee felt his face flush. God.

“He knows you now,” Brenna said. “Go on, man up.”

Before Lee could gather up his courage, the guy grabbed a nearby towel to wipe down and headed their way.

“Go on,” Brenna hissed.

The pressure was on. Lee’s palms grew slick, his cheeks burned. This was it, his moment, go for it. But what should he say? “Hey baby,” was a bit too blunt, but “Sup” sounded too informal. The guy was coming closer, he was almost close enough to speak to, damn.

Suddenly Lee’s mind locked up, and his mouth moved on its own. His tongue curved over his teeth, his bottom lip curled, and he let out a randy whistle.

The guy froze and stared at them. His eyes were dark — blue? black? Lee wasn’t sure, but they flashed under heavy brows knit together in confusion or anger, one of the two. Not exactly the reaction Lee had hoped for.

“Was that directed at me?” the guy asked.

His voice was level, calm. Maybe Lee was misreading the situation. Still, just to be safe, he gave a one-shouldered shrug and made a noncommittal noise he hoped could be read as either yes or no, depending on how it was interpreted.

The guy looked unimpressed. “What’s your name, mister?”

Maybe he was interested, after all. Lee tamped down the flicker of hope in his chest. “Lee. Lee Mallory with the 58th. This is –”

“Lieutenant Mallory.”

The blasé way he drew out Lee’s name set off all kinds of warning bells. “How’d you know my rank?”

Rubbing the towel over his close-cropped hair, the guy sounded casually disinterested as he replied, “You’re right. We haven’t been formally introduced. But I’ve heard all about you, Lieutenant.”

Beside him, Brenna groaned. “Oh no.”

Lee still didn’t get it. “What do you mean?”

“He’s our new CO,” Brenna moaned.

Now he smiled, a cold, hard slash across his face. “It’s Thomas. And you’ll address me as Commander or sir, is that understood?”

“Sir! Yes, sir!” Lee snapped to attention, as if that might help dig him out of trouble.

It didn’t. “So I’ll ask you again,” Thomas drawled. “Was that whistle directed at me?”

Lee didn’t know how to answer, what to say. What could he say? “Um …”

Author Bio

J.M. Snyder is a multi-published author of gay erotic romance who started writing fanfic (specifically, boyband slash). She has worked with several different e-publishers, including Amber Allure Press and Torquere Press, and has short stories published in anthologies by Alyson Books, Cleis Press, eXcessica, and Lethe Press. In 2010, she started JMS Books LLC to promote and publish her own work as well as that of other authors she enjoys.

For more information, please visit jmsnyder.net.

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