Contemporary books

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Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover

The Most Popular Guy in the School | Book One
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A Harmony Ink Press Title

The Most Popular Guy in the School: Book One

High school can be some of the best years of life—and some of the toughest. Mark Mitchell's strategy for surviving is to emulate the mighty turtle: pull back inside his protective shell and keep a low profile to avoid trouble. And it works—nobody bothers him. Of course, nobody really knows him, either, even in a town so small it seems like everybody must know everyone else.

Mark certainly knows Bill Cromwell, whom he meets officially when his father volunteers him for manual labor at the school. Bill is his polar opposite: outgoing, gregarious, athletic. But when a massive snowstorm traps the two boys together for three days, Mark learns that being popular doesn’t mean you can’t be bullied or abused—or gay—and that bullying doesn’t stop at the school doors.

Mark isn’t naïve. He’s seen the news reports of gay teen suicides, and he’s determined not to become a statistic. But it’s not himself he’s worried about.

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Unconditional Love

2012 Award Winners
Seven Days Series
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A Seven Days Story

Can a person’s life change in just one day? How about seven?

Donald Pottier and Jason Greene are barely more than boys when they meet on Chincoteague Island, Virginia. A day of crabbing soon turns them from strangers to friends, then to something more, but the boys’ time is limited: at the end of the summer, Jay will leave Don and the island behind.

But Fate has more in store for Don and Jay than a summer of might-have-beens. Through eleven years of friendship, pain, love, loss, sickness, and misfortune, seven days stand out. Seven days define and shape the people they are and the relationship they share. Seven days of reunions and separations, accidents and serendipity, rejection and acceptance, disappointment and hope lay the foundation no romance can survive without: unconditional love.

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Sequel to Just His Type
Just Life: Book Two

Rebel Nguyen and Daron Boroughs both need to be loved, but when Rebel looks at Daron to fill that role, it mangles their friendship. Rebel tries a clean break and meets Jeremy. They hit it off, but Rebel is preoccupied with might-have-beens.

When Rebel doesn’t contact him for days, Daron feels lost. He decides he’ll never find love unless he can change, but the process of his makeover throws him into the arms of his last trick’s ex-boyfriend. Shockingly, they work together—until Daron inevitably screws it up.

Rebel and Daron both need to learn that they don’t have to change themselves for love—just the way they look for it.

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Twenty-two-year-old foster care survivor Luke Kearsey got out of his abusive relationship and then got out of the country. Now he lives in England, where he works at a burger bar. Maybe his life is directionless, but at least he’s safe.

When thirty-six-year-old schoolteacher Paul Blackwell meets Luke at a club, neither man expects anything more than some no-strings-attached sex. Paul is still grieving the death of his partner of five years, and he’s not looking for anything serious. Not when it means he could get hurt again.

But despite all their differences, something clicks between them. Though Luke lacks confidence and finds it difficult to believe he can offer Paul much in a relationship, and though Paul is wary about starting a relationship with someone so different, they begin to explore the possibilities that could help them heal. With the love and support they provide each other, Luke and Paul begin to put their pasts behind them—but then Luke’s past shows up in England, and it wants him back. Is Luke really ready to move on?

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Tattoos & Teacups

2012 Award Winners
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As a teenager, Robert McKinnon left his native Scotland and moved to America. That was sixteen years ago, and Professor McKinnon has never quite settled in his new home or found his place this side of the pond. He might be prematurely old, but he has his cat, and his books, and that's all he needs.

Then Chris Ford explodes into Robert's life with a crash of cymbals. The younger man is the polar opposite of Robert's calm civility. Bright tattoos cover his skin, and he wears his hair in a Mohawk and plays drums for a rock band. But he's a shot of color in Robert's black-and-white world, and Robert turns out to be the one thing Chris can count on. Despite all the reasons it shouldn't work, somehow it does.

Even if Robert wasn't looking for love—especially not with someone nearly ten years his junior—he can't deny being with Chris is fun. But sometimes Chris's free-spirited nature leaves Robert feeling vulnerable. If they can't find a balance between tattoos and teacups, their relationship won't survive—and neither will Robert's newfound lust for life.

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DEA agent Pete Olivera has lived some hard times, so when a local cop is forced to shoot a teenage boy in the Indiana city Pete’s temporarily assigned to, he’s uniquely qualified to understand what Officer Joseph West is going through. Joseph’s actions were justified and saved lives—his own and those of the people around him—but knowing he did the right thing doesn’t ease his guilt.

Pete knows Joe needs to come to terms with the shooting. But neither man realized that the friendship and love growing between them would be the most important step on the journey to peace—for them both.

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Resonate

Something in Common
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A Something in Common novella

When Gerald Ramirez and retired rock star Bur Jenkins meet, it’s not exactly love at first sight. Actually, Gerald thinks Bur is using their mutual friend, and Bur seems to get a kick out of messing with Gerald.

To be honest, Gerald’s never been attracted to another man. But then Bur admits he’s attracted to Gerald, and now Gerald can’t stop thinking about what the two of them might be like together. After proving to himself he’s not interested in any other men, Gerald comes forward with an admission of his own: he’s interested in Bur, and he wants to give dating a shot.

Bur never dared to hope for this, but the chance to get close to Gerald is too tempting to resist, even though Bur is sure their relationship will crash and burn. After all, they’re completely mismatched….

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Heartless

Keeping Secrets | Book Two
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A Harmony Ink Press Title

Keeping Secrets: Book One

For gay teens in the South, Erwin High School is as good as it gets. The prevailing liberalism means being gay doesn’t have to be the focus of your life—which frees up seventeen-year-old Jason Strummer to take on the role of bully. Jason understands his beauty and power and has a reputation to match his attitude. No one but his best friend suspects the cruelty Jason hides behind is a ruse to keep his hellish private life out of the public eye.

Jason has only loved one boy in his life, and that crush on Tommy Johnson ended so badly that they’re no longer on speaking terms. When an ex-lover threatens Jason and Tommy steps in to help, the heartless playboy can’t help but fall a little bit back in love with him—but Jason will have to choose between keeping Tommy or his secrets.

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Sidecar

2012 Award Winners
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The year is 1987. The boys wear pink Izod shirts, the girls wear big hair, everyone has a stash box, and AIDS is just an ugly rumor rumbling like a thunderstorm from the cities. A teenage runaway wanders the side of the road, a heartbeat away from despair, and is rescued by a long-haired angel on a Harley.

But that's just the beginning of their story.

Josiah Daniels wanted peace and quiet and a simple life, and he had it until he rescued Casey from hunger, cold, and exhaustion. Then Joe's life is anything but simple as he and his new charge navigate a world that is changing more rapidly than the people in it. Joe wants to raise Casey to a happy and productive adulthood, and he does. But even as an adult, Casey can't conceive of a happy life without Joe. The trouble is getting Joe to accept that the boy he nurtured is suddenly the man who wants him.

Their relationship can either die or change with the world around them. As they make a home, negotiate the new rules of growing up, and swerve around the pitfalls of modern life, Casey learns that adulthood is more than sex, Joe learns that there is no compromise in happy ever after, and they’re both forced to realize that the one thing a man shouldn’t be is alone.

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The Isle of... Where?

The Isle Series | Book One
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The Isle Series: Book One

When Liam Marshall’s best friend, Alex, loses his fight with colon cancer, he leaves Liam one final request: buy a ticket to Ryde, on the Isle of Wight, and scatter Alex’s ashes off the pier. Liam is tired, worn out, and in desperate need of a vacation, but instead of sun, sea, sand, and hot cabana boys, he gets a rickety old train, revolting kids, and no Ewan MacGregor.

Liam would have done anything for his friend, but fulfilling Alex’s final wish means letting go of the only family Liam had left. Lost, he freezes on the pier… until Sam Owens comes to his rescue.

Sam’s family has vacationed on the Isle of Wight every year for as long as he can remember, but he’s never met anyone like Liam. Determined to make Liam’s vacation one to remember, Sam looks after him—in and out of the bedroom. He even introduces Liam to his entire family. But as Sam helps Liam let go, he’s forced to admit that he wants Liam to hang on—not to his old life, but to Sam and what they have together.

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Craig Ryan’s modeling dreams crashed and burned on the streets of LA. Still, a man has to eat, and the escort biz pays well, and the sex isn’t bad. Actually, Craig enjoys his new job and benefits. That is, until a client called Dee hires him. Dee is a mystery. He keeps his face hidden and prohibits touching, even when touching his mouthwatering body becomes Craig’s fantasy.

Falling for a customer was never in Craig’s plans. But wrapped inside Dee’s peculiar requirements, there’s a sense of loneliness and pain that strikes deep within Craig, awakening his own need for something more—something with a future beyond one-night stands.

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Un insolito triangolo

Un insolito triangolo
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Tre anni fa, la madre di Bear McKenna se ne è andata per una destinazione sconosciuta con il suo nuovo ragazzo, lasciando Bear a crescere il fratellino Tyson di sette anni, detto anche Kid. In qualche modo ce l’hanno fatto, ma visto che da allora è totalmente preso dal fratello, Bear non ha una sua vita, tranne che per poche eccezioni. Si è ritirato dal mondo e di solito gli va bene così. Almeno finché Otter non torna a casa.

Otter è il fratello maggiore del migliore amico di Bear e, così come hanno fatto per tutta la vita, Bear e Otter si incontrano e scontrano in modi che nessuno aveva previsto. Tuttavia questa volta non si può scappare dalla profondità delle loro emozioni. Bear continua a credere che il suo posto sia come tutore del fratello, ma non può smettere di pensare che ci possa essere qualcosa di più per lui al mondo... qualcosa o qualcuno.

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Senator Davis Hudson has a silver tongue that has so far kept the stress off those lesser political organs, the heart and the brain. But he’s just made a political speech that will transform him from a Senate back-bencher to a public figure and presidential contender—whether he’s ready or not—and suddenly he wants his words and actions to mean something. It’s a crucial time in his political career, and Davis needs all the publicity he can get. He just doesn’t expect the highlight of his first CNN interview to be the conversation he has with makeup artist Kurt Lamb.

Kurt is smart, politically savvy, and uninterested in being part of a congressional sex scandal, which is why he tolerates being Davis’s dirty little secret. Despite the poor timing, Davis falls for him hard.

But Kurt isn’t the only skeleton in Davis’s closet. Davis’s ex-wife isn’t happy that he’s pursuing the presidency now, after all her years of hard work, and he has at least one more enemy on the Hill. Between them, they have all the tools they need to ruin a presidential candidate—and maybe his shot at happiness too.

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Fire on the Mountain

The Mountains | Book One
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2nd Edition

The Mountains: Book One

Take a break from academics, enjoy the Colorado Rockies, fight a fire now and then. That’s all Jake Landon expected when he signed up to be a ranger. He’ll partner with some crusty old mountain man; they’ll patrol the wilderness in a tanker, speak three words a day, and Old Crusty won’t be alluring at all. A national forest is big enough to be Jake’s closet—he’ll spend his free time fishing.

Except Old Crusty turns out to be Kurt Carlson: confident, competent, and experienced. He's also young, hot, friendly, and considers clothing optional when it’s just two guys in the wilderness. Sharing a small cabin with this walking temptation is stressing Jake’s sanity—is he sending signals, or just being Kurt? And how would Kurt react if he found out his new partner wants to start a fire of a different kind? Jake’s terrified—they have to live together for five months no matter what.

Enough sparks fly between the rangers to set the trees alight, but it takes a raging inferno to make Jake and Kurt admit to the heat between them.

First Electronic Edition published by Torquere Press (2009).

Bonus Short Story: Into the Mountains

Long before he met Jake, Kurt Carlson climbed Yosemite with his best friend, Benji. But after a storm traps them halfway up the face of El Capitan, Kurt has to accept that their friendship isn't what he thought.

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Dieci anni dopo la laurea, Jake ‘il fantino’ Campbell e Brandon ‘il nerd’ Barlett insegnano nel loro vecchio liceo e vivono ancora in mondi separati. Quando Brandon viene gettato in un lavoro da allenatore della squadra di baseball di Jake, si trovano a dover imparare molto più di quello che entrambi avevano previsto. Il liceo è tutta immagine – anche per gli insegnanti. Brandon e Jake devono andare oltre i loro preconcetti per trovare l’amicizia necessaria per lavorare insieme. E da qualche parte, lungo la strada, scoprono che a volte le impressioni possono mutare in meglio.

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Twenty years ago, Eli Calero fell in love with Kevin Murphy, a jock whose mob boss father physically and emotionally abused him. Twenty years ago, Eli Calero got his heart broken, and he’s never gotten over it.

Now, after a career as an investigative reporter, Eli is a true crime author living in Pasadena. He has no interest in attending a reunion back in St. Louis, but he ends up going anyway—and since he’s in the area, Eli decides to settle an old score. He’s determined to gather enough evidence to take down Kevin's father.

But Eli doesn’t have all the facts, and there are a few things he didn’t count on: Kevin’s still in town. He still has feelings for Eli. And he’s about to get caught in the crossfire.

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Per cinque anni, Zach Tyler, figlio di uno dei più ricchi produttori di software del mondo, è stato tenuto in ostaggio, torturato e violentato. Quando finalmente viene soccorso dalle profondità della giungla venezuelana, è fisicamente e psicologicamente distrutto; ma, lentamente, comincia a ricostruire la vita che avrebbe dovuto vivere, prima che un bacio innocente lo spedisse all’inferno.

David, il suo migliore amico, ha vissuto questi ultimi anni nel senso di colpa e nel dolore. Ogni relazione in cui si è imbarcato è andata in pezzi, a causa dei sentimenti che non riesce a smettere di provare per un ragazzo che credeva morto. Quando Zach viene riportato a casa, David è fuori di sé dalla gioia – e poi devastato, quando Zach lo taglia fuori dalla sua vita.

Due anni dopo, David ritorna a casa, e lui e Zach devono fare i conti con il vuoto che si è aperto fra di loro, con ciò che provano l’uno per l’altro, e con quello che il futuro ha in serbo per loro. Ma Zach nasconde dei segreti, e uno di essi potrebbe anche distruggere il loro fragile amore.

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Enamorarse

Enamorarse y Cuando la memoria falla
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Cuando Scott Allan recibe una llamada telefónica comunicándole que su hermano ha resultado herido en el trabajo, marcha corriendo al lado de Brian para encontrarse con que sus heridas son leves. Allí conoce a Hank Ballam, un leñador al que le gusta el riesgo, y que es marginado por sus propios compañeros de trabajo.

Hank es una persona llena de contrastes: por un lado vive por la excitación que conlleva subir a los árboles y cortarlos, y por otro, le encanta la paz que se encuentra explorando las montañas que considera su casa. La atracción que Scott siente por Hank es inmediata y sorprendente, y es lo que siempre había soñado: saber qué se siente al amar a alguien sin el que no puedes vivir.

Scott necesita conocer los verdaderos sentimientos de Hank, saber si se trata de un estallido de pasión o simplemente de una tranquila amistad, algo que no coincidiría con las emociones de Scott. Pero puede que ya sea demasiado tarde… porque Scott, sencillamente, no puede evitar enamorarse perdidamente de Hank.

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