Contemporary books

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After a student’s accusation of sexual assault destroyed his reputation, Noah Lowe left the teaching career he loved. The school system that should have protected him and an ex-lover who should have known better shattered his confidence, and it took Noah six years and another university degree to finally get his life back on track.

He loves his new job as a computer programmer and keeps busy on weekends performing at a drag club with his best friend, Aiden. It’s there that he meets shy, chivalrous Oscar, the owner of the club and, just maybe, the love of Noah’s life. But everything turns upside down when a specter from his former life moves in next door. Noah will have to face his fears and discover the truth about his ordeal if he wants to move past it once and for all and face the future with Oscar at his side.

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A CalPac Crew Novel

Between his job as a Realtor and his home renovation business, Drew St. Charles is in over his head. What he really needs is a licensed contractor to oversee his projects, and Drew knows just the man for the job: Brad Sundstrom. The Sundstrom family has been in construction for years, so Brad knows his way around a toolbox, and he desperately wants out from under his sneering father’s thumb.

The close contact and the excitement of a career-making renovation fan the sparks between Brad and Drew into an inferno. Before long, the phrase “working hard together” takes on a new meaning. It looks as if Drew’s dreams are coming true, although Brad is far from out and proud. But then Drew is savagely attacked in a hate crime, and Brad panics.

Suddenly everything is in jeopardy. When arson strikes Drew’s dream project, Brad faces a crucial test: he’ll need to overcome his fears, save their work, and take his place at Drew’s side or retreat to the stifling familiarity of the closet.

~**~

Don't miss the first CalPac Crew novel: Rocking the Boat.

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Work Me Out

Work Out Series
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Spot Me: Breaking a sweat takes on a whole new meaning when Dan sees Gene, a professional bodybuilder, in the mirror. Does he allow Gene to elbow his way into his life, or will he give up on the idea of a new relationship before it even starts?

Pump Me Up: Maddoc meets Ivan, a hunky, silver-haired ex-Marine who gives him a ride home from the fitness center, and finds himself with a new friend, a workout partner, a protector... and maybe something more.

Core Training: Hugh Douglas isn’t thrilled about his birthday but gets an unexpected present when the much younger Max Pierce flirts hard with him at the gym. Starting a romance won’t be easy, but they might make a life together work.

Crunch Time: George Higgins agrees to help soon-to-be-former professional football player Darren White when the first rehearsal for Talking Sports is looming, and they’ll have to work together if they want Darren’s guest appearance—and their budding relationship—to turn into a full-time gig.

Positive Resistance: Lane spent high school tormenting Stephen to the point of tears. Imagine Stephen’s surprise when years later Lane turns out to have changed to a persistent, attentive suitor who supports him during a family trial.

Personal Training: Holton’s quest to improve his health drives him to the gym, where he meets Marcus, a trainer with the body of a demigod, who to Holton’s surprise, asks him out. Despite several common interests, they’ll have to prove that what really matters is the man inside.

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New Tricks

Shying Away and New Tricks
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Sequel to Shying Away

Quinn Donahue’s put in a long, hard day at his lover Aaron Miller’s family horse farm, and he’s looking forward to a hot bath and a good night’s sleep. But that’s before he finds Aaron waiting for him in their dark apartment, apparently in the mood to play a game. Aaron was a virgin when he’d hooked up with Quinn, while Quinn was the furthest thing from innocent. So if Aaron wants to experiment a little, then Quinn feels privileged to play along.

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Clear Water

2012 Award Winners
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Meet Patrick Cleary: party boy, loser, and spaz. Patrick’s been trying desperately to transform himself, and the results have been so spectacular, they’ve almost killed him. Meet Wes “Whiskey” Keenan: he’s a field biologist wondering if it’s time to settle down. When the worst day of Patrick’s life ends with Whiskey saving it, Patrick and Whiskey find themselves sharing company and an impossibly small berth on the world’s tackiest houseboat.

Patrick needs to get his life together—and Whiskey wants to help—but Patrick is not entirely convinced it’s doable. He’s pretty sure he’s a freak of nature. But Whiskey, who works with real freaks of nature, thinks all Patrick needs is a little help to see the absolute beauty inside his spastic self, and Whiskey is all about volunteering. Between anomalous frogs, a homicidal ex-boyfriend, and Patrick’s own hangups, Whiskey’s going to need all of his patience and Patrick’s going to need to find the best of himself before these two men ever see clear water.

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The Playwright

The Male Room Series | Book Three
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The Male Room: Book Three

Nick’s writing partner and best friend is tired of watching his buddy screw his life away to overcome the heartbreak of his first great love affair, and he also thinks that a romantic comedy playwright should actually write what he knows!  Before Nick can wriggle out of it, he finds himself begged, nagged, and cajoled into a coffee date with one of the men who liked his profile at The Male Room, an online dating service for gay men.

No one is more surprised than Nick that the date is a success, and he’s interested in getting to know full-time news reporter and part-time theater critic Mark better. But better means closer, and the closer Nick gets to Mark, the more he remembers why he doesn't go for long-term relationships. Long term affairs just lead to heartbreak, right? Nick’s imagination runs overtime, and he’ll have to trust in his heart if he wants this love story to have a happy ending.

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When Love Is Not Enough

Unconditional Love | Book One
Bittersweet Dreams
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Unconditional Love: Book One

A six-year downward spiral into a world of lies and deception leads to the end of one man’s life when self-discovery crosses the line between being the perfect son or following his heart.

Jimmy Miller never intended to lead a double life starting the day he fell in love with Darian, but his parents’ divorce, fighting in school, and constantly keeping secrets for his closeted best friend and protector, Matt, force his hand. Jimmy finds the demands too great to withstand and ends it all prematurely, leaving behind an angry best friend and a shattered lover.

Matt and Darian cling to one another in the aftermath of their loss, forging a new friendship immediately tested by the truths of their relationships with Jimmy that are hidden in the pages of Jimmy’s journals. Will Matt and Darian discover what truly happened to their friend? And will this tragedy birth something beautiful between them as they learn the balance between life, family, and friendship when love is simply not enough?

A Bittersweet Dreams title: It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.

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City Falcon

Desert Falcon and City Falcon
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A Falcon Story

New York, 1994

What on earth is a live falcon doing in the middle of JFK airport? The answer to this question brings PAPD officer Mark Bowman face to face with falconer Hunter Devereaux, right in the middle of a fascinating field experiment using falcons to keep runways free of nuisance birds. The falcons are intriguing, but it’s arrogant, out-and-proud Hunter himself who really rubs Mark the right kind of wrong. Too bad Mark can’t act on the attraction: he’s deeply in the closet, and since he wants to keep his job, that’s where he's determined to stay.

However, every time their paths cross, Hunter gets a little deeper under Mark’s skin, until Mark can’t deny his feelings any longer. Giving in to his desire makes Mark happier than he can remember being, but Hunter isn't willing to hide their relationship forever. If they’re going to make a life together work, something has to give. Someday soon Mark will have to choose, or life will make the choice for him before he’s ready for it.

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Widower John McConnell gets along fine raising his daughter on Georgia's Tybee Island, though he wouldn't exactly say he's happy. Haunted by the memory of his dead wife, John hasn't considered dating again until he meets Bryan Simmons in the park. It isn't long before John realizes that what he feels for Bryan could be something real, but how will he know he's ready to move on?

As John soon discovers, Bryan carries some heavy emotional baggage of his own. With John's help, Bryan starts to put his demons to rest, and together they lay the foundation for a relationship. It looks like they might finally leave their tragedies behind them—until John takes a misstep that could turn a magical night together into their last.

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Bear, Otter, and the Kid

Bear, Otter, and the Kid Chronicles
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Three years ago, Bear McKenna’s mother took off for parts unknown with her new boyfriend, leaving Bear to raise his six-year-old brother Tyson, aka the Kid. Somehow they’ve muddled through, but since he’s totally devoted to the Kid, Bear isn’t actually doing much living—with a few exceptions, he’s retreated from the world, and he’s mostly okay with that. Until Otter comes home.

Otter is Bear’s best friend’s older brother, and as they’ve done for their whole lives, Bear and Otter crash and collide in ways neither expect. This time, though, there’s nowhere to run from the depth of emotion between them. Bear still believes his place is as the Kid’s guardian, but he can’t help thinking there could be something more for him in the world... something or someone.

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Zephyr “Zef” Kokinos has just settled into his job as sheriff of a small ranching town when he gets a call to log a report for an animal shooting. He meets Bobby Joe Decker, foreman of Stendhal’s Stand and everything Zef has always looked for in a cowboy. But the real surprise is that Bobby Joe is aka “fckgfired,” a friend Zef has become close to online.

Bobby Joe only recently discovered the Internet. He’d set up a date with one of his online friends months ago, but since then he’s realized the only online buddy he really wants to meet is “vientoloco”—“crazy wind.” He doesn’t think he’ll ever have a chance, and then Zephyr blows into his life....

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Papi

Bittersweet Dreams
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Kyle Lang just got out of a marriage that lasted too goddamned long. He knew when he married her that he shouldn’t have. For the last few years, he’s been haunted by daydreams of the perfect feel of another man’s skin. The problem is, the bar scene isn’t working so well for him. When Kyle picks up Jesse, an eighteen-year-old illegal who turns tricks for cash, he finally finds something to scratch that desperate itch. For Jesse, who is only gay-for-pay to support his sister, it's the first time he’s ever been aroused by another man's touch. The consequences will change his whole world.

A Bittersweet Dreams title: It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.

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When Memory Fails

Falling and When Memory Fails
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Sequel to Falling

It's been two years since Hank Ballam and Scott Alan fell in love, moved in together, and started building their life. Hank has kept his promise to his boss—and Scott’s brother—Brian, proving he can be both his adrenaline-seeking self and a good worker. While Hank enjoys being Brian's right-hand man, nothing gives him more pleasure than going home to Scott every night. But then a major announcement gets Hank thinking about the family he left behind, and he wonders if there is any hope of including them in his new life with Scott.

Seeing Hank's turmoil, Scott quietly reaches out to his lover's family—without telling Hank. Scott is overjoyed when Hank’s sister seems receptive, but the reunion doesn't go as planned, leaving Scott to wonder if he’s unleashed a series of events that might take Hank from him forever.

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Personal Training

Work Out Series
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A Work Out Story

Determined not to end up like his seventy-year-old diabetic father, Holton knows he needs to make a change. His quest to improve his health drives him to the gym, where he meets Marcus, a trainer with the body of a demigod. For three months Holton works hard, watches what he eats, drops a few pounds—and catches Marcus's eye not only for his slimmer body but for his dedication.

Holton can barely believe it when Marcus asks him out, but he isn’t about to say no. Despite several common interests, though, Marcus and Holton have some roadblocks to overcome. A harrowing event from Holton’s past has made him gun-shy, and Marcus has insecurities of his own. If their relationship is going to work, they’ll have to get past their hang-ups and prove that what really matters is the man inside.

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The Attorney

The Male Room Series | Book Two
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The Male Room: Book Two

Attorney Sam Solomon is the most desired trick in the back room of the Music Box, his town's most notorious gay club—and very possibly the loneliest.  Sam is tired of one-night stands, and although he likes the world to think he’s too tough for such romantic notions, he secretly longs for the love his friends Jeff and Craig seem to have found. Fortunately for him, he’s just helped set his friends up in business. They run The Male Room, a local Internet dating service for gay men, and Jeff has just the guy in mind for Sam.

Chris Kelly is the last person Sam expected. From his profile, Sam knows that Chris is strong, opinionated, and dominant... in fact, he’s a lot like Sam! Sam may very well have met his match; he just needs to concede that the man he’s falling in love with needs to be his partner in every sense of the word.

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Columnist Drew Walsh made his career by publicly criticizing conservative, anti-gay politician Richard Granger. So when a rumor surfaces that Granger’s son Jonathan might be gay, Drew finds himself in the middle of a potential scandal. Under the guise of an interview about Jonathan's new job teaching in an inner-city school, Drew's job is to find out if the rumors are true. Drew's best friend Rey is also Jonathan's cousin, and he arranges the meeting between Jonathan and Drew that changes everything.

After just one interview, it's obvious to Drew that the rumors are true, but he carefully neglects to mention that in his article. It's also obvious that he’s falling for Jonathan, and he can't stay away after the article is published. Still, Jonathan is too afraid to step out of the closet, and Drew thinks the smartest thing might be to let him go—until Jonathan  shows up drunk one night at his apartment. The slow burn of their attraction doesn’t fade with Jonathan's buzz, but navigating a relationship is never easy—especially in the shadow of right-wing politics.

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When Bobby Kincaid is walking the slackline—a narrow, flat webbed rope stretched between two anchor points—he offers a silent gift of beauty to the air and sky.  Making peace with the world is one reason he’s drawn to the seastacks off Scotland’s Orkney Islands.  Colin Rose, the Olympic skier who pushed Bobby away after a horrific accident two years earlier, is another.  But Bobby and Colin will each need to heal before they can return to that space between earth and heaven where they both can fly.

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When Michael accepts a company assignment overseas, he doesn't count on being dumped by his boyfriend on the way to the airport. The breakup is a bad omen—Michael's time in Europe would be one long misery of loneliness and corporate backbiting if it weren’t for his friendship with his coworker, Stephan.

When he finds out Stephan wants more than friendship, Michael is torn. Even if he chooses to risk his one bright relationship in Europe for a chance at love, when this project is over, isn't his only choice to say goodbye?

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