Contemporary books

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Six Degrees of Lust

By Degrees | Book One
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2nd Edition

By Degrees: Book One

New York City FBI team leader Samuel Shaughnessy lives for his immediate family and his job. After a marriage gone wrong, he sticks to a firm rule when it comes to relationships: he doesn't have them. Sexually active and emotionally unavailable keeps him satisfied, especially now that he is in hot pursuit of a serial killer targeting gay men.

Former firefighter Machlan O'Bannon now manages a successful sports bar in Houston, and after years of waiting, he’s ready to stand up and be the man he always wanted to be: out, proud, and drama-free. His politically aligned family wants to keep him locked in the closet, but Mac just wants to meet the man of his dreams.

One man is as high-strung as the other is laid-back. A chance meeting brings them together, and one night of passion ignites a fire neither can fight. Their lives are not only miles apart, but as different as day and night. They don't want to get involved, but they might not be able to keep apart.

First Edition published by MLR Press, December 2011.

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The Virgin Manny

The Mannies
Dreamspun Desires | #25
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The Mannies

Growing up and falling in love...

Sometimes family is a blessing and a curse. When Tino Robbins is roped into helping his sister deliver premade dinners when he should be studying for finals, he’s pretty sure it's the latter! But one delivery might change everything.

Channing Lowell’s charmed life changes when his sister dies and leaves him her seven-year-old son. He’s committed to doing what's best for Sammy… but he’s going to need a lot of help. When Tino lands on his porch, Channing is determined to recruit him to Team Sammy.

Tino plans to make his education count—even if that means avoiding a relationship—but as he falls harder and harder for his boss, he starts to wonder: Does he have to leave his newly forged family behind in order to live his promising tomorrow?

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Beneath the surface, they share more than dreams of Olympic gold.

Since elementary school, the question of Reed Watson’s race has needled him. But the one thing he’s always known is that he is destined to become an Olympic star—he felt it the moment he first hit the water. Chosen by a former Olympic swimmer to train for the 2016 Olympics, Reed determinedly works toward his dream.

Along the way, Reed develops feelings for two men he’s known since childhood: Cal, his next-door neighbor, and Mathias, his rival since the fourth grade. Cal’s struggle with his sexual identity and a tragedy complicate Reed’s feelings, while Mathias’s wealth quickly makes it obvious they are from vastly different worlds. 

As Rio approaches, Mathias becomes a gay sports icon, while Reed is told to hide his sexuality for a lucrative endorsement deal that will offer his family a financial boost and help him with mounting debt. Reed’s unresolved desires for both men remain and so too do all the things that have kept them apart. Has he grown enough to navigate rougher waters, to find truth, pride, victory, and love?

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Can an onstage love story lead to a real-life romance?

Jeremy Steele is a veteran Broadway performer. For his latest role, he’s dancing alongside a man he’s fantasized about for years, TV star Ty Beaumont. Jeremy knows better than to get involved with a castmate, but when Ty has trouble learning the complicated choreography, Jeremy offers to lend a hand. When a rehearsal kiss turns into something more, Jeremy can’t help but wonder what a celebrity like Ty could ever see in a Broadway chorus boy like him. Will a relationship with his crush make it past previews, or can it become a long-running hit?

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Whiskey Business

States of Love | Kentucky
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Ryder Waites will do anything to keep the tiny town of Gallows Grove, Kentucky, from vanishing off the map—even sell his family’s whiskey recipe to Bluegrass Bourbon in Lexington. Hopeful that the larger company can provide necessary improvements to the distillery, Ryder aims ultimately to get Gallows Grove on the Bourbon Trail… and bring in much-needed tourism revenue. But to keep producing Hanged Man Bourbon in Gallows Grove, he’ll have to convince company liaison, unbearably stuffy and seriously hot Adam Keller, that he’s worth the investment.

Adam comes from an old-money family, but he’s determined to make his own way in the world. When he’s sent to Gallows Grove, he questions the life choices that led him to a rented room in a funeral home in a town full of macabre-themed businesses. And he doesn’t know what to make of Ryder, the descendant of bootleggers, who’s on a mission to save his strange town from extinction. When Adam and Ryder put aside their initial mistrust, the results are as smooth as good whiskey. But after Adam’s assignment ends, he’ll have to decide if small-town life and a future with Ryder are to his taste.

 

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

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Anthony Carrino liebt seine große, gesellige italo-amerikanische Familie, obwohl seine Schwestern sich ständig einmischen und sein Vater, der örtliche Sheriff, über alles Bescheid weiß, was in der Stadt so vor sich geht. Er ist glücklich in seinem Job als beratender Schulpsychologe. Obwohl er Kindern und deren Eltern bei der Lösung ihrer Probleme hilft, schafft er es nicht, sein eigenes Liebesleben in den Griff zu bekommen. Wenn doch bloß alle endlich aufhören würden, ihn den „netten Kerl“ zu nennen. 

Dean Pierce hat mit Beziehungen nichts am Hut. Als starrköpfiger Militärangehöriger hat er sich seinem Job als Night Stalker verschrieben, fliegt Chinook Hubschrauber und redet mit niemandem besonders viel. Und ganz sicher will er sich nicht mit einem Gefühlschaos herumschlagen. Aber als das Schicksal zuschlägt, hat Dean plötzlich alle Hände voll zu tun - mit seiner Nichte in Not, ihrem unwiderstehlichen, schulischen Betreuer und einer aufdringlichen Familie, zu der auch ein ziemlich großer Welpe gehört.

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Firefighter Jason “Jase” Weller and EMT Scott Bronson are living the perfect life. They work together in jobs they love, they live together, and in their downtime, they still can’t get enough of each other. It’s been six amazing years. Then on Christmas Eve, Jase’s former lover Elsa shows up with a six-year-old girl in tow. The strung-out junkie claims Kerry is Jase’s daughter and it’s his turn to care for her, and then she walks out.

Shocked at both the fact that Elsa is now a junkie and that he has a daughter he never knew about, Jase nonetheless steps up to the plate as her father and Scott offers his full support. Having an instant family comes with plenty of challenges, and the two men work to deal with sweeping changes in their lives and to make things right for Kerry.

It’s not going to be easy, and their new circumstances test them and their relationship like nothing ever has. They’ll need all the love they have for each other—and the love they discover for their daughter—to keep from breaking apart.

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Family Obligations

Bittersweet Dreams
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2nd Edition

Tate D’Angelo always thought he knew who his father was: beloved doctor, devoted husband and father…. Everyone at the funeral shared the same glowing stories of a kind soul. So when his father’s old college buddy, Randy, approaches him after the service, Tate expects to hear echoes of the same.

Instead, he gets a lifetime’s worth of letters that tell a different tale and cause him to view his father—and his family—in a whole new light.

The truth, about a secret romance kept buried for decades, astonishes him. Overwhelmed by grief and confusion, Tate is unsure if he can bear learning how the lives of two men entwined over the years, but he reads on anyway, discovering more to value, more to respect, and most importantly, more to love about the man who raised him.

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.

First Edition published by Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure, 2013.

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It’s not easy breaking into show biz. Especially when you aren’t exactly loaded with talent. But Malcolm Fox won’t let a little thing like that hold him back.

Actually, it isn’t the show-business part of his life that bothers him as much as the romantic part—or the lack thereof. At twenty-six, Malcolm has never been in love. He lives in San Diego with his roommate, Beth, another struggling actor, and each of them is just as unsuccessful as the other. While Malcolm toddles off to this audition and that, he ponders the lack of excitement in his life. The lack of purpose. The lack of a man.

Then Beth’s brother moves in.

Freshly imported from Missouri of all places, Cory Williams is a towering hunk of muscles and innocence, and Malcolm is gobsmacked by the sexiness of his new roomie from the start. When infatuation enters the picture, Malcolm knows he’s really in trouble. After all, Cory is straight!

At least, that’s the general consensus.

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Beck Justice knows holiday sparkle and snappy carols only mask December’s cruel, black heart. He learned that lesson even before he landed on the streets eight years ago, and his recent step up to a tiny apartment and a busker’s permit for Seattle’s Pike Place Market has done nothing to change his mind. But one day in the market, Oleg Abramov joins his ethereal voice to Beck’s guitar, and Beck glimpses light in his bleak, dark winter.

Oleg, lucky to have a large and loving family, believes Beck could be the man to fill the void that nevertheless remains in his life. The two men step out on a path toward love, but it proves as slippery as Seattle’s icy streets. Just when they get close, a misunderstanding shatters their hopes. Light and harmony are still within reach, but only if they choose to believe, risk their hearts, and trust.

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Reclusive writer Noah Kinley is facing a dilemma: how to confess to the world he’s really the author of a best-selling romance series. For years, his friend Julie has been the face of his brand, but she wants her life back now. Fast running out of ideas for his popular series, Noah wants to break out into other genres. Not that he’s writing much of anything at the moment anyway, thanks to paralyzing writer’s block. With his publisher breathing down his neck for the next installment, he hopes a change of scene will get his writer’s juices flowing again. Desperate enough to try anything, during the holidays Noah swaps his isolated cabin in the woods for a gentrified horse farm.

USAF Major Connor Harrison has chosen forced retirement over facing charges for an unauthorized mission to rescue a buddy from behind enemy lines. No one expects him home for the holidays, and he certainly didn’t anticipate finding a stranger in his house, much less Noah Kinley with his acid tongue and a wry sense of humor that pierces all of Connor’s defenses.

Both men need to figure out what the next chapter in their lives will be—and whether it will include each other.

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Lane Freeman supposed there were worse places to be dumped than a place named Christmas Valley. After being ejected from the foster care system, he spent the past five years hitchhiking and moving around. But six months of a steady job at Tal’s Bar and Grill, an apartment, and even a three-legged cat have him almost ready to risk putting down a few roots when Tal’s brother comes home for the holidays.

Dallas firefighter Trey Jenkins reluctantly accepts that Lane isn’t like the other drifters who’ve come through his brother’s place. A fragile attraction begins to bloom between them in spite of the many reasons they each have to fight it. Trey wants to give Lane a family, but experience has taught Lane to depend on no one but himself. Will winter love burn hot in the town called Christmas Valley or will Lane return to his wandering ways?

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The Weather Baker's Son

World of Love | France
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Nature’s call of desire among golden fields and intoxicating red-lipped poppies seems to proclaim a path to love and healing in southern France. Yet Peter, an American university student struggling with self-doubt following a failed love affair, is determined never to be hurt again. While on a vacation with his widowed mother, Peter is smitten by Gaston, a handsome local baker. Gaston, less bold than Peter, is drawn to Peter as well but fearful of the loss of family esteem—particularly the respect of his cousin Mario, who looks up to Gaston. Their friendship grows into more as Peter continues to visit the bakery, but their increasing intimacy does not go unnoticed. The road to fulfillment becomes increasingly obscured, and internal doubts and external events spiral out of control. The arrival of a handsome stranger, suspicions of murder, and the threat of harm might spell the end of more than just their relationship.

 

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

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Nonostante  un’adolescenza triste e un presente solitario, Skipper Keith non ha mai desiderato altro che una famiglia. La cosa che più le si avvicina è la squadra di calcio che allena dopo il lavoro e il suo miglior giocatore, nonché migliore amico, Richie Scoggins.

Una fredda sera di ottobre, una conversazione dopo l’allenamento si trasforma in un incontro sessuale che nessuno dei due si sarebbe mai aspettato, né intende dimenticare. In breve, Skip e Richie vivono solo per i loro fine settimana, le partite di calcio, e i giochi che fanno insieme fuori dal campo. Tra nasi rotti, decorazioni per le feste e un’influenza devastante, imparano a conoscersi come mai avrebbero creduto possibile. E ogni nuova scoperta fa loro trascendere i confini del campo di calcio catapultandoli dentro alle infinite possibilità della migliore relazione della loro vita.

Skipper non riesce a immaginare una famiglia migliore di Richie, ma il ragazzo ha dei legami familiari che lo trattengono e dai quali non può liberarsi. Skip deve quindi convincerlo a restare con lui anche dopo la fine del campionato invernale, cosicché la storia che è cominciata sul campo possa diventare un futuro felice nella vita di tutti i giorni.

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Sequel to Bowl Full of Cherries

Last Christmas, Tyler Lang accidentally accepted David Griffith’s invitation for dinner. Yes, it was an accident. See, hipster (don’t call him that!) Tyler doesn’t date guys, and even if he did, he certainly doesn’t date jocks. A rude and hasty exit right when the date was getting good left things awkward between them.

David Griffith isn’t really a jock. Well, he’s a former athlete who loves sports, but “jock” has a certain connotation that doesn’t quite fit the intelligent, hardworking store owner. A jock wouldn’t have given Tyler Lang the time of day. But even after that little, ahem, stunt with the fire escape, David can’t stop thinking about the hipster a year later. Which would be fine if fate didn’t keep butting her nose into their business, making it impossible for the jock and the hipster to avoid each other this Christmas.

A hilarious holiday romp, set to the music of the Winter Sounds.

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Holiday Weekend

Buchanan House | Book Five
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Buchanan House: Book Five

Ryan Orchard moved from small-town Idaho to Portland almost two years ago and still feels like a hick. When Paulie Nesbitt dumped him, he wasn’t even surprised. Despite losing twenty-five pounds since then, Ryan’s confidence is nonexistent, and his life has stalled. Not only is he convinced the career he wants is beyond his reach, he’s given up on relationships. A new job at a familiar restaurant—and his gorgeous coworker—could be just what Ryan needs to believe in himself again.

Glenn Hernandez might be the only nineteen-year-old in Portland who dreads his days off. Between his horrible housing situation and the ever-present temptation to crawl back into the bottle, Glenn prefers to keep busy. He volunteers at the Elliott Foundation House, a homeless shelter helping LGBTQ former sex workers. As an alum of the shelter himself, Glenn finds it hard to leave his past behind. But when the new server at the trendy restaurant where he works catches Glenn’s eye and works his way into his heart, Glenn finally has a reason to start a new life.

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Settle in for some sweet romance—and a little suspense—with the best of Lisa Marie Davis in this collection.

In Here and Now, HIV-postive Jaxon Hawke is content with his orderly life, but Cyrus Carson threatens to upend everything, if Jaxon will let him in. Five years ago, Ayden Judson sacrifice everything for his father’s company, in In His Arms Again, but when Simon Gibson crashes into his life, Ayden will have to reconsider his priorities. In Shadows from the Past, Chase Churchill is hiding from his family’s secrets, including his serial killer father, and determined not to let anyone too close, until the murders begin again and Chase has to keep police officer Kayne Kennedy safe.

Thirteen years ago, Jasper’s world changed when his sixteen-year-old sister disappeared and then was found murdered, in Jasper’s Journey; now Zander Macon believes the original investigation wasn’t handled properly, and someone is willing to respond to their questions with lethal force. In The End Game, the bloody memories of Micah McQueen’s first love affair still haunt him, and getting involved with his boss Harrison Harper seems like even less of a good idea when Micah’s past returns. Finally, in Sweet Lyric, Lyric Spencer has been running hard when a job interview with Jonas Lamar almost leads to sex, but despite their instant attraction, there’s still plenty of issues to work through before they can build a future.

See excerpt for individual blurbs.

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Striking Sparks

Dreamspun Desires | #24
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The stakes are high and the heat is on.

Beau Walker, owner of the Barbecue Shack, needs the help of Jake Parnell, his one-time rival and secret crush, in a televised barbecue competition. Beau is a proud man, but the stakes are high, and smart, sexy Jake is his only hope, even if being around Jake reawakens the attraction he’s fought for years.

Jake left his hometown, determined to build a life somewhere his sexuality wouldn’t hurt his family’s restaurant business—and far away from hunky, obstinate Beau Walker. Then his twin, Josh, is killed, and Jake returns to support his brother’s wife and children. Despite his reservations, he agrees to go head-to-head against Beau on national television. Between stress and grief, as well as pride and determination, only one thing is certain—the heat between Beau and Jake extends well beyond the kitchen.

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