Novellas

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To Find and to Keep

Keeping You
2009 Daily Dose | To Have and To Hold
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Four years ago Ryan's parents disowned him for being gay. To escape their threats, he ran away to Canada. Now his twin sister Nicole is getting married to his best friend Peter, and Ryan will risk anything to attend. Help arrives in the most unexpected form: Peter's older brother Daniel, the man Ryan had loved from afar.

A part of the 2009 Daily Dose Set, To Have and to Hold, which includes 30 M/M romance stories providing a glimpse of the many forms of love: love at first sight or a love for the ages, wedding bells or engagements, or that inexplicable something that makes you think "I do," the men in these stories are all touched by its spell.

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Inside and outside the rodeo arena, Jeff Stratton and Clay Harris are rivals with tempers worse than the bulls they ride. So Clay is shocked when Jeff taps that wild energy and kisses him, sparking an undeniable urge for more of each others' bodies.

But when they discover they might want more than casual sex between competitions, Clay's greatest fear is recognized: He is scared of being identified as gay. He'll have to cowboy up if he hopes to hang on to Jeff on the circuit of love.

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Torn from his home and family by slavers, Varan escapes the brutality of the mines only to struggle for existence in the hellish desert of an alien world. When he stumbles across an injured, winged being, he can barely believe the beautiful stranger isn't a hallucination conjured by his loneliness. Hiding from the slavers as they learn to communicate, Varan teaches Tvri'il how to survive, and Tvri'il teaches Varan how to love again. But can that love endure once the secrets of the slave planet—and of Tvri'il himself—are revealed?

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Just out of boot camp, newly minted Seaman Alex Bender expects to encounter adventure on his military cruise to the Middle East. He just didn't expect it to come in the form of one Seaman Kurt Jackson. The chemistry between them is so strong that when Jackson makes his interest known, even the shy and slightly younger Bender can't deny how well they click. Shipboard romance isn't always smooth sailing, but when the two are granted shore leave in Kuwait City, they make the decision to spend it together... unaware that they may already be a committed couple in love.

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Openly gay eighteen-year-old Jaylin Ryan is surprised when his secret crush, star jock Max Sydney, admits he's interested in him. Knowing Max's father will react badly, Jaylin and Max find ways to be together and make plans for the future, but it all goes wrong when they're attacked for their relationship, leaving Max badly injured and Jaylin emotionally devastated. Taking advantage of his son's vulnerability, Max's father convinces him the best thing he can do for Jaylin is to leave him. Seven years later, the possible early release of one of the attackers brings Max and Jaylin back to their hometown, where they discover that their feelings for each other are still alive. They have a chance at a future, but first the past must be laid to rest.

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Long ago, the great Snow Queen died of a broken heart, sending her magical world of dancing snow flakes and glittering icicles into a deep depression. Fearful of the same fate, her subjects sealed their hearts into an icy crystal for safekeeping, hoping to protect themselves and their future. For centuries, the communal Snowheart keeps the snow spirits of the north safe from their emotions, until a mischievous luck spirit steals the mystical crystal, intending to melt it down and extract its magical power at the cost of the snow spirits' lives.

Marmion Roy never dreams of such a frosted, wondrous world until a snow spirit invades his reality, his home, and his heart. Shirai demands his help to recover the Snowheart and annihilate the thieving luck spirit. Because Shirai is void of softer emotion, Mar believes that love with a brusque and literally heartless spirit would be impossible — at least until Shirai accidentally is reunited with his own personal part of the Snowheart.

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Lucas Kiefer has lived through hell. Assaulted and nearly murdered by a man obsessed with him, he now lives with horrible scars inside and out. Abandoned by his boyfriend while trying to recover, Lucas withdraws into himself. Building a new life, he focuses only on running his bookstore. But his nightmare returns when ten years later, his attacker is released from jail on a technicality.

Sheriff Nicholas Demetris has known and loved Lucas for five years. He doesn't care about physical scars; he's attracted to the silently strong man inside. He knows Lucas feels more for him than he'll admit. Despite being well aware of Nicholas's feelings, Lucas won't allow anyone close, regardless of the feelings in his heart, especially now when he's once again the focus of unwanted and deadly intentions. Lucas can't stand the idea of anyone being hurt for him, but Nicholas is determined to protect him and earn Lucas's love no matter what.

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Ethan Trent and Cale Brooks came from similar troubled pasts, but their current lives couldn't be more different: Ethan runs a multi-million dollar technology firm; Cale sleeps with men for money. Neither of them believe in happy-ever-after - until fate throws them together, and Ethan starts thinking about a future that Cale can't let himself imagine.

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Young history scholar Christopher, granted rare permission to study the library of ancient and remote Bran Castle, wastes no time traveling to the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. Expecting to meet an elderly, reclusive nobleman, Christopher is surprised to be greeted by a handsome, virile man who clearly welcomes his presence and puts the library at his disposal. The elderly servant, Rupert and mysterious dungeon master, Constantine, are more in line with his expectations. It isn't long before Michael, the count, shows Christopher a secret chamber where the walls are covered with magnificent portraits of comely, nude young men. The Count confesses that these are former lovers, immortalized in paint, and remarks that Christopher would outshine them all. Boldly, Christopher accepts Michael's tacit invitation to his bed and is swept into a new world of sensual pleasure. But when he discovers a set of scrolls and a journal detailing an event in the castle dungeon's history, he finds that his lover may not be who he seems: Two hundred years ago, a curse was placed on the castle's count and two of his retainers. Can it be mere coincidence that their names were Michael, Rupert and Constantine?

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Silas Spencer had a gift, but potential lovers tended to bolt when he tried to explain that he could see and speak with 'displaced' spirits who needed guidance or help. He thought he'd found someone special in co-worker Josh Dalton, but Josh saw their night together as a moment of weakness he could never allow himself to repeat. When Josh's deceased mother appears to Silas asking for his help to make things right with her son, Silas can't bring himself to say no, even though it could lead to a badly broken heart.

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All it takes is one fateful phone call to change David's life: His ex-boyfriend is HIV-positive. Thinking back, it's all too easy to conclude he may have been exposed. With the support of his best friend Jason, David goes for testing, and the two weeks waiting for his results are a painful exercise in what ifs and what nows with only Jason – steady, calm, comforting Jason – to serve as a lifeline. There's no way to know what will happen. But David comes to realize that living is precious, and choosing the right person to love can help you make the best of the life you have.

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Summer Fever

Lazy Days of Summer
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I was looking forward to a relaxing, enjoyable vacation at my parents’ old house on the lake. No responsibility, no stress, and no entanglements, other than the odd one-night bang with a gorgeous guy (who preferably dresses left). When a cop pulled over to check on me, I was blindsided. Officer Russell Seavers was an absolute hunk – and I had to have him. Just once (or maybe twice), but no way was I in the market for anything serious. Just a quick slick grapple by the lake, a hop or two in the sack, and I’d be good. But one look at that body that just didn’t quit, oh God, that ass, and those dark, dark eyes, and I was afraid my summer fling might turn into something else, something I didn’t expect.

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Caden was a Foster; the most respected, most influential family in the county and one of the most prestigious in the state. Royce was the nephew of the town drunk, a boy no one expected to amount to anything. That hadn't kept them from a friendship that had deepened into love. Ten years ago, Caden had followed his father's expectations rather than his heart - and he'd regretted it every day since. But now Royce is back in town, and Caden has a second chance for the life – and love – he's always wanted.

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