Fatal Games by Dulce Dennison


When a ghost from his past begins to haunt him, Griffin loses the only man he’s ever loved. Not one to be knocked down for long, he joins the local police department, donning the badge once more, determined to catch his lover’s murderer. But the killer isn’t done with him yet. When a rash of crimes breaks out, all targeting Griffin, he knows that his dates are numbered if he can’t catch the person responsible. With fellow officer, Garrett Peterson, aiding his investigation, Griffin knows it’s only a matter of time before he catches the killer. What he doesn’t count on are the developing feelings between Garrett and him. But how can be possibly make time for love when his life hangs in the balance?

EXCERPT
“You should take the day off,” Garrett said. “I’m sure the captain would agree if he were here.”

“You heard the paramedic. I’m fine. The burns are mild and won’t keep me from doing my job.”

“Would you quit being a stubborn S.O.B. and take some time to calm your mind and lay low for a day? The last thing you need to do is give him another shot at you while you’re rattled. Don’t make me attend your funeral. I don’t think I could take it.”

Griffin frowned. “If you’re trying to say something, just spit it out.”

“Dammit. Don’t you know how I feel about you? You can’t deny there’s an attraction between us. I know we haven’t been close before this case opened up, but I’ve always watched you. Not in a creepy stalker way, but in that desirous, gut churning way. I just never knew how to approach you. You’re kind of intimidating.”

Griffin was more than mildly surprised. He’d spent quite a bit of time with Garrett over the past few days and hadn’t noticed the other man’s attraction to him. He’d been so focused on the case that it had left little time for much else in his life. He was flattered a man as attractive as Garrett would be interested in him, but now wasn’t the time to start a relationship. He wouldn’t be responsible for another lover dying, and Griffin knew without a doubt that the killer would come after Garrett if he thought the man meant anything to him.

“You didn’t know, did you?” Garrett asked.

Griffin shook his head. “It isn’t that I’m not flattered, because I am, but now isn’t the time to start something. Not until this asshole is caught and behind bars—or dead.”

“I was afraid you’d say something like that. Like it or not, I’m glued to your side until this case is wrapped up. Which means I’ll be camping out on your couch.”

Griffin was shaking his head, but there was a determined look in Garrett’s eyes and he knew he would lose the battle. It seemed the man’s feelings were deeper than Griffin had realized, but it wasn’t something Griff could think about right now. He wasn’t sure he could ever allow himself to feel for another man again. It didn’t just feel like a betrayal to Justin’s memory, but he never wanted to put himself in the position of losing someone important to him. He didn’t think he could survive another loss like he’d experienced the day Justin died. It had damn near killed him. Only his determination to seek justice had given him the strength to carry on.

“Fine. But don’t expect me to like it.”

Garrett’s lips tipped up on one corner. “Wouldn’t dream of it.”

“I need to change. Then you can give me a ride to the station since it seems I’m without a ride until I can replace my car.”

Garrett leaned closer and sniffed. “You are a bit smoky.”

Griffin snorted and turned toward his house. He could feel Garrett’s presence behind him as he entered his home and left the door open for the other officer. If he was determined to play bodyguard, Griffin supposed he would have to let him. In his bedroom, he quickly stripped out of his uniform of jeans and a dress shirt, and pulled a clean set out of the closet. He pulled on his pants and slipped on his shirt. Leaving it hanging open, he gathered his boots and walked back to the living room. Through the open door, he could see his fellow officers milling around his yard as they examined the scene.

He felt Garrett’s gaze on him and he met the hazel eyes caressing his body. It hadn’t been an intentional temptation when he’d come in half dressed, but it seemed Garrett was taking it that way. Garrett stepped closer until their bodies were nearly brushing. Despite his intentions to hold the other man at bay, his heart sped up, leaving Griffin wondering if maybe he felt more for the man than he’d thought.

Garrett gripped the back of his neck and pulled him down for a scorching hot kiss, his lips rough and demanding as he took what he wanted. Griffin could have pulled away, could have put a stop to it, but as Garrett’s tongue flicked against his lips, he found himself opening, wanting more, needing Garrett’s taste on his tongue. He dropped his boots and his hands rose of their own volition, gripping Garrett’s waist and pulling him closer. So lost in the moment, Griffin didn’t care if someone saw them. It was no secret that he was gay and the guys on the force didn’t seem to have a problem with it. It was completely out of character for him to flaunt it though.

The deep, devastating kiss was both exploratory and fierce. Garrett demanded that Griffin give in to him and Griffin found himself powerless to do anything else. It was a long, drugging kiss, Garrett’s lips lingering as if he couldn’t bring himself to pull away. Garrett’s tongue thrust into his mouth again, dancing, curling, coaxing. The kiss turned seductive and Griffin couldn’t fight his body’s response to the other man. His cock stirred with interest and for the first time in six months Griffin wanted more than basic human contact: he found himself desiring another man, needing him with an urgency he thought he’d never feel again.

When Garrett finally pulled away, Griffin was panting, his heart hammering against his ribs, his body hard and tense, wanting a release that he knew wouldn’t come. Not yet anyway. After that kiss, Griffin knew if Garrett pursued the growing attraction between them that he would be powerless to turn the other man away. His body craved satisfaction, but now wasn’t the time. He wanted more than a quick tumble, wanted more than to just take the edge off.

“I’m not giving up on you, Griffin. We will finish this later. Count on it.”

Griffin swallowed hard and nodded. He’d always initiated any intimacy between Justin and him so Garrett’s aggression was different, and a definite turn on. He had a feeling they would fight for dominance in the bedroom, both of them alpha males and used to getting their way. With Garrett’s promise hanging in the air, Griffin quickly finished dressing and followed Garrett out of the house and to the waiting squad car.

Evernight Publishing | ARe

About the Author

With an overactive imagination and a penchant for making up stories, was it any wonder Dulce Dennison decided to be an author? From cowboys to shapeshifters, she has a story for them all, but her passion lies in writing m/m romances. Dulce believes in love in all shapes and sizes, and that everyone deserves a happily-ever-after.
Married since 2000 to a man she isn’t sure is quite human, her husband and children (whom she fondly calls the demon spawn) keep her busy, but never too busy to write. Is there such a thing as too busy to write? Most mornings you can find Dulce set up with her laptop, a cat curled up next to her, and a steaming cup of coffee just an arm’s reach away.
Find Dulce on Facebook, Twitter, or at her website.

His Undercover Lover by April Zyon

Blurb:

 

Working undercover either has its perks, or it has serious downfalls. For Megan Jenkins, working as a stripper to uncover the illegal activities happening in Massey, TX, was definitely not her idea of fun. If she’d wanted men to leer at her half naked self, she was pretty sure she could have come up with something a lot more entertaining. For herself at least.

She’s been driving him more than a little crazy since he came to town. Simon Markham isn’t the sort of man to give up though. As a Marine he understands the need for stealth, and is more than willing to let things play out but only to a point. When Megan’s case begins to show promise, and not the good kind, he isn’t willing to stand idly by any longer. Whether she likes it or not he plans on watching over her, each and every single inch if he has his way.

Things begin to unravel for the Mayor of Massey when Megan and Simon stumble onto new information. The man becomes so desperate he actually kidnaps her to ensure she can never speak of anything she’s learned. But Megan knows that Simon isn’t about to let the man get away with it. Her Marine will come for her, and God help anyone in his way.

Time is ticking, the noose is tightening, and the bad guys think they are free and clear. They didn’t count on the DEA, and one very determined Marine to put a serious dent in their plans.

Rescuing Megan hadn’t been in his grand plan to woo her, but Simon isn’t about to let anything get between him and the woman he loves. Come hell, or high water, he fully intends on marrying his undercover lover.

 

 

 

 

Excerpt for His Undercover Lover by April Zyon

 

 

Holding his cup up, he tipped his head to Mercy when she refilled his coffee. “Thank you,” he said. When she patted him on his head, he rolled his eyes.

Brant Carver, Mercy’s husband, was laughing into his own cup of coffee. His expression changed to something softer when Mercy moved closer to him. Lowering the cup, he let her fill it, tipping his face up for the kiss she dropped on his lips.

Unable to help himself, Simon rolled his eyes again. This time, he knew no one saw him do it. They were too into one another. Taking a drink of his coffee, he set the cup down, and then began to drum his fingers on the table top. As the kissing continued, he progressively got louder, and louder.

Finally, Brant pulled away and turned a glower on him. “Is there a problem?”

“Was trying to determine if I should go to another room or not.”

“Why would you?”

“Well, given past experiences, I figured you were about ten seconds from tossing her onto the table and stripping her naked. Or maybe stripping her naked, and then throwing her on the table. Little unsure on that part. But I knew the end result would be something seared into my memories for the rest of time.”

Simon shot Mercy a grin as she turned pink. Brant was a rather interesting shade of red as well, likely more pissed than embarrassed, though. “Just saying it like it is. We all know how you two are, and you asked me over here for a reason, so spill it so I can get back to helping Vic with whatever insane project he’s dreamed up today.”

Brant really didn’t look amused, but he did seem to agree getting down to business was best since he let Mercy go and faced Simon across the table. “I need a favor,” he said.

“Gee, like I didn’t guess that from the phone call I got.”

“Are you always this much of a smart ass? Rhys never once mentioned you were a smart ass.”

“Rhys doesn’t know everything about me, or any of the guys really. But he does know I have a tendency to be a smart ass when people behave like I’m an idiot that needs to be led around by the nose. Spit it out already, Brant, or I’m heading out and you can talk someone else into being the sucker to watch over Megan.”

Snorting at the stunned look he got from Mercy, and the barely there flinch from Brant, Simon sat back in his chair. “Really, you two? Anyone that’s been in this town for more than an hour, and pays even the slightest bit of attention, knows that something’s going down. The fact that I happen to know several people out in this neck of the woods has allowed me to draw my own conclusions.”

“Like what?” Brant asked suspiciously.

“Well,” he drawled slowly. “Like the fact she’s not actually a stripper. She’s an undercover DEA agent working on a case that happens to have deep roots in Massey. I know she’s been digging around looking at the mayor. She’s also looking to see what she can find in regards to drugs being funneled into and through Massey. She’s close, but she’s missing something. Otherwise, she’d already be out and on vacation instead of going into the club every single night to shake her nearly naked ass for singles.” Simon shot Mercy a quick look before focusing on Brant again. “I know you’re DEA, you’re also the agent in charge down here since being reassigned so you could be closer to Mercy. You have a number of big busts under your belt, several commendations, and narrowly avoided getting stuck on the hook from another bust when some wanker took a case from you and fucked it up royally. Got his dad, your boss at the time, fired as I recall.”

“Close enough,” Brant muttered.

“You can’t go in to keep an eye on her since everyone in town knows your face. That and the fact you’re married to her twin sister. Might raise more than a few brows, and it’s not something you want getting around. Plus, given the smarts of the folks in Massey, they’d soon clue into the fact that you weren’t there to watch the girls but because of your job. Questions would then be raised, and if spoken of in the wrong place, the whole operation would go tits up, as it were.”

Brant grunted at him, and crossed his arms over his chest.

Taking it as a sign to continue, Simon took a sip of his coffee. “Good brew, by the way, Mercy,” he said. “So you want me, a single guy, new to town, to go in and keep an eye on her. It won’t seem too strange if I’m hanging around, especially given the fact that Crank’s out of town visiting relatives, and Vic’s making kissy faces at his bride. I’m odd man out, and need to find something to fill my time with at night. How am I doing now?”

“Rhys never mentioned you were practically a mind reader either.”

“I’m not, but I know people. I’ve also taken a few behavioral courses from the Feds over the years. I also have degree in psychology. Never put it to any use, but I figured I could always use it if the military didn’t work out, or if I needed a career when I got out. I watch people, take note of what they say, and what they don’t say. Then I start adding it all together.”

“Well, you’re right on pretty much everything,” Brant told him.

“So what am I wrong on?” Simon asked.

“Not much, except the premise I’m asking you to take on. Given you are new to town, and have been seen with Megan a couple of times, I want you to go in as her new boyfriend. Unhappy with her working the club, but since she’s bringing in the big bucks and enjoys the money, you’re there to keep an eye on her while she does work.”

“Uh-huh,” Simon said. “And you’ve cleared this with Megan, right?”

The look on Brant’s face said it all. “Not yet,” Brant told him. “Wanted to see if you were up for the task first.”

Snorting, Simon shook his head, and closed his eyes to rub at his lids. “She’s going to shoot you, you do realize that, right?”

“Probably,” Brant said. Oddly, the man seemed pretty happy about the thought. Idiot.

 

To Find April

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Stone Chameleon by Jocelyn Adams

I met the lovely Jocelyn Adams on a writing site called Scribophile. I got the privilege of seeing first hand her weave The Glass Man. I love her imagination so I had to dive into this new series too and offer up my humble blog.

About the Author:

Jocelyn Adams grew up on a cattle farm in Lakefield and has remained a resident of Southern Ontario her entire life, most recently in Muskoka. She has worked as a computer geek, a stable hand, a secretary, and spent most of her childhood buried up to the waist in an old car or tractor engine with her mechanically inclined dad. But mostly, she’s a dreamer with a vivid imagination and a love for dark fantasy (and a closet romantic — shhh!). When she isn’t shooting her compound bow in competition or writing, she hangs out with her husband and young daughter at their little house in the woods.

You can catch up with Jocelyn Adams through these links:

Website  |  BlogFacebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Series:  Ironhill Jinn, book #1

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Publisher:  MuseItUp Publishing

Release Date:  May 24th, 2013

Blurb:

When a series of unusual murders point to Lou Hudson, Ironhill’s equal rights advocate, as the primary suspect, she has but one choice: find the real perpetrator before her trial begins or face execution.

Lou, the last of the jinn, survives by hiding her abilities after the rest of the elementals fell victim to genocide. As a preternatural pest exterminator and self-proclaimed guardian of the innocent, she’s accustomed to trudging through the dregs of society. Hunting down a pesky murderer should be easy, especially with help from the dashing and mischievous local media darling.

For Lou, though, nothing is ever simple. When she discovers the killer’s identity, to reveal it would unearth her secret and go against her strict moral code, resulting in a deadly catch twenty-two.

Excerpt:

When my legs would finally hold me upright—though I still couldn’t stop from snickering—I drew up my courage to face the consequences of my carelessness. A tug opened the door and brought me face-to-face with a smug-looking Amun Bassili. The sight of his laughing, dark-rimmed eyes—resembling those of a stunning Egyptian pharaoh—and the night-black curls falling across his brow stunned me into silence for a few breaths. When my mental cogs reengaged, and I realized the whole night had been thanks to him, a scowl rearranged my face.

“You!” With all my rage, and what I considered to be a sharp mind, and that was all I could come up with? Pathetic. I thrust an accusing finger at his face, but the momentum caused the rest of me to stumble into him.

His arms looped around my back. “There we go. Steady, now.”

After another round of gut-twisting laughter, my face blanked and I thrust my palms against the lapels of his black suit to push him away. “I don’t know what you’re playing at, but I want no part of it. I’ll be filing charges against you in the morning.”

I turned on my heel a little too fast, hopping sideways until I thumped against the wall. Although I’d certainly have a nice bruise in the morning, no pain registered beyond my sugar trip.

A funnel cloud surpassed me, out of which Mr. Bassili materialized as if he’d reassembled himself molecule-by-molecule from his feet to the top of his head, like wind blowing away a sand sculpture, only in reverse. Completely naked, he stood with a casualness that suggested he didn’t notice his lack of clothing. “And what charges would those be? Serving sugar to lady without her knowledge?”

My mouth gaped open until the hinges ached. Unwilling to hear what he’d said, I concentrated on what I’d seen—and tried not to see—as my gaze fought to have its own personal peep show at his magnificent body. Had it been another illusion brought on by the soda? Or had he truly turned into air, moved, and reappeared? “I uh…” Brilliant, Lou. Try as I might, I couldn’t come up with a single intelligible phrase to say about the situation. As I gaped at him, he pulled on his clothes from the pile near the bathroom door where he’d been standing before he blew away.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized he had me as far as the police went, but not with Isaac if it got back to Lord Grouchy Britches that his business partner had kidnapped one of his underlings. I smiled back at Mr. Bassili, crossing my arms and ankles in mock casualness as I leaned against the wall for support. “I’m sure the hive lord will love to know you captured one of his children to pull off this little charade.”

Mr. Bassili threw his arms wide in a gesture of innocence, his shirt still unbuttoned. My, but he was beautiful. “I did no such thing, on the soul of my mother, may lightning strike me dead if I should lie. Connor found the vampire in the maintenance room in the basement two days ago.” His posture relaxed, if only slightly, and he laughed. “I didn’t know he could squeal so very like a frightened girl.”

A scoffing sound came from down the hallway. “I did not squeal like a girl!”

Buy links:

Amazon.com  |  Barnes & Noble  |  MuseItUp Publishing

I had hoped to finish reading this book before the guest blog post dropped but time is a fickle mistress. However, I will say that Stone Chameleon has me hooked and lamenting I don’t have more time to read. I’ve read a little over a quarter of the book and the world Ms Adams has created is amazing. I hope her imagination keeps churning out wonderful worlds for me to discover. This is a recommended read, in my  humble opinion.