Wednesday, January 27, 2021

New Release-Review & Excerpt: DRAGON DREAMS AND FAIRY WINGS by Bailey Bradford (Fire & Flutter #1) - Includes Giveaway!


Dragon Dreams and Fairy Wings
by Bailey Bradford

Book 1 in the Fire & Flutter series

Word Count: 58,252
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 252
Genres: EROTIC ROMANCE. FANTASY, GAY, GLBTQI

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Book Description

When one fairy with a faulty memory meets a snarky dragon, the supernatural world will never be the same.

Griff was born a Love fairy, but he never quite fitted in. He didn’t want to be part of a harem…at least he didn’t think so. What with his wings gone and his memory damaged, he can’t be certain of what he felt in the past. All he does know is he wants his wings back. Without them, he’s grounded.

Blaze is a dragon shifter who tends to stick his foot in his mouth—and some other parts in other places—when he really shouldn’t. His brother’s the king, and his sister-in-law is scary. Blaze’s last screw-up got him grounded, unable to shift into his dragon form. His punishment seems harsh to him, but there's no escaping it.

When the Love fairies come to the castle to work on forming an alliance, Blaze has about had it with guarding the horny beings, and he's disappointed that they don’t stay small and cute. Swatting at something buzzing him, he almost starts an inter-species war when it turns out to be a fairy on a dragonfly.

And from that snarky first meeting between Griff and Blaze, something wonderful, and dangerous, will come…

Publisher's Note: This book was previously released elsewhere. It has been revised and reedited for re-release with Pride Publishing.

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Excerpt

Blaze rubbed his shoulder where it still ached. He’d been lucky the whip had only caught him a glancing blow, otherwise he’d really be in pain.

Of course, even being whipped would be better than his punishment of not being allowed to fly. Or shift. Being stuck in the puny human form and dependent on two scrawny legs just sucked troll balls.

That imagery almost made Blaze gag. Trolls smelled really bad, worse than the dragon dumping grounds—and if anyone needed an explanation for what that area was, they didn’t have a nose.

Plus, trolls were ugly. It was part of them being trolls and all. They also tended to have large, pendulous balls that swung down close to their ankles.

Blaze did gag then, pressing a hand against his stomach. He had to get his mind out of the troll gutter.

“Hey, freak, heard you got your powers taken away, all for a piece of ass.”

Blaze glared at Bort. “Oh, yeah. Your dad wasn’t worth it.”

“My—” Bort’s eyes glowed red, and smoke gusted from his nostrils. “I’ll bake you, you f*cking freak!”

Blaze kept his trembling inside. He’d learned not to show any fear to bullies. “Go ahead. King Fyre will be thrilled with you. You’ll look great on a spit.”

“You think just ’cause your brother’s the king means…”

Blaze arched an eyebrow at Bort—which he knew looked cool, because he’d practiced it until he had it perfected and he knew how awesome that one arched eyebrow thing was. “It pretty much means he’ll toast you if you lay a hand on me.”

The only reason the guy who’d hit Blaze with a whip wasn’t dead was because Blaze had kind of deserved it. Kind of, because he hadn’t known Valdez was married to another man. Otherwise, Blaze wouldn’t have f*cked him. Probably. Blaze’s morals were questionable at times, but only because he was so desperate for someone to touch him.

“Right, whatever,” Bort drawled. “You’ll probably cook yourself anyway and save all the good dragons the trouble. Crazy Blazy.” He cackled and flipped Blaze off with both hands.

Probably with his toes, too, but Blaze didn’t think to check. Instead he watched enviously as Bort shifted into a gorgeous teal and gold dragon.

Bort blew a stream of fire right past Blaze’s head, then flapped his mighty wings and flew off. A rancid scent lingered in the air.

Blaze sighed and touched his hair that Bort had just singed. Everyone was going to think he’d done that to himself—again. Even though he was grounded, assumptions would be made that he’d done something stupid to burn his own hair, and rumors would fly. He’d have to worry about that later, if at all. Right now, he had to deal with a bully. Blaze really missed being able to shoot flames.

It was true that he couldn’t control his fire, and he could be dangerous. He hadn’t killed anyone on accident, yet, though. “Sheesh.” Blaze sniffed and fanned the air around him. It was no use. The smell was on his head. He could fan all day, and it wouldn’t make any difference.

Resigned to walking all the way back to his nest—which meant heading through the center of the dragon city, since he could no longer fly—Blaze prepared himself for the looks and murmurs. People would be talking about him more than usual today. He ought to be used to such stuff, but the truth was, it always hurt.

Even so, when he heard the buzz of conversations around him, Blaze held his head up high, despite the burnt hair. He hoped everyone gossiping about him got a snoot full of the noxious odor.

* * * *

“Where did I put my shoes?” Griff fluttered as much as a fairy without wings could as he looked for his soft purple shoes. Surprisingly, he could flutter a lot, although that translated into gestures with his hands and much twitching on his behalf.

“Did Egregio eat them?” Gia asked, hovering above him.

Griff glared at her. “Could you maybe not do that? I already feel like a complete loser without my wings.” Who knew they could be knocked off you? Griff hadn’t, and it’d come as a shock to the other fairies in his frolic. Of course, Love fairies weren’t exactly brainiacs. They were more into the sensual than the mental. For brains, people looked to the Genius fairies, though good luck to anyone wanting help from those snobs. They didn’t speak to anyone with an IQ under one-sixty—which left out most of the magic world.

“Sorry.” Gia floated down and grimaced. “Ick. How can you tolerate standing all the time? My legs don’t like it. It’s work. It’s so much easier to fly, or—” She smirked.

“Don’t go there.” Griff knew his own kind through and through. As a Love fairy, he shouldn’t be bothered by hearing about his sister’s sexual escapades. Maybe he was just jealous. “Keep your sordid stories to yourself.”

Gia crossed her eyes at him. “Please. How did a prude get hatched into our frolic?”

“I’ve asked myself that a thousand times,” Griff muttered. “Aha!”

“Aha what?”

Griff knelt and stuck his hand under his bed, then reached farther. “I swear to the gods, Egregio, if you bite me, I will feed you to the dragons.”

“Rawr!” It sounded more like a whine than not.

Griff ducked his head and looked at the catterwaul under his bed. Much like the human-world cat except with two legs and large, hairy toes, and fangs the size of Griff’s index fingers, the beast was rather fierce-looking.

“I’m not joking. Last time you bit me, it got infected. You’re lucky I didn’t toss you out then.”

Beady red eyes glowed at him. “Rawr rawr rawr.”

“Yeah, you’re sorry now.” Griff wiggled his fingers. “Give me my shoes.”

The purple shoes were tossed at him while Egregio continued to vocalize.

“I know, I know, they’re pretty. That’s why I like them, too. Now if you’re good, and you keep the dung beetles away for a whole week, I’ll see about getting you your own shoes.” Catterwauls were great to have as long as they were loyal. Sometimes they forgot that, though.

A few more rawrs and Griff was pretty sure he had his catterwaul vowing to fight off the shiny green beetles that migrated through the area on the way to the dragon dumping grounds. Griff hoped so. The buzz of beetle wings always left him with serious headaches as well as memories of the worst time in his life.

“Okay, got my shoes on, Gia. Now we can go…” Griff spun around, looking for his sister, but no. She had left the mushroom’s interior at some point. “Great. Great! Now how am I going to find my way to where my wings might be?”

Griff couldn’t remember things like he should have been able to. The hit he’d taken from a human’s fly swatter had cracked his skull, knocked off his wings and almost killed him. His memory hadn’t been right ever since, but he was lucky to even be alive.

Although the term lucky was relative. If he couldn’t find his wings, what point would there be to life?


Carra's Review

I love stories with dragons, so this one was an obvious choice for me to add to my reading list.  Poor Blaze though can’t shift into his dragon form and had his fire taken away thanks to an indiscretion with someone he shouldn’t have fooled around with.  He’s pretty down on himself, and his brother’s wife (AKA the queen) just makes that worse.  I was definitely not one of her fans, to the point where I would have loved to give her a piece of my mind.


Then we have Griff, a fairy who had his wings ripped away thanks to a supposed encounter with someone on the human side…or at least he thinks that’s what happened since he can’t remember.  Griff seems like an innocent guy at first, almost prudish, which is kind of contrary to the fact that he’s a Love fairy, and they’re known for their sensual, free-loving ways.


Once these two meet, from that point on it’s like their relationship becomes this runaway freight train that starts and just barrels on right through everything else.  The story is heavy on the physical intimacy between them, and while quite descriptive those scenes also come across as kind of beautiful in regards to the images they evoked.


There were some points where the characters’ maturity level felt a bit lacking, but this was countered by the vividly detailed action and dramatic scenes, particularly once Blaze and Griff’s quest starts to come to a head.


Overall, this was about a 4-star read for me, and I was intrigued enough that I’ll be looking for any other books in the series.  This story is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and explicit sexual content.


About the Author

Bailey Bradford

A native Texan, Bailey spends her days spinning stories around in her head, which has contributed to more than one incident of tripping over her own feet. Evenings are reserved for pounding away at the keyboard, as are early morning hours. Sleep? Doesn't happen much. Writing is too much fun, and there are too many characters bouncing about, tapping on Bailey's brain demanding to be let out.

Caffeine and chocolate are permanent fixtures in Bailey's office and are never far from hand at any given time. Removing either of those necessities from Bailey's presence can result in what is known as A Very, Very Scary Bailey and is not advised under any circumstances.

You can follow Bailey on Facebook here and Twitter here.

Giveaway!

Enter to win a fabulous gift package and a FREE Bailey Bradford romance book!

Bailey Bradford's Dragon Dreams and Fairy Wings

BAILEY BRADFORD IS GIVING AWAY THIS FABULOUS PRIZE TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A LOVELY GIFT PACKAGE AND GRAB YOUR FREE BAILEY BRADFORD ROMANCE BOOK! Notice: This competition ends on 9th February 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.


Cover Reveal & Teaser: AN ECHO IN THE SORROW by Hailey Turner (Soulbound VI)

Cover Reveal & Teaser 


An Echo in the Sorrow

by Hailey Turner

 

Series: Soulbound 6

Publisher: Self-published

Release Date (Print & Ebook/Audio): March 1, 2021

Length (Print & Ebook/Audio):  117,943 words

Subgenre: LGBTQ Urban Fantasy

Warnings: None

Cover artist: AngstyG LLC


Pre-order link:


AMAZON



Book blurb


Forgiveness is a hollow prayer you only hear in your dreams.

 

Patrick Collins has spent years handling cases as a special agent for the Supernatural Operations Agency, even as his secret standing in the preternatural world has changed. He should have confessed to his role as co-leader of the New York City god pack when he and Jonothon de Vere took up the mantle months ago, but he didn’t. Now that split loyalty will cost him at a time when he can least afford it.

 

Outmaneuvered, framed for murder, and targeted by the Dominion Sect, Patrick has to face a past full of lies to regain his freedom. Revealing the truth means he’ll need to give up the life that has defined him. Everything he’s fought to build with his pack is at stake, and losing them isn’t a price Patrick is willing to pay, but some choices aren’t his to make.

 

Jono knows they can’t cede any more territory if they want to win the god pack civil war spilling into the streets of New York City. But the souls of werecreatures are free for the taking when demons come to town and angels sing a warning no one can ignore. When Jono’s worst fear comes to life, and he loses the one person he can’t live without, the only option left is to fight.

 

Facing down the demons of their past and the ones in their present, Patrick and Jono will learn the hard way that some sins never wash away clean.

 

An Echo in the Sorrow is a 118k word m/m urban fantasy with a gay romantic subplot. It is a direct sequel to On the Wings of War. Reading the first book in the series would be helpful in enjoying this one.

Exclusive Cover Reveal teaser:


Jono bit lightly at his bottom lip, the faint sting making Patrick’s c*ck twitch with interest. “Not going anywhere. Won’t let you go either.”

Patrick couldn’t bring himself to voice the fear that he might, and so kissed Jono again, because that was better than thinking about everything in his life he couldn’t control. Jono let Patrick set the pace of the kiss—quick and hard, needy in a way Patrick only ever was with him.

Jono responded with just as much want, but the touch of his hands was careful and soothing against Patrick’s body. One slid down his thigh and curled around the back of his knees to hike his leg over Jono’s hip, pulling them flush together. Their c*cks slid against each other, and the dry friction drew a groan from Patrick.

“Gonna make a mess of you,” Jono promised.

Patrick hummed agreement, in no way capable of arguing against that. Jono had f*cked him every single day since he’d been released from prison. Patrick couldn’t smell the scent of Jono on his own skin, but he didn’t care. It was a mark that he was pack, and he’d never say no to that or to Jono.

They both had a day packed with meetings, but in the soft morning light of their bedroom, their responsibilities faded away in favor of slow kisses, shared breath, and the warm slide of Jono’s slick fingers jacking them both off together. It was easy and warm and gentle, Jono in no hurry even when Patrick pressed biting kisses against his collarbone.


About the Author


Hailey Turner is a big city girl who spoils her cats rotten and has a demanding day job that she loves, but not as much as she loves writing. She's been writing since she was a young child and enjoys reading almost as much as creating a new story.


Connect with Hailey Turner: 

Newsletter:  You can keep up with Hailey's future projects by joining her newsletter, where you can instantly download several free short stories:  http://bit.ly/HaileyTurnerNews


Facebook Group - Instagram - Facebook Profile - BookBub - Facebook Author Page - Pinterest - Goodreads - Website

 


Monday, January 25, 2021

Cover Reveal & Excerpt: THE ELVEN KING'S CAPTIVE by Devon Vesper (Fated Elves #1) - Includes Giveaway!

The Elven King's Captive Banner

Cover Reveal, Excerpt & Giveaway:

The Elven King's Captive

 by Devon Vesper

The Elven King's Captive

Fated Elves, Book 1

An omega elven king finds his alpha. Unfortunately, he's human.

Casersis Ardal, the former Sun King, is a First Generation elf of over three million years. He meets his match in Dustin Juniper, a twenty-year-old human construction worker.

Dustin has been in charge of his whole life since he was sixteen. But when he meets Casersis, destiny strips all his control away. His body, his heart, his whole world change when he comes into contact with a magical amulet and starts changing species. And falling in love with an ageless elven king makes him question everything.

Casersis has been alone on earth for millennia. Having a burgeoning elf around brings feelings he isn't comfortable with. But he can't let Dustin go. If the humans find out Dustin isn’t human, Dustin would become a science experiment. The only option Casersis has is to keep Dustin captive. He must protect Dustin from himself as the young man fights Casersis—and fate—every step of the way.

If they want to be together, Casersis and Dustin must find a way to compromise. Once in a lifetime takes on new meaning when you live forever.

This 73,000-word non-shifter omegaverse novel is set in a world where mpreg (male pregnancy) is a fact of life, however this series does not end with a baby or pregnancy.

Pre-order Universal Link

Find Devon to Goodreads

Coming Feb 5

Exclusive Excerpt

I snatched my hands out of my pockets, thrust them out before me to regain my balance. Tried to stop my forward momentum. Just as I thought I’d eat the limo driver’s elbow, and possibly the sidewalk, my palms met a well-muscled chest covered in the softest fabric I’d ever touched, and something cold and tingly pressed into the fingers of my right hand.

The man caught me by the biceps and gently righted me, as if I wasn’t street scum, as if I hadn’t just tried to plow the man down. He waited until I had my balance, and when I looked up into the man’s startling blue eyes, I gasped. My wits finally returned to me, and I nearly vomited the apology, “I’m so sorry! I wasn’t watching where I was going.”

The man narrowed his eyes as if he heard the lie in my voice. But he said, “It’s all right. I remained where I was so you wouldn’t sprawl straight onto the floor of my car.” His voice was as silky and deep as a calm ocean. It flowed over me and left a pleasant tingle in its wake. Concern and something else I couldn’t name shone in the man’s intense blue eyes. “Are you all right?”

I shivered, both from the autumn chill and from the smoky quality of the man’s sensual voice. My right hand started to burn, and I cradled it against my chest as I replied, “I don’t know how, but I think I burned my fingers on something.” I knew it was impossible, but my fingers hurt.

With a tender touch, the man teased my hand out of my death grip and tickled my fingers until I reluctantly unclenched my fist. As he examined them, he lightly brushed the pads of his fingers over my calluses and tutted to himself. “It does not appear to be a burn, but you are, indeed, injured.”

Great.

Something dark flashed in the man’s eyes when he looked back up at me. He didn’t let go of my hand, but his grip remained gentle. Firm enough to keep me from pulling away, but he wasn’t being forceful. Yet.

I stared at my hand in his as the ridges of the man’s necklace appeared on my fingers as if I were branded by it. And as the design completed, the world tilted.

Everything spun. The bright streetlights and setting sun dimmed, and the world went black. I fell, or could feel myself falling, but before I hit the ground, strong arms caught me and the last thing I felt before darkness completely overtook me was being cradled against the beautiful man’s soft-as-clouds sweater and his breath tickling my ear as his voice echoed around me, “All will be well, young one. Come back to me.”

And I wished I could.

“Come back to me,” his voice echoed.

BookBrushImage716


Enter the Giveaway:

To celebrate the magical cover reveal of Devon Vesper's upcoming The Elven King's Captive, we are giving away 3 advanced e-copies before it's release!

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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IG Sized Cover Reveal


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About the Author:

I’m a mother, furbaby spoiler, and a girl who can’t get enough of pretty, pretty boys. As a kid, I traveled the world, too young to appreciate the gift I was given, but now those adventures spur on stories that my brain just can’t keep up with. Well, my brain tells me it keeps up just fine, but my fingers are the slow ones. I’ll let you decide. But the boys, man. The boys I remember make my heart sizzle looking back on them. Being a kid at nude beaches, I never cared, but looking back on those memories of Sicily, WHEW! There are some really great childhood images that I wish I could have been an adult to savor.Home is some place I call “rustic”. I’m used to large cities, stores everywhere, gas stations on every corner. Here in rural Pennsylvania, it’s rustic and beautiful. And quiet. Too quiet. With all this quiet, all there is to do is write stories, and let the hot men in my head out to play. We all benefit, yes? I like this development. The only thing I dislike about this rusticness is the fact I can’t find a coffee shop that sells a proper chai latte. They make it from powder. Ew. This makes for a disgruntled Dev. Ugh. I miss my chai.

Most of all, I am a down-to-earth southern girl at heart from spending 16 years in Florida. If you chat with me, you’ll hear endearments like darlin’, sweetheart, and hon/hun/hunnie. It’s who I am, and if we chat, you’re almost instantly family, so get used to it.

Connect with Devon:

Facebook - Facebook Group - Instagram - Twitter - Pinterest - Amazon - BookBub


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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Cover Reveal & Pre-Order: BREAKAWAY by Kindle Alexander


Breakaway
Author: Kindle Alexander
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: February 9, 2021
Cover Design: Reese Dante Designs



Greer Lockhart set out to save the world from itself when he organized his first beach cleanup at the age of twelve. Now, as a uber-successful venture capitalist for eco-friendly startups, he doesn’t let anything get in his way—whether personal or professional. When a new fitness app schedules a site-wide cycle race, Greer’s competitive side won’t let him back down. Not even when his undivided attention turns to the one racer he can’t beat: Biker101.

Dallas Reigns learned a long time ago to keep his head low and his focus forward. He gives his all to a business he started with his brothers, BikeBro. But he worries his all might not be enough if they can’t gain traction before their financial ship sinks. A chance meeting with a hard-hitting venture capitalist is just what they need. Until his resistance is tested when the striking blond man shows interest in more than just his company, challenging all Dallas’s etched-in-stone boundaries.

When the illusion of Dallas’s life threatens to crumble under the weight of his own desire, can he find a way to fortify his iron will, or will Greer help him breakaway from the restraints of his past?











Best Selling Author Kindle Alexander is an innovative writer, and a genre-crosser who writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and erotica in both the male/male and male/female genres. It's always a surprise to see what's coming next!
I live in the suburbs of Dallas where it's true, the only thing bigger than an over active imagination, may be women's hair!
Usually, I try for funny. Humor is a major part of my life - I love to laugh, and it seems to be the thing I do in most situations - regardless of the situation, but jokes are a tricky deal... I don't want to offend anyone and jokes tend to offend. So instead I'm going to tell you about Kindl
I tragically lost my sixteen year old daughter to a drunk driver. She had just been at home, it was early in the night and I heard the accident happen. I'll never forget that moment. The sirens were immediate and something inside me just knew. I left my house, drove straight to the accident on nothing more than instinct. I got to be there when my little girl died - weirdly, I consider that a true gift from above. She didn't have to be alone.
That time in my life was terrible. It's everything you think it would be times about a billion. I love that kid. I loved being her mother and I loved watching her grow into this incredibly beautiful person, both inside and out. She was such a gift to me. To have it all ripped away so suddenly broke me.
Her name was Kindle. Honest to goodness - it was her name and she died a few weeks before Amazon released their brand new Kindle ereader. She had no idea it was coming out and she would have finally gotten her name on something! Try finding a ruler with the name Kindle on it.. It never happened.
Through the course of that crippling event I was lucky enough to begin to write with a dear friend in the fan fiction world of Facebook. She got me through those dark days with her unwavering support and friendship. There wasn't a time she wasn't there for me. Sometimes together and sometimes by myself, we built a world where Kindle lives and stands for peace, love and harmony. It's its own kind of support group. I know without question I wouldn't be here today without her.
Find out more by visiting www.kindlealexander.com or email me at kindle@kindlealexander.com



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Friday, January 15, 2021

New Release & Giveaway: THE WORLD ACCORDING TO LIAM by V.L. Locey





Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Length: 51,662 words 

According to Liam Series

Book #1 - Life According To Liam - Buy Links
Book #2 - Christmas According To Liam - Buy Links
Book #3 - Love According To Liam - Buy Links

Blurb

When you see the world through the eyes of a child, there’s magic everywhere.

And crumbs. Lots of crumbs…

But that’s not going to stop Mike and Bryn Kneller from traveling with their nephew Liam at their side. Not that deciding to take the lad to visit Bryn’s homeland was an easy decision for the two recently wedded men despite how much they adore the boy. This trip was supposed to be a romantic anniversary trip after all.

However, life, as it does, tends to lead us down a path of its own choosing. Combining an unexpected announcement from a family member with the not-so-subtle pleadings of Bryn’s parents, the decision was made. With lots of hand sanitizer and a heaping helping of patience, the journey begins, leading Bryn and Mike to discover a great deal about themselves, their marriage, and their plans for the future.



USA Today Bestselling Author V.L. Locey – Penning LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures.

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.


GIVEAWAY!



Wednesday, January 6, 2021

New Release-Review & Excerpt: DEMON'S WISH by Xenia Melzer (Demon Mates #1)

Demon's Wish 

by Xenia Melzer

General Release Date: 5th January 2021

Format: EBOOK

Word Count: 53,035 

Book Length: NOVEL Pages: 201

Genres:

ANGELS AND DEMONS, COMEDY AND HUMOUR, CONTEMPORARY, EROTIC ROMANCE, GAY, GLBTQI, PARANORMAL

Add to Goodreads


Book Description

Finding love is hard—especially when you’re a demon and your potential mate is your sacrifice…

Sammy is content with running his bookshop and leading a book club consisting solely of paranormal creatures. Despite the persistence of his friends, he has resolved himself to a life without romance, since he doesn’t think anybody could find him and his tendency to spill useless knowledge whenever he gets nervous attractive.

Dresalantion is a demon prince and slightly—make that majorly—annoyed when somebody persistently tries to summon him. He finally decides to show up and put the fear of Dresalantion into his summoners but finds himself rescuing their sacrifice instead.

Sammy intrigues him from the get-go, and when Dre realizes that Sammy can get him the manga he’s been hunting for months—not to mention that he refuses a wish he offered him—the sexy demon decides to get to know this fascinating man better. Much better.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of kidnapping and an attempted human sacrifice. 

Excerpt

“Is everybody set?”

Sammy looked around the group of people gathered in his bookstore. It was Wednesday, which meant there would be a book club meeting after closing hours. Their little group met at least twice every month to discuss books and interesting topics related to books, and Sammy loved it. It had formed half a year after he had opened his shop, Sammy’s Book Corner, and the participants had become something like a family to him, which he desperately needed after his parents had died five years before. He gazed around to make sure everybody had their stash of cookies—this time provided by Mavis and Maribell, the two witches—along with their favorite drink.

The delicious smell of freshly baked cookies mixed with the aroma of two hazelnut toffee lattes, the sharper tang of two Chai teas—heavy on the cinnamon—and his own hot chocolate before the familiar background scent of books, both old and new, made him once again congratulate himself on buying the fancy coffeemaker and establishing the little lounging area across from his cash counter. The members of their book club were seated on the four old couches around two low tables, getting comfortable.

Sammy was especially proud of this setup, since he had found all the furniture at flea markets and had given them each a do-over. The whiskey-colored leather couch hadn’t been much work. Just cleaning and treating the leather with a special balm had made the piece shine again. It now smelled faintly of beeswax, something that made Sammy crave a peppermint tea with honey every time he sat on it. The two chaises had required more effort. He had upholstered them and given them each a new cloth as well. Now customers could sit down on the colors of the rainbow to read their latest purchase. The last item was a lounger whose frame he had painted in pink then sprinkled with golden glitter for good measure. A turquoise throw made the piece stand out. One of the tables was covered in dots of various sizes and colors, and the other one had wall tattoos of Drogon and Smaug looking at each other on a black background.

Sammy was the first to admit that his artistic talent was closer to what a six-year old could produce than the fine artistry people with a real gift made, but he had done a good job with the furniture and his shop. Perhaps it was because he loved his little haven of books so much that it brought out the best in him. Except for the laptop in his office and the coffeemaker, nothing in the shop was new. Most everything had come from flea markets and garage sales, making for an interesting and charming mix of styles. Sammy had dedicated quite some time matching his books with the furniture. His antiques were stacked in open wardrobes that matched their age—or came close to it. The fantasy and science fiction books lived on shelves from IKEA, which he had sprayed silver. The romance books had found their home in old wooden wine crates that were clustered around the shop in small stacks of six to ten. Comics and manga were stashed in big boxes he had built from panoplies and painted in different hues of blue. The shop was Sammy’s idea of home, a feeling that seemed to convey itself, because most of his customers were regulars and loved hanging out in the place.

Sammy looked at his fellow book club members and adopted family and felt a brief shudder when he remembered their last meeting, where Amber the banshee had insisted on providing the baked goods. She might be four hundred years old, but just like every other banshee in the world, her baking skills were those of a blind man who had to find his way in a kitchen with both arms tied behind his back. Nonexistent. According to Emilia, the vampire in their group, this had something to do with their magic, which allowed them to pinpoint the exact time of death for every person. Apparently, the mixture of being able to look into the future without upsetting the balance of time and still warning people of their impending end didn’t go well with any kind of cooking. As to why exactly that was, Emilia couldn’t—or wouldn’t—tell. As the only human in a group of paranormals, Sammy had gotten used to not knowing everything. There was too much going on and he had learned soon after stepping into this world that ignorance truly was bliss in many cases where paranormals were involved. He would have preferred to know about Amber’s anti-talent in the kitchen, though, before he’d accepted her offer to bring snacks.

Per group vote, Amber had been banned from ever bringing sweets to the meetings again, even though Jon, the zombie living in the cellar under the bookshop, had later confessed to Sammy that the stone-hard lumps weren’t that bad, once one managed to get through the crust—the burnt, black crust that may or may not once have been sugar. Sammy swallowed hard. Just remembering the taste made his stomach revolt. And he hadn’t even been able to get to the core of the—he tried to find a fitting word for the deadly pieces of ballistic bakery and finally settled for ‘pastries’. Declan and Troy, the two werewolf alphas, as well as Emilia, had sharper teeth and more strength in their jaws, yet the looks on their faces when the crust gave way had been disturbing, to put it mildly.

“I don’t see what’s so different about these,” Amber declared with a pout while holding up a perfectly shaped chocolate chip cookie. Her pixie cut with the neon green hair went well with the huge, sapphire-green earrings, the thick golden chain with various amulets dangling from her neck, the five leather bracelets with Celtic runes etched into them and the approximately twelve rings she was wearing on her fingers. Compared to her jewelry, her outfit was plain—black skinny jeans, black sneakers and a black shirt with a sparkling unicorn on it, declaring Eat My Stardust, Suckers.

“The difference, my dear Amber, is that these cookies can be eaten without costing you a tooth. I’m so sorry to break this to you, but your baking skills are what I imagine Terry Pratchett had in mind when he created dwarf bread.”

Declan put one of the cookies in his mouth, munched on it with an expression of pure bliss on his ridiculously handsome face and gulped it down. He and Troy, who wasn’t there on that day due to business, looked like everybody’s wet dream. They were tall and had angular faces with chiseled jaws and sharp cheekbones, broad shoulders, slim hips, long, muscular legs and hair so thick and healthy that Sammy knew women would murder for it. Apparently, the good looks were part of the genetic makeup of shifters, but Sammy still found it almost offensive how perfect Declan and Troy were. Like two sides of a coin, one dark and dangerous, the other blond and…well, dangerous, they were a constant temptation for women and men alike. When they’d first joined the book club, Sammy had had some disturbingly hot dreams about threesomes with them and it had taken him almost four months until he had been able to put them firmly in the ‘friend zone’. It had helped—once they’d felt comfortable enough to relax during the meetings—to see their true selves. Because, no matter how perfect their looks were, the two werewolves were almost annoyingly arrogant and overconfident, as was typical for alphas—or so Sammy had been told by Jon. Their saving grace was a great sense of humor and their unusual choice of favorite book—Pride and Prejudice. After they had confessed this, nobody in their little circle was able to take them too seriously anymore, because how could somebody who loved the perfect book be a bad person? The posturing was just that—a fa├žade to frighten potential enemies away—and the paranormal world was full of those.

“Dwarf bread?” Amber lifted one of her meticulously plucked eyebrows, a hint of steel in her voice.

“Don’t take it to heart, dear. If you want, you can come over and maybe we can teach you how to get them right.”

Maribell smiled at Amber and patted her hand. The witch looked like a nice, elderly lady with her flower-print dress, the square handbag and the perfectly coiffed bun at the back of her head. Her thick black hair was infused with gray strands, and around her almond-shaped eyes—a heritage from her Asian father—laugh lines softened her features. Sammy knew better, though. Maribell reminded him of his first-grade teacher, Mrs. Smithson, who had been able to shut unruly pupils up with one stern look. Those who inspired her displeasure quickly learned that there was nothing worse than the wrath of a teacher provoked…except for the wrath of witches. And with Mavis and Maribell, the first lesson was also the last.

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Carra's Review

There’s just something about a book club consisting of paranormal creatures that is very appealing to me.  Sure, this one can cast a spell on you and that one can drain you dry, and the other one over there might eat you—or maybe just your brains—if given half the chance.  But later on they’ll meet up to discuss the role of the hero in modern literature or tropes that no longer work in the modern day.  Or maybe they’re all just as friendly outside the club as in.


What I loved was that even with their differences, they still get along and ALL of them consider Sammy family, even if he’s just a human.  And I also loved Sammy owning a bookstore—yeah, I’m a sucker for bookstore owners and librarians…it’s a book nerd thing.


The introduction of Dre, a demon, to the group is really the logical progression,  Gotta add diversity, right?  Dre is a great character, and he fits right in.  The undeniable connection between him and Sammy doesn’t hurt either, and that’s another thing I’m a sucker for—fated mates.


There is really no angst in the story, it’s primarily Sammy and Dre falling for each other and the development of their relationship.  Usually I thrive on relationship development so that was a good thing, but I could have used a touch of excitement too.  I still enjoyed the story though, and I’m looking forward to more in this series…like oh, say Dre’s brother ;-)


Demon’s Wish was a 4-star read for me, and if you’re a paranormal romance fan looking for a no-angst story this one will fit the bill.  


About the Author

Xenia Melzer

Xenia Melzer was born and raised in a small village in the South of Bavaria. As one of nature's true chocoholics, she's always in search of the perfect chocolate experience. So far, she's had about a dozen truly remarkable ones. Despite having been in close proximity to the mountains all her life, she has never understood why so many people think snow sports are fun. There are neither chocolate nor horses involved and it's cold by definition, so where's the sense? She does not like beer either and has never been to the Oktoberfest – no quality chocolate there.

Even though her mind is preoccupied with various stories most of the time, Xenia has managed to get through school and university with surprisingly good grades. Right after school she met her one true love who showed her that reality is capable of producing some truly amazing love stories itself.

While she was having her two children, she started writing down the most persistent stories in her head as a way of relieving mommy-related stress symptoms. As it turned out, the stress-relief has now become a source of the same, albeit a positive one.

When she's not writing, she translates the stories of other authors into German, enjoys riding and running, spending time with her kids, and dancing with her husband. If you want to contact her, please visit either her website, or write her an email.


Giveaway!

Enter to win signed/personalized copies of books 1 & 2 in the Club Whisper series and a $5.00 First For Romance Gift Code!


XENIA MELZER IS GIVING AWAY THIS FABULOUS PRIZE TO ONE LUCKY WINNER. ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN SIGNED/PERSONALIZED COPIES OF BOOKS 1 & 2 IN THE CLUB WHISPER SERIES AND A $5.00 FIRST FOR ROMANCE GIFT CODE! Notice: This competition ends on 13th January 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.