#ReleaseDay #Review: 4.5 Drops for Nachos & Hash by Brandon Witt

Title: Nachos and Hash Rekindled Flame
Brandon Witt
Series: Mary’s Boys 
Genre: M/M Contemporary, Erotic, Romance
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Angsty G
Release Date: January 25, 2017 
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook
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Purchase Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Darwin Michaels is living his dreams in the Mile High City. While Denver offers the perfect job, scrumptious dining, and whirlwind dating options, Darwin is losing hope he’ll find the right man to spark his interest for more than a one-night stand—until he sets eyes on Cody Russell.

Cody has just accomplished his life’s goal—get the hell out of Kansas. In one fell swoop, he lands a job at Hamburger Mary’s and gets a newfound family and the chance to be with other gay people! All that’s missing is someone special. But when Darwin shows his interest, Cody is sure it’s too good to be true. After all, what can Darwin possibly see in the high school dropout serving him nachos?

As Darwin falls in love, Cody struggles to realize his worth. When his past threatens the fragile life he is building, Cody spirals into a moment of dark desperation. But Darwin is determined to show Cody that love and family and home are there for him… will Cody accept what is offered?

Being as I live near a Hamburger Mary’s… okay, it’s an hour away, but as I’m in that town regularly enough to count, I’ve been there and love it enough that that was the selling point that made me want to grab this book. As if it being a Brandon Witt book wasn’t enough. I love Brandon and have had the immense pleasure of meeting him (he really is adorable and sexy all at the same time!) so grabbing his new story was a definite. What I found when I opened the pages was better than I even hoped for, though.

The setting was spot on. The Hamburger Mary’s was so well done that I felt as though I was sitting right there with them. Kept wondering if any of their drag queens knew ours, lol. The characters were developed and fully fleshed out to make this novella seem more like a novel without all the bulk or length—would love to know how he pulled that off, honestly.

The story itself was fun, fast paced, but not rushed. The couple was cute, the struggle real, and the threat… grr…. Yeah, let’s just say the HEA is well earned and well worth the read. This is a great start to a wonderful novella series set around the Hamburger Mary’s in Denver. And there’s even a teaser in the back for the next. Let’s just say, you’ll be hunting for the next before you even get that far. It’s that good.

Brandon Witt resides in Denver, Colorado. When not snuggled on the couch with his two Corgis, Dunkyn and Dolan, he is more than likely in front of his computer, nose inches from the screen, fingers pounding they keys. When he manages to tear himself away from his writing addiction, he passionately take on the role of a special education teacher during the daylight hours. I grew up in El Dorado Springs, Missouri for the first 18 years of my life. The day of my 18th birthday my mom, dad, brother, and I loaded up the cars and moved to Estes Park, Colorado.

I now live in Denver with my two perfect corgis, Dunkyn and Dolan. Growing up in an ultraconservative, Christian environment, then moving on to get my bachelors in Youth Ministry, I struggled with being gay for most of my life. This included five years in reparative therapy (ex-gay therapy), meeting one to three times a week. At the age of twenty-six, I finally accepted who God make me to be and never looked b
ack, and have never been happier. Each struggle, whether it be church, fearing damnation, heart shattering break-ups, and losing family to cancer and accidents, seems to make it’s way into everything I write, as well as a core of loving being alive. Life is hard, but man, is it ever wonderful! I’ve worked with children (ages 8-18) with emotional disabilities since 2000, first as a counselor in a residential treatment facility, and now as a special education teacher. During my sophomore year in high school, Ms. Hungerford introduced me to creative writing, and since that day, I’ve dreamed of being an author.

Having Elizabeth North offering a publishing contract was one of the most life-changing days of my existence. I now dream of being a writer full-time. My boyfriend, Stephen, is hoping for that as well, as he wants to tag alone on a world tour. Big dreams. Big dreams. Though my writing seems polarizing to many readers, both positive and negative, regardless of which of my books you choose, I pray that in its pages you find both the struggle and immense joy of life. I am humbled and honored by each person that reads my books. Thank you so much for making my dreams come true!

Website | The Witty Hour | Facebook | Twitter


5 Drops for BEAUTIFUL BOY by Grace R. Duncan

Title: Beautiful boy
Author: Grace R. Duncan
Genre: M/M Contemporary BDSM Romance
Published: November 20th, 2015
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Narrator: Joel Leslie
Edition/Formats: eBook, Print, & Audiobook
Purchase: Dreamspinner Press |
Amazon | ARe | Audible

Malcolm Tate hung up his flogger when his submissive sought out another Dom and landed in the hands of a serial killer. Convinced his lack of dominance sent his sub away, Mal has spent two years blaming himself for what happened. But when his best friend finally convinces him to go back to the local dungeon, Mal’s grateful. Especially when he wins beautiful, submissive, firmly closeted Kyle Bingham in a charity slave auction.

College grad Kyle hasn’t earned enough to move out of the loft his conservative, homophobic parents bought, much less to buy any of the other things still in their name. When he’s won at auction by the hot, amazing Mal, he’s shocked that anyone would want him. No one else seemed to—not his parents, his former Doms, or any of his disastrous dates.

But Mal does want him and Kyle lets his guard down, only to be outed to his parents. With his world crashing down, he must find a way to trust Mal—and their developing relationship—or risk losing everything.

Beautiful boy is well written, beautiful, engaging, and well… what can I say that won’t just be a plot rehash or give the good bits away? Truly, it’s a beautiful story of second chances, personal growth, finding that person that is perfect for you—not that the person is perfect, neither man is! They are simply perfect for the other.

In this story, Grace begins with two men who are lost. One to the pain of the past and the other to the fear his cold family uses to control him. She also explores S and M more than she has in her previous works, but in a positive way, no worries. It was wonderful to watch as each man grew and awakened to the needs of the other and themselves.

This is an intense and dynamic pairing that is perfectly written and powerfully charged. I would highly recommend this to any that love BDSM, especially S and M, restraint, denial, and just plain ole yummy D/s love.

I chuckled and stood, trying to decide what I wanted to do. It was so crowded, I wasn’t sure I’d find anyone to play with, even if I wanted to. I looked around but saw mostly straight couples sitting together.

Sammy pulled on me and I turned to her. “The dungeon isn’t as full,” she said, accurately reading my expression. “And the slave auction is starting in a few. You might want to go check it out. The slaves up for auction are in cages in the event area.”

“Okay. Are you guys coming in?”

“We’ll watch the auction, then probably look for a place to play.” She patted my hand and waved at the door. “Go! Find a pretty little twink to torture.”

I rolled my eyes, laughing at her word choice. It killed me just how much she knew about gay culture. Not for the first time, I wondered what she read on that Kindle of hers. I patted Cam’s head and turned to make my way through the crowd.

I didn’t usually go for twinks. There was a reason Blake and I spent plenty of time fucking. Something about having a big guy submit to me got my blood going.

Somehow I didn’t think there’d be a lot of big gay submissives up for auction tonight.

The change from the social area to the dungeon was almost jarring. Where the social room was loud, crowded, and warm, the dungeon was quiet, open, and cool. It was divided into two sections. The farthest section contained the play areas. The closer section—the one I stopped in—was for events, painted dark red and with a huge oriental rug on the
floor. One end held a low, small stage usually for demos, and the rest was normally empty.

Tonight, a guy in a suit was already on the stage, fussing with a microphone. To my left, a row of cages—taller than normal dog cages, but not by much—lined the wall. I counted six in all, all filled. On top of each cage, there was a card and, inside, a mostly naked person.

I stepped up to the first and looked at the card before turning my attention to the cage occupant. The man inside was older than me by a good twenty years. His hair was silver, and he wore a thong, a wide leather collar, and nothing else. He sat with his legs crossed and head down. While he wasn’t bad-looking, I didn’t usually go for that much older than me. I was slightly relieved when his card listed, along with a number of activities, a preference for women.

The next three cages held women, so I skipped those. Woman bits never interested me in the least. I liked my lovers with their genitalia on the outside.

The fifth cage made me stop. Smaller and a bit younger than I’d ever played with, he knelt, head bowed, hands clasped behind the small of his back. It was difficult to tell with him in that position, but I’d have guessed he was still plenty tall. His chest had lean muscle and his abs were tight, if not overly defined, which was what I liked. His legs had more muscles. I pegged him as a runner or swimmer. Soft brown hair hung over his face, and he wore nothing but a tiny black leather jock. He had rings in both nipples, and I could clearly see the outline of a PA in his dick, which looked quite substantial for his size, even flaccid.

On his card he’d listed service, impact, sensation, wax, and fire play as options, though what really caught my eye was in parentheses at the end: “Other options available within hard limits.” I was impressed that he was willing to enforce his limits. It listed his age as twenty-three. Eight years difference wasn’t that bad, not that it mattered for just a play session. But what really got me was the next line: “Preference: male Dominant.”

I squatted in front of his cage. “Boy, look up at me.” I put every bit of Dom I had into my voice.

He lifted his head immediately, and a shiver went through him. His gaze never went above my neck, and the show of submission called to every Dominant cell in my body. I wanted him. It was that fast and that simple, and it rocked me more than a bit.

It also let me know I did, in fact, know how to recognize submission. Maybe I’d just been blinded all those years by my knowledge of Blake. Maybe he’d been good at pretending. I didn’t know, but this boy looked a lot more honest, somehow. I pushed the worry off for later and considered him.

One look at him left me a little breathless. His round face had full cheeks, a tiny chin, and an almost button nose. He put me in mind of an elf or fae creature. I probably wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d had pointy ears. His green eyes filled his face, and his mouth… dear God, it was a mouth made for sucking cock. Full pink lips that I could tell he was struggling to keep from biting.

“Why do you prefer men, boy?” It was entirely possible he wanted to simply avoid sex, and I didn’t want misunderstandings. If it was just for that, I’d certainly play with him… then go home and jack off until I was sore. But I wanted it clear before we went into anything, and I could admit I was hoping that wasn’t the reason. Of course, I was assuming I’d win the auction, which I was pretty sure I could guarantee.

While I might not be called “wealthy,” I did more than all right for myself. My tech security firm had paid off my modest house early and made sure I had a good car at all times. I never had to worry about the lights getting shut off in the winter, like I had growing up. It had also allowed me to build up a tidy savings account, should anything go wrong.

I could afford to win this boy.

He blushed, and the color on his cheeks went straight to my dick. He swallowed and bit his lip. “I prefer men, Sir, because I’m….” He glanced up at me so quickly I’d have missed it if I wasn’t watching his green eyes. “I’m gay,” he finished softly.

Gay. Oh fuck, this boy was going to kill me. “In the closet?” I asked, taking the harshness out of my voice for the moment.

He nodded. “Yes, Sir. My family would disown me.”

I winced. My parents hadn’t understood, exactly, but they tried their best. I couldn’t imagine losing them over my orientation.

I wanted to ask more, but just then the guy on the stage tapped the microphone, and I realized the room had filled in around me while I was eyeing my boy.

That thought brought me up short. My boy. I shook my head at myself. I’d never actually collared Blake—we had one he wore for scenes, but it came off when it was over. I didn’t think of him as mine. That I had with this boy kind of threw me off.

I turned my attention to the emcee and listened to the rules. Every winner would sign a contract, promising to abide by hard limits and to keep the scenes “safe, sane, and consensual,” or at least within the realm of “risk-aware consensual kink.” He explained about payment, pointing to a lady at a table by the stage, then announced the first slave.

One of the Doms who helped run the dungeon stopped at the cage next to my boy’s. He released the girl and led her onto the stage. I didn’t pay much attention, except to listen to how high the bidding went. She topped off at five hundred, but I suspected that was because she was only the first of the night.

I stepped to the side when they led her off stage and then they came over to my boy’s cage. The Dom unlocked it and my boy crawled out. When he stood, he immediately set his feet shoulder width, straightened his back, and clasped his hands behind him at his waist. He glanced my direction briefly, then lowered his gaze to the floor. My cock twitched again.

I was thrilled to see he came up to just under my chin. I wasn’t the tallest man in the world, but I still had a respectable few inches on the topside of six feet. This made him just slightly smaller than me overall, and two years ago, I’d have laughed at someone suggesting I’d want a boy like this.

In that moment, however, I couldn’t imagine wanting anything else.

Something in those deep green eyes called to me, made my cock stand at attention and my stomach jump in a good way. His pale skin just begged me to leave lovely welts and pretty purple bruises on it. Those nipples were made to be tormented, the rings pulled on.

Oh yeah, he was mine. And I started to realize I was thinking far beyond winning the auction. Somehow, though it probably should, that thought didn’t bother me one bit.

Choices Turning His Life Around Devotion

Real, erotic, forever…

Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind. As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

 Amazon Author Page | Dreamspinner Press Page
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THE SCHOLAR’S HEART by Antonia Aquilante: 5 Drops #Review, #Excerpt, & #Giveaway

Title: The Scholar’s Heart The Scholar's Heart (Chronicles of Tournai, #3)
Author: Antonia Aquilante
Genre: M/M Fantasy Romance
Series: Chronicles of Tournai
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Release Date: May 30, 2016
Length: Novel (294 pages)
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Purchase Links: Dreamspinner Press ebook | Dreamspinner Press paperback | Amazon | AllRomance | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Apple

Youngest son of a royal duke, Etan is a scholar at heart who juggles his work for the prince with his studies of the history and legends of Tournai, something of particular interest to him because he shares the magical Talent that runs in the royal bloodline. Etan’s peaceful world turns upside down when his best friend—the man he secretly loves—unexpectedly marries a woman. Though Tristan values his friendship with Etan and has always been attracted to him, he is a dutiful son, raised to shoulder responsibility for the family business one day. That day comes far sooner than anticipated, and he makes a deathbed promise to his father to marry the woman his father chose and become head of the company and family.

A year later, Tristan is a widower with an infant daughter and a mother who demands he marry again quickly—something Tristan resists. Circumstances throw Etan and Tristan together, and even as they succumb to the desires they’ve always harbored, Etan battles his feelings, wary of being cast aside again. When Tristan’s daughter is kidnapped, Etan and Tristan must come together to find her, find the person responsible, and support each other through the ordeal… and maybe beyond.

The Scholar’s Heart was… in a word, wonderful. It is a story of love, pain, redemption, friendship, learning, and so much more. It is also one that teases the reader. It made me want to demand, when is book four coming? The author graciously has informed me that we only *cough* have to wait until November/December for the follow-up, and trust me, you will want it.

This is not just as story of romantic love, but one about family. Tristan has a baby daughter and has lost his wife tragically. While he didn’t love her, he did care for her, so this is a hard thing for him. His mother doesn’t make things easier for him. The blurb doesn’t do justice to how pushy and bullying his mother is about the idea of him remarrying.

Etan has loved Tristan for years now, as we all know. He however, pulled away when Tristan married. I can’t blame him, I would have too. But fate, tragedy, and maybe even their friends intercede and before long, they are faced with the truth. But has too much happened, too much time, too much pain, too much hurt. Can Etan trust Tristan? Can Tristan relegate himself, body and heart, to one man? And can they save Tristan’s daughter?

Thankfully, The Scholar’s Heart is an HEA, so yes, but it wasn’t easy getting there. And the things we learn…. The things we are teased with possibilities about…. The world building is again excellent and the characters well developed. The plot twisty enough to be enjoyable, the sex hot enough to require a fan or two, and the romance sweet and tangible enough that my heart hurt, squeezed, and raced for Tristan and Etan. Definitely a ReRead.

Several people milled around the small entrance hall, all strangers to Etan except Adeline, Amory’s sister. She moved gracefully around other people and dropped into a curtsy in front of Philip and Amory. The others in the room noticed the action and the princes in their midst and made their bows and curtsies as well. When Adeline straightened, Amory embraced her and Philip kissed her cheek.

“It’s good you’re here. I know Tristan will be glad to see friendly faces,” she said, reaching out a hand to Cathal and Etan, and then Flavian.

“How is he?” Amory asked. Etan was secretly happy he did, because it saved Etan from having to ask the question.

“A little overwhelmed, I think. With the arrangements, and between his family, Da
riela’s family, and the baby.” She shrugged. “I’m trying to help as much as I can.”

“You’re a good friend, Adeline,” Amory said, smiling and squeezing his sister’s hand.

“Oh, hush. Come, I’ll take you to him.” They followed Adeline’s slim figure, clad in a gown so dark a gray it was nearly black, as she walked farther into the house. People bowed or curtsied when they passed. Etan trailed at the back of the group, still flanked by Cathal and Flavian.

While conversation had been quiet in the entrance hall, it was hushed in the room where the coffin was, so much so that the quiet weeping of the older woman who was likely Dariela’s mother was clearly audible. She was in a chair in the corner, a small cluster of women around her, trying to comfort her.

The poor woman had lost her daughter far too young. But still Etan’s eyes sought out Tristan. He stood near the coffin. Etan was used to him shining with his bright blue eyes and his gleaming gold hair. Today Tristan seemed dulled, dragged down by fatigue and grief. Etan ached to make it better, to take some of the burden from his shoulders, to hold Tristan and comfort him, but he couldn’t. He steeled himself against the urge to do so.

They filed past the coffin on their way to pay their respects to Tristan. The woman lying there had been undeniably pretty in life. Etan didn’t know much else about her. In the months they had been married, Etan had done his best to spend as little time with Tristan, with or without his wife, as he could. Self-preservation on his part, giving himself the time to get over his grief and put away his love for Tristan. He hadn’t managed to get over all the hurt yet. And now she was dead. As much as he wished Tristan hadn’t married at all, as much as he wished Tristan returned the feelings Etan had had for him, he never would have wanted that for this poor woman. Etan’s unrequited feelings, his grief, hadn’t been her fault.

And he felt wrong standing at her coffin with her mourners after doing his best to avoid her for so long.


Tristan’s voice brought Etan out of his thoughts. The musical quality was muted now, but his voice still made Etan’s insides swoop around dizzyingly. As it always had. He ruthlessly ignored the feeling.

“Tristan, I’m very sorry for your loss.”

Tristan nodded. “Thank you for coming.”

The words were stiff, formal, completely different from the words they used to exchange back before Tristan had married. Back when they had been close friends and Etan had reason to hope for more someday.

“Of course.” Yes, of course, Etan would come today to pay his respects after Tristan’s wife died, but Tristan couldn’t have known that, not after he had distanced himself from Tristan and their friendship as much as possible in the almost year of Tristan’s marriage. Guilt stirred inside him, just a little.

As Tristan stared at him, Etan struggled for the polite words he should say in this situation, but he couldn’t seem to find them. He’d been brought up to know what to say in every social situation, but all of that training failed him now. Not that he thought Tristan was waiting for meaningless social niceties. No, Tristan had to expect something more from someone who had been his friend, and Etan should give him that because it wasn’t Tristan’s fault Etan’s heart was broken, not really. But Etan couldn’t find the words.

Thankfully, Amory stepped up, filling the silence with all the words Etan couldn’t conjure up. And that was best. Amory had been Tristan’s closest friend since childhood, was someone Tristan had probably been more than a little in love with. Maybe still was, for all Etan knew.

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The Prince's Consort (Chronicles of Tournai, #1) The Artist's Masquerade (Chronicles of Tournai, #2) The Scholar's Heart (Chronicles of Tournai, #3)

Antonia AquilanteAntonia Aquilante has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and at the age of twelve, decided she would be a writer when she grew up. After many years and a few career detours, she has returned to that original plan. Her stories have changed over the years, but one thing has remained consistent – they all end in happily ever after.

She has a fondness for travel (and a long list of places she wants to visit and revisit), taking photos, family history, fabulous shoes, baking treats which she shares with friends and family, and of course reading. She usually has at least two books started at once and never goes anywhere without her Kindle. Though she is a convert to ebooks, she still loves paper books the best, and there are a couple thousand of them residing in her home with her.

Born and raised in New Jersey, she is living there again after years in Washington, DC, and North Carolina for school and work. She enjoys being back in the Garden State but admits to being tempted every so often to run away from home and live in Italy.

She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the New Jersey Romance Writers, and the Rainbow Romance Writers.

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

5 Drops Review: Darkness Threatening by Dirk Greyson

Title: Darkness Threatening
Dirk Greyson
Yellowstone Wolves
Genre: M/M, Paranormal Romance, Shifters
Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Feb 3, 2016
Available In: eBook & Print
Book Links: Amazon |
Dreamspinner Press | ARe

Fredrik is back from college and trying to stay out of his power-hungry brother’s way, until his brother takes a prisoner for his pleasure. Unable to tolerate his family’s cruelty, Fredrik overcomes his fear to help her escape back to her pack. There, he meets Christopher, and their instant attraction tells him Christopher is the one. However, since the threat of his brother remains, Fredrik is reluctant to pursue a relationship.

Christopher is still figuring out his place in the pack and has been living on his own to avoid making waves with his brother, Mikael. Now he’s met his soulmate, and he’ll do anything to take care of his love, including rejoining the pack.

With coaxing, Fredrik accepts his feelings, and Christopher’s pack gives him the home he’s never had. But Fredrick soon realizes he should keep running. His brother is on his tail and will stop at nothing to obtain the power he craves, especially when he realizes the source of the power could be Fredrik himself.

Let me begin by saying that I loved book one, Challenge the Darkness. This book picks up not long after Challenge ends. Unfortunately for Fredrik, his brother—the new ‘alpha’ is unstable, cruel, and possibly even sicker than his father had been. When he makes the split second decision to rescue a young girl and escape at the same time, Fredrik’s world is turned around and on its ear all at the same time.

The life Christopher wants isn’t working out so well. He’s returned from college, he’s the pack alpha’s brother, things should be smooth sailing… right? Unfortunately, no. He can’t find his way or his place, until the younger brother of the sworn enemy of the pack shows up with their missing pack member.

The writing is smooth, the plot grabs you and won’t let go, and the characters…. The world is rich and fully realized, the characters, both main and secondary, are well developed and thought out, and the logic and reasons for everything are solid. I found myself up half the night, refusing to put the Kindle down until I had devoured every page and then had to go back and reread book 1 just because I wanted to relive the alpha couple’s story thanks to seeing them again so much.

This is a sold and passionate shifter story with bite and love. If you like your romance to have some kick-ass men and to steam up your sheets, then this is the perfect story and series for you. A must read!

“Everyone, let’s get back to the compound,” Alpha Volokov called, and the pack members moved toward the other vehicles. It was a tight squeeze, but everyone got in. Fredrik wasn’t sure where he should ride, but Alpha Volokov motioned to the front of a Volvo wagon, so he got inside.

“Was Anton really your papa?” a boy of about eight asked from the backseat, sitting next to his brother, Fredrik guessed.

“He was, but he was never much of one,” Fredrik answered honestly.

“He was a bad wolf,” the pup said.

Fredrik turned. The pup had his arms crossed over his chest as though he were daring anyone to argue with him.

“Alexi. Fredrik is a guest,” the alpha corrected him gently.

“Okay, Alpha Mikael. But Anton was still bad.”

“I take it you’re an alpha in training,” Fredrik said to Alexi, who nodded and kept his expression serious.

“He is.” Alpha Volokov kept looking over at him as he drove, probably keeping an eye on him.

“My father was mean and cruel to everyone,” Fredrik said to little Alexi. “I guess I was lucky because I had a mother who wasn’t like that.”

“Anton defeated Alexi and Misha’s father in a challenge,” Alpha Volokov explained, and Fredrik nodded. He’d met plenty of wolves who felt as Alexi did.

“I’m sorry,” Fredrik said to both boys. He was at a loss for words otherwise. What did you say to the pups of someone your asshole father killed in his blind rampage for power? Hallmark sure as fuck didn’t make a card for that.

“We live with Alpha Mikael now,” Misha said. “He’s like our papa, but he isn’t our papa. Not really. So is Alpha Denton.”

Fredrik wasn’t sure what to say about anything. He sat silently and just rode, wondering what he’d gotten himself into.

When Alpha Volokov turned, the road got rougher for a few miles, and then they turned once again and parked in front of a large, rustically-sided house. The other cars and trucks pulled in behind them. Everyone piled out, and more wolves joined in the celebration.

“All right,” a female voice said, cutting through the din. “I have plenty of food. Let’s all go inside.” She had to be the alpha’s mother.

Wolves filed inside, and Fredrik got out of the way. Alpha Volokov remained behind, and a wolf almost as large joined him. They stood close together. They weren’t talking to each other, but they seemed to be communicating. How he knew that, he wasn’t sure; maybe it was the way they stared at each other.

Fredrik turned away when the men embraced and then kissed—hard. Arousal and the scent of passion filled the night. Fredrik stepped back at their intensity. He tried not to become aroused himself, knowing they would be able to scent it. The last thing he wanted was to come between two Alpha mates.

“Fredrik,” Alpha Volokov called after they broke apart. The two of them stood together, still touching each other as though they needed it. Fredrik wondered what having someone like that would be like. “This is Denton, my mate. Denton, Fredrik rescued Jane from his brother.”

Fredrik shook the much bigger wolf’s hand. “I’m sorry my bloodline has caused you and yours so much trouble.”

Both of them stared at him. “That’s an interesting phrase,” Alpha Denton said.

“I know. You would use the term family. Except what kind of family do you think my father had? It wasn’t a family. More like a pack of hyenas, each after what they could get for themselves and always scouting around for someone they could use.” He stepped back. “Look, if you’ll tell me where you want me to stay, I’ll go there and get out of everyone’s way. And if you could arrange to get me to the nearest airport, I’ll get a flight somewhere and be out of your hair as fast as I can.”

“Come on,” Alpha Denton said, motioning to the door.

When Fredrik went inside, he stopped as everyone burst into applause. He looked behind him, and then Jane, now dressed in her own clothes, took his hand and pulled him forward.

“You’re a hero. You saved me.” She actually leaned in and kissed him on the cheek, and a cheer went up once again.

Fredrik blushed fiercely and tried to figure out how he could get out of there. This was way more than what he deserved. Yes, he’d gotten Jane away from his brother, but he’d also been able to escape himself.

“This is my mother,” Jane said, directing his attention to the Amazonian woman he’d seen earlier. She had a hard stare even when she was smiling.

“We appreciate what you did.”

“Everyone, let’s eat before the food gets cold,” Mikael called.

That seemed to be the signal, but everyone waited, staring at the bowls and platters of meat. Fredrik stepped back and waited for the others.

“You’re supposed to go first,” Jane told him.

“Why? I’m not important enough.”

Jane stared at him. “But—”

“Don’t you eat by pack rank?” Fredrik asked.

“Excuse me?” Alpha Volokov said from behind him, and Fredrik jumped slightly.

“The higher-ranking pack members eat first, and then the others follow behind. I was always the lowest-ranking member of the pack because I’m….” He looked down. “Small and not able to fight like the others. So I always got what was left.”

“No,” Alpha Denton said. “We don’t act that way. Everyone is equal and they get what they need. Yes, Mikael and I are the alphas, but what kind of leaders would we be if we always put ourselves and what we wanted first? This is a pack, a family, not a kingdom, so go on and get something to eat.” He smiled.

Fredrik nodded and did as he was told. The food smelled amazing. His stomach growled as he slowly filled his plate. One of the pups stood next to him, grinning when Fredrik looked down at him as he held his plate with both hands. “You want some of this?” He nodded, and Fredrik put some of the potato salad on his plate. Then he took some himself. The rare-grilled beef had his mouth watering and his wolf salivating. He took a piece and gave the pup some as well. He kept smiling, and on second look, he recognized him as the pup from the car, the one who’d been quieter. “Are you Misha?”

“Yes, sir,” he said. “Can I have some corn too?”

“I’ll help him,” a pretty woman said as she hurried over.

“It’s okay. We got to know each other a little in the car.” Fredrik pointed to the macaroni, and Misha nodded.

“Thank you,” Misha said and hurried away to find a place to sit.

Fredrik turned to find an out-of-the-way place for himself. There was a chair near one of the corners, so he sat there, eating quickly.

Conversations between people who knew and cared deeply for one another went on all around him. W
hen he was half done with his food, a group of pups in wolf form raced through the room and ended up in a happy pile.

“Pups,” Alpha Volokov said gently as he opened the door, and they took off outside. “Stay close.” He got yips in response as he closed the door.

Fredrik tried to remember being that happy and carefree. The sad thing was, he really couldn’t. Even at that age, his father had held sway over everything and everyone.

He returned to his dinner and was just finishing when the most amazing scent curled around him, drawing him in like the heat from a flame in the middle of winter. Fredrik looked around, sniffing the air multiple times, trying to figure out where that smell was coming from, but he saw no one new, and it didn’t seem as though anyone had joined the group. He set his plate aside and followed the scent while trying not to look as though he was tracking game, because this was so much better than that. His heart beat a little faster and sweat beaded on his forehead. His eyes shifted to seeing black and white, and his canines descended.

Fredrik had no idea what was happening to him, but he hadn’t lost control of his wolf since he was ten years old and his brother Cass had nearly killed him. His father had been so proud of Cass that he’d taken him away and left Fredrik to try to shift to heal himself. It had taken him hours, and he’d needed the help of his mother to keep from getting stuck in his wolf form.


clip_image006_thumb[1]Dirk is very much an outside kind of man. He loves travel and seeing new things. Dirk worked in corporate America for way too long and now spends his days writing, gardening, and taking care of the home he shares with his partner of more than two decades. He has a Master’s Degree and all the other accessories that go with a corporate job. But he is most proud of the stories he tells and the life he’s built. Dirk lives in Pennsylvania in a century old home and is blessed with an amazing circle of friends.

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5 Drops Review: LOVE COMES UNHEARD by Andrew Grey

Title: Love Come Unheard
Author: Andrew Grey 
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Series: a Senses Series story
Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 14, 2015
Available In: eBook & Print
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Buy Links:
Amazon | Dreamspinner Press | All Romance

Garrett Bowman is shocked that fate has brought him to a family who can sign. He’s spent much of his life on the outside looking in, even within his biological family, and to be accepted and employed is more than he could have hoped for. With Connor, who’s included him in his family, Garrett has found a true friend, but with the distant Brit Wilson Haskins, Garrett may have found something more. In no time, Garrett gets under Wilson’s skin and finds his way into Wilson’s heart, and over shared turbulent family histories, Wilson and Garrett form a strong bond.

Wilson’s especially impressed with the way Garrett’s so helpful to Janey, Connor and Dan’s daughter, who is also deaf. When Wilson’s past shows up in the form of his brother Reggie, bringing unscrupulous people to whom Reggie owes money, life begins to unravel. These thugs don’t care how they get their money, what they have to do, or who they might hurt. Without the strength of love and the bonds of family and friends, Garrett and Wilson could pay the ultimate price.

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Release Day Review: CHALLENGE THE DARKNESS by Dirk Greyson

Title: Challenge the Darkness 
Author: Dirk Greyson
Genre: M/M, Shifter/Paranormal, Erotic, Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 31st, 2015
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Length: 234 pgs 
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Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | All Romance | Amazon

When alpha shifter Mikael Volokov is called to witness a challenge, he learns the evil and power-hungry Anton Gregor will stop at nothing to attain victory. Knowing he will need alliances to keep his pack together, Mikael requests a congress with the nearby Evergreen pack and meets Denton Arguson, Evergreen alpha, to ask for his help. Fate has a strange twist for both of them, though, and Mikael and Denton soon realize they’re destined mates.

Denton resists the pull between them—he has his own pack and his own responsibilities. But Mikael isn’t willing to give up. The Mother has promised Mikael his mate, told him he must fight for him, and that only together can they defeat the coming darkness. When Anton casts his sights on Denton’s pack, attacks and sabotage follow, pulling Denton and Mikael together to defeat a common enemy. But Anton’s threats sow seeds of destruction enough to break any bond, and the mates’ determination to challenge the darkness may be their only saving grace.

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Release Day Review: FIRE AND ICE by Andrew Grey

Title: Fire and Ice
Author: Andrew Grey
Series: Carlisle Cops (Book 2)
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 25, 2015
Length: 200 pgs 
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Book Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Dreamspinner Press

Carter Schunk is a dedicated police officer with a difficult past and a big heart. When he’s called to a domestic disturbance, he finds a fatally injured woman, and a child, Alex, who is in desperate need of care. Child Services is called, and the last man on earth Carter wants to see walks through the door. Carter had a fling with Donald a year ago and found him as cold as ice since it ended.

Donald (Ice) Ickle has had a hard life he shares with no one, and he’s closed his heart to all. It’s partly to keep himself from getting hurt and partly the way he deals with a job he’s good at, because he does what needs to be done without getting emotionally involved. When he meets Carter again, he maintains his usual distance, but Carter gets under his skin, and against his better judgment, Donald lets Carter guilt him into taking Alex when there isn’t other foster care available. Carter even offers to help care for the boy.

Donald has a past he doesn’t want to discuss with anyone, least of all Carter, who has his own past he’d just as soon keep to himself. But it’s Alex’s secrets that could either pull them together or rip them apart—secrets the boy isn’t able to tell them and yet could be the key to happiness for all of them.

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5 Drops Release Day Review for DAY AND KNIGHT by Dirk Greyson

Title: Day and Knight 
Author: Dirk Greyson
Genre: M/M Contemporary Mystery/Suspense Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 4th, 2015
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
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Available at Amazon | All Romance | Dreamspinner Press

As former NSA, Dayton (Day) Ingram has national security chops and now works as a technical analyst for Scorpion. He longs for field work, and scuttling an attack gives his chance. He’s smart, multilingual, and a technological wizard. But his opportunity comes with a hitch—a partner, Knighton (Knight), who is a real mystery. Despite countless hours of research, Day can find nothing on the agent, including his first name!

Former Marine Knight crawled into a bottle after losing his family. After drying out, he’s offered one last chance: along with Day, stop a terrorist threat from the Yucatan. To get there without drawing suspicion, Day and Knight board a gay cruise, where the deeply closeted Day and equally closeted Knight must pose as a couple. Tensions run high as Knight communicates very little and Day bristles at Knight’s heavy-handed need for control.

But after drinking too much, Day and Knight wake up in bed. Together. As they near their destination, they must learn to trust and rely on each other to infiltrate the terrorist camp and neutralize the plot aimed at the US’s technological infrastructure, if they hope to have a life after the mission. One that might include each other.

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5 Drops Review: Eastern Cowboy by Andrew Grey

Title: Eastern Cowboy
Andrew Grey
Genre: M/M Western Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 16th, 2015
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Length: 200 p / novel
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Dreamspinner Press | All Romance | Amazon

Brighton McKenzie inherited one of the last pieces of farmland in suburban Baltimore. It has been in his family since Maryland was a colony, though it has lain fallow for years. Selling it for development would be easy, but Brighton wants to honor his grandfather’s wishes and work it again. Unfortunately, an accident left him relying on a cane, so he’ll need help. Tanner Houghton used to work on a ranch in Montana until a vengeful ex got him fired because of his sexuality. He comes to Maryland at the invitation of his cousin and is thrilled to have a chance to get back to the kind of work he loves.

Brighton is instantly drawn to the intensely handsome and huge Tanner—he’s everything Brighton likes in a man, though he holds back because Tanner is an employee, and because he can’t understand why a man as virile as Tanner would be interested in him. But that isn’t the worst of their problems. They have to face the machinations of Brighton’s aunt, Tanner’s ex suddenly wanting him back, and the need to find a way to make the farm financially viable before they lose Brighton’s family legacy. 

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4.5 Drops #Review: A Barlow Lens by Elizabeth Noble & #GuestPost

Title: A Barlow Lens
Author: Elizabeth Noble 
Series: Circles Series, #2
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: M/M, Contemporary, Mystery/suspense, Romance
Release Date: January 14th, 2015
Length: 152 pages 
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Purchase: Dreamspinner | ARe | Amazon

While planning a future with his partner, Val, Wyatt’s past refuses to be forgotten. Wyatt’s old friend asks him to look into the mysterious death of her uncle in a fire back in 1927, when men were silent, tough, and did not love other men—except when they did. Working with Val, Wyatt digs up clues uncovering the truth behind the tragic school fire and the one responsible. The story of Tom and Philip slowly reveals itself, and Wyatt and Val realize nothing is as simple as they originally believed. As their trail heats up, an old enemy of Wyatt’s decides he’s waited long enough for revenge. If Wyatt can’t tie everything together, history might repeat itself.

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