Wednesday, June 16, 2021

S.E.X. Review~ The List by Felice Stevens


Oops. He did it again.
Elliot Hansen has a terrible habit of falling in love with every man he dates.
His friends have had enough and make a list of Elliot’s perfect man.
That V …
Those abs ...
Shouldn’t a boyfriend be more than the sum of his parts?
But when sexy detective Winston Rogers bursts into his bedroom to arrest a burglar, Elliot knows he wouldn’t mind checking one or two things off that list with him.

What if you had it all?
Five years after the death of his husband, Winston Rogers is single and determined to stay that way.
He throws himself into his job—the more dangerous the assignment, the better.
He can’t face another risk to his heart.
But then a routine arrest in his neighbor’s bedroom leaves Win searching for more than evidence as the man’s sweet smile and vulnerable eyes strike a chord inside him Win had thought gone forever.

Why not enjoy each other with no strings attached? Win and Elliot decide to make their own list.
Rule #1: Strictly friends with benefits.
Rule #2: No doing anything stupid like falling in love.
Rule #3. ...
See Elliot and Win ignore Rules #1 and #2.



Felice Stevens reduced this reader to tears with her new book, The List. Sometimes sad, sometimes funny, The List left an emotional impact- a story of love lost, friendship, and love found.

Win and Elliot each had their own personal issues. Win, closed off from any future of love as he lived in the past with his husband’s death, with no thought of a prospect of companionship and love.

Elliot only wanted to be loved. Plagued by a past based on an unattainable goal, Elliot created his own family with his three best friends and jumped at the love-ever-after relationship soon after meeting a new man. For both men, a no-win situation dictated their lives, until a break in/attempted robbery brought Detective Win smack dab into Elliot’s bedroom.

I loved both characters and instantly felt the emotional turmoil they both retained. Ms. Stevens brought their characterization forward as she allowed them to write their own stories. The book was not forced, but real life, where not everything goes as planned and the HEA needed to be worked for.

As the men waded through their budding relationship, they learned so much about each other, but more importantly, they learned about themselves. Win realized that love could be found again, and Elliot found the will to face truths that plagued him all his life.

The secondary characters enhanced the overall story, and I cannot wait to see where Ms. Stevens takes them in future books.

A must read. The list may start out as a joke, but The List was the real deal.

Definite S.E.X.

A five handcuff review


~~~~~

2021 ©Evelise Archer All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

S.E.X. Review~ Wyvern Ways & Elven Magic by Bailey Bradford


Take one magic-sensitive wyvern shifter, one horny royal-adjacent elf…and stand well back.

Brick’s a wyvern shifter, but he’s not wily or skilled in diplomacy like wyvern shifters should be. Instead, he’s big and brawny and slower than the rest of his family—the ruling family. Worse, he doesn’t fare well around magic, so being in the elf kingdom for the royal wedding celebrations is one big nosebleed. Literally.

Jagger’s an elf. A royal-adjacent one, whose family have been chancellors and councilors to the king for centuries. It must have skipped a generation, however, as Jagger’s more interested in drinking and seducing his way through the kingdom. Well, everyone wants to know if it’s true what they say about elves, right? Spoiler alert—it is.

When Brick discovers he’s being handed over as part of the wyvern-elf alliance treaty, he fumes and decides to cut ties with his family to make his own way in the world. But first, he has to find his way out of the elf kingdom. Asking at the tavern for an elf to be his guide, he’s taken to a room where a half-naked Jagger is lounging on a four-poster bed.

And that’s just the beginning of their dangerous, crazy and sexy adventure…

Wyvern Ways & Elven Magic by Bailey Bradford was a fun read. Disclaimer, I did not read the first book in the series, and I recommend you do. I was a tad bit confused with the setting and the terminology, but once I was able to understand my surroundings, the book was an easy read.

WW & EM was comical and witty. Brick and Jagger were very opposites-attract, yet perfect for each other. I have not read a Bailey Bradford book in ages and this one brought me back to why I so enjoyed her work.

The banter between the wyvern and the elf was laugh out loud, and the sex was off the chart. Once the two men found they needed each other, the rest of the story fell into place. This was what attracted me to the book as well. I did not have to wait halfway through the book before the main characters got along or realized their attraction. Ms. Bradford allowed Brick and Jagger to have full of life attitudes which worked well for the storyline.

I will now have to go back and read the first book in the series, and if I enjoy it half as much as this one, I will be one happy reader.

Definite S.E.X.

A five handcuff review


~~~~~

 2021 ©Evelise Archer All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

S.E.X. Review~ Leading the Blind by BA Tortuga

Leading The Blind by BA Tortuga

Book 7 in the Roughstock series

Word Count: 53,445
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 230

GENRES:

 ACTION AND ADVENTURE
CONTEMPORARY
COWBOYS AND WESTERN
EROTIC ROMANCE
GAY
GLBTQI

Add to Goodreads

Book Description

You don’t need the use of your eyes to see forever.

After his head injury leaves him blind, professional bull rider Jason Scott can only think of one thing. He desperately needs to win the title in the big leagues of bull riding so he can retire and start a new life—one he can live with his best friend and lover, Andy Baxter.

Andy—or Bax, as his friends call him—wants to keep Jason safe and alive, but he would never ask his man to be less than he is. With the help of their best friends, they start out on a path that will lead them back to the major events and to a deception that might lose them all their jobs.

There’s no way the league officials would let Jason ride if they knew he was blind, so Jason and Bax have to figure out how to get Jason back to the top of the leaderboard without any kind of advantage or cheating being called. Meanwhile, they have to figure out what their new life is going to look like and what they’ll be if they’re not bull riders any longer.

Will they get what they want? Or will the whole thing just be a case of the blind leading the blind?

Reader advisory: This book contains some bull riding-related injuries. There is a brief homophobic slur from a secondary character.

Excerpt

“Jesus fucking Christ! Open your goddamn eyes next time! That bull damn near rang your bell.” Bax shook his arm, and Jason swore that made the world swim before his useless fucking eyes again.

“Andy Baxter, you’d best back the fuck off. This ain’t the time.” He’d know Coke’s voice anywhere, the bullfighter as much a part of his family as anyone ever had been.

“Gramps, don’t.” Jason Scott leaned against the stall, breathing hard. The last thing he needed was Pa and Ma MacGillicuddy freaking out because he’d lost his cookies at a bull riding. Bull riding fans were a specific breed, and it didn’t matter one bit whether it was the big show or a tiny two-gate sheriff’s posse arena. They all talked.

“Well, someone has to,” Coke ground out. “He’s being an ass.”

“He needs to keep his eyes open.” But Bax lowered his voice, thank God.

“I know. I got dirt in ‘em. It’s not like I can wipe them, Bax.”

“For eight seconds, you can suck it up.”

“Right. ‘Cause you were always fucking perfect.”

Bax grabbed his shirtfront and shook him. “Every. Fucking. Ride.”

“Stop it,” Coke snapped, and they stopped. Gramps rarely spoke in that tone. When he did, well, they listened. “Y’all are being buttheads and I don’t need this shit, you comprende? Folks got phones.”

“Sorry,” Bax murmured, which made Jason snort.

“Don’t tease the bull, son. Tell Andy you’re sorry.”

Jason blew out a hard breath. “You know I am, butthead.”

“Good boys. Come on now. We got to get out of the public.” Coke tugged at his arm. Hell, Coke had to get back to work.

“Right. I’m going to get out of here, Gramps. I sure as shit ain’t making the short go.”

“Okay, son.” Coke clapped him on the back. “Be good.”

Bax laughed. “Right. He’ll be trying to drive off in the truck soon.”

“I’d do better than some.” His head was starting to pound like there was a damn mariachi band in there, playing away.

“You did okay last time,” Bax agreed, taking his arm and leading him out of the arena. “Until you didn’t.”

“Story of my life.” He rode like a champion, until he didn’t. He could see, until he couldn’t. He had a whole life, until it was over. Now? He was fixin’ to try and take some of it back.

“Hey, I just want you to be safe.”

“I know. I just want you to not have to babysit my ass forever.”

“I’m not your babysitter.” Bax lowered his voice. “I’m yours, and we’re in this together, Mini.”

Jason felt his fucking shoulders come down from around his ears. Okay. Yeah. ‘Together’ he could get behind. A burden? No, that he couldn’t do. “Right. Sorry. You want a beer?” An aspirin? Something to stop this pounding?

“Sure. Sounds good.” Bax led him out of the arena, the dirt changing to concrete.

He tried to make sure his face was thunderous, keeping anyone away who might want to talk. He was getting better at that part—the talking to fans—but not much. Right now he thought he might die if someone stopped them. Bax kept him moving fast, and soon enough he was in the cab of their truck, the sudden quiet shocking his senses.

“I’m taking you to the travel trailer, okay?” Bax sounded either pissed or scared. He wasn’t sure which.

“Okay.” Jason didn’t want to fight no more, so he folded his hands and sat quiet as a mouse.

They didn’t play music, they just drove, and when they got to the gravel road, Jason knew they were at the weird little campground.

The truck rocked a bit when Bax hit the brakes. The engine cut off, and they sat there.

“You okay?” Bax finally asked.

“My head hurts some,” he admitted. “I need some time to not worry about shit.”

“Well, come on. We’ll get you some pills and watch a movie.”

Listen to a movie, more like, but whatever. “Works for me.”

“You sure? I could put on one of those audiobooks.”

“I just want to be somewhere I”—can see—“know.”

“It’s cool and quiet in there.” Bax climbed out of the truck, then came around to help him out.

“Yeah.” He sighed. “I’m sorry, Bax.”

“What for, Mini?” They stepped up into the trailer, the smell oddly homey inside.

“Being blind?” Having you take care of me when all I want in all the world is to take care of you.

“Well, that’s stupid. Ain’t like you asked to be blind.”

“No.” No, not a bit. “Good thing we cleared that up.”

“You know it.” Bax snorted loud, then guided him to sit back on the bed thingy. “Let me get us a cold drink, then we can kinda float.”

“Thanks. I’ll get the next one.” He toed his boots off and stripped out of his sponsor shirt and his baggy, filthy work jeans.

“No problem.” Bax opened a couple of bottles, the bottle cap sound unmistakable.

He took the bottle when Bax offered it and drank deep, the lemon-lime bubbles suiting him to the bone.

“Mmm. It was dry as dirt out there, huh?”

“Yeah. Yeah, and I’m pretty sure my mouth was open when I hit the ground.” His molars were a little gritty.

“Ew. No cow shit, Mini.”

Jason snorted, tickled shitless. “No. Although God knows how much we’ve eaten accidentally over the years.”

“Stop.” Bax pinched his hip. “That’s nasty.”

“No pinching!” He rolled toward Bax, trying not to spill his drink. “You’re such a wuss.”

“I am not. I swim with you at your momma’s place. There’s snake poop in there.” Bax had a point there. Jason wasn’t real sure what the point was, but Bax had one.

“I don’t even want to think about what all is in that pond, Bax.”

“Nope.”

They kinda…lounged. Just sat there and breathed like great big lazy gators. He laughed a little at that. Gators did okay blind, according to Beau Lafitte.

“What’s funny, Mini?”

“Alligators.”

“That ain’t funny. That’s a lot of teeth.”

“You’re just grumpy. Most days they’re funny.”

“Kinda, yeah.” Bax took his hand. “Sorry I yelled, Mini.”

“I’m trying. I swear to God. I’m trying hard to do this.” And God knew there were more than a few days when he just wanted to give up, to go home to Momma’s and admit defeat. Shit fire and save matches, what the fuck was he thinking, riding blind? He’d got his bell rung when he could see.

“I know. I know it.” Bax sighed. “I want— Shit, Mini, I want you to be happy, and you’re not.”

“I don’t want to ride the little events forever. I don’t want to be a has-been.” He didn’t want to be a burden.

“You’re not. You’re doing amazing.”

Now, Bax wasn’t one to blow smoke up anyone’s ass, so the words perked him up a little bit.

“You think so? I feel like a fuck-up.”

“That’s because we’re all always telling you what to do.”

He traced Bax’s fingers, one after another. Lord have mercy, those calluses felt like heaven when they touched him. The fact that they’d never touched him when he couldn’t see wasn’t lost on him. Bax had saved him. Completely. Fucker.

“You’re pouring smoke, Jason. Out of your brain.” Bax chuckled. “Thinkin’ ain’t what we do best.”

“Fuck no. We do stupid shit and drink beer.” It was the cowboy way, after all.

“See? I knew it.” Bax rolled to kiss his cheek.

“Knew what?” He could meet Bax halfway.

“That we’re better not thinking.” Bax laughed, poking his ribs.

He chuckled. “No shit on that, man.”

“Mmm.” Bax settled in right against his hip. “I got you, Jason. You just scared me, is all.”

“Scared me too. I hate being this way.”

“I know.” Those fingers moved over him, Bax stroking his belly.

Goosepimples climbed up his skin, heading from hips to nipples. “Mmm. I don’t hate this, though.”

“No, sir. I love this. Holding you. Touching you.”

“Good deal.”

Bax was breathing, steady and sure, and the rhythm liked to hypnotized him. “That is a good deal,” Bax agreed.

“We are. I mean, this is. Us. Christ.”

“It is what it is.” That was right down Zen of Bax.

He nodded and let his eyes close. It was the only way he could see colors. Sometimes he thought he could see Bax. Sometimes he knew he could.

“You’re smiling.” Bax rewarded him with a kiss.

He didn’t say why, and it didn’t matter. Nothing he did would change his world. No sense getting Bax’s hopes up.

Together, they’d get through today. Tomorrow too.

The day after that would just have to take care of itself.

Buy Links

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About the Author

BA Tortuga

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her buddies, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friends, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.

You can check out BA's website and blog, and follow her on Pinterest and Instagram.

Giveaway

Enter and get a FREE romance book from the author!

BA Tortuga's Leading the Blind Giveaway

ENTER HERE AND GET A FREE EBOOK FROM THE AUTHOR! Notice: This competition ends on 22nd June 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.



Every time I read another Roughstock series book by BA Tortuga, I learn more and more about the bull riding life. Leading the Blind was no exception. Andy, Mini, and the entire crew were back for another installment in this larger than life series.

Since Mini went blind in a riding accident, he was still determined to compete and take the championship purse. Together with Andy, Dillon, Coke and a bunch of the crazy crew, they devised a plan to bring it to fruition.

What I most loved about the series and each book, was the camaraderie that prevailed throughout and the love these men have for each other- in the circuit and out. The hard life they all lived was tempered by their optimism for their profession and their never-ending desire to do right by each other.

Andy and Jason were challenged by Mini’s lack of sight, and their desire to forge a family in a world that may not always be gay friendly. But together they succeeded and life looked good.

I hope Ms. Tortuga continues this series, as I know there is another chapter somewhere rolling in her head for these rough and tumble men with hearts of gold.

Definite S.E.X.

A five handcuff review

 

~~~~~

2021 ©Evelise Archer All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

S.E.X. Review~ Born Daddy by Morticia Knight


They both loved an evil man. In a wrenching journey to redemption, leaning on each other will change their lives forever.

Grief-stricken Tate Myers can’t believe his Daddy and Master is gone. Reeling from the discovery of his dead lover’s secret life as a serial killer, he seeks answers from the one person who could help heal his heart. But when coffee shop chats with his Daddy’s best friend turn into an intense attraction, Tate wonders if he’s found the man to complete his recovery.

Former undercover cop, Rogan Steele, is completely blindsided when he learns his long-time buddy was a sadistic murderer. And with his own judgment now in question, he strongly empathizes with the grieving young man left traumatized and helpless. However, as their meetings fan the growing flames between them, Rogan is terrified he can’t fill the unfamiliar dominant role that Tate so desperately needs.

As their passion overpowers their hesitation, Tate aches to fully succumb to the older man’s control. If only Rogan doesn’t run away from what he was born to be—then they might stand a chance at forever.

Will the shellshocked pair surrender to their destiny and accept love’s risk? Or will the scars from their shared tragedy destroy their future as Daddy and boy?


Born Daddy, Command & Care series by Morticia Knight was a nice read about the daddy/boy dynamics. What I truly enjoyed about the book was the serial killer storyline and how it affected all the major parties of the book.

Rogan was a strong character, secure in himself and finally able to capitalize on his take- charge and nurturing feelings. The man was born to be a daddy and if not for Tate, he would have never figured it out.

Tate, the ex-lover of a serial killer came with baggage and insecurities, but by Rohan’s side, blossomed into the boy he always was meant to be.

Ms. Knight delivered warmth and care in Born Daddy. A nice addition to the series, although can be read as a stand alone.

Definite S.E.X.

A five handcuff review

~~~~~

2021 ©Evelise Archer All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

S.E.X. Spotlight~ Wyvern Ways & Elven Magic by Bailey Bradford

Wyvern Ways & Elven Magic by Bailey Bradford

Book 2 in the Fire & Flutter series

Word Count: 54,247
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 219

Genres:

 CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
FANTASY
GAY
GLBTQI
PARANORMAL

Add to Goodreads

Book Description

Take one magic-sensitive wyvern shifter, one horny royal-adjacent elf…and stand well back.

Brick’s a wyvern shifter, but he’s not wily or skilled in diplomacy like wyvern shifters should be. Instead, he’s big and brawny and slower than the rest of his family—the ruling family. Worse, he doesn’t fare well around magic, so being in the elf kingdom for the royal wedding celebrations is one big nosebleed. Literally.

Jagger’s an elf. A royal-adjacent one, whose family have been chancellors and councilors to the king for centuries. It must have skipped a generation, however, as Jagger’s more interested in drinking and seducing his way through the kingdom. Well, everyone wants to know if it’s true what they say about elves, right? Spoiler alert—it is.

When Brick discovers he’s being handed over as part of the wyvern-elf alliance treaty, he fumes and decides to cut ties with his family to make his own way in the world. But first, he has to find his way out of the elf kingdom. Asking at the tavern for an elf to be his guide, he’s taken to a room where a half-naked Jagger is lounging on a four-poster bed.

And that’s just the beginning of their dangerous, crazy and sexy adventure…

Excerpt

“Ow!” Brick grabbed at the hand slapping his face and glared at its owner. If he hadn’t known who was hitting him, the selection of bright cocktail rings and the jingling bracelets she wore would have told him it was his younger sister, Scarlet. “Any reason you’re smacking my face?”

Scarlet tilted her head, her forehead creased. “Habit? Whatevs. Hold still—”

Brick held still enough for her to shove wads of cotton wool up his nostrils, then brushed her hand away. Scarlet’s sharp fingernails near any of his body parts made him uneasy at the best of times, and in the rumbling, jolting carriage he and she were currently traveling in, more so. Her nails were long and pointed and they gleamed the brightest mahogany shade she could find, all to mimic the talons they became when she shifted.

Well, that’s only natural, Brick reasoned. Wyverns in general were proud of being wyverns, the ruling family even more so and his sister, the youngest offspring of the Ruby Throne, in particular.

“Thanks,” he muttered, the thick clog in his voice not just due to his nosebleed and the wedges of cotton wool. “Thanks for staying with me.” He knew she’d rather be flying alongside the carriage with their father, Potentate Carnell of the Ruby Throne, and mother, the First Lady Cerise, not to mention the son and heir, Lord Gules, and their older sister, Lady Vermillion. But it was her turn to keep him company, and Scarlet, like all of them, put family duty first.

“Sit up straight,” she replied, wagging a finger in the direction of his face to tell him it was the best way to deal with a nosebleed. She knew. All his family did—Brick got them when he was around magic, and they were prepared for today. “Open wide for your pills.”

Brick obediently opened his mouth, and Scarlet, snickering, moved back to the farthest corner of the royal carriage and flicked in first one tablet, then another, using her middle finger and thumb to launch them as if she were playing a game and getting points. Scarlet performed her family obligations, sure…and made sure she had fun doing so. But she loved Brick, just as he did her.

He tried not to choke—the tablets were huge and foul-tasting. “Thanks,” he repeated, wishing she’d thought to give him a drink to swallow them down with. Actually, no—he didn’t want her squirting it in with a water pistol. He checked the cotton wool was still in place up each nostril. “There must be a lot of magic in the air here.”

“Well, duh,” his sister replied. “Inside the elven kingdom, and just approaching the capital? What d’you expect? They breathe it in and fart it out here, then breathe it in again.” Oh, she was a charmer. “I got orders to smarten you up—you’re not gonna bleed on me, are you?”

He shook his head and let her pull his smart suit jacket into place as if he were a baby, for all she was younger than he was. Well, that fits, with me being as useless as a hatchling. She tutted and brushed off the shoulders and lapels, as if he had flaking head scales. I don’t, do I? That’d be all he needed, with them having to look their best as they arrived for this regal state occasion.

As soon as Scarlet settled back again, grumbling that there wasn’t much she could do with his short hair, he took a sly peep in the glass of the carriage window to check for scale-flake. He caught a quick glimpse of his bronze skin and slitted gold eyes before the spectacle outside claimed his attention. Oh, not the well-maintained kingdom they were driving through, with its paved roads, sturdy-looking buildings and general cleanliness all signs of its good governance, but his family, in the air above the small procession.

Brick lowered the glass to see better. The four royal wyverns made a stunning, vibrant swoop of color as they flew, their wings beating with synchronized grace, their heads turning slowly on their long, elegant necks to incline this way and that at the gasps and applause from townsfolk lining the route, who were all eager to see visiting nobles and dignitaries.

“Elven folk must be used to flying beasts, right?” he asked Scarlet.

She scoffed. “Not like us.”

“Yeah.” Brick had to admit that. A woman stumbled, shading her eyes against the wyverns’ shimmering scales, the gleaming shades of red carefully arranged from his father Carnell’s shining cardinal to his mother Cerise’s glossy pomegranate—“the first seen in the kingdom in a hundred years!” as she often reminded people.

His brother Gules’ proud imperial red came next, then his sister Vermillion’s brash crimson. The family at wing, in the correct order, looked like flames burning up the sky.

Although why they should want to arrive anywhere making the place look like it was on fire, Brick couldn’t fathom. What he did know was Scarlet wanted to be up there too, making an entrance like a bold streak of lava against the blue and white of the sky. He jumped as the most jewel-colored creature of the quartet swooped low and stuck her beak through the window—his mother, checking in on him.

She couldn’t talk in her shifted form, of course, but he had no problem interpreting her caw and twists and jerks of her head. She was concerned for him—she loved him. They all did. Like they would any slow-witted hatchling. He wasn’t wily or cunning, no asset in statecraft or trade negotiations, so they gave him busy work. Grunt work. He nodded to show Cerise he was fine and reached up to pat her on the head, near the top, just after the brow ridge finished.

With a click of her beak, she took off again and rejoined Carnell, circling him with a slow flap of her wings before taking her place at his side. He flicked his tail out to slide along hers.

“Oh, ewww!” Scarlet, on the seat opposite him now, pointed up at the Potentate and First Lady and retched like a caterwaul bringing up a hairball. She made a show of rummaging for one of the sick bags they kept for Brick—there was no telling what form his sensitivity to magic might take. “Old people foreplay is just gross.”

Brick didn’t think it was that bad. Sure, he had no wish whatsoever to see his parents making out like subadults or immatures ever, anywhere, but that they were still loving and affectionate was…something he didn’t see himself ever having. The only people who’d wanted him so far had been those seeking a way into the ruling family and using him as their way to get within polishing distance of the Ruby Throne.

“Mommy, look!” A little girl on the sidewalk near a tavern, her eyes full of wonder, tugged at her mother’s arm. “Up there—dragons!”

Wyverns!” yelled Scarlet, flinging herself so far out of the window to correct the kid that Brick, alarmed for her safety, grabbed at the back of her dress. “Look at the picture, small fry!” She tapped the crest on the side of the royal coach, a plain outline of an almost S-shaped beast, its wings stretched and its slim legs prominent. “Count the limbs, kid. There’s two, not four. We look like lumbering oxen dragons to you?”

She subsided into her seat again and shot Brick a glance. “No offense, bro.”

“I know.” Brick was wide and tall, built like a brick smokehouse, as the saying went, whereas wyverns, in addition to being wily, were light and lithe. Winged serpents, really. He tried not to feel like he was letting down the Ruby Throne, but…

You’re not even red!” Olahf had scorned when, realizing a relationship with Brick wouldn’t bring him into the inner governing circle, he’d ended things between them. “Brick by name and brick by nature and brick by color!” Yeah, Olahf didn’t really have the gift of eloquence a senator or diplomat should, although his tongue could be said to have been silver in other ways… Brick shivered at the memory, then felt sad.

How much of that had been fake? Had Olahf even liked him? If not, their relationship had been, well, transactional at best and icky at worst. It had also made him dwell on his experiences with all the other wyvern shifters who’d befriended him over the years…and hadn’t seemed very friendly. How many had if not used him, then put up with him, for what they could get out of it?

Would life have been different if I were called Flame, or, or Rosso? Maybe if the former, he’d have been dashing and just a little bit dangerous, or if the latter, darkly seductive and a lot more dangerous?

“Persimmon’s a good name,” he mused out loud. “Then Sim would be a good nick. ‘Hey, Sim, coming out for a quick tankard of sack mead?’ Maybe Simmy? ‘Simmy, joining us for dawn patrol?’ Perse? Percy?”

“What? No—you know what? Never mind.” Scarlet waved a hand at him. “Because we’re nearly there.”

About to ask his sister how she knew they were almost at their destination—where they’d be doing some trade-and-aid diplomacy over drinks—Brick saw the ceremonial herald bird flying to join the four wyverns in the sky. The escort would please his mother, who was into appearances. Even his father had commented more than once that the elves had used to do things properly, and that he hoped the Storm King was keeping up traditions.

“He will as long as he has Jerrick advising him,” Cerise always replied. “Jerrick served Jade’s father, too, and Jerrick’s father, Jacron, was chancellor to the Storm Emperor before that. And Jerrick’s son—” She usually stopped herself there.

“Gotta love ya and leave ya!” Scarlet opened the carriage door even though the vehicle was still trundling along.

“I feel okay now the meds have kicked in,” Brick assured her. “Shouldn’t I join in?”

“And risk you having an allergy—sorry, sensitivity—attack up above and bleeding down on Jade or his big green groom?” Scarlet sniggered. “While it would be hilarious, best not.” Blowing a kiss over her shoulder at him, she launched herself from the open door.

Scarlet shifted effortlessly in midair and took her place just behind Gules and Vermillion. It was hardly worth her shifting, though, when the carriage jolted to a stop at the top of a meadow. Two ruby and pale jade pavilions stood proudly, their pennants waving in the early evening breeze, and councilors and nobles waited before them.

The Ruby Throne circled the meadow in a group, then made a tighter circle of the tents to finally drop into the space set up beneath the main pavilion’s awning. They descended one at a time from Carnell to Scarlet—all executing flawless landings and simultaneous shifts back to their other-forms the second their claws touched the ground, clothing themselves as they did so.

They’d left a space for him, and Brick decided he was going to take it properly, instead of scuttling to it, shamefaced. Ignoring his headache and throbbing nose, he ran a few paces and leaped as high as he could with a gurgled “Eaaarrgghhh!” to shift into his wyvern form and, oh, how good it felt to be in the air again, stretching his wings.

He liked the world better in his shifted form. He loved the view from up on high, how things looked when seen from his bigger, more golden than yellow eyes. Scents were more acute to his snout, with its slits for nostrils, than to his other-form nose, which was broad and had never worked as well after being broken during a heated game of tail ball. Which his team had still lost.

Okay, so he wasn’t all polished and gleaming reds like the others, but he liked his scales, with their rust and terra-cotta and ochre shades. Recalling Cerise’s insistence that his hues were “alternative reds” made him snort with laughter and swish his tail, the triangular barb it ended in swinging near his face.

He was going to do this! He dropped lower. I can do this! Can drop into that landing zone! The really small landing zone… I can’t do this.

Believe in yourself!” Cerise had told him over and over since hatchhood. He would. He did! With a high-pitched squeal, a bit like a teakettle coming to the boil, he took a final squint at the target zone, landed, shifted and…belched. Oh gods. He’d meant to clothe himself, not burp one out. And certainly not such a loud one…or one that stank like a dragon’s taint.

“Oh, ewwwwwwww!” cried Scarlet, her longest ever. She pinched her nose closed with her talon-like fingers. She’d get the worst of the stench, being next to him. “How, how, is that so foul? What the fuck you been doing, bro, sucking off a troll?”

“Could have been worse!” called a voice from the crowd. “Just imagine if he’d farted!”

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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.

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Bailey Bradford's Wyvern Ways & Elven Magic

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 2021 ©Evelise Archer All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.

Monday, May 17, 2021

S.E.X. Review~ Love of the Hunter by V. L. Locey

* A retelling of the myth of Orion*

Will the night skies be forever changed?


Those upon Earth would assume the life of a Greek god is a walk through Elysium. They would be terribly wrong. Apollo, the golden son of Zeus, is far from home, banished from Olympus to live and train with the Titan, Helios. To compound his misery, Apollo is still mourning the loss of his first love, Hyacinthus. Life becomes a daily routine of shame, drudgery, and abuse until the hunter Orion appears at the eastern end of the world, seeking the healing touch of a Titan.

When Helios refuses to aid yet another offspring of the usurping gods, Apollo hides Orion and heals the hunter as best as his fledgling powers allow. Blinded eyes mend slowly, and the two young men find themselves falling in love as the seasons go by. But the gods of Olympus see all, and Sky father Zeus disapproves of the budding relationship. Can their love stand against the disapproval and fury of the god of men?



Normally not a fan of Greek mythology, I was intrigued and happily satisfied with Love of the Hunter. Never did I doubt Ms. Locey’s ability to write the mythological story of Orion, but my own biases plagued me.

I was definitely proven wrong, as grab a box of tissues- because you will need them to get through the tale.

Ms. Locey delivered heartache and drama as she wove through the tumultuous relationships of the gods, their offspring and their lovers. I was immediately drawn into the story and Orion’s plight. The author delivered the tale with such clarity, that I felt every strike of the whip, every ounce of happiness, and every tear shed. The gods were a spiteful, narcissistic, and just plain not nice group of people- this radiated throughout.

The relationship between Orion, his sister, and his lover catapulted off the pages and enveloped me to the point that tears flowed freely, and my heart ached. Never does a story concerning Greek mythology end well but Ms. Locey delivered one that both satisfied my need for an HEA and a need for vindication.

Definite S.E.X.

A five handcuff review


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2021 ©Evelise Archer All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

S.E.X. Release Blitz~ The Ballad of Crow & Sparrow by V.L. Locey


 



Cover Design: Designs By Sloan

Length: 74,337 

Blurb

Sometimes a man’s biggest blunder can turn into his greatest triumph.

Orphaned at fourteen, Crow Poulin now has to hunt and trap the White Mountains of Arizona, as his father had taught him, all alone. It’s a lonely existence, until one morning, while checking his trap line, Crow finds more than a rabbit in a snare. He stumbles across the outlaw Jack Wittington lying half dead in the wilds. He takes the wanted man in, heals him, and in return for saving his life, the smooth-talking criminal invites Crow to join his family. Starved for human interaction and a father figure, Crow leaves the mountains behind for what he assumes will be a brighter future.

Six years pass. Crow is now a man, as well as a member of the Wittington Gang. He may be considered an outlaw, but his father’s morals are warring loudly with the lifestyle of his adopted family. When the gang decides to rob a train, Crow has no choice but to go along to keep a tight rein on the more bloodthirsty members. It doesn’t take long for the scheme to go horribly astray.

Instead of gold-filled coffers, the gang finds Spencer Haughton, son of cattle baron and railroad tycoon Woodford Haughton, cowering in the family’s opulent private car. The outlaws grab the sickly heir in hopes of ransoming him off. Things then go from bad to worse for them when the law rides down on the Wittington hideout and Crow is given Spencer to hide until the ransom is paid. The pretty young man is nothing at all like anyone Crow has ever met before. Delicate, refined, well-educated, and possessed of a singing voice to rival the songs of the birds in the trees, Crow slowly finds himself falling for the winsome rich boy. But can two such opposite souls find the love they’re both seeking in each other’s arms?


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.



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2021 ©Evelise Archer All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.