Throwback Thursday!

kissing

Amazon | B&N | ARe | Pride Publishing

When Detective Aaron Bradshaw sweet talks his way into a vampire club, he doesn’t expect the owner to claim him for a mate.

Detective Aaron Bradshaw’s boss told him to get the vampire Orion’s cooperation in their police investigation. Little did he know that sweet-talking his way into the club would be the first step in establishing a long-term relationship with a vampire.

Orion has spent years alone. However, one look at the sexy detective and he knows who he wants to keep by his side. Aaron’s insistence upon throwing himself into danger drives Orion insane. How is he going to keep his lover safe and still let Aaron do his job hunting down the drug runners in Orion’s club?

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously released by another publisher. It has been revised and re-edited for release by Totally Bound Publishing. 

Excerpt:

Shifting the weight of the box to his hip, Aaron Bradshaw impatiently banged on the side door with his fist, trying not to lose the clipboard he’d balanced on top of the package.

With a groan, the metal door opened and a handsome auburn-haired man peeked out. “What do you want, love?” he asked in a thick English accent.

“Blood delivery.”

Cool green eyes looked him over from head to toe before giving him a lusty grin. “You’re not the usual driver.”

He shrugged. “Guy was sick. I got called in. You gonna let me in or not. This is heavy.”

“Sure, come inside.” The man led Aaron to the back of the club then pointed to the bar. “You can leave the blood there.”

Aaron set down the box then slammed down the clipboard with the delivery paperwork on the bar. He pulled a pen out of his shirt pocket. “Here you go. If you could sign here.”

The bartender snatched the ballpoint out of Aaron’s hand. He signed on the line with a bold flourish, but when Aaron went to grab the papers, he kept a grip on it. “How about a kiss, love, or don’t they let cops do that on duty?”

Aaron tipped back his head and laughed. When he finished, he gave the bartender a cheeky smile. “What gave me away? I thought I was doing pretty well. I did a little delivery work in college.”

The bartender leaned closer. “You smell too fucking good, mate. The bloke who usually delivers blood smells like three month old cigarette smoke.” He took a deep breath and Aaron spotted fangs peeking through the bartender’s gums. “You, on the other hand, smell like sugar and sunshine and look like a gay bloke’s best dream.”

Aaron laughed again. “You sweet talker. I’m Detective Aaron Bradshaw, first precinct.” Aaron held out his hand to shake. “I told them you wouldn’t fall for it, but I didn’t think it would be how I smelled that tripped me up. I’ll have to remember that. The delivery’s legit, though. The rest of your blood is in the truck.”

“Banner Hawkins,” the bartender replied, shaking Aaron’s hand longer than necessary before reluctantly letting it go. “I’ll help you unload if you tell me why the cops are trying to get inside the club.”

“I need to talk to your master. Rumor has it he might have the answers I need and he’s ignoring me through the usual channels. I’d hoped if I got inside, some lovely man could help me out.” Aaron batted his eyelashes shamelessly at the bartender.

“I can think of a lot of ways of helping you out,” Banner said, smiling, “starting with that kiss.”

Aaron couldn’t remember the last time a cute guy had flirted with him. It felt good to be admired and he was more than a little tempted to give the man a smooch despite being on duty.

“The man came to talk to me,” a silky voice said behind him. “I believe that kiss is mine.”

The minute the gorgeous stranger had walked into the bar, he’d known. He’s mine. After seeing the man, Orion knew the detective could easily become his obsession.

“I’m Orion,” he offered, holding out his hand.

“Detective Aaron Bradshaw.” The gorgeous cop shook his hand. “Nice to meet you, Master Orion.”

Orion groaned when their palms crossed. He almost couldn’t resist the overwhelming impulse to yank Aaron into his arms and sink his teeth into the sexy detective’s neck. The urge to sample Aaron’s flavor almost overpowered his conscience.

Unclenching his hold took more effort than it should have, along with most of his resolve. Stepping back, he gave the detective what he hoped was a professional, fangless smile even though he could feel his teeth trying to descend. With effort, he forced them back into his gums. He didn’t want to scare off the detective. He had plans for the man and none of them included the gorgeous creature running from the club screaming.

“Follow me and you can tell me what you need from me,” Orion said. All the things you need, he added silently. Orion couldn’t think of anything he wanted more than to be exactly what Aaron was looking for.

Tuesday Teaser!

Hmm…what should I share today? So many story ideas are running through my head all of the time.

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He’s a sneak peak from Owning Oliver (it might change but here is an unedited bit)

Oliver jerked awake. His crossed his arms and rubbed his hands up and down his skin trying to rub some heat into his frigid skin. Maybe he was wrong. Maybe it wasn’t happening. He closed his eyes and took a deep cleansing breath.

“I’ll just call.” Anthony had never lost his temper over Oliver checking up on him before.

His fingers shook as he picked up the receiver. He usually liked his old-fashioned phone with its curly cord and rotary dial but with his dreams jumbled and a heavy sense of foreboding weighing him down like a stone weight he could barely breathe.

“Shh, babe. It’s all right.”

Oliver jolted when a thick arm wrapped around him to cradle him back into his embrace.

Oh, oh damn.

He’d been drunk last night. After talking to his father he’d left work and headed for the closest bar. Brief flashes of memory were coming back to him now. A pair of sparkling green eyes and a wicked grin had lured him into the unusual invitation to a total stranger. “I have to make a call.”

“Not if you’re upset.” The firm refusal had shivers rolling up his spine. He’d always been a sucker for a strong-willed man. With his father’s overbearing personality he should’ve rebelled against anyone telling him what to do but Oliver couldn’t resist a man who knew his own mind.

“I have to make a c-call, Anthony needs me.” His dream swamped him, visions flashing in his mind. Pain, so much pain. Oliver trembled. It took him a moment to realize the soothing noises came from his companion.

“I’ve got you babe. Who’s Anthony? I don’t like competition.”

Oliver choked on his laughter. “He’s my boss. I’ve got to call him.”

“Why?”

“I had a dream. He’s in trouble. I have to go help.” Oliver sat up. He turned to see his bed companions. Damn, his drunk self had much better taste than his sober self. Hard muscles covered a wide chest.

Oliver licked his lips.

“Oliver?”

“Huh?”

A deep chuckle sent a warm vibe through Oliver’s body.

“What kind of trouble?”

“I-I don’t know but I have to go see.”

“Are you psychic?”

Oliver lifted his eyes from the man’s gorgeous chest. “Listen, I appreciate your concern but I’ll be fine. I hate to kick you out…” he let his words fall off.

“Don’t worry I’m coming with you.” His bed companion whipped off the covers and completely derailed Oliver’s thought process. Some people shouldn’t be allowed to wear clothing. Other than a strange scar across his stomach that looked like some sort of wild animal had tried to tear out his stomach, the stranger had no other flaws.

“What?” How had he lost control of this conversation?

“If you don’t know what kind of trouble you’re heading into I’m not going to let you go by yourself.”

“Y-you don’t get to choose.” For a confident person Oliver couldn’t find it in him to be more aggressive with his statement. He instinctively moved closer to the stranger in his bed.

Strong hands slid into his hair and yanked him closer. “Of course I do. Don’t you remember you’re mine?”

Before he could respond to that ridiculous statement, his bed partner plunged is large hands through Oliver’s hair and yanked him close. Strong lips pressed against Oliver’s. Oliver sighed against his lover’s lips. His entire body hummed with need as if he were attuned to the man playing him like a fine instrument.

When his bedmate released him. Gold fire flared briefly in the stranger’s eyes.

“Oh, fuck. You’re a shifter.”

“Memory coming back, babe? I know I should’ve waited until you were more sober but I couldn’t resist your pretty blue eyes.”

Oliver blushed. He’d never had anyone talk to him like that. He was a skinny wizard geek who spent his life avoiding attention. How did he end up with a gorgeous shifter snuggling beside him?

Someone rang his doorbell pulling Oliver’s attention away from his bed companion.

“Excuse me.”

“Sure.”

Despite his words Oliver’s companion pulled on his jeans. Shirtless he followed Oliver to the front door.

“I can answer on my own.”

“I don’t doubt it,” The shifter smirked.

Moon pack Monday!

wolf

Henry pulled the Shepherd’s Pie out of the oven and set it on the counter.

Five

Four

The kitchen door banged open. His mate Dakota stomped into the room, his brilliant wolf eyes immediately narrowing in on the hot dish.

“Looking for something?” Henry asked.

Dakota dragged his gaze from the food the glare at Henry. “You do that on purpose?”

“What?” Henry crossed his arms and leaned against the oven door.

“Lure me down here.” Dakota stalked closer to Henry, his wolf always lived closer to the surface than the others. Some pack members gave Dakota a wide birth because of his feral nature. There were prejudices against a wolf that turned into a man versus a man who could turn into a wolf.

“I like you close.” Henry wouldn’t defend his wish to have his mate with him.

Dakota usually helped out in the kitchen but he’d been out of the kitchen all morning and Henry had been too busy to hunt him down. His mate didn’t always prefer his human shape and Henry didn’t allow him in the kitchen in wolf form.

“Good. I like being near you too.” Dakota jumped up to sit on the stainless steel counter in front of Henry. Good thing he cleared that spot off in anticipation of Dakota coming. He’d learned to anticipate his mate. Dakota lifted his chin waiting for his kiss.

Bracing his hands on either side of Dakota, Henry pressed his lips to Dakota’s. No way would he leave Dakota hanging. Dakota only showed affection to Henry and he liked to encourage that side of him.

Dakota slid his cheek against Henry’s, one side then the other, marking him so no one else dared to think they had a chance. “Mine,” he growled, his voice rough with disuse. Dakota only spoke when necessary and not often.

“Always sweetheart. What have you been up to?”

“I was with Dare on the rooftop.”

Henry froze in surprise. “That’s good.” He supported anything that integrated Dakota more into the pack.

Dakota nodded. “The tiger is soothing.”

“Soothing, huh. I think Steven has a different take on that.” Dare often drove his mate Steven to the edge of his patience.

Dakota’s disdainful snort made Henry smile. “Steven needs more stillness. Dare understands a proper nap.”

Henry laughed. “I’m sure he does.”

“Is that ready yet?” Dakota tilted his head toward the food sitting on the counter.

“It’s still hot.”

Dakota nipped at Henry’s ear before leaning back. “Come back to the apartment. I’ll keep you busy until it’s cool.”

Henry glanced around at the mess of his kitchen. “Let’s go.”

Blog Story – Part 10

Silence met Vin’s melting. For several minutes no one spoke.

“You are far more powerful than I gave you credit for,” Vin said. His eyes were calm but watchful as if waiting to see Vin’s next trick.

“I have my moments. Sorry about the freezing, that comes out when I panic.” At least he hadn’t caught anything on fire this time.

“Better freezing than flame,” Jess whispered.

Vin nodded. He waited to see if Loren would comment further but he calmly continued his meal. “I am sorry if you think I am being overbearing. I can’t stand the thought of my mate being somewhere vulnerable.”

“I can understand that. But you have to know I’ve fought hard to be independent of my family. I’m not going to just move in so you can take care of me now. I can take care of myself.”

Loren set down his fork. “So it seems. However there is always someone tougher and I have powerful enemies.”

Vin had no rebuttal. He knew there were many beings out there some who were completely immune to magic no matter how powerful. It only took one ghoul to take him out. He raked his finger through his hair and slouched back in his seat. “I don’t see a compromise. I don’t want to leave my dorm.”

“I can keep an eye on him uncle,” Jess offered.

Vin smiled at Jess’s eagerness. He knew his friend didn’t want to have to find a new roommate.

“And who is going to watch over you? The reason I even met my mate was because he had to haul your ass out of trouble.”

Jess cleared his throat. “Um, true but come one Uncle Loren the entire reason I chose that school was to attend with Vin.”

Loren sat up straight. “Why?”

“Because he’s my best friend! You can’t claim him and take him away, he was mine first!” Jess threw his napkin on the table.

“You forget one little detail, my young nephew,” Loren purred.

“What?” Jess crossed his arms over his chest.

“Vin claimed me.”

Blog Story – Part 9

These are a bit short because I’m catching up :)

***

“I’m glad we got that out of the way.” Vin ran a hand up and down Loren’s arm. Loren’s gaze snapped over to him.

Vin sucked in a breath at having Loren’s complete focus. That much attention aimed at him had his heart beating a bit faster. Loren sniffed. Could he smell Vin’s blood pumping faster through his veins?

The food arrived and Vin turned his attention to his food. He’d worry about Loren tasting him later. Eating was easier said then done. With each bite Loren watched his mouth as if waiting for Vin to say something.

“So what now?” Vin could feel the threads of fate binding him with Loren. A light glow of energy flowed around them revealing to anyone with sight that they were fated.

Loren took a bite of rare steak, his gaze never leaving Vin’s.

“You move in here to live with me.”

“What?” Vin’s mouth dropped open. “I can’t do that I’m at school.”

“What do you need school for? You don’t need to ever work again.” Loren’s displeased expression spiked Vin’s anger.

His magic flared out. Ice coated the floor. A light frost slid across the dining table and Vin’s breath puffed in front of him in a visible cloud.

“Pull it back buddy.” Jess wrapped a hand around Vin’s arm. “Don’t let him get to you.”

“He’s trying to take over my life.” Jess knew how hard Vin had worked to be free of control. His family would’ve locked him in a tower and used him for his magic if they could’ve gotten away with it. Vin had escaped them to go to school. When he graduated they expected him to join their world. Vin had other plans.

Anything but go home was pretty much it at this point.

“Vin, you can’t freeze my family!” Jess’s panicked tone snapped Vin back into the present.

Taking a deep breath he concentrated on warming the room. After a few minutes the ice vanished leaving behind wet patches on the floor. Vin evaporated those carefully. It would be a shame if the beautiful parquet flooring was damaged.

Teaser Tuesday (On Sunday)

I’m continuing my goal of making up for my less than stellar posting last week!

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This is from my book Gears which will be coming out after Keys. Keys is out October 1st from Dreamspinner Press (probably. it’s not on pre-order yet)

Please remember this is unedited and subject to change!

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“Oss, let me know when you want to go. I’ll be in my workshop.”

Oss turned to face him. “I’m thinking tomorrow. Can you shut down your shop?”

I nodded. “I haven’t really re-opened it yet.”

Business had been good lately and I saved every penny in case I needed to escape. I never slept without an escape plan, a remnant from my time on the street. My mechanical curiosity shop had been open for several years and I’d started to have quite the clientele among the city’s elite. There was a bit of satisfaction getting money from the people who used to ignore me or kick me as they passed. The ones I remembered from those lean years were charged a lot more.

Bidding everyone goodbye I headed home. Thorne’s butler sneered at me as I passed. When he turned away I dropped one of my mechanical bugs. The little beetle would run around and wreck havoc. Served the ass right for how he treated Oss. I didn’t care about if he liked me but Oss lived here and I wouldn’t tolerate him disrespecting my friend.

Smiling I headed home.

The walk from Thorne’s house to my workshop took me through the posh Fourth Quarter. Everything in this quarter had the sheen of perfection. Well-maintained streets, freshly painted houses and smooth, filled in streets. Beggars weren’t welcome here. Halfway across the square a shadow moved.

I reached into my pocket and wrapped my fingers around the handle of my pistol. Unlike Oss who preferred his blades, I needed distance in my kills. I persuaded an illegal witch to place a silence spell on my weapon. When I pulled the trigger no sound would alert anyone of what I’d done. Luckily the witch had been willing to swap her spell for a gear wren. Those of us without money traded our skills and never told anyone the full extent of our abilities.

“Marbrey.” The whispered voice had me taking my hand off my weapon.

“Affie.” I watched the street urchin approach. I hadn’t seen him since we opened the door to the underground city. His eyes still had a blue ring around the edges where mine still had a metallic tint. Something about breaking the seal had affected all three of us, magical backlash perhaps.

“I came to warn you.” Affie whispered. His throat had been damaged years ago, his voice now barely above a soft whisper. I still hadn’t found a solution to Affie’s issue even with my tactics.

“About what?” The city, filled with dangers could turn on you in a minute. Murders and thieves hid in the shadows and law enforcement did little to stem the tide of corruption and murder.

“The Magistrate is looking for you.”

“Why? I thought they told him to back off?” After Oss became Key King he’d sent word that I was hands off.

Affie shook his head. “I don’t know but it can’t be good.”

I nodded my agreement. The Magistrate never came around for good reasons. I had escaped his orphanage as a child only to have to deal with him on the street. He’d tried to shake me down for cash when I opened my store but after a few bribes to some local thugs I kept him back. He isn’t well liked by the street people so I didn’t have to pay much to get them protect my store.

“Thank you Affie, let me know if you hear anything else.”

“You’re welcome.” Affie paled then his eyes flared bright blue swallowing the dark bits.

Moon Pack Moment (or it could be early Monday….)

wolf

Farro smiled at his son’s antics. Sammy ran around the baby dragons barking and hopping over their scaly forms.

“Good thing they like him,” Kylen said watching Sammy’s antics.

“It is. I used to worry about him having playmates but meeting up with the young dragons once a week does help.” Farro had worried a lot about his child. Wolf shifters weren’t exactly embraced in the fae kingdom. Kylen might be king but that didn’t change old prejudices overnight.

“I’m trying to recruit other wolf shifters to come here. Gabe might move here with his twins.”

“They don’t have kids,” Farro hated pointing out the flaw in Kylen’s plan.

Kylen laughed. “Can you imagine? They hover over Gabe like he’s a fragile flower. They’d go out of their mind with kids. Still, it would give Sammy another wolf to run with. He can’t exactly invite his school friends to come here and play.”

“True.” Farro sighed. Moving to another world had put a damper on Sammy creating any meaningful bonds with shifters his age.

“You should plan on going to the Moon Pack run during full moons. It wouldn’t be too difficult to open a portal to the pack lands so you and Sammy could run.” Kylen didn’t look directly at him when he made the offer. The trees had suddenly become fascinating.

“And you wouldn’t worry about us at all?”

Kylen dug his toe into the earth. “I might have to assign a few guards and the twins will be there.”

“Uh, huh.”

Kylen spun around to stand in front of Farro, his eyes wide with emotion Farro couldn’t name. “I just can’t stand the thought of you regretting coming to me. You gave up everything and I can barely spend a few hours a day with you and I see Sammy even less. I’m a horrible father.”

Farro’s mouth dropped open. “I had no idea you felt this way.”

“Please don’t leave me,” Kylen’s voice dropped to a low whisper. “I can take anything but that.”

“Shh.” Farro wrapped is arms around Kylen and held him close. “I’m not going anywhere.”

“But you don’t have a pack. You need a pack,” Kylen’s voice tinged in desperation broke Farro’s heart.

“You think I don’t have a pack?” Farro pulled back enough to stare into Kylen’s eyes. “A pack doesn’t have to be wolves. A pack is a group of people I feel close to. You think Dare is less pack because he’s not a wolf?”

“No.” Kylen toyed with Farro’s collar, still not meeting his eyes.

“My pack might include a few grumpy dragons, reluctant fae and the hottest king ever born but don’t make a mistake you are mine and I wouldn’t trade you for a hundred wolves.”

Kylen sighed, resting his head against Farro’s shoulder. “And a proper pack run?”

“I might take you up on visiting the Moon Pack once in a while but I don’t need to go monthly.”

“You let me know when and I’ll make sure you get there safely.”

“I know you will.” Farro kissed Kylen, trying to convey his love in that one embrace.

When they broke apart Kylen met Farro’s gaze. “I might be king to a kingdom but you are king of my heart.”

Farro raised an eyebrow at his mate. “How did you say that with a straight face?”

Kylen smiled. “It was kind of difficult but worth seeing your expression.”

Farro shook his head then squeezed Kylen tight. “Love you.”

“Love you too, pack mate,” Farro whispered.