Check Yes, No, or Maybe
Elliot beamed victoriously. “Get that sexy little ass up, go find yourself a guy, and ask him to buy you a drink.” He scooted close, throwing an arm over my shoulders. “And that delectable thing,” I followed the manicured, freshly painted fingernail to a man at the opposite end of the bar, “has had his eyes on you all night.”
I didn’t remember the exact details, but I did remember the guy’s good looks. Maybe some hipster glasses and sideswept dirty-blonde hair? Who cared? My liquid courage had my ass getting up and strutting to Mr. Sexy Thing. His eyes followed each move I made, inflating my ego the closer I got.
Heat hit my cheeks, cock standing at attention when he took a drink, staring over his glasses’ frame. Those eyes were wild. Hungry. And I was the lucky fucker getting devoured by them.
Damn, he really is watching. I nearly stopped and returned to my seat. Through the haze, I remembered thinking I’d never been looked at like that. Should I really be doing this? I glanced at Declan who’d found me and glared like he was daring me to keep going. Confidence renewed, I picked up the pace.
“Hey there,” I said, leaning a hip against the bar.
Mr. Mystery raised his eyes to meet mine. “And hello to you, too.” Even through the fogginess, I recalled the timbre of his voice.
Holy shit, and I thought Declan had a hot tone. Compared to this guy, Declan … well, didn’t compare. This guy blew my ex’s sophistication and cockiness away with only one sentence!
Before I lost my nerve, I asked, “So, you come here often?” Did I really just say that! “I mean…” Oh, come on, he only said hello! Get a fucking grip!
“I know what you meant,” he said with a laugh. “No, I’m just visiting.” With the grace of a wildcat, he turned his attention back to his drink, tongue teasing the liquid on his lower lip. “Why? Do you come here often?”
“What? No. I mean…” My heart pounded in my ears. I wasn’t sure if it was his mocking or the sexy way he looked me over, but the confidence I’d built up slowly deteriorated. I was in “quit with the small talk and fuck me” mode in two seconds. How had he turned everything around with only a few words? “If you aren’t from here … where … are you, um…”
God, what is wrong with me?
“Miami,” he replied. “Why don’t you join me? Perhaps allow me to buy you a drink to calm your nerves?”
I did what Elliot dared me to, but I wasn’t ready to let Mr. Hipster Frames charm me out of my jeans.
Time to take back over. I sat and leaned on my forearms, gingerly letting my knee brush his in an “I’m open for business” manner. “Sure, but only if you play a game with me. Win and you can buy me a drink.”
“And if I lose?” he replied, clearly enjoying the challenge.
I shrugged a shoulder. “Then I walk.”
“Hmm.” A devious smile curved his lips. “Sounds good.” The glasses came off. I watched him close them, set them down, and turn to face me. Thick lashes and dark green bedroom eyes pierced through the Scotch-induced amnesia. “But, how about we up the ante? How about if I win, I buy you a drink and get you to come home with me?”
A gasp escaped me, piercing my lust-addled brain. It was like he read my mind—or maybe my actions, I wasn’t sure at that point—though I was too nervous to ask him for the last part. “O-okay. If you lose?”
The devious smirk widened. “I let you use me to make whoever is sitting at that table,” he gestured his head and eyes to my ex, “incredibly jealous, and you can walk. Deal?”
Is he for real? He knows what I am up to and doesn’t care? I can’t put this guy in any category on my checklist so far.
Every alarm, red flag, and warning sign went off in my brain. The last thing I remembered was telling him he had a deal.
I slide my arms under her small frame and easily lift her from the snow. Her dead weight settles against my chest, and a gust of wind batters us with a blast of icy flakes.
Memories come with it…swirling in my head the way the snow does around us.
Another body in my arms.
A hopeless struggle to survive.
The look of death staring back at me.
Clenching my jaw, I shake away the visions and concentrate on the moment. I need to get her warmed up and settled in at the cabin and get back out here for the firewood before it’s too bad out here for me to come to get it. While I’m used to the unpleasant weather here, it doesn’t mean I want to get stuck outside during shit like this.
And while all I may want is to disappear out here and pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist, it seems fate has other plans. There’s no one else to help her.
The very real weight of the situation rests heavily on my shoulders, and I glance down at the limp body in my arms.
It’s been so long since I’ve seen a woman, I almost forgot how beautiful they are. Soft, pale skin, perfect bow lips, thick, dark lashes spread across her wind-reddened, high cheekbones. It almost makes me miss being part of the world.
But the slightly blue tint to her lips and a big shake of my head bring me back to reality.
Get out of your fucking head and get moving, asshole.
The snow isn’t going to let up anytime soon, and it will only get worse the longer I stand here staring at this poor woman like a fucking idiot. That’s what happens when someone lives alone for as long as I have—I get lost in my own head too long with no way out.
I set out through the growing drifts toward the cabin, fighting the brutal wind and biting snow with each step. By the time it comes into view on the other side of the clearing, it’s practically a white-out. There’s no way she would have survived or been able to find the cabin if she hadn’t stumbled upon me.
It may already be too late.
All I can do now is try to warm her up and hope the sheriff can get up the mountain to bring her to the clinic in town for real treatment before we’re completely snowed in.
Cara Dee’s THEIR BOY is on sale for a limited time! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy today!
Title: Their Boy
Author: Cara Dee
Genre: MM Romance
About Their Boy:
Left all alone in the world—and in a very big house—after the loss of his parents, Kit Damien has struggled to find his place in society and in the kink community he longs to be a more active part of.
Daddy Doms Colt and Lucas have been a happy, committed couple for eight years. But two Tops need a bottom, and their quest for a Little to make their lives complete has led them to Kit’s empty doorstep.
But just as with his physical wounds, Kit’s emotional scars won’t heal overnight. Colt and Lucas must challenge him at every turn to force him to open up and let them in, to let them use their own individual methods to make him whole again. Together, the three will embark on a journey to learn about true love, growing up, the importance of sprinkles, and the rules of The Game that can make them all winners.
The Game Series is a BDSM series with gay pairings where romance meets the reality of kink. Sometimes we fall for someone we don’t match with, sometimes vanilla business gets in the way of kinky pleasure, and sometimes we have to compromise and push ourselves to overcome trauma and insecurities. No matter what, two things are certain. This is not a perfect world, and life never turns out the way you planned.
When the doorbell rang, I stuttered a curse and took a shaky breath. Great start, stuttering before I’d even opened the door. This could only get worse. I skidded out of the kitchen and ran a hand through my hair. Then I adjusted the collar on my shirt—crap, should I have put on a tie? No, this was casual. I was pretty sure. Fuck.
“Please like me,” I whispered, reaching the entryway. After wiping my hands along my thighs, I opened the door. And my heart stopped. No, no, no, no! Why was he here? Why, oh, fucking why?
I barely registered the polite smile on Lucas’s face. I was stuck on the damn fighter pilot. Colt stood there, with a freaking USAF ball cap on, and he was eating sushi from a to-go container.
My cheeks felt like they caught on fire.
Lucas snagged my attention when he removed his sunglasses, and then I was kind of trapped in his steely gray eyes.
“It’s good to see you again, Kit.” Lucas flashed that infectious smile I remembered from the munch, and I swallowed dryly.
“Y-you too,” I stammered. No, seriously, shoot me! I took a breath and stepped to the side so they could enter.
“I hope you don’t mind I brought Colt,” he replied as he passed me. “He was curious.”
I gnashed my teeth and mustered a tentative glance at Colt, who flashed me a faint smirk and chewed on a piece of sushi.
“I had to see the Raptor kid again.” His smirk widened, and he walked past me too.
I was toast. This was not what I signed up for.
About the Author:
Romance Across the Spectrum.
I’m often awkwardly silent or, if the topic interests me, a chronic rambler. In other words, I can discuss writing forever and ever. Fiction, in particular. The love story—while a huge draw and constantly present—is secondary for me, because there’s so much more to writing romance fiction than just making two (or more) people fall in love and have hot sex.
There’s a world to build, characters to develop, interests to create, and a topic or two to research thoroughly.
Every book is a challenge for me, an opportunity to learn something new, and a puzzle to piece together. I want my characters to come to life, and the only way I know to do that is to give them substance—passions, history, goals, quirks, and strong opinions—and to let them evolve.
I want my men and women to be relatable. That means allowing room for everyday problems and, for lack of a better word, flaws. My characters will never be perfect.
Wait…this was supposed to be about me, not my writing.
I'm a writey person who loves to write. Always wanderlusting, twitterpating, kinking, cooking, baking, and geeking. There’s time for hockey and family, too. But mostly, I just love to write.
All the links you could need in one place: https://www.caradeewrites.com/cdwlandingpage
Connect with the Author:
The Other Brother
The next day I’m out surfing early. The waves are gentler today, and while the rides aren’t as intense, it’s crazy-cool being out with the early sun glinting off the water and the fresh salt air giving my nostrils a spring clean.
I’m about to head in when I notice a lone runner on the beach. As the figure draws closer, I recognize the lean build and curly hair.
Okay, so maybe I time my exit from the water so I intercept him. But hey, it’s a long, lonely fifty-feet walk back to the house. It’s natural to want some company.
Cody stops at the start of the path, leaning forward to rest his hands on his legs as he recovers his breath. He’s wearing a close-fitting T-shirt that shows off his biceps.
“Hey.” Yep, I should win awards for the most original opening line. I stand there, dripping in my wetsuit, sand caking my feet.
“Hey,” he pants. He straightens and pulls up his T-shirt to wipe his forehead, giving me a view of his muscled, tanned stomach.
“Heading back to the house now?” I keep my voice casual.
“I’ll be your security detail if you want.”
“Thanks, there are lots of bandits in the dunes,” he says in such a deadpan voice that it takes me a few seconds to realize he’s joking.
“Gotta watch out for those bandits.” My reply is a few seconds too late and a few levels too feeble as I step into stride next to him. The sandy path cuts through the dunes.
“So, do you surf?” I ask.
“Nah, I’ve never learned.”
“You spend your summers here, and you’ve never learned to surf?”
I snort. Making sure as much derision as possible is contained in the snort.
Cody raises his eyebrow. “Bodyboarding doesn’t cut it with you?”
“Nah. It’s like saying Jimi Hendrix and Justin Bieber are both equal musicians. Or… like Mozart and whoever was the crappy but popular composer back in his time.”
“I get the Jimi Hendrix/Bieber comparison,” Cody says. “You don’t need to put it into classical music terms.”
“That’s good, because I don’t know shit about classical music,” I say. “You dig Hendrix?”
“I play a few songs of his. Mainly on the guitar.”
“You play guitar as well?”
“Yeah. You ever played an instrument?”
“Does the recorder in third grade count?”
He flashes me a smile. “Kind of like bodyboarding counts as surfing.”
We’ve reached the house now. The sun is hitting the front windows, turning them into gleaming pools of gold light. But the yard is still in shadows.
“Wetsuit off, right?” I say.
“Yeah, there’s a hose around here somewhere you can use to wash down.”
He rummages around by the side of the house and emerges holding a hose.
I strip my wetsuit off. If there’s one thing it’s impossible to look coordinated doing, it’s removing a wetsuit. Luckily, I’ve got board shorts on underneath so I’m spared the indignity of possible shrinkage on full display.
“Damn, that’s cold.” I spray myself with the frigid water.
Cody’s standing there, immobile. He studies the ground, not looking at me.
Because I’m in control of the hose, I can’t help flicking water in his direction. He raises his gaze to mine, his eyes narrowing.
“You looked like you needed to cool off,” I say.
“Thanks,” he replies dryly.
I turn off the hose.
“Race you for the first shower,” I say, taking off through the door.
I’m not expecting Cody to engage, but then I hear footsteps on the floorboards behind me in the kitchen, and he’s right on my tail as I streak through the living room.
We’re side-by-side on the stairs, jostling each other with our elbows.
He slips ahead when we reach the hallway, but I tackle him to slow his momentum, and we both crash into the bathroom door at the same time and slide down it, laughing through our panting.
Vacations Like This
“What are you doing?” a voice boomed behind me.
Elsie jumped. I kept my feet planted firmly on the ground because—well, because I knew I couldn’t stick the landing. My ice skating was still a little bit shaky.
I turned around slowly and stared at Mack. “I’m getting into my new rental car.”
Mack shook his head rapidly. “Not a good idea, Kimber. Not. A. Good. Idea.”
“It’ll be fine. Not that it’s any of your concern.”
“Kimber, have you ever driven in the ice and snow before?”
“What a sexist remark!”
“It has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with geography!” He pointed at the mountain to our left. “We don’t have those in Louisiana. We definitely don’t have ice storms.” Now he pointed at the icicle hanging from the yield sign. “You don’t know how to drive in the snow and ice. Heck, I don’t know how to drive in the snow and ice. Why do you think I haven’t rented a car myself? The town’s so small, just walk to where you need to go!”
I glared at him and clenched my fist. My fingers bumped the panic button on the key fob, and the car alarm went off. I stabbed at the button with my index finger to turn it off.
Refusing to look at Mack, I tucked my hair behind my ear, then marched toward the car. My foot slipped on a thick patch of ice, but I caught myself.
I glanced around at the parking lot. Now that I looked at it, there really was quite a bit of ice. But I’m sure the car would have better traction than my no-tread tennis shoes.
Elsie spoke up, the dirty traitor, “You know, Kimber, maybe you should wait to drive the car tomorrow. It’s supposed to thaw and warm up a little. Then you won’t have to worry about driving on such thick ice.”
“It’ll be fine,” I assured her. I didn’t know that—not really. But I didn’t want to back down with Mack standing right there. It would feel wrong to agree with him. And he looked so stern standing there glaring at me. He’d make a great disapproving dad someday. I opened the door to the car and climbed in.
Closing the door, I buckled my seatbelt before starting the car up. I jumped when a shadow fell over the driver-side window. Mack stood outside the window, knocking on it. Even knowing he was going to continue his rant, I rolled the window down.
“Do you need a ride home in my new rental car?” I asked with a sickly sweet voice. Mack leaned down and rested his elbows on the doorframe and leaned into the car.
“Kimber, please get out of the car.”
“Mack, it’ll be fine. I don’t know why you care.”
He practically rolled his eyes at that as if he had a right to be mad at me. He didn’t. “You’re making me out to be some super villain when I’m only here to do my job.”
“Even villains have jobs,” I reminded him. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take this car back to the cabin so that I can deliver flyers with it. I have a super villain to stop.”
I rolled the window up and Mack was forced to step back.
With a smirk and a little wave, I put the car in reverse, but I was distracted by Mack shaking his head looking disappointed at me. I shouldn’t feel guilty. He was the one in the wrong. But while I was busy thinking about his misplaced disappointment, I stepped on the gas and shot backwards out of the parking space. Mack’s eyes widened, and I frantically stepped on the brakes.
Nothing happened. The car drifted to the side, but it didn’t stop. I glanced behind me and realized that I was heading straight for a light pole. I stomped on the brakes again, but the car was already in motion and going with the momentum of the ice rink that was in the parking lot. I was going for gold. If the judges didn’t give me a 10/10 for my flying spin I was going to be upset.
I screamed and cranked the wheel of the car. It didn’t go where I steered it. It was as if my toe pick had stuck in the ice and the hard surface was zooming up toward my face.
Title: Captive: Hook and His Darling #1
Duet: Bale's Bedtime Stories
Author: Sarah Bale
Genre: Reverse Harem Dark Romance
Release Date: October 26, 2021
It's my world. I own it all.
And right now, all I want is her.
She may be the enemy,
But that's not going to stop me,
Nothing stops me.
My men and I will do everything to have her,
I work for a monster,
And his rival may not be the answer,
But I'm willing to take my chances,
By turning to Hook and his men,
To escape this situation.
But passion leads to danger,
Pleasure leads to problems,
And the biggest one of all,
They’ve got me CAPTIVE,
In body, mind, and heart.
Sarah Bale's family always knew she was destined to write romances when they saw the elaborate stories she created for her Barbie dolls. At fifteen she penned her first book, which will never see the light of day if she has any say.When Sarah isn't writing she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and also planning what she’d do in a zombie apocalypse. One of her favorite pastimes is attending comic cons where she can nerd out over all things Marvel. She resides in Oklahoma and doesn't plan on leaving any time soon. You can find her at: www.sarahbale.com
Shopping for a Highlander
Hamish McCormick’s tongue is in my mouth. I realize this is a problem half the women on the planet would love to have. He’s a world-famous Scottish soccer–sorry, football to everyone except Americans–player, and my sister is married to his cousin, the billionaire. Given the fact that Hamish is kissing me in front of my date, though, it’s a little awkward. “Ahem,” said date says, scratching his temple, adjusting his glasses, and using polite, understated throat techniques to get Hamish off me. Subtlety doesn’t work on Hamish, though. This kiss is anything but subtle. Pretty sure you’d need a crowbar to pry him off me. Or me off him. The distinction between who is kissing whom was lost long ago. I see my date, Davis, out of the corner of my eye, and I’m about to shove this two-hundred-pound sack of hard muscle and overconfident heat off of me and slap him, but sweet merciful deity, I swear Hamish’s lips have some kind of magic potion on them that renders me spellbound. No kiss has ever tasted like this. Except the last kiss from him.
Bonds of Discord
“There’s movement at the gate,” Adrik announced, drawing all our gazes.
We were parked across the street from the address Siena had texted me, having only just arrived moments ago.
We’d shown up just in time.
Sal’s property was fenced like most of the fancy homes in the area, and while we watched, the gate opened, and two vehicles emerged: a Tahoe and a sedan.
My gut said Siena was in that Tahoe, probably with Sal.
“Follow them,” I ordered. “But stay back. Don’t let them see you.”
Once the vehicles rounded the corner, Adrik pulled away from the curb and followed.
It was nearly five a.m. now, and the streets were empty, which made it easy to follow them. We stayed back so they wouldn’t get suspicious, and about fifteen minutes later, they turned into the Romano estate in Beverly Hills.
Dom’s gaze darted to mine. “If she’s in one of those cars and they take her inside, our chances of getting her out are slim.”
Enzo Romano’s property was like a fortress, much like the Popov mansion. He had thugs guarding it from all sides, not to mention the security fence that we would have to get past without alerting the guards. Odds of us getting inside undetected were slim to none.
Adrik pulled the car over several houses away and waited for my instructions.
I ground my jaw. We didn’t have enough manpower with us tonight to take on the Romanos. We shouldn’t even be here. I had put everyone in this car in danger just by being this close to the Romano estate. To venture any closer would be suicide. His men shot first and asked questions later.
I dragged a hand down my face. We had no choice but to back off for now. We would have to wait for another opportunity to free Siena.
“Fuck!” I slammed my fist into the back of Timofey’s seat, startling him. “Fuuuuck!”
Tension filled the car. We all watched in silence as the gate opened and the two vehicles drove inside the property.
I bowed my head, not wanting to admit defeat. Hundreds of scenarios flashed through my mind of ways Sal might torture Siena. In that moment, I was reminded of what the son-of-a-bitch had done to Cara, and my stomach heaved.
Be strong, Siena. Don’t let him break you. I’ll get you out of there as soon as I can.
“Now what, boss?” Adrik asked, eyeing me in the rearview mirror.
Heaving out a long sigh, I lifted my head.
“Now, we wait.”
“Stop,” I choked out, panic roaring through me in wild surges.
I started to thrash against him, so hard I clocked him in the mouth with my chin. He started to bleed, but he didn’t let loosen his hold.
“I won’t let you go,” he repeated calmly as he held me like Peleus wrestling the ever-changing form of Thetis, determined to win me and keep me forever. “I won’t.”
“I don’t want you,” I cried out, but there were more tears on my face and a keen edge of desperation in my tone that shook my conviction.
“Such a little liar,” he reprimanded, darkness crossing his face as he pressed his groin harder into my hips, pushing my legs farther apart so he could cant his erection against my panty-covered sex. “Should I show you how badly you lie?”
“No.” I squeezed my eyes shut and turned my face from him.
A part of me wanted it, a large part. For Tiernan to take from me. For him to press me open and pull me apart with the hard drive of his thick cock and the punishing hold of those strong fingers all over my flesh.
But another part was terrified. I didn’t have anything more to give to anyone, but Brandon. How could I trust anyone after a lifetime of being taken from?
I expected him to kiss me then. To take me with the same ruthless savagery he’d taken me on the beach.
Instead, he licked the path of a tear from the edge of my jaw up my cheek before planting a soft kiss at the corner of my closed eye. He smoothed my hair back with a big palm and I could feel his gaze hot on my face.
I didn’t dare open my eyes to see his expression.
I knew, whatever it was, I couldn’t bare it.
This was the side of Tiernan that eviscerated me. Those small glimpses of a warm heart and kind spirit that razed my resolve to the ground.
So, I lay still and sightless as Tiernan kissed me again. Hot, open-mouthed kisses down my cheek to my neck and chest. Each press of his lips to my body melted my resolve. Atom by atom I sank into the floor, into him, pliant and hungry in a different way than I had ever been before.
This wasn’t a flash fire. A burst of lust so intense it burned fast and clean.
This was a slow burn.
And I was helpless against the heat.