Category Archives: Guest Blog

Tour Stop, Guest Post & Giveaway: Cam Boy by Quinn Anderson

Thanks for joining me on my book tour! I’m Quinn Anderson, author of On Solid Ground and All of the Above. I’m here to share some inside information about Cam Boy, coming out on February 12th, my 28th birthday! Stay tuned to hear about the friend who inspired this novel, fun facts, and more about the characters. Leave comments on the tour posts for a chance to win a $10 Riptide Publishing gift card!

Editor’s Block – Editing a single chapter for nine hours

I’ve talked in past blog tours about how I don’t get writer’s block (and I am sooo grateful for that), but I do get what I call “editor’s block.” Basically, editing for me takes as long as writing the story itself, and I mean my personal editing. This is before I even send a manuscript in to be looked at by real editors.

Basically, when I’m writing a book, my first goal is to get everything on paper. “I can fix it later” is my favorite mantra. This is great for getting a first draft done, but it means that when I go back to polish, I often have to change whole swathes of text, or sometimes whole chapters. When I was writing Action, the second book in this series, I remember spending an entire day—nine whole hours of work—on just one chapter. I think it was chapter 10. If anyone ever goes back and reads that one chapter in particular, I hope you enjoy it, because a LOT of work went into it.

The block usually comes from having to sit down and think to myself, “Okay, are my characters reacting the way they’d truly react in this scenario? Is this precisely what they would say? Should they be feeling something different?” It can be so difficult to climb into another person’s head, even when you invented them. All in all, however, I find this method of write-first-worry-later works best for me, and it’s enabled me to produce books much more quickly than when I tried to make them perfect the first time around.

Title: Cam Boy by Quinn Anderson
Murmur Inc. Universe Book Three
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Gay, Erotic, Romance
Length: 272 pages/Word Count: 79,300


Their chemistry is undeniable, but he knows better than to mix business with pleasure.

After years of making minimum wage, twenty-one-year-old Josh Clemmons may have found his salvation. Murmur Inc., a local adult entertainment company, is hosting auditions for new performers, and Josh has been invited to try out. If he can make it as a porn star, he can kiss his money troubles goodbye.

Mike Harwood is a loud-and-proud professional adult entertainer. In the past three years, he’s starred in dozens of films, and he’s very good at what he does. But as focused as he’s been on work, he’s neglected everything else, including his love life. He’s so used to faking attraction, he can no longer tell when something real is staring him in the face.

Josh gets the job, but when porn fails to live up to the fantasy, he quits to do cam work instead. But he can’t stop thinking about the one scene he filmed, and the captivating man he filmed it with. Their chemistry is undeniable, but Mike knows better than to mix business with pleasure. Then again, with true love on the line, this unorthodox office romance may need a second take.

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Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing

About Murmur Inc.

Murmur Inc.—one of L.A.’s premier adult entertainment companies—prides itself on delivering sex that’s not only hot but high-quality. For decades, they’ve been delighting their rabid fanbase with porn with actual plots, rich fantasies, and stars that boast both good looks and business savvy. And above all else, they employ beautiful people of every shape, size, color, and orientation.

There’s no shortage of talent wandering Murmur Inc’s halls, and oddly enough, no shortage of romance simmering behind the scenes. Murmur Inc. takes mixing business with pleasure to new levels. Want an inside look at the personal lives of Murmur Inc’s hottest stars? No subscription necessary.

Check out Murmur Inc.!

Author Bio

Quinn Anderson is an alumna of the University of Dublin in Ireland and has a master’s degree in psychology. She wrote her dissertation on sexuality in popular literature and continues to explore evolving themes in erotica in her professional life.

A nerd extraordinaire, she was raised on an unhealthy diet of video games, anime, pop culture, and comics from infancy. She stays true to her nerd roots in writing and in life and frequently draws inspiration from her many fandoms, which include Sherlock, Harry Potter, Supernatural, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Buffy, Marvel, and more. You will often find her interacting with fellow fans online and offline via conventions and tumblr, and she is happy to talk about anything from nerd life to writing tips. She has attended conventions on three separate continents and now considers herself a career geek. She advises anyone who attends pop culture events in the UK to watch out for Weeping Angels, as they are everywhere.

Her favorite television show is Avatar: the Last Airbender, her favorite film is Tangled, and her favorite book is Ella Enchanted. She can often be spotted at conventions, comic shops, and midnight book releases. If you’re at an event, and you see a 6’2” redhead wandering around with a vague look on her face, that’s probably her. Her favorite authors include J.K. Rowling, Gail Carson Levine, Libba Bray, and Tamora Pierce. When she’s not writing, she enjoys traveling, cooking, spending too much time on the internet, screwing the rules, finding the Master Sword, guided falling, consulting for the NYPD, guarding the galaxy, boldly going, and catching ’em all.

Author Links: Tumblr * Facebook * Goodreads


To celebrate the release of Cam Boy, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 17, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!


Filed under Blog Tour, Contest, Guest Blog

Friday Feature, Guest Post & Giveaway: Twice in a Lifetime by Jodie Griffin


Hi! I’m Jodie Griffin, and I write contemporary romance and kinky erotic romance. I’m here to talk about my sixth published book, TWICE IN A LIFETIME, a contemporary female/female story with mature characters—and my first story for Riptide!

As writers, we’re often asked what inspires us to create a particular story. Sometimes, it’s a news story, a throwaway comment on social media, an ad on TV, something you see while you’re out and about. Sometimes it’s a vague thought that won’t go away. And sometimes, it’s based on something that happens in your own life.

When I first started writing, I wanted to write Romantic Suspense. Several years ago, I saw a twelve-week Citizen’s Police Academy class was being offered to any resident of my city, so I applied to take the it, thinking I’d learn a lot about crime scenes and police work and it would help my writing. Part of the class included weekly presentations from areas such as patrol to investigation to human resources and community relations, which means I met a lot of different people, with lots of different jobs in the department.

Including the woman Eve is based on.

And the woman who has a job similar to Talia’s.

A story idea was born, with quite a bit of creative license on my part—and maybe some things based on real life experiences. Possibly. Or not. *evil grin*

ANYWAY, I started wondering. What if you met this person years ago and was attracted to her, but you were married and monogamous so you ignored those feelings? And what if your dream job opened up and OMG, it’s working for her. AND WHAT IF that attraction was still there — and you’re alone now? WHAT THEN?

I went down the rabbit hole and didn’t look back.

As for other inspiration, I’m not a writer who plots, so sometimes things happen that I don’t expect.  I was writing along, having fun with Talia and Eve, minding my own business as one does… and in walked Delia Butler. She and Colin are characters from FORBIDDEN FIRES. And later in the story, another couple from a previous book show up—Jeremy and Becca from MATZOH AND MISTLETOE.  I hadn’t expected ideas to come from previous stories—especially not my kinky books!—but hey, I take it where I can get it. And sure enough, it all worked out.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the making of TWICE IN A LIFETIME.  I’d like to thank Book Reviews and More by Kathy for letting me stop by, and I hope you take the chance to visit all of the other blog sites that are part of this tour. Leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win a $25 Riptide Publishing gift card.

Title: Twice in a Lifetime by Jodie Griffin
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Lesbian, Erotic, Romance
Length: 210 pages/Word Count: 56,700


When widow Talia Wasserman applies for a job with the local police department, she’s shocked to discover she’ll be working for Lieutenant Eve Poe, an officer she’d met—and been attracted to—during a long-ago citizen’s police academy workshop. Fifteen years later, the spark is still there, and no one’s currently in Talia’s life or in her bed. But there’s just one teeny, tiny problem. Eve is her boss, so she’s completely off-limits.

Eve feels a sizzling connection with Talia from the very first, but Talia works for her, and that’s just a bad idea. Besides, Eve needs to focus on the person sending disturbing emails to her office, and not on the woman who quickly makes herself invaluable to the department. It’s too bad her heart doesn’t agree with her.

Then Eve is badly injured in the line of duty, and Talia’s worst fears are realized. She may lose her chance at happiness with the woman she’s come to love, and she can’t survive that kind of loss twice in a lifetime.

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Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing

Author Bio

Jodie Griffin didn’t always want to be a writer. She spent hours reading, but school papers were written one painful word at a time. Then a story idea came, demanding to be put on paper. After years of practice, she took the leap, submitted her first manuscript, and hasn’t looked back.
Jodie is also an avid photographer, a chocoholic, and a lover of bad puns. When she’s not writing, she’s likely out stalking the moon for that perfect shot.

Jodie’s own happily ever after includes one incredibly supportive husband and one future heroine. Visit Jodie at

Author Links: Website * Tumblr * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Pinterest * Goodreads


To celebrate the release of Twice In a Lifetime, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 27, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!


Filed under Blog Tour, Contest, Friday Feature, Guest Blog

Friday Feature, Guest Post & Giveaway: Two Feet Under by Charlie Cochrane

Cannibalising? Of course

Last autumn, this story about a new/old Dr Who story really pleased me. It wasn’t just the reappearance of one of my favourite Dr Whos, or the Cambridge connection that was so good, it was the fact that when this episode was left unfinished, Douglas Adams used parts of it for his Dirk Gently books. I went, “Woot! I do that, too. So pleased to know I’m not the only one.”

I throw nothing away that I’ve written. Not until I’ve got every last bit of use from it. (Or I read it through and it’s so awful that I daren’t let it see the light of day in any form, even after a good going over.) If I decide that a work in progress has got no future then it gets pulled apart and used for something else. The first Lindenshaw mystery, “The Best Corpse for the Job” started life as a possible script for a long running television series. I had a contact but alas, the contact left, so I took the basic plot, added a romantic pairing between the detective and one of the witnesses and bingo! A silk purse from a sow’s ear.

Creating the second Lindenshaw book, “Jury of One”, wasn’t quite as clear a case of taking one thing and making it another, but I did take several scenes wholesale from a story that got so deeply stuck that it couldn’t be rescued from the mire of the work in progress swamp. I was really pleased with the interactions in these scenes and they could be adapted beautifully. The fact that most of them involved a policeman taking witness statements didn’t hurt in terms of making the transformation.

I don’t think there’s anything in “Two Feet Under” that’s been cannibalised from elsewhere, although there nearly was. I had some scenes with a particularly strident woman that I thought might work in this novel, but they didn’t. And you can’t squeeze in what doesn’t fit simply because you think it’s a good piece of writing – it’ll stick out like a sore thumb.  I’ve saved them to use elsewhere, of course.

Two Feet Under began life as a conversation in a car, when my eldest daughter and I got stuck in a traffic jam on the way to an author/reader event. It gained a criminal mastermind as a result of another conversation in the car with her younger sister. It got its background thanks to the popular television series “Time Team” and a setting care of the northern part of Hampshire. The plot came from the author’s twisted imagination, via a lot of checking. And at least one character is based on people I know. You have been warned.

Title: Two Feet Under by Charlie Cochrane
Lindenshaw Mysteries Book Three
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Gay, Romance, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 328 pages/Word Count: 87,600


Things are looking up for Adam Matthews and Robin Bright—their relationship is blossoming, and they’ve both been promoted. But Robin’s a policeman, and that means murder is never far from the scene.

When a body turns up in a shallow grave at a Roman villa dig site—a body that repeatedly defies identification—Robin finds himself caught up in a world of petty rivalries and deadly threats. The case seems to want to drag Adam in, as well, and their home life takes a turn for the worse when an ex-colleague gets thrown out of his house and ends up outstaying his welcome at theirs.

While Robin has to prove his case against a manipulative and fiendishly clever killer, Adam is trying to find out which police officer is leaking information to the media. And both of them have to work out how to get their home to themselves again, which might need a higher intelligence than either a chief inspector or a deputy headteacher.

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Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing

About the Lindenshaw Mysteries

Adam Matthews’s life changed when Inspector Robin Bright walked into his classroom to investigate a murder.

Now it seems like all the television series are right: the leafy villages of England do indeed conceal a hotbed of crime, murder, and intrigue. Lindenshaw is proving the point.

Detective work might be Robin’s job, but Adam somehow keeps getting involved—even though being a teacher is hardly the best training for solving crimes. Then again, Campbell, Adam’s irrepressible Newfoundland dog, seems to have a nose for figuring things out, so how hard can it be?

Check out the Lindenshaw Mysteries!

Author Bio

As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR and Cheyenne.

Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.

Author Links: Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads


To celebrate the release of Two Feet Under, one lucky winner will receive a swag bag, including magnet, napkins, bookmark, pencils, hanging decoration, postcards, and a coaster! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 13, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!


Filed under Blog Tour, Contest, Friday Feature, Guest Blog

Tour Stop, Guest Post & Giveaway: Outside the Lines by Anna Zabo

Books I’ve Read and Loved Recently

by Anna Zabo

In August this year, I did a post on my own blog about what I’ve been reading. I’ve been reading a lot more this year than I have in the past. Partly because I find that reading refills the creative well, and partly because reading reduces my stress.

And 2017 has been stressful. For everyone, I think.

So! Since August, here’s what I’ve read and loved:

Sutphin Boulevard and Sunset Park by Santino Hassell

Yes, I’m way behind on this particular bandwagon. And now I understand the love. I really really do. Gritty and sexy and emotional, these books made me want to throw things at the characters and reach in and throttle them at times, but man, by the end I was rooting for them and so very happy. I can’t wait to tackle the rest of the series!

Risky Behavior and Suspicious Behavior by LA Witt and Cari Z

I’m starting to become a romantic suspense junkie, and I LOVE the way these two authors write together. I actually don’t know which MC is my favorite. (I lie. It’s Darren. No one tell LA that.) I’m so excited and apprehensive for the third book, ‘cause these guys have been through a lot (dirty cops, drug dealers, personal revelations, injuries, family crises) and are poised to go through even more!

It takes Two to Tumble by Cat Sebastian

I just finished this book and it’s delightful. I know a lot of folks won’t read regency because it’s all the ton and buttons and stiff upper lips. This book is none of that.

It’s got a cheerful gay vicar who isn’t all that upset about being gay, a grumpy sea captain who finds that home isn’t so bad, the vicar has delightful freckles, an older man who gleefully scandalized his neighbors by having a plural marriage (and fathered said vicar), children who are actually well-rounded beings and aren’t props, and ducklings. Ducklings on the vicar’s head.

It’s fairly low angst, and reads well and fast and I want to chuck my laptop out my window every time I read a book by Sebastian, ‘cause she’s that good.

So that’s what’s really caught my heart these past couple months! What have you read that’s captured yours?

Title: Outside the Lines by Anna Zabo
Bluewater Bay Universe Book 22
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Gay, Erotic, Romance, Menage, Female/Male,
Length: 260 pages/Word Count: 68,900


Miniature artist Ian Meyers has one week to rebuild his damaged set. Needing help, he goes to End o’ Earth, the local comic and gaming shop. Owner Simon Derry pushes all of Ian’s buttons, and he also has steady hands and the skills Ian needs.

Before they can even grab a beer, Ian meets Lydia Derry, Simon’s wife. If Ian had any interest in women, he’d suggest a threesome, but then Simon explains that he and Lydia are polyamorous, and if Ian wants Simon, neither of them will complain. If anything, Lydia encourages the relationship.

Ian’s all in, and it’s fantastic working with Simon to piece together his set and then take each other apart at night. His friendship with Lydia grows too. The only problem is, the more time he spends with Simon, the more he wants everything Simon already has with Lydia: A house. A cat. A commitment. So Ian runs, and shatters the trust he has with them both—right when they need him the most. Piecing their relationships back together might prove harder than a smashed set.

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Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing

About Bluewater Bay

Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.

Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by eleven award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors: L.A. WittL.B. GreggZ.A. Maxfield,  Heidi BelleauRachel HaimowitzAnne TeninoAmy LaneSE JakesG.B. GordonJaime Samms and Ally Blue. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landingmedia empire.

Check out Bluewater Bay!

Author Bio

Anna Zabo writes contemporary and paranormal romance for all colors of the rainbow. They live and work in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which isn’t nearly as boring as most people think.

Anna grew up in the wilds of suburban Philadelphia before returning to their ancestral homelands in Western Pennsylvania. As a child they were heartily disappointed to discover that they couldn’t grow up to be what they wanted (a boy, a cat, a dragon), so they settled on being themself whenever possible, which may be a combination of a boy, a cat, and a dragon. Or perhaps a girl, a knight, and a writer. Depends on whom you ask. They do have a penchant for colorful ties and may be hording a small collection of cufflinks.They can be easily plied with coffee.

Anna has an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, where they fell in with a roving band of romance writers and never looked back. They also have a BA in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads


To celebrate the release of Outside the Lines, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 23, 2017. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!


Filed under Blog Tour, Contest, Guest Blog

Tour Stop, Guest Post & Giveaway: The Happiness Pact by Liz Flaherty

Thank you for having me today!

If you’ve read Every Time We Say Goodbye, you’ve already met Tucker and Libby. They are two of the survivors of the horrific accident that happened on prom night seventeen years ago. They’re also best friends who, on the night of their joint thirty-fourth birthday party, start finding their way to being more. Their story is The Happiness Pact.

I loved writing this book. Tucker is gorgeous—he’s also a klutz. Libby is so ordinary that she fears wearing brown will make her disappear altogether. They made my heart ache, but even before they started down the path of “more,” I loved their relationship.

And I think more is the wrong word. Because there is nothing more or better than friendship. And there’s nothing deeper than the friendship between two people who love each other. While it’s wonderful and desirable to have friends who aren’t lovers, who would want a lover who wasn’t also a friend? I think that’s why, when writers talk about tropes and which ones are our favorites, I jump right onto the friends-to-lovers train.

I hope it’s one of your favorites, too, and while we’re talking about them, what others do you like? I have a serious love for reunion and redemption stories, too. And then there’s the geeky girl in love with the musician. Oh, right, that one was me. I still love him, too, and he’s still my best friend.

Comment for a chance to win a stocking with a book in it. US only, although if the name drawn is from outside the country, I’ll be happy to send a download.

Title: The Happiness Pact by Liz Flaherty
Publisher: Harlequin Heartwarming
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages


The fine line between BFF and happily-ever-after…

Tucker Llewellyn and Libby Worth—strictly platonic!—realize they’re each at a crossroads. Tucker is successful, but he wants a wife and kids: the whole package. Libby knows that small-town life has her set in her ways; the tearoom owner needs to get out more.

So they form a pact: Libby will play matchmaker and Tucker will lead her on the adventure she desperately needs. But the electricity Libby feels when they shake on it should be a warning sign. Soon the matchmaking mishaps pile up, and a personal crisis tests Libby’s limits. Will Tucker be there for her as a best friend…or something more?

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Purchase Links: Amazon * B&N * Google Play * iTunes * Kobo

Author Bio

Liz Flaherty was a little nervous about retiring from her day job, but making quilts, more family time, traveling at the mere mention of “why don’t we go…” and becoming a Harlequin Heartwarming author have made the past years more fun and exciting than she could ever have imagined.

Author Links: Website * Blog * Facebook * Pinterest * Twitter * Goodreads * Amazon Author Page


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the rest of the tour:

December 4th:


Hearts & Scribbles

Rockin’ Book Reviews

Paulette’s Papers

Book Lover in Florida

December 5th:

Book Reviews & More by Kathy

Deal Sharing Aunt

Heidi Reads…


December 6th:

The Bookworm Chronicles 

Reading Is My SuperPower

I Am A Reader

Teatime and Books

December 7th:

Nicole’s Book Musings

Christian Chick’s Thoughts

It’s All About the Romance

Getting Your Read On

December 8th:

underneath the covers

Inside the Mind of an Avid Reader

Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang!

December 9th: Grand Finale


Filed under Blog Tour, Contest, Guest Blog

Friday Feature & Giveaway: High Test by Elizabeth Noble

May/December romance

Hello, I’m Elizabeth Noble and thank you for stopping by and to Kathy for hosting me today!

The May/December romance is one of my favorite tropes. I use an age gap of eight to ten or more years in most of my books.

You have the older man who, like fine wine, just gets better with age. Combine that man with a younger man who brings a new perspective to a relationship and what’s not to love?

The greatest thing about this trope, to me anyway, is its versatility. I love that I can include an age difference in just about any plot. Giving my characters that age gap automatically adds so many obstacles and conflicts, some significant, some minor, but all give a little more spice and interest to the main story-line.

Did I mention May/December is a personal favorite of mine?

Characters are able to connect with each other and the reader through their age-related insecurities. Their romance blooms under the safety and knowledge that no matter what others might think, the characters can support each other. They learn about themselves and their love interest and develop a commitment to their new-found relationship.

While the main theme of High Test isn’t a May/December romance, it is a significant aspect of the story. Each man must deal with how society sees him, as a gay man and as someone dating an older/younger man. A bit of a double whammy. Neal, the older of the two, has the maturity that comes with age to be very forgiving when the need arises. Hayden, the younger of the couple, reaches within himself to find the courage to ignore how others might judge him for dating a man twenty years older than himself.

Title: High Test by Elizabeth Noble
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Imprint: Dreamspin Desire
Genre: Contemporary, Gay, Romance
Length: 202 pages/Word Count: 52,776


The coffee is rich. Hayden isn’t. But Neal doesn’t need to know that—yet.

Hayden Owens is just your typical graduate student working his way through school as a barista for the Owens Coffee Company—no relation. But he keeps the “no relation” part to himself when he meets dashing architect, Neal Kirchner, a successful older man from an old-money family. Hayden doesn’t exactly lie, but he figures it can’t hurt for Neal to believe he’s a rich kid. After all, Hayden doesn’t want Neal thinking he’s a gold digger.

The closer they become, the harder it gets for Hayden to come clean. Something always seems to get in the way. When a company bankruptcy and a jilted, vindictive woman threaten to expose his charade, Hayden thinks it’s all gone down the drain. Luckily Neal is ready with some innocent trickery of his own.

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Purchase Links: Dreamspinner Press (eBook) * Dreamspinner Press (Paperback) * Amazon * B&N * Google Play * iTunes * Kobo


They strolled down the sidewalk. Despite his earlier feelings of inadequacy, Hayden felt comfortable with Neal. The walk gave him a chance to get some clean, fresh air into his lungs and clear his head. His insides were more settled, and the tense feeling in his chest dissipated.

When they reached the bistro door, Hayden’s panic ratcheted back up. The people inside were sharply dressed, even the ones in casual attire and jeans. They had designer bags and expensive, tasteful jewelry. Hayden might not have been able to afford such things, but he saw enough at work to know many of the labels.

What the hell was he doing here trying to blend in wearing a simple Henley, Chucks, and off-the-rack department-store jeans?

Neal must have sensed Hayden’s hesitation because he picked then to put one arm around Hayden’s back, squeezing his shoulder for a few seconds. He moved his hand lower and rested it between his shoulder blades. “Would you like to try the patio or eat inside?”

“Patio. It’s so nice out tonight, and I’ve been cooped up in the coffeehouse since one.”

Neal stepped up to the hostess desk and said, “Two. A table on the patio, please.”

Hayden saw Neal put one hand on the desk and the woman there smiled and asked, “Will fifteen minutes be all right?”

He couldn’t see the denomination, but Neal had very discreetly given the young woman a folded bill that obviously made her very happy.

Neal smiled warmly, slipped his hand into his pocket, and said, “That would be perfect.”

“If you gentlemen would like to wait at the bar, there’s plenty of room.” The hostess nodded toward a large wooden bar with brass trim. She handed Neal one of those disks that would light up when their table was ready.

“Thank you.” Neal turned to Hayden. “Shall we?”

Hayden smiled and ducked his head as they walked to the bar. He’d never been in a place like this. A few people were very obvious when they looked at him and Neal with raised eyebrows. He could practically read their thoughts: He was interested in nothing but the man’s money and was probably a hired escort, and a few other judgments that became less polite as Hayden mentally scrolled down the list. A young woman with a man easily twice her age caught his eye, winked, and offered him a thumbs-up.

Turning tail and running crossed Hayden’s mind. The problem was he really liked Neal and had the impression Neal was genuinely interested in him. He kept asking himself over and over if he would find Neal so appealing if he were a factory worker or worked in retail or tended bar. Hayden kept coming up with the answer yes.

Neal moved a tall chair out from the bar and swung it around for Hayden before taking a seat in the next one over. “Do you like wine?”

“Um… I-I guess. I haven’t had much and don’t really know about many kinds. My family isn’t much for wine.” Hayden laughed nervously and ran one finger over the edge of the bar. He could simply go to the bathroom and slip out the back door. A quick glance around the restaurant convinced him that might not be possible since the men’s room was in plain sight of the bar.

Neal smiled, and the corners of his eyes crinkled. He chuckled softly, reached over and stroked the back of Hayden’s hand a few times. “Would you try one of my favorites if they have it here?”

Hayden kept his ass firmly on the seat and nodded. He realized Neal would be deeply hurt if Hayden snuck out. Memories of the emotions he’d experienced when he thought Neal had stood him up flashed across his mind. Not following through with dinner would be just as bad, if not worse. He took a deep breath. “I’d love that, thank you.”

Author Bio

e noble

Mystery, action, chills, and thrills spiced with romance and desire. ELIZABETH NOBLE started telling stories before she actually knew how to write, and her family was very happy when she learned to put words on a page. Those words turned into books and fan fiction that turned into a genuine love of M/M romance fiction. Being able to share her works with Dreamspinner is really a dream come true. She has a real love for a good mystery complete with murder and twisty plots as well as all things sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural and a bit of an unnatural interest in a super-volcano in Wyoming.

Elizabeth has three grown children, two grandchildren, and is now happily owned by an adorable mixed-breed canine princess and her sidekick tabby cat. Elizabeth lives in her native northeast Ohio, the perfect place for gardening and winter and summer sports (go Tribe and Cavs!) and stargazing all year long. When she’s not writing, she’s working as a veterinary nurse, so don’t be surprised to see her men with a pet or three who are a very big part of their lives.

Elizabeth has received a number of amateur writing awards. Since being published, several of her novels have received Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards. Jewel Cave was a runner-up in the Gay Mystery/Thriller category in the 2015 Rainbow Awards. Ringed Love was a winner in the Gay Fantasy Romance category of the 2016 Rainbow Awards.

Author Links: Website * Facebook * Facebook Group * Twitter * Goodreads * Pinterest * Email * Dreamspinner Author Page * Amazon Author Page


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