Alex’s Surprise by Chris McHart

GoodReads Presents

alex's surpriseBlurb

Alex wanted a night of hot passion with Gerome, but he gets more than he ever bargained for. His life will be changed forever in a world where he’ll be thrown in jail— or worse— for being pregnant.

Alex’s best friend, Sam, has been acting strange ever since he met Alex’s one-night stand, but now Alex needs help in order to hide, and Sam is his only hope.

First book in the Unexpected series.

This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group’s “Love is an Open Road” event. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors of the group selected a photo and prompt that spoke to them and wrote a short story.

Dear Author,
When I got pregnant unexpectedly and my partner-in-babymaking up and ran off, I figured I’d be alone forever. It was a rough time and if not for best friend I don’t know how long it would have taken to drag myself out of it. I never thought I’d find myself in this position with him. He has been so supportive through the pregnancy and all these feelings I’d never noticed before started blossoming. This is our first time together and I never thought sex could be this amazing— tender and smoking hot all at the same time. I think it helps that he spent so much time wooing me and we were able to fully switch from “friend” mindset to “romance” mindset before we just jumped into bed.

Photo Description:
A blond-haired man making love to a visibly pregnant man. From the expression on the blond’s face and the kiss he presses on the black-haired man’s shoulder, it’s clear these two are a couple who are deeply in love. They are somewhere hidden, maybe a basement, since there are stairs visible in the background. It makes me wonder, is the pregnancy forbidden? Are they hiding because of that?

This story may contain sexually explicit content and is intended for adult readers. It may contain content that is disagreeable or distressing to some readers. The M/M Romance Group strongly recommends that each reader review the General Information section before each story for story tags as well as for content warnings.


For those of you who don’t spend a lot of time on GoodReads or in the M/M Romance Group (I recommend you do!) – these are short stories written by both well-known and new authors based on pictures that have been submitted with intriguing story ideas. The authors take off from there and then the end results are published (For Free!) on the Group’s page.

As the blurb suggests, Alex is a man who has one night out with a vampire – yes he knows it’s a vampire – and the condom breaks. Neither party is aware that with infinitesimal odds, certain human/vamp combinations can result in pregnancy.

Yup. Alex is preggers!

In addition to being freaked out by that – like it isn’t enough! – there are laws against inter-species matings – and Alex faces huge penalties and the loss of his child if it is ever found out he is pregnant.

Meanwhile, Alex has a roommate, Sam, who has always had a bit of a crush on the man-whore Alex, but never broached the subject because Alex has always been so staunchly anti-relationship. When he finds out he’s pregnant, Sam is the only one he can turn to and the two realize there is more to their caring for each other than friendship.


This is the second piece I’ve read by this author and I am still a fan of the writing style. For the most part it is clean and clear and the story progresses in a logical and somewhat plausible fashion.

There were some difficulties with the pacing – in fits and starts Sam and Alex seem to be both hysterical then loving then manic then caring… maybe this was intentional to mimic the crazed pace of pregnancy, but it was jarring as a reader to experience.

Alex was not easy to like in this story, he seemed selfish and bitchy for most of it, and Sam put up with a lot for no seemingly good reason. I think, based on the ending, that this story will continue – and I’m glad because the coming parts are definitely going to be exciting, and hopefully Alex will get a chance to redeem himself.

3 of 5 stars



Accidentally Mated (Fraser Lake Pack Book 1) by Lynn Tyler

Lynn Tyler Books Presents

accidentally MatedBlurb

Tristan Massey didn’t set out to become the alpha of Fraser Lake’s werewolf pack. All he wanted to do was borrow a car. But he couldn’t ignore the dangerous direction his beloved pack was heading in.

Jake Trenton, tiger shifter, has a secret far more important than his unrequited love for his best friend. One that he will do anything to protect, even move thousands of miles away from everything he’s ever loved.

One night of passion ends with a mistake that ties them together for life and ends in disaster. While Tristan struggles with the consequences of letting go of his rigid control, Jake must decide whether he can show, and accept, his true nature.


This is the first in a new series, but as far as I can tell it is another extension of the previous “Pack Mates Series”. You can definitely read this as a standalone, but there is so much more to the story if you have read the other series.

Jake has just decided to leave his long lost unrequited love when Pierce mates Gavin. Tristan, who helped to save Pierce, sees potential in Jake (and maybe something deeper) and it calls to him to bring Jake into his fledgling pack.

Tristan, who has always identified as gay, has just become leader of the very unstable Fraser Lake Pack and thinks/knows that the idiots in his pack won’t tolerate a gay Alpha. However, he can’t help but be both attracted to and comforted from the submissive nature he sees in Jake.

The two dance around their attraction, making it fairly obvious to anyone looking that they are meant to be mates, but refusing to act on it for their own personal reasons.

Finally, in a desperate night of passion, Tristan mistakenly mates Jake and all hell breaks loose.

It will take a lot of back-peddling, some bravery, and the advice of good friends to fix things and get the pack back on solid ground, with the Alpha and his Mate as they should be.


I love Lynn Tyler books! She is really good at giving us fully developed characters in plots that are more plausible than some shifter books out there.

The world she has created is full of “insta-attraction” but not necessarily “insta-love”. Her couples aren’t always perfect, and it still often takes them a really long time before even mated couples feel really secure in their relationships.

I thoroughly enjoyed her “Pack Mate Series” and this is looking to be an equally engaging series as well.

4 of 5 hearts



Forging the Future ( Change of Heart Book 5) by Mary Calmes

Dreamspinner Presents


Change of Heart Series Book 5

Jin Church is back where he started, alone, wandering, and uncertain of his path. It’s not by choice but by circumstance, as he remembers he’s a werepanther… but not much else. He knows one thing for sure—he needs to find the beautiful blond man who haunts his dreams.

Logan Church is trapped in a living hell. His mate is missing, his tribe is falling apart, and he’s estranged from the son he loves with all his heart. His world is unraveling without his mate by his side, and he has no one to blame but himself.

If Jin can regain his memory and Logan can overcome the threats to his leadership, then perhaps they can resume their lives. The question is: Is that what they want? Back to the same house, the same tribe, the same troubles? They can choose from various roads leading to their future… or they can forge their own path.




(Beautiful art from Karrie Jax!)


Wow oh wow! When I saw the excerpt for this I just knew Mary was gonna give us the ugly cry!

We start off with Jin separated from Logan and with no memory of him, his life, his powers, or even his SON!

(Mary – why do you separate our boys like that – it kills me!!!)

There is some weird tribal stuff that happens and apparently it is figured out that Jin belongs to someone and someone important. Finally, Crane comes around and Jin doesn’t even recognize him! (Oh, Mary, cruel, cruel Mary!)

Apparently Jin has to prove he and Logan are mated by recognizing him without being told who he is – another stinkin’ test! – but of course he does! However … he still doesn’t have his memory back – he just knows Logan is HIS!

(I love it when they go all MINE! on each other- so sexy!)

It has been rough on Logan to have Jin gone for so many months. His tribe is questioning his strength. His a-hole family is stirring trouble and it looks like there is going to be a big ol’ fight sooner rather than later to determine who is the rightful leader of the Mafdet tribe.

In addition, Domin has been trying to lure Logan to Egypt to lead a tribe there that would be both benefited by his leadership and serve to help Jin and Ilia train their own powers.

When Jin finally does regain his memory (So, so touching!) there is a huge fight and big trouble and much bloodshed. At one point I found myself yelling at Mary – NOOOOOOO! – but it all worked out in the end – as we knew it would.


Mary is my hero. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. She can write such amazingly diverse subject matter and do it so well. Kudos!

There is no way this story will mean much to you if you haven’t been reading the series, so I’m assuming you are all fans, like me.

I adored catching up with Jin and Logan and Crane and the gang. There are some new romances on the horizons, new babies, new deaths, more heartache – life.

I felt the end was a bit rushed for my taste. I got the abbreviated version of what’s happening with everyone in Egypt and a rough idea of what Jin and Logan will be doing there – I’m assuming (read: hoping!) that there is another book coming to take us through that experience more fully.

I highly recommend this to all the fans of the series 5 of 5 hearts



Unexpected by Amelia Mann

Daily Dose Short Story

Dreampsinner Presents


Fifty-one-year-old Jonathan Allen is watching his friends sign domestic partnerships left and right, and for the first time considers how lonely his future might become. His last boyfriend was a parasite, hurting him in so many ways, and he’s beginning to believe living alone with his cat is a better option than chasing shadows.

When Jonathan starts working for Tricorp, a multinational construction company dealing with conservative religious countries in the Middle East and Asia, he connects with CEO Blake Carter on all levels. But the company is antigay and forces its employees to sign a reticence clause, which puts the company on the LGBT-blacklist, and Jonathan back into the closet. He knows fantasizing about Blake is a pointless endeavor. But life throws them a curveball when Jonathan’s ex and a man from Blake’s past come together to destroy both their lives.


This was a frenetic explosion of a short story! We burst in the scene when Jon’s presentation to a group of very conservative businessmen is interrupted by a display of pictures showing him having sex with his boyfriend.

His boss, Blake, is quickly corralled into the mess by a member of the board with a vendetta against Blake.

In no time at all, both Jon and Blake are being escorted by security out of the building, threatened by Jon’s ex-boyfriend, the father of one of Blake’s ex and facing unemployment to boot.

Luckily, they have each other and it turns out they’ve both been harboring feelings for one another for some time.


This would be a great novel – it was way too much for a short story. There was too much drama covered in too few pages with a conclusion that (though very happy) felt way too rushed to feel natural or authentic.

I also didn’t bond with either MC as well as I wanted.  Jon was an unreliable hero who never redeemed himself for having a relationship with someone as evil as his ex.  Blake seemed all over the place, flighty, insecure, then bossy and commanding.  I didn’t get a feel for him as a person very well.  Beyond the sexual, I didn’t see their attraction in the other.  The relationship, though born in crisis, moved way too fast to feel comfortable and therefore the HEA didn’t feel organic either.

I think this has potential, but it didn’t quite make it as a great short story.

2.75 of 5 hearts



The Frat Brat by Nico Jaye

Short story from Don’t Read in the closet

GoodReads Presents:

frat bratBlurb
Kyle Fenton’s nickname around his fraternity house may as well be “Shameless Flirt.” Out and proud to his frat, he’s more than happy to live up to that reputation, especially when new frat brother Daisuke “Dice” Keto moves in. However, Dice’s reaction to Kyle’s antics is cryptic at best, leaving Kyle frustrated in more ways than one. Will a lost bet–and a sexy rendezvous with a “Secret Admirer”–clarify the situation?

Author’s Note: Royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to the Human Rights Campaign, a civil rights organization focusing on LGBTQ equality.


Dear Author,
I am taking part of a punishment… scratch that, I’m being forced in this punishment. We, the seniors, placed a bet with the juniors of our fraternity to see who could raise the most money. Guess who lost? Now, each senior is placed in a separate room where our supposed punishment will happen. Walking into my assigned room, I notice two unusual things: a blindfold and a note that says “Sit down and put the blindfold on. —Secret Admirer”

Photo Description:
A black-and-white close-up of an attractive young man wearing a dark blindfold. His expression is stoic— not fearful, but also not excited. He isn’t wearing a shirt, and, based on the upper chest area that is visible, he’s muscular and fit.

This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group’s “Love is an Open Road” event. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors of the group selected a photo and prompt that spoke to them and wrote a short story.

This story may contain sexually explicit content and is intended for adult readers. It may contain content that is disagreeable or distressing to some readers. The M/M Romance Group strongly recommends that each reader review the General Information section before each story for story tags as well as for content warnings


For those of you who don’t spend a lot of time on GoodReads or in the M/M Romance Group (I recommend you do!) – these are short stories written by both well-known and new authors based on pictures that have been submitted with intriguing story ideas. The authors take off from there and then the end results are published (For Free!) on the Group’s page.

This story had some excellent moments: the sexual tension, the willingness to explore one’s sexuality, the brief but hot smexy times, the potential for interesting MCs.
However, there just wasn’t enough time spent with the MCs to really develop much of any connection to them beyond the sexual so I wasn’t very invested in their liason.
Kyle and Dice are fraternity brothers in a competition and when Kyle loses, Dice is placed in charge of his “punishment”. Before this, Kyle had been madly flirting with Dice, but thinking that Dice was straight. Dice, too, was thinking he was straight and not sure how to take Kyle’s shenanigans.
What didn’t make sense to me:
Why would Kyle flirt so shamelessly if he had a no-sex-with-frat-brothers policy?
Why would Dice mistake anything about Kyle’s flirting as anything other than sexual attraction?
When sent to do a “punishment” why do a blindfold then immediately tell him who you are?
Why spend precious page time going over the week’s near misses and detailing Kyle’s conquests if you are trying to build up some attachment between the two MCs?

I think, had this been given more time to become a more fleshed out piece it really could have been a really nice GFY story and maybe the author will expand this one day.

That being said – it was a fun piece to read and I did enjoy it, even if I didn’t love it.

3.75 of 5 hearts



Bachelor Party (Brandt and Donelly Caper: Case #5) by Xavier Mayne

Dreamspinner Presents


A Brandt and Donnelly Caper: Case File Five

Med student Oliver Mitchell has discovered a way to make more tips as a bartender—put on ripped workout gear and serve drinks at the hip new gay club, Burn. The only catch is Oliver is straight. The staff and patrons don’t mind, though, and Oliver fits in well—until he meets James Buchanan Whitford, a local politician with a secret: he’s married. When James’s scheming wife attempts to catch him in flagrante with Oliver, they flee the city for the refuge of James’s cabin in the woods. There, Oliver faces a new challenge—he’s starting to feel more for James than friendship. Their new relationship must survive political intrigue and small-town politics before they can be together.

With their wedding two months away, it’s time for Troopers Ethan Brandt and Gabriel Donnelly to have a bachelor party. Ethan’s older brothers are excited, but Ethan is not. As a straight guy who fell in love with another man, the whole ritual is fraught with complications, and he struggles to reconcile newly granted marriage equality with old traditions. Brandt and Donnelly work to help James and Oliver find their way to happiness while pulling off the bachelor party of the year.


Oliver needs some extra money for med school, his BFF Millie tells him that with his hot bod he should be a bartender at Burn – a gay bar. Though he’s intimidated he gives it a go, and really enjoys the experience.

While tending bar, he meets James, a sad slightly older man with whom he immediately clicks. At first just as friends, but when James ends up in a compromising position, Oliver helps him, and the relationship evolves.

Meanwhile, Brandt and Donnelly explore their sexual relationship, explore what it means to be “gay” or “in love with a man”, plan their ridiculously hilarious bachelor party with the help of our favorites Bryce and Nestor.

This book really emphasizes that labels aren’t helpful. Love is love. The end.
Who a person loves does not define who they are.

As always I was touched by the caring relationships demonstrated here: brothers, friends, lovers, families…in a multitude of ways all showing different types of love.

And the sex was way hot and the humor literally giggle out loud!

My only complaint – small one – is that the two stories were almost separate – like reading two books kinda mashed together. I missed having Brandt and Donnelly more centrally involved in the other love story and hope to see more of them in their wedding book – next? Hopefully, next? Pretty please? I can’t wait for their wedding I just know I’m gonna cry my eyes out!

4.5 of 5 hearts



Safe in His Arms Audiobook by Renae Kaye Narrated by Randy Fuller

Dreamspinner Presents:


In the late-night quiet of the caravan park shower room, Lon Taylor washes away the filth of the Western Australian mines. He’s not looking for anyone, but when Casey offers, Lon doesn’t turn him down.

Welcoming the young man in his big, hairy arms, Lon provides a safety to Casey that he has never known, and Casey wants to stay forever. Still reeling from the breakup of his family years ago, Lon’s not sure he’s ready for the responsibility of the comfort and security Casey craves.

But perhaps Lon can risk opening his heart again and hoping for a brighter future. Casey has some pretty big skeletons in his past to deal with. And Lon wonders what Casey will do when he finds out how badly Lon failed at protecting the ones he loved eight years ago.

Book Review
(Previously on this site)

Lon comes home from working in the mines, hot, sweaty, exhausted. After a nice shower and shave he catches the eye of a hot, young, twink staring at him in the public showers. He asks him to either suck his cock or quit staring. Figuring that will make the little guy scamper away, he turns back to his shaving. But what does he hear instead of the pattering of feet? “I’ll take option A.”

Renae Kaye’s book starts off with a bang right from page one and never lets up.

The story is both simple and complex. It’s simple in that Lon and Casey meet and immediately want each other. It’s complex in that both men have a past that is heavily influencing their todays.

Casey has been abused in his past. Badly. Really, really badly. But he’s strong and resilient, and despite receiving some amazingly bad therapy (not abuse, just wrong advice) he’s on the road to recovery. But he still has moments of weakness, of panic and it’s those moments that drive him into Lon’s giant arms.

Lon is a big guy, always has been. In addition to being physically immense, his heart is of equal size. He’s always been the caretaker. That back-fired once and now he’s gun-shy. Casey fits him perfectly, but Lon’s afraid he might let him down, and afraid he might not want him when he knows more about Lon’s past.

Despite their issues, (Lon’s past, Casey’s past, their age difference, family opinion, Lon’s work schedule ) they begin their affair and it burns brightly. Little by little they get to know each other and to cross the hurdles. Fortunately they have great friends with great advice and Casey has a wonderful therapist who helps them to see things clearly.

In just a few months it becomes clear that the couple are more to each other than a casual fling and things really heat up. But the past resurfaces in a couple of different ways, forcing the lovers to face things they hadn’t wanted to bring to light. It seems like things might not ever be smooth sailing, but when pushed, the truth, as always, sets them free.

Again, I was delighted with Kaye’s writing. Though her books are both funny and touching, Safe in his Arms is also deeply emotional. It is clear she did some research because the subject matter here is not an easy one. I applaud how thoroughly she addresses the issues of intimacy between partners when one has been abused. There was no quick solution or “magic wand waving” to fix the problem. The couple had to address the very real concerns each had, and face them directly. I also thought it was hilarious how the hurdle manifested for Casey, such a simplistic problem for a nineteen year old but when viewed through the eyes of the therapist it was really a very complex issue.

I also really appreciated the fact that Kaye’s secondary characters were real people, too. They had flaws and talents, none being all good nor all bad. I loved that Casey’s grandma suddenly took a different tack in the middle of the book when faced with Lon as a boyfriend for her grandson. It made her very real. I also loved the intriguing side story about Lon’s brother and sisters. Every bit of the story was important and fascinating and kept me turning pages to see what would happen.

I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it giving it 5 of 5 hearts.


I was so, so, so disappointed that they didn’t choose someone with an Australian accent to do this narration. Normally Randy Fuller is hit or miss for me. I have enjoyed some of his narrations immensely, others less so.

In this case he did an okay job. He tried to give some voice differentiation to the characters, didn’t attempt any accent at all, and did a fair job with the intense emotions.

Overall, I wasn’t impressed and was still disappointed with this choice in narrator. If it hadn’t been set in Australia and if I hadn’t heard wonderful narrators (Like the narrator for Blinding Light) I wouldn’t have been put off by Randy Fuller’s narration, it just didn’t “wow” me.

Narration 3 of 5

Total 4 of 5 hearts



Jack Wolf by Kay Walker

Daily Dose Short Story
Dreamspinner Presents


Henry Dalton is sent across the country by train to the western town of Woolridge in order to investigate the werewolf problem they’re having during the monthly moon cycle. The townsfolk are not forthcoming with information, making it difficult for Henry to solve the case.
Even more distracting is Jack, a handsome older lycanthrope. Known for his rebellious youth, Jack has settled down into life and routine in Woolridge, working as the local blacksmith. He assures Henry he’s no longer trying to stir up trouble, that those days are long gone. Henry must attempt to ignore the spark between them, the indication of their potential to become mates, which is rare because Henry is human. Henry remains professional and focuses on his job, but each meeting with Jack adds to the draw, and Henry isn’t sure how much longer he’ll be able to resist.


This is a unique short story of an investigator who travels to find out about a situation with a local werewolf pack. It’s a combo steampunk/shifter novella set in vaguely old west times.
Henry has previously had a werewolf mate who died years ago, Jack has had two potential mates previously who have also died many years ago.

Though there are some potential hurdles in their way: the investigation, their distance and time; they realize that being given a “second” chance is not something to disregard and that despite their “mate” status, they truly care for the other as well.


Steampunk is not my favorite genre, but I really appreciated the unique blend with the shifter lore. I loved the idea of “sparking” and the fact that these men got multiple shots, but that it was still a monumental event.

The writing was crisp and clear and the story very unique with clever world-building. I don’t know if it’s the genre or the author, but it was just a bit too dry to be amazing, but it was very good.

3.5 of 5 hearts



Helping Hand by Jay Northcote

Jaybird Press Presents

helping handBlurb

Wanking with a mate isn’t gay—as long as you keep your hands to yourself.

Jez Fielding and James MacKenzie—Big Mac to his mates—are in their second year at uni. After partying too hard last year, they make a pact to rein themselves in. While their housemates are out drinking every weekend, Jez and Mac stay in to save cash and focus on their studies.

When Jez suggests watching some porn together, he isn’t expecting Mac to agree to it. One thing leads to another, and soon their arrangement becomes hands-on rather than hands-off. But falling for your straight friend can only end badly, unless there’s a chance he might feel the same.



Afterwards, Jez blamed the alcohol for loosening his tongue, because he didn’t think about it before he spoke. The words tumbled out before he could stop them.

“Man, I’m seriously horny now. Have you got any decent porn on that laptop?”

“Huh?” Mac snapped his head around to meet Jez’s gaze. Jez’s heart pounded erratically, but his dick was still standing to attention. “What… you mean, you want to wank in here? Now? Wouldn’t that be weird?” Mac sounded seriously freaked out.

Jez backtracked quickly, cheeks hot. “It doesn’t have to be weird. I’ve done it before with guys at school, and it’s never been a big deal. But don’t worry about it. I’ll go and watch my own stash instead. But I need something soon, ’cause I’m gonna explode after watching that sex scene.”

Jez was expecting an instant no from Mac. He wouldn’t have blamed him. A lot of guys wouldn’t be into what Jez was suggesting. Jez’s heart still thumped hard, but his arousal didn’t abate despite his anxiety. He was shocked by how much he wanted this.

Mac bit his lip and frowned. “Seriously. You’ve done that?”

Jez shrugged, trying to look nonchalant. “Yeah. Like I said, it was no big deal. Just guys messing around.”

Mac stared a moment longer, then he stood, and Jez’s heart sank as he walked away. But Mac only went to fetch his laptop from the dining table. He sat back down and then opened it and tapped in his password.

“What sort of stuff do you wanna watch?” Mac’s voice was gruff and he focused on the screen rather than Jez.

Fuck. They were really going to do this, then.




Mac and Jez (James and Jeremy) are friends and roommates. Both are a little broke, so a bit stuck for entertainment.

Jez has “experimented” with other boys while in the all boys prep academy before university, but Mac has only ever identified as straight.

One night, a little beer, a hot episode of “Game of Thrones” and the next thing you know, the guys have a little “wank session”. No touching, but a bit of watching.

This was hot.

So the next and the next and the next times progress slowly from watching to touching, to sucking to… you get the idea.

Interestingly, it’s the kissing and the cuddling that make each of them wonder “am I gay/bi”.

It isn’t until they are “outed” that they have to face facts and admit that this might just be something more than they bargained for.


Jay Northcote is the master at giving us confused, but sweet, sexy and charming guys – college level or near – who are open to new ideas and willing to explore with wide eyes.

The smexy times are really, really hot and the slow build to the love affair is rewarding and fulfilling.

My only wish would be for more time in Mac’s head – somehow – because I didn’t feel like I really got to understand his motivations very well. Jez was so clear but Mac more of a mystery.

I thoroughly enjoyed this and give it 4.5 of 5 hearts.




Author Bio:


Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.

She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.

Long Chance by V.L. Locey Tour with Excerpt and Giveaway



Pages or Words: 70 pages

Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Sports

We stood side by side at the sliding door that looked out over a snow-covered campus. It was beautiful, untouched and pure. I was rather glad now that I hadn’t done the head in the stove thing. We talked between swallows, spoons hitting bowls the only noise aside from the heater coming on from time to time. I liked watching the way Preston’s hair fluttered around his face when hot air blew down from the vent directly above us. He handed me his empty bowl, then unlocked and opened the slider.
“Dude, heater’s on,” I pointed out. He crouched down. I inhaled. The air was brittle like a dead leaf and cold with a light scent of snow on pine. It was an odd sensation, the cold blowing in to blend with the warm cascading down from above. It wasn’t unpleasant at all. The patio was blanketed in four to five wet inches. Preston stood up. His head turned slowly. I looked over at him, a sated smile trying to curl the corners of my mouth. He was patting a perfectly formed snowball.
“Don’t even think about it you mother—”
Snow filled my mouth, nose and eyes. Preston shrieked. I sputtered, shaking snow out of my eyes, then dashed after him. He was fast and proved hard to get a hand on. After a few laps around the furniture in my living room, the dipshit ran out into the hall. I didn’t hesitate. I couldn’t. I had ice particles dangling from my eyelashes. Vengeance would be mine. We thundered down the steps, his high-pitched squeals of laughter and my warning growls seeming extra loud in the ghost town of a dorm building. The side exit flew open. I barreled out on his heels. The snow was freezing on my bare soles. Preston hissed a nasty curse when his naked tootsies hit the white stuff. He slowed just enough. I tackled him from behind. He went face first into the fresh fluff, all the air leaving his lungs with a loud “Oof!” when I landed on his back.
I clawed up a nice handful of snow as he frantically tried to free himself. I had him pinned, one arm picking up wet powder, the other holding his face into the drift. Wicked laughter boiled out of me when I shoved that snowball down his back. His scream was piercing. He kicked like a wild man, his arms flailing to the sides. I flopped down on him to ensure the snow was plastered to his back.
“Get off! Oh, fuck me, that is so cold! You asshole!” he shouted.
I stayed where I was, splayed over his back, my hand down the back of his shirt, chuckling steadily. I rolled off a moment later still bubbling with laughter. The sky overhead was filled with snow clouds. You know those huge white ones that blow over, drop some flakes, then continue on to let the sun shine down on the freshly carpeted world? Eyes closed, chest heaving, heart lighter than it had been in months, I spread my arms and legs out, inhaled the unique scents of winter and Preston and enjoyed the tickle of new snowflakes touching my cheeks.
“I hate you.”
I rolled my head in his direction and opened my eyes. “Really?”
His mouth rolled into a perfect pout. He was such a pretty thing, even with snow-frosted bangs.
“No,” he huffed as he dashed at the melting snow on his chin. “I should, though. That was heartless!”
“I’ll warm you back up if you want.” The offer slid out of me before I could stop it. A snowflake landed on the tip of Preston’s pixie-like nose. I so wanted to reach out, touch the perfect flake, dry his nose then pull him down for long, wet kiss. Instead I got to my bare feet, standing now in the shadow of the moisture-laden cloud overhead. “I didn’t mean to say that out here.”
“You can, you know,” he said, extending his hand to me. I looked around the quad, the creeping stink of worry now mucking up what had been a perfect moment. “You can say you want to warm me up, or that I have a cute ass, or anything else you want to say. Go ahead. Say it again.”
I shook my head as I hauled him to his feet. Damn, my feet were cold. I turned from him then walked inside, my head low, my mind filling up with concern over my stupid behavior. What the hell had I been thinking, chasing him outside then rolling around in the snow with him as if we were straight lovers.

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LongChange_MSRAbout the author:
V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, two dogs, two cats, a flock of assorted goofy domestic fowl, and three 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 hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.

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Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Cover Artist: Allyse Karam

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