Thursday, 14 February 2019

Valentine’s Surprise (Valentine’s Love #2) - Out Now


With all the excitement as a result of having two novellas available for free over the past few days, I more or less forgot to also promote the release of the second story in the Valentine’s Love series. But, given that today actually is Valentine’s Day, it is probably the perfect occasion to tell you all about Valentine’s Surprise. So, stay tuned for the cover, the blurb, and an exclusive, not available anywhere else, excerpt.


 Valentine’s Love #2
20k words approx. / 81 pages
Price: $0.99 / £0.99

Buy links: Universal | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Available to read in KU

Blurb

Ben Cronin and Ty O’Malley have been inseparable ever since they got together on Valentine’s Day. Nine months into their relationship, dark clouds descend when Ben’s father falls seriously ill and dies in a matter of weeks. Having lost his only close relative, Ben is grief-stricken, and appears to be sinking ever deeper into a black hole.

Desperate to help Ben cope with his pain, Ty plans a getaway for them, to coincide with their first anniversary. But taking Ben back to the stunning beauty of the Swiss Alps, a place he visited with his father years ago, is a risky undertaking. Reuniting him with memories could as easily push Ben deeper into his pain as it might help him find the first traces of light. 

Ty’s plan will either bring them closer than they’ve ever been, or spell disaster— for both of them.

Valentine’s surprise is the sequel to Valentine’s Love. While it can be read as a stand-alone, you’ll enjoy this story more if you read Valentine’s Love first.

Excerpt

I opened my eyes and instantly squeezed them closed again as a bright light blinded me. I placed my arm over my eyes and turned onto my side, trying to put my back between the disturbing brightness and my face.

“Good morning.” Ty chuckled. “I see you’ve also discovered we’re lucky enough to have woken up to a bright, sunny day.”

I carefully squinted through one half-opened eye at Ty, who also lay on his side, his head resting on his arm and his beautiful eyes fixed on me.

“A bit too bright for my liking,” I grumbled. “Especially this early in the morning.”

Ty laughed. “I hate to disillusion you, but the morning has come and gone.”

“What?” I wasn’t awake enough to figure out what he meant.

Leaning forward, he kissed me. “It’s quarter to one, Ben. We slept the morning away.” His lips found mine again. “It’s hardly surprising since it was after three last night when we actually got here, but unless we’re going to spend the whole day in bed, we should probably get up.”

I opened my mouth to tell Ty that staying in bed all day, with him, didn’t seem like a hardship to me when I remembered exactly where we were. Pushing away the covers, I sat up and turned toward the light source that had disturbed me moments earlier. It turned out to be a large floor-to-ceiling window with a door leading onto a balcony. Without thinking about it I got up, approached the door, opened it, and stepped outside.

“Fuck, it’s cold.” I jumped back into the room a mere second after my bare feet touched the snow.

Ty, who had apparently also left our very comfortable bed, sniggered behind me. “I would have thought the white stuff might have warned you.”

“Yeah, yeah. Very funny.” I bent down and snatched a handful of snow before closing the door and turning to Ty.

“Oh, no, you don’t.” He took a step back, but wasn’t fast enough to stop me from grabbing his upper arm, pulling him close and rubbing the already melting snow over his exposed chest. His squeal when the icy substance connected with his nipple was adorable. The thoughts entering my head when it pebbled under my thumb, had little to do with his cute exclamation. Pressing into him, I pushed him backwards until his calves hit the bed. One more firm push and he lay sprawled out in front of me, a red hue to his chest and his boxer shorts tenting.

With a growl, I dropped forward, making sure to hold my descent with my hands before I crashed into him. Heat, need, and a sense of coming home rushed through me as our bodies fully connected. It had been months since I’d experienced this exhilarating connection. Love burned in my heart, my body yearned for his touch, and my hands itched to reacquaint themselves with every inch of his glorious body.

Capturing his mouth, I pushed my tongue between his lips, demanding entrance. For a few short moments, he went along, our tongues alternately caressing and attacking. Then he turned his head. “Shouldn’t we shower first, brush our teeth? It’s been more than twenty-four hours.”

“Don’t care. If we’re both disgusting, we probably won’t notice.” I trailed kisses, licks, and nips from his ear to his mouth, determined not to be denied.

Ty gave up the fight, shaking his head at my insistence while the smile tugging at the lips I wanted to devour and the delight shining from his eyes, told me that he didn’t mind at all.

“Welcome back,” he whispered against my lips before we lost ourselves in a long, sensuous kiss.

Moments later both of us had somehow lost our underwear. His hard cock rested on his belly, mine right beside it. As I rutted into him, our combined pre-cum made the movements slicker and more carnal with each push.

Gliding against him, feeling, seeing, and hearing Ty’s arousal, falling into the depths of his gorgeous eyes woke something up, deep inside me. A door that had been pulled shut and locked when my dad lost his fight, and had refused to budge in the subsequent weeks, now opened a crack, showing me there might be a way back for me after all.

Ty bucked up against me, adding an extra spark to the heat building between us. I wasn’t going to last long, and judging by the sounds falling from his lips, neither was Ty.

“Together,” he breathed against my lips.

“Almost.” I only just got the word out, too far gone to articulate.

Then I was there. My body stiffened before the release coursed through me. “Ty!” For a moment my mind went blank. My body was the whole universe, with a supernova shining bright in its centre, bringing light to where previously only darkness existed. Ty followed me a moment later, hanging on to me for dear life as his release mingled with mine on our bellies.


 And, just in case you haven’t read Valentine’s love yet, here are all the details:


Valentine’s Love #1
15k approx. / 53 pages
Price: $0.99 / £0.99

Buy links: Universal | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Available to read in KU

Monday, 11 February 2019

Happy Valentine's Day


Happy Valentine’s Day


Okay, I’m three days early, but really, is there ever a reason not to be in the mood for love? I’m delighted to be taking part in the BE MINE Valentine’s Day Bash in Ana Newfolk’s wonderful FB group - Café Lima. The party started Saturday and won’t end until Valentine’s Day itself, so if you haven’t joined the fun yet, there’s still plenty of time to do so. You can join Ana’s group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/208814836439843/


As part of the festivities and as a special treat for our readers, the participants in this event have all penned a Valentine’s Day flash fiction featuring a favourite couple from one of their previously published books. These flashes will be bundled in an e-book which will be made available for FREE, probably on February 14th, but stay tuned for further updates.

And, while your waiting for the collection, each participating author will share their own flash during the bash in Ana's readers' group.

My flash can be found below and features a couple I first introduced last Christmas. I hope you’ll enjoy spending a bit more time with Mitch and Cian.


This short flash revisits Mitch and Cian from A Miracle in the Library and is an interlude falling between that Christmas story and the St. Patrick’s Day novella I hope to publish mid-March.

Mitch checked the clock. No, he wasn’t imagining things. He really was hungry. He could usually set his watch by his mother’s routine and dinner was never later than a quarter to seven. Except now it was half past.

He sniffed the air, frowning when he encountered no mouth-watering aromas. Bemused, he got up from the couch he’d been lounging on and walked to the kitchen.

“Ma?” Whatever he’d expected, it wasn’t his mother sitting at the breakfast bar, reading a book.

She put her finger on the page, then looked up at him. “Yes?”

“Are we even having dinner tonight?” Mitch was struggling to keep a handle on his temper. It was frustrating enough that he couldn’t spend Valentine’s Day with his boyfriend. Just my luck that it has to fall on a Thursday. With Mitch in the final year of secondary school and Cian in college in Dublin, a midweek get-together just wasn’t in the cards. Not even on Valentine’s Day. Not even with my first-ever boyfriend.

His mother gave him one of her infamous patient smiles, the ones she gave when she thought he was being especially dim-witted. “All in its own good time, my lad.” Her smile changed, turning almost evil. “Don’t worry. You’ll get fed.” She lowered her gaze and continued reading.

The situation was so unusual Mitch had no idea what to say, so he returned to the living room. Here he was, eighteen at last and stuck at home while others celebrated love. Frustrated, he extracted his phone from his pocket and swiped the screen.

No new messages. Mitch’s mood dipped further.

They had exchanged texts earlier, but for the past two hours, there’d been no sign of life from Cian. Mitch’s message was still the last in their thread.


Fuck, I wish we could spend the evening together.


Had he at last gone too far? Been too needy? He wistfully reflected that he could do with another visit from Klaus Nichols. Except this time he needed a Valentine’s Day miracle.

Feeling sorry for himself, he leaned back into the soft cushion and closed his eyes. All he wanted was to spend Valentine’s Day with his boyfriend. Surely that wasn’t unreasonable? No, but it is impossible.

The sound of the doorbell chiming through the house had him sitting up straight. Visitors?

“Would you get that, Mitch?”

“Sure.” As he walked to the door, Mitch wondered if whoever was visiting was the reason they hadn’t eaten yet.

Mitch pulled the door open, curious who he would find on the other side, looked up and….

“Hey.” Cian’s gaze didn’t quite meet Mitch’s, and his smile was almost bashful.

Mitch looked over his shoulder in the direction of the kitchen before facing Cian again. “You…her?”

Cian shrugged. “I thought we could have pizza together. But it’s a school night, so I checked with your ma first.”

“Bastards,” Mitch muttered, unable to suppress his delighted grin. He closed the distance between them, lifted his chin, and kissed Cian. “Pizza sounds good. Let me get my coat.”

Mitch’s heart sang as he stuck out his tongue to his ma before shrugging into his coat and walking away from the house with Cian…his boyfriend…on Valentine’s Day.

****

As stated above, this flash takes place about two months after Mitch and Cian first meet in A Miracle in the Library. I realize Christmas has come and gone, but if you are interested in the start of their story, you can find it here: mybook.to/AMITL

In the meantime, you might be interested in my latest release: Valentine’s Surprise, which is the sequel to last year’s Valentine’s Love.

Valentine’s surprise is €.99/$.99/£.99.

Buy links Valentine’s Surprise: Universal link | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Buy links Valentine's Love: Universal Link | Amazon US | Amazon UK




Careful What You Wish For - FREE!!!!!



I have absolutely no idea how or why it happened, but apparently Careful What You Wish For is FREE on Amazon at the moment. Since I also don't know how long this book will remain FREE, I'd advice you to pick it up as soon as possible.

Blurb

All Josh has ever wanted is to submit to another man; to give all of himself, completely, without reservation.

For the past six months Josh has been chatting with and submitting to Pascal online, and this evening his dream of doing the same in person, is about to come true.

Will Pascal be everything Josh imagines or is he about to learn that wishes can be dangerous?

Buy links: Universal | Amazon US | Amazon UK



Wednesday, 28 November 2018

A Miracle in the Library - Out Today!!!



A Miracle in the Library and an Abundance of Inspiration

The writing of A Miracle in the Library was exactly that: a miracle.

I already had a Christmas story releasing with Dreamspinner Press this December (more information to follow shortly) and had no intention of writing another one, until one day early November, while I was in the middle of working on something else, inspiration struck with such force, I couldn’t not write the book.

What inspired me you ask? Well, quite a few things in fact.

The setting in A Miracle in the Library is pretty much a carbon copy of the old-fashioned, part-time library I work in one afternoon every other week. As the pictures show, the one room holds nothing except books, a collection of chairs, and a desk for the librarian. I had to modify the place a tiny bit to make it a better fit for my miracle, but it’s safe to say both the library and its location in the book are firmly based on my bi-weekly reality.




While I don’t name them, I had two very specific books in mind for Mitch to read while visiting the library. Having read both of them myself, I highly recommend these books for younger people coming to terms with who they are, of course, but also for all others wanting to gain insight into what that might mean. I reviewed one of them some time ago, and you can find my thoughts here: This Book is Gay

 

Mr. Nichols, as described A Miracle in the Library, had the face, kindness, and wisdom of my good friend Tim O’Rahilly from the moment he sprang to life in my mind. The image below gives you a good idea why.



And last but by no means least, there is this video. Yes, I’m well aware it is an advert for an alcoholic beverage but, while I’ve been known to indulge on occasion, that is not the point here. Panti Bliss, in this short clip, says exactly what I’ve been hoping to convey in my story. Why don’t you take a look?



Blurb
Seventeen-year-old Mitch McCann has been trying to dodge his bullies for eighteen months. He isn’t out, but that hasn’t stopped the popular gang at school from tormenting him for being gay. Three weeks before Christmas, in a desperate attempt to shake his pursuers, Mitch flees into the abandoned community hall, only to discover the building is far from empty; inside he finds a fully stocked library as well as Mr. Nichols, the very welcoming librarian.
The library turns into Mitch’s refuge of choice, where he can read books that answer his endless questions, without fear of encountering abuse. His peace of mind is shattered when nineteen-year-old Cian Leavy enters his sanctuary. Cian is the boy who made Mitch realize he’s gay, and he’s more attractive now than he was eighteen months ago, when Mitch literally ran into him.
Will Cian unwittingly disrupt Mitch’s life again? Or has the scene been set for a miracle in the library?

Available to read in KU




Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Happy Release Day to All or Nothing!!!!!!!!!



To celebrate the fact that All or Nothing is now available on Amazon and in KU I’m sharing a second excerpt from the book. It only seems fair to introduce you to Amber this time. (If you missed the post introducing Hector, you can find him here.)

Blurb

If she’s not good enough for all of him, she’d rather have none.

Forty-one-year-old Hector Kelly has lived the BDSM lifestyle all his adult life, but the recent influx of inexperienced and starry-eyed young women has killed its luster for him. When he reluctantly accompanies his best friend to The Dark Cellar during an open night, he is not surprised when he has to rescue a clueless young woman from a predatory Dom. Against his better judgment, he spends the rest of the night showing the gorgeous Amber around the club.
Until she entered The Dark Cellar, twenty-one-year-old Amber Sommerville was convinced BDSM only existed between the covers of her favorite romance novels. As Hector introduces her to this unknown world, everything she sees awakens desires she’s never experienced before.
The attraction between Hector and Amber is as instant as it is undeniable. But with an almost twenty-year age difference between them and Hector’s conviction that Amber is too young both for him and to know whether or not she wants to submit, their developing relationship remains purely vanilla—for the most part. When Amber witnesses Hector in full Dom mode, she recognizes that he’s been holding back and sets him an ultimatum: either he fully commits all of himself to their relationship or she’ll leave. If Hector wants to hang on to the woman who has captured his heart, he’ll have to reassess his preconceived notions.

Excerpt

“You’re serious?” Amber knew her laugh sounded nervous, but she couldn’t stop it from escaping her mouth. When the masked man had first walked up to her and told her to kneel, she’d thought it was a joke, orchestrated by her sister. It would have been just like Sinead and her mates to do something like that. Now, she wasn’t so sure. Whoever this was, he clearly expected her to kneel before him. He was in for one hell of a disappointment.

“Very serious. Did you really think you could walk into a BDSM club and not obey the rules?” Anger or something very close to it vibrated off the man, and for the first time since he’d approached her, Amber felt a stab of fear. Not that she’d show him her feelings. She lifted her chin and relished the surprise she thought she recognized on what she could see of his face when she looked him straight in the eye.

“I’ve no intention of kneeling for anyone, least of all you.” It took all her strength not to flinch when he raised his hand. She’d no idea if he planned on striking her or just wanted to force her to her knees.

“That’s enough, Carlos.”

The deep, calm voice coming from behind her startled Amber. She wanted to turn around and discover who it belonged to, but knew she couldn’t afford to take her eyes off the man in front of her.

Said man in front of her—Carlos apparently—frowned for a moment, as if confused, as he glanced over her shoulder. “Hector, this has nothing to do with you. Leave us alone to sort this out.” The masked man returned his steely-eyed attention to Amber.

“It does when you’re determined to give all of us a bad name.” The warm voice touched something deep in Amber. She was no damsel in distress and hated relying on others, but she couldn’t help being grateful for the help. She’d no idea what sort of trouble she’d gotten herself into. Which meant she didn’t know how to get herself out of it either.

The anger Amber’d thought she recognized in Carlos’s eyes transformed into fury, and for the first time since he’d addressed her, he fully focused on somebody other than her.

“Stay out of this. I won’t tell you again. Who do you think you are? You disappear for years, and then you presume you can tell me how to behave. Go back to wherever you’ve been hiding and leave this to us real men.”

“Look at her wrist, Carlos. You’re right. You shouldn’t need me to explain how this works.”

Amber glanced at her wrist and the white armband they’d told her to wear when she’d entered the club with the other girls. Apparently, it wasn’t just proof of admission.

“A white armband. I know. I saw that immediately. Doesn’t mean the girl shouldn’t know how to behave.”

Amber’s temper rose. She didn’t enjoy being the subject of a conversation she didn’t appear to have a role in. She opened her mouth, although she’d no idea what she wanted to say, when the sonorous voice behind her beat her to it.

“That’s exactly what it means, Carlos. I don’t like these open nights either, but that’s what this is, and as a result, most people here right now don’t even know there are rules, never mind what they might be. Leave the girl alone and find yourself an experienced submissive.”

Suddenly, it all came together for Amber. Now, she understood why her sister—the bride to be—and her friends had giggled as much as they had when they’d entered the club. She’d read about submissives. She almost smiled but remembered the dicey situation she found herself in just in time. She enjoyed reading about Doms and those who submitted to them. She’d somehow failed to translate those works of fiction into real possibilities. And she’d been slow on the uptake. After all the books she’d read, she should have recognized this club for what it was—far more than “just” a sexy nightclub.

Lost in her thoughts, it took Amber a moment before she became aware of the staring contest taking place between Carlos and the man behind her. The urge to turn around and find out who he was had grown stronger, but she still didn’t want to turn her back on the Dom in front of her. When Carlos gave a small nod before stalking away, Amber relaxed, her body releasing the tension she hadn’t known she’d been holding.

“Thank you.” Amber turned around as she spoke. Everything else she’d wanted to say disappeared from her mind as she looked straight into the dark brown eyes of the man who’d come to her rescue. She tried to figure out what she saw there. She would have called it kindness except she also detected a note of anger in his gaze.

“What were you thinking, girl? Why didn’t you stay with your friends? There’s safety in numbers.” The anger she’d seen in his eyes didn’t translate to his voice. If anything, he sounded resigned, exasperated.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to cause trouble.” Amber thought for a moment. It was true; she hadn’t meant to create a problem, hadn’t known she might when she allowed the rest of their party to move on while she’d studied her surroundings. “I didn’t know I shouldn’t be on my own. I mean, they never said anything when we came in.”
“How did you end up here anyway?”

Something bristled inside Amber before subsiding again. She didn’t mind answering his questions, just as she hadn’t been upset when she picked up on his anger. It didn’t make sense, because she wasn’t in the habit of letting others tell her what to do or allowing them to interrogate her, but she didn’t question her instinct.

“It’s my sister’s hen party. One of her friends suggested this club.” As she spoke, she remembered the looks Maeve—the friend in question—had exchanged with Mary, another friend. She hadn’t thought anything about it at the time, but now, she realized they’d known exactly what they would be leading the rest of them into. “Sinead, my sister, was already very drunk by then and appeared to be eager to visit a club...any club. I just tagged along.”

She’d resented that. Sure, she was a few years younger than the rest of the party, but she wasn’t a child anymore. She’d bitten her tongue all through the evening as Maeve and some of the others had belittled her. Sinead had defended her earlier on in the evening, but as people kept on pouring drinks into her, she’d soon lost contact with reality.

“But you didn’t stay with them when they moved to the other side of the club?”

His question took her by surprise. How did he know where the others had gone? She looked around until she spotted them on the far side of the dance floor and nearly groaned out loud. It was impossible to miss her sister. Sinead stood on a table in only her underwear and the veil she’d put on earlier. A blush crept up Amber’s neck and cheeks as she wondered what this man might think of her and her sister.

“Ah, I think I understand.” The man’s low chuckle took her by surprise and allowed her to relax again.

“Yes, well. What can I say? I don’t like getting drunk, and I’m not overly fond of some of my sister’s friends. Letting them go on without me for a while seemed like a good idea. If I’d known I’d cause trouble in the process...” She thought for a moment before deciding she had nothing to lose. “Besides, there’s so much to look at here. I had to stop and take it all in.”

She allowed her gaze to roam the club again and only barely repressed the shiver of excitement threatening to run down her spine as she observed more people kneeling on the floor at the feet of others. A girl she’d noticed getting down to her knees earlier was now on her feet, following the man who, Amber assumed, had to be her Dom toward closed double doors on the far side of the room, her head slightly bowed.

She felt her rescuer’s gaze on her and tore her attention back to him.

“By the way, I’m Amber Sommerville. Thank you for stepping in just now. I had no idea how to deal with that man.” Again, she noticed something in his eyes she couldn’t name.

“Hector Kelly.” He took the hand she offered and held it slightly longer than she’d expected. “You should either join your sister or go home, Amber. This is no place for young women on their own.”

“Oh no.” She laughed. “I’ve no intention of going yet. I want to see more. I’ve only read about places like this. I never believed they really existed, never mind could be found in Dublin. Now that I’m here, I want to discover how much of what I considered fiction is in fact real. And I want to know what’s on the other side of those doors.”

She’d no idea how she knew, but she’d no doubt Hector disapproved of her plans. His expression hadn’t changed, and yet she could almost feel his frustration. Tough. She was grateful he’d helped her out of a tricky situation, but it didn’t give him the right to tell her how to spend the rest of her evening. It was a shame though. She would have loved to get to know him better but not if it meant allowing him to make her decisions for her.

“Thank you again, Hector. I’m just going to have a look around before I join the others again.” She took a few moments to really look at him. The slight stutter in her heartbeat took her by surprise, and she dismissed it. Hector was very attractive—not far removed from her image of the ideal man in fact—and he was bossy, which should have been off-putting but, strangely enough, didn’t actually bother her. It was a shame she’d probably never see him again.

The moment she saw him take a deep breath, she turned and walked toward the half-hidden doors at the back of the club. She didn’t want to hear why he thought she should leave.

Book Details

Release Date: September 26, 2018
Pairing: MF
Length 61k words approx.
Universal buy link: mybook.to/AoN
All or Nothing is available in KU and as a paperback.




Friday, 21 September 2018

All or Nothing - Pre-Order Discount




All or Nothing, the first book in the Blowhole Series will be released on September 26th. Until that date, the book will be available for preorder for $.99.

With the launch date is less than a week away, I thought you might want to know a little more about the story. Below you’ll find the blurb as well as an excerpt introducing Hector Kelly.

On September 26 I’ll share an excerpt introducing Amber, so don’t forget to keep an eye on my blog.

Enjoy!

Blurb

If she’s not good enough for all of him, she’d rather have none.

Forty-one-year-old Hector Kelly has lived the BDSM lifestyle all his adult life, but the recent influx of inexperienced and starry-eyed young women has killed its luster for him. When he reluctantly accompanies his best friend to The Dark Cellar during an open night, he is not surprised when he has to rescue a clueless young woman from a predatory Dom. Against his better judgment, he spends the rest of the night showing the gorgeous Amber around the club.

Until she entered The Dark Cellar, twenty-one-year-old Amber Sommerville was convinced BDSM only existed between the covers of her favorite romance novels. As Hector introduces her to this unknown world, everything she sees awakens desires she’s never experienced before.

The attraction between Hector and Amber is as instant as it is undeniable. But with an almost twenty-year age difference between them and Hector’s conviction that Amber is too young both for him and to know whether or not she wants to submit, their developing relationship remains purely vanilla—for the most part. When Amber witnesses Hector in full Dom mode, she recognizes that he’s been holding back and sets him an ultimatum: either he fully commits all of himself to their relationship or she’ll leave. If Hector wants to hang on to the woman who has captured his heart, he’ll have to reassess his preconceived notions.



Excerpt

“Jaysus, man, you could at least pretend you’re enjoying yourself.”

Hector continued to study the crowd in front of him, reacquainting himself with the club he hadn’t visited in a long time, while contemplating how to answer his friend. The Dark Cellar hadn’t changed much. The large space still mostly resembled a luxurious private club. Nothing in the furniture, covered in red and black faux leather, or the layout indicated the true nature of the establishment or its members. If it hadn’t been for the revealing nature of the attire and the provocative behavior of the majority of people surrounding them, it would be easy to conclude this was nothing more or less than an upmarket nightclub.

Hector reluctantly turned away from the crowd he’d been studying and faced his friend. “You knew I didn’t want to come here tonight, Paul. There’s no point complaining about my lack of enthusiasm now.” He tried to keep his voice pleasant. Paul was a good mate and had been for years. Hector didn’t want to upset him but, fuck, if it hadn’t been for Paul pestering him for over a week about coming out, he’d be at home now with a nice glass of wine and a good book. And alone. Hector swallowed the sigh wanting to escape and forced the frown off his face.

“I still don’t get what your problem is.” The bewildered look on Paul’s face emphasized the confusion in his voice. “This is our world, has been for years. Why are you all of a sudden reluctant to immerse yourself?”

Hector lifted his glass to his lips and drank deeply from his whiskey. His second glass. He almost smiled. Two drinks ensured he wouldn’t be allowed to indulge himself, even if he were to change his mind. It wasn’t likely, but it didn’t hurt to make sure he wouldn’t stray beyond being a spectator.

He felt Paul’s scrutiny despite trying to ignore his friend. They’d known each other too long for the man not to be able to read him like a book. Even the ten years Hector had spent in London hadn’t been able to break the bond between them. Paul had visited Hector at least once a year. They’d been to clubs together there. And Hector knew he’d never displayed any reluctance until now, so Paul’s confusion was both reasonable and understandable. Hector just wasn’t sure how to explain to his friend that his enthusiasm for the scene had taken a serious nosedive ever since popular fiction had pulled all sorts of wannabees with unrealistic expectations to the scene. It wasn’t that he had a problem with the nature of the club he found himself in; far from it. This was in his blood, and he’d doubted that could ever change. It was just

He allowed his gaze to roam the large room they were in and frowned when he saw the group of young women enter. A bleeding hen party. That was exactly what he didn’t like. Those girls were here not because they had an interest in BDSM but because they were drunk and wanted to do something outside their comfort zone. They were here to ogle things they didn’t understand, and they’d spend the next few weeks or months giggling about collars, floggers, and people kneeling for others; making fun of what for him and numerous others was a way of life.

He turned to Paul. His friend deserved an explanation, of course. It wasn’t just that he’d accepted Paul’s invitation to come out tonight and should, therefore, have the decency to at least try and be good company. Since Paul now worked here part-time, both as a supervisor and as part of the security team, it actually made sense to explain his reasoning to him. He just didn’t want to do it here and now. “Can we leave it be, Paul? I really do not want to get into it, especially not while I have to shout to make myself heard.” Hector didn’t even try to relax his facial muscles, unconcerned that his irritation was plain to read for anybody paying attention. If they’d come here on any other night, he would more than likely have been able to lose himself in the habits of a lifetime. He hated these open nights. Why did clubs feel the need to invite the uninitiated? It was a recipe for disaster, and he’d seen it go wrong often enough not to want to be part of it anymore.

“Will you relax? That scowl on your face is enough to scare me off, never mind anybody else.” Impatience had crept into Paul’s voice.

“I’m sorry.” Hector turned and gave Paul his full attention—his friend deserved better from him, no matter how reluctant he might be. “This setup gets on my nerves. I’ve seen it go horrifically wrong in London; I don’t want to see it again.”

“What do you mean? What did you see?”

“A few weeks before I left London, I was in what used to be my favorite club during one of these open nights. A group of girls like those”—Hector nodded toward the girls grouped around the young woman wearing a veil to indicate her upcoming wedding—“walked in, and one of them caught the attention of a visiting Dom. He expected certain things. She’d no idea what she was dealing with. Nobody interfered because nobody realized she was in trouble until it was too late.”

Hector stared at the hen party again as most of the women walked across the club to the bar while one of them, a gorgeous redhead, stood rooted to the spot.

“They asked her afterwards why she hadn’t used her safeword. Only then did it become clear she’d no idea what a safeword was or that she could have used it to end what that man was doing to her.” Hector stopped talking and looked at Paul. Did his friend understand? After he’d witnessed that debacle, Hector had vowed he’d steer clear of the uninitiated. Not visiting clubs on the nights they allowed the vanillas inside was part of that promise to himself. A promise he’d broken tonight.

“Listen, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to spoil your evening. I’ll go home now. Invite me along again when they have a members-only night. I’m not going to be able to relax tonight.”

Hector saw the disappointment on his friend’s face. He’d no doubt Paul had been looking forward to their first night out since Hector had come back from London. He wished he could fake it, but all his instincts screamed at him to leave. His nerves were on edge, waiting for something to go wrong. The state he was in, he wasn’t good company. Relief flooded him when Paul nodded.

“Fair enough. I’ll call you tomorrow to tell you how misplaced your worries were.”

Hector smiled his first real smile of the evening. He was a lucky man to have a friend like Paul. It was rare to find someone who trusted you completely and allowed you to be yourself. Ten years of living in different countries hadn’t changed that dynamic, and it was a minor miracle.

As Hector walked to the exit, his attention shifted to the beautiful young woman he’d seen earlier. She’d barely moved from the spot where her friends had left her. She looked around and seemed to be drinking in the sights surrounding her. He glanced at her arm and saw the white band circling the slim wrist. At least, this club, unlike the one in London, had the foresight to make the guests distinguishable from the lifestylers.

He was barely aware of slowing down as he allowed his gaze to drink in her beauty. Whoever she was, she looked stunning. Her red hair curled freely around her face and tumbled down her back. The short black dress she wore was tight and emphasized her well-formed breasts and long, slim legs. He was amazed she’d been able to stand there for as long as she had without attracting attention. He tried to figure out what she might be looking at with such a fascinated expression on her face and wasn’t surprised when his gaze came to rest on an almost naked woman kneeling next to a black-clad Dom who caressed his sub’s hair while conducting a conversation with two other men.

He stopped walking while he considered her reaction to the scene. She might be what he considered an innocent, but, unlike most he’d met in the past, she didn’t look shocked or disgusted. He had to give her that. Just for a moment, he played with the thought of approaching her before mentally kicking himself and resuming his journey to the door. He’d already broken one promise to himself by coming here on an open night; he wasn’t about to break another.

A few meters away from the exit, Hector turned to look at the beautiful redhead one more time. It was ridiculous; she was barely more than a child. She had to be at least twenty-one to have been allowed to enter, but she couldn’t possibly be much older. Much too young for him, even if he hadn’t sworn to stay away from curious vanillas like her.

Hector suppressed a self-deprecating smile and was about to continue his journey to the exit when a masked man in a dark, expensive-looking suit approaching the girl pulled him up short. Without thinking about it, Hector walked toward the pair. Of all the Doms to approach her, it had to be Carlos. He remembered the man, and the memories weren’t good. Carlos had always taken arrogance to a new and previously unseen level. If the mask he was wearing now was any indication, that attitude hadn’t improved over the years. Hector had no doubt, and his blood ran cold; he was about to see his worst fears come true. The girl didn’t stand a chance against this particular Dom. His suspicions were confirmed when he caught most of Carlos’ sentence.

“... told you to kneel. Don’t you know how to behave, girl?”


 Book Details

Release Date: September 26, 2018
Pairing: MF
Length 61k words approx.
Universal pre-order/buy link: mybook.to/AoN
All or Nothing will be available in KU and as a paperback.