It’s Here!

Will You Be My Escort

willyoubemyescortfs_v1A Carlisles novel

Jackson Carlisle has rotten luck with men and women, and after an especially bad situation, he takes a step back from romance. But with a two-week family reunion in Hawaii looming, his mom is determined to set him up with one of the sweet singles she knows would be perfect for him. A normal person would tell her no and be done with it. Instead, Jackson tells her he has a boyfriend. The only problem? He doesn’t.

Aaron Wilkes is an escort. He’s a little surprised when a friend’s girlfriend hires him to date her brother, but he’s had stranger jobs. Jackson is cute, and he thinks a fling with Aaron might be just the kind of no-strings-attached fun he needs to get over his dry spell. As they explore the islands together, their carefully laid plans begin to get away from them. Feelings aren’t supposed to come into play, but that shouldn’t be a problem. After all, you can’t fall in love in two weeks….

Find it at: Dreamspinner  / Barnes and Noble / All Romance / Amazon

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What readers are saying about the second Carlisles novel

“I absolutely love the Carlisle family. They are a large, close-knit, in your business family that loves, respects and accepts each other for the person they are.” H. Martin – Bayou Book Junkie

“There is a lot of angst in this as well as family love, loyalty, hot sex, misunderstandings, denying feelings, nosey family members and lust. The games are fun to read about and instead of making the MCs heroes, they fall and have to pick themselves up just like normal people.” Babs – Amazon Review

I loved the premise and the execution. Filled with humor, hot sex, and enough realism that I didn’t have to suspend disbelief to get through it, this absolutely hit the spot in all the right ways.” Belen – Gay Book Reviews

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Win a paperback copy of Dinner for One the first in The Carlisles series.

Bastien isn’t used to bad reviews. His French restaurant is the toast of the town, and when a well-known critic insults it, he’s left off-kilter. Luckily for him he’s found a distraction. He’s just met an attractive writer at his niece’s school bake sale. He’s into food, into Bastien and the touch of kink they share, and there’s a chemistry between them that might make the perfect recipe.

James isn’t expecting to meet a good-looking French chef at a bake sale, but he’s not going to let the chance slide. It comes as a surprise when the chef turns out to be the owner of a place he knows—and has reviewed—and it puts James in a sticky situation. So he might have to omit some pertinent information to make it work… at least for now.

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Coming soon: The third installment in The Carlisles series, Checking it Twice, arrives on November 28th, 2016. Join Dorian and Eric on their not so smooth romance.

Closeted professional hockey player Eric Belanger is falling hard for an out-and-proud male model. He’s unable to resist Dorian’s charm and pushing personal boundaries he never thought he’d cross. But Dorian is the kind of guy who deserves someone who isn’t afraid to be himself. Eric’s fears about what coming out will do to his career clash with the future he hopes to build with Dorian. He knows he’ll eventually have to make a choice.

 Dorian Carlisle knows better than to date a man who wants to keep him a secret, but there’s something about Eric he can’t ignore. So he’ll take the risk, and it’ll be all right, because this isn’t a forever romance. He’s happy to live in the moment. But somehow, at some point, feelings sneak up on him and he’s not okay anymore. At a breaking point, Dorian must also make a decision. Their time together will either be the start of something wonderful or nothing more than a happy memory. 

 

 

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An Update on Me

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’m awful at keeping up with blogs, if you hadn’t figured that out yet. I never know what to say, and there’s something about them that makes me feel very awkward. But I’m going to try, seeing as how I’ve been incommunicado for three months.

There’s a lot going on right now. I moved to Chicago (in July) and I’m still adjusting. Turns out being a pet sitter (my other job) is a lot more time consuming in a big city. It’s one of the things I enjoy most about the move, though. The dogs. I feel like I’m constantly in a state of “aw, omg, can I keep you?” I love animals, all right? They’re perfect.

I’ve gone on a few trips as well – for hockey! – and I’m considering it to be research as well as a good time. I went to Canada for the first time this past weekend, and I got to experience border patrol in all its glory. We were detained going both ways and questioned to hell and back while our car was searched. Apparently twenty-something redheads look highly suspicious traveling on their own. My advice, if you’re going to cross the border, dye your hair and clean your car. Other than that, it was great. I got to see the rookie Dallas Stars players fight for a spot on the roster, and I got to see a favorite player of mine who’d been traded play against one of his best friends (the feels people, the feels).

Writing has been a struggle these past few months. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been so busy, or that I’ve just hit one of those pockets of “ah god, this all sucks.” Either way, I’m pushing through it, and continuing to give voice to the people running around inside my head.

Release Day: Dinner for One

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Bastien isn’t used to bad reviews. His French restaurant is the toast of the town, and when a well-known critic insults it, he’s left off-kilter. Luckily for him he’s found a distraction. He’s just met an attractive writer at his niece’s school bake sale. He’s into food, into Bastien and the touch of kink they share, and there’s a chemistry between them that might make the perfect recipe.

James isn’t expecting to meet a good-looking French chef at a bake sale, but he’s not going to let the chance slide. It comes as a surprise when the chef turns out to be the owner of a place he knows—and has reviewed—and it puts James in a sticky situation. So he might have to omit some pertinent information to make it work… at least for now.

 

Published by Dreamspinner / Cover art by Reese Dante / 200 pages 

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What readers have to say about Dinner for One

“As for the plot, there wasn’t one thing I didn’t love about it. From the description of the baking/cooking, the detail of the small but important things and the fact that we actually got to watch the relationship between Bastien and James grow meant that it was a solid 5 star for me.” – Elaine White, Divine Magazine 

“Let’s get straight to the point, shall we? I fucking LOVED this book. It is steamy, romantic, refreshing perfection.” – Gigi, Gay Book Reviews

“Dinner for One was a sweet, sexy and succulent romance. I adored the hell out of both men but have to give a hug to my fellow ginger Bastien for making James fall head over heels with all his wonderful ginger traits. I loved everything about this and hope that if you give it a try, you’ll love it too.” – Sara, Oh My Shelves

Find it at: 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2a9m8Tu
All Romance: http://bit.ly/28Q7eQV
Dreamspinner Press: http://bit.ly/29nFdn9

Weds Review: A Kind of Romance – Lane Hayes

a-kind-of-romance.jpgZeke Gulden is a ruthless Wall Street exec. His hard-edged, no-nonsense attitude has served him well in the cutthroat business world, but less so in his personal life. When he finds out his ex-boyfriend cheated on him with a coworker, Zeke can’t let go—not until he finds a way to get even. However, his meddlesome father has other ideas. The new hire at the family-owned bagel store is somewhat colorful, but his dad is sure he’s the perfect man for Zeke.

Benny Ruggieri is a fiercely proud New Yorker who dreams of making it big as a costume designer in the theater. In the meantime, he’s working two part-time jobs in the food biz. When his new boss sets him up with his successful son, Benny has zero expectations. If nothing else, he figures he can entertain himself by making the uptight businessman squirm. Instead, the two become unlikely friends with an inexplicable attraction they can’t ignore. Benny might be the one to help Zeke set aside his quest for revenge, if he’s willing to let go and forgive what he can’t forget… and give in to an unexpected kind of romance.

Published by Dreamspinner Press / Cover art by Aaron Anderson / 234 pages

Review

This was my first time reading anything by Hayes, and I went into it having heard many good things about her writing. I wasn’t disappointed. Zeke is… somewhat unlikable. At the same time, though, he was easy to relate to and it was clear why he had the issues he did. Benny is the opposite, he’s the eternal optimist, and it’s not hard at all to fall for him. So it makes sense Zeke – who is in desperate need of someone to show him the half full glass – would find himself tangled up in feelings for the man.

Benny helps Zeke learn how to move on from his past and shows him that being different isn’t a bad thing. Some of Zeke’s hangups come in the form of his perception of what his ideal partner looks and acts like (not Benny) and the rest come in the form of his family. Which, you might need tissues. As someone who is very close to their mom, this hit me smack dab in the feels. It’s probably what tipped me over into Zeke’s favor.

This was a sweet story about moving on and letting go of old hurts. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

5 Stars

Find it Here:

Dreamspinner Press / Amazon / All Romance 

Northern Lights Blog Tour – Welcome Asta Idonea!

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Title: Northern Lights

Author: Asta Idonea

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: 1 December 2015

Genre: Short Story / Contemporary / Holiday-Themed

Pages: 25

Buy Links:

Dreamspinner Press

Amazon US

Amazon UK

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Blurb

A dream romantic vacation to Iceland to see the Northern Lights turns into a nightmare when James’s workaholic boyfriend, Richard, again insists on putting his work first. After a call from Richard’s office, an argument ends with the couple splitting up for good. Not only has Richard left James, he’s left him abandoned to explore the park alone, where James quickly gets lost. But just when things seem darkest, the Solstice works its magic, and James finds the guiding light he needs. Or it finds him.

 

Excerpt

“NO. NO, Bob, listen to me. Bob, listen to me. Yes. No. Yes. Bob. Bob. Calm down.”

I turn off the tap, shake my hands over the sink, and reach for towel as I listen to the one-sided conversation drifting through from the next room. I don’t really know why I’m surprised. It’s not as if this hasn’t happened a hundred times before. Richard and I will make plans, and then that damn phone of his will vibrate, emitting the inane, grimace-inducing ringtone I’ve never been able to stand, and everything will unravel.

Richard and I met at a Christmas party five years ago, just before he started his job at Robert Preston & Associates. To date, that was the one and only Christmas we’ve managed to spend together. Every year since, something work-related has called him away. He does his best to make it home for dinner on my birthday, which falls during the holidays, but even that is touch-and-go. Some years I’ve ended up celebrating alone, surrounded by fast-cooling, half-eaten slices of pizza and a pile of empty beer cans.

For months I’ve been begging him for this overseas trip. We’ve been going through a tough patch, and I thought spending the holidays together—without interruptions, just the two of us—would go a long way toward healing the rift. I’d held out hope that the distances involved would grant us some measure of security, that the fact that we were out of the country would make Bob think twice before dialing. But it appears I was wrong.

Audio Excerpt

Author Bio

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Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.

Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!

As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theater, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel; all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.

Website: http://www.nickijmarkus.com

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/NickiJMarkus

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/NickiJMarkus

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4567057.Nicki_J_Markus

A Trip to Remember

Where he ends up might be better than where he was going.

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A Trip to Remember

Meg Harding

Holiday Novella, Sleigh Ride Anthology

17,514 words

Contemporary Romance

Published by DreamSpinner

Cover by Bree Archer

 Blurb:

Colin wants to spend the Christmas holiday with his family, but a blizzard settles in and his flight is cancelled. Unwilling to accept this, he strikes out on his own and crashes his car. Where he ends up might be better than where he was going, though.

Logan was content to wait out the blizzard and spend the holiday alone, but when a frozen-solid Colin ends up on his doorstep he’s not going to turn him away. He takes him in and shows him Christmas spent with a stranger really doesn’t have to be awkward after all.

Excerpt:

Left alone, and more aware of the situation than he had been since he’d woken up, Colin took the opportunity to look at the room more thoroughly. In the corner stood a large Christmas tree, the lights and ornaments all red and white, and a couple presents scattered beneath. From the mantle above the fireplace hung several stockings, and little glass reindeer were placed on the mantle itself. Christmas knickknacks were spread throughout the room, placed on shelves and tables. A spinning snowflake dangled from the ceiling fan.

“Your family was supposed to come here, weren’t they?” he asked when Logan came back into the room.

“Yeah.” He handed the wet cloth to Colin with a small smile. “They’re smart, though, they didn’t try to travel through a blizzard.” He winked, his smile turning into a pleased smirk.

Colin rolled his eyes and scrubbed the cloth along his neck, hoping he was getting everything. “Are you ever going to let that go?”

“Considering I’ve only been harping on it for about ten minutes, I think you’ve got a ways to go.” Logan sat down next to him, his hip pressing into Colin’s stomach. “Give me that. You look so pathetic.” It sounded like he was trying not to laugh. He tugged the cloth from Colin’s grip, leaning over him to start dragging it over his skin.

Colin froze for a second, his neck tilted back vulnerably. He swallowed heavily. Logan was very much in his space, his face hovering right over Colin’s. He could see the striations in his irises, the way his pupils had expanded. If he respired out his mouth, he’d be breathing right into his face. He felt like he was holding his breath.

Get a grip. He tried to subtly exhale out his nose. “I thought you weren’t going to play nurse,” he said.

“I had no idea you’d make it look so difficult,” said Logan, brushing his thumb over the skin he’d just scrubbed, soothing irritated flesh. “It seemed wrong to let you keep trying.”

Find it Here:

Dreamspinner Press

Amazon

All Romance Ebooks

Author Bio:

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Meg Harding is a graduate of UCF, and is completing a masters program for Publishing in the UK. For as long as she can remember, writing has always been her passion, but she had an inability to ever actually finish anything. She’s immensely happy that her inability has fled and looks forward to where her mind will take her next. She’s a sucker for happy endings, the beach, and superheroes.  In her dream life she owns a wildlife conservation and is surrounded by puppies. She’s a film buff, voracious reader, and a massive geek.

WordPress / Twitter / Facebook / DreamSpinner / Amazon / Google + / Goodreads

The Servant Duchess of Whitcomb- A Glimpse Inside

 The Servant Duchess of Whitcomb

A Novel in The Scandalous Whispers of the Remmington Realm

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Author: Vicktor Alexander

 

Release Date: November 27, 2015

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Anne Cain

Pages or Words: 304 pages

Categories: Alternate Universe, Fantasy, Gay Fiction, Historical, M/M Romance, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, *Trans, Interracial, Military

Blurb:

Orley Garrick is known throughout Angland not only as the man with two dukedoms but also as the hero who survived a brutal kidnapping at the hands of Nafoleon’s army, never once betraying the secrets of His Majesty. Still haunted by his memories, Orley pushes his crippled body to dangerous limits, all in an attempt to run from the demons of his past.

Until he meets Chester Boland, a maid in his friend’s household. Orley is besieged by desire for this gorgeous male woman, and by a connection he cannot ignore. But there are those within the Remmington Realm who take issue with the Duke’s choice—especially given Chester’s Tafrican lineage.

Having stared death in the face and won, Orley proposes they steal away and elope. However, before they can begin their new life, they uncover dangerous secrets that go deeper than they could ever imagine—involving those they trust the most.

Orley and Chester must discover exactly how deep these secrets run before their enemies make sure Chester is removed from Orley’s arms… forever.

 

Excerpt:

THE SHARP retort of gunfire exploded around Orley Garrick, Duke of Whitcomb, and he ducked, trying to avoid the debris and the bodies of fallen soldiers around him as he surged forward. The smoke from the countless rifles burned his eyes as he desperately looked for the person who had caught his eye. He heard the cries of the dying calling out to him as he rode his horse farther into the thick of battle. Using his sword, he cut down an enemy soldier who raced toward him, mouth open as he let out a battle cry. Orley closed his eyes against the spray of blood across his face and blocked out the sound of the man’s death gurgle as he fell to the ground beneath his own horse.

Orley raced on toward the figure in white who didn’t belong on the battlefield. He called out a warning, telling the woman to be careful, because there was no way a man would be on a battlefield wearing a long, flowing white chemise, free of dust and bloodstain, appearing almost angelic among the crowd of soldiers. The woman didn’t stop. Instead she walked straight toward the commander of the enemy soldiers, and fear filled Orley. He wasn’t sure why; he didn’t know the woman, and yet he could not let anything happen to her.

At that moment, the woman turned to look at him, and Orley gasped when he realized the woman in front of him was not female as he’d suspected but male. Why in the world was a lady on the battlefield?

“You should not be here!” he yelled, trying to warn the male, but just as he got close enough to lift the woman onto the back of his horse, an enemy soldier plunged his sword through the woman’s back and out through his chest. Orley watched helplessly as the woman’s eyes widened moments before he collapsed to the ground, and a grief unlike aught he’d ever experienced ripped through him.

He was not sure how he knew, but the dying woman belonged to him, and someone had just taken him away.

Tossing his head back, Orley let out an anguished shout at the heavens.

 

ORLEY WOKE, panting and sweating, in the home of his friend, Heathcliff.

Holy. Shit. That one had been very different from his other nightmares. He rubbed his face with his hand and groaned as pain raced through his leg—the one that would never be the same. All because of war, a battle. All because of….

Orley shook his head. No, he wasn’t going to think about that.

Someone knocked lightly on the door, and Orley winced as he realized his plan to come to his room and take a quick nap after his taxing journey out of Tlondon had turned into a deep sleep and a brand-new nightmare.

God, he hated sleeping.

“Enter,” he called out as he sat up and swung his legs off the bed he was borrowing while visiting Heathcliff and Lucien for their country-house party. The door opened, and Orley turned to address the person standing there. He stopped short, almost swallowing his tongue as he took in the vision of the most beautiful creature to have ever been born.

Orley had been privileged to see many beautiful people in his life. Male and female, he was a lover of aesthetically pleasing images and didn’t discriminate. However, all of them paled in comparison to the lovely light-brown-skinned woman in front of him. Orley’s stomach clenched, his groin tightening as he inhaled sharply. The lovely scent of jasmine wafted up to his nostrils, and his eyes slid closed as he relished in the delightful fragrance emanating from the male who had just entered his room.

“Forgive me, Your Grace. I was sent to bring you a light repast and perhaps something to wash up with? His Grace the Duke of Pompinshire thought that perhaps you would like to freshen up before joining the rest of the guests downstairs.” The woman’s voice was soft and lyrical, with a slight lilt to it, and Orley wondered if perhaps he sang. He would have no problem lounging around on the settee listening to him sing or even just talk. Of course, as he took in the male’s appearance, he felt the desire to do much more than just listen to him.

“Your Grace? Are you ill?” the servant asked, and Orley swallowed, shaking his head.

“N-no. I’m fine. Just a bit out of sorts, I’m afraid. I appear to have overslept during my nap, and now I am feeling quite peckish,” he lied.

The woman nodded, his hazel eyes lighting with relief. Orley wondered at that. Was his well-being really of great concern, or was it just because the maid had been sent to look after Orley?

Orley allowed his gaze to rove over the young male’s form again, taking in every detail intently. He would like to have something to conjure up in his mind’s eye later on that evening when he put his hand to his already burgeoning erection.

Wearing the female black dress with a white apron, which was the maid’s uniform that was standard in most homes of the gentry, the young woman had honey blond hair that was currently pulled back in a very luscious chignon at the nape of his neck, and Orley could only imagine how long and thick it was. An image rose to his brain of that hair hanging down over his face as the young woman slid up and down his cock, and he pressed a hand to the sheets covering his waist. The young male’s skin was almond colored, and all Orley wanted to do was spend hours licking every inch of his body. He was not overly tall, only a few inches taller than Lucien, Heath’s husband, but still much shorter than Orley. And where Orley was all hard, thick muscles, the male maid before him was slender, though still with a lovely, toned body.

His slim-fingered hands held a covered silver tray, and Orley gestured him forward with a beckoning wave.

“Well, far be it from me to refuse such generosity from His Grace. You can just place it there on the nightstand,” he directed, watching the sway of the servant’s hips beneath the skirt of his maid’s gown as he walked toward the cherrywood nightstand. Orley shoved his fingers through his blond locks, messing up his hair and throwing his queue into disarray. He was unnerved as the vestiges of the nightmare faded from his mind, wreaking havoc with the lovely, distracting image of Heathcliff’s maid, whose form even now was causing a pleasurable ache in his balls.

“Is there anything else that I can do for you, Your Grace?” the maid asked, his voice hushed, eyes downcast, and a slight tinge of red to his light brown skin.

Orley prided himself on being a man of honor, integrity, and character. As a matter of fact, his grandfather, Charles Edrick Garrick I, the former Duke of Whitcomb, had more than once given him lessons and lectures on the way a gentleman was to behave. Anyone can strut around and use his physical strength to try and prove his brawn. But it takes honor, patience, gentleness, character, integrity, fortitude, knowing when to fight, knowing when to walk away, knowing when to love, how to love, and when to let go, and most importantly, knowing when to use your physical strength and when to be humble, that makes you a man.

Orley had always believed those words from his grandfather, had in fact lived by those words for his entire life. He’d only strayed from them when he’d served in His Majesty’s military and on those rare occasions when he’d allowed Blaine, Heathcliff, and Quincy to talk him into traveling down into the Lower East End to partake of the wares of the light-skirts. And while his grandfather’s words usually guided him, right now he was seriously considering doing something illicit.

He couldn’t believe the images that were passing through his mind. Flashes. Quick, as if they were memories like his time spent on the battlefield rather than the salacious, hopeful yearnings of a desirous, dry, fruitless attraction. However, the longer he spent in the company of the object of his mind’s current musings, the more it seemed his “dry, fruitless attraction” was soaked in hope and possibility. And perhaps it was for that reason that rationality and his grandfather’s words of character, honor, and integrity grew softer and softer until they were suddenly silent. All he could concentrate on was how lovely Heathcliff’s maid was. How round the male woman’s derriere was. How slim his shoulders were. How graceful his neck was.

How full his lips were, and how much Orley desperately wanted to kiss them.

“I think I would really like to know your name,” he heard himself saying.

The maid’s eyes widened, and he gasped softly. “Me, Your Grace?”

Orley chuckled. “Of course you. There is no one else in the room but you and I, and I assure you that I already know my own name. Unless it has changed in the time I have been asleep. It hasn’t, has it?”

The maid giggled and covered his mouth, shaking his head. Orley found himself even more enchanted. When was the last time he’d heard someone allow themselves to be so free that they just giggled? His life was constantly surrounded by danger, drama, gossip, backstabbers, and intrigue. He had a very small group of people he could trust, and they didn’t often have the time to smile, much less giggle. Being around someone who could giggle was a relief. It was like a bright ray of sunshine. Orley absolutely had to have the maid’s name.

“No, Your Grace. Your name hasn’t changed.” The maid glanced away for a moment, as if embarrassed, and then looked back. “My name is Chester.” He executed a flawless curtsy, and Orley rose from the bed and bowed low, smiling at Chester’s gasp. He knew Chester was surprised that a member of the gentry, and a duke no less, would bow to him, but he would soon learn that Orley was unlike every other duke out there.

“It is an honor to meet you, Chester. I am extremely happy to be in your presence and very happy that you will be serving me, and now….” Orley stepped close to Chester, looking down into the young woman’s hazel brown eyes. His heart was pounding, and his leg, for the first time in years, was not throbbing in pain—perhaps that was because only one thing on his body could be throbbing at a time, and his cock already had that covered. “I would very much like to kiss you.”

“Y-you would?” Chester stammered.

Orley nodded, lifting his hand to brush his fingers against the side of Chester’s cheek.

“Is that okay, Chester? I find you to be the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in my entire life, and I would really like to kiss you. May I?”

“You’re asking me?” Chester looked confused. “I was told that men of your standing didn’t ask, that you just take.”

Orley shook his head, saddened by what Chester thought of men of the ton, but he knew Chester’s assumptions came as a result of dealing with “men” of a certain ilk. He would be speaking with Heathcliff about those matters later that week, but at that moment, all of his energy and attention was focused on Chester.

“Of course I am asking you. You always have a choice. Not just with me, but with every single man in the world. You do not have to do anything you don’t want to do. At least, that is the way it should be in a perfect world. So if you don’t want to kiss me, we don’t have to.” Orley would be disappointed, he would be haunted for days, perhaps a fortnight, by the fullness of Chester’s mouth, but eventually he would get over it.

Chester nibbled on his bottom lip and then grinned. “I would love for you to kiss me, Your Grace.”

Orley wanted to let out a loud yell of triumph, but he held back and lowered his lips to Chester’s full, pillow-soft mouth. He was fully expecting the surge of lust that spread through his limbs. Maybe he was even expecting the tingle that spread through his fingers and toes. However, the lightheaded feeling that drowned him in peace and yet simultaneous excitement, and the way his heart sped up, were completely unexpected. He growled and pulled Chester to him, as close as he could possibly get the woman. He felt a bit like a ravenous beast, wanting to devour Chester whole.

He lifted his lips to take a breath, opened his eyes, and gazed down into Chester’s dazed ones. Chester smiled slowly up at him. Orley grinned back, rubbing his hand up and down Chester’s back and already preparing for the next round of kissing.

So he was surprised when he went to lower his head for another kiss and was met with nothing but air and the sound of his bedroom door closing.

Buy the book:

Dreamspinner ebook| Dreamspinner paperbook| ARe| Kobo| Apple iTunes| Amazon

In the spirit of the Regency period in which this book and series is set, I thought I would share some recipes from that era. (All recipes found on http://www.janeausten.co.uk/online-magazine/regency-recipes/)

 To Make Mead

To every gallon of water put 4 lbs of honey, and for 20 gallons add as follows: 2 oz of nutmeg, half an oz of mace, half an oz of cloves, 2 ozs of race-ginger, all just bruised, and sewed up in a linene bag; then add a large handful of sweet briar with the above, boil it all together for an hour, skimming it all the time it boils; then drain it off. Add a little balm to it, if it does not work, turn it and let it stand a day or two. Then add the juice of 6 good lemons, with the rind of them and your bag of spices in the barrel. Stop it up close for 10 or 12 months. Then bottle it for use. You may add some more spices if you like it.

-Martha Lloyd’s Household Book

 To make tea crumpets

Beat two eggs very well, put them to a quart of warm milk and water, and a large spoonful of barm: beat in as much fine flour as will make them rather thicker than a common batter pudding, then make your bakestone very hot, and rub it with a little butter wrapped in a clean linen cloth, then pour a large spoonful of batter upon your stone, and let it run to the size of a tea-saucer; turn it, and when you want to use them roast them very crisp, and butter them.

—The Experienced English Housekeeper, Elizabeth Raffald, 1769

 A Harrico of Mutton

    Cut a neck of mutton into steaks. Flour them and fry them brown on each side. Put into your stewpan a piece of butter and 2 spoonfuls of flour, and let is simmer together until is is of a light brown (keeping it stirring all the time). Add to it some good gravy and let it boil up, then put in your steaks, and turnips and carrots and let it stew one hour. Pepper and salt to your taste and 2 Spoonfuls of catchup–when done if greasy mix some flour with cold water and put to it, but let it only boil up once afterwards.

 Irish Stew

6 pounds boneless Lamb shoulder (or beef roast) cut into 2-inch pieces

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 Large Yellow Onion peeled and finely chopped

1/2 cup water

4 cups Beef Stock

2 teaspoons sugar

4 cups carrots-cut into 1 inch pieces

2 large yellow onions peeled and sliced

3 pounds potatoes or turnips peeled, quartered and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 teaspoon dried thyme, whole

1 bay leaf

 Put lamb salt pepper and flour in large mixing bowl-toss to coat meat evenly.

 Brown meat in frying pan with bacon fat or butter. Put meat into 10 quart stove top casserole-leave 1/4 cup of fat in frying pan. Add onion and sauté till onion begins to color. Deglaze frying pan with 1/2 cup water and add the onion to your casserole with the beef stock and sugar. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or till tender. Add remaining ingredients to pot and simmer covered for 20 minutes until veg. is tender. Check for salt and pepper before serving.

 Bouillabaisse

3 lb Assorted white fish, such as sea bass, flounder, red snapper, grouper, perch, sole, pike, haddock, and cod.

1/3 c Olive oil

5 Garlic cloves, chopped

5 To 10 Saffron threads

1 pinch Thyme

2 lg Onions, coarsely chopped

5 lg Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, or one diced tomatoes

1 Bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 1 thyme sprig, 6 parsley sprigs pinch each of grated orange peel, ground fennel seeds, basil, and oregano)

2 Carrots, coarsely chopped

2 Leeks, coarsely chopped

Salt and freshly ground -pepper

6 c Water

1 1/4 c Dry white wine or broth

2 lb Clams or mussels, washed

1 t Saffron threads

2 tsp Pernod

2 Baguettes (French bread) cut diagonally into thin slices

2 lg Garlic cloves, peeled

 Fillet the fish or have your fishmonger do it for you. Cut the fish into 1-in (2.5-cm) chunks. Marinate with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 clove chopped garlic, a few saffron threads, and a pinch of thyme for at least 1 hour.

 Sauté the onions and remaining chopped garlic in 4 tablespoons olive oil for 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, bouquet garni, orange peel, fennel seeds, basil, oregano, carrots, leeks, salt and pepper, and cook covered for 10 minutes. Add the water and 1 cup of the wine and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat. Blend the mixture in a blender for a few seconds and then strain it into a soup pot through a fine strainer lined with cheesecloth. Discard the residue in the strainer. Taste the stock for seasoning. If it tastes a little thin, reduce over high heat for a few minutes until the flavor is more fully developed.

 Add the clams and simmer until they just begin to open. Add the fish and the remaining wine and cook at a rolling boil for 10 minutes. Add the saffron threads and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Taste and season with Pernod, salt and pepper. Pour into warmed individual bowls.

 Meanwhile dry the baguette slices in the oven for a few minutes and then rub them with the whole cloves of garlic. Top the slices of bread with plenty of rouille and float them in the bowls of soup. Serve immediately.

 For a more authentic style, ladle the soup into the bowls and serve the fish on a separate plate to be added by each guest.

Boiled Plumb Pudding

Shred a pound of beef suet very fine, to which add three quarters of a pound of raisins stoned, a little grated nutmeg, a large spoonful of sugar, a little salt, some white wine, four eggs beaten, three spoonfuls of cream, and five spoonfuls of flour. Mix them well, and boil them in a cloth three hours. Pour over this pudding melted butter, when dished.

Susannah Carter, The Frugal Housewife, or, Complete woman cook; wherein the art of dressing all sorts of viands is explained in upwards of five hundred approved receipts, in gravies, sauces, roasting [etc.] . . . also the making of English wines. (London: Francis Newbery, 1765)

 454 g/ 1 lb Beef Suet, finely chopped

397 g / 14 oz / 2 ½ Cups Raisins

1 tsp Nutmeg

1 tbsp Brown Sugar

½ tsp Salt

180 ml / 2/3 cup White Wine

4 Eggs

5 tbsp Flour, plus extra for dusting

3 tbsp Cream

60 cm x 60 cm /2 ft x2 ft muslin cloth and kitchen string

 Set a large stockpot of water on to boil.

 In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, wine, cream and nutmeg. Add in the suet and flour. When this is incorporated, add the raisins and continue mixing until a stiff batter is formed.

 Thoroughly wet the cloth and dust it with flour on both sides. Lay this cloth across a mixing bowl large enough to accommodate all your batter. Spoon the batter into the center of the cloth and tie it up securely (with a little room for expansion) with kitchen string, being sure to leave long ends to hang the pudding in the water. The pudding should look like a ball wrapped in fabric.

 Submerge the pudding in the boiling water by suspending it from a wooden spoon placed across the top of the pot. Boil vigorously for 3 hours, adding additional water as necessary.

 Remove the pudding from the water after three hours. Allow it to drain in a colander and then store it in a bowl (to preserve its shape) overnight or for several hours before serving. Reheat before serving. Serve with melted butter.

 *Melted Butter

Melted butter was perhaps the most common sauce to be served with any number of dishes. To make your own, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over a medium heat. Quickly whisk in 2-3 tsp of flour and remove the butter from the heat. Do not allow the mixture to boil or the sauce will separate, thus becoming “oiled”.

Serves 8

 Meet the author:

Vicktor “Vic” Alexander wrote his first story at the age of ten and hasn’t stopped writing since. He loves reading about anything and everything and is a proud member of the little known U.N. group (Undercover Nerds) because while he lives, eats, breathes, and sleeps sports, he also breathes history and science fiction and grew up a Trekkie. But don’t ask him about Dungeons & Dragons, because he has no idea how to play that game. When it comes to writing he loves everything from paranormal to contemporary to fantasy to BDSM to historical and is known not only for being the Epilogue King but also for writing stories that cross lines and boundaries that he doesn’t know are there. Vic is a proud father of two daughters one of whom watches over him from Heaven with his deceased partner Christopher. Vic is a proud trans* and gay man, and when he is not writing, he is hanging out with his friends, or being distracted by videos of John Barrowman, Scott Hoying, and Shemar Moore. Vicktor has published numerous bestselling novels and has a WIP list that makes him exhausted just thinking about. He knows that he will be still be writing about hot men falling in love with each other, long after he is living in an assisted living facility, flirting with the hot, male nurses.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/VicktorAlexanderB

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorVicktorAlexander

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/VVeeB

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/vicktora/

Other: https://www.instagram.com/vicktoralexander/

Other: http://www.vicktoralexander.tumblr.com

Other: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VicktorAlexander

Other: http://www.vicktoralexander.com

Other: http://www.authorvicktoralexander.com

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27422380-the-servant-duchess-of-whitcomb


Tour Dates & Stops:

27-Nov: Havan Fellows, Louise Lyons, Prism Book Alliance

30-Nov: Onwards, Upwards, House Millar

1-Dec: Jessie G. Books, Divine Magazine

2-Dec: Tempeste O’Riley

3-Dec: MM Good Book Reviews, Fantastical Worlds, Fiery Love

4-Dec: Mikky’s World of Books, Brightly Books

6-Dec: Love Bytes

7-Dec: Inked Rainbow Reads, BFD Book Blog

8-Dec: A.M. Leibowitz, Antonia Aquilante

9-Dec: Grace R. Duncan’s Blog

10-Dec: Bending The Bookshelf, Book Lovers 4Ever

Rafflecopter Prize: E-book copy of book, $50 Amazon Gift Card, Scandalous Whispers Swag Pack

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