the first-born son of the Duke of Tournai and cousin to the prince,
Cathal has always tried to fulfill his duty to family and country,
including following through with an arranged marriage to Velia, cousin
to the emperor of Ardunn. But it’s Velia’s companion, Flavia, who
fascinates Cathal. Cathal doesn’t know that Flavia is really Flavian, a
man masquerading as a woman to escape Ardunn, a restrictive place in
which Flavian’s preference for men is forbidden.
when Cathal discovers Flavian’s true gender, he cannot fight his
attraction to him. Flavian is intrigued by Cathal, but Cathal is still
betrothed to Velia, and Flavian worries Cathal is more taken with his
feminine illusion than the man beneath it. While both men battle their
longings for each other, spies from Ardunn infiltrate the capital,
attempting to uncover Tournai’s weaknesses. They are also searching for
Flavian, who possesses a magical Talent that allows him to see the truth
of a person just by painting their portrait—a skill invaluable to
R -Tell us the most Romantic thing you have ever done for that special someone.
I don't have a special someone right now, so I'm letting my characters make all the romantic gestures.
O- What’s the Oddest gift you’ve received on Valentine’s Day. What’s the Oddest gift you’ve given.
can't remember anything truly odd that I've ever given someone or
received. Some silly little things but nothing really strange. Someone
did give a pair of Valentine's sock with hearts on them once, which is
probably a bit odd but they were cute and warm!
M - You’re Making dinner for that special someone and want to impress them, what do you Make?
or risotto probably. I love to cook for people. Most of my favorite
dishes to make (and eat!) are Italian, and risotto always seems
impressive. I'd have to make something for dessert too. Chocolate swirl
cheesecake sounds perfect.
A - After the holiday has passed, what little things do you do to keep the Romance in a relationship?
I'm a believer that all sorts of little, everyday things can be romantic, or you can have little, romantic moments everyday, anyway. I think it's all about remembering to take the time and pay attention.
N-When getting a gift from a lover for Valentine’s Day, do you hope it’s Naughty or Nice?
I'm a romantic so I'm a sucker for the nice, sweet gifts. But I wouldn't turn down naughty...
C – Candy
and flowers are the number one gifts given on Valentine’s Day. You’ve
waited until the last minute and both gifts are sold out, what is your
back up gift idea?
would probably bake a decadent treat of some sort. Maybe something
chocolatey to make up for the candy. Who doesn't love homemade baked
E – The neck seems to be a very popular Erogenous zone. What spot on your body drives you crazy?
It's the neck for me too.
Aquilante has been making up stories for as long as she can remember,
and at the age of twelve, decided she would be a writer when she grew
up. After many years and a few career detours, she has returned to that
original plan. Her stories have changed over the years, but one thing
has remained consistent - they all end in happily ever after.
She has a
fondness for travel (and a long list of places she wants to visit and
revisit), taking photos, family history, fabulous shoes, baking treats
which she shares with friends and family, and of course reading. She
usually has at least two books started at once and never goes anywhere
without her Kindle. Though she is a convert to ebooks, she still loves
paper books the best, and there are a couple thousand of them residing
in her home with her.
raised in New Jersey, she is living there again after years in
Washington, DC, and North Carolina for school and work. She enjoys being
back in the Garden State but admits to being tempted every so often to
run away from home and live in Italy.
She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the New Jersey Romance Writers.
Following the death of their sub, the former owners of the Guards of
Folsom, Robert “Bobby” Alcott and Rig Beckworth, were left to pick up
the pieces as best they could. After seven years, these two Doms are
ready to move on and find the boy who will complete them. Their painful
past comes crashing back when they meet Mason Howard, a submissive who
just weeks ago lost his Doms in a car accident.
overwhelming grief that’s complicated by a severe social anxiety
disorder, Mason can barely leave his home. When Rig and Bobby find him,
he’s hit rock bottom, believing life is no longer worth living. Bobby
and Rig set out to prove the younger man wrong. Fate has brought the
three men together, but they’ll have to face the pain of fear and loss
head-on before they can all truly live again.
God? There was no God, and there sure as hell wouldn’t be any
mercy bestowed on Charles Robert Jones. Mason wiped angrily at the tears
on his cheeks with his sleeve and glared at the priest who had come to
say a last prayer for the dearly departed.
Neither the pastor nor the prayer had been Mason’s idea, nor
would Charles have wanted it. No one seemed to care what he or Charles
wanted. To the few family members who were in attendance—two sisters, an
aunt, and a couple of cousins—Mason Howard didn’t exist. He wasn’t
allowed to sit amongst them, relegated to stand at the back and away
from the casket—wouldn’t want to upset the family with his
presence. In fact, Charles’s older sister Maria had even gone as far as
to call Mason and say, “We think it’d be best if you not attend.”
Mason hadn’t even dignified her with an answer, just hit the end
button on his phone and threw it across the room. He responded to the
request by not only showing up at the funeral home each day—he had been
the first to arrive at the cemetery, which was another thing Charles
wouldn’t have wanted. Mason shouldn’t be here; none of them should.
Charles had made it perfectly clear that he wanted to be cremated and
his ashes scattered over the land he had lived on and loved with Mason
and Gregory. Again, Mason hadn’t gotten a say in it and apparently
neither had Charles; the black casket about to be lowered into the
ground was proof.
Charles’s family had finally been able to contain him in a shiny
box, the kind they could understand. The box, the setting, the words,
none of it was who Charles Robert Jones was. Now some man—a messenger of
a God long dead to Mason—was trying to redeem a soul
condemned—possessed by sin.
Mason had tried to tell both Maria and Charles’s other sister
Carol what Charles’s last wishes were, but they’d refused to listen to
him. He’d fought as hard as he could for Charles, but he’d failed. He
had no legal rights. He didn’t get any say in what happened to the man
he knew better than all of them. It didn’t matter that he’d been the
only person, present company included, who had shared the man’s life
every single day for the last twelve years.
That wasn’t true. There had been one other person.
Mason tipped his head back, looking up at the changing sky with
tear-filled eyes. His chest tightened so painfully it stole his breath. Oh God, Gregory, he cried silently. Look what they are doing to him.
In the distance a bolt of lightning cracked, splitting the
horizon. The clouds churned, gray swirling billows overtaking the
robin’s-egg blue of an otherwise peaceful summer sky. As if even the
heavens were manifesting Mason’s anger, bearing witness to Gregory’s
defeat, and reflecting the sorrow of Charles’s soul trapped in that pine
At least Gregory had been cremated as had been his wish. His
ashes sat on the kitchen table of their seaside home, waiting to be set
free. Mason choked on a sob as it hit him in the center of his very
being. He was putting one lover in the cold hard ground alone and
abandoning the other to the winds, when their earthly remains should
have been intermingled forever.
The creaking of a winch pulled Mason from his musings just in
time to hear the priest say, “Unite us together again in one family, to
sing your praise forever and ever. Amen.”
The choked sound of sobbing from Charles’s family inflamed Mason
as much as the priest’s hollow words did. These people with their
bullshit of being together again in one family, the fake tears,
caused rage to claw at Mason’s chest, bile to rise up in his throat,
and he trembled with the power of it. He wanted to scream at the
injustice of it, to howl, Me! I’m his family. Me, who loves him unconditionally for who and what he was. He’s mine! He belongs to me and Gregory. We’re his family.
Click. Click. Click.
Mason covered his ears, the agonized screaming in his head not
enough to drown out the maddening sounds of the gears turning. Each
click took Charles farther and farther away. Soon he’d be out of reach,
Click. Click. Click.
Stop them. You fucking coward, stop them. Do it. Do it NOW!
Mason’s fingers curled in hair, setting off sparks of pain on
each side of his skull, and he squeezed his eyes shut. His heart
hammered in his chest, the adrenaline surged through his system, and he
As the familiar signs of a panic attack coursed through him,
Mason sank to the ground against his will, his knees giving out as he
gasped for breath. The pain in his head, the screaming inside it, the
shiny black casket, the click, click, click of the winch, Gregory,
Charles, all of it pressed down on him, and his chest clenched, throat
constricted, he couldn’t fucking breathe.
Somewhere in his haze-filled brain, he knew what he had to do. He
had to relax, breathe, and focus. It would pass, and if it didn’t, if
he couldn’t relax enough to get air into his lungs, his body would shut
down and override his fucked-up head. Waking up from a panic-induced
sleep sucked; the screaming headache would leave him dazed for hours.
He’d lived through hundreds, thousands of these attacks throughout his
life; he just needed to focus, listen for the soothing sound of
Gregory’s voice, the calming touch of Charles’s hands, because without
them to pull him back from the edge….
Mason tried to open his eyes to stop the haunting images that
blinked in his head, flashing like a strobe light. Twisted wreckage—
Mangled bodies— Blood.
They would come for him. Gregory would talk him down. Charles
would touch him and soothe him, and the three of them would snuggle
together afterward. Mason couldn’t do it without them.
They wouldn’t leave him.
They had promised him when they put the collar around his neck.
He would forever belong to them, and Gregory and Charles had vowed they
wouldn’t ever leave him.
Open your eyes, boy. Focus right here. Open your eyes and look at me.
At the sound of Gregory’s authoritative voice, Mason’s eyes flew
open, the edges of his vision dark. Mason blinked, trying to do as he
was told, but everything was blurry and his eyes closed of their own
accord. “Sir,” he managed to wheeze out. “Help—”
Mason’s entire body trembled, and his oxygen-deficient lungs
caused an agonizing burn to spread through him, but he wouldn’t fail his
master. Mason pushed the pain down into the pit of his churning gut,
rose above the misery. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for Gregory.
Mason’s eyes fluttered open, and before him stood a figure
dressed all in black, its pale fingers curled into a fist. It all came
rushing back in a flash, every agonizing detail—his pain, his loss, his
new reality. Maria’s dark eyes bore into him accusingly as she opened
her hand and let the dirt fall into the grave.
Darkness surrounded him like giant arms, welcoming him into its
embrace, and Mason gave himself over to it. He felt himself floating
away, the pain fading too. His last conscious thought: Please don’t let me wake this time.
RIG BECKWORTH was stretched out in his lounge chair, dark shades
shielding his eyes, skin glistening with coconut oil. He was the study
of a happy tourist. “Rest and relaxation,” he’d said. “Scantily dressed
boys,” he’d said. “We’ll have fun,” he’d said. Bobby glared at him.
“Does it look like I’m having fun?” Bobby grumbled under his breath.
“What was that?” Rig asked sleepily.
Bobby continued to grumble, cursing low as he adjusted the
umbrella in a feeble attempt to shield his body from the Florida heat.
“My popper is popped,” Bobby complained and then winced when sweat ran
into his eye. “Goddammit!” He wiped at his burning eye and wet face with
a damp hand towel.
“Your what has popped?” Rig chuckled and rolled on his side to look at him.
Rig cocked his head and lifted his shades, his expression confused.
“You know the little plastic thing they stick in a turkey?” Rig’s
frown deepened, and Bobby waved him off and sighed heavily. “Never
mind, I forgot I’m talking to the king of pizza and TV dinners.”
“Good thing I have you, then, huh,” Rig said with a smirk and lowered his shades.
“If I have to sit out here in this heat, you’re not going to have
me much longer. I’m hot,” Bobby whined. “There is a reason Florida
doesn’t have bears, Rig. It’s too hot and we have too much fur.”
“Aww, c’mon, baby, it’s not that bad,” Rig coddled. He lay back
in the lounger, tilted his chin up toward the sun. A broad smile spread
across his face, and Bobby suddenly had the urge to slap it off.
Bobby’s eyes narrowed, and he gritted his teeth. Over the last
twenty-four years together, the only time Rig called him baby was when
he was a) fucking with him, or b)…. Nope, only when he was fucking with
him. Rig had never been overly romantic or one to use endearments.
“I’m here so you’re not the only bear sweatin’ it out,” Rig added. “And this bear loves it.”
“No. You’re a cub,” Bobby corrected.
Rig was far from smooth. He had a head full of thick, dark curls
that brushed the top of his collar, and his sparse goatee and soul patch
were dusted with silver. When Bobby had first met Rig all those years
ago, he’d been tall, with lean well-defined muscles. Rig’s chest,
stomach, and limbs had been lightly covered in dark hair. He hadn’t
changed much, though the lean body was now softer. At forty-eight, he
wore the number of years he’d lived on his face.
Rig rolled once again and turned his head to Bobby. “You could shave—”
“Don’t even suggest it,” Bobby interrupted.
“I’m not saying shave it off, but maybe instead of trying to look
like one of the front men for ZZ Top you could… trim it a little.” He
snapped his fingers. “I know, you could be like their drummer.” Rig’s
brow furrowed, and he considered Bobby for a moment. “You know, I bet
that’s not his real name.”
Bobby ran his hand over his chin, pulled at the two-inch-long
hair. “Mine’s not even close to that length,” he said irritably. “And
what do you mean not his real name? Who?”
“Their drummer,” Rig said with a hint of exasperation. As if
Bobby should have just known whom he was talking about. “I mean,
seriously, the two front men have beards that go halfway down their
torsos and the one guy in the group who doesn’t have one, his last name
is Beard? I don’t buy it. Remind me to google that shit when we get back
to the house.”
A bead of sweat rolled down Bobby’s forehead, but he wiped it away this time before it could burn his eyes. That’s it.
He tossed the towel aside and sat up, sending the umbrella tumbling to
the sand. “How about we go google it now? Because seriously, this
weather sucks out loud.”
“C’mon, Bobby, we just got out here and the locals will be
getting out of work soon. You don’t want to miss the pretty boy show, do
Wakitta was a small southern Florida town, situated on the gulf.
It had a couple of great restaurants, collectable shops, and a bakery,
but without the commercialized tourist traps like many gulf-side towns.
The fact that Wakitta hadn’t fallen to the big developers was part of
its appeal for him and Rig—at least for Bobby it would be appealing in
the fall and winter, but summers in southern Florida sucked.
It wasn’t only the town’s charm that appealed to them,
Bobby thought with a wry grin, but also the fact that the obscure beach
was a favorite among the local gay men. Still. He pulled his unruly
curls back into a small ponytail and secured it with a band.
“You sit out here and bake,” Bobby said. He grabbed his towel,
draped it around his neck, and heaved himself out of the lounge chair
and winced when the hot sand burned the bottom of his feet. “Christ, I
hate this shit,” he growled and stepped into his flip-flops. “Tell me
again why I let you talk me into this ridiculous vacation?”
“Because you love me and knew I wanted to come.” Rig grinned and
scooped up a bottle of suntan oil and poured a generous amount on his
chest and stomach.
Bobby glared at him, but Rig ignored the irritated look as he
slicked up his torso and hummed happily. Once again Bobby felt compelled
to slap the damn smiling man, but he curled his hand into fists and
stomped off without a word.
“You’re going to miss the show,” Rig reminded him again.
“And you’re turning into one of those pervy dirty old men, Rig,” he said pointedly.
“I’ve always been a pervy old man. What’s your point?”
Bobby cursed and shook his head at Rig’s boisterous laughter as
he struggled in the soft, shifting sand. “I’m going to go explore.” In
the shade. “I’ll be back,” he tossed over his shoulder and headed for
the tree line.
The area just off the beach was really more bush and scruff than
what he’d call a forest, but there were a few pines, palms, and some
kind of weeping trees with long strands of moss hanging from them. A
clearly defined pathway had been tromped down among the bush, the sand
and dirt well packed, making it easier for him to walk. The temperature
was still ungodly hot, but the shade did offer a slight measure of
The farther Bobby made his way along the path, the more irritated
he became. Discarded condom wrappers, empty beer cans, and other trash
littered the ground, proof the area was a popular spot. He was all for a
hookup, a random fuck in the woods, but Christ, did they have to be
such pigs? He sat heavily on a fallen tree, huffed out a frustrated
breath, and wiped at his face. He kicked angrily at an empty beer bottle
and scowled at it as if it were the reason for his ill mood. It
shattered against a rock. Everything seemed to be irritating him these
Born Robert Alcott, Bobby had been a headstrong kid, a leader.
Hell, he’d taken charge of his kindergarten class. Throughout his life,
he’d always been in control. He thrived on being in charge, was good at
ruling others, knowing what they needed, and providing it. Being a Dom
was so ingrained in his genetic makeup that without purpose, someone to
control, care for, love, he would go insane. Now Folsom was gone. The
club he’d opened decades ago, passed on to younger, more innovative
minds and in the very reliable hands of Blake and Ty. Bobby’s whole life
had revolved around the place. It’s where he met Rig, and he did love
the man without question, but Rig, being an aggressive Dom himself,
didn’t need Bobby like a submissive did. Bobby needed purpose, dammit!
This life of vacations, retirement, boring days…. He was only fifty, for
fuck sakes, not eighty.
Bobby closed his eyes and took deep calming breaths. He listened
to the lulling sound of the gulf waves in the distance, the gull’s cry,
but his gut still churned, pulse a little too quick from his troubled
thoughts continued. He couldn’t keep hanging out at Folsom, at least not
in the capacity he had been. What he needed, what both he and Rig
needed, was a sub. Not just a boy to play with for the night, one who
might be entertaining—because those were a dime a dozen. No, what he
needed to focus on was finding the third that would make him and Rig
As the truth of it settled down on him, Bobby opened his eyes and
stared at the foliage overhead as it swayed gently, the lush green
highlighted by the pale-blue sky. In the distance, he could see the
darker blue of the water. A serene feeling washed over him as he looked
out over the beautiful landscape. He knew what he had to do. As soon as
they returned to New York, he and Rig would step up their search for the
perfect man to complete them.
After carefully picking up the pieces of glass and wrapping them
in his towel, Bobby continued to follow the path. As he stepped past a
high wall of brush, the landscape opened up, and to his left, a set of
white, wooden stairs led up a hill to a small white bungalow with bright
blue shutters. Anyone standing behind the large picture window would
have a stunning view of the gulf.
Movement near a small orange tree grabbed Bobby’s attention. A
man on his knees, dressed in a white tank top and blue shorts, examined
the orange he held in his hand briefly before placing it in a basket and
reaching for another. Squinting from the glare of the bright sun, Bobby
reluctantly left the shade of the trees and tromped up the steps. Might
as well do the neighborly thing and say hello.
Closer now, Bobby got a good look at the younger man. Even in a
kneeling position, Bobby could tell he was slight, but the muscles of
his thighs and arms, while lean, were well defined. He appeared to be in
his early twenties. His hair was a dark chestnut brown, cut short, his
jaw clean-shaven, and his skin was a deep olive tone. Bobby couldn’t
quite make out the color of his eyes, but they were dark, possibly
brown, although it was hard to tell with the dark circles beneath them.
In profile he had a long, narrow nose, and his lips were full, kissable.
He was absolutely gorgeous. A warm spark of attraction and longing
warmed Bobby’s groin. He pushed down his desire and did his best to keep
it in check, despite the ripple of envy that settled in his gut, as he
took the last couple of steps towards the man. Some lucky son of a bitch
had already claimed this beautiful boy, as evidenced by the thin
leather collar around his neck.
“Hi,” Bobby said cheerfully and raised his hand to wave. “I’m staying—”
“Oh,” the man yelped when he noticed Bobby. His brown eyes—he had
been right, melted chocolate brown, in fact—went wide with shock as he
fell back on his hands and scrambled away, knocking over his basket and
sending the oranges scattering.
There was more than fear in those brown orbs. “Sorry. Didn’t mean
to startle you,” he said regretfully and reached out to help the man to
The stranger ignored Bobby’s offered hand, rolled to his feet,
and took off in a dead run to the house, slamming the door behind him.
Bobby stood there stunned long after the man had disappeared
inside. “What the fuck?” he muttered. His first instinct was to follow
the man, to beat on the door and demand to know what the hell was going
on. There was something about the situation that nagged him, there was
way too much sadness in him for someone so young—and the irrational
fear. Bobby wondered if the man’s Dom was possibly abusing him. Yet, he
hadn’t seen a single bruise, and Bobby was the trespasser.
He continued to stare at the house, debating what he should do.
After a long drawn-out moment, Bobby sighed, resigned. He gathered up
the oranges, placing them back into the basket, and set it next to the
front door. He had the sneaking suspicion that he was being watched, but
when he looked toward the window, no one was there.
He and Rig would be in town for another week. He’d make a point
to stop by, keep his eyes open, and then decide what, if anything, he
should do about the sad brown-eyed man.
At nineteen, Shane Tucker joins the army. Tucker is gay but not ready
to be open about it, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell seems like a convenient
way to avoid dealing with his sexuality.
The army suits Tucker;
he does well from the beginning. Then, during boot camp, he’s assigned a
“battle buddy,” Owen Bradford. Owen is a walking, talking wet dream
with no concept of personal space. Tucker only survives the constant
temptation by venting to his diary.
Two years later, Tucker—now
in the Army Ranger program—is paired up with Owen once again. Getting
through training while ignoring the sexual tension between him and his
battle buddy might be the biggest test of Tucker’s military career.
Tuck & Cover
You may have read Tuck’s diary entries, but they don’t tell the whole
story. Tuck will argue the point, but he definitely got a few details
wrong—not that I blame him. He was, if you remember, a little sexually
frustrated at the time. He probably wasn’t thinking straight. I’ll never
get tired of teasing him about that. Anyway, here’s what really
Rangers lead the way! – Owen
First Editions published by Silver Publishing, March 2012 (Battle Buddy) and November 2012 (Tuck & Cover)
Joyful Jay has named PUP her favorite cover for the month of April. She says....
"Hello everyone! Here are some of our favorite covers from April. This
month we reviewed 60 books and here are the covers we loved the most
from that group. And I bet you can guess my favorite one, right? Considering I slobbered all over it in both my review, and my interview with author SJD Peterson. So yes, PUP was my top pick this month, but there were lots of other beauties as well."
You can check out all the beautiful covers for the month of April HERE
Congrats to PUP and his amazing cover artist Paul Richmond
This is a well written intense story whose characters will stay with you
long after you finish the book. If you like BDSM and seeing strong men
fall in love then Pup needs to be added to your library. I am excited to
see where this series goes next...will Bobby and Rig find their perfect
third or we will meet a new Dom and sub? All I know is that where ever
Jo takes us I am so going to be there! BUY LINK Dreamspinner
RATING: 5 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries
This book was given to us by Dreamspinner Press. Many thanks.