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Getting It Right by Zenobia Renquist

Getting It Right

by Zenobia Renquist

Changeling Press

eBook ISBN: 06674-02147

He got grabby but it’ll take more than that to keep her.

Haruto’s first attempt to secure a mate failed, leaving him on the brink of death. And then he met Janine. Claiming her saves his life but Haruto and Janine both come to realize the bond they share is more than a simple cure. Learning to be a couple is the only option because the magic won’t let them live without each other.

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Favored Dragon's Release by D. Renee Bagby

Favored Dragon’s Release

Hidden By Dragons, Book 1
by D. Renee Bagby

Siren-Bookstrand

eBook ISBN: 978-1-62740-119-7

He wants her for his bride to end the dragons’ curse but his love for her is ruining his plans.

In the aftermath of a senseless war that claimed many lives, the gods have punished the dragons for causing the conflict. The next generation will not hatch until Prince Shurik finds a human female willing to put aside generations of animosity to become his bride.

Yolette goes to sleep on the side of a mountain, the odd woman out on a couples’ camping trip, and awakes in a field outside the home of a dragon. Transported to an unknown world very different from her own, she must depend on Shurik for shelter and guidance.

Shurik doesn’t anticipate his growing feelings for Yolette, making the task of proposing that much harder. Danger looms from those who want the punishment ended and from those who want it to continue until the last dragon is gone. Shurik must decide whether he will save his people or his love and pray to the gods his choice is the right one.

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Pretty Boy by Ana Raine

Pretty Boy

Pretty Boy, Book 1
by Ana Raine

Changeling Press

eBook ISBN: 06284-02019

Kai will do whatever it takes to forget about Liam — even joining a BDSM site, where he meets a man who wears an artistic fox mask and calls himself only “Master.” Who is Master and will he be dominant enough to make Kai scream into submission?

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Out of the Cold by Giselle Renarde

Out of the Cold

by Giselle Renarde

eXcessica Publishing

eBook ISBN: 9781609826819

Geeky Amira is desperate for fun when she meets Keith at a first aid course. After exchanging naughty emails, they plan a get-together on New Year’s Eve… but the man who shows up isn’t Keith! Will Amira ring in the New Year with her online romance, or be left out in the cold?

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The Birthday Gift by Giselle Renarde

The Birthday Gift
by Giselle Renarde

eXcessica Publishing

eBook ISBN: 9781609820879

Meredith is a cake-baking, apron-wearing small-town mom. Her guiding principle is “What would June Cleaver do?” until she stumbles upon two delicious hunks getting hands-on. June Cleaver would have run for the hills! Not Meredith. Things really heat up when one man’s wife appears… and encourages Meredith to join in!

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The Wisest Maiden by Dahlia DeWinters

The Wisest Maiden
by Dahlia DeWinters

Liquid Silver Books

eBook ISBN: 978-159578-969-3

After she is forced into marriage with a powerful ruler who deflowers and kills his brides, Issalia is compelled to use her wits to avoid the executioner’s axe. But can she avoid having her heart captured by the deeply wounded king?

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Captain Jack's Wet Dream by Gale Stanley

Captain Jack’s Wet Dream
TomCats, Book 3
by Gale Stanley

Siren-Bookstrand

eBook ISBN: 978-1-62241-721-6

It’s Captain Jack’s birthday and a beautiful Asian man jumps out of his cake. Jack is smitten, but he believes twenty-one year-old Aran is too young for him. Aran doesn’t agree, and he’ll do anything to change Jack’s mind. Can Aran convince the commitment-phobic Captain that they belong together?

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Undercurrent by Zenobia RenquistUndercurrent
Wet (multi-author series)
by Zenobia Renquist

Changeling Press

eBook BIN: 05924-01900

Lulu was sent to spy on the competition so she could find out the secret of their success. Her search turns up Hotsuma, a man bound to water so he can use his power to bring good luck to those who imprisoned him.

Working to set him free ignites a passion in Lulu only Hotsuma can quench, but they can’t afford to let sex, no matter how good, distract them. Hotsuma’s captors aren’t about to let Lulu leave with their property, and they’re willing to use deadly force to stop her. They’ll need more than luck for their new love to survive.

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Night Train To Venice
Night Train, Book 3
by Carolina Valdez

Amber Quill Press

eBook ISBN: 978-1-61124-290-4
Print ISBN: 978-1611249088

Someone is robbing and killing diamond couriers. When his Italian lover, Dante, is assigned a delivery in Venice, Alexandros insists he and Malcolm, the other staff immortal, go as body guards. Malcolm and his train steward reignite an old romance, but all are plunged into a maelstrom of danger none may survive.

Chapter One

Ostiense Railway Station
Rome, Italy
Someone was robbing and killing couriers throughout the western world. Where and when they would strike next was the big unknown.
Dante didn’t seem to be aware he’d re-tightened his grip for the umpteenth time on his carry-on—a small, black sports bag containing a minor fortune in gold, diamonds and other precious stones. It made Malcolm, standing behind him in line to guard his back, nervous. Like a secret service agent protecting the U. S. president, the middle-aged vampire scanned for signs of a threat. There had been none. At least not yet. Still, he wouldn’t drop his guard until this assignment was over and they were safely in Louisiana’s New Orleans once again.
With quick efficiency, a man dressed in royal blue livery with gold braid trim and a matching cap stood behind the reception stand checking tickets and passports. Beside him, gleaming like a monogrammed silver bullet in the evening light, the train awaited its passengers. As he completed each check-in, the man waved the next person to its steps with a smile.
Alexandros had his arm around Dante’s shoulder, and as Malcolm turned around again he noticed Alex’s gentle squeeze. He and Dante looked at each other and smiled. There was a glow to those smiles, and Malcolm imagined the nostalgia they must feel. He figured the glows were because Dante and the vampire Alexandros had met on the night train from Rome to Naples, and here, a year later, they were traveling once again on Italian rails—as lovers and co-workers this time, no longer rivals for new business for separate diamond couriers.
They’d risked danger in Naples and later in New Orleans. Now they risked it again. To insure Dante’s safety when he left New Orleans with a major delivery and return pickup, Global’s CEO had assigned the two immortals on the staff as his bodyguards.
Watching Alex and Dante interact caused a downturn in Malcolm’s spirits. Not for the first time in recent months he felt hollow inside because there was no one to share special memories with him. There hadn’t been for a long time, but until he’d been exposed to the feelings his friends shared it hadn’t bothered him. These days he felt something vital in his living death was missing, and it was beginning to get to him in a big way.
The sound of the stamp and a small rrrip as the receptionist cleared their passports and tore their roundtrip tickets apart brought Malcolm’s attention back to the task at hand.
Presenting their documents, the smiling man in the uniform said, “Enjoy your visit, gentlemen. We hope you’ll choose the Simplon-Orient-Express again soon.”
Malcolm lifted one eyebrow as Alexandros dropped his arm and slid his hand with sexual smoothness over Dante’s butt. Then his feet hit the steps first, providing an advance shield for the more vulnerable human Dante. Malcolm closed in tight on Dante’s back. They boarded…and stepped into an Art Deco world of the nineteen twenties and thirties, where insets of Lalique glass figures in back-lighted bas-relief rested between wooden panels in warm, inviting tones.
The chairs were upholstered in brown cut velvet. Small lamps with fluted, rose colored shades cast a warm glow on tables in booths, and round balls of incandescent lights followed the line of the car just beneath the ceiling.
After the bracing evening air, the car felt almost hot against Malcolm’s cool skin. It wasn’t heat created by the lights, but was the response of his cold vampire nature in the warmer environment. It felt good, and he smiled.
“Quite a step up from the night train to Naples,” Dante whispered back to Malcolm.
Malcolm stifled a chuckle. “I’m not familiar with that one, but leave it to Nicolaides to choose one of the classiest historic trains in the world for our assignment.”
“‘The train against which all other luxury trains are measured.’ Or so their ad quotes Vanity Fair.”
“Wanna bet Global didn’t cough up the complete cost of our tickets?”
Dante’s smile was broad. “No bet there. It’s a given.”
Malcolm’s house in New Orleans was more than nice, but Alexandros, who’d had several hundred years more after his turning than Malcolm in which to build his fortune, had filled his French Creole home with expensive antiques and objets d’art of other eras. It all fit his elegant style. This train to Venice had a history all its own, with over thirty restored vintage cars. Alex would have paid the difference in fare just for the experience of riding it, and to take Dante with him would only add to his pleasure.
“Mister Nicolaides? Signor Rocco?” A mature steward dressed in the blue and gold livery greeted the immortal in English and Dante in Italian. His expression was courteous.
They nodded, and Dante replied in Italian that he spoke some English and Mr. Nicolaides a little Italian. “But our companion is more comfortable with English.”
“I’m happy to speak English. My name is Raimundo, and I’ll be your steward for the journey. If you’ll follow me to the sleeping car, I’ll lead you to your cabin suite.”
Malcolm hoped the cabin was well insulated for sound because he was certain Alex and Dante would celebrate with some bed romping this evening. Again, the sense of something missing washed through him.
A second steward in blue—as Aryan as Alexandros was not, despite his flowing blond hair— stepped up to Malcolm. His deep blue eyes danced with pleasure and a smile teased his lips as if welcoming Malcolm had made his day. Taking a cue from Raimundo, he said in English, “Herr Müeller? I will be your steward. My name is Nick. Follow me, please. Your cabin adjoins that of your fellow passengers.”
The reserved but cheerful welcome sent warmth washing through Malcolm as he followed.
His first impression of Nick was that he could have modeled on Project Runway or for Calvin Klein or posed for photo shoots for major magazines. What he was doing on this train as a steward when he could have the world at his feet and big money in its pockets, was a puzzle. Malcolm almost drooled over the sudden sensations he was experiencing in the presence of this genial and striking younger man. He frowned as a memory he couldn’t quite pull up tugged in the recesses of his brain. Maybe Nick actually did model and Malcolm had seen photos of him. Then again, maybe he had a twin. Or a doppelgänger…a double. And wouldn’t that be fun?
Raimundo led the way into the next car, where they walked on thick carpet in royal blue and scarlet along a corridor lined with rich woods with beautiful grain. The door he produced a key to was decorated with a floral pattern of inlaid wood.
“You’ll find your private lounge and sleeping cabin are connected.” He opened the door, and they disappeared inside.
Not far down the corridor, Nick inserted a key in the lock of the adjoining cabin. Turning, he smiled and ushered Malcolm into a suite where the carpet and upholstery matched the colors and pattern of the luxurious carpet in the corridor. It was attractive, but it was a tight fit for the two of them, and he couldn’t imagine the sizeable Alexandros in a room this small with Dante, who wasn’t small either. Position wise, any sex they’d be having would have to be ingenious—a la Kama Sutra. He smoothed his wrinkled brow into an amused smile at the thought. He had a feeling he was going to enjoy this trip despite the serious nature of its objective.
His lounge had a small banquette sofa and footstool against one wall. His backpack, which he used as luggage, was on a wire rack above the sofa. A small table and a lamp with a fluted rose shade were positioned beneath the wide window, which covered most of the end wall. Stepping through the door to the sleeping area, Nick pointed out the wardrobe. “Ordinarily, I would have unpacked for you, but since your trip is short, I have only removed your sleepwear. If you wish to have your shoes shined, a suit pressed, or something laundered, leave them in this plastic garment bag outside the door. They’ll be ready for you tomorrow morning when I bring your breakfast.”
Malcolm nodded.
“This,”—the steward continued as he opened what looked like another wardrobe—“is your wash basin, with hot and cold running water, mirror and towels.”
Malcolm noted a bar of French milled soap in a closed container and a fancy glass water bottle and glass securely fastened next to the mirror. A crystal vase holding red and blue flowers was next to them.
The double bed almost filled the area. You could barely open the wardrobes.
“Usually the suites include bunk beds so you have more room, but Mister Nicolaides requested this bed for you.”
Malcolm looked around and noted that was the extent of the amenities. He opened his mouth, but before he could speak Nick anticipated his question. “The lavatory is at the end of the car. Not exactly like home, is it? But it does give a taste of how the wealthy traveled in those days.”
“It does. It’s beautiful.” Knowing the cost of their accommodations, Malcolm thought it was also how the wealthy traveled these days.
Nick pointed to a small hook on the wall. “In the train’s heyday, men wore their watches tucked in their waistcoats or pockets. They were attached to a chain with a small medallion which hung on the outside,”—he paused—“but then, you’d know about that, wouldn’t you?” His wide blue eyes looked straight into Malcolm’s dark ones.
Malcolm hadn’t traveled in this kind of luxury, but he’d worn waistcoat watches. The chain with an ornament was known as a fob. The thing was, these cars had been built in the early eighteen eighties and the watches had fallen out of favor with men by the end of that century, over a hundred years ago. How could Nick know he was familiar with them? This made him wonder if the steward realized Malcolm’s paleness indicated he was one of the undead and not just seriously anemic or undergoing chemotherapy. He’d puzzle that out later.
“I’ve heard of them,” he said, playing it safe and not giving his age away.
“When they restored the cars, they left these hooks on the wall as an historic feature because you hung your watch fob here at night and could check the time first thing in the morning.” As they returned to the lounge door to the corridor, Nick said, “Press this button if you wish me to come. I’m available for anything you need during your journey.”
Wish him to come? Available for anything he needed? Having sex on his mind already, Malcolm almost threw his head back and laughed at the interpretation one might make to those phrases. Before he could stop himself, he folded his arms across his chest and teasingly let his eyes roam the photogenic man from head to toe, lingering in the groin area for less time than it took to inhale fully. “For anything?”
Instead of the blush and stammer he expected, Nick looked him right in the eyes. “Anything.”
As he handed Malcolm the key, one side of his mouth tightened a bit—as if to control a smile fighting to respond to the tease. At the door, he paused. “Dinner is at eight.” He walked out and the door closed behind him.
Malcolm sank on the banquette, shocked at his behavior. “Hell’s bells, what’s the matter with me? Flirting with the staff! I must have lost my mind.”
***
No sooner had Raimundo stepped into the corridor and closed the door than Alexandros reached around Dante’s waist from behind and drew him in close. Dante let himself relax into the cool hard body. Alex’s lips kissed Dante’s neck and lingered on his throat below his ear. “Bring back memories?”
In the elegance of the historic carriage, in the arms of the elegant being whose lips he wanted to taste even as the deep tone of his voice evoked images of how they’d met and what incredible, fucking sex they’d shared that first night after a harrowing evening of danger. Dante tipped his head for greater access to the sensitive skin of his neck and opened himself to it all. He placed his arms over those around his waist and let memory flood his senses. “Feeling nostalgic, vampire?”
“I could hardly wait to get you in here to celebrate the anniversary of our first train ride.”
Dante’s laugh was low and throaty. “Which you’ve chosen to celebrate in great style. It’s just like you.”
“We deserve it.” Alexandros’s teeth scraped across the pulsing artery in Dante’s throat with the promise of what was to come and one hand massaged his belly just above his cock. He sighed. “Even after a year, your blood still calls to me.”
Anticipation sent goose flesh cropping up on Dante. “Eager, are you?”
“Aren’t you?”
Dante turned to face him and planted his hands on each firm butt globe as he rubbed his swollen cock against the rigid bulge in Alex’s slacks. “What does that tell you?”
A low grumble echoed in Alex’s throat as his mouth pressed Dante’s. Dante opened to him as a cold, seeking tongue swept inside. His arms crept around Alex’s neck, his body and mind focused on what they were doing to each other and how good it felt. 
A rap sounded at the door. A voice announced, “Dinner is served.” Muffled footsteps moved along the corridor on the lush carpet.
Dante moaned in disappointment. They released each other. Alex ran a finger from his temple to his neck and said, “To be continued.”
“I would hope so.”
Dante washed his hands and face in cold water, giving his rigid cock time to soften and subside. In the mirror, he saw Alex removing the gems from his carry-on and feeding them into the secret pocket of his leather belt. The last thing he pulled from the bag was the emerald and diamond necklace set in heavy gold. It was the most valuable of the treasures Dante carried.
Brilliant flashes from the diamonds and emeralds reflected in the mirror, almost blinding him. The provenance of the necklace determined it had been designed in the early nineteenth century as a birthday gift from an emperor for his mistress. It had disappeared after the fall of that small empire, resurfacing only thirty years ago in America. Now an Italian who owned a palazzo in Venice had purchased it at a Christie’s auction. Global was under contract to Sotheby’s and Christie’s to make some of their deliveries, and the Venezian palazzo was their destination.
Alec ran his white fingers reverently across its fire, his expression serious. “Did you know the only couriers robbed or killed were delivering items similar to this— whose value mirrored that of these gems?”
For the first time on their journey, Dante felt a small stab of alarm. “No, I didn’t. I wonder why Jim didn’t pass on that little bit of information.”
“Our boss is good at omitting important things if he thinks it’ll bring a reaction. In fact, he is strategic about it. He only told Malcolm and me so as not to alarm you unduly.”
“He seems to have complete faith in the two of you guarding me.”Now Alex’s face broke into a smug smile. “Oh, yes.”
He’d never seen Alex smug before. He smiled, remembering their hair-raising adventures in Naples and New Orleans. “I do recall some of your work,”
He watched Alex’s nimble fingers zip the hidden belt compartment. Dante threaded the leather strip through the loops on his slacks and fastened the buckle. His shirt and jacket hid the belt. After running a comb through his hair, they were ready to go.
Alex opened the door and peered out, then signaled the all clear. Dante felt a little silly because he’d never been afraid when he carried precious metals and stones. He was always cautious, but he’d never been afraid. Now he wondered if he should be. Although he knew it would be rare if he were to be attacked in as safe a place as Venice, he wasn’t eager to be roughed up. And certainly not to die. “So I’ll be patient,” he told himself. “I’ll play this charade of being in danger even if it doesn’t seem quite real.”
Dante stepped out first and Alex followed because the corridors were too narrow to walk side by side. Dante knocked on Malcolm’s door, and the three of them walked in tandem to the dining car. Despite their relaxed postures, Dante knew his friends. Knew the vampires were on full alert.
The minute they stepped into the cramped dining car, the smell of foods roasting and baking mingled with the scent of wine, coffee, whiskey and liqueurs caused Dante’s stomach to growl. They each ordered a la carte, the vamps pretending to eat while surreptitiously slipping their food to Dante, who planned to clean every plate.
“Is everything in place for tomorrow morning?” Malcolm asked as he held a fork of pulled pork poised to go into his mouth. Of course it would never make it there. It would end up on Dante’s plate and in his stomach instead.
“Sun block, makeup, dark glasses, gloves and hats with wide brims,” Alexandros answered. He toyed with a fluffy pudding slathered with red cherry sauce and topped with a snowy dollop of whipped cream. His laugh was light, as if Malcolm had said something humorous. Dante’s laughter joined in, but they were all play acting.
“Mmm, this food is excellent.” Dante meant it. “I was starved despite the wonderful breakfast and lunch we had aboard the company jet from London.”
“A top French chef is in charge of the cuisine here.” Malcolm lifted his head, nostrils flaring, to fully enjoy the scents. “The food does smell wonderful. A pity swallowing it would make me so ill.”
“Malcolm and I must send our compliments to the chef,” Alexandros said.
Dante almost choked on his dessert. Their laughter was no longer an act.
“I’m a little worried about tomorrow morning,” Dante admitted in a low voice once they’d composed themselves. “Can you stay awake until we reach our hotel?” Once sleep hit the two vampires it was difficult to wake them before late afternoon.
“We’ll have slept enough to guard you. No one’s going to pass out on you. The dark glasses and wide brims will help fool our natures into thinking it isn’t day time.” Malcolm’s voice had a reassuring tone to it.
Dante looked out the window. The train rocked along, its ride rougher than that of modern trains. The faint clickety-clack of the wheels on steel rails formed a rhythm section all their own. The train swayed over a rough patch. A passenger walking down the aisle grabbed the back of a booth to steady herself.
For a moment, Dante didn’t know if he was being manipulated into feeling confident all would be well or if Malcolm was saying what he believed—or wanted—to be true. Either way, he decided he’d have to be on full alert tomorrow to keep his guards awake until they were safely ensconced in their hotel suite. Since Venice was reportedly safe except for an occasional pickpocket, his concern wasn’t about being attacked; it was what in hell he’d do if the two vampires collapsed in a deep sleep on the street.
Also, Alexandros had almost died from sun poisoning in Naples, and he couldn’t allow that to happen again.
Getting real, he admitted if he were actually in danger—if his delivery had been noted and leaked to criminals—there was a slight risk tonight because Malcolm had a separate cabin. Judging from how small their quarters were, it hadn’t been possible for all three of them to get any rest in one cabin. The double bed in their sleeping cabin filled almost the entire room, and Dante looked forward to sharing it with Alex even though they’d be crowded. But Malcolm would’ve had to sleep on the lounge floor if he’d stayed with them.
If Malcolm was with them, Dante couldn’t have sex with Alex.
“You’re smiling,” Alexandros said in a soft voice.
Dante looked into eyes as green as the emeralds Alex had let sift through his cool, white fingers in their cabin suite. Like the inclusions in natural emeralds, his eyes held layer after layer of depth. One could study his eyes for days and not discover every mystery they held. Dante nodded without speaking but reached under the table and ran his hand along his lover’s thigh. He was smiling because his thoughts had been on those few seductive moments before dinner was announced. It had been the only time they’d been alone together since they’d flown out of Los Angeles two nights ago.
His hand crept toward the juncture of Alex’s legs, and the instant he caressed the stiff boner there a cold hand stopped him.
Alex grinned and whispered in his ear, “Patience, Signor Rocco. Do not start something we cannot finish.”
His breath was cool and smelled fresh and clean. Considering his meals consisted of drinking blood, this never failed to amaze Dante.
Malcolm stood. “Shall we go?”
Their meals were included in the cost of their tickets and tips were prohibited. Dante and Alex rose together, and this time Malcolm took the lead.
Alexandros put his arm around Dante’s shoulder and followed. Whereas Malcolm would have been looking around for anything menacing, Alexandros had the uncanny ability to sense danger sight unseen.
“We can play chess in the lounge car,” Alex suggested. “A pianist will be playing music appropriate to the era there this evening.”
“You two play. I’m going to read the Italian newspapers.” His spoken English was good, but not so much his reading of it. Now that he was back on Italian soil, homesickness filtered in. Reading a paper he didn’t have to struggle over would be a sweet treat and more absorbing than a game of chess.
While the pianist’s fingers flew over the keys with muted renditions of jazz, swing music and the blues, the two vamps sat and studied the carved ivory pieces on the chess board in silence. Alex’s seat was near Dante because he’d know danger was coming before it happened.
At first, Dante was aware of the music and the occasional tick of a playing piece tapping the board as it was moved or toppled, and then he concentrated only on his newspaper. He read every page, every ad, and loved it.
He felt a cold touch on his shoulder and fingers that squeezed without hurting.
“Time for bed,” Alexandros said.
“Who won?”
Alex looked up at Malcolm, emerald eyes dancing, and bowed slightly from his waist . “Herr Müeller, of course. He usually does. As a former officer in the Prussian army, he’s a consummate strategist.”
Dante looked at his watch. Almost midnight. The witching hour. For him it signaled the hours when he would be bewitched by the hands and mouth of an ancient Greek immortal, whose strategies in the art of fucking couldn’t be surpassed.

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