Sale: With A Kick Series

As a special New Year’s offer, Clare and Sue Brown are offering ALL the With A Kick titles at 50% discount during the month of January.

A Twist and Two Balls (WAK#1)
Buylinks here
Eduardo Mancini is going to be a star of the London stage and screen. Or that was the plan. His alter ego Eddy March hasn’t got further than the chorus and a bit part in a TV series. His parents aren’t supportive, his agent can’t place his particular skills, and he’s finding it hard to hang onto his young dreams. Things go from bad to worse when he’s late for an important audition, hasn’t got enough money to pay the taxi fare, and is chased across the streets of Soho by the irate driver.
Eddy reaches what he believes is sanctuary – With A Kick, a store where ice creams are blended with alcohol and imagination, and where his friends can help him. But Nuri the taxi driver is persistent in his steady pursuit, above and beyond the money he’s owed. Despite their very different characters and background, Eddy and Nuri’s relationship goes from a complete unknown to a wary balancing act. There are still mistakes to be made, and hurdles to clear. And both of them have to admit that their life so far hasn’t gone the way they planned.
But maybe being caught by Nuri was just what Eddy’s career needed – both for his job and his heart.

Hissed as a Newt (WAK#2)
Buylinks here
 “All guys do emotional just in different ways. I eat ice-cream, you get drunk in the gutter…”
A drunk clown rolling around in the gutter is not what David Wright expects to find as he walks to With A Kick, his favourite ice-cream shop. David has had a lousy day. A literary agent has crushed his dreams and all he wants is the consolation of alcoholic ice-cream. He’s about to walk away when he realises the clown has been dumped by his boyfriend. On a whim, David takes the clown into With A Kick before he gets arrested. Underneath the smeared make-up, he meets Stan, who has just found his boyfriend and best friend getting more than friendly. Over ice-cream, David and Stan discuss their problems and discover maybe they can help each other

Slap and Tickle (WAK#3)

 

Bryan Harrison is a successful accountant and a man who admires order and self-discipline. It’s a startling break from his routine when he literally bumps into Phiz Bussman outside With A Kick. Phiz’s lifestyle and behaviour are in complete contrast to Bryan’s, and appear totally chaotic. But they each recognise something in the other that they need.

Bryan has been helping With A Kick with its financial difficulties, and is finding it difficult to balance his professional persona with friendship with the owners. But then he’s always found it tricky to expose his more vulnerable feelings. His cool facade hides loneliness: he believes he’ll never find a lover who accepts and welcomes his secret desire.

Whereas Phiz is all about exposure: he’s defined by his cheerful but clumsy liveliness, his open-hearted emotions, and his physical needs. Despite that, he’s lonely as well. He craves someone who will help him bring purpose and focus into his life, and admits freely he needs a firm hand – in every way.

If they can both accept a friendship that’s destined for more, Bryan may be just the man to provide it.
Bells and Balls (WAK#4)
 
Rob Barker had plans for his weekend and they didn’t involve struggling through the pre-Christmas crowds with the five-year-old niece he barely knows. Left with no choice, he grudgingly takes Pearl to see the sights of London but, instead of following the list his sister-in-law gives him, Rob takes her to With A Kick, an ice-cream shop with a difference. 
 
His plan is foiled when he discovers With A Kick is closed for a private children’s party, but the owners kindly let Pearl join in. Rob’s mood improves considerably as he watches Father Christmas hand out presents. Not only is Santa a hot red-head under the beard, he is also one of his rugby team-mates, Mick, a man Rob has always lusted after. After Mick confesses a mutual interest, he agrees to meet Rob at With A Kick’s evening party—where there are definitely no kids – or girls – allowed. 
 
Pluck and Play (WAK#5)
 
Everyone knows Curtis Wilson around the Soho business scene: a hard-working, budding young entrepreneur, who can get you supplies of whatever you need, and always with a joke and a laugh. Only Curtis knows that’s a purely public persona. Secretly, he’s still licking his wounds after being beaten up by his ex-lover, and he’s not about to let his guard down again.
 
Handsome Riley Richmond was born to be a cowboy, on his father’s side at least. But after his parents’ deaths, he finds himself stranded this side of the Atlantic, an anachronism in the bustling capital, and without financial capital. His consolation is his music, albeit he’s not a very successful busker and he loses his only decent piano gig after standing up for Curtis against a homophobic bully.
 
After that, they keep meeting, partly by accident, partly by Riley’s design. He’s smitten, and doesn’t mind letting Curtis know. Their music brings them together – Riley’s guitar playing and Curtis’ sharp, sexy poetry are a powerful combination. But Curtis still has some unfinished business with his ex-lover that he’s struggling to handle on his own. Riley intends to be the man Curtis calls on for help, whether he likes it or not. He’ll do whatever it takes to show Curtis that people can still be trusted to be honest and caring – even if it means walking them both into danger.
 
Nice & Snow (WAK#6)
Buylinks here
 
An amusing, romantic and magical Christmas short story featuring Nuri and Eddy from A Twist and Two Balls
Nuri’s expecting a quiet Christmas, driving his cab, doing some studying, enjoying good food and drink – and devoting some serious loving to boyfriend Eduardo. Occasionally he misses his homeland of Turkey, but he’s content to share the London celebrations with Eddy.
But what with Eddy’s distress over his new role at the local comedy club, interference in their love life from Nuri’s irrepressible brothers, a disturbing number of costumed Santas on the street, the dangerous slush on the roads, and then the portly, bearded man dressed in red, in need of an urgent cab ride…
It doesn’t look like things will be that quiet after all!
~~
 
And it’s also to announce the upcoming release of DOUBLE SCOOP, the next title to be released in February by the fabulous Clare London.
A sudden disaster strikes everyone’s favourite ice cream shop, With A Kick. Not only does it threaten the livelihood of its owner, Patrick, but also his loyal assistant Lee. The last thing in the world Patrick would ever want to do is hurt Lee, either physically or emotionally.Why would he? He’s been in love with Lee since the day Lee invited himself into the shop’s business and Patrick’s life. But familiar and deeply-held insecurities hold Patrick back – he’s too gruff for Lee, too old, and his labour-of-love business is never going to make him rich.
Lee is weary of trying to make Patrick see how much he admires and cares for him. To Lee, it’s a very straightforward situation. Patrick is sexy, Patrick is smart, Patrick needs Lee’s help – and Lee needs Patrick in his life as more than a boss. All the characteristics Patrick finds inhibiting, Lee finds attractive. However, if Patrick’s apparently never going to make a move on Lee, how long should Lee wait to make his own move? Or should he give up completely?
The disaster at the shop brings them a whole new opportunity to work – and love – together to make a go of things. They’ve both got to look at each other in a whole new way. With the help of all their With A Kick friends, this could be make or break for the reluctant couple!

Cover Reveal: Island Doctor by Sue Brown

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Sue Brown reveals the beautiful cover art of her upcoming book titled ISLAND DOCTOR coming out from Dreamspinner Press.

It releases on January 11, 2015.

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BLURB

Dr. Jeff Martin has spent five years as a rural general practitioner on the Isle of Wight hiding the fact he’s gay. He travels in secret to see his partner, Tris, but when he discovers Tris has been cheating on him, he ends their relationship. Then Jeff meets island native Cameron Gillard. Cameron is down to earth, lively, and treats Jeff like he’s the most important person in Cameron’s life. Jeff blooms under Cameron’s attention, and he decides to come out to his colleagues and friends.

Just when things are going well, Tris reappears out of the blue. Jeff is no longer interested in Tris, but it seems he has two men to convince. Tris, who can’t believe Jeff is serious about wanting to end their relationship, and Cameron, who can’t hide his jealousy of Tris. Jeff is certain about one thing—the only man he wants in his life is Cameron. Now he just needs to prove it to Cameron.

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PRESENTING

Cover Art by L.C. Chase

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EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

Cameron sniggered as he disconnected the call from Paul.
Jeff looked up from his book. “What’s so funny?”
“Paul’s just been given an ultimatum from Olaf. Either marry him or die old and bitter, chasing twinks.”
Jeff stared. “That was Olaf’s marriage proposal?”
“Yep.”
“What was Paul’s answer?”
“Fuck off and die, and he expects a diamond ring.”

To check out the entire Isle Series books – Visit Dreamspinner Press

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop. In fact she hides so she can plot and has gotten expert at ignoring the orders.

Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.

:: Website :: Blog :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Google+ ::

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Winner’s Prize: E-copy set of Sue Brown’s The Isle Series

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Giveaway for Jordan & Rhys by Sue Brown

Jordan&RhysFS

Buylink: Dreamspinner | Amazon | All Romance

Book #1 Frankie & Al

Book #2 Ed & Marchant

Book #3 Anthony & Leo

Book #4 Jordan & Rhys

Eight months after the assault in which his sub and lover was killed, Jordan Nicholls isn’t making much progress in his recovery. Marchant and Ed, Jordan’s friends from the BDSM club, stage an intervention.

They employ a carer to look after Jordan. Rhys may be a sub, but he’s forceful, making Jordan eat and exercise rather than live on coffee and cigarettes. Despite Jordan’s protests, Rhys slowly forces him back to life.

But Rhys wants to be Jordan’s sub, and despite being protective of Rhys, Jordan’s not sure he can ever return to the BDSM lifestyle. In order for their relationship to continue, they’ll need to find a compromise that meets both their needs.A Novella in Frankie’s Series

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Eight months later

JORDAN SAT alone at the end of the bar, nursing a Coke and pretending not to notice his best friend, Tony, who was pushed up against the wall, his hands pressed flat against rough plaster as Leo kissed him.

“Wishing it was you?” Marchant Belarus sat on the stool next to Jordan. He was the owner of the BDSM club and too fucking perceptive. There was nothing he didn’t see or interfere in when it came to his club.

Jordan couldn’t take his gaze away from the couple, watching with a sad envy that didn’t come naturally to him. “Leo’s not my type.”

His lame attempt at a joke fell flat when Marchant didn’t chuckle.

“I never thought he’d be Tony’s, but look at them now.”

Finally Tony had a Dom of his own, and he exuded happiness. Despite the fact that Leo was younger and shorter than Tony, it was clear who was dominant in their relationship. For the first time, Jordan saw Tony, watched how beautifully he submitted—and Jordan was too late.

“Tony waited for years for you to notice him,” Marchant said quietly.

“You think I didn’t know that? I just thought…. Leo’s better for him than I am.” Jordan turned his head as Tony sank to his knees. The couple weren’t bothered by an audience. They never seemed to notice anyone else when they were in a scene. Jordan gave Marchant a wan smile. “What do you want? Apart from reminding me what I’ve lost.”

“Ed’s worried about you. He sent me to talk to you.”

“I’m fine.” Jordan gritted his teeth as Marchant raised an eyebrow. Could you raise a derisive eyebrow? Marchant possessed eyebrows that conducted whole conversations, particularly when he thought someone was being an arse. “It’s taking time.”

Marchant patted his back, not requiring more explanation. It had been eight months since Jordan had been badly injured in an assault in which his sub, Mike, had been killed. Jordan was still recovering from the physical injuries, and the mental trauma was like a scar to his soul. Once outgoing and gregarious, now Jordan shuffled through the day, feeling like he was wrapped in layers of gray wool that muffled him from the outside world. Marchant’s sub, Ed, had once told Jordan that he breathed for the first time the day he met Marchant. Jordan had stopped breathing the day three drunk thugs used their fists to tear his world apart.

Jordan swallowed hard at the memory, and then he noticed Marchant had put his arm around him and Tony was pressed against him, also holding him. Solid walls of men hemmed him in, made him feel safe.

“What?”

Tony gently swiped a tear from Jordan’s face. Jordan hadn’t even realized he was crying, but his nose was blocked and his throat tight. He rested his head on Tony’s chest and let the tears flow.

Finally he raised his head, suddenly feeling claustrophobic. “Shit, I’m sorry, Tony. You—”

“Shut up.” Tony hugged him even tighter.

“Get off.” Jordan tried to bat them away. “Christ, you’re going to suffocate me.”

They stepped back, to his relief, but they didn’t leave his side—which was also a relief, even if he’d never admit it.

“Why don’t you go upstairs for a while?” Marchant said. “Ed’s working, and the place is empty.”

Jordan pushed back his hair, grimacing at the greasy feel. He’d let himself go recently, finding even washing his hair was a battle. His arm had taken a long time to heal, and he struggled with even basic motor skills.

“I’ll go home before I make a bigger idiot of myself.” He loved his friends, but suddenly their concern was too much. It pressed down on him, and he needed to get away.

“I’ll run you home,” Tony said, looking over to Leo to check if it was all right.

“It’s okay, I can get the bus.” Jordan hadn’t been able to drive since the assault. A blow to the head had left him with intermittent seizures in the early stages, and he was banned from driving for a year.

“I’ll drive Mr. Jordan home.”

Jordan turned to look at the unknown speaker. He was young and slim, maybe Leo’s age, maybe younger, with a shock of dark hair that looked as if he’d stuck his finger in an electrical socket.

“Thanks, but I’m okay.”

“Sorted,” Marchant said with satisfaction. “Jordan, this is Rhys. He’s new to the club. Thank you, Rhys.”

Giveaway


I have a mega Frankie series giveaway on Rafflecopter. $15 giftcard, audible codes for Ed & Marchant and Anthony & Leo, a signed copy of Frankie & Friends, and ebooks from my back catalogue. Giveaway ends 3rd December 12.00 GMT.

Or direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/6050dd134/?

New Release: The Rogue Wolf by Sue Brown

The Rogue Wolf is now out from Love Lane.

 

Amazon | All Romance |Smashwords | Love Lane

The third in the Sapphire Ranch Wolves series, this is Zeke and Owen’s story.

Will Owen submit, or will the lone wolf run?

Shifter Owen Pope is a bitter man, a lone wolf, banished by his pack for defying his Alpha. He survives day by day, working as a laborer, sometimes living for months as a wolf. On the borders of Sapphire Ranch, he catches a scent that calls to his wolf as he hunts.

Then he’s cornered, trapped with nowhere to go, and Owen realizes to his horror that the delicious scent belongs to the human pointing a gun right between Owen’s eyes.

He escapes, only to be confronted by two wolves, and his world is turned when he realizes one of them is a shifter from his former pack. Owen has so many questions but he’s not sure he’s going to like the answers.

Zeke is huge and fierce to his co-workers in the Cavalry, but he has one desire; to protect Owen and create a life together. Will Owen submit, or will the lone wolf run?

The Sapphire Ranch Wolves series
#1 The Last Wolf

#2 The Hidden Wolf

#3 The Rogue Wolf

#4 The Forgotten Wolf (to come 2016)

#5 The New Wolf (to come 2016)

Giveaway

Competition to win $15 Amazon/Are giftcard, and 2 further prizes of Sue Brown e-books – closes 27th November at 00:01 GMT (London)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

OR DIRECT LINK:

Coming Soon: Jordan & Rhys

Jordan&RhysFS

Coming 25th November

Buylink: Dreamspinner

Book #1 Frankie & Al

Book #2 Ed & Marchant

Book #3 Anthony & Leo

Book #4 Jordan & Rhys

Eight months after the assault in which his sub and lover was killed, Jordan Nicholls isn’t making much progress in his recovery. Marchant and Ed, Jordan’s friends from the BDSM club, stage an intervention.

They employ a carer to look after Jordan. Rhys may be a sub, but he’s forceful, making Jordan eat and exercise rather than live on coffee and cigarettes. Despite Jordan’s protests, Rhys slowly forces him back to life.

But Rhys wants to be Jordan’s sub, and despite being protective of Rhys, Jordan’s not sure he can ever return to the BDSM lifestyle. In order for their relationship to continue, they’ll need to find a compromise that meets both their needs.A Novella in Frankie’s Series

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Eight months later

JORDAN SAT alone at the end of the bar, nursing a Coke and pretending not to notice his best friend, Tony, who was pushed up against the wall, his hands pressed flat against rough plaster as Leo kissed him.

“Wishing it was you?” Marchant Belarus sat on the stool next to Jordan. He was the owner of the BDSM club and too fucking perceptive. There was nothing he didn’t see or interfere in when it came to his club.

Jordan couldn’t take his gaze away from the couple, watching with a sad envy that didn’t come naturally to him. “Leo’s not my type.”

His lame attempt at a joke fell flat when Marchant didn’t chuckle.

“I never thought he’d be Tony’s, but look at them now.”

Finally Tony had a Dom of his own, and he exuded happiness. Despite the fact that Leo was younger and shorter than Tony, it was clear who was dominant in their relationship. For the first time, Jordan saw Tony, watched how beautifully he submitted—and Jordan was too late.

“Tony waited for years for you to notice him,” Marchant said quietly.

“You think I didn’t know that? I just thought…. Leo’s better for him than I am.” Jordan turned his head as Tony sank to his knees. The couple weren’t bothered by an audience. They never seemed to notice anyone else when they were in a scene. Jordan gave Marchant a wan smile. “What do you want? Apart from reminding me what I’ve lost.”

“Ed’s worried about you. He sent me to talk to you.”

“I’m fine.” Jordan gritted his teeth as Marchant raised an eyebrow. Could you raise a derisive eyebrow? Marchant possessed eyebrows that conducted whole conversations, particularly when he thought someone was being an arse. “It’s taking time.”

Marchant patted his back, not requiring more explanation. It had been eight months since Jordan had been badly injured in an assault in which his sub, Mike, had been killed. Jordan was still recovering from the physical injuries, and the mental trauma was like a scar to his soul. Once outgoing and gregarious, now Jordan shuffled through the day, feeling like he was wrapped in layers of gray wool that muffled him from the outside world. Marchant’s sub, Ed, had once told Jordan that he breathed for the first time the day he met Marchant. Jordan had stopped breathing the day three drunk thugs used their fists to tear his world apart.

Jordan swallowed hard at the memory, and then he noticed Marchant had put his arm around him and Tony was pressed against him, also holding him. Solid walls of men hemmed him in, made him feel safe.

“What?”

Tony gently swiped a tear from Jordan’s face. Jordan hadn’t even realized he was crying, but his nose was blocked and his throat tight. He rested his head on Tony’s chest and let the tears flow.

Finally he raised his head, suddenly feeling claustrophobic. “Shit, I’m sorry, Tony. You—”

“Shut up.” Tony hugged him even tighter.

“Get off.” Jordan tried to bat them away. “Christ, you’re going to suffocate me.”

They stepped back, to his relief, but they didn’t leave his side—which was also a relief, even if he’d never admit it.

“Why don’t you go upstairs for a while?” Marchant said. “Ed’s working, and the place is empty.”

Jordan pushed back his hair, grimacing at the greasy feel. He’d let himself go recently, finding even washing his hair was a battle. His arm had taken a long time to heal, and he struggled with even basic motor skills.

“I’ll go home before I make a bigger idiot of myself.” He loved his friends, but suddenly their concern was too much. It pressed down on him, and he needed to get away.

“I’ll run you home,” Tony said, looking over to Leo to check if it was all right.

“It’s okay, I can get the bus.” Jordan hadn’t been able to drive since the assault. A blow to the head had left him with intermittent seizures in the early stages, and he was banned from driving for a year.

“I’ll drive Mr. Jordan home.”

Jordan turned to look at the unknown speaker. He was young and slim, maybe Leo’s age, maybe younger, with a shock of dark hair that looked as if he’d stuck his finger in an electrical socket.

“Thanks, but I’m okay.”

“Sorted,” Marchant said with satisfaction. “Jordan, this is Rhys. He’s new to the club. Thank you, Rhys.”

 

 

The Fitzwarren Inheritance Available in One Book

Available today from Love Lane Books.

Book 1 – The Psychic’s Tale by Chris Quinton

Four hundred years ago in rural England, a mob burned two men to death, but not before one of them, Jonathan Curtess, hurled a dreadful curse at the mob’s leader, Sir Belvedere Fitzwarren. The curse has followed the family through the centuries, bringing grief and loss to each generation.

Mark Renfrew is a closeted psychic and openly gay. When his grandmother discovers a family link to a 17th century feud and a still-potent curse, she insists he investigates and do his best to end it. When he travels to the village of Steeple Westford, he meets and falls for Jack Faulkner, an archaeologist. He also meets the Fitzwarrens, who are facing yet another tragedy.

Then Mark learns that the man who cursed them had twisted the knife by leaving three cryptic conditions that would lift the curse, and he knows he has to try to break the curse his ancestor had set.

Book 2 – The Soldier’s Tale by RJ Scott

Corporal Daniel Francis has returned to his childhood home in England to heal; the only one of his unit that survived a roadside bomb. His reasons for skipping medication are based on a stubborn refusal to become an addict, and he is overwhelmed with survivor’s guilt.

Doctor Sean Lester has joined his father’s surgery and when he is held at knife point by a patient high on drugs it is Daniel that leaps to his rescue-much to his horror.

When Sean nearly runs Daniel down in the dark he finds a man who needs help, and resolves to be the person to show Daniel that it is possible to live through guilt and find happiness.

Set against the backdrop of the Fitzwarren family curse, The Soldiers Tale is a story of one man’s fight to find his place in a new world outside of the Army.

Will Daniel and Sean fill the second of three cryptic conditions that can lift the curse?

Book 3 – The Lord’s Tale by Sue Brown

Phil Fitzwarren is surrounded by death and tragedy as a result of the curse imposed on his family by Jonathan Curtess. The estate is riddled with debt, his parents and brother killed and his young nephew and much-wanted heir to what is left of the Fitzwarren estate fights for his life after being born prematurely.

Phil also has to admit that as his friends and family pair off and marry, he is lonely, and maybe a little jealous. He takes his anger and frustration out on the climbing wall, only to be picked up by a gorgeous guy when he freezes twenty feet up.

Lee Curtis is a force of nature, inserting himself into Phil’s life before Phil has time to breathe. But there is the third part of the curse to break, “when the one who seeks in danger is sworn to the landless lord”. Phil realises that Lee is the final piece of the puzzle and the curse which has plagued his family for centuries may finally be broken.

 

Sue Brown: Giveaway on her blog

What’s the scariest story you’ve ever read? Leave a comment on Sue Brown’s blog to enter the giveaway for a copy of her paranormal, Waiting.WaitingLGDreamspinner | AReAmazon

Dan Young and Noel Murohy have been together since Dan auditioned to dance at the bar where Noel worked. Now they’ve found a home to call their own: Barnacles Cottage, a quaint little house on the beach—their forever home.
But not long after they move in, their dream becomes a nightmare: a car accident puts Noel into a coma. Dan’s and Noel’s parents keep a bedside vigil, but Noel doesn’t wake. Then Dan finds a picture in the attic. At first it seems to be a painting of a young boy, but even as Dan watches, the boy’s face changes… into Noel’s. To save his lover’s life, Dan will have to unravel the artifact’s history—and he’ll have to do it before the picture takes Noel away from him forever.
 
Excerpt

Prologue

NOEL MUROHY made that choking noise that Dan associated with really good sex—when you want to speak, but all your brain functions are totally scrambled.

Dan Young looked up from his e-reader to see Noel staring at the screen of the laptop. “Are you all right, babe?” Dan asked, concerned at the glassy-eyed expression on his husband’s face. He’d been reading while Noel scrolled yet again through the listings on one of the realtors’ sites.

“This is it. The one. This is the fucking one.”

To Dan’s consternation Noel slammed his hand on the table, making the laptop leap into the air.

“Noel, babe, what’s going on?” Dan rolled off the sofa. “You’re scaring the shit outta me.”

Noel pointed to the screen. “I’ve found the house we’re going to buy. This is it. Our Forever Home.” As usual, his voice rose an octave in his excitement.

Dan didn’t rush over to the laptop. There had been other forever homes. At least six in Maine, if he remembered correctly, and a couple out of state. Noel had been just as enthusiastic about each one, although they hadn’t provoked the choked sex noise. Still, Dan wasn’t going to go into raptures about yet more bricks and mortar. Location, location, location. That’s what everyone kept telling them. If they were going to find their forever home, it wasn’t enough that the place was big or it was in a gated community. The next house had to be everything they had been looking for all wrapped up in one neat package. Their forever home, because they both hated moving, and the next time was going to be the last time as far as they were concerned.

Dan dropped his chin onto Noel’s shoulder. “Show me the fucking one. Let me see what’s got you all worked up.”

Noel pointed again, and there it was. Barnacles Cottage, three bedrooms, with an attic or a garage that Noel could use as his studio. Painted a deep blue, the cottage seemed to blend in with its surroundings. Ocean-fronted in a thriving rural community, and a place that was within their price range. Even to Dan, it seemed perfect and close enough to Portland that Dan could still travel to work.

“Thank you, Granddad,” Dan murmured.

Noel reached back and stroked Dan’s head. The only reason they could afford a place like Barnacles Cottage at their age was the sizeable inheritance from Dan’s grandfather, who had died earlier in the year. Otherwise, they lived on Dan’s just about okay salary and Noel’s bar money. Once in a while Noel sold a picture, and then they really celebrated.

“It has a pool,” Noel said, as he read the details.

“Pool boy!”

They shouted it out simultaneously, and Noel started giggling as Dan blushed.

“Look at you. Your mind slipped straight into the gutter. I’m so proud.” Noel said.

Dan gave Noel a shove. “I was innocent before I met you.”

Noel gave a derisive snort. “Sure you were. And where did I meet you?”

“I told you. It was an accident.”

“You mean you just happened to be passing by the pole in the strip club and your clothes fell off?”

“With a little help from you,” Dan agreed, burying his burning face in the back of Noel’s neck.

The truth was not far from that. He had been innocent, and starving, and desperate to supplement his student income. His friend had mentioned that they were looking for dancers at a local club. Still new to the city and unaware of the nature of Hot Wired, he’d visited the club during the day. The club had been dark and empty. The only person in sight had been the barman, a gorgeous man, probably a couple of years older than him, with black, wavy hair, dark eyes, and a filthy mind. Once he had stopped laughing at Dan’s youthful innocence, Noel initiated him into what exactly he’d be doing. Noel had laughed even harder as Dan’s face heated up. But needs must, and Dan was sick of being hungry. Once he’d gotten past the shame and embarrassment of taking his clothes off and wriggling around a pole, Dan discovered he enjoyed his new life, and he enjoyed the barman even more.

Noel was an artist. Every second he wasn’t serving overpriced drinks, he was painting huge canvases with the verve and passion he brought to everything, especially initiating Dan into the art of making love. Dan had been as innocent about that as everything else. Eight years on, the passion hadn’t decreased. Noel loved his young lover, and Dan returned it tenfold. That didn’t mean they wouldn’t look at hot pool boys, though.

Still buried in Noel’s neck, Dan closed his eyes, his eyelashes teasing the sensitive skin below Noel’s hairline.

“You’re doing that deliberately,” Noel murmured.

Dan smiled, pressing a kiss into Noel’s skin. “Yeah,” he agreed. “I like touching you.”

“Hmmm.” Noel leaned back against Dan. “So are we going to buy Barnacles Cottage?”

“It’s probably already gone,” Dan said, practical as ever.

“Then it’s gone. But there’s no harm in checking, is there?”

Dan straightened up and took another look at the cottage. It was amazing, and it seemed to have everything they were looking for. “Give them a call, babe. Don’t get too excited, yeah?”

Noel had been devastated at the loss of some of the other potential buys.

“Yeah, yeah,” Noel said, sounding distracted.

Dan sighed as he sat back down on the sofa and picked up his e-reader. It was like talking to a brick wall sometimes. He’d be there to pick up the pieces when the sale fell through.