It’s release day! 🥳 Today, the 2022 Top Ten Gay Romance anthology is released, and The Ruby Tooth is in it 😁
It’s an anthology of the ten best-selling gay romance stories under 15k during 2022, so if you’re in the mood for short stories, give it a go!
I wrote The Ruby Tooth as part of a Naughty or Nice call where we were to pick one or the other. I cheated and had a little of both. The Ruby Tooth is a bar divided in two. The doormen are veritas, which means they can look into everyone’s soul and see if they’re good or bad people.
Ilya is sent to the good side and Ulric to the bad, but Ilya is Ulric’s mate. Ilya doesn’t believe him. He’s human and doesn’t believe in werewolves and other paranormal beings, at least not until he’s attacked by a vampire. Then having a crazy man claiming he’s a werewolf and your mate isn’t all that bad 😆
2022 Top Ten Gay Romance
2022 Top Ten Gay Romance brings together the best-selling short stories published by JMS Books that year.
From first love to true love, from submission to sensual, from heat to sweet and everything in between, the couples in these stories are sure to keep you turning the pages as you fall in love with them.
With stories by Sarah Hadley Brook, Holly Day, Ofelia Gränd, Nell Iris, Hannah Morse, K.S. Murphy, K.L. Noone, Amy Spector, Ellie Thomas, and Tinnean, this head-over-heels collection goes beyond bedtime reading. Whether happily ever after or happy for now, there’s an ending for everyone in here!
Contains the stories:
- Found in the Storm by Sarah Hadley Brook
- The Wingman by Holly Day
- The Ruby Tooth by Ofelia Gränd
- Secrets on a Train by Nell Iris
- Hatch by Hannah Morse
- Trust with Glittering Eyes by K.S. Murphy
- The Snails of Dun Nas by K.L. Noone
- How to Cheat at Dirty Santa by Amy Spector
- The Thrill of the Chase by Ellie Thomas
- Twelve Desserts by Tinnean
Gay Romance Anthology: 119,567 words
Excerpt from The Ruby Tooth:
Ilya placed his glass on a table by the wall and pushed through the door to the kitchen. His heart was hammering as he took another few steps. What the hell was he doing? He should phone Vera and suggest they call it a night, or head out for pie. He had a sudden craving for apple pie.
“You’re not supposed to be here.” A woman glared at him. She had tattoos everywhere—hieroglyphs. He almost yelped.
“No, I know, and I’m sorry, but a woman is throwing up right in the middle of the dance floor and no one seems to care.”
She frowned then headed for the door. Ilya didn’t wait for her to turn around and tell him to come along, he darted through the kitchen. Someone else called after him, but he rushed through the brightly lit room and pushed open a door.
Stumbling, he was momentarily blinded by the change of light as he proceeded out into a shadowy room. His lungs shrank as his gaze swept over the people there. Most of them were men twice his size, and the women resembled the woman he’d met in the kitchen—tattoos and dramatic clothes.
Dress-up party. He pulled in a sigh of relief, and while he couldn’t say what they were dressed up as, it calmed his soul. There were two lumberjacks by the bar—wild beards, broad shoulders, and plaid shirts. He smiled and nodded toward them. The man behind the bar looked like someone you should avoid, but he wore a Santa hat, and Ilya’s shoulders dropped a fraction.
“Ilya!” Vera jumped to her feet by the table she was seated at, and Ilya might have imagined it, but he believed the lumberjacks growled. Maybe Vera had misunderstood the theme of the night.
In the more lit area of the club, everyone—or close to, at least—had been wearing Christmas costumes. Here Ilya tugged at his tunic, wishing it hid more of his tights-clad thighs.
Nervously, he touched the tip of his ears. They were pointed. Vera had gotten him elf ears and body glue. They looked surprisingly real, but now he wanted them off. This was not the place to have elf ears, he couldn’t say how he knew, but he wished he wore his normal clothes.
Vera called his name again, and several heads turned his way. He hunched his shoulders and hurried over to her table. She was with a dangerous-looking man—of course she was.
Ilya hesitated. His heart beat fast, but not in a wanting-to-get-away kind of way. No, he found himself taking a step in the man’s direction, wanting to be close to him.
He stopped himself before he embarrassed them all. “Hi.”
He waved his hand but regretted it when the man groaned. Vera frowned at the sound but pulled Ilya in for a hug.
There was a growl coming from nearby. Ilya jumped, then bent to search for a dog underneath the table.
“Strange. I could’ve sworn I heard a dog.” He focused on the man and almost jumped again. “Oh, cool contacts.” The man’s eyes were a glowing honey color. Ilya nervously offered his hand. “I’m Ilya.”
The man grunted and grabbed his hand. Ilya never wanted him to stop touching him. Then he became aware of Vera frowning at him and tried to pull back, but the man refused to let go. For a second, Ilya’s heart jumped to his throat. The man wasn’t hurting him, but the hold on his hand was tight.
“Excuse me.” He tried pulling again, and the man let go. Ilya forced himself to take a step back and focus on Vera. “So… erm… what the hell are you doing here?” He kept his hissing low and was somewhat discreet as he gestured around. The man Vera was with saw him, of course. Those honey eyes never left him.
“The goon at the door showed me in here.”
“They were so creepy! When I tried to search for you, they stopped me.”
“Had to lie to the poor woman in the kitchen.” He shook his head regretfully, and the man chuckled at the same time as he buried his face in his hands. Ilya gave Vera a glance. The poor soul looked like he was having a breakdown.
Vera shrugged, so Ilya waved a hand and pretended the man wasn’t there. “Anyway, I was thinking…” He wiggled his eyebrows at her. “Let’s grab some pie!”
Vera groaned. “No. You’re getting wasted, we’re gonna get laid—” The growl sounded again, and Ilya stared at the man. It had sounded as if it came from him, but it couldn’t have. He bent and glanced under the table again—only legs. When he glanced up, the man was studying him.
“See anything you like?”
Ilya jerked. The tone was harsh, more growl than anything else. “Eh… no… I thought I heard a dog.”
“A dog? In a nightclub?”
Heat climbed Ilya’s cheeks. “Health regulations, of course. Didn’t think of that.” He nodded and a mix of a groan and a laugh escaped the man. Ilya looked at Vera again. Pie would be really nice now or to go home, slip on flannel bottoms, and curl up in front of the TV.
“Can we go? Please?”
“But we just got here.” Vera toyed with her glass.
“No. I’ve been here for an hour, if not more.” He didn’t think it had been more than an hour, but he was already exhausted. This many people and having rushed through the kitchen when he wasn’t supposed to be there. It took its toll.
“Pie?” Maybe she’d agree to go to a calmer place. Not that this part of the nightclub was noisy. The music and the chatter had been louder on the other side.
“No. We’re having a drink.”