#WhatToReadWednesday | Summer Reading

It’s June, so time to stock up on those summer reads, right? Right! I thought I do a #WhatToReadWednesday about summer reads. There’s a slight problem, though. I could probably give you a list of a hundred autumn and winter books I think you should read, but summer? I’m struggling. And it’s not so much that I don’t like summer books, though there is something to it – sweat and bugs aren’t my thing LOL – but I just don’t remember. 

So what did I do? Complain in the morning office of course, and the lovely Nell Iris sent me a link to a Goodreads list called: Gay Beach – Summery Reads 

Not all stories on there are summer stories, I don’t think, but that doesn’t mean you can’t read them on the beach or you know indoors in a cool room far away from all the bugs.  

So here are ten books I think you should read this summer if you haven’t already. 

Bone Rider by J. Fally

Bone Rider by J. Fally. I’ve written about this book so many times on this blog, but seriously, if you haven’t read it, I’m commanding you. I love this! It has love, action, and an alien living inside one of the main characters. Awesome! 

Bone RiderRiley Cooper is on the run. Misha Tokarev, the love of his life, turned out to be an assassin for the Russian mob, and when it comes to character flaws, Riley draws the line at premeditated murder. Alien armor system McClane is also on the run, for reasons that include accidentally crashing a space ship into Earth and evading U.S. military custody. A failed prototype, McClane was scheduled for destruction. Sabotaging the ship put an end to that, but McClane is dubbed a bone rider for good reason—he can’t live without a host body. That’s why he first stows away in Riley’s truck and then in Riley himself. Their reluctant partnership soon evolves into something much more powerful—and personal—than either of them could have imagined.

Together, they embark on a road trip from hell, made all the more exciting by the government troops and mob enforcers hot on their trail. Misha is determined to win Riley back and willing to do whatever it takes to keep him safe. When hitman and alien join forces, they discover their impressive combined potential for death and destruction. It will take everything Riley has to steer them through the mess they create.

https://books2read.com/BoneRider

Motel. Pool. by Kim Fielding

Motel. Pool. by Kim Fielding. Nothing can go wrong with a ghost from the 50s, nothing! (Unless I’ve written the story, then the ending is all messed up, but it’s on my to-do list to fix it) Jack was supposed to be the next James Dean, then he died. Love this one! 

Motel. Pool.In the mid-1950s, Jack Dayton flees his working-class prospects in Omaha and heads to Hollywood, convinced he’ll be the next James Dean. But sleazy casting couches don’t earn him stardom, and despair leads to a series of poor decisions that ultimately find him at a cheap motel off Route 66, lifeless at the bottom of the pool.

Sixty years later, Tag Manning, feeling hopeless and empty, flees his most recent relationship mistake and takes to the open road. On a roundabout route to Las Vegas, he pulls over to rest at an isolated spot on Route 66. There’s no longer a motel or pool, but when Tag resumes his journey to Vegas, he finds he’s transporting a hitchhiking ghost. Jack and Tag come to find much-needed friends in each other, but one man is a phantom and the other is strangely cursed. Time is running out for each of them, and they must face the fact that a future together may not only be a gamble… it may not be in the cards.
 

https://books2read.com/MotelPool

Slow Bloom by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox

Slow Bloom by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox. Last I checked this wasn’t available anymore, but if you have it tucked away in your library… This book is soooo far outside my comfort zone, I don’t know why I even picked it up in the first place, but I’m glad I did. It’s one of those that has stayed with me despite making me squirm in my seat and making me want to hide out of discomfort (it’s not scary, just a larger age gap than I’m comfortable with, BDSM, and things I normally shy away from) 

Slow BloomRicky Talbot, fresh from his first year at university, is looking to have a perfect summer. He gets to work for the man he’s had a crush on for years and spend the rest of his days in the pool, training for the swim team. Jack Corson, on the other hand, is a suburban hermit with a tangled past. Jack’s a lot more experienced than Ricky, cantankerous and more than a little anti-social. When an unexpected one-time encounter between the two of them turns into more, Ricky and Jack must see if they have what it takes for love to bloom despite all of their differences, the distance between them while Ricky’s away school, Jack’s past and Ricky’s parents. Can their slow-blooming love come to fruition? 

 

A Case of Possession by K.J. Charles

A Case of Possession by K.J. Charles. The Magpie Lord, you’ve got to love the magpie lord. I suggest reading the first story first – why not bring the entire series to the beach?  

A Case of PossessionMagic in the blood. Danger in the streets.

Lord Crane has never had a lover quite as elusive as Stephen Day. He knows Stephen’s job as justiciar requires secrecy, but the magician is doing his disappearing act more than seems reasonable—especially since Crane will soon return to his home in China. When a blackmailer threatens to expose their illicit relationship, there’s only one thing stopping Crane from leaving the country he loathes: Stephen.

Stephen has problems of his own. As he investigates a plague of giant rats sweeping London, his sudden increase in power, boosted by his blood-and-sex bond with Crane, is rousing suspicion that he’s turned warlock. With all eyes on him, the threat of exposure grows. Stephen could lose his friends, his job and his liberty over his relationship with Crane. He’s not sure if he can take that risk much longer. Crane isn’t sure if he can ask him to.

The rats are closing in, and something has to give…

https://books2read.com/ACaseOfPossession

Butterfly Hunter by Julie Bozza

Butterfly Hunter by Julie Bozza. This is beautiful. Two men searching for a rare butterfly in the Australian outback. It’s about the fragility of life. 

41572493._sy475_It started as a simple assignment for Aussie bush guide Dave Taylor – escort a lone Englishman in quest of an unknown species of butterfly. However Nicholas Goring is no ordinary tourist, his search is far from straightforward, and it’s starting to look as if the butterflies don’t want to be found. As Dave teaches Nicholas everything he needs to survive in the Outback he discovers that he too has quite a bit to learn – and that very often the best way to locate something really important is just not to want to find it… 

https://books2read.com/ButterflyHunter

Hainted by Jordan L. Hawk

Hainted by Jordan L. Hawk. I’m not sure this is a summer book, I remember it as cold, but maybe that’s from the evil ghosts and not the weather. I can’t remember. Anyway, creepy ghosts! 

33645867The Good Guy: Haint-working runs in Dan Miller’s blood. Not everyone can help the restless dead cross over, especially when the haunting threatens the Living. But the death of his parents six years ago forced Dan to give it up in exchange for raising his brother and sister, all the while struggling to keep their rural NC farm afloat.

So when the flamboyantly goth Leif Helsvin shows up on Dan’s doorstep looking for help with an evil necromancer named Runar, Dan’s first instinct is to turn him down. With two teenagers to look after, he’s already got all the trouble he can handle. Besides, the sexy Leif is too much of a temptation, and Dan is firmly in the closet.

The Bad Boy: Pierced, tattooed Leif never has sex with the same guy twice. It keeps things simple, especially since his oath to stop Runar has him constantly drifting from one town to the next.

But this time, it looks like Leif is going to need help, in the form of the very down-to-earth Dan. Since Nice Guys are off the menu, Leif just has to keep his hands to himself for as long as it will take to stop Runar’s latest scheme. But as Leif finds himself drawn deeper into Dan’s life, he quickly realizes he’s not just in danger of breaking the rules, but breaking his heart as well.

https://books2read.com/Hainted

Clear Water by Amy Lane

Clear Water by Amy Lane. I hadn’t planned on including this one, I had Treasure here, but I realised that would make two Kim Fielding books and in the ‘readers also enjoyed’ corner of Goodreads, this showed up. Frogs! If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I have Ranidaphobia (phobia of frogs and toads) so I was a bit horrified by this story since there are a lot of frogs, but frogs are an important part of the ecosystem, and this book illustrates that. 

Clear WaterMeet Patrick Cleary; party boy, loser, and spaz. Patrick’s been trying desperately to transform himself, and the results have been so spectacular, they’ve almost killed him. Meet Wes “Whiskey” Keenan; he’s a field biologist wondering if it’s time to settle down. When the worst day of Patrick’s life ends with Whiskey saving it, Patrick and Whiskey find themselves sharing company and an impossibly small berth on the world’s tackiest houseboat.

Patrick needs to get his life together and Whiskey wants to help but Patrick is not entirely convinced it’s doable. He’s pretty sure he’s a freak of nature. But Whiskey, who works with real freaks of nature, thinks all Patrick needs is a little help to see the absolute beauty inside his spastic self, and Whiskey is all about volunteering. Between anomalous frogs, a homicidal ex-boyfriend, and Patrick’s own hangups, Whiskey’s going to need all of his patience and Patrick’s going to need to find the best of himself before these two men ever see Clear Water.

https://books2read.com/ClearWater

Dance with Me by Heidi Cullinan

Dance with Me by Heidi Cullinan. Ballroom dancing? This is an opposite attract story far more ‘mainstream’ than most of the Cullinan stories I’ve read. 

Dance with MeSometimes life requires a partner.

Ed Maurer has bounced back, more or less, from the neck injury that permanently benched his semipro football career. He hates his soul-killing office job, but he loves volunteering at a local community center. The only fly in his ointment is the dance instructor, Laurie Parker, who can’t seem to stay out of his way.

Laurie was once one of the most celebrated ballet dancers in the world, but now he volunteers at Halcyon Center to avoid his society mother’s machinations. It would be a perfect escape, except for the oaf of a football player cutting him glares from across the room.

When Laurie has a ballroom dancing emergency and Ed stands in as his partner, their perceptions of each other turn upside down. Dancing leads to friendship, being friends leads to becoming lovers, but most important of all, their partnership shows them how to heal the pain of their pasts. Because with every turn across the floor, Ed and Laurie realize the only escape from their personal demons is to keep dancing—together.

https://books2read.com/DanceWithHeidi

Where My Love Lies Dreaming by Christopher Hawthorne Moss

Where My Love Lies Dreaming by Christopher Hawthorne Moss. New Orleans! Considering I went through a phase when I almost exclusively read books taking place in New Orleans, I should’ve had a lot of summer reads to recommend, but turns out most of them were M/F books, so… But you need a riverboat this summer, I’m sure of it! 

Where My Love Lies DreamingAs the famous riverboat Le Beau Soleil lazily steams down the mighty Mississippi into the heart of the South, distractions of every sort attempt to pull agent for the Treasury Johnny Stanley away from his assignment. While liquor and gaming are no great temptations, his fascination with Le Beau Soleil’s owner, the debonair Frankie Deramus, means Johnny’s steadfast denial of his attraction to men is no longer feasible. Johnny fights his lust, but when he must come to Frankie’s aid, he can’t ignore his urges any longer.

Their passionate love affair falls apart when Johnny refuses to admit two men can be in love. A bitter confrontation between the lovers at a Mardi Gras masquerade forces Johnny to run north. Frankie tries to follow, but the Southern states secede one by one, making it impossible to track Johnny down. The Civil War pits brother against brother and separates lover from lover. When at last the lovers meet again, it’s on the battlefield….

https://books2read.com/WhereMyTureLoveLiesDreaming

Chicken Soup by Mel Bossa

Chicken Soup by Mel Bossa. No summer without Pride! This is a sweet short story that hasn’t received the attention it deserves, IMO. 

Chicken SoupThough Jimmy’s ill and isn’t getting any better, he hopes to have a bit of fun during Pride weekend. When he meets Nolan, a young dancer in the parade, Jimmy takes a chance on making himself vulnerable for the first time in years.

What Jimmy doesn’t expect is how strong Nolan will make him feel with a simple gesture of support.

Note: This short story was originally published in the charity collection, Love Is Proud.

https://books2read.com/ChickenSoup

Just to Breathe by Holly Day

Aha, bonus story! Just to Breathe by Holly Day because you also need some friends to lovers this summer. 

justtobreatheNico Allegretti has been best friends with Matt Barnes since kindergarten. There is no one more important to Nico than Matt, and while he’s known for years Matt is the one for him, he’ll never tell him. He won’t risk ruining their friendship.

On his way to meet Matt at the restaurant, a case of mistaken identity ends with Nico in the trunk of a car. When he’s released, his kidnappers give him twenty-four hours to give them what they want. The problem is, Nico has no idea what that could be.

Not knowing what else to do, he turns to Matt, who is a cop. Together they go into hiding while looking for clues. Being kidnapped doesn’t change Nico’s resolve to not let Matt know how he feels, but hiding in a small cabin together makes it hard to ignore. Matt’s small touches and compliments must mean nothing. Had Matt felt the same, he’d let him know by now … right?

https://books2read.com/JustToBreathe

Summer Stories by Ofelia Gränd

While I prefer to write autumn and winter stories, I do have a few that takes place in the summer…

ninestones

The only thing worse than having a hot neighbor you’re too intimidated to talk to is accidentally hitting his cat with your car.

Felix Lane was perfectly content to spend the rest of his days with Sunny, his canary life companion, in their quiet little corner of the suburbs. But then Kirk Shoo with his unusual eyes moved in across the street, and Felix’s carefully constructed life is starting to unravel.

When your every bad-boy fantasy lingers at the mailbox, stands too close and smells too damn good, what’s an under-appreciated administrative assistant to do? Besides sneak out the backdoor to go to work? But when Kirk’s cat runs out in front of Felix on his way home, he has no choice but to face the music and his dream man. Unless …

What starts as a tragic accident turns into something far more bizarre. And when Felix’s backyard begins to look like a pet cemetery, he has no choice but to come clean. That is, if he can manage to find his sexy neighbor at all.

https://books2read.com/NineStones

bangerchallenge

Fred Munson likes his job as a traffic cop. He’s good at it. It’s his personal life that could use some improvement. With no friends, and being too shy to talk to anyone while out of uniform, when Fred is forced to use some of his vacation time, he has nothing to fill his days. At least not until he comes home to find his driveway blocked by a stranger with car troubles.

A month after losing his father, Zen Zeppelin Cave has also lost his place in the world. The only thing holding him together is focusing on a charity junk car race to raise money for cancer research. And he’s crossing that finish line even if he ends up replacing every part of the car along the way.

Zen had planned on completing the race on his own, but a spur-of-the-moment decision changes that when he invites the adorable, blushing police officer whose driveway he’s blocking to tag along. Going with a stranger on a road trip is completely out of Fred’s comfort zone, so when he accepts the invitation, no one is more surprised than himself.

Together, Zen and Fred head south. But will the old junk car hold together long enough to reach their destination? And will crossing the finish line mean the end of the road for a budding romance, or will they find there’s more to their journey?

https://books2read.com/BangerChallenge

dazzleme

Tom and Santino’s anniversary is coming up, and Tom has a plan. He’s going to show Santino how much he means to him. The night will be magical.

Tom’s plan did not include a trip to Thailand. He doesn’t do aeroplanes, doesn’t do tropical climate, and he doesn’t do spas. Yet he finds himself without a stitch of clothing on a spa table, with a man he’s never met before while Santino is away on a business meeting.

This was not how it was supposed to go. Tom will do his best to live through the day so they can celebrate their anniversary when they get back to the hotel, but If Santino wanted him smooth and sparkly, couldn’t he have told him instead of booking him an appointment?

https://books2read.com/DazzleMe

Cover Reveal | The Snowflake

Cover-Reveal

We’re all like snowflakes—unique and one of a kind.

Time for another cover reveal! Not many books left to re-publish now, I’m afraid. Today we have The Snowflake. I love this. It’s not your ordinary romance. The main character, Theophile Lekas, tends to kill people, he’s a stalker, and talks to his cat – who responds. But… few books have been as fun to write as this one. 

It was first published in Buried Desires 3 together with Amy Spector and Neptune Flowers back in 2018. 

Theophile is an ice sculptor who wants to blow the world away with his talent, but mostly he gets to do swans for weddings and other get-togethers which he hates. But then there is Dylan Mincer – Theo’s muse and the man he’s been stalking for the last seventeen years.  

Theo loves Dylan – who says murderers can’t fall in love? – and he’ll do anything to make Dylan happy. To prove it he’s gonna make the best sculpture in the history of mankind.  

Ready to see the cover? 

 

thesnowflake

Blurb:

Nothing inspires art like love. 
 
Theophile Lekas has spent the last seventeen years trying to build a name for himself as an ice sculptor. Ice is his world, but he lives for Dylan Mincer. 
 
But loving from afar isn’t enough, and if Theo wants to win Dylan’s heart, he’ll need to sweep him off his feet. And what better way to do it than with a sculpture that will leave Dylan breathless and the world in no doubt of Theo’s genius? 
 
After an argument leads to murder, Theo is hit with true inspiration. And he has the perfect block to begin his project. For Dylan, Theo will create his masterpiece. And it will be as unique as a snowflake. 
 
Great art requires the perfect muse. 

Release Day | Silent Woods

Release-Day

It’s release day! Silent Woods is out today, and it’s one of the first stories I wrote – or not wrote, you know how it is with writers, we have written for years before we first publish something. It was one of the first stories I ever published.

In Sweden (maybe all of Scandinavia) we have this myth of a male water nymph called Näcken, or The Neck. He’s this lovely, lonely creature – though in some old text he’s hideous – who appears in lakes and rivers, playing the violin. When he plays, people walk into the water and drown themselves or they dance until they die, unable to stop.

If you give The Neck a gift – booze, snuff, blood, or a dead black cat – you can bargain with him. He’ll not only spare your life, but he’ll also teach you how to play the violin.

Silent Woods is about an established couple with children who goes camping. It’s all very Swedish, we’re camping/tenting people. We love being in the woods… or many of us do LOL
When one of the children goes missing, weird things start to happen.

Excerpt:

Daniel.”

I jerked up into a sitting position, absolutely certain we were surrounded by wild boars. It took a while for my brain to take in the forms of our sleeping children next to me, and the cold light of dawn.

Yeah?” My voice was nothing more than a croak.

I’m gonna run up to the centre, shouldn’t take long, but do you know how to start the mini stove if the kids wake up?”

Erm…I think so…but do I have to cook anything for breakfast?”

Yeah. It’s oatmeal porridge mixed with bilberry powder.”

I scrunched my nose in dismay, and Anders chuckled softly.

It’s good for you.”

It’s disgusting.”

Nah. Everything tastes good when you’re hungry, and you’re gonna need it.”

I sighed, thinking about the hike he had planned for us today. Anders kissed my forehead.

Get some more sleep if they don’t wake up when I leave, okay? The weather isn’t as nice today. It’s almost dark so I thought it was earlier than it is, but it’s already a quarter past six.”

Already, I scoffed internally. It had been one of the longest nights of my life. My body ached, my muscles were stiff, and I had grit the size of walnuts in my eyes. I did not fit in this tent—no matter what Anders said about quality. It might be fine if you are five-eight like he is, but I’m six-three. Both my feet and my head touched the canvas without me even being stretched out. Normally I fell asleep in Ander’s arms and woke up sprawled over the bed with at least one arm above my head, but that was impossible here. And the canvas had a damp feel to it, as if condensation had formed during the night—it wouldn’t surprise me if it had, since it had been like we were sleeping in a sauna at one point.

I think I’ve had enough of this for one night.” I glared at him. My body screamed in protest as I tried to move. He watched me with no small amount of amusement in his eyes—cheeky bastard. “You can show me how to light the stove, I wouldn’t want to be responsible for burning down the entire forest.”

We sneaked out of the tent, miraculously succeeding in not disturbing the children. The morning was chilly—far more so than they had been recently—or maybe I was imagining. The cloudy sky gave the woods an almost unearthly glow. Where the tree trunks had looked warm yesterday, they now look cold and grey. I shivered as the niggling feeling of wrongness grew stronger.

The wet spider webs and the light mist that could be seen between the trees should’ve made a beautiful picture, but the atmosphere in glade was nothing like the day before. It was closed off, as if someone had put a giant glass bubble over us. The woods were silent, no rustling winds, and no tweeting birds. The eerie stillness surrounding us was oppressive. I couldn’t help but whisper as I turned to Anders. “Is it always this quiet in the mornings?”

Anders frowned. “I’m sure the birds will start to sing as soon as I make my way out of here.” His uncertainty did not ease the wrongness I sensed. “Probably just means that there isn’t anything close by to alert them.”

I didn’t buy it. Birds sang in the morning. And I could tell he only said it to comfort me—his gaze kept searching the tree line, and he had a little crease between his brows. He lit the mini stove, gave me what I’m sure was supposed to be a reassuring smile, and headed out of the campsite.

I couldn’t shake the unnerving feeling, and it only grew more intense the longer Anders was away. It wouldn’t take him more than twenty minutes or so to cover the distance. He was a practised runner, and this little round was nothing compared to what he normally ran in the mornings. Still, I found no comfort in that. I tried to distract myself by preparing breakfast on the stove.

Blurb:

silentwoodsDo you believe in myths and ancient creatures? 
 
Daniel has never understood the need to leave the city, so when his husband suggests a camping trip for their holiday, he agrees with reluctance. Even before they step out of the car, trepidation crawls over Daniel. Something is wrong. There is something about the forest that turns his stomach into knots. 
 
He wants nothing more than to return to the safety of their home, and when their five-year-old son goes missing his fears turn into full-blown panic. What awaits them in the depths of the forest is far more sinister than anything Daniel ever could have imagined. With a missing child, it’s a race against time. Will they be able to find their son before it’s too late? 

Buy links:

Paranormal M/M Romance: 18,772 words

JMS Books :: Amazon :: books2read.com/Silent-Woods