WhatToReadWednesday | The Devil Will Care

The Devil will Care Whatotread

I’m here as Holly today! And what I think you should be reading is aliens. My story, The Devil Will Care, was released a few days ago. I wrote it to celebrate World Nutella Day, so I guess I could’ve popped on here to say you should read books with Nutella in them. But how many books do you know of that have Nutella in them?

Maybe there are loads, and I just don’t pay attention. In contrast to my lovely aliens, I’ve never understood the thing with Nutella. Don’t get me wrong, it tastes good, but what do you use it for? If I want to eat chocolate, I buy a bar of chocolate. Sticky things in a jar won’t be my go-to thing when I crave something sweet. Sorry, but it’s impractical. 

But, we’re talking aliens, not Nutella. It’s not often I write alien stories, and I might read them more often than I write them, but not by much. I do love a nice alien, I’m just not big on the sci-fi-y parts. 

One of my all-time favourite books is Bone Rider by J. Fally. I love the Claimings series by Lyn Gala. If you like dark, check out Where Willows Won’t Grow by Lia Black. Blind Space by Marie Sexton is good, and as insane, as it might sound, I’ve read The Last Pure Human by Twisted Hilarity more than once. 

But what I wanted to talk about today is that there isn’t only Nutella in space, in some places you might even find ice cream. Or a burger. More specifically, if you go to the Luna Terminal, you’ll run into Max, and Max has a restaurant selling human food.

If you want to know more about Max and Noir, you should check out It Doesn’t Translate by Ofelia Gränd. And it might just be that Azrail and Khaal from The Devil Will Care will have some ice cream in Max’s diner since they’re planning to escape prison and go to the Lunar Terminal.

The Devil Will Care

thedevilwillcareWhat would you do if the devil claimed you were his destined mate?

Khaal Lupehell isn’t really the devil, but he’s a red-skinned, horn-wearing, tail-waving, eight feet tall alien who claims Azrail Crow is his mate. For eight months, Azrail has been in an intergalactic prison, and for the most part, he’s managed to keep his head down and melt into the interior. That all changes when he runs into Khaal.

Khaal has to get out of prison. He’d planned to escape even before he met Azrail, but now he has to find a way out. He can’t live with his mate in a prison cell. It’s out of the question. So he’ll steal a ship, take Azrail, and they’ll run for their lives. It’ll work out fine. Hopefully.

Azrail has read stories about destined mates, but surely it can’t apply to him. He’s human, and humans don’t have mates. But when Khaal talks about escaping, Azrail wants to come with him. Being mated to the devil can’t be worse than being locked up in prison, can it?

Buy links:

Paranormal Gay Romance: 35,225 words

JMS Books :: Amazon :: books2read.com/TheDevilWillCare


Steps drew closer, and they turned toward the door. Azrail walked in first, stiff and tired-looking, with his hands in the pockets of the prison suit trousers he wore. Behind him came Dot, all dressed in black, but not in a dress. Khaal narrowed his eyes. He’d never seen her wear anything but a dress. The black pants clung to her, and there were chains and straps. Would the guards allow her chains? She wore an over-sized knitted thing up top. He didn’t know if it was a tunic, a sweater, or a cardigan. It was black with white weird-looking skulls, and it had been ripped in several places, though he suspected she wanted it to look like that.
“Hi.” Azrail stepped into the cell. His lips were a blue shade, and he moved as if he’d hurt his back.
“Are you okay?” Khaal took a step closer, but before he could get close enough to touch, Azrail held up a jar of human food.
“For the stash. It’s not a peace offering, and it’s not to be eaten.”
Khaal took the offered jar. “How did you get it?”
“From a guard, said I needed it because Dot was in shock.”
He looked at Dot. She looked well enough. Without thinking, he curled his tail around Azrail’s arm. “Did the guards get you?” He turned his gaze away from Dot and assessed Azrail. Was it why he was so stiff? Had they hurt him?
“No, we made it back to our cell before they came running, but we have to get out of here. It was too close. If they’d gotten Dot, I’d have… I don’t know what I’d had done, but I think it’s safe to say with the combination of the two of us, no one would’ve survived.”
The combination of the two? They were tiny little humans. Though he’d seen Dot call fire, and Azrail… A shiver went through him. He didn’t know what Azrail had done, but Dot had dropped within a blink of an eye.
“Look, we’re in on the plan. We have to get out of here sooner rather than later, so from now on we work together. Right?” He looked first at Khaal, then at Yilea and Chavir, only to turn back to Khaal again.
“Yes, we work together.”
Azrail turned a little and motioned for Dot to get closer. “So, we’ll be honest?”
Unease curled in Khaal’s gut. Would he say he didn’t want him? That they’d work together to get out but then split up? It wasn’t an option. Azrail needed to be at his side at all times. “Honest.” He nodded, despite not knowing what he was nodding about.
“I don’t know where you come from.”
Yilea shifted her weight. “Dogron, but we’re not going back.”
Longing hit Khaal. Part of him would always want to go home, but it wasn’t an option.
Chavir snorted. “We killed the leader of one of the biggest clans and stole his ship. They’ll kill us if we go back.”
“And it’s too far.” Yilea sighed. “Going back would take too long, and we’d have to have a planned route to stock up and get fuel. We have nothing to trade, so we’ve been taking what we need. It got us here.” She flashed her teeth.
“Pirates.” Dot’s voice was neutral, but he suspected it was an act.
“Yes, pirates.” Khaal flashed fangs. “More out of necessity than desire, but pirates all the same.”
“Aye aye, Captain.” Dot grinned, and Khaal reassessed. Maybe she didn’t mind much.
Azrail broke in. “So, where are you going?”
Khaal looked at Yilea, then Chavir and both shrugged.
Azrail huffed. “I believed you had a plan.”
“We do. We’ve taken over this cell, so we’re right next to the dock. When a ship arrives, we’ll take it and get out of here.”
Azrail’s nod was slow, and if a nod could be, a bit condescending. “And you have a destination in mind? A plan for food, fuel, manpower, and so on?”
“So far, we’ve focused on the first part of the plan.”
The sound coming from Azrail was one he couldn’t describe. It flowed out of him, and it made Khaal shiver and tingle. A couple of seconds later, Dot joined in. Both of them were shaking and water was gathering in their eyes.
“What’s going on?” Chavir rubbed his arms and looked at Khaal.
“I don’t know.”
What had them making more noise? Azrail touched a hand to his forehead, and it looked like he made an effort to quiet the sounds. “Nothing but a little breakdown.” A new wave of sounds spilled out of him, and Dot touched his shoulder. Khaal stared at the hand, the casual touch, and wanted to snarl. He’d been so focused on his reaction to Azrail, he hadn’t considered his and Dot’s relationship.
“Will you stop?” It came out harsher than he’d meant to.
Azrail straightened. “Of course.” The sound died away, and Khaal regretted having interrupted because now Azrail looked angry. Dot quieted too and glared at Khaal. Damn, he didn’t want to catch fire.
“So, to put it plainly. You invited us to share your plan, but you don’t have a plan.”
“We have this cell and—” Khaal held up the jar of human food.
“Yes, a jar of Nutella we gave to you.”
Yilea took a step forward, forcing Khaal to either block her or take a step back. “What do you suggest we do?”

Read Around the Rainbow | How to Romance a Romance Writer


The first Read Around the Rainbow post of the year!!! 🥳 On the last Friday of every month, we’re a group of authors who blog on the same topic and today’s topic is:

How to Romance a Romance Writer

Ha! We’re just a couple of days away from February, and soon the hysteria of Valentine’s Day will set in. It might already have, I don’t know. I hardly leave my home these days 😅

I’m one of the least romantic people you’ve ever come across. Obvious romantic gestures just make me uncomfortable, so I do my utter best to avoid them. I’d say that in our marriage, my husband is more romantic than I am. If we’re talking love language, I think both my husband and I are in the acts of service category. We suck at all the others. Though he might sneak me a bar of chocolate or a bag of Djungelvrål now and then, sometimes he even buys me a plant for the garden.

I’m bad at reciprocating, and I should do better.

But if you want to know how to romance a romance author – more specifically, how to romance this romance author, there is this game…

It’s called forget your wedding day, year after year.

Both my husband and I are pros of this game. We got married on January 9th, 2010. We didn’t want to get married but felt the pressure of society – bureaucracy can kill you. My son was born on December 9th, 2009, so it should be easy to remember, right? December 9th birthday, January 9th wedding day.

Well, it’s not.

Then some years later, we got our fourth child. She was born on January 8th, so it should make it easier to remember, right? Birthday on January 8th, wedding day on January 9th.

You’d think…

ValentinesI think the key to a happy marriage is to forget that you’re married. I love my husband, but to this day, the only wedding day we’ve ever celebrated was when we’d been married for ten years. Then we left the kids in Mum’s hands and stayed at a hotel for a weekend. But it was a mutual decision to acknowledge that we were in fact married that year 😆

I realise both Holly and I talk about marriage. Romance is so much more than marriage, but in my relationship, there are no candlelit dinners, romantic retreats, or love letters (though there were when he left me to go to Liberia for ten months). What there is, is that I can look across the room, over the chaos of kids and animals, toys and laundry, homework and dishes, and see the man I know will always have my back. No matter what.

If you want to read about ‘real’ romance, I’m sure the others (not Holly since she’s in the same relationship and has the same brain as I do) have something to say about it.

Follow the rose petals to:

Ally Lester
Nell Iris
Fiona Glass
Ellie Thomas
Holly Day
K. L. Noone
Addison Albright

Wrap-Up Wednesday | January

I haven’t been reading much. I’ve been writing and sometimes reading and writing go hand in hand for me. When I’m in that hyper state, I’m not really connected to the real world. I write like crazy until my brain gets too tired, and then I pick up a book to relax with. Often one fuels the other, but not this month.

My entire focus has been on doing words in the morning and doing everything else that comes along with being an author in the afternoon. When the evening arrives, I’ve been blankly staring at the TV – White Lotus, people! Hubby and I saw the last episode a couple of days ago, so now we’re trying to fill the void 😁

I have read a little.

Subtle Blood by K.J. Charles 

This is the third story of The Will Darling Adventures series. I’m not someone who listens to audiobooks, I almost gave myself a subscription to Storytel for Christmas since I figured I should listen to more audiobooks, but… Anyway, I have been listening to the audio of this series. I picked them up at the library, and I don’t remember how long ago it is I listened to the first two books, but when I finished The Sugared Game, the second book, Subtle Blood wasn’t available. Now it was.

It’s not A Charm of Magpies which is one of my favourite series of all time, but it’s good.

Subtle BloodWill Darling is all right. His business is doing well, and so is his illicit relationship with Kim Secretan–disgraced aristocrat, ex-spy, amateur book-dealer. It’s starting to feel like he’s got his life under control.

And then a brutal murder in a gentleman’s club plunges them back into the shadow world of crime, deception, and the power of privilege. Worse, it brings them up against Kim’s noble, hostile family, and his upper-class life where Will can never belong.

With old and new enemies against them, and secrets on every side, Will and Kim have to fight for each other harder than ever—or be torn apart for good.


Starlight by Jordan Castillo Price

This is a short vampire/werewolf story, and I was just about to write I got it through JCP’s newsletter, but now I got uncertain. My memory is good but short. Could I have picked it up elsewhere? Maybe. Anyway, it’s short and I needed something short.

StarlightThe tearing of flesh, the pulsing of blood…these things haven’t aroused anything other than simple hunger in Joseph for centuries. But now he’s caught the scent of a creature no more human than he is, and his hunger has turned to desire.

MM PNR short story, 4600 words.


Blood Omen by Sheena Jolie

More vampires! This is my first read by Sheena Jolie, and if you’re in the mood for vamps, fae, magic users and so on, give it a go! After some snooping around, I realised Sheena Jolie is also writing as SJ Himes, and this is a spinoff of another series they’ve written, The Beacon Hill Sorcerer. You don’t need to have read that to enjoy this. I haven’t, and it worked just fine. But I checked my kindle library because I remembered that title and turns out I own The Necromancer’s Dance, the first story of The Beacon Hill Sorcerer series, I just haven’t read it yet.

And I just realised, I hadn’t needed to do any snooping at all, it’s all there on the cover 🙄

Blood OmenSet in the Infinite Arcana Universe, BLOOD OMEN is a fascinating peek into the wider world of the Beacon Hill Sorcerer by SJ Himes….

Remi has been doing the same job for the last two thousand years: specialist courier of valuable magical objects and sensitive information. Sent on a mission to get a powerful talisman to the City Master of the Boston Bloodclan, Remi ends up with an unexpected complication: Celyn, a beautiful fae college student who was in the right place at the wrong time.
Celyn was instantly attracted to the sexy vampire when they met by chance at a pub. Thinking he was about to experience the best hook-up of his life, Celyn never expected to end up running across the streets of Budapest with Remi while the High Council of Sorcery was trying to kill them.
Dodging spells and holing up in secret lairs, Remi and Celyn find something even rarer than the object Remi carries: a chance at true love.


Think of England by K.J. Charles

More by K.J. Charles. This is my reread of the month, and if you want to hear me gush about how much I love Daniel you can hop on over to Holly’s because I talk about it there. Awesome story that you should read if you haven’t!

Think of EnglandLie back and think of England…

England, 1904. Two years ago, Captain Archie Curtis lost his friends, fingers, and future to a terrible military accident. Alone, purposeless and angry, Curtis is determined to discover if he and his comrades were the victims of fate, or of sabotage.

Curtis’s search takes him to an isolated, ultra-modern country house, where he meets and instantly clashes with fellow guest Daniel da Silva. Effete, decadent, foreign, and all-too-obviously queer, the sophisticated poet is everything the straightforward British officer fears and distrusts.

As events unfold, Curtis realizes that Daniel has his own secret intentions. And there’s something else they share—a mounting sexual tension that leaves Curtis reeling.

As the house party’s elegant facade cracks to reveal treachery, blackmail and murder, Curtis finds himself needing clever, dark-eyed Daniel as he has never needed a man before…