4 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Reviewed by Jennifer, Riptide Publishing, VJ Summers

Review: Light a Candle by VJ Summers

Amazon US

Amazon US

Title: Light a Candle

Author: VJ Summers

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 136 Pages

At a Glance: Enjoyable story with BDSM, former friends getting reacquainted, and a man desperate to show how much he’s changed.

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: Will broke Dusty’s heart their senior year. One unexpected moment of passion between them, and Will freaked out. Not only wasn’t he gay, but he wasn’t kinky either—or so he insisted to Dusty. Their long friendship ended, and Dusty was left with only bittersweet memories of their last movie night together.

Ten years later, out as gay and a Dom, Will auditions for membership at Club Deviant, only to find that he’s been assigned an all-too-familiar submissive. His scene with Dustin feels like fate, and he’s determined to get back what they once had—and more.

Dustin had buried the pain of rejection deep, but playing with Will conjures all his memories of that one electric moment they shared and the friendship it destroyed. He’s built walls around his heart high enough to keep out the Trojan Army, but together, he and Will may find the courage to move beyond their past and face their future together.

Publisher’s note: This is a heavily expanded and revised edition of Velvet Memories, previously published in 2011. 


Review: I did not read the first edition of this book, from which this one has been expanded, so I cannot compare the two and discuss how much has changed. However, I can say that I did enjoy this one and felt it was well-written and just the right length.

Going back and forth from the past to the present, Light a Candle reveals the history of Will and Dusty’s relationship. From their senior year in high school where a small moment of passion leaves Will running in the other direction, to the present where Will is a confident gay Dom auditioning for Club Deviant, where Dusty is a submissive. The two are brought together on new terms. Will wants to prove to Dusty that he’s changed and that he made a mistake, but Dusty has a hard time accepting that. So, the two retreat to what they know best: Dominance and submission.

While the story might sound familiar, and perhaps overused, I felt it was well done in this book. I became invested in both men, and hoped they could overcome the past and look to the future they could build together. The inclusion of that past was also a nice touch. Not many authors will include past history because it takes away from the present or because the younger versions of the characters are too unfitting to be addressed in an adult novel. VJ Summers did a nice job of balancing everything that really kept me hooked. Just when I wanted to know more of what happened in the past, the author revealed it. When I wanted to go back to the present, the author did that as well. It truly is a fine balance that reveals all the reader could want to know.

If you enjoy novels with BDSM elements I recommend this book, especially if you’re looking for something a little on the shorter side.





You can buy Light a Candle here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

Giveaways, Riptide Publishing, VJ Summers

Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway: The Light a Candle Blog Tour With VJ Summers


The Novel Approach welcomes author VJ Summers today, with an exclusive excerpt on her Light a Candle blog tour. And on behalf of Riptide Publishing, there’s also a tour-wide giveaway of a $15 Riptide store credit to one winner. Every comment on this blog tour enters you in the drawing. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 23, 2015. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Don’t forget to add your email so we can contact you if you win!

Good luck!


LightACandle_400x600Blurb: Will broke Dusty’s heart their senior year. One unexpected moment of passion between them, and Will freaked out. Not only wasn’t he gay, but he wasn’t kinky either—or so he insisted to Dusty. Their long friendship ended, and Dusty was left with only bittersweet memories of their last movie night together.

Ten years later, out as gay and a Dom, Will auditions for membership at Club Deviant, only to find that he’s been assigned an all-too-familiar submissive. His scene with Dustin feels like fate, and he’s determined to get back what they once had—and more.

Dustin had buried the pain of rejection deep, but playing with Will conjures all his memories of that one electric moment they shared and the friendship it destroyed. He’s built walls around his heart high enough to keep out the Trojan Army, but together, he and Will may find the courage to move beyond their past and face their future together.

Buy Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon | All Romance eBooks


Excerpt: Five days later, Will could still smell Dustin. Could still feel Dustin’s velvety skin under his fingers. Every time he closed his eyes, he could see taut muscled skin and pale-blue eyes burning into his own.

It had been the single most erotic scene of his life, and he hadn’t even fucking come.

Well, not until he was home with nothing but his fist and lube and the memory of Dustin—Dustin at eighteen, sharing pizza and insight into ancient Greece that Will really hadn’t been ready for; Dustin at twenty-eight, eyes hooded and voice cool. Made no difference, the man was sex on legs at any age. Then he’d come. Repeatedly. With Dustin’s name on his lips.

Ten years ago, after he’d watched that damned scene a dozen times or more, he’d gone online, had researched Achilles specifically and Greek warriors in general. He’d learned about pederasty—which skeezed him the fuck out—but he’d also learned of the bond between the erastes, the lover, and his eromenos, his beloved.

The ancient Greeks hadn’t looked down on gay men. They hadn’t actually even acknowledged homosexuality. It was all a part of a guy’s education. You rubbed off against your teacher—who hopefully wasn’t a fat, cigarette-smoke-reeking slug like Mr. Todd had been—and then you eventually grew up and married a woman. Easy-peasy.

Of course the fact that he’d kept waking up with the image of Dusty, ass red from the flat of Will’s sword, burned into his brain, and his sheets sticky with his own spend should have been warning enough that there was nothing easy-peasy about this. But he hadn’t been able to face that—the fact that he was gay, let alone what it meant that he wanted to spank Dusty—until well into college.

A decade of experience separated them, and he was every bit as fascinated with Dustin now as he had been senior year. More so even, because now he understood what was simmering between them. They had unfinished business, and Will knew that until they’d dealt with it, he wouldn’t be able to move on. He was pretty damned sure Dustin hadn’t moved on, either. He needed to apologize. There could be no erasing their history—the injury couldn’t be undone, the hurt couldn’t be erased—but there could be forgiveness and, if Dustin’s almost emotionless interactions with him were anything to go by, Will suspected Dusty needed to forgive as much as Will needed forgiving.

Will needed so much more than that, though. They both needed so much more than that.

At eighteen he’d been confused, scared by the power of what he was feeling and what he wanted. He wasn’t scared anymore. Or at least he wasn’t scared of that. No, the thing that tormented him now was the fear that there was only one submissive out there who could give him what he needed, only one submissive he wanted to own and be owned by. Dustin. The one man with every reason in the world not to submit wholeheartedly to him.

Now he was sitting at a small table in Club Deviant, his nerves on edge. Dustin had left his name with the head of security, allowing Will temporary access to the club’s notorious back room. The same room where only a week ago he’d had Dustin strapped down to a table and writhing with pleasure.

He sprawled in his seat watching the open play area before him. He’d come early, curious about the club, and embarrassingly eager to see Dustin again. He’d been approached by subs, both male and female, offering up their services for the evening. Most had worn the indigo leather collar of a club submissive with its distinctive silver entwined C and D, but one or two had clearly been members looking to play.

He knew he could have a submissive, club or member, kneeling at his feet with a snap of his finger. He even knew he could engage in all manner of deviant behavior with the club submissives, short of actual sex while they were on the job. And, of course, with a little negotiation he could go much further in a private room with a club member. But Will had turned them all down, both the direct invitations and the coy, flirtatious glances, without a qualm. Everything in him was keyed to one particular submissive, the man currently making his way across the dance floor in Will’s direction.

Holy hell, but Dustin was a sight to stop a Dom’s breath. Dressed in black leather pants and an iridescent blue shirt that laced up the front and looked painted on, he was the very image of an artist. Or maybe a work of art. Hard pecs and sculpted abs begged to be stroked.

Like most clubs, Club Deviant kept the air cranked up when the dance floor was open and the public play areas were closed. It was early, though, and there wasn’t much of a crowd yet to heat up the space. Dustin’s nipples were peaked in the cool air, clearly visible through the thin fabric of his shirt, barbells making obvious bulges that had Will’s fingers tingling with the need to pinch and twist.

And then there was the collar. Plain indigo leather, about an inch wide, and worn soft with use, the collar marked Dustin as surely as a brand as everything Will needed.

Fuck, he was in trouble. How the hell was he supposed to apologize when his mouth was so fucking dry he knew he wouldn’t be able to get a word out?

Dustin stopped in front of him. Will nodded toward the chair next to him. “Have a seat.” His dick strained against his zipper as Dustin sat across from him.

The man was an odd juxtaposition of submission—the collar wrapped around his throat, the way he had kept his eyes down and nodded deferentially at several other Doms as he crossed the floor—and defiance as he met Will’s gaze with a sort of detached curiosity that made Will crazy to break through and get to some real emotion.

“Did you make it to art school?” Shit. So not what he’d meant to say, but the cool disinterest made a pretty damned hostile environment for an apology.

“I did. Graduated and everything.” One dark brow rose. “I work freelance out of my house. I don’t make any money here, Will.”

That made him blink. Double shit.

“I didn’t mean that—” he started, wondering how the hell his asking about Dusty’s art had turned into some sort of insinuation that he thought the man was a prostitute. Dustin waved his words away with a negligent hand.

“You said on the phone you had something important to talk about.” Pale eyes never left his face as he waited for Will to speak.

“I owe you an apology,” Will began. “A very long overdue one.”

Dustin blinked but his expression remained relaxed, unchanged. “Okay.”


“I didn’t just flake out ten years ago. I panicked.” He could still feel the fear, the way his mouth had gone dry, his lungs had refused to work. The way his heart had jackhammered. Sort of like it was doing now, as Dustin watched him with expressionless eyes. Shit. “I can’t even say which was worse, wanting to tie someone down and spank their ass, or realizing the ass I really wanted to blister was yours and not Marcie’s or Teena’s.”

Dustin shrugged but didn’t react much otherwise. “I figured as much. How could the king of the school be gay?”

His voice was cordial, but Will didn’t miss the edge in Dustin’s words. Impulsively he reached out and grasped Dustin’s wrist, pinning it lightly against the table. It didn’t escape his notice that he wasn’t the only one whose breath caught at the contact.

“Not just gay. Gay and kinky.” He sighed. “I was an ass. I was young and scared, of myself and of what everyone else would say if they found out. It took me a long time to understand what I want, to accept who I am. But being young is no excuse for being a coward, or an asshole. You were my friend, and I treated you like shit, and even after I realized being gay and kinky wasn’t something to be ashamed of, I knew the way I’d treated you was.”

Dustin shook his head and slipped out of Will’s hold with a soft sigh. “If you need to hear it, then fine: you’re forgiven. It was a long time ago, Will. I’m totally okay, and have been for many years.”

He didn’t believe that for a minute. Not when Dustin’s breath caught at his touch, and when his bland expression and carefully neutral voice kept fraying around the edges, revealing hints of a sharpness that could have no source other than pain.

Dustin was moving, pushing his chair back and preparing to leave.

“Stay.” The word was out before he even realized he was going to speak; the need to keep Dustin there with him was undeniable and inevitable. “Please.”

“I can’t.” Dustin picked up Will’s hand, tilted his wrist to look at the heavy silver watch he wore. “I’m working tonight. In ten minutes, actually. I need to go get ready.” He released Will as abruptly as he’d touched him, stepping back before Will could react.

“You’re forgiven, Will. Let it go and move on. I have.”

He turned his back to Will—an action so lacking in the respectful, traditional protocol Club Deviant’s contract promised in their submissives that it grated over Will’s nerves like a metal file—and walked away as casually as he’d come. Never mind that they weren’t in a scene, never mind that their conversation had needed to be between equals, not Dom and sub, Will saw Dustin as his submissive, dammit. He’d felt in his fucking bones ten years ago how good they could be together, and had run terrified. Seeing Dusty again had just brought the feeling back stronger than ever.

Will spun his glass on the table as he watched him go. He’d gotten Dusty’s forgiveness, or at least a reasonable facsimile of it, but it hadn’t changed anything. Not really. It hadn’t eased his conscience, probably because it was so patently insincere. It hadn’t filled the emptiness in his soul, or given him a sense of relief.

No, if anything, the soul-deep need to know Dustin the adult, to see how he compared with Dustin the boy, had grown even more all-encompassing. The need to have Dustin naked and on his knees before him, to see that dark head bowed as the submissive shivered in anxious pleasure, was overwhelming. He felt the ghost of Dustin’s hand in his and he wanted more. He needed more.

And he knew Dustin did too. There was no way the man could react so dispassionately, not the Dusty he’d known. Not unless he was hiding emotions too intense to be dealt with easily.

He scanned the room and spotted Mistress Cynthia. Mind made up, he stood and approached the floor manager of Club Deviant.


Author BioAbout the Author: When not working the EDJfH (Evil Day Job from Hell), obsessing over whether her parents are getting enough to eat, obsessing that her kid is sexting the boyfriend, making coffee, drinking coffee, or feeding the two cats who allow her to live with them, VJ can be found reading or writing erotic romance—either solo as m/m author VJ Summers, or as the shorter, more quiet half of the “Violet Summers” writing team (the tall half is Sierra Summers).

VJ loves to hear from readers! You can find her at her Website and on Facebook.

A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Cheers, everyone, and welcome back for a look at what we have in store for the week ahead.

Among the guest posts, giveaways, and reviews, we’ll also be bringing you a very special Hop Against Homophobia, Bi- and Transphobia story that I’m excited to share with you.

Here’s what’s on tap!


Monday – Kicking off our week, we have a cover reveal for Indra Vaughn’s new novel Fragmented, book two in her Shadow Mountain series

Also joining us is author VJ Summers on the Light a Candle blog tour

TuesdayTeegan Loy will be with us today on the Love Complicated blog tour

And we’ll also be revealing a very special and exclusive Sinner’s Gin ficlet from Rhys Ford, starring Miki, Damie and the boys, in honor of the Hop Against Homophobia, Bi- and Transphobia

Wednesday – Author Jude Sierra joins us on the Hush blog  tour

We’ll also welcome Lavinia Lewis today on the Blood Ties blog tour

ThursdayInes Johnson is our guest today to chat a bit about her new novel The Loyal Steed

We’ll also welcome back guest author and honorary TNA family member Brita Addams

Friday – Today marks author Astrid Amara’s first visit to TNA, as she joins us to talk about her upcoming novel Song of the Navigator

Saturday – And closing out our week, we’ll have author Joel Skelton here to talk about his newest novel Beneath the Palisade: Justice


And that does it for another fun-filled week. Until next time, happy reading!

4 Stars, Lex Valentine, Reviewed by Jackie, VJ Summers, Winterheart Books

Two Men Fight Attraction And Prejudice In Lex Valentine And VJ Summers’ “Partners” – Reviewed by Jackie

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” – Nelson Mandela

Title: Partners (Shadows & Kink #1)

Author: Lex Valentine and VJ Summers

Publisher: Winterheart Books

Pages/Word Count: 100 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: TDA agents Travis Wilder and Ian Hawke are fuck ups. As members of a covert organization that battles terrorism in a world that’s lost its political, economic and social infrastructure, their job is to find and neutralize dangerous terrorists. But neither Travis nor Ian have been able to complete a mission successfully in recent months. Travis kills his targets while Ian beds his. In an effort to save his two best agents, their handler makes them partners.
Continue reading

RainbowCon, VJ Summers

It’s Another Countdown To RainbowCon Visit – Welcome VJ Summers

So. What happens when you take an ornery box of novelty bubbles and add one less than coordinated author working past her bedtime? Major boo-boo’s, that’s what! But not even a slight concussion can dim my excitement about RainbowCon – and about the fantastic new book I have coming out with the extremely talented Lex Valentine just in time for RainbowCon!

When Lex approached me at the beginning of the year with the idea for a co-written serial, set in a dystopian America where the war between the “haves” and “have nots” has turned literal, I got excited. When she mentioned she’d like to write about James Bond-esque heroes, I got even more excited. Then she added the magic “word” BDSM, and I was SO there, you have no idea!

So, coming to an e-reader near you, mid-April (this’ll probably be on me – my head incident has me a week behind on everything…) is Partners, Book 1 in the Shadows & Kink world. I hope you will all love it as much as Lex and I do! AND I really hope you’ll come see me at RainbowCon – get some novelty bubbles (I promise, the blood was only on the outside of the one box, and I didn’t use that one!), check out one of my other M/M titles (I’ll have coupon-codes so you can purchase the ebook from me and download directly from Ellora’s Cave – how cool is that?), and get the chance to pick up all sorts of cool, fun stuff!

In the meantime, check out our boys, Ian and Travis. They. Are. Awesome!


TDA agents Travis Wilder and Ian Hawke are fuck ups. As members of an elite agency that battles terrorism in a world that has lost its political, economic and even social infrastructre, the agents are highly trained to find and neutralize dangerous terrorists. But neither Travis nor Ian have been able to complete a mission successfully in recent months. Travis has a penchant for killing his targets while Ian beds them. In an effort to save his two best agents, their handler makes them partners. However, making these two men live and work together forces issues from their pasts to the surface.

Ian, with his upper-crust British accent and flirty behavior is everything that attracts Travis and repels him at the same time. For Ian, the taciturn, domineering former Force Recon officer represents a temptation he knows better than to succumb to. But working and living together builds a unique bond between the two. As sexual tension spirals higher between them, as their secrets and kinks are revealed, their need for each other becomes undeniable. They’re two broken men forced into a partnership neither of them wanted…a partnership guaranteed to be their salvation or their destruction.


(Highly UN-edited, so bear with me)
Coming off a less than stellar mission, Travis finds Agent Ian Hawke, lying in wait for him. His first impression is less than fantastic.

The locker room at the gym stood empty. Travis smiled a little. Nothing like the dinner hour to clear a building of his gossipy co-workers. He stripped off his clothes, stuffed them into a plastic laundry bag and shoved them into a corner of his duffle. Stepping into the hot water he showered off the grime and blood of the botched mission, but not the wary sense that this third mistake would cost him. The tension in his gut tightened. He shut off the water and a sound so slight he might have imagined it had his SIG in his hand in a split second, the barrel poking around the tiled corner.

A man in a tuxedo stood there, one dark brow cocked up as his gaze slid with obvious admiration over Travis’ naked, wet body.

“Well, when Harris sends me to do his dirty work, the view isn’t usually this fascinating,” he murmured in a cultured British accent.

The accent gave him away. Travis knew of only one operative who had one. He’d never met or seen the guy, but he’d heard the gossip, just like he’d heard the gossip about himself. Ian Hawke had had a run of bad luck missions just like Travis, only in Ian’s case he wasn’t killing his targets. He’d been sleeping with them.

Travis didn’t believe in keeping your friends close and your enemies closer. He had a limited supply of friends and family and he distanced himself from them because of his enemies. His enemies…well, the truth of the matter was, he figured he had too many of those to keep tabs on. He just generally subscribed to the idea that anyone could be out to get him and he never let down his guard. The shrinks at TDA had labeled him as paranoid. He considered that a good call on their part. He couldn’t fathom sleeping with a target the way Ian did. His paranoia wouldn’t allow him to get that physically close unless it was to kill.

“I thought I was in trouble when Harris sent me to find you, but instead I’m getting a reward.”

The husky, flirty sound of Ian’s voice sent an unwanted frisson of awareness down Travis’ spine. It had been a long time since anyone had made his libido stand up and take notice. He didn’t appreciate it noticing an operative with a rep for fucking anything that moved.

Grabbing his towel, he wrapped it around his waist without setting down his gun. He stalked to his duffle to dry off and get dressed, completely ignoring Ian’s admiring gaze and his flirty comments, but not turning his back on the guy either. His SIG stayed within easy reach and he knew Ian had noticed. Not that he cared. He didn’t trust anyone including a fellow operative.

By the time he buttoned his fly, Ian had come closer. Under the guise of tying the laces on his boots, Travis snuck a good look at the other operative. At first glance, he’d seemed almost slender and on the small side, but looks could be deceiving.

Travis held back a snort at thinking of the guy as smaller, but in the context of Travis’s six foot four-inch fame, most men were smaller. However, Ian Hawke stood at least six feet tall which couldn’t be mistaken as small by any stretch of the imagination. The illusion of being much smaller came from his build. Ian had the lean build of a swimmer. He moved with a liquid grace that Travis had only ever seen a gymnast or ballet dancer exhibit. The cut of his tuxedo screamed designer label, custom tailored, and Travis knew it hid the other man’s muscle and strength.

With his flirty demeanor and pale eyes filled with what could only be termed a hot expression, the man broadcasted his sexuality loud and clear. Not that Travis had any objection to the Brit being gay. He swung that way himself with a one notable caveat. Besides being gay, Travis had a penchant for leather.

Unable to stop himself, he quickly glanced at Ian’s crotch. Standing with his hands thrust deep into his pockets, the black material of his trousers stretched over a prominent bulge that Travis found he couldn’t ignore. Not that he let on to Ian that he’d been looking. The untangling of a stubborn lace gave him a great cover.

When he finally stood and jerked a thermal Henley shirt over his head, Travis discovered that Ian’s bottom lip had taken up residence between white, even teeth. A slight flush stained the other man’s cheekbones too. Somehow, Travis had the notion that Ian could have controlled his reactions better if he’d wanted or needed to. Why the man had chosen to show Travis what appeared to be a genuine appreciation for Travis’s body was anyone’s guess. But Travis didn’t deal in guesswork. He dealt in absolutes.

“You said Harris wanted to see me?” he asked, his voice gruff as he hid his own untoward interest in the other operative.

Broad shoulders shrugged, the movement slow and refined. “I didn’t. I said he sent me to find you. However, it appears I now owe him one.”

Travis drew a breath and counted silently to ten. He might find himself inexplicably attracted to Ian Hawke, but he wasn’t about to let the guy know that, not when he couldn’t even get a straight answer out of him.

“Did Harris send you to find me because he wants to see me?” Travis tried to hide his annoyance but the effort was token at best.

Ian’s dark brows rose. Travis tried not to think what a great contrast the man’s pale skin made with his swathe of dark hair.

“He wants to see both of us. I know why he’s requesting your presence in his office. I was with him when he viewed the feed of the mission you just completed.”

Ian’s impressions of Travis are a little more favorable…

Their evaluation in hand to hand combat was…interesting.

Roven had decided to test them individually before setting them loose on each other. Travis went first, to Ian’s eternal gratitude. He needed some time to drag his mind back from the fucking unnecessary guided meditation.

Travis proved to be a more than competent fighter. He met Roven’s basic boxing moves cleanly, and even showed more than a bit of ability to improvise when the trainer started to ignore the rules of polite combat. Ian heartily approved because, if he or Travis ever found themselves in a situation where physical combat was necessary, he sincerely doubted their opponents would be concerned with fighting fair.

Travis’ technique was all clean lines and efficient movements. Economical. There was a kind of stark grace to it that Ian couldn’t help but appreciate. The gleam of sweat on Travis’ shoulders and the way his tense body accentuated every curve of muscle didn’t hurt, either. And it was a brilliant distraction from the hissing that had started in the back of his brain during his meditation.

So, yeah. He wouldn’t bitch too badly about letting Travis have his back. Particularly since it was day one of their training, and he expected the Cowboy would rapidly improve with the intensive practice.

Then it was Ian’s turn. He’d thought he’d gotten himself back under control. He’d thought he’d purged all memories of poor, virginal Del from his mind. He’d been ready to face the trainer right up until the man opened his mouth.

“So, I’m not sure if you just had the most successful meditation I’ve ever seen, or the least.”

Ian blinked—the only outward reaction he’d allow himself— and cocked his head questioningly.

Roven paused in his emotional torture to inflict a little physical irritation, checking Ian’s impact helmet and the tape on his knuckles before speaking again.

“I’ve just never seen someone come through the entire thing so tense. You were practically vibrating there at the end.”

“I’m not a particularly introspective man,” he answered, lifting his hands for the customary fist bump before they started.

Rovan shrugged and took up a defensive stance. “If you say so, Hawke. You looked pretty deep under to me, though. Deep under something not so nice.”

Later, Ian wouldn’t be able to explain why those words tripped the trigger they did, but by the time he and Roven were done sparring, he was drenched in sweat, dripping blood from a gash over his eyebrow and a split lip, and ridiculously thankful that the physical pain was helping to relieve some of the emotional crap floating around in his head now. Each drop of blood seemed to drain a drop of tension, of poison, from his body.

He looked bad by the end of the match, no denying that. But, to his infinite satisfaction, so did the trainer.

“Feeling better now?” Roven asked, swiping his bloody chin with the back of his hand.

Yes? No? He couldn’t say it was “better”, but Ian was feeling something. He didn’t know whether to be grateful that he still had the ability to feel, or pissed that he was still not the perfect fighting machine.

“Okay,” Roven said, after indulging in a long, searching look into Ian’s eyes. “You both clearly know your way around a fight, but at this point I don’t think you’re equally matched. So, tomorrow after meditation I’m going to set you up on some equipment first.” He gave Ian a look. “Give you the chance to work off some frustration, then see what happens when you spar against each other.”


Ian went out that night.

He smiled politely when Travis mentioned dinner, declined, and locked himself in his room until it was late enough to hit Hasteings without being unfashionably early. When he emerged, wrapped in black leather, mascaraed and be-glittered Travis was, oddly enough, planted in front of the ridiculously large television…playing a first-person shooter video game.

“Don’t you get enough of that in real life?”

Travis looked up and Ian had the pleasure of watching the man’s eyes go wide, then wider, as they took in his club gear. He shook his head, and those full, tempting lips flattened in what could only be a disapproving line.

“Mindless, harmless fun, Hawke. We all need some of that.”

“Indeed we do, Cowboy.” Oh, the man did not like that nickname if the narrowing of his eyes was anything to go by. “In fact,” he hurried on, moving toward the door, “I’m off for some mindless fun right now.”

He paused and gave Travis another long look. Faded jeans worn almost white at the seams hugged thick thighs and cupped a promising bulge between them. An even more faded olive drab t-shirt strained against the width of his shoulders and chest, while falling looser around his waist.

He wouldn’t fit in at all, still…

“You could join me.”

Now Travis’ eyes went so wide they reminded Ian of a cartoon character. And, honestly, he didn’t want Travis to come—at least, he didn’t think he did—so there was no way he was disappointed when the Cowboy wordlessly shook his head no.

“Ah, well, then. Don’t wait up.” With a cheery, if somewhat phony, smile, Ian slipped through the door and away from the ambiguous lure of a night at home with his…roommate.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: When not working the EDJfH (Evil Day Job from Hell), obsessing over whether her parents are getting enough to eat, obsessing that her kid is sexting the boyfriend, making coffee, drinking coffee, or feeding the two cats who allow her to live with them, VJ can be found reading or writing erotic romance – either solo as m/m author VJ Summers, or as the short half of the “Violet Summers” writing team (the tall half is Sierra Summers). You can find her books at Changeling, Phaze, Liquid Silver and Ellora’s Cave.

You can find VJ Summers on her Blog, Facebook, and Twitter

Ellora's Cave, Extasy Books, VJ Summers

Birthmas? It’s The Way VJ Summers Celebrates The Holidays, And She Wants To Give You A Gift

I’m a Christmas baby, kinda. Kinda a New Year’s baby, too. I was born on December 29th, and like many holiday babies, this caused issues in the gift department. Not that I could blame anyone in the family. Insult to injury, my oldest sister decided to get married on December 27th! How was that fair?

My sisters are both MUCH older than I, enough that, by the time I was old enough to realize I was Birthday-Impaired, they were popping out babies of their own, and there wasn’t spare cash for two gifts in one week’s time. Woe was me. Woe, woe, woe.

So, the year I turned six (my first year as Auntie VJ), my mom created a tradition for us. Each day between Christmas and my birthday I got a small, usually inexpensive and novelty, gift. We called it “Birthmas”, and it was wonderful. I looked forward to those little presents, not because they were all expensive and extravagant — Lord knows they weren’t (favorite Birthmas gifts included a set of “glam color” Sharpies, a collection of embroidery floss in holiday colors, and a bottle of neon green nail polish). No, I looked forward to them because they were concrete evidence that in spite of all the holiday hoopla my birthday wasn’t forgotten.

Insecure much? Well, yeah. But there were some years when I really needed to feel like my birth was something to celebrate and not lament. (To which I can add, “drama much?” Well, duh!)

My mom continued Birthmas until I was well into my thirties. In fact, I was thirty-eight the last year we had Birthmas, and the only reason we don’t do it now is because Alzheimer’s has stolen the memory of it from her. That said, for a couple years even after Mom couldn’t do it, #1 Sister sent me email Birthmas. Probably because she felt guilty for plopping her wedding right in the middle of my birthday week!

I was a lucky holiday baby. No, I’ve never gotten two big, extravagant gifts within a week of each other, but I’ve got a family that goes out of their way to remind me I’m special and loved.

That, in my opinion, is the true spirit of Christmas, and the true meaning of birthday celebrations.


The Giveaway:



Santa Claus Is Coming Blurb: T’was the Night After Christmas:

It’s the night after Christmas and all Santa wants is a drink, a shower, and a long winter’s nap. When he stops into his favorite bar to unwind, one look at the live entertainment has him adding a little stress relief to his post-Christmas wish list. Luckily, lounge singer and drag queen extraordinaire Chimera is more than willing to get right to work on that!


Santa Claus is Coming Excerpt:

Niklaus Kristofer Kringle was not a fat jolly old elf. Well, old, maybe. He’d stopped counting after the big five-oh-oh. But definitely not fat. Assuredly not jolly. He was also most emphatically not a Saint.

Where people got the idea he was fat and jolly was beyond him. Yeah, at one point he’d dressed in fur, which had, admittedly, made him look a bit…fluffy. Hell, for centuries it was the warmest garb available. But, shit. He’d been wearing polar fleece for decades. Nik scrubbed his hands over his face, trying to rub away some of his fatigue.

Not fat. Not jolly. Not a fucking Saint.

What he was, was tired, jet-lagged and cranky. When he walked into the North Pole’s dirtiest dive, Santa’s Workshop, pretty much all he wanted in the world was a drink, a shower, and a long winter’s nap. Preferably with a good hard fuck thrown in there somewhere. Just to help him unwind.

The bar was the next thing to empty. Most of his minions, er, helpers, were either sleeping off nearly forty-eight hours straight of non-stop work—being an “elf” was a lot of hurry-up-wait-hurry-the-fuck-up-you-moron—or sleeping off a shot or ten celebrating the end of forty-eight hours of non-stop work.

Nik slumped at the bar and ordered whisky, neat. Forty-eight hours really wasn’t that bad. He remembered when it had been a week and a couple favors from Father Time to get his shit all done on Christmas Eve. The advent of internet shopping had cut his workload nearly in half, thank God.

He looked up in surprise when the classic rock on the radio cut off, and the lights dimmed. When the strains of jazzy string instruments replaced the growly vocals of the Boss, he shot an incredulous look toward the elf manning the bar.

Joe, the ubiquitous overweight, under-washed bartender, shrugged. “Owners wanted to class up the joint.” He gestured toward the small stage area on the other side of the small dance floor. “Chimera there’s our latest attraction.”

Nik noticed that the few people who’d clustered at the bar were drifting toward the stage, where a slender woman stood silhouetted against a gold spotlight. Brightly colored Christmas lights created a merry, twinkling frame and the over-all effect was dramatic.


Even more striking when the lighting changed and the singer was finally fully revealed.

Red hair, several shades darker than Nik’s own ginger spikes, tumbled to curl teasingly around pale, silky looking skin left bare by the off-the-shoulder ruby velvet dress. The contrast of ruby hair and ruby dress made her skin glow like a pearl.

She was tall for a woman. In her glittery red stilettos with silver metal heels, she was probably only a few inches less than his own six-five. And slim. Willowy, even. Her crimson dress clung from shoulders to mid-thigh, emphasizing the almost boyish lines of her body. Nik narrowed his eyes, looked closer at the rounded muscles of her shoulders, the nearly smooth line of her dress across her chest.

Not almost boyish. Chimera, The Workshop’s claim to class, was definitely male. Nik’s prick perked up.

Then he (She? Was that the proper pronoun while the performer was in drag?) began to sing, and all thoughts of male or female, classy or crass, fled his mind in a rush of goose-flesh.

That voice was, in a word, oh-holy-fuck.

Chimera made love to the microphone, the song, her (His? Did it even matter?) audience. Delicate hands cupped the mic. Long, graceful fingers tipped with long, scarlet nails traced sinuous lines over the mic stand.

Nik—and, undoubtedly every other elf in the room—was caught in the vision of those hands, those fingers, tracing something a lot warmer and thicker. Like his cock.

Chimera continued to weave a spell with music and lyrics, and Nik felt his exhaustion fade. Every word, every note was another teasing stroke of his flesh. Every dramatic pause a caress of his increasingly hard and aching dick. When the singer sent a sultry, teasing glance in his direction and started a very suggestive rendition of “Santa Baby”, it was all Nik could do to keep from storming the stage and dragging her (While the dress was on and the hips had that shimmy, Nik decided, Chimera was definitely a her.) off to his lair. But, dammit, he was The Santa. He wasn’t going panting after a lounge singer, no matter how magical, like a common elf. Even if his dick was screaming for him to do so.

There was no doubt she was singing directly to him. Wide, dark eyes conveyed total sincerity when she insisted she’d been an awfully good girl, but the kittenish way her lips curved when she invited him to hurry down her chimney suggested she’d rather he hurry up something entirely different. Yeah, Chimera so belonged on the Naughty List, in all the best ways.

By the time she’d finished her set, pretty much everyone else in the bar had gravitated to the tables closest to the stage, and Nik was about on hard stroke away from coming in his ski pants. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been so horny. If the glances she’d been sending him through her last few songs were anything to go by, Chimera was plenty turned on, too.

He was the only elf who didn’t crowd the stage to applaud and loudly offer praise, drinks, or whatever the hell she wanted if she’d just give him a little time, a little attention. Still, he wasn’t in the least surprised when she slid onto the barstool next to him, crossing her legs with a whisper of silken stockings.

She leaned toward him, and her scent teased him even over the stale smell of smoke and the tang of spilled alcohol. She smelled as good as she looked. A faint hint of evergreen, overlaid by vanilla and spice and everything wonderful about the holidays.

“Buy a girl a drink?” Her speaking voice was as alluring as her singing voice, as alluring as every fucking thing about her. Nik, however, was The Santa, and he’d be damned if he let her turn him into a babbling fool so easily.

Not that he’d ever admit how close she had him to babbling fool. And how easily.

“Not interested in girls,” he replied, leaning on an elbow he’d propped on the sticky bar. She raised one brow and the corner of her glossy red lips quirked. “I will, however, buy you a drink, Sweetheart.”


Author Bio:

Unshackled from the Evil Day Job from Hell, VJ can now be found obsessing over whether her parents are getting enough to eat, obsessing that the kid is sexting the boyfriend, making coffee, drinking coffee, feeding the cats who allow her to live with them, or reading and writing erotic romance – either solo as m/m author VJ Summers, or as the shorter, quieter half of the “Violet Summers” writing team.

VJ loves to hear from readers! Email Her, and visit Her Blog, or find her on Facebook – she needs all the friends she can get!

Leta Blake, Reesa Herberth, Rhys Ford, Riptide Publishing, Storm Moon Press, VJ Summers

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

It’s hard to imagine in just a couple of days, we’ll be ringing out the old year and welcoming in the new. It’s a clean slate we get every 365 days, a chance to start over and anticipate new possibilities, so here’s hoping your 2014 is filled with lots of joy and the gift of peace.

We’ve got a great week ahead of us as we play catch up on reviews, welcome some great authors, and usher in the New Year with a few giveaways!

MondayRhys Ford is with us today with her latest novel Fish and Ghosts, and there’s a one-of-a-kind giveaway you won’t want to miss.

Tuesday – Happy New Year! The TNA Team has selected our Top Books of 2013, so we’ll not only be listing those, but we’ll also be offering a giveaway to one lucky reader.

WednesdayRiptide Publishing presents the Reesa Herberth In Discretion Blog Tour, so you’ll want to stay tuned for what they have in store.

ThursdayStorm Moon Press is here today to kick off the first of its three 4th Anniversary Blog Tour guest spots.

FridayVJ Summers is our guest today with something that’s sure to be a little entertaining and a lot smexy.

SaturdayLeta Blake visits today with her latest novel Training Season, and she’s also offering a giveaway of the book, so be sure to stop in and say hi.

SundayPhillip MacKenzie Jr. is with us today with an interview and excerpt from his new anthology Bite the Pillow: Six on Sex.

And that’s it for another week. Until next Sunday, happy reading!