If at the end of the treasure hunt there will be still unmatched excerpts the giveaway will go to the one who matched more books.
The books are:
A Hunted Man by Jaime Reese
A Kingdom Lost by Barbara Ann Wright
A Place for Cliff by Talon ps
A Special Kind of Folk by Barry Brennessel
About Face by VK Powell
Ancient House of Cards by Bryan T. Clark
Another Healing by M. Raiya
Antidote by Jack L. Pyke
Because of Jade by Lou Sylvre
Beloved Pilgrim by Christopher Hawthorne Moss
Better Than Friends by Lane Hayes
Bird of Paradise by G.J. Paterson
Bite of the Recluse by Azalea Moone & Anais Morgan
Bonds of Denial by Lynda Aicher
Brokenhearted by Cate Ashwood
Camellia by Caitlin Ricci & Cari Z.
Carnal Sacraments by Perry Brass
Caught! By JL Merrow
Chasing the Dragon by Kate Sherwood
Chip off the Ice Block Murder by Jessie Chandler
Clean Slate by Andrea Bramhall
Corruption by Eden Winters
Desire at Dawn by Fiona Zedde
Dirty Beautiful Words by Brooklyn Brayl
Dissonance by Shira Anthony
Dudek by Taylor James
Educating Simon by Robin Reardon
Fight by Kelly Wyre
Filthy Acquisitions by Edmond Manning
Firestorm by Rory Ni Coileain
Forever Hold His Peace by Rebecca Cohen
Forgive Us by Lynn Kelling
Fractured by Mickie B. Ashling
Freak Camp: Posts From a Previously Normal Girl by Jessica V. Barnett
FutureDyke by Lea Daley
Games Boys Play by Zoe X. Rider
Gathering Storm by Alexa Land
Gin & Jazz 1- 4 (4 novellas: Hollywood Bound, Razzle Dazzle, Tarnished Glitter and Starring Role) by Morticia Knight
Girls Don't Hit by Geonn Cannon
Great Pleasures by Edward Southgate
Greg Honey by Russ Gregory
Happy Independence Day by Michael Rupured
Hard Pressed by Sharon Maria Bidwell
Hell & High Water (THIRDS, Book #1) by Charlie Cochet
Highfell Grimoires by Langley Hyde
His Fair Lady by Kimberly Gardner
Hoaley Inexplicable by Declan Sands
How Still My Love by Diane Marina
Hungry for Love by Rick R. Reed
If I Die Before I Wake by Liz McMullen
If We Shadows by D.E. Atwood
Ink & Flowers by J.K. Pendragon
It's Like This by Anne O'Gleadra
Lab Rat's Love by Ana J. Phoenix
Lesbian Crushes at School: A Diary on Growing Up Gay in the Eighties by Natasha Holme
Let the Lover Be by Sheree L. Greer
Like Jazz by Heather Blackmore
Love and Salvage: Loving Emmett by Mathew Ortiz
Love Is A Stranger by John Wiltshire
Love You Forever by Amelia Bishop
Lovers and Liars by Paul Alan Fahey
Mark of Cain by Kate Sherwood
Masquerade by Joy Lynn Fielding
Measure of Peace by Caethes Faron
Mirage by Tia Fielding
More Than Everything by Cardeno C.
Motel. Pool. By Kim Fielding
Murder and the Hurdy Gurdy Girl by Kate McLachlan
Murder on the Mountain by Jamie Fessenden
My Brother's Lover by Lynn Kelling
Nightingale by Andrea Bramhall
No Angel by Clare London
Omorphi by C. Kennedy
On Archimedes Street by Jefferson Parrish
Paradise at Main and Elm by Barry Brennessel
Paris Connection by J.P. Bowie
Passage by Evey Brett
Pick Up the Pieces by Tinnean
Piper by Leona Carver
Rapture, Sins of the Sinners by Fran Heckrotte & A.C. Henley
Rarely Pure and Never Simple by Angel Martinez
Rasputin's Kiss by L.M. Somerton
Rest Home Runaways by Clifford Henderson
Resurrection Man by K.Z. Snow
Return of an Impetuous Pilot by Kate McLachlan
Rocky Mountain Freedom by Vivian Arend
Running Through A Dark Place by Michael J. Bowler
Saving Liam by DP Denman
Serpentine Walls by CJane Elliott
Shades of Sepia by Anne Barwell
Shameful Desires 3: Unbound by P.J. Proud
Shirewode by J Tullos Hennig
Silent by Sara Alva
Slide by Garrett Leigh
Something Like Spring by Jay Bell
Splinters by Thorny Sterling
Stitch by Eli Easton, Sue Brown, Jamie Fessenden & Kim Fielding
Summerville by H.L. Sudler
The 42nd Street Jerking-off Club by Mykola Dementiuk
The Calm Before by Neena Jaydon
The Dead Past by Kate Aaron
The Empath by Jody Klaire
The Engineered Throne by Megan Derr
The Family We Make by Kaje Harper
The Genealogy of Understanding by Daniel M. Jaffe
The House on Hancock Hill by Indra Vaughn
The Last Conception by Gabriel Constans
The Line by J.D. Horn
The Mating of Michael by Eli Easton
The Memory of Blood & Lotuses by E.E. Ottoman
The Opera House by Hans M. Hirschi
The River Within by Baxter Clare Trautman
The Seventh Pleiade by Andrew J. Peters
The Thief Taker by William Holden
This Is Not a Love Story by Suki Fleet
Tournament of Shadows by S.A. Meade
True Stories Too: People and Places From My Past by Felice Picano
Turnbull House by Jess Faraday
Zenith by Arshad Ahsanuddin
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Today excerpts are:
I must have dozed for half an hour or so before I felt him get off the bed. I watched him leave the room, naked, and return with the chocolates. We lounged on the sweatsoaked sheets, tasting some of each other in the dark chocolate truffles.
“Champagne truffles,” he said at one point.
I grinned and bit into another one.
There were still a couple of truffles left when he sighed and said that he had something else he needed to do today. I glanced at my watch, which was the only thing I had on: a few minutes before one. Luther didn’t have a champagne stopper, so I made him promise to finish the last of the wine today. He said that would not be a problem.
Fifteen minutes later we were standing just inside his open front door, wrapped in each other’s arms, kissing deeply, when I heard someone gasp.
I pulled away, my empty champagne cooler dangling by its strap from my arm, and saw a young woman at the bottom of the steps that led to Luther’s door. She was around his age, a true blonde, blue eyes, and pink lipstick around the wide open mouth. The look on her face was one of horror.
All three of us were frozen like that for maybe four seconds, before Luther said, “Stephanie. You’re a little early.”
I pulled away from him. “What’s going on?”
Stephanie said, “Yes, Luther, what’s going on? What the fuck is going on?”
It dawned on me suddenly that Luther had arranged two dates for himself today. Me for breakfast, and Stephanie for—what, afternoon delight?
I stared at him, not quite knowing how I felt. “You said you were bisexual. You didn’t say you were—I’m at a loss for words.”
Stephanie was not at a loss. “You bastard!”
“Now, wait just a minute,” Luther protested. “It shouldn’t come as any surprise to either of you that there might be a little crosspollination going on.”
Stephanie was shrieking now. “Crosspollination? Is that what you call this?”
It seemed unlikely that anything good was going to come of this encounter. I said, “He’s all yours, Stephanie.” I walked past her and out towards the street.
Nate shifted himself gingerly, trying not to awaken the guy snoring next to him. He angled his ass to the edge of the bed, on his side, and took in the sleeping stranger’s countenance. He looked to be about forty, with tight dark-brown curls, olive skin that was most likely Mediterranean in origin, and a big nose. His mouth was open, and, judging from his snores, Nate surmised he probably didn’t need to worry about waking him. A line of drool ran from the corner of his mouth down his cheek. The scent of alcohol perfumed the air.
Nate got himself up to a sitting position, casting one more glance over at his latest “relationship.” He had met him the night before at Charlie’s, an unassuming little neighborhood gay bar, still on Capitol Hill but away from its gay epicenter on Broadway. Charlie’s was on Fifteenth Avenue, sandwiched between a coffee shop and a vintage clothing store, just down the street from the Safeway.
Their drunken gazes had connected in the mirror hanging over the bar. Once Nate had sent the guy a beer, it wasn’t long before Nate was following the guy back to this very apartment, a run-down studio in an attic of an old house on Seventeenth.
He couldn’t recall what the guy’s name was, or if, indeed, they had ever exchanged names. It didn’t matter. The guy had fallen asleep with Nate’s mouth on his half-erect cock and had yet to rouse—or become aroused.
Silently, with the grayish light of a summer’s dawn filtering in through half drawn mini-blind slats, Nate dressed, thinking of that old Peggy Lee song, “Is That All There Is?” which pined, in a bluesy way, for something more.
Nate wanted something more. More than one-night stands with strangers. More than online hookups that could sometimes result in good sex, but never went any further. More than a job, even though the one he had helped him pay his share of the expenses on his sister’s town house a couple of miles away. He had yet to share his town house with anyone else. He didn’t know why. His occupation, taken up on a whim, had spiraled out of control, making him someone he didn’t even know, in spite of his success.
But what he really wanted was someone to wake up next to who was not a drunken stranger, sleeping one off.
He hoped to one day wake up to a smile, to familiarity.
He was thirty-four years old, and what did he have to show for it? He lived as a roommate with his sister. His last boyfriend, an English major he was certain he’d spend the rest of his life with, had been when he was in college in Eugene, Oregon. He had a job, but again, it was a secret occupation, and it was kind of an independent contractor sort of thing, so he had no healthcare, retirement plan, or any other benefits. Nor did he have the camaraderie of going into an office, which he imagined would be staffed by a quirky cast of characters akin to the one shown on the TV show, The Office. His love life, such as it was, was a string of men who, while some were hot in bed, were all commitment-phobic.
“What on earth are you thinking, Jack?” They were in Miriam’s office at the medical clinic, and she was clearly torn between confusion, concern, and amusement. “He’s just some street kid? Some stranger?”
“His father saved my life in Korea.”
She shook her head. “No, he didn’t.” She sank down in her desk chair and glanced toward the door. Christian was off giving a urine sample so she’d called Hunter back for a little conversation. “He gave me permission to discuss his case with you,” she said almost primly. She was a decade older than Hunter, fit and strong and beautiful, and they’d spent quite a few nights together before mutually deciding they were better as friends. So she probably did have the right to send him a disapproving glare, but he didn’t really appreciate it anyway. “He needs more help than you can give him. But I’ve called around and there’s no detox spots available for another month and a half; my feeling is that he’ll have drifted off by then, back out of our reach.”
“That seems likely.”
She shrugged. “So possibly you’re his best bet. But I really don’t think he’s your problem, is he?”
“I’m a grown man. I chose my own problems.”
“You create your own problems.”
“I didn’t create this one.”
“No,” she said sadly.
Christian appeared in the doorway then. He was still wearing his own ripped jeans but he’d let Hunter lend him a sweatshirt and he was swimming in the fabric. It made him look even younger and more fragile.
“You want to come in and talk about your options?” Miriam asked.
Christian stepped tentatively into the room and perched on the edge of one of the leather armchairs. He seemed restless; not quite twitchy, but certainly not as relaxed as he’d been the night before. His natural state, or the beginnings of something?
“See,” Agnes said to Eddy. “Told you Shay was here.”
“Eddy cut dark eyes toward Agnes. “I didn’t doubt you, Aggie.” Eddy half-turned and scanned the floor. “But you said she was pulling her hair out, and it looks to me like things are under control. You do have an inclination to exaggerate, ya know.”
Agnes and Eddy were great friends, but they had a tendency to squabble like a couple of thirteen-year-olds. I could tell they were about to launch into a full-tilt bicker fest. I repressed a grin and got ready for the fireworks. It was humorous to watch, at least when their arguments weren’t getting in the way of extricating ourselves from some death-defying situation.
“Pshaw, you old woman,” Agnes said. “I only exaggerate when it doesn’t’ matter. You should’ve seen it in here earlier. Plum crazy, it was.” She squinted at my barkeep counterpart. “Who, may I ask, are you?” Subtlety truly wasn’t one of Agnes’s strengths.
Just like that the bicker fest was derailed.
“Lisa Vecoli,” Lisa answered.
I said, “She’s the one who hauled my keister out of purgatory last night, and she came back today for more fun. She’s either a serious sucker or a deranged do-gooder.”
Lisa gave my hip a friendly nudge. “I’m a sucker for a pretty woman in distress.”
I laughed. “I don’t know about the pretty part, but I was certainly in a hell o f a lot of distress.”
Was Lisa flirting with me? She was a hot little package. Long hair hung in a braid down her back. A white t-shirt stretched tight across her chest, and worn blue jeans hugged her assets. I might have had a spark of interest if my life and heart weren’t so happily enmeshed with JT’s.
Then I recalled why she’d appeared—not as an angel sent from the distillery gods—and thoughts of any potential flirting flew right out the front door. I glanced sideways at Lisa with a curious frown. “Time to ‘fess up. Why are you looking for my dad?”
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