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
You're Always in the Last Place You Look by T.N. Gates
Zenith by Arshad Ahsanuddin
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Today excerpts are:
They lay on their backs, exhausted from their last tidal wave of lovemaking, and looked up at the knotted-pine beamed ceiling of their cabin near Felton, a small mountain town twenty minutes from the coastal city of Santa Cruz.
“Wow,” Charley sighed.
“Definitely wow,” Savarna exclaimed. “Those beams are amazing!”
“I know,” Savarna giggled. She turned and laid her head on Charley’s shoulder. “I was just kidding.”
“You coyote you,” Charley said. She ran her hand down Savarna’s spine and started to tickle her rib cage. “Always a jokester.”
“Hardly always,” she replied. She moved on top of Charley and held down her hands.
“I give. You can have me.”
“I just did,” Savarna smiled, then kissed Charley’s lips. She inhaled the familiar scent. “You taste like me.”
“I hope so, considering where I’ve been.”
“Was it good?”
“It was very good,” Charley grinned, just before kissing Savarna again. “How’d I get so lucky?”
“It wasn’t luck, my dear,” Savarna replied and laid her head on Charley’s chest. “It was choice, and I have good taste.”
The rose-patterned gauze curtains fluttered as a slight breeze made its way through the open window. Small animal feet could be heard making their way through the ferns outside: a raccoon looking for dinner.
Then Savarna’s attention was drawn back to Charley. She noticed her breath was shallower and her chest had tightened.
“What is it?”
“What are you thinking?”
“You’re the worst liar I’ve ever known. Out with it.”
Savarna turned on her side, propping her head up on her hand. “You’re still seeing Magdalena aren’t you?”
“Yeah. That’s no secret. Is there a problem with that?”
“It’s no problem for me, but I think it may be for you.”
Kyle felt a strong urge to run his fingers along that patch of stomach and slide his hands up under the shirt.
“I think I’m starting to get an idea what turns you on,” he said hoarsely. “I mean, it’s been a while, and I’m pretty rusty at this, but... you’re flirting with me, right?”
Jesse laughed, and for a moment Kyle was afraid he’d call him an idiot and tell him he was flattering himself. But he didn’t. “You want me to back off?”
“I already told you I used to be married. To a woman.” Then, in case that didn’t get the point across, he added, “Happily.”
“It was very sweet. She was a lucky woman to find a man who loved her so much.”
“Doesn’t that make me off-limits?”
“You’re bi. You already told me that.”
Kyle nodded. “But I’m still... not really over it.”
“I’m flirting with you,” Jesse said, “because I’ve been getting the feeling you’re attracted to me. All you have to do is say, ‘Not interested.’”
Kyle looked deep into those beautiful brown eyes and tried to find the words to tell Jesse to back off. He didn’t need some cocky punk tagging along after him. But there was no way in hell he could lie to Jesse about how strongly he was attracted to him. While he leaned over the young man, struggling, Jesse lifted his arms and wrapped them around Kyle’s back. Then he gently pulled Kyle down on top of him until their lips met.
It had been a long time since Kyle last kissed anyone in passion. In the back of his mind, he’d always thought he’d hate it, that it would never feel right to kiss another person. But he’d been wrong. He didn’t want to compare kissing Jesse to what it had been like to kiss Julie—that wasn’t fair to either of them. But he found he didn’t have to because they were so different.
Kissing Jesse was like nothing he’d ever experienced before—rough in places, as he’d fantasized it would be like to kiss a man, but surprisingly soft and warm and yielding when it needed to be. Jesse’s lips were amazing, and the taste of him was clean and delicate. Kyle couldn’t stop himself from plunging his tongue into the depths of Jesse’s mouth, yearning for more.
Pyotr grabbed his coat and headed out of his office, letting Mary at the front desk know he had a family emergency, and have his patients reschedule. He took off across town toward the Cambridge Hospital, only to be told the two had taken off on foot.
Driving down street after street, Pyotr called Cliff’s phone again, but still no answer. Pyotr sat at the red light, staring down the street, trying to keep his own emotions in line. Where had they gone? He scrubbed down his face, fretting over his lover and the turmoil that would be consuming Cliff. A car horn behind him, rudely brought Pyotr back to the present and to the green light staring back at him. Ignoring both, Pyotr opened his phone, and did what he promised never to do. He intervened and called Kimmi.
The phone rang several times until a bright cheery voice answered with automation: “Hi, this is Kimmi Patterson. Sorry I missed the chance to chat so leave a message so I can hit cha back.”
“Kimmi, please tell me where I can find you.” And he hung up. A cacophony of blasting, blaring horns rioted up behind him, so he stomped the gas and took off. Turning the car towards home, Pyotr made his way along the streets of Manhattan, eyes scanning for any sign of Cliff and Kimmi.
He was about to take the ramp back over to Long Island when his phone beeped with a text message. It was Kimmi.
— Near the boat house. —
Pyotr quickly cut the wheel and kept heading down FDR drive. He felt the weight lift from his chest when he spotted them heading across Macombs Bridge. Kimmi tucked under her brother’s arm, snuggling into his warmth. The commuter traffic was too heavy by now for Pyotr to even consider stopping on the bridge, though he tapped the brakes a few times seriously thinking about it, but as he passed the two on the side walk, he saw the tension biting down in Cliff’s face. The hard marching walk in the cold was what his lover needed; so, Pyotr continued past them, and pulled into the empty lot of the Macombs Dam Park. The very same place he caught up with Cliff and Kimmi after the two had come out to see him rowing. It was the night he and Cliff made love for the first time.
There was some reason Cliff needed to come full circle. But, even with all of Pyotr’s knowledge, he wasn’t sure what had led his lover to come to this spot. It wasn’t along the way home.
He stood at the edge of the park waiting as Cliff and Kimmi approached, Cliff’s face growing tense with every step that brought him closer. The threads, Pyotr knew would have to come undone at some point, were about to snap.
Cliff reached the edge and stopped abruptly, just staring at Pyotr. His jaw clenched, tightening, his brow furrowed with pain barely contained.
“No!” Cliff suddenly shouted, “I don’t want to be consoled. I don’t want to be told we’ll get through this! Don’t do what they do.”
“What is it they do, Cliff?”
“Tell me it’s going to be okay. That’s what they do.” Cliff shook his head furiously, “Don’t tell me that. Because it’s not going to be.”
“I won’t. I just want you to know I’m here for you. I’m here for you both.”
Cliff sucked in a breath as if he intended to say something, but the act nearly cost him his control, and his mouth clamped shut. His eyes went to the sky, a winter sky as grey and forlorn as his eyes. They’d always been that way until recently. What worried Pyotr most was Kimmi’s, for the first time, matched her brother’s. Neither of the two was expecting this round to end well.
Tears pooled in Cliff’s eyes, but Pyotr’s lover’s wiped them away with the back of his coat sleeve before they could fall. “I can’t do this, Pyotr.” Cliff nearly pleaded for the escape.
“Then we do it together.” Pyotr took a step back and to the side, a gesture that both didn’t close in on him, but also opened the path for Cliff to follow, and he did. Pyotr knew Cliff needed to expel some energy, walking him through the park would help with that. But, they didn’t make it far when Cliff stopped at one of the pavilions and decided to take his rage out on a picnic table.
~ * ~
Kimmi knew where her brother’s thoughts were. It wasn’t fair; getting sick so many times, to survive not just once but twice, only to get sick again. She watched as Cliff began dismantling a table, then she turned and wandered off toward the water. She sat on the sea wall, still watching her brother rage back and forth, pacing while Pyotr tried to console him. She couldn’t stop the tears which made the cold, winter air much worse. Her sniffling nose didn’t help either. She was on that cusp of self-pity, but what was worse was that she had ruined her brother’s life. Not on purpose, but that didn’t change the fact Cliff had given up nearly everything to take care of her. It was only of some comfort that he enjoyed being a paramedic now. And then they found Pyotr. Pyotr was wonderful. Though, she couldn’t help worry that her latest diagnosis might hinder that as well.
She glanced down at the water as it raced by. There was a loud clatter of noise and she snapped around to see one of the park’s trashcans go flying across the lawn, then Cliff bolted after to give it another good kick. He liked kicking and throwing when he needed to get the anger out. And then there was Pyotr, watching over him like a guardian angel.
She jumped off the wall and walked along for a moment, taking an occasional glance over her shoulder. By the time Kimmi had worked her way down the sea wall to the boat launch, Pyotr had her brother tightly wrapped in his arms, bringing the physical rage to a halt. She stood there just staring for a long pause, then took a deep breath, turned and went down the steps to the boat launch for the kayakers. She held steady to the rail, careful not to slip on the icy sludge that coated the concrete ramp. She paused, glancing back over her shoulder careening up on her toes to see over the top step, watching Pyotr and Cliff sitting under one of the far pavilions where Pyotr had finally gotten Cliff talking rather than screaming. Good.
She turned back to the water that swirled around, ready to whisk her away, just like a kayak or a canoe. Her thoughts sank into its liquid motion while she still held fast to the rail, staring into the clear water to the silt bottom and slowly without thought kicked off her boots and stepped in.
“While it is always a delight to see you, Marco, you do not usually bestir yourself this early in the day,” Jack said. There was a slight crease between his eyes as he gazed at Marco. “What’s wrong?”
Marco shrugged slightly. “It is probably nothing,” he said. “It is merely that there has been an Englishman in the city the last week or so who has been most insistent upon finding Perry. Several people have mentioned it to me, for he has importuned many with his impertinent questioning. I wished to warn you so you are not taken unawares, as I know your arrangement would not be tolerated in England.”
“For me?” Perry stared at Marco, surprised. “But who could—”
“Perhaps you will find your answer by looking at the post that was awaiting our return,” Jack said, and there was the suspicion of a snap in his voice.
“Of course.” Heat rose in Perry’s cheeks at being so foolish, and Jack came over to him, sliding his arms around his waist and kissing Perry’s ear in apology as Perry looked through the small bundle of papers that the doorman had passed to them yesterday as he had welcomed them on their return. Jack had set them to one side in his hurry to ready themselves for the palazzo. Perry saw another letter from his mother, which he instantly wished to read, but knew he could not in front of Jack. And then all of the letters and invitations dropped to the floor unheeded from his hand as he found the visiting card that had been left.
“Viscount Bullingdon?” Jack asked, reading the flowing black script over his shoulder. “Who is that?”
“It’s Gilbert.” Perry’s lips were numb as he stumbled over the words. “Gilbert is in Venice.”
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