stories in and

Ashthorne by April Yates

In the aftermath of WWI, Adelaide Frost is on the run from a family who do not understand her. Hoping to do some good, she signs up to become a nurse at Ashthorne, a manor house newly designated as a convalescence home for injured soldiers. She quickly falls in love with the owner’s daughter, Evelyn, who hides a warm heart beneath a chilly exterior. But Evelyn has her suspicions about what’s really happening at the hospital, and as Adelaide helps her investigate, it soon becomes apparent that there are more inhabitants residing at Ashthorne than first thought. A romantic Gothic treat perfect for fans of Sarah Waters and The Haunting of Bly Manor


Gerald Poole And The Pirates by Johannes T. Evans

Gerald Poole, a young Englishman, is miserable when he is dispatched abroad aboard a naval vessel, and is reluctantly attended to by the cold and put-upon Lieutenant Jack Wicks - this tense relationship is interrupted and put under pressure when the two are kidnapped by pirates. A novella with a little bit of adventure, M/M/M romance, and queerness in the 18th century Mediterranean! CONTENT THEMES & WARNINGS (POTENTIAL SPOILERS): This story is set at sea in the late 18th century, and throughout there is language and behaviour typical to the period, including racism, homophobia, and ableism throughout, as well as blood and violence. It’s a kidnapping narrative, and therefore consent could be considered coerced, although everybody is enthusiastically consenting. Although there is no label applied due to the period, two protagonists are depicted as ADHD, Gerald Poole and Orion Thwaites.


Heart of Stone by Johannes T. Evans

The year is 1764, and following a glowing recommendation from his last employer, Henry Coffey, vampire, takes on a new personal secretary: young Theophilus Essex. The man is quite unlike any secretary - or any man, for that matter - that Henry has ever met. --- 'Heart of Stone' is a slowly unfolding period romance between a vampire and his inimitably devoted clerk: lushly depicted in flowing, lovingly appended prose, we follow the slow understanding these two men grasp of one another, and the cross of their two worlds into each other's. Henry Coffey, immortal and ever-oscillating between periods of delighted focus upon his current passion project, is charming, witty, and seems utterly incapable of closing his mouth for more than a few moments; in contrast, Theophilus Essex is quiet and keenly focused, adopting an ever-flat affect, but as time goes on, he relaxes in his employer's presence. Craving resounding intimacy but with an ever aware of the polite boundaries for their situation, Coffey and Essex perform a slow dance as they grow closer to one another, and find themselves entangled.


Pulsus Cordis Mei-The Pulse of my Heart (Omnia Vincit Amor Book 3) by Maxime Jaz

For when you breathe, I am your air. For when your heart beats, I am its pulse. For when you are far away, look at our star. When events out of their control split the family apart, Marius, Kyle, and Claudia are challenged beyond belief. In the desperate race for power, their enemies will stop at nothing to ensure they destroy Marius and those he loves. Kyle and Claudia have to navigate treacherous waters in Rome to deal with their adversaries, and separate allies from foes, whereas Marius has his own struggles to deal with, far from his loved ones. As an unexpected and shattering blow leaves them reeling, Kyle has to be stronger than ever before to keep them from sinking into despair. Will their enemies finally shatter the small family, or will their love prevail, and conquer all?


Avis Aurea-The Golden Bird (Omnia Vincit Amor Book 2) by Maxime Jaz

From the ashes of suffering, a new strength can be born. From embracing one’s demons, a new life can be found. Back in Rome after his perilous adventures, Marius makes a shocking discovery about his past. But life must go on. Not only does his child need raising, but he must also resume his duties amidst the plotting of Rome’s elite. To add to that, his love for Kyle burns even brighter, melting the walls behind which so many painful memories are trapped. And as feelings bubble to the surface more and more, Marius and Kyle’s love is revealed without hindrance, slowly and sensually, even though shadows of Kyle’s past come back to haunt him, and the people involved in his suffering are thorns in their emerging love. That, and the fact, Marius also brings home a new wife, Claudia. And as Claudia takes her place within the family, unexpected emotions emerge between them all, lacing themselves into Marius and Kyle’s world, resulting in unexpected bliss. Until shattering news about their enemies leaves all of them grappling for air, facing decisions none of them want to make... caught in the race for power. Will their love surmount the many painful obstacles put in their path? Or will their enemies drive a wedge, an unbridgeable chasm between them all? Are Marius, Kyle, and Claudia nothing more than victims of the cruel world they live in?


Donum-The-Gift (Omnia Vincit Amor Book 1) by Maxime Jaz

Coming home with his legion, Commander Marius receives an unexpected gift when he stops at a countryside noble’s estate for a celebration party. That gift is Kyle, a young Celt, captured by the Romans years ago, and used for pleasure by his callous owner. Marius quickly takes Kyle to Rome, utterly clueless about what to do with him. To Marius’ dismay, the young Celt is terrified, even after having escaped his cruel owner. In truth, Kyle doesn’t know what to expect from Marius, either. Despite all odds, including Marius’ flaming temper and unpredictable nature, and Kyle’s haunting past affecting his every waking moment, love blooms between the two men who find themselves up against the scheming nobles of Rome, and Marius’ inevitable duties to his ambitious father, and conniving family. As they begin to fall deeper and deeper in love, even greater obstacles block their path, leading to some desperate decisions. Can Marius’ and Kyle’s love survive despite the odds against them? Or will the might of Rome grind them into oblivion? For in a life of freedom, one can be trapped without relief. For in a life of servitude, one can find unexpected freedom.


Scales and Sensibility by Stephanie Burgis

Sensible, practical Elinor Tregarth really did plan to be the model poor relation when she moved into Hathergill Hall. She certainly never meant to kidnap her awful cousin Penelope's pet dragon. She never expected to fall in love with the shameless - but surprisingly sweet - fortune hunter who came to court Penelope. And she never dreamed that she would have to enter into an outrageous magical charade to save her younger sisters' futures. However, even the most brilliant scholars of 1817 England still haven't ferreted out all the lurking secrets of rediscovered dragonkind...and even the most sensible of heroines can still make a reckless wish or two when she's pushed. Now Elinor will have to find out just how rash and resourceful she can be when she sets aside all common sense. Maybe, just maybe, she'll even be impractical enough to win her own true love and a happily ever after...with the unpredictable and dangerous "help" of the magical creature who has adopted her. A frothy Regency rom-com full of pet dragons and magical misadventures, Scales and Sensibility is a full-length novel and the first in a new series of standalone romantic comedies


In the Shadow of Love by J. E. Leak

She was prepared to lose her life. She was not prepared to lose her heart. Reporter Jenny Ryan didn’t believe in love at first sight. Until it happened to her. An encounter with a sultry nightclub singer led to a secret job at the Office of Strategic Services and an unlikely romance with the woman of her dreams. OSS agent Kathryn Hammond knows she doesn’t deserve love or happiness. But having fallen for her former assignment, she’ll do anything to keep her safe—including staying away. When ghosts from her past emerge, and Jenny waltzes into headquarters as a new recruit, all of Kathryn’s fears materialize. With Jenny’s protection out of her hands, and society, the war, and time against them, will their love survive? In the Shadow of Love is the second book in this lesbian historical romance series. If you like secrets, spies, and love against all odds, you'll love this emotionally sweeping love story. Buy In the Shadow of Love and lose yourself in a page-turning night of desire and intrigue today!


Iron & Fire by Kerrin Willis

1675 -- Plymouth Colony -- Verity Parker promised to look after her family. Raised among the bookshops and turmoil of Reformation London, Verity now finds herself in Puritan New England, where she must learn to keep her head down and her mouth shut, or risk dire consequences. The only person who values her tenacity is Kit, the heretical ironworker she has been forbidden to see. When King Philip’s War breaks out, Verity must stay silent as the Puritan elders spread hateful rhetoric about the “savages” in the forest. When she witnesses a young girl die in childbirth, Verity must stand by as neighbors blame God’s vengeance. But when tragedy strikes her own home, Verity must choose between her duty to her family and her love for Kit. Will she choose to keep the peace, or will she defy the leaders of the colony for a chance at happiness? Set against the backdrop of King Philip’s War, the bloodiest war per capita in American history, Iron & Fire explores the experience of a clever, educated woman at a time when being so often resulted in death. Perfect for fans of Amy Belding Brown’s Flight of the Sparrow, or Elizabeth George Speare’s The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Iron & Fire was written for those who read the original American Girl series as children and are now all grown up.


Journeys: the Archers of Saint Sebastian by Jeanne Roland

15-year-old Marieke disguises herself as a boy to infiltrate the archers’ guild of Saint Sebastian, where she becomes the squire of the dashing young Journeyman Tristan. Soon she’s vowing to help him win the guild competitions to become the prince’s new Guardsman, without ever letting him find out she’s a girl who loves him. Robin Hood meets Mulan and Princess Bride in this immersive adventure set in 14th century Belgium and packed with romance, wit, and longbow archery.


The Wildflowers at the Edge of the World by Shaylin Gandhi

Yukon Territories, 1898. When circus sharpshooter Sophia Bellerose flees from heartbreak in search of a new life, she doesn’t intend to find work in a Yukon brothel. But she's not the sort of woman to refuse that kind of cash—or the freedom that comes with it. ​ For Sophia, the remote wilds of Canada’s Far North provide the perfect setting to bury old heartbreaks. Up there, memories are short, days are long, and gold dust flows freely for any woman bold enough to make the trip. Even better? She gets to keep her guns. Yet when the warmth of her newfound sisterhood begins to thaw her icy heart, Sophia wonders if she’s stumbled across the perfect life—until she clashes with the local Reverend, whose angel face hides a dangerously devious mind. Not only is he conning the whole town, he’s after both the brothel and her, though she can't tell whether his interest is genuine or just another clever ploy to gain control of her earnings. Determined to preserve her newfound freedom—and ignore the Reverend’s devastating kissing in the process—Sophia unholsters her revolvers and takes aim, ready to do whatever it takes to keep her new life in one piece.


Blood Pact by Courtney Maguire

In Hiro’s world, youkai are a supernatural story used to scare children into obedience, and to keep men out of back alleys and brothels. Until Sakurai Hideyoshi walks through his door with a fantastical tale of a samurai who had killed a thousand men and drank the blood of his enemies, a man that lived in darkness but sought beauty to keep it at bay. A story both terrifying and romantic…and completely ridiculous. Unless it is true. Convinced something softer lurks behind Hideyoshi’s hard mask, Hiro follows him home. And discovers the story is real. Only instead of the blood of his enemies, it is innocent blood taken. Hideyoshi tells him never to return. Yet after Hiro’s mother is mortally wounded, Hiro runs back to the one being he knows with the power to save her. When Hideyoshi can’t, Hiro begs him for the next best thing: the power to avenge her. As Hiro becomes youkai, he faces a new threat, something darker, older, and far more dangerous. With Hideyoshi at his side, Hiro must decide what he’s willing to sacrifice--and what he’s willing to do--to protect this new life before he loses everything for a second time.


Bloodlaced by Courtney Maguire

Kanjin hardly view their servants as human. Even less so when they are different. Asagi is different. Both a man and a woman. In the wake of his failure to protect a boy he saw as a son from their abusive master, Asagi is sold into the house of a young nobleman, Mahiro, who is the opposite of everything Asagi has ever known—gentle, kind, and generous. Mahiro bonds with Asagi and their friendship blooms into a deep and profound love. But when Asagi is poisoned out of jealousy, Mahiro reveals himself to be youkai, a demon who feeds on blood, and he has no choice but to turn Asagi to save their life. Asagi awakes reborn, strong, and eternally youthful. But the price for Asagi’s new life is high. The blood of the innocent. Just as Asagi’s trust in Mahiro falters, the boy he failed to protect, now a man, reappears.​ New master, same threat. With both a literal and proverbial monster at the door, Asagi must decide what it means to be human to protect what they love most. Content Warnings: physical abuse, sexual abuse (off-page), self-harm, blood, graphic violence


To Fall for a Duke by Christmas by Sadie Bosque

A steamy historical romance novella set in pre-Regency (Georgian era) England that will hit you in the feels. The Blurb: To spite his former love, David decides to court the least suitable miss of the house party, an enchanting Irish commoner Niamh. He will not marry a commoner, of course. It is just a pretense. Or it was. Until the sparks fly, and he finds himself falling hard and fast for a woman who is completely wrong for the role of his Duchess. A penniless Irish commoner living among polite society is unlikely to find a suitor. Especially in England. Or at least that's Niamh's experience. Living in a troublesome household of her uncle, she is desperate to get away and go back to Ireland. When Niamh meets the Duke during the festivities, however, she finds herself at crossroads. Will she be willing to give up her freedom for a chance at love?


Prisoner at Heart (Daughters of the Seven Seas Book 2) by Grace A. Johnson

Atlantic Ocean 1684 Five months have passed since Captain Rina Blackstone lowered her Jolly Roger. Five months since she had last heard word of her greatest enemy, Timothy Wilde. For once in her life, she feels as thought she may actually be out of the storm. She has found her parents, found love, found her Savior. And a boatload of trouble when Wilde comes sailing up beside her, prepared to finally finish the job. Julius Blackstone has survived over ten hard, grueling years on board Wilde’s pirate ship, the Rogue Maiden. During those ten years, he has continually wondered when his storm would at long last pass and he would be returned to his home and his only family. The time has come. Crimson Wilde has awaited this day for over a decade. Her father has finally found Rina Blackstone, and now her torture has come to an end. Both Rina and Julius will be put out of their misery. But neither Crimson, Rina, or Julius are prepared for the onslaught of joy, peace, anger, and hatred that follows with Wilde’s death sentence.


Held Captive by Grace A. Johnson

Captain Rina Blackstone is the most notorious female pirate to ever plunder the Seven Seas and the fiercest captain to ever sail the Atlantic. But one thing she has never been able to handle well is change. When one merchant ship raid takes a wrong turn and results in her capture, Rina has to escape before all the control she’s worked so hard to obtain falters. Xavier Bennet was commissioned seven years ago to find the Duke of Rothsford’s long lost daughter. Those seven years have past without a trace of the woman except for the one letter he believes will lead him to her. When Xavier’s ship, the Jessica, finally crosses paths with the Rina, it’s all he can do to hope that somehow, someway, he’ll be able to find Lady Catherina and return her to her parents. Except the pirate captain he finds certainly surpasses his expectations and brings the one thing he cannot afford: trouble. Lies. That’s all that spews from Xavier Bennet’s lips. Lies. And Rina is determined not to listen, not to believe. Only to wiggle her way out of his clutches before all the pieces come together and reveal exactly what she doesn’t want… the truth.


The Paris Photo by Jane S Gabin

The Paris Photo compassionately conveys the story of American soldier Ben Gordon and his relationship with a young mother and her son just after the Liberation of Paris in August 1944. Despite the strength of this relationship during the war, Ben's eventual return to America separates them. Decades later, Ben's daughter stitches the relationship back together when she discovers a photograph of her late father with an unknown woman and boy. Eager to uncover more of her father's past, she travels to Paris to learn about the people in the photograph. The Paris Photo lifts characters out of the pages of a history book, richly depicting the human emotion that pervades our memories. The Paris Photo will appeal to lovers of historical fiction, particularly those with an interest in WWII. Jane S. Gabin creates a vivid picture of life in Paris during the dark days of the Nazi occupation, as well as a depiction of the contemporary city that still carries scars from the war. Interweaving mystery, romance, and historical research, The Paris Photo demonstrates how the traumas of wartime loss persist into the present.


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