Excerpt: The Royal Marine

They traded stories over their simple pasta dinner. Akash half expected the man to make a move—or to make one himself—but the evening had been too easy, too comfortable for it; they’d simply enjoyed the shared meal.

A sharp contrast to what Akash imagined a first date with Scottie might entail. The former rugby player had texted him four times since the night he’d stopped by uninvited, having stolen his number out of BC’s phone. The persistence concerned him; he had no interest in having his life turned upside down by a stalker.

Making a mental note to apologise to his sisters for not taking their complaints about similar behaviour from other men more seriously, Akash had sent a text of his own earlier to Tens and Caddock. He knew them the best out of the rugby players involved with the Sin Bin. They’d sort out their mate, or he’d do it for them.

“Thanks for the tea.” Akash gestured toward the tin sitting on the nearby shelf. “Do you know how bloody hard it is to get that particular type of tea? It’s perfect for making biscuits.”

“Right.” Hamish was staring at him. He nodded absently, but didn’t actually appear to have heard him.

“Something wrong?”

Standing abruptly, Hamish strode around the table to grab Akash by the shirt. He dragged him up out of his chair, causing him to stumble forward. Akash could only blink at the slightly taller man in confusion, until those wonderfully rough fingers dug into his hair and yanked him up into a kiss.

Akash surrendered to it briefly before bringing his arm up to separate their lips—and bodies—when Hamish’s fingers drifted down the front of his shirt. “We’re not doing this in my kitchen. Not yet. Well, not in the bakery kitchen, ever. Health inspectors would have a fit.”

Hamish brushed his knuckles across the bulge in Akash’s trousers. “Later, then?”

“Later when we’re somewhere else and there aren’t two nosy brats peeking through the door.” Akash pointed toward the barely visible twins, who were once again eavesdropping on them. “Off with you both. I left you dinner on the table upstairs.”

While the rest of the meal went well, the passionate moment had definitely passed them by. Hamish stayed for another hour, helping to wash up the dishes. They exchanged several heated kisses, until Akash had to quite literally shove the man out the door.

He sank back against the frame of the still open door to catch his breath after seeing Hamish off. “Well, bugger me.”

Amazon

Review: The Royal Marine

Another great entry in this wonderful series. The MC’s aren’t rugby players but they are good friends with the men from prior stories and their significant others. Akash and Hamish are the kind of characters I’ve come to expect from the author. They’re adults, there’s an age gap and while the Hamish is quite dominant and protective, never treats Akash as anything but an independent, capable adult. There is a touch of suspense around Akash’s business being targeted and danger for Hamish going on protective details that last for months. The romance is always rather low-key but not pushed to the background either. The narrative feels natural and realistic and I also enjoy the diverse backgrounds and family dynamics the author adds to the mix. I find the style of writing refreshing and anticipate reading more from Dahlia Donovan.4.5 Stars, Nrevvy on Amazon

Excerpt: The Botanist

Amazon

Are you serious about this leaving shit?” Trace sat across from him at one of their favourite bars in Coronado—McP’s Irish Pub. “I thought you’d be in until you hobbled out with no hair or teeth, clinging to your walking frame.”

“They pay you by the joke?” Wyatt flicked one of his onion rings across the table at him. “I’m done—nothing left for me to accomplish.”

“Weak sauce. Utter fucking weak sauce.” Trace leaned forward with his elbows on the table. “It’s the gay thing, isn’t it?”

Wyatt didn’t even blink in response. He waved the bartender over for another round of Guinness; Hamish had gotten all of the SEALs hooked on it. “What gay thing?”

“The fucked up policy that says you can’t serve if you’re open about who you are.” Trace pushed the plate of nachos to the side. “None of us give a shit who you fuck—or who you love.”

Wyatt knew the men under his command respected him, thought of him as a friend. SEAL teams were almost always tight-knit units. They only had each other to count on in the middle of treacherous missions. “None of you?”

“None of our element.”

Review: The Botanist

A story filled with lots of emotion, heart, and tenderness. Wyatt just knew that slow and easy was the only way he could go to in order to aid Aled in his survival from the traumatic and horrific events that he had endured. Wyatt was totally on board with his desires & instincts to help Aled succeed; a very satisfying story in this series. After all he was a former Seal and success was all that he knew.

5 Stars, Amazon Reader

Excerpt: The Caretaker


Amazon

“Frederick?”

Freddie paused at his full name—no one other than his angry dads called him anything other than Freddie. He paused by the front door to see Taine had caught up to him. “Yes?”

“Thank you, Frederick, for coming out to help us poor sods out.”

He had to clear his throat to respond. The man’s deep voice saying his name caused his stomach to flip and his lower region to rise in interest. He smiled through it. “I’m always happy to help.”

They stood awkwardly. Neither knew what to say. A loud thud was their only warning before a stumbling Scottie slammed into the back of Taine, which sent him into Freddie like a row of dominos tumbling to the floor.

Freddie groaned under the mass of muscle. He cringed inwardly when it dawned on him that Taine would now be able to feel his earlier piqued interest. “Could you get off me?”

“Want me to help you get off?” Taine’s murmured comment sent a shiver down his spine. “I wouldn’t mind.”

“No, I want you to help me get up before my ribs decide to cave in completely,” Freddie replied tartly, if a bit unsteadily. “What do they feed you rugby types?”

“He’s calling you fat, Tens,” Scottie teased from somewhere above them. Freddie couldn’t see him through the bulk of the man crushing him to the floor. “Up you two get, or I’ll start making assumptions that’ll have me blushing.”

The weight of Taine lifted off him, and a hand reached down to yank him up to his feet. Freddie frowned at Scottie, who hadn’t quite removed his fingers yet. The tall, muscled, blond man had an edge to him that was worrying.

Scottie.” Taine shoved his friend down the hall away from them. “Go see Caddock.”

“Aye aye, Tens.”

“He’s—something.” Freddie chose to stick with his fathers’ advice to not be rude when it wasn’t necessary. He glanced up to find Taine’s intense gaze focused on him. “I should get going. My dads will wonder what happened.”

“Your dads?”

“My family is a modern one.” Freddie had no intention of explaining his family to a man he’d only recently gotten to know. “Was there anything else?”

Taine cocked his head to the side as if assessing Freddie. He slowly smiled—a wide, dangerous sort of grin, rather akin to a predator who had just caught his prey. “Can I have your number?”

Pardon?

Not the question I thought was coming.

“Why?” Freddie shook his head at himself. Do I care why an incredibly attractive man wants my number? He internally shrugged before holding his hand out. No, no I don’t care why. “Give your phone over—I’ll add it for you.”

The bemused expression on Taine’s face made the tingling in his spine at the brush of their fingers worth it. Freddie quickly entered his mobile number under the name Nurse Bunny. He imagined the man would have to go to great lengths to explain it to anyone who saw it.

“Enjoy your weekend with the lads.” Freddie started towards the door, tossing the phone over his shoulder. “Don’t get too drunk. I’m not making another emergency visit to cure hangovers.”