The Muse by Emma Scott
Cole Matheson didn’t think the road to being a successful painter would be paved in gold, but he hoped there’d be a few less potholes. Insidious self-doubt that whispers that he’s no good, talentless, hopeless has him on the brink of despair. Maybe it would be better to just give up.
A midnight visitation by a beautiful creature of darkness changes everything…
Ambrosius Edward Meade-Finch surrendered to darkness centuries ago after knowing only pain and suffering during his short life. Now, Ambri makes humans dance on his strings, feeding on their desire for his own pleasure. But his liege lord questions his loyalty and commands him to bring a human soul into their dark realm.
Cole Matheson seems like an easy mark, but Ambri didn’t count on his goodness, or the depth of his generous soul that wants Ambri just as he is. And Cole never expected to find in Ambri a muse who unlocks his talent and might also be who his lonely heart has been searching for. Something fragile yet powerful grows between them, and the possibility of soul-deep love hangs in the balance, if only they have the courage to reach for it.
But fairy tale endings don’t come without a price. The dark forces Ambri answers to have been promised a soul, and they’re coming to collect…
The Muse is book 2 in the Angels and Demons series but can be read as a complete standalone.
Wish by Cambria Hebert
For me, choice might as well be a wish.
My parents died in a fiery car crash when I was barely sixteen.
I’m also totally in love with my brother.
I didn’t choose any of that. In fact, I’ve tried like hell to deny it. But here I am in all my gay, brother-loving, no-parentals glory.
Technically, Max isn’t my brother. Not by blood anyway. That should make it less ick, right?
Considering he calls my parents mom and dad, probably not.
Also, did I mention he’s straight?
So that’s me: the freestyle swimmer doing my best to keep my sexuality on the down-low while simultaneously wishing my feelings for Max will evaporate into thin air.
Too bad he acts like he’s my keeper and my heart shakes every time his eyebrow ring glints in the sun or he levels his opaque stare on me with an intensity matched by nothing else.
My desire to keep my personal life personal drowns at the bottom of the pool when a fellow Elite lets everyone in on my business, which throws Max into macho protective mode all over again.
Enough is enough, though. I’m forcing myself to move on.
Maybe the best way to forget about my forbidden crush is to find a new one.
I have options. More than I realized.
Unfortunately, none of them are leather-wearing, tattoo-sporting, motorcycle-riding grumpholes.
So here I am wishing for Max while someone else wishes for me.
Someone who decides if they can’t have me…
No one will.
Please note that WISH contains homophobia. There is also mention of off-page child abuse and parental death. This book also contains a male/male sibling-esque relationship and mentions of male assault. Some readers may find these things uncomfortable.
Truly You by Claudia Burgoa
After my ex walked out on me and straight into someone else’s arms, I decided to focus on myself. I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted out of life, but I was finally looking.
I moved to a new town and became the manager of a brewery, where I met Iskander. The chemistry between us was undeniable and we quickly fell into a pattern. We became friends with benefits…lots of benefits. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun in my life.
But after one phone call, everything changes.
My best friend is fighting for her life.
I might become a single mother to a toddler I barely know.
I may have to leave Luna Harbor.
Iskander signed up for fun and games, not an emotional rollercoaster. Besides, a child is too much to ask.
But if that’s true, why can’t he leave me alone?
Truly You is an angsty, ugly cry standalone romance full of raw emotions and unconditional love. Claudia Burgoa brings the right amount of heat, desire, and intimacy kink for a truly inspiring romance.
A Long Time Time Coming by Meghan Quinn
Have you ever heard of a man-in-waiting?
Yeah, neither has my best friend’s soon-to-be monster-in-law. Ooo, sorry, I meant mother-in-law. Nor has she heard of the term, what the bride wants, the bride gets.
With wedding planning underway and a short timeline, my best friend, Lia, has recruited me to help her battle the snarly beast that is Mrs. Beaver. Not scared at all, I accept the challenge as her man-in-waiting–aka, man of honor–and take matters into my own hands.
The only problem is, with every second we draw closer to the wedding, I’m starting to see my best girl in a different light.
She’s always been beautiful to me, but now . . . I find myself staring a touch too long. My hand lingering for one more minute. And when she’s upset? Allowing her to sleep in my bed.
And before I know what’s happening, it hits me like a ton of bricks. I’m in love with my best friend. Not just in love, but infatuated.
No one compares to her and nothing seems to distract me from that realization.
Not the girl I try to date while I help plan Lia’s wedding.
Not her angry fiancé who thinks I’m growing too close.
And not the looming deadline of her nuptials.
Which means, there’s only one thing left for me to do. Prove to Lia I’m the one she should be with instead. But with the pressure of her engagement, the stress from her soon-to-be mother-in-law, and the breath-stealing nerves running through me, I’m finding it a lot harder to claim the girl than I would like to admit.
Say a little prayer for me . . .
Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo
Find a gateway to the underworld. Steal a soul out of hell. A simple plan, except people who make this particular journey rarely come back. But Galaxy “Alex” Stern is determined to break Darlington out of purgatory—even if it costs her a future at Lethe and at Yale.
Forbidden from attempting a rescue, Alex and Dawes can’t call on the Ninth House for help, so they assemble a team of dubious allies to save the gentleman of Lethe. Together, they will have to navigate a maze of arcane texts and bizarre artifacts to uncover the societies’ most closely guarded secrets, and break every rule doing it. But when faculty members begin to die off, Alex knows these aren’t just accidents. Something deadly is at work in New Haven, and if she is going to survive, she’ll have to reckon with the monsters of her past and a darkness built into the university’s very walls.
Thick with history and packed with Bardugo’s signature twists, Hell Bent brings to life an intricate world full of magic, violence, and all too real monsters.
The Back Nine by Rachel Blaufeld
James “Jamie” Silver is all grown up, working for the same high-profile, überwealthy people she’s spent her entire life surrounded by—as the outsider. With a new hairstyle and a sliver of confidence, she attacks the role daily…because since she was the scholarship kid at a hoity-toity District of Columbia prep school, Jamie has never quite belonged. Especially when it comes to her longtime BFF and secret crush, Ford Conway III.
As the oldest son of a Supreme Court justice and the world’s savviest society lady, Ford Conway was meant to attend prep school and grow into someone great. His mom never predicted he’d befriend the charity case. Much to her chagrin, as young kids and college classmates, Ford and Jamie were inseparable.
The duo shared all their secrets, until graduation, when they shared a magical night.
That is, until Ford forced himself to run away from his family’s political ties and his growing feelings for Jamie Silver.
Now a famous Hollywood producer, Ford makes his own rules. Except when his father becomes gravely ill, he’s forced to come home and runs head-on into the only woman who ever captured his heart. Although Jamie doesn’t remotely resemble the girl he fell for decades ago, his heart doesn’t care. But his mom certainly does…
In a cross-country second chance love story, the pair embark on discovering one another as adults and finding happiness in their back nine
The Hatesick Diaries by Saffron A. Kent
Echo Adler hates Reign Davidson. He’s the reason the love of her life left her all alone and broken hearted two years ago.
So it should be easy to stay away.
It should be easy to not dream about his dark and mean eyes, or his cruel but sexy smirks.
It should be easy to not think about the guy who ruined her happily ever after.
Only it’s not.
Sometimes his intense stares make her heart race, and those smirks of his make her breathless.
But it needs to stop.
Because she has a mission: to get back together with her ex-boyfriend. And Echo will be damned if she keeps dreaming about Reign.
The guy who not only makes her sick with hate but who also happens to be her ex’s best friend.
NOTE: This is a standalone set in the world of St. Mary’s.
Midnight Duet by Jen Comfort
Self-professed diva Erika Greene has it all: a starring role on Broadway, legions of fans, spectacular natural talent. But after an accident on stage leaves her face scarred and her career in shambles, Erika retreats to Paris, Nevada, where she’s inherited a ramshackle opera house in desperate need of some TLC.
Erika pours her savings into the building, but it’s not enough to stave off casino developer Raoul Decomte’s avaricious gaze. With foreclosure imminent, she leases the space to some unexpected tenants: a German hair metal band, fronted by glam rock god Christof Daae.
Erika is tempted by Christof’s low-slung leather pants—and even more so by his ambitious drive to make Nacht Musik international superstars—but he’s off-limits. The rest of his band thinks he’s still dating their beloved keyboardist, who is conveniently not present on this jaunt to the American Southwest. When Erika finds out Christof’s been unceremoniously dumped and is trying to keep it under wraps, she makes a deal to keep his secret…for a price, of course.
Christof is desperate to hold the rest of the band together after his keyboardist’s departure, but he can’t maintain the charade forever. Nor can he resist the opera house’s mysterious proprietor, who tempts him with midnight singing lessons. It isn’t long before sensuous nighttime interludes turn into smoldering backstage encounters.
But can their newly ignited passion survive the searing light of day? Or will their beautiful duet turn into a brokenhearted power ballad for one?
Forbidden by Tia Louise (Live 1.12)
I have one job: Get close and take him out. The only problem is, I want him more.
I was barely five when I lost my brother; seven when my father was murdered.
Overnight, I was taken by my mysterious uncle, grafted into a world of crime I didn’t understand and couldn’t escape.
The first ten years, I did my best to blend in.
The next four, I reinvented myself, growing stronger, searching for answers.
Now I have one assignment—take down the man who knows our secrets.
Professor Dirk Winston is my target, and I’m expected to be a good soldier, disguised as a good student.
Only he’s not the passive bookworm I expect.
He’s ripped muscles, bedroom eyes, dirty mouth, and ready for a fight.
But I’ve got plans of my own, and this hot teacher is going to do more than give me grades and impure thoughts.
He’s going to help me get revenge.
(FORBIDDEN is a steamy age-gap, student-professor romance with secrets, lies, and answers to all your questions. No cheating. No cliffhanger.)
The Sins We Hide by S.Cole (Live 1.12)
The boy I once loved is now the fearless Vice President of the Iron Outlaws MC.
And he hates me.
Because of something that happened years ago. It’s not my fault his father ended up inside for life because of that night. But that doesn’t stop him holding me captive until I tell him what happened. Except I can’t. Because not knowing is why I’m back here in this cesspit.
The girl I once loved is now the enemy of my club.
Even though she’s also the sister of my best friend and our club’s new president.
I don’t care that trouble brings her to my door looking for help. She doesn’t deserve our protection. Until she tells me a secret that stands everything we know about the club on end.
Sins well hidden killed what chance of happiness we once had. But now, they’re going to kill her.
Love After Duty by Amber Kelly (Live 1.12)
This is Langford Tuttle’s book.
*Small town, Family Saga, Enemies to lovers.
Where Skies Fall by Casey Bond (Live 1.13)
Neera, Goddess of the Sky, claims the war will end in the place where oceans burn. God of the Sea, Talay, believes it to be in the place where skies fall. Yet battles unlike any our people have fought before still wait to be waged. Like it or not, Crest and I find ourselves caught in the middle.
He is The Shark, leader of the Guardians of the ocean. Sworn to protect everything in the salty sea below, his people stake claim to the Isle of Kehlani. As The Scourge of the Sky, I was once his mortal enemy. But he and his people took me in and showed me I’m worth more than the power surging through my veins. For the first time, I feel the sky might not be where I belong.
The great goddess Neera’s scale has tipped out of my favor. Now, losing the feathers in my wings is the least of my worries. It will take every ounce of my cunning and skills to rip myself from the grip of a cruel goddess who would see me cowed and caged. Talay has claimed me for his own, and for that, I am grateful. When the sky descends, thirsty for blood, I will fight. For those I love. For the life I crave. And for him… For him, I will sink the kingdom of the sky. I will drag Empyrean into the depths and delight in watching it drown.