Jessica Freely can't resist a wounded hero. As a reader and a writer, her favorite stories are of soul mates finding redemption in each other's arms. Married to the love of her life in a beautiful relationship based on mutual goofiness, Jessica also warps minds as an instructor in Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction MFA program. Her dog, Ruthie, doesn't seem to care that Jessica's an award-winning and best-selling author in multiple genres. She just wants to play tug of war with Jessica's pages.
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Jessica Freely Online:
Website & Blog: http://jessicafreely.com
Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/jessicafreely
Book Genre: Paranormal Gay Romance
Publisher: Loose Id
Release Date: April 22
Loose Id Buy Link:
Lake Clearwater--conservation officer and water spirit--has just been appointed guardian of Gem Pond by The Powers That Be. It's the first time in eight years he's had a real home and he's determined to protect it, even if that means hiding his attraction to his sexy new partner, Forrest Oakwood.
Forrest is a native of the Gem Pond area and the guardian of its trees. He knows the land and its people are a crucial lynchpin in the natural order. He also knows that if he comes out, his boss in the DNR, Sgt. Dennison, will find an excuse to fire him. But ignoring his true nature was a lot easier before Lake Clearwater showed up. The man's a walking, talking wet dream.
Meanwhile, local residents--human and animal alike--conspire to bring Lake and Forrest together. The land needs its guardians united and at their full power. Dennison wants to cut down the trees to make room for water slides and tennis courts. If Forrest and Lake don't embrace their passion for each other, they'll be unable to stop him and that would be a disaster, not just for Gem Pond but for the entire natural world.
It was full dark and snowing by the time Forrest finished his report. He stood up with a groan and stretched his stiff muscles.
Clearwater sat at the kitchen table, playing a game of solitaire. He looked up as Forrest entered and smiled. “Want some soup? I made it myself.”
Forrest wandered to the stove and sniffed suspiciously at the simmering pot. It actually smelled pretty good. “What is it?”
“Yeah. Doesn’t mean it’s not delicious. Here, let me get you a bowl. Sit down. What do you want to drink?”
Forrest allowed himself to be herded over to the table.
A few minutes later, Lake set a plate with bread and butter beside him, poured him a glass of milk, and set a steaming bowl of lentil soup before him. It was kind of like being a kid again only…
Only Lake didn’t look anything like his mom. He sat down opposite Forrest now, tucking his long blond hair behind his ears. His green eyes gleamed as he waited for Forrest’s reaction.
Forrest took a spoonful. Flavors of sage, rosemary, and garlic burst across his tongue, borne by the silken seduction of pulverized lentils. “Mmmmmm.”
Lake sat back, looking like a bear with a piece of honeycomb. “Good, huh?”
He nodded, but apprehension stole in upon him. “You trying to convert me, Clearwater?”
Lake widened his eyes as if to feign innocence. “Wouldn’t dream of it.”
Like hell. Forrest enjoyed the soup anyway.
* * * *
As he washed the dishes, Forrest’s thoughts returned to the events of the night before. He remembered Clearwater’s body stretched out in the bed, naked and tan, all long lines and flat planes. As he washed his supper dishes, his fingers tingled, remembering the silken texture of that warm, smooth skin. How he wanted to touch those rose-pink nipples, tease them, and watch them become erect, and then dip his head down, circling each one with the tip of his tongue as Clearwater’s gasps and moans of pleasure bathed his ears.
“Think I’ll turn in early and do some reading,” Clearwater said.
Forrest started, dropped the soapy bowl, and splashed water all over his shirt.
Clearwater laughed. “Sorry.”
“Just not used to having someone else around.” That should have been someone so hot around. Forrest fought to quell his burgeoning erection.
Silence. Clearwater was still there. No footsteps announced his departure. But he didn’t say anything. What was he doing? Embarrassment and irritation doused Forrest’s libido, and he was able to turn around without humiliating himself.
Clearwater stood in the doorway, staring at him.
“Officer Riverbend… Not much of a talker?”
The understatement forced a smile to Forrest’s lips. “You could say that.”
Clearwater nodded. “I’ll try not to overwhelm you with my relentless chitchat.”
“That’s not what I meant. I just… I don’t know. It’s just…” What was wrong with him? Why couldn’t he complete a sentence?
“It’s a change.”
They stared at each other in silence. Forrest felt the stillness of the winter night settle around them.
Suddenly Clearwater drew a deep breath and turned away. “Well, good night.”
Forrest finished up the dishes. Yawning, he went into the bedroom and grabbed his PJs. Clearwater was already in bed. One rosebud nipple peeked out from beneath the blanket as he lay on his back, reading a book. No pajama top. What about the bottoms?