Behind the Stick - K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn
Kyle McKee lives a charmed life. He's chief mixologist and co-owner of an uptown speakeasy. But Kyle’s lackluster love life has led him to take a break from dating. Harlem resident Luka Clarke is a lieutenant with Engine 47, the Pride of Morningside. Luka, who is mixed race and bisexual, has his eye on Kyle, whom he met at a local burger joint.
Before work one evening, Kyle is trapped inside the luncheonette when a fire breaks out. Luka’s firehouse answers the call and he connects with Kyle again under the most unexpected of circumstances. Kyle and Luka quickly grow close, but Luka’s mother and sister distrust Kyle for being both white and gay. Luka believes his family will come around, but Kyle is not optimistic.
Kyle and Luka’s bubble is shattered after a hate crime leaves them scarred, inside and out. Shaken, they put on a strong front but struggle inwardly against fear and personal demons. Both men must decide if they have the strength to find love enough to conquer hate.
Chasing Destiny - J.P. James
Trace: Meeting Nick was a dream come true. When he knocked on the door, I could barely breathe because I had no idea that my roommate’s dad was so hot. Nor did I realize he was a world-famous chef. But sparks flew, and soon I was ensconced in Nick’s arms. Who could have guessed that I would fall in love with my best friend’s dad?
But the chasm between us is great. Nick is a master chef with his own cooking show, while I’m a student intern. He’s sold thousands of cookbooks and has millions of fans, whereas no one knows me. The problem? Nick has to pretend to be straight for his mostly female audience.
This is crazy; it’s the twenty-first century, and no one should have to hide. This is an affront not only to my core beliefs and values, but also to the entire LGBTQ+ community. But Nick says I’m wrong - he has to respect his audience because they pay the bills. I’m conflicted and hurt, not to mention angry and emotional.
Is this what our relationship has come to? Money and fame over love? Or is there something more?
Repeat Offence - Jackie Keswick
It should have ended with their deaths.
But dying in a wash of blood was just the beginning.
Sentenced to eternal life for sacrificing themselves in battle, warriors Taz and Hiro must take turns living as human and Guardian on opposing sides of the veil with only a chance to catch a glance of each other in the moment of death.
Until an attack forces Taz and Hiro to make a choice. Should they cling to what little solace they’ve carved out for themselves? Or should they sacrifice their lives to save countless others and risk the wrath of the Judges for a second time?