Michael Brooks’ life took an unexpected direction when he found the Taylor Mansion, a two-story Colonial perfect for a Bed & Breakfast. An untenured college professor, he’s suddenly also a successful entrepreneur. And best of all, he met sexy deputy Colin Jefferson and they hit it off in a big way. He’s even made friends with the mansion’s resident ghost.
Deputy Colin Jefferson is a hometown boy who made good. As a member of the local police force, he serves the community he loves. He’s heard tales about the Taylor Mansion ghost all his life. Now he’s living there with Michael and knows the stories are true. There’s a ghost with a penchant for voyeurism lurking in his bedroom.
How the ghost came to live in at the B&B is a mystery Michael and Colin need to solve. It’s the only way for their resident spirit to get justice and to find eternal rest. Until they can unearth the murderer, the ghost at the bed and breakfast is a permanent guest.
* * * * *
“You know his name is Colin, and are you kidding? Absolutely not. That would be an infringement of our privacy.”
Robin looked at me with a dismayed expression on his all-too-human face. “You think that pimping me as the friendly ghost here doesn’t amount to the same thing? You didn’t even bother to ask if I’d mind being exposed to public view. I’m at least entitled to something in the way of compensation.”
I thought he would be if he was alive, but he wasn’t and that put me at a disadvantage in being able to understand him. I conceded the point.
“Fine, but there must be something else that you’d like.”
“I’d like to change history and come back to life. I’d like to punish the bastards who took my life from me. Since neither of those things will ever happen, and I still have needs the same as any other man, I—”
My mouth fell open. He’d never alluded to that before.
“You do? Really? I had no idea. I thought…” Actually, I wasn’t sure what I thought.
“I admit I have my limitations. That’s a given. Even so, I lost my life not my feelings.”
As much as I felt for him in such a predicament, I knew my partner.
“Colin will never agree to you indulging your voyeuristic tendencies by watching his bare butt. And don’t go all peeping Tom on the paying guests, either.”
Robin gave an offhand shrug and then grinned. “That’s easily fixed. Don’t tell him.”
Hollis Milnor didn’t think twice about moving to Marionville. His ailing cousin needs his help running his nightclub, Frolic, and Hollis needs to put some space between himself and an ex-boyfriend determined to make his life miserable. Management skills he has. Experience running a nightclub, not so much, but he’s a quick learner.
Caleb Brewer is a steady, hard-working man establishing a microbrewery. He’s got a great product and demand for it is growing. When a new manager takes over the hottest nightclub in Marionville, Caleb is determined to maintain the arrangements he made with the owner.
What starts out as business quickly heats up the summer nights. Hollis hesitates, reluctant to step over the legal line. Caleb isn’t just a vendor. He works part-time at the nightclub. Becoming involved puts them both in murky waters, waters that become crystal clear when the past catches up with Hollis and puts everyone he loves in danger.
“Caleb. Come in and sit down. “Something wrong?”
He eased down in the wing chair and stretched out his long legs. “Did we sorta get off on the wrong foot here? I can’t afford to have that happen.”
I gave him points for directness. He didn’t aim to come off as being abrupt. He simply kept everything right out front.
“I know. It’s my fault, Caleb, and I’m sorry. I’m here to manage the nightclub, not get personally involved with any of the men working within the business end of things.”
“Fair enough. I thought that might be it, but I wanted to be sure that’s all it was. Now I need to ask you this.” He took a deep breath. “Would you like to have dinner with me tonight? I’d like to talk about some business.”
I admit getting involved with the hired help wasn’t a good idea and he comes back with an invitation to dinner?
We could talk ideas and possibilities for our respective ventures right now. We didn’t need food, wine and the privacy of a crowded restaurant, but what better way to learn more about him?
“I guess I do need to eat sometime.”
His blue gaze locked on mine. “I think I like that you had to consider it. Too much impulse can lead a man astray.”
“Is that where you’d like to go? Astray?”
His eyes sparkled with humor. “I’ve been there before so I know which road not to take.”
“Same here. Tell me something. How long have you been connected with Frolic?”
“Not long. Maybe a year. Why?”
I grinned at him. “You might have information useful to me.”
He rolled his eyes and lifted his gaze to the ceiling. “And that, Caleb Brewer, is why the man agreed to have dinner with you.”
I chuckled. “Talk to yourself often, do you? I like to keep things above board, too. So, yeah, I’m going to ask you a bunch of questions, but I think I’ll really enjoy having dinner with you.”
“I get it, and it’s okay. So how about I meet you about seven o’clock? At The Wharf?”
“I’ve heard about the place. Give me your phone number in case something happens and I can’t get away on time. I can at least let you know I’m running late and why.”
We exchanged cell numbers and he held his hand out as he stood to leave. I reached out and his fingers closed around mine. The shock of his warm palm against mine turned my arm to lead. He let go of me.
“It’s not a date, Hollis. Not if you don’t want it to be.”
He walked out of the office while I stood watching his retreating backside. It wasn’t until he’d disappeared I realized I rather wished it were.
Private investigator Ian Coulter has a knack for finding trouble even when he’s minding his own business. Ian’s in the midst of a routine weekly job for movie star client Saylor Blackwood when the man confides he thinks he has a fan turned stalker. Ian stays close to Saylor to observe the people around him and gets an unwelcome shock when FBI agent Rick Mohr contacts him.
Rick Mohr has a problem. Ian’s name just popped up on an FBI watch list. Rick knows it’s guilt by association where Ian is concerned, but what about Blackwood? Rick won’t allow Ian to get dragged into the mix when he’s not involved. For Ian he’ll break whatever confidentiality rule necessary.
It doesn’t take long for Ian and Rick to join forces to clear Ian’s name and get to the bottom of what’s going on in Amethyst Cove, because on or off the case, together is how they work best.
* * * * *
His gaze slammed into mine, hot with anger that didn’t touch me. “I was a fool to walk away from you. ‘One more try’ he said. What a joke.”
“I’m sorry.” And I was sorry he’d been hurt.
“I knew when I left you standing there on the street, leaning on your car tipping your hat at Frank Bunson, it was a mistake to give Johnavan a last chance.”
He’d seen my little act of defiance at Frankie-boy? Huh.
“Why was it a mistake?”
His mouth dropped open. “Why? Why? Why do you think?”
“I think all sorts of things, Rick. I’d like for you to tell me the truth so I can make sense of some it.”
“It was a mistake because I’d met you.” He sighed heavily. “I didn’t …my heart wasn’t really in giving him another try.”
“And yet you did.”
“I wish I could lie to you, Ian, but I can’t. I’m not that big a bastard. You know what I thought? I thought I’d get him moved back east where he’d be happy and I’d be free to move on.”
I winced inwardly. Rick wasn’t a cold or calculating man in his personal life. “So how’d that work out for you?”
“How do you think?” He scrubbed his palms over his face. “I’m not good doing things to deliberately hurt people. He didn’t find a job right away, so I couldn’t just say ‘bye’ and leave him without rent money, now could I?”
That sounded more like him. “No, you couldn’t. Did he get a job or find someone else?”
Rick looked at me, a mix of emotions on his handsome face. He shook his head and rolled his eyes at the ceiling. “I came home from a day at the office and he was all packed and ready to go. It seems he used me as his ticket back to New York.”
“Oh, jeez. Hoist with your own petard.”
“Yeah, Shakespeare. I was. So I said it was fine and decided to enjoy a couple of weeks of solitude to make sure my head was out of my ass. Then you call me and you’re going out with movie star Saylor Blackwood and I’m an idiot!”
My joints went to jelly as the realization he was jealous I’d tricked Saylor sank into my brain. I grinned at him. “You’re not too stupid. You are here now.”
“And you want to sleep on the couch!”
I echoed his tone. “Well maybe not!”
We stared at each other.
Victor Carter knows his grandfather only from a handful of black and white photographs, so his surprise when the man’s will is read is genuine. What’s he going to do with seventy acres on the side of a Kentucky mountain? More importantly, how’s he going to survive living there for a year to satisfy the conditions of the will so he can sell the property? Even worse, it’s not like the hills of Kentucky are teeming with gay companionship.
Boone Mosely is Kentucky born and bred with a proud family heritage he can trace back to his home state’s founding. Following in his uncle’s footsteps, Boone’s in his second term as sheriff of Four Points. He takes the job seriously and doesn’t suffer fools - or crime - in his town.
When city slicker Victor Carter arrives on Shepherd Mountain, Boone knows he’s got a whole new brand of trouble to deal with. And this time, the badge isn’t going to help him at all.
* * *
“Which room are you in?”
“Last one on the end. Better for the dog.”
Huh. That made sense. Boone took his foot off the gas pedal and drifted into the parking space. Vic jumped out before he had the truck in park, slipped and landed flat on his ass.
Boone cut the engine and climbed out of the cab at a safer speed. With one gloved hand on the front end of the truck he walked around to the passenger side and found Vic leaning against the front tire. “You okay?”
“My pride is severely bruised.”
“I can just imagine.” Boone reached out to give Vic a hand up. As Vic got to his feet he brushed his jeans off.
“You said that. Get inside before your dog starts to bark and the manager yells at me.”
Vic’s gaze seemed focused on the motel office. “I got a coffee pot if you want to come in and warm up.”
Holy mother of … Wouldn’t that be the stupidest thing he’d done in years?
“Sure, Vic. I could do with a cup.”
Who the fuck said that?
Vic looked surprised and straightened. “Ranger needs to…”
Boone recovered a bit of his equilibrium. “I’ll take him around the side of the building. You get your ass inside. I want a good look at your head, and if I say we’re going to the clinic and wake up Doc Martin, you’re not going to argue with me.”
“Yes, sir. I hear you loud and clear.” Vic opened the side door of the pickup and Ranger leaped to the ground. As soon as his paws hit the pavement, he jumped and hit Vic square in the chest. Boone lunged to catch him before he fell again, but ended up in the snow with him. Could this man be more trouble?
“I’m sorry, Boone! Ranger! Leave off!”
“Sorry my ass, Carter. Sorry ain’t good enough for this little misadventure.”
New in town, Shiloh Rudy joins a group of civic-minded volunteers to better acquaint himself with his recently adopted community. It’s a good way to make friends, network, and help make a difference, not to mention perhaps meet someone interesting—in a romantic sort of way. The one thing Shiloh didn’t expect was a love to rival all others to come with four white paws.
Gale Widmyer is on his feet and moving forward after piecing his life back together following a series of wrong choices. The one bright spot in his existence, even in his darkest moments, was the fulfillment of his dream to become a veterinarian. Gale’s making good on a promise to himself when an abandoned kitten leads him to Shiloh Rudy and a chance at the happiness he never hoped to have.
Laying the cornerstone for a developing relationship comes easy for Shiloh and Gale. But the wounds of the past often remain unhealed at their deepest point. A few careless words erect a wall of silence between the two men, one Shiloh has to breach if he hopes to win Gale back. But it will take more than apologies to win Gale’s forgiveness and put old fears to rest. It’ll take a cat named Hercules...
* * * * *
…The abrupt weaning I understood, but the other? Who would do that to such a helpless creature? “Then I’m keeping him.”
“In that case, your kitten has fleas, ear mites, and a touch of conjunctivitis. He’s also under nourished and almost surely has worms.”
My heart pounded as I snatched the kitten from Galen’s hands and tucked him safely against my chest. “Is he going to die?”
Galen pushed his sunglasses up to rest on top of his head and grinned at me. I fell into his gorgeous hazel eyes as he stared into my sky blue orbs with open curiosity. Damn, the man had long eyelashes.
“He’ll be fine. Do you think we can finish our chores here this morning, or do we need to go straight to my clinic so I can treat him and fix you up with what you need?” He poked the kitten’s paw and those tiny, wicked claws popped out again. “You’re in for a real treat with this little guy.”
I’d go anywhere he asked me to go, but I didn’t want to appear too eager. “Oh? Why is that?”
“They call cats with these black and white markings a ‘tuxedo’ because, obviously, they look like they’re wearing one. This fellow has the added bonus of white ‘gloves.’ Tuxedos tend to have a lot of personality.” Galen squeezed my elbow. I thought his hand lingered a moment too long, but perhaps it was just wishful thinking.
“C’mon. I’ll tell the other work crew they’ll have to finish pulling up these bricks and we’ll go to the clinic.”
“Thanks, man. I owe you.”
I knew I was in two kinds of trouble when he nodded and grinned. “I’m afraid you will…”
Jubal Graham is back on the job after a shooter took the life of his long-time partner, and sent him into a coma followed by months of rehab. Determined to have justice, Jubal is focused on finding a killer, not a new romantic entanglement. Ellis Banks, with his smoldering blue eyes and denim-clad swagger is a distraction Jubal can’t afford – or ignore.
Ellis Banks came to Philadelphia to bust a drug operation; one that connects to the same case agency legend Kentuckian Jubal Graham is working. Ellis finds himself drawn to Jubal, but Jubal holds him off. Sure that Jubal is interested, even though he wears his slain lover’s ring, Ellis mounts a determined siege.
Jubal’s surprise at having a suitor develops into a growing affection for Ellis, one clouded with old fears. Fate ripped one lover from his arms, and now Ellis is in the line of fire. Jubal’s courage can protect Ellis, but is it powerful enough to love him?
* * * * *
“Will you go out with me, Jubal?”
Persistence was a good thing for a drug enforcement agent to have, but I wasn’t sure I liked his directed at me. I wasn’t sure I didn’t like it, either. It was certainly different to be on this side of the pursuit.
“Why did you come to my house last night?”
Ellis looked away as a flush crept up his neck. “I needed to know if your boyfriend lived with you.”
I clamped down on my temper. He was out of line, and his eyes said he knew how far. I counted to five before I responded. “He’s not my boyfriend. Don’t do it again. If he sees you dogging me, it’ll scare him.”
“Like I’m scaring you, Jubal?”
“You’re not scaring me.”
“Oh, the hell I’m not.” Ellis leaned back in his chair. “Okay. We’ll do it the old southern way. Even straights say a year is enough to mourn. You can play the reluctant widower for another two months. I’ll let you. Then you go out with me.”
“Boy, you don’t know anything about me.”
“Wrong. You were all anyone talked about when I transferred in. I took notes.”
“You’re an arrogant rip, aren’t you?”
Ellis grinned as he stood and stretched. He looked down at me, his expression pure insolence.
“Takes one to know one, Agent Graham.”
Paul Monette’s National Book Award–winning memoir hailed as a classic coming-out storyPaul Monette grew up all-American, Catholic, overachieving . . . and closeted. As a child of the 1950s, a time when a kid suspected of being a “homo” would routinely be beaten up, Monette kept his secret throughout his adolescence. He wrestled with his sexuality for the first thirty years of his life, priding himself on his ability to “pass” for straight. The story of his journey to adulthood and to self-acceptance with grace and honesty, this intimate portrait of a young man’s struggle with his own desires is witty, humorous, and deeply felt.Before his death of complications from AIDS in 1995, Monette was an outspoken activist crusading for gay rights. Becoming a Man shows his courageous path to stand up for his own right to love and be loved.This ebook features an illustrated biography of Paul Monette including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the Paul Monette papers of the UCLA Library Special Collections.