Authors: A.R. Barley
Against the Rules
By A.R. Barley
Kelly O’Connor’s out of control
An RA at Halton University, he spends his off nights at a club, hoping to find what he’s looking for in rough sex with strangers.
Until one night the play gets a little too rough. An isolated room, a dangerous situation...and an unexpected rescue.
Ian Larkin knows what Kelly wants—a true Dom, someone who will protect him instead of using him, someone who can take him to the edge without pushing him into unsafe territory.
Ian knows just what Kelly needs, and he’s the only man who can give it to him.
There’s only one problem: Kelly is a student, and Ian is a teacher.
This book is approximately 50,000 words
Happy June! Man, do I love summer and everything that comes with it. Okay, not mosquitos, but the beach, sunscreen, cookouts, fresh fruit, long days and the opportunity to sit by the pool, ocean or other bodies of water and read for hours and hours. Love. It. This month we have some new releases that can be either your perfect beach read—or your perfect air-conditioned room read!
Lauren Dane debuts a brand-new sexy paranormal romance series with
Diablo Lake: Moonstruck
. In Diablo Lake, Tennessee, a town populated by werewolves, witches and more, magic woven deep into the earth protects the town’s secrets from outsiders. Katie Grady left Diablo Lake to get over a humiliating breakup. But her family needs her help, so she’s back…in a sublet right across the hall from the guy she’s lusted after for years. Jace Dooley is hotter than ever, and their friendship picks up along with massive doses of grown-up chemistry.
If you’ve been waiting for the second book in Amber Bardan’s captivating Bad for You duology, your wait is over. Angelina has sacrificed everything to be with the man she loves, but on the run with their lives on the line, Haithem has a promise to keep—he’s promised to protect her—and he’ll stop at nothing to fulfill his promise.
Didn’t You Promise
is full of action, sex and emotions, and I loved every minute of it. Pick up
Didn’t I Warn You
if you haven’t already, and fall in love with sexy, mysterious Haithem like the rest of us have!
Professor Ian Larkin has two rules: no college kids and no playing without a safe word. College senior Kelly O’Connor is always in control—except when it comes to his sex life. When these two meet, the sparks are electric, but their relationship will need to survive meddling aunts, the university administration and Kelly’s own self-doubts in the male/male romance
Against the Rules
by A.R. Barley.
Sarah M. Anderson brings two beloved secondary characters from her Rodeo Dreams series, available from Harlequin’s Superromance imprint, to Carina Press in a male/male cowboy rodeo romance that’s sure to have us all telling the men in our lives, “You can leave your hat on.” And did I mention…cowboys and rodeo? Yeehaw!
Also in male/male contemporary romance, we welcome debut author Elizabeth Varlet and her book
Fierce & Fabulous
, the first in the Sassy Boyz series. Ansel Becke enjoys pushing the boundaries. He is fierce, he is fabulous and he doesn’t care what anyone thinks about him. Until one routine lap dance leads to a soul-shaking kiss and turns his glittery world upside down. Straight-arrow Fitch Donovan doesn’t understand his instant, blood-boiling attraction to the outrageous dancer—a man who wears makeup and heels as comfortably as he does a cocky smirk. But the pull can’t be denied and Fitch is willing to see where it leads, even if it goes against everything he’s ever known about himself.
Coming next month: So You Think You Can Write winning entry
, the follow-up romantic suspense to Nico Rosso’s fantastically reviewed
Countdown to Zero Hour
and a debut author brings the heat with a new erotic romance motorcycle club series.
As always, until next month, my fellow book lovers, here’s wishing you a wonderful month of books you love, remember and recommend.
Executive Editor, Carina Press
Dedicated to the person who invented ice cream and to my amazing husband.
Normally, Ian Larkin wouldn’t be caught dead in Ale Mary’s. It wasn’t that the club catered to the out and proud—Ian had known he was gay since he was twelve and didn’t see the point in hiding it—and it wasn’t the club’s proximity to Halston University where he was a professor of economics.
Nope, Ian hated Ale Mary’s for much simpler reasons.
It was too loud, too crowded and the patrons were too fucking young.
Walking through the front doors made him feel less like a gay man on the prowl and more like someone’s grandfather.
But tonight he’d put on his big boy pants—skintight black leather—his best red button-down, and rimmed his eyes in thick black liner to brave the crowds on a blind date set up by his department secretary. Marcy really meant well, but he’d known the other guy wasn’t his type within two minutes. Luckily, Charlie had picked up on the same thing. The timid archivist had agreed to let Marcy down easy and left after his first drink.
Ian signaled the bartender for a second beer and then closed out his tab. He’d gotten all dressed up, he might as well try to find some action for the night. He sipped his drink as his gaze swept the crowd, carefully assessing the prospects.
Most of them were too young and the others were all too vanilla, but a bearded leather daddy with a pair of handcuffs hanging off his belt looked promising—if he could switch things up and take orders from Ian for the night. A group of older men near the stage were admiring the night’s entertainment: a baby-faced drag queen who bopped along to pop music with the occasional Spanish serenade thrown in.
Fucking chicken hawks.
Ian snorted as he finished his beer. He might not have a lot of rules when it came to men, but the ones he had were clear: no college kids and no playing rough without a safe word.
The leather daddy made his move, crossing the dance floor to intercept a gyrating couple. After a moment’s discussion the dancers separated. One of them started swaying while the other joined Handcuffs for the next song.
Handcuffs had good taste.
The man he’d chosen was a tall blond in a soft white T-shirt that clung to his broad shoulders and muscular arms. As they danced, Ian leaned forward to take in a square jaw, sharp cheekbones and blue eyes that any Hollywood starlet would be proud of.
The blond’s hips moved back and forth in time to the music, his perfectly rounded ass shaking in time to a Latin beat. His hand reached out to rest on the leather daddy’s hip, his fingers skimming across those handcuffs with a familiarity that belied his clean-cut exterior.
Prince Charming liked to get chained up.
Too bad Handcuffs had found the handsome submissive first. Ian sighed as the bearded man led the blond off the dance floor toward the men’s bathroom.
He was getting ready to go when two other men separated from the crowd to follow Handcuffs and Charming. They were the same age as the leather daddy, their appearances rough and their stride purposeful...almost predatory.
Ian’s body stilled.
It was probably nothing.
There was no real reason to think Charming was in trouble—no reason to get involved—but that didn’t ease his jangling nerves. The bells ringing in his head turned into sirens when one man entered the bathroom after Handcuffs and Charming while his friend took up sentry position at the door.
Fuck. Ian bit his lip to keep from swearing. His long legs were already moving toward the bathroom before his brain could catch up.
If the kid was okay then he’d turn around and leave. If not? If his twosome had turned into a moresome? If it wasn’t consensual?
Ian had partied hard when he was younger—snapping his whip at the hardcore clubs in Los Angeles and Chicago—this wouldn’t be the first time he’d dragged someone out of a bad situation.
“Bathroom’s closed,” the guy on guard duty said when Ian got in range. “Toilet’s overflowing. Try the one upstairs.”
That left one question answered. There was definitely something going on in the bathroom. Now, Ian just had to figure out whether or not Charming had consented to playing with more than one man at a time.
He ignored the guard’s objection, pushing his way through the swinging door and biting back an oath when he got to the bathroom.
Charming was on his knees with his back to the door. His gleaming white shirt was in disarray and his crisp jeans were grinding into the dirty floor. Handcuffs’s friend was holding on tight to the blond’s shoulders while the bearded leather daddy fumbled with his fly.
“Looks like I’m interrupting something.” Ian straightened slightly, trying to take up as much space as possible in the small bathroom. His lips pulled back into a harsh smile as he moved toward the man on his knees. “You okay?”
“He’s fine,” Handcuffs said. “This slut likes it rough.”
“Never said he didn’t,” Ian said. “I’m just asking if he’s okay.”
“I’m fine,” Charming said. “I wanted to come back here with him.”
“And his friends?”
“I’m fine,” Charming repeated. This time his head turned ever so slightly, displaying the mess that had been made out of his pretty face in the few minutes since he’d entered the bathroom.
Whatever Charming had consented to, it hadn’t included a split lip or a bloody nose. Ian frowned. The blond’s body was swaying slightly as he struggled to remain upright. Ian made an executive decision. “Get up, Charming.” His voice deepened as he gave the order. “We’re leaving. Now.”
Kelly’s head throbbed as he shifted slightly to get a better view of his rescuer. He didn’t look like a hero in a bloodred shirt and leather pants that clung to muscled legs, but that didn’t make him any less delicious. He was tall and lean with a smooth nutmeg complexion, a shaved head that gleamed under the bathroom’s flickering lights, and strong white teeth that were bared in an angry snarl.
Kelly wasn’t a great judge of age, but the man’s bearing was too powerful for anyone to mistake him for just another club kid.
Nope, his rescuer was a definite badass
Kelly took a deep breath and considered his options. The leather daddy from the dance floor was a known quantity. His name was Sam. He had a tattoo of a dragon on his back. Kelly’d had a good time with him a few weeks earlier and this time shouldn’t be much different. There’d be a rough blow job and a few hard knocks. Nothing he couldn’t handle and—if he was lucky—the night would end with a thick cock buried deep in his ass.
Or, he could go with the new guy.
“You want a blow job?” Kelly asked.
“Let him get in line like everyone else,” Sam snarled.
Yeah. Kelly frowned. When he’d agreed to go into the bathroom with Sam, he hadn’t agreed to get on his knees for the whole club.
He pushed himself up onto his feet, swearing quietly when his knees buckled underneath him.
“I’ve got you.” His rescuer wrapped strong fingers around Kelly’s wrist, hauling him upright in one powerful motion. His gaze never left Sam and his buddy. “Come on, let’s go.”
Sam took a long step forward, his expression dark and ominous. “You can go. The kid stays.”
“The kid can make his own decisions.” Kelly might like rough sex, but he still knew his own mind. He wasn’t about to give up that kind of control. Especially not to an asshole who tried to share him with his friends.
The door to the bathroom opened and Sam’s other friend slipped inside. Now there were three of them. Kelly was completely surrounded. Icy fear trailed down his spine. Deciding that discretion was the better part of valor, he moved closer to his nameless rescuer. “I’d like to leave now.”
His potential attackers edged closer, clearly not happy about losing their prize.
“Don’t move.” The Good Samaritan was only an inch or two taller than Kelly’s six feet. He wasn’t huge and there was nothing inherently violent in his stance. None of that detracted from the core of strength in his voice. “You think you’re dominants because you can put a man on his knees? You’re bullies, thugs. You try to pull something like this in a real leather club and you’ll find out what real pain is about.”
“He likes it,” Sam objected, his tone thin and whining.
“Are you sure?” The defense was immediate and absolute. “Did you ask him what he wanted? Did you give him a safe word? Or did you hit him?” Kelly’s rescuer didn’t wait for an answer. He turned smartly on his heels and elbowed his way past the muscle man at the door. His body remained between Kelly and the other men until they were out of the room. His hand never left Kelly’s wrist, his fingers locked in place like a well-fitted cuff.
After the muted menace of the bathroom, the music slammed into Kelly like a palpable force. Happy cheers echoed off the ceiling, and hot bodies throbbed around him. “You can let go of me now,” he offered. “Thank you for your help—”
“You’re in no condition to drive.”
“I can call a cab.” He wouldn’t. He’d get another drink at the bar and then hitch a ride from someone heading back toward the university. If it got late, he could ask one of the bartenders for a lift. His ex-boyfriend wasn’t working tonight—thank God—but most of the nightclub’s staff knew him by sight if not by name.
“You’re my responsibility for the night. I’m taking you home before you can do any more damage.” The steely tone he’d used in the bathroom was back. It wasn’t a question or a request. Kelly would be leaving the club and getting into the stranger’s car.
Maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing. His rescuer might not think much of Kelly’s choices, but he clearly knew his way around leather.
A hint of excitement crackled across his skin. Maybe the night could be salvaged after all.
Maybe he could get what he needed.
Maybe he could sleep.
It had been months since Kelly had managed to sleep without a cold bottle or a hard dick to ease his way. It was screwed up but true. Ever since his parents died...He hurried to push the thought away.
All he needed was a little pleasure, a little pain and—hopefully—oblivion.
Kelly let his new beau manhandle him out of the club and into an older sports car. The vehicle was clean and well cared for. The spicy scent of cigars clung to the interior leather. “You smoke?”
Strong white teeth flashed against dark skin. “It’s a hand-me-down from my brother.”
“Nice of him.” Kelly stretched his legs out in front of him and luxuriated in the thrum of the powerful engine roaring to life. He reached down to adjust his jeans, pressing his palm firmly against his hard-on.
“It wasn’t exactly his choice. You planning to tell me where we’re going or are you going to keep touching yourself?”
Kelly moved his hand from the rough denim covering his lap to the smooth leather that cupped the older man’s thigh. He stroked eagerly. “I was planning to give you a blow job.”
The man’s laughter was warm and invigorating. “I’d rather give you a spanking.”
“Kinky.” Kelly shuddered happily at the thought. “Good thing I like it rough. We can take turns.”
“No.” Long fingers wrapped around Kelly’s wrist, reclaiming the position they’d taken earlier in the club. He moved Kelly’s hand off his leg. “Where are we going?”
The grip on his wrist tightened. “You’re a student?”
“I’m graduating in May.”
“Right.” The fingers loosened slightly, but his rescuer managed to hold on while he put the car in gear and pulled out of the parking lot. The bind remained in place the entire way back to campus, forcing Kelly’s hand to remain chastely at his side. It was frustrating as hell, but he missed it when it was gone