New #historical #PNR from @ClairdLuneBooks and @sirenbookstrand #shifters

 In the Beginning. Highland Wolves series no 1

Erotic romance or erotica with explicit sex scenes containing adult language leaving little or nothing to the imagination. Sex in wolf form, public exhibition.

   In the beginning the Goddess, Luna, honoured four wolf shifter packs with her favour. To protect them against the hunters, Luna moved her four packs deeper into the Cairngorm range. There the settlements flourished.
Balvaird leads the Brodie pack, and he's worked hard to re-establish order since he took over. Now it's time for him to find a mate. When Morag wanders onto his territory she leads him a dance and sparks fly, but it's clear they are destined for each other.
 So what can possibly go wrong? One rogue shifter is determined to have Morag for himself, but can he succeed against the will of the Goddess?  
She’d better get back now. Her shift at the cookhouse started later tonight and she had chores to do before then. She turned to set off and found herself surrounded by four huge black wolves. How did they get there? I’ve never been taken unawares before. I can’t fight four of them, and they are depute law-keepers, so no point in trying to charm them. They are bi-sexual, but they can’t mate with females unless they become the LawKeeper. I wonder which territory they are from. How did I manage to stray so far?
One of them advanced toward her slowly, and then he gave the “yip” that meant “submit.” She had no choice. She couldn’t outrun them, so she dropped to her haunches and waited. He advanced toward her, circled her, sniffing her fur, and then he nipped her right ear twice,"Shift."
When she’d shifted into human form, the four did the same. She drew in a breath. Four tall, bronzed males stood before her. They were just like the depute law-keepers in her settlement. Wide, muscled chests, narrow hips, powerful thighs, and so well endowed. She lowered her eyes. It wasn’t polite to stare at a man’s private parts, but that had never stopped her and her friends from glancing and speculating.
“What are you doing in our territory, little one?” he asked. He towered over her. Six feet, eleven inches of delicious male flesh. Down, girl. He’s a depute law-keeper. One of those four is his mate. He’s not interested in me in that way. I suppose the gift of bi-sexuality and those gorgeous bodies are some compensation for the renunciation of home and family. It doesn’t stop me looking and longing, though. Auntie May’s right. I need a mate and soon.
“Who are you? I didn’t know it was your territory.” Attack is the best form of defence, after all.
“I’ll ask the questions, and, if I’m satisfied with your answers, I may well give you the information you want.”
Typical, arrogant depute law-keepers. This lot was just like the ones in Brora.
“My name is Morag of Brora.”
“My, my, you are far from home. Are there no rules in Brora about lone females straying so far from your home settlement?”
Sarcastic depute law-keeper. He knows damn well that there are. The Goddess gave the same rules to all four packs, after all. She thought about lying, but somehow she didn’t think that would be a good idea. So she fell back on what usually worked with the depute law-keepers in Brora.
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” she said in her best girly voice. "I was so carried away by the spring and the beautiful wood that I just ran and ran without thinking.” Let’s see if that gets me anywhere.
“Did you now? Were you going anywhere in particular, or do you make a habit of this?”
“Oh no! I’m usually a good girl, but it’s spring and I needed the exercise.” She stretched and wiggled her arse, then giggled to herself. Waste of time, but it was worth a try.
“Well, Morag of Brora, there are penalties for trespassing on our lands. Come with us!”
“But, sir, I have a shift in the cookhouse tonight, and my chores to do first,” she pleaded in a breathy little voice.
“You should have thought about that earlier and returned to your settlement.” No cajoling this one.
“Yes, I know I was very foolish, sir. I won’t do it again, but it’s spring. After all that snow we had this winter, I was just aching to run the fidgets out of my hide. Don’t you ever get that urge?” she asked, dimpling up at him.
There was a snort of laughter from the other three.
“It seems we have a handful here!” one of them said.
“This one is tying you up in knots, Alex. What say we take her to DunBrodie and let the Darach deal with her? It will be amusing to see her try her tricks on him,” another suggested. Morag pouted and flounced, but it did no good. She was obliged to shift. Then the four of them, Alex in front, another behind, and the other two on either side of her, herded her through the beech woods and up into the mountains. They followed a narrow, tortuous track. Although they were forced to go in single file, there was no opportunity for her to escape. The sheer rock on one side and the steep drop on the other took care of that. She was left with no option but to keep moving forward, receiving the occasional encouraging nip if she slowed.
When they reached the settlement, the layout was exactly the same as DunBrora, so she knew where the Darach would be. This is going to take forever, and Auntie May is going to have my hide if I’m late. This stuffy old man is going to be slower than a snail. I bet he’s on his last legs. He’s going to want to know all about me, and I don’t have the time. How am I going to get out of this?
© Flora McGregor, Siren publishing 2016
“Because I’m your mate and I can read your emotions.”
Auntie May told me this would happen when I found my mate, but boy is it inconvenient.
“Does it work both ways?" She inquired, striving for a nonchalant tone.
“Oh, yes, of course it does. You just have to get used to it. Look at me and tell me what I’m feeling.”
She looked into his eyes and felt the colour flood her face, again.
“Oh,” she breathed.
“Just so. I’m well pleased with my mate, our love-making, and I’m aching to take you again. Did I say I love the way you colour up?”
She swatted him playfully, and he caught her arm, swinging her round into his embrace.
“Careful, little one. I’m horny and if you get too playful, I shall find a quiet spot and demonstrate what else I can do,” he warned her.
She felt excitement flood her body and she shivered in anticipation. Her legs trembled, but she took long, deep breaths to calm herself. This will never do. He’s not getting it all his own way, if I have anything to do with it.
“Will you now? Well, we’d better get along and bathe. It’s time for the pack run, soon,” she said. Why on earth did I say that?
“Oh, I know that, little one.”
She tossed her head, flicked her hair back over her shoulders, and stalked ahead of him. She heard his amused chuckle, and she vowed he’d pay.
When they reached the bath-house, the black wolf shifted to human form, fully intending, it seemed, to watch over his Darach. Balvaird smiled at the woman in charge and whispered in her ear. She directed a startled glance in Morag’s direction, but she said nothing. What’s he plotting now?
She soon found out. The woman attendant led them to an area of the bath-house that Morag had never visited. There were cubicles with large tubs and curtains to ensure privacy. Morag’s eyes grew round. Balvaird selected one and stood back to allow Morag to precede him. He followed her in and, nodding to his depute law-keeper who remained outside, drew the curtain across the entrance.
He turned on the taps and then, taking off his clothes, placed them on the bench. He leaned over to test the water. He displayed a muscular backside and round, heavy balls as he bent much further over than was necessary, in her opinion. She sucked in a breath and ground her teeth. He’s messing with me. Drat him. I’ll give him some of his own medicine.
Balvaird settled in the bath and watched her. He looked supremely at his ease with a satisfied smirk on his face. She’d soon change that. Slowly, she started to undo the buttons on her shirt, starting to pull it off, but then stopped. Changing her mind, she pretended to arrange her towel on the bench and look for a peg on which to hang her clothes. Finding none, she’d be obliged to fold them, and a wicked thought occurred to her. She turned her back on Balvaird. As she slowly pushed her skirt down over her hips, she removed her knickers stepping daintily out of them both. Letting fall her skirt and knickers, she bent from the waist to pick them up and heard Balvaird draw in a breath. She well knew what was on display to tempt him. She folded her skirt and placed it on the bench, and then she repeated the pantomime with her knickers. She heard him growl a warning.
“Be careful what you are about, little one.”
She shrugged her shoulders, turned toward him, and oh so slowly removed her blouse. She folded it and placed it on the bench with her skirt and knickers. She turned to face him and stretched her arms way above her head. Before she realized what he was about, he’d leaped out of the bath and seized her. He threw her over his shoulder and returned to the water, allowing her to slide down his length as he stood in the hot, soapy suds. As she slid down his lean, wet body, she met his cock, which was fully erect, and she gasped.
“Now you’re going to relieve the pain you’ve caused,” he said gruffly. He turned her and placed her on her knees in the water. She grasped the sides of the tub. He knelt behind her, his cock demanding entrance, but he wasn’t quite ready. He bent over and bit her shoulder. He found her breasts with his hands, and pinching, pulling, and tweaking, he drove her so wild that she pushed her hips into him and he chuckled.
“Teasing is a two-edged sword, as you are about to find out, little one.”
He grasped her hips and pushed his cock between her swollen pussy lips. She was wet and slick, and he entered her easily. She felt so full. When he withdrew, his dick slid over some part of her and the sensation of pleasure was heightened.
© Flora McGregor, Siren Publishing 2016

About Clare:                  
I live in Dumfries and Galloway in Southern Scotland, although I was born in South Yorkshire. I spent many happy years teaching, and when I retired, I became bored with just the domestic routine. My youngest son challenged me to write a novel of my own, and I wrote Initiation, book one in the Prometheus in Chains series. I don't think it was quite the sort of book he had in mind, but all my family have been very supportive and encouraged me to carry on writing. Writing has become an important part of my life. It’s been like a roller-coaster ride, and a very pleasurable one at that. When I sent off my first book to Siren, I had no idea what I was setting in motion. I joined Facebook, something I never dreamed I’d do, but I have made many good friends on there, some readers and some fellow authors. Writing has certainly changed my life.
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I never got over you #teaser #coverreveal #MMromance from @EncompassInk September release 'Hawk v Falcon'

MM romance with a touch of suspense 
When Chris Falconer receives an email from his lost high school friend, Justin, ten years after he last saw him, Chris is overjoyed. The two boys had shared kisses and sworn love for each other, but before their love could be tested, Justin’s mother abruptly took Justin out of school, and they disappeared.
Multi-talented and handsome Chris is a cage fighter at Jack’s Clubhouse, and the Dungeon Master in the Candy Apple club. He writes a column for a fitness blog and keeps himself busy, but deep down he’s never forgotten Justin—turns out Justin has never forgotten Chris either.
On a modeling assignment in New York, Justin sees Chris in a café and can’t help contacting him, but his ex, Todd, who doesn’t want Justin but doesn’t want Chris to have him either, has plans to throw their reunion into disarray.

So begins a love story full of emotion. Will Todd succeed? Or this time, will Justin and Chris have the happy ending and delicious love they deserve?
September 17 release from Encompass Ink

Read a tease:
They were in a corridor when Chris turned to him. “I’ve thought about you so much, I’m a bit ashamed of myself for clinging to your memory, when you never called, when you just disappeared.”
Justin’s heart fell. Was Chris about to reject him now they were away from the bar, the friendly barkeep, and bright white glow of the downlights there? “I’m sorry...”
“No. I meant ... I mean I still care for you. I couldn’t ever shake it. I never got over you and it’s been ... it’s been so long—you know I sometimes felt weak for not letting go.”
Justin gazed at Chris’s handsome face. “I thought about you.” He slid his hand along Chris’s jaw. “I want to kiss you, so much.”
Chris closed the small gap between their bodies as he grabbed Justin’s head and brought his mouth down on Justin’s. Justin’s breath left him in a soft murmur. His eyes closed in pleasure. He clung to Chris, desperation to stay with Chris, never to go home, gripping him. All he could think of was starting again with Chris, of the delicious drifting sensation that overcame him as Chris pressed close.
Copyright Elodie Parkes 2016 Encompass Ink All rights reserved

From Entangled Publishing and @libbybromance new #PNR 'Son of Thunder'

Her hunt for a murderer is his way home.
Rune is the grandson of Thor, and just as strong. Exiled to the realm of Earth for nearly killing his brother–it was a little misunderstanding– he has to find a way to redeem himself so he can get back to Asgard. And when he lands—literally—in the bed of a fiery redhead with an FBI badge, he realizes that she may be the key to going home. But helping Liv hunt a killer has one big consequence—chemistry. He can’t keep his hands off her, and there’s no way they can ever be together.
Six years ago, FBI Special Agent Liv Winter’s best friend was murdered. Since then, she’s taken a two-week vacation around the anniversary of the death to try and solve the case. She’s used every available resource. Yet, her friend’s killer is still on the loose. She refuses to give up—willing to do almost anything to bring the person to justice.
Apparently, almost anything includes trusting a god. And while she might need Rune’s help with her case, there’s no way she’ll ever trust him with her heart.
She walked into the room just as he set the last bowl on the table. He pulled a chair out for her and waved a hand over the food—roasted chicken, potatoes, and carrots, as well as a large salad. “This was all I had to work with.” He folded his arms, smirking a bit. “You’ve never had it like I’ve made it.”
She raised an eyebrow as she took a seat, seemingly unmoved. “I’ve had this meal a thousand times,” she said, putting the napkin on her lap. “It certainly smells delicious, but what makes you think it’ll be different this time?”
He winked, taking his seat. “Try it, then tell me what’s different.”
His words were meant as a challenge, and she smiled as she picked up her knife and fork. “All right, Rune. Let’s see what you’ve got.”
He waited patiently as she started with a carrot, then a potato. All she gave him was a “Hmm,” then she cut a piece of chicken. He was hoping for more of a reaction, and frowned as she ate the chicken without so much as a glimmer of what she was thinking, or how good he damn well knew the food was.
She appeared to be completely unimpressed.
He growled, angry at her non-reaction. How dare she insult his cooking in such a way? He prided himself on his ability to make women practically fall on their knees in front of him just from one bite of food. He shoved the chair back and stood, pointing a finger at her, but stopped when she giggled.
“Sweet Odin, Viking—you are touchy.”
“I dare you to defy how good that is. Dare you.”
“Oooh, a tantrum from a god.” She rolled her eyes. She picked up two carrots with her fork and lifted them to her mouth, but paused before eating them. “How original.”
That did it. “Woman, don’t test me—I’m a god, and you’ll lose.”

~Buy Links~


Libby Bishop is a paranormal romance/erotic author. 
She loves reading, writing, movies, Lindt dark chocolate, autumn, the SyFy Channel (Haven and Bitten!), and spending time with friends and family. She has one fat, fluffy cat who thinks she’s queen of the house…and really, she is.
She also writes dark fantasy/paranormal/horror under the name October Weeks.

New boxed set #erotic #romance from nine authors Read a #teaser from @ErzabetBishop

Release date: August 15th, 2016

In memory of Amanda Byrne. Let your stories shine on…

Title: Nola Naughty Nine

Guilty pleasure. Perfect Sin.

New Orleans gets in your blood. Like sweet chocolate or a decadent bite. Ancient mysteries hide behind hidden doorways, and messy love happens in the dim bar lights of the French Quarter. Follow us through nine tales of love found through need, pain, desire, and inhuman temptations. Contemporary, paranormal, menage, or gender bending, we've got it all, in one perfect package. Just like the city itself.

9 Erotic Romance Tales in the Big Easy

Bayou Shadows by Erzabet Bishop
Voodoo dreams and buried lies bring Delia to New Orleans. A sexy shifter with secrets of his own might just get her to stay...

Sultry by Amanda Byrne
Ash is really fuckin' tired of being a virgin. Rory's suddenly got an urge to seduce him. But can their friendship survive?

Sinfully Hot by Tina Donahue
A hotter-than-sin reaper. A badass demon. Hell doesn't get steamier than this.

Playing with Fire by Margaret Madigan
When Vlad Golakov is sent to New Orleans to find a missing woman, he plans to get the job done quickly, then enjoy the Big Easy. He doesn't expect to fall in love with the woman-turned-werewolf or teach the pack's alpha that when you play with fire, you're bound to get burned.

Creole Corsair by Wren Michaels
Sabine Chauvet needs closure on her family's past. But when she runs into Jasper Carrington, her old high school crush, the one thing in her past she wasn't searching for finds her instead.

Phenomenal by LeTeisha Newton
We all lose, and it snatches our souls right out our chests. When I lost her, I wanted to destroy the world with the same bloody hands I used to pound my enemies. When I win her back, she won't get away again. I'll risk my life for it.

Change of Heart by Liv Rancourt
Preacher always said New Orleans was a den of sin, so of course Clarabelle had to see for herself...

An Evening at Crossroads by Kate Richards
They broke every taboo, an ancient vampire, an exotic shifter on the run sharing gay romance under the roof of the newest and most daring club in New Orleans

Lion of Frenchman Street by Teresa Noelle Roberts
When saxophonist Peter Lyons invites New Orleans newcomer Kelsey into his world of jazz and kinky sex, his dominance ignites her body and his music speaks to her soul. But Peter's hiding old pain and when Kelsey's offered a job out of town, everything goes out of tune.

Buy links:

Excerpt: Bayou Shadows by Erzabet Bishop

He was wild in Delia’s arms, his body filling hers with an almost violent claiming. His hips thrust against her, grinding his body into hers down to the very root of him.
She cried out, wrapping her leg around his waist as he withdrew and came back again with an animal ferocity that made her want to weep. He lowered her to the ground, careful to pull her skirts beneath her so she wasn’t against the cold ground and fucked and filled her until she bucked beneath him, her fingers clawing at his back as another orgasm tore through her body in waves.
Stefan roared, his hips thrusting forward in a final push, his body emptying inside hers, filling her with his seed. He lowered his head to the soft flesh of her shoulder and sank his teeth into her, holding on as the waves of pleasure and pain carried them both to another place and time.
Something shivered to life and broke inside her, and the power of his touch awakened pieces of her soul she hadn’t known existed. The broken shards of Charles’s shattered spirit melded with her own, but so did the lineage her mother had tried so hard to protect her from.
A black man with long braids flowing loose around his head, dressed in a suit and bright red dress shirt, winked at her in her mind’s eye, his lips twisted up into a devilish smile.
“Welcome, daughter.” He laughed, throwing his hands out, the host of spirits of swirling around him like they had her all her life.
She heard her mother’s voice in her mind again.
There is a why, baby. Someday you’ll understand. Then it’s up to you.
Papa Legba. Conduit to the underworld and master of the crossroads.
Her father.
Image after image tumbled into her mind. The lineage of the Maries in one long vision Delia could hardly keep separate—so she didn’t bother trying. It was a part of her,  like the ghosts and the caramel color of her skin, and it would take her a lifetime to understand it all.
But she would have time.
Stefan would see to that. Just like she would make sure they had a future.
The sound of drums rumbled in the distance, and she laid a hand on Stefan’s back as he froze.
“You hear it, too?”
“We have to go.” He stared down at her with eyes bright as the moon above. “They’ll be here soon.”
But, even as she asked the question, Delia knew the answer. Her people were coming and they were coming for her. Because if they didn’t, there would be hell to pay. The darkness was here and it was hungry for blood.

About Erzabet Bishop:
Erzabet Bishop is an award winning and bestselling author who loves to write naughty stories. She is the author of Lipstick, Crave, Snow (Three Times More Lucky Box Set), Malediction (A Wicked Halloween Box Set), Map of Bones (upcoming-A Wicked Affair Box Set), Sanguine Shadows (Vampire Bites Box Set), The Science of Lust, Wicked for You, Heart’s Protector, Burning for You, Red Hot (upcoming), Bayou Shadows (Nola Naughty Nine) Hedging Her Bets (Alpha Fever Box Set), Cat’s Got Her Tongue (Alpha Heat Box Set), Arcane Imaginarium: Spirit Board, Holidays in Hell, Mallory’s Mark (upcoming),The Devil’s Due (upcoming), Charity Benshaw’s Enchanted Paddle Emporium (upcoming), Sigil Fire, Glitter Lust (upcoming), Written on Skin, Club Beam, Pomegranate, A Red Dress for Christmas, The Black Magic Café, Fantasies in Red, Sweet Seductions, Holiday Cruise, Fetish Fair, Temptation Resorts: Jess, Temptation Resorts: Marnie, Taming the Beast, The Erotic Pagans Series: Beltane Fires, Samhain Shadows and Yuletide Temptation along with being a contributor to many anthologies. She lives in Texas with her husband, furry children and can often be found lurking in local bookstores. She loves to bake, make naughty crochet projects and watch monster movies.
Follow her on Twitter @erzabetbishop.

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Welcoming Silke Ming with her new #MMromance from @sirenbookstrand Three Degrees East of Bliss

Welcome to the blog, Silke

Writing is my passion. I started out with poetry at an early age, and then moved onto novels. Not a day goes by that I do not do some form of writing. I have written six fictional novels, and when time allows, I try to read at least two books per month, thanks to the convenience of the e-reader, which makes it easy to shop the bookstores from the comfort of one’s home.
In addition to my love of books is my love of travel. My career has taken me all over the world, and I have lived in The Caribbean, Italy, India, Germany, and now make Canada my home. If I were to leave Canada for another destination, it would be to live in Bali or New Zealand, because I like the cultures and find the landscapes of both countries breathtaking. My two other passions are gardening and cooking, and I consider myself a gourmet cook.

I am relatively new to romance writing, and have written sixteen romance novels which are all available at most popular book stores.

Jason Porter is convinced his lover Gabriel Parker is being unfaithful.
Hypnosis reveals that in the early 1900’s, Gabriel used to be a priest named Damien Fassnidge, who due to a sexual indiscretion, was banished to the island of Barbados as punishment.
Sailing from Cork to Barbados to take up his new position, Damien meets and befriends a brash, young Irishman named Nicholas Duffy, who is also on his way to take up the position as a sugar plantation manager. In Barbados friendship turns to love. Torn between his love for the church and his love for Nicholas, Damien decides to leave the priesthood, but before he has a chance to resign, an anonymous letter is sent to the church and he is dismissed. Defrocked and ashamed, he and Nicholas plan to leave the island, but a new piece of information comes to light which puts their relationship in jeopardy.  
Will Jason Porter believe this incredible story about Gabriel Parker? 


Nicholas Duffy watched Damien walk away. He liked him. He was not the usual, stuffy, old priest. He had a sense of humor, he was young, and best of all, he took the occasional nip of gin. In addition, he was very handsome with his red hair, green eyes, and a muscular build. He was definitely not the image one conjures up when thinking of a man of the cloth.
Sitting with Father Damien had its advantages. He was a deterrent to those mothers eager to have their spinster daughters married off because they all knew that there were no eligible young men on the island. As long as he was sitting with the priest, mothers did not dare approach him on such a delicate subject.
The two men were as different as night and day. One was renowned as a gentleman and a man of the cloth, while the other was a man seeking to find his place in society, and Barbados was just the place to do it in spite of the unscrupulous reputation of the island. Nicholas`s lifestyle did not quite fit in with his conservative surroundings in Ireland, and when he saw the advertisement in the local paper, he jumped at his chance to climb the ladder of success.

* * * *

“Two aces trump your kings,” Nicholas declared, holding Damien’s gaze.
“I think it’s time to call it a night,” Damien said. “I should’ve known you were a card shark.”
“Grrrr!” Nicholas shouted, curling his lips and baring his teeth. “I am indeed a card shark.”
Their card game had attracted a few of the fellow passengers, and they crowded around them, making it a tad uncomfortable for Damien. He thought it better to retire for the evening, before a simple game of cards turned into an Irish brawl.
“Sorry, but I must call it a night. Tomorrow promises to be another long day on the stormy waters of the Atlantic.”
“See you at breakfast then, Father?”
“See you then. Goodnight, Nick.”
“Goodnight, Father,” the group of onlookers echoed.
In his little room, Father Damien got to his knees, and said his nightly prayers before crawling into bed and pulling the covers over his head. It was the month of November, and the sea was turbulent. It was the end of the hurricane season, but that didn’t mean that it was the end of the bad weather. That night the ocean was not in a particularly good mood. The ship lurched and tilted to one side, scaring its occupants out of their beds.
Suddenly, someone was knocking on his door, and when Father Damien opened it, he found Nicholas standing there, whiter than a sheet, with a towel wrapped around his waist.
“Let me in, Damien,” he shouted.
“Yes! Yes! Come on in,” Damien replied, hanging on to the closet door for stability. “Come in.”
“I think I’m going to be sick, Damien,” he shouted.
Damien just had enough time to direct him to the small sink in the bathroom, where he emptied his stomach. Damien cleaned his face with a cool cloth, and the young man stumbled onto his bed, still retching and gagging, until the towel fell away from his body, exposing a stalwart erection. He groaned for a few moments, and then was suddenly quiet. Damien’s eyes opened wider than saucers, as he stared down at the massive rod of thick flesh. His mouth dropped open, his shaft stirred in his pajamas, and he clenched his fists at his side, staring, unable to look away. Not knowing what else to do, he threw the towel over Nicholas’s lower body, but it wasn’t enough. The damage had already been done, and a tent appeared where he had thrown the towel. Finally turning away, Damien stared up at the ceiling, while his unwanted guest sprawled across his bed and continued to moan and groan.

The moment the man saw Father Damien dressed in his vestment, he made a sign of the cross.
“I’m looking for Mr. Duffy,” Damien said.
The man pointed to someone in the distance, riding around on a horse.
“He’s over there,” the man said.
He recognized him as an Irishman by his heavy Irish brogue.
“I would like to speak to him. Would you get him for me?”
The man walked away and spoke to Nicholas, who turned around, raised an arm above his eyes to block out the sunlight, and stared at him. The horse started a slow trot in Damien’s direction.
“Father Damien, where were you all this time? I thought you had returned to Ireland.”
“I can say the same thing about you. You promised to come by and see me at the parish church.”
“Well, Father,” he said, dismounting his horse, “I was thinking about it, and I thought it would be better if I left well enough alone.”
Damien was confused by the remark, but did not immediately acknowledge it. He gazed at Nicholas. Barbados seemed to agree with Nicholas. He looked healthy, handsome, and as brown as butter. Riding around all day on his horse certainly seemed to have its advantages.
“What are you saying, Nick? I thought we were friends.”
“Of course we’re friends. Because we haven’t seen each other doesn’t mean we’re no longer friends. You were always in my thoughts.”
He handed the reins to the field hand, and with a gesture of the head, directed Damien into the plantation home.
“You’re living in the lap of luxury,” Damien said, taking in the antique furniture that adorned the home.
His host poured two shots of rum and handed one to him.
“The best stuff there is,” he said, lifting his glass.

“In heaven there is no beer.
That’s why we drink ours down here.”

Damien nodded, acknowledging the Irish ditty.
“Cheers,” he said, knocking his glass against Damien’s. “So how is hell treating you?”
“Cheers! Just like it’s treating everyone else,” Nicholas replied, before throwing his head back and gulping down the smooth, sweet liquor. “Had lunch?”
“No, but I’m hoping you would ask me.”
Nicholas laughed, poured two more drinks, and led Damien out to the veranda.
“I can see that Father Kelly has taught you well.”
“You’ve never met him.”
“Ah, but this is a small island, my boy. His reputation has preceded him.”
“Well then, I must be more careful.”
Half an hour later, a woman showed up on the veranda to say that lunch was ready. Damien’s eyes bulged as he stared at the amount of food she had laid out. There was enough on the table to feed an army.
“Let’s eat,” Nicholas announced.
Father Damien closed his eyes in a silent prayer. Nicholas gazed at him, his long eyelashes fluttering over his piercing, blue eyes. When Damien opened his eyes,  they stared at each other, unblinking.
“So what have we here?” a hungry Father Damien asked, looking from one dish to the other.
“I don’t know. As long as it looks delicious, I eat whatever Mabel puts on the table in front of me.”
Damien spooned some rice onto his plate, and added some stew and vegetables.
“You’re right, Nick. Whatever it is, it’s really delicious.”
His eyes still riveted on Damien, Nicholas couldn’t seem to look away, especially when he served himself another helping. He thought Damien looked different. The sun had given him a healthy glow, and he seemed even more handsome than he was on board the ship. He couldn’t take his eyes off him.
“You’re gawking at me,” Damien remarked.
“I like looking at you. I was thinking how much more handsome you’ve become. It must be the Barbadian sunshine and fresh air.”
Damien put his cutlery down, and their eyes met.
“If I didn’t know you better, I would swear that you’re coming on to me.”
Nicholas did not reply, but kept on gazing at Damien.
“Tell me, Damien. Why did you become a priest?”
“Just as you wanted to be a plantation manager here on this island, is the same reason why I became a priest.”
“I had always thought that it had to be a calling. Why do I think yours wasn’t a calling?” he asked, getting up and standing behind Damien’s chair.
“That’s a misconception, Nick. It was a calling,” Damien said, reaching for his glass and swallowing back the rum in one gulp.
“Am I making you uncomfortable, Father?”
“What makes you think that?”
“You seem nervous,” Nicholas said, returning to his seat and continuing his lunch. “Do you remember that night when I came to your room? I was distressed and in need of comfort, and you comforted me.”
“That’s part of my vocation. I’m here to console those in distress.”
“Father, you are playing with me. You know what I’m saying, and if you don’t know, I’ll spell it out for yer.”
“It’s getting late. Perhaps I should be going.”
“So you do understand what I’m talking about?”
Nicholas stood up and moved close to Damien, so close he could smell the rum on his breath. Damien was nervous, and it showed. His eyelashes fluttered like a moth attracted to light, and he headed for the kitchen door, mistaking it for the entrance door.
“Can I get you something?” the wide-eyed housekeeper asked, unaccustomed to seeing house guests in the kitchen.
“I was on my way out, but I opened the wrong door.”
“I’ll show you the way out, Father.”
Nicholas was waiting by the car when he ran down the stairs.