“Imagoes” by N.R. Walker

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When Jack receives a phone call from a colleague in the southeast of Tasmania with news of a newfound butterfly habitat, he and Lawson head off on another adventure. It’s not an easy trek to the location. The Franklin-Gordon National Park is famous for wild rivers, rainforests, and rocky cliff faces, and they’ll need to hike and abseil—in the dead of winter—to get to the site.

It’s no ordinary expedition because this is no ordinary butterfly, and Jack and Lawson aren’t an ordinary couple. Join Jack and Lawson on another quest in this short story of extraordinary butterflies and extraordinary love.

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“Dauntless” by Lisa Henry

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Joe Nesmith leads a peaceful life as the lighthouse keeper on Dauntless Island, a small island off the coast of Australia where the occupants are proud of their mutinous history and have very long memories.

When graduate student Eddie Hawthorne comes to Dauntless, he brings with him a historical diary that might just throw everything the islanders have ever believed into disarray—and one of them might even resort to deadly measures to make sure that Eddie’s research never sees the light of day.

When Eddie is attacked, Joe is drawn in to helping him discover which of the islanders could have done such a thing. The rising attraction between them doesn’t mean anything, right? It’s just a fling. But while Joe find himself wishing more and more that Eddie could stay on Dauntless, it’s clear that somebody else wants Eddie gone, permanently. And when the attacker escalates to murder, both Joe and Eddie find themselves in danger of Dauntless Island’s bloody history repeating itself.

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“Throwing Hearts” by NR Walker

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Leo Secombe loves his life, and he’s convinced himself he’s happy to be single. In his spare time, he keeps himself busy at a local LGBTQ centre that pairs a younger person with a community elder to help them feel included in today’s rainbow family. Leo and Clyde have been buddies for a few years now, and signing up for a pottery class seems like fun.

Merrick Bowman has been so focused on getting his pottery business up and running that he’s forgotten how to date. How to live, even. But when a young, bubbly Leo and an older, grumpy Clyde walk through his door, Merrick has no idea how much Leo is about to centre his world.

Throwing clay has been Merrick’s entire life, but Leo’s about to change all that. Maybe Merrick’s ready to throw caution to the wind. And maybe he’s ready to finally throw his heart on the line.

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“Always Another Side” by Annabelle Jacobs

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Starting over at forty is hard work for landscape architect Jack Bowman. His long-term partner hurt him badly. With his self-esteem dented by the break up, trusting a new lover is going to take time.

Tyler Freeman is equally unlucky when it comes to love. Now that he’s over thirty-five, he’s tired of getting played. All he wants is someone special. How hard can it be to meet a man who’s honest, with no hidden surprises?

Being set up on a blind date might be a classic cliché, but it’s a stroke of good luck for Jack and Tyler. They have a lot in common, including previous relationships steeped in deceit, but it’s worth navigating their trust issues if it means laying those ghosts to rest.

Making it work finally seems possible—until an accidental discovery threatens their newfound happiness.

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“His Compass” by Con Riley

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Tom has one rule: don’t sleep with the crew. A second chance with a younger, gorgeous deckhand tempts him to break it.

After a busy season as a charter-hire skipper, Tom yearns for some downtime. His lonely heart also aches for adventure with someone special, but paying his bills has to come first. A surprise sailing contract and huge bonus offer his first glimpse of freedom for years. There’s only one catch: he must crew with Nick, a deckhand who jumped ship once already.

Nick’s as young and untested as the new yacht they’re contracted to sail, and he’s just as gorgeous. Forced to spend a month as Nick’s captain, Tom discovers depths he hadn’t noticed. He’s captivated, and happier sailing with Nick than he’s been in forever. However, their voyage is finite, and both men keep soul-deep secrets.

As the contract draws to an end, they must get honest about what’s in their hearts if they want to share a life at sea, and love, forever. Read More

“Winterworld” by Barbara Elsborg

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‘Tis the season of Santa and snow and sparkles…and secrets.
With the looming grand opening of Winterworld, the Overton family’s Christmas extravaganza, the last thing groundsman Kem needs is to be partnered with the Overtons’ prodigal son. Kem’s got enough on his plate with a brother increasingly lost to drugs, a spurned boss, herding three adoring but out-of-control wolfhounds, not to mention Lady Overton’s contagious love of all things Christmas, and her never-ending to-do list. He has no time or desire to babysit a clueless young aristocrat.

Fabian’s been travelling the world for the past two years. Or at least, that’s his parents’ version of events. Lying low at the family estate, no home or money or future to call his own, he has no option but to toe their line. And yet, despite his resentment of his every move being orchestrated, he discovers working with Kem has its benefits, including those of the sexy, fun kind.

Winterworld isn’t the only magic Kem and Fabian are creating. Attraction, friendship and trust deepen as they discover they have more in common than either thought possible — including pasts and secrets neither wants to talk about. But their budding relationship doesn’t please everyone, and acts of betrayal threaten to blow them apart for good. Can the magic of Christmas, a secretive, sees-all Santa, and a meddling but well-meaning mother, save the day?

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“Finding Home” by Garrett Leigh

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With their mum dead and their father on remand for her murder, Leo Hendry and his little sister, Lila, have nothing in the world but each other. Broken and burned, they’re thrust into the foster care system. Leo shields Lila from the fake families and forced affection, until the Poulton household is the only place left to go.

Charlie de Sousa is used to other kids passing through the Poulton home, but there’s never been anyone like his new foster brother. Leo’s physical injuries are plain to see, but it’s the pain in his eyes that draws Charlie in the most.

Day by day, they grow closer, but the darkness inside Leo consumes him. He rejects his foster parents, and when Charlie gets into trouble, Leo’s attempt to protect him turns violent. When Leo loses control, no one can reach him—except Charlie. He desperately needs a family—a home—and only Charlie can show him the way.

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