“Puzzle Me This” by Eli Easton

about

Luke Schumaker designs computer games, working from his home. Every day he walks his dog in the woods nearby, never suspecting that someone who is completely smitten is watching.

The watcher is Alex Shaw, and he too works from home, designing logic and crossword puzzles. Alex’s options are limited: he’s too shy to approach Luke and his wheelchair won’t let him follow into the woods. His solution? Secret messages for Luke in the crosswords he writes for the local paper.

When Luke decodes them, romance begins, but then they face greater puzzles, like Alex’s interfering sister and what commitment to a man in a wheelchair really takes. And, most puzzling of all, how do you know if love is real?

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“Soul on Fire” by Tal Bauer

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A deadly virus burns through the jungle, leaving nothing but corpses in its wake. Everyone flees from the outbreak—except for the terrorists intent on weaponizing the catastrophe.

Lieutenant Elliot Davis, US Navy SEAL, is sent to rescue CIA officers from their clandestine base in Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and evacuate them out of the country. What they’ve uncovered sends Elliot back to the Congo, trying to prevent an attack that could spark a global pandemic.

Dr. Ikolo Ngondu runs a refugee hospital caught between the advancing rebels intent on slaughtering everyone in their path and Elliot’s mission to find and capture their leader. In the chaos of a surprise attack, Elliot’s target slips away, and the only way to find him is to plunge into the Congo’s dark, dangerous, and fevered forest with Ikolo as his guide.

Together they track a burning shadow through Africa’s broken heart, and Elliot struggles to reconcile the world he finds with the life he’s lived as a black man in the West. He looks to Ikolo for answers and finds a man with a core so bright and fierce he scorches Elliot’s soul.

Even as they race against time, Elliot and Ikolo have no idea what’s been set in motion with their mission: a dark secret lies at the center, one that leaves billions of lives hovering between life and death.

And through it all, a question burns inside Elliot, one that only Ikolo may hold the answer to. 

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“Digging Deep” by Jay Hogan

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A Digging Deep Story 

Drake Park has a complicated life. As a gay male midwife, he’s used to raising eyebrows. Add Crohn’s disease and things get interesting—or not, considering the sad state of his love life. Experience has taught Drake that most men are fair-weather sailors when it comes to handling his condition—gone for dust when things get rough. Staying healthy is a full-time job without adding in any heartbreak, so a little loneliness is a small price to pay. If he says it often enough he might even believe it. One thing for sure, the cop who arrested him isn’t about to change that.

Caleb Ashton does not have a complicated life. A senior detective with the Whangarei Police Department, he likes his job and is good at it. He works hard and plays hard, happy to enjoy as many men as he can while he’s still young enough—or at least he was. These days he feels adrift for the first time in his life, and the only thing sparking his interest—a certain prickly young midwife.

But can Drake find enough faith to risk opening his heart again? And does Caleb have what it takes to cope with the challenges Drake’s condition presents?

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“Close to Home” by Cate Ashwood

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Witt:
I excelled at two things: systems engineering and going completely unnoticed. 
The engineering took work and determination. The invisibility came naturally. Until one day, the wrong person noticed me. Battered and broken, I fled, escaping to Sawyer’s Ferry and the only friends I’d ever had.
Now, I just needed to figure out what I was going to do next. 

Mason:
Life was good. 
I had a great job, good friends, and a family who loved me. Even my roommate was decent. At least he was until he let his nudist brother come to visit. The opportunity to house-sit and help an injured friend couldn’t have come at a better time.
All I’d needed was to avoid an awkward situation for a few days, but I got more than I bargained for when my entire uncomplicated life flipped upside down. The last thing I’d been looking for was love, but it wasn’t until Witt that I realized just how much I’d been missing out on.

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“Gideon” by Lily Morton

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Gideon Ramsay is so far in the closet he should be a talking faun.

A talented, mercurial, and often selfish man, Gideon has everything he should want in life. Fame, money, acting awards – he has it all. Everything but honesty. At the advice of his agent, Gideon has concealed his sexuality for years. But it’s starting to get harder to hide, and his increasingly wild behaviour is threatening to destroy his career.

Then he’s laid low by a serious illness and into his life comes Eli Jones. Eli is everything that Gideon can’t understand. He’s sunny tempered, friendly, and optimistic. Even worse, he’s unaffected by grumpiness and sarcasm, which forms ninety percent of Gideon’s body weight. And now Gideon is trapped with him without any recourse to the drugs and alcohol that have previously eased his way through awkward situations.

However, as Gideon gets to know the other man, he finds himself wildly attracted to his lazy smiles and warm, scruffy charm that seem to fill a hole inside Gideon that’s been empty for a long time. Will he give in to this incomprehensible attraction when it could mean the end of everything that he’s worked for?

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“Copper Creek” by Cate Ashwood

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Frankie:

My life sucks.
After spending a year jobless and on the edge of becoming homeless, I’d officially reached a level of desperation that, even if I wasn’t completely broke, retail therapy couldn’t fix.
While Sawyer’s Ferry, Alaska, is the last place on earth I’d ever want to visit, when my best friend, Holden, begs me to fly out and plan his wedding, I can’t say no. What I didn’t expect was to stumble into the administrative chaos at Copper Creek Brewing—or its too-hot-to-be-legal owner.
Clearly the man needs my help, and I’m willing to go above and beyond.
Way beyond.

Barrett:
I am screwed.
Six months after my assistant up and quit, I’m not any closer to finding a replacement, and things at the brewery are starting to fall apart.
And then in walks Frankie. He’s not the typical guy you’d find in these parts, and he brings with him a world of confusion. Because as much as I need his help, I can’t seem to keep my eyes—or hands—off him.
He’s supposed to be getting my life in order, but instead there’s a chance he could turn everything upside down.

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“Family Camp” by Eli Easton

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When Geo signs up for Family Camp, he envisions nature hikes, s’mores, and a chance to win over his recalcitrant new foster kids, Jayden and Lucy. He’s tried to become a dad for so long, and he hopes the three of them can be the family he’s always wanted. What he doesn’t anticipate is the prickly and gorgeous camp counselor who constantly comes to his rescue.

Travis spends a week every year at Camp Evermore, the camp his adoptive parents own. As a pro baseball player, his presence guarantees a full campground and excited campers. He has one rule: never, ever mess around with anyone at camp. His profession demands he stay in the closet. But one sweet and funny new dad is about to test all his resolve.

Sparks fly for Geo and Travis, and not because of the nightly campfire. Having been a foster kid himself, Travis is drawn to Geo’s sincerity and big heart and to his kids. The four of them just fit. But will this be a summer romance? Or can they find a way to be a family long after Family Camp is over?

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“Milo” by Lily Morton

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Once upon a time a brave knight rescued a young man. Unfortunately, he then spent the next few years bossing the young man around and treating him like a child.

Milo has been burying himself at Chi an Mor, hiding from the wreckage of his once promising career and running from a bad relationship that destroyed what little confidence he had. Niall, his big brother’s best friend, has been there for him that entire time. An arrogant and funny man, Niall couldn’t be any more different from the shy and occasionally stuttering Milo, which has never stopped Milo from crushing wildly on the man who saved him.

However, just as Milo makes the decision to move on from his hopeless crush, he and Niall are thrown into close contact, and for the first time ever Niall seems to be returning his interest. But it can never work. How can it when Milo always needs rescuing?

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“Plan B” by S.J.D. Peterson

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Danny Marshal has always lived his life out loud, but his androgynous appearance is only a small part of who he is. One night at a frat party, Danny meets Lance Lenard, football jock and apparent straight guy. Lance is shocked when he’s immediately attracted to Danny’s feminine side. Danny is happy to be the subject of Lance’s first man-on-man experiment—until Lance begins to struggle with the fact that despite his appearance, Danny is indeed a man.

Lance’s whole life has been focused on his goal of playing in the NFL, and he knows those dreams will be smashed if anyone finds out about his little secret. Although Lance has come to hunger for Danny’s touch, he’s not willing to give Danny what he’s grown to crave: a boyfriend who’s proud to love him for every flamboyant and snarky cell in his body.

Life sends Danny and Lance in different directions, each of them focused on his respective Plan A. But the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

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“Liam for Hire” by A. Zukowski

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Liam Murphy has kicked his drug habit and now pays for the high living costs in London as an escort. His life is finally in balance. His only problem is that he obsesses about the minimum number of times he has to bend over to make ends meet. As long as he has his emotions under control, it’ll be fine. That’s what Liam keeps telling himself until he meets the young widower Alastair, also known as Ali, whose emerald eyes remind him of Ireland.

“I…I want us to have sex as though we’re making love.”

Making love? Jaysus.

I scratch my head. “Okay. You mean more kisses and shit?”

Ali laughs.

“And shit.” His face lights up and he looks about ten years younger. “Like cuddles.”

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