QSFer Anna Kensing has a new paranormal historical bi/gay MM romance out, “Devilfish.”
Prosperous merchant Elliot Bishop has built a safe life in Port Townsend, Washington. The family business is thriving, he’s engaged to be married, and he’s not about to let his rogue stepbrother’s sudden return home disrupt his plans. But when his fiancée disappears under the same mysterious circumstances as his mother did years ago, and his childhood nightmares about octopuses reoccur, Elliot senses someone—or something—took both women, and now it’s after him.
Captain Declan Fitzgerald finally has his own ship and crew, but he’s still governed by his father’s obsession, hunting the thing that took his stepmother, and now Elliot’s fiancée. Declan will protect Elliot from whatever’s calling him from the ocean’s depths, even as doing so reignites his feelings for Elliot.
As Elliot surrenders to the call of the moon and tides, he gives in to Declan, who anchors him while Elliot changes in ways his childhood nightmares never prepared him. Sex with the new Elliot is better than Declan imagined, if a little different than he expected. Declan has always been willing to sacrifice everything for Elliot, but what must Elliot give up to choose Declan?
Warning: pseudo incest (stepbrothers)
At the sound of breaking glass, Elliot Bishop closed the book he was reading. He hadn’t put the latch on the front door for the night because he often received late messengers from one of his warehouses. Besides, burglary was uncommon in uptown Port Townsend, unlike the petty thievery and debauchery that occurred every day and all night downtown. He listened hard. It had been blustery all day; if someone had left a window open somewhere, perhaps the wind had simply blown something over.
The floorboards outside his study creaked, and Elliot set his book aside and got up. Grabbing a poker from the fireplace, he crept to the half-closed door to the study. He pressed against the wall behind the door and waited. The door slowly opened further, and Elliot tightened his grip on the iron shaft.
The shadowy figure moved into the room and Elliot rushed from behind the door, poker lifted in both hands to smash down on the intruder’s head. A gloved hand stretched up and caught it before it made impact. Elliot kept hold of the poker in his left hand and drove his right fist into the intruder’s side. The man twisted under Elliot’s arm, tearing the poker from him and tossing it onto the carpet behind him.
The only sources of light in the room were the fire and the small oil lamp Elliot had been reading by, so it was too dark to see the intruder clearly. Elliot blocked the man’s left hook but flinched at a right jab into his ribs. They fought for a few furious minutes until the man hooked his leg behind Elliot’s and jerked his feet out from under him. He fell on top of Elliot and drove the breath from Elliot’s chest.
Elliot scrabbled a hand on the floor, feeling for the poker, a chair leg, anything to smash into the man’s head. And then the man chuckled next to his ear, a sound he’d know anywhere. He froze so that he didn’t arc up against the now-familiar weight pressing down on him.
“Declan? What the hell are you doing here?”
Declan chuckled again, his breath raising the fine hairs on Elliot’s neck. “You’re a little rusty, aren’t you? Gotten a little soft with all your fine living?”
Enough of this. Elliot hooked his leg around Declan’s, pushed his left hand into Declan’s shoulder, and leveraged his right elbow to flip them over, pinning Declan beneath him.
Declan grunted. “Not that rusty after all, eh?” His breath smelled like whiskey, and Elliot couldn’t stop a shiver of pleasure at being this close to Declan after all these years.
Declan tapped him on the shoulder twice. “Let me up, you big oaf.”
Elliot got up before he could do anything he’d regret, like crush his lips to Declan’s or bury his face in the man’s neck. He reached a hand down to pull Declan up, then took a few steps back toward the fire and the armchair he’d been sitting in.
“What the hell are you doing here?” he repeated.
Declan’s eyes roamed around the room and caught sight of the half-empty tumbler on the table near Elliot’s chair.
“Well, I was looking for a glass of quality whiskey.” He headed straight for the sideboard, pulled his gloves off, and poured himself three fingers from the decanter. He saluted Elliot with the glass and took a long swallow.
“Ah,” Declan sighed. Elliot shivered again, remembering the last time he’d heard Declan make sounds of pleasure like that. Declan winked at Elliot. “Much better than the swill they serve at the Delmonico.” A soft smile lifted his full lips and crinkled his green eyes. “It’s good to see you again, man,” he said. The firelight gleamed on his disheveled hair, turning it chestnut and gold.
Before Elliot could respond, he heard another noise outside the study and tensed. It was only Celeste, hovering tentatively in the doorway, clutching a pale blue dressing gown around her.
Declan’s head turned at the sound of her voice, tracking her movements as Elliot held his arm out and drew her into the room. Celeste tucked her hand under his elbow and looked curiously from Elliot to Declan.
Elliot sighed internally. It would have been easier if she’d stayed upstairs in the guest wing while he dealt with Declan, but he couldn’t very well refuse to introduce her now.
“Celeste, allow me to introduce Mr. Declan Fitzgerald. Declan, this is Celeste Brady, my fiancée.”
Declan glanced at Elliot, a startled look on his face. “Your fiancée?” Then Declan stepped forward and bent over Celeste’s outstretched hand.
“Captain Fitzgerald,” he corrected. “But please call me Declan. After all, we’re about to be family. I’m Elliot’s brother.”
“Stepbrother.” Elliot’s turn to correct Declan. “Declan’s father married my mother when I was an infant.” He flushed at Declan’s knowing glance. Why did he feel the need to clarify that they weren’t blood relations?
“Wait…Captain?” he asked, turning to Declan. “Your father let you get your master’s certificate?”
Declan still held Celeste’s hand and bent over it, brushing his lips across her fingers. Ignoring Elliot, he said, “It’s an honor to meet you—Celeste, was it? I can’t imagine what my stepbrother did to convince any woman to marry him, much less a woman as beautiful as you.”
Celeste blushed prettily and pulled her hand from Declan’s—reluctantly, it seemed to Elliot—and dropped a small curtsy. “The honor is mine, Captain. It’s a shame you missed our dinner party this evening.”
Declan picked up his glass and leaned against the sideboard as Elliot tugged Celeste an appropriate distance from him. “And when is the happy event to take place?” he asked, eyes flicking between Elliot and Celeste over the rim of his glass as he sipped from it.
“Tuesday,” Celeste answered, before Elliot could. “I do hope you’re staying for a few days, Captain, and will stand up for Elliot at the wedding.
|Anna Kensing writes steamy paranormal historical romances that flirt with taboo. Her characters are often weird, mostly queer, and always get their happily-ever-after. Eventually. She’s obsessed with octopuses and the tv show Supernatural, listens to flute duets and heavy metal music while writing, and loves her scotch and Irish whiskies. When she’s not thinking about writing, she’s usually thinking about her next tattoo.|