War rages across New Colorado Protectorate, and both sides employ normal and supernatural soldiers and arsenals. Sentries like Todd and Nick Ruger have the talents and training to combat such paranormal threats.
When Todd and Nick are sent by New Colorado’s Chancellor Clarke to investigate a group of weapons smugglers, they wind up posing undercover on the riverboat Annabelle. To their horror, they discover the arms dealers are demons—creatures they have no experience facing. Staying alive will take all their skills and abilities, especially trust in the powerful bond they’ve forged.
In the process of trying to stop the flow of illegal weapons, Todd and Nick learn of an assassination plot—targeting Chancellor Clarke. The events it sets into motion will alter the Rugers’ lives forever.
“Let’s try other music.” This tune wasn’t quite as slow and had a more pronounced beat. Positioning Nick’s hands, then his own, Todd leaned forward far enough to brush a light kiss over Nick’s cheek. He whispered into Nick’s ear, “Listen to the music and try to follow it… and me… and relax… and—”
“Have fun, damn it!” Nick grinned, pressing his head close to Todd’s, his tongue swiping a wet path over Todd’s ear.
“Anyway, launch is in a few hours, and there’s a party in the formal ballroom after that,” Todd said. He snickered when he got his foot out of the way of Nick’s just in time. “Don’t look down.”
Todd hustled Nick out of their suite, and they headed toward the main deck. They could have watched the launch from the small balcony off their room, but Todd wanted to see everything. He’d never understood why launches were always at night, but once they reached the main deck and the companionway that ringed it, he understood immediately.
Slave porters were moving along the deck, lighting small oil lamps and cranking Faraday lights that were hung in strings along the rail. The engines hummed. Todd could feel the vibration under his feet. He glanced sideways at Nick, took his hand, and pulled him closer to the rail so they could lean over and look.
Nick’s face split into a brilliant smile when he looked out. The river was dark, lights from the boat reflecting off the water. He turned and leaned back against the rail, facing Todd and looking up.
“That is worth this whole trip,” Nick said, motioning to the upper part of the boat.
Todd twisted around and followed Nick’s gaze with his own. The steam stacks were ringed with polished metal—it looked like brass, from the coloring. Red and black streamers flowed in the gentle breeze. The horn blared, and Todd could feel how the engines rumbled, their power ramping up.
Nick looked down, then back up at him, and grinned. “Wow.”
“Yeah,” Todd agreed.
“Okay, now I get why you are so fascinated with these boats and wanted to see this for yourself,” Nick said.
Other passengers cheered and waved to people seeing them off on the pier as the paddle wheels came to life and the boat began its journey. As it pulled away from the shore and docks, it picked up speed until, once in the center of the river, Todd could actually feel a slight breeze from its movement on his face.
He twined his fingers through Nick’s and tugged him in for a light kiss. “This is how I always imagined it would be,” he said. He’d dropped his voice so it was low and husky. It had the desired effect on his young mate. Nick sucked in a breath.
Nick pressed close, shivering, his lips curled into a smile against Todd’s mouth. “This is pretty amazing,” Nick said softly.
Dreamspinner (paperback): http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5735
Dreamspinner (eBook): http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5734
Elizabeth Noble started telling stories before she actually knew how to write, and her family was very happy when she learned to put words on a page. Those words turned into fan fiction that turned into a genuine love of M/M romance fiction. Being able to share her works with Dreamspinner is really a dream come true. She has a real love for a good mystery complete with murder and twisty plots as well as all things sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural and a bit of an unnatural interest in a super-volcano in Wyoming.
Elizabeth has three grown children and is now happily owned by an adorable mixed breed canine princess named Rosie, and two cats, Murphy and Yeti. She lives in her native northeast Ohio, the perfect place for gardening, winter and summer sports (go Tribe!). When she’s not writing she’s working as a veterinary nurse, so don’t be surprised to see her men with a pet or three who are a very big part of their lives.
Two of Elizabeth’s books have received Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards.