QSFer Kayleigh Sky has a new MM paranromal fantasy romance out: Wandering a Luminous Sea.
Happy ever after, pearls, and murder—what else is romance made of?
After escaping his cold fish of an ex, Jody Knox had everything—a new career, his goofy dog, and the love of his life, Merik. He couldn’t believe his luck…
Until it changed. In the worst way.
After stumbling onto the love of his life, Merik Lighthouse had a dilemma—solve the mystery of the missing mer and return to the sea, or confess his secret identity and risk losing Jody. He couldn’t decide…
Until someone decided for him. Permanently.
Or maybe not…
Wandering a Luminous Sea is for you if you love paranormal contemporary fantasy, mm romance, fairytales, and suspense.
Oh… and a loveable poodle named Ellery Queen.
Knox leaned forward, unwound the leash, and patted the dog’s neck. “Hush.”
Merik took a breath, exhaled, and let a smile split his face.
“Is that a poodle?”
Surprise flashed in Knox’s eyes, but he smiled and nodded. “A standard, yes.”
Black with fluffy bangs in his eyes.
“Is he friendly? Can I—”
He stretched out a hand, and Knox nodded. “Sure. He loves people.”
“What’s his name?”
He crouched onto one knee, and the poodle ruffed again, and flopped onto his side.
Knox’s laugh was a rough whisper, mouse soft, but he kept his smile. “It’s Ellery Queen. He’s still a puppy.”
“Really? He’s big.”
Merik scrubbed the dog’s belly. “Ellery Queen, huh?” He glanced up and caught the rosy blush in Knox’s cheeks.
“Um… I um… really like mysteries.”
“Books, right? You like to read?”
Knox nodded. “Sure.”
It was a dumb conversation that made Merik’s shoulders knot and drove an ache into his head. It had been easy to find out the dog’s name and not a big jump to guessing Knox was a mystery fan. That part was kind of cute. Quiet, mousy guy diving into blood and mayhem between the covers of a book. What other wicked delights hid inside that brain?
Not your business.
But it was, because those were the things he could use.
“Me too, though I admit, I’m into movies more.”
He rose and gestured at the bench. Knox scooted sideways, and Merik sat, smiling into the sun. “Damn, that feels good.”
He looked sideways at the silence. If Knox had agreed with him, he’d done it with a nod. He had his gaze fixed on Merik though, a slight frown creasing his brow. His eyes didn’t move, but Merik got an impression of them darting back and forth, as though Knox’s thoughts were whipping by inside. On the outside, a lip got chewed-on, a blush stained his cheeks, a tiny smile grew, and yeah… Got ’im.
Merik stuck out his hand. “Well, I met your dog, so it’s your turn now.”
A huffy chuckle escaped Knox’s throat. “Okay.”
“I’m Merik Lighthouse.”
Knox’s eyes brightened. “That’s a cool name. I like it. It’s English, isn’t it?”
“I’m not sure, but I’ll take your word for it.” He shrugged. “I never looked into it. How about you?”
Knox released his hand, the rosy color on his cheeks going from floral to berry red. “Jody Knox.”
“Nice to meet you, Jody.” He glanced down at the poodle, who sat at his feet, giving Knox a break from his stare. “And you, Ellery Queen.”
“Is that so?”
No telling what the dog heard him say, but it must have been good, because he bounded up, spun, and woof-woofed again.
Knox tugged him closer. “Hush, El.” He shot a tight-lipped smile at Merik. “Sorry about that.”
Merik shrugged. “It’s honest emotion. Nothing wrong with that.”
Embers burned in Knox’s cheeks now. “Ellery Queen is very honest. I like that about dogs.”
“Do you have others?”
Knox shook his head, and his smile softened. “Ellery Queen is a rescue. I learned poodles are very intelligent, good watchdogs, and can handle being alone in an apartment for long hours. I have a duplex, but I work all day, of course, so a poodle was exactly the breed I was looking for.”
Something, an ephemeral flash, there and gone, crossed Knox’s face. It hinted of worry, but Merik hadn’t gotten a good enough look to say for sure.
Until Knox found his smile again and like a mind reader said, “Well, um, that’s not exactly my strong suit, so thanks, I guess.”
Merik shrugged. “Mine neither. I’m kinda off-the-cuff. Gut feeling kinda guy.”
Knox snorted and patted his belly. “Gut sick kinda guy.”
“Yeah, no. I don’t think so. Ellery Queen doesn’t think so either, right, El?”
The bench vibrated with the bouncing of Knox’s leg. It was a slight up and down and tugged Merik’s gaze to the long limb, and blasted all his thoughts to make way for only one. One he didn’t have time to consider. That distracted him like blushing cheeks and a shy stare. Stop it. No fantasizing about the snug grip of those legs around his waist.
One of the rips in Knox’s jeans bared a pale knee, bony, but damn shapely.
Knox’s appeal was a sneaky, undercover, stealth bomber.
Shy wasn’t Merik’s type. At least not the first one he went for, but under that shyness was something else.
Something that made his gut sink at what he was doing.
Ellery Queen settled his chin on Merik’s knee. For fuck’s sake.
“You don’t have let him do that,” Knox said.
“That’s okay. I horned in on your guys’ space, so it’s cool. I just couldn’t resist.” He stopped before adding, “meeting your dog,” and let the weight of his real reason for busting in on them hang there and paint Jody’s cheeks a deeper red.
“Ellery Queen loves the marina. He’s got a thing for water.” He laughed. “Loves to splash it all over the kitchen.”
“Gotta grab your joy where you can.”
Jody jerked his gaze away and stared across the marsh. The tree-studded hills blurred in the haze that crept across the sky.
“Want to get some lunch?”
Jody’s head whipped back. “Um…”
“It’s okay. Sorry. That just came out. I know we just met. Maybe…”
He let his voice trail off, and the bench vibrated faster. Sandy freckles. Hazel eyes with long dark lashes and a ring of amber around the pupils, diffusing into light blue. Pillowy, lilac shadows underneath. Wasn’t he sleeping? Guilty conscience from something Dawson was mixed up in? Merik shifted on the bench, ruffling the poodle’s ears with one hand as he pushed back, putting a little distance between them. Letting hormones dictate his opinions wasn’t a good idea.
No matter what the struggle is from book to book, love always wins out. I’m strong on plot, strong on character, stronger on love. You can count on happily ever after from me every time. I write my stories to open hearts and uplift spirits. Love matters. It counts. And it’s for everyone.