Logan Shoemaker's honest, hardworking, and loves what he does. Though he never expects to get rich, he's fared well enough to stay comfortable with his quirky metaphysical store, Shoemaker's Magick Shoppe. But when the economy falls on hard times, his store pays the price. As each month passes, slow sales turn into no sales, and soon Logan's living off ramen noodles and sleeping in a freezing house during the cold winter nights as he struggles to make ends meet. His personal life isn't much better--the worse business at the store grows, the more isolated and lonely he becomes. After a string of mishaps that wipe out the last of his small savings, he finally hits rock bottom the day he discovers the disconnection notice from the electric company hanging on his door. That night, desperate and in despair, he makes a plea to the universe, asking for help.
Needless to say, he never anticipates receiving a response so quickly. Not only does he awaken the next morning to find on his kitchen table four little bottles of a special potion labeled "PASSION," but he keeps remembering the erotically charged dream he'd had during the night. A dream where a tall, gorgeous man with pointed ears comes to his bed and shows him just what kind of magick they can make together.
But was it a dream? All Logan knows is that his customers can't get enough of the special potion--an aphrodisiac--and he can't stop thinking about the sweet seduction of the nighttime visitor who made it. As he tries to sort out what's real and what's not, he discovers there's a much bigger world out there than he'd ever believed, and his true heart's desire might come in a most unexpected form...
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Amber Quill Press, LLC
September 19, 2010
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Excerpt from The Elf and Shoemaker by M. L. Rhodes
...Be grateful for what you have.
He was grateful. He truly was.
But now, it was time to go. He leaned in, unable to resist, and pressed a kiss to the man's head, then rested his forehead against Logan's. Until we meet again.
Unexpectedly, one of Logan's hands curled around the back of his head, causing Hallan's heart to stutter. And then, even more shocking, Logan's lips were there, tasting of wine, warm and damp, seeking, and finding, moving over his.
Hallan barely dared to breathe and wasn't sure how to respond as Logan continued to press fluttering kisses on him, the contact light yet setting small fires of desire ablaze in him with each touch. He was torn between the aching urge to return the kisses--he'd spent months dreaming of this very thing--and the knowledge Logan was completely unaware of what he was doing and with whom he was doing it.
But when Logan whispered, "Please," in a quiet, needy voice, Hallan was not made of stone. He'd wanted from afar for too long. And how could a few innocent kisses in the dark be harmful? He cupped Logan's cheek in his hand and kissed back.
His capitulation, however, seemed to stir to life something much more urgent in Logan. Quickly evolving from innocent to purely erotic, the kisses grew more demanding, lasted longer, and though he knew he should stop it, Hallan couldn't do it. Each taste, each stroke of tongues, each nip of teeth, each soft moan only drew him farther into the dance until everything around them stopped and there was only the two of them in the dark, spinning.
Logan wrenched his lips free and buried his face in Hallan's neck. "Please," he murmured again. His hand covered Hallan's and guided it beneath the covers to his groin.
Hallan bit his lip and held back a moan of his own. Logan was hard as stone, his erection pressed tight against his jeans, and the heat radiating from it into his Hallan's hand was immense. It took every ounce of his self-control not to tear open the fastenings of Logan's pants, free the hard length, and wrap his hand around it. He knew it would be hot and sleek, probably dripping with need, and twitching in anticipation. His own cock throbbed just thinking about it.
"Logan," he groaned, fighting a battle within himself.
"Please." Logan's mouth pressed hot and damp against his neck, trailing kisses along his jaw line up to the sensitive spot below his ear. "God, please," he whispered. "Touch me. I want you to."
Hallan wanted it, too. But things were moving so fast. The fact Logan wasn't fully present weighed on him...it made him feel like he was taking unfair advantage, seeking pleasure for his own selfish reasons when he wasn't sure how much of this Logan would even remember tomorrow. More than that, the nagging worry that he needed to leave was a pressure in his mind. He'd come here without a plan, without laying any groundwork to cover his absence. He'd probably already been gone longer than he ought.
"You've had too much to drink. I..." He closed his eyes and fought back another moan as Logan's lips delved into that tender spot beneath his ear again. "I..."
He forgot what he was trying to say as, with one hand, Logan opened his jeans, freed himself, and pressed Hallan's hand against hard, steamy, bare flesh. With the other hand, he teased his fingertips along the extremely sensitive curve of Hallan's ear. Hallan shivered with need. "Agh...Logan..."
"Yes...yes," the man crooned, nuzzling his ear and pressing his groin into Hallan's palm, filling his hand with fullness and heat.
Hallan was lost. He couldn't fight it. Didn't even want to. He turned his head and captured Logan's mouth again, kissing him long and deep, licking into him with such long-held-back passion he almost shocked himself at the intensity of it.
Enough to shock Logan as well, apparently, because Hallan felt the exact moment the last, tenuous mask of sleep faded...and Logan returned to full awareness...