A Hoale Lot of Trouble – Flipping Houses can be Deadly!


A Hoale Lot of Trouble

Flipping houses can be a Deadly Business!

Adam Hoale owns a construction company called Hoale Construction. When he finds an eye-opening surprise in the walls of a house he’s flipping, and a libido flaring surprise standing on the lawn, he’s willing to do the right thing with the surprise in the wall while entertaining lusty thoughts about the surprise on the lawn.

But as the world finds out what he discovered, and his new boy toy seems to be keeping too many secrets to make a relationship a reality, Adam soon realizes he may just get flipped himself if he’s not careful.

~~*~~

Bobby’s was an old style gym that smelled like sweat and focused on the basics. There was a pool, but there were no yoga classes at Bobby’s and no spin classes. The closest Bobby’s got to spin was when Zeke the personal trainer decided you weren’t pedaling fast enough on one of the gym’s scarred and ancient stationary bikes and started screaming into your face like a drill sergeant.

Zeke was straight as the edge of an architect’s ruler but he treated Adam the same as everyone else. Brief and brusque. Zeke was even gruff when he smiled. The only softness he ever showed was directed at Walter.

For his part, Walter adored Zeke, which was why Adam knew Zeke was a good guy. Dogs had a great sense of people—much better than their human friends.

The gruff trainer was well over six feet tall and buff, with rock-hard abs and bulging biceps and thighs, and he wore his brown hair short and spiky. He ruled his roost with an iron fist and very little in the way of positive reinforcement. With Zeke you got negative reinforcement and nuclear level negative reinforcement.

He even yelled at Maddy.

Nobody yelled at Maddy.

As soon as Adam opened the door Walter trotted past him and headed straight for Zeke. The big man was all the way across the large, main room, “explaining” to Maddy that she needed to use the incline controls on the treadmill or she was gonna have cellulite bubbles the size of deer shot on her thighs. According to him, the event could occur at any moment because of her general lack of motivation.
Maddy’s pretty pixie face had turned the color of rich cream and she was so “inclined” by the time Adam hit the midway point of the room that she had to work to keep from sliding off the back of the treadmill.

He wondered if he could use the cellulite threat to get her to fill out her design planning forms more completely.

“Hey, Adam!”

Adam glanced up, grinning at the man hailing him with a boxing-glove-covered hand from the ring that dominated the center of the gym. “Hey, Bobby! Lookin’ good. Nice ass.”

Bobby laughed, his ruddy face mostly hidden behind a helmet and his short, sturdy body glistening with sweat. Bobby’s boxing partner glanced at Adam, looking nervous behind his helmet. Adam winked at the man and kept moving, grinning at Bobby’s deep laughter behind him.

“He’s just tweakin’ ya, Peterson. Chill out.”

Bobby and Adam had been friends for years and Adam liked to tease him. Bobby showed every indication of enjoying the playful flirting, though he wasn’t gay. He seemed to genuinely like Adam and knew that Adam couldn’t help trying to get a rise out of the homophobes in the gym. No pun intended. There weren’t a lot of them. Bobby’s was generally a laid back, anything goes, kind of place. But it was one of few old-style gyms left so it still drew its share of testosterone drenched Neanderthals.

Adam had never been able to resist twisting the dicks of the cavemen types.

Zeke was bent over Walter, speaking softly to him to hide the fact that he was talking baby talk as he scratched his floppy ears. Walter’s thick fringe of a tail beat against Zeke’s massive thigh, his brown eyes narrowed in pleasure.

Zeke looked up at Adam as he approached. “I hope you’re ready to work a little harder this week, Hoale.”

Adam grinned. “You didn’t think an hour in the pool was a hard enough workout last time?”
Zeke swore, the very core of his phenomenal work ethic cringing at the thought. “Pansy ass. If you don’t sweat through your clothes you haven’t worked out.” He jabbed Adam in the chest and Adam had to fight to keep from flinching. He was pretty sure he’d have a Zeke digit-sized bruise on his chest later. “I’m all yours today, Zeke. Do with me what you will.”

A strange wheezing noise wafted over them and both men turned to Maddy. She’d attained a strange purple-puce color and Adam was pretty sure she was foaming at the mouth.

She tried to lift a hand in greeting but when she did she skidded backward, almost sliding all the way off the treadmill before she grabbed the handle and saved herself at the last second.

Zeke frowned. “Step it up, Rodgers. I’ve had Sunday afternoon strolls through the Arboretum that were faster than that.”

Adam felt he had to intervene. Maddy was way too competitive for her own good. She wouldn’t push back as long as Zeke pushed her forward. “I’m thinking, from the color of her face, she might be about a wheeze away from 9-1-1, man.”

Zeke snorted. “She’s fine. I’m tryin’ to put hair on her chest.” The poking digit found its way to Adam’s poor, bruised chest again, “Don’t infect her with your pansy-assed work-less ethic, Hoale.” Zeke headed toward the weight bench on the other side of the room.

Adam turned a look of stark terror on Maddy and she wheezed out a laugh, almost falling off the treadmill as she saluted him. Adam slashed a hand across his throat and trudged after the big man. The last time he’d let Zeke guide him in a weight bench workout, he’d barely been able to lift his arms for a week.

Behind him, the treadmill slowed and he heard the whir of the incline dropping back to level. Maddy’s wheezing lessened as she walked out her cool down.

He hoped she appreciated what he’d done for her.

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Bright City Lights – Paranormal Action…Hot M/M Love!


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Bright City Lights – Book 1: City of Lights

An alpha, a politician, and a killer walk into a bar…

Rabb is an alpha shifter, a werewolf, who likes to defy both the odds and authority. He prefers the city lights over the open spaces most shifters enjoy.

Brant is a politician with a secret that’s becoming harder and harder to contain. As mayor of Bright City, he’s determined to keep the city free of shifters to protect his secret.

The two men share a fair amount of distrust, along with a smoldering history that threatens to drag them under again. But when shifters begin to die in Bright City, Rabb and Brant need to find a way to work together again. Especially when one of them inadvertently steps right into the murderer’s deadly path.

~~*~~

“Is he gonna be a problem?”

Brant’s gaze clung to the door, a line of worry between his golden eyebrows. “Yes. I believe he is.”

“Does he know about you?”

Brant’s head whipped around, his bright gaze sliding over Rabb. “No. Nobody does.”

“Except me.” Rabb stepped closer, his body heating as he watched Brant’s tongue slip out to skim across his lips. “I know all about you, don’t I?”

Brant didn’t move. His chest rose and fell in panicked breaths but he didn’t retreat. Rabb respected that. He stopped in front of the mayor and leaned close, his nostrils flaring to take him in. “You haven’t changed a bit in all these years, fang.”

“Don’t call me that.” Brant’s voice was breathless, his hands coming up to rest against Rabb’s chest as if he would push him away. “Don’t ever—” Rabb leaned in, settled his lips on Brant’s skin, over the pulse zone in his pale throat that perfumed the air with his delicious scent. “Don’t call me that.” He finished on a gasp as Rabb’s tongue came out, licking across the vein throbbing there.

“Don’t worry. I wouldn’t tell anyone what you are. It’s none of their business.” Rabb’s hand encompassed the front of Brant’s throat, holding him in place as he lowered his lips. The smaller man vibrated beneath his touch, his lean body rigid with expectation. His eyes found Rabb’s and the heat shining within them made Rabb suck in a breath.

Brant held his gaze for a moment, his need shining bright between them, a beacon that made Rabb’s wolf claw to get out. It wanted to play, to taste, to fuck with wild abandon. His slacks were suddenly too constrictive. The tie he wore choked, too much like a collar for his comfort. His head lowered. His lips tingled with anticipation.

Brant pushed on his chest. He made a small sound that sounded like the cry of a trapped and dying animal. And Rabb couldn’t press him. He stepped away, giving Brant’s pale face a last, gentle touch before turning toward the door. Rabb stopped with his hand on the doorknob. “I’ll do what I can to keep this quiet, fang.”

Brant swallowed hard and nodded. “Thanks.” The single word ground from his chest, sounding as if it had had to fight its way through a constricted throat.

Rabb smiled. “I guess I still have a soft spot for you, Brant. I thought I’d managed to kill it years ago.”

The other man didn’t say anything. His hands gripped the edge of his desk so hard the knuckles were white.

Rabb opened the door. “I’ll go get settled in my office.”

DS

Brant waited until the door closed behind Rabb and then closed his eyes, lifting his shaking hands to slip through his hair. He’d been so sure Rabb was going to kiss him. He’d braced himself for it and worse—he’d wanted it, badly. He didn’t know how he was going to survive working alongside the big shifter day after day. He’d surely combust with need—multiple levels of it.

His body already thrummed with awareness. His gut felt empty. Painfully empty. He needed to do something to distract himself. Brant grabbed his suit coat and started toward the door. Physical exercise would help him cope. It always had in the past.

But that was before he’d laid eyes on Rabb again. In the past it had been the memory of the big shifter that he’d been running from when he drove himself to exhaustion. That had been difficult enough.

Now he had the living, breathing, incredibly delicious real thing to deal with.

There was no way he could survive this again. No way in hell.

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Merry Christmas from Declan Sands…


A Hoale Lot of Trouble

Book 1 in my Hoale Construction Mysteries series

…and what would the holidays be without some sexy M/M fun? #:0) But first, let me introduce myself.

I write romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, I have been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.

~~*~~

A Hoale Construction Mystery – Book 1
Romantic Suspense – Electric Prose Publications

Sexy gay construction company owner, Adam Hoale, sometimes gets more than he bargained for when he flips a house!

Adam Hoale owns a construction company called, predictably, Hoale Construction. When he finds an eye opening surprise in the walls of a house he’s flipping, and a libido flaring surprise standing on the lawn, he’s willing to do the right thing with the surprise in the wall while entertaining dirty thoughts about the surprise on the lawn.

But as the world finds out what he discovered, and his new boy toy seems to be keeping too many secrets to make a relationship a reality, Adam soon realizes he may just get flipped himself if he’s not careful.

 ~~*~~

5 Stars from The Romance Studio: “This is a very good story from beginning to end and I thoroughly enjoyed the read. The author has written this one so well I could have sworn I was part of the story as the characters felt like old friends. They are well drawn in a clever, solid plot that is very inviting. The romantic aspect is charming and realistically written with some mysterious elements also. I really loved this book. The author took a simple theme and made it into something grand. A Hoale Lot of Trouble is the first in a new mystery series. I can’t wait to read what’s coming next.”

~~*~~

Adam grinned. “You want another drink?”

“Maybe just one more.”

Adam signaled the waiter over and put in their drink order. Then he looked at Sean, grinning wickedly. “How about chocolate cake?”

Sean shook his head. “Not a chance, I have to guard my boyish figure. But go ahead if you want to. I might steal a bite.” His eyes sparkled intimately, making Adam’s stomach tighten. He looked at the waiter. “One slice, two forks please.”

The waiter winked and turned away. Adam watched him walk across the restaurant and then sucked in a breath as the front door opened and a familiar face and form entered.

Dirk’s gaze found him almost immediately, as if he’d known Adam would be there. He felt a shock of surprise as their eyes met, their gazes tangling across the space.

The young woman with Dirk was draped over his arm, speaking to him animatedly. Dirk seemed to be ignoring her. His full attention was fixed on Adam.

“Is something wrong?”

Adam jerked his gaze away from Dirk and gave Sean a strained smile. “I just saw someone I knew.”

Sean turned toward the door, his sexy eyes widening. “Is that Dirk Williams?”

Sucking back a sigh, Adam nodded.

“You know him?”

Adam tried not to frown but he wasn’t entirely successful. It had always been the same. Once Dirk walked into the room, nobody had eyes for anybody else. “We were friends…once upon a time.” He stiffened his spine and asked, “Would you like me to introduce you?” Please say no, please say n—

“Sure! I’ve always thought he was so yummy. Are the rumors true?”

You mean the rumors that he’s a dick? “What rumors?”

“Oh, never mind. He’s coming over. I’ll just engage my gaydar. It almost never steers me wrong.”

Dirk led his date toward their table, the frazzled Hostess in tow. He engaged his trademark grin as he came within a few feet of the table and extended his hand. “Hello, Adam. How nice to see you again.”

He stood up and took the other man’s hand. At six foot two, Adam was close enough to Dirk’s height, about an inch taller, to look him directly in the eye. “Dirk.” Adam turned to Dirk’s fluffy decoy date, just to annoy him. “And who is this lovely lady?” He reached for her hand and bent over it like European royalty, lifting it to his lips.

She giggled prettily.

“This is Macy.” He smiled in her direction. “Macy, darling. This is my old friend, Adam Hoale.”

Macy blinked, then sucked in a breath and laughed, covering her rose petal lips with her hand. Seeing Adam’s face she stopped. “Oh. Sorry.” She blinked. “You’re not joking?”

Dirk the Dick grinned at Adam, his intense, green gaze sparking with mirth. “Nope. That’s actually his name.”

Sean stood up and offered Dirk his hand. “I’m Sean. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Williams.”

Dirk slid a lazy gaze toward Sean, his lips quirking. “Hello, Sean. Call me Dirk, please.” He held Sean’s gaze a beat longer than he should have and Adam could almost hear his date’s gaydar humming.

“Well, don’t let us keep you from your dinner.” Adam glared at him.

Dirk’s jaw flexed with irritation at the obvious dismissal, but he recovered quickly, flinging Sean another smoldering glance. “Of course. I’ll see you at the house, tomorrow, Adam.” He lifted a hand in a wave and turned away, following the busy Hostess to their table on the opposite side of the restaurant.

Adam stood there, his mouth ajar, until Sean touched his arm. “Are you all right?”

Blinking rapidly, Adam nodded and dropped back into his chair. He wanted nothing more than to get the hell out of the restaurant. But he had that damn cake coming. “I’m fine. I’m just surprised. I didn’t know Dirk was coming to look at the house tomorrow. He must have spoken to my realtor.”

And Adam was gonna choke Mink with his epaulets for not warning him.

Sean settled back in his chair, picking up his fresh drink. “Is that a problem?”

“A problem? Yes.” Then realizing what he’d said he amended, “It’s just not ready for viewing yet. I’d hoped to get farther along…”

They sipped their drinks in silence for a moment.

“So is Dirk planning on buying the house?”

Adam didn’t miss the disappointed tone of Sean’s voice. “It’s possible. I understand he’s moving back to Indy. The house will certainly fit his overblown ego when it’s done. And god knows he has the money.” Adam took a much larger sip of his wine than he’d planned, nearly draining his glass.

Sean sat forward, touching Adam’s arm. “What’s wrong, Adam. You seem worried about something.”

Adam toyed with his glass for a beat and then broached the subject of the grisly discovery in the house. “What do you remember about the house on Jackson, Sean?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, do you remember anybody making any drastic changes to it when you lived there. Like adding a wall…” Cutting up bodies into itty bitty bits and arranging them in the insulation like a grisly Picasso?

He shook his head. “Not really. I mostly just have impressions, nothing concrete I’m afraid. Why do you ask?”

“We’ve been tearing some stuff down…” He watched the younger man carefully for a reaction. He didn’t see one. “One wall in particular. It seems to have been put up after the house was built…way after. The house is a hundred years old. But the type of insulation in the wall is something that has only been available since 1986. So we know the wall was added much later. Probably in the nineties.”

Sean seemed to be thinking about Adam’s question. “In 1995 I would have been only ten…” He shook his head. I vaguely remember some construction, but I couldn’t tell you the details. Unfortunately I’m one of those people who only remembers the traumatic events from his childhood.” He slanted Adam a curious look. “What’s so important about when the wall was added?”

Adam briefly considered lying to the other man, but that wouldn’t get him what he needed so he decided to be straight with him. “I’m afraid we found something in that wall today, when we started to tear it down.”

“Oh really? What?” Sean looked only mildly curious.

Adam held his gaze as he said, “The skeleton of a four fingered human hand.”

Curiosity turned to alarm in the sexy blue eyes. Sean leaned forward, lowering his voice. “You what?”

Adam nodded. “It’s true, I’m afraid.”

Sean’s handsome face darkened. “You’re lying! Why are you lying to me?”

Adam felt his eyes go wide with surprise. He’d expected a range of different emotions…but anger hadn’t been on the list. “I assure you, it’s true. What do you know…?”

Sean pushed his chair back and stood. The chair tottered on its two back legs for a beat and then settled to the floor. By the time it landed, Sean was already heading across the restaurant, toward the exit.

Adam stared after him, shocked. What the hell had that been about?

As the restaurant door whooshed shut behind his date, Adam slid his gaze toward a distant table and a curious, green gaze.

Dirk lifted an eyebrow and Adam shrugged.

“Would you like your cake to go, sir?”

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