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Scared Stiff
     

Scared Stiff

3.1 10
by Laura Baumbach, William Maltese, Josh Lanyon, Sarah Black
 
A quartet of inspired stories from best-selling authors William Maltese, Josh Lanyon, Sarah Black and Laura Baumbach. SCARED STIFF offers four very different tales of m/m ghostly doings that'll have readers panting (in more ways than one) under the covers. Maltese offers excitement and steamy pleasure in his Rendering Souls while Lanyon adds adventurous ghost hunters

Overview

A quartet of inspired stories from best-selling authors William Maltese, Josh Lanyon, Sarah Black and Laura Baumbach. SCARED STIFF offers four very different tales of m/m ghostly doings that'll have readers panting (in more ways than one) under the covers. Maltese offers excitement and steamy pleasure in his Rendering Souls while Lanyon adds adventurous ghost hunters in his A Ghost of a Chance. Black gives you horrors from the past in Wild Onions, and Baumbach rounds out the volume with a hot tale of second chances in Soul Desire.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780979311062
Publisher:
MLR Press
Publication date:
10/24/2007
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
0.72(w) x 8.00(h) x 5.00(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

And that's when all hell broke loose.

Something rushed out of the darkness and tackled me around the waist, hurling me to the hardwood floor. The very hard wood floor. My tailbone, elbows and skull all connected painfully. My glasses went flying.

"Christ!" I yelped, trying to get away.

"Guess again," growled a deep voice.

Human.

Definitely human. And male. Definitely male. I was wrestling six feet or so of hard, lean male. Naked hard, lean male. Definitely not Oliver who is sixty-something and built like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. And no one else was supposed to be here. Was my assailant a burglar? A naked burglar? The guy had muscles like rocks--speaking of which: I brought my knee up hard.

His breath went out in an infuriated whoosh. His weight rolled off me. I rolled over and tried to crawl away, but the rug beneath me bunched up and slid my way. A small table crashed down just missing my head, and I heard glass smash on the floor.

"You little son of a bitch," said the burglar who was probably not a burglar, looming over me.

I tried to scoot away, but a knee jammed into my spine pinning me flat. He grabbed my right arm and yanked it back so hard I thought he'd dislocated it. The pain was unreal. I stopped fighting.

For a minute there was nothing but the ragged sound of our breathing in the darkness. Then he reached past me and turned on the table lamp.

I had a blurred view of a forest of scratched claw-foot furniture, miles of parquet floors and a herd of dust bunnies. I could make out my glasses a few feet away beneath a wide ottoman.

"I don't understand what's happening here." I got out.

"What part do younot understand?" he inquired grimly.

"Who are you?"

It must not have been the question he expected. "Who the hell are you?" He didn't ease up on my spine, but there was something in his tone ... a hint of doubt beneath the hostility.

"Rhys Davies. I'm a--a friend of Oliver's."

He made a disgusted sound. "Yeah, you and every other cheap hustler in the greater metropolitan area--"

"Cheap hustler!" I'm sorry to say that came out sounding way too much like a squeak. The squeak factor was partly due to the fact that with every shallow breath I inhaled his hot-off-the-sheets scent. He'd had a shower before bed, and that sleepy soapy skin smell was even more alarming than the fear he was going to crack my vertebrae.

"Oh, sorry," he said, not sounding sorry at all. "Cheap is the wrong word. These things are never cheap."

"Things?" I repeated. "I'm not ... you've got this all wrong."

"Is that right?" He seemed unimpressed.

I requested with an effort, "Could you ease up on my arm?"

He let go of my arm. It flopped weakly down. I flexed my fingers, surprised that they still seemed to work.

"What are you doing here?" he asked. "Oliver's out of town for the next month."

"I could ask you the same question."

"Yeah, but I asked first." He patted me down with brisk, impersonal efficiency. "If you're not one of Oliver's boy toys, what are you? Reporter? You're not a burglar, that's for sure."

And neither, obviously, was he. So who the hell was he?

"I told you who I am," I bit out. "I'm a friend of Oliver's. He invited me to stay."

His weight shifted off my back, and he ran his hands along the outside of my legs--then the inside. He seemed to know what he was doing, but it was invasive to say the least. "Ever hear of knocking?"

"I didn't know there was anyone to hear me knock. I tried my key--the key Oliver sent. It didn't work."

"Your key?" He felt over my crotch with what felt like unnecessary familiarity. And in a tone I didn't like, he said, "I see."

"Hey! Then what's with the Braille!" I recoiled as much as you can with two hundred plus pounds of beef pinning you to the floor.

He hesitated, but only an instant, before pulling my wallet out of my back pocket. He thumbed through it, taking his time.

"Rice Davies," he said.

"It's pronounced Reece," I retorted, muffledly. "Like in Reese's Pieces."

Now why had I said that?

Amusement threaded his voice as he continued, "1045 Oakmont Street in West Hollywood. You're a long way from home, Reece."

Yes, apparently I had turned left after The Outer Limits. "Can I get up?"

"Slowly."

He stepped out of range as I sat up, wincing. I looked up--a long way up. He was a big blur, I had an impression of dark hair, big shoulders narrowing to more darkness, and miles of long brown legs.

"Can I get my glasses?"

The blur stepped away, bent, retrieved my glasses and handed them to me.

I moved onto the settee and put them on. My hands were a little unsteady. I haven't been in many fights. Not that academia isn't a jungle, but generally we don't end up brawling on the floor.

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Scared Stiff 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Soul Desire' is a sensual, cozy read stimulating the senses and sending shivers down my spine. Laura creates the perfect mood with storm swept cliffs, gloomy weather, the remote estate and fog-filled haunted bedrooms 'it's an erotic ghost story so you just *know* the bedroom's haunted'. But Eli's no dark, brooding lord of the manor - not with his teasing winks and seductive smiles. As the reader, I sympathized with Mason's grief, knowing that it was real - but not oppressed by it. Mason knows it's time to let go and love again, but needs the right 'incentive' to take that step. *** Josh shows no mercy for his readers, writing in his trademark 'well it should be trademarked' 'finely sharpened' style of humor, when he treats us to this devilishly delicious haunted house romp. And not to worry, there are plenty of shudders and shivers and mysterious happenings with a *very* gratifying man love romance. Rhys makes that perfect ghost hunter: sensitive 'not the physic kind', headstrong and full of determination ... to ignore his growing attraction to the annoying cop. Sam's a man that's intimidating in stature and personality a man that's sure of himself, used to giving orders and having them obeyed and a man that may be a little out of his depth with Rhys. It's said that opposites attract and maybe they'll make the perfect couple - if they don't strangle each other first!*** Sarah writes a bittersweet story, of loss and learning to accept that loss, because without that acceptance, Robert can't move on. She tugs at our heartstrings weaving together the past and present, a tale of two lifetimes connecting through Robert and Cody's dreams. The story is rich in characterizations, Sarah creating a heartwarming sense of family and home with Cody and his relatives. There's a subtle feeling of apprehension, like Cody and Robert are ill-fated lovers. I kept reminding myself - this is a romance and romances have happy endings. As the story continues to unfold, the feeling of dread intensifies with a terrifying twist, painfully pulling those heartstrings. The story has a solid mystery, with murder and old tribal legends adding to the plot. There are gentle moments of humor that keeps the story from becoming too somber like when Cody inspires the photographer in Robert in an interesting way, which inspired very vivid images in my mind's eye. I was moved to tears several times, and when I have that kind of emotional response to a story, I know the author succeeded in writing something real and beautiful.*** William Maltese's 'Rendering of Souls' is a mystical, lustful fantasy of murder and revenge. Near the end of days, when magic is a thing of the past, Glynen seeks out a magician and the powers of a magical candle.
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