Souls Deep by M.L. Rhodes
An Amber Allure #1 bestseller!
A Fictionwise erotica bestseller!
A Fictionwise “highest rated” erotica!
As a child, Griffin Hilliard’s special abilities were attributed to an overactive imagination. But by adulthood, his psychic talents were so strong he’d become a threat to his politically powerful family. To protect their dirty little secrets, they arranged an “accident” for him. He survived, but now he lives on the run, only one step ahead of his family’s hired assassins. Until one night, when he’s finally caught…
His life is saved by a mysterious man named Jarrah. Griffin senses a dangerous, primal undercurrent in the stranger—as if he’s not quite human. Yet Griffin’s inexplicably drawn to him. It could be the emotional pain he suspects his rescuer hides. But Griffin fears the real reason is more disturbing—Jarrah stirs a powerful longing in him that goes against everything Griffin’s ever believed about himself. As the assassins close in once again, and his rescuer reveals himself for what he really is, Griffin’s torn between running, as he’s done his whole life, or standing up to face his past and his own soul-deep desires.
Release date: October 8, 2006
Length: Extended Novella (39K words)
Available in ebook formats at: Amber Allure, Kindle US, Kindle UK, B&N, Sony, ARE, Fictionwise, and other online ebook vendors
Available in paperback at: Amazon.com (Souls Deep is included in ML’s paperback gay anthology Couplings. Click here for more info on Couplings!)
“I…you don’t have to do this,” Griffin said, reaching for the cloth. “I can wash myself.”
The command, though softly-spoken, was firm enough Griffin didn’t argue. Instead, he lay quietly and accepted the stranger’s ministrations. At this point he had no real energy to do it himself, and the man had already seen him at his naked, exposed worst.
The warm scrape of cloth continued to move, sweeping across the light dusting of dark hair on Griffin’s chest, exploring his ribcage, his sides—avoiding the bandage around his stomach—but finding no other spot on his torso sacred.
Much to his consternation, a tingle of desire blossomed again in Griffin, deep in his core, quivering and slithering through him.
The man dipped the cloth in the water, squeezed it out, then rubbed the wet, nubby fabric against Griffin’s groin, around his cock and balls, which were suddenly aching again in a very sexual way.
Gods… Fighting to keep his breathing even, but failing miserably, he turned his head to the side, toward the wall away from the stranger, and closed his eyes. Gritting his teeth, he tried to will himself not to respond to the intimate attention. But his traitorous body was just enjoying it too damned much.
“Drugs…” Griffin panted. “What…what kind of drugs did you give me?” It had to be the drugs making him feel this way.
“You’ve had no drugs.”
Griffin gasped as the man lifted his twitching cock in one cool hand, holding it up away from his skin as he slid the washcloth underneath it. “Had to be…I…”
“But…I don’t hurt. Well, not really, not until I sat up and moved too much.” Not to mention you touching me is making me horny as hell, and that is not a normal thing for me. Men do not make me hot. Although, to be honest, he’d never been touched intimately by a man before, until now.
His cock, by this time, was fully erect and bobbing eagerly in the man’s hand. Mortified, Griffin sucked in a deep breath, trying to will the damn thing back into submission. It didn’t work.
By the time the man had finished cleaning his groin area and moved down his legs, Griffin was on fire. It didn’t matter the cool hands were no longer on his privates. His body had decided it liked the attention and wanted more.
“The bullet. Did you take it out?” he asked, trying to keep his mind off the raw sexual hunger that continued to rise so fiercely in him.
How long have I been here?”
Griffin’s hips twitched as the stranger ran the cloth over his calves, then back up the insides of his thighs.
“Wh-who are you?” he mumbled, his voice hoarse with a need he couldn’t quite hide. Best to keep talking. Anything to keep his mind off his damned arousal.
“No one of consequence.” The raspy response sent a new surge of desire through him that settled right below his balls. But the words also sparked annoyance in him.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means you ask too many questions.”
Griffin bit back a groan as the cloth slid back up and over his hip. But then he focused his gaze on the man’s intent, unsmiling face. “You killed the men who were after me. You saved my life. Don’t you think that gives me the right to ask a few questions?”
The man picked up the clean, folded sheet, shook it open, and spread it over Griffin. He smoothed it out over Griffin’s chest, either not noticing or studiously ignoring how his jutting cock formed a pyramid in the fabric.
“I’m done here.”
He started to turn away, but Griffin grabbed his hand. Gods knew what possessed him to do it, but he did.
The stranger froze, his back already half-turned to Griffin.
“Thank you for saving my life,” Griffin said, and meant it sincerely.
The man’s shoulders tensed. “Don’t thank me.” The words were low, almost a growl.
“I’m not some white-knight hero. You have no idea who I am.”
“I know you saved me when you could have left me to die in that alley. And I was dying. I know it.”
The man turned to face him, and his pale gaze seared through Griffin. “How do you know I didn’t ‘save’ you for my own sinister reasons?”
A prickle of unease crept up Griffin’s spine. He hated not being able to read this man. Hated being so damned blind and having to rely on words and body language. “Did you?”
The man stepped closer to the bed. In less than a heartbeat, he’d pulled his hand away from Griffin’s and imprisoned Griffin’s wrist in his shockingly tight grip.
Another step closer. His eyes seemed to glow with something feral. Something that wasn’t quite…human.
Oh, gods. Griffin’s chest tightened. His lungs seized. But at the same time, an unexpected carnal excitement stirred in him.
The man leaned in close. “Do you really want to know?”
“Yes,” came the whispered response. It was out before Griffin could think about it.
“Maybe I brought you here to satisfy my hunger.”
There was a split second where the words hung in the air and Griffin understood him to mean sexual hunger. His body tingled all over, almost like it was calling out for the dangerous pleasure the man could offer.
But then with a lunge, the stranger latched his mouth onto Griffin’s neck. Griffin felt a sharp sting.
Fuck, he’s biting me!
Before the shock could fully register, the pain was already fading under the wash of pure, libidinous need. As the man sucked at his neck, Griffin groaned and thrashed beneath him on the bed. He knew this was wrong, knew now what he’d gotten himself into, yet couldn’t resist the drug-like power of the man…creature…man who held him down.
Without thought, his hands came up to tangle in the stranger’s hair, fighting between pulling him off and pulling him closer. Griffin’s cock grew hard as granite. His balls tingled. He was terrified but also more turned on than he’d ever been in his life.
And then it was over.
The man pulled away, shoved Griffin back onto the bed, and, turning his back on him, strode to the door. But he paused for just a moment in the doorway.
Without turning around, he said, “You should go. Get away from me as soon as you’re able.” The words were soft, husky. Contrite almost…but not quite. “You’re safer away from me.”
And then he was gone, slamming the bedroom door shut behind him, leaving Griffin reeling…
4 1/2 Kisses!! ”As always, M. L. Rhodes delivers sizzling sensuality wrapped in realistic, terrifyingly possible speculative fiction. Griffin and Jarrah are both characters whom the reader will find readily empathetic, and the plot revolving around Griffin’s psychic capabilities and his family’s need to destroy him is stimulating and fast-paced. In Souls Deep Ms. Rhodes pens m/m sensuality in just as searing a manner as she does m/f intimacy, and is a writer not to miss out on.”
—Frost, Two Lips Reviews
5 Roses!! “M. L. Rhodes has created two very compelling characters in Griffin and Jarrah. These two men come from very different backgrounds but both have been betrayed by those they love. The attraction they feel is mutual but they must overcome several obstacles in order to come together. The sex is both scorching and sensual. The developing relationship is compelling and, at times, heart wrenching. This is a story not to be missed!”
—Robin, My Book Cravings
“On the run from the killers sent by his powerful family, young psychic Griffin Hilliard is shot and near death when a stranger rescues him. While the mysterious Jarrah nurses him, Griffin discovers he is strangely closed off from his empathic abilities. He is also attracted to the sexy man, something he has never felt for a man before. Even when he realizes Jarrah is a vampire, he cannot deny the pull. Is it a vampiric compulsion or something more?
Jarrah has practiced closing himself off from others to avoid pain and betrayal but he cannot deny the desirability of the innocently sexual Griffin. When he finally allows himself to explore his feelings for Griffin, Jarrah opens a door that could lead to more pain or a love that is souls deep.
This highly sensual tale of two men and the exploration of their feelings and desires is one that should not be missed. Ms. Rhodes manages to create two characters in Souls Deep who are very similar in their need to find someone who will love and care for them despite their differences. Each has their own peculiarities, which makes their journey and the discoveries they make all the more poignant.”
—Georgia, Joyfully Reviewed
4 Hearts!! “This is a passionate romance that goes beyond the physical as the two heroes learn to trust and accept. The steamy sex is described in explicitly graphic and creative details for the reader’s enjoyment. Souls Deep is a highly erotic, passionately sexy romance with a creative storyline and exciting action.”
—Anita, The Romance Studio
4 Angels!! ”The characters of Griffin and Jarrah seem to jump from the pages and grab hold of the reader’s emotions from the beginning of the story. The interactions between them are emotionally driven and heart wrenching to watch. Jarrah’s character is unique for a vampire (a vampire with a heart). Underneath his controlled and gruff exterior lies a man who needs the love and support of one special person. Griffin has not had anyone to love and to call his own since he was young, but he is willing to take a chance in spite of the odds and gamble on love one more time. Griffin and Jarrah are two halves of a whole and when they are together anything is possible. Thanks go to Ms. Rhodes for a wonderful and exciting story.”
—Teresa, Fallen Angels Reviews