MIA Case Files: Wolfsbane
Publisher: Loose Id
Cover Art: Croco Designs
Series: MIA Case Files – Book 1
Release Date: March 9, 2010
Agent Lachlan Carmichael has a job to do. A portal is open in Rothburg, and this time the Umbrae passing through it are creating werewolves. He needs to close the portal, even if it means losing two-thirds of the people possessed by the Umbrae.
So what if Adam Farelli, the town’s screw-up, is the sexiest man he’s ever seen? Carmichael’s been content to live with ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ for most of his life. A gorgeous, shiftless layabout isn’t going to convince him to step out of the closet.
When Carmichael needs Adam’s help to close the portal, Carmichael is unable to resist the temptation Adam represents. But his lies and lack of trust put Adam in danger when one of the werewolves, obsessed with Adam, kidnaps him. Even if Carmichael can save the man he loves, will Adam forgive him for his deception and mistrust?
MIA Case Files revolves around the agents of MIA who investigate and contain paranormal activity arising from portals opening from other worlds.
Excerpt -- WARNING: Content may be explicit, sexual or offensive. Read at your own risk, and only if you are over 18
“Not his.” He was certain. The kid had to be too young and irresponsible to know anything useful. Carmichael really, really didn’t want him to know anything useful.
“You don’t know that. In fact, he might be just what we need.”
Need. Yes, need. Carmichael curled his fingers into fists. “What? No! How can you say that?”
“It’s like I told you — we stick out. That’s what the kid meant. Look around.” Oliver flicked his gaze over the rest of the people seated in the café. Unwillingly Carmichael copied him, even though he’d assessed every single person in there as a potential threat as soon as he walked in.
“Every person here knows damn well we don’t belong,” Oliver continued.
Yeah, Carmichael knew it too. Feeling all those eyes on him had made him uncomfortable, which was saying something, considering he was having inappropriate, lustful thoughts about the barely legal kid who’d not only served them coffee, but whom he’d almost flattened in the road not ten minutes ago. Guilt, lust, and embarrassment combusted into a volatile mix of emotions he hadn’t experienced since he’d left home to join the army ten years ago. Felt like he was back in basic training, wondering if he had what it took.
Carmichael stole a peek at the kid — Adam — out of the corner of his eye and was treated to the sight of him laughing at something his coworker said. At the twitch in his groin, Carmichael brought his attention back to Oliver. No way was this kid going to break him.
“Fine. Sorry. How did you want to start?” Most times he got the answers he needed by roughing people up. This time, and in this place, that tactic wasn’t going to work. But he didn’t know if he had the finesse to get answers any other way.
“I told you this wouldn’t be easy. No one’s going to want to give us the answers we need. I think we could use Adam’s help, if he’s willing.”
Carmichael’s jaw locked. Oliver couldn’t be serious. Why Adam, of all people? There had to be someone — anyone — else. He looked suspiciously at his partner, wondering if Oliver had come up with this ridiculous suggestion to torment him. Maybe he hadn’t hidden his attraction as well as he’d thought. No, that couldn’t be it. There was no good reason for Oliver to want Adam’s help if he thought his presence would prove a distraction.
“Why him?” Carmichael knew there was only so much resistance he could put up before he had to come out and tell Oliver why he didn’t want Adam’s assistance. God help him, if Oliver didn’t know he was gay, Carmichael wasn’t going to tell him.
“Because he’s the only one who, despite knowing we don’t belong, hasn’t given us any weird looks.”
“Well, he should! We — I almost ran him over!” The effort required to keep his voice low became greater. “He should be more suspicious and hostile towards us than anyone. And if he’s not, he’s an idiot.” Hmmm. That might be true. Adam had done nothing but smile at them. Carmichael couldn’t believe anyone with their full faculties could shrug off an incident like that so easily. Someone a few cards short of a deck wouldn’t be of any help to them.
“Stop,” Oliver warned him. “Listen up. We need to get to the bottom of these disappearances, and soon. A friendly contact is the best start. There’s nothing to say we won’t find someone else, someone more appropriate for what we want. But right now a kid working in a coffee shop might like to make a few more bucks, you know?”
Carmichael bit his lip. Oliver was right. Everything since they’d arrived in Rothburg had thrown him off balance. He was so far off his turf, he was surprised he hadn’t drowned. They did need help, but spending time with Adam was going to test his control like nothing ever had, not even the communal showers in basic, filled with wet, fit, naked men.
An image of Adam, dark hair slicked back, water streaming down his lean torso, slipped unbidden into his mind, and Carmichael let out a rather undignified squeak as he crossed his legs to hide the sudden bulge in his jeans. At least Oliver ignored the sound, because the reason behind it didn’t bear explaining.
“Fine, do whatever you want.” Carmichael gave in, not at all gracefully.
“Hey, kid! Adam!”
Adam turned toward the unfamiliar voice. Carmichael’s companion waved him over. Well, they’d made short work of their coffees. A smile slipped back onto his face. Kid, huh? Adam knew he looked young for his age, but kid might be a little much.
“Need a refill?” Adam asked as he approached the table.
“No, not yet. Have you got a few minutes to pull up a chair?”
Well, yeah. But why? Carmichael didn’t want him to, if the tense muscles and averted face were any indication. But then, sitting with the two strangers in town had to be more interesting than his job, so…
“Sure, why not?” Adam exchanged a quick glance with Susie, who nodded to let him know she’d be fine on her own, and pulled up a chair to sit between the two.
“Adam, we have a proposition for you,” the older man said as soon as Adam settled into his chair. Adam’s eyes widened in shock. Neither of them looked like they were cruising, and propositioning a random café employee didn’t seem as though it would have a high degree of success. But he had never tried that particular tactic, so how would he know?
“Jeez, Oliver, what the hell!” Carmichael exploded. Oliver looked at Adam first, then at Carmichael.
“You’re both aware that there is a perfectly innocent meaning to the term, right?”
Adam grinned, amused at Carmichael’s extreme agitation. He suspected Carmichael was never anything but calm and icy, but twice in one day Carmichael had been thrown off his game, and it was clear he didn’t like it.
Oliver smiled back, and Adam became throbbingly aware that both of these men were very attractive. Maybe an indecent proposition wouldn’t be amiss after all.
“Excuse me. That was rather abrupt. I’m Oliver Cardoso, and this is Carmichael.”
“Just Carmichael?” Adam teased.
“Just Carmichael,” Carmichael replied, staring down at his coffee cup.
Okay, then, no sense of humor. Fine. “Nice to meet you both. I’m Adam Farelli.” He held out his hand, and Oliver shook it. Was it worth trying to shake with Carmichael? Yep, Carmichael was going to shake his hand whether he liked it or not.
Adam thrust his hand between Carmichael’s downturned gaze and coffee cup. It hung there, obvious and uncomfortable, like a dick joke in a room full of nuns. Adam’s smile stretched farther, feeling more like a grimace. How long was he going to push this before he gave up? Then Carmichael gave in and clasped his hand for a fraction of a second.
“So you were saying, Oliver?” Adam prompted, giving up on making eye contact with those spectacular, erection-inducing eyes.
“Yes, we were hoping to hire you to guide us around town.”
“A guide? For Rothburg? It’s pretty small, you know.” Not that Adam wanted to give up the opportunity to get some extra cash, but taking money for that seemed criminal.
“But you live here, yes?”
“Born and raised.” Adam didn’t think it necessary to mention his time spent away at university. Why bother? It had no bearing on his life now, nor on the question asked.
“That’s exactly what I was hoping you’d say. We’re researching folklore and ghost stories in small towns, so we want a little more than a geography lesson. More like anecdotes, history of Rothburg, maybe a little bit on who’s who in town. Things like that. I’m sure we can work around your schedule here at work.” Sincerity shone from Oliver’s brown eyes, his hands folded together on the table.
Folklorists, my ass.
© KC Burn 2010
3 Stars at The Romance Reviews “WOLFSBANE is a good introduction to a very promising series that I will enjoy reading and think other MM romance fans will, too.”
Received 4.5 Stars at Sensual Reads by Elise! “Carmichael and Adam together really had chemistry, enough to burn our fingers. These two are perfect to start off a new series as they are compelling, realistic, clever and above all, really hot.”
Received 4 Cups review from Coffee Time Romance! “If you love hot m/m romance mixed with intrigue then run, don’t walk your fingers over to Loose-Id and pick up MIA Case Files: Wolfbane.”
Received 5 Angels at Fallen Angel Reviews! “The plotting was well conceived, the pacing fast, and the writing was concise without being terse.”
Received 4 Tombstones at Bitten by Books! “The chemistry between the two protagonists is believable, even as it captures your attention.”
Received 4 Kisses at TwoLips Reviews! “The story concept is innovative and the heat between the characters really caught my interest.”
Received 5 Nymphs rating at Literary Nymphs Reviews! “From the plot to the characters, there wasn’t one aspect of this story I didn’t enjoy.”
Received 4 Stars at Sensual Reads by Kimberley! “Nothing is as it seems in this deliciously sensual novel.”
Received 4.5 Kisses from Michele n Jeff Reviews! “The writing is tautly paced from start to finish; Adam and Carmichael are both fully realized protagonists with a tangible chemistry between them, and the book left me wanting nothing more than to get a second book in the series as soon as possible.”
Reviewed at Ebook Addict! “The focus of the book was definitely the relationship between Adam and Carmichael, and for the romance it was excellent.”
Reviewed at Joyfully Reviewed! “At first Wolfsbane seems a straightforward suspense filled paranormal tale, but it’s the blossoming relationship between the tough, gruff Carmichael and the world weary, burdened Adam that makes this story worthwhile.”
Reviewed at EroticHorizon! “I liked the sex scenes, no shy wallflower were these guys – they were at it as much as they could get away with and as they were as creative as their limbs could manage.”