Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

All of Him Anthology - A Single Dad Collection

Each of these men are struggling to put their lives back together.


Published: November 29th, 2019 
Publisher: Laura Dawes

A broken relationship.
A mother’s death.
A mistake made.

Each of these men are struggling to put their lives back together. Whether it be from the loss of the woman who blessed them with their children or a decision made in the heat of passion that changed everything, all they know is they have to try — for their children and for themselves.

From these amazing authors comes “All of Him: A Single Dad Collection.” 

Before Her by Anita Maxwell

When Jenny arrives in River Falls, a sleepy little town in Montana, she sets herself on a mission to find a job and a place to stay for a few weeks. After traveling the west coast for the last couple of months, she is ready to chill and get some cash behind her before she leaves on the next leg of her journey.

Enter the Lonesomes with their gorgeous twin baby boys. The three rugged cowboys steal her breath away and the little boys steal her heart. Before she knows it, she’s agreed to be their nanny for a few weeks while they look for someone permanent.

But something Jenny didn’t know when she first entered River Falls was that the town was built on a polygamous way of life. Once the Lonesome brothers set their sights on Jenny, there is almost nothing that will stop these sexy single dads from making her their own.

This is a Reverse Harem story, light on steam, but heavy on tension and angst.

The Baby Drop Off by Kelsie Rae

I’m not father material. Hell, I’m not boyfriend material, either. I’m looking-for-a-good-time material with a side of no-strings-attached.

But when a baby shows up on my doorstep with a note saying I’m the father, everything changes. With no other options, I reach out to my neighbor.

Tasha is the girl-next-door with a side of sugar who’s nice enough to step in as a nanny while I figure out what to do with a freaking kid. I never thought Tasha was my type until I see her loving on my baby.

As lines start to blur, and rules get broken, some secrets stay hidden that hold me back from creating a life I never knew I wanted until it was tossed into my lap.

I just wish I could convince her to give me a chance, but she won’t even let me try.

Only the Lies by Elle Thorpe

Him: Six foot, four inches. Thor look-alike. Kickass black belt ninja man, and gym owner.

Me: Barely five foot. Resembles an overstuffed dumpling. Semi-decent receptionist of the office across the road.

Match made in heaven? I think so. Which is why I get to work early each morning, and stare longingly out the window, desperate for my daily glimpse of him.

The man doesn’t know I’m alive, and I don’t have the lady balls to do anything about it. Until the postman delivers the gym’s mail to my office. It’s the perfect excuse to strut over there and introduce myself, right?


When he mistakes me for someone else, I’m so blinded by his abs that I don’t correct him. And now he’s calling me someone else’s name, and I don’t know how to turn this around apart from to bolt back to my desk with my ass jiggling behind me.

I never expected he’d follow me.

Or anything that happened next.

Broken Down by Paige Taylor

As a teacher, It’s Savannah Torvel’s duty to make sure every student is given the best possible chance at education. When a little girl starts acting out, and calls to the parent go unanswered, it’s perfectly acceptable to storm the parent’s workplace and confront them, right?

Broken Down follows the story of Savannah and Mason Bell, two people whose lives keep intersecting. Will they embrace fate or risk disrepair?


“The Baby Drop Off” by Kelsie Rae - EXCERPT

The call disconnects, and I shove the phone into my back pocket before opening the door and jumping out of my skin.
“What the hell?” I mumble under my breath, assessing the soft pink lump on my welcome mat. Squatting low, I tilt my head to get a better look. What the hell is a car seat covered with a pink blanket doing in my hallway? As I lean a little closer, a soft cry squeaks through the blanket, and I fall flat on my ass. You’d think it was the grim reaper with my overreaction, but I’m still trying to wrap my head around a kid being at my front door.
So, sue me.
The crying escalates until I’m looking up and down the hallway, afraid someone’s going to complain about the noise while praying they know how to make it stop at the same time.
With the sole of my sneaker, I nudge the car seat to rock it back and forth, but the motion doesn’t quiet the baby inside. As if the kid’s a ticking time bomb, I edge closer and slowly lift the blanket. Sure enough, a little human is tucked inside, its face red with anger.
“You okay, little buddy?” I ask cautiously, inspecting the rest of the car seat for any clues about who this kid is and why it’s on my doorstep. Tucked between the baby’s kicking legs and the side of the seat, a white envelope catches my eye.
Releasing a slow breath while giving myself a mental pep talk, I reach into dangerous territory and snatch the letter like it’s a damn viper. After I give myself a mental high five for my bravery, I slide my finger below the lid, pull the note out, and start reading.
In the diaper bag, you’ll find the papers that give up my rights as a mom. I’m signing her over to you… her dad. I also added her birth certificate and anything else you might need to get you by for a few days. I’m sorry to spring this on you, but I can’t be the mom she needs. Her name’s Adaline. Please take care of her, and please forgive me for screwing up your life. This was the only thing I could think to do. If you don’t want her, I added the adoption papers. Do what’s best for you and her… whatever that might be.
Scanning the message a few dozen times, my hands shake as the baby continues to wail from the car seat. Unfortunately, I’m too stunned to move a muscle. What the hell am I supposed to do with a freaking kid?
When the baby’s screams reach a decibel that could break glass, the door across the hall opens to reveal my neighbor, Tasha. Long, red hair that reaches her lower back, quirky purple glasses that frame her toffee colored eyes, and the sweetest smile you’ve ever seen.
Yeah, you heard that right. Sweet.
Which means she’s off limits, and I wouldn’t touch her with a ten-foot pole.
I don’t do sweet. I do dirty and hot. I do sexy and passionate. But never sweet.

“Only the Lies” by Elle Thorpe - EXCERPT

The clinic door banged open. “Did I miss him?” Bree panted, staggering over to join me at the window.
I shook my head. “Not yet. Should be any minute now.”
We both peered through the slatted blinds like the stalkers we were, neither of us bothering to acknowledge Damien, my boss and Bree’s boyfriend, when he struggled through the door a minute later, juggling coffee and breakfast for the three of us.
He dumped his armful of takeaway bags and trays on the reception desk, then leaned back on it, picking up the pile of mail I’d left there.
“Bree,” he said casually, “you do remember that I’m your boyfriend, right? I’m nice. Funny. Somewhat attractive? A lesser man would be devastated by your actions, you know.”
Bree looked over her shoulder and blew him a kiss. “You know you’re my number one, babe. But this guy…”
“Yeah, yeah, I know. Buns of steel.”
I dragged my gaze away from the parking lot that was still irritatingly empty of one oversized black ute and the oversized man who drove it. “Buns of steel? Really? You think that’s why we stare out the window each morning, waiting for him to drive in? It has nothing to do with that.”
He snorted. “Oh, really?”
I grinned. “Nope, it has more to do with the biceps, and the abs—”
“The man has a shirt on every morning, Cleo. How have you seen his abs?”
“Oh, we’ve seen them, all right,” Bree confirmed. “You can see them through his shirt. That’s how cut he is. And there was that one time…”
I let my head drop back on my shoulders and made prayer hands while I thanked the big guy upstairs. “The day he ran to work with no shirt on. That blessed day where the heavens opened and birds sang and—”
“Hey!” Bree squealed as Damien covered her eyes and dragged her away from the window. “I’m going to miss the show.”
“How ‘bout I give you a show of my own?”
“Oh, really?”
“Mmmm hmmm.”
Damien’s lips brushed Bree’s neck, and suddenly Bree was more interested in her man than being my wing-woman. I groaned good-naturedly when Damien dragged her back toward his office and closed the door.
“Patients will be here in thirty, Damien! I’m not covering for you!”
“Move my first appointment,” he yelled through the closed door. “I’m gonna need at least an hour.”
Bree’s laughter echoed back.

“Before Her” by Anita Maxwell - EXCERPT

Autumn of 1989
Turning the ignition off, I took a deep breath as I readied myself for my next adventure. River Falls, a little ranching town in the absolute middle of Montana. Named for the tenth most breathtaking waterfall in the United States of America, according to the New York Times. And everyone knew the Times was always right.  
This was going to be home for me for the next couple of weeks. I had to build up my reserve of cash so that I could continue my tour of every state. Thirteen had already been crossed off my list; River Falls would make Montana number fourteen. I hadn’t quite figured out how I was getting to Alaska or Hawaii just yet, but that would come.
I’d been planning this tour ever since I went on a middle-school excursion to Eugene, Oregon to visit the University of Oregon’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Not only had I gotten to see an amazing oriental artwork exhibit, but it had also given me the bug to see the rest of my country. That’s when I’d started babysitting the kids in the neighborhood, saving money away. I hadn’t mentioned it to my parents, knowing they would completely flip out. By the time I’d graduated college with a fine arts degree, I’d had the money I needed to make my dream a reality.
Reaching over to the passenger seat, I grabbed the canvas tote I’d picked up in New Orleans at a street fair. The thing was massive, which was perfect for me, since I carried my camera everywhere I went, along with multiple film canisters. It also had the usual in it: purse, lip gloss, pepper spray…
Hey, a girl had to protect herself in this day and age.
I locked the door of my blue Ford Taurus, my going away gift from my dad. I made a mental note to find a payphone and call home today, let them know where I was up to on my travels, get an update on Joey’s wife, Ceilia, and if she’d had the baby yet—their third. Maybe they could even send me a picture since I was going to be here for a couple of weeks.
Hefting my bag up onto my shoulder, I turned and surveyed my options. I had two objectives for the rest of the day. One, find a place to stay. Two, find a temp job. Squinting through the afternoon glare falling along Main Road, aptly named since it was basically the only road and was just an offshoot from Route 200, I took in my surroundings. All of the stores and entertainment River Falls had to offer faced off along the road for about five hundred yards, brick and glass fronts with awnings in various shapes and colors that flapped in the breeze. From here I could see the hardware store, the post office, and a diner on the corner. Excellent, the local gossip center; if anyone knew where there were jobs available, the owner of that establishment likely would.
After pulling my camera from my bag, I fiddled with the settings and then snapped a few pictures of the main road and the sun hovering over the mountain ranges in the background. Sometimes I could sell the pictures to the town, or even get commissioned work. It had only happened a couple of times, but I never forgot it was an option. Tucking it back away, I checked the street for cars, though I didn't really need to bother. Unlike where I grew up in Seattle, there was no real traffic and the one truck lumbering toward town in the distance didn't count. My eyes rolled at how quiet it was as I headed for the diner.

“Broken Down” by Paige Taylor- EXCERPT

My doorbell rang, and I had to take a few steadying breaths. Butterflies fluttered in my stomach, the kind that you got on a first date, as I approached the door. Opening it, I found something that made my heart melt. He had cleaned himself up. In front of me stood not the usual greased up, mechanic Mason, but a cleaned up, sharp version of Mason. He had an off-white button-up, short-sleeve shirt with his blue jeans on. Simple, but God did he look good. His normally pulled-back hair was down, the ends just resting on his shoulders, messy enough that he looked like he’d just come from a Calvin Klein shoot rather than straight out of bed. Seeing his hair down made everything in me tighten, and I had to force myself not to squeeze my legs together to ease the ache. God, I just wanted to run my hands through it and pull his lips to mine. He smirked, a very self-satisfied smirk, and it was enough to break my heavy-lidded gaze.
“Hi,” I croaked, my mouth totally dry. If he was going to be a tease, so could I. I ran my red nails from my neck, down the side of my breast, over my little waist and then briefly over my ass.
“Hi back, ready to leave for work?” he asked. His voice trailing off toward the end as he watched the path of my nails over my body.
“Absolutely,” I replied as I bent down to grab my handbag from the floor. He beat me to it, picking it up for me, and gestured me forward, as if him carrying a handbag was just a regular occurrence.
I could feel eyes on my ass as I locked my door. Putting a little more sway in my hips, I headed toward the F150 parked in front of my house. Don’t ever underestimate the value of body language, as my mother always said. A small head popped up from a car seat in the back, her arms tangling in her hair as she tried to put it up into piggy tails. I held in a laugh as I saw the lopsided final product; so freaking cute. A little girl with blonde hair and lopsided piggy tails, my heart just about died. Opening Jordan’s door, I caught sight of the playground she’d turned the back seat into. Toys, scrunchies, clothes, and dolls filled the back seat.
“Hello, Jordan, did you want piggy tails today?” I asked sweetly.
“Hi, Miss Torvel! Well, daddy put my hair in a ponytail, but I didn’t like it, so I changed it,” she explained, her small hands coming up to play with the hair sitting lopsided on her shoulders.

“Ah well, if you would like, I’d like to do them for you, just so they are extra pretty,” I suggested, waiting for her to decide if she wanted my help. 

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