I’ve been scrolling through my current Works in Progress, to see what I might be able to share with you.
A Touch of Danger is a paranormal romance, involving a variety of creatures and is book 1 in the ‘Creatures of the Night’ series.
A college frat house, shrouded with rumours about illegal exotic animals becomes the centre of Drew’s world. Dragged into an official police investigation by his cop brother, he now has to go undercover in the frat house to solve the mystery of the smuggling ring.
But once he sets foot into the frat house, his entire life changes. Making discoveries that shock his steady world, one frat brother is the only one who can help him traverse the dangerous path he’s about to embark on.
Can Drew discover the truth about an illegal smuggling operation? Or will the truth be more than he could ever imagine?
“Care to run that by me again?” Drew rubbed his jaw, trying so hard to stifle his laughter, while he watched his brother prowl the small office restlessly.
“We think they’re smuggling exotic animals,” Sheffield explained, with a drawn out sigh.
“Through a fraternity house?”
“Yes.” His brother turned to glare at him, as though he was the crazy one for questioning this ‘case’ he’d been brought in to consult on.
Drew took a slow, steady breath and asked; “And you know this, how?” He was really trying not to sound judgemental or anything, but he just wasn’t buying this story. What the hell would a bunch of fraternity brothers want with exotic animals?
And didn’t that conjure up some uncomfortable, disgusting images. He sincerely hoped there was no ‘bear pit’ goings on with the animals or dubious sexual practices. He had a weak stomach and didn’t want any part of that kind of investigation.
Still, his brother was the big bad cop in the family. Drew was just the runt; the unworthy second son, who was left to do whatever he wanted with his life, because he was already a disappointment. There wasn’t much he could do to make it worse. But he was no cop, no action man and definitely no Sherlock Holmes. He knew nothing about solving a case or how to look for evidence of ‘foul play’. And he was severely allergic to certain animals.
“There were reports of wild animals being seen on the grounds. When we sent an officer to investigate, he was attacked by a large cat. But, when we tried to run the names and identities of those living in the house, we came up with nothing. These people don’t exist,” Sheffield explained, sighing and shaking his head as he paced the length of the tiny room. “So we sent in another man, undercover, to grab whatever DNA he could get his hands on. What he brought back…well, it ran as animal hair. All exotic cats; a panther, a lion and a cheetah.”
“O-kay.” Now Drew was getting the heebie-jeebies. He wasn’t sure he wanted anything to do with exotic cats. He wasn’t allergic to cats, thankfully, but that only meant he would need to try harder to wiggle out of this. “But I’m not a cop.” And this was getting weirder and weirder, by the second, but he wasn’t going to admit that out loud.
“No, and that will work for us. The last few cops we’ve sent in, undercover, have been caught really quickly. These guys are smart and professional.” The heavy stare Sheffield levelled at him made Drew want to shrink. But he wasn’t a five year old anymore and he could face off his big brother no problem. “You, however, are just another college kid, looking for somewhere to belong. But it will be tough. They don’t take just anyone into the fold. They barely socialise outside their own group of friends. In fact, they don’t even date outside the house.”
“Seriously?” Holding his hands up, Drew asked for a pause as he considered those words. That went beyond weird and into the downright kinky. “That would mean–”
Sheffield nodded, as a grin slowly spread onto his lips. “They’re all gay, bi or trans. They call themselves the LGBT House of Acceptance,” he revealed, arching an amused eyebrow while pretending not to find it hilarious.
“Nice name.” Drew scoffed, knowing just what Sheffield was implying.
“This isn’t anything to laugh about. These guys are serious illegal traders and we need to shut them down,” he argued, with a growl that could have been funny in this situation, if it wasn’t for the fact that he was being used.
“Sure, but let me just get this straight, brother of mine. You suggested me for this because I’m gay, right?” he asked, getting straight to the point.
“Yeah. You! It won’t help me much.”
Sheffield waved off his concerns and sneered, in his usual dismissive manner. “Please, you’re a hermit. This will be good for you,” he claimed, thought Drew had no doubts that he didn’t give a shit whether it was good for him or not. Sheffield was just like their dad – he thought being gay was a choice Drew had made, when he turned sixteen and had come out to the family. A choice made, incidentally, to piss off everyone and gain attention, just because the almighty big brother had been accepted into the Police Academy.
Was it shit.
“I happen to like being a hermit.”
“Whatever. Will you do it or not? Because I need to tell my supervisor, then we need to fit you for a wire. You’ll be going in tonight.” Sheffield stopped his pacing to level Drew with an intimidating stare that hadn’t worked since he was ten.
Nothing like short notice.
“No wire,” he decided.
“Excuse me?” He growled – fucking growled! – and Drew wanted so bad to do a fist bump, in victory.
“You said these guys are smart? Professional? They’ll spot a wire. They’ll probably cavity search me,” he teased, wiggling his eyebrows just to rub in the fact that Sheffield was practically pimping his own brother out to criminals. Not that he’d turn down a good frisking, if the company was good looking. “Just let me handle it. I’ll get your evidence and report back in a week. This Saturday.”
Hell, he was being paid. He’d show up in a monkey suit and do the hula if they asked. Maybe he could use the cash to finally get out of this shit hole?
Sheffield sighed and raked both hands through his short dark hair. “The boss won’t like this,” he complained, in a quiet, unsure voice.
Rising from his seat, Drew tried hard not to smile. “Yeah, well he’s not done a great job so far, has he? We’ll try it my way and, if that doesn’t work, we’ll do it your way,” he offered.
Either way, he was going to get what he could out of this. He wanted out of this town and well away from his family. Sheffield might have been bearable, in small doses, but the rest of his family were vipers snapping at his heels. Each one determined to ignore and berate him, when he needed them, but ready to jump on board and use him for their own means when they needed a boost.
Doing this, for a little bit of cash, was just like when he’d attended that LGBT fundraiser with his dad a year ago, in return for a year’s worth of college tuition. As long as it got him away from his family, he had no dignity and no pride.
Not a shred.
About the Author
Elaine White is the author of multi-genre romance, covering everything from paranormal, crime and contemporary. Growing up in a small town and fighting cancer in her early teens taught her that life is short and dreams should be pursued. Living vicariously through her independent, and often hellion characters, she lives comfortably at home with a pack of wolves cleverly disguised as one standard poodle.
The Winner of two Watty Awards – Collector’s Dream (An Unpredictable Life) and Hidden Gem (Faithfully) – and an Honourable Mention in 2016’s Rainbow Awards (A Royal Craving) she has explored the worlds of multiple genres, but remains a romantic at heart. A self-professed geek, Elaine has fallen in love with reading and writing LGBT romance, offering diversity in both genre and character within her stories.
You can keep in touch with Elaine on the following sites: