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Collin's Awakening (MM)

Phoenix Rising 1

Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

Heat Rating: SCORCHING
Word Count: 37,440
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ePub

[Siren Classic ManLove: Erotic Alternative Paranormal Romance, M/M, shape-shifters, public exhibition]

Riojos and Collin were lovers, partners, and best friends. When Collin is killed in a senseless car accident, Riojos is sent into a drunken stupor. Unable to live without the love he shared with Collin, he’s ready to take his own life. Their lives change forever when Collin comes home…from the morgue.

Collin has always heard a low buzzing in his head, but when the buzzing turns to voices, Collin must make sense of the path his life has taken. Coming back to life throws him into a world he never knew existed as his lover, Riojos, tries desperately to keep Collin alive.

The two fight to make sense of Collin's rebirth and the people out to kill Collin again. They discover the love they have for one another runs deeper than anything they could have ever imagined as the wicked hunt them down and a phoenix rises.

A Siren Erotic Romance

 

Lynn Hagen is a Siren-exclusive author.

User Reviews
Very good read fast paced I enjoyed it very much

- Djay

A great start to an amazing new series! The relationship between Collin and Riojos is one of the best I've read. The reunion between these two in the beginning made me teary eyed! I could not put it d...

- Skylabx

Professional Reviews

"I'm very glad that I listened to a friend's recommendation and read this first book in the 'Phoenix Rising' series. The entire concept and story is very different from the normal shifter, vampire, demon, or faerie stories and I was very intrigued by the difference. Collin Phoenix wakes up in a cold morgue, naked on a metal table with a toe tag on. He has no clue how he got there or exactly what happened. Throwing a sheet on, he runs out of there and makes it to a homeless shelter, gets clothes because its winter out and he's freezing, a warm bowl of soup, and then he remembers dying. Terrified beyond belief he rushes home to Riojos, his partner and lover of three years. Riojos has been drunk for three days ever since watching his love die in front of him. When the knock comes at the door, he stumbles blindly to it, only to open it to a mirage of his Collin. He can't understand it and thinks its Collin's ghost. After passing out he wakes up to discover he wasn't dreaming and it's not a ghost. Hearing noise outside he and Collin desperately run from two large men with guns. What now? They end up being chased with still no clue about what Collin is, although they do discover he was adopted and that he's now immortal. On the run with Collin's parents they are trying to get to the bottom of this insanity before the bad guys get them. This was a very fun book and I really enjoyed it. I liked that the book ended without answering some questions so the mystery wasn't all tied up in a neat little bow. As I said, it was a different type of paranormal and I'm very excited to read the others in the series." Christy Duke, Rainbow Book Reviews

4 CUPS: "Collin loves his partner so very much and will do anything to remain with him even defying death. Their life is solid until the day he wakes up in the morgue. Rio watched the love of his life die before his very eyes. Ready to follow his love to the grave, he almost kills himself when he receives a phone call from beyond the grave. Collin and Rio discover things are not always what they appear. Collin must learn to live with the new him, and Rio must learn how to let go and trust the love of his life and a possible second chance. Collin's Awakening is the beginning in what is promising to be a unique shifter series. Each character has a place in the story and plays their part to contribute to an actions packed, sexy novel. I find it very interesting that the authors left no clue of the next direction for the series. So pick up Collin's Awakening and join the Phoenix Club to see what happens next." -- Delane, Coffee Time Romance

4 NYMPHS: "When Collin was hit by a car and died in his partner’s arms, Riojos sunk into a deep depression. For days, he stayed in a drunken stupor and was on the verge of killing himself with his own service revolver when Collin came home from the morgue. Waking up on a cold slab, with a toe tag in place, freaks Collin out and he bolts from the morgue in only a sheet, finding refuge in a local shelter. He doesn’t understand what happened but knows he has to get home. Collin and Riojos are thrust into a dangerous new world, while trying to make sense of the changes in Collin’s life and staying ahead of the men hunting them. Men who will stop at nothing to capture a phoenix. Collin’s Awakening is the first release in the new series by Lynn Hagen and Stormy Glenn, Phoenix Rising. When I read the blurb and realized Collin was a phoenix, I was intrigued. It’s a rare shifter in a paranormal story and I was anxious to see what these two talented authors would do with this special race and I wasn’t disappointed. They’ve created an enjoyable and entertaining story with two unique and interesting characters in Collin and Riojos. The opening with Collin waking up in the morgue wasn’t expected and his horror was nicely expressed. The same goes for Riojos and his drunken reaction to losing his lover. Physically, the men are typical of other shifters they write…smaller/ weaker versus larger/stronger but both have big personalities that they’ve convincingly brought to life with vivid personal details. But the story has more. It’s filled with passion, desire, love, fear and uncertainty as they try to stay alive. There are numerous secondary characters scattered throughout the story and I admit I loved the inclusion of Collin’s parents and Riojos’s brother. These three really grounded the story in family…and then there’s fellow cop Tony, who we’ll see more of in the next release, Kyle's Return. And let’s not forget the bad guys out to capture Collin. They’re just part of the plot threads left dangling at the end of the story. I assume more details regarding them and the mystery surrounding the phoenix will be revealed later." -- Dragon Minx, Literary Nymphs Reviews

4 STARS: "Collin’s Awakening (Phoenix Rising 1) is written by two of my favorite light M/M authors Stormy Glenn and Lynn Hagen. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book because it is the first in a new series, but I wasn’t disappointed. The opening chapter of the book finds one of the main character’s, Collin, waking up in a morgue and the pace of the book takes off from there. We are introduced to the love of Collin’s life, Detective Riojos Fernando, when he has been on a three day bender over the loss of Collin, only to have Collin waltz right back into his life. Once Riojos decides Collin is real and not a figment of his drunk imagination, the bad guys come gunning for Collin, but Rio refuses to lose his lover again and the two of the go on the run. We meet many characters along the way including Riojos’ brother, a suspicious police detective, Collin’s parents, several bad guys, and a couple of good guys who know more than they tell let on. This is a fun, fast paced story that will have you chomping at the bit to read the next one, if you’re anything like me. I truly fell in love with the characters, especially Tony and Sal, who I am sure will show up again. If you enjoy paranormal, M/M, romance, with a bit of mystery, you’ll enjoy this!" -- Gennie, Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

Waking up on a cold steel slab in the morgue with a toe tag firmly in place scares the beejesus out of Collin Phoenix. Being stark naked didn’t help matters either. To make the experience even more special Collin ends up fleeing the building wrapped in a bed sheet. Thank goodness he stumbles across a homeless shelter and a decent guy named Rutledge who gives Collin the means to get home. The day’s been difficult enough, but nothing compares to going home only to discover his life partner hung over and waving his service revolver in Collin’s face. After three days of drowning his sorrow in alcohol, Det. Riojos Fernando figures he’s going nuts when Collin returns from the dead. Riojos held Collin in his arms as he died so it’s kind of hard to believe Collin’s back, so to speak. Nothing is adding up for Collin and Riojos as they try to get answers as to what’s going on. The more they dig the more bad guys come after them. On top of dodging killers it seems that a Det. Tony Santano is looking for Collin’s body and his missing lover Riojos. Whatever is going on Collin and Riojos need answers before someone kills them permanently. Intense drama, some morbid humor, and a major mystery surround the characters in Collin’s Awakening. This exciting new series barely takes a breath from one deadly scene to the next. Character development evolves along the way in the fast paced plot while secrets unravel and answers are hard to come by. Collin’s Awakening relies on sizzling hot sex, strong men, and an intriguing plot to keep readers interested, and it works perfectly. -- Lisa, Joyfully Reviewed

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Excerpt

Story Excerpt

 

Gasp!

Collin Phoenix’s eyes fluttered as pain rolled through him like a tidal wave. Bright fluorescent lights glared down at him from the ceiling above. Collin shielded his eyes with his hand as he blinked several times, waiting for his eyes to adjust to the blaring light.

Once he could see without his eyes throbbing, Collin dropped his hand and glanced around. He was lying down on something hard and cold. He knew that at least. The second thing he knew was that the room he was in was fucking freezing-ass cold.

Collin turned his head to try and surmise where he was currently at when he saw a small piece of yellow paper sticking out of the edge of the next table over. He gasped again and jackknifed up from the table, the sheet falling away as he looked around the room. That stupid piece of paper was attached to a toe.

He was in the morgue!

Collin started to hyperventilate. He pressed his hand against his chest and tried to breathe normally. He could feel his heartbeat rapidly beating. He knew he wasn’t dead. He had a freaking heartbeat!

Why was he in a morgue, though? What happened? Where was Riojos? Was he here, too, under another one of these white sheets? And why was everything fucking white? The walls, the floors, the ceiling, the sheets? Everything was fucking white!

Now Collin knew why he was so damn cold. He just didn’t know why he was there. And what baffled him even further was the fact that he was lying on one of the exam tables. There were two other tables, and people who were completely nude, not even a sheet to cover them, occupied both. One had a bluish tint to his body. He had to be dead.

Collin gulped and began to shake as he looked down when he felt something pinching at the circulation in his toe. Oh god. He had a toe tag on as well. He wanted to scream, but he couldn’t seem to find his voice.

He wasn’t dead!

Collin’s fingers trembled as he quickly pulled his foot up and yanked the damn tag off and then threw his legs over the side of the table, letting them dangle as he tried his hardest to remember how he had gotten here. He remembered leaving the restaurant with Riojos, but it kind of went fuzzy after that.

Riojos!

Collin jumped down off of the metal table, his knees nearly giving out as he grabbed the edge of the table for stability. His fingers curled around the cold metal as Collin waited out the light-headedness. How long had he been lying there?

As the dizziness subsided, Collin noticed one crucial thing. He was naked. Feeling the panic setting in, he looked around, trying to find something to cover his nudity so he could get the hell out of there. The only thing at his disposal was the sheet that had been covering him. Collin yanked it off of the floor and wrapped it around his body like a toga.

He pushed the hair from his eyes, and then he walked toward the door. He wasn’t sure why he was here, but there was no way he was sticking around for his own damned autopsy. He was going to run hard and run fast, right out the first exit he saw.

Collin heard voices coming from the hallway. His head snapped around as he looked for a place to hide. No matter how he had gotten there, he was very sure that anyone seeing him walking around would freak out. Hell, he was freaking out.

As the voices drew near, Collin knew he had to find somewhere to hide. He spotted a door across the room, so he ran to it, snatching it open to find a utility closet. Collin quickly closed the door behind him just as he heard the voices come into the room.

“Where’s the other cadaver?” someone asked, sounding totally baffled. “I swear I pulled him out of the freezer just a minute ago.”

“Then where the hell is he?” another nearly shouted.

Collin held his breath, praying they didn’t check the closet he was hiding in. Somehow he didn’t think, “Hi, I’ve come back from the dead so I’m just going to get going,” would suffice. Even to him it sounded insane.

“Well, it didn’t just get up and walk away. We need to go see who took it.”

Collin counted to ten before turning the doorknob and peeking out. When he saw no one, he hurried back across the room and through another doorway. It led to an outer hallway. He wasn’t sure which way to go, so he chose left. He darted around a few corners and down several hallways, praying he didn’t run into anyone. He saw the exit sign hanging from the ceiling after two more turns.

Thank god.

Collin ran for it, slamming his hands into the push bar as he shot out of the building and into a fucking cold-ass night. He immediately started shivering but got as far away from the morgue as possible. Soon though, his toes began to freeze. If he didn’t get warm soon, he was going to end up back in the morgue.

A blessing in disguise or just plain dumb luck, Collin spotted a homeless shelter several blocks from the morgue. He hurried to the door, numbness setting into his very bones. He reached out and pulled the door open, quickly stepping inside.

 

Adult Excerpt

 

“I’m starting to think that fate decided we belong together and nothing is going to keep us apart, not even death.”

Riojos’s head tilted slightly, reminding Collin of a curious cat. “You really believe that, bebé?”

“I do.”

A slow grin broke out across Riojos’s face. “I love you, Collin. Have I told you that today?”

“Once or twice.” Collin grinned back. “But it’s always nice to hear.”

Collin swallowed hard when he felt Riojos’s hand slide under the covers and start unzipping his jeans. “What are you doing?” he whispered as his eyes widened.

“Showing you how much I love you.”

“Your brother is right across the room.”

“Then I suggest you be very, very quiet, gatito.”

Collin thought Riojos was out of his mind as the man began to nuzzle his neck then kiss him. How in the hell was he supposed to be quiet when Riojos was loving on him? It was almost impossible.

When Riojos’s hand slipped under the waistband of Collin’s jeans and pulled out his cock, Collin moaned and arched into his lover’s firm touch. Nope, keeping quiet just wasn’t possible. Nothing that felt this good should ever be smothered.

When Collin looked up at Riojos, his chocolate-brown eyes were smoldering. Collin groaned as he stared at his lover when Riojos's thumb glided over the head of his cock. He pressed harder into his lover’s hand, wanting more, so much more than he could have right now.

“Turn over,” Riojos mouthed.

Collin glanced over his shoulder to see Sal had his back to them. Should he? Hell, that wasn’t even a question. Collin shifted around until his back was facing Riojos. His body began to hum as Riojos slid Collin’s jeans down his thighs. Collin had an urge to kick them off, but he knew they were restricted because of Sal.

His eyes closed when Riojos’s wet fingers slid down his crease, pushing at his hole. Collin pushed back, wanting desperately for anything of Riojos’s to fill him. He hissed quietly when his lover’s fingers breached him. Riojos was only using spit. He needed to be a little gentler when sticking his fingers into Collin’s ass.

“Te amo, mi corazón,” Riojos whispered to him. Collin felt goose bumps all over. He had that reaction anytime Riojos spoke to him in his native tongue. It was so damn sexy.

Collin’s eyes snapped over to Sal as he felt Riojos shifting around, pulling his own pants down. Collin bit his lower lip as his lover slowly eased into him. His eyes closed briefly as Collin let the feeling of being filled by his lover overtake him.

There was nothing in the world like it. Riojos was a large man, in every aspect, and that made Collin a very happy man. Riojos’s hand landed on Collin’s hip as he inched in. Collin quietly groaned as Riojos’s large cock filled him.

“You are so tight, bebé.”

Collin’s body shivered as Riojos continued to softly croon to him. It was a lover’s call that Collin would always answer. He pushed his ass into Riojos’s groin, feeling the cock that was buried in his ass graze over his prostate. Collin moaned.

Riojos’s pace picked up as the bed began a soft squeak. They both smothered their laugh as Riojos tried his best to quiet it down. Hell, at this point, Collin couldn’t give a shit less if Sal were awake. Just as long as he continued to watch the wall, all would be good.

Riojos leaned forward and nipped Collin’s ear. “I’m about to come in your ass, gatito.”

Yes! Collin was all for that. What made it even better was when Riojos reached over them and grabbed Collin’s hardened shaft, stroking it as he snapped his hips, plunging deeply into Collin’s ass.

Collin slapped a hand over his mouth as jets of hot seed shot from his cock. His eyes rolled back as Riojos continued to thrust into him. The bed was damn near walking across the floor as his lover punished his ass. 

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