Danny in the Dark (MM)

Dreamcatcher 1

Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

Heat Rating: Sextreme
Word Count: 44,824
24 Ratings (4.2)

[Siren Everlasting Classic ManLove: Erotic Alternative Paranormal Romance, M/M, older hero, werewolves, bondage, spanking]

Danny’s parents have raised him to despise the beast inside him, and he has done his best to repress his inner wolf…until he meets Lars, a half-planeswalker, half-werewolf to whom he is drawn by a powerful supernatural bond.

When Danny mates with Lars, he believes the lifelong nightmares that have plagued him are finally over and that he is finally able to control his beast. Instead, his inner demons threaten his mate’s life when their supernatural bond grants Lars access to Danny’s terrifying dreams.

Terrified that his freakish nightmares will destroy Lars, Danny tries to flee from his mate, but there is no escaping the bond that joins their subconscious. Can Danny and Lars defeat Danny’s fears before they destroy the only love he has ever known?

Note: Each book in this series features a different romantic couple. Even though the Dreamcatcher collection by Ellen Ginsberg shares an external story arc with the Songmates collection by Rayna Bradbury, each series can stand alone.

A Siren Erotic Romance


Ellen Ginsberg is a Siren-exclusive author.

Danny in the Dark (MM)
24 Ratings (4.2)

Danny in the Dark (MM)

Dreamcatcher 1

Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

Heat Rating: Sextreme
Word Count: 44,824
24 Ratings (4.2)
In Wish List
Available formats
Cover Art by Les Byerley
Oh my gosh. It's 1:30 in the morning and I've been up the last two hours reading Ellen Ginsberg's first novel, Danny in the Dark. I very truly could not put it down. It was beautifully written, expertly plotted, and most importantly, sexy as hell. Her heroes were refreshingly believable and nuanced, they respected each other and showed a raw tenderness towards each other any reader of this fine book would be lucky to experience.
Thank you Ms. Ginsberg for a phenomenal read. I've read quite a few erotic romance novels in my time, but this absolutely knocked it out of the park.
I cried, I giggled, I got turned on- bravo, ma'am, bravo.
The first thing that caught my attention about Danny in the Dark was the author's name, Ellen Ginsberg, a sly reference to the gay beat poet Allen Ginsberg, I'm guessing, most known for his lurid poem Howl. And cleverly enough, that word fits so well with this book, with the nightmares and with the dreams it holds.

From page one, I was plunged into a paranormal story about two men who love each other but are held apart by dark secrets and a menacing past. The characters immediately come to life, and there are too many nail-biting moments to count. There were times when I honestly didn't know how the characters were going make it through everything, and on top of that, how they were going to stay together if they DID make it through. I couldn't put it down, and even after I'd finished, I couldn't stop thinking about it.

Just thinking about it in my head now, it's hard to believe that this is Ellen Ginsberg's first book. She is a truly gifted and phenomenal writer. To be honest, it makes me pea-green with envy! But if there are more stories like this one coming from her, I'll put my jealous nature aside and scarf those stories right up.

Long story short, buy this book. You'll be riveted.
Edith DuBois
Professional Reviews

4 STARS: "Danny has always been taught he must control the hated beast within him.  He does a decent job until he meets Lars.  Lars, a half plane walker and half werewolf, claims to be his mate and plans to show him what it is like to be a werewolf.  Drawn to him by a supernatural bond, Danny mates with him only to find that his nightmares are passed onto Lars.  Even worse, he finds that these nightmares may cause lasting damage to Lars. Fleeing, Danny finds no escape.  It may be that only together can they defeat his inner demons and give them both peace.There are several surprises in store for readers as they devour Danny in the Dark.  We also meet Lars’s three brothers and through them Danny learns the not all families are like his.  He finds love and acceptance but also more fear when he realizes he may bring danger to Lars.  Lars, though, knows that his love for Danny and Danny‘s love for him, will bring them through these troubles.  The tension in the story build and builds until it breaks in a spectacular way.  You will not be disappointed in the ending of Danny in the Dark.  Ellen Ginsberg grips the reader with the story and delivers an excellent ending." -- Elise, Sensual Reads

4 HEARTS: "Lars meets his mate in the diner that he owns, when his mate is bullied by some guys just because he is gay. Or they think he is. Now it's up to Lars to tell Danny that he is not alone, because he, himself, is also a werewolf. Not only that, Danny is his mate. Danny has run away frome home and has nowhere to go. But can he trust Lars and can trust himself to not hurt Lars? Because he has trouble with his wolf and doesn't know how he can get him under control before he hurts Lars or worse. How far would you go to make your family happy? Would you be willing to sacrifice the very core of yourself? Danny has tried everything to please his father with no success. I loved these characters. Lars and Danny had so many layers and they were so three-dimensional. They were so real, flawed, but in the end, just wanted what most of us want... to be happy. The story at times wasn't at all pretty and dealt with very harsh realities, but they were handled with care and purpose. I feel that the main characters grew and learned, and in the end came out better for it. If you like M/M romance, and you are looking for a story that has a wonderful plot and realistic characters, this story is definitely for you." -- Camilla, The Romance Studio

4 CUPS: "Danny is hated by his family and rightfully so in his mind. He is haunted by a past he is unable to remember. He is shocked to find even someone like himself has a mate, poor guy. Lars has waited his whole life for Danny and it will take more than a ghost from the past to keep him away. He will fight Danny himself if necessary. Danny is haunted by a past that refuses to let go. When he decides to leave it behind and start a new one, the past refuses to let him go and uses his new love against him. Danny in the Dark is a poignant story of love healing the heart and forcing one to face the past. There are more than a few twists and turns in this tale, and if the reader hangs on, they will find an enjoyable experience. The characters are compelling and entice the reader to feel their emotions whatever they might be. I highly recommend Danny in the Dark, but will warn readers they will be looking for the brothers of Lars stories." -- Delane, Coffee Time Romance

"A new paranormal series, with a new world and its rules to discover, always gets my interest. And when it's a well-designed one, as is the case with Dreamcatcher, I am delighted. Planes-walking as a psi-power is a pretty interesting idea to me, and can lead to all kinds of interesting and crazy situations and adventures. But it is not just the world and its rules that make this book interesting. There is just enough darkness and mystery to keep the framework story going, but the focus is firmly on the two men whose romantic involvement kicks off events that, I suspect, will have far-reaching consequences. Danny has more self-hatred than should be possible for anyone who still leads a halfway normal life. Initially, this seems to be "just" because he is a werewolf and his father seems to have a problem with that. As the truth emerges, and the real reason is explained, his situation turns out to be so much more horrific than I originally thought. And it isn't just his internal demons that haunt him either, some pretty "real" enemies are out to get him as well. Lars may be an accomplished psychologist, and think he has everything under control, but, boy, is he in for a surprise. Danny's issues, feelings, and the shared dreams they have turn out to be a major catalyst for Lars finding out some things about himself that he didn’t want to be aware of. He didn't have a father who abused him, his parents just "left" to another plane – leaving him behind without warning or an explanation. There are plenty of things he has to deal with as well. Between the two of them, Danny and Lars have plenty to deal with, and all with the added weirdness of a paranormal world "out there" which neither of them are really familiar or comfortable with. They both have things to learn, and I enjoyed watching them grow. If you like unusual stories with a few twists, if the idea of "walking" into another reality full of paranormal creatures sounds interesting, and if you're looking for a love story between two men who need each other's help, you will probably like this book. I, for one, am very much looking forward to the sequel!" -- Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews

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Story Excerpt


Something warm and wet slid against Danny’s stomach, pulling him out of his sleep. He opened his eyes, glancing down to the place where Lars’s arm was wrapped protectively around him, and saw red.

It was covered in blood.

Panic choked Danny’s throat as he pulled away from the arm, grasping at it desperately to stop the flow of blood, but as he turned, he saw that the cuts, deep as they were, weren’t his only injuries.

Two round red holes hollowed into the skin on his neck, as if some sharp unseen points were pressing into it. Then the holes bloomed with blood.

Danny’s eyes widened in horror at the sight. He had seen the same thing in a horror movie when he was a kid, a sleeping body ripped apart by some unseen attacker. It terrified him, but not as much as the thought of losing his mate. He couldn’t, not now.

The memory of their mating pounded through his head. The same circles of blood had risen up from his skin then, and for a moment, he had panicked at the sight, not wanting to hurt him. Instinctively, he had stuck out his tongue to lick the wound, and it had healed. Could he close the wounds the same way now?

Frantic, Danny shifted, lapping at the wound, watching it grow and recede, open and shut. For a few hysterical moments, Lars continued to convulse on the bed. Danny felt the force of each bare second press against him like a great yawning abyss doubling over itself, threatening to swallow him whole. He had felt misery before, and terror, and panic, but never such complete despair. Never in his life had he had so much to lose.

Finally, Lars jerked awake with a gasp, terror in his eyes as he looked at Danny in his shifted form. Danny continued to lick at his wounds, feeling the taste of copper flood his mouth and watching the skin and tissue knit over the ragged wound until it finally closed, as if nothing had ever happened. Lars was okay, but he couldn’t forget the look of terror Lars had given him as he woke up. It was a look he had never expected to see from his mate.

In a fluid movement, his wolfish body melded and reformed into his human one, and Danny stood before the bed in front of Lars, torn between his relief that he was alive and his fear of what he saw in Lars’s eyes as they continued to look at him. Detached. Cautious. Uncertain. Danny felt his stomach tighten with shame as Lars rubbed at his throat, the remaining traces of blood spreading under his touch. It was surreal. A minute ago he had feared for his life. Now he was sitting up on the bed, blinking at him, his breathing steady and calm.

“Are you okay?” he asked. “There was so much blood—”

“I’m fine,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt anymore.” Danny let out a breath. “You shifted,” he said.

Danny stared at him, unsure how to respond. “You almost died.”

Lars nodded, taking in the red-stained bedsheets. He pressed a hand against them then pulled it back, crawling off the bed. Danny wanted to go to him, pull him tight against his body and hold him there, relieved that he was okay, but he couldn’t shake the feeling of discomfort he sensed in his mate.

How much did he remember of what happened?

Lars’s eyes flitted to the sheets, taking in the deep red that stained the sheets. For a moment, his eyes seemed to flash with recognition. “I was having a nightmare,” he said, dazed. He looked up at Danny. “You weren’t there.”

Danny bit his lip at the hollow tone in his mate’s voice. His mate. They had always shared dreams before, ever since that first night. But the dream Danny had was different. He woke up in Lars’s bed, but Lars wasn’t there. For a moment, he had panicked, wanting to rush to the door to find him, but when he got there, he couldn’t bring himself to go through it. The door wasn’t like the door to Lars’s room, and it scared him.

It had been such a strange, foreboding color of red.

Still, he would hardly call the dim memory a nightmare.

 “Do you remember it?” Danny asked, forcing Lars to meet his gaze, but he still seemed dazed. Danny bit his lip, averting his gaze as he pulled his boxer shorts back on. He couldn’t stand the way Lars had looked at his wolf earlier, even after all the time he’d spent letting him get comfortable with it, showing him it was okay. Now, all Danny wanted to do was get dressed as quickly as possible, to show his mate just how domesticated he could be.

Finally, Lars looked up at him. “I remember darkness,” he said. “And a red door.” His head cocked to the side, and his eyes slanted. “Didn’t you have the same dream?”

Danny blinked. A red door. He remembered that, but not the darkness. “I was in the room,” he said, “but it wasn’t dark. There was a door there—”

Lars cut him off. “I wasn’t in the room.”

“Where were you?”

Lars’s eyebrows furrowed the way they always did when he was thinking. Then he shook his head. “I don’t remember.” His face was blank. “I don’t remember anything else.”

“I woke up and saw that you were hurt,” he said slowly. “Something was attacking you.”

Lars’s head jerked up. “Something. What was it?”

Danny’s head swam with the uneasiness he could feel rolling off of Lars in waves. He could feel his face growing hot. “I don’t know. It was sort of…invisible?”

Lars looked at him. There was no mistaking the disbelief in that look. “You shifted,” he repeated.

“I–I thought I could heal you,” he stammered. “Like when we mated. Was that wrong?”

Lars shook his head. “No, but…” He sighed. “You’re certain this was after you woke up? I mean, maybe what you saw, when I was attacked—”

Danny didn’t need to hear the rest of the sentence. He already knew where it was going. “You think I attacked you in my sleep.” He stared at Lars, hard. “Or rather, you think my wolf did.”

All the guilt and shame that he had felt from his childhood returned with a vengeance, washing over Danny. His head hammered, pounding out a frantic pain, and the acid surge of regret rose in his stomach.

He glanced at the clock. How long had it been since he had let go of that burden? An hour? Two? He had thought he would never feel it again, but it was there now, stronger than ever, edged now with the sharp sting of betrayal.

Thirteen years ago, he had done something bad. He would never atone for it. No matter how many times he tried to seek forgiveness, he would only find new ways to open the wound. How stupid had he been to believe it would be different with Lars? That he could trust him? Love him?

His chest squeezed as he realized that he still loved him, and it didn’t matter. No matter what Lars told him, no matter what he thought he felt between them, the facts remained. He was a monster. He was unlovable. He was dangerous.

Even if this time, it wasn’t his fault.


Adult Excerpt


When they were both naked, Danny lay back down on the bed then dropped the blindfold over his eyes again. He felt Lars’s weight shift off of the bed then return to it. Two muscular thighs straddled his stomach, and he felt Lars’s balls brush across his chest as he leaned over him, raising his arms over his head.

“Does this mean I get a safe word?” he asked.

He felt Lars’s hands still above him. “Where in the world did you hear about that?”


“Forget it,” Lars growled, and Danny smirked at the note of jealousy that had crept into his voice. “I don’t want to know. What did you have in mind?”

Lars had finished with the ties, and Danny tugged against them to test their durability, see if he could wriggle out of them if he wanted to. Nope, he determined with a few flicks of his wrists, those suckers weren’t going anywhere. And neither was he.

“How about vulnerable?”

“Smart-ass,” Lars said as he got off of Danny’s chest. A moment later, Danny felt his rough palms pressing against the backs of his thighs, forcing his knees to bend. “You’re going to regret a mouthful like that the minute I start smacking this perfect little ass of yours.”

Holy shit! Danny could feel his whole body flush at that idea so fast he couldn’t tell if it was from fear or arousal. He felt Lars’s palm caress gently down the length of his thigh to palm his backside, and he swallowed. Was that really a possibility?

Inadvertently, his wrists tugged against the leather straps securing them to the headboard. Either way, he wouldn’t have much of a choice. His open eyes stared into the blackness in front of him. His breath quickened, and he wondered what he had gotten himself into.

“Thought you said you wouldn’t hurt me,” he teased. He could hear the worry in his voice. He hoped it didn’t hurt Lars’s feelings.

“I won’t,” he said quickly. “I’m sorry. I was just…”

“It’s okay,” Danny said, his voice raspy. “I liked it, I just…”

It was unnerving, being in the dark like this. Exciting, but unnerving. He could feel Lars’s weight shift between his legs. A hand grasped each of his legs, but he couldn’t see them. All he could see was the darkness.

The edge of fear pressed against his need, but Lars’s hands stroked his legs gently, and his breaths slowed. He choked back a dry swallow. They had fucked a lot in the past weeks, hot and fast and frantic. He liked the rush of sensation he felt inside that abandon, the way the whole world seemed to almost disappear when those sensations overwhelmed him, hanging on the border between pleasure and pain. He didn’t think he could handle it like this.

“Do you think…I mean, this time…could you go slow?”

A moist kiss pressed against the inside of his thigh, and Danny felt him nod against his skin.

Electric sparks raced through him as he felt the wet tip of Lars’s tongue trail his thigh, licking a path downward. When he felt warm hands part the cheeks of his ass, he hitched in a breath in anticipation. Then the wet muscle moved against the sensitive skin between them, and he jerked against it.

“Okay?” Lars asked.

Danny nodded. “Feels good,” he breathed.

It was weird just how much he could feel in the dark like this. Lars licked him again, slower this time. His muscles contracted as he felt the careful motion of his tongue circle his hole then plunge inside.

“Oh, God,” he moaned, bucking his hips against the motion. His wrists strained uselessly against the leather straps. If he had free rein over them, they would have flown to his cock by now, desperate to relieve the pressure building inside him.

The way things were now, he could tell he was going to have to wait a long time.

He felt the wetness of Lars’s tongue moving upward toward his balls, languishing around the sensitive patch of skin underneath them, letting that slow heat build up inside him then backing off as he turned to nibble at his thigh and tease his ass again with the slow whirl of his finger.

“You’re killing me,” he ground out, pressing down against the digit. He groaned as it plunged inside him, fast and deep with the motion of his hips. It pulled out just as fast, and then he felt the pressure push into him again, wider than before. Two fingers. When he felt them curl inside him, he bit back a scream.

“Harder,” he said. “Please. Please fuck me.”

Lars’s fingers pulled out of him, and he whimpered. He heard the creak of the mattress underneath him then felt Lars’s hot breath against his neck as he whispered against his cheek. “You’re pretty sexy when you beg.”

The edge of his stubble brushed against his face as he felt Lars nip a trail along his neck. Their cocks pressed together, sliding against one another with the slickness of pre-cum, and he felt his Adam’s apple surrounded by the suction of Lars’s hot mouth. Need built inside him, and he clenched his hands into fists, wanting to grab Lars’s hair, his ass, his cock. Damn these restraints.

He ground his hips under Lars again, and the tip of Lars’s cock slipped out from between them, pressing against his cheeks. Lars moaned, and he felt the sound vibrate against his throat. He was enveloped by total darkness, his throat trapped beneath the mouth of a man who could tear it out if he wanted, but he wasn’t afraid. He couldn’t see the caring look in his eye, but he knew it was there.

Lars crushed his mouth against his, and he sucked his tongue, smiling at the moan he drew out of him.

“You’re so fucking hot,” he whispered.

Danny smiled, turning his face to feel his mouth on Lars’s skin again and licking at the hot flesh that met his lips. “Am I?” he murmured, finding the line of his jaw. “I can’t see.”


Desperate hands slid down to the globes of his ass, grasping them firmly before releasing them. Danny strained to push his hips up farther, lifting his ass off the bed. He might not have been sure about that spanking before, but he sure as hell wanted it now.

“Do it,” he urged. Lars’s cock slid between his ass cheeks. The tip pressed against his hole. Danny wiggled against it, and he smiled when he heard Lars groan. “I know you want to.”

“I don’t think I can be gentle,” he growled.

“I don’t think I want you to.”

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