[Siren Publishing: The Lynn Hagen ManLove Collection: Erotic Alternative Paranormal Romance, shape-shifter, vampires, M/M, HEA]
After someone breaks into Barrington Manor, Gary and his grandmother go to the police, but it's a move Gary soon regrets. There are secrets within those mansion walls, secrets that could end Gary's life if exposed. But Gary is tired of being so isolated, so alone, that he takes that risk, and finds a handsome detective who is willing to help. Unfortunately, that help comes at a price. But Gary is infatuated with Detective Richard Cohen and risks everything to be with him again.
When Richard's superior betrays him, he makes a career change and settles in Brac Village. He's content with his life, until he meets Gary. His mate. When he decides to get involved and takes on Gary's case, he knows something is going on at Barrington Manor, and Richard is determined to find out its secrets, even if that means breaking into the mansion himself to save Gary's life.    
A Siren Erotic Romance
Lynn Hagen is a Siren-exclusive author.


Finding Strength (MM)
44 Ratings (4.8)
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Cover Art by Emma Nicole
Loved it!!!!!
A gothic mystery and a fun romp! This story is classic Lynn Hagan and takes place in an old mansion complete with vampires, a werewolf and yes, some ghouls in the tunnels below the house. I was reading it on a dark night alone in a big empty house and right at the scary part something fell and clattered upstairs. Scared the bejeebers out of me. Ms. Hagen has done some really good books lately so be sure to check out them all.

More From Brac Village





Richard looked over his shoulder. A little old lady stood at the front desk with a young man next to her. The guy caught Richard’s attention. He had a few extra pounds on him, but he was pretty, with blond hair that hung around his shoulders, making him look more like a female than a male.

“Ma’am,” the desk cop said, “you should’ve called us to come to your house instead of driving here. ”

“He was after my brazier,” she said. “He wanted to see my goodies.”

“Can’t you just go to our house and do whatever it is cops do?” the young man asked. “Why should it matter if we call or come into the station? Someone broke into our house. Go dust for prints.”

“Where are we?” The elderly woman looked around as though just realizing they were standing in the police station. If Richard had to guess, he’d put her at ninety years old. She was stooped, using a cane to steady herself, and she had so many wrinkles that Richard had an urge to hug her.

Richard got up and headed to the front. He had a weird impulse to help the woman. She turned when Richard approached, and she had the clearest blue eyes he’d ever seen. For some reason, he just knew she’d been a beauty in her younger years. “What seems to be the problem?”

The young man stuck his hand out. “I’m Gary Barrington and this is my grandmother, Sofia. We want to report a break-in.”

Gary’s soft voice matched his delicate appearance.

“The burglar wanted to look down my brazier,” Sofia stated to no one in particular.

Fred Muster, the cop behind the front desk, rolled his eyes. “Sofia, no one is trying to look down your bra.”

“Brazier,” she corrected with a huff. “Bra sounds so scandalous. ”

Richard hid his grin. “I’m Detective Richard Cohen.”

“It’s a pleasure,” Gary said. “But Sofia is telling the truth. About the break-in, not her bra.” His head snapped around as he glanced at his grandmother. “I mean brazier.”

She patted Gary’s arm with a smile, as though proud he’d corrected his error. “That’s my good boy.”

Gary gave her the sweetest smile, though he blushed like crazy, as though embarrassed she’d called him that in public. It melted Richard’s heart. Gary clearly adored his grandmother. “Why don’t you two come over and tell me what happened?” Richard waved them to his metal desk in the back of the room.

Sofia walked slowly, pressing the base of her cane into the floor with a wobbly hand. Richard had to stop himself from simply picking her up and carrying her. He hated to see her struggle.

Gary stayed at her side, one hand out as though ready to catch her if she fell. While they made their slow progress, Richard checked Gary out. He had the same clear blue eyes as his grandmother, and a very nice ass.

“I hope you take this case as seriously as you’re checking out my backside,” Gary said. He shot Richard a glare. “I think you’re being pretty unprofessional.”

“I think I’m just being a guy.” Richard helped Sofia take her seat.

“Don’t look down my brazier.” She gave Richard the stink eye. “I’m watching you, you gigolo.”

“Sofia.” Gary patted her shoulder. “Please be nice. This detective is going to help us.”

“Why do we need his help?” She looked from Gary to Richard. “Oh, are we on some kind of mystery tour? Do we have to solve a crime?”

Gary rolled his eyes. Richard snickered.

“No, Sofia. The nice detective is going to solve a crime for us.” Gary took a seat next to her.

“The break-in,” she said. “Yes, yes. I remember now. Have we found out who did it?”

“Not yet.” Gary patted her wrinkled hand.

“Tell Gilbert to get me my afternoon drink, and this room needs some air. It’s so dry in here. Have the fans gone out?”

“I’m sorry,” Gary said to Richard. “Gilbert was her butler for years, but he passed away last summer. My grandmother still thinks he’s somewhere in the house.”

“No problem.” Richard opened his laptop. “Now, can you tell me what happened? Start from the beginning, Mr. Barrington.”

“Please, call me Gary.” A fine blush spread across Gary’s pale cheeks.

Richard’s cougar yowled softly. His beast was definitely interested. But Richard had to remain professional. He couldn’t exactly ask Gary out while the guy was reporting a crime.

“Well, Sofia was in the garden and I was on the patio when I heard a noise from inside. So I went to investigate, and there was a stranger in my grandfather’s study, ransacking the room like he was looking for something.”

“Why didn’t your grandfather come in with you?”

“From what I was told, he passed away a few years after my mother was born, ” Gary said. “Anyway, I screamed and the guy took off, but not before knocking me aside.” Gary tapped his right elbow and winced. “I was injured.”

“Where’s my drink, Gilbert?”

Richard gave Sofia a polite smile before looking at Gary. “Can I see the wound?”

Gary hissed as he pulled his sleeve back. “Right here.” He tapped his elbow. Richard didn’t see anything, not even a scratch or red mark.

“I think you’ll be okay.” He slid his fingers over Gary’s elbow, and Richard’s cougar yowled again. This was the first time in a long time his cougar had been interested in someone. In fact, Richard couldn’t recall the last time his beast had taken notice of anyone Richard was interested in.




Gary sat and scooted backward until he was near the pillows. He held his breath and watched as Richard crawled across the mattress like the sleek cat he was. His muscles bunched and flexed as he neared Gary, then he lowered his head and kissed Gary’s ankles.

Okay, that was so not where he wanted Richard to kiss him, but Gary was too mesmerized to say a word. Richard’s tongue lashed out, leaving behind a trail of moisture as he worked his way up to Gary’s knees. He kissed, licked, and nipped Gary’s skin, a rumbling purr vibrating his chest.

“I feel like I should pet you,” Gary nervously teased.

“You can pet me wherever you like.” Richard nipped the inside of one of Gary’s thighs, making Gary hiss in pleasure. His kitty cat—did he really just think that?—settled between Gary’s legs. “Lie back, Gary.”

God how he loved hearing Richard say his name. That single word sounded sensual, sexy, and boner-inducing in his deep, smoky voice.

He did as Richard asked, then Richard spread Gary’s legs and lapped at his balls. Gary’s toes curled as he let his legs fall farther apart. This was so much better than jacking off, and Gary wasn’t sure if he would be able to hold out much longer.

Not when Richard had such a wicked tongue.

Gary curled his fingers into the bedding and mewled as Richard worked his way up Gary’s cock, lapping and licking, sucking and gently biting. He was close, so damn close that he would blow his load at any second.

Then Richard did the most amazing thing. He slid a wet finger into Gary’s ass and Gary lost it. His ass cheeks clenched as his orgasm ripped through him, making Gary give a strangled cry as he came.

Richard sucked Gary’s cock down his throat, milking his hardened flesh until Gary was nothing more than a pile of useless flesh and bones.

“That was just to get the edge off.” Richard climbed up his body and lay next to Gary, lapping at his neck, his hand sliding over every inch of Gary’s body. It was as though Richard couldn’t stop touching him.

And he hadn’t stopped purring, either.

“You’re mine, Gary. And tonight, I’m claiming you.”

“Okay,” Gary said in a pleasure-filled voice. He was too bone-weary to argue, or even to think of the consequences of what he was doing. He wasn’t even sure what Richard was talking about, but didn’t even care.

Just as long as Richard gave him another one of those mind-blowing orgasms, Gary would agree to anything.

Richard gave a soft chuckle as he kissed one of Gary’s nipples. Gary hissed as he lapped at the sensitive flesh, sucking the brown disc into his mouth.

Gary wasn’t sure he would survive Richard’s pleasurable assault. He was so confident, so skilled, and Gary felt consumed by him.

“Tell me you have some lube,” Richard said as he kissed his way up Gary’s shoulder. “Or anything I can use to bury my cock deep in your ass.”

Gary’s body pulsed at Richard’s dirty words.

Lube. Gary knew what Richard was asking for, but he couldn’t get his brain to conjure up an image. He felt as though he’d forgotten how to think. It didn’t help that Richard’s hands wouldn’t stop moving, wouldn’t stop petting Gary. His fingertips glided over Gary’s belly, and his body jerked as his cock thickened again.

As though knowing Gary’s dilemma, Richard grinned as he got up from the bed. “Where’s the bathroom?”

Again, Gary’s brain refused to help him. He simply blinked at the ceiling as Richard moved around the room. Richard was no longer touching him, yet his body still felt electrified. The tiny fingers of arousal pulsing in his veins had Gary ready to beg Richard to come back to bed, to fuck him until he passed out from sheer pleasure.

For a brief moment Gary thought of the elevator, of the top floor, but he slammed a lid on that thought. Just as he’d risked going into town and talking with the police, Gary would risk a night with the handsome detective.

He was tired of roaming these lonely halls, tired of having no one he could confide in, having no one he could share any kind of special moment with—which so far, were none—or someone who could make him laugh. Gary felt like a caged bird desperate for his freedom.

But this was only a stolen moment. Richard would leave tonight, and Gary would be all alone again. But he refused to dwell on such miserable thoughts and decided to enjoy the time he did have with his detective.

Richard returned, a bottle of baby oil in his hand. “I guess this is the best thing we have to use.”

Gary’s pulse quickened as Richard climbed back into bed and moved toward him with heavy-lidded eyes, pure seduction laced in their dark depths. If this was nothing more than a dream, Gary never wanted to wake. He would sleep for one hundred years if that meant he could keep Richard at his side, in his bed, and looking at him as if he were the sexiest man on the planet.

His lover spread out beside Gary and Richard’s soft lips touched his shoulder. Gary curled onto his side, craving whatever his cougar wanted to do to him. Richard’s fingers ghosted over Gary’s ass, then they were gone. They returned a second later, wet and probing at his hole.

“Put your leg over mine.”

When Gary did, the move opened him up further. Richard glided his silky finger down the crease of Gary’s ass, then circled the tip around the band of muscles and probed before sinking inside him.

Gary’s lips parted as he moaned, curling his hands around Richard’s shoulders as he tried to get closer, writhing at how good Richard felt buried in him.

“Look at you,” Richard purred. “I love how you respond to my touch.”

“More,” Gary begged. “I need more.”

“And you’ll have more.” Richard kissed his jaw. “So much more.”

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