Burns! Mysteries 5-6
Thomas Fitzgerald is a blond, blue-eyed undercover detective for Police Scotland. Running from a shadowed past in his native Ireland, he meets another man who is running. The man named Burns—dark and sensuous, and secretive to a fault— is doing his best to escape the law.
What happens when these two men come together? In the space of six novellas and one novel, Thomas and Burns experience lust and love, crime and punishment as they swivel from the edge of death to the verge of ecstasy. And back again.
In this second box set, you will read two novellas bound tight as feathers to a bird:
THE UNICORN’S SECRET: The Hunt for the Unicorn brings someone even closer to the edge of another shallow grave.
THE BURNS ENIGMA: Searching for a man he thought forever lost, Thomas finds that a new lover is even better—and more imperiled— than he could ever imagine.
Publisher: New Dawn Press
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Alpha Character, Criminals & Outlaws, Healing Power of Sex, Second Chances
Word Count: 39860
Setting: Scotland: Stirlng Castle,Edinburgh
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
From The Unicorn's Secret, Chapter Three: "Top o' the Morning"
Burns had been staying with him off and on for maybe a week, driving back and forth from Edinburgh to take care of business at the University and in the museum where he was curator. Even on Christmas, six days ago, Thomas had been called to work to deal with at least two emergencies. So their time together had been the same as their time apart—angst interspersed with moments of utter fucking abandon.
When he unlocked the door and looked around his flat, Thomas immediately saw the deserted dust-buster and the heap of scatter rugs. The morning light seemed brighter than he remembered, and then he realized he could actually see through the one window in the living room. Dust motes danced in the unaccustomed light, set into a mad dervish by his own entrance. He grinned and shrugged off his hoodie, tossed it on the love seat, and walked to the bedroom.READ MORE
His bed—their bed—was actually made…sort of…the rainbow-banded cover pulled up over the pillow and some of the wrinkles smoothed out. Standing alongside the bed, he unbuttoned his shirt, listening to the water running in the bathroom. Obviously Burns had not heard him come in.
Thomas dropped his shirt on the bed. He kicked off the brogans, then unfastened his trousers and let them collapse at his feet. He didn’t have to look down at his cock to know it was rigid as a broom handle, leaking with expectation, as he padded to the bathroom.
He stood in the doorway, already a little dizzy with desire, and lavished a long look at Burns.
The man must have known Thomas would stop to behold the miracle of heavy cock, marbled nipples, and luminous hair…in that order…the sight of his darkly handsome man stretched out to his fullest. His legs were crossed at the ankles, his hands behind his head, his skin from nipples to navel glistening with water drops. His gray-and-sable eyes were on the ceiling, maybe running with the splashing water, lost in another world.
Perfect. Fucking perfect.
He bent to strip off his long wool stockings.
“Leave them on, Thomas. I want you to fuck me ’til your socks fall off.”
Thomas laughed outright. How had Burns even known he was there, and what he was about to take off?
“You are sodding crazy.” He walked to the bathtub and stood with his arms folded across his chest.
“Crazy in lust. And in love, you sexy beast. Come here to me.”
He bent over the tub and sought Burns’ mouth. Their tongues collided, and he sank lower, grasping the man’s shoulders, licking his shadow-beard, moaning his delight.
“Just don’t move a centimeter, Burns.” He drew back and thumbed one stocking down to his ankle.
“Stop, Thomas. It turns me on to see you half-assed dressed. Just socks, and… Put on my tie and straddle me, will you?”
Thomas saw the gray silk tie draped over the closed toilet seat and stood. He rolled his sock back up and put the tie around his neck, knotting it loosely, and walked back to gaze down at his lover.
“I want to be your power bottom this morning. I want you to top me and stuff me until I beg you to stop.”
Thomas glared at him, pretending annoyance. “That will never happen. And you know it.”
Burns reached up with both hands, inviting him to sit. “Och, lad. We’ll nae know until we try.”COLLAPSE
"Bo" on Amazon wrote:
Oh. My. God. She did it again. Erin O'Quinn drew me into the saga of Thomas Fitzgerald, and his lover, the enigmatic Burns -- with all of its fiery passion, longing, mystery, suspense, and delicious fantasy -- and left me banging my head on my writing desk, begging for more.
The Unicorn's Secret is an intensely powerful addition to the Burns! series. As much as you think you might know about the protagonists, you soon realize there's so much left to discover, and so much more to experience as their relationship builds toward its conclusion. Even as you witness them solve the mystery that brings them to a medieval castle on Hogmanay, an even bigger one is revealed. The "Unicorn's Secret," unfolds allegorically, through a series of tapestries, then literally, as Thomas grasps its meaning.
The conclusion -- the real Unicorn's Secret --will absolutely shock you. Don't even try to prepare yourself. I had all sorts of ideas about how their story might end...and was stunned beyond belief. Where I expected answers, I got them - not necessarily the ones I wanted - but ones that, in retrospect, fit perfectly to these two characters I've come to know and love. Had I recognized one subtle hint in the very beginning of the story, I might have realized there was more to the Unicorn's Secret than the simple mystery of the search for a terrorist's bomb...but I leave it to you to make that discovery for yourself. You truly can't afford to miss this incredible twist in an already amazing story.
Thanks to Erin's most recent and clever blog posts, I now know that The Unicorn's Secret is not 'exactly' the conclusion of their saga. It is, however, ONE conclusion, ONE emotional journey that comes to a bittersweet ending, making way for another that promises to be equally compelling, if not more so. I'm not sure it's ever going to be possible for me to say goodbye to these uniquely powerful, passionately sexy, mysterious men. I'm just glad I didn't have to say it this time.
To Erin: well done, woman! You have a talent for storytelling that goes straight to the heart, the head, the gut...and other places ... in a most satisfying way. Every story absorbs me fully, not only in these two beautiful characters, but in the magnificent heritage, surroundings, history and traditions of Scottish culture. I can't wait for another virtual visit as the Burns Enigma unfolds.
[Review for The Burns Enigma] There are a few of us loyal Erin O'Quinn fans whose jaws dropped and eyes bulged at the end of "The Unicorn's Secret," the fifth and what was billed as the "final book" of the Burns-Fitzgerald mystery series. No spoilers here, just a word of caution and a word to the wise to those who were not necessarily expecting this book, ever, or so quickly.
Word of Caution: If you have any kind of COPD affliction, make sure you have clear air passages and an inhaler close by. Why? Because from the first paragraphs this book will simply take your breath away.
Word to the Wise: You are smart enough to figure out the trick Ms. O'Quinn is playing on us when a business card is mentioned and the plot is afoot. However, you are not as smart as Ms. O'Quinn is to imagine where that business card will take Thomas Fitzgerald and his beloved Bobbie Burns.
This one ticks all the tingles, checks all the boxes, and has a climax which is ... hilariously sexual if not explicitly described.
Most of all we still have our Thomas and his beloved Bobbie, and let us hope, sincerely pray, offer up sacrifices and dance around the fires that Ms. O'Quinn ain't done with them, or us, yet.
This second box set is priced to save half over buying each of the two novellas separately. They are welded tight as feathers to a bird and are meant to be read consecutivelty. There are some paranormal elements.