When wildling Corey Green discovers his mate is Seth Dylan, a tough as nails, dour werewolf from the McCallan clan, he thinks his life is set. However, Seth's not out and doesn't know if he wants to be. A pivotal sexual encounter between the men has Seth running scared and leaves Corey broken hearted. The men meet again nearly two years later and this time Seth's out but Corey's dark depression is about to send him behind the Veil of the Jewel Box to the fae world. Seth's determined to make up for running out on Corey, but the wildling's sunny disposition has gone so dark it may be too late for them to build a life together. With love on his side, Seth sets out return the sunshine to Corey's soul.
The Tales books up to Common Ground (#5) can stand alone, but read together provide the reader with a comprehensive view of the characters and their family dynamics. With this book (#6), the series takes a turn toward each book being less stand alone. You can read Sunstroked without the others but there will be things you may not understand if you’ve not read Common Ground or Hot Water or Fire Season. Common Ground in particular is key to Sunstroked, most especially the epilogue.
Corey Green had to be the most beautiful man Seth had ever seen. And his looks weren’t even half his appeal. If the man hadn’t been so incredibly nice on top of his sexiness, Seth wouldn’t have even considered losing his virginity to the guy. But he knew, just as he knew his own innate sexuality, that being with Corey was right. His sense of destiny galloped headlong toward Corey’s bedroom, carrying Seth toward something he wanted with a fierceness that made every muscle in his body tremble.
He wanted what was to come, needed it. The darkness he’d lived in his entire life had brightened the moment Corey had spoken to him, and Seth didn’t want to go back to the dark. He wanted to walk in the sun for the first time, maybe the only time, in his life. Corey represented happiness and pleasure and freedom, all things that had been in short supply throughout Seth’s life. Tomorrow he’d think about whether he should continue to deny his sexuality. Tomorrow he’d figure out what to do for the rest of his life. Tonight, all he wanted was pleasure. The pleasure he and his lover would give each other…
“You’re thinking too much,” Corey murmured and wrapped one hand around the back of Seth’s head, drawing him closer. “You just need to feel. Feel and enjoy.”
Seth let Corey pull him close. His heart pounded so hard he wondered if Corey could hear it. As the wildling’s mouth came down on his, Seth had the sense that the sun had emerged from behind a cloud. Searing heat flushed his body as if the sun beat down on his skin. With a sigh, Seth surrendered to the teasing lick of Corey’s tongue, opening his mouth to invite his lover inside. Their tongues twined and joy shot through Seth. A simple kiss had never felt so good.
When Corey broke off the kiss, Seth moaned in protest. With a chuckle, Corey threaded his fingers with Seth’s and led the way upstairs. The bedroom stood in shadow, the setting sun slanting only a few faint rays through the open window. Corey flicked on the bedside lamp and the room filled with a golden light.
“Tell me what you want.”
Corey’s voice held a softness and caring that sent a shudder through Seth. So few people in his life had cared about him. For this man whom he’d just met to openly show he cared about Seth’s feelings, wants, and desires, sent a wave of nameless emotion through him. Although they’d not done much yet, Seth already teetered on overload. Yet, he welcomed it. His past would be set aside from this moment onward. He would look to the future and look inside himself for the answers, and not look to his pack or his family to supply the blueprint for his life.
“I want it all.”
His stark words were met with a glorious smile. The curving of Corey’s generous, sexy lips made Seth’s mouth water.
“Well, of course you do,” Corey said, brushing his fingers through Seth’s unruly hair. “And I’m perfectly willing to be a sexual smorgasbord, but where do you want to start? What do you want to do first?”
Seth reached up and locked his fingers around Corey’s wrist, feeling the thrum of the wildling’s blood beneath his fingertips. “Have you ever had a virgin before?” he asked, his heart suddenly aching to know where he stood with Corey.
Two hands cupped his face for a brief moment, a fleeting caress meant to soothe.
“No, I haven’t. But you’re special. I sensed it immediately,” Corey replied honestly, his steel blue eyes serious. “I want to show you how wonderful this can be. I want to show you what you feel is not wrong. How can pleasure be wrong? It is no one’s place to sit in judgment on another especially with regard to acts of pleasure between two consenting adults. You’re not a freak, Seth. You’re just a man with healthy desires. Other men will want to be with you. I want to be with you. And there is nothing wrong with that. Let me show you how good it can be.”
Seth pondered Corey’s words for a moment, recognizing the truth in them. The darkness within him lightened. He stretched out a hand and laid it on Corey’s hip.
“I want to touch and be touched.”
A sigh escaped the wildling. Something brilliant glittered in his steel colored eyes for a moment, then he blinked them shut. When they opened, raw hunger blazed at Seth from the handsome face of the man who would be his first real lover. Then Corey spread his arms wide. The teasing smile that Seth had instantly been drawn to lit Corey’s face. Bathed in the smile’s radiance, it almost seemed to Seth as if a door had closed on his past, locking the darkness away where it could no longer reach him. His mouth went dry, his heart pounded to an uneven rhythm driven by lust and a plethora of emotions he couldn’t begin to define.
With shaking but determined hands, Seth pushed up Corey’s polo shirt exposing a broad golden-skinned chest. Moments later, the shirt hit the floor, and Seth’s fingertips found the wildling’s nipples. The flat discs puckered beneath his touch, and Corey groaned. Silently, Seth groaned too. The smooth skin beneath his hands didn’t feel anything like a woman’s. His palms skated over the hard contours of Corey’s torso, and he decided the man’s skin felt like rough silk.