Exclusive Excerpt: Flesh and Gold (a Cantor Gold Crime – Book 4) by Ann Aptaker


I’m no saint. I’m certainly no prude. I’ve been visiting cat houses—what the old timers call notch joints back in the States—since I was a teenager and Sig owned a few houses back in our Coney Island days. The professional ladies of pleasure know what they’re doing, and sometimes, on my loneliest nights in my dangerous life, when I miss Sophie so much I’m dizzy with longing, it takes a professional to do what needs doing. And I have a soft spot for the ladies. They and I have something in common: we make our living outside the Law, because the Law dealt both of us rigged hands. The Law says I’m a criminal just because I romance women. And the Law says it’s a crime for the ladies to decide what to do with their own flesh and bones.

I can’t kid myself, though. I know that “the life” can be risky. It’s not unusual for a Lady of Pleasure to have the “pleasure” beaten out of her by rough trade or a vicious pimp who gets his kicks by using her as a slave. The only freedom she can hope for is to grow old, discarded, and die. The idea that Sophie, my Sophie, is caught in such a life scares me to death.

And then there’s the filthy horror that sends its stench through all those other horrors, a scenario twisting me up so bad I can barely breathe: the thought of Sophie pawed over by sweaty tourists and needy locals not only breaks my heart, it makes me sick.

Sure, add hypocrite to my list of sins.

I soothe myself a little by believing that whoever took her would realize Sophie is a class act and would stow her in one of the town’s fancier, ultra-discreet joints catering to the island’s secretive aristocrats and moneyed clientele, the kind of places where the women aren’t batted around, and even protected from violent clients.

It’s been a long time since I was last in Havana and availed myself of its erotic pleasures. Considering the current power shifts in the local underworld, and those gang wars Lansky and Nilo talked about, the Who’s Who of the cat houses is probably not the same Who’s Who I dealt with ten years ago. As far as I know, nobody in the fancier fleshpots owes me any favors, and without an invitation from a regular client or someone else well connected, I can’t get into those joints, and I don’t even know where they are. I can’t get information about those places without help. But until that help comes, I’m on my own, with nowhere to look but the back rooms of bars, the fleabag hotels, and the streets.


Havana, 1952, a city throbbing with pleasure and danger, where the Mob peddles glamor to the tourists and there’s plenty of sex for sale. In the swanky hotels and casinos, and the steamy, secretive Red Light district of the Colón, Cantor Gold, dapper art thief and smuggler, searches the streets and brothels for her kidnapped love, Sophie de la Luna y Sol. Cantor races against time while trying to out run the deadly schemes of American mobsters and the gunsights of murderous local gangs.

Learn more about award-winning author, Ann Aptaker:

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Native New Yorker Ann Aptaker has earned a reputation as a respected if cheeky exhibition designer and curator of art during her career in museums and galleries. Taking the approach that what art authorities find uncomfortable the public would likely enjoy, exhibitions Ann has curated have garnered favorable reviews in the New York Times, Art in America, American Art Review, and other publications.

She brings the same attitude and philosophy to her first love: writing, especially a tangy variety of historical crime fiction. Ann’s short stories have appeared in two editions (2003 and 2004) of the noir crime anthology Fedora. Her flash fiction story, “A Night In Town,” appeared in the online zine Punk Soul Poet. In addition to curating and designing art exhibitions and writing crime stories, Ann is also an art writer and an adjunct professor of art history at the New York Institute of Technology. (Publisher).

Exclusive Excerpt: Order and Anarchy (The Thin Blue Line series Book 2) by Patricia Logan


Felix caught up to Pope when he had to stop to unlock the door. He stepped inside and stopped, turning back to Felix, still frowning.

“What? Go back to the gym and hit Doctor Brian Swenson up for a date, Felix. It’s clear the man is insanely in love with you. He wants you big time. We can be partners at work but dating you was a mistake. I see that now. What could you ever have seen in me if you were dating guys like that before meeting me?” Without waiting for an answer, he started to close the front door.

Felix did the only thing he could do and stuck out his foot to stop it. “Wait, idiot! I told you I needed to talk to you so why won’t you let me say anything?”

Pope yanked the door back open and stared at him, his face a mask of utter misery. “Sorry. What?”

“Let me in.”

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Pope dropped his gym bag and crossed his arms, blocking the door with his body and staring at him. “Say what you have to say from there. I’m not letting you in.”

Felix ground his teeth. He wanted to punch Pope right in the nose but he couldn’t get his point across if his lover was unconscious.

“You are the man I want, Pope. I’ve told you that before. I want you to live with me. If I wanted Brian Swenson, I would have Brian Swenson, but the man isn’t the kind of guy I want.”

Pope sneered. “Ha! That’s a laugh. Who doesn’t want a brilliant millionaire with a rockin’ body and brain? Huh?”

“Me. It seems I want a grouchy, infuriating, sharp-tonged idiot who doesn’t have a clue how beautiful or sexy he is.”

Pope’s gaze flicked over Felix’s form and then returned to his eyes.

“I’m old and broken and…”

“Asshole!” Felix shoved his way into the apartment, cutting Pope off as he stepped into his personal space and slammed the door behind him. Pope stumbled backward, hitting the wall dividing the entry and the living room. Felix watched him reach back to plant the palms of his hands on either side of himself to stay standing. He braced himself as Felix advanced on him.

“What are you doing?” Pope growled as Felix grabbed the hem of his white T-shirt and ripped it open in one long tear all the way to the neckline. When Pope’s defined six-pack abs were revealed, Felix instantly slid the palms of both hands up the expanse of his stomach and chest.

“If you have to ask that, I’m doing this all wrong.” He bent his head and immediately took one of his nipples into his mouth, biting the nub.

“Jesus!” Pope exclaimed, instantly sinking the fingers of both hands into his hair as he held Felix’s head to his chest. The groan that rumbled out of him vibrated against Felix’s lips as he sucked and laved the hard nub was sexy as hell. He moved to Pope’s second nipple and gave it the same treatment as Pope moaned. He looked up and the sight of Pope’s head thrown back to lean against the wall, his eyes squeezed tightly shut, and his mouth open as his breath came in gasps was a sight to see. He pulled his mouth away and slid down to his knees, reaching for the elastic waistband of Pope’s shorts and pulling them down along with him.


Homeland Security investigators Felix Jbarra and Pope Dades are about to work their first big case as partners. Someone is creating counterfeit government documents and selling them through a site similar to the old Silk Road which was shut down years ago. As they dive into the case with the help of their friends at the FBI and LAPD, Felix and Pope realize the Dark Web site is selling more than documents. It’s selling death.

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When a man connected with the website turns up murdered, it’s all hands on deck and with so many letter agencies involved in this case, coordinating all parties is bound to be a challenge. When yet another agency unexpectedly gets involved, their bosses would find it laughable if it wasn’t so damned dangerous.

Felix and Pope are getting used to being partners but they are well-trained professionals who must learn to trust each other at work as well as at home. When a bomb almost kills them, they have no choice but to shorten that learning curve. From the mean streets of Hollywood to unfamiliar places on the Dark Net, our heroes put themselves in danger every moment, trying their best to protect innocents while keeping each other alive.

International bestselling author Patricia Logan, resides in Los Angeles, California. The author of several #1 bestselling erotic romances in English, Italian, French, and Spanish lives in a small house with a large family. When she’s not writing her next thriller romance, she’s watching her grandchildren grow up way too soon, and raising kids who make her proud every day. One of her favorite tasks is coaxing nose kisses from cats who insist on flopping on her keyboard while she types. Married to a wonderful gentleman for 30 years, she counts herself lucky to be surrounded by people who love her and give her stories to tell every day.