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Edited Nov. 25, 2014: Gentle Burn has been removed and is now only an excerpt. To read the entire Dark Phoenix novella, you can go to the Books page for retailer links.

The story Gentle Burn (Dark Phoenix 4) has been published. It is a 5900 word story featuring the same M/M pair from Phoenix Fire (Dark Phoenix 1) and Heated Invasion (Dark Phoenix 2) and Searing Betrayal (Dark Phoenix 3).

Ugh, it’s hard to comment this far into the series because really anything I say can be technically spoilerific. This is the fourth of five stories featuring Landon and Jak. The average word count was longer in these last three than in the first two, mostly because there’s always more to say about an ongoing or long-term relationship than there is at the beginning of one. More baggage, more knowledge, more conflicts–some resolved and some needing resolution.

Part of the issue I ran into working on these stories was that I had to keep the main “reveal” (if you can call it that) for the last story, which meant I had to come up with stepping-stones in the course of the relationship.

Gentle Burn is more about the growth of equality in a relationship and the need to be transparent about personal wants with your partner. People tend to let these things slide in the beginning of relationships, out of embarrassment or fear or simple ignorance of what might be important, but the reality is there comes a time when those things need to be addressed. And when that happens…either you discover they outweigh whatever linked the two of you together or you find yourself in a much more satisfying relationship.

That’s pretty much exactly what I said last week as a hint for this story, but I can’t say anything more without giving things away.

Next Sunday, Nov. 9: Violet Flames – Dark Phoenix 5 (fantasy, short story, M/M) – It’s time for Landon to make a choice, a choice with dire consequences.

Violet Flames will be the conclusion to the Dark Phoenix story.