A MelanieM Review: Sloe Ride (Sinners #4) by Rhys Ford

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Rating: 4.5  stars out of 5

Sloe Ride coverIt isn’t easy being a Morgan. Especially when dead bodies start piling up and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it.

Quinn Morgan never quite fit into the family mold. He dreamed of a life with books instead of badges and knowledge instead of law—and a life with Rafe Andrade, his older brothers’ bad boy friend and the man who broke his very young heart.

Rafe Andrade returned home to lick his wounds following his ejection from the band he helped form. A recovering drug addict, Rafe spends his time wallowing in guilt, until he finds himself faced with his original addiction, Quinn Morgan—the reason he fled the city in the first place.

When Rafe hears the Sinners are looking for a bassist, it’s a chance to redeem himself, but as a crazed murderer draws closer to Quinn, Rafe’s willing to sacrifice everything—including himself—to keep his quixotic Morgan safe and sound.

Rhys Ford’s  “Sloe Ride” is the perfect title for the final story in the Sinners series.  A combination of Sloe Gin and (at least in my thinking) Foghat’s ‘Slow Ride”, it works on so many levels for a story that brings together a virginal Morgan with the attributes of a mage and a wild musician looking for redemption and love.   In “Slow Ride”, the beat and the lyrics are in total harmony, guitar riffs changing speed and climaxing towards the end, simulating love making.   And the sloe berry of the sloe gin, tastes bitter unless its soaked in gin with a little sugar, ingenuity for using something not wanted, turning  it into a drink that’s layered and warm. Perfect for Quinn and Rafe, two character who are in harmony with each other  (if no one else).  First they have to recognize their feelings about each other.  Once that is done, along with the Morgan family’s acceptance of their relationship, Rafe and Quinn can explore what that means in terms of sex and their future.  If they can survive another killer.

Yes, Quinn is a virgin at 30 and realistically so.  He has chemical imbalances (not exactly spelled out, OCD, depression..not sure) that caused him to try to commit suicide when he was younger, and he was committed to a institute for a while.  Of all the Morgans, he is the one that fell so far from the Morgan mold that the others continue to regard him as an frail oddity .  Brilliant, his mother Brigid once remarked that Quinn could probably tell them why Stonehenge was built because he had been there.  I love Quinn, he’s a remarkable character, strong, yet so vulnerable.  Scattered yet earthbound.  I adored him.  And the wounded Rafe is perfect for him.

Yes, another deeply scarred musician in need of a Morgan to love and love him  back.  Rafe was a outlier of the Morgan family in his younger years, pulled closer when they realized how poor his family was. He had his own band but crashed and burned under the weight of touring, drugs and alcohol, but mostly drugs.  A dead boy, overdosed in his hotel room, finished off Rafe’s career.  Dumped by his band, Rafe’s life detonated.  Only a final humiliation and a save by the Morgans, saw Rafe sober but ostracized by everyone he knew.   Until Quinn.

Ford bluntly spells out Rafe’s drug addiction and the manner in which he burned all his bridges.  Those “bridges remained burned”, sometimes you don’t get a second chance with people, and yes, you remain a addict.  There is no miracle  cure for Rafe’s past here and I liked that, just as there is no magic wand for Quinn’s chemical imbalances. You deal with what you’ve got and move on.

There is a rhythm here different from the other stories.  Slower, moving to a different beat, which works, considering the main characters are each so different from the ones in the previous stories (Miki and Kane, Damien and Sionn, Connor and Forrest). So it stands to reason that the murder mystery is just that much off kilter too.  I really didn’t see that denouement coming.  The reveal was a total surprise.  Some people will  hate that, others love it that they didn’t have a clue.

By the end of the story, the band is reformed and has a new name.  I have loved each and every story.  Each and every romance and couple.  And I am so sorry to see it complete.  It may be the end of the band but surely Rhys Ford can dig up another Morgan or two in need of love, along with a killer determined to stop them?  I so want the Morgan stories to continue.  Fingers crossed the author is listening.

If you love rockers, murder mysteries, and contemporary love stories, here is a series to love.  Grab up all the books in the Sinners series and get started.  Put on a little Foghat to set the mood.  I highly recommend them all.

Cover art by Reece Notley is one of my favorites as it works the best for the characters involved.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press  |  All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 246 pages
Published September 4th 2015 by Dreamspinner press

A Jeri Review: Beautiful Thunder by Louise Lyons

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Beautiful Thunder coverAlex is a trust fund kid with nothing but time. His sister bugs him to do something with his life, but his only passion is singing, so he auditions for a local rock band and makes the cut. He gets along great with 2 of the members, but the 3rd, Lindsay, is pretty quiet and doesn’t seem to talk much.

Lindsay is gay and in an emotionally abusive relationship that ends up physically abusive. Alex helps him recover and they begin to fall for each other.

This book was refreshing for me in that it was set in the very early 90’s. That difficult music transition from straight up rock and glam rock into what comes next. There are no computers, no cell phones, no texting. If someone didn’t answer their phone, they weren’t home. It was also a time of HIV, when not all people realized yet the importance of using condoms.

Long hair, make up, midriff baring shirts and spandex. And that was on the guys. This book brought me right back to my early adulthood and growing up surrounded by this.

This is Alex’s first relationship. With man or woman. Lindsay is scared that Alex is going to freak out and leave because of that. What tears them apart is something else entirely.

I liked seeing the relationship grow with these two men. Even though one had been hurt and the other pretty much didn’t know what he was doing, they stumbled through it together. Friends first, lovers later, bandmates always.

I’d say what pulled my rating down to 3 ½ stars is that the ending of the book seemed to wrap up too quickly, too neatly. One character basically disappears (ok, there is a reason, but come on. He won’t call his old friends to say hello?), and another is introduced but kind of left hanging.

If you are a fan of old school glam rock like Bon Jovi and Poison, you’ll love this book for that alone. The romance between Alex and Lindsay will make you love it more.

Cover art by Maria Fanning is gorgeous, stunning in design and model.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 220 pages, also in paperback
Published August 31st 2015 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
original titleBeautiful Thunder
ISBN 1634763947 (ISBN13: 9781634763943)
edition languageEnglish

A Stella Review: ACID by Wulf Francu Godgluck & S. van Rooyen

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RATING 4,5 stars out of 5
(4 stars for the story and 5 for the cover, too beautiful to ignore!)
ACID cover

Dear Author,
This is obviously a real tough guy – he likes his guns, booze and cigarettes. His new robo arms are pretty damn awesome, even if the story of how he lost his normal arms isn’t pretty and it took a long time to get used to the new ones. He’s a man of action, not words, and you’ll never hear him spout sappy declarations of endless love. The love of his life clearly needs to be just as tough to keep up with him.

Basically, I want a story with this tough guy and his equally tough love interest(s). Romance shouldn’t be the main focus of this story, I want a kick-ass plot with at least a bit of world building, please! Established couple or not, ménage or not and the genre is up to you. Kinky sex would be a huge plus, but only if you can work it into the plot. I’m fine with whatever ending works for the story, I don’t need a HEA. Every shade of consent is fine by me. Kink-wise I’m pretty much open to anything, even extreme stuff like med-kink and sounding.

Photo Description (see it here https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/17401437-acid-by-wulf-franc-godgluck-s-van-rooyen-8-31):

A man with bionic mechanical arms sits in a dusky room holding a cigarette between his robotic fingers. A shot glass with amber liquid in his right hand. Faded scars and wounds cover his collar bone and abdomen; he stares at nothing, obviously bored with the world he lives in.

This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group’s “Love is an Open Road” event. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors of the group selected a photo and prompt that spoke to them and wrote a short story.

This story may contain sexually explicit content and is intended for adult readers. It may contain content that is disagreeable or distressing to some readers. The M/M Romance Group strongly recommends that each reader review the General Information section before each story for story tags as well as for content warnings.

Story and Content Information:
Genre:science fiction, horror

Tags:revenge, slaves, dystopian, genetic mutations, dark, cliff-hanger

Content Warnings: cannibalism, premastication, rape, forced pregnancy and childbirth (only mentioned), gore, extreme violence and murder, no HEA/HFN, and swearing (It’s Wulf Francú Godgluck; what else did you expect?)

 

“So, let’s get some shit cleared and out of the way. There aren’t many rules… but these are mine.
The first rule of ACID City: Avoid. Do not get involved in other people’s shit. People will fuck you over, in any way they can. And enjoy it.
Two: Lie. Everyone lies. There has not been hard, honest truth in this world for God knows how long. Except for one…
Three: Fake it. No one is who they seem— not even ourselves. Your heart will fuck you over. Your feelings are a bunch of shit made up to make you believe you once were human… but there might as well not be any more humans left. The ones that are… just don’t have the humanity to give a shit.
I broke every one of my own rules.
And I hate him for it.”

Please read the warnings because they are there for a reason, ACID is not for everyone so if you are not comfortable with dark books, don’t even think about reading this one.

This is not a nice story, you can’t sympathize with any one character. It is really violent, not just in the death scenes, too many times it was very disgusting.

The book is set in the ACID city, a dark place with no natural light, lived in by criminals and the altered (a new species created in laboratories where human DNA is been mixed with animal ones), there are no laws to obey, just stronger (or sicker) men to follow.

The Dark Heart Cartel is run by Vex Noux, a cryo-ibernated man with mechanical arms who woke up seven hundred years after his death and his life was nowhere to be found. He was married with Johan and had a son, Danny, who was only four when Vex had to leave to join the war, where four months later he died on the battlefield. He’s not a nice guy so don’t let you be moved by his story. There is not one drop of good feelings in it.

There are a lot of characters in ACID, like the gungers,the city enemies and slave traders or Jozi whose parents had been killed when they couldn’t afford the rent anymore and now he’s looking for revenge. But you are going to meet more, all of them well defined. As in the world development, amazing and so well done. Nothing is said in a general way, every little detail is well explained. It’s a complex world and it could have been difficult to follow it but the authors did  clear work, so there was no confusion for me.

Some parts are really hard to take, too strong even if you are used to reading dark stories. I overlooked them because I knew what I was getting myself into. Still, even if I shouldn’t have been surprised since I know Wulf’s mind , this is a scary place, ACID did surprise me. It’s a book full of hate, betrayal, f***ed up beings and things. They gave me chills more than once and the authors went often where they shouldn’t have gone. And of course I can’t talk about the ending but be ready for a big cliffhanger, something I was expecting from the start of the second half of the book. I have no clue who got the idea, I don’t know S. van Rooyen but I know Wulf and I was sure he would have created something twisted and cruel like that ending.

I still can’t believe it I liked this really sick (please let me use the adjective) story, but I couldn’t put it down for a minute, it was addictive, no other word can describe what I felt. Just a suggestion, if you’ll decide to give ACID a chance: don’t read it while having dinner as I did. Bad mistake!

Cover art by Wulf Francu Godgluck. I LOVE this cover so much! The lines, the front, the colors, everything is perfect. 5+ stars!

SALE LINKS (free) Goodreads M/M Romance Group

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 78 pages
Published August 31st 2015 by M/M Romance Group @ Goodreads
Edition Language English

 

Its Menage in Memphis with It Takes Two (Memphis S.W.A.T.#1) by Theresa Hissong (excerpt and contest)

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IttakesTwo1400

It Takes Two (Memphis S.W.A.T.#1) by Theresa Hissong
Release Date: September 23, 2015

 

 

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w61d8ZzMtAw

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Buy the book:   Torquere Books | Amazon | All Romance (ARe) | iTunes

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Blurb

Twelve years of friendship turns into something more when Eva Porter’s two best friends confess their love for her after a heated night between the sheets. Her only dream over the years had been to be the woman for Max and Sam. Living a ménage lifestyle was new to her, but she knew, deep down, that this was what she needed. Eva soon realizes it will take two men to love her completely.

When a threat to Eva’s life presents itself, Max and Sam step up security around their home to keep Eva from being harmed, but the man who wants her dead will stop at nothing to take her out. The suspect will risk everything, even death, to take Eva away from the two men sworn to protect her.

Pages or Words: 37,900 words
Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary, Erotica, Ménage/Poly (MMF), Romance

Excerpt

Max left the station with the two files in hand. It was close to mid-morning and the evidence from the storms the night before dotted yards and roadsides on his way back to his property just outside the city limits. Small trees were down and although there was no tornado, there was some wind damage to homes close to his.
Thankfully, it looked like they only lost a few limbs on the large oak trees in the sprawling five acres of his front yard of the property. So, it was no surprise to see Eva and Sam spending their Sunday morning cutting and hauling away limbs to a pile to be burned later.
Max stopped on the long gravel driveway up to the house. Eva was tossing limbs into a small trailer that was being pulled behind one of the four-wheelers they owned. Sam approached Max’s SUV, swiping away dirt from his cheek.
“Hey,” Max said when Sam was close enough to hear him. “Eva doesn’t need to be using that shoulder.”
“Tell her that,” Sam laughed and hooked a thumb over his shoulder. “Stubborn, remember?”
Max noticed how Eva was lifting and huffing with a heavy limb. Her long brown hair was pulled up into a tight ponytail and she was bundled up in jeans, boots and one of the hoodies that Sam had bought for her the day before. After the storm had rolled through, the temperatures dropped quickly and they’d be expecting snow in the next few days.
“I’ll go in and build a fire,” Max said, keeping his eyes on Eva’s small body as she worked. She really was beautiful.
“Okay, we’ll finish up and meet you at the house,” Sam winked.
“Hey,” Max said suddenly, stopping Sam from turning away.
“Yeah,” Sam replied.
“How is she this morning?” Max asked, worried. Would she panic and run?
“Perfect,” Sam looked back at Eva. “She’s absolutely perfect.”

About The Author

Meet the author:
Theresa is a mother of two and the wife of a retired Air Force Master Sergeant. After seventeen years traveling the country, moving from base to base, the family has settled their roots back in Theresa’s home town of Olive Branch, MS, where she enjoys her time with family and old friends.
After almost three years of managing a retail bookstore, Theresa has gone behind the scenes to write romantic stories with flare. She enjoys spending her afternoons daydreaming of the perfect love affair and takes those ideas to paper.

Where to find the author:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thissong
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/authortheresahissong
Twitter: @AuthorTHissong
Website: http://authortheresahissong.com

RC

Tour Dates & Stops:
3 Chicks After Dark, Bayou Book Junkie, BFD Book Blog, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Divine Magazine, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Happily Ever Chapter, Hearts on Fire, Inked Rainbow Reads, Molly Lolly, Parker Williams, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, The Hat Party, Three Books Over The Rainbow, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

 

 

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘It Takes Two’ by Theresa Hissong.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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The Wedding Is On with RJ Scott’s Texas Wedding (Texas #7) (excerpt and giveaway)

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Texas 7

Texas Wedding (Texas #7) by R.J. Scott
Love Lane Books
Cover Artist:  Meredith Russell

Buy Link:   RJ Scott Blogspot UK

RJ Scott – Texas Wedding

The final book in the Texas series which started with The Heart of Texas is available 25 September.

In Texas Wedding there is a moment towards the end that will make sense if you read the book. However, I wanted you to see what five characters thought of the main couple Jack and Riley, and Sean decided to help by interviewing them.

Texas Wedding is only possible because SCOTUS supported same sex marriage. Thank you SCOTUS. Love is love.

 From RJ Scott:

Texas Series Characters– Beth (Jack’s sister)

“I had to bring him in with me,” Beth apologized. “He’s teething and he wants is his momma.”

Sean looked at Beth, and a sleeping Cam in her arms. “No worries, how’s he doing? Can I hold him?”

Beth handed Cam to Sean who cuddled him close. “He loves his Uncle Sean,” she said with a smile, the straightened her shirt and patted her hair. “I’m ready.”

Sean pressed the button on the camera. “So, tell me about your brother and Riley.”

Beth smiled. “Jack is my brother, Riley his husband. They met because of me.”

“You want to talk about that.”

“It’s a long story,” Beth said with a shake of her head. “I want to talk about what kind of daddies they are.”

“Go for it.”

“I found Jack once, just watching the twins sleep. I should explain for the camera I wasn’t well as a kid, and he and Josh, my other brother, were very protective. Jack is all about family, and he and Riley have become more than just the two of them now. Started something new. And he turned to me and he just said one thing.”

“That was?”

“That he and Josh would take it in turns to watch me when I was ill. That family was an important thing, and that love was at the center of it. I think  that is what I want to say on film. Family is everything and love is the glue that holds it all together. Doesn’t matter if it’s a man and a woman, two men, two woman, whatever. Love is love, and that is all.”

Read Beth’s story in The Heart Of Texas, and all the sequels!

Blurb

Texas 7Sometimes Riley and Jack have to be the ones to fight other people’s battles and stand up for what is right.

With the life changing prospect of a yes vote from SCOTUS on the issue of same sex marriage, Riley and Jack realise they have decisions to make. Add in some distressing family news and the very real possibility that old secrets may resurface, and this last book in the Texas series pulls together as many threads as the boys can manage to handle.

But through all the ups and the downs, children, family events, laughter, and tears, there is nothing as special as the forever love between these two men.

The full book list (with Goodreads links):

The Heart of Texas (Texas, #1)
Texas Winter (Texas, #2)
Texas Heat (Texas, #3)
Texas Family (Texas, #4)
Texas Christmas (Texas, #5)
Texas Fall (Texas #6)
Texas Wedding

About The Author

RJScott icon

About RJ

RJ Scott has been writing since age six, when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies. She was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader herself, she can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, her first real true love will always be the world of romance where she takes cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and writes dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men.

With over seventy titles to her name and counting, she is the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway. She is also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

Her goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

Giveaway

Competition to win $15 Amazon/Are giftcard, and 2 further prizes of RJ Scott e-books – closes 8th October at 00:01 GMT (London).  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Use the link below.  Link and prizes provided by the author.

OR DIRECT LINK:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f922301b59/?

Excerpt


Chapter One

Jack slid his arms around Riley from behind and pressed his cheek to the space between broad shoulders. He couldn’t stop himself from moving his hands under the soft T-shirt material and caressing the warm skin. Touching Riley was an addiction.

“You all done?” he asked.

Riley turned in Jack’s hold, the laundry in his hands crushing between them.

“It’s like these tiny T-shirts multiply,” Riley groused. “I turn my back for one minute and suddenly there’s another ten of the damn things.”

Jack smiled up at his husband, at the narrowing of his beautiful hazel eyes and the stubborn set of his mouth. Then he released his hold of his waist and instead cradled his face.

“It was your idea to sort out the twins’ old clothes,” he reminded Riley.

“I wanted to box it away….”

“We can do it together at the weekend.”

“I want to do it today—”

“It’s a Tuesday.” Jack interrupted Riley’s reasons why. “I thought you said you had that report to read from Tom?”

Riley huffed a little. “I can’t concentrate.”

“So, you’re sorting clothes?”

“Is that a bad thing?” Riley sounded so defensive.

Jack sighed. “What are you avoiding?”

Riley raised an eyebrow, and Jack couldn’t help but press a kiss to his lips. After all this time together, he had learned these weird domestic chores Riley undertook were usually a way of avoiding things he didn’t want to do. Whether it was Riley’s way of thinking about things, or pure procrastination, Jack didn’t know.

“I have a shareholder meeting the first week of February.” Riley finally said.

“I know. I got the same letter, but I wasn’t planning on going. Why will this be different from any other meeting?” Jack was confused. Hayes Oil meetings were dry and boring, and he’d survived the only two he’d attended by slouching back in a chair directly opposite Riley. He would eat as many of the complimentary mints as he could manage and gently disrupt the meeting by rustling the wrappers. This never failed to make Riley smile. Mostly Jack conned Josh into going, or gave Riley his proxy. Still, when he did go, he loved nothing better than insolently lazing around and being all cowboy in the room full of suits. Inevitably, this led to hot sex with Riley, who couldn’t keep his eyes off Jack throughout the entire meeting.

“I have something to admit,” Riley said with a sigh. He eased himself away from Jack and leaned back against the cabinet. “Dad has appointed this new manager to the team, and we have a history.”

Jack huffed a laugh. “Riley, you have a history with so many people, I lost count.”

Riley looked affronted for a second, but that emotion didn’t slip into a ready smile, so Jack realized this was serious. Jack stood next to Riley and waited for the man he loved, to admit what the hell was going on. In fact, Riley had been weird for a few days: less quick to smile, less easy to poke at, in a hurry to go find a quiet space away from everyone.

“Not like that,” Riley said. “The woman’s name is Charlotte Harrold, and her dad is Josiah.”

Jack nodded. He and Josiah had their own kind of history, one where Josiah had tried courting Donna and failed, where Josiah looked down at Jack, and where Jack refused to give a rat’s ass. The fucker had blocked Hayes Oil on several occasions and didn’t have a high opinion of Riley, nor of Riley and Jack. Add to that, Tom, Riley’s right-hand man at work, had unfortunately had a run-in with Josiah Jr., Charlotte’s brother. Too much history between the Hayes and Harrold families.

“Why would Jim hire her, then?” Jack paused to think about what he knew concerning Charlotte. “I remember her being a bitch with daddy issues.”

Riley shrugged. “I don’t know. I mean, I asked him, and he said she’s good at what she does, and that she’s changed, whatever that means. Oh, and I should give her as much of a chance as people gave me.”

“Cryptic. So you think she’s going to cause trouble.”

Riley looked at Jack sharply. “Hell no. I know her work, and she’ll be an asset. It’s only….”

Jack tensed. “You slept with her.”

“Jesus, Jack,” Riley said instantly. “No way. She was Jeff’s. I mean she and Jeff were having an affair. He called her Charlie, and I damn well walked in on them once. The wedding photos were still wet at the printer’s, and there he was, fucking around on Lisa.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah, oh. And we’re going to be in the same room as her. All I can remember is that Jeff was balls-deep in Charlie, and he had his hands—” Riley demonstrated with his hands in front of him in a ring. “—around her neck.”

Jack immediately realized what the problem was. The joined families, whether Campbell or Hayes, had quietly consigned Jeff and everything he had done to something never to be talked about. Riley never shared cute childhood stories where he, Eden, and Jeff were friends; no tales of brotherly misadventures. To Jack’s mind, Jeff had been born a sadistic bastard, and likely there were a lot of stories Riley hadn’t told him about the kind of things Jeff had done to both Riley and Eden.

“Seeing her makes you face what he did,” Jack said. He reached over and held Riley’s hand, lacing their fingers together and squeezing. This was what he did best. He was there for Riley, supporting him, holding him up, knowing as much as he needed to know, and still being there for the man who was his other half.

Riley sighed and bumped shoulders with Jack. “Yeah,” he whispered.

“So your dad doesn’t know that Jeff and Charlie were…?”

“No. I’m sure I’m the only one.”

“Lisa didn’t know?”

Riley squeezed back. “She always knew he was unfaithful, but with Charlie, no, I don’t think so.”

For a second, Jack allowed the words to settle. Lisa was damaged by much more than physical pain. She had a world of hurt where her dead husband was concerned, not least of which was the end result of what he did to her. The secret she carried with her was too awful for Jack to contemplate knowing how she lived with it.

“We don’t see enough of Lisa and the kids,” he said.

That was true. Lisa hadn’t visited in a while. Although to be fair, whenever Jack and Riley organized a family gathering of any sort, they always invited her. She’d moved to San Antonio with her fiancé, Ed, and was building a place for herself and the kids well away from the life she’d had here. Luke was sixteen, Annabelle coming up for nineteen. They weren’t at the ranch as often as Josh’s kids. They had lives of their own, but still, Jack was all about family.

“We’ll get them over, or maybe we’ll go visit them,” Jack said. He wasn’t going to let Riley focus on this one thing to distract himself from the central issue. “Back to the meeting. When you sit there, it will be all business, and if she comes over to talk to you, you smile, nod, and put on the best goddamn Riley act you can.”

“You’re not planning on being there.”

“I hate them,” Jack said, then he felt guilty. Riley was clearly concerned about the meeting, and he should make the effort. “I can try.”

“Don’t say that.” Riley smiled at Jack. “As much as I like it when you do that ‘I don’t care, I’m a hot, dusty cowboy’ thing, I seriously think you should stay away.”

“Yeah?”

Riley looked at him again. This time, the shadows had disappeared from his eyes. “It’s like torture for you.”

“Tell me more about how you like the cowboy thing,” Jack growled.

Riley grinned. “When you push the chair back and you kind of sprawl there, with your thumbs in your belt. You smile and nod when you need to and all I want to do is crawl over the table and ride you right there in the meeting.”

Jack’s cock swelled and pressed against his jeans. Riley’s voice was husky and low and sent every molecule of blood south.

“Jesus, Riley.”

“Sometimes you unwrap those stupid little mints, and you press one to your lips, and then you suck it in.”

“I like the mints.”

“All I can imagine is my cock in your mouth, and I’m so freaking hard I can’t concentrate on the numbers.”

Jack wriggled to get comfortable, and he had to press his free hand to his zip to ease some of the pressure. “Like it’s easy for me,” he muttered. “You in your suit, and those ties you wear, and all I can imagine is ripping it all off, tying you down and fucking you into tomorrow. That’s the only reason I go.”

Riley moved so quickly Jack didn’t have time to draw breath. He straddled Jack and pushed him back on the bed.

“Carol.” Jack mentioned their nanny’s name with the last remaining moments of having the presence of mind. “People…,” he added as a warning, as Riley stole his words with the deepest, dirtiest, messiest kiss he’d had since the last time they’d been in the barn.

Riley pulled back enough so Jack could look into his eyes. “Barn,” Riley said. “Now.”

Riley scrambled up and away, unbuttoning his jeans and adjusting himself. “Now,” he repeated.

With determination, they made it out of the house. Hayley was at school, Max out with Robbie and the horses, the twins were happy with Carol, so they had nothing to stop them. It didn’t matter it was ten in the morning, this was happening.

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