A Jeri Review: Touch the Sky (Free Fall #1) by Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Touch the SkyLucas Barnett and Gabriel Stewart didn’t have it easy as kids. They were only trying to deal with bad situations at home when they became lifelines for each other. Their pipe dream was to someday meet in LA, where Lucas would design skyscrapers, and Gabriel would learn to fly. But then Gabriel disappeared without so much as a goodbye, and Lucas got himself in trouble with the law.

Five years later, both men are at a loss when they run into each other at a Hollywood bar. Lucas is still angry, but it’s not as if Gabriel could control how his mind and body had betrayed him. Being found on the ledge of that bridge had changed everything.

The attraction is immediate, but it’s more than their inability to keep their hands off each other. Neither man expects the fierce connection pulling them together. Unfortunately, ignoring their problems doesn’t make them disappear. Gabriel’s internal struggles are serious…dangerous. And no matter how much Lucas wants it to be true, saving Gabriel won’t make up for not being able to save his mom. If they don’t find the strength to face their own demons before the darkness takes hold, they risk more than just losing each other forever.

Wow. Just wow. I have been a fan of both authors (and Nyrae Dawn’s alter ego, Riley Hart) so when it was revealed that they were writing a book together, I was definitely intrigued. They did not disappoint at all.

Gabriel and Lucas were best friends as teens. They both had troubled lives but for different reasons. And then one day Gabriel was gone.

Five years goes by and we meet Gabriel again bartending in LA. And then Lucas walks into his bar. When they discover each other, Gabriel is thrilled to see his friend again. But Lucas is pissed. REALLY pissed. His one friend walked out on him without an explanation and he had to deal with life on his own.

Gabriel is desperate to have Lucas back in his life and explain what happened. But Lucas doesn’t want to hear it. As much as he craves to have Gabriel back also.

This journey of friends rediscovering each other and learning about each other was so real. Another book that deals so incredibly well with depression and the toll it takes, not only on the sufferer, but on those who love them. When Lucas is finally ready to accept Gabriel back into his life, Gabriel falls into a seriously depressive episode. To me, that shows that readers how depression can take over your life, your thoughts and your feelings no matter the outside circumstances.

Watching Lucas help Gabriel through his depression, Gabriel finally accepting that he needs help and that he is not lonely loveable but loved, was a testament to the bond they share that wasn’t broken through the five years of silence.

Lucas has his own demons to deal with in life. As closed off as he was since Gabriel left, he finds it difficult to let anyone in completely. But knowing how much Gabriel needs him allows Lucas to open that door.

Whenever a book is co-written I always try to figure out which author wrote which character (this book alternates characters per chapter). I thought I had it all figured out, but I was wrong. That, to me, shows how well they write together that they meshed so seamlessly.

Cover art is gorgeous and in tune with the novel.

Sales Links:  AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/1MHjbEX | AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/25oGoY7 | AMAZON AU: http://bit.ly/1SbDVGP | B&N: http://bit.ly/1ZBf8S5 | iBook: http://apple.co/22rX0iC

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 226 pages
Published March 28th 2016 by Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn
ASIN B01D3JJN7K
Edition Language English
Series Free Fall #1

Can There Be A Future for Them? Read Touch the Sky ( Free Fall, Book 1) by Christina Lee & Nyrae Dawn (excerpt and author interview)

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Touch The Sky Tour Banner

Touch the Sky

Free Fall, Book 1

Christina Lee & Nyrae Dawn

New Adult M/M Romance

Touch The Sky Cover

COVER DESIGN: Natasha Snow

PHOTOGRAPHY: Giovanni Dall’Orto

RELEASE DATE: 03.28.16

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/1MHjbEX

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/25oGoY7

AMAZON AU: http://bit.ly/1SbDVGP

B&N: http://bit.ly/1ZBf8S5

iBook: http://apple.co/22rX0iC

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words was lucky to have the authors in for a chat and to answer a few questions for our readers.  Welcome, Nyrae and Christina.

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  • What made you decide to collaborate? Who approached whom?

Nyrae: It just sort of came up. We’re friends and we were talking. I’ve written two collaborations before. I wanted to do another. She wanted to write one. We enjoy each other’s work so it just sort of fell together perfectly for us.

Christina: Right. We had grown closer over the past year due to a few author groups we belonged to and we also began beta reading for each other. I have always wanted to co-write a book with somebody and it just naturally went from there.

  • Did you each write a character?

Nyrae: Technically, yes. We each created the backstory for the character and what they looked like. We alternated chapters and primarily worked on one character each, but we definitely were very involved in the whole book. We wrote in each other’s POV and changed and tweaked dialogue in each other’s chapters.

Christina: We talked extensively on the phone about each of our characters and how we were going to write them. Once we got going though, we found our voices blended pretty well, so it was natural to go into each other’s chapters during edits and add voice, tone, or characteristics. 

  • How did you go about deciding the plot?

Nyrae: We knew we wanted to write NA and LGBTQ+ so we headed in that direction. We had some phone conversations. We discovered that mental health plays a strong role in both our lives for various reasons so we took it from there.

Christina: We are both pretty angsty writers especially in our New Adults books and so even though we didn’t set out to write such a weighty topic, it happened naturally, even during plotting. We came up with several scenarios and as soon as we landed on Lucas and Gabriel, we were off and running.

  • Did each chapter come organically or was it all mapped out?

Nyrae: It was a combination of both. The initial letter is a revision from a letter in a book I had on my computer from a couple years ago, that I never finished. We’d talk out a few chapters at a time and make loose plans but they sometimes changed when one of us sat down to start writing.

Christina: The good thing is that neither one of us are huge plotters. We knew the general place we were heading but then what commonly happens is your characters veers off in some random direction that ends up being perfect for the plot. When I saw that letter that Nyrae had written and kept stored in a file, I knew that was it. That was our story.

  • How was writing a collaboration different for you than writing alone?

Nyrae: You have someone else counting on you. Someone else’s thoughts and opinions to consider. Sometimes writing styles change or writing processes.

Christina: Yep. Once you get over the initial fears and pretenses, then all you have is the work in front of you. You also have somebody cheering you on. We would leave each other comments in the sidebar and I’d smile after seeing a note like SWOON, that’s so HOT, or damn I LOVE these boys. It really fueled me on which is probably why we wrote the book so quickly.

  • Was it a good experience? You called this book 1, so…?

Nyrae: Yes! I can’t speak for Christina but I loved working with her. We definitely plan to do it again. We’ll write one of the characters from Touch the Sky.

Christina: I loved it and cannot wait to start the next book.

BLURB

Lucas Barnett and Gabriel Stewart didn’t have it easy as kids. They were only trying to deal with bad situations at home when they became lifelines for each other. Their pipe dream was to someday meet in LA, where Lucas would design skyscrapers, and Gabriel would learn to fly. But then Gabriel disappeared without so much as a goodbye, and Lucas got himself in trouble with the law.

Five years later, both men are at a loss when they run into each other at a Hollywood bar. Lucas is still angry, but it’s not as if Gabriel could control how his mind and body had betrayed him. Being found on the ledge of that bridge had changed everything.

The attraction is immediate, but it’s more than their inability to keep their hands off each other. Neither man expects the fierce connection pulling them together. Unfortunately, ignoring their problems doesn’t make them disappear. Gabriel’s internal struggles are serious…dangerous. And no matter how much Lucas wants it to be true, saving Gabriel won’t make up for not being able to save his mom. If they don’t find the strength to face their own demons before the darkness takes hold, they risk more than just losing each other forever.

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29145268-touch-the-sky

lucas

touch the sky teaser 4

 

EXCERPT

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to speak for you. If you want to—”

“I don’t,” I say, finally meeting his gaze. “I only want you too.”

His eyes soften and he exhales a hard breath as if we’re finally on level ground. I feel giddy with relief and contentment as I clutch at his hand and drag him to the dance floor. At first he protests about his drink but then he places it in an empty spot on a ledge.

It’s a pulsing rap beat and my body feels like a live wire. My hips start swaying, my hands rise in the air, and the vibration of the music takes over. Lucas has no trouble keeping up with me, though not with as much enthusiasm.

“Fuck, you’re sexy,” he rumbles in my ear. I feel his hips gyrating as he grasps my waist and slides up behind me. His hard length is digging into my ass and that only spurs me on more.

After a few numbers, I follow Lucas to the back wall where we find a spot to rest between other couples swaying to the music. He pins my shoulders against the column, his breath heavy, eyes glazed over with lust, as his lips crash against mine.

My fingers reach for his waist but he grabs hold of them and raises my hands above my head as he bites my lips, licks into my mouth and then sucks on my tongue. Holy fuck, if we weren’t in a public place I’d ask him to pound me straight into oblivion.

“I didn’t know you could dance like that,” he rasps against my cheek as he releases his grip on my hands.

His fingers connect with my neck and he hauls my lips to his again. His tongue digs deep in my mouth and I groan shamelessly as I grab on to his hair and pull him flush against me. I’m so thoroughly turned on that my eyes practically roll to the back of my head.

He drags his mouth away and licks along my jawline up to my ear as he arches his hips into my groin. “You’ve got me so goddamn hard.”

“Yeah?” I ask, gasping against his neck. “Well, I know how to take care of that. Remember, you’ll need to beg.”

He laughs and kisses the side of my head. “Not here. I’d rather have you in my bed tonight.”

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Nyrae Dawn

Nyrae Dawn pic

Nyrae Dawn can almost always be found with a book in her hand or an open document on her laptop. She couldn’t live without books—reading or writing them. Oh, and chocolate. She’s slightly addicted.

She gravitates toward character-driven stories. Whether reading or writing, she loves emotional journeys. It’s icing on the cake when she really feels something, but is able to laugh too. She’s a proud romantic, who has a soft spot for flawed characters, who make mistakes, but also have big hearts.

Whether she’s writing young adult, new adult, or adult you can always count on a healthy dose of romance from her books. She likes to tackle tough subjects, and believes everyone needs to see themselves in the stories they read.

Nyrae is living her very own happily ever after in California with her gorgeous husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two incredibly awesome kids.

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/nyraedawnwrites/?fref=ts

Website:

http://www.rileyhartwrites.com/p/home.html?zx=48696725e5833865

Blog

http://www.rileyhartwrites.com/index.html

Twitter: @NyraeDawn

 

 

Christina Lee

Christina Lee pic

Once upon a time, I lived in New York City and was a wardrobe stylist. I spent my days shopping for photo shoots, getting into cabs, eating amazing food, and drinking coffee at my favorite hangouts.

Now I live in the Midwest with my husband and son—my two favorite guys. I’ve been a clinical social worker and a special education teacher. But it wasn’t until I wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper that I realized I could turn the fairytales inside my head into the reality of writing fiction.

I write Adult, New Adult, and M/M Contemporary Romance. I’m addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. I believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorChristinaLee

Twitter:

http://twitter.com/Christina_Lee04

Love Fantasy Stories? Here’s A Collection Made for You! MYTHS UNTOLD: BOOK ONE – FAERY

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MYTHS UNTOLD: BOOK ONE – FAERY
Publisher: Wilde City Press

Authors: August Li, Brandon Witt,J. Scott Coatsworth and Skye Hegyes
Cover Artist: August Li
Release Date: 4/13/16

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to  have the authors of Myths Untold – Faery here to answer a few questions. Welcome to August Li, Brandon Witt,J. Scott Coatsworth and  Skye Hegyes.

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How do you write – are you a plotter or pantser, or both?

J. Scott Coatsworth: Hmmm… I used to totally be a pantser. I would sit down at my typewriter (seriously – a typewriter!) and just start typing whatever came to me. On the plus side, I got some amazing ideas that came out of my Oreo-addled brain.

But on the negative size, I ended uo with a bunch of 1 and 2 and 3 scene stories that never went anywhere, and nothing to show for the work.

Over time, I have become much more of a plotter. I still don’t work out every detail in advance. There has to be some room for my writer mind to wander.

And sometimes the story or the characters throw me for a loop and send the story of in an entirely different direction.

But those old stories had one unexpected benefit. Periodically I go back to them and pluck them out of their virtual drawer to expand them into finished stories. Are they the same stories I might have written fifteen, twenty, twenty five years ago? Almost certainly not. But they are the stories I want to tell today – and three of them have now been published.

So I’ll steal a phrase from my writer friend SA Collins – I’m now a tentpole pantser. I set up the major points like tentpoles along the way, and I fill in the details as I go.

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August Li: I usually have a lot of my story done in my head before I sit down to transcribe it. I’m a little obsessive, and I think about the characters constantly–part of the reason I can’t work on more than one thing at a time. The plus side of knowing the characters that well, though, is no matter how much of the plot I have outlined in my head, they will say and do things to surprise me. That’s what makes it fun for me. I never really know what the characters will do, and things rarely turn out how I originally envisioned them.

Brandon Witt: I am total planner. Each book gets its own notebook, filled with plot lines, character studies, family trees, questions, outlines, etc. Some of the stuff never gets put into the book, but to me, it makes my characters richer and I like to believe their fuller story is felt, even if not seen. That doesn’t mean that my books always go the way I plan, they don’t, and my characters often surprise me—which is fun! Often, the planning stages takes as long for me as the writing (not in hours, but in days and time spent thinking about different aspects).

Skye Hegyes: I’m a bit of both. With short stories and some of the novellas I’ve worked on, I can take a vague idea and run with it, writing it without planning too much. That said, novels are another story. I recently tried pantsing a novel and just couldn’t do it. I’m a definite plotter where novels are concerned.

Blurbs

Faeries are part of mythology the world over, past, present, and future. Called elves, brownies, the fae, and more, they evoke a sense of wonder and a little danger. Faery has its own rules, and humans enter at their peril.

In this spirit, we bring you the first book in the Myths Untold anthology series—four stories from the land of the Fae: a homeless man in Cardiff and the luck that could destroy him; the trans man in future San Francisco who falls for an elf; the village boy who has always been a little different; and a faery prince whose birthright was stolen from him.

Welcome to Faery.

The Pwcca and the Persian Boy, by Gus Li

Despite beauty and luck, something about Glyn makes everyone uncomfortable. Homeless on the streets of Cardiff, he has nothing to keep him going but his friendship with Farrokh. Through stealing and fortune’s occasional favor, Glyn keeps them alive. But then homeless youths begin to disappear, and when Farrokh goes missing, Glyn begins to discover the reasons behind both his luck and the way people react to him. Determined to save his friend from a danger he never imagined, he enlists the help of Lleu, who might be an ally, or might be manipulating Glyn to achieve his own goals.

The Other Side of the Chrysalis, by Brandon Witt

In a species that values beauty above all else, Quay looses both his freedom and his birthright as prince of the fairies.  Lower than an outcast, he watches over his younger brother, hoping against hope that Xenith’s rebirth will provide safety and positions that has slipped through Quay’s grasp.  Though he expected kindness from no one, Quay gradually starts to trust that there is more to life, even for the likes of him, as sexual encounters with Flesser, a fairy barely accepted himself, turn from lust to love.  Quay knows having forbidden relationships will be his undoing,  but he is powerless to turn away.

Changeling, by Skye Hegyes

With his pointed ears and a tail, Tyler’s always been different than the other children, but until Marsh, a brownie tells him he’s a changeling, he never thought he wasn’t human. Now he will discover what faery life is like, and just how being a changeling could change his life. On the way, his ties with his mother will be pushed and prodded even as his friendships grow and his love life blossoms.  However, in a village of God-fearing people, those who are different are spurned and Tyler will discover how much trouble a fledgling changeling can get into.

Through the Veil, by J. Scott Coatsworth

In the not-too-distant future, San Francisco has been swamped by rising sea levels caused by global warming, and has only survived by building a wall to keep the water out of the heart of the City. Colton is a trans man barely getting by on the canals outside the wall. Tris is an elf who has come to the human world on his journey to become a man. Fate brings them together, and everything changes for Colton when he sets out with Tris to find the elf’s missing brother, taking Colton behind the Wall for the first time.

Length: 79K
Format: eBook, Paperback
Pairing: MM

Buy Link at Wilde City Press

Available at the Wilde City website 4/13/16; other sites one week later.
Price: eBook $5.99, paperback TBD

Author Bios

augusta0liGus Li

August (Gus) Li is a creator of fantasy worlds. When not writing, he enjoys drawing, illustration, costuming and cosplay, and making things in general. He lives near Philadelphia with two cats and too many ball-jointed dolls.

He loves to travel and is trying to see as much of the world as possible. Other hobbies include reading (of course), tattoos, and playing video games.

Brandon Wittbrandon-witt

Brandon Witt’s outlook on life is greatly impacted by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities.

Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issues, he’s got plenty to write about…

Skye Hegyesskye-hegyes

Dragons, wolves, and sharp objects are commonplace in Skye Hegyes’s home in North Carolina. She spends most of her time between writing and working. When not doing either of these things, you may find her making crafts or adventuring with her family, which consists of her husband, two daughters, two birds, and three cats… and a partridge in a pear tree…

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J. Scott Coatsworthj-scott-coatsworth

Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.

Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before – and seeing his first sale. He’s embarking on a new trilogy, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of the QSF Discovery Flash Fiction anthology.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Don’t forget to leave your email address where you can be reached if chosen.

Can Love Be Real with Magic Involved? Check out Bad Magic (Spell Slave #1) by Evelyn Elliott and find out (exclusive excerpt and giveaway)

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BadMagicFS

Bad Magic (Spell Slave #1) by Evelyn Elliott
Release Date: October 28, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Christine Griffin

Blurb

Morality is relative. At least that’s what young sorcerer Regis Teller convinces himself. He’s done what he must to survive: working for a witch since he was nine, helping her throw the kingdom into anarchy, and taking his only comfort in her mysterious son, Crow. And soon, Regis is going to commit his first murder.

A do-gooder named Jonathan White has information the witch needs, and it’s Regis’s job to get that information and slit Jonathan’s throat. But then Regis actually meets Jonathan. And Jonathan is perfect—a hero with a passion for justice and little regard for civility.

Lucky for Regis, Jonathan has a weakness for attractive men. Lucky for Jonathan, Regis is fast developing a conscience and a heart. But for Regis, keeping both of them alive at their adventure’s end means breaking a magical oath and surviving his ruthless boss—all without telling Jonathan the truth. Falling in love is never easy, especially when everyone involved is lying through their teeth.

 

Pages or Words: 161 pages, 55,000 words
Can be read as a standalone
Categories: Bisexual, Fantasy, M/M Romance, Romance

 

Exclusive Excerpt

Chartreuse was a dragon, and as such, it took an entire barrel of wine to get her drunk. When she was done, she kicked the barrel over and waddled over to Jonathan. Human friend, she said. What are you doing? Human celebrations are for drinking and mating, yes? So go mate with someone.

“Go away.”

Oh, stop sulking. No one in this kingdom cares if you mate with other males or not. Just make sure you don’t produce an egg, and we’ll be fine.

Jonathan pinched the bridge of his noise. “Produce a—what? It doesn’t work like that.”

She pushed him with her tail. I tire of you. Go mate.

Stumbling upright, he wandered to where a round man was serving mulled wine to anyone sober enough to pay. He headed to the only empty table and sat.

Almost immediately, a man came over. A striking man, at that. His skin was remarkably fine, white as eggshells, and his dark hair cut a line over his shoulder. He looked delicate rather than sturdy. Despite this, he wore a row of throwing knives on his belt. Without asking, he sat across from Jonathan. “Well hello, hero. I hear you killed the baron.”

“I’m not in the mood for talking,” Jonathan said.

“Lovely. Neither am I.”

“Get lost. You’re not my type.”

The stranger smiled wryly. “C’mon. You’re the savior of the whole damn town, and you’re over here looking miserable. I feel bad for you, all right? Let me buy you a drink. I’ll sit here and scowl at anyone who tries to flirt with you.” Jonathan motioned for the barmaid to bring him a drink. “Allow me,” the stranger said, tossing her a coin. “Where you from, hero?”

Gods above. Jonathan put his head down. “The North. You?”

The stranger waved dismissively. “Not important. So, is the North really all ice and mountains and dragons?”

“Yeah.”

“I hear you barbarians can really drink.”

“Also true.” Jonathan chuckled as the stranger raised his cup in a mock toast. They both took a long drink, Jonathan draining his completely. The stranger looked suitably impressed, motioning the barkeep for two more drinks and paying yet again. Jonathan took another draught. He coughed, throat burning. This new drink was quite a bit stronger than his last.

The stranger smiled guiltily. “You look like you need it.”

Jonathan sighed. “I do.”

His new companion didn’t press him for details, something Jonathan was painfully grateful for. He wasn’t sure he wanted to talk about it. He wasn’t sure he wanted to think about it, ever.

Gods, but he wanted to kiss Regis again.

The stranger stretched. Jonathan watched from the corners of his eyes and weighed his options. The people of the North didn’t approve of such things. His family had expected him to marry a woman to have children with, an idea Jonathan found repulsive on multiple accounts. He knew what he wanted: a traveling companion. Male. Smart. Mouthy, maybe.

“So,” the stranger said, “what were you sulking about?”

“I’m not sulking. I’m frustrated.” Jonathan sighed. “Have you ever been attracted to someone you shouldn’t be?”

“Haven’t we all?”

“No, I mean, I really shouldn’t be. He’s an ass.” The stranger laughed. “No, seriously. I didn’t care for him at first, but he’s just… so easy to be around.” Jonathan drew out the words, one by one, like he was voicing something he didn’t fully understand. “It’s like there’s no filter between his brain and his mouth. He’s never polite for the sake of being polite. And I guess I’m going to miss him, you know? When all this is over. I’m helping him with this quest, see, and I’m not sure what’s going to happen once we’re done.”

“So why don’t you tell him that?”

“I don’t think he feels the same,” Jonathan said. “I kissed him, and he pushed me away.” He exhaled sharply. “He looked horrified.”

“I wouldn’t worry about it too much,” the stranger said. “I bet he already has a lover. Someone dashing and handsome. Funny, too. You can’t compete with that.”

Jonathan shook his head. “He’s attracted to women.”

The stranger leaned back in his chair. “So where you’re from, people are only attracted to one gender or the other?”

“Well, yes. Mostly just the opposite gender. I thought you knew that.”

“I knew Northerners had some bizarre taboos,” the stranger said. “I hear you only have sex to make children. Is it true? That’s disgusting. Who associates sex with childbirth?”

“Wait, so, all Tyrians are… are attracted to everyone?”

“You’re thinking of prostitutes,” the stranger said. “And to be honest, I think most of them are just in it for the money.” Jonathan snorted. “You have something on your mouth,” the stranger said. He made a motion across his lips.

“You mean the scar?”

“Mhm. Is there a story behind it?”

Jonathan took another drink. The man was attractive. There was no denying that. And he wasn’t much like Regis, which was important, because Jonathan would give anything to forget that disaster.

He’d told this story before. He usually made something up. This time, he settled for something close to the truth. “When I was a kid, I kissed my best friend. He bit me, leaving—well, this.” He gestured to the scar. “He told my father, who later confronted me. I lied. I said we’d fought, the mark was a knife wound, and my friend was making up stories to get me in trouble.”

“Did your father believe you?”

Jonathan considered the question. His father hadn’t believed him. His father had known everything. His father had never asked him to enjoy sleeping with women, only to keep his perversions quiet. Take a wife. Have some children. Become jarl. Dance like a puppet. Jonathan had nearly lost his mind.

But Jonathan hadn’t told anyone the full story in a very long time, and he wasn’t about to start now. It hurt too much to say out loud. “I think so,” he said. “My father let it go, but my friend never talked to me again. A while later, I found Chartreuse and realized that I was as bad at hunting dragons as I was at bedding women. So I told my family I was going to become an adventurer, and I left.” There was an extended silence. Jonathan groaned. “I’m sorry. You don’t need to hear this. I’m just another drunk raving about his troubles.”

The stranger patted him. “I’m here to listen.”

“You’re just trying to sleep with me.”

The stranger grinned. “Is it that obvious?”

“You keep batting your eyes at me. You’re also trying to get me drunk.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” said the stranger. “You’ve had twice as much as me, and you’re twice as sober. No, I’m trying to get myself drunk. I’m desperately hoping some big, strong alpha-male type will take advantage of me. You know, someone tall, blond, handsome, maybe with a pleasing foreign accent.”

“I bet you think you’re charming.”

“Oh, I do.”

Against his will, Jonathan smiled.

The stranger staggered to his feet. “Alas, it seems you don’t.” He set another coin on the table. “Take my advice. Have another round. Fuck somebody pretty. You might be dead in a week, Jonathan.”

He turned to go. Jonathan reacted purely on instinct, grabbing him by the arm. The stranger looked back, first at Jonathan’s grip, then up, and Jonathan realized what he had done. The contact was illicit, strange. He could feel muscle beneath his grip. “You’re going?” he said.

The stranger chuckled. “To find someone who thinks I’m their type.”

“Types are bullshit,” Jonathan said.

He let go. The stranger didn’t leave. He paused instead, resting his hands on the back of his chair, and rather than sit again, he looked Jonathan up and down. His lips parted, but for once, he seemed to have no witty remark on hand. “Cat got your tongue?” Jonathan asked.

“Hush,” said the stranger. “I’ll think of something in a moment.”

“And here I thought I was being seduced by someone clever. Pity. You almost had me.”

“Oh? I’ll have to try harder.” He laid a hand on Jonathan’s bicep. He ran his thumb over the muscle there, making no coy attempt to hide what he was doing. To be touched so overtly, and by someone he didn’t know… to have this person crowding his personal space… it lit all his senses.

Up close, Jonathan could see that his eyes were not brown, but black as coal. There was a significant pause. Jonathan said, “I thought you were going to try harder.”

“I am trying harder.” He reached out. His fingers brushed past Jonathan’s ear, resting on his nape, and Jonathan held still. The stranger leaned down. A breath away, he held there.

Jonathan had been amused, before.

Now the lighthearted air had transformed into something else entirely. He was keenly aware of how long it had been since he’d had another man, keenly aware of the smell of him: a spicy, heady scent, doubtless something he wore. This was a man who knew what he was doing. “You’re very good at this,” Jonathan said hoarsely.

“I’m very good at a lot of things.”

“Like being arrogant?”

“Among others. I could show you.”

Jonathan kissed him. A curious, chaste brush of lips. The stranger’s breath caught, and the sound of it undid Jonathan completely. He rose from his seat, pulling the man closer to him. Lips parted sweetly, but nothing deepened, each pressing and then drawing away, before at last they let each other go. Jonathan focused on the table. In his haste to stand, he had knocked over his drink.

“I hear the innkeeper put you up for free,” said the stranger. “You have a room?”

Jonathan laughed. “I don’t even know your name.”

He kissed Jonathan’s hand. “Crow,” he said. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Jonathan.”

 

Buy the book: Dreamspinner | ARe | Amazon

 

Meet the Author

At first glance, Evelyn Elliott seems like a perfectly normal person. Do not be deceived.
Her hobbies include watching grisly horror movies, torturing her characters, and tending to her flower garden. She enjoys long walks on the beach and collecting the souls of small children. Whenever she reads a book, she always roots for the villain.

Avoid her at all costs. Certainly do not find her on facebook or befriend her online. You have better things to do.

Where to find the author:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011035004723

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

8-Apr: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, BFD Book Blog

11-Apr: Nephy Hart, MM Good Book Reviews

12-Apr: Havan Fellows

13-Apr: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, The Novel Approach

14-Apr: V’s Reads, Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance

15-Apr: A.M. Leibowitz

18-Apr: Bayou Book Junkie, Alpha Book Club

19-Apr: Kirsty Loves Books

20-Apr: Prism Book Alliance, My Fiction Nook

21-Apr: Oh My Shelves

 

Giveaway

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