A MelanieM Review Tour: Moments by RJ Scott

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

An actor on possession charges, hell bent on destroying his own life meets a man who quietly works to make the world a better place.

Jacob Riley is a typical Hollywood former child star with issues. He has already done prison time and at the age of twenty-six has been arrested again.

Ethan Myers is the owner and manager of Macs, an education center providing teaching and learning to local low income families. Losing his partner to cancer leaves him lost and alone and he buries himself in his work to start to mend his broken heart.

Sparks fly when Jacob has to complete his community service at Macs. Their relationship grows against a background of disenfranchised street gang members, arson, the Oscars, and despite their prejudices.

Can Jacob Riley be saved?

RJ Scott has a clear eyed view of addiction and its effects on the person in the center but all of those around them.  Moments pulls us into the ugly mindset of Jacob at the beginning of the story, making it clear to the reader what his self destructive life style is costing him and how it is hurting those next to him.  Jacob is deep in self denial, easily placing the blame for all his problems everywhere but where it belongs, on himself.  Jacob is a dislikable piece of work, and Scott has done her homework on addictions when creating a portrait of a man whose life is spiraling out of control.  It is realistic, and absolutely believable.  It will take half the story before the reader will start to connect with Jacob but we do and then we start to hope that he will find his way clear.

Scott’s other characters are equally complex and endearing, from Ethan to those secondary characters whose lives are enriched by Mac’s. Scott gives the reader a real feel for the spirit of community that exists in such a situation as well as the dangers that are inherent by locating the center near active gang influences.  The author has a number of plot threads in motion in the story, almost too many to fully explore in this length book. I could wish that the gang element had been enlarged, especially considering the importance it plays in the lives of three characters so central to  the story.  Certain gang members appear, act accordingly as gangs would and then disappear for the rest of the novel.  And another surprising element occurs late in the story with no hint that it might occur earlier in the narrative.  It would have been nice to have laid a foundation for such actions earlier because for me to have that person act as they did made no sense as far as their personality and character was concerned.  Sorry to be vague, but necessary so as not to give away any spoilers.

But those concerns aside, Moments has a terrific story to tell and RJ Scott delivers it concisely, and with great clarity about her subject.  I connected with these characters and that kept me by their sides every step of the way to the end.  Don’t hesitate to pick this one up!

Cover art by Meredith Russell is nice and works for the character but I would have liked to have more content involved in the design.

Sales Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2nD5vcE

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2nDg1k2

Book Details:

ebook, 3rd edition
Published April 12th 2017 by Love Lane Books Limited (first published October 23rd 2010)
URL http://rjscottauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/moments-re-issue-coming-12-april.html

A Julia Prerelease Review: The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Having long wondered what lives beyond the ice shelf, nineteen-year-old mermaid Ersel learns of the life she wants when she rescues and befriends Ragna, a shield-maiden stranded on the merfolk’s fortress. But when Ersel’s childhood friend and suitor catches them together, he gives Ersel a choice: Say goodbye to Ragna or face justice at the hands of the glacier’s brutal king.

Determined to forge a different fate, Ersel seeks help from the divine Loki. But such deals are never straightforward, and the outcome sees her exiled from the only home and protection she’s known. To save herself from perishing in the barren, underwater wasteland and be reunited with the human she’s come to love, Ersel must try to outsmart the God of Lies.

Being an avid reader of the Fantasy genre myself, The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember had me intrigued as soon as I laid eyes on it. I find mermaids to be one of the most fascinating mythical creatures and yet I can hardly recall any Fantasy novels in which they play more than a supporting role. So, since the protagonist in this one is in fact a mermaid, I was really hoping that the author would grant a closer look into the society, customs and lifestyle of the merfolk. And thankfully I was not disappointed in the least!

The novel features a close-knit community of merfolk living inside a glacier far up in the frozen North with strict societal rules and traditions. As a reader you get to experience their way of life through the eyes of young Ersel from whose first-person perspective the story is told. World and lore building are one of the key aspects of Fantasy writing and I was immediately drawn in by the loving details the author used to describe how the merfolk lived and their society worked. The people of the sea really take the centre stage here and we are handed only small pieces of information on what the lives of humans are like in this world. I also very much enjoyed how the merfolk’s way of life was so closely entwined with the harsh and cold environment they lived in. The author did a good job in depicting the icy landscape and some of its inhabitants (most prominently a pod of beluga whales). A nice touch of magic and Norse mythology is added as well.

The novel features a varied cast of characters with the mermaid Ersel as its main protagonist. She does not want to lead the life dictated to her by the community’s traditions and laws but is too scared and timid to openly oppose them at first. A focus of the story lies on her personal development as she is repeatedly faced with new experiences and difficult decisions that impact her own future as well as others’.  The most profound of said experiences being when she meets Ragna, a fierce young human woman bent on survival and revenge. Ragna acts in many ways as a mirror for Ersel: They both have dreams and goals they want to achieve but unlike her Ragna has the courage and will to actively work towards and fight for them. At the same time Ersel comes to Ragna’s aid and becomes the friend and support the human girl desperately needs. The relationship that starts to blossom from this encounter was a delight to witness and I found myself rooting for them to succeed in their ambitions as well as their growing feelings for each other. Their story is one of self-discovery, compassion, determination and sacrifices.

Other types of relationships are explored as well, especially the one between Ersel and her childhood friend Havamal with whom she used to share a strong bond before he decided on a different path in life than the one they had once dreamed of together. And then there is of course Ersel’s deal with the infamous trickster god himself who, while being a divine entity, displays some rather human-like traits as well. I also quite enjoyed the magical aspects of this part of the story. 

Since this is a Young Adult novel the sex scenes are not described in detail but they are still teased enough to let the imagination run wild.

I had a great time reading this novel and enjoyed learning about the fascinating world the author had created. The characters, their motivations and interactions were very engaging as well. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more from this author. 

The intricate cover design by CB Messer is what drew me to this novel in the first place. It is probably one of the most beautiful book covers I have ever seen. The art and colour choices are truly lovely. It immediately invokes a sense of ancient legends and fairy tales.

Sales Links:  Duet, an imprint of Interlude Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 224 pages

Published May 4, 2017

by Interlude Press

ISBN: 978-1-945053-34-4

Edition Language: English

Release Blitz & Review Tour – Moments by RJ Scott (giveaway)

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Buy Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2nD5vcE

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2nDg1k2



Cover: Meredith Russell


Length: 54,000 words


Blurb

An actor on possession charges, hell bent on destroying his own life meets a man who quietly works to make the world a better place.


Jacob Riley is a typical Hollywood former child star with issues. He has already done prison time and at the age of twenty-six has been arrested again.


Ethan Myers is the owner and manager of Macs, an education center providing teaching and learning to local low income families. Losing his partner to cancer leaves him lost and alone and he buries himself in his work to start to mend his broken heart.


Sparks fly when Jacob has to complete his community service at Macs. Their relationship grows against a background of disenfranchised street gang members, arson, the Oscars, and despite their prejudices.


Can Jacob Riley be saved?

 

Author Bio


RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.


The last time she had a weekís break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldnít defeat.


mailto:rj@rjscott.co.uk
www.rjscott.co.uk/
www.facebook.com/author.rjscott?ref=ts&fref=ts
www.goodreads.com/author/show/3432558.R_J_Scott
twitter.com/Rjscott_author
www.librarything.com/author/scottrj

 

 Giveaway

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Tali Spencer on Sex and the Ice Shanty and her release ‘Breaking the Ice’ (guest post)

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Breaking the Ice (States of Love) by Tali Spencer
D
reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain

Available for Purchase at

✒︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Tali Spencer here today talking about her latest story Breaking the Ice and Sex and the Ice Shanty. Welcome, Tali!

✒︎

Sex and the Ice Shanty

by Tali Spencer

When I lived in Wisconsin, I would drive past lakes in the winter and see them dotted with ice shanties. So of course I wondered… did people have sex in ice shanties? Because, let’s face it, any time a human sees an interesting looking, reasonably habitable, place—like a cave, or a canoe, or even a space capsule—one of the first thoughts to come to mind is whether it might be a good place for sex.

To no one’s surprise, ice shanties are used for sex. Often.

What does an ice shanty look like? Picture a garden shed with a flat roof. On ice. Some look more like an outhouse, but not Matt Wasko’s.

There was never a question about whether Matt’s ice shanty in Breaking the Ice would be a romantic setting. For one thing, Matt wants to have sex in his ice shanty. His shanty is his refuge, his happy place., and nothing would make him happier than to share his shanty with another man for something other than fishing.

Upper Great Lakes ice shanties run the gamut from strictly utilitarian to ridiculously plush. When shanties get big enough to sleep four, have a shower, and feature big screen TVs, they cross over into the realm of ice houses and are generally found at resorts where they get rented out for lots of money. Matt’s ice shanty is more typical: it measures he made it himself and its comforts are cozy, not luxurious. He has a satellite dish for TV, a heater, a small stove for cooking, a little booth for eating, and a comfy built-in bed for sleeping. There’s a gingham curtain on the single window and warm blankets and a comforter on the bed.

And there are two nice-sized ice-fishing holes in the black rubber floor at the shanty’s business end. An ice shanty is meant for fishing, after all.

That isn’t to say it can’t be romantic, too. Ice shanties go dark for fishing… and if it’s daylight outside, the ice holes glow. Soft. Blue. Magical. Matt’s always wondered what it would be like to kiss someone by ice light.

So do I. The closest I’ve come is talking with someone who has.

Close quarters. Soft lighting. Warm enough to maybe strip out of those winter clothes… that sure sounds like a recipe for some loving to me!

BLURB

For Matt Wasko, February in Wisconsin is the best time of the year, and ice fishing on Lake Winnebago is his idea of heaven. With shanty villages cropping up, barbeques on the ice, monster sturgeon to spear, and plenty of booze to keep everybody warm, things couldn’t be better—until a surprise storm hits and an uninvited guest shows up at his frozen doorstep.

Matt’s not happy to see John Lutz, a coworker who cracks lame gay jokes at Matt’s expense. But John’s flimsy new ice shelter got blown across the lake, and it wouldn’t be right to leave even a jerk outside to freeze. Would it?

In the close quarters of Matt’s fabulous ice shanty, between stripping off wet clothes, misadventures with bait, and a fighting trophy-sized walleye, the two men discover creative ways to keep the cold at bay. And when John confesses his long-running attraction, Matt must decide if he can believe in John’s change of heart—and crack the ice for a chance at finding love.

Release Date: April 19

About Tali Spencer

Tali Spencer delights in erotic fantasy and adventure, creating worlds where she can explore the heights and shadows of sexual passion. A hopeful romantic and lover of all things exotic, she also writes high fantasy and science fiction. If you would like to see inspiration pictures for her characters, or glimpse how she envisions her worlds, including works in progress, check out her Pinterest boards.

Visit Tali’s blog at http://talismania-brilliantdisguise.blogspot.com
E-mail: tali.spencer1@gmail.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tali.spencer

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/talispencer/

Review Tour and Giveaway – Goodnight My Angel by Sue Brown

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Buy Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2npoGT3

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2ohyCCg


Cover: Meredith Russell


Angel Enterprises Series


Morning My Angel (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK


Blurb

Callum Ross has a tough decision to make. After years of working for the covert ops agency in the UK and owning his own security firm in the US, he’s forced to choose between the business he loves, and the new fragile relationship with his partner, Josh Cooper.


A bottle of whiskey and almost being killed by a motorbike helps Cal make the decision, and he moves to the UK with plans to set up his own security consultancy. Then the head of the covert ops agency where Josh now works asks Cal for help. Agency operatives and their families are being injured or killed, including Cal’s friends.


Cal is asked to investigate with Josh’s assistance. As the number of victims increase, they’re aware either of them could be the next target for the killer. Josh wants Cal to back away from the investigation in case he gets hurt, but Cal refuses, putting a strain on their relationship.


Then they discover the motorbike incident wasn’t an accident. Who tried to kill him, and why?

 



April 3 – Diverse Reader, The Novel Approach, Books Laid Bare Boys, Sexy Erotic Xciting
April 5 – Making It Happen, Keysmash, The Way She Reads
April 7 – The Geekery Book Review, MM Good Book Reviews
April 10 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
April 12 – Bella’s Blog, Bayou Book Junkie, Bonkers About Books, Padme’s Library, Love Bytes

Author Bio

Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop. In fact she hides so she can plot, and has become an expert at ignoring the orders.Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. She had an Aha moment and put pen to paper that same day. Sue may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.

Come over and talk to Sue at:
sue@suebrownstories.com
http://www.suebrownstories.com/
http://www.facebook.com/suebrownstories
http://twitter.com/suebrownstories
http://suebrownsstories.blogspot.com/

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Cardeno C on the Mates series + Giveaway

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Cardeno C. today, celebrating the author’s Mate series and a new release in May!

The author is  happy to offer a giveaway for your blog readers –  three randomly chosen winners with each getting one of the books. To be entered to win, leave a comment with an email address where you can be reached if chosen.

Until Forever Comes (Mates, #2) by Cardeno C.


Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25926739-until-forever-comes

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Until-Forever-Comes-MatesCollection-ebook/dp/B011STPHA4/

A sensitive wolf shifter and a vicious vampire challenge history, greed, and the very fabric of their beings in order to stay together until forever comes.


Plagued by pain and weakness all his life, Ethan Abbatt is a wolf shifter who can’t shift. Hoping to find an honorable death by joining his pack mates in a vampire attack, Ethan instead

learns two things: draining his blood releases his pain and his wolf, and he has a true mate – a vampire named Miguel.


Over four centuries old, strong, powerful, and vicious, Miguel Rodriguez walks through life as a shadow, without happiness or affection. When a young shifter tells Miguel they’re true mates, destined to be together, Miguel sends him away. But Ethan is persistent and being together comes so naturally that Miguel can’t resist for long. The challenge is keeping themselves alive so they can stay by each other’s side until forever comes.


Word Count: 60,702

 

Wake Me Up Inside (Mates #1) by Cardeno C.


Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25967103-wake-me-up-inside

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Wake-Me-Inside-MatesCollection-ebook/dp/B0137I04VQ/


A powerful Alpha wolf shifter and a strong-willed human overcome traditions ingrained over generations and uncover long-buried secrets to fulfill their destiny as true mates.


Regarded as the strongest wolf shifter in generations, Alpha Zev Hassick is surprised and confused by his attraction to his best friend. His very human, very male best friend. A male shifter has to mate with a female shifter to keep his humanity, so shifters can’t be gay. Yet, everything inside Zev tells him Jonah is his true mate.


Maintaining a relationship with the man he has loved since childhood isn’t easy for Jonah Marvel, but he won’t let distance or Zev’s odd family get in their way. When unexplained ailments begin to plague Jonah, he needs to save his own life and sanity in order to have a future with Zev.


Zev and Jonah know they’re destined for each other, but they must overcome traditions ingrained over generations and long-buried secrets to fulfill their destiny.


Word Count: 74,755


In Your Eyes (Mates, #3) by Cardeno C.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25927403-in-your-eyes

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/In-Your-Eyes-MatesCollection-ebook/dp/B011STPGGO/


Two very different men with a tumultuous history must overcome challenges from all sides and see past their society’s rules to realize they are destined for one another.


Raised to become Alpha of the Yafenack pack, Samuel Goodwin dedicates his life to studying shifter laws, strengthening his body, and learning from his father. But despite his best efforts, Samuel can’t relate to people, including those he’s supposed to lead.


When Samuel meets Korban Keller, the son of a neighboring pack’s Alpha, he reacts with emotion instead of intellect for the first time in his life. Resenting the other shifter for throwing him off-balance, Samuel first tries to intimidate Korban and then desperately avoids him. What he can’t do is forget Korban’s warm eyes, easy smile, and happy personality.


When a battle between their fathers ends tragically, Samuel struggles to lead his pack while Korban works to break through Samuel’s emotional barriers. Two very different men with a tumultuous history must overcome challenges from all sides and see past their society’s rules to realize they are destined for one another.


Word Count: 60,875


COMING MAY 4, 2017

To Touch You


“His name is Salvatore Rossi. He’s a vampire. And he’s my true mate.”


By not relying on anyone except himself, Salvatore Rossi escaped a dead-end existence and reached the height of corporate success. But just when he has everything he always wanted, fate throws Salvatore a challenge he can’t solve alone and a young wolf shifter comes to his rescue.

Since childhood, Yoram Smith’s family was certain he would grow to become Alpha and save their beloved pack from its slow demise. When the time comes for a new leader, Yoram is forced to juggle his duty to care for a splintering pack with his duty to care for an absent mate, and his own strength suffers.

Being turned into a vampire didn’t alter Salvatore’s life philosophy: if you don’t rely on anyone, nobody can let you down. But when the boy who saved his life becomes a man who needs his help, the icy vampire must find his humanity.

 

CC

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heartwarming Stories. Strong Relationships. Forever Love.
 

 

Book Blitz and Giveaway: September by Robert Winter

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Title:  September

Series: Pride and Joy #1

Author: Robert Winter

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: Dec 9, 2016

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 100000 words

Genre: Romance, May-December, Contemporary, Provincetown, Washington DC

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

David James is smart, successful, handsome… and alone. After the death of his lover, Kyle, from cancer, he buried himself in his law practice and the gym. At forty-eight, he is haunted by his memories and walled off from the world. When David injures himself working out, he’s assigned to Brandon Smith for physical therapy. The vibrant young therapist is attracted to David and realizes he needs a hand to get back into dating. What begins as a practice coffee date escalates to friendship, passion, and maybe something more, as they navigate a new relationship in Washington, DC, and the gay mecca of Provincetown.

But David remains trapped behind the barrier of fear and guilt. Will he remain loyal to Kyle’s memory if he moves on? Can he and Brandon manage a twenty-two-year age gap? Brandon thinks he understands David’s concerns, and for him, the answer to those questions is yes. He wants to be with David, and he believes he can overcome David’s barriers. But Brandon fails to account for the world’s reaction to a handsome young man attached to an older, wealthy lover. David’s memories, Brandon’s pride, and an unexpected tragedy might cost them something very special.

Excerpt

Brandon made it to the clinic that morning with about fifteen minutes to spare, dropped his backpack in the break room, and grabbed his water bottle. “Chilly day, huh?” he asked Josh, another therapist, as he filled the bottle. “Did ya catch the Nats lineup? It sounds like it’s gonna be a good season.” They shot the shit for a few minutes as Josh fixed his coffee.

Shari, one of the assistants to the four physical therapists in the clinic, dropped Brandon’s patient files at his work area, along with a short summary on top. He skimmed the list as he drank water to get hydrated for what promised to be a grueling day. Mia Johnson had bad arthritis; she was responding well with heat and stretching. Miz Williams—nice woman, but ugh, never did her home exercises. Maggie Cook had been injured in a bike accident two weeks back, and it was time to adjust her brace. A new patient, David James, had a torn rotator cuff.

Hmm. Fresh injury, I’ll wanna start simply. He read through his patient notes and flexed his hands as he thought about various massage strokes or exercises that should help. He was engrossed, and he vaguely heard the door to the reception area open and a baritone rumble. A few seconds later, a shadow fell over his desk and a deep voice spoke.

“Excuse me. Are you Brandon Smith? The receptionist sent me back.” Brandon looked up at a man who was holding a medical file out to him, and he almost let his jaw drop.

The guy was tall, a little over six feet, and wearing a suit. His hair was chestnut brown with some gray, parted on the left and smoothly combed up and to the back. He had cheekbones like a model and such brilliant green eyes that Brandon wondered for a second if he were wearing tinted contact lenses. His eyebrows were thick but sharply defined, like upside-down checkmarks. And his full lips would definitely be soft to kiss. Seriously good-looking.

When the silence stretched, the hottie prompted, “Umm…,” and Brandon shook his head.

“Sorry. I was just caught up in somethin’.” He gave a big smile as he stood and held out his hand. “I’m Brandon. Are you David?”

David shook the offered hand with a strong, warm grip. His big mitt engulfed Brandon’s hand and drew from him a slight involuntary moan. David met his eye, and Brandon imagined he saw a little speculative spark there. Yes, I’m available. Though it was wishful thinking that the man would care.

“Good to meet you, Brandon. I’m supposed to give you this file.” David offered the manila folder again, which Brandon took as he gestured for David to take a seat. He opened the file as he sat down, and studied a screen print of David’s MRI on top.

“Rotator cuff. Yeah. Tell me how you tore it.”

“I guess it was doing pull-ups. I felt a twinge when I was working out the other morning, and within a day, the pain was pretty intense.”

“I’ll bet. Rotator cuff tears suck donkey balls.” Brandon glanced up from the file and then looked sheepish. “Sorry. That was unprofessional. Have you ever had physical therapy before?” he asked.

“Donkey balls is about the size of it, so no worries.” David grinned at Brandon. “And no. I’ve been lucky. This is the first time I’ve had anything worse than sore muscles.”

Brandon glanced over David’s suit jacket, which was tailored to show his broad shoulders and narrow waist. “Well, obviously you work out a lot. So if this is your first injury, you must have great form.”

David chuckled. “I doubt that. I’ve just had good coaches that make me careful.”

“Let’s start with your routine, so I can get an idea of what might have led to the tear and what kinda treatment and rehab will work best here. You mentioned coaches?”

“I’ve been doing CrossFit for about a year now. Before that I always ran and lifted weights on my own.”

“CrossFit is keepin’ therapists like me gainfully employed,” Brandon said as he focused again on the medical evaluation in front of him. He sensed, however, that he had annoyed David, and he looked up quickly. Sure enough David had a slightly pissed expression on his face.

“I’ve never found anything as good as CrossFit,” David said, irritation clear in his tone. “It challenges me at a level of intensity that I didn’t manage to achieve on my own.”

Brandon held up a hand in a placating gesture. “Hey, I’m glad it works for you. I know some people are crazy about it. But understand, I only see the fall-out when somethin’ goes wrong.”

David relaxed a bit. “That makes sense. I suppose it’s all in the quality of the coaching.”

“Sure. But even the best coach can’t prevent all injuries. It’s inevitable when you train that hard.”

“What’s the program here? How soon will I be able to get back to it?”

Brandon tilted his head and studied the image of David’s shoulder. “That’s hard to predict. I’d say we’re talkin’ weeks, not months.” David groaned, and Brandon couldn’t help smiling a bit. “Look, you’re not gonna lose all that muscle if you rest a few weeks. Let’s get started, and I’ll have a better sense of what we’re gonna try. Okay?”

Brandon rose, gestured for David to follow, and led him to a cubicle containing a padded table and curtains that could be drawn for privacy. “I’ll need to get at that shoulder to see what’s what. Take off your jacket and shirt and your T-shirt, if you’re wearin’ one. Just call out when you’re ready.” Brandon left David and pulled the curtains around.

A few minutes later, David called out, “Ready.” Brandon slipped through the closed curtains, and he caught his breath. David had a beautiful body, which was bared to the waist. His shoulders were broad, with perfect traps connecting his long neck to cannonball-like deltoids. His pecs were almost perfectly smooth. Wonder if he shaves that chest? His biceps and triceps were cut, and his forearms were thick and lightly dusted in silky-looking hair. A nice V-shape ran from his belly down to where his belt and suit pants covered the rest. Brandon flicked a glance over the bulge at David’s crotch. He guessed what was hidden was equally spectacular, and he tried to think of a reason to make David drop trou for a shoulder injury.

“Wow. Forget what I said and stick with CrossFit.”

David laughed and asked, “Are you just trying to keep a steady line of business going?” Brandon flashed him a grin, and David clearly began relaxing into the therapy despite his flirting. Or maybe because of?

Brandon stepped closer and peered up. He was about five inches shorter than David. “Well, I could climb you like a tree, but I think it’ll be easier on both of us if you sit down while I check out your shoulder.” Brandon hooked over a stool with his foot, and when David sat, Brandon grasped his right wrist in his left hand. “Let me do the movin’.” He gently placed the arm in various positions, studying David’s reaction and stopping each movement when he saw the slightest grimace or wince. After a few minutes of that, he—reluctantly—released the arm and leaned back against a counter.

“It seems pretty straightforward, David. This is a common injury, and nothin’ indicates permanent damage. Also, there’s nothin’ troublesome on the X-ray. I’m sure it feels like shit, and you’re probably gonna get mad at me from the exercises I put you through, but I can help. Don’t do anythin’ to the point of pain, but if you want results, you’re gonna need to do a lot of work, here and on your own. The weights will be light, but you’ll do so many reps it’ll be a ball buster. Feel free to curse at me when I push you, but be honest about your pain level. How does that sound?”

“Fair enough. Do we start today?” David asked.

“Absolutely. So, scale of one to ten, what’s your pain like right now?”

“I’d say… five?”

“Well, don’t ask me, cowboy. This is your rodeo.”

David laughed at that. “Then five.”

Brandon leaned against the counter, arms crossed as he looked David in the eye. “Dr. McCracken has you on an anti-inflammatory, right? Good. Okay. I’m gonna get some heat on that shoulder first, and then we’ll go through some light mobilization work.”

Something in David’s gaze—a smolder—made him pause. Although he’d been flirting a bit, it wasn’t with any real expectation that David would respond. Is it possible he’s gay…? He stamped on the thought and continued. “I’ll give you a series of stretches and exercises that I want you to work through at least twice a day until I see you again on Monday. Then I’m gonna put some kinesio tape on the shoulder to help ease the stress. You’ll sleep better, I promise.”

“Let’s do it,” David said.

Brandon flushed a bit at what David had unintentionally signaled and the image it sparked. Don’t flirt any more. You’re probably wrong, and it’s unprofessional anyway. Brandon retrieved a heated towel and laid it over David’s injured shoulder. “Too hot?”

“No, not at all. That feels good.”

“You should do this at home, or at the office if you can manage it. You can just warm a damp hand towel in a microwave. Heat first, then the rehab exercises I’m gonna give you. Finish up with ice. Now you sit quietly for another five minutes while I get some materials together.”

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Meet the Author

Robert Winter is a recovering lawyer who likes writing about hot men in love much more than drafting a legal brief. He left behind the (allegedly) glamorous world of an international law firm to sit in his home office and dream up ways to torment his characters until they realize they are perfect for each other. When he isn’t writing, Robert likes to cook Indian food and explore new restaurants.

Robert divides his time between Washington, DC, and Provincetown, MA. He splits his attention between Andy, his partner of sixteen years, and Ling the Adventure Cat, who likes to fly in airplanes and explore the backyard jungle as long as the temperature and humidity are just right.

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Giveaway

The author is offering up FIVE signed paperbacks of the novel, September, to lucky winners! Enter below for your chance to win.

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