An Ashez Review: Capital Assets (Rattle on Wall Street #1) by Cecelia Storm

Standard
Rating:  3 stars out of 5

For years I’d avoided omegas. They were too tempting. In heat, they pulled alphas like me across a hot, dangerous line. I couldn’t risk hurting another one…

Until I caught his scent on a cold Manhattan night. My extravagant world crashed around us as our bodies and hearts collided. His taste brought me to my knees.

All this time I thought I was different. I thought I could change this city, choked by corruption and greed. But one omega, struggling to find his way, showed me the frailty of authority, and the power of acceptance.

Now we fight. We stand up to those who seek to break us; but how much pain can we endure? Is our love and future worth the blood and bruises? How can life possibly spring from the ashes around us?

“It was a kiss I’d never felt before; it was the slow, gentle taste of a person who holds a piece of your heart, and whom you have greatly missed.”

Help us as we try to see the world around us for what it is, and find the love we know is in our broken hearts

I was confused with this one – I read “alpha/omega/beta” and immediately thought of shifters, though I now know that this was not a shifter romance, so perhaps I was misconstrued by the context before I even read the book.  I like Jer well enough, he did get “bitchy” midpoint and I was kind of put off by him after that, but I really enjoyed Archer a lot, a strong willed male is always a well done in my opinion.  Overall the story was nice, the progression was OK, and the characters were great.

First MPREG book too, which I knew was a thing but had never read before, I didn’t mind, it was quite unique.

I just continued to find myself drifting from the story, so if it can’t hold my attention the whole way through it’s just not my thing.  Though it was a well written story so I suggest you take a read for yourself – you may love it!

Cover – Fitting, just shows a rich male, so that was apt in this case
Sales Link:  Amazon
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published October 19th 2018 by Royal Court Publishing
ASIN B07JCJCKK3
Edition Language English
SeriesRattle on Wall Street #1

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Seeking Solace (The Walker Boys 3) by Ari McKay

Standard

Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

 

All hands on deck for a shipboard romance—with a secret. 

Like his cousins, Devin Walker aspires to be a chef, but he wants to indulge his wanderlust while feeding his customers, and working a cruise ship seems like the solution. Since he can’t find an opening in the kitchen, he’s happy to start out in a position behind the bar.

While onboard Poseidon’s Pearl, Devin is assigned to shepherd a visiting executive. Paul Bailey is quiet and unassuming, and the car accident that cost him his leg also shattered his confidence. He doesn’t think he’s attractive to other men anymore, and Devin is eager to show him just how wrong he is. Paul has a surprising secret that might sink their passionate affair before it even leaves port.

The Walker Boys series by Ari McKay all center around main characters that are or have aspirations to be chefs with their own restaurants. Seeking Solace (The Walker Boys 3) by Ari McKay falls into the latter category.  Devin Walker, of the enormous Texas Walker clan, has been working on board the Triton line cruise ship learning the kitchen and “the ropes”, waiting for the chance to move up into the role of chef.  It’s a job he loves, even though he wants it to be temporary in the long run with his goal of opening his own restaurant, just as a trained chef would.

Everything is going according to plan, until he is assigned the role of liaison to a visiting executive who needs to learn more about the Triton cruise business from the bottom to the top, never realizing who the man is that he’s showing around.

So, yes.  It’s the false identity trope but it works here.  I mean haven’t you all seen Undercover Boss on tv?  Not that far fetched an idea anymore. The addition of Paul working through his acceptance of his disability, the worries over his appearance (scars and prosthetic) felt authentic and grounded this romance in a definite reality as opposed to a sheltered cruitse glow. I liked that the author(s) gave the readers a believable “behind the scenes” feel to the cruise line and it’s workings.  I enjoyed that and the staff.

The chemistry between Devlin and Paul was hot, sweet, and lovely to read.  I delighted in their romance and the cruise in general.  Plus don’t get me started on the food here.  I felt as though I was going to gain weight just through reading some of the detailed, vivid descriptions of the drinks and drool worthy  menu items alone!  Really mouth watering  and scrumptious!

The cruise takes place over two weeks so the attraction/instant love element is a bit of a stretch for me.  The physical attraction and like?  Absolutely.  Love?  On the road to, yes.  Which is why I enjoyed the HFN ending that McKay left the couple at.  That felt more honest with one exception involving the ship.  Won’t go there, spoiler territory.  I just thought it was unlikely that Devlin would have done that given his working relationship there.

The Walkers Boys and their search for HEA or in this case HFN is a fun series for people who love sweet contemporary romance with a mixture of food and travel.  From Texas to North Carolina and New York (Breaking Bonds) to cruising and back to Texas, this series has a little something for everyone.  They work well as standalone stories but are fun read together as well.

Cover art:  Alexandria Corza.  Has the moon and ship as the backdrop and Paul as the center model.  If that is supposed to be Devlin, a total miss of the mark.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Dreamspinner

Book Details:

ebook, 206 pages
Published November 6th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 139781640805231
Series The Walker Boys

Striking Sparks

Breaking Bonds

Seeking Solace

Andrew Grey on the Top 5 Type of Romance he Likes to Write and his new novel Fire and Agate (Carlisle Deputies #3) (guest post and excerpt)

Standard

Title: Fire and Agate

Author: Andrew Grey

Series: Carlisle Deputies #3

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: Nov 6 2018
Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Book Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Dreamspinner Press

Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Andrew Grey here today.  Andrew is on tour for the next story in his Carlisle Deputies series, Fire and Agate.. Welcome, Andrew.

✒︎

I wanted to have some fun, so I thought a top 5 post would be in order.  Here are my Top 5 favorite types of romances to write.  I must say that I read and write a wide range of characters, but these are some of my favorites in no particular order.
Andrew Grey’s Top 5 Favorite Types of Romances to Write
1)  Cops – given the title that we’re celebrating, that’s probably a no brainer.
2)  Firemen – Hunky guys in fire pants sometimes sleeping in the same room together.
3)  Rural – I spent part of my childhood in the country, so I know first hand those boys know a lot about the birds and the bees.
4)  Cowboys – They’re iconic and can be stunning, cantankerous, and a lot of fun to write.
5)  Discovering love – There’s something that feeds the soul about writing a character that is really just discovering that they are worthy of being loved.

 

Blurb/Synopsis:

When Chris Anducci is moved off jail duty and into the sheriff’s office, he doesn’t expect his first assignment to be protecting a witness against a human trafficking ring. Knowing the new sheriff doesn’t abide screw-ups, Chris reluctantly agrees to work the case.

Pavle Kasun has spent the last four years of his life at the mercy of others. When an opportunity presented itself, he took it, resulting in his rescue. Now the safe houses he’s placed in are being threatened and he needs protection if he is to have any sort of chance at a life.

Chris opens his home to Pavle, but he doesn’t expect Pavle and his story to get under his skin… and stay there. Soon they discover they have more in common than either of them thought. Slowly Pavle comes out of his shell and Chris finds someone who touches his heart. But as the men looking for Pavle close in, they will stop at nothing to get him out of the way. But even if Chris can keep him safe, he might not be able to protect his heart if Pavle moves back home.

Genre:M/M Contemporary Romance/Law Enforcement

Excerpt 

Slowly a figure, curled up and small, made an appearance from around the side of the dresser. The first thing Chris noticed were the biggest, brownest eyes he had ever seen, filled with the pain of years of hurt. They blinked, and then Pavle stepped farther into the light. Even standing, he looked half hunched over.

“This is Deputy Chris. He’s here because he’s going to help keep you safe.”

Pavle raised his head slightly, his black hair, long and uneven, falling to the sides of his face.

“Hello,” Chris said, mimicking the soft tone the others had used. “I’m Chris. They told me you needed help, so I’m going to protect you so no one hurts you anymore.” In that moment, he made up his mind to do whatever was needed to help this man, and if that meant moving him into his home to protect him, so be it.

“I’d like it if you went with Deputy Chris. He is a good man and will not hurt you,” Marie explained slowly and gently.

Chris didn’t expect Pavle to believe her or to agree to come. “It’s okay if you don’t want to,” Chris said, crouching down so he was at the same level as Pavle. “This is your choice.”

“Choice?” Pavle asked in a raspy voice that tore at Chris’s insides, looking at him and then back to Marie.

“Yes. You can choose to stay here or go with Deputy Chris. We want you to be safe, but we aren’t sure how well we can protect you here. If you go with Deputy Chris, he will protect you. Keep you safe.”

“INS?” Pavle asked.

“No. He is good man. Caring. He will help you.” Marie seemed to have infinite patience.

Pavle blinked, standing still, then nodded and walked to Chris. It seemed as though he either didn’t understand or thought he didn’t have a choice, even though he was being given one. Chris held out his hands, palms up, to show that he wasn’t going to hit him. When Pavle looked at him with those huge eyes and the face of an angel, he looked much younger than the twenty-four listed in his file. Maybe that was his previous owner’s fetish. Still, after all he’d been through, Pavle’s handsomeness and light shone through, with soft features and an almost delicate frame.

“I’ll gather his few things,” Annette said.

Marie extended her hand to take Pavle’s gently. He went with her in silence. She led him out of the house, and once they were in the sun, Chris got a better look at him. Pavle was pale, probably from years of being inside. Chris reminded himself to ask Marie about any past injuries. He suspected that Pavle had been treated very badly in the past and he needed to know if he was okay physically.

“Thank you for doing this,” Marie said once she had opened the door to Chris’s car and gotten Pavle settled in the passenger seat. He sat without moving or looking to either side. “You have to keep him safe. He is the main witness against the man who held him for nearly two years. We need to get that man and then trace back to the people who sold Pavle to him. We’re pulling each thread to see what we can unravel.”

“Okay. I will do my best, I promise you.”

“I’ll follow you to your house and help Pavle get settled.”

As Marie got to her car, Pavle reacted for the first time.

“She’s just riding separately. She will be back in a few minutes.”

Chris drove the short distance to his house and pulled into the garage. He didn’t want Pavle to be seen, and yet he also didn’t want him to feel like a prisoner again by being hidden. He got out and waited, hoping Pavle would get out on his own. After a few moments, Pavle opened the door and climbed out of the car. Chris opened the door to the yard and motioned for Pavle to go ahead of him.

Marie came though behind him, and Chris closed the garage doors and joined the two of them in the yard. Pavle looked around, saying nothing. Chris wished he would say something… anything. He was way too quiet, and that worried Chris because he had no idea what he was thinking, and damn it all, those eyes still held buckets of fear.

“It’s okay. This is where you are going to stay.” Marie gently coaxed Pavle toward the house, and he shuffled along, looking at the yard. Hopefully he liked what he saw. Chris had spent too many hours working out stress for the garden to be unappreciated.

Chris opened the back door, went inside, and turned on lights, letting Marie bring Pavle in the kitchen, motioning toward the living room. Maybe this was the biggest mistake of his life. He wasn’t equipped to handle someone as fragile and frightened as Pavle. Chris had no clue what he needed or even how to get through to him.

“I sold?” Pavle finally asked barely above a whisper.

Chris caught Marie’s gaze, and his heart twisted in his chest. God, this was going to wrench his guts six ways from Sunday.

“No. This is where you are going to live. You are not going to be sold to anyone any more. Deputy Chris is here to help you and nothing more.” She patted his hand and took Pavle through to the other room.

Chris got three glasses of water and put some cookies on a plate. He needed some sugar if he was going to get through this in one piece.

Marie and Pavle were talking softly on the sofa when Chris handed each of them a glass and offered them cookies. Marie took one, and Pavle stared at the plate as though it were a foreign object. Finally, he took one and ate a small bite before shoving the whole thing in his mouth, chewing and swallowing like he hadn’t eaten in days, then he drank the entire glass of water.

Chris offered him another, and Pavle took it in disbelief, ate it quickly, and then rested his hands in his lap.

About the Author

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Author Links

Amazon Author Page

Barnes and Noble Page

Dreamspinner Press

Facebook

Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey

Goodreads

Twitter@andrewgreybooks

Website

For Other Works by Andrew Grey

(Please Be Sure To Stop by His Website to See All of His Works)

Release Blitz – His Two Leading Men by Aidan Wayne (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: His Two Leading Men

Author: Aidan Wayne

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Aidan Wayne

Genre/s: Contemporary sweet gay romance, menage

Heat Rating:  2 flames 

Length: 57,000words/ 205 pages (309 in kindle format, 296 in PDF)

It is a standalone story.

Release Date: November 9, 2018

Add Goodreads 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Blurb

Broadway star Skye’s whole life is an act.

On the surface, he’s living the New York Dream – acclaimed by critics for his stunning debut, playing to packed audiences every night.

They don’t know the truth.

Battling crippling anxiety, every show is a struggle for Skye. Only one thing gives him the courage to step into the spotlight every performance – the steady, calming support of costumer Russell. But Skye can’t burden Russell with all his demons…

When wealthy patron Brent takes an interest in Skye, everything the actor knows is turned upside down. Charismatic and confident, Brent is everything Skye isn’t… and just what he needs. But how can he choose between gentle Russell and magnetic Brent? Russell means so much to him, but the chemistry between Skye and Brent is undeniable.

Or does he have to choose at all…?

Excerpt

Quick changes, Skye decided as he scrambled offstage yet again, were the worst part of any show. It was the start of full-dress rehearsal week for the Broadway debut show Child’s Play, so he was figuring out how to get into and out of his costumes–and in time to scale the ladder to the height of center stage so he could descend from the ceiling. He’d botched it twice already, not making it in time for his cue, and he was a mess of nerves trying to get decked out in his light-up tuxedo while he paid attention to the music.

“Hey,” his quick-changer murmured as he affixed Skye’s mask. “You’ve got this.”

Right. Skye nodded and hurried over to the ladder.

After rehearsal was over and the cast was undressing and taking off makeup, Skye decided to track down the quick-changer. His calm amidst the storm had really helped, and Skye wanted to say thanks.

It had been chaotic and dark, but Skye didn’t have a problem remembering what he looked like. Taller than Skye, with dark brown skin and kind eyes.

He found him fixing costume pieces on their hangers, and seeing him in full light–he looked more like someone who should be modeling clothes, over making them. “Hi,” Skye said, trying to sound more confident and less shy. “Uh, I’m Skye. I don’t think we’ve been introduced?”

The quick-changer chuckled, a low, throaty sound, and held out a hand. “Russell,” he said. “And I know who you are. Hard to miss the Power Prince.”

Right. Skye was still in full makeup. He, at least, was easy to recognize. He ruefully rubbed the back of his neck. Skye tried his best to get to know the stage crew, but between them and the cast there were a lot of people to keep track of. Once the show was up and running for a few weeks he’d definitely be better at it, but people sort of stayed in their little boxes during rehearsals. They didn’t meld properly into one complete unit the show actually started. But Russell he wasn’t going to forget. “I just wanted to say thanks.”

“What for?”

“For, you know, encouraging me back there. I really needed it. And it helped a lot.”

Russell smiled at him. “Happy to help.”

“Yeah, uh–” It didn’t feel like enough, just saying thanks. And he didn’t know the guy yet–but it’d be a good idea to get to know him. Especially considering he’d be the one helping Skye strip down and then dress back up twice a show. “Are you busy, now that rehearsal is done for the day?”

Russell shook his head. “Just need to finish prepping this all for tomorrow. Shouldn’t take me long. Why?”

“You want to grab a bite to eat together?”

“Sure.”

“Want to meet by the back door when you’re ready? I have to take all this off anyway.”

Russell chuckled again. “I might be done before you are, but sure, yeah. Meet you then.”

Skye grinned. “Great.”

He left to go peel off his costume, unpin his wig, and take off all the stage makeup. In the end, he just wiped off as much as he could manage. He was pretty sure all Broadway actors had perpetually lined eyes at this point. Well, it wasn’t like he minded that much–it did make his eyes pop.

When he was dressed in real-people clothes again, he grabbed up his bag and left for the backstage door. A few people were still milling around, but Russell was standing a little off to one side. Not checking his phone or anything, just watching what was going on around him.

Skye went up to him. “Hey,” he said. “Thanks for waiting. Looks like you were right; you were done before I was.”

Russell blinked at him and then laughed. “So that’s what you look like when you’re out of makeup. I’ve been wondering.”

“You have?”

Russell shrugged. “I mean, I’ve seen everyone’s playbill headshots, but by the time I get to most of you, you’re all in makeup, if not costumed.”

“I thought you were one of the costumers.”

“Yeah, but that mostly means I’m sewing or repairing or washing. I just get put on the quick-changes once we get into dress shows. I’ve got fast fingers.”

Skye laughed. “Okay, good to know. And, I mean, I appreciated them. You’re going to be the one working with me?” Hopefully he didn’t sound to eager.

“Yup. For the changes on that side of the stage that need an extra pair of hands, I’m your guy.”

Skye smiled. “Nice to hear.”

“So where we headed?”

“Oh, uh,” Skye might not’ve thought that far. “What are you in the mood for?”

“You pick. You were the one who did the inviting, after all.” Russell grinned at him.

Skye tried not to panic. He wasn’t so great at choosing things. “Um.” There was that burger joint a block away that he and the others frequented a lot, that might be a good place. But maybe that was too fast-foody? There was a sushi bar pretty close by too, but Russell might not like that. Maybe–

“Actually,” Russell said after what was probably too long a pause on Skye’s part, “I could really do with a burger. That sound good to you?”

Crisis averted. Second time that day Russell had done that. “Yeah.” Skye smiled. “That sounds great.

Meet the Author

Aidan Wayne has been publishing LGBTQ+ fiction since 2016. While they usually stick with contemporary romance (both adult and YA), some soft sci-fi/fantasy has been known to sneak in as well. They primarily write character-driven stories with happy endings, because, dammit, queer people deserve happy endings too.

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of 5 ebooks of Rule of Thirds.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Blog Tour – Why I… series by Colette Davison (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Why I Left You, Why I Need You, Why I Trust You

(available individually or in an omnibus edition)

Author: Colette Davison

Publisher: Self-Published

Genre/s: gay contemporary romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames      

Length:  Why I Left you: 296 pages; Why I Need You: 320 pages; Why I Trust You: 300 pages.

They are a loosely linked series, but can all be read as standalones.

Add on Goodreads 

Blurb

Why I Left You

Jamie is struggling with university, money and depression. The last thing he needs is for Brett—the guy who left him four years ago—to walk back into his life. Yet it could be just what he needs.

Ever since Jamie left him, Brett has been running away from commitment. But when he meets Jamie again, he’s forced to re-examine every aspect of his life.

Brett and Jamie are drawn back together by an undeniable spark, but unless they can come to terms with the past, their relationship won’t survive the present.

Why I Need You

Following the death of their parents, Fin put his life on hold to raise his little sister. He’s convinced her well-being is all that matters, even if it’s at the expense of his own. A chance meeting with Noah opens his eyes to the possibility of happiness. A happiness that could shatter the moment Noah discovers Fin has an eight-year-old in tow.

Noah has been living a lie for years. When he gets publicly outed, he gets kicked out of his parents’ home and business. Although he’s angry at being disowned, Noah knows it means he’s finally free to love whomever he wants. But in order to have a fulfilling and lasting relationship, Noah has to get past his repressed upbringing and inhibitions, before Fin walks out of his life.

In order to stay together, Fin and Noah have to be brave enough to be honest with themselves and each other.

Why I Trust You

Martin is the larger than life funny guy, the one who’s quick to soothe other’s pain, whilst hiding his own. He wants nothing more than to find ‘the one’, but his love life consists of a string of break-ups. He’s close to giving up on love, until he meets Ryan online, the artist whose work speaks to his soul. There are just two problems: Ryan already has a boyfriend and he lives in California, which is one hell of a long way from England.

Working with Martin to develop a game is supposed to be purely business; a way for Ryan to earn the money to leave his abusive boyfriend. Except, he finds himself falling for the enigmatic Englishman. Wondering what kind of spark there might be if they were in the same country is one thing, escaping his boyfriend is another.

Wounded by their past relationships, Martin and Ryan have to learn to trust each other in order to have a chance at building a future together.

**These stories contain mature language and scenes, including descriptions of sex, depression and domestic abuse**

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Why I Left You

Why I Need You

Why I Trust You

Why I… Omnibus

Excerpts

Why I Left You

“You’d get drunk faster on spirits,” Brett said, wandering up to him.

Jamie glowered at him and then fixed his gaze on the dance floor. “Thanks for the tip, but I’m good.” He sipped more slowly at the new pint.

Brett didn’t move. “I didn’t think you were into guys anymore.” The question sounded casual, but his body was full of tension as he leaned against the wall beside Jamie.

“What the fuck would you know about it?” Jamie tipped his head back against the wall, closed his eyes and breathed in and out. Just Breathe. “Sorry. I don’t want to fight with you, not tonight.” He pushed his hair back and took a good-sized gulp of his beer. “I just want to hang out and relax. If you’re not gonna help me do that, would you please get lost?”

Brett’s eyes widened. “Help you? How would I be able to help you?”

Jamie shook his head. “Forget it.”

Except he couldn’t get the thought of kissing Brett out of his head, which was totally fucked up. He decided it was the drink talking, stirring up long-forgotten feelings. He glanced at Brett and knew instantly he shouldn’t have done. Brett’s blue eyes seemed more intense under the ultraviolet lighting, almost supernaturally so. They bored into him, trying to understand what he’d just said. And damn if that gaze didn’t make his legs weak and his stomach flip over, the way it always had done when they were younger.

He knocked back the rest of his beer and then put the plastic cup down on the floor beside his feet. He straightened up too fast and swayed. Brett reached out and grabbed him by the shoulders to steady him.

“On second thoughts, I guess you’re already well on the way to being plastered,” Brett said.

Before he had time to regret even thinking about it, Jamie did something stupid. He stepped in to Brett and kissed him.

Why I Need You

“I’m staying at a friend’s house for now,” Noah said, trying to inject lightness into his voice. “Martin. He’s cool. You should meet him sometime.”

“Just a friend?” Fin asked, his eyes narrowing ever so slightly. Was that curiosity playing across his face?

“Yes,” Noah said. “We went there once, in high school, but we’re really not into each other. What about you? Have you got a boyfriend?” It was a stupid question, really. They wouldn’t be out together if either of them was involved with someone else.

“No.”

“Really?” Noah acted surprised. “I can’t believe someone as cute as you is available.”

Fin let out a short laugh. “I’d have thought you’d have been snapped up quickly, too.”

Noah ran his finger around the rim of his pint glass. “I’ve been keeping a low profile. I had to keep up appearances for my parents and all that. Now, I’m free. What’s your excuse?” He was sure he saw panic flit through Fin’s eyes. They certainly darkened for a couple of seconds, his irises becoming almost indistinguishable from his pupils.

“I’ve been too busy, I guess. Too much work and study.”

“You know what they say,” Noah said. “All work and no play makes Fin a dull boy.”

“I’m dull, am I?”

“Not from what I’ve seen. Yet. But you’re in danger of it,” Noah said in a knowing tone. “You should definitely get out more.”

“Oh, yeah?” Fin asked, his voice lower than it had been moments before. He leaned towards Noah, resting both elbows on the table. “And who would I do that with?”

Noah leaned towards him as though there were some sort of invisible tug coming from Fin. He could tell by the way Fin’s eyelids were a little heavy and the lazy curve of his lips that he’d welcome a kiss in that moment. Noah found he wanted to. He wanted to feel the texture of Fin’s lips against his own, wanted to taste him. His hands became clammy. It felt like the few people in the bar were all staring at them. It didn’t matter whether it was true or not; he could already feel the blood pounding in his head. His stomach lurched at the thought of prying eyes watching what should have been an intimate moment. So, instead of doing what he knew they both wanted, he leaned back.

“I’m sure you can find someone,” he said in what was supposed to have come out as a cocky, laid-back tone but actually sounded really dumb.

Why I Trust You

As Martin spoke, Ryan drew as quickly as he could. He wasn’t aiming for anything of beauty, just the gist contained in a series of incredibly rough sketches. It was impossible not to get caught up in Martin’s vision. The childlike excitement in Martin’s voice encouraged Ryan to smile as he drew, visually realising the story that was beginning to unfold in Martin’s rambling and often chaotically organised sentences.

“And that’s it,” Martin said. “I talked too fast, didn’t I? You should have stopped me.”

The truth was, Ryan had loved listening to Martin’s deep, smooth voice. He’d loved being able to switch off from everything else to focus on nothing but Martin’s words and the sketchpad and pencil. He used his phone to snap a few photos of his rough sketches and emailed them straight to Martin.

“I sent you a present,” he said. “And, no, you didn’t talk too fast.”

“Got it,” Martin said. “Holy shit. You drew these while I was talking?”

“Yeah, they’re kind of rough.”

They were more impressions than clear drawings. Bold lines used to create the suggestion of vast detail. But despite that, Ryan was confident that the content of each sketch was clear.

“I’ll obviously need to translate all these ideas into digital format and pick a style that’ll work across platforms without pixelating on larger devices or looking too visually cluttered on smaller screens. I’ll work on some solid graphics ideas over the next few days.”

“These are amazing,” Martin breathed. “I just… wow.”

Ryan felt a warmth surge through his chest. It felt so good to be really, truly appreciated by someone. The fact that it was a guy he’d never met and who lived several thousand miles away only made it hit home how truly miserable he’d become. But that awareness didn’t stop the guilt from seeping into every fibre of his being. He was sneaking around behind Zane’s back, talking to another guy. A guy whose voice he liked. A guy who made him feel appreciated. If Zane found out, he’d flip out and accuse Ryan of cheating. He gripped his pencil tightly, to the point of almost snapping it in half.

“I’d better go,” he said, his voice suddenly weary. “I’ve got work in a few hours, so I’d better get some sleep.” Not that he was convinced he would be able to sleep, as his thoughts were so mixed up about the way Martin made him feel.

“Yeah. Sorry I kept you up.”

“No problem. It’s been fun.” It really had been. That was the thought Ryan wanted to take away with him, rather than the guilt, but he knew the guilt would win.

About the Author

Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting eventually led to a fairytale wedding. She lives in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children, a crazy dog and a lazy cat.

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook Page

Facebook Group

Twitter 

Goodreads

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/6f12da1572/?

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions