A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Love in Spades (Four Kings Security #1) by Charlie Cochet and Greg Boudreaux (Narrator)

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

When the cards are stacked against you, the Kings will even the odds.

Ex-Special Forces soldier Anston “Ace” Sharpe is fighting a different battle these days—one involving the world of private security across the state of Florida. As part owner of Four Kings Security, Ace and his fellow Kings tackle everything from armed transport and investigations to cyber intelligence and executive protection. Cocky, fearless, and brash, Ace isn’t afraid to take risks.

After years of working alongside his father, Colton Connolly is ready to take the helm at Connolly Maritime, but his father’s retirement is put on hold when Colton begins receiving death threats. If that isn’t bad enough, his father signs a contract with Four Kings Security to provide Colton with round-the-clock protection, despite his adamant refusal. Colton’s life has been turned upside down, the last thing he needs is a shadow, especially in the form of infuriating, sexy-as-sin Ace Sharpe, who seems to be on a mission to drive Colton mad.

Sparks fly the moment Colton and Ace meet on a sultry night club dance floor. But getting involved with a client, even one as fiery and beautiful as Colton Connolly, is a line Ace is unwilling to cross. Colton might be attracted to Ace, but he’d been burned before. He might be willing to put his life in Ace’s hands, but not his heart.

As the Florida nights heat up, so does their passion, and Ace and Colton are faced with a difficult choice—take the plunge and risk it all, or play it safe and walk away?

If Ace can keep a deadly threat from robbing Colton of a future….

Charlie Cochet’s stories are usually piled on my TBR list, so getting to listen to them is a wonderful way for me to enjoy this author’s writing.  Love in Spades is the first in Cochet’s new Four Kings Security series and based on my total enjoyment in this story, I’m highly anticipating the next tale to be released.

The four kings of the series are ex-military men, a tight band of brothers, who have gone into the security business together after their military service ended.  The “kings” tag each  is given comes from the deck of cards and the full story behind the names is slowly revealed over the course of this action/adventure tale.

The first “King” up to get his story and HEA is Anston “Ace” Sharpe.  The Four Kings Security firm is well known in high circules for their discretion, superb ability to get things done, high  attention to detail, and 100 percent accuracy.  They get the job done. So their skills are known and wanted by corporations and individuals around the world.  Their newest assignment is one  Colton Connolly, who’s father has hired them to guard him against every increasing threats.  To say Colton is resistant to their hiring and protection, is mild indeed.

Cochet does the meet and clash of personalities beautifully between Ace and Colton.  The dialog sparkles and pops with testosterone and sex, the scenes snap with instant attraction, irritation, and amusement, and the characters solidify before our eyes. Or should that be  ears?

This push and pull between the two men continues throughout the story as they learn to work together as discover more of each other’s pasts as well.  This is where the reader learns more about the Four Kings start up, revelations about Ace’s past along with his “brothers” like Lucky, Red, and King.

I want to stop for a moment and talk about the amazing job that Greg Boudreaux does as a narrator.  He swings between characters so easily, capturing different personalities with changes in voices,even accents and languages, that you would think you were listening to multiple actors, and not just one.  I have to laugh out loud at his “Lucky”, I can see him so clearly, from his love of clothes to his accent.  But it’s also Red, King, Laz, and other important (and even strong fleeting characters) that Boudreaux voices so well that makes an impact on the reader and pulls this story forcibly together as an audiobook.

As the mystery unfold as to who is stalking Colton and the passion intensifies between the men, the action ramps up. The suspense and action go up tenfold, with Greg Boudreaux keeping pace, making our pulse race with anticipation and a little fear.

The final scenes are just out of control. I just loved them.  I did nothing but lay in bed  listening to this story unfold and hoping for the best outcome.  Which came of course.

Terrific ending.  Great story.  Love, love the narrator.  Now I can’t wait to see what the next King brings.  I’m gong to wait for the audio version.  This has quite spoiled me.

I highly recommend it.  For all you fans of Charlie Cochet, I’m sure you will have picked up the eBook first.  For M/M action/adventure romance, if you haven’t done so, I recommend this version too.  I just loved it.

Cover art is perfect for the character of Ace.  It’s eye  catching and works for the story too.

Audiobook Sales Links:

Audible.com 💛 Amazon 💛 iTune

Audiobook Details:

7 hours, 52 mins

Audible Audio, 8 pages
Published June 20th 2018 by Charlie Cochet (first published April 21st 2018)
Original TitleLove in Spades
ASINB07DVXHWYT
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttps://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Love-in-Spades-Audiobook/B07DVXHWYT
SeriesFour Kings Security #1
CharactersAnston “Ace” Sharpe, Ward “King” Kingston, Russell “Red” McKinley, Eduardo “Lucky” Alejandro Morales, Jacopo “Jack” Lorenzo Constantino, Sacha “Joker” Wilder

Audio Tour Love in Spades (Four Kings Security #1) by Charlie Cochet and Greg Boudreaux (Narrator)

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 Love in Spades Audio Banner

LOVE IN SPADES

Four Kings Security, Book 1

CHARLIE COCHET

AUDIO RELEASE: 06.20.18

LoveInSpades-300x600 

COVER DESIGN: REESE DANTE

NARRATOR: Greg Boudreaux

https://www.facebook.com/GTremblayVoice/


Listening Length: 7 hours and 53 minutes

facebook_1532560498493 

 

Audible: http://bit.ly/CCLISAUDIBLE

iTunes: http://bit.ly/CCLISITUNES 

getBook.at/LoveInSpades 

BLURB

Ex-Special Forces soldier Anston “Ace” Sharpe is fighting a different battle these days—one involving the world of private security across the state of Florida. As part owner of Four Kings Security, Ace and his fellow Kings tackle everything from armed transport and investigations to cyber intelligence and executive protection. Cocky, fearless, and brash, Ace isn’t afraid to take risks.

After years of working alongside his father, Colton Connolly is ready to take the helm at Connolly Maritime, but his father’s retirement is put on hold when Colton begins receiving death threats. If that isn’t bad enough, his father signs a contract with Four Kings Security to provide Colton with round-the-clock protection, despite his adamant refusal. Colton’s life has been turned upside down, the last thing he needs is a shadow, especially in the form of infuriating, sexy-as-sin Ace Sharpe, who seems to be on a mission to drive Colton mad.

Sparks fly the moment Colton and Ace meet on a sultry night club dance floor. But getting involved with a client, even one as fiery and beautiful as Colton Connolly, is a line Ace is unwilling to cross. Colton might be attracted to Ace, but he’d been burned before. He might be willing to put his life in Ace’s hands, but not his heart.

As the Florida nights heat up, so does their passion, and Ace and Colton are faced with a difficult choice—take the plunge and risk it all, or play it safe and walk away?

If Ace can keep a deadly threat from robbing Colton of a future….

LiSGraphic3

EXCERPT

Ace’s lips curled into a wicked grin, and he dove under the water. Colton stilled, waiting for Ace to pop, but he didn’t. Jesus, the guy could hold his breath for a long time. It was like he’d vanished. Until something grabbed Colton’s legs. He released a barrage of curses as he was lifted, his arms flailing in an attempt not to lose his balance as Ace came up under him, and Colton ended up on Ace’s shoulders.

“You ass!” Colton hugged Ace’s head to keep himself steady as he sat on the man’s broad shoulders while Ace laughed himself silly. He held on to Colton’s thighs, and started walking. “What are you doing?” Colton squeaked.

“Going for a walk,” Ace said as if it were obvious.

“No, you have something devious planned; I know it.”

Ace chuckled. “Are you doubting me?”

“Absolutely. Remember the pool?”

“In my defense, you were being an ass.”

Colton let out a mock gasp. “Are you using inappropriate language toward your client?”

“I’ll show you inappropriate.” Ace growled deep in his throat, and Colton shivered.

“Ace,” Colton moaned. “Please don’t make that sound while my crotch is pressed against the back of your head.”

Ace stopped moving. Before Colton could ask if he was okay, Ace sank into the water, and disappeared again, leaving Colton standing there wondering what the man was about to do next. One thing was for sure, Ace always kept him on his toes. Hands caressed his legs, and Colton groaned, his eyes closing as Ace slid his hands up Colton’s body until he resurfaced, his arms around Colton and front pressed to Colton’s back. Colton covered Ace’s hands with his and leaned back into him before turning in his arms.

“We should head back,” Ace murmured, his eyes on Colton’s lips.

“You drive me fucking crazy, you know that?” Colton huffed. He slipped his hands beneath the water and cupped Ace through his shorts, making him groan. “How about you stop teasing me, take control of these gorgeous balls, and bury yourself deep inside me.”

Ace cursed under his breath. He opened his mouth to reply, but Colton put his fingers to Ace’s lips and released his hold on him.

“You know where to find me.” Colton turned and swam back to the shore. If Ace was determined to drive him out of his mind with his sensual caresses, lingering looks, and sultry voice, then it was only fair Colton return the favor.

CharlieLogo2018Website

Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Website: http://www.charliecochet.com

Blog: http://www.charliecochet.com/blog

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/charliecochet

Facebook Author Page: http://facebook.com/authorcharliecochet

Tumblr: http://charliecochet.tumblr.com

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/charliecochet/

Twitter: @charliecochet

Instagram: http://instagram.com/charliecochet

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/charliecochet

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An Ali Audiobook Review: The Quarterback by Mackenzie Blair and Greg Boudreaux (Narrator)

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Matt Lancaster is the star quarterback at Bodine College, a small Southern Division II school with an ultra-conservative Dean of Athletics. Matt is also very much in the closet, and he thinks he’s kept his secret well hidden. Until his best friends take him to a happy endings massage parlor and request a male masseuse for him.

In walks Trevor Kim, a gorgeous, pierced, tattooed fellow Bodine student who does massages—without happy endings—to pay for school after his family kicked him out for being gay. Trevor takes one look at Matt and breaks all his own rules about mixing business with pleasure.

Matt needs to keep his scholarship, win the National Championship, and survive his asshole father. Instead, he falls in love. Trevor needs to accept that the football god is meant to end up with him rather than a perky cheerleader. It’s time for a happy ever after for both of them.

I think I may have enjoyed this book more had I read it years ago when I first started reading this genre.  Now, all I could focus on were the never ending stereotypes and the less than politically correct statements.  (The side characters are all kind of horrible every time they open their mouths.)  I feel like in today’s age this type of stuff is not ok and I’m not sure how half of the stuff in this book slipped past editors, especially editors from a LGBTQIA publishing house.   
 
As for the plot itself, it was enjoyable.  Both of the MC’s were likable and I thought their romance was really sweet in places. 
 
This was narrated by Greg Boudreaux and I thought he did a really good job.  I liked his work with both of the MC’s as well as all of the side characters. 
 
I feel like I should have more good things to say about this because the story itself was not bad.  It was in fact pretty good in a lot of ways.  At the end of the day though I just couldn’t get past my annoyance at the stereotypes.  I’m giving it a middle of the road rating because although I found a lot of the dialogue offensive that might not be the same for other readers.
 
Cover:  I think the cover is nice but it does not stand out from many other covers out there.
Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Audible
Audiobook Details:
9 hrs 35 mins
Audible Audio, 10 pages
Published April 17th 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published September 9th 2017)
Original TitleThe Quarterback
ASINB07C7MYH7X
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Lila Audiobook Review: Late in the Day (The Vault #2) by Mary Calmes and Greg Boudreaux (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

What they say this book’s all about?

Terrence Moss. Conrad Harris. Gold Team Leader. Darius Hawthorne. The Vault. Juggling all these names would bother some, but for Darius, it’s business as usual. When he closes a chapter in his life, he leaves a name—and the people associated with it—behind. He’s managed to keep a few colleagues, even fewer friends, and no companionship through his forty-plus years… but that’s now changing.

The newest chapter of his life is bringing serious change: a stable home, a recovered identity, an unlikely family, and now a chance encounter with the one man Darius ever loved: Efrem Lahm. The reasons they parted are still valid, and there’s no way they can trust each other. But Efrem has already decided he won’t let Darius go… and Darius will have to decide if he wants to take a chance with his heart this late in the day.

Late in the Day is a story of second chances and hard happily ever afters. It starts right into the action and personally, it took me a moment to make the connection between the end of the last book and the start of this one. One thing I didn’t like was the switch between the current moment and snippets of past events. By the time the characters moved back to the current timeline, I was ready to skip over.

Like many of the author’s stories, we have met Conrad before and we get to see many others helping us discover the events that shaped Conrad. Also, to learn how he fell in love with Efrem. Perhaps a bit far-fetched but it works in the end.

I did want more time with Conrad and Efrem. It seems as if we lost the majority of their love story within other books. Don’t get me wrong, they have great chemistry but I wanted them to show it, not having it be implied. It does end with a pretty wrapped up, sigh-worthy HEA.

And definitely, kudos to Mary Calmes for having characters over forty; getting closer to fifty. 🙂

As always, Greg Boudreaux did an excellent job bringing to life the new characters in this book and bringing the rest from the previous ones. It was easy to feel what the characters felt and this added to the listeners’ enjoyment.

The cover by Reese Dante has a lovely depiction of Conrad. The strength in his gaze shows through the book.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Greg Boudreaux
Length: 5 hours and 41 minutes

Published: March 7, 2018 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B07B86XWF8
Edition Language: English

Series: The Vault
Book #1: A Day Makes
Book #2: Late in the Day

A Lila Audiobook Review: Well-Tailored: A Thorne and Dash Companion Story by Silvia Violet and Greg Boudreaux (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

Marc longs for a grand romance, but he doubts he’ll ever be that lucky. Then he meets Darius, an arrogant tailor who pushes all his buttons. When Darius offers him a job, Marc hesitates—he needs a direction for the future, not another man who doesn’t believe in relationships.

 

Darius lives by a few unbreakable rules: never sleep with employees, fashion should be simple, and romance is for fools. Marc, with his shimmery sweater collection, makes him want to break every single one.

 

They quickly give in to desire, but Darius wants to protect himself and Marc refuses to repeat past mistakes. It’s only when they let go of assumptions, that love has a chance to take hold.

 

Well-Tailored is a nice addition to the Thorne and Dash trilogy. Marc and Darius played an important role in Thorne’s and Riley’s love story, and now, they return the favor. In this story, we get to see some of the scenes from the previous book from Darius’s and Marc’s perspectives. Both stories run parallel, and as the author mentioned, this book can stand alone, but for maximum enjoyment, it’s better to read them in order.

 

The MCs’s relationship takes time to develop but their connection it’s easy to see from the very beginning. The author gives us a more in depth view into the events unfolding since their first meeting to the HEA. Most of this we saw from Riley’s POV in Personal Alignment but we get to savor Darius’s and Marc’s faults and dreams this time around.

 

The combination of Darius’s dominant side and Marc’s eagerness add spice to this story. They worked together well, not only in bed but professionally. They both see the potential in each other and with small details, they take care of the other. They were not looking for a relationship but couldn’t get enough of each other. It’s lovely to see them getting comfortable in their skins and building a space in each other’s’ lives.

 

The story is well-written and we get to see all the previous characters, plus some new addition.

 

Greg Boudreaux continues to voice this series seamlessly. The characterizations stay constant, allowing the listener to get back into their world without delay. Their voices are as relevant and their personalities.

 

The cover by LC Chase goes perfectly with the story and the characters’ descriptions. Also, it matches the Thorne and Dash series covers, but it keeps its individuality.

 

Sales Links:  Amazon | iTunes | Audible

 

Audiobook Details:

 

Narrator: Greg Boudreaux
Length: 6 hours 50 minutes
Published: July 27, 2017 (Audio Edition) by Silvia Violet Books
ASIN: B0747ZWGH4
Edition Language: English

 

Series: Thorne & Dash
Book #1: Professional Distance
Book #2: Personal Entanglement
Book #3: Personal Alignment
Companion: Well-Tailored

 

A Lila Audiobook Review: Perfect Alignment (Thorne and Dash #3) by Silvia Violet and Greg Boudreaux (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Thorne proposed to Riley. Riley accepted.

Thorne thought that was that. They’d take a nice trip, get married, and spend a week luxuriating in a five-star hotel with occasional excursions to fabulous restaurants.

Riley imagined a traditional wedding with all the trappings. With all their friends and family. At Christmas.

Thorne concedes reluctantly, and a flurry of wedding planning ensues. At the same time, Thorne is wrestling with a recalcitrant client, and Riley and his business partner, Susan, are consumed with renovations and planning for the opening of their bakery. Stress on top of stress makes both Riley and Thorne doubt their relationship, and a major misunderstanding nearly silences the wedding bells.

By the time they reach their happily ever after, they’re both going to deserve all the romance they’ve been dreaming of.

Perfect Alignment is a sweet, HEA ending to a well-established series that brings Thorne & Riley full circle. We are presented with highlights from their past–how they got together–and their hopes for their future as married men. Throughout all this, their relationship becomes stronger and the last of their insecurities come down.

Most of the conflict in this story comes from miscommunications and lack of openness from both MCs. They still hold their cards close in order to keep each other, but at the same time, they run the risk to lose all they had built together. Their relationship is evolving faster than they expected, bringing their uncertainties front and center.

As with the previous books, the secondary characters are excellent and relevant. The settings play a part and the love scenes advance the plot without losing its uniqueness or steam. Overall, this is a nice end to a series and the perfect way to set up the spinoff including Marc and Darius.

Greg Boudreaux delivers the right intensity for this story. We get to experience Thorne’s and Dash’s love, doubts, and jubilation throughout the book. The narration brings this characters to life.

LC Chase’s cover goes with the rest of the series, giving the reader a hint of the events to come in this installment.

Sales Links:  Amazon | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Greg Boudreaux
Length: 5 hours 37 minutes
Published: May 4, 2017 (Audio Edition) by Silvia Violet Books
ASIN: B071VCM5RM
Edition Language: English

Series: Thorne & Dash
Book #1: Professional Distance
Book #2: Personal Entanglement
Book #3: Personal Alignment

 

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Opposites (Opposites #1) by T. M. Smith and Greg Boudreaux (Narrator)

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

opposites-audioIn the year 2081 our planet survived global warming of an apocalyptic scale. When the dust settled and the water receded Dr. Anthony Smith, one of only a few hundred survivors of GWI, started society anew. Having come to the conclusion that injudicious breeding played a huge role in the destruction of Earth as we knew it in the twenty first century, he worked closely with other survivors to isolate the Dionysus gene. This gene has the ability to manipulate human DNA to ensure that all male children be born gay, and all female children be born lesbians. A new society is born.

 

In the year 2300 Dr. Smith’s descendants are ushering in the twenty fourth century having maintained control of the government that still rules society. Twins Aiya and Aiyan are preparing to meet their matches and take control of House Gaeland, the current ruling House. But not everything is as it seems.

 

Love is Love, it knows no gender and doesn’t conform to restrictions and boundaries. Aiyan has found his soul mate in Kaden, the prince of House Devi that he is matched with and eventually marries. But when the person Aiya falls in love with tests the boundaries put in place after GWI, all hell breaks loose. And in the midst of one secret unraveling, another will emerge. There is a growing anomaly that threatens to destroy over two hundred years of progression. This anomaly is known as Opposites.

 

This was an interesting book and a bit different from what I usually read.  There is a lot going on with along with a large number of characters to keep track of.  Each person has a set of both mothers and fathers since they are primarily homosexual in this world.  Most of the focus is on Aiya and Aiyan’s relationships and those directly connected to them, soon to be spouses and their families.

 

This story is told from all points of view at some point which can make it hard to keep track of what’s going on or who we are listening to at the moment, it probably took me until about a third of the way in the story to be able to keep better track of everything once I learned the characters.  The author did a great job of building the story and the world around these characters, there was never something missing in the world, sometimes there was a bit more explaining than I thought was necessary.  I was left wanting to know what will happen in the next story due to the ending, but am not going to spoil it for anyone.

 

Greg Boudreaux did a nice job narrating this story.  The different voices for the characters made it a bit easier to keep track of what was going on.  He did a good job of separating the numerous characters that we see which helped.  While he separated the voices I got most of the characters emotions from the writing than from his speaking.

 

Cover art is nice and catches your eye.

 

Sales Links: Audible | Amazon

 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 6 hrs 16 min
Published: September 22, 2016 (ebook first published June 1, 2013)
Edition Language: English

Series: Opposites #1

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Sorting Out (Fitting In #2) by Silvia Violet and Greg Boudreaux (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Sorting Out AudioI enjoyed this sequel to Fitting In much more than the first book. In this one, Jack, Gray, and Mason are living together and have a great dynamic, but they haven’t come out to others yet, and Jack and Gray are very afraid that coming out will affect their jobs as cops. And to top that off, Gray is up for a promotion to detective, so they all decide to just wait until they feel the time is right.

But Gray takes the detective exam without first consulting Jack, and he’s furious not only with that but with the fact that Gray told Mason in advance—just not him. And of course, Gray aces it and is promoted, but meanwhile Jack is questioning whether he even wants to be a cop anymore, especially now that Gray isn’t his partner. Everything comes to a head when Jack interferes in a police investigation and nearly loses his life. His recuperation is tough, not only physically, but because he falls into a funk about his job and even starts to think his men don’t love him as much as he loves them.

I think part of the reason I enjoyed this story more than the previous one is that the writing seemed more polished this time. The addition of a few secondary characters like Bryce, the fireman bartender, added to my enjoyment as well. Add to that the outstanding narration of Greg Boudreaux, who made all the sexy times in this story so much hotter than they would be if I was only reading an e-book, and I would definitely recommend this one in audio format. I also think the previous story should be read first since the trio has a dynamic that they built during the first book and the story wouldn’t be as clear if read as a standalone.

The very sexy cover art depicts the threesome in bed. That’s totally perfect for this story since they spent much of their time there… and in the hall… and in the kitchen… and in the bathroom. Get the picture? This one has a high heat rating and the cover reflects that well.

Sales Links

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook
Published July 6th 2016 by Silvia Violet (first published December 26th 2013)
ASIN B01HZIQYC2

In Our Audiobook Review Spotlight: Sorting Out (Fitting In #2) by Silvia Violet and Greg Boudreaux (Narrator) ( giveaway)

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Title: Sorting Out (Fitting In #2)
Author: Silvia Violet
Genre:  M/M Contemporary Romance
Audio Release Date:  August 4, 2016

Jack, Gray, and Mason have accepted that loves comes in many flavors and settled into a three-way relationship. Things haven’t been easy, and now that Mason has gone back to school and Gray is interested in a detective position, Jack is feeling lonely. His lovers aren’t around very often, and he misses lying around in bed, enjoying the benefits of living with two hot men. But Jack has secrets. He’s uncomfortable every time he puts his uniform on. He’s never recovered from seeing Mason held hostage, and he’s no longer sure he was meant to be a cop.

While stressing over his own future and facing pressure from Gray and Mason to bring their relationship out of the closet, Jack is severely wounded in the line of duty. His recovery, both physical and emotional might be more than their unconventional relationship can bear. Jack is going to need all the courage and support his lovers can give him if he’s going to bring himself back from the dead and create the life he wants to live.

Jack heard the door open as he pulled a pan of hot caramel popcorn from the oven. Perfect timing. Mason was home and hopefully Gray had been able to get most of his paperwork finished, so the three of them could curl up together and continue their third run through the fourteen brilliant episodes of Firefly. Why oh why had it been cancelled and how had he not known about its awesomeness until Mason came into his life?

 

Their schedules had kept them apart for the last few nights and Jack had been looking forward to this all day, the three of them snuggled on the couch, watching TV until they started to doze off like an old married threesome. Who would need to go out with two amazing men at home? He could happily hole up for weeks just cuddling, fucking, and cooking for them.

 

Mason dropped his bag on the table and came up behind him. He kissed Jack’s neck as he grabbed a handful of popcorn that he immediately threw back into the pan, yelling, “Hot!”

 

“Of course it’s hot. It just came out of the oven.” Laughing, Jack grabbed Mason’s hand and kissed his palm. “Is that better?”

 

“No, but this will fix it.” Mason kissed him, sliding his tongue along the seam of Jack’s lips until he opened for his lover, letting him get a taste. Desire rose swiftly, and he clutched at Mason’s hips, pulling him in tight, letting him feel his cock, which was now hard and needy. Maybe Captain Mal would have to wait after all.

 

The sound of Gray clearing his throat brought them up for air. Mason stepped back, grinning at Jack. “That was a delicious hello.” He turned toward Gray, but when Jack saw the expression on their lover’s face, he knew they weren’t getting the same kind of greeting from him. He looked serious and…scared? Jack’s stomach knotted.

 

 

“What is it?”

 

 

“I need to talk to you. I waited until Mason was home, but I… Maybe you should sit down.”

 

 

“Gray, what’s wrong?” Jack asked, the caramel he’d tasted as he coated the popcorn lying heavy in his stomach.

 

 

Mason laid a hand on his arm. “Are you okay? You’re really pale.”

 

 

Jack ignored the question. “Don’t make us wait.”

 

 

“Thornton, the lieutenant from Major Crimes that I told you about—”

 

 

He glanced at Mason. “He’s been encouraging me to take the detective exam. He wants me in his unit.”

 

 

“But—”

 

 

Gray held up a hand. “Yes, it would mean we wouldn’t be partners anymore, but it would also mean we could be out if we wanted to. We’ve been talking about making a change, and you’ve known I was thinking about going for a promotion.”

 

 

“Yeah, but, I…” Nausea tightened Jack’s throat.

 

 

Mason reached for Jack’s hand and squeezed. “This could be good for all of us. Let’s think about it.”

 

 

Jack looked at Mason. He had known this would happen sooner or later. Gray was right about it being for the best, but Jack had continually pushed it to the back of his mind.

 

 

“I just want us to—” he started, but Gray interrupted him.

 

 

“I told him I’d take the exam.” Gray looked at the floor as he spoke.

 

 

“What?” Jack roared, fear replaced by anger that threatened to scorch him. “How dare you do that without talking to us!”

 

 

“I shouldn’t have, but he’d already asked me before, and I’d put him off. He told me I had to let him know today, and you said you’d support whatever I wanted so—”

 

 

“I didn’t mean for you not to even tell me. Couldn’t you have mentioned this when he asked you the first time?”

 

 

“I—” Gray ran a hand over his ruthlessly short hair. “I should have. I’m sorry, but—”

 

 

“But what?” Mason asked after Gray was silent for several seconds. Jack was glad he’d spoken up, because he wasn’t capable of saying anything nice.

 

 

Gray sighed. “I knew Jack would react just like this.”

 

 

Fuck you. “When it was still something to actually discuss instead of something dictated to me, I would have talked to you. Now that you’ve kept it from me and decided to just walk away—”

 

 

“I’m not walking away.”

 

 

Jack snarled at him. “We’re partners, Gray, and now we won’t be.”

 

 

“We’ll still be partners in the way that really counts.”

 

 

Would they? “What about Mason? Didn’t you think maybe he wanted a say in this?”

 

 

Mason glanced at Gray, and suddenly, Jack knew. “You told him, didn’t you? When Thornton first asked you, you fucking told Mason and not me.”

 

 

Gray closed his eyes and took a long, slow breath. “He told me to tell you, told me I shouldn’t wait, but I wanted to think about it. I didn’t want to upset you if I was just going to turn it down.”

 

 

“Newsflash. I’m upset.”

 

 

“Jack—”

 

 

Mason started to interject, but Jack held up his hand. “There’s no point in talking anymore. Gray’s made his decision. Thank you for actually trying to bring me into it.”

 

 

“I made up my mind to take the exam. That doesn’t mean I’ll take the position. That’s why I wanted to talk.”

 

 

Jack shook his head. “You’ve made up your mind. I can tell. If you get the job, you’ll take it.”

 

 

“I want to stop hiding,” Gray said. “But I want this to be a decision we all three make.”

 

 

“No, you just want me and Mason to agree with you,” Jack said, venom in his tone.

 

 

“That’s not true. I…fuck, Jack. I love you.”

 

 

Jack’s anger deflated, leaving him feeling wrung out and hurt. “I can’t imagine being a cop without you.”

 

 

Gray took a step toward Jack. “I’ll still be here.”

 

 

“We’ll all be together.” Mason spoke at almost the same time. He sounded scared, desperate. Fuck Gray for putting Mason in the middle like this, for going to him when they’d sworn they’d keep everything out in the open.

 

 

Like the time you talked to Mason about Gray seeming depressed, and he encouraged you to talk to Gray, but you didn’t. Is that what you mean by out in the open?

 

 

God, Jack hated that sanctimonious voice in his head.

 

 

He held up his hand, knowing he’d cave if Gray touched him. He’d let Gray have his way and forget how angry and hurt he was until it simmered long enough to explode again. “If you really wanted to discuss it, you would have talked with me the minute you started seriously considering taking the exam.”

 

 

“Would you have listened? Really listened?”

 

 

Jack wanted to scream that he would always listen to Gray, always consider what was best for his lover without being selfish. He wanted to stop being scared he couldn’t hold it together as a cop if Gray weren’t by his side, but he couldn’t make the words come.

 

 

Instead, he grabbed the pan of caramel popcorn and flung it across the kitchen, enjoying the ear-splitting clatter as the pan bounced on the tile. Then he stomped to their bedroom and slammed the door.

 

 

Seconds later, he heard the front door bang shut.

 

Silvia Violet writes fun, sexy stories that will leave you smiling and satisfied. She has a thing for characters who are in need of comfort and enjoys helping them surrender to love even when they doubt it exists. Silvia’s stories include sizzling contemporaries, paranormals, and historicals. When she needs a break from listening to the voices in her head, she spends time baking, taking long walks, and curling up with her favorite books. Read excerpts from Silvia’s stories at http://silviaviolet.com and keep up with her latest ventures by signing up for her newsletter: http://silviaviolet.com/newsletter.



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