Today we welcome Jane Davitt and
Life Under New Management
This is the third book in Totally Bound’s Totally Five Star imprint,
set in glamorous hotels around the world.
Working for a perfectionist like strict, sexy-as-hell Ethan isn’t easy. Falling in love with him? No problem at all.
Taking a bar job in an exclusive hotel is a stopgap for Andy. He’s an actor and his big break is coming soon—he knows it. His hot, new boss, Ethan, is strict, demanding and totally off-limits, but Andy can’t stop thinking about him.
When Andy learns of Ethan’s need to be in control of his partner—in bed and out of it—he’s stunned by the intensity of his reaction. He wants Ethan guiding him, bringing order to his chaotic life. And he sees that Ethan needs him too, though they can’t be open about their feelings.
Ethan deals out deliciously perverse consequences for misbehaving, but when it comes to incentives, he knows just what to offer to have Andy on his knees begging for more.
But some secrets can’t stay that way for long. And when difficult choices arise, for once Andy can’t turn to Ethan for guidance. This time, he’s on his own.
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of intense pain play, including the use of a Wartenberg wheel and figging.
Life Under New Management is an m/m romance set in Vancouver. Out of work actor Andy gets a job at a hotel and falls for his stern, uncompromising boss Ethan. This is a new scene, not in the book, set during Andy’s first month at the Totally Five Star Hotel, before his relationship with perfectionist Ethan begins.
“First paycheck that isn’t spent before I got it.” Andy waved it in front of Henry’s nose. “See?”
His shallow crush on Ethan had dissolved like sugar in hot water, replaced by a steady thrum of need as much a part of him as his hands. Futile, pointless, deeply stupid, yes, but he couldn’t help it. The man was impossible to please, riding Andy’s ass every time their paths crossed. It should’ve been annoying, but Ethan got this intense, determined look in his eye when he rebuked Andy for a fuck-up that left Andy weak-kneed with confusion and desire.
The month leading up to that first paycheck is skimmed over in the book, a pause before events start moving, so it was the ideal place to set this scene.
Andy closed his locker door, turned, and found Ethan behind him. Swallowing a yelp of surprise, he smiled. “Hi.”
Ethan checked his watch before replying. “Ten minutes before your shift starts. Amazing.”
“Hey, I’m not late often!”
“You shouldn’t be late at all.” For once there was no ice coating Ethan’s voice. “Let me see what you’re wearing. Hmm.”
Being studied at close range had Andy’s cock demanding some attention too, but his shirt was clean and ironed, his tie in place, and his shoes polished, so the examination was mercifully brief.
Ethan nodded a dismissal, then frowned and reached out. Oh God, what now? Barely breathing, Andy stood still as Ethan loosened his tie, then took hold of his shirt collar and pulled it away from his neck. Ethan’s thumb brushed Andy’s skin, the fleeting contact making his body clench with desire.
“You play rough.” Ethan ran his fingertip over the deep scratches Andy thought his shirt collar had hidden, eyes dark with annoyance. “Next time, ask your partner to mark you where it won’t show, please.”
“It was a cat,” Andy blurted out. “Not a guy. Jesus, I’m gay, remember. My dates don’t have long nails and they sure as hell don’t have claws.”
Ethan raised his eyebrows, his skepticism plain. “A cat.”
“It was about to run across the road and I grabbed it. Picked it up and it savaged me.”
“No good deed goes unpunished.” Ethan put his palm against Andy’s head and tilted it to the side to get a better view.
I will not whimper. I will not fucking kiss him. He’s my boss and he’s just, he’s…oh God, don’t breathe on me…
The whisper of breath against his skin was maddeningly arousing. Andy stared ahead, and bit down on his lip to counter his inappropriate reaction. Except Ethan was being pretty fucking inappropriate too, not that he planned to point that out. The scratches burned now, as if the pain had been asleep and Ethan’s touch had woken it.
“They’re inflamed. Did you put antibiotic cream on them?”
“Didn’t have any around.”
His voice shook. Could Ethan hear the tremor?
“There’s some in the first aid kit over there. I’ll get it.”
Would Ethan apply it himself? Cool fingers stroking burning skin, stealing one heat and replacing it with another?
Tube of salve in his hand, Ethan walked back to Andy. “Here.”
Ethan planned to hand it to him and walk away, Andy knew it. Quickly, before that happened, he stepped closer and tilted his head again, pulling his collar down to expose his neck. Offering himself.
After a pause long enough to mean something, though Andy didn’t know what, Ethan uncapped the salve, then squeezed a small amount out onto his finger. Expression unreadable, hand steady, he drew his fingertip over each scratch, lightly enough that it didn’t hurt.
“Thank you, sir.”
God, big mistake. He always got a kick out of calling Ethan ‘sir’ and he didn’t need the extra sizzle. His cock was rigid, desire thrumming through him, an insistent clamoring.
He was early. He clung to that. Time to slip into a stall in the washroom and beat off. Paradoxically, he wanted the source of his arousal to leave. Preferably before Ethan noticed Andy’s erection.
Moving with slow deliberation, Ethan replaced the salve, then washed his hands. Andy gritted his teeth, the seconds ticking down. Nothing said he had to wait, but he was rooted to the spot. With an effort, he cleared his throat. “Uh, thanks again. My shift’s about to start, and I need the washroom so I’ll just—”
“Your shift begins in two minutes. You don’t have time. With me. There’s a wine delivery due.”
“What? I need to—” He faltered. Ethan’s gaze was precisely where it shouldn’t be. Ethan knew. He wouldn’t say anything—what could he say? —but he knew.
“You need to come with me to the loading bay.” Amusement and some measure of sympathy wound through the words but Ethan’s mouth was set in inflexible lines. “Now.”
Ethan stepped in close and tweaked Andy’s tie straight, tugging it until the knot was high and tight. “You can wait, Andrew.”
The certainty in his voice came close to tipping Andy over the edge, but it also lent him the strength to nod. Not speak. And walking was a challenge.
It was official. He worked for a sadist.
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About the author:
Jane Davitt is English, and has been living in Canada with her husband, two children, and two cats, since 1997. Writing and reading are her main occupations but if she ever had any spare time she might spend it gardening, walking, or doing cross stitch.
Jane has been writing since 2005 and wishes she'd started earlier. She is a huge fan of SF, fantasy, erotica, and mystery novels and has a tendency to get addicted to TV shows that get cancelled all too soon.
She owns over 4,000 books, rarely gives any away, but is happy to loan them, and is of the firm opinion that there is no such thing as 'too many books'.
Promotional post. Materials provided by the publisher, Totally Bound.