Please welcome Laura Harner who's bringing us
Willow Springs Ranch #7
Navy SEALs Cliff “Snides” Snyder and Ryan “Rhino” Matthews have been moving comfortably in each other’s worlds for two decades. Best friends since attending BUDs twenty years earlier, and despite playing for different teams, they’re often accused of acting like an old married couple—much to their amusement.
Assigned to shore duty for his final tour before retirement and without Ryan to anchor him, Cliff’s restlessness leads him to a local club and hands-on research that leaves him in a compromising position and a witness to murder—signaling the abrupt end of his Navy career. Needing a place to lay low and lick his wounds, Cliff visits his old friends at the Willow Springs Ranch while he considers making cowboy his new job title.
After six long months on deployment, Rhino returns to San Diego—only to discover Cliff’s gone dark and the unlikely words ‘poor judgment’ are hanging in the air. Despite the offer of a prestigious assignment, Ryan opts to track down his best friend first and finds him at the WSR…along with more questions than he ever expected. With the most coveted orders for a SEAL dangling, twenty years of service under his belt, and Cliff determined to move on without him, decisions must be made.
Ryan is certain he has the perfect solution going forward, but Cliff knows he must face the fallout of his actions alone—and the one thing he’s determined to do is protect Ryan from making the biggest mistake of his career—even if it costs Cliff everything. You know what they say—the only easy day was yesterday.
Cliff stumbled a little in the dark of his bedroom, reluctant to turn on the lights and ruin his night vision. It had been a long while since he’d had so much to drink—or felt so relaxed. There was definitely something to be said about being on the WSR, away from anyone who might know him or what he did for a living.
In their careers, it was conceivable they could be targeted for one of their field actions or just by virtue of being Navy SEALs. Just like the cops who’d enjoyed harassing him once they’d discovered his profession. Some people needed to try to knock down others to feel good about themselves. But here? He and Ryan were just a couple more guys.
He stripped to his boxers and tossed his jeans onto the chair before pulling back the covers on the king-sized bed. A shudder raced up his spine, and for just a moment, he remembered the frustration and helplessness of the situation when he’d been trapped on the other bed…listening to those fucking punks. His stomach clenched at the thought of Gentry and Draco. Their bodies had been removed by the time the cops saw fit to release him from the alcove, but he’d never forget listening to their last moments or the blood that soaked the floor when he’d been led through the office to the stairs. Ryan would eventually ask for details about how they died—especially Draco, since they’d been friends—but they’d both learned to compartmentalize death a long time ago.
That didn’t mean they weren’t affected by loss, but there was a time and a place to mourn, to say good-bye, and it wasn’t while the battle raged. Despite several warnings from the DA and lead investigator, Cliff would like nothing more than to hunt down those gangbangers and make them pay…and Ryan would be more than happy to help. He recognized the danger in those thoughts, as well.
Blowing out a breath at the loss of his mellow mood of a few minutes ago, Cliff moved silently on bare feet to open the bedroom door and listened. The quiet murmur of television voices from behind Ryan’s door would mask any noise he might make. Hell, Rhino was probably passed out on his bed already.
Cliff padded to the refrigerator, considered then dismissed the idea of another beer. He had a long drive ahead of him in the morning. Grabbing a bottle of water instead, he drank half down in one long pull.
Turning, he found Ryan standing near the counter, watching him. With the moonlight streaming in through the window providing the only illumination, his friend’s face was difficult to read, but his naked body was a little hard to miss.
“Want some?” Cliff held the bottle of water in Ryan’s direction.
With a nod, Ryan took the bottle and finished it off. With a perfect aim, even in the near total darkness, he tossed the empty into the wastebasket. “And the crowd goes wild.”
“Idiot,” Cliff said, opening the fridge for two more bottles of water. Once again passing a bottle to Ryan, he started to head back to the bedroom. Ryan’s hand on his arm stopped him.
“I…uh…had a good time tonight.” Ryan’s words weren’t slurred, but there was a lazy cadence beneath the stilted delivery that spoke of too much tequila.
“Yeah, me too. Ty and Cass are good folk. They’ve made this place a good home for a lot of guys who needed a fresh start.”
“Is that what you’re thinking of doing? A fresh start out here as some kind of cowboy? ’Cause, man…I could see the attraction. You out here surrounded by all those hot guys—I mean obviously not the couples, but there were at least half of them in there single, right?”
Cliff laughed softly at Ryan’s concern for his love life. “Yeah…sorry about that. I didn’t even think about how you might have felt…surrounded by all those guys.” He studied Ryan’s face. “You weren’t offended, right? I mean you’ve been to gay clubs with me and it’s never bothered you…”
“Offended? Nah…why would I be? You never were offended at the straight clubs, right?” His hand tightened on Cliff’s forearm, and he seemed to weave a little on his feet.
“Hey, Rhino, come on. You need to get some sleep—”
“Are we having a bromance?” Ryan blurted.
“A bromance?” Cliff laughed, and Ryan’s eyes narrowed. Oh boy, never laugh at a drunk who thinks he’s making an important point.
“Yeah, a bromance. Where two guys hang out all the time, like the same shit, would probably fuck each other if they were both gay—or if one of them was female.”
Fighting off more laughter, Cliff nodded. “Sure, you can call it that. Come on, princess, let’s get you to bed.”
Ryan didn’t yield when Cliff tried to pull his arm free in order to lead him toward the bedrooms. “What do you think? Should I take the orders?”
“What, are you nuts? You’ve been waiting for those orders your whole career.”
“Yeah, that’s the problem…my whole career.”
“What the hell does that mean?”
“You’re not the only one eligible to retire. Just because you had two years prior service in the Marines before you joined the Navy, you’ve got more time in service than me, but yeah…it’s been twenty years this month. I don’t know if I want one more tour. That’s another four or five years, in order to retire at the new pay grade I’d no doubt pick up in the next year or two.
“True, but it’s also more money when you do retire. And, Rhino…it’s Six.” He referred to the DEVGRU unit by their unofficial name, hoping to jar a little sense into his friend.
Squeezing his arm a little, Ryan leaned in, as if imparting a great secret. “You should be there.”
Cliff shook his head. “That’s done. We don’t even need to think about it. I just gotta figure what I want to do next.”
“See, Snides…that’s the thing. If I have to wait another four or five years before I retire and you move on, you’re going to get too fucking far ahead. I don’t like that. ’Sides, that’d mean no more football or watching NCIS. You’d get to see all the episodes of So You Think You Can Dance without me telling you how gay that is.”
“Ha, now I know you’re drunk. We only watch that because you like the women’s skimpy outfits. You probably need to quit hanging out with me and spend the next six months of your training cycle finding the right little woman and getting laid on a regular basis. Hell, get a wife! Then you’ll be all set for retirement when you’re done with the next tour. She can cook your sorry ass dinner, wash your clothes… Yep…you need a wife.”
“Fuck that shit. I’d sooner fuck you than ever get married again. In fact—”
Time seemed to stop, as if they both needed a moment to absorb the truth of those words.
“Careful what you wish for, Ryan,” Cliff said, his voice a ragged whisper. His cock went rock hard, ignoring every warning he could throw out that this wasn’t going to happen. Ryan was drunk, and they both were horny, but this was a line neither of them needed to cross. Too much was at stake for a little temporary relief. Guilt and regret could kill a friendship.
Get the book:
Today we're very lucky to be interviewing Laura Harner author of Cliff’s Edge, Book #7 of the Willow Springs Ranch Series.
Hi Laura, thank you for agreeing to visit and bring Cliff and Ryan for an interview.
Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Hi there, thanks for having me! I’m here today talking about Cliff’s Edge, Book #7 of the Willow Springs Ranch Series. I’ve been writing for about seven years now, and have written 51 novels, novellas, and short stories, published in over 60 books and collections. (That’s actually nearly impossible to believe!)
Before I started writing I had careers in the Navy, the National Park Service, and the Bureau of Land Management—and you’ll probably catch a bit of that experience in many of my books.
Okay, now Cliff “Snides” Snyder and Ryan “Rhino” Matthews from Cliff’s Edge sit down to answer a few questions…
1. Now that you’ve gotten together, what comes next?
Cliff: We’re on our way back to San Diego to—
Ryan: Going to work for our buddy Draco—
Cliff: As private investigators, probably.
Ryan: Or not. We really don’t know what the future holds yet, but yeah I can’t lie…I’m digging the idea of calling ourselves private dicks.
Cliff: *rolls eyes*
2. What was the hardest thing for you to overcome that you didn’t expect to be an issue?
Ryan: Cliff tried to tell me it would be different when we went out to restaurants and honestly, I just didn’t see it. I mean we’ve been going out to eat together for twenty years—
Cliff: but it’s different when you’re a couple versus when you’re paling around.
Ryan: Yeah…surprisingly it is. I mean it’s not like we go out of our way to advertise we’re a couple—
Cliff: Because we have gone places together so often before we actually…uh—
Cliff: Yeah. What I mean is, we never really even think about showing any PDA, because we’ve been friends for so long, so no one has any real reason to think we’re a couple—
Ryan: And most people don’t give a shit, even if they do figure it out. But I think what’s weird is the celebrity vibe we catch sometimes. Like people want to know us or tell us we’re cute, just because we’re two guys together. Especially women! Fucking weird.
Cliff: And I think on the rare occasion we do overhear someone who want to go ‘phobe because the think we’re a couple…well, it’s harder to ignore now that we really are one.
3. Who or what makes you laugh out loud?
4. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Ryan: Depends on my mood. Maybe Cherry Garcia or Mint Chocolate Chunk. Mmm…no I think New York Super Fudge Chunk.
Cliff: I’m surprised you don’t turn into a Chunky Monkey the way you’ve been eating ice cream lately.
Ryan: *grabs his package* I gotta chunky for you and some hot monkey sex, too.
*Cliff rolls eyes*
Ryan: Okay, smart ass. Why don’t you go ahead and tell them your favorite flavor.
Cliff: *flushes* Vanilla…
Ryan: *laughs* Figures…
5. What movie will you watch over and over again?
Ryan: We don’t watch too many movies, although the other day we went to see—
Cliff: The Avengers. We watch any sport live, especially if it’s a San Diego team. I’m a little disappointed in the Padres right now.
Ryan: Hey, we’re playing 500 ball right now!
Cliff: Give it up, Rhino. They suck—considering their payroll. There’s no way—
Ryan: Man, you can’t say shit until after the All Star break—
Cliff: Well, that’s true enough. We should go watch them against the Dbax next month. We ought to be able to beat—
Laura: Hey guys? The question was about movies you’ll watch over and over…
Cliff: Uh…did I mention we went to see Avengers?
Ryan: We’re actually more inclined to binge watch something on the DVR like Sons of Anarchy or Breaking Bad.
Cliff: Or NCIS, except—
Ryan: Yeah, it sucks that’s not on Netflix. Mark Harmon is hot—
Cliff: LL Cool J is hotter.
Ryan: I like the original better. Except they need to bring Ziva back—
Cliff: I know! I think—
Laura: Uh guys? I think we need to go, but thanks for sharing.
Thanks again for having us. It’s always a pleasure to visit with friends. For those of you who are new to me as a reader, I invite you to try Ty Hard, Book #1 of the WSR series, available free at all major retailers.
If you’re a long-time reader, then I thank you, and I hope I never fail to entertain!
About the author:
Laura lives on waterfront property in Arizona because she's always wanted to be an oxymoron. She once enjoyed hobbies such as gardening and travel—now the characters in her head compel her to tell their stories, so she writes. (It doesn't actually help quiet the voices—but it keeps the folks in the white jackets at bay.)
She shares her home with an ever-revolving cast of characters—some of whom are actually real—and is living her dream of building her own version of the Willow Springs Ranch.
With nearly sixty published novels and novellas, Laura is an international bestselling author of erotic romances, romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and Highland romances. Her books can be found at all major online retailers.
Promotional post. Materials provided by