Thursday, June 15, 2017

Author Of The Month - Riley Hart - Week Three





Welcome to our third week of celebrating the amazing and talented 



In today's post, we're taking a look at the Blackcreek series, with excerpts, and a personal story Riley has chosen to share. There is also another chance to win one of her books, all the way at the bottom.


First up, Collide


Blurb:

At ten years old, Noah Jameson and Cooper Bradshaw collided mid-air when they dove for the same football. For three years, they were inseparable…until one day when Noah and his parents disappeared in the middle of the night.

Noah and Cooper never knew what happened to each other. Now, seventeen years later, after finding his boyfriend in bed with another man, Noah returns to Blackcreek looking for a fresh start. And damned if he doesn't find his old friend grew up to be sexy as sin. Coop can’t believe Noah—the only person he trusted with the guilt over his parents’ death—is back. And gay… Or that Cooper himself suddenly wants another man in his bed for the first time.

There’s no denying the attraction and emotion between them, but can they overcome the ghosts of their pasts to have a future together?




Excerpt:

“Fuck!” Cooper punched the wall. Pain shot through his hand and up his arm, but he didn’t care. He wanted more of it to help him block the thoughts he tried to evict from inside him.
Christ,” Noah hissed. “Talk to me. What happened? Did it freak you out that I brought someone home? Did it make you more uncomfortable than you thought it would?”
Yeah. Only not in the way he expected. Cooper actually felt like he could cry. Scream. He didn’t understand anything going on, and he wanted nothing more than to set fire to the thoughts. Burn them into ash so they could never form in his brain again. A dream was one thing, but this? This was… “What the fuck’s wrong with me? There’s something wrong with me.”
He slid down the wall and crumpled to the floor. He sat there, back against the wall, but feeling like he had nothing to hold him up.
“Coop.” Noah’s voice cracked, and Cooper couldn’t stop himself from looking at his friend. The pain and understanding in his dark brown eyes simultaneously comforted, scared, and embarrassed him. In that moment, Noah saw something in him Cooper knew no one had ever seen before. Saw deeper than Coop even knew was there.
And he couldn’t turn away.
As much as the words scared him, he couldn’t not share this. Couldn’t not trust his friend with what he was feeling, even though it killed him. “I saw you with him.” It was hell when the one person you always felt like you could tell everything to was the one to have you tied in knots. The one you wanted to run from. Needed to, yet Cooper couldn’t make himself flee.
“Jesus. I saw you kissing that guy and…what the hell is wrong with me? I had a beautiful woman in my bed and…shit.” Cooper shook his head. Slid both hands through his hair and yanked as though that would somehow change things. “I wanted to kill him.”

I wanted to be him…



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Second in the series, Stay


Blurb:

Wes Jensen just lost the sister who raised him, and gained custody of his niece. The last thing he needs to add to his full plate is dealing with Braden Roth, the one-night-stand who continues to try to push his way into Wes’ life. He has a kid to raise now, and Wes isn't great at getting close anyway.

Braden has never had a woman or a man sneak out on him the morning after. From the start, Wes intrigues him, and Braden isn't one to deny himself something he wants. And he wants Wes. The more time he spends with Wes and the little girl who constantly keeps them on their toes, the more Braden realizes this isn't just about getting the guy who walked away.

As their lives intertwine more and more, Wes discovers Braden isn't as shallow as he thought. But after everything Wes lost in his life, he isn't sure he can risk his heart, and truly want Braden to stay—and if he did, would Wes’ quiet life be enough for Braden?


Excerpt:

“I’m tired as hell but can’t seem to relax enough to go to sleep. I toss and turn half the night.” He shut up there and hoped Braden wouldn’t ask why. Wouldn’t pry into things Wes would rather not talk about.
And thankfully, Braden didn’t ask. He just looked at Wes with an expression in his eyes that Wes didn’t understand. No, that was a lie. He knew what it was. Lust.
Braden stood, walked over, and sat on the coffee table in front of him. Arguments and words teased his tongue but he didn’t let any of them out, just continued to lean against the couch and look at Braden.
“When was the last time you’ve done anything for yourself? The last time someone has done something for you?” Braden didn’t move closer as he waited for Wes to answer.
“Why? What does that have to do with anything?”
“You work extra hours when you’re exhausted to help someone else out. You give someone a ride when we both know you just wanted to be home. And that’s just what I know about from today. What do you do for you? What do you let someone else do for you?”
Plenty of people in his life had made sacrifices for him—Chelle, Lydia, his mom. “Don’t try and make a hero out of me. And you watched my niece for me tonight. You watch her every week, so I could say the same thing to you. You do something for me every week.”
Braden shook his head. “Nah. I don’t do that for you. Jessie’s cool to hang out with and you’re nice to look at. I’m here for me.”
The air in the room thickened. Wes’s body began to overheat. He wanted to feel something, something besides worry and stress and fear.
And Braden was more than just nice to look at. He had a dimple below his mouth that Wes suddenly wanted to taste. Wanted to put his hand in the hair he’d been admiring and fist it tightly there.
“I want you.” Braden pushed toward the edge of the table.
“I have nothing to give right now.” I never do… When Alexander walked out on him, when he hadn’t been enough, he’d decided he’d never try to be again.  
“I’m not asking you for anything. Well, except for you to let me get on my knees and blow you.”



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And third, Pretend


Blurb:

Mason Alexander thought all he wanted in life was something to call his own—something without the family name attached. He got that when he bought his bar in Blackcreek...but then a hard truth opens his eyes that he’s been lied to his whole life, and he’s tangled amid the family that loves him, a truth that haunts him, and torn between the life he wants for himself and the obligation he feels for his family.

Gavin Davis knows a thing or two about living a double life. Being a gay man with strict Christian parents who believe he’s going to Hell, has never been easy. Instead of dealing, Gavin lost himself in his career. Teaching music gives him solace. So when he loses his job at a private school for helping out a gay kid, he feels like he lost more than a job. He lost his identity.

Blackcreek is a new start for both of them, two men, loyal to a fault, who both feel obligated to people in their lives. What Mason and Gavin don’t expect to find in each other is the place where they can be real. They know they want each other, it’s the rest of it they can’t figure out. Caught between loyalty, obligation, fear, tragedy and family, Mason and Gavin’s lives threaten to pull them away from each other if they don’t get real, and stop playing pretend, for good.

Excerpt:


When he stepped into the hallway he heard the soft sound of the guitar. Slowly, Mason made his way toward the sound in the main area of the bar. Gavin sat in a chair on the stage, with his head down, playing.
Mason couldn’t see his face but he could tell by Gavin’s body language how much he and the music were connecting. It made him smile, though he wasn’t really sure why. Maybe because he wasn’t sure Gavin had ever connected with another human being the way he did with music.
Without a word, Mason made his way over. He sat the same way he had the first time Gavin played, with the chair backward and his eyes on the man. His hair fell in his face as his fingers danced along the cords as though they had a mind of their own. As though the guitar and Gavin’s hand worked together.
It was a beautiful sight.
Mason no sooner thought the words before Gavin glanced up. He startled slightly, obviously not having realized he had an audience. “Shit. Sorry.”
“Don’t stop,” Mason told him. Gavin’s brows pulled together but he still did as Mason said—he continued to play the soft, acoustic melody. “What’s wrong with you today? Hell, what was wrong with you the other day, too?”
For a second he thought Gavin would stop playing. His fingers fumbled but he quickly found his rhythm again. “Your ex, what’s the deal with him?”
So that’s what this was about? Jealousy? It only rang partially true. “Why do you want to know?”
“Because I fucked you the night before. I know exactly what it was—a fuck—but I also don’t want to play games. I don’t want to get in the middle if you two could work things out.” His fingers fumbled again. And maybe what he said was part of the truth, but Mason could see Gavin was jealous. Damned if he didn’t almost like that.
“We won’t. My family and Isaac are close. I’ve known him my whole life. We dated for a few years. We’re friends and we get along. We both wanted the same things so it worked. Months before I did, Isaac found out I’m adopted. I don’t know how and don’t give a shit. All I know was he didn’t tell me. There’s no chance we’re getting back together.”
Gavin’s playing quieted.
“Don’t stop,” Mason said again. Gavin’s forehead wrinkled but he picked up the music again.
“Can you blame him? It wasn’t really his place.”
Mason crossed his arms over the back of the chair. “You trying to talk me into getting back together with my ex or what?”
“No, he’s an asshole. You know that’s the truth, though.”
And Mason did. It wasn’t Isaac’s responsibility to tell him. That belonged to his parents. “Maybe it was the excuse I needed to move on. Just like telling my family I won’t be moving back to Denver to take care of the restaurants—I used the truth about my adoption as a way to tell them I wasn’t going back. Isaac and I…hell the sex was always good, but—”
Gavin hit a wrong note. Yep, he was jealous. Mason grinned.
“But… This makes me sound like a bastard, but Isaac was always the life I tried to force myself to have. We both have business degrees and we both worked for my family. He was another thing that just happened. It was easy so we kept it going. That’s all it ever was.”
“Does he know that?” Gavin asked.

“He’s in denial.” Mason winked at him. “Let’s keep this little game of tit for tat going. Why don’t you tell me why you were late on Wednesday? Why have you been in a shitty mood since then?”




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A Personal Story:




I totally believe in the power of love. I believe love really can conquer all. I write a lot of friends to lovers stories because that is my personal story. I’ll start by saying hubby and I met in high school. I had a lot of male friends. Most of my friends were guys. The few closer girlfriends I had always had boyfriends and I never did. My male friends talked to me about girls, about my girl friends. None of them saw me as anything more than a friend (or at least I thought). It was hard because when you’re young, you never want to feel left out, and I did. It’s hard being just the friend.

My husband started hanging out with us a little later than a lot of my crew. We hit it off right away though. He quickly became one of my closet friends. My mom used to say one day I would grow up and marry him. We used to have this crazy little dog who bit people as they were leaving the house, but he never bit my hubby. So she was convinced that meant we were meant to be and I was convinced she was crazy. LOL. I thought he was just a friend.

I was at his house one day hanging out. Most of the time there were always other friends with us but this time it was just the two of us. He was being a little different…quiet. It was November and a little cold and he started making a fire in the woodstove. I asked him what was wrong, and he said nothing. He just kept staring into the fire. I asked him what he was thinking about and he turned, looked at me with more emotion than I’d ever seen from him and said, “you.”

Now, you can imagine my shock. I wasn’t used to boys liking me, especially not my close friends. And seriously? I think anyone would have swooned in that moment. He told me that he liked me. That he had for a while. He kissed me. About a week later he told me he thought he was in love with me, gave me flowers and officially asked me to be his girlfriend. A month later, in December for Christmas, he gave me a promise ring. This November it will be nineteen years since he asked me to be his girlfriend.

We were young. Like I said, teenagers. In high school. We’ve been through a lot together. Tons of ups and downs. Marriage, two kids, losing homes, losing family, losing jobs. No one thought it would work but it did.

Love is powerful.





More about Riley Hart:

Riley Hart is the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She's a hopeless romantic. A lover of sexy stories, passionate men, and writing about all the trouble they can get into together. If she's not writing, you'll probably find her reading.

Riley lives in California with her awesome family, who she is thankful for everyday.






Giveaway:





Thanks for celebrating this fabulous author with us. Come back next week for more of Riley's books, and our Q&A session. There'll also be one final chance to win.

Until then, happy reading!









15 comments:

  1. Looking forward to getting to know this authors work.

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  2. Thank you for your personal story. It didn't happen quite like that with hubby and me but I saw it happen with several friends of ours. Two people who were friends for years suddenly were more. It was always wonderful to see. In hindsight we always knew it was bound to happen. Love is powerful.

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  3. Loved the excerpts, but the personal story at the end is definitely my favourite. My hubby and I are the polar opposite. We met on a blind date in September, got engaged at Christmas and married in April 34 years ago.

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  4. What a sweet romantic story!!! 19 years would definitely count as a successful working marriage in my book!

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  5. Your story is so sweet and swoon worthy. ❤️

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  6. You personal story is as beautiful as the romance novels you write. Been you fan from day one :)

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  7. love all of Riley's stories and enjoyed the post

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  8. Such a sweet story Riley! Of course now I will have to reread the Blackcreek boys. Wes and Braden are my favorites.

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  9. This is the sweetest story!

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  10. Love your story Riley and of course your blackcreek is my favorite series

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  11. What a lovely story. I lived this series and all of Riley's books

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  12. Your story sounds a lot like my life but you got there sooner. Love the Crossroads series. would enjoy more. Thanks for writing and for sharing.

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  13. Your story is so sweet!!!!! I actually have all books in the Blackcreek series and I love them!

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