Friday, July 20, 2018

Blogtour: Twice Bitten by Rayna Vause




Please welcome Rayna Vause with

Twice Bitten


Thank you to My Fiction Nook for hosting me today during my book launch celebration for Twice Bitten. This books features Danny Reynolds, a man who's had some pretty bad experiences with vampires and Kieran McCade, the vampire whose heart Danny broke. Today, I'm giving you a sneak peak into their world with this exclusive excerpt.


Excerpt:
Kier stood in the shadows of the hallway and studied Danny as he worked. It still rattled him to have Danny back in his life. In all this time, the lithe blond man with the striking brown eyes still managed to take up a remarkable amount of his mental real estate. With his hair disheveled and his cheeks a touch flush from exertions and irritation, he reminded Kier of how he’d looked after their first kiss. Don’t go there. Don’t pick the scab. Try as he might, he couldn’t manage to fend off the memory of Danny with hair tousled from Kier running his fingers through it, pink, kiss-swollen lips, shirt open revealing a firm, smooth chest. His eyes shined as he wrapped his arms around Kier and pulled him close. He’d been all but drunk off the taste of Danny, and he’d never wanted to sober up. Kier fought for breath under the weight of the memory. He reached up and rubbed at the ache in his chest.
Glutton for punishment, he went back to watching Danny as he moved through the room chatting with patrons and never noticing the odd looks he got from some in the crowd. Chances were people either knew of their past relationship or they caught Danny’s not-quite-a-vampire scent.
“Still think you know what you’re doing?”
Kier jerked. He hadn’t noticed Alex leaning in the stockroom doorway, arms crossed and a frown on her face.
“Jesus, Alex. Make noise next time.”
“A whole drum line could have paraded around you and you wouldn’t have noticed. You were too lost in the box full of drama currently cleaning up your main room.”
“He’s only here because he needs help. What do you want me to do, turn my back, leave him to fend for himself in a world he knows nothing about?”
“Kier, come on. It’s me. I know you. I saw what Danny’s leaving did to you. Why would you open yourself up to it again?”
“I’m not. I’m just helping him.”
Alex snorted. “You keep telling yourself that. Maybe one day we’ll both believe it. That wound has just barely scabbed over, and now you go and pick it. I get it. You’re a good guy and you can’t leave a friend in need twisting in the wind, but what about you? Who’s going to look after you?”
“That’s what I’ve got you here for.” Kier lightly bumped shoulders with Alex.
“You know I’ll always be here for you, but you’ve got to help me out. Tell me honestly, is he going to stay this time?”
Kier closed his eyes, swiped a hand down his face. “I don’t know. It’s complicated.”
“Are you going to turn him?”
“Only if I have to. This condition of his may leave me with no choice.”
“Do you know if he even wants to be turned? What if he’d rather die than live as a vampire?”
The thought stole his breath, made his chest tighten. Alex put a hand on his shoulder. When he met her eyes, she gave him a knowing smile. Even if he wasn’t ready to open himself up to Danny again, Kier didn’t know how he’d face a world without him in it. Once upon a time Kier thought he’d shared a link with Danny. He thought they’d be connected in every way, mind, body, and soul. Something deep inside clenched at the thought of that never happening. No matter how hard his head resisted, a small piece of his heart still longed.

“I don’t know if I can give him that choice. I can’t stand by and watch him die when I can do something about it, and considering how he feels about vampires, that would be it for us. He’d hate me for eternity, but at least he’d be alive.” Kier squeezed his eyes shut.



Blurb:

With a new species of vampire stalking the streets, the stakes are high. But that’s not the only reason hearts are on the line.

Danny Reynolds thought Kieran McCade was the one—true love and hot lust forever—until Danny found out Kier’s bloody secret and ran away screaming. Months later, Danny is facing his own paranormal crisis, and he needs Kieran’s help, but are there enough ways to apologize for breaking a vampire’s heart?

Nothing about Danny’s transformation is normal—not the attack that led to it, and not the symptoms Danny’s plagued with—but being in close proximity to Kieran is even worse than becoming a thing that goes bump in the night. Danny and Kieran aren’t the only things threatening to bump each other off, though. Secret organizations and clashing vigilante agendas want to get their hands on Danny. His only hope is to find a fix for his problem before he’s either captured or his abnormal transition starves him to death.
Danny and Kieran might have a real chance to repair their broken romance… but only if they keep Danny alive!



Get the book:






About the author:

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Author Of The Month - Amy Lane - Week Three


Welcome to our third week of celebrations for the amazing 






In today's post, we will look at the Fish Out Of Water series, plus a personal story Amy has chosen to share. There's also another chance to win one of the books from that series.



First up, Fish Out Of Water


Blurb:

PI Jackson Rivers grew up on the mean streets of Del Paso Heights—and he doesn’t trust cops, even though he was one. When the man he thinks of as his brother is accused of killing a police officer in an obviously doctored crime, Jackson will move heaven and earth to keep Kaden and his family safe.

Defense attorney Ellery Cramer grew up with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, but that hasn’t stopped him from crushing on street-smart, swaggering Jackson Rivers for the past six years. But when Jackson asks for his help defending Kaden Cameron, Ellery is out of his depth—and not just with guarded, prickly Jackson. Kaden wasn’t just framed, he was framed by crooked cops, and the conspiracy goes higher than Ellery dares reach—and deep into Jackson’s troubled past.
Both men are soon enmeshed in the mystery of who killed the cop in the minimart, and engaged in a race against time to clear Kaden’s name. But when the mystery is solved and the bullets stop flying, they’ll have to deal with their personal complications… and an attraction that’s spiraled out of control.



Excerpt:

“I am not representing a cause,” Jackson growled. “And let’s get one thing straight.” The cat squirmed in his arms, and he slid the door open and unceremoniously dumped it on the ground. “You’d better take a shit out there!” he hollered as the cat darted away. He closed the door and turned back to Ellery. “You and I don’t have to like each other,” he said, pulling his shirts over his head and throwing them into a hamper by the headboard. His hands went to his belt and Ellery found himself looking anywhere—the green-and-gray comforter, the Lautrec print on the wall, the strip of navy blue painted near the ceiling that gave the room some solid character—anywhere besides Jackson as he stripped down.

“I don’t dislike you,” he said tentatively. “Oh, you have a television.”

“Well, right now it’s tuned to het porn, so don’t turn it on!”

Ellery flinched from his snarl. “I’m… I don’t know how to be around you,” he admitted, hating that he was backing down from this ex-cop, in his bedroom, in a way he backed down from nobody in the courtroom.

Be around me?” He heard the thump and rattle as Jackson’s belt and jeans hit the ground, and a pair of boxers sailed into the hamper. And Ellery kept his eyes directed right there. “What does that even mean?”

Ellery swallowed. “You… you are two steps ahead of me,” he said. “And you have seen and done things today that I don’t know if I could deal with. And I’m in your….”

“Bedroom?” Oh God—his voice was close, and suggestive, and he hadn’t reached for a towel or a sheet or underwear or anything.

“House,” Ellery corrected, risking a look at him.

Jackson’s green eyes loomed closer than he’d thought, and that glacial cold he’d snapped on had completely reversed polarity. Ellery’s breath caught, and he couldn’t look away.

“Mr. Cramer, are you afraid to look at me naked?” Jackson asked, purring.

“N-no,” Ellery lied.

Jackson took a step back, ice-cold again. “The scars freak you out,” he said flatly, and that of all things forced Ellery to look at him again.

“No,” he repeated, but this time it was the truth. He could see Jackson’s chest, and it appeared muscular and well worked, just like his abdomen. The scars just were, bare and inglorious but not ugly. Simply flesh—painful keloid flesh, but flesh. Ellery reached out a shaking hand, the urge to touch overwhelming him. Very carefully, he stroked his fingers down the whole of that amazing chest, sweaty and strong and covered faintly with dark blond hair—because no, Jackson Rivers wouldn’t give a fuck about grooming.

Jackson’s indrawn breath, sharp and surprised, pulled Ellery back. Jackson’s hand—dusty, battered, bloody at the knuckles and tough—cupped under Ellery’s chin, and Ellery was forced to make eye contact again.

“Oh,” Jackson said, and he nodded as though surprised. “Okay. I… I need to shower. And we have work to do. And if you’re here too late, you can sleep on the couch.”

“The couch?” Ellery gasped, absurdly hurt. He’d just made a pass at the guy and he was exiled to the couch when even the neighbor knew he slept with everything that moved.

“Yeah.” Oh, yay, the sarcasm was back. “Because you are not a one-night fuck, Cramer. You are a complication.” Jackson’s jaw lost some of it hardness, and his lower lip quivered, just once, before he had his game face on again. “My brother’s in jail tonight. I’m not getting laid when my brother’s in jail.”

Oh God. Jackson had needed to remind Ellery about professional behavior. There was not a hole deep enough in the world, much less in Sacramento, for him to hide in.




Get the book:





Book 2, Red Fish, Dead Fish



Blurb:

They must work together to stop a psychopath—and save each other.

Two months ago Jackson Rivers got shot while trying to save Ellery Cramer’s life. Not only is Jackson still suffering from his wounds, the triggerman remains at large—and the body count is mounting.

Jackson and Ellery have been trying to track down Tim Owens since Jackson got out of the hospital, but Owens’s time as a member of the department makes the DA reluctant to turn over any stones. When Owens starts going after people Jackson knows, Ellery’s instincts hit red alert. Hurt in a scuffle with drug-dealing squatters and trying damned hard not to grieve for a childhood spent in hell, Jackson is weak and vulnerable when Owens strikes.

Jackson gets away, but the fallout from the encounter might kill him. It’s not doing Ellery any favors either. When a police detective is abducted—and Jackson and Ellery hold the key to finding her—Ellery finds out exactly what he’s made of. He’s not the corporate shark who believes in winning at all costs; he’s the frightened lover trying to keep the man he cares for from self-destructing in his own valor.


Get the book:





And coming in September, A Few Good Fish


Blurb:

A tomcat, a psychopath, and a psychic walk into the desert to rescue the men they love…. Can everybody make it out with their skin intact?

PI Jackson Rivers and Defense Attorney Ellery Cramer have barely recovered from last November, when stopping a serial killer nearly destroyed Jackson in both body and spirit.

But their previous investigation poked a new danger with a stick, forcing Jackson and Ellery to leave town so they can meet the snake in its den.

Jackson Rivers grew up with the mean streets as a classroom and he learned a long time ago not to give a damn about his own life. But he gets a whole new education when the enemy takes Ellery. The man who pulled his shattered pieces from darkness and stitched them back together again is in trouble, and Jackson’s only chance to save him rests in the hands of fragile allies he barely knows.

It’s going to take a little bit of luck to get these Few Good Fish out alive!

Exclusive first look:

“Sh….” Ellery slicked his hair back from his face and whispered to him as he collapsed limply, Ellery’s long limbs sheltering him from the cold outside their little bed.
“Sorry,” Jackson said, blinking hard, irritated at himself for losing sight of his plan. He was supposed to keep control, dammit. He was supposed to blow Ellery’s mind, not get swept away in the sexual tide himself!
“For what?” Ellery asked tenderly.
“Was trying to make it holy,” Jackson told him, lost enough to tell the truth.
Ellery struggled out from under him, pushing Jackson to his side while Ellery rolled over to face him. “Tell me this wasn’t!” he demanded.
Jackson grimaced. “Do you have to?” he asked. “I mean, if our sex is holy and shit, doesn’t that mean you don’t have to go?”
“Nobody is holding a gun to my head! Goddammit, Jackson, do you not get why I have to do this?”
“Aren’t you too late to go this week?” Jackson asked hopefully.
Ellery laughed, grim satisfaction in every syllable. “I set the alarm early so we could have breakfast.” He glanced over his shoulder. “And you know what? We still can.”
Jackson grimaced. Dammit. “But….”
Ellery’s expression softened, and he reached out to brush Jackson’s cheekbone with his fingertips. “Baby, why does this bother you so much?”
Jackson scowled. “Because if you’re thanking God for me, God’s going to show you what a mistake that is, and I like it here.”
With a groan and a heave, Ellery rolled off the bed. “There is no talking to you about this! Now get in the shower, and I’ll make pancakes. And no! You can’t wear jeans!”
“But you said I didn’t have to get out of the car!” Jackson hollered, finding a clean set of boxers in the dresser Ellery had set aside for him.
“I lied! You at least have to visit the outside, dammit!” Ellery grabbed his sleep pants and his sweatshirt from the folds of the covers and started dragging them on.
“But won’t I burst into fire?” Jackson asked, only partially kidding. His past… oh God. His past wasn’t checkered, it was chicken-pocked! “I mean, won’t you get kicked out and excommunicated if you show up with me next to you?”
“No, Jackson, they’ve got a big ol’ reformed-slut alarm that sounds as soon as you step foot on the ground, and then a force field shoots up, separating us and catapulting you to purgatory for the length of the service. After your first six visits, they give you the option of walking there on your own while a sorcerer whispers arcane words and tries to set me up with a doctor, because that’s just how Jews roll.”
Jackson stared at him, cheeks flushed with color, fine brown eyes sparkling with righteous anger, and like it usually did, the thing in his chest melted into a gooey little puddle.
“I can see your sarcasm is functioning well this morning. Isn’t that going to taint the pancakes?”

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

ARC Review: Risk Taker by Lily Morton

Blurb:
Henry’s the odd man out. All his friends are settling down, and his reputation as the Hook-Up King of London seems more like a curse than a blessing these days. Especially when it keeps photojournalist Ivo, his best friend and the brilliant man he’s loved since they were fifteen, at arm’s length. But that’s where Ivo wants him, right? Putting aside his feelings, Henry decides to give up casual sex and look for the real deal. After all, he has no chance with Ivo - or does he?

Henry is everything to Ivo. Best friend, soul mate, the one person who has never let him down. The one person he is loyal to above everything and everyone. But Henry’s in a box marked best friend and that’s where Ivo’s kept him for nearly twenty years, despite steadily falling in love with the gentle man. And besides, why would Henry want to date Ivo? Burned out and injured, he’s the walking embodiment of damaged.

Distance has helped Henry and Ivo keep a lid on their attraction, but when they find themselves in the same city for a change—Ivo hurt and needing assistance, and Henry more than willing to provide it—the two best friends grow closer than ever, forcing a realization, and a decision. Risk their friendship for their hearts? Or can they have both?



Dani's rating:




"All I could see was you, so bright and warm and gorgeous. You're the only thing I ever see."

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

Romantic: YES! Henry and Ivo have been in love since they were teens. Henry has unconsciously waited for Ivo all these years.

Ivo has wanderlust and is dedicated to his job as a photojournalist, because that's what his dad did; it's what he's expected to do. But Henry is Ivo's home, and Ivo always, always comes back.

Hurt/Comfort: Ivo is severely injured during his last trip to the Middle East. Henry finds him bloody and exhausted on his doorstep. Henry is always taking care of Ivo.

Family/Friendship: Henry has a wonderful relationship with his older brother Silas and his friends. Ivo is more of a loner.

Both have complicated relationships with their parents. At one point, Ivo was Henry's stepbrother. Ivo's mom, a practiced gold digger, was married to Henry's homophobic, abusive father. Ivo always comes when his mom calls, and Henry hates her for it.


Blogtour: Camwolf by JL Merrow




Please welcome JL Merrow with 

Camwolf 





Blurb:

A race to save his lover—by becoming his own worst nightmare.

Dr. Nick Sewell has it all. Good friends, a career as a Cambridge academic… and recently, a tendency to turn into a wolf every full moon. When a new student arrives from Germany, Nick is horrified by his visceral attraction to the troubled youth—not to mention his violent jealousy when he sees Julian with another man. He’s floored to find out Julian is a werewolf too.

Unlike Nick, Julian has spent his life among other wolves, and in this subject, he’s the teacher and Nick the student. Nick struggles to adjust to this reversal of roles, especially since he’s an alpha and Julian a natural submissive. That dynamic just adds to the attraction smoldering between them, whether they’re in human form or wolf.

But Julian’s pack and the abuse he suffered isn’t far behind him, and it wants to reclaim him. For Nick to hold on to his lover, he’ll have to embrace the monster within.




Camwolf was previously published by Samhain, but has been completely re-edited and given a lovely new cover for this second edition by Dreamspinner Press.

Get the book:





City of Perspiring Dreams


Hi, I’m JL Merrow, and I’m delighted to be here today as part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of Camwolf, my werewolf romance set in my alma mater, Cambridge University. Nick is a lecturer there, and Julian a student.
City of Perspiring Dreams, a phrase used by Frederic Raphael to describe Cambridge, is, of course an answer to the famous description of long-term rival Oxford* as the city of dreaming spires. As an ex-Cambridge student, I can attest that never was a nickname more apt.
Getting into Cambridge University may be a dream, but they certainly make you sweat while you’re there.




Back in the good old days, when men were men and women hadn’t been invented yet, there wasn’t a lot of perspiration involved in getting a degree at Cambridge. Bicycles didn’t become the ubiquitous student transport until sometime after the nineteenth century, mostly because they hadn’t been invented yet either, and in any case the Fens area tends to be nice and flat so there’s no pesky hill climbing to get to lectures.


Another pesky, and perspiration-inducing, thing that wasn’t invented until long after the university started conferring degrees was the written exam. In medieval times, all you had to do to graduate was have a heated debate with your tutors and, more importantly, make sure you’d spent the requisite number of nights in Cambridge (“keeping term” is still a requirement today).

Bookblast: Daisy, Yellow by Angelique Jurd






BOOK BLAST


Book Title: Daisy, Yellow

Author: Angelique Jurd

Publisher: Small Black Cat Media

Cover Artist: May Dawney Designs

Genre/s: Contemporary Gay Romance

Length: 177 pages



Buy Links - Available on Kindle Unlimited





Blurb

Just months after breaking up with his boyfriend, Noah Jenkins inherits his grandfather's farm and he decides it's time for a change of scenery. He packs his bags, buys a dog, and moves onto the property. When his Labrador puppy Daisy gets hurt he meets local vet Hunter Ross and life starts to look interesting again.

Hunter Ross has always lived in small, conservative Newton, in rural Illinois. At 39 he's never been in love and never had a lover and mayhave neglected to tell anyone he's close to that he's gay. It's never been a problem - until Daisy, Yellow and her owner, Noah, show up.

Is Noah's love enough for Hunter to risk everything? Does Hunter have the strength to make the hardest choices he'll ever make and survive?






Excerpt

The great thing about small towns it turns out is that delivery is free and it’s quick. His new furniture will arrive tomorrow morning, which gives him time to get the living room ready. The parking lot in front of the clinic is empty but Noah can see Hunter’s truck parked further back and, on a whim, he follows the driveway down. He parks, unbuckles Daisy from her harness, and clips her leash on before he gets out of the car. When he turns around, Hunter is leaning against the doorway, wearing low slung jeans and a threadbare tee-shirt, arms crossed over his chest.

“Hi.”

“Hi,” Noah croaks. His mouth and throat have gone dry and when Daisy pulls the leash free from his grasp, he barely notices. Hunter pushes the screen door open with a bare foot and she rushes inside.

“Shit, sorry!” He leaps after her, but Hunter doesn’t seem concerned, only amused.

From the depths of the house comes a volley of high pitched barks followed by an angry hiss.

“Sounds like she’s found Rosie.”

Noah trails behind him as Hunter goes inside, taking in his surroundings as walks. The cluttered living room is small with plain, simple furnishings in faded colors. In contrast, Noah notices, the sounds system, hooked to a laptop and a flat screen television, is state of the art. In the middle of the room stands the cat from the clinic, back arched and tail puffed up. Daisy bounces forward with a yip only to be met by a grey and white paw that smacks her nose three times in quick succession and sends her scuttling back to Noah with a yelp and a whimper.

As he picks her up he spots two scratches across her nose, both beading with blood.

“Hey, your cat scratched my pup.”

“Your pup tried to chase my cat.”

Annoyed, Noah clutches Daisy to his chest and braces his shoulders. She’s bleeding.

“You should control her better.”

The statement is met by laughter. That he likes the sound of it annoys Noah even more than the laughter itself.

“She’s a cat. How do you propose I control her?”

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

ARC Review - Risk Taker (Mixed Messages #3) by Lily Morton

Risk Taker (Mixed Messages, #3)
Blurb:
Henry’s the odd man out. All his friends are settling down, and his reputation as the Hook-Up King of London seems more like a curse than a blessing these days. Especially when it keeps photojournalist Ivo, his best friend and the brilliant man he’s loved since they were fifteen, at arm’s length. But that’s where Ivo wants him, right? Putting aside his feelings, Henry decides to give up casual sex and look for the real deal. After all, he has no chance with Ivo - or does he? 

Henry is everything to Ivo. Best friend, soul mate, the one person who has never let him down. The one person he is loyal to above everything and everyone. But Henry’s in a box marked best friend and that’s where Ivo’s kept him for nearly twenty years, despite steadily falling in love with the gentle man. And besides, why would Henry want to date Ivo? Burned out and injured, he’s the walking embodiment of damaged. 

Distance has helped Henry and Ivo keep a lid on their attraction, but when they find themselves in the same city for a change—Ivo hurt and needing assistance, and Henry more than willing to provide it—the two best friends grow closer than ever, forcing a realization, and a decision. Risk their friendship for their hearts? Or can they have both? 

From the bestselling author of Rule Breaker and Deal Maker comes a tender love story about two best friends who are perfect for each other, and always have been - if only they knew it.


Todd's rating:




Let me first say that I absolutely *LOVED* the first two books in this series. They were funny and had tons of feels.

This book, well, there were parts that I completely adored, but also parts that drove me bat shit crazy.

The story started out well enough, with Henry deciding that he needed to move past his decades-long feelings for Ivo and look for love elsewhere -- just in time for Ivo to return home.

Then seeing the hilarious series of horrible first dates that Henry embarked upon thanks to his best friends' terrible matchmaking attempts, ahhhh, that's the stuff right there!

Except after a while, Henry's silent mooning over Ivo, and Ivo's unvoiced mooning over Henry started to grate on my nerves. And when they finally began hooking up, but avoided having "the talk" about defining what they both wanted at all costs, GAH!

Don't get me wrong, I love a good slow-burn, which this story started out being. However, I also like characters with not only a bit of emotional maturity, but enough guts to go after what they want -- without endlessly waffling about.

Henry and Ivo were *not* those types of MC's.

Here's one on-page example of that infuriating behavior, which lasted until about 80% into the book.

(This passage almost made me throw my eReader at a wall, true story.)

ARC Review: A Fool and His Manny (The Mannies #4) by Amy Lane

A Fool and His Manny (The Mannies, #4)
Blurb:
Seeing the truth and falling in love.

Dustin Robbins-Grayson was a surly adolescent when Quinlan Gregory started the nanny gig. After a rocky start, he grew into Quinlan's friend and confidant—and a damned sexy man. 

At twenty-one, Dusty sees how Quinlan sacrificed his own life and desires to care for Dusty’s family. He’s ready to claim Quinlan—he's never met akinder, more capable, more lovable man. Or a lonelier one. Quinlan has spent his life as the stranger on the edge of the photograph, but Dusty wants Quinlan to be the center of his world. First he has to convince Quinlan he’s an adult, their love is real, and Quinlan can be more than a friend and caregiver. Can he show Quin that he deserves to be both a man and a lover, and that in Dusty’s eyes, he’s never been “just the manny”?



Todd's rating:




Awwwww. Well, wasn't that just goddamned adorable!

As the story began, Quinlan was 27 and Dustin was 21, but Quin had been the manny from the time that Dusty was 14. So yeah, his attraction to the younger man made him feel a bit squeamish.

But Dusty actually took the time to court Quin, while he was on the road, touring for two summer months, slowly convincing Quin that Dusty was no longer a boy, but a full-grown man. Maybe even his man.

We get to know Quin and Dusty much better over the course of the story through a series of flashbacks, starting when Quin was 20, still had a crush on Sammy, and the kids were still sort of mourning their loss of Taylor as their manny.

And Dusty was still a surly, fourteen-year-old asshole. Or so we were told. I could've used a few more extreme, on-page examples of his bad attitude to be honest, though, to have more fully convinced me. One fight and some smoking does not a juvenile delinquent make.

But toward the end of the tour, after Quin had kinda-sorta decided to give Dusty a chance, he limped home very ill, and Dusty nursed him back to health. That's when major forward movement in their relationship finally took off.

Dusty may've been a bit of a prickly bitch to everyone else, but he and Quin had a bond, so after a short "God, I hate that guy" phase at the beginning, Dusty was never anything but kind and attentive to Quin.

Blogtour: A Fool And His Manny by Amy Lane



Please welcome Amy Lane with her brand-new release

A Fool And His Manny 

The Mannies #4

a Dreamspun Desires title





Let Me Comfort You


I’m going to hazard a guess—I know where this started.


Does everybody remember that episode of Star Trek?  “Journey to Babylon”?


Spock’s estranged father, Sarek, boards, along with Spock’s human mother and a bevy of quarreling diplomats. Spock is needed to give his father a life-saving transfusion just as Kirk is seriously injured by a spy in the diplomatic corp. The ship is under fire, Sarek’s going to die, and Kirk bravely gets out of bed to take the bridge and spare Spock the agonizing decision!  Oh, the pain! Oh, the love! Oh, the sight of a shirtless William Shatner before the Priceline commercials and the weird politics!


Oh, happy Amy.


I’ve had a thing for the wounded hero ever since. (Really, Amy? We had no idea when you almost killed Deacon four times in the course of Keeping Promise Rock.)  There’s just something so delicious about someone who is physically injured and still manages to do what must be done!  


Especially someone who is strong and self-reliant, and who hates being cared for because he can’t trust the world to care for him.


Someone who finds himself being loved and showered with kindness, and closes his eyes and trusts himself to someone who doesn’t let him down.


*hugs self *


Yeah. That.


So although I don’t do the hurt/comfort trope every time out of the gate, when I get a chance to indulge in some serious comforting? I am a happy girl.


Quinlan made me very happy.


For one thing, he’s the manny. And he had to be competent, because we don’t really love the manny who can’t be a man about dealing with children. So he had to be good at the child-handling part—and we do see a learning curve. Eventually—after a few pithy comments from Dustin and his sister who were ever-so-disdainful about the new guy, Quinlan was not only competent, he was outstanding. So outstanding that he got used to being the one that everybody relied on. The caretaker. He knew how every kid liked their sandwich, who their friends were, what their homework was supposed to be, and when they were supposed to be in bed.


So even though Dustin had been an adult for several years, that whole, “I’m the adult and you’re the kid” thing had to be pretty strong with him, and one thing parents try really hard to do is not to let their kids see them weak. It undermines all those times we really DO know what we’re doing, right?


So here’s Quinlan, trying to show that he’s the grownup, and Dustin has been wearing him down about dating for months—and being sexy and grownup and alpha—and Quinlan is starting to dig it! He’s starting to believe it!


And then the stomach flu hits while Quinlan is on tour, and by the time he gets home, he’s practically non-functional.


And there’s Dustin, the grown-up, ready to take charge.


It knocks Quinlan for a loop, oh yes it does—but we also get to see him vulnerable, which is something Dusty has always known. And we get to see Dustin as completely competent and fully able to engage in an adult relationship, which is something Quinlan has needed to see.


And we get to see a guy who has firmly placed himself on the edge of this family, peering yearningly into the chaotic center, being made the center of attention, and while he’s uncomfortable with that, it doesn’t mean he deserves it any less.


So yeah, I love the hurt/comfort trope. It’s one of my favorites.


I can’t wait to see where else it crops up!



About the book



Blurb:

Dustin Robbins-Grayson was a surly adolescent when Quinlan Gregory started the nanny gig. After a rocky start, he grew into Quinlan’s friend and confidant—and a damned sexy man.

At twenty-one, Dusty sees how Quinlan sacrificed his own life and desires to care for Dusty’s family. He’s ready to claim Quinlan—he’s never met a kinder, more capable, more lovable man. Or a lonelier one. Quinlan has spent his life as the stranger on the edge of the photograph, but Dusty wants Quinlan to be the center of his world. First he has to convince Quinlan he’s an adult, their love is real, and Quinlan can be more than a friend and caregiver. Can he show Quin that he deserves to be both a man and a lover, and that in Dusty’s eyes, he’s never been “just the manny?”


Excerpt:

Seven Years’ Distance

QUINLAN GREGORY’S body hurt. All of it. Every molecule.
He hauled the last suitcase out of the Lyft and paid the guy, then started carting his luggage—and his trumpet case—gingerly across the driveway, avoiding clots of dirt and tufts of grass on the concrete as he went.
Jacob had told him during his last phone call that the dog had gotten out and brutalized the new sod, but Quinlan hadn’t believed what a massacre it was until now. Anybody else would have disowned the ginger-haired mutt—aptly nicknamed Hellhound by Belinda, one of their daughters—but not Jacob and Nica Robbins-Grayson.
Quinlan’s bosses had a knack for picking up people and animals and giving them a home and then thanking them for all their help.
He should know—he’d been their manny for nearly seven years.
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