Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Truth as He Knows It by AM Arthur

The Truth as He Knows It #1
Summary:
Lies are the chains that keep you weighed down at rock bottom.

Officer Noel Carlson isn’t out to anyone in small-town Stratton, Pennsylvania, only to distant friends and family, so a relationship is out of the question. That doesn’t stop him from wanting one, though.

When a night-shift call brings him face to thonged butt with a hired stripper whose girl-party gig went terribly wrong, Noel takes pity on the guy and lets him go. But he can’t get the encounter out of his mind.

Shane has big-time debts to repay, especially to the brother who sacrificed nearly everything for him. His two jobs, in a deli and as a stripper, leave him no time for a social life. But a non-date of hot sex and takeout food with Noel? He can squeeze that in.

The bond they form is stronger than either expected or wanted. Especially since the step Shane’s about to take to put his brother—and his soul—back in the black isn’t quite legal. And he never calculated just how much his determination to make things right will cost him in the end.

Warning: Following on from the Cost of Repairs series, this book contains a closeted cop who’s looking for love, an indebted stripper who doesn’t believe he’s worthy, and a tasteful abundance of dirty guy sex. Also contains references to past physical abuse some readers may find disturbing.


Once again AM Arthur takes us into Stratton where we meet Noel Carlson when he & his partner answer a noise disturbance call where he meets Shane, a stripper tied to a bed.  And boy do they make a connection in that short time.  The baggage that both carry on their shoulders is heartbreaking and definitely causes trouble for the pair.  Watching them both deal with, and sometimes ignore,  their issues tugged at my heart so deeply that I thought it might just pump right out of my chest.  The story of Shane and Noel had my stomach flipflopping all over the place, torturous at times, but entertaining all the way through.  Can't wait to read Tristan and Gabe's story in As the World Sees It because Tristan may have only been a secondary character in The Truth as He Knows It but boy did he burrow his way into my soul.

RATING: 


The World as He Sees It #2 (Coming October 20, 2015)
Summary:
Love knows no limits…but fear could keep them from seeing it.

Gabe lives a double life. As Gabriel Henson, he works multiple jobs to support his remorseless, alcoholic mother. As Tony Ryder, he does internet porn for extra cash and regular safe sex without complications.

Yet when he encounters a scared young man freaking out in a night club, he’s compelled to reach out. Ever since then, the memory of that young man has haunted him.

Tristan Lavelle lives his life thirty minutes at a time. After a traumatic brain injury three years ago, he gets through his day recording his life in spiral notebooks and sticky note reminders.

A month after Tristan’s embarrassingly public meltdown, another chance meeting with Gabe sparks a warm, emotionally fulfilling email relationship. Both men crave more, but fear of the next step stands between them.

Until Tristan gets the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial that could improve his memory—if the side effects don’t kill him. But for Tristan, the possibility of a real life with Gabe is worth any risk…

Warning: Contains two damaged but lovable heroes, secret-keeping friends with good intentions, and an abundance of inappropriate food innuendo.


The Truth as He Knows It #1
Officer Noel Carlson followed his partner down the breezeway toward apartment 303 and the source of their disturbance call. Even without the apartment number Noel would have been able to peg this place. A deep bass thrummed through the door, right into his chest, reminding him of late nights in hot, sweaty dance clubs. The neighbor who’d reported the party said the music had been going like that for over an hour, and it was already after one in the morning.

Officer Wade Benedict paused to adjust his hat before he hit the bell, then banged a meaty fist on the door for good measure. Noel flanked him, the junior officer in their partnership, allowing Benedict to take point.

The music continued, so Benedict bell-banged again. “Stratton Police Department!”

Noel glanced at the other three apartment doors on this floor, curious if anyone was watching through their peep holes. Enjoying the floor show. Cedar Hills was one of the nicest, newest complexes around Stratton, and far beyond Noel’s budget without at least two roommates. But his privacy was worth more than extra space and a pool, so he was happy enough renting a room above a church-run thrift store downtown.

Benedict pounded the door. “Police! Open up!”

Someone must have finally paid attention to his bellowing, because the music went down to a bearable volume. The front door opened, still on its chain. A sliver of a female face popped into view. “Show me your badge.”

Noel and Benedict took turns stepping into her line of sight so she could see the badges on their uniform shirts. The door shut, a chain slid, and they were allowed into a blast of air conditioning. Not unwelcome after walking through the late-May humidity.

The open floor plan gave Noel a clear view of the party still in progress. Pink and white streamers and balloons. A banner that said Happy Thirtieth, Sandy!. The remains of a demolished birthday cake on the kitchen island. Liquor bottles strewn about on various surfaces. Five women—two on the sofa, two in the kitchen, one by the door.

The woman who’d let them in was listing a bit, cheeks flushed, obviously intoxicated. “What’s the problem, Officer?”

Benedict grunted. “Are you the current tenant?”

“Yep, that’s me.”

“What’s your name?”

“Olivia Presnell. Who’re you?”

“I’m Officer Benedict, this is Officer Carlson.”

Olivia smiled at Noel, practically batting her eyes. “You wear that big gun in the bedroom, Officer?”

Noel almost laughed at the awful attempt at flirting. “Ma’am, we received a noise nuisance call this evening.”

“Who was being noisy?” Olivia asked.

“You were,” Benedict said. He had a gruff, angry bear way about him that made everything he said sound like he was snarling. And it worked on Olivia, who slinked into the kitchen.

“I think it’s time you broke up the party and called cabs for your friends,” Noel said.

A grumble of protest came out of the living room. One of the women on the sofa cast a forlorn look at a closed door at the back of the apartment. Probably the bedroom. Something about it pinged Noel’s curiosity.

“Is this everyone who’s in the apartment?” Noel asked. “Or are there others?”

Sofa Lady glanced sharply at Olivia, who was frowning.

Unease rolled through Noel’s gut. “Is there someone in the bedroom?”

“Just the stripper,” Olivia replied, clipped. Annoyed. More sober than a moment ago, possibly from adrenaline.

Odd.

Hiring strippers wasn’t illegal, as long as the transaction didn’t cross the line into prostitution. He glanced at Benedict, who tilted his head at the bedroom door. Clearly not volunteering to go get the guy.

Noel crossed the room and paused in front of the door. To Olivia, he said, “Will you please open the door?”

She heaved a put-upon sigh, then stalked over and twisted the knob. Noel nudged the door open with his foot, unsure exactly what to expect. The light was off, and a thick beam from the living room cut across the foot of a bed. Noel slid his hand along the wall until he could flip a light switch. A floor lamp in the corner flared to life.

A man sat in the middle of the bed, propped up with pillows, tied to the headboard by his wrists. He was mostly naked, except for a red thong and a pair of laced-up work boots, and goddamn, Noel had to work hard not to appreciate the long, lean expanse of male body on display. Or stare at the unusual monarch butterfly tattoo on his left hip. The stripper was gagged by a piece of cloth that did nothing to hide his pretty face, all sharp planes and high cheekbones. He kept blinking at Noel like he wasn’t quite awake. Everything about the scene felt off. Wrong.

“We were just playing,” Olivia said behind him.

Noel ignored her. He approached the figure on the bed slowly. Dark brown eyes focused on him, really seemed to see him, then went wide. He jerked against the cloth binding his wrists. Muffled words didn’t quite make it around the gag, but Noel would be damned if they didn’t sound like “Help me”.

He undid the gag, which appeared to be someone’s scarf.

The stripper licked his lips, fear settling into his dark eyes. “This isn’t what it looks like,” he said.

“What does it look like?” Noel undid the knot on the guy’s right hand.

“I’m not a prostitute, I swear. She paid me to strip for her friends, but nothing else. I’m not into this.”

Noel let the guy undo his other wrist for himself. “Not into what? Getting tied up with silk scarves?”

“No, I’m not.” He got loose, then slid to the other side of the bed.

“Then why were you?”

“Misunderstanding.”

Noel glanced at the door where Olivia was watching, her expression hawkish. This entire scenario felt wrong to Noel, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. The stripper seemed genuinely scared of something—getting caught taking money for sex, probably. But Noel hadn’t seen any money exchange hands, so he had no evidence of prostitution. And what a stripper did when he was off the clock was not Noel’s business.

So why did he want to know why the dark-haired man hunched over on the bed looked so haunted?

“What’s your name?” Noel asked.

“Shane.”

“Are you impaired, Shane?”

“I didn’t drink tonight.”

“What about drugs?”

“No, sir.”

“Anything you’d like to report about the party tonight?”

“No. I’d really like to go home now, if I’m not under arrest.”

“You aren’t under arrest.” Noel pulled out a notepad and pen. “But I do need some information for my report.”

“Shane Joseph, twenty-four, I live at 240 Naylor Street.” Shane rattled off a phone number. “Would you like my social security number too?”

The initial fear was sloughing off, leaving a lot of attitude in its place. Attitude that sharpened handsome features into something fierce. Almost feral. And the fact that Shane was still only wearing that thong made the whole shift sexier than it had any right to be, and Noel had to quit thinking like that. He was on the clock, damn it.

“No, that’ll do it,” Noel replied.

Shane fetched a patched backpack from the floor by the dresser, then disappeared into the master bathroom. Noel returned to the outer room, where Benedict was taking down personal information while the party attendees called for rides. A minute later, Shane stormed past and out the front door.

It slammed shut and Olivia jumped.

“Next time you want to throw a party,” Noel said, “watch your volume. And maybe skip the stripper.”

Olivia rolled her eyes. “Believe me, I will not be referring him to my girlfriends.”

He curbed the urge to ask why. Shane had a body he looked like he knew how to use— Quit it. Just quit. No sexy thoughts about strippers he’d ousted from a birthday party gone wild.

The World as He Sees It #2
Tristan focused on the nighttime city streets, catching the occasional glimpse of something he knew from before. An exit sign. A restaurant. A busy intersection. His focus slipped, and he glanced at the notebook entry for a reminder.

He’d been twenty when his accident happened, so he’d never been to Big Dick’s before. Rumor was the bouncer was an expert at catching fake IDs, so he and Noel had never bothered trying. And he didn’t feel like flipping back through hundreds of pages of handwritten text to find his answer. “Have I been to Big Dick’s before?” he asked Noel.

“Once,” Noel replied. He squirmed, uncomfortable with the question.

That made Tristan nervous. “What happened?”

“About two months ago, you decided you wanted to go to Big Dick’s on your own, to prove to yourself that you could.”

Tristan dropped his forehead into his palm. He was impulsive on the best of days. His memory problems only exacerbated the stress those impulses put his friends through. “I freaked out, didn’t I?”

“A little bit. You lost your notebook, and you didn’t know anyone. The owner called me, and I drove out to pick you up. Nothing happened to you, Tris.”

I bet I wanted to get laid.

Tristan didn’t need to check his notes to know he hadn’t had sex since before the accident. Three years was a long damned dry spell. Not that he could remember the dry spell, exactly. He sensed the passage of time, of course. He could look at Noel and the ways he’d changed and know it was way past college, only it would take a while to remember exactly how long past.

Somehow he innately knew three years. DΓ©jΓ  vu sense at work?

So yeah, dry spell. Then again, who’d want to have sex with a guy who’d probably forget what they were doing halfway through and freak the hell out on him? No one.

Loser.

At least I can dance for a while without forgetting. And Noel will be there. I’ll be safe.

Noel was his touchstone. No notebook needed to know that. Or to know his parents weren’t around. Noel had been his one constant through everything. Tristan wouldn’t be able to function without him.

“I must have felt terrible for dragging you all the way to Harrisburg in the middle of the night,” Tristan said. “You don’t live there anymore.”

Noel nodded, his cheeks pinking up like they did when he was remembering something he didn’t like. “You did feel terrible. But I didn’t mind.”

“Yeah, right. You shouldn’t have to babysit me. And I shouldn’t have gone out alone.” Tristan considered flipping back through his notebook to see if that night was in this one. To figure out his mindset. Except he knew what it was, because he felt like that most of the time.

Lonely. Horny. Scared.

Sick and tired of his broken brain. Desperate to be whole again.

All of the above. All the time.

“If I make a scene tonight, I am so sorry ahead of time.”

Noel squeezed his knee. “I called the owners last night. They remembered you and they know we’re coming. Their employees know.”

Humiliation flamed his face. “Shit, Noel, really?”

“I didn’t do it to embarrass you. I did it to keep you safe. It’s actually a good thing, other people knowing about your disability.”

Dark eyes flashed in his mind. They didn’t belong to anyone in particular. He saw them occasionally and for no good reason. Kind, dark eyes. A warm smile.

“Have I made any new friends lately?” Tristan asked.

“Friends? No.” Noel took an exit into another part of the city. “I mean, you’ve been meeting new people when we go out places. You’ve met some people in Stratton.”

“Okay.”

Noel parked in a pay-by-the-hour garage instead of on the street. Tristan took another look at his notebook for additional clarification, then used a marker to write Noel, Shane, dancing on the backs of both hands. He’d look kind of silly but it would help.

The late hour didn’t diminish the sweltering August heat, and Tristan worked up a good sweat walking. Shane and Noel both looked crazy sexy in their club clothes, and even sexier walking side by side. He was happy for Noel. Happy his best friend was in love and enjoying himself.

He was also stupidly, insanely jealous.

He stuck close with his stupid, insane jealousy because the streets were teeming with people of all ages, heading into and out of the different restaurants and clubs. They turned down a quieter side street that was more like an alley. Halfway down the block a few guys hung out against a stone wall, most of them smoking cigarettes. An industrial door with no sign or markings was being guarded by a big, burly bear of a man in a black leather vest.

“Hey, Officer Carlson,” the bouncer said. He had a deep voice to match his broad body. “Nice to see you again.”

“Hi, Mr. Henson,” Noel said.

“Bear, son. Everyone calls me Bear.”

“Right. This is my friend Tristan Lavelle.”

“A right pleasure.”

Tristan shook Bear’s hand, surprised by the gentle grip. “Hi.” He glanced at Shane, who didn’t seem at all annoyed at being left out. “Um, that’s Shane. Noel’s boyfriend.”

Bear grinned. “Yeah, I know that one all right.”

“You do?” He reached for a notebook he didn’t have, then looked at Noel for answers.

“Shane dances here once a week,” Noel said. “He got the job through Bear’s son Gabe.”

“Oh.” He didn’t bother asking if he’d already been told that. Probably. Every single piece of information that was mildly important to his life had been repeated to him at least, oh, eighteen times. Minimum.

“Enjoy yourselves, boys,” Bear said. “First drinks are on the house.”

“Thank you,” Tristan replied.

Noel pulled the door, and what had been a distant bass became an impressive thumpa-thumpa in Tristan’s chest. The interior of the club was wide and deep, with a high ceiling decorated in strands of red and blue lights. Strobes and other lighting flashed around the dance floor, which seemed to make up most of the floor space. A small U-shaped bar stood to the right. In the rear were what looked like raised platforms. Two hot guys in red short-shorts were gyrating together on one of them.

This is the kind of dancing Shane does? Shit.

He was probably twenty kinds of hot up there.

Someone jostled past them, reminding Tristan to keep moving forward. Noel was hustling them straight for the bar. Tristan couldn’t drink alcohol because of his antidepressants and anxiety medications, and Noel was driving so the only person able to drink much was Shane.

Lucky bastard.

Not that Tristan was going to mourn his dry night. Men. Everywhere around him, a sea of hot men. All kinds of eye candy. Every age, height, weight, shape and body hair amount. He observed and mentally drooled over the flesh on display. The air smelled of liquor and sweat and sex, and good Lord he was starting to get lightheaded from it all.

Noel nudged them closer to the bar. A middle-aged man with gray hair and a pink sequined vest gave them all a big, toothy smile. “Noel and friends,” he said. “Richard Brightman, pleased to officially meet you, Tristan.”

“Hello,” Tristan said. Officially meet you implied they’d interacted before, but the man’s name meant nothing to him.

“I’m Bear’s husband. We own the place.”

“Oh. It’s a great place. I’m pretty sure this is my first time. I like it.”

Noel flinched.

Okay that was wrong. When was I here before?

“So what are we drinking tonight?” Richard asked. “First round on the house. Samuel Adams for you, Shane?”

“Yeah, thanks,” Shane replied.

Richard knows because Shane works here.

“I’ll have a vodka tonic,” Noel said. “Tris?”

“Virgin margarita,” Tristan said. He loved margaritas, and while a virgin wasn’t as good as one with PatrΓ³n, he couldn’t mix with his meds.

“Coming up,” Richard said.

The music changed to a faster, sharper beat. Tristan’s hips rolled in tiny motions, instinct bringing out his love of club dancing. Of getting into it with another dude, all writhing bodies and gyrating hips. Arms and legs. Sweat and heavy breathing.

Wonderful arousal stirred in his gut, heating his blood already. He might not be getting laid tonight, but damn it, he was going to have some fun.

“Hey, you guys made it,” said a sexy, sultry voice.

Tristan glanced over his shoulder to see who the voice had spoken to, only to find himself staring into a pair of kind, dark eyes. Kind, dark eyes belonging to a stunningly handsome face. Black hair. Tan skin. Tall and well-built. A walking wet dream who was smiling like they were old friends.

Holy hell, he’s gorgeous.

“Hey, Gabe,” Shane said.

Gabe.

Those kind, dark eyes never broke from his, and Tristan couldn’t look away. Gabe was a stranger, and yet somehow familiar.

His eyes. The eyes I see. We’ve met.

“We’ve met,” Tristan said before he could think twice.

Gabe’s eyebrows twitched. “Yes, we have. Do you remember that?”

“I remember your eyes.”

“You remember my eyes?” He didn’t sound surprised or weirded out by that. More like pleased that a detail had actually stuck.

It pleased Tristan all over the place. “That’s weird, right? I remember your eyes, but I couldn’t tell you what I had for dinner tonight.”

“I guess I made an impression.”

“It’s easy to see how you might.” Hell yes, Tristan was flirting. Hot guy. Dry spell. He was out to have a good time. “I’m guessing we met here?”

“Yeah, we did.” Gabe glanced at Noel, who apparently knew this story, because he nodded at Gabe. “About two months ago, you came to the club alone.”

Dread crept over him. “How badly did I embarrass myself?”

“Not badly. Once my dad called Noel and he explained everything, it was okay. I’m glad I was here to help.”

He was leaving out a lot of details that Tristan wouldn’t remember in half an hour, and he wasn’t entirely sure he needed to hear them. Possibly for the second, third or tenth time. Instead of pressing the issue, he took a long sip of his margarita, savoring the pop of lime and salt on his tongue. Then he looked Gabe in the eye and asked, “You wanna dance?”

Gabe’s grin was immediate and blinding. “Definitely.”

Tristan chugged the rest of his drink, then plunked the glass down on the bar. He grabbed Gabe’s hand and led the way into the sea of moving bodies. Arms and hips bumped and brushed. Music poured through him, setting the beat as he turned to face Gabe, who was already moving. A white tee clung to what was probably a perfect six-pack. Black jeans hugged his ass and outlined a nice package.

So hot.

And his for now, so Tristan let go of Gabe’s hand, closed his eyes and danced.

Author Bio:
No stranger to the writing world, A.M. Arthur has been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long. She credits an early fascination with male friendships and "bromance" (and "The Young Riders") with her later discovery of and subsequent affair with m/m romance stories. When not writing, she can be found in her kitchen, pretending she's an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.


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EMAIL: AM_Arthur@yahoo.com



The Truth as He Knows It #1
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The World as He Sees It #2



Release Day Blitz: Running Away by Jen Andrews

Title: Running Away
Author: Jen Andrews
Series: Just Say Yes #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 26, 2015
Summary:
Nearing age thirty, Jeremy James is cruising along in life, doing as he pleases. No girlfriend, no wife, no drama. Women go as easily as they come, but inside, he feels something’s missing. After the birth of his niece, Hannah, and a not so gentle nudge from his sister, Zoey, Jeremy decides to make a change in his life and settle down.

Then he meets Teagan Donnelly.
And she wants nothing to do with him.

Teagan has recently come out of a three year relationship with a man who cheated, shamed her, and berated her for her weight and life choices. The once secure yet spirited woman cannot figure out what Jeremy wants with her.

For Jeremy, it’s plain and simple. He wants Teagan to stop running away and give him a chance. But for Teagan, taking a chance with Jeremy means she could lose herself all over again.


Now, I was taking her wishes seriously and moving on, quitting my “path of self-destruction” as Teagan had called it. Well, if I was on a path of self-destruction, Teagan was the fucking tour guide. Yes, I was angry with her, but I’d finally accepted that we were over.

I was tired of being miserable. Tired of not sleeping, and tired of being in my house alone. As soon as I’d gotten home from the funeral, I’d packed all of my clothes and personal shit I used every day, and had gone to stay at the apartment above the shop.

Since the apartment was fully furnished I hadn’t needed to bring anything from my house. All the furniture and everything else could stay there for all I cared. Which, in turn, made me feel extremely guilty after all the work my sister put in to making my home perfect.

With the apartment being quiet and containing nothing familiar to me, I’d finally started to relax for the first time in months. The place held no reminders of Teagan, no reminders of Cammie, and no reminders of the house that I loved so much but which I knew I wouldn’t be going back to.

I had tried to live a normal life. I had tried to make a home. I had tried falling in love and making a life with someone.

I had fucking failed.

Miserably.





Author Bio:
Jen Andrews was raised in a small town in Northern California, and still lives in the same county where she was born. She is a self-proclaimed music and lyric addict. She grew up in a ‘car family’ so her life has been spent around old hot rods. She and her husband, Jake, even have a few of their own. In her spare time, Jen loves to travel wherever she can. She finally lived her dream of traveling to New Zealand to see her favorite rugby team, the All Blacks, play. Jen loves to do photography as a hobby and continues to write.


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Running Away #4
AMAZON AU  /  B&N  /  KOBO  /  GOODREADS TBR

Just Say Yes Series
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Release Day Blitz: Special Agent Maximilian by Mimi Barbour

Title: Special Agent Maximillian
Author: Mimi Barbour
Series: Undercover FBI #3
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: August 26, 2015
Summary:
Identical twins but different men – she loves both!

In this electrifying romantic suspense set in the steamy streets of New Orleans, Lieutenant Commander Nik Baudin, accidently meets up with an identical twin he never knew existed. When his brother Max goes missing, Nik assumes his identity as Special Agent Maximilian. This gives him access to FBI files making it easier to arrest the gangsters who attacked his brother and to stop their trafficking of underage girls. Being that Nik has specialized commando training, he’s the perfect man for the job - that’s if his PTSD doesn’t kick in and leave him cowering in a corner.

Special Agent Maya Barnes can’t believe it when she spots her partner, Max Foster, wandering along the French market without a care in the world. Since he’d been beaten and had gone missing weeks earlier, they all believed him dead. There’s only one problem… though this man might look exactly like the missing agent, she knows differently. In all the years they’ve worked together, she’s never wanted to have mind-blowing sex with her partner before.



Author Bio:
Mimi Barbour is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who's sold over 500,000 copies of her books world-wide. Her five romance series: The Vicarage Bench/ time travel at it's best, Angels with Attitudes / angels love romance, Vegas / fast-paced plotting, Elvis / make a song a book and her newest, Undercover FBI / with sizzling conflicts and lots of humor.

Mimi's been heard to say: "I'm an author who loves to read uplifting stories about romance. Add in some time travel, or maybe an angel, or even a little romantic suspense and it makes the story more fascinating because of the incredible possibilities."


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Special Agent Maximillian #3

Special Agent Francesca #1
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Special Agent Finnegan #2
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Renewing Bonds by Ruby MacIntyre

Title: Renewing Bonds
Author: Ruby MacIntyre
Series: Bonds of Truth #2
Genre: M/M Erotic Romance
Release Date: August 15, 2015
Publisher: Encompass Ink

***Content Warning:  Explicit sexual content, 18+***
Summary:
Two hearts long separated find each other again.

Connor Locke has only given his heart away once, to a man who left him alone with only a note as an explanation. He has tried to move on, but no one compared to the one who left him brokenhearted and alone.

Harry grew up as a black sheep in his family, and when he met Connor he thought he finally found a place to call home. The strong, yet loving lawyer gave him things he never thought he’d find. But then he had to leave, and that decision ended up ruining his life.

After years apart, the couple is finally reunited, but not in a way either of them expects. A crime lord wants Harry badly, and he will do anything to get him. Will Connor be able to keep Harry safe and salvage their love, or will he lose Harry forever?


     Harry was amazed when Connor brought him to his condo and demanded he sleep in his bed. That wasn’t the surprising part, though—no, the true shock came once they snuggled down under the covers in nothing but sweatpants. Connor just held him close in his strong arms and fell asleep. No demanding, no talking, no touching. Just sleep.
    It was the most precious gift that Connor could give him. Harry couldn’t recall the last time he had been in a man’s house, in his bed, and not be expected to do something. So, once Connor’s breathing had evened out in sleep, it was the easiest thing in the world for Harry to follow behind him. For the second night in a row, Harry had a peaceful sleep with no nightmares and no one waking him, demanding sex.
    When the sun peeked in between the blinds and woke him up, Harry almost wanted to cry. He longed for the easy escape that the dark nothingness of sleep provided him. Being awake brought back all the evil and fears of the world, neither of which he could escape. When something tightened around his chest, pulling him against a hard body, Harry stiffened. Where was he? More importantly, who was he with? Would he demand to be serviced or just let him go in peace?
    “Shh, baby. It’s just me.”
    Harry choked on a sob at the familiar, comforting voice. He had forgotten he was at Connor’s house. He was safe there.
    “Aw, baby, don’t cry. It’s okay. . . shh, you’re okay.” Connor turned him, so they faced each other, and pulled him close again.
    Harry buried his face in Connor’s chest, letting the hot tears of relief flow. He moaned when strong fingers sank into his long hair and pressed himself into the contact. Out of the hundreds of men who had touched him in the past few years, only Connor brought him any measure of peace. His body only craved Connor’s touch.
    He wanted to beg for the man to take him, to own his body in such a way that he would forget about the others, the faceless johns who had touched him when Connor should have been the only one. But he couldn’t. He wouldn’t find out until later that day if he was clean, and even if he ended up being pristine, that didn’t take away from the blackness covering his soul. He had been dirtied. Each nameless trick had left their blackened mark on him. How could Connor want him anymore when he was used and filthy?
    Connor held him the entire time he cried without saying a word. He provided comforting noises and ran his hands up and down Harry’s back. When Harry’s tears dried up, and his hitched breathing finally returned to normal, he pulled back enough to look up at the man who held him and gave a shaky smile.
    “I’m sorry about that.”
    “Don’t be.” Connor shook his head, refusing to accept his apology. “You can always open up with me, baby. Even if that means bawling your eyes out on my shoulder.”

1. What is the biggest influence/interest that brought you to this genre?
I never even knew MM existed until I read Lover at Last by J.R. Ward, which awakened my interest in MM romance. Qhuinn and Blay were just so extraordinarily beautiful together, and the problems they faced were so different compared to the other couples because their sexuality was something Qhuinn was afraid to face. It  opened a whole new realm of opportunity, and left me wanting more. I remember discussing my thoughts of the book with a fellow romance reader, and she gave me some good MM books to read, and it just grew from there. I haven’t looked back since. I have a hard time reading MF at this point without wanting some MM lovin’  in it.

2. When writing a book, what is your favorite part of the creative process (outline, plot, character names, editing, etc)?
My favorite part is letting the story flow. Characters and basic ideas pop into my head randomly, and then when I go to bed at night, I expand on them as I’m falling asleep. I don’t ever create an outline, because I believe strongly in allowing my characters to do whatever they want, as I create stronger stories that way. So, sometimes I may see something happening, but when I get to that point, it changes. I like that too, because it means my characters are vibrant and alive and I trust their actions much more than I could ever trust myself to plot out their lives for them.

3. When reading a book, what genre do you find most interesting/intriguing?
MM of course! ( Hmm, I don’t think I have a particular trope that I love most. I enjoy everything from sci-fi, mpreg, GFY… They’re all wonderful and special.

4. If you could co-author with any author, past or present, who would you choose?
Oh, wow. I don’t think I could ever co-author something, because I would see things happening for both characters… But if I had to choose someone to co-write a book with, it would probably be Riley Hart. I think she’s a phenomenal writer, who can bring emotions to life so that I can practically feel them myself as the characters are feeling them. And she writes some pretty hot sex! I love all her books. She’s a great person and a great writer. Did I already say that?? LOL

5. Have you always wanted to write or did it come to you "later in life"?
I’ve always enjoyed writing. My desire to write stories came to me after high school. I had tried a few times to write stories with no succeed or motivation to continue. But one day, a story hit me that wouldn’t let go. So I wrote. And wrote. And wrote! A year later, I had a 100,000-word fantasy novel that I had slaved over and bled and cried over, and I had no idea what to do with it. Just last year, I tried my hand at MM romance, which was another genre I had fallen in love with more recently and I had some stories to tell. That’s how Tatum and Chris were “born.” I wrote their story in less than a month, and now here I am. I’m ready to tell my guys’ stories, if I can continue to find the time to write them.

Author Bio:
Ruby MacIntyre was born and raised in Kansas and has always been an avid reader. It’s beyond a mere hobby or escape from reality; it’s her passion. Because of her love for reading, writing her own stories—giving voices and happy endings to the people that live in her head—was only natural. She may be relatively new to the gay romance genre, but once Ruby found it, she never looked back. Now it’s all she reads (the hotter the better!), and she is quite content with the sexy men that dwell in her head, clamoring for her attention. When Ruby’s not reading, she’s writing, and vice-versa. Books have always been her life and likely always will be.

In the rare occasions Ruby isn’t working, reading, or writing, she loves to play or cuddle with her dog and cat, watch a movie, or hang with family. She loves books (duh), pretty notebooks, snowflakes, and the color yellow.


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