Just a quick pop in here on the End of the World Eve Eve to remind you that HONEY RED, my "menage for real life" is available for pre-order NOW on All Romance Ebooks in ALL e-reader formats!
MY WAY COOL COVER designed by my brewery's Art Director (yes, it looks like a beer label because it is supposed to be a beer label)....
MY WAY COOL COVER designed by my brewery's Art Director (yes, it looks like a beer label because it is supposed to be a beer label)....
Two men suffering from visible and invisible wounds meet by chance circumstance.
Nick Traynor and Ian Donovan spend a lot of time and effort keeping it very hot, only physical, and purely superficial. But when their resolve starts to slip, a woman is tossed into their midst.
Hannah Williams wants nothing more than to do her job until something better comes along, but is forced to own up to her visceral reaction to Ian, her new boss, and later to Nick, his sometimes lover.
Lust has a funny way of turning into companionship, and eventually evolving into a deeper connection. Faced with the internal and external complications of their potential three-way relationship, they begin to heal and trust, to consider that it might work. Then life tosses them a hardball, forcing them back into their respective corners, where each must choose what is most important.
Three people determined not to commit, thrown together by fate and undeniable attraction--their nights heat up and emotions run high in spite of a claimed mutual desire to "keep it simple." In the process of honest self-discovery, can they learn that while love is never simple, it is definitely worth fighting for?
1. rated pg
“I met somebody.”
Ian looked up from his appraisal of the new fermenter’s temp controls at the sound of his brother’s voice. He frowned at the odd look on Gavin’s face. The man’s first marriage had been one of similar tastes, drive and looks. Ian had hated her guts from the start. She was the worst kind of social-climbing fake bitch. And had shown her true colors clearly in the last few years, keeping the twins away as much as possible from their father while demanding more and more in alimony and child support. Ian knew not having his sons around nearly killed Gavin on a daily basis while he was only just beginning to understand how awful that must be. His nephews were around this month however, spending time with their dad while their mother worked on obtaining rich husband number two.
“Cool. Who? Where?” He kept busy wrapping up the brewing day and ignored the small voice reminding him how much he still lacked grown up company of the physical sort. They’d had great response to their call for a marketing director in the last few weeks, and he was working on a group interview, but still wanted to make one more contact over at Eastern Michigan’s Business School. A couple more decent candidates would be ideal before he brought them all in for a group think session so he could see who stood out from the crowd. But he was honestly happy for his brother. “That explains the goofy ass look on your face. I assume you’ve gotten laid?”
“Maybe. It’s Alyssa…um…Alyssa Traynor. Met her on the job actually,” Gavin ran a hand through his thick black hair. The two of them were about as far apart in looks and personality as fraternal twins could be. Gavin had their mother’s black Irish looks with hair as dark as night and bright blue eyes. Ian was green-eyed, with wavy sandy blond hair—that same hair that repeated itself on Jamie’s head and was sore need of cutting. Kid could pass as a girl with his soft features and long hair. His mother nagged him nearly daily about it. Ian stopped musing, processed what his brother had said, then stared at him.
“Traynor…as in Traynor Wholesale Company…as in our distribution partner…the one I want to fucking fire because they suck?”
“Wow.” Ian put down the clipboard and crossed his arms over his chest. “Nice one. Hope she’s worth it.”
“Oh, I think she is.” Gavin raised an eyebrow and stuck his hands in his pockets. “And she has invited you over to dinner, this weekend. She has a brother at home with her right now. He’s a Marine vet, from Iraq, and a little messed up, at least physically but she’s determined to take care of him until he can get settled.”
“A brother,” Ian said, slowly finally realizing what was going on. “A wounded warrior brother. No thanks Gavin. I’ll take a pass.”
“I’m not setting you up with the guy, Jesus. For the record I still think you should stick with girls, but since you can’t seem to make up your mind…I just thought, since you haven’t been out or anything in a while and Alyssa said her brother was…your type. Although you should know, he is blind, thanks to a firefight that got him discharged with a Purple Heart and a Navy Cross. He has a service dog that he’s trying to get used to. And a new job as an internet security consultant. The shit they can do with computers now—it’s like his being blind makes no difference at all in that respect. His name is Nick.” Gavin shrugged.
Ian gaped at his brother, his heart racing with something he could only identify as anger. “A blind, gay, pissed off, computer geek, ex-Marine? Thanks Gavin. Sounds like fun. Maybe I’ll invite my son’s drug-addled mother along, you know, to complete the dysfunctional family portrait.” He turned away, aware he was being an ass about a guy he didn’t even know.
“Sorry,” Gavin said.
“Whatever, I’ll think about it."
2. rated R
Alyssa knelt down beside him, took his hand. “We’re going to a movie. You okay here with Ian?” she whispered. He nodded but was very much not sure that he would be. The dog whimpered.
“Later brother,” Gavin called out. “Talk soon Nick. Good luck next week with the new job.”
Ian walked into the house with the couple, leaving Nick alone with his swirling thoughts and pounding skull. Brutus repositioned to Nick’s left, between him and the chair Ian had just vacated. He put his huge head on Nick’s hand. “Dude,” Nick said softly. “I think I just figured out why you’re upset. And let me just tell you now, it’s okay. I’m okay. I’m … agitated, but it’s normal.” He patted the dog’s nose, then leaned back and stretched his legs out in front of him, relieving the pressure building once more under his jeans.
He heard Ian rummaging around in the kitchen, opening and closing the fridge. Nick took a long, deep breath and made a decision. He smiled when Ian pressed the cold water bottle to his shoulder and took it, but then set it on the table that he knew was to his front right, where it always was. His mind kept roiling but he kept a lid on his urge to suck in a breath when he sensed Ian pulling a chair up on his other side, avoiding the guard dog. “I don’t think he likes me,” the man declared.
Nick put a hand on Ian’s leg.. He heard the other man’s breath hitch, and would swear on a stack of procedure manuals he heard his heartbeat increase. Don’t be ridiculous, you can’t hear a heartbeat. But he smiled, and leaned back, leaving his fingers trailing along the denim covering Ian’s thigh. “Oh he’s fine. But I think I figured out how in tune to me he actually is.”
“Oh?” Ian touched his fingers, brushed the back of Nick’s hand once, then again, making him shiver.
“Yeah, I think he senses how god damned horny I am. Since he has no frame of reference for it, it’s making him nervous, protective.”
“Wow,” Ian leaned over and Nick could feel the other man’s lips near his throat. “Impressive,” He said, putting his hand over Nick’s erection.
“Yeah,” Nick croaked out, suddenly nervous. “So, I’m typically not…”
“Shh…” Ian’s hand left his cock, made its way up his torso, and wound around the back of his neck. “You are pretty amazing.”
“No, not really. Just blind. Without a real job. Living in my sister’s house.”
“But you look damn good doing all that, trust me.”
“You make a point of seducing blind guys you just met?”
“I didn’t just meet you. I remember you from a few months…before.”
Nick shivered again. This whole thing was somehow right and wrong at the same time. He needed a physical connection, bad, but was unsure if it should be with Ian Donovan. This, of course coming from his now humming and thankfully pain-free brain while his body screeched at him to grab the guy and kiss him.
Nick sighed when Ian’s fingers twined in his newly grown hair. He hadn’t had hair this long in over ten years. He’d forgotten what color it was. He sighed, raised his face to the cooling night breeze when Ian’s lips found his jaw and made their slow way down his neck, then up. “You are…very attractive.” Ian’s words made their presence known, curling in and around Nick’s amped up libido and making him grit his teeth.
3. rated R
He had called the production shots in the brewery from the beginning. Gavin took whatever Ian and his staff of trained brewers made and sold it, not vice versa. It had worked for them. They’d grown from nothing to one of the bigger craft breweries in Michigan inside of six years. Thanks in no small part to the deep pockets the five investors Gavin had recently procured.
Ian respected the hell out of his brother, with his suave manner, his charming patter, clean cut suits and the women who flittered around him like moths to a flame. But damn if Ian didn't curse the man nearly daily for hiring this fiery red-headed temptress who seemed to think that he would be scheduling his brews around her sales. She shoved a computer tablet under his nose. “Look at this.” Her foot tapped out a familiar rhythm. The “Ian is a stubborn asshole and I’m telling Gavin” one.
He took a step back, trying to get her scent out of his nose. Luckily, she was in full on bitch-mode so he could be pissed, and not horny. Besides, he had his own issues, trying to get Nick to answer his calls, to reconnect. The man was an expert at avoidance so Ian was about to give up, let the one-off be just that. He wiped the sweat off his forehead and took the device. A graph flashed red, indicating that they were running low on their flagship hoppy lager.
“Yeah, Hannah, I know. I updated the damn thing this morning.” He turned away from her, addressed his next comment to the empty fermenter that had fucked up his last batch of that very beer. He had a service call in on it, but believed he’d already identified the problem. “I’m sorry.”
“Sorry,” she yanked the computer out of his hand, brushing his arm with hers in the process, making him shudder and need some distance. “You’re sorry?”
“Yeah, you’re deaf?”
“No, you dickhead, I’m not. But ‘sorry’ isn’t gonna cut it this week. I made a huge sale of the Hopped Up Lager and you know it. I put it here,” she tapped the screen, which flipped over to her shiny new sales reporting system that had become the bane of his brewing existence. “You saw it. I know you did because I see you logged into the shared file and…”
“Listen,” he turned away from the stainless steel vessel and glared at her. “I didn’t sabotage this damn thing on purpose. It failed, okay? Broke, blew a gasket, something that I am attempting to diagnose, or would be if I weren’t occupied being reamed out by you.” She blew out a breath, started to speak, but he held up a hand. “Spare me. You’re gonna have to short the order. It happens. Jesus.”
“Unacceptable.” She spit out, tucking the computer under one bare arm. She was parading around the brewery in her sales suit, a tight black skirt, sleeveless silk blouse and the patently obnoxious way-too-high heels. Ian forced himself not to drag his eyeballs up and down her frame as that first moment he saw her, with her legs up in the air on her ass on the brewery floor kept replaying. He would not give the bitch the satisfaction. “I need five pallets filled and ready in a week. Make it happen, brewer.” She spit out the last word, emphasizing his role as opposed to hers he guessed, then started to turn on her stiletto heel. Fury made the edges of his vision redden.
Without realizing he was doing it, he reached out, grabbed her arm, spun her around and ground out, “It won’t happen and you know it. Stop coming down here and acting like such a bossy…” he looked down and bit back the word he wanted to use. Her skin was hot under his palm and his body was reacting to her proximity, which only made him madder. She looked at his hand, then up at him, her crazy blue green eyes snapping with something he thought he recognized. He tightened his grip, dragged her closer. “Tomorrow morning five-thirty a.m. Be here. Wear jeans, a T-shirt and your hair pulled back. I’m sick and fucking tired of trying to make you understand this process. You are gonna brew with me. To appreciate what we do, so you can get exactly how pissed off you make everybody with your ridiculous demands.”
Her eyes flickered down his chest. The distinct sensation of painful erection made him clench his jaw. “I’m busy tomorrow morning.” She whispered.
Ian moved directly into her space, and let their bodies graze each other on purpose. “Yeah, I know. With me.” He leaned over her, keeping his hand on her arm. Dear God he was horny. He hadn’t had sex in nearly two months, refusing to remember that last time for a lot of reasons. He wanted Nick so badly at that moment, issues and all, he could practically taste the man. But of course, he was somehow within a split second of laying a tongue-tangler on the annoying, frustrating, hot woman in front of him. Tempting as it was, he stopped, let go of her, stepped away.
4. rated Nc17
“Hey,” she said, smiling and scratching the seeing-eye dog between the ears. She looked up, letting her gaze take in the full Marine dress uniform of the man attached to the animal. The crisp, formal clothes seemed to hang on him, even though he was fit, but it was obvious at one time he had been even bigger. His classical, masculine V-shape was breathtaking. His shoulders were broad but not bulky, his jaw firm, clean and the rest of his face at that moment showed stress that marred its model-like perfection. His golden yellow hair was thick, and touched the color of the uniform jacket. She bit her lip and dispelled the sudden erotic loop of imagery—Ian and this man, together. “Hi,” she said, holding out a hand. “I’m Hannah.”
His face turned to hers, and his smile was so incredibly sexy and innocent at the same time her heart started pounding. He held onto her a few seconds longer than was polite. She tugged but he wouldn’t let her go. “I hear your heart,” he said, quietly.
“Oh, wow, that’s…um, cool.” She had no idea what to do with her arms, hands, or heartbeat. Jamie was all over the dog and Brutus was panting and wagging his tail like mad. The party flowed around them, getting louder by the minute. Suddenly, Hannah wanted to be alone. Or more precisely she wanted to be alone with the man in front of her. He wore his emotional pain like a medal on his uniform. And something about him compelled her to want to help—or possibly it was because Ian still loved him. Wow. This could get messy. She squared her shoulder and decided to stick with usually worked best for—brutally direct. “You must be Nick.”
His grin faded slightly. “Yeah, I guess I am the only blind ex-Marine with a dog date here, huh?”
She leaned into him, determined to keep to the path of directness. “It’s okay. I know about you and Ian”
He stiffened. “Really. Well, tell me something then, Hannah.” He put his lips near her ear. The overwhelming compulsion to put hands on him made her knees wobbly. She gripped the chair back. The party noises kept ramping up. But she barely heard them, too mesmerized by Nick’s face, voice, and the warm hand in the small of her back. “Tell me what you think you know about me. And Ian.” His lips tickled, making her break out in goose bumps. She turned her head, saw Ian, caught his eye. And it gave her strength.
“I know he loves you.” She said, then took Jamie’s hand and was about to lead him away before she said or did anything she couldn’t take back with the sad-faced, ridiculously handsome blind man in the Marine uniform.
But Nick gripped her arm lighting a small fire on her skin. The dog snuffled around her leg, whining as if sensing his master’s distress. “The hell you say.” He said, his jaw tight. “Besides, he has the smell of you all over him right now. I don’t know if it’s your perfume or shampoo or what, but you smell like rich, sweet honey. And I can tell he’s been dipping into it—into you. Not that I blame him.”
“I don’t wear perfume and use unscented shampoo.” Her knees shook at his innocuous yet sexy words. She ran a fingertip down his face, unable to resist.
“Don’t,” he flinched away. “I’m not interested in your type.” But his low voice said otherwise.