Review: Bored, Stroked and Blueprinted (Grease Monkeys, Inc.) by KC Kendrick

As a boy, Mick Ambrose fell in love with cars. Now he owns and operates an auto restoration shop specializing in all things American Muscle. When the black 1969 Camaro Z/28 he years ago dubbed Onyx pulls into his garage, Mick forgets his first love in favor of her driver, Logan Gregg. Mick’s interested and cruises Logan at a speed worthy of the car he drives.

Logan Gregg’s plan to avoid entanglements in his life drives away when he stops at American Muscle to ask a few questions about restoring the Z/28 he inherited from his uncle. The owner of the shop is smooth as a well-tuned V-8 engine and twice as hot. Logan is quick to shift gears and take a closer look at Mick Ambrose and the road ahead.

But when Mick wants to get too close, too fast, Logan backs off. His past holds painful memories he can’t escape and the tattoos on his arms aren’t just for decoration. Working on the Z/28 brings the men closer, but Mick makes a mistake when he confesses his knowledge of the past Logan wants to keep buried. Mick knows a man has to settle his past to step into his future, but can he convince Logan?

Publisher's Note: This book was previously released by another publisher but has been revised and re-edited for this edition.

Bored, Stroked and Blueprinted is part of the Grease Monkey’s series but can be read as a standalone.

Mick Ambrose is a small town everyman who appreciates cars like a man might appreciate a lover. He’s not just a mechanic, he truly loves the work he does and I for one, appreciate a man who can work with his hands with a passion for getting dirty and making something broken come back to life. From his childhood he’s been enamored with a Z28 that he sees cruising around town. He names her Onyx and she’s an inspiration to him. Anyone who knows a gearhead (*raises hand, I married one*) knows this to be true. It sounds super dramatic and creepily romanticized as I type the words, but it’s such a fact. A gearhead never forgets their first car crush.

One day Onyx comes cruising into his shop driven by a man he’s never seen before and to say that he noticed the driver as well as the car would be an understatement. The driver is Logan Gregg and he’s inherited the car that belonged to his uncle and has just moved into town. Mick tells Logan a toned down version of how much he loves the car and the two of them embark on a plan to restore her. Logan wants to help and Mick wants Logan, so, it’s a win-win. When Mick finds out Logan is gay, it turns into a win-win-win.

Logan has got some baggage and the story really takes on some pretty hefty topics. He’s been injured, experienced traumatic loss, made a pretty major mistake and is now trying to get his life on track. And, while the milestones he’s lived through are pretty brutal, the story doesn’t get too weighed down by them, but they are definitely there and for the bulk of the story they dictate the path of the relationship they both would like to follow if they were being completely honest.

I liked Mick a lot, he’s a good guy with a big heart, but he’s not overly sappy or dramatic. It made him a good match for Logan. There were a few times I felt bad for the guy because of a reaction that Logan had, but I couldn’t blame Logan really either, because of all his past. He was never mean to Mick, he was kind of like a raw nerve, very sensitive and he just felt like he needed to protect himself.

Throughout the story I had a great visual of Logan. The story is from Mick’s perspective, so it makes sense, but I never got a fully fleshed out one for Mick. I don’t think I ever realized how much I need that, but I really do. I mean, I felt like something was missing and I couldn’t put my finger on what felt slightly off and I think that was it. For some genres, that may not matter, but to a romance it does and to a visual person it does even more. I may not have caught on if Mick weren’t so descriptive of Logan.

This is a heavier read that really isn’t and a romance that isn’t overly romantic. It read very real and I appreciated the voice that Mick had. He’s just a regular guy and it was good to read something in a realistic tone that ends with some happiness for a couple of guys who will really appreciate it.

For more information on Bored, Stroked and Blueprinted, check it out on Goodreads.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

Audiobook Review: A Shot at Forgiveness by Cardeno C.

Sometimes to find love, you must first learn forgiveness.

A dozen years, 2,000 miles, and a law degree after high school, Rafi Steiner continues to harbor resentment toward Isaac Jones, his childhood bully turned NBA star. When Isaac appears at Rafi's favorite restaurant acting like a long-lost friend, Rafi bluntly dismisses him.

But Isaac is tenacious and he has his heart set on the grown-up version of the boy he always wanted and never forgot. The way Isaac sees it, he and Rafi are perfect for each other, if only he could sink the most important shot of his life: his one shot at forgiveness.

Length: 1 hr and 38 mins
Narrator: Robert M. Clark

Okay, now I can see the appeal of this author.

As my second Cardeno C, it went a lot better than expected.

Maybe I needed to listen rather than read? This narrator Robert M. Clark did a really great job.

Or maybe it was the stalking and possessiveness a la crazytrain territory?

Don't judge. ;P

I have a weakness for those types in romance. (Do not condone it in real life)

And this was all subtle crazytrain: Level 4 or 5 from a certain basketball player hero. Nothing outrageous compared to threatening to kill their beloved if they ever left them. Just stalking and a little B & E (breaking and entering).

Present day Rafi is a real estate lawyer, with great friends and a good life. It was better than twelve years ago in high school, where he was bullied by basketball player Isaac Jones. He's over that...until he gets a blast from the past on an outing with friends from his childhood tormentor. Isaac is still as good looking as in high school, currently a NBA player, rich and shouldn't even be in Rafi's town, since Isaac plays 2000 miles away.

Isaac acts as if he and Rafi are friends and slowly yet firmly inserts himself into Rafi's life.

The tall, dark and handsome NBA player is straight to public. But his pursuit of Rafi says otherwise. Be damned of Rafi's feelings since he was bullied for years due to the other man.

Highly improbable. Isaac just shows up after 12 years and stalks Rafi for months and just assumes they'll be forever together?

Definitely illogical. Rafi was hurt. He is still hurt. Those feelings are deeply etched into his psyche. His bully breaks into his house, woos him into submission and doesn't fully explain himself...but he trusts him?

This is madness.

It's crazy.

And worked.

Rafi is the narrator of the story. Robert M. Clark did justice to his snark and the overall tone. The story doesn't make excuses for his feelings. Isaac is just crazy in love. It takes a while (we're talking days) but Rafi sees the Isaac Jones crazy light and loves being 'dominated' by the man.

Thank goodness this was short, I'm unsure how I'd feel with a novel of this. Normally, this kind of stuff in paranormal works for me. But I've read this author's paranormal and it didn't click.

A Shot of Forgiveness? I ate it up. Or I should say I was captivated enough to finish this audiobook in one sitting.

The sex was hot - these two couldn't get enough of each other once the boxers were pulled down. I guess that touch of cray did wonders for the libido. I guess B & E works like a box chocolates in Cardeno C's romancelandia. worked for these two.

Would read this and listen to this again.

I kind of wish Isaac was a little more accountable with his B & E, and stalking. His motivation doesn't justify his actions. No hint of remorse, it was just supposed to be accepted. Rafi protested a little but once the D entered the did the protests.

Other than that, I was entertained.

Check out on Goodreads!

Tag-Team Review: The Night Screams by Devon McCormack

Running naked through the woods, Cal flees the sadistic man who abducted and tortured him. When he stumbles upon a convenience store, he breaks in to steal food. A young store clerk, Jake, confronts him, and they get into a fight that ends with Cal being knocked unconscious. He wakes in the home of Jake’s Uncle Gary, the owner of the convenience store. Realizing Cal needs help, Gary tries to communicate with him, but despite Cal’s efforts, he can’t bring himself to speak. Instead, he writes down his experiences. Horrified by the perverse cruelty Cal endured, Gary takes him to the police, who track down his tormentor.

Abandoned by his parents before his abduction, Cal doesn’t have anywhere to go, so Gary and his wife eagerly welcome him into their home. He feels fortunate to be with such caring people—something he’s never had before. Despite their help, he still can’t find his voice, and he wonders if he ever will. And Jake certainly isn’t making things any easier. It’s clear he doesn’t want Cal to be part of their family. But the more Cal gets to know him, the more he realizes Jake might be the very person who can heal the deep wounds left by his horrifying past.

Sheziss - 2 Hearts

I wanted to read this because I hadn’t read anything of this author before. And for the first 25%, everything was fine. More than fine, really. But then all hell broke loose.

The blurb is quite revealing. In fact, it seems everything is told there. In truth, all of that happens during the first 25%. From then on, the book seems to go nowhere. I mean, there wasn’t a definite plot-line in which the story was developed. It was a chain of events with no evident purpose.

The first quarter of the novel was very agile and compelling. I grant that. It grabbed my attention and didn’t let me go. Cal runs from the place where he had been kidnapped and tortured and gets into a store, Jake’s Uncle’s store. They welcome him home and the police find the criminal and kill him when he attempts to resist.

This loving marriage formed by Gary and Luce, who receive him with open arms, finds no legal obstacles to “adopt” him, and they do it very quickly at that. I had to suspend disbelief at this stage of things. They know nothing of Cal but they love him as a son as soon as he crosses the door. The only one who seems reluctant is Jake, their nephew, who also lives with them.

But it only lasted a short while.

There is no real character development.

It’s hard for me to come to terms with stories like this: the teenager who lives through a traumatic experience and suddenly he gets to meet this perfect prince in shining armor who is so patient and handsome and upright. Usually, this situation gives me a sense of implausibility. And this is no exception.

From Cal’s part, his abduction and trauma are forgotten very easily, he overcomes it and has a normal life. Oh, yeah, he lost his voice and can’t speak for a few weeks, but then he finds it, and he looks like a normal person again. Oh, yeah, he goes to therapy once or twice, but then he cancels the appointments and no one is the wiser. He’s not scared of people, he’s not scared of being touched, he trust everybody and has no problem doing it, no inner conflicts, and no inherent fears. There are a few seconds in which there could be a reminiscence of his experience, but it’s forgotten in the next scene.

From Jake’s part, he soon declares his love for Cal, and he even asks him to marry him. Things were happening so fast and with no depth at all, so I couldn’t find any of this believable at all. Jake is so perfect, he is the ideal boyfriend who promises to protect Cal from everything and he doesn’t care what anybody says about him. He had metal skin in order to ignore the outside world and all its challenges. He’s so hot, he’s not in any sports team, but he’s a math genius who somehow managed to develop a bulging biceps even when resting. He even ends up with a full 5-o’clock at the end of the day, for God’s sake. Yes, I’m aware there are people in high school who have an impressive full beard already. Yes, it’s quite possible, I don’t deny it. But this description fits a 20-something guy rather than a 18-year-old one. This only added to an already incredible situation.

They don’t feel like teens. They are supposed to be 17-18 years old, but they felt they were 10 years older each. So mature attitudes, so confident behaviours, so hot bodies. After a few days being together (I mean, being official boyfriends), they already know the other one is their everything and that they want to spend their whole life together.

Just no. I couldn’t buy it, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t.

And what happens next is hard to accept, too.

Misfortunes, one after the other.

Spoilerish: There is the prom dance date scene, the health issues with Jake’s uncle and aunt, the bigotry of the town, Jake’s decision to flee with Cal and live together elsewhere (whoa, stop there, Jake! Take is easy!), Jake’s jealous ex incident, the marriage episode (life is short but your love story is not that profound, guys!), and if that wasn’t enough, the kidnapper appears at the very end of the book, when he was supposed to be dead.

It’s too much.

Too many things in such a short notice, and all of them are so dramatic and unusual that it sounded like a Greek tragedy rather than a story about two teens being together and growing up together.

The aspect I liked the most were Jake’s friends. I could feel Mallory and Keith and Blake behaving like normal youths, and follow their adventures with a real interest. They were more believable than the main characters, and that is very sad. I also liked Gary a lot, and Luce, despite all. They were very well defined, very well developed.

But everything else? It got out of hand fast.

It was a miss for me.

Lorix - 2.5 Hearts

It kinda breaks my heart a little but this story just did not work for me, and I so wanted it to. Really my feelings reflect much of what Sheziss has just said, so I won't rehash. I liked the potential of the story so much, the execution was just not right (for me) though. I think the strength of the plot was in the initial traumatic incident; this started so well, Cal couldn't speak he was dealing with rejection and abuse the best way he knew how and... well, there was a wealth of storyline that could have been used there. Instead it turned into a bit of a soap opera with one disaster after another. It just wasn't what I was expecting it to be and sometimes the disappointment of expectations not met can really skew the rating for me. Is this the writers fault? No, not really, the author can't know, or write, to my expectations. I think if the last three quarters of the book were erased and the initial story developed further it would have felt as though it had more depth.


One area I do disagree with Sheziss - or my opinion differs, is a better way of saying it - is the wedding. Yeah, it got a bit dramatic, but the actual wedding. I know we're supposed to think that 18 year olds can't know their true feelings etc etc but I do think that some couples genuinely do know at that age. I liked this turn in the storyline, I wouldn't want it in every book I read, but I do like it. I know at least two couples who have been together since their mid teens. Both had children by the time they were eighteen and both are still together. More importantly they are very much in love still. One couple are nearing their 60's and the other (my sister and her husband) are the most sickly in love couple twenty plus years later. So I can, and do, believe it is possible to know forever love at eighteen!!

Though this book didn't work for me, I wouldn't say it wouldn't work for everyone; it could simply be the case of me not being the target audience... my teen years were longer ago than I care to remember! 2.5 is the right rating for my feelings, but it's always worth checking out other reviews with differing opinions.

Find more on Harmony Ink or Goodreads!

Blog Tour: The Night Screams by Devon McCormack

First off, I’d like to thank Boy Meets Boy Reviews for having me on the blog today and for all their support throughout the years. I’m swinging by to promote my new YA novel, The Night Screams, which came out yesterday! Today, I’m sharing an exclusive excerpt from the book. It’s actually my favorite scene, so I hope you all enjoy the read!

The Night Screams

After Cal escapes a deranged kidnapper who tortured him, he doesn't even have the clothes on his back. Desperate and afraid, he breaks into a convenience store. But Jake, a clerk at the store, confronts what to him is little more than a petty thief. After a violent tussle, he knocks Cal out.

Jake encourages his Uncle Gary, the owner of the store, to report Cal to the police, but Gary can't bring himself to report a kid who was just looking to steal food. When Cal wakes, Gary asks him if he's okay. But Cal's trauma has left him mute. Instead, he has to write his experiences down, relaying the horrifying events that led him to the store. The police track down the sick man who held Cal captive, and when he confronts them with a gun, he's shot dead. However, Cal discovers that even with his captor gone, he is far from free of the nightmare he endured.

Gary and his wife welcome Cal into their home, determined to help him heal. Jake doesn't trust Cal, and he isn't afraid to say so. But buried beneath Jake's disapproval might be the person who can help Cal recover from the terrifying experience that continues to haunt him.

Exclusive Excerpt

RIPPLES FORMED where Jake’s green-and-orange plastic bait smacked into the water’s surface.
“Just like that,” Jake said.
Easy for you to say.
Jake had tried to show Cal how to use the open-faced fishing reel for nearly ten minutes, but Cal wasn’t having much luck.
They floated in a small powder-blue-painted boat just a few yards from the shore of this other pond, which was placed in a clearing, seemingly in the middle of the woods. When they’d returned from the store, he and Jake had changed into some of Jake’s old clothes—ones they could get dirty. Jake’s muscles stretched the green tee he wore. The bottom of his jeans, the knees stained with dirt, stopped nearly half a foot before his ankles. Cal fit his better, but he resented wearing a tee, as it didn’t conceal the marks that reminded him of the painful darkness.
He tried to cast again. The bait fell into the boat.
“Shit.” As he reeled his line back in, so did Jake.
“Okay, just watch this,” Jake said. He demonstrated as he spoke. “You pull back like this and press the reel back like this, keeping the string in your finger like so… until you… release.”
The bait flew through the air and arched over the water, demonstrating a skillful throw Cal knew he couldn’t emulate. But he’d try.
He pulled his pole back.
“Wait, wait,” Jake said. He set his pole on the bottom of the boat. He crouched and crawled over to Cal until he was right before him. Grabbing his arm, he pulled it down. “To the side, like this.” He moved Cal’s arm to show him how it should look. “See?”
Where Jake touched his arm, goose bumps rushed across his flesh. As innocent as the fishing trip had seemed up to that point, he couldn’t help but wonder if Jake had calculated this moment so he could put some moves on him.
It made him think of Jyre and the moment in the dorm when Cal realized he hadn’t really wanted help with the GED after all.
That’s ridiculous. He’s just trying to help you, you idiot.
“Okay, okay, I got it,” Cal said, pulling away from his grip.
Jake’s gaze shifted, as if he knew why Cal had rejected him so quickly. He was quiet, incredibly quiet, and Cal knew why.
“You know I wasn’t meaning anything by that.”
He headed back to his seat on the boat.
“I know,” Cal lied.
“I was just trying to show you…. Never mind.”
Awkward silence.
Cal attempted a throw, but his bait dropped less than a foot from the boat.
“Shit,” he said.
Jake didn’t respond to the failed attempt, just picked up his pole and started reeling it in. Cal reeled his in too.
His attitude saddened Cal. This was going to be just like his experience with Jyre.
“So… you ever have a girlfriend?” Jake asked.
“No.” His reply was curt. He wondered if Jake was trying to get him to admit he liked guys so he could use it as a reason for them to do something.
Jake reeled his line in a bit.
“I’m not saying this to be mean, but you seem kinda faggy.”
You did not just say that!
“I’m just saying.” His words were harsh, as if he was trying to get under Cal’s skin.
“I appreciate it.”
Cal hoped Jake’s cruelty would end there, but the glare Jake shot him made him think otherwise.
“So what is it?” Jake asked.
“What’s what?”
“You fuck girls or what?”
Cal blushed at his abrupt and unnecessary use of the word fuck.
“Maybe I just don’t like you.”
Jake turned away.
I didn’t mean that. Just stop being a dick.
Jake’s forearm tensed, as if he was putting pressure on his fist, which rested against the bottom of the boat.
Is he gonna beat me up over this? He recalled Jyre’s violent reaction to his rejection. Considering how violent Jake had been when they’d first encountered each other, it seemed like he could snap just as easily.
“I said I was sorry about all that shit when I first met you,” Jake said.
Is that what he thinks this is about?
“Whatever. You’re so fucking weird anyway. Fucking come here, don’t fucking talk forever.”
Cal’s face flashed with heat. “Why are you bringing that up?”
“I’m sorry. Does the freak have something to say?” His reel locked as the bait clicked against the eye of his pole.
“You don’t have to be an asshole. Jesus, you wonder why I don’t like you, but you can’t be nice to a guy for five seconds.”
“I don’t wonder why you don’t like me. All that shit when I kissed you, I was just worked up about Luce. Who the fuck could like a pasty, scrawny thing like you? And crazy too?” He cast his line again. “You might as well get a few cats and take up a hobby.”
“That’s a shitty thing to say.”
Jake didn’t acknowledge his response.
Cal quieted and set his pole on the bottom of the boat. “Can we just paddle back to shore?”
“Fuck off. If you want to go back, you can swim.”
“You’re a fucking asshole,” Cal said. “I wasn’t gonna say anything, but you fucking deserve it. When you kissed me the first time, I thought, ‘Whatever. It was a rough day.’ But then you kept pushing, and what about Mallory? Do you even give a shit about her feelings? You’re such an asshole to think that you were just gonna do all this behind her back. I was just supposed to go along with it? As what? As your dirty little secret?”
Jake cringed, staring at him as if he didn’t understand what Cal was talking about, though Cal knew he must have.
“Mallory?” he asked. “She’s not my girlfriend.”
Cal’s face flashed with heat again.
“Fuck you!”
“Seriously. She’s not.”
“That night at the fire, she was all over you. She’s always all over you.”
“That’s just us hanging out. She fucking knows I’m gay.”
“Bullshit. She was talking about how much she likes you and how she had gone out of her way to talk to you and even made herself look like an idiot.”
“Yeah… that’s why she felt so stupid. Because I turned out to be gay. Keith is my ex.”
“Keith… who’s taking Kendra to prom?”
Jake glanced around, seemingly in disbelief. “Have you never heard of gay guys taking girls to prom?”
The heat that surged to Cal’s face this time wasn’t from anger but embarrassment. Had he been wrong about everything?
“Oh,” he said awkwardly.
“Is that what all this has been about? ’Cause you thought I was with her?”
Cal’s thoughts swirled with confusion. He tried to think of another reason he was mad at Jake. He’d been an asshole, for one, but that was only because he was mad that Cal hadn’t liked him back, which was only because Cal thought he was with Mallory. Suddenly the very things that held him back had vanished, and Jake was available and wanted him. But after this argument, would he still want him?
“Um… maybe,” Cal admitted as he continued sorting through the past few weeks.
Jake smirked. He set his pole back down and made his way across the boat to Cal.
What’s he going to do?
Jake stared into his eyes and moved closer.
Cal’s confusion evaporated as his body surged with heat.
Jake lunged at him, his lips warm against Cal’s as hot breath rushed from his nostrils and swept across Cal’s cheek.
Prickles crawled across Cal’s skin in waves. His dick shifted against his leg.
Jake wrapped his arms around him and forced him close. His forcefulness caused Cal to lose his balance, and he fell back, Jake falling with him. They hit the side of the boat so that it tipped and dumped them in the water. As they submerged, Jake released Cal, who paddled about until his head resurfaced.
Jake swam beside him.
“Oh shit,” Jake said, his eyes wide as he gazed at the capsized boat.
Cal started for the boat when Jake grabbed his arm and pulled him back to him. “It’s not going anywhere,” he said, kissing him again.
As they kissed, they swam to the shore, just a few yards away. When they reached it, they crawled out of the pond. Mossy mud slid beneath Cal’s palms as he crawled backward. He felt something hard, which quickly pushed from under his hand. His glance revealed it had been a turtle, which swam into the pond, disappearing as it descended deeper and deeper into the water.
Jake crawled forward, over him, planting kisses as water trickled off his hair and showered onto Cal’s face. Cal’s legs were still submerged in the shallow pond water as they gave up their efforts to move farther. They kissed frenziedly, as if at any moment someone might come along and pull them apart. Now that Cal knew he could kiss Jake without shame or regret, he took advantage of the opportunity, seizing it, imprisoning it for his selfish consumption. He moved his fingers through the ridges on Jake’s back, the barrier of his shirt paining him, feeling like too great a distance between them.
Jake grabbed the hem of Cal’s shirt and forced it up, peeling it from his flesh. They parted their kiss as he removed the obstruction.
What are we doing?

And if you want to stalk me, here are some great links:

About Devon McCormack:

Devon McCormack spends most of his time hiding in his lair, adventuring in paranormal worlds with his island of misfit characters. A good ole Southern boy, McCormack grew up in the Georgian suburbs with his two younger brothers and an older sister. At a very young age, he spun tales the old fashioned way, lying to anyone and everyone he encountered. He claimed he was an orphan. He claimed to be a king from another planet. He claimed to have supernatural powers. He has since harnessed this penchant for tall tales by crafting whole worlds where he can live out whatever fantasy he chooses.

A gay man himself, McCormack focuses on gay male characters, adding to the immense body of literature that chooses to represent and advocate gay men's presence in media. His body of work ranges from erotica to young adult, so readers should check the synopses of his books before purchasing so that they know what they're getting into.

GIVEAWAY + Blog Tour: Too Good To Be True by Deanna Wadsworth

We're happy to have Deanna Wadsworth drop by today to promote her latest release, TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE A 1NightStand Story

Hi, Deanna, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your current book by answering this question:

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Okay, I will tell you, but you have to promise not to laugh…..
I wanted to be a clown.
Don’t ask me why, because I have no clue LOL.
When I was very little, any time someone asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said I wanted to be a clown. Now, I did not have clown toys, I did not dress up as a clown for Halloween nor had I ever been to the circus. But until I was about ten, I told people I was gonna be a clown.
Weird, right?
But hey, I own my weirdness.
In my teens I wanted to be either a park ranger or a journalist for a newspaper. I liked to play in the dirt and be outside, and I liked to write stories. I even dwindled away hours writing romance novels. But instead of doing either of those things, I went to beauty school.
Weird, right?
Maybe it was lack of parental encouragement or a practical part of my brain telling me that I needed to get a real job, not an impossible one. After all, jobs as a park ranger like the old days are harder to come by, and who would ever pay me to tell stories? LOL But it all came full circle back to my roots because I spend a lot of time outside in my garden—never could stay away from nature too long—and I eventually became a writer.
Now about that clown business….

Book Name: Too Good To Be True
Series: 1 Night Stand
Book: This is Deanna’s 5th offering in this series. Characters from her previous stories have cameos, but book can be read as a standalone.
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Cover Artist: Fiona Jade

Pages or Words: 36,000 words

Categories: Light suspense, M/M Romance, Romance

Release Date: June 17, 2016


Disgraced former FBI agent Tim Burkhart desperately wants to reclaim his life and find happiness. Relocating his fledgling private security company to Miami—where his ex-wife moved their two daughters—hopefully is a start. When he’s hired to provide protection for an antiques dealer on his way to Scotland to sell a priceless ancient dirk, Tim believes the break he’s been waiting for has finally arrived. Maybe now he can make enough money to hire a lawyer and get shared parenting of his little girls.

Elliot James runs the antique shop he inherited after his grandfather’s death. Lonely and swimming in debt, he longs for a way to turn his life around but keeps making one mistake after another. Then he finds the ancient dirk tucked away among junk as he’s cleaning out his grandfather’s home. Placing it up for sale, he is thrilled when an out of country buyer purchases the priceless antique. The buyer wants the dirk immediately and sends Tim to ensure Elliot safely delivers it on time.

The moment Tim and Elliot meet, however, everything falls apart. Between break-ins, shoot-outs, stalkers, totaled cars, and the cops, it seems Tim and Elliot will never get to Scotland by the deadline. Despite all the obstacles, an unexpected attraction pulls them together, offering each man a glimmer of hope. But if they don’t deliver the dirk on time, they won’t get paid and neither of them will be able to pick up the pieces of their lives.

Will they complete this job and find a happily ever after, or is all of this really too good to be true?


     Staring down the sights of his Colt 1911 and into the panicked eyes of the young man, Tim said, “Keep your hands where I can see ’em. I want to know where Mr. James is and why you’re in his store.”
     Out of the corner of his eye, Tim saw a flash of metal. Instinctively he dropped to the floor. The sharp crack of a bullet shot through the store, shattering something on his left.
     The guy behind the counter made a run for the door.
     Tim rolled behind the armoire, gritting his teeth when the door slammed shut and the first guy got away. Careful to stay out of sight, Tim assessed the shooter who’d come from the back room. He looked as young and inexperienced as the one who’d run. Tim recognized the weapon in his hand—a 9mm semi-automatic Beretta. Though Tim’s .45 could out-shoot the little pea-shooter at the range, he had no interest in finding out who was the better shot in real life.
     “¿Adónde vas? ¡Esperame!” the shooter yelled to his retreating friend.
     Wait for me. Tim knew enough Spanish. The guy planned to make a run for it, too. He clambered to his feet. Before he could tackle and subdue him, the kid aimed his Beretta in the general direction of the armoire and fired off a volley of shots.
     “Shit!” Tim dove behind a stack of rugs to dodge the bullets.
     The gun went silent.
     Tim rolled fast onto his back, his 1911 aimed, only to watch the kid flying out the door behind his friend. The door bounced a few times until it closed, the bells clanging.
     “Shit! Shit!”
     The scraping sounds in the back room, louder than before, drew his attention once more.
     As fast as he could, he crept around the counter, his heart pounding. Both hands on his gun, trigger finger resting on the frame and trigger guard, he took a quick peek into the room, ducking back before a possible third perp could make him.
     In less than a heartbeat, his brain registered what he’d seen. He exhaled. Keeping his gun lowered but at-the-ready, he entered.
     In the center of what looked like a storage room sat the man Tim had been hired to escort to Scotland. He’d been gagged and duct-taped to a chair.
     Elliot James.
     “Is anyone else here?” Tim murmured.
     Mr. James shook his head wildly.
     With a relieved sigh, he rushed over to the man and yanked the gag out. “You okay?”
     “Yeah.” He gasped for air. “I’m fine.”
     “Were there only two?” he clarified, eyes still peeled for danger.
     “Yeah,” he managed, his face flushed and startling green eyes wide. Sandy-brown curls fell across the brow of a very frightened but very beautiful man. He took a few slow, ragged breaths, obviously trying to calm himself. “Just the two of them.”
     Tim took a steadying breath of his own and slowly released the hammer on his Colt and flipped the safety up, never taking his gaze off Mr. James. “What happened?” He holstered the weapon then tore the duct tape from the man’s wrist.
     “Aarrghh!” Mr. James jumped, the chair bouncing.
     Tim winced when he noticed the arm hairs stuck to the tape in his hand. “Sorry ’bout that.” He paused over the other strip. “This one’s gonna hurt, too.”
     Mr. James pursed his lips and nodded bravely. He let out a tiny hiss when Tim freed his second arm. That one didn’t take as much hair because a silver bracelet had protected most of the skin. Obviously, those punks had been amateurs in restraining.
     “Sorry,” Tim said again.
      Rubbing his wrists, he let out a breathy laugh. “It’s okay. Thank you for saving my life.”
      “I believe that’s what I was paid for. I’m Tim Burkhart, your private security detail.”
     Mr. James’s smile made his heart flutter. No, probably just the adrenaline. Tim didn’t get butterflies.
     “Nice to finally meet you, Mr. Burkhart.”
     “Call me Tim.” He stood and withdrew his phone. He gestured toward his bound legs. “You okay to get those? I gotta call the cops.”
     Tim almost dropped his phone when Mr. James shouted. He gaped at the man. “What do you mean no?”
     Prying tape off of his khaki pants, the man paused. Those big green eyes grew even wider. “You can’t call the cops. My whole life depends on it!”

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Meet the author:

Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. She has served multiple board positions at her local RWA chapter and with Rainbow Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. She loves music and dancing, and can often be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes the quiet times when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.

You can also find her young adult alter ego, K.D. Worth Facebook Twitter

Buy Deanna’s books at Dreamspinner Press, Decadent Publishing or at any reputable eBook seller like Amazon or ARe.

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