Basic information about the book in case you missed it...
Cover Designer: AM Design Studios
Photographer: Paul Henry Serres
This is a standalone male/male romantic suspense novel, although it is part of the overall When the Mission Ends series.
Raised in a religious household, being gay was never an option for Steven, but when an injury left him incapacitated, he was forced to face those urges that he’s been able to ignore for the last thirty-eight years of his life...
Three months ago, Major Steven Hardesty’s life sat on the precipice of perfection. Now he’s trying to come back from a life-threatening injury and a devastating romantic loss all while trying to figure out what he’s going to do after separating from the Air Force.
Billy Starr never planned on running his family ranch by himself. He was supposed to be doing it with his sister, Whitney. But when she died in a freak accident, it sent his life in a tailspin of despair and alcohol.
Steven and Billy were friends. Billy offered the ranch as a good, private place where Steven could recover, but as their friendship deepened, so did other feelings. Is it possible that a love affair between the two of them could heal them both? Or break them even more?
Releasing September 14th
(although the print book is already available...shh, don't tell anyone)
Who is Steven?
Both of these characters were introduced in When Love Comes Back.
Steven was Felicia's (the heroine) very serious (about to propose serious) boyfriend in that book. Obviously, they didn't work out. For one thing, Felicia never got over her first love, but secondly because Steven has never been completely honest about exactly who he is.
See, Steven's dad is a VERY famous, VERY conservative, VERY outspoken evangelist who has made a platform of denouncing the LGBTQA community. As his only son, Steven never had a chance to explore his sexuality. He was raised with one option for his life, and one option only. Anything else was not acceptable for the son of Reverend Hardesty.
It's honestly a complicated mess and it's even more messed up in Steven's head. But Steven has a lot of other stuff going on besides his confused sexuality. He's also recovering from a life-threatening gunshot wound and is in the process of separating from the Air Force. There are lots of changes happening in his life and he needs a friend like Billy to help get him through.
Before anything else, these two guys are friends...good friends just there to support one another.
Who is Billy?
Billy was also introduced in When Love Comes Back. He was Felicia's best friend.
He owns and runs a ranch in Southwestern New Mexico that he inherited from his family. He's had a lot of losses in his life. First, he lost his first love in college and then his sister...both to separate car accidents. Those losses have left their marks on him and he didn't cope real well when they first happened.
But now, he's a recovering alcoholic with more than a decade sober. He's learned not to get too close to people because it hurts too much when they disappear. But he's getting too old to play the constant hook-up game and is lonely running the ranch by himself. While he can't see himself ever falling in love again, he wants someone to spend his time with.
When Steven needs a place to recover, Billy doesn't think twice about it. It would be nice to have his friend there...and I think you can probably see where this is going. It is a romance...
Why is this book m/m?
Quite simply...because that's where the characters took me.
I readily admit that I don't have a whole lot of control over my characters and when Steven was introduced in When Love Comes Back, I had NO IDEA the secrets he hid. It wasn't until about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way through that book that he began to give me hints about his real story and where his book would go.
And I get it. I realize that a lot of you read either m/f or m/m and don't like it when the two mix. I'm not a big fan of mixed series either (I know...can you believe that with as much as my series jump between the genres?), but the fact of the matter is...my characters feel as if they're real life and real life has a mix of all sexual orientations, so I go with it.
But rest assured, I don't want you to ever feel like you're missing something by not reading one or the other. Of course, I'd like for you to want to read ALL of my books, but I get it. They aren't all going to be for everyone. As a result, I always try to write my books with enough explanation about previous events so that they stand alone. I never want you to be confused or lost.
I get it. I'm a reader, too. And there is NOTHING worse than trying to remember or not know details from the last book in a series. With every book I write, I try to make sure that isn't an issue.
Regardless, I'm hoping you all will be intrigued enough with these two guys that you'll want to read their story.
It's a true friends to lovers story and I absolutely adore those...easily my most favorite trope.
Panic ripped through Steven’s chest. He couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t move. He was going to suffocate.
“Hang on, big guy. Help’s coming, but you have to calm down.”
Hands held him down. Couldn’t the man with the kind voice understand? Steven was going to die without air.
He arched his back, and blinding, searing pain tore through his chest.
“Shh. Oh, fuck. Listen to me, Steven. It’s Billy. You know me. You were shot. I know it has to hurt like fucking hell and you’re scared, but the more you thrash around, the worse you’re making it. Concentrate on my voice. You have a tube down your throat. That’s what’s scaring you, but trust the machine. Relax and you’ll realize it’s doing all the work for you.”
Steven tried. He tried to stop the panic. Tried to still his rioting body. Tried to listen to the voice talking him down.
“That’s right. You’re doing it. You’ve got this.” It was quiet for a moment as the weight holding him down shifted.
A callused hand caressed his face, soothing him. He tried to open his eyes. He needed to know what was going on, but with the pain and the weakness in his body...
“Where the hell is the fucking nurse?” the man asked. “What good are all these alarms if no one comes and checks them?”
He suddenly realized he knew that voice. Billy.
Yeah, he knew that voice. It was nice. He let the sound of it lull him, and he relaxed, letting the inky black suck him back under.
Releasing September 14th
I hope everyone has a fun weekend planned. It's a three-day one here in the States...whoohoo, an extra day sleeping in with no alarm!