Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sub Zero – New M/M Science Fiction and A Contest! Angel Martinez is in the house!

I'm excited to have Angel Martinez on my blog today. Please leave a comment because if you do, you'll be entered!!!

Did we mention there was a contest? Stick around for the end of this blog for a chance to win your very own copy of Sub Zero.

Everyone has a favorite SF moment. Oh, come on. Even people who say “Oh, I don’t watch those kinds of things” will still tell you they say Alien or Star Wars or even Contact. If you had a childhood, there is a science fiction moment in your past.

HAL the computer: “I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

Ripley to Alien Queen: “Get away from her, you bitch!”

Dying Spock to Kirk: “I have been, and always shall be, your friend.”

Leia to Han: “I love you!” Han: “I know.”

Marty McFly: “Are you telling me you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?”

You got the picture. Movie. You know what I mean. Science fiction has a lot of faces, a lot of moods and voices, more flavors than a Jelly Belly store. Those of us who understand know, and defend our science fiction with sometimes-fanatic vociferousness. Those of you who don’t…try some. Try another. Find the flavor you like. Don’t be scared. It’s just aliens, time travel, and interstellar mutual destruction.

Angel’s new book, Sub Zero, is available now over at Amber Allure:

By Angel Martinez
M/M Science Fiction

Always send the right man for the job. Even if he’s been dead for a hundred years…

What’s that? We promised a contest? Oh, yes, I believe you’re right. Here’s the deal – for an eBook copy (your choice of format) of Sub Zero:

  1. Leave a comment below with your favorite science fiction moment
  2. Using one of the ones above is cheating – pick another :D
  3. Only comments with an SF moment and an email address to contact you if you win will be considered

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Before The Proposal

Remember No Fault of His Own, the GR story inspired by this picture? 

Before The Proposal is the prequel for No Fault of His Own.

Chapter One

Ryan eased out of his chair and shuffled quietly through the rows of seats occupied by business majors in their first year of classes. He hated Business Administration and had decided to drop the class three minutes ago. It was a decision that was a long time coming, and he finally had the courage. His plan, escape without attracting attention. The last thing he wanted was for the professor to notice him. Not today he begged as he slid silently along the wall, praying the exit was closer than it looked. He’d stayed out late last night and his head hurt. His eyes were bleary and the groggy feeling that had settled over him didn’t lift as the morning wore on. If he gave the excuse of being tired the professor would assume he’d been drinking, but the hadn’t. No, his “hangover” wasn’t from alcohol; it was from painting until the wee hours of the morning. A group of friends were creating a mural on the wall of a building downtown and they had limited work hours. That they were doing the mural illegally only enhanced the experience for him.
He’d almost made it to the door when the professor stopped talking and cleared his throat. Ryan cringed, hating that he’d drawn unnecessary attention to himself. He tried like crazy to remember the guy’s name. He hated this class and hardly paid attention, even to the professor. Jackson? Jason? James? No Johnson.
“Excuse me young man. Where do you think you are going?” Johnson’s voice echoed through the hall and the snicker of students trailed the Prof’s announcement.
Ryan cringed, what could he say? I’m dropping your boring class? That would be rude. He chose to remain silent, until the Johnson cleared his throat again.
“We are waiting.”
Ryan stood straight and faced the professor. He hated lying though he did it all the time to his parents. But damn, what choice did he have with them. He squared his shoulders and held his head high. He wouldn’t cower and he wouldn’t make up an excuse. “I’m going to the administration office to drop this class.”
“Why?” Johnson asked, his voice reasonable and calm. He came around the podium and crossed his arms over his chest.
Ryan swallowed. This was not at all like Ryan figured the man would react. He expected a fit, or maybe some scathing words, but not the calm question of why. With a shaky voice Ryan started speaking. “I was only taking business because my father demanded it.” Ryan cleared his throat and continued with a stronger voice. “I’m tired of doing what my father wants. I’ve decided to change my major.”
Johnson walked to the first step that led to the set of stairs going up the bowl that made up the huge lecture hall. “Really, and what are you going to change it to?”
Sweat broke out over Ryan’s face and he glanced away from Johnson, hating the heat of his stare. “Art,” he choked out, embarrassed to admit he loved art in front of this huge group. His father had told him over and over again how shameful artists were, that they were scum of the earth.
More laughs from the students caused the professor to scowl. Ryan sucked in a breath, wishing he were anywhere but here. He hated when people scowled at him. His father scowled all the time. Hell, if his father knew the truth, knew that he liked boys, there would be more than scowling going on. Of course, his father wasn’t his real father. No, Michael was his stepfather, the man his mother married after his real dad took off. Ryan had been constantly reminded as a child how lucky he was to have any man in his life. Both his mother and Michael pointed out time and time again how deficient he was compared to Michael’s children. Being the son of Michael was difficult enough. The man didn’t need to know Ryan was gay.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Guest Eric Arvin

From an early age I have been interested in fantasies and epics, in the surreal and the fractured. The kind of books and stories the quiet kids read. I think this might be because, growing up gay, I felt more of a kinship with that genre of book than with the books I was being assigned to read in school. (The Old Man & the Sea? I’d rather not.) As a young’un I would much rather have lived in Middle Earth than in Middle America. For me Oz wasn’t just a slang term for Australia. In Middle America our heartless woodsmen rarely went in search for what was missing.

Still, as I got older and my thoughts became oft distracted by romantic urges, even the beloved fantasy lands of epic narratives began to lose their appeal. There were no gay characters in fantasy fiction at that time. At least, none I was aware of. I understood that to read the type of adventures I wanted to read and to meet the type of characters I needed to meet, I was going to have to create them all by myself. And so I did, if mildly at first. After all, one does not jump into a gay relationship, fictional or not, without looking around to see if it’s safe.

In my earliest attempts at writing, discretion was the key. I wanted a buffer in case my stories were discovered by my Jehovah’s Witness parents. Rather than boldly stating ‘these guys are in love,’ I learned to insinuate and imply. (Though, even as early as three I had a distinct and rather peculiar fascination with my body, as evidenced by the pornographic graffiti I had scribbled in the pages of the Holy Bible. Oops.)

Like most young gay people of my age in Middle America, I was starved for representation and looked for it everywhere. (I was crushed when I discovered the lead singer of Concrete Blonde was a woman and “Joey” was not, in fact, a gay love song. Oh, my poor little heart!) I did not identify with the characters whose adventures I was reading in the academically regulated books at Southwestern Jr/Sr High School. Sadly, though, I never really expected to. As a gay youth I assumed I would always be on the outside looking in.

The first time I can remember connecting to a book in a deep personal way was John Knowles’ A Separate Peace, which remains a favorite of mine to this day. I saw through to what the straight kids didn’t and to what the teachers would never discuss. I saw the love affair in that book. I recognized it and felt the pain. It was a beautiful experience. It was…cathartic. Yet there was never another book assigned in my pre-college education that dared to confront, or even tip-toe around, the same sex issue. Tennessee Williams wasn’t mentioned once in class. I still wonder what the hell that was about. I mean, it’s Tennessee fucking Williams!

My reading outside of school was a different matter. As I got older and less frightened by the rules of a confining religion, I became more daring in my reading choices, from Alice Walker’sThe Color Purple to Anne Rice’s…well, Anne Rice’s anything.

And then there was James Purdy. His work, beautiful and horrific, written in a style that still makes me marvel and grin, taught me that great writing did not need to stay in between the lines. More importantly for me at the time, Purdy’s work – especially Narrow Rooms and In a Shallow Grave – showed me that a gay romance could be just as sweeping as anything written by those depressed Bronte sisters.

My reading soon sped off into all different directions…all different gay directions, that is. Michael Cunningham, Jamie O’Neill, Geoff Ryman, Maria McCann. I started writing in an attempt to be published myself and my world opened even further, giving me the opportunity to talk to writers I had read, like Hal Duncan, Rick R. Reed, Ruth Sims, Dorien Grey, and Douglas Clegg.

There was a time I became so impressed by what has come to be tagged as “gay lit” or “M/M fiction” that I refused to read anything else. I decided that all my life I had been forced to read fiction that was, more or less, aimed at a heterosexual audience and now that I was able to make my own reading decisions I was going to be a very exclusive reader. I didn’t need Grisham or Dan Brown or any of those straight behemoths. All I wanted to read was gay, gay, gay! And, unlike the film world, I discovered the literary world has never been left wanting when discussing sexuality, from Thomas Mann to Gore Vidal to that naughty bad boy pervert Jean Genet. I filled up my library with books about or for gay men and women. And it was – is – a fabulous library!

Still, I knew I was missing out on some good stuff by my prejudiced reading habits. It took a few years, but eventually I started to read the hets again. I even picked up some Stephen King, something I had vowed never to do for the simple fact that everyone else was doing it. And while I do enjoy the occasional novel by a straight writer, maybe even with a straight lead character, I prefer the books I read to have at least one gay character, and this one gay character must not be the chief bad guy. (You hear me, Orson Scott Card?)

So, I’ve come full circle with my reading habits. I’m back on my fantasy kick again. Only now, the lands I’m visiting – both my own and those of other writers – come to even brighter life because the inhabitants are more diverse than ever. It’s wonderful, too, when a reader writes me to tell me how they have been moved by something I have written. The thought that maybe, in some small way, I have had an influence on someone…well, that’s just about all a writer can ask for. That and a spot on a college syllabus.

All Romance


Eric Arvin resides in the same sleepy Indiana river town where he grew up. When he was young he played with unicorns and gnomes and was named Queen of the Faery-folk at the age of five. He graduated from Hanover College with a Bachelors in History. He has lived, for brief periods, in Italy and Australia and most recently in the dark chambers of the Caverns of Arvinia. He has survived brain surgery and his own loud-mouthed personal demons, though it is a daily battle. Eric is the author of THE REST IS ILLUSION, SUBSURDITY, SUBURBILICIOUS, SIMPLE MEN, and various other sundry and not-so-sundry writings. Willy Shakespeare once said of him: "That bitch got talent!" He intends to live the rest of his days with tongue in cheek and eyes set to roam.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Texas Hard now in stores

I'm so excited the Texas Hard is now available. You can purchase at Smashwords, ARE, and Rainbowebooks. Amazon and B&N will be up soon.

Spurned by his heart’s desire, Riley’s aching for a fight, and he finds one with Connor, a sexy Texas lawman. Attraction fires between them, but Riley walks away, ignoring the lust between he and Connor...Until weeks later he’s caught trespassing on Connor’s new property--Naked.

Connor’s tempted to arrest the audacious naked man in his watering hole until he realizes it’s Riley. Lust muddles Connor’s logic and soon he finds himself on a path rife with temptations. Passion twists Connor inside out leading him to share one of his deepest secrets. Still Riley’s hiding something and the lack of mutual trust may end their relationship.

Then there’s the Lane factor. Riley’s ex leaves Connor feeling threatened. Riley swears it’s over, but something doesn’t sit right and Connor needs resolve. Coming to terms with their attraction means submitting to the fears haunting Connor and Riley before they can grasp the love that brought them together. 


Thick, black smoke bellowed over the rise, belching behind the trees like a dragon gone bad. Riley punched the accelerator as he crested the hill, then skidded around the curve. His senses were on high alert, his foot off the gas as the car finished out the turn. Passing the stand of trees, Riley slowed as he arrived on the scene. Two cars came into view—one rolled with flames leaping to the sky, the other in good condition. Riley took it all in as he pulled close and slammed to a stop. One man was on the ground, the other standing over him. Fuck, this looked bad.

He threw the car into park and popped the trunk to grab his doctor’s bag. When he’d first glimpsed the scene he’d thought the guy on his knees was rendering aid to the person on the ground, but now he saw the situation more clearly, heard the yelling plain as day. What the hell?

Riley went into ER mode, assessing the condition of the patient as he came around the front of his car. Burn victim on the ground. Body had to be fifty percent burned if not more, maybe sixty. Face a mess. Broken nose for sure. Breathing rapid and jagged. Some blood, no arterial flow. In downtown Houston the dude might live if the paramedics rushed, out here with the burns covering his body and his face—no way.

“Tell me, you bastard. Tell me where he is.” The guy hanging over the burn victim yelled. He wasn’t touching the man on the ground, but he was close to him, his face up close to the victim, yelling as if the guy on the ground wasn’t dying.

Raw anger flew through Riley. The injured man wasn’t answering, couldn’t answer because shock held him mute. The massive trauma from the burns covering his body shorted out the man’s brain, lack of oxygen shut down everything, including the victim’s ability to think. The guy’s lungs were probably fried.

“I’m a doctor, move out of the way,” Riley commanded, expecting to be obeyed immediately.

“Fuck you,” the stranger said and kept yelling at the victim on the ground.

“Hey, he needs medical attention.” Riley dropped to the dirt opposite the other guy, the heat from the fire scorched his backside, but he had no choice of where to work. The burn victim’s eyes were glassed over; the lights were on, but nobody was home. Soon the lights would be fading, and fast. His respiration rate was off the charts. Fuck, his lungs had been deep fried, Riley would bet money on it.

“Where is he?” The stranger yelled in the burn victim’s face.

Riley had had enough. He grasped the stranger by the shirtfront and yanked. They were nose-to-nose, fury boiled over the big black man’s face, his eyes blazed, and his mouth twisted in a sneer.

“You need to move so I can work. He will die if I can’t help him,” Riley said through gritted teeth, holding the worst of his anger back by sheer will.

“I don’t give a fuck if this piece of shit dies. He knows where Erick is.” The stranger ripped out of Riley’s grip and looked down at the burned body.

The sound coming from the victim was different, quieter. Riley glanced down and his heart squeezed. Fuck, the guy wouldn’t live for the next two minutes. There wasn’t much Riley could do. He had no oxygen tank and no IV bag. Plus, where would he stick the needle? The burn victim’s face had been crushed then crisped, his lips pulled back in a grimace. No way for Riley to get enough suction to perform CPR.

Riley pulled out his stethoscope and listened for a heartbeat. There was nothing. He sat back on his heals, depression winding through him. Helpless, his shoulders slumped. The guy across from him cursed and threw Riley an angry grimace. Riley scowled right back, his anger rising with each second.

“Why the fuck were you yelling at him?” Riley had to know. Normally he would have walked away, stood down and not gotten in the guy's face, but since this happened today of all days, he reacted badly, letting his anger build. Today sucked. Normally he wouldn’t be in this part of the county. He would be hanging out at home, working with his cows or maybe taking a dip in the pond. But seeing the familiar things made his heart ache for what he could never have.

The guy across from him stood stiffly, his jaw jutted out, his hands clenched at his sides. Riley didn’t like being on his knees with an angry man above him. It reminded him of a darker time in his past when he first started exploring his sexuality. He rose quickly, bracing himself for whatever this asshole threw at him. Since college he’d packed on fifty pounds of muscle. No fucking big bear would ever throw him around. He was the bear now.

“You, I ought to take you in,” the guy growled.

The stranger stepped around the victim on the ground. Now they were face-to-face, chest-to-chest. Same height and about the same weight, Riley judged. Rage ran through his veins. He could take this dude if he swung. Riley started plotting ways to give pain with minimal injury to himself. There were nerves, ligament attachments, and other places where the body proved weak and vulnerable. A good kick to the balls would drop this guy.

“You could have helped him more,” Riley yelled.

“He had the information,” the stranger roared.

“Maybe got out of his face. He was in shock.”

“Fucking bastard.”

They yelled at each other, words rolled off Riley’s tongue, anger, rage and lust pumped through his veins. Why he was getting off from this argument baffled him. It had to be the anger and lack of sex, and the other thing--the thing that had him strung tight, ready to fly off the handle at the drop of a hat. And the fucking hat had dropped.

Any other day he would have backed off, apologized for the implied insult, and said sorry for his anger, that he lost his patients, blahblahblah—but not today. Today, right now in fact, Lane and Gresh were exchanging vows in a commitment ceremony that would bind them together in front of family and friends. Of course the state wouldn’t recognize their union as legal, but they did. He had no chance with Lane now, if he ever had.

The fight was brewing and it would be good. Blood pumped as he stood toe-to-toe with the big dude. His cock twitched with lust. What he really wanted to do was grab the guy’s shirt and kiss him until they both dropped to the ground, stripped off each other’s clothes and Riley topped him, claiming him like he should be claiming Lane.

The wail of sirens didn’t stop their argument, which had gone from specific complaints about the other to a general array of insults, curses and other wise negative statements.

“Who the fuck do you think you are?” the stranger yelled in his face.

“Who the fuck do you think you are?” Riley yelled right back. The situation was getting bad. They were about to start bumping chests when the volunteer fire brigade rolled in. The stranger had his finger touching Riley’s shoulder, yelling something about impeding an investigation. Riley seethed and clenched his fist, ready to throw a punch when two of the volunteer firemen grabbed them both and pulled them away from the burning car. Riley ripped his arm out of the fireman’s grip and bent down to retrieve his bag. He rushed away from the fire and the water spray, getting soaked from the mist as he moved to the other side of the fire truck.

The stranger was there, and his eyes flashed with anger when he saw Riley. They were at an impasse and it would probably be best if he ignored the dude, got in his car and left. Riley let his gaze travel over the stranger, lust making him want things he had no business wanting. Then he saw it. The burned shirt—the raw patch of skin underneath. He stalked forward and grabbed the stranger’s arm. The guy tried to rip it from Riley’s grasp but Riley held firm.

“Stop, you’ve got a bad burn.”

The guy looked down as though he had no idea he’d been hurt. Riley pushed him down so he was sitting on a low chrome platform on the fire truck. The man appeared shocked. Riley held the stranger’s arm, examining the raw spot. The burn was small, only three inches in diameter, but didn’t look good.

The cloth had been charred away at the injury site but the shirtsleeve would keep irritating the raw skin. Riley pulled out the trauma shears from his bag. The stranger shied away as Riley reached for his arm.

“I’m just cutting the shirt off.”

“Don’t, it’s my favorite one.”

Riley shook his head. “The shirt has burn holes in it.” He snipped the shirt at the elbow then in a line to the guy’s wrist. He stored the scissors in his pocket and concentrated on the burn. This needed attention. Riley could help a little bit out here on the side of the road, but the guy needed to go into the ER to get cleaned up and take some antibiotics.

Now that they weren’t about to rip each other’s throats out Riley took time to study the man. It was one of the things he did while working, study his patients. He’d taken a few drawing classes in college and had a good eye. He appreciated beauty, and this big hulk of a man had beauty enough to share. Dark, like mocha latte, his lips were full, though a bit pale, but that was probably shock setting in. His nose had been broken at least once, but the bump only added to the man’s appeal. The square jaw had a slight dusting of whiskers, like he’d shaved yesterday but not today. The stranger glanced up, and their gazes connected. The slight glassiness indicated shock, but Riley also saw desire in those eyes. They stared at each other far longer than was necessary. The stranger relaxed, his lips parted before Riley broke the connection and focused on the burn.

“You need to get this taken care of. I’ll call an ambulance for you,” Riley said.

“No, no I’m fine.”

“You’re about to go into shock. You’re eyes are glassy, your lips pale.”

“Not going to do it,” the stranger argued.

“What’s your name?”

“Connor Ellison.”

“That’s good, Connor. So where are we?”

“Are you trying to be funny? I know exactly where we are.”

Riley wanted to keep the big guy talking, force him to think and use his mind. Focusing on the pain would be the worst thing for Connor. About three by two inches of skin looked badly burned. Riley was a bit surprised such a big guy was so affected by the small burn, but it could be deep too. Maybe he was in more pain than he was letting on. The man had been angry and his adrenaline elevated. Pumping a heavy dose of hormones through his veins would change the man’s reaction.

“Come on, we need to get you to a hospital.” Riley pulled Connor up, supporting him on his uninjured side.

“I can’t leave my car here.” Connor balked.

“I’ll get one of the firemen to drive it into town.”

“No.” Connor pulled out of Riley’s grasp and teetered, almost falling.

“Hey buddy, you’re about to go into shock. I can’t have you driving.”

Connor stepped close, his chest up against Riley’s, his lips next to Riley’s ear. Riley’s dick throbbed as lust washed over him.

“I have a full arsenal in the trunk. I can’t allow anyone else to drive my car.”

Riley took a step back, measuring the man and trying to figure out what type of trouble Connor was into. He was always attracted to the wrong guys. Lane, now this dude with the guns. What kind of freak drove around with an arsenal in his truck? Hell, this was Texas, but Connor might also be a psychopath.

“Don’t look at me that way. I’m a Ranger on assignment.”

Riley cocked his eyebrow and shrugged.

Connor blew out a sigh in exacerbation. “Texas Rangers, not the baseball team but law enforcement,” Connor said.

“Ah, okay. I’ll get one of the firemen drive my car to the hospital, and you get to be passenger in your car.”

Connor gritted his teeth, but his resolve wasn’t too strong. The guy was fading fast and would most likely hit the dirt the next time he had to stand on his own. Riley led Connor to the passenger side of his car and eased him into the backseat. Now that all the excitement was over Riley noticed the effects of shock progressing.

“Lie down,” Riley said.

Connor shook his head and refused to comply. “No.”

“Hey, listen.” Riley held Connor’s head so he was forced to look in his eyes. “I can’t have you going into shock, passing out and cutting off your airways. It’s either you lay down in the backseat of your car where you have all of your guns safe and secure, or I pull out your cuffs and restrain your for your own good and stuff you in an ambulance. Understand?”

Connor turned his head to the side as though he were trying to determine if Riley could physically subdue him. He must have thought so because Connor lay back on the bench seat without complaint. Riley closed the car door and grabbed the nearest fireman.

“I’m doctor Riley from over at Saint Joseph’s in Caldwell. I need to take this patient in, he’s about to go into shock. Could one of your guys drive my car to the hospital and leave the keys with the nurses' desk?”

“Sure, it will take a while, but I’ll send someone trustworthy.” The fireman took Riley’s keys and went back to pulling hose.

Riley got into Connor’s car and started the engine. “Here’s the deal. You get to talk to me the whole way there.”

“Why, you lonely?”

A pang of melancholy hit Riley. He pushed the sadness aside and focused on the medical needs of his patient. “I need to know that you haven’t passed out or worse, died.”

“It’s just a little burn.”

“It’s deep and like I said—”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. Shock.”

Monday, August 6, 2012

Delicious Lee Brazil and It's Simple Simon

I'm so excited to have Lee on my blog today. I hope you take a minute to see what Lee has to offer. I'm sure it's delicious.
Good morning everyone! I'm Lee Brazil, author of mm romance with Breathless Press and Silver publishing. Most of my work is contemporary, but I have at times ventured into the realms of paranormal and historical fiction. *sips coffee* Help yourself to some coffee...I confess, I’m nearly as addicted to coffee as I am to books. It seems to be a staple of most writers' diets.
I'm here today to talk about my new release, It's Simple, Simon. It's Simple, Simon is a new venture for me in that it is based on a nursery rhyme. I know.  Odd base for an erotic romance, huh? Six months ago, if you had asked me where to look for inspiration, I would not have directed you to Mother Goose. Today, I just might.
Well, I never planned to write a naughty story based on a children's rhyme.  It's just that the publisher had this call for Naughty Nursery Rhymes a new line they were putting together. I had plenty of other things to do, but I just couldn't break away from it. The nursery rhyme kept playing in my head. Maybe you remember it?
Simple Simon

Simple Simon met a pieman going to the fair;
Said Simple Simon to the pieman "Let me taste your ware"
Said the pieman to Simple Simon "Show me first your penny"
Said Simple Simon to the pieman "Sir, I have not any!"

Simple Simon went a-fishing for to catch a whale;
All the water he had got was in his mother's pail.
Simple Simon went to look if plums grew on a thistle;
He pricked his fingers very much which made poor Simon whistle.
He went for water in a sieve but soon it all fell through;
And now poor Simple Simon bids you all "Adieu"

I always felt sorry for Simon when I read this rhyme as a child. After all, everyone deserves success, and he never seemed to find anything but failure. So of course, in my version of the story, Simon had to turn things around and succeed!
The character of Simon was ambitionless youth who found success after his pieman let him down. And the pie man? Well, how could he be anything but a baker? You see, the pie man was the fast food of the old world.  He'd peddle his wares on foot, in the streets. A pie was as likely to be savory as sweet, to contain meat as fruit.
It's Simple, Simon is a modern take on the old rhyme, though I wouldn't categorize Simon as simple minded, and this time, it has the happy ending all tales should have. Which is to say that of course, Simon gets his pieman!
It's Simple, Simon By Lee Brazil M/M contemporary romance Breathless Press Naughty Nursery Rhymes
Simon Carter has achieved unimaginable success and he owes it all to a man from his past whose scorn set fire to his ambition.

"It's Simple, Simon. You lack ambition."

Chase Garvin's jibe had sent Simon Carter on unexpected paths and brought him unimaginable success. No longer a penniless musician, the highly paid investment banker is going home for the first time in years. He plans to rest, relax, and spend a little time rubbing his ex-lover's nose in his success. A visit to the Renaissance Fair brings this not-quite-so-simple- Simon nose to nose with his past and somehow revenge doesn't seem quite so attractive.

Chase Garvin, Denver, Colorado's very own Pie Man, is still incredibly handsome. What's more, the more mature Chase is very appreciative of Simon's talents.

When the old attraction flares between them, Simon and the Pie Man get caught up in tasting the wares, and neither counts the pennies.

He sniffed the golden pies. Mmm. Chase had always been talented in the kitchen. The aroma was intoxicating. Delicious. As he ate, savoring the flaky crust and rich fillings, he contemplated the man who'd treated him to the pies. Chase was one hot baker. He'd always been sexy, but there was no way that hunk of beef could fit into his old Renaissance garb. Chase had put on muscle. His shoulders had broadened, his biceps bulged, and mmm.... The rest was hidden behind that voluminous apron, but Simon doubted that it had changed much.
Best of all, Chase still seemed to find him attractive. That was just icing on the cake. The sugar on the pie? He chuckled softly. Whatever it was, he liked it. Liked the idea that Chase might still be interested in him sexually. As he licked the sugary filling off his fingers, he contemplated abandoning his plan. After all, Chase hadn't meant to hurt him years ago, and he'd certainly seemed welcoming enough, even though to all appearances Simon hadn't changed over the years. Yeah, there really wasn't any reason to prove to Chase how successful and ambitious he really was. He should just come clean.
On the other hand, he felt like enough of an idiot for hiding his success in the first place. He bit into the next pie, feeling the juice trickle down his chin. He licked at it, chewing and swallowing, scrabbling absently for a napkin to wipe his chin. It would be horribly embarrassing to go back to that booth and offer to pay for the pies, to tell Chase why he hadn't wanted to pay in the first place.
"Here, I'll get that for you." Chase grabbed his napkin. To his surprise, Chase drooped down onto the grass next to him. Instead of dabbing his chin with the white paper napkin, the man leaned forward, his breath a warm buttery scented breeze as he hovered close for a moment before gently licking the juice off Simon's skin.