Love Comes without Warning
Not every couple has a fair chance, for Liam and Brenden, the challenges to being together began and ended with the two of them. Brenden understood what was expected of him, but more than that—he knew what he expected of himself. From a very young age, he wanted to be a Marine, he planned to be a Marine, and he directed his life in such a way to become a Marine.
But being that driven meant that he needed to keep a lid on his interest in his openly gay and very proud best friend, Liam.
For Liam, Brenden represented everything that a man could do right. He stood up for his friends, devoted his life to service, and was a good guy. He kept his crush to himself because he thought Brenden straight and didn’t deserve to be uncomfortable around him.
All of that changes when he gets an invitation to a 1Night Stand.
A Marine and a Gentleman is the first M/M I’ve ever written, but it was a story that needed to be told because this 1Night Stand wasn’t about sex for these two—but about revealing some very personal truths and emotions they both kept locked away. It was reuniting two friends who care and respect each other and opening the door to a possibility neither thought was possible.
Every Marine I write about teaches me something—and in this case—Brenden taught me that being true to yourself sometimes requires being willing to sacrifice personal happiness or at least tabling it for a time. Love shouldn’t come with a warning label and this isn’t a story about regret, far from it, I found it hopeful and inspiring. I hope you do, too.
Discover more about Heather and the Always a Marine series:
Heather Long Website | Facebook | Always a Marine Series Page | Twitter
The ninth installment in the Always a Marine anthology in 1Night Stand (1NS) line for Decadent Publishing. 1Night Stand is the business name of an exclusive online dating service run by Madame Evangeline who provides her clients with a possibility of happily ever after or happily for now.
A Marine and a Gentleman
Always a Marine #9
All Romance eBooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookstrand |Decadent Publishing
Lieutenant Brenden Fitzpatrick is a dedicated Marine, loyal son, and devoted uncle but he’s lonely. When he went Marine, the rule was don’t ask, don’t tell. His brothers-in-arms pretty much didn’t ask and didn’t care. Watching so many friends settle into long-term relationships highlighted the absence of someone to come home to in his life. When his unit encourages him to give the 1Night Stand service a try, he asks for the impossible—a night with the one man he almost gave up the Marines for in the first place. A man he called best friend but let time and distance carry away.
Liam Gardiner grew up on the same Boston block as his best friend, Brenden. Unlike Brenden, Liam always accepted that he was gay—a fact he didn’t mind flaunting to all the bullies and naysayers in school. It got his ass kicked more than once but Brenden always had his back, rescuing him time and time again, until the day Brenden left for the Marines. He missed his buddy—the crush he never confessed, lest it cost him the precious friendship—so when Madame Eve’s invitation arrived to meet Brenden, Liam faces uncertainty for the first time.
Liam stepped out of the rental car and handed the keys to the valet. The Dallas night club was not at all what he expected. Heavy wooden doors offered a gothic touch to the façade. A red canopy stretched out to the circular drive matching carpet that led to the doors. A doorman dressed in a nineteenth century double breasted coat, top hat, and tails held out his hand for the card from the mysterious service.
“I think I’m going to wait out here. It’s a beautiful day.” Sliding the card back into his wallet, he walked along the curb to a quieter spot away from the foot traffic and arrivals—and, unsurprisingly, no departures. It was just after six-thirty in the evening local time. He rented the car at the airport and bypassed his hotel to come straight to the club. He hadn’t decided whether he planned to stay the night or not, no matter what he agreed to with the 1Night Stand service.
Even the name brought a half-smile to his lips. The woman who sent him the three emails offered an uncannily accurate assessment of his situation. At the end of the day, it was the forwarded request from Brenden which prompted him to say yes. Extracting a cigar case from his inner pocket, he trimmed the end off of one end and lit it. The fragrant tobacco filled the air and calmed his mind. He handled power lunches and dinners every night of the week. As a professional banker, he knew when businessmen tried to bullshit him or when they really had a plan.
He knew how to say no.
He always knew when to say yes.
Reading people for a living wasn’t pretty work, but it was lucrative. Another couple arrived, huddled together and dashing up the steps as if it were cold. The forty-five degree temperature and dead still air were hardly cold to his Boston forged blood.
Why Dallas? Liam would’ve preferred to meet Brenden at home, at the Tipperary on the Green, to toss back a pint for old times. But no, Brendon invited him to the cowtown in the middle of the country where big boots, big steaks, and big boobs seemed to be everywhere.
Big hair, too. He eyed the next couple arriving. It looks like the 80s threw up on her. He puffed the cigar and kept his acerbic opinion to himself but the distraction helped. Thirty-two years old and on the ropes over an invitation to drinks.
The drinks aren’t the problem. Come meet the guy I’ve lusted after for over half my life and spend the night with him? Yeah, nothing to be nervous about.
A writer’s mind is a crazy mind.
Sometimes my family looks at me with a perplexed expression because I space out when talking with my characters. As any writer will testify, characters reside quite comfortably in a writer’s mind–setting up house and making a very nice living space. And my characters exist within me long after the story is completed. You see, they refuse to move out. They will pop in to say hello or poke me for attention when some situation or item sparks recognition. You see, they are friends for life.
When I write paranormal, I not only have my characters taking up space, but the otherworld I created. Settings are often times characters as well. Especially when creating an imaginative world. Sins of Lust is an erotic male/male romance set in the celestial cities of Caelestia and Taelestia. It’s my interpretation of heaven and angel’s relationships toward Protectors and demons and each other. These heavenly cities are as real to me as the one I’m living in, and Uri and Razi had sprung to life because of this world I created. Their motives and reactions to situations are based on their status as archangels.
So what comes first, the setting or the characters? I work it both ways. For Sins of Lust, I wanted to write about archangels. Then I started thinking about the Ten Commandments. What if an archangel broke one of these commandments? Thou Shall Not Kill…but he did it for love? Would he still be punished by God or did love supersede the act?
The story took form at that moment when I asked that question.
Thank you Lissa for letting me post and spread the word about Sins of Lust. It’s my first book with Ellora’s Cave and my eleventh m/m book published.
Ellora’s Cave Line/icons: Twilight/MM
Thou shall not kill.
For archangel Razi-el, he had no choice. He would break God’s commandment again if it were to save Uri-el from a demon’s talons. Yet even God’s most trusted archangel cannot avoid punishment. No longer Razi-el, he is now Izar, a Protector sworn to kill for the angels.
When a Protector kills an angel, Izar is summoned to work alongside Uri-el to capture the killer. Izar is shocked when his bloodlust spikes hot for the archangel. He knows better than to go after forbidden fruit. Refusing to give in to temptation, he ignores his body’s tempestuous arousal for Uri-el until a heated argument turns his blood into molten lust.
As they rush to find the killer, their passion plays into the demon’s plan. Izar will have to make a choice between life and death if he is to save Uri-el again.
Excerpt and buy link: http://www.jasminejade.com/p-10512-sins-of-lust.aspx
You can find me here!
Last night was the 2012 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. It was fast and, well it was a bit furious. The last few years, NASCAR racing at Daytona and Talladega has been less than stellar. Two car tandem drafts were kinda boring. There was no big wreck. There was no excitement. But, NASCAR has changed things around, again, and the boys are back to needing to think and drive in pack mentality.
Last night’s race was a lesson leading up to the Daytona 500 next Sunday. There will be wrecks. A lot of them. We have to hope for the best, that no one gets hurt, that one loses their life. We have to hope all drivers walk away after the race and after a wreck, just as Jeff Gordon did in the Shootout when he flipped over multiple times, when Kevin Harvick’s car was on fire, when several drivers ended up slammed into the wall.
But there will be wrecks. There will be tempers. There will sparks flying. And it’ll be a hell of race to watch.
This is me. This is how I was dressed yesterday. The important part was the hat. It was sent to me by my brother for Christmas, along with a limited edition Toyota t-shit from one of Kyle’s biggest wins. I didn’t wear that one. I’ll put it on next weekend. But, I sent this to picture to my brother and if any of you know anything about the last year for me, my half-brother has come into my life after 32 years apart. We share a lot of similar things and one of them happens to be racing. We can talk racing. We laugh about it. We discuss heatedly about it.
Last night we texted throughout the race. It was incredibly fun. We seemed to have the same opinions about almost everything. Our sense of humor is identical in most cases. So, yesterday, I took this for him and sent. Upon receipt, he took one of him and his new hat…
This was also my first piece of camo gear…grins
Kyle Busch, won the Budweiser Shootout for 2012. I couldn’t be more thrilled. He’s got a lot of haters, and well, that’s fine. Hate him. It just motivates him and his fans. Me included.
There were inches separating Kyle and Tony Stewart when they came across the Start/Finish Line. There were cheers and there were boos when Kyle got out and stood on the window cut-out of his car and took his signature victory bow for the crowd.
Now during races, I scream at the drivers, at NASCAR, at the television. I get as amped about it as I do college football. The adrenaline rush is amazing… The way the yelling relieves stress is too. Grins…
Once the race was over and I was so stoked that I couldn’t sit my ass down, I decided that in honor of this win by Kyle, I needed to have a giveway. Besides, it is my birthday this week and what better way to start off the celebration than this! Damn, I wish I’d been there!
As for what I’m going to give away?
1 copy of any of my backlist or 1 copy of my upcoming release, Forever In Blue Jeans (due out Wednesday 2/22/2012) and $10 in eBook Bucks from All Romance eBooks. (International)
1 Personalized Bag of M/M’s (your choice of color) with the #18 on them because well, that was the winning car number and winning car sponsor from the Budweiser Shootout. (US only)
What do you have to do to win? Leave me a comment here on my blog telling me your favorite color M&M. If you don’t like M&M’s…well, then tell me what your favorite candy is. Please remember to leave your email address along with your comment.
I’m not requiring you to follow my blog or my Facebook Fan Page, or sign up for my newsletter, but if you’d like to do any or all of those, that would be awesome.
So, congratulations to Kyle Busch and the #18 team and Joe Gibbs Racing on their victory last night and best of luck to all 43 drivers who will start the Daytona 500 on February 26, 2012.
I’ll choose a winner from the comments by 6pm EST on Monday, the 20th and post them on the blog.
Have a great Sunday!
(Images, other than myself, obtained from Nascar.com)