FLYING COLORS releases at Dreamspinner Press on October 7. .
It's also on offer this week at Chris's fabulous blog Stumbling Over Chaos. Just leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win a free copy - you have until OCTOBER 07 to enter :)
And CLICK the DSP banner below around Oct 7, to go to the bookshop. You know - just in case you're unlucky at Chris's and want to buy a copy yourself LOL. ♥
My big regret? That I won't see Chris this year at GRL *sob*. Hopefully we'll meet up again soon! x
Red De Vere appears to have everything—good looks, a prestigious job, attention from the paparazzi, and a choice of lovers. But one day he takes an outrageous step too far at a formal embassy dinner, and the press turns on him. Shocked, he realizes it's time to find something better in life than partying. He envies the love that his friends Miles and Zeke have, and when he dares to consider that possibility for himself, his hopes and desires rest in his quiet, serious friend Carter Davison.
Carter loved a man who cheated on him, then died violently, and he refuses to make himself vulnerable again. He knows Red is interested; Red has been supportive and admiring since they met. And Carter's honest enough to admit he’s attracted to Red. But Carter can also think of nothing worse than being the lover of someone in the public eye. Playboy Red must stay an attractive friend, that’s all.
While Red yearns for something real, Carter has some sweet, sexy secrets that might surprise even Red. If Carter dares emerge from his shell, and Red pursues a more rewarding path, romance could spark. Then there’s no telling what might happen.
To Carter's surprise, Zeke didn’t bounce back with an argument at once. He took a long draught of his beer first, and when he did speak, he’d dropped his teasing tone.
“Jacky would want you to move on, bro.”
Carter’s reaction went far beyond a shiver this time. His body suddenly stiffened, as if an icy blanket had enveloped him. When the hell was that effect going to stop, every time someone said Jacky’s name? “I have moved on. I’ve had to.”
Zeke nodded, but he didn’t look as if he was agreeing. “Yeah, you carry on working and eating and drinking and nudging me back onto the right path every now and then, but that’s not necessarily the same thing, is it?”
“Just leave it, Zeke. I’ll be fine. A boyfriend’s not everything in life.” Zeke gave a slow, lascivious smile that made Carter want to laugh again. “Okay, so maybe it is for you. I don’t need that, Zeke. I’m fine,” he repeated. He felt he’d been insisting that to everyone for a long, long time.
Zeke still looked unconvinced. “So long as you’re open to offers.”
Carter did laugh then. “Offers? Sure. But as you can see, I’m not exactly mown down by guys beating a path to my door.”
Zeke frowned at him, his gaze running over Carter’s dark polo shirt and comfortable jeans. “You should wear your suit out, now and then. You look fucking hot in that. And maybe shave more often.”
Carter instinctively ran his hand over his chin. “Isn’t a five o’clock shadow hot anymore?”
Zeke huffed. “Man, you don’t do the swarthy look well, trust me. You’re too pale.” He tilted his head, still staring at Carter but with a wide smile on his face. “You’d do better in green. Button-front shirt so you can slip open some buttons and show your six-pack.”
Zeke waved him silent. “I know you work out, don’t play the innocent with me. Let your hair grow longer, just so you don’t look like all the other corporate clones. You’ve got good hair, thick, natural red highlights among that mousy brown, in certain light. You’re thin, you move well, you’ve got a bloody wicked laugh when you let it out—”
“Stop describing me like a damned art project.”
“A pseudo-Greek sculpture, maybe,” Zeke said thoughtfully. He held his hands up as if measuring for a photo. “In gold lamé shorts.”
Carter thumped him hard on the upper arm and snatched the peanuts away from him. They were both laughing.
“Red De Vere likes a fine green shirt, you know,” Zeke said. The mischief was back in his eyes.
“Leave it, Zeke.”
But Zeke wouldn’t, as Carter well knew. “You guys are still seeing each other?”
Carter hesitated before replying. “It’s not seeing each other. We just have a drink now and then.”
“My company’s tendering for a project at one of his father’s venues. Not that it’s Red’s area, and it’s not my department either—”
“But he wanted to know about the construction business in general, and I wanted….” The words dried up. He knew he was flushed, and not just from the beer.
Zeke pushed Carter’s drink nearer to him. “Need some lubrication there, bro? You wanted…?”
Carter shook his head with resignation. “Company, Zeke. Just company. Red’s interesting to be with. Talks a lot of sense, at least when he drops that bloody stupid Texan drawl he copies off his mother. He’s amusing. He’s… amusing.” Did I just repeat myself?
“He’s keen on you, that’s bloody obvious. Good-looking, of course.”
“And, of course, he knows it.”
Zeke smiled. “In a rich, arrogant, smooth kind of way?”
Carter laughed. “Yes, that’s how it looks. But there’s a lot more to him than he shows in public.”
“Tell me all about it,” Zeke said, leaning forward over the table.
Carter just thumped his arm again. A group of men in city suits with their hands full of beer bottles bumped the table as they passed. After the laughing and boozy apologies, Carter and Zeke fell companionably silent. Zeke drank his beer then flipped the newspaper open again to the middle page. He gave a short, sharp bark of a laugh.
“What is it?” Carter asked.
“You may not want to see. After what you just said about there being more to Red De Vere than his public persona.”
“What do you mean?”
Zeke started chuckling and slowly twisted the newspaper around so that Carter could see the whole centerfold spread. It was a blown-up picture of a young man with blond hair. He seemed to be standing in a hotel corridor, judging by the insignia on the carpet and a couple of London scenic prints on the wall in the background. There was also a delicately scripted but wholly visible wall sign beside the man’s head that said “Gentlemen’s Cloakroom.” The quality of the photo was grainy, as if it weren’t professional or had been rushed, and there was a large black band across the middle of the man’s body at around hip height. But the rest of the figure was totally recognizable. “Looks like he’s putting that extra on show after all, eh?”
Carter stared at the picture. “It’s Red. He looks shocked to hell.”
“Man,” Zeke said, laughing loudly by now. “You must be the only person in London who’s looking at his face!”