Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway:
By Courtney Maguire
Red has all but resigned himself to a life in the closet when he’s propositioned by the dashing, wealthy Victor Itachi. The small East Texas town of Black Creek isn’t the most hospitable environment for those who are different.
His secrets keep him–and more importantly, his sixteen-year-old half-sister, Katie–safe. But Victor’s dominance challenges everything Red thinks he knows and he finds himself swept up in an intense sexual relationship that forces him to confront his deepest desires, both in and out of the bedroom.
When an unlikely friendship with the only out gay man in town triggers Victor’s jealousy, Red must make a choice: submit fully to the relative safety of Victor’s control or risk it all for a chance at something real.
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We both leaned back as a tray of thinly cut meats and hard cheese arrived along with a basket filled with dark bread. The waiter slipped a fresh drink I didn’t order under my hand. Victor took one of the loaves and tore off a piece, slathered it with a white cheese, and topped it with a slice of meat before handing the whole assembly over to me.
“Did you order for me?” I asked with an uncomfortable laugh.
“Hope you don’t mind.”
“I thought this was only drinks.”
“Turns out, I’m hungry for more.”
I laughed and tried not to wonder if the innuendo was intentional. “What’s this?” I asked, taking the bread gingerly between two fingers.
“Pane Toscano Scuro with Burrata and prosciutto.”
“I have no idea what you just said.”
He laughed. “It’s good. Just try it.”
“You like to be in control, don’t you?”
“In all things,” he said with a sly grin. “Try it.”
I lifted the bread to my lips and his grin widened. The crust of the bread crunched between my teeth and was surprisingly sweet, complimented nicely by the saltiness of the cheese and slight sharpness of the meat. I rolled the bite around in my mouth, savoring the soft textures.
“Now, taste your drink,” he said.
“You’re trying to get me drunk, aren’t you?” I teased as I lifted my glass. I hummed a note of pleasure as the cocktail hit my tongue. The fruit tasted sweeter, the whiskey warmer, and it went down like honey. “Fuuuuck, that’s good,” I drawled.
“I’m glad you approve,” he said, eyes shining as he loaded up another piece of bread and handed it to me. I flushed a little, embarrassed by my expletive, but too distracted by the magic happening on my tongue to apologize. Not to mention the three old-fashioneds warming my belly. “Can I ask you something, Redmond? Something personal?”
“Ask me whatever you want,” I said, swooning as another bite of cheesy heaven exploded in my mouth.
“Are you gay?”
I nearly spat my food in his lap. “I—um—what?”
“It’s not a judgement, just a question,” he said calmly. “Are you gay?”
It felt like being struck by lightning. My eyes jerked to the faces of the people around us. Did they hear? Did they know? How did he know? My heart pounded like a kettledrum.
“You can’t—I mean, that’s not—”
“Any of my business, I know.” He released a small, exasperated sigh. “But I have a proposition—”
“A proposition?” I bellowed the word, jumping up from my chair. “What the fuck is this?”
“Sit down, Redmond,” he said, firm but calm.
“You thought you could get me liquored up, feed me food I can’t pronounce, and then what?”
“Sit.” He didn’t shout, didn’t even raise his voice, but something in his tone changed, sending a shiver through me and strangling off all further argument. His expression went from tranquil, almost disinterested, to sharp as a razor and some deep animal part of my brain recognized it. My third drink hit me hard and fast, and I told myself that was why I sat down. To keep myself from falling. Not because he told me to.
He sighed again, folding his hands primly on the table in front of him. “Forgive my choice of words,” he said, his face softening. “What I meant was an invitation. I’m part of a group…”
“Oh, Jesus Christ,” I said on the end of an exhale.
“A group of people with, let’s say…socially unacceptable tastes.” He paused, watching me carefully for a reaction. I threw back the remains of my drink. I’d gone numb at that point. “We get together in a safe place a couple of times a week to explore those tastes.”
“So, like a kinky sex club?” I slurred.
Victor shrugged. “It can be whatever you like. Some people just come to be around people like them. Some to get away from the oppression of their boring, vanilla lives. Some just don’t want to feel like the biggest freak in the room.”
“But mostly sex though, right?” He shrugged, and all I could do was laugh. “Well, fuck me. That was rhetorical.”
“We’re getting together tomorrow night,” he said, flicking a crumb off the tablecloth. “You should come. You don’t have to do anything. Just see how it feels.”
“Right.” I raked my hands through my hair with a groan and pushed away from the table. “Well, Mister Itachi…”
“Thank you for the drinks and the food and the…invitation, but I think I’ll call it a night.”
I stumbled a little as I got out of the chair. Victor didn’t react, simply pinched off a piece of bread in his same disinterested fashion, but the corners of his mouth pulled slightly downward.
“If you change your mind, you know how to reach me,” he said, pushing the bread into his mouth.
Enter the Giveaway:
To celebrate the release of Drive, Courtney is giving away an e-copy of Bloodlaced!
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!
Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cc0f2a57654/?
About the Author
Courtney Maguire is a University of Texas graduate from Corpus Christi, Texas. Drawn to Austin by a voracious appetite for music, she spent most of her young adult life in dark, divey venues nursing a love for the sublimely weird. A self-proclaimed fangirl with a press pass, she combined her love of music and writing as the primary contributor for Japanese music and culture blog, Project: Lixx, interviewing Japanese rock and roll icons and providing live event coverage for appearances across the country.
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