Blurb: Brandon Gilbert has spent years in hiding, but finally he’s accomplished his dream of working as a public school teacher. When offered the chance to help bullied children, there was no way he could say no. Not to mention that meeting Dr. Tash Weber, the psychiatrist who helps them, a sad yet sexy older man, ignited a spark inside Brandon he’d never had before.
Though five years have passed since the death of his lover, Dr. Sebastian “Tash” Weber has no interest in relationships or love. But young, enigmatic Brandon awakens his heart and his desire. Despite Tash’s best efforts to push him away, Brandon unlocks the passion for life Tash thought he’d lost forever.
Falling in love wasn’t part of the plan for either Brandon or Tash, but neither family disapproval nor self-doubts can stop them from embracing the fire that burns between them. And when Brandon returns home to fight for a future he never imagined possible, he and Tash discover that the one thing worth fighting for has been with them all along
Author Info: I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending just around the corner. I started reading traditional historical romances when I was a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until I picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that my interest in romance novels became renewed.
But somewhere along the way, my tastes shifted. While I still enjoys a juicy Historical romance, I began experimenting with newer, more cutting edge genres and discovered the world of Male/Male romance. Once I picked up her first, I became so enamored of the authors, the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion of the books, I knew I wanted to write my own.
I live in New York City with my husband and two children and hopefully soon a cat of my own. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.
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“Maybe we should get started? I’m, ah, kind of interested in seeing what you want me to do.” Beneath lowered lashes he shot a glance at Tash, who, thank God, had turned his attention to talk to the other men in the room.
Though he couldn’t remember their names, Brandon recognized the husky blond-haired man, hovering protectively next to a dark-haired young woman, from the picture hanging outside on the wall.
“That’s Mike, Dr. Levin, the dentist. He and Drew’s sister, Rachel, are dating,” Gage murmured in between sips of coffee. “She’s got a PhD in child psychology and set up the suicide prevention hotline here at the clinic. They really thought of everything here.”
Once again, regret slammed into Brandon. What dreams could Ash, Luke, and he have accomplished if someone had cared about them? Ash might not have run away, and Luke might’ve had someone to talk to instead of becoming so sad and withdrawn.
“Hey, Randy, where’d you go?”
Brandon blinked and found Gage’s sympathetic gaze trained on him. He swallowed hard and averted his eyes. “Nowhere.”
Gage shot him a sharp look but returned to sipping his coffee. As Drew approached, Brandon braced himself for the inevitable onslaught of getting-to-know-you questions. It didn’t matter as he had his whole pretend history well rehearsed.
“So, Randy, we’ve already heard from Gage before today. What do you think we need to do, to reach and help as many kids as possible?” Drew sat in the chair next to him.
Brandon instantly sensed Drew was a person who rarely passed judgment on people; he was the person you wanted to come home and tell all your problems to.
“I think you need to make sure the kids know first this is a place of trust and security. Also if they come here to talk, or we talk to them anywhere, we’re there to help them work out their own solutions safely.”
Rachel’s friendly smile encouraged Brandon and increased his confidence. “The most important thing to teach these kids is that they have a chance to break free and be what they want to be.”
Drew rubbed his chin, and his eyes clouded. “One thing from the beginning I have to make clear. If we hear of any abuse, we go straight to the police. If there’s any bullying, the school and the parents have to know.” The smile he wore so easily faded, replaced by an almost trembling frown. “We lost someone very dear to all of us because we held back, and I made the mistake of trying to handle the problem on my own.”
Rachel whispered in Mike’s ear, and he came over to place a hand on Drew’s shoulder. Drew smiled tremulously at him but continued. “The consequences are too enormous and dangerous if we don’t bring in the authorities when we know a person is at risk.”
The police? Shit. He couldn’t be a part of this. For years Brandon had evaded them, deliberately taking every precaution to keep as far away from them as possible. Now with this project, he’d be putting himself practically in their pockets. Though the mission sounded amazing, he knew he’d have to decline. He couldn’t afford the risk.
“Um, I’m not sure if I’m the right person for this.” Brandon’s fingers shook as he reached for his jacket. The room fell silent as he fumbled and stuttered over his words. “I mean, I’m so new; you really need a person who’s more experienced.”
He stood and grabbed his backpack. “Uh, I have to go, but I’ll let you know if I can do it. Thanks.”
“Wait, Randy, please.” Tash put himself in between Brandon and the door, but Brandon couldn’t let the disappointment and confusion in Tash’s handsome face dissuade him from leaving. He circled Tash and wrenched open the door.
“I’m sorry. I gotta go.” Cheeks burning, Brandon put his head down and raced through the hallway toward the front of the building. He’d just reached the door, when it burst open, and a tall, dark-haired man stood facing the street, shaking out his wet umbrella.
“Excuse me,” muttered Brandon, brushing by him, not waiting for a response. He plunged headlong into the foggy drizzle that had begun again, uncaring if he got wet. His long strides ate up the block as he pushed himself farther and farther away from the clinic. It hurt, walking out so abruptly, but once he got home, he’d call Gage and make up some excuse.
At the intersection he spotted a cab with its light on, and even though he could barely afford the fare for his monthly subway pass, he hailed it, asking it to drop him off at the nearest subway station in Carroll Gardens. He’d find a way to get home to Flatbush somehow.
The farther away he got from the clinic, the better, yet as he sat back in the cab, he couldn’t help recalling the disappointment in Tash’s face. But Brandon knew if he stayed he’d do more than disappoint everyone, and that wasn’t a chance he was willing or able to take. Copyright © Felice Stevens
Happy Book Birthday to Felice Stevens! AFTER THE FIRE is out. It’s book 2 in the Through Hell and Back series. You can buy it now on AMAZON or LooseId or you can enter the giveaway (below) to win an eCopy from Amazon. Winner will be announced on Saturday Feb. 28th.
Blurb: A single bullet destroyed the dreams of Dr. Jordan Peterson. With his lover dead, Jordan descends into an endless spiral of self-destruction that nearly costs him his friends, his career and his life. When Jordan finds himself working closely with the aloof Lucas Conover, the investment banker’s mysterious past and unexpected kindness shocks him back into a life and emotions he’d thought lost forever.
The betrayal by the foster brother he’d worshiped, taught Lucas Conover never to trust or believe in anyone. Living a solitary life couldn’t free him of the nightmare of his former life; it reinforced his belief that he would never fall in love. When the death of one of his clients forces him to work closely with Dr. Jordan Peterson, he meets a person whose suffering exceeds his own. Though Jordan rejects his effort to help, something within Luke pushes him discover more about the first man to ever get under his skin.
As Luke lets down his guard and Jordan lets go of his pain, desire takes control. Each man must come to terms with past struggles if they are to create a future together. And learning to trust in themselves and love again after tragedy and a lifetime of pain, may be the only thing that saves them in the end.
-Romance Reader Girl
I am doing a book giveaway for my birthday! Click HERE to learn more. You could win one of Felice’s books.
-Romance Reader Girl
“Have a drink, Drew, and tell me why you’re here.” Ash sipped his vodka and stared at him over the rim of his glass.
“No, thanks, I’m driving. But I do want to talk to you.” The man was a study in contrasts. Drew couldn’t think of a time he hadn’t seen Ash perfectly dressed, every hair in place, looking like he’d stepped out of a men’s fashion magazine.
Tonight however…well he looked off-kilter. Though he still had on his clothes from earlier, that white button down shirt and black slacks, the shirt was wrinkled and unbuttoned lower than he’d ever seen. Dark stubble shadowed along his jaw, and his hair lay unkempt and disheveled. Drew shifted on the sofa. “Look, I know this may sound stupid, but my grandmother was concerned about you, so she asked me to stop by and check up on you.”
“And of course you do everything your nana says.”
Drew’s face flamed. “Fuck you, Davis.”
A tiny smirk hit the corner of Ash’s lips. “What’s the matter, Doc? The truth hurts?”
The bastard. After all the nice things his grandmother had said about him, how she’d worried about him, this was his response? To act like the snide sarcastic son of a bitch he was at their first meeting? How dare he treat her concern as if it were nothing? And to think he’d actually thought they were friends. “What the hell do you know about the truth, huh? No one knows anything about you; you have no friends, no lover.” He stood, ready to leave. “No wonder you’re all alone. No one cares about you. You aren’t worth it.” Shit, he’d never spoken so cruelly to anyone. But then again, no one had ever gotten under his skin like Ash Davis.
Like a snake uncoiled, Ash jumped off the sofa and grabbed him by the shoulder. “Take that back.”
“What’s the matter, Davis? The truth hurts?” He mimicked Ash’s earlier words to him, and saw a flare of anger gleam in those colorless, glittering eyes.
“You fucking bastard. Who are you to say I’m not worth it, that no one cares about me? I have friends. People like me. Don’t you ever say I’m not worth it. I matter goddamn you. I fucking matter.”
Ash tried to grab onto him, but Drew wrenched away and took off for the door, speaking over his shoulder.
“People don’t like you, Ash, they want to fuck you because you’re beautiful. That’s not liking. That’s not a friendship. How many relationships have you ever had with another man? You’ve never even had a boyfriend or a permanent relationship have you, because you have to have a heart. You have to care about someone. How can you value someone else in your life when you don’t even value yourself?”
Book Blurb: Jason Mallory can no longer hide the dissatisfaction of his relationship with his longtime girlfriend. Her ultimatum to get married pushes him to break off their relationship and he’s determined not to jump into the dating scene. When a group of injured pit bulls are found on his construction site, he calls the neighborhood rescue for help.
After adopting one of the dogs, Jason finds he can’t forget Ryder, and the two become fast friends. Then one night, Ryder lets down his guard and Jason recognizes his desire. After Jason devises a plan to bring Ryder and his brother together, they can no longer deny the passion between them. Will family differences and ugly prejudices keep them apart, or can they fight to prove that love is precious, no matter the gender?
My Thoughts: Dogs + Romance = A Fantastic Read! Felice Stevens is a new author and I loved her writing style. I was hooked on page one and stayed hooked to the end. This m/m romance is full of love and discovery and I enjoyed every minute.
Ryder and Jason have a chemistry that lights up the pages. It is a joy to read two characters build a relationship based on trust, friendship, honesty and love. Don’t get me wrong this book is not all rainbows and butterflies; there is quite a bit of drama and that’s what makes this a great read. Ms. Stevens does not shy away from the hurt and real issues that many couples deal with. I won’t give anything away but there are moment in this book where the emotional is so raw you will have tears in your eyes and you will need a tissue. Let’s not forget this book is not only about romance between two people but loving puppies! It was great to read a story that focused on an issue close to my heart dog rescues.
I am so excited to read more from this author!
-Romance Reader Girl