Lincoln Merriweather was born an entitled brat with a silver spoon lodged so deep, it might never have come out. At the BDSM club or in business, Lincoln was a storm, blowing in and disrupting the lives of everyone he touched, until the day he met a man who peeled away the tarnished layers to expose a decent person.
Lincoln found—then lost—love.
Since then, he’s tried to atone for his past, including walking away from his family’s wealth. He opened a diner, hiring people to work for him that he would have spit on before his epiphany. He’s found peace, which he’s about to lose to a hazel-eyed man.
Noel Simmons wound up on the street when his parents discovered he was gay. His path leads him to Lincoln’s diner, where he asks for a job. He’s thrilled when Lincoln agrees to hire him, but finds his new boss perplexing. Can anyone be this kind and decent?
What starts out as business becomes something more. Noel discovers he needs Lincoln in order to feel safe. Lincoln needs Noel to complete him. But when Lincoln’s past gets in the way of his present, will the two have a future?
Character Interview Questions: Lincoln Merriweather
- What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? How about after they’ve known you for a while?
I used to be this hardass guy who could make grown men weep with a quirk of his brow. I used that power to bring men to their knees, figuratively and literally. Even after they got to know me, my reputation as an asshole was well deserved.
Then I met Ev, and that had to change. It wasn’t overnight, and there are still times I can channel that vibe, but now people think I’m a kind, compassionate man, and that’s the image I want to cultivate.
- What’s your idea of a good marriage? Do you think that’ll happen in your life?
Trust and mutual respect is essential. My parents slept with anyone that would lay still long enough. I thought that was the way of the world, and I used to ride rough over a lot of men, both at the club and just as one night stands.
When I met Ev, I wanted more out of life. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be with Ev, but years later I met a hazel-eyed man who took my breath away. As for whether it will happen in my life, you need to read the book. 😉
- What are you most proud of about your life?
The diner. No, wait. That’s not right. What I’ve accomplished with the diner. See, before I opened the Park View, I wasn’t a good man. I never thought about anything beyond making money and lording it over everyone.
My epiphany changed me and made me, I hope, a better person. Once I opened the diner, I wanted to do something to give back to the people I’d wronged. I knew I couldn’t go back and undo it, so I tried to pay for my sins by hiring those people who I always thought were beneath me.
I learned a valuable lesson from Ev, and I tried to pay it forward. I’d like to think I succeeded.
- What are you most ashamed of in your life? (Again, if necessary ask “What about on a personal level?”)
Oh, God. Looking back, I’m ashamed of so many things. The way I treated people, the backstabbing, the double dealing, the looking the other way while my father took people’s jobs and homes and lives. I’m ashamed of the way I treated the guys at the club. I guess overall, I’m ashamed of the person I was. I’d give anything to be able to go back and undo it.
- If you could spend the day with someone you admire (living or dead or imaginary), who would you pick?
Wow. Though the answer is easy, the question isn’t. I’d like to sit down and talk with Ev one last time. To let him know of the positive impact he made in my life and, most of all, to tell him the secret that I never had a chance to share with him.
- Do you think you’ve turned out the way your parents expected?
HA! Oh, you’re serious? Okay, sorry. No. The day I told my father I quit, he told me I’d regret it. He went to extraordinary lengths to keep me under his thumb, including cutting me off monetarily.
I love Parker’s romance writing, so I was looking forward to this one. And I think the character interview above really does a great job of getting into Lincoln’s mindset.
However, I will admit I spent some of the book slightly confused. I know it was labeled BDSM as a portion, but it didn’t seem to really touch on that between the character’s for a while. So, I guess I understood it was a past hobby for him, until it wasn’t. I thought it was he had given it up along after Ev passed away.
However, what I did really like was the personalities of the MC’s, as well as one spitfire of a server who took no crap from anyone, and went after her own happiness.
The other piece that confused me was based on reality. Noel didn’t want Lincoln to hire another cook. So, Lincoln worked basically 5am to midnight or later 6 days a week, and brunch on Sunday. With no other cooks help. I understood his reasoning, but at the same time, without having seen much of the actual customers that Lincoln was so connected to, it made it difficult to understand what would happen if Lincoln got sick or injured, or was just too exhausted to get out of bed. (I know, I know, you have to suspend some reality in romance novels, obviously, but this one just made me confused.)
That being said, the MC’s were so well fleshed out, it made their motivations and personalities pop off the page, and I wanted to know more about what would be happening in the future at the diner.
3.75 piece of eye candy
Parker Williams is a bestselling author of MM romance and suspense. One of his recent works was nominated for the Lambda Literary Awards, and several books have been runners-up at the Rainbow Awards.
Parker loves the written word. A chance encounter with an amazing author changed the course of his life as he began to write the stories his men were whispering to him. With the help of some amazing friends and a community of writers he’s proud to be part of, Parker continues telling stories of love, hurt, comfort, and sometimes tosses in a little angst for fun. He believes in love, but also knows that anything worth having requires work and sacrifice (and maybe a little hurt and comfort too). The course of true love never runs smooth, and he enjoys writing about it.
Parker lives in Milwaukee, WI, with his husband, Paul, and their menagerie of dogs and cats. Most days you’ll find him on Facebook, sharing stories and pictures of the zoo, or even about Paul, who is always good for a laugh.