A Crossroads Novel
Cover Designer: X Potion Designs
Cover Photo: Stock Photo
Release Date: February 10, 2016
Rod Nelson is used to being someone’s good time, and that’s fine with him. Spending his days at his adult toy store, Rods-N-Ends, he never knows who he’ll meet. The second Landon Harrison walks in, he has Rod’s full attention. It seems as if Landon wants him too, so why won’t the man jump in the sack with him already?
Landon never thought he’d return home to the town where memories lurk around every corner. He has to admit, Rod makes the adjustment a lot easier. He keeps Landon laughing. Despite the fierce attraction between them, he’s not willing to risk his newfound friendship to get laid.
Neither man wants something serious, but the more they’re together, the harder it is to keep their hands to themselves, until eventually they stop trying.
But flings between friends are never simple, and as they attempt to shift gears, diving into their first relationship, they’re slammed with setbacks. If they want to truly move forward, before they hit the open road together, they’re going to have to let go of a past that could make them crash and burn.
Five-ish good questions with Riley Hart
(A sometimes feature on Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy)
- Let’s start with serious: Crossroads was a HUGE book, and really hit so many people’s must read list, being a double GFY, which we don’t see often. How difficult is it to try to follow up book 1 with another book that must be read. It’s pretty much the scariest thing ever. LOL. There is a lot of pressure following Nick and Bryce. I had no idea people would fall for those two as much as I did, and there’s a lot of pressure not to screw that up! I just hope readers continue to love the series and I hope they fall hard for Landon and Rod the way I did.
- What is your vision of what Rod and Landon look like? Do you have celebrity inspirations/crushes for these two characters? I always feel like the lamest author in the world when it comes to this question. I never have celebrity inspirations for my characters. It’s hard for me to separate my characters from the celebrity. But both men have dark hair. Rod is smaller than Landon and he has a few tattoos. Landon’s hair hangs over his forehead and Rod wears eyeliner. 🙂
- The cover of Shifting Gears is fairly simple, and just beautiful. Did you have a vision of what you wanted it to look like, or did you let the cover artist just go? Does the bracelet have significance as well? I choose the images for my covers. I work with a couple different photographers. All of my covers except Shifting Gears and Return to Blackcreek have all been the same photographer. But once I give the image to the cover artist, I let them take it from there. I’m not good with visualizing stuff like that. The bracelet is in the end of the book, but it doesn’t have huge significance.
- Sex scenes are not easy to write. And if writing is your full time gig, life sometimes gets in the way. What is your “method” to “get in the mood” to write a sex scene? Do you need some Luther Vandross on the radio? Maybe some low candlelight? Or do you just need the kids out at Chuck E. Cheese so you have the house to yourself? 🙂 I’m a weird author. I don’t listen to music when I write. Once in a while, but not often. It’s pretty easy for me to get into the zone as long as I don’t have outside distractions. As long as the kids are gone and I’m alone in my office, I can make it work.
- Now, for the fun one. You call me to bail you out of jail. You tell me to bring you three things. What are they, and why?
LOL. My cell, because it’s my cell and I was probably going crazy without it.
Alcohol because after spending a night in jail, I’ll need it.
And… hmm…. A change of clothes? LOL
For me, Riley Hart is one of those authors whose books I automatically buy on.
Landon, a motorcycle mechanic and Rod, a sex toy shop owner are both gun-shy about commitment since neither have seen healthy, happy relationships growing up. One abandoned by his father and the other raised by a hateful man, both need to work through past issues to make any kind of future together.
This book has it all; the tender moments, the hot and steamy ones, so much humor, and my favorite couple from Crossroads; Nick and Bryce. Watching Rod and Landon “shift gears” from friendship, to lovers, to a couple in a committed relationship is a beautiful journey that I was sad to see come to an end.
This book is going to end up on my list of books that are re-read often. Well done Riley Hart!
5 pieces of eye candy
I absolutely LOVED Crossroads, book 1 in this series. My favorite trope is GFY (Gay for You) and a double GFY? Well, that’s just double the love for me. Riley Hart always has the right words that hit my heart, and Shifting Gears is no exception for me.
Rod, who appeared in book 1, puts on this fun loving appearance, always with a joke. However, it masks the pain he continues to hold onto from his fathers rejection when he found out he was gay. Rod really was a deep well of emotions. Most he tried to hide from himself, as well as Landon. Yet, he always wanted to have that one man, the love of his life.
Meanwhile Landon had his own pain that he was dealing with, his own father’s rejection in the form of disappearing without a word. His answer was to assume that love was not real, and that it wasn’t in the cards for him. He wasn’t looking for that one man, merely moving from one to the next.
My love for Landon grew, as a reader, by his deep and abiding respect for Rod. He refused to sleep with him, because he liked him so much. He knew that once that happened, the friendship would be gone, and he really wanted his friend, more than he wanted a one night stand.
These men ended up being the perfect match for each other. They were supportive of one another from beginning to end, despite odds that could have easily torn their relationship apart. No matter what though, they held onto what was important, their love and respect for each other.
Ms. Hart showed a side of men that we don’t often get to see. These men, like so many men, had trouble communicating their feelings, their desires, and their concerns, and it could have caused deep rifts in their relationship. Eventually though, they got their HEA, YEAH!!!!
I can see who might be next in this series (I won’t say, because I think that would be a spoiler), but I sure hope it goes in that direction!
Great job on this book, Riley.
Damned if Rod’s hand didn’t start to shake. He couldn’t move, didn’t know what to say, but knew he had to let something pass his lips. “Why are you doing this?”
The light from the television shone around Landon, and he shrugged. “I know it’s not the same as the real thing, but I just wanted to do something nice for you. That’s it.”
He’d done nice things for Rod already, a big one being the way he’d let Rod drive his bike.
“When’s the last time someone did something nice for you?” Landon asked.
The answer was easy. “The last time I saw you.”
Landon shook his head. “That doesn’t count. That was selfish. I want someone to ride with, and I like sharing my love of bikes. Unless you’re talking about the sex, and then there’s the fact that I came so hard I saw double.”
But this was just for Rod… He tried to make sense of it, tried to work through how they’d gotten here. Landon was the one who made sure Rod knew what this was. It was Landon who didn’t want to take the chance that Rod would read something into it that wasn’t there and now here he was, doing things like this for him. The kind of thing no one had taken the time to do for him before.
“Come on, we’re going to miss the show again.”
When Rod didn’t reply, when he couldn’t reply, Landon continued, “Just ride it out with me. That’s what I’m doing, riding it out. We’re shifting gears, that’s all. Not sure where we’re going. Not even sure I know how to get there, but let’s just try to enjoy the ride.”
And he wanted that. Wanted it so fucking much, that the need ate him alive. It scared the shit out of him at the same time.
Still, Rod closed the distance between them. When Landon sat, Rod went to the other end of the couch, lied down, and put his head in Landon’s lap like he’d done fifty times before.
Landon touched his hair, ran his fingers through it and neither of them spoke; they just continued sitting there together, watching the show.
Riley Hart is the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s a hopeless romantic, a lover of sexy stories, passionate men, and writing about all the trouble they can get into together.
She loves reading, flawed characters, and hanging out with her husband and children, who she adores. She and her family live in Southern California, soaking up the sunshine, while also missing seasons. Not a day goes by that she isn’t thankful she gets to wake up and do what she loves.
Life is good. Riley also writes young adult and new adult under the name Nyrae Dawn.