Once again, the fabulous Victoria Sue is stopping by for her monthly check in on what is happening in her world. Today she has a new release! Ben’s Rainbow is book 3 in the Rainbow Key series, and the one I have been waiting for (yeah, yeah, I might have said that about the others, but this one for reals!). Anyway, as you can see by the exclusive excerpt she dropped, this one might be a bit angsty. Second chance love, two broken men, one beautiful Florida Key. That’s the makings of some good stuff! Make sure you leave a comment for the giveaway!
Benedict Keeler was one of America’s most popular models. Hot body, hot career, and super-hot boyfriend, until a devastating house fire destroyed his face and his dreams. After being told all his life that a pretty face is the measure of his worth, he can’t face another rejection and runs from his lover, eventually hiding out on Rainbow Key.
Zachary Quinn, a highly sought after photographer—even if he would rather shoot the homeless in Manhattan than a fashion spread—is now facing the real possibility that a genetic disease will render him blind and his days behind a camera may be over.
Two devastated men, one haunted by his past and one convinced he has no future. Will they both hide from the world, or will they give love, and each other, a second chance?
The bark of a dog had him jerking to attention. He’d wandered a few feet away from Matt because Matt had said the tide was out, and the only thing beneath his feet was miles of sand, but the thought of being faced with an animal he couldn’t see and might not be friendly had him spinning around to where he knew Matt was stacking the sun beds.
“Hey, Kai,” Matt said in a warm voice. He must have noticed the way Zach twisted around sharply because his voice remained steady. “Kai’s just a big puppy. Labrador cross and as soft as a brush.”
Zach heard the whispered faintly panicked plea of the other voice and stilled immediately.
“Hey, Ben,” Matt greeted the owner of the voice and obviously the dog, but Zach didn’t need to hear the name to know. Much as his mind was screaming in disbelief and denial, he only needed to hear the voice once to immediately recognize it.
His Ben. The man he loved so desperately but had obviously never loved him. Zach whirled around and started walking away, ignoring Matt’s shout. His steps became faster and faster until he broke out into a run. Running from the voice he knew and couldn’t bear to hear now. He couldn’t see where he was going, and it didn’t matter. Nearly four fucking years. Four fucking years he had tried to find Ben, but he had vanished even before he’d made it to Hawaii. And that damn reporter had succeeded where he hadn’t then Ben had vanished again. All the agency would say was that Ben didn’t work for them anymore, and if Sylvia had said it was such a shame one more fucking time in front of him, he would have been tempted to put his fist through the expensive glass doors to her office. Even Seth, with all his medical contacts, had been unable to find him. He’d hired a private investigator, but it hadn’t helped, so Zach had thrown himself into his work. For nearly two years he had stayed home searching, until he’d given up and since then he had barely been home for more than a week at a time before he was gone again, chasing the next photograph. Then he had woken up without his sight and finally realized he had been missing his heart already.
“Zach, wait.” The words, urgent and panicked never filtered past the more pressing need to run. “Zach, stop.”
Fear. Fear this time, and that, more than anything, made Zach check his speed. The hand that clasped his arm and yanked made him stumble. “Rocks,” Ben gasped. “there’s three huge rocks, and you were running right at them.”
“Zach,” Matt yelled, and Zach heard him closing in. He shook his head, his knees gave way, and the hand that held him guided him to the ground. “We’re okay, Matt,” Ben called back. Tight tears burned, and Zach yanked at the sunglasses that were suddenly suffocating and threw them to the side. Zach bent over, kneeling, hands clutching his abdomen as agony both speared and mocked him. Sweat broke out on his forehead, and he forgot how to breathe. It seemed when he tried to inhale, nothing happened.
“Ben.” Choking, gasping, hurting.
“Hush,” Ben soothed. “Just breathe. Breathe with me.” And he did. Giddy as oxygen flooded his starving lungs, even as his body hungered for something else. He clasped the hand on his arm in sudden terror it was all a dream… a nightmare, and he had woken again to the other side of the bed as empty as the rest of him.
“Don’t—” go. But he couldn’t force the words through his choked throat. He jumped. The raspy tongue cautiously licked his other hand, and suddenly it was ridiculous, and he was laughing. He gasped again, and the laughs became sobs as he bent over and clutched at his body, convinced if he didn’t hold on he would fly apart.
But then maybe he should let it go?
Crying. Shaking. Turning his head and pressing into the comfort of the one thing he needed and had forgotten. He tried to inhale Ben’s scent, but his nose was clogged. Tried to reach out and hold him but his arms shook.
“Hush, sweetheart, I’m so sorry.” Pain everywhere. In him, around him. In the catch of Ben’s voice that seemed to fracture over and over until his brain was echoey and foggy. He couldn’t think, didn’t want to think.
Harsh panting seemed to steady him, and he became aware of the arms clutching him, holding him up. He sagged again, too heavy, but too tired to do any other. He wanted to ask so much, but renewed terror silenced him. More hands helped him to his feet, and too exhausted to form a protest, Zach did as he was told. All he could do was hold onto the one hand he was convinced it would kill him to let go. Begging him to stay without having the energy to form the words.
“Let’s get him back and into bed.”
“Do you think we should call his doctor?”
“No,” Zach gasped, knowing it was Josh and Matt who spoke. Ben was silent, but so long as he didn’t leave, he didn’t need to hear him.
“I’ll stay with him.”
Which made Zach want to cry all over again. Please.
Zach was barely aware of being helped back into the cart then into the hotel. He was finally in bed and completely exhausted…and still, through everything, clinging to the hand that held his. Nothing else mattered. Being alive. Being blind. Nothing.
Well, what do you think? Is this one going to be good or what? Leave a comment to be entered to win one of Victoria’s backlist books.