Cross to Bare by Susan Mac Nicol : Blog Tour, Author Interview and Excerpt



Blog Tour

Title: Cross to Bare

Series: Men of London

Author: Susan Mac Nicol

Publishing Company: Boroughs Publishing Group

Release Date: November 10, 2015

Cross to Bare-4


Tough in business but romantic at heart, fashion designer Lenny James isn’t hiding his masculinity behind his super successful female alter ego, but a vulnerability that only handsome financier Brook Hunter will be man enough to reveal…and worship.
It’s amazing what a little mascara and lipstick, a blonde wig, false boobs, and top-notch female fashion can hide. Not that Lenny James is hiding his masculinity. He uses his normal voice when he’s Laverne, and he’s not particularly camp as a man. His reasons for creating his alter ego are locked deep in his past. He is who he is: tough in business, and a romantic at heart. What he’s hiding is vulnerability. He wants a man to accept both sides of him.
Gorgeous, commanding, and dark as sin, Brook Hunter meets Lenny and knows nothing about Laverne until fate pushes her into his path. Cross-dressing is as far from Brook’s reality as fashion is from his world of diplomacy and high finance. Understanding and truth take time, and trust doesn’t come easy. But Brook is about to show Lenny that there are no sides to true love, just the place where they meet in the middle.

Author Interview

Welcome to Susan Mac Nicol! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer a few questions.

TCO: When you started writing the first book in Men of London series, did you foresee that you would take it this far? Where did you envision it going at the beginning?

SM: When my publisher pitched the series to me mid-2014, I didn’t really think I’d be writing eight books, no. I thought maybe four, then back to stand alone novels, as this is what I enjoy. So now I’m busy writing the final and eight book in this series, I have to say I look back and think -wow! I love this series though and have plans of keeping it going, perhaps not being as prolific as I have been.

I don’t want to see the series disappear, and I hope to keep it going, albeit a little slower than I’ve produced books in the past.

TCO: This story is very different than the other books in the series-in my estimation. It’s still a love story, but I feel like the differences in the characters, which are always tortured in some way by you, are more internal struggles. What was your inspiration to write specifically with Lenny/Laverne?

Laverne crept into Suit Yourself in her designer suit and then demanded her own story. In Suit Yourself, I needed a fashion diva to run the fashion ‘empire’ called Debussy’s, and rather than create a specific male or female character, there was the germ of an idea that perhaps I could do something different. I’d been exposed to the world of drag queens and cross dressing at the time this happened and I think that seed grew into Cross to Bare. I knew it would be a tough challenge to write, but I was determined to give both Lenny and Laverne a voice.

TCO: How did you research this story? Finding someone who was able to talk about finding a connection with a man who dresses as a woman professionally must have been a challenge.

I am very fortunate in that having my male pole dancing group on Facebook, I am privileged to know a lot of men who are willing to help me out when it comes to advice on the creative and different outlook of being a performer, a dancer and an athlete. This group is diverse, with artistes and performers who are not shy about showing their feminine side, their love for heels and women’s clothes and wearing corsets. And of course, Johnny O’Connell, the gorgeous model for Leslie on Suit Yourself cover, was the best person to ask. He performs in BoylesqCollage 2ue, wears said corsets and heels, (and looks fabulous doing so) and had a wonderful frank view to share with me on the reasons a man likes wearing women’s clothing and what it felt like to be someone else. I don’t know what I’d do without him 🙂 His insight made Laverne who she was and did Lenny justice in encapsulating his desire to create his alter ego.

TCO: We get a small peek of what’s ahead, but what do you have coming in the series? Where do you see it going? I believe there is a YA ahead?

The next book in the series, book six, is called Flying Solo. This is about Maxwell Lewis, who we met in Suit Yourself, meeting geeky gamer Gibson Henry.  This will be released on January 28th. I don’t have a blurb or cover to share yet, as it’s still in the works but the Pinterest board might give you some insight. Maxwell is loosely based on my good friend Warren Allen and some of the facts about Maxwell ring true for Warren as well. My lips are sealed.

And hmm, it’s not a YA on the way, it’s more of a NA I think. Jax, from Feat of Clay, is eighteen and his love interest, Dare, is twenty-five. I see it simply as a first love story; a coming of age romance between two men of very different backgrounds. This is the seventh book in the series and is called Damaged Goods.

Book eight will be the last one for now and is tentatively titled Hard Climate. It’s Ryan Bishop’s and Mango Munroe’s story, from Cross to Bare.  Fierce eco-warrior Mango and his volatile relationship with nightclub owner and part time drag queen, Ryan aka Delilah Delish. Once again I am counting on my good friends Warren and Johnny to help me out. I think we have a weekend trip planned to Blackpool to visit a drag queen club called Funny Girls. I can’t wait.

I have an idea for a spin off series featuring two of the characters (I’m not saying who!) which will lead into this couple’s story developing, but with a different case each time. Oops. Perhaps that might give you a clue? It’s early days yet though so I’ll need to see where it takes me. 

TCO Note: **rubs hands in glee**

TCO: Fun Question.

You’ve been arrested and call me to come bail you out. What have you been arrested for, and what three things do you ask me to bring to you?

OMG, let me think. I think I’d be arrested for trying to kidnap Benedict Cumberbatch. It’s the most likely scenario *snorts* I’ve been arrested lurking around the film studio with handcuffs, a blindfold, a ball gag and some lube. Sorry? What did you say? Oh, I see. That does sound rather kinky, doesn’t it *winks* More like a fantasy than an abduction plan.

What will I ask you to bring me? Well, seeing as how I’m bound to be released soon, as I’m a famous author who simply couldn’t be a common stalker and would be kidnapper, could you bring *whispers* handcuffs, lube and a ball gag? Mine seem to have gone missing….

Thank you so much to Sue for stopping by!!! Can’t wait to see what comes ahead for her Men of London. 🙂

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Karen teaser
denise review
Any Susan Mac Nicol book I read, always manages to touch my heart in ways that I never would imagine.
We met Laverne and Lenny in a previous book in the Men of London series (one of my favorite series btw) and you couldn’t help but fall in love with both of them. Two personalities of the same person. Different in many ways, but so much in common. Lenny wanted to be loved, for who he was, warts and all, cross dressing or not. And I loved Laverne, just as much as Lenny.
I’ll admit, I have not read a lot of books with cross dressing as a theme, not because I avoid them, but merely because I haven’t come across them, but Susan managed to take what could be a very challenging subject, and one I imagine she researched heavily, and made it a very important part of a strong personality, like Lenny, and not a “problem” or a fault. Lenny was completely comfortable in the world he had created for himself. Until Brook. 🙂
Brook meanwhile, confused, but still did not want to let Lenny go, had to learn to love Laverne as well. What a fantastic pair these two made, as Brook had to decide what he could and couldn’t deal with from a partner.
I just loved this pairing. Susan always manages to find a pairing that doesn’t seem like it will work from the outside, but when they get to know each other, they find the exact thing they are looking for from a boyfriend/husband/partner.
Another winner in this series, which has been a winner from the beginning.
4.5 pieces of eye candy
1-4.5 pieces of eye candy
buy now
Brook smiled. “The chemistry is still there, though. No doubt about that.” His brows furrowed. “And if I remember from our last window encounter, you promised to return the favour,” he murmured as he reached out and removed the glass from Lenny’s hands. He put the whisky down on the table by the window then dipped his finger in the cool liquid. Brook’s finger came up, and he slid it across Lenny’s bottom lip, slowly. He thought he was going to shoot in his pants with the eroticism of that gesture. The whisky flavour burned into his lips and he slid his tongue out and sucked the finger caressing his mouth. Brook’s eyes widened in lust, the pupils expanding. His lips parted and Lenny wanted to thrust his tongue and his cock inside the hot, wet heat of that mouth.
“Let’s get this over with, shall we, because obviously neither of us can wait,” Brook whispered, as his tongue slid into Lenny’s ear. His hands slid under the red jacket, tugging the shirt from his trousers, and then caressing the heated skin beneath. “Otherwise we’ll not enjoy my wonderful Chicken Cacciatore that I slaved over all day. Let’s fuck first, talk later.”
Lenny agreed wholeheartedly. With a low moan, he mashed his mouth against Brook’s and took possession of it. Familiar and wanton in return, Brook’s questing tongue slid into Lenny’s mouth. The slippery sensation of that deliciously heated organ, currently on a quest to drive him crazy, took him back to those passion fuelled days when he and Brook had been together. The feel of strong fingers against Lenny’s skin and the heat of that body pressed against his – it was if they’d never been apart. Lenny wasn’t one for insta-love but insta-lust he could definitely understand.
“I’d forgotten how damn good you taste and feel,” Brook gasped as his hands fumbled with buttons, opening Lenny’s trousers. He cried out as Brook’s hand slid inside his silk boxers and slid fingers down his hardened and wet cock. “This – this is what I want, you inside me.”
That phrase made Lenny thrust his cock harder into the tight confines of Brook’s hand.
“You keep saying that and I won’t have anything to fuck you with because you’ll make me come,” he managed to get out. “Turn around, face the glass.” He didn’t wait for Brook to obey, simply spun him round hard and slammed him against the cold, silken wall. “You’d better hope this is one way glass, because otherwise your neighbours are going to see you being royally skewered this time.” Lenny kicked off his trousers and underwear, giving a sigh of relief as his cock sprung free.
meet the author
Susan Mac Nicol is a self-confessed bookaholic, an avid watcher of videos of sexy pole dancing men, geek and nerd and in love with her Smartphone. She is never happier than when sitting scribbling down words and making two men fall in love.
In an ideal world, Susan Mac Nicol would be Queen of England and banish all the bad people to the Never Never Lands of Wherever -Who Cares. As that’s never going to happen, she contents herself with writing her HEA stories and pretending, that just for a little while, good things happen to good people.
Sue is a member of Romance Writers of America and Romantic Novelists Association in the UK. She lives in the quaint village of Bocking in Essex, set in the countryside and not far from the sea should she get the yen to eat crab or oysters on the Cromer Pier.


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  1. Kirsty Vizard says:

    Great review and interview! Thank you for taking part in the tour xx

  2. Hi there, thanks so much for this wonderful post and the review, I loved it! Denise, I’m glad you got a chuckle out of my Benedict Cumberbatch obsession 🙂