**TCO is excited to have Jocelynn Drake and Rhinda Elliott stop by with a sassy, exclusive excerpt from Deadly Dorian, which comes out next week–EEK!–Make sure you check out the giveaway at the bottom of the page for a chance at an ebook copy of any of Drake and Elliott’s back releases.
Someone is trying to kill Marc Foster.
Attempted poisoning was bad enough, but when the would-be killer messes with the brakes on Marc’s precious Porsche, the art dealer admits he needs help. He just wasn’t expecting help to be quite so dark and sexy.
Royce Karras loves his job at Ward Security. He’s making up for a lifetime of bad decisions and a bloody past he’d rather forget. But Marc isn’t the spoiled rich boy he thought he’d be protecting. Sticking close to Marc as his “boyfriend” gives Royce insight into his toxic family, but it also reveals a brilliant, compassionate man who completely disarms Royce. Against his better judgment, Royce finds himself falling.
But can they find a way to make it work when Royce’s past threatens to tear their lives apart? Their future hinges on a lost Renaissance painting, six Bichon Frises, and a pornographic Robin Hood.
No worries, right?
Just like the kitchen, the living room looked completely untouched. He’d seen model homes that looked more lived-in. A white sofa and a black chair faced a nondescript wooden table. A TV offered the only break in the white walls. There were no pictures of family or friends. No art whatsoever. There was…nothing.
An uneasy twist tightened his stomach. It didn’t look as if anyone lived in this house. There was nothing personal. No little hint into the man who was supposed to be keeping him safe, as if he’d erased all signs of his soul. Marc had watched those horrible true-crime shows that revealed images of a psychotic killer’s home to find it meticulously cleaned and organized. Royce’s home reminded him a little too much of that.
“Have you lived here long?” Marc called after Royce as he continued to follow Royce’s heavy footsteps. He paused at the foot of the stairs by the front entrance, then shrugged. Royce never told him to stay in the living room. Didn’t speak to him at all. So, he went up.
At the top of the stairs, he found three open doors. One to a bathroom and another to a spare bedroom with only a queen-sized mattress and box spring on the hardwood floor. The other room was the master bedroom, and this one had a little shred of color and personality.
The king-sized bed dominated the room with its black comforter and wooden headboard with the open slats. Perfect for gripping or tying someone to. Marc blinked and jerked his gaze away from the bed to the pair of framed pictures on the nightstand. Without thinking, he stepped farther into the room, squinting at the pictures. One looked a couple of decades old at least and was of two young boys. The other was of a handsome young man with a colorful scarf tied around his neck. It looked like a nice spring day with cherry blossoms in the background. Even from a distance, the man’s smile was incredibly sweet.
Royce stepped out of the walk-in closet with a black roller bag in hand. He glared at Marc, looking as if he were surprised to find him there. “Wait downstairs,” he barked. “I’ll be down in five minutes.”
Marc stiffened at his tone, feeling like a scolded child. Sure, this was Royce’s private domain, and the man couldn’t like having his privacy invaded, but Royce was about to touch every inch of Marc’s private life. “Of course,” Marc bit out as he turned on his heel and started to leave the room.
A low muttered curse rumbled from Royce a second later. “Wait,” he said with a heavy sigh. “Is there anything in particular I should pack?”
“Most days I’ll be at the gallery downtown. You can wear whatever you want there.” Marc partially turned to look at Royce, still expecting to be ejected from the room at any second.
“Jeans and T-shirt?”
“You can wear onesie unicorn pajamas and a tiara every day to the gallery. It certainly wouldn’t be the strangest thing I’ve seen.” Some of the tension eased from Marc’s shoulders when he saw the corner of Royce’s mouth jerk like he was fighting back a smile.
Clearing his throat, Royce tossed the roller bag on the bed and opened it. “I’ll skip the onesie this time. I’ll be carrying, and it could get in the way.”
His heart missed a beat at the mention of the fact that Royce would by carrying a gun and that danger was still haunting his steps. It was easy to forget at times when he was focused on the strange man grabbing clothes out of the top dresser drawer on the opposite side of the room.
With every one of these books, I come out thinking that it’s my new favorite.
Maybe it is for the time being, I dunno…I think I might be a little bit in love with all of them though! In this one, we have Royce…who I had been waiting for. He was beautifully tragic in a way that you just knew he had some hidden heartache in him, and boy did he.
And Marc… the art dealer who was convinced that someone in his family was trying to kill him. That’s when he met with Royce, because he needed a bodyguard.And because it was someone that had access to his home, and all aspects of his life, he needed them to be with him 24/7…And what better way to go undercover, than to pretend he’s Marc’s boyfriend. What could possibly go wrong there??
I will admit, that this story kept me on my toes and flipping through pages like crazy. I read it half of a day because I couldn’t put it down once I’d started. Who I was convinced was behind it, wasn’t at all and really surprised me by the end. I love that it was a twist that I didn’t see coming.
I kind of felt like the two problems in the story was a bit much…like, we have this big thing with Marc and someone trying to kill him and then a huge thing pops up with Royce, making him have a big problem. It was a bit much, I’ll say again… I did like that during Royce’s problem, the guys all took his back and made him realize that they were all a family. All the guys that he worked with had his back not only on the job, but in life…Royce had felt alone for a very long time, and it was nice to see the brotherhood and connection that they all had together. They really proved themselves loyal after this one. I mean, not that they don’t already, but…especially after they helped Royce out with his situation.
With Marc, my heart kind of broke for him because he never felt good enough since he was the baby of the family, and wow, his siblings were kind of terrible, especially his sister. I never did warm up towards her.
I did love the way he and Royce were when they were together, though…It never felt like a show, or just a job, even from the beginning. They were perfect for each other and it was obvious. Of course, they both had to learn some things about themselves before we got there in the end, but of course they did.
It was just a perfect addition to an already great series, and you get to see all the hotties from previous books, so bonus there!
I honestly cannot wait for more from this series…
5 pieces of eye candy from me.
At TCO, we all love Jocelynn and Rhinda’s work, so leave a comment, and you could win and ebook copy of any of their backdated releases!