“Calm” is available for general release today!
Here’s a little teaser from the book.
Jesse licked his lips, appearing to consider his words before speaking. “I know you agreed to meet me here tonight—I mean, you messaged me back, which I took as a sign that you were willing to spend some time with me.”
It was Carter’s turn to frown. “I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t.”
“Are you sure?” Jesse asked gently. “Because I can’t help feeling I’m making you incredibly uncomfortable.”
Carter’s chest ached at Jesse’s earnest words. God, he was so fucked up.
“It’s not you.” He paused, then laughed with relief when Jesse grinned and broke the awkwardness between them at last. “I’m sorry. It’s a bit early to be spouting relationship clichés, especially when we hardly know each other.”
“Hey, I’m just glad you don’t look like you’re about to bolt,” Jesse told him, head cocked as sat back in his seat.
“I’m not,” Carter assured, “and you’re right. I wouldn’t have messaged you back if I didn’t want to see you again. I’m just out of practice with dating.”
“What makes you think this is a date?” Jesse’s eyes twinkled and he picked up his menu.
“Honestly, nothing. I’m a bit hopeless in social situations lately.”
Jesse dropped one corner of the menu to reach across the table and lay a hand on Carter’s.
“Relax. I asked you to dinner because I enjoyed spending time with you last week. I thought there was something between us worth exploring. But whatever happens depends on you, too. Tonight isn’t about business and I don’t want you to feel as though you’re being forced to be here.”
“I don’t.” Carter struggled to smile through his lingering guilt. “I meant what I said before—I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t want to be.”
Jesse’s megawatt smile lit his face once more. “Then let me buy you dinner.”
Things between them were easier from there. Carter and Jesse fell naturally into conversation, ranging through various topics rather than focusing on any one thing. They shared oysters on the half shell and tuna tartare to start, then moved on to NY strip steaks for the main course, with another bottle of wine.
Carter relaxed as they ate and talked, even while his attraction to Jesse increased. The idea of acting on the impulse appealed, but it worried Carter too. He was out of his depth when it came to fooling around with men. He’d been dating, but hadn’t gone beyond a few kisses with any of the men he’d seen. Jesse, so confident and assertive, was on a whole other plane from any of them, even when Carter included Riley in the mix.
Then again, he didn’t really know Riley anymore, did he? When it came down to it, Riley had more in common with Jesse now than he did with Carter. Maybe that has always been the case, Carter thought, and his stomach dropped with the realization.
It’s early download day for Calm! If you haven’t pre-ordered it yet, go straight to Pride Publishing’s website!
Calm is book two in the Tidal Series.
Here is a new teaser from it:
The restaurant door flew open. Startled, he straightened and turned to see a scowling Will Martin.
“What the hell, Riley?” his date snarled. “I thought you were going to be right back. You missed my best man speech, cutting the cake and their first dance. I had planned to ask you to dance, but you’ve been out here talking to Carter. Or ignoring me, I’m not sure which.”
“Shit. I feel terrible, Will, I didn’t mean to take so long…”
“This is getting ridiculous. I’ve done my best to be understanding about your relationship with him. You’re good friends and I respect that. Hell, I respect that you still have some lingering romantic feelings for him. But this has got to stop.”
“Will…” Riley said weakly, hating that he’d hurt someone who had been so good to him, but unable to deny that he didn’t really know where things stood with Carter. “I never meant…”
“I know you didn’t, but it doesn’t change the fact that I feel like I have to compete with your best friend for your affection. Not to mention your attention.”
“I told Carter that I know I need to focus more on my relationship with you. That I need to make it more of a priority.”
“It shouldn’t be so damn hard to want to spend time with me.” Will smiled sadly. “You left me, at one of my closest friend’s weddings, to talk to him. I need you to make a decision about your priorities. Because right now, I feel like I rate pretty low.”
“I am honestly, sincerely sorry. I made a mistake and I want to fix it.” Riley stepped closer. “Please, let me make it up to you.”
But Will shook his head and stepped back. “I need some space. Spend a couple of days figuring your shit out with Carter. Then we’ll talk.” He reached for the door to the restaurant and Riley went to stop him, then hesitated. Although he wanted to chase after Will and apologize again, Will had a point. Riley wasn’t sure about his feelings for Carter and maybe he needed to make that decision before he did anything else.
Long after Will had disappeared, Riley stood and stared at the door of the restaurant, deep in thought.
Click on the logo below to purchase Calm
Yesterday K Evan Coles and I teased you with the cover of Calm, today, we’re offering it for pre-order!
If you’ve been dying to read the conclusion to Wake, this is the perfect opportunity to do it!
By pre-ordering through Pride’s website, you’ll get the book the moment it’s available for early release on August 15, a full month before it’s available for general release on September 12 everywhere else!
Here’s a teaser for you:
“I’m really sorry, Ri,” Carter blurted. Riley pressed his lips tightly together. “I’m sorrier than you can imagine for the way I disappeared after you came out. I didn’t know what else to do…how else to keep everything together. But I should have been a better friend to you.”
The tips of Riley’s ears turned red as he stared at Carter. A server approached then and Riley changed gears instantly, smiling as he ordered a large macchiato.
Carter ordered the same, aware of Riley’s gaze, and cursed himself for becoming so flustered.
“I’ve never been here before,” he began when they were alone again, striving to keep his voice light. “Come here often?”
Riley nodded. “Often enough to know what’s good without really needing to think about it. I have friends in the neighborhood and this is one place everyone agrees on when we’re craving different kinds of food.”
Carter dropped his gaze to the tabletop while Riley spoke. He imagined the man from the photographs to be one of the friends Riley had mentioned. Riley looked relaxed tonight, impossibly handsome and put together in his beautiful blue suit. Whatever difficulties he’d experienced since coming out, he was clearly flourishing now. And wasn’t Carter a god-awful mess in comparison?
“Carter?” Riley’s gaze had thawed slightly when Carter looked up. “I was asking how you’ve been.”
“I’m…still trying to figure stuff out.” Carter gave him a weak smile. “I wasn’t lying earlier when I said that I was coping. I still have my job, though, see the kids and sometimes get together with friends. I do okay.”
Riley gave him a knowing glance. “But nothing’s the same. Everything in your life—”
“Is different,” Carter finished. “Pretty much everything outside of my job is radically different. And figuring it all out is fucking tiring.”
“I understand,” Riley replied.
“I know you do.” Carter clasped his hands together in his lap. “Dan’s been pushing me to talk to you…told me if anyone would understand how I’m feeling, it would be you.”
K. Evan Coles and I are so excited to share with you the gorgeous cover made for Calm by Totally Entwined/Pride’s Emmy Ellis.
The Tidal series is a Contemporary M/M Romance, and Calm tells the second half of Riley and Carter’s story. We will be sharing the first teaser from it tomorrow and you will be able to pre-order it then!
When Riley Porter-Wright comes out as bisexual and confesses his feelings for Carter Hamilton, it severs their friendship. Carter’s rejection forces Riley to move on and he’s shocked to learn Carter’s marriage has fallen apart.
Overwhelmed by his failure as a husband and father, Carter misses Riley, but feels guilty for disappearing after Riley’s coming out. After Riley extends an olive branch, the former friends agree to repair their relationship. Slowly, Carter pieces together a new life, admits his attraction to men and confesses his feelings for Riley.
Leery of Carter’s initial rejection, Riley turns his focus to a new man, Will Martin.
Disappointed, Carter fosters new friendships with men like Jesse Murtagh and Kyle McKee, while also navigating new waters with his ex-wife, Kate, as their children learn their parents are dating other people.
As they rebuild their friendship, both Carter and Riley draw strength from each other, hoping the choices they’ve made are for the best.
Calm will be available:
For pre-order – August 1
Early download (on Pride’s site) – August 15
General release – September 12