A Shot of Trust
First download available date: 04/24/20 at the publisher
Download everywhere books are sold online 05/01/20
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Deep love, hot kink. Secrets call for a shot of trust when true danger lurks in LA’s hidden places.
Brian Harrison wants to keep everyone safe — especially his beloved sub, Jackie Vasquez — and he’s convinced the only way to do that is to dig ever deeper in a forbidden investigation. Keeping his activities secret from the State Department means keeping them from his own boss, Luki Vasquez, and keeping secrets from Luki means Jackie can’t know either.
Meanwhile, Jackie keeps his own secrets as his kind heart and indomitable spirit drive him to find and help a mysterious homeless woman, who may be connected to a kidnapping. Both men dance around dangers lurking in LA’s hidden places.
Love continues to grow, adventurous kink heats up, and a marriage proposal still hangs in the balance. Can a willing shot of trust keep them together and alive when secrets collide?
Luki’s face had gone dark with controlled anger as he read the missive, then he’d passed it to Brian. While Brian read and fought down the urge to hang his head as if the letter was a scolding and he a misbehaving teen, Luki sat unmoving except for chewing a matchstick—his stress replacement for the cigarettes he’d quit half a dozen years ago.
Luki had stayed in LA for a week after what Brian was now calling “the Espen incident,” helping Brian through the red tape that had resulted from those events, and, once again, to help put VSI Los Angeles back in good order. The office’s most experienced agent, Lonny, had turned in his resignation, and on the evening of the day the State Department letter came, Luki hosted a small retirement party for him at the Brown Derby. Edith, Lonny’s wife, had been so happy she was practically shining the whole time.
On their way back to the apartment, Brian listened to Luki say more words at one time than he’d ever heard his boss string together.
Luki made it clear he was pissed at the perpetrator of crimes against what he called “his people.” He explained that he wanted to find the “doers” who had “subverted” Espen, a man whom Luki described as a “formerly decent guy.” He wanted to catch the “low-life fuckers” who had threatened an innocent, disabled woman. These “jerkwads,” he proclaimed, had put his nephew Jackie at risk by invading his—and Brian’s—home, had caused a situation in which he himself as well as Brian and Lonny could have been “barbecued” or at least “smoked to death,” and had put Sonny, Jackie, and Margie at risk of “bad shit,” like arrest, at the very least. And the “whole fucking mess” had generally “screwed with” Luki’s company and his life for months.
“If I don’t catch them and make sure they pay, maybe nobody will.” Luki went silent for a moment after that. Then he said, “Sonny would say I’m not being reasonable.”
Brian grunted to show he heard, because he wasn’t about to touch that.
Then Luki said, “I would tell him I don’t give a fuck.”
As chilling as it was to see his boss so pissed that he’d defy the husband he all but prayed and sang hymns to, for Brian, that wasn’t the worst of it. It wasn’t only Luki’s people threatened by the situation, it was his own.
In fact there was a lot of overlap—almost one hundred percent—and Jackie was at the top of both their lists. Beautiful, precious, wounded, strong, remarkable Jackie. Luki would protect him with his life—Brian knew that. But that was not an inch farther than Brian would go. Jackie filled a place in Brian’s heart no person or thing could ever replace. He suspected he wouldn’t survive losing him—he’d come close enough to that awful loss to know it would gut him. So yeah, Brian wanted the bad guys just as hard as Luki did, if not more.
But what he could do about that probably depended on Luki, and now that Luki’s federal resource had dried up, maybe Luki’s hands were tied. So as they pulled into the driveway that evening, he asked, “What are you going to do, boss?”
“You don’t need to know what I’m going to do, Brian. Your attention belongs on what you’re going to do. You—and VSI Los Angeles—are going stay miles away from anything to do with Espen or this mess he wrapped himself up in. If you can’t do that, then I will fucking fire you, and close the office. Am I clear?”
Brian heaved a sigh. “Crystal, boss. Fucking crystal.” In truth, Brian had never heard Luki speak like he did that day, and his carefully controlled tone and cold demeanor rendered it ultra-scary. But Brian knew there were still some criminals out there wearing, in Brian’s mind, a target. He wasn’t likely to forget that.
Thanks for reading, and as always feel free to leave me your thoughts in a comment. I love hearing from you! If you’d like an ARC, please contact me here, via email, or by Messenger.
Lou Sylvre loves romance with all its ups and downs, and likes to conjure it into books. The sweethearts on her pages are men who end up loving each other—and usually saving each other from unspeakable danger. It’s all pretty crazy and very, very sexy. As if you’d want to know more, she’ll happily tell you that she is a proudly bisexual woman—a mother, grandmother, lover of languages, and cat-herder—of mixed cultural heritage. She works closely with lead cat and writing assistant, the (male) Queen of Budapest, Boudreau St. Clair. She lives in the rainy part of the Pacific Northwest, and hearing from a reader unfailingly brightens the dreary weather. Find her through her links listed here, or drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Her Twitter name is sylvre, and she’s pretty sure she still has a tumblr account…)