I'm halfway done with Retribution and to celebrate, I wanted to go ahead and share an excerpt. I am still on schedule to release the book in early July.
This excerpt is from Tate's perspective...
Before I could even consider what I was doing, I put the tablet down on the bed and reached for the picture. I already knew what I would see when I turned it over, but seeing it from a distance wasn’t the same as seeing it up close.
It was a candid shot of Hawke and the woman I had no doubt was his wife.
The picture had been taken outside and I realized they were standing in front of the house in Wyoming because I could make out the porch just behind them. Hawke’s wife had been a beautiful woman with platinum blonde hair, flawless skin and bright blue eyes that were lit up with life and laughter. She was smiling at Hawke who had his arms around her. He was considerably taller than her and I couldn’t miss the fact that there were no burn scars on his face. They were stunningly beautiful together, but it was Hawke’s expression that held my gaze. He was looking down at Revay, his mouth open wide with laughter. He looked so young and happy and free that I reached my finger up to run it over his features as if I could somehow experience that moment with them. But just as my finger made contact, the picture was ripped from my grasp.
“What the fuck are you doing?” Hawke snapped.
I knew I needed to say something, but the reality was that I’d been caught red-handed. “I’m sorry,” I managed to say, though my fear kicked up to new heights as Hawke stared down at me. At some point while I’d been studying the picture, I’d sat down on the edge of my own bed so I felt even smaller as the huge man towered above me, his fury written all over his features.
Hawke’s fingers dug into the picture and his other hand clenched into a tight fist that had veins bulging up and down his entire arm. He’d changed into a pair of athletic pants and a black T-shirt and his hair was still wet.
I shook my head, desperate to find the right thing to say. “I’m sorry, I saw the picture in your house and I was curious-”
“She’s not a part of this!” Hawke shouted. “Do you understand me?”
I didn’t. Not at all. His anger was over the top and I stood up so I could try to ease my way to the bathroom. If I just got out of his sight for a while…
“I didn’t mean to upset you-”
Before I could even finish, Hawke was closing the distance between us, the picture forgotten as he tossed it on top of his bag. I froze as he grabbed me by the upper arms, his hold bordering on painful. I expected him to yell at me or hit me, but all he did was hold me like that, his body seething with rage.
But his next words nearly stole my breath.
“I don’t want you,” he said in a gutted whisper.
I couldn’t even register what he meant until he gave me just the slightest shake and again said, “I don’t want you.” But even I heard the doubt in his voice and I realized the fury in his gaze wasn’t about me at all.
I was at a complete loss to even comprehend what was happening. I’d been so sure that I’d imagined that Hawke was feeling the same pull of desire that I was, but now as I watched him drawing in ragged breaths, his tormented eyes holding mine, I knew I’d been wrong. But whatever he was feeling wasn’t something he wanted to be feeling. At some point, his hold had loosened enough so that he could rub his thumbs back and forth over my skin and the effect was intoxicating. I could feel my own body tightening up with excitement and my adrenaline spiked as my need to escape him disintegrated. But I couldn’t ignore the naked pain in his gaze. As much as I wanted him, I knew he needed to make the next move and I would accept it, whatever it was.
“I know,” I said gently. “It’s okay, Hawke.”
I could see his body warring with his mind and I didn’t know which one had won the battle until his hands tightened on me. A sudden rush of air escaped his lungs, but instead of drawing me closer, he released me long enough to reach for the button on my jeans.
Ex Special Forces soldier Michael “Hawke” Hawkins has spent every day of the last ten years waiting for the moment he would get to watch the life fade from the eyes of the men who brutally murdered his wife, but when he finally gets the break he’s been waiting for, the trail leads him to someone he wasn’t expecting.
After nearly two years of running, 24-year-old Tate Travers has become an expert at hiding…until the day a dangerous stranger shows up looking for vengeance and threatens to destroy the fragile life Tate has managed to build for himself and his five-year-old son. Except the life Tate has been struggling to hold on to started unraveling long before Hawke showed up looking for the same men Tate has been running from…his own father and older brother.
Retribution – it’s all Hawke has wanted since the day he held his wife’s hand as she took her last breath. And he won’t give that up for anything or anyone…not even the tormented young man trying to give his little boy a better life. Because Tate is the only one who can lead Hawke to the men he’s been searching for. And if it means forcing the young man to confront the past that nearly destroyed him, then so be it.
Only the last thing Hawke expects to feel is something besides the hatred that has driven him. And he definitely never expected to feel it for a man.
But when it comes down to choosing between the unwanted feelings Tate stirs in him and the revenge he’s finally close enough to taste, will Hawke be able to give up the one thing that has kept him going for a second chance at a future he gave up on ever having?
I had so much fun doing this interview with Divine Magazine. Probably more than you ever wanted to know about me!
I lifted my gaze to tell Seth no but then I saw it. The thing I'd feared I'd lost. It wasn't hero worship or the wayward emotions of an innocent child. And it wasn't some distorted reflection of a man who no longer existed. All I saw was me...the way he saw me. --Ronan
Trauma surgeon Ronan Grisham lost everything the day the man he loved was stolen from him in a brutal attack. Driven by a thirst for vengeance, he turns his hatred into building an underground group that can do what he couldn't that fateful day...take the lives of the guilty to save the lives of the innocent. But years later, he's forced to confront the one link to his past that he can't sever.
Seven years after the loss of his parents in a violent home invasion that left him permanently scarred both inside and out, 21-year-old Seth Nichols is trying to put his life back together so he can take over the reins of his father's global shipping empire. But the last person he expects to come back into his life is the man he drove away with one innocent, stolen kiss.
With one brush of his lips, Seth managed to do to Ronan what no other had since the day Ronan watched the light in his fiancé's eyes go out forever. He made him need again. But Ronan can't need anyone, least of all his dead fiancé's younger brother. Because even one touch from Seth could shatter Ronan's carefully constructed world and Ronan knows there's no coming back from that a second time.
But when a series of escalating attacks against Seth forces Ronan back into his life, Seth knows it's his last chance to show Ronan he can be the man the broken surgeon needs. Only the Ronan who returns isn't the Ronan Seth fell in love with so long ago...
Can Seth be Ronan's salvation or will he end up destroying them both?
With just a little over a week to go until the release of Salvation, here's the final excerpt (told from Seth's perspective). Release day is 5/13/2016.
“You didn’t want me three years ago,” I bit out. “I get that. But not one word – not one fucking word to let me know that you were okay…to ask if I was okay?”
I snatched Ronan’s plate off the island and dropped it into the sink, uncaring that it broke. “Watching me from the woods like some stalker-”
I didn’t get any further because Ronan grabbed me and spun me around and pushed me back against the counter. “You’re a smart guy, Seth,” he muttered even as his hands pinned mine next to my body. “You saw me in your bathroom,” he said as he dropped his mouth close to mine. “You felt me,” he nearly whispered against my lips. “Did it feel like I didn’t want you?”
I cursed my body for responding to his nearness but I cursed the fact that I was so desperate to believe him even more.
“You wouldn’t let me touch you-”
“That’s about me, not you,” he interrupted. His lips actually grazed the skin next to my lips as he spoke.
I wanted to ask what he meant but I was too stunned to realize what he was admitting to. But my fledgling hope died a quick death as what it was that he wasn’t saying hit me. He wanted me but he didn’t want to want me.
“I…I think you should go, Ronan,” I managed to say despite the sudden tightness in my throat.
Ronan hung there for a moment and I wished like hell he’d ignore my request and seal his mouth over mine. But then his hands fell from mine and he stepped back.
“Not until I get some answers,” he finally said.
I nodded because at that point, I was willing to do just about anything to get away from him for good.