Living on the Edge
Hello everyone! My name’s Taylor and I’m an author of gay romance and suspense. Today I’m here to talk about a new release from me, finally, and I’m super excited about it. Thanks to Love Bytes for hosting! 🙂
Some of you might not have heard of me ever. Some of you probably recognize my name. You see, I’ve been gone for a long time, but we’re not going to get into the reasons why. New day, new beginnings, and I want to focus on that. You can head over to my blog to find out what’s the plan for my other books.
So I’ve been working —and working some more—on a new series called Caribbean Tales. It is set in my homeland of Puerto Rico and features local guys. I don’t think I can properly express how much these books mean to me. Developing love stories that span years and placing the scenes in locations that I have the fondest, most amazing memories of was exactly what I needed to get back in the game. I’m chomping at the bit to have you experience our culture, traditions, and ways from page to page.
I don’t want to take much of your time, so I’m just going to leave you with an excerpt and a request to leave a comment for a chance to win an ARC. You can also enter my snazzy giveaway—a Kindle Fire 7 preloaded with all my books. 🙂
Title: Living on the Edge
Series: Caribbean Tales Series
Genre: Gay Romantic Fiction
Publisher: Desecheo Press
Release Date: September 15th, 2017
Meeting his soulmate, falling in love, and starting a relationship is only the beginning.
Lieutenant Damián Laporte Ortíz is well acquainted with deception. He’s also an expert at leading a double life. Most people know him as a war veteran and highly decorated cop working for F.U.R.A., a specialized police unit in Puerto Rico. Others know him as a crook. His family sees him as an honorable man and an exemplary single dad. The truth is he’s anything but. That’s why half of his friends believe he goes home with a different woman every chance he gets, while the other half knows for a fact he’s in a long-term relationship with a guy. His peace of mind, happiness, and survival depend on keeping his worlds apart. It isn’t until his professional career takes a series of unexpected turns that he’s forced to reconsider his priorities, decisions, and stance.
Gay rights activist Gael Cisneros Beltrán dedicates his life to representing the marginalized LGBT community in a place he otherwise considers to be paradise. Fighting for their rights keeps him busy during the day. Loving on his closeted boyfriend consumes his nights. As years pass, their commitment to each other gets challenged at every turn, but their unconventional affair continues to stand the test of distance and time.
Nothing has succeeded in breaking them apart, and they don’t think anything ever will. Not until the past comes knocking and their carefully built parallel lives finally collide.
“He has such an intriguing aura about him.” Gael’s breath rushed in and out of his lungs, and butterflies fluttered in his stomach. He had it bad—there was no denying that, but he didn’t care. He wasn’t scared of feelings and emotions whether they were positive, hurtful, or worrisome. “I’m drawn to him like a moth to a flame.” And his knees wouldn’t stop wobbling, and his breath kept catching in his throat, and it was all he could do not to cross the promenade right now and say Hello.
He truly hadn’t felt so damn giddy, confused, or exhilarated before.
The first time he and Cuca locked eyes in Areito Café, Gael’s mind had gone completely fuzzy. The second time he’d been in the middle of his well-practiced narration of the history of one of San Juan’s forts and some of the battles fought there centuries ago. He’d gotten so flustered that he’d almost swallowed his tongue. It had taken a great deal of effort to stammer his way through the rest of the tour. By the time he finished retelling stories from ancient soldiers tasked with defending and protecting Spain’s most precious colony in the New World, he was a goner.
He was in lust.
He wanted to drag the guy to San Cristóbal’s dungeon and get it on.
“He doesn’t have an intriguing aura.” Noelia’s soft voice pulled him out of his thoughts. “He has a dangerous one.”
“Even better.” Gael sighed. “I’ve always had a thing for big bad alphas.”
“There’s a difference between bad boys and bad news, and that guy’s appearance screams trouble. He looks like he’s on guard. I don’t like it. Do yourself a favor and stay away from him. You don’t need that kind of complication.”
Gael gnawed his inner cheek. “Wonder how long he’ll stay there staring at the Master of the Seas—”
“Are you even listening to me?”
“—pretending he’s not dying to talk to me.”
“Well, he hasn’t tried to talk to you before, so maybe he isn’t,” Noelia rationalized, something she did as often as Gael ignored her attempts to burst his bubbles. “Maybe the times you’ve seen him around since your first encounter are pure coincidence. Maybe he truly is a stalker. Maybe he’s a homophobe who’s seen you on the news and wants to silence you by beating you up. Maybe—”
“He’s shy, or confused about his attraction to another guy, or freaked out, or afraid to take the next step, or being careful no one sees him, or weighing the pros and cons of getting involved with someone like me,” Gael cut her off, throwing the rest of his piragua into a nearby trash can and wiping his hands on a napkin. “It could be so many things, but twenty bucks say he’s into me and trying to decide where to go from here.”
Or leaving it up to Gael.
It was a legitimate possibility.
Cuca had never approached him, but he’d gone out of his way to learn Gael’s schedule. He’d shown up at his place of work a few times, and now he was standing there—glancing at him from under lowered lashes. Showing interest. Visibly anxious, yet determined. Waiting.
Yeah… If all that didn’t mean Cuca wanted to hook up, Gael would eat his gay card for lunch.
“Well, you don’t have a shy bone in your body, so how come you haven’t approached him and gotten things rolling?” Noelia narrowed her eyes. “Also, why are you so sure of what he’s experiencing? You’ve never talked to him. Are you a mind reader now?”
“I’ve refrained from approaching him because watching him take baby steps toward me thrills me to no end. That, and I didn’t want to scare him away with my trademark bluntness.” Gael didn’t know his name yet. He didn’t have Cuca’s phone number, email address, or any other way to find him, and coming on to him too strong might make him flee again. Gael would rather avoid that. It’d be detrimental to his plans of getting in Cuca’s pants. “And no, I’m not a mind-reader—I’m just gay. Hard not to imagine what he might be going through when I’ve been there myself.”
“Navigating the sexual orientation affirmation process that we queers have to go through at one point or another.” Gael smiled at Cuca, which prompted the guy to glance around nervously, but then he stared at Gael, quickly licking his lips as he angled his long body toward him. “God, I’m so happy I rock at reading body language.”
“What are you talking about?”
Encouraged by Cuca’s inviting gestures, Gael asked, “How do I look?”
Noelia surveyed him from head to toe, but she didn’t give him an ego boost like she was supposed to every time he asked that question. Instead, she moved closer to him, gripped his shoulders, and spoke in a steady low-pitched voice, as if she was trying to hypnotize him. “You look like a guy who knows better than to ignore his friend’s advice.”
Gael gave her an amused smile and chucked her under the chin. “Nice try.” He then patted his hair to make sure every black strand was in its place, brushed his eyebrows with his fingertips, and popped a mint into his mouth. “I’m going over there.”
He only had a few minutes before he had to get to work, but he was a firm believer in opportunity, and he’d waited long enough. He’d given Cuca what felt like a decade to decide if he wanted to scram. Now the time had come to initiate conversation, and it was clearly up to Gael, because when the mountain couldn’t bring himself to come to Muhammad, it was up to Muhammad to go to the mountain.
“You can’t.” Noelia grabbed his arm before he could move and pointed at the Master of the Seas. “Our cruisers are disembarking.”
Stepping back, Gael removed her hand from his arm and said, “This won’t take long,” then, shaking inside from anticipation, nerves, and yes, a healthy dose of apprehension as well—because what if Noelia was right—he went after the guy he wanted.
Five seconds later he almost choked on his mint as he realized he was screwed.
Up close and personal Cuca was a million times cuter, and damn if Gael’s heart didn’t go pitter-patter.
“Are you an adult?” he blurted the instant he got close enough to smell his cologne. “Please tell me you’re old enough to buy sex toys and alcohol.”
The guy nodded slowly, amusement sparkling in his gorgeous eyes. “I’m nineteen.”
“Gracias a Dios.” Gael sighed in relief and quickly made the sign of the cross. Despite everything he’d said to Noelia, he had principles, morals, and hard limits. Doing baby gays was one of them. “I have two questions for you.”
Cuca stared at Gael with searing intensity as he levered his body away from the balustrade and straightened to his full height. “Let’s hear them.”
Ready to answer, Gael looked up and opened his mouth, then closed it again when his words jumbled together in his head, rendering him incapable of forming a coherent sentence.
He hadn’t expected Cuca’s eyes to be stunningly hazel, or for him to smell so good, or to have adorable faint freckles splattered across his cheeks and nose, or to sound so deep and commanding, and he certainly hadn’t expected to feel dwarfed by him.
Seriously, what the heck was that? At six-feet tall and 160 pounds, Gael wasn’t a small guy by any stretch of the imagination, but here he was, feeling totally…overpowered by Cuca, who was a mere couple of inches taller and hadn’t even touched him yet.
Mildly put, it was the most unsettlingly thrilling feeling in the world, and Gael loved it. Jesus, did he love it.
“Qué pasó, papi—cat got your tongue?” A knowing smile stretched Cuca’s kissable lips. His sexy voice pushed Gael’s libido into overdrive. His demeanor proved this wasn’t his first rodeo with a gay man. “Ask your questions.”
Heart thudding wildly, Gael cleared his throat and rolled his shoulders. “Should I be flattered by your interest in me or should I be worried?”
“You’ve got nothing to worry about.” Cuca watched him quietly for several moments, mesmerizing him with the look of naked hunger on his face, and almost making him self-combust when he dropped his gaze to Gael’s lips. “I’m harmless.”
“Is that so?” Gael brushed his shoulder against Cuca’s casually as he leaned over the balustrade—making sure physical contact was welcome before taking the plunge. “Because you look like you want to wreck my hole and fuck me senseless.”
“Among other things.” Pressing his back to the balustrade, Cuca propped his elbows on the concrete railing and watched him out of the corner of his eye. “Can I?”
Gael gulped. “The sooner the better.”
Taylor V. Donovan is a compulsive reader and author of gay romance and suspense. She is optimistically cynical about humanity and a lover of history, museums, and all things 80s. She shamelessly indulges in mind-numbing reality television, is crazy about fashion, and passionate about civil rights and equality for all.