Title: Third Son
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: October 2, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, mystery, action, family-drama, gay, crime, suspense, explicit, criminals, bodyguard
American Niall Monroe returns to Hong Kong—a city he calls home—after being away for eight years. He hopes to finally find happiness with Peter Wei, his closeted lover of fourteen years, but is disappointed to find Peter has been put in an untenable position. He must marry and produce the long-awaited grandchild or get cut off by his millionaire father.
Gerard Sun, a talented artist, bursts back into Niall’s life after a one-night stand in Las Vegas. Circumstances force the men to deal with their attraction, especially when Niall’s firm considers Gerard to help promote tourism in the People’s Republic of China.
James, Peter’s younger brother, has been Niall’s best friend since they were schoolmates. He encourages Niall to ditch his brother and move on. He encourages Niall to ditch his brother until he finds out Niall is thinking of dating Gerard Sun, a talented artist.
Coming home seemed like a great idea until it wasn’t. Niall finds himself a stranger in a familiar landscape, slammed on multiple fronts by broken promises, jealousy, intrigue, unimaginable deceit, and undercurrents of evil. As his dreams quickly turn into nightmares, Niall reaches out to new allies for support.
Many thanks for giving me the opportunity to share an exclusive excerpt from my latest release, Third Son. The idea for this novel appeared out of the blue like all my other stories, and I jumped on the chance to explore the mind of a character whose outward appearance and psyche are completely at odds. Having grown up in a country where I was a minority—the Philippines—it was easy to relate to Niall. Although he speaks the language, and understands the prevailing mindset, a blue-eyed ginger in China sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb. This story is a departure from most of the romances I’ve written in the past and I’m happy it found a home at NineStar Press.
Gerard and Niall had a misunderstanding earlier and Niall tries to make up for his behavior by taking Gerard to a fancy restaurant.
I decided to take him to Morton’s, the steakhouse located at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers on Nathan Road. It was on the Kowloon side, which would make it easier for both of us, and the food was excellent, although expensive as hell. He was worth it, though, and perhaps it would show him I was truly remorseful for my earlier behavior. On second thought, maybe it was a dumb idea. Gerard had more money than me and could easily go on his own, but…I’d already made the reservation. Having eaten there once before, I knew the atmosphere was conducive to private conversation, and there was a top-notch view. I knew Gerard wasn’t a vegetarian, judging from our past meals, and even if he stayed away from red meat, also my preference, the sea food at this place was excellent. I hoped my restaurant choice wouldn’t be a disappointment.
I texted the info and asked him to meet me at six.
When Gerard arrived, I was sitting at the bar with my drink close at hand. His unrestrained smile set me at ease as much as the unexpected kiss. I was still getting used to his unapologetic PDAs. They were a lovely contrast to the furtive universe I’d live in with Peter for so long. He ordered a drink for himself, and they brought both Martinis to our table, which was in a choice location.
“This is an impressive menu,” he said after reading through the selections.
“See anything you like?”
“I’m looking at it,” he replied with a playful wink.
“Aw, you’re so sweet.”
“You bring out my good side.”
“That’s reassuring after my boorish behavior this morning.”
“I know we’re still getting to know each other, but you’ll soon learn I’m not the type of person who bears a grudge. I address the bothersome issue at once so we can clear the air. Unless the problem is insurmountable. Then I just end the relationship.”
“I’m not quite as evolved as you,” I admitted. “I cultivate mine.”
“To what end?”
Gerard raised an eyebrow. “Are we talking business or romance?”
“I’m referring to business. I can be quite ruthless when I’m crossed. Love affairs, on the other hand, are my Achilles’ heel. I let my heart overrule my head. I’ve also been told I misjudge situations, this morning being a case in point.”
“It’ll take a while for us to smooth out the kinks, but I’m confident we can do it.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“I have good instincts about people.”
“Okay, then. Let’s get back to the menu. What’ll you have?”
We were in sync with food selections as well. Shrimp and scallop appetizers to start, and halibut fillets drizzled with lemon scallion sauce for the main course. Dinner was delicious, the service impeccable, and Gerard’s good company made the outrageous price tag seem like a trifle.
We walked along Nathan Road afterward, to work off some calories, but mostly to stretch out the evening. It was too early to call it a night, and even though we both knew we’d end up tangled in Gerard’s bed, we decided to stop in at a club for an hour of dancing. It was loud and vibrant, reminding us of our night in Vegas. This time, we didn’t head for a dark corner but joined the throng on the dance floor. Gerard was graceful, and I especially loved the feel of his muscular body pressing up to me in public. He was blatantly possessive and didn’t give two fucks what we must have looked like shamelessly grinding against each other.
“You ready to go?” he asked when I began humping against his leg.
“Unless you want to fuck right here.”
He laughed. “I’d rather not.”
We left soon after, caught up in the excitement of what was to come. I wanted to lay him out on the bed and have my way with him all night. He’d indicated he was willing to switch, and the very idea of topping him was making me light-headed. Peter had never allowed it.
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Mickie B. Ashling is the pseudonym of a multifaceted woman who is a product of her upbringing in multiple cultures, having lived in Japan, the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East. Fluent in three languages, she’s a citizen of the world and an interesting mixture of East and West. A little bit of this and a lot of that have brought a unique touch to her literary voice she could never learn from textbooks.
By the time Mickie discovered her talent for writing, real life got in the way, and the business of raising four sons took priority. With the advent of e-publishing—and the inevitable emptying nest—dreams of becoming a published writer were resurrected and she’s never looked back.
She stumbled into the world of men who love men in 2002 and continues to draw inspiration from their ongoing struggle to find equality and happiness in this oftentimes skewed and intolerant world. Her award-winning novels have been called “gut wrenching, daring, and thought provoking.” She admits to being an angst queen and making her men work damn hard for their happy endings.
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