You might have noticed this book took me a while to write . . . or maybe you didn’t notice, but take my word for it, it did. That might be why it ended up longer than it needed it to be. Ultimately we trimmed over 15,000 words from the original Billionaire manuscript, so posts from me (as opposed to spotlights and reviews) are all going to be cut scenes from the book. Sort of like the extras on a DVD, but, you know, not.
A list of stops on the tour can be found here. Why would you want to follow the tour? Well, because I’m giving away a fabulous, one-of-a-kind Voodoo Ken Kit, which the winner can use to seek revenge on any or all of their exes. How do you win? Check the bottom of each tour post for details.
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It’s just a friend thing
Before confessing his gayness to his best friend, Tierney Terrebonne’s sex life is strictly restroom. After confessing his gayness to his best friend . . . it doesn’t improve much. Why bother trying when the man he’s loved for fourteen years (see: “best friend”) is totally unattainable? Good thing Tierney is an old hand at accepting defeat; all it takes is a bottle of bourbon. Or fifty. Repeat as needed.
Dalton Lehnart has a history of dating wealthy, damaged, closeted, lying, cheating, no-good, cowardly men, so of course he’s immediately attracted to Tierney Terrebonne. Fortunately, Tierney is so dissolute that even Dalton’s feelings for the man would be better described as pity. Which becomes sympathy as they get to know each other. Followed by compassion, concern, caring, and hopefulness as Tierney struggles to change his life. When the man comes out very publicly and enters rehab, Dalton finds himself downright attached to Tierney. And as everyone knows, after attachment comes . . .
But post-rehab Tierney can’t handle more than friendship, so Dalton should be safe from repeating his own past mistakes, right? Right?
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I originally wrote the following scene thinking that one of the characters in it—Dalton’s roommate, Vance—would have a larger part to play in Billionaire. Why should you care about Vance? Because Vance will care very much about Miller in the third (and final, swear to God) book in the Romancelandia series.
At any rate, this was the sole surviving scene with a peek at Vance, until we cut it. Now, Vance is only mentioned by Dalton a few times in the final Billionaire product. C’est la vie. You’ll get enough of him eventually.
Quick set-up: this scene is in Dalton’s POV, and it’s a couple days after his third meeting with Tierney, during which they agreed to “use” each other for emotional support. The rest of the details should explain themselves.
Tierney didn’t call, not in the first two days after their parking garage encounter. Dalton had never entered into any sort of friendship on the premise of using someone and being used in turn, but it seemed to him the protocol required that the one with the bigger need initiate contact. Apparently Tierney didn’t need him.
It really shouldn’t bother him, should it? Too bad it did.
When he got home from work Thursday night, he went directly to his room and his cat, avoiding his housemates. Instead he lay on his bed, letting his pet comfort him. Or rather, taking comfort from giving affection to his pet, since it didn’t usually work in reverse.
“I found the perfect apartment for us,” Dalton said into Blue’s fur while he scratched the cat under the chin. The potentially ideal apartment had lived up to his hype. “They’re checking our credit history now. Well, my credit history.”
Blue purred in agreement, kneading claws into Dalton’s chest, generally making himself comfortable on his person’s stomach. “Mrrow.”
As Dalton asked, “What is it, baby cat?” the beast rolled over onto his stomach. Of course, he wanted a belly rub. And of course he alternately luxuriated in sensation and mauled Dalton’s fingers, grabbing them in his claws and biting Dalton’s knuckles. Blue was only playing, but he wasn’t the type of cat to pull his punches. The best Dalton could hope for was that his skin didn’t get totally shredded.
“Why am I such a sucker for men whose bark is as bad as their bite?” he asked. Blue twisted, flipping in one fluid motion from supine to the standard, Egyptian cat-god pose. On his haunches, front paws planted over Dalton’s heart, tail wrapped around himself. The way the tip of it whipped back and forth and the slit-eyed expression gave him away though. “Sorry,” Dalton apologized. “How about: ‘Why am I such a sucker for bitey, snarly strays’?”
Blue blinked and looked away, surveying his kingdom, apparently content with that depiction of himself and Tierney. Unconcerned about dishing out abuse, because he knew Dalton would always be there for him. Rub his tummy if he meowed the right way. He dug into Dalton’s abdominal muscles, leaping off him and heading for the door, looking back at his person. Dalton realized the noise he’d only half-heard and barely registered a few seconds before was his last roommate leaving the house. Now that the place was empty, Blue was willing to allow Dalton to feed him in the kitchen.
He shoved himself off the bed. “Time for dinner?”
Blue had finished bolting down his food and had begun licking his paw, then swiping it over his face, before Dalton was done making himself a sandwich. When the back door opened and Vance walked into the house, the cat went on instant alert, paws planted wide, hair standing up, hissing at the intruder before racing down the hallway back to the safety of Dalton’s room.
Vance rolled his eyes. “I just don’t get what you see in that cat.”
Dalton laughed and gave his favorite roomie a bro-hug. “I guess I have a thing for bad-tempered males who’d prefer to hide in the closet.” His high school boyfriend (a closeted cheerleader, of all things), most of his exes, Blue, and now here he was being pulled to yet another man with major issues about his sexuality.
He really needed to change his habits. Stop being attracted to the angry, wounded creatures in life. Other than Blue, of course.
“What are you doing tonight?” Vance asked, stealing a piece of ham from Dalton’s sandwich.
“Nothing. Wanna hang out?” He could use the distraction.
But Vance made a face. “I can’t. I have a paper due.”
Another reminder of the current, discordant state of his life—he had roommates who were years younger than him and in a stage Dalton had moved past. Yeah, things really needed to change.
He went back to his room with his sandwich and dug out one of those books Sam had recommended, because it was probably his safest bet for romance in the foreseeable future.
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Want a chance to win Voodoo Ken? Well, keep looking, because this isn’t the post with the magical question. FYI, I’ll ship worldwide, so anyone can enter.
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Raised on a steady diet of Monty Python, classical music and the visual arts, Anne Tenino was—famously—the first patient diagnosed with Compulsive Romantic Disorder. Since that day, Anne has taken on conquering the M/M world through therapeutic writing. Finding out who those guys having sex in her head are and what to do with them has been extremely liberating.
Anne’s husband finds it liberating as well, although in a somewhat different way. Her two daughters are mildly confused by Anne’s need to twist Ken dolls into odd positions. However, other than occasionally stealing Ken1’s strap-on, they let Mom do her thing without interference.
Wondering what Anne does in her spare time? Mostly she lies on the couch, eats bonbons and shirks housework.
Check out what Anne’s up to now by visiting her site. http://annetenino.com
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