Trust & Confidence (D.C. Files #2) – The Excerpt

Trust & Confidence comes out in a week, so – as usual – it’s time for an excerpt!

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It’s been ten years, they are supposed to be over this.

Michael Lorne has worked for years to be where he is right now – on a protection detail for the White House Chief of Staff. But then his whole world gets shaken up the moment he meets the one person he thought he would never see again. His childhood best friend, his first love, the one who got away.
After a stint of working on presidential campaign, Adam Davis is back where he belongs – writing for his political commentary blog, DC College. Life is good. He’s comfortable. He’s doing what he loves. He’s… not prepared to see Michael walking back into his life.
Nothing can be the same now that they have met, but what will happen next? Is their past truly behind them or are there some things that were never meant to end?

*The book is the second one in D.C. Files series and some of the characters we’ve met in the first book show up again. As such, it is a continuation, but Trust & Confidence can also be read as a stand-alone.

THE EXCERPT

The evening rush was in the full swing, and Michael had to count to ten not to ram into the guy in the car in front of them who thought it was perfectly okay to continue screaming into his phone and ignore changing lights for the third time in a row.
Michael glanced into the rearview mirror at his boss, but Sam Daniels, the White House Chief of Staff, didn’t care about the traffic. He was too busy muttering to himself about some unfortunate staffers from the Legislative Affairs team.
“Who the hell let you graduate law school? This is just simply not true.” Sam crossed things out in the memo he was reading.
The asshole in the car ahead finally took a left turn, disappearing from Michael’s sight, and the rest of the drive went smoothly. Sam put his papers away as they pulled into his driveway and he leaned closer to Michael with a smile.
“Now that you’re off the clock,” he said, nodding at Greg, an agent from the night watch, who was parked at the curb. “Come join us for dinner? Blake made ribs and I know how much you love them.”
Michael looked at the clock on the dashboard. Five past seven. It wasn’t often that they got out of the White House before eight, and the offer was tempting. Sam’s partner, Blake, made the best ribs Michael had ever eaten outside his family house.
On the other hand, Michael was supposed to keep his professional and personal life separated. He’d given himself that pep talk just last week. Sam was a great guy, and they would probably be friends under other circumstances, but Michael was his detail. Secret Service agents weren’t there to become close to people they were protecting, even if Sam had made staying strictly professional very difficult right from the beginning. Michael appreciated the warm welcome, especially as it was his first protection detail since he’d arrived in D.C., but he had been worrying about it as well.
“You don’t have to, if you don’t want to,” Sam’s voice interrupted his thoughts. They were out of the car now and even as he was scanning his surroundings, Michael could see Sam’s shrug in the corner of his eye. “It’s okay if you just want to go back home and relax. As I said, you’re off the clock now.”
And now he felt sorry about his hesitation. “It’s not that.” Michael shook his head. “I just don’t want to… You’re off the clock too.”
“And there should be at least three people inside to spend the evening with, relax, and eat good food. You’re welcome to join us.”
Before Michael could reply, the front door opened and Blake stood in the doorway. “What are you two still doing out there? Come on in or I’ll burn the food.”
“Yes, dear,” Sam crooned and grinned when Blake rolled his eyes.
“Tom’s on his way and Linda brought Adam with her. They’re arguing about the latest CNN poll. You need to make them stop.”
And if Michael had refused the invitation and gone home, or if he had connected the dots sooner, the shock could have been avoided. Or at least derailed. But he followed Sam inside and less than a minute later came face to face with Adam Davis.
Fuck his life. No ribs were worth it.
“Michael.” Adam straightened up and his shocked expression made Michael’s stomach clench.
He could see Sam’s raised eyebrows and Linda’s worried frown as he took a step back. “Adam.” He searched for the things he could say, from stranger-neutral to hostile, and back, but he came up empty. He nodded at Adam’s sister instead. “It’s nice to see you again, Linda. If you all will excuse me,” Michael added, glancing around the room, but not pausing to look anyone in the eye. “I really need to go home.”
“Of course.” Sam seemed to catch on quickly, bless him. “See you tomorrow?”
“Seven o’clock. Bye.” If Michael hadn’t wanted to protect his dignity at least a little, he would’ve probably run out of the house. Instead he walked back to the front door with Sam, who caught his elbow right when he reached for the handle.
“You’re all right?” he asked quietly, eyes narrowed.
Michael nodded. “I’m fine. Old ghosts. Really, it’s fine. I just need to go home.”
Sam hesitated, but finally nodded. “See you tomorrow,” he repeated after stepping away.
When Michael got into his car, he rested his head back against the seat and stared at the wheel. Adam Davis. It had been a decade and Michael’s heart still went from ten to a hundred in a second.
“You’re supposed to be over this,” he told himself quietly and closed his eyes, hoping Greg wasn’t watching him. He took a few deep breaths and straightened up in his seat. Home. He needed to go home.
On the way, Michael drove carefully enough to earn himself a few horns, but he didn’t care. He concentrated on the next light, next turn, on the out of state plate of the car in front of him. He very deliberately did not think about Adam. About how he looked almost the same now as he did ten years ago, with his hair in disarray, and his jeans and T-shirt, and his… everything. About his shock at seeing Michael back in his life, even briefly.
The last light changed to green and Michael took the turn onto his street. He saw Ed, his landlord, doing stretches before a run, and he nodded in greeting, but didn’t pause to talk to him.
In his apartment, Michael went around and turned the lights on everywhere. He secured his gun, took off his suit, then reheated the chicken from last night’s take out. He ate it standing by the counter, staring at the wall behind the couch. Kennedy came up to fawn along his legs and he crouched to pet her.
“I’m really stupid, aren’t I?” Michael asked and Kennedy tilted her head to the side. “Yeah. I know.”

GR add

Trust & Confidence comes out on November 13th.
If you’re interested in the first book in the series, Serve & Protect, click HERE.

Trust & Confidence (D.C. Files #2) Coming Soon!

The second book in D.C. Files series comes out in three weeks, on November 13.

TrustandConfidence_432

It’s been ten years, they’re supposed to be over this.

Michael Lorne has worked for years to be where he is right now – on a protection detail for the White House Chief of Staff. But then his whole world gets shaken up the moment he meets the one person he thought he would never see again. His childhood best friend, his first love, the one who got away.
After a stint of working on presidential campaign, Adam Davis is back where he belongs – writing for his political commentary blog, DC College. Life is good. He’s comfortable. He’s doing what he loves. He’s… not prepared to see Michael walking back into his life.
Nothing can be the same now that they have met, but what will happen next? Is their past truly behind them or are there some things that were never meant to end?

D.C. Files News

Not one, but two releases are coming later this year!

D.C. Files #2, Trust & Confidence, is scheduled to come out in November.

And Cherish & Give, a Christmas story — set soon after the events of the first book, thus officially making it D.C. #1.5 — will hit the online shelves in December.

I’m very excited, I can’t wait to share more of this world with you!

DC Files on Tumblr

I’ve created a Tumblr account dedicated to D.C. Files mostly for myself when I was still in the last stages of editing, but if you a) want to see who would play Sam and Blake in my head in a movie, and b) want to see another handsome guy on your dashboard (if you’re on Tumblr, I’m sure you have a lot of them there already!) every Friday, you can follow dcfiles HERE.

You can also ask me questions about the characters or the book, if you’d like. Just click “Ask Me Anything” at the top of the Tumblr page.

SERVE & PROTECT Is Out!

Serve & Protect, the first book in D.C. Files series, is officially out!

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What happens when you fall in love in the heart of politics?
Sam Daniels’ life turns upside down when he meets an amazing guy and gets a job offer he can’t refuse almost at the same time. Working in politics and sustaining any kind of personal life is never easy, but when you’re running a campaign to elect the first woman to the office of the President of the United States, it may become nearly impossible.
Blake Morin, after spending years as a SEAL, lives a quiet life with his daughter and he’s fine with that. He can’t deny the attraction between him and Sam, but is he ready to enter the world he used to avoid?

Buy links:
MLR Press
Amazon: US|UK|DE|CA
All Romance
Kobo
Barnes&Noble

You can also add it on Goodreads HERE

DC#1 Serve & Protect – The Excerpt

Serve & Protect comes out in a week!
I’m very excited and I can’t wait to hear what you think about this book. And since the clock is ticking and May 29th gets closer and closer, I’m sharing the excerpt below.

Serve and Protect Cover

What happens when you fall in love in the heart of politics?

Sam Daniels’ life turns upside down when he meets an amazing guy and gets a job offer he can’t refuse almost at the same time. Working in politics and sustaining any kind of personal life is never easy, but when you’re running a campaign to elect the first woman to the office of the President of the United States, it may become nearly impossible.
Blake Morin, after spending years as a SEAL, lives a quiet life with his daughter and he’s fine with that. He can’t deny the attraction between him and Sam, but is he ready to enter the world he used to avoid?

THE EXCERPT

Sam slid down in his booth at Seagal’s, the back of his neck resting on the top of the seat. He breathed out in relief and tried to will his muscles to relax just a little bit. The beer was getting warmer on the table, but he didn’t care. He just needed a break after a long day, that was it. Even warm beer couldn’t spoil the fact that he could sit here and do nothing for half an hour or so. Fifteen minutes, at the least.
Seagal’s was the only place close to his office without a TV, and Sam loved them for it. He couldn’t rest when there was news playing in the background.
“Bad day?” someone asked, and Sam looked up to see a tall guy standing next to the table with a beer in his hand.
“You know what they say.” Sam tilted his head and gestured for the man to sit down. The place was busy, so there weren’t a lot of empty chairs around, and Sam wasn’t an asshole. Besides, the guy was really hot—tall, with short, light brown hair and eyes Sam didn’t want to look away from. He straightened in his seat, trying to seem less like he had been chewed on by a dog. “The only easy day was yesterday.”
The guy sat down and raised his eyebrows. “SEALs say that. Did you serve?”
“Not in the military, no.” Sam shook his head. “I work in a senator’s office. You can say that we don’t have many easy todays either. Did you serve?”
“In the military, yes.” The corners of the guy’s lips turned up a little and Sam relaxed, smiling back. “SEAL, actually. Blake Morin.”
Sam shook the extended hand and there was maybe a two second delay when they just looked at each other. Maybe. “Sam Daniels.” He felt awake now, an adrenaline rush at the spark of interest was enough to wake him up.
“We don’t need to talk if you’re not up for it,” Blake offered, but Sam shook his head.
“I’m fine. It’s just one of those days that went on too long. I need to recharge before going home.” It was counter-intuitive for some people, but Blake nodded like he got it.
“At least it’s Friday tomorrow,” he said. “Or do you guys work around the clock?”
“We do when we have to. Not this weekend, though. It’s just…” Sam paused and shrugged, looking at the bottle he was holding, the label scratched at the corner.
“A bad day,” Blake finished for him and sat back in his seat, taking a sip of his beer.
Sam nodded. More like a string of bad days. He’d been feeling anxious and off balance for weeks now, and he figured that was the reason he found himself telling this complete stranger more than he normally would. More than the guy wanted to know, probably.
“My boss is retiring tomorrow and it’s…weird.” Sam picked at the label. “We’ve been working together pretty much since I came to D.C. It was easy in a way those constants in life are, you know?” He looked up and Blake nodded. “Now it ends, and I’m not sure what I’m going to do next.” He’d had a few months to come up with something, and he still had nothing.
“You don’t have to have the answer ready,” Blake pointed out.
Sam couldn’t help being a little jealous of how calm he sounded. Like it’s that easy. He shrugged. “Yeah, I know—”
“No, listen,” Blake interrupted. “Listen, I get it. Transition like that, it’s always hard, even if you do know what’s next.” He leaned forward, rested his elbows against the table, and caught Sam’s gaze. “When I signed my transfer papers, I knew what I was doing, I knew where I was going, but it still felt shitty at the beginning. It took me a while to find my footing again.”
Sam took a drink from his beer. Maybe it shouldn’t work, coming from a complete stranger, but he felt the tension in his shoulders easing up a little.
“Thanks,” he said, and then smirked, wanting to lighten up the mood. “I bet you didn’t expect to be giving pep talks when you came looking for a seat.”
“Maybe I didn’t come looking for a seat.” Blake smiled, showing his teeth, and Sam fixated on his lips for a second before the words registered. There was a surge of heat in his stomach that he hadn’t felt in far too long.
“Wow,” he murmured, hoping he wasn’t bright red. He didn’t have a poker face when it came to his personal life.
Blake took a sip of his beer, eyes not leaving Sam’s. “Too forward?”
“No!” Sam protested quickly. God, no. “No, just…surprising. Good surprise, though.”
Blake smiled again, softer this time, and sat back in the seat. “It’s been a long time since I did this.”
Sam felt warm all over. “Probably smart. It’s risky, after all, to come on to a guy in a bar.”
“I’m pretty sure I could take you.” Blake smirked.
Sam raised his eyebrows and felt the laughter escaping him.
Blake snorted. “I meant in a fight.”
“I’m sure you could take me, too.” Sam nodded. “In a fight.”
Blake’s gaze wandered to his lips for a moment and Sam shifted in his seat. Getting an erection in a bar is a bad, bad idea, he told himself as Blake looked him in the eye.
“Also, I wasn’t sure I was going to hit on you before I sat down. We could have just had a nice, easy conversation.”
“Are you sure now?” Sam asked. He forgot he’d been tired. He hadn’t felt this awake in weeks.
Blake nodded and smiled. “Yes. I’m sure now.”
Sam smiled back. “Good.”

GR add

It’s Here, It’s Here! Cover of Serve & Protect

Serve & Protect comes out on May 29th!

Serve and Protect Cover

What happens when you fall in love in the heart of politics?

Sam Daniels’ life turns upside down when he meets an amazing guy and gets a job offer he can’t refuse almost at the same time. Working in politics and sustaining any kind of personal life is never easy, but when you’re running a campaign to elect the first woman to the office of the President of the United States, it may become nearly impossible.
Blake Morin, after spending years as a SEAL, lives a quiet life with his daughter and he’s fine with that. He can’t deny the attraction between him and Sam, but is he ready to enter the world he used to avoid?

Serve & Protect is the first book in D.C. Files series. The series has recurring characters and exists in one political universe, but each book will be stand-alone.

Serve & Protect – Coming Soon!

I have some great news! Serve & Protect will come out soon from MLR Press!

Serve & Protect is the first book in D.C. Files series. The series focuses on people working in and around political world of Washington, D.C., with some reccuring characters, but each book being a standalone love story.

The working blurb for Serve & Protect is this:

Sam Daniels’ life gets turned upside down when he meets an amazing guy and gets a job offer he can’t refuse almost at the same time. Working in politics and sustaining any kind of personal life is never easy, but when you’re running a campaign to elect the first woman to the office of the President of the United States, it may become nearly impossible.
Blake Morin, after spending years as a SEAL, lives a quiet life with his daughter and he’s fine with that. He can’t deny the attraction between him and Sam and he definitely wants to make it work, but what happens when he suddenly becomes the topic of media’s attention?
Can their relationship survive the crazy ride or is it too much to ask for?

I can’t wait to share this story with you! I don’t have a release date yet, but I’m hoping for late February/early March it will be some time in April. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, do it now if you don’t want to miss the release of Serve & Protect. 🙂