Paid to Pretend brought the Delphic Agency series to a close although I will be back in that universe in 2021 with the Outreach Series, which I am really looking forward to writing - kink is my thing!
When it came to what to publish next I had a couple of choices, I am really into shifters, and I have a series I have been working on for a while that takes place in a universe where Wolf shifters are second class citizens and their society scorned for its animalistic traits.
The hero has to accept his own inner wolf before he can set about freeing his people from their shame and leading them to take pride in their natures.
It all gets really primal! Yummy!
And I love the story, so it was very tempting to just dive straight into that.
But autumn is upon us and All Hallows Eve is around the corner and I was feeling a little dark (understatement!) and so next to be published will be Handled, a serial killer novel. This is a dark gay romance, set in a universe where those with psychopathic traits, called Handlers, are employed to deliver the death sentence on inverate killers in an extreme version of the set a thief to catch a thief theory.
Handlers work in conjunction with a Witness whose job it is to oversee the just punishment and ensure it is carried out legally.
There are some very dark and twisted moments in this - you have been warned!
Mixed in with the complex relationship between our Handler and his new Witness we have ritual killers, painful backstories and very deviant desires acted upon. So dark, so dirty, I hope you enjoy it.
Handled - Available for Pre-Order Now
Serial killers think if it all goes south and they finally get caught that their swan song is a day in court, making the families relive the agony while they get off on that delicious pain, all over again.
We’re not making celebrities out of monsters.
We’re not giving them a stage to strut on.
Now they get an audience of two.
One to Handle the problem, one to Witness it.
I’m a Witness. I trained for six years to do my duty, to manage my contracted killer, and to watch justice be done.
I knew it would be hard, the first time, to watch the eye for an eye moment.
I expected to feel a lot of things – fear, disgust, guilt.
I didn’t expect to feel turned on.
And I didn’t expect my contracted killer to look quite so pretty with blood on his hands.
HANDLED is a dark gay romance with themes of justice, retribution, and unsuitable love. It is not for the faint of heart and contains graphic scenes intended for an adult audience. Further trigger warnings inside.
Paid to Pretend, the fifth and last book in the Delphic Agency Series, is published 2nd October 2020. Here is a little sneak peek from the opening.
Beneath his feet the ground was icy and slick and Christian kept a close eye on the path ahead in the wavering light of his head torch.
Pathfinder, watch your step.
The wind from the lake was cold tonight and the icy rain found ways under his compression shirt and chilled the back of his neck.
He glanced at his wristwatch and picked up the pace a bit, he was behind his schedule.
In the distance the lights of the agency were a bright white beacon on the rise above the lake while the boathouse windows were pinpricks of more welcoming gold. Sara must be home Christian thought, because Tay and Cash’s cottages would be dark for a long time to come.
For a moment he felt a flash of jealousy. They got their happy ending. They found each other. Christian gritted his teeth and fiercely pushed down the feeling.
Feel nothing, fear nothing, desire nothing.
He pushed the unwelcome emotion to his muscles and took the bend in the track faster, digging his mud caked feet into the curve, pumping his arms to keep his balance. Icy water splashed up his bare calves. He was on the home straight now. Half a mile ahead the bur oaks that surrounded the boathouse were a bare branch silhouette against the sky, and Christian put his head down and went for it.
The burn in his muscles was a fierce joy. One of the few he allowed himself. If he made it to the boathouse by his scheduled time he might allow himself a warm shower. It would probably be wise given the run around the perimeter of the lake in November would have dropped his core temperature despite the exertion.
Can’t get ill. Not allowed to be ill. Not allowed to be weak.
Suck it up boy.
The runner’s euphoria powered him the last half a mile in a blur of hot endorphins and needle pricks of cold against his skin.
He sprinted the last 100 yards and pulled up under the bur oaks, panting. Bent over, hands on his knees, he glanced at his watch. On schedule. Good. Not early, not late. On track. Perfectly acceptable.
He breathed in and out deeply, and then straightened slowly.
The lights of the end cottage of the boathouse shone in front of him. Those lights had never been lit in the five years he had worked at Delphic. Through the rain beating down they glowed and burst in prisms of light. Christian gasped and his heart leapt. His mouth went dry.
The lights were golden spills of welcoming warm colour, the little square in the front door, the portholes on both sides, and the floor to ceiling multi-pane arched window above the entrance.
“Not now,” Christian didn’t know if he spoke aloud or if the words were in his head, “I can’t, I’m not ready,”
He felt his legs give way and the next thing he knew he was kneeling in the shallow mud beside his long-time home, his hands curled into fists on his thighs.
He raised his head, and through the long wet strands of his hair he saw the tall man who leaned against the side of the window, arms folded, one ankle crossed over the other. “Michael,”
Christian stared up at him, just like always, and Michael looked down on him. Christian swallowed the surging emotions, rage, guilt, sorrow, and blinked the water and mud out of his eyes, trying to see Michael’s expression.
When Michael turned away from the window Christian felt his heart break all over again.