While I’m laid up with carpal tunnel in both hands/wrists/arms (ouch), I’m re-visiting my beloved Crow Creek Series, freshening up the formatting, re-doing the editing (going from comma-lite to comma-medium, tightening up the dialog and descriptions), and giving them a whole new look, cover-wise.
The amazingly talented Bey Deckard took the helm, providing a uniform “look” and some splendid visuals that tie this series’ stories into a unified whole.
To begin the roll-out, here’s a first look at ASH & OAK, book 1 of the Crow Creek Series:
Ash MacBryde thinks he knows what he wants. When his sister offers him the chance to return to his roots and take over running the ranch, he jumps at the chance. Ranching has always been his first love but it doesn’t fill the long lonely nights.
Oak Richards’ career is skyrocketing, earning him national recognition in his sport of endurance racing. But after an unfortunate riding accident, when his mentor and lover decides Oak is no longer flavor of the month, he’s cast adrift.
Will a little luck, a healthy dose of fate, and a matchmaking sister conspire to bring together two damaged men living two thousand miles apart?
For the shy, reclusive Oak and the domineering, territorial Ash there’s more than distance separating them. When they finally meet, sparks fly; but it will take more than just a powerful attraction to bridge the gap between them.
Susan Mac Nicol (Men of London Series) says:
Beautifully written and with male leads that will just break your heart with their emotional stories, depth of character and sheer sexiness, this is a true love story of two men coming together on the ranch to find in each other what is missing in themselves.
After quickly brushing his teeth, Ash plopped on top of the down quilt, not minding the cool air on his skin. He left the nightstand light on and stared at the ceiling, still marveling at the giddy wash of excitement when Oakley Richard’s face had appeared on the monitor via the wonder of technology and Skype…
Unlike Ash, who had flopped like a rag doll in his leather desk chair, Richards sat rigidly upright, his hands folded on the table. The only indication of nervousness was his unconscious stroking of one thumb over the over. Ash concentrated on that thumb, couldn’t take his eyes off it, because if he did, he’d have to look at the kid’s face. Not just his face, but into those eyes, and what he might see there scared him half to death.
Ash was righteously tongue-tied. He tried getting out a ‘howdy’, then a ‘hi’, but nothing moved past his suddenly parched throat. Light-headed, he feared he might pass out. He’d eaten, he’d hydrated. He had no excuses.
I came. I saw. I swooned.
After an interminable pause, he finally managed, “You’re Oakley Richards.”
“Oak, sir. Yes sir.”
Amy was making googly faces at him behind the kid’s shoulder. Normally she’d have him howling in laughter with that kind of distraction, but something inside him overrode her antics and had him peering intently at a spot just to the left of the kid’s strong hands and a thumb he imagined stroking his cock…
No, no, no, no…
“Oak. Yeah, okay. I guess Amy explained…”
“Yes, sir and I think, if you look at my record, that I can…”
“…help me train and…”
“…condition, yes, but I can also…”
Amy’s head bobbed like she was watching a tennis match, her grin growing broader as they’d fleshed out an understanding. Finally, Ash waved the contract at the screen and read the more pertinent details to his rapt audience.
“If that will suit, I’d like for you to come out as soon as you can make arrangements.”
Christ, the kid was big on ‘sirs’. He’d bet the ranch his sister was up the whazoo in ma’ams from that one. It was the kind of polite from the bone marrow out that he’d gotten used to from spending so many years in the deep south.
It was no wonder Amy liked the kid.
His problem wasn’t going to be whether or not he ‘liked’ Oakley Richards, finger-quotes and all. No, he was going to have other issues that only a cold shower and some alone time were going to address.
He was looking down the gullet of the three ‘Ls’: like, lust and love. Without having met Richards, he’d already ticked off two of the three. He was going to have to work damn hard to tamp down the lust because that never worked out well with business partners. As for love? He’d tried that when he was twenty.
Look how well that worked out, MacBryde.
No, love was completely off the table. But like? Yeah, he’d be willing to give that one a shot.
Ash missed most of what the kid had been saying while his cock and his brain switched positions. He tried refocusing on the thumb but Richards had moved his hands, forcing Ash to finally look at his face.
What he saw almost made him come.
The kid was rubbing a hand through his hair, his eyes focusing on a spot, probably on a wall, while he worked out logistics. The words, “I don’t have much…” were over-ridden by a buzzing in Ash’s ears, then, “…probably as soon as you need…”
Then he stared at Ash, his expression so open, so honest, so … so fucking sexy, if he’d been in the same room, Ash would have cave-manned him into his bedroom and spent the next twenty years making love to him.
God damn, I have it bad.
Going on automatic pilot, he mumbled something about making arrangements and letting his sister know and she could tell him and blah, blah, blah. Finally Amy had shushed the kid off the chair, taking his place.
She mouthed, “Love you,” and the screen went to his wallpaper. Unfortunately his wallpaper was the photo of Oakley Richards riding Tuck, the pinto Saddlebred cross.
The thought crossed his mind that he’d have to change that. He didn’t need the kid thinking he was some kind of randy perv, no matter that it came pretty close to what he was feeling.
He was caught in that hard place, between the rock, his cock, and the higher functions that suggested he was letting himself in for some monumental hurt.
“What the hell are you doing, MacBryde?”