HUG IT OUT
A CONTEMPORARY GAY ROMANCE
COVER DESIGN: MORNINGSTAR ASHLEY @ Five Star Graphic Designs
and buy on AMAZON, Also available on Kindle Unlimited
When you think of a spectrum, the two main characters in this thrilling contemporary gay romance are at the absolute opposite ends.
Teddy is a professional TLC provider spending time with people who need a hug, someone to talk to or just someone to spend time with. Touching is recommended but optional. This is much more than an occupation but for Teddy, it is a calling and as much as he fills a need in his clients, this fills an emotional need for Teddy as well. There is nothing that he loves more than his volunteer work hugging babies at the hospital. Teddy’s second job, the one that pays the bills, is as a video game tester and just as in his other occupation, Teddy becomes immersed in the role and the world of his games. Teddy is the sweetest guy that you can imagine, independent, thoughtful and cute as a bunny. If anything, Teddy is too self-effacing, determined to be independent. Work/life balance isn’t a concept in Teddy’s daily life.
When Teddy accepts an assignment from the wife of the head of psychology at the hospital where he volunteers, he senses immediately that her brother isn’t like his usual client for cuddle and companion services. The job is to spend an entire month with the brother who has recently been depressed and withdrawn from his family. Riordan, the brother-in-law of the psychologist, has a super secret job as an assassin that he was blackmailed into as a young adult. His family believes he is a covert operator of some sort, for the government. Riordan has a surprise coming because he has no idea what Teddy is coming there to do. He just agreed to whatever his sister has planned if it will keep his family off his back for an entire month. Someone coming to stay with him for a month wasn’t even on his radar.
After an entirely different kind of ‘assignment’ than Teddy’s, went terribly wrong, Riordan has no idea what he is going to do next. He could previously justify his work but not this time. He doesn’t want to go back but there is likely only one, terminal, way out. Being with Teddy, at times Riordan feels as though he fell down the rabbit hole and is having tea and cupcakes with Alice’s companions. He begins to want more time with Teddy, a future perhaps, but Riordan has no idea he can possibly make that happen.
This story is crazy good and a bit outrageous as well. We alternate between cuddling, and cupcakes, guns, garrotes, and knives. Teddy has no idea, no comprehension of Riordan’s world and Riordan likewise can’t really believe how naive Teddy can be. Each man does know that they want very much, in one way or another, to take care of the other.
Hug it Out takes you on an unexpected journey and is definitely not your ‘usual’ gay romance, if there is such a thing. The assassin and the hugger, the killer and the video game tester in the bunny suit, seem to make absolutely no sense together yet they fit together perfectly, like pieces of a puzzle. The author creates, in this story, characters that are authentic with emotions, relationships, and experiences. I almost forgot to mention how much I appreciated visiting with Snow and his husband, from this author’s debut novel, Snow’s Falling. That was an absolute treat and this one is as well!
As a reader, I was quickly engaged with the story and quickly came to know the main and secondary characters as people. The writing is beautiful, emotional and at times makes the hairs on my arms stand up.
“I got you.” He pressed his lips against my neck, tattooing his promise into my skin.”
Yes, this is a story that you won’t want to miss.
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Riordan Darcy has spent the last fourteen years building a name for himself as a notorious assassin. He travels the world taking the lives of some of the worst humanity has to offer, leaving his signature on every victim.
Riordan becomes unhappy and withdrawn from the world after a job goes horribly wrong and he makes the decision to get out of the life he was forced into, so long ago. When his meddling, older sister gives him a birthday gift that’s impossible to refuse, his plans to leave his life of crime take a backseat when he’s forced to protect the life of a veritable stranger.
When professional hugger and TLC provider, Teddy Harris, is offered a month-long companionship contract, he’s hard pressed to turn it down. Cuddler by day and a video game reviewer by night, Teddy’s need to make people feel loved and cared for is what drives him. When he meets Riordan Darcy, professional challenge and personal temptation collide, making it nearly impossible for him to endure a whole month with the gorgeous, enigmatic man without falling head over heels in love.
When a mole is discovered within Riordan’s organization, relationships are compromised, and people’s lives are in danger. Time isn’t on their side, and they discover answers can’t always be found by hugging it out when someone is hell-bent on eliminating each and every one of them. Can Riordan and Teddy survive long enough to fall in love, or will they die trying?
“Cupcakes?” Riordan asked. I’d been unable to sleep the night before and found myself in the kitchen at 3:00 A.M. baking.
“Yep. Chocolate vanilla swirl. The frosting is blue because it’s what I had left over after Delly’s birthday cake.” I placed them on the kitchen table and searched for plates.
“I see. But why cupcakes?” He sat at the table and I laughed when he poked at the cupcakes like they were foreign objects.
“It’s a birthday present. Birthdays are best when there’s cake of some sort. I like cupcakes better than cake because they portion my intake.”
Riordan chuckled. “I imagine sugar would have you climbing the walls.”
“I don’t eat a lot of sugar for many reasons, but I always make exceptions for birthdays.” Riordan watched with interest as I plated the cupcakes.
When his was in front of him, he dipped his finger in the frosting and sucked. Sweet mama mia.
“You okay, Teddy? You froze there for a minute. You also didn’t answer my question.”
Question? Oh. “I’m good. Just tired. What’s your question?” Sitting down, I began nibbling my cupcake, desperate for something to occupy my thoughts other than Riordan’s lips, tongue, and sucking.
“I said it’s not my birthday today so whose are we celebrating?” Riordan devoured half the cupcake in one bite.
“Yours. I realized I didn’t know exactly what day your birthday was on, so I thought I’d celebrate it today.”
He nodded as he ate the rest of the cupcake. “You could have just asked me.”
The blue frosting on Riordan’s lips taunted me. I wanted to kiss them clean. I had to stop. “I could have, but where’s the fun in that?”
His smile was mischievous. “So, you don’t want to know?”
I wasn’t sure what he was up to. I had quickly come to realize he could be sneaky at times. “I like mystery. I think it’s…”
“August tenth,” he interrupted.
“God dammit!” I slapped the table in mock frustration. “Now I’ll have to make more cupcakes on your birthday.”
Seeing Riordan laugh made me happy. I could tell he didn’t do it a lot. Or he hadn’t done it in a while.
“You’re off the hook, Teddy. Thank you for the cupcakes.” He gestured toward the door where I knew the box I had brought was sitting. “Are those your consoles?”
“Yeah. Let me take them up to the guest room. It won’t take long to set them up. I had a great idea for after.”
Riordan didn’t look like this was exciting news, but I imagined most of his life was balanced between being paranoid and being cautious. “What sort of idea?”
“A surprise, of course.”
“You and your surprises,” he grumbled, but I didn’t think he minded.
Davidson King, always had a hope that someday her daydreams would become real-life stories. As a child, you would often find her in her own world, thinking up the most insane situations. It may have taken her awhile, but she made her dream come true with her first published work, Snow Falling.
When she’s not writing you can find her blogging away on Diverse Reader, her review and promotional site. She managed to wrangle herself a husband who matched her crazy and they hatched three wonderful children.
If you were to ask her what gave her the courage to finally publish, she’d tell you it was her amazing family and friends. Support is vital in all things and when you’re afraid of your dreams, it will be your cheering section that will lift you up.