ARCs went out and reviews are trickling in and so far, the response to Devour is fantastic. We are THRILLED you guys are loving Devour. It’s coming out this Friday. Are you ready??
Until then, here’s another quick snippet to help pass the last few days…
It had been hard to let Ian out of his sight today, but he’d volunteered to do the perimeter checks with Rowe to prove something to himself and to Ian. One, that he could trust Ian to take care of himself and two, Ian was a grown man who didn’t need to be coddled. He took his friends’ overprotective natures in stride, but he’d been doing that for years. Hollis knew Ian wanted something different in a boyfriend. Especially since he’d flat out told him that.
He almost stumbled again when the word boyfriend hit his brain.
It was what he wanted. He hadn’t been serious about anyone since Mark and unlike his reaction to Mark’s indiscretions, Ian cheating would kill him. But he couldn’t see that happening. Ian had a deep integrity and a loyal nature that would make him go out of his way to never hurt someone.
If Ian wanted someone else, he’d be honest enough to break Hollis’s heart to his face and Hollis had to accept that could eventually be a real possibility. He might not fit into Ian’s neat and high-rolling life. He was an owner of one of the most popular restaurants in Cincinnati; he hung out with a billionaire, a surgeon, and a badass who owned one of the biggest security firms in the state. He was used to a completely different kind of life than the one Hollis offered. Casseroles and classic rock. Lucas and Snow had seemed to agree with that—or else something similar because they hadn’t wanted Hollis anywhere near Ian in the beginning.
Rowe, on the other hand, only seemed to have an objection to hearing or seeing certain things.…
He stopped walking and faced Rowe. “Despite all that crap about Ian being like a little brother, why is it you’re okay that Ian and I are getting together? More so than Snow and Lucas, anyway?”
Rowe pulled up the collar on his brown coat and eyed Hollis a long, long moment. “Ian’s a grown-ass man. He can sleep with whomever he wants.” Rowe scratched his chin and narrowed his eyes. “Now, if you hurt him? Different fucking story. You don’t even want to contemplate what will happen to you if that happens.”
“I don’t plan to hurt him. Ever.”
“You think getting on Lucas’s bad side would be rough now?” Rowe lifted one red eyebrow.
Hollis snorted. “You guys all seem to think I can’t handle myself. Maybe we should have a little competition.…”
Rowe snorted and smacked him on the shoulder. “Maybe we should. Although, just so you know, Ian likes to watch the guys sparring on the mats at my office. I’m aware he has more than one reason to bring me lunch.”
Hollis grinned. Sweaty guys wrestling. “I’d probably enjoy that myself.”
Shaking his head, Rowe started walking again. “Snow said you were pretty cool. It’s Lucas you’ll have to charm when it comes to Ian.”
“Snow said that?” Hollis fell into step with him again. “I might be flattered. Surprised as fuck, but flattered.”
They got to the edge of the front yard and Rowe laid a hand on his arm, stopping him. “So…you’re really serious about Ian? I do need to know. I may be the cool uncle with bubble gum in his pocket, but Ian means a lot to me.”
Hollis wanted Ian—wanted to be a part of his life—but he still had doubts about fitting into that life. He worried about his future, his job.…But his attraction to the man was too strong not to explore things further. So he laid it out for him with complete honesty. “More than I have been about anything in my life.”
Rowe nodded, his nose red from the cold. “Yeah, I kind of guessed from the way you look at him.” He curled his lip. “Sure as hell took you long enough, though.”
“I’m here now. Don’t plan to go anywhere.” He sniffed. “Whoa. Do you smell that?” The wind had changed directions, carrying with it the most amazing food scents. They rode the wintry breeze like promises of warmth that had him heading to the door fast. Vanilla, sage, beef…and chocolate—it was like walking into a holiday meal preparation.
“Uh-oh,” Rowe muttered as he grabbed Hollis again to stop him. “I know what those smells mean.”
“Yeah, food.” Hollis’s belly rumbled loudly enough for Rowe to hear it. They’d been trudging through the thick, wet sludge for hours and the breakfast he’d had was nothing but fond memories. Ian had sprinkled some kind of herbs into the scrambled eggs that had completely changed his view on eggs, but that had been so long ago.
“No,” Rowe said, voice low, the word clipped. “He’s upset. Really upset.”