Today I am so pleased to welcome Brandon Shire to Joyfully Jay. Brandon has come to talk to us about his release, The Love of Wicked Men.
Danger, Chemistry and Combustibility
I have a confession to make. I like dangerous men. Dangerous men with a chemistry that’s combustible and sometimes problematic. You know the type. They’re filled with cunning and deviousness until you chisel past their armor and tinker around inside their heart. They hate it when that happens, but they’re usually unable to do anything about it.
They’ll circle and sniff like a pack of wolves, always a bit apprehensive about committing to anything that’s not in line with their own desires. Throw emotion at them and they’ll turn and run. But offer danger, mystery, a whiff of the exotic and you’ll have them like putty in your hand.
My new book, The Love of Wicked Men, is about dangerous men doing bad things and falling in love despite themselves. It was written as a series of episodes so that readers could offer their input as the story was written. Fans directed my hand and those wicked, sinful hearts as I wrote. It was a great experience and a lot of fun. I brought along an exclusive excerpt to show you the result of our experimental collaboration. Hope you enjoy it.
He turned the car onto the main road, pulled over, and idled by the curb. His foot tapped against the gas pedal as he checked the time on the dash. “Goddammit, come on,” he whispered to himself, hoping Sid would deviate further from his routine.
“He’s headed your way,” Lori said in his earpiece.
Jack clenched his fist in success. “Got him.”
He raced away from the curb, took two lefts, pulled on the town’s main throughway, drove up the road one mile, and pulled off to the side with his emergency flashers on. Checking his watch, he went to the trunk. He had about four minutes before Sid got to his location. He’d run the route half a dozen times to be sure. He pulled the gas can out, slammed the trunk closed and started walking along the edge of the road with his thumb out.
Jack was gambling. Sid might be preoccupied, off to a meeting, or on his way someplace else they didn’t expect him to go. Without any intel, they were blind to his potential movements.
But Jack thought he knew Sid well enough that this would work. Because there was one thing Jack knew about Sid Rivers – Sid worked hard and he liked to reward himself often. And what better reward could he give himself than sex with a man he thought he could dominate?
It was a power thing with Sid. For all his posturing, there was a point in his life that Sid didn’t have power, and now he was making up for it. If Jack were ignorant about Sid’s background, he probably would’ve detested the man as much as Lori did. But he knew Sid Rivers’ buried story and understood his need for control. To Jack, it seemed like a sad waste. Sid Rivers could’ve been much more.
After five minutes of walking along the roadside, Sid’s Aston Martin came around the curve behind him and passed by. Jack watched Sid’s brakes light up and then wink out in a quick moment of indecision.
Damn. It didn’t work. Jack almost stopped and returned to his car, but then decided to keep walking. Traffic was a little busier than normal and he was betting that Sid didn’t want to pull his overpriced car off the flattop.
He was right and grinned when Sid turned on a side road about a quarter of a mile ahead. There was nothing on that road but small, middle-income homes. None of Sid’s clients lived there, and Sid’s house was in the opposite direction. There could only be one reason Sid would turn, and that reason was Jack.
Jack kept walking, his thumb still out like he hadn’t noticed Sid’s car. In the distance, he watched Sid pull up to the stop sign and wait.
“He stopped,” he told Lori.
“You’re kidding me,” Lori remarked in complete disbelief.
“I told you he would. I keep telling you, I know this guy. I don’t know why you don’t believe me. You get those files decrypted yet?”
“No,” she answered, her tone suddenly defensive.
“Call Sweeny,” Jack instructed her. “We’re going to need him. We need to know what angle this idiot is working.”
“I can do it. I just need more time.”
“We’re out of time. Call Sweeny.”
He pulled the ear bud out and tossed it into the long grass on the side of the road as if he were swatting a bug away from his face. He couldn’t chance Rivers seeing the wire. And honestly, he didn’t want to listen to Lori bitch about Sweeny anyway. Those two had a competitive history, and not all of it was pretty.
When Jack got close, he could see Sid watching him, his window down and his elbow hanging out. He smiled a crooked, aw-shucks grin, dropped his thumb, and picked up his pace.
“Counselor.” Jack nodded casually and crouched to see if there was anyone in the passenger seat. Sid was alone. He met Sid’s eyes, but they were shielded behind an expensive pair of sunglasses. “The way we keep bumping into each other, I’m starting to think you’re stalking me,” Jack said.
Sid shrugged. “I was on my way to get lunch, saw you walking…”
“We’re already even, Counselor,” Jack interrupted as he knelt beside the door. “But if you’re offering, I ain’t going to turn a ride down.
“It’s too damned hot to be walking. Pop the trunk.” He hefted the empty gas can to eye level. “Don’t want to ruin the car.”
The trunk opened with a slight pop, and Jack dropped the gas can in and went around to the passenger side.
“Do you plan on paying for the gas, or should I worry about being called to testify against you again?” Sid asked as he got in.
Jack laughed. “The guy pissed me off. I didn’t go in there with the intention to rob the place.”
“Uh-huh,” Sid uttered in disbelief.
Jack turned to him. “I didn’t. I swear. He was acting like an asshole when I walked in. He wanted an asshole, so I gave him an asshole. He needed a little fear in his life.”
Sid glanced at him before he pulled back on the main road. “You cut me.”
“That was an accident. You startled me. I went in to get milk and he started giving me attitude.”
“Milk?” Sid asked. “Was that going to be your defense?”
“Honestly?” he asked as he met Sid’s nod. “I didn’t have one. The public defender kept trying to get me to take a plea deal. But fuck that. There’s no sense in helping them put me away.”
“So you were waiting for a miracle?” Sid asked as the road curved on a long turn that took them towards the center of town.
Jack smiled. “Yup. Got one too.” He looked over at Sid and smirked.
Sid Rivers and Jack Brown are two sides of the same coin. One is a lawyer with his own firm and dreams of money and power; the other is a criminal with a lengthy record and a quest for vengeance. When they meet, sparks fly. But was their meeting an accident? Or was it planned by the billionaires who want to control their destiny?
The Love of Wicked Men is an erotic journey into the underbelly of the legal profession, the corporate culture of profit-at-any-cost, and the secret world of industrial espionage.
Great stories should not depend on gender or sexual preference of a character, but instead upon the strength of the characters and the honesty and urgency of the story.
Brandon Shire proves he understands the complexity of writing LGBT fiction from two very different viewpoints – serious and smexy. His serious fiction is written for those who enjoy a book which explores life’s darker elements in a more literary form, while the smexy fiction is for those who enjoy a graphically erotic romance.
Regardless of the differentiation above, Brandon writes for people who enjoy being challenged, and for those who strive to understand situations they don’t typically encounter. He pens raw, emotional stories about characters which readers will either love or love to hate.
Life and love are pretty damned special, but neither is always perfect. Life can be painful, and real love hard to find. Brandon’s fiction is an exploration of the (sometimes) arduous search for the happiness we all desire.