Today I am so pleased to welcome Carlin Grant and Katey Hawthorne to Joyfully Jay. Carlin and Katey are here to share an exclusive excerpt from their new release, Stronger, Better, Faster, More. They have also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Carlin and Katey a big welcome!
Thanks for letting us stop by Joyfully Jay to introduce our new book! It’s a shiny stand-alone, packed with super-heroics… and action of more than one kind. Let’s just say superpowers sometimes mess with more than just your metabolism. (Hint: libido). I mean, with our heroes Beau and Vel, that’s not the main attraction, but it’s definitely present and a big part of their relationship development from ex-high-school acquaintances to semi-grown-up hero duo. In love. So enjoy the excerpt, and don’t forget to drop a comment and enter the giveaway!
“I like a little laughter in my porn. People taking it seriously just makes me giggle, but not in the good way.” Vel clicked some more, then grabbed a nearby spare chair, divested it of a pile of graphic novels, and, because he couldn’t help it, said, “C’mere. Get up close and personal. No actual bondage in this one, sadly, but we’ll get there.”
Beau nodded and slowly moved to sit next to Vel. “Yeah, when they take it too seriously, it’s just…come on. It’s sex. It’s always ridiculous.” His eyes went wide when he saw the page for the porno. “Oh God, it’s Skip? I, uh, he’s—” He paused to clear his throat and ran a nervous hand through his hair. “Sorry, he’s one of my favorites. I didn’t realize he had something new up.”
“I have, like, Google alerts on him.” Vel didn’t, actually—he’d meant it to sound absurd. But now he mentioned it…not a bad idea. “Boy can suck a dick. Like, he has to practice or something.”
Beau laughed, pulling one leg up into the chair and then propping his chin on the knee. “Maybe he gets to write off gas money to hookups. Job training.”
“Back when I didn’t hate driving, that would’ve come in real handy,” Vel mused.
“I wish I had that problem,” Beau muttered, but he shot Vel a good-natured grin.
Vel gave him a look—purposely slow and long enough for him to get it. It was that fucking perversity in him; he hated denying it. Even as he dropped his gaze to rake it over Beau’s muscled shoulder and arm, he was screaming at himself internally to stop.
But there was porn on the monitor, and he was horny, and God, why did Beau have to be sosweet? Vel’s voice was a little rougher than usual, to his slight embarrassment, when he said, “Well, I don’t really either. Anymore. But I definitely got a lot of practice. Maybe not as much as Skip…”
Beau blushed and fixed his gaze on the porn. “I’d be happy to help you with that,” he muttered, his tone half-joking.
Unnnnffff. Two options now. One, Vel could go for it. Fucking jump Beau like he’d wanted to from the moment they’d connected—reconnected, whatever—and solve a lot of problems for both of them in the process. Two, Vel could laugh it off. Treat it like the joke it probably (maybe? mostly? kinda?) was and definitely save their excellent partnership and burgeoning friendship.
Oh, like it was even a contest. If Vel’s dick didn’t get out of his pants and into something a little tighter, warmer, and more human real soon, he was gonna lose it. The idea of Beau being the one—
“Really?” Vel asked, cutting off the superspeed murder-go-round of sex and guilt in his head. “Because, dude, I can vibrate, you know.”
What? Might as well get it all out there, right?
Beau’s eyes went wide as he looked over. He clearly hadn’t intended to be taken seriously. For a moment he just stared, slack-jawed, then swallowed visibly. This gave Vel all the time in the world to regret taking door number one. And most of his life leading up to this point, actually. Just as he was about to apologize and backpedal, something resolved in Beau’s expression, and he grabbed Vel by the collar and pulled him in for a hard kiss. Vel also had time to appreciate the forcefulness of it before their lips crushed together, the moment of manhandling going on there.
Fuck, he hoped there was more of that, where this came from.
But the kiss was here and now, and like few things could anymore, that kind of contact brought Vel into the world he remembered, the world everyone else lived in, and made him a part of it again. Beau’s slow heartbeat beneath the hand Vel rested against his chest. Beau’s gentle breath behind wet, gorgeous lips as Vel parted them under his. It had been so long, too long, for something that made Vel feel this sane.
Beau grabbed him like he was hungry, starving for the contact, and hell, maybe he was. He pulled Vel in against him, awkward as it was between their two chairs, moaning softly, his hand finding its way into Vel’s hair. He tried to get closer until, frustrated, he finally hauled Vel into his lap, ignoring the sound of the chair creaking under their weight.
Vel wrapped both legs around Beau’s middle, smiling into the kiss. Someone strong enough to move him around like that—fuck. This guy was a dream come true. The hell had he been waiting for, again? “Mmm, that’s fucking hot.” He raked his nails gently through the cropped hair at the back of Beau’s head.
Beau groaned, pulling back just enough to instruct “More of that” before diving back in.
“Yes, sir,” Vel mumbled into his mouth, scratching down Beau’s back as far as he could go, then up again, all while sucking at his tongue, nibbling at his bottom lip. He rocked in Beau’s lap, trying to scoot closer and get some pressure on his dick.
Beau’s breath came faster at that, and he made a frustrated little sound when he rocked and couldn’t get a better angle. “Bed,” he muttered, his lips still against Vel’s, and then he was picking Vel up and moving him and dumping him on the bed with a big grin. “You should think about taking off your shirt.”
Christ, something about Beau’s voice when he was bossy like that—Vel could’ve sworn his nipples got harder because of it, seriously. He ripped off the shirt superspeed and chucked it across the room. He knew he looked fucking good shirtless; as a perpetually skinny teenager, he’d made it his life’s goal to get as buff as possible, and the superspeed…well, he needed to eat a hell of a lot more, but whatever; it was good for getting cut.
He leaned back on one hand to let Beau get an eyeful and smirked up at him. Not quite mimicking Beau’s occasional redneck accent, he said, “Come on and get it.”
When he gets super-endurance powers out of nowhere, being a culinary student and kids’ soccer coach isn’t enough for Beau Warren–he has to be a superhero too. A sweet, hardworking trans man from a close knit family, it’s important to Beau to use his new abilities to stand up for people who can’t protect themselves. When he runs into a speedster at a fire rescue, he doesn’t expect it to be his high school crush, Vel Chandrasekhar. Turns out Vel got superspeed when Beau go his endurance, so they decide to make their single supe act into a duo.
With their immediate attraction and superpowered libidos, it’s not long before Beau and Vel are roommates-with-benefits. That’s the idea, anyhow, if only Beau can keep from falling back into his old crush hard, since Vel’s self-esteem issues have left him skittish about relationships. Just when things are at boiling point between them, though, their search for their own superhero origin story leads them and their families into mortal danger. The only way to survive the truth is to depend on each other–and admit they’re a lot more than friends.
Carlin Grant is a queer writer who likes to put the focus on LGBTQIA+ characters and has a sweet tooth for romance. Growing up in backwoods North Carolina left them with a love for the characters, culture, and folklore that is common in the rural South, and these themes often show up in their stories. When they’re not writing, Carlin enjoys reading, video games, superheroes, mixtapes, and visiting the beach. They currently reside in coastal NC, where they spend most of their time chasing after their toddler.
Katey Hawthorne is an avid reader and writer of superpowered romance, even though the only degree she holds is in the history of art. (Or, possibly, because the only degree she holds is in the history of art.) Originally from the Appalachian foothills of West Virginia, she currently lives in Ohio. In her spare time she enjoys comic books, B-movies, loud music, Epiphones, and Bushmills.
Carlin and Katey have brought three $10 gift cards to Amazon, Loose Id, or ARe, winner’s choice! Just follow the Rafflecopter link below to enter.
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