Today I am so pleased to welcome J.K. Hogan to Joyfully Jay. J.K. has come to share an exclusive excerpt from her latest release, Boys Don’t Cry. She has also brought along a great tour wide giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Situated at the eastern edge of the waterpark, between the food court and the entrance to the children’s park, Daredevil Falls was where everyone went when it was too hot to breathe. And everyone had. The line filled up the canopied, fenced waiting area, and spilled out around the corner and down the blacktop path, and it wasn’t moving fast since the ride only had two boats. If we waited in that, the sun would probably be down by the time we actually got to ride.
Taylor, who’d gotten to the end of the line first, turned back toward us, disappointment—and possibly a little heat stroke—evident on his face. With a sigh, I wiped sweat off my face with the edge of my shirt. When I looked over at Laurie, he quickly averted his eyes.
“Why don’t we just go to the lookout?” I asked. The lookout was what frequent visitors called the observation deck that spanned the artificial river right over the impact zone. Even though the railing was like eight feet tall to prevent people from falling in, anyone standing on the deck when a boat came down got even more soaked than if they’d been on the ride. Since it wasn’t an official attraction, people only knew about it from word-of-mouth, so it wasn’t usually too crowded.
Taylor pointed at me. “Awesome idea.” He grabbed Karla’s hand and pulled her down the path. “Let’s go, losers, keep up!” he tossed back over his shoulder.
“Tell me again why you hang out with that guy,” Laurie asked in a low growl.
I scrunched my nose, trying to think of a time Taylor hadn’t been in my life. I’d known Taylor since kindergarten, for better or worse, and we’d always been friends. “Eh, he acts kind of dumb sometimes, but he’s a good friend.”
Laurie shrugged and followed me up the ramp to the lookout. The C-shaped deck had one long side that faced the falls and two short sides that curled around a couple of locked rooms—probably for storage. The short sides were like little annexes, halfway private, only receiving a fraction of the spray. Most of the people hoping to get wet jostled for prime position in the splash zone at the front. The four of us took up residence right up front in the middle. Taylor and Karla tracked the position of the next boat, while Laurie was sending me confused glances.
“What are we doing?” he asked.
“Just wait,” I whispered, pointing at the boat that was on the verge of plunging down the hill.
“Wait for what? Why are we just standing here?”
I suppressed a chuckle. “Oh my god, you are the most impatient person I know! Wait for…that,” I said, as the boat hit the deep water at the bottom and the huge wave started to form.
The wave hit the deck with what would’ve been brutal force if it hadn’t been tempered by the thick wooden railing. But instead of hitting us hard, it just drenched us from head to toe, the coldness of the water knocking the wind out of us. I dissolved into laughter as Laurie gasped at the cold, then sputtered as water ran into his eyes and mouth.
“Asshole,” he laughed, hooking his arm around my neck and giving me a vicious noogie. It probably should’ve seemed like a brotherly move, but I was hyperaware of the sensation of his hands on me. My breath caught, I shivered slightly, and Laurie gently shoved me away, his eyes going a little wild.
When I glanced back at Taylor and Karla, they were watching us with interest. Taylor opened his mouth to speak, but then we were blindsided by the wave from the second boat. After being drenched again, we were all laughing hysterically, all awkward, tension-filled moments forgotten.
Then Karla tugged Taylor toward one of the side annexes—one of the places couples sometimes went to find a little privacy—and he allowed himself to be led away, with a little eyebrow wiggle at me. I rolled my eyes and turned to Laurie, expecting to find him laughing. Instead, he stared at me, eyes wide and hot. Before I knew it, he’d grabbed my arm and dragged me toward the other side.
As soon as we rounded the corner, I stopped and glared at him. “What the hell are you—?”
I found myself slammed against the wall, and my words were cut off by Laurie crushing his lips to mine. There was desperation in the way he gripped my shirt with his fists, the way he wedged his thigh between my legs, the way he swept his tongue inside my mouth like he needed my taste more than air. My hands curled around his biceps, clenching convulsively. My thoughts splintered into errant fragments, floating by on silent wings, just outside my grasp.
As I parted my lips wider and angled my head, my tongue joined his in an erotic dance that seemed out of place in a semi-private alcove at a very public amusement park. That thought slammed into me, scattering all of the others like fireflies from the grass. Remembering where we were with a sudden, dizzying clarity, I used my grip on his arms to gently push him back.
He allowed me to break the kiss, but he didn’t move away, didn’t disconnect our bodies. Instead, he buried his head in the crook of my neck and huffed out a breath. When I wrapped my arms around his waist, I could feel him trembling. I pet his flank like one might a skittish colt. “Hey, hey, what’s wrong?”
He lifted his head with a shudder, then pressed his forehead against mine. “You scared me, okay?” The words seemed almost forced out against his will.
I cocked my head, raised a questioning brow.
“Look, I get that you don’t feel the same, but… I-I love you, and for a second there, I thought you’d drowned. Brought back bad memories,” he mumbled.
My heart stuttered in my chest. My fingers twisted in the material of his shirt, and I pulled him closer. “I’m sorry,” I whispered.
He nuzzled his nose behind my ear. “Being so close to you all day but not being able to show my feelings… A-and then that happened… I just need to touch you. Just for a minute.”
And then he was kissing me again, as my pulse thundered too loud in my ears. Hands at the small of my back, he pushed up my shirt to get to skin. His leg pressed closer to me, and I unconsciously rubbed against it. He made a broken sound into my mouth, and suddenly he was unfastening my board shorts.
“We’re in public,” I said in a harsh whisper.
“No one can see us,” he murmured against my neck. Then he licked a trail up the line of my pulse and sucked just behind my ear. My knees buckled but his thigh between my legs held me up. I didn’t know if he’d figured it out yet—hell, I only had recently—but my neck was apparently a weak spot.
“I’ll be quick. You’ve been just out of my reach all day, and I can’t stand it anymore.”
It was wrong. It was illicit. It was exciting. I didn’t stop him.
Mackenzie Pratt is having the worst luck of his life. His apartment building is being torn down, and since he’s jobless and just weeks away from graduating college, he can’t find anywhere else he can afford to live that isn’t a critter-infested dump. As he’s lamenting the very real possibility of job hunting while couch-surfing, he gets an offer from the coworker of his best friend.
An in-demand mobile app developer and heir to his parents’ fortune, Laurent Beaudry is literally an eccentric billionaire. Even though Mackenzie realizes he’s basically living the plot of a cheesy romance novel, he takes the proffered room in Laurent’s Baltimore mansion. He finds his new housemate to be grumpy, brooding, and, at times, incredibly kind and endearing.
Raised by his brother after their father’s death, Mackenzie spent his formative years plowing headlong through school, focusing on little else beyond earning his teaching certification. He’s never taken the time to explore love and relationships, much less sexuality, so when he finds himself being courted by another man, he has no idea what to do. And when he realizes he might actually return those feelings, his life takes a whole new direction.
J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them. J.K. is hoping to one day have a little something for everyone, so she’s branched out from m/f paranormal romance and added m/m contemporary romance. Who knows what’s next?
J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives in the country with her husband and two sons, a cat, and two champion agility dogs. If she isn’t on the agility field, J.K. can often be found chasing waterfalls in the mountains with her husband, or down in front at a blues concert. In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading! For more information, please visit www.jkhogan.com.
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J.K. has brought a $20 Amazon gift card to give away to one lucky reader on her tour. Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter.
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