Today I am so pleased to welcome TM Smith to Joyfully Jay. TM has come to share an exclusive excerpt from her latest release, Lover. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Lying on his back and staring up at the ceiling had become the norm for Rory as of late. Five years into his undercover assignment and he was no closer to discovering the identity of the person that had murdered the Langford couple, leaving their young son an orphan. Taylor Langford was no longer the scared child he once was either. At nineteen, he’d started college and was thriving. He had become a fixture in Frank Moore’s life, or Frank had become a fixture in Taylor’s—probably a bit of both.
“Fucking hell,” he swore. “How pissed off are you going to be when you learn the truth about who I am, Frank?”
Trevor Noland, a flight attendant with a bubbly personality, was Rory’s undercover alias—his alter ego—for the past five years. He’d been on the job for a little over a year when his first big assignment came down. He and his partner, Connie Gonzales, and an agent fresh out of the Academy were brought in and briefed on the Langford case, sent in to protect the boy, the cop, and the foster parents—all while keeping their noses to the ground, eyes and ears open for any clue to who’d committed the heinous crime. What they’d learned over the years was a fuck of a lot of nothing. Whoever left Taylor’s parents cold and dead on their bedroom floor was in the wind, leaving behind not one damn clue to his or her identity.
Graduating at the top of his class at Quantico and being one of the youngest and brightest field agents, according to his boss at the Bureau, were accomplishments he was proud of. Hell, it was all he’d ever wanted when he was growing up. One of the first things he’d learned on the job was to never get involved personally with a suspect, witness, or case. Yet all it took was one kiss from Frank Moore to make Rory forget who he was, why he was there. No one had ever made him feel the way Frank did when they were together, and that wasn’t just in bed. But this was his career he was messing with. So when Frank starting dropping hints about them becoming more than just casual fuck buddies, Rory had to bury those feelings and put some distance between them. Did he want more? Yes, he did. But he wasn’t about to throw away his career; he’d worked too fucking hard to get where he was.
One day very soon, he hoped, they’d solve the case and apprehend the murderer. Then Rory could be honest with Frank and he hoped—no, prayed—that Frank would forgive him, and they could take their relationship to the next level. But until then, Rory would have to continue to play the part of Trevor when he wanted Frank to see him, all while doing his job in the background just out of Frank’s sight.
Eventually he fell into a fitful sleep, woken up far too early by the beeping of his alarm clock. An hour later, Rory had showered and was sitting at the kitchen table drinking a cup of coffee thick enough to clean rust off a car bumper, when his roommate and assigned partner finally stumbled out of bed. Blair Cummings might be the same age as Rory, twenty-nine, but he didn’t look a day over twenty-one, which was why he’d been assigned to Taylor Langford. Rory did not envy Blair or his part in the investigation, not for one second. While Rory got to traipse all over the globe disguised as a flight attendant, Blair went back to high school and then college, playing the part of one of Taylor’s closest friends, Kian Douglas.
“Jesus, is this coffee or sludge, Landers?” Blair’s nose curled in disgust. He jerked the fridge open and grabbed the almond milk creamer. He poured a healthy amount into his cup, taking another sip and sighing. “Ah, better. So, what’s on your agenda for today?” Blair came around and took the chair across from Rory at the table.
“We have a briefing at the office in Dallas after lunch with the director and Gonzales, and then I’m flying out to Quantico for a couple of weeks by way of New Orleans.” He waggled his eyebrows. Cummings was well aware of the slight detour Rory had taken while shadowing Officer Moore. Every year before heading to Martha’s Vineyard with his father, the Stones, and Taylor, Frank would spend a day or two in New Orleans with Trevor.
Blair whistled low, shaking his head. “You naughty, naughty boy.”
“Whatever.” Rory snorted. “I have to spend three weeks catching up on paperwork and trying to close a few short cases while you get to go off to the Vineyard and soak up the sun.”
Rory knew it was the luck of the draw that he and Agent Gonzales, who worked her assignment as the Stones’ housekeeper, flew back to Virginia every year to work at the FBI headquarters, and Blair got to vacation on the beach.
“Hey, it’s not my fault I was blessed with good genes,” Blair shot back, standing and heading toward the bathroom. “I’ll be ready in fifteen,” he called out as he disappeared down the hallway.
Lover – A Survivor story
Life has not always been kind to Shannon Dupree. On the outside he’s carefree and fun loving, but when it comes to his past he’s evasive and secretive. Running away from emotionally bereft parents at just fifteen, Shannon escapes life with them but steps into the waiting arms of the devil.
Rory Landers is a rising star at the Bureau. His personal life, however, is nothing to write home about. He hopes to take his limited relationship with Frank Moore to the next level when they finally solve the Langford murder case, but that doesn’t turn out as planned. On the plus side, he meets free-spirited college senior Shannon Dupree.
Rand Davis finds himself fortysomething and single when his partner of more than a decade is unfaithful. Taking over the Cold Case Squad frees up some of his time, and Rand welcomes newfound friendships within the Langford-Moore family circle. He thinks relationships are not in the cards for him until he meets an agent with an attitude and a vivacious blond that make him want so much more.
Past, present, pain, and suffering collide, ushering in the possibility of a life and love worth fighting for. Although their personalities couldn’t be more different, their three hearts beat the same. Shannon, Rory, and Rand learn the definition of love, commitment, and strength and if they allow themselves, the trio will find all that and more—in each other.
NOTE: This is the sequel to Survivor, the stories should be read in order
A military brat born and raised at Ft. Benning Georgia; TM Smith is an avid reader, reviewer and writer. A Texas transplant, she now calls DFW her home. Most days she can be found curled up with a good book, or ticking away on her next novel.
Smith is a single mom of three disturbingly outspoken and decidedly different kids, one of which is Autistic. Besides her writing, she is passionate about Autism advocacy and LGBT rights. Because, seriously people, Love is Love!
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TM has brought a $10 Amazon gift card to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Saturday, June 2nd at 11:59 pm ET.
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