Today I am so pleased to welcome Charlie Cochet to Joyfully Jay. Charlie has come to share an exclusive excerpt from her latest release, Stacking the Deck. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

Stacking the deck header



“Did you have breakfast?” Fitz figured someone must have dropped stuff off for Jack, since he’d changed from the suit he’d been wearing last night to jeans and a black T-shirt. There was also the laptop on the counter.

“Joker dropped food and some of my stuff off for me early this morning.”

“Well, it’s lunchtime. I insist on making you something.” The coffee machine beeped, and Fitz got to work fixing them cappuccinos.


Fitz gave him a pointed look over his shoulder, then motioned to a counter chair. “Sit. I’m making you lunch.”


“You could have made yourself something. I wouldn’t have minded.” He prepared Jack’s coffee how he said he liked it, one sugar, and then his own with two sugars before he started removing ingredients from the fridge.

“Oh, um, that’s the one thing I can’t fix. Bad things happen when I try to use kitchen appliances. I can fix them if they break, but I can’t use them to cook food.”

“Even toast?”

“Yep. Trust me. You’d think after handling all kinds of surveillance equipment and weaponry in the military I could handle toast, but nope.”

Fitz eyed him skeptically. “Show me.”

“I don’t want to break your toaster.”

“Just press the button.”

It was almost sweet, Jack’s hesitation before slowly pressing down the lever. The slices of bread disappeared into the toaster, and Jack glanced from the toaster to Fitz and back. What exactly was he expecting it to do? Fitz opened his mouth to ask, but black smoke erupted from inside the toaster.

“Oh my God!” Fitz yanked the cord out of the socket, waving away the smoke. He glanced over at Jack and tried his hardest not to break into laughter.

“I told you.”

The poor guy looked like a puppy who’d just been scolded.

“I’m sorry. I’ll get you a new toaster.”

Fitz pressed his lips together, but it was no use. He couldn’t stop himself from laughing. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to.”

“Liar,” Jack teased. “It’s okay. I wasn’t made to cook. I’ve accepted that.”

“What do you do for food?”


The way Jack said it with such a straight face, Fitz wasn’t sure whether he was messing with Fitz or not.

“I’m kidding. The guys always make extra food when they cook, so Joker and I have freezers filled with meals. Luckily, I can heat stuff up in the microwave without setting it on fire. Most of the time.”

“You said you and Joker. Does he possess the same talent for destroying kitchen appliances?”

“No. He’s just lazy.”

“Ah. Your best friend does seem to have a somewhat… leisurely approach to life.”

Jack snorted. “That’s probably the politest reference to Joker’s unkempt state I’ve ever heard.”


stacking the deck coverEx-Special Forces Communications Sergeant Jacopo “Jack” Constantino heads the cybersecurity department at Four Kings Security, working with his tech-savvy team to provide clients with state-of-the-art security systems. But life for Jack is pretty uneventful—despite the exploits with his brothers-in-arms—and he finds himself longing for a little more excitement.

Be careful what you wish for.

Two years ago, Fitz Harlow captured Jack’s heart and walked away with it. Now he’s back.

Fitz spent the last two years picking up the pieces of his life after a disastrous relationship. After much therapy, and ice cream, Fitz leaves the fashion world behind and returns home to St. Augustine to open his own high-end salon, Hair Comes Trouble. Now Fitz finally has the quiet, peaceful life he’s wanted for so long. There’s only one thing missing, or rather, one man missing, but Fitz has his doubts. With Jack, he’s not just gaining a boyfriend—he’s gaining a boyfriend, his family of mischief-magnet ex-Green Berets, and one highly opinionated Belgian Malinois.

Fitz and Jack discover their connection has only grown stronger over time, thanks in part to meddling friends, but just as they start to pick up where they left off, someone takes exception to their reunion. Danger hides in the shadows, a stalker determined to keep Fitz out of Jack’s life, no matter the cost. With the odds stacked against them, can Jack and Fitz win a battle against an unknown enemy, or will Jack lose Fitz forever?

The Kings: Wild Cards series is a spin-off of the Four Kings Security series.


Charlie Cochet PhotoCharlie Cochet is the international bestselling author of the THIRDS series. Born in Cuba and raised in the US, Charlie enjoys the best of both worlds, from her daily Cuban latte to her passion for classic rock.

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found devouring a book, releasing her creativity through art, or binge watching a new TV series. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

If you’d like to connect with Charlie, just drop her an email at charlie(at)charliecochet(dot)com, or find her on: FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

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