Today I am so pleased to welcome Linden Bell to Joyfully Jay. Linden has come to talk to us about their latest release, Stacked. Linden has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving a big welcome!

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Exclusive Excerpt

It’s quiet and most of the lights are off, but that doesn’t mean no one’s home. A half-empty takeout container sits on the kitchen counter and I let out a quick sigh of relief.

Good. He ate. He usually doesn’t unless I remind him.

I pack up the remaining food and stash it in our fridge before going in search of Preston. I find him exactly where I expect him to be: in the third bedroom that we’ve converted into an office.

His fancy mechanical keyboard is pushed off to one side and he’s face down on the desk, drool pooling under his cheek. My heart twinges at the sight. I need to wake him up and drag him to bed. His neck will be sore in the morning.

Still, I let myself study him a moment. His black hair is stuck up in all directions like he hasn’t brushed it in days. One tail of his shirt hangs out over his pants while the other one is still tucked in. There are stains on his pant leg that look like he spilled coffee on himself. And he’s wearing two mismatched socks.

He’s a disaster.

And I love him.

I think I’ve loved him from that first day at Westbourne when he walked in on me and Mom, all confused, yet indignant. I still remember the way he looked at me, startling blue eyes, so full of intensity, so sure I was intruding on his space.

Preston’s given me a lot of looks since that day. Happy ones, sad ones, angry ones, excited ones. We’ve been through quite a bit during our four years of high school in New England, and then another eight in New York. But that first time we locked eyes will always be seared into my memory.

Preston is scatterbrained and a klutz. He’s not great in social settings and generally not good with new people at all. He can be too blunt, miss social cues, and sometimes end up offending others unintentionally. He once told me his parents got him tested for autism when he was a kid, but they didn’t like the results, so the diagnosis was never mentioned again.

Despite all that, he’s a genius. A legit, off-the-charts IQ prodigy who’s completing his PhD in neuroscience. He should be set to graduate this coming spring.

Most importantly, he’s my best friend. I can’t imagine life without him and I don’t want to.

I set my hand carefully on his shoulder so I don’t startle him. “Hey, Pres.”

“Huh?” He sits bolt upright, eyes blurry, a line of spit dribbling down his chin. “Oh, Sawyer. When did you get home?”

He drags the back of his hand over his mouth, and I snatch a tissue out of the box on his desk to wipe up the spot he missed.

“Just now.” I comb my fingers through his hair, trying unsuccessfully to tame the unruly tresses. Each touch settles the adrenaline I’ve accumulated from a busy shift at the gym. Each caress sends a comforting warmth through me until I breathe a sigh of relief.

“Is it late?” Preston asks.

“Yeah, it is.” I rub his back. “Come on. Let’s get you to bed.”

Preston stumbles out of his chair and leans on me as I guide him to his bedroom at the end of the hall. He flops down on his king-sized bed, looking small and delicate against the dark bedspread.

I remove his socks, then tug him back up to his feet to get the rest of his clothes. He’s minimally cooperative, lifting limbs when I need him to, but otherwise, he lets me do the work.

We’ve done this hundreds of times before and it feels almost like a ritual—I undress him, revealing his body one item of clothing at a time. His pale skin is dusted with dark body hair. His muscles hug his bones, giving him a long, lean silhouette. He sways as I move around him, always toward me, always seeking me out. And even though I know it’s just so he doesn’t have to support his own weight, a part of me thrills at the idea of Preston wanting to rest his body against mine.

When he’s down to his briefs, I lift up the covers and he crawls in under them. He immediately turns on his side, curling into a ball and I carefully tuck the covers around him. He’s out before I can turn the lights off. But I know he won’t stay that way for long.

I pad to my room and get ready for bed with an ear attuned to any sounds from the hallway. I shouldn’t. Just like I shouldn’t keep my door cracked open when I climb into bed. Just like I shouldn’t feel a thrill of happiness when minutes later Preston slips into my room, then into my bed.

Just like I shouldn’t feel a deep-seated joy when his warm body scoots up behind me, back-to-back, and we both fall asleep.


Blurb

stacked coverMars Fitness, Book 2

Sawyer

I’ve been in love with my best friend and roommate since the first day of boarding school over a decade ago. But Preston has always been oblivious, obsessed with his PhD research, and more importantly, straight.

When the new, sexy grad student walks into my gym, I have to wonder… is it time for me to move on?

Preston

Some guy is trying to steal my best friend. I won’t let him. Sawyer’s mine.

Maybe I haven’t appreciated Sawyer enough over the years, but that’s going to change now. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep him by my side. Even if it means kissing him.

Stacked is a best friends-to-lovers, bi-awakening, nerd/jock MM romance between possessive, protective, and co-dependent roommates. Expect the most tender caretaking, slipping into each other’s beds in the middle of the night, and adorable clinginess. It is the second book in the Mars Fitness series and can be read as a standalone.


Bio

linden bell logoLinden Bell writes contemporary MM romances that heat you up and make you smile.

 

 

 

 

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Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Stacked, Linden is giving away 3 e-copies of the release! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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