Friday, 22 February 2013

Pre-order: A Life as a Ghost (R&J 3)

Hi all, 

Yee-haw! A Life as a Ghost, the third book in the Romeo & Julian series, is now available to pre-order (10% discount!) from Siren-BookStrand. To what your appetite, here's the story excerpt. It's a scene early on in the story that speaks for itself.

MM erotic romance, contemporary, action / suspense. Novella
Heat level: scorching
Published by: Siren-BookStrand

After leading a life as a ghost for years, will former thief Romeo’s love for FBI agent Julian be enough to make him settle?

The tragic losses of his home and a dear one take FBI agent Julian Harris one step closer to a shared life with his consultant and lover, former art thief Romeo aka Paris Moore. They have just moved in together and are trying to re-establish a certain normalcy when Romeo once again shuffles the cards. He surprises Julian by finally revealing some information about his true identity along with some unexpected news regarding his position in Julian's division.
During the nerve-wrecking hunt for the person that has been pulling the strings all along, Julian once again comes to realise that when dealing with Romeo, the only certainty is that all is not as it seems. But one question is more important than ever—after leading a life as a ghost for years, will Romeo’s love for Julian be strong enough to make him settle at last?

Story excerpt from A Life as a Ghost
(Copyright: Sage Marlowe, 2013)

The phone was ringing with astonishing persistence, and it must have been ringing for quite some time, Julian realized drowsily, but he had simply assimilated the familiar melody into his dream. It was still dark, but now that he was beginning to wake up, he recognized the sound as it reverberated in the silence of the apartment around him.
“Don’t you want to answer it?” He reached out to touch the warm body next to him—except there was none. Neither warm nor otherwise. The other side of the bed was empty and cold.
Not again. The thought shot through Julian’s sleep-befuddled brain and left an acid trail in its wake. Julian rubbed his temples and groaned. He hated waking up with a headache. Especially when it came with a furry tongue and dried-out throat.
He threw back the cool, silken sheets and the heavy quilt and sat up. Answering the phone was not an option, even though the poor thing was still begging for his attention with its shrill cries that bore a faint resemblance to some well-known, classic tune. This was Romeo’s home, even though they were sharing it officially now.
Julian swung his legs out of bed, pushed to his feet, and waited for the world to catch up with his motion. Then he shuffled to the bathroom which was in a strategically idiotic location at the other end of the big apartment. He barely turned his head to check the living area in passing, knowing that it was pointless. Romeo wasn’t in. He had once again taken off in the middle of the night, at some point after Julian had drifted off to sleep in his arms. Or maybe holding Romeo in his own arms. Falling asleep with his lover close to him was one of the merits of living together, Julian thought. Waking up with him would have been nice, too, but the chances were poor.
Of all the times they had gone to bed together, there hadn’t been a single occasion Julian hadn’t woken in an empty bed. Apparently the fact that he was living at Romeo’s place now wasn’t going to change that. He still wasn’t sure why Romeo had invited him to move in after Julian’s house had been blown up. Was it really because he wanted him near? Or had he just been under orders from Julian’s boss, Chief Baxter, to take him to a safe place and keep him there? Romeo’s own home would have been the obvious choice, the stylish penthouse apartment at the top floor of an expensive townhouse. So much had happened in the past thirty hours, and with his head pounding from a hangover like it was, he had no intention of putting the shattered fragments of his memories back together.
He shuffled to the kitchen area, remembering the box containing Band-Aids and various over-the-counter medication that could be found in any average household. Hopefully it also contained some decent pain killers.
A noise made him freeze and then perk up. A faint rustle. It was almost too low to hear, and he wouldn’t have noticed it if he had still been asleep, but since he was leaning on the kitchen counter at three in the morning, he did hear it.
Something, or someone, moved in the sleeping area. It was a blind spot due to the angle the far wall created. Julian wished he hadn’t been so damn responsible as to lock up his firearm in the small safe in Romeo’s bookshelf. He remembered Romeo’s and his boss’s warning not to go anywhere by himself. But I didn’t go anywhere by myself. He left me here by myself. There was a difference, wasn’t there? A difference the person who intended to kill him wouldn’t waste another thought on.
Julian quietly slid a drawer open and sneaked a hand inside. Yes. It was the one with the sharp kitchen knives. He gingerly ran a fingertip up the cold steel length of one, careful to stay on the blunt side of the blade, until he found the handle and was convinced that he could pull it out without making too much noise. The knife followed his tug easily. Julian weighed it in his hand. It wasn’t long, but it would have to do. At least it was really sharp. It was the one he had used in the evening to chop vegetables. He tightened his grip around the handle. He was damned if he let a bloody burglar—or the person who had assumedly already tried to kill him once—unsettle him that much. He checked the knife instinctively, reassured by its slender yet solid shape.
It was a good knife. Somehow it reminded him of Romeo. He, too, had the deceptively slender and graceful build of a ballet dancer but possessed an astonishing strength. His well-trained muscles were like flexible steel when used, and Julian had felt them in use. He suppressed a shudder at the memory of that moment outside the interrogation room when he had realized that Romeo was a lot more dangerous than he had ever assumed him to be. 

A Life as a Ghost (Romeo & Julian 3) releases from Siren-Bookstrand on March 2nd, 2013
Pre-order it now at a 10% discount and have it delivered as soon as it releases! 

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