Saturday, September 13, 2014

Cover Reveal: Highlander in the Mist




Kate must decide to escape the horrors of 1425, or fight for the love of her delicious Highland warrior.
During a tour of the Highlands, Kate Mackintosh goes to the aid of a drowning boy and mysteriously slips through time to 1425. A stunningly handsome Highlander, who believes she is a faerie intent on stealing his brother, immediately challenges her and offers himself as the boy’s replacement. Rather than remaining alone on an isolated mountainside, she follows the delicious, Laird Alexander Murray to his Broch Lavern home.
Alone in a strange, brutal world, the noble Alex, offers her not only his protection but a love and passion so great, her longing to return home soon fades. However, the fate of the clan rests on Alex marrying Mary Frazer, and his stepmother insists on the match.
Kate must leave the love of her life or remain and risk torture or death to fight for her handsome Highland laird.
Reader Advisory: This story contains a very sexy, auburn haired, kilted, Highland warrior in various stages of undress.
Released 21 November 2014 Buy link

Friday, September 5, 2014

Cover Reveal: Her Purr-fect Seduction







Trapped in a medieval world, will Jill win her captive’s heart before the delicious shape-shifter sells her into slavery?
Jill Morfranna, a sassy redhead from New York, is enjoying a photo shoot in the Scottish Highlands when she stumbles into an alternate realm. Trapped in a frightening world of strange creatures, her life turns upside down when a sinfully handsome shape-shifter kidnaps her. Will she win Dare of Knight Watch’s heart or will he trade her for his sister at the next slave auction?
 15 OCTOBER  BUY LINK

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cover reveal: The Black Knight




Coming September from Luminosity Publishing.

Check out the sidebar for links to all my new releases.

NEWS:

The Highlander in the Mist has been contracted by Luminosity Publishing for a November release....yay!


HC

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cover Reveal: UNLOCKED




Release date: 24 October 2014 from Momentum

Blurb:

The Special Ops genetic experiments were designed to create super soldiers, not sex-addicted doms.

When Delano Briggs, BDSM club owner and volunteer firefighter, is called to aid in the evacuation of a burning New York hotel, he thinks it's just another job. 

But after rescuing the irresistibly sexy Chanze, he learns that behind the velvet curtains of the five-star hotel is one of the most exclusive, and immoral, prostitution rings in the country. For the men at the Cloister aren't merely lovers for hire, but genetically enhanced sex slaves, created to provide the brothel's rich clientele with the most insatiable doms and delicious subs. 

Kept against his will by the doomsday chip implanted in his brain, Chanze sees no chance of escape. Until Delano and his three fellow super-enhanced operatives infiltrate the club for a walk on the wild side.



www.hcbrown-author.com

Monday, July 21, 2014

News







Well I have some great news.

I signed a contract with Momentum Pan Macmillan for Unlocked, same week signed a six book series with The Rooster & The Pig.  The R & P Publishing are taking over my Club Floggers Series and I have been working  to extend the first two novellas into much longer and better stories. There are six revised and extended books in the series completed and they will be published three to four weeks apart.

More new Club Floggers books are coming very soon too.

BTW Unlocked is an erotic M/M/M/M  BDSM.

I have a few new WIP up my sleeves but as my alter ego has taken possession of my laptop and insists on writing 85K Highlander novels, I had to wait for her to finish.  Now I am in charge whatch my fingers fly LOL.

Watch out for more news soon.

HC

WEB

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Do you have self-doubt too?

 We all have self-doubt in every walk of life but when it cripples imagination, I think we need to discover why this is happening. Depression comes next and the black dog is hard to fight.
 I've been fat for  many years  ridiculed, told by doctors, and family that I ate too much. Then one doctor did a few simple tests, Hashimoto's  means my thyroid gland ate itself, no matter how many diets I went on it wouldn't have mattered. Celiac disease meant I looked bloated and felt like crap....I only discovered that little gem about ten years ago after a stomach biopsy.

It is only since December 2013 that I decided enough was enough and stuck religiously to a sensible low fat diet and lost 30 pounds.

 I realise the way people treated me caused my bad self image problem and it goes way back, and instilled self doubt in everything I do....because no matter how much I tried it was never good enough. 




This self-deprecation spills over into everything. I love to write and have many published books with great publishers but self-doubt has cramped every word of late. Nothing I write is good enough, that self doubt in my ability  has slowed  my creativity to a standstill. Deciding I needed to write something, anything before I lost the ability to create another story, I took a giant step, and  wrote Unlocked, a very different story and pitched it to one publisher only. Two weeks ago, I received a contract offer from Momentum Pan Macmillan Australia. 

I've looked back over the years to put my life into focus. In fact, I've achieved a lot  in my life but deep inside the fat kid is still waiting for the slap in the face. So the moral to this story is to concentrate on the achievements not the rejections be it by people you love or the  publishers and agents who reject you. 

Don't be a mouse and hide behind your fears.......be a tiger it's time to roar.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

NEW RELEASE!!!!!!! I HEART YOU by H.C. BROWN




Buy Link DREAMSPINNER

Buy link All Romance

Blurb:
After a six year absence, Kale Stone returns to Australia to inherit his father’s vineyard, Vine Mountain Winery, but finds a shocking requirement to the will. His homophobic father set an impossible condition: he must marry or reach age thirty-five before he can inherit the family business and fortune. Unable to run the winery without the money, he has no choice but to sell.

The only light in the darkness is his childhood friendship with the winery manager, Tyler Duram, which grows into a secret love affair. When an offer arrives for the vineyard, it includes a contract for Tyler. Unwilling to lose Tyler, Kale searches for another solution— until he catches Tyler kissing another man.
 

Excerpt:
Chapter One





KALE STONE dropped his bags on the glossy tiled floor and stared out the thick glass windows of Brisbane Airport into the shimmering Australian heat. The place had changed in the past six years. Lord, he hardly recognized the landscape. Set apart from the Domestic terminal, the new glass-and-chrome International Airport rose from the gray blacktop in a feat of modern architectural brilliance. A young couple bustled by. He smiled. Hell, it’s good to hear the Aussie accent again.

Turning away from the window, Kale recognized Tyler Duram’s lean, muscular frame resting casually against the Arrivals doorway. He drew a deep breath. Tyler reminded him of the beach; his blue shirt hung open to display a yard of golden tanned skin, stretched over an impressive six-pack. Tousled, sun-streaked brown hair tumbled past his collar, and those eyes… deep and dangerous as the ocean.

Kale lifted his bags and headed toward him. Oh Lord, the sight of Tyler made him hard. He grinned at him. His hunger for Tyler reignited at his friend’s frank sexual appraisal and slow, sultry smile. The emotions he thought long lost awakened and swirled inside him. Kale swallowed hard.

Tyler pushed away from the wall and sauntered toward him. “Welcome home, Mr. Stone. I’m sorry about your dad.” He tucked his thumbs into the loops on his jeans and wet his bottom lip with the tip of his tongue.

Kale met his gaze with a smile. When Tyler reached for the bags and brushed the knuckles of one suntanned hand against Kale’s thigh, his heart pounded. Settle down.

He sucked in a deep breath. How could Tyler send his libido into overdrive after such a long time? He forced his words to remain casual. “I’m not upset in the least, and it wasn’t ‘Mr. Stone’ when we were kids, Tyler.”

“You weren’t my boss then.” Tyler ran a hand through his hair.

“It’s still Kale, same as always. My father was Mr. Stone.” Kale chuckled. “So, Tyler, do you really work for me? You’ll have to tell me how that happened.” He reached for the suitcases. “Thanks, I can carry my own things.”

“Well, then, welcome home, Kale. It’s good to see you, man.” Tyler released Kale’s bag and slapped him on the back. “I thought maybe things would be different between us now that you’re a big-shot French vintner.”

Everything had changed. Tyler’s body, for one. Kale wanted to push him against the wall and slip straight into his fine ass. He swallowed hard and averted his gaze. One look into those hooded blue eyes and he’d say something stupid.

“I’m older and I know a lot more about wine, but I’m still the same person my old man threw out. I’m still proud to be gay, and I don’t give a damn who knows. Now what about you? How did you come to work for the old man? He obviously didn’t discover your orientation.”

“Me? No, your dad never found out about me.” Tyler gave him a slow smile. “I came with the ranch. Part of the deal when he purchased my parents’ property. I have no complaints. I’ve always had an interest in winemaking. Hell, I practically grew up at your winery. I went to college, worked my way up to manager, and now I work for you.” He smiled. “Hey, do you remember old Bluey? And the day we filled up his work boots with cement and his hat with horse shit?”

Kale grinned “Sure, and I remember the whipping I got too; better still was the day we filled his hubcaps up with shrimp shells. The poor old bastard was trying to find out where the smell was coming from for weeks.”

“Yeah, those were the days.” Tyler chuckled and led the way to the exit.

“Sure were, the summers went on forever. Two wild, out-of-control kids raising hell. I’m surprised we didn’t end up in prison. We were lucky. Is old Bluey still alive?”

“Oh, yeah. The old coot is waiting by my rig. He insisted on coming. I guess he thought I might go to the pub or something. He still thinks I’m eighteen.” Tyler laughed.

“Do you spend a lot of time in the pub?”

“Nah, not really. I prefer a nice, intimate meal at a restaurant—and wine. Most of the guys at the pub would tar and feather me if I asked for a glass of chardonnay.” He flicked a long-lashed glance at Kale.

“That would be my kind of perfect too. It looks like we’ve a lot of catching up to do.”

“Uh-huh.” Tyler winked. “A good place to start is why you left. Hell, I woke up one morning and you were gone. My best friend had fucked off without a word. You didn’t bother to contact me or send an e-mail, in what—six years?” His forehead wrinkled in a frown. “That hurt.”

Kale stopped in midstride and spun to face him. “Left? My father threw me out with nothing but the clothes on my back! I didn’t have your e-mail address or phone number, and with the shock of the old bastard kicking me to the curb, I’m surprised I remembered my own name. I wasn’t allowed to take anything, not a photograph of my mother or even a fucking clean shirt. No phone, nothing, and I lost everyone’s damn contacts. It’s not like you had a Facebook page, is it? I did write to you, though, but it’s hard to keep up a one-sided conversation. If you didn’t receive my letters, I can only assume your parents withheld them. Maybe they discovered the reason my old man chucked me out. I called too, but the number had been disconnected.”

“I’m not sure what happened to the mail. My parents moved out a week after you left, so all the mail went to the big house.” Tyler rubbed his chin. “I guess your dad had a hand in destroying your letters. How did you get to France? It’s a bit far to hitchhike.”

“I had a small legacy from Mom and went to live with my uncle in France.”

“So, tell me why.” Tyler’s eyes narrowed. “Or is it a state secret?”

“My dad found out I’m gay.”

“Yeah, like that was a secret.” Tyler continued toward the exit.

Kale chewed on his lip, painfully remembering the last argument with his father. There could be no reasoning with him. God, he had only embraced Sam Jones in the crushing shed, and that would not have been enough reason for his father to disown him. Someone must have informed his father about his sexuality, but who? He lifted his shoulder, wincing at the pain still present after six years of physiotherapy. Truthfully, his father’s passing had brought a feeling of relief rather than sorrow.

The glass doors leading from the airport slid silently open, and a blast of scorching air rammed into Kale. Holy cow, he’d forgotten how high the temperature got in Queensland in January. He dropped his bags by his feet and wrenched off his jacket, then rolled up the sleeves of his long-sleeved white business shirt.

“You might want to lose the tie; it’s forty degrees centigrade. That’s over one hundred degrees Fahrenheit, in case you’ve forgotten.” Tyler chuckled, bending to lift one of the bags.

Kale ripped off his tie, stuffed it in his pants pocket, and picked up his other bag.

“Wonderful.”

Following Tyler to the parking lot, he grinned when he saw Bluey leaning against a sparkling black SUV.

“Good to see you, Bluey. You haven’t changed a bit.”

“Well, you sure have filled out. Grown a might too. I wasn’t too sure I’d recognize you. It’s been… what… six years since you left? Are you glad to be back?” The old man’s dark brown face wrinkled into a smile, his pale blue eyes a sharp contrast against his tanned skin.

Kale threw his bag in the backseat, then turned to the old man.

“To be honest, I would rather stay in Provence. I didn’t intend to return to Australia. This will only be a short visit. We finished pruning the vines before I left, and the manager is quite capable of organizing the frost watch.”

“So you never had the chance to mend fences with your dad? Shame that, but I admit he was a cantankerous old bastard. You’ll be glad to know Vine Mountain is doing well, but your expertise will help it along. The Riesling vines have a great crop of fruit, and it looks like we’ll be right on schedule to pick end of March. The place has expanded some since you left. Your father bought the Durum cattle ranch and planted right up to Blackstone Mountain. Those vines should be productive next year. Yeah, and two years after you left, the Tourist Commission put Vine Mountain on the damn winery tour. We have a tasting twice a week. Stone Brothers’ Riesling is one of the top-selling wines in the state.” He climbed into the backseat of the SUV. “No harm done if you want to go back to France. Tyler here is a damn good manager. He runs the place, from harvest to bottle. He’s got a fine palate, knows his stuff, does Tyler.”

Tyler rolled his eyes and Kale grinned. “I’m glad to hear the place is in good hands.” He met Tyler’s gaze. “Does Sam Jones still hold the transport contract?”

Tyler stiffened and his lips formed a thin line. “I only give him work when we can’t get anyone else—the guy is trouble, Kale, a fucking predator.” He gave Kale a knowing glance. “Or have you got a short memory?” He cleared his throat. “You were lucky to be in France, away from the asshole—and don’t ask me for details. Trust me, you don’t want to know.”

Kale walked around to the passenger side of the rig, climbed in, and dropped into the comfortable black leather seat. Memories of Sam Jones filled his head. He had been young and vulnerable, and Sam had taken advantage of him. He understood that now, but at the time, Sam had taught him the savage delight of man love. The thought that Tyler shared a similar memory unnerved him. He dismissed the thought when Tyler slid in beside him. Hell, his heart raced with the mere closeness of this man. Lord, the scent of him—pine and warm man—made his mouth water. His cock twitched in anticipation the moment Tyler leaned toward him, reaching over his shoulder to gather the seat belt.

“Buckle up. It’s a $300 fine. You too, Blue.” He turned his head to grin at the old man in the backseat.

Tyler brushed his long, tanned fingers against Kale’s crotch to fix the seat belt. Looking at his transparent reflection in the windshield, Kale tried to think of something, anything, to slow his erection. He stifled a groan. Peppermint breath brushed his cheek and their eyes met. A memory long-suppressed eased to the surface, sending his libido into overdrive. His want for this man overflowed, and he swallowed hard, pushing desire to the back of his mind. The effort to disguise his interest had not fooled his friend. The knowing look Tyler gave him made his words come out in a rush. “Where are you living now, Tyler?”

“I’m living in the big house. Do you mind?” Tyler started the engine, and they moved off into a line of traffic exiting the parking lot.

Heat shimmered off the blacktop, but nothing came close to the heat curling around his balls. Kale swallowed and kept his eyes ahead. He shrugged, hoping to display an air of nonchalance. “No, of course not. I’d really enjoy your company.” More than you’ll ever know.

“Good. I prefer to be away from the live-in employees. I believe to keep order I can’t be one of the boys. Did you know your old man built a block of self-contained units, fourteen all together?” Tyler flashed him a too-white grin. “We’ve been busy in your absence.”

Kale racked his brain. He had picked up an Australian newspaper that mentioned the winery’s revamp a year after he’d left. “Ah, yeah, I heard something ages ago. So how many live-in employees do we have? I’m guessing we still have permanent staff and the casual workers for the harvest?”

“The casual workers vary, but with the new building and the old bunk house, you have twenty-five men onsite, a secretary—sweet little Joanie Smith—then there’s buxom Betty, the cook, and her four daughters, all as hot as hell.”

“You’ll have to watch him with the womenfolk, Kale. It’s like having a stud bull around.” Blue leaned forward and grasped the back of Kale’s headrest. “He can’t keep it in his pants for more than a day. You should hire him out and make some extra cash.” He chuckled deep in his chest.

Kale grinned and turned in his seat to face the old man. “Is that so? Well, don’t worry, Blue, I’m guessing the old man’s stock whip is still hanging in the study.”

“Yep, it’s still there.” Blue slapped Tyler on the shoulder. “But I’m guessin’ he runs fast too—has to with all the husbands in the valley after him.”

“Be careful, Blue. Kale’s got a reputation too.” Tyler glanced at Kale and raised a dark brow before returning his gaze to the road. “I hear you’ve handled a lot of horny men in your time.” He chuckled and turned his head to wink at Kale.

Concentrating on just taking the next breath, Kale shrugged. “No, not a lot… just a select few.”





JET LAG and sheer exhaustion claimed Kale on the journey home. He rested his head against the padded seat and dozed. The dry Queensland countryside flashed past. The changing landscape never failed to amaze him. Lush green trees and pasture in the rainy season turned to crisp brown scrub in days under the summer sun. A familiar scent of fire filtered into the cabin, and he opened one eye to catch a glimpse of a charred forest blackened by a recent bushfire. Nothing had changed; life in Australia had continued without him.

Three hours later, he caught sight of the homestead. The one-hundred-year-old house had received a new coat of white paint and shimmered like a confection of white meringue in the sunshine. A small fenced garden filled with vegetables sat in the shade of a new water tank. The abundance of lettuce and tomatoes was the only splash of color in the dusty earth.

He opened the door and slid from the seat. A burst of heat cut through his shirt and stopped his next breath. Jesus, he had to get inside before his blood boiled. He moved swiftly toward the house and taking the steps two at a time, reached the front door. He paused beneath the wide awning, a mixture of revulsion and regret churning his gut. He’d left this place and swore he’d never return. Tyler moved to his side, his face creased in a grin. Kale turned to him and raised a brow. “Spill it, what happened with Sam?”

“He wanted me to be his boy.” Tyler shrugged. “I guess he missed you.”

“And… did he get you?”

Color pinked Tyler’s cheeks, but anger flashed in his eyes. “That was a long time ago, and like I said, it’s better you don’t know, and I’d rather keep the details to myself, okay?”

“What the fuck did he do to you?”

“Let it go, Kale. It’s better this way.” Tyler bounded up the stairs and pushed open the front door.

God, the musky scent of Tyler washed over him, driving him insane. What had happened between Tyler and Sam to cause such a reaction?

“Ah, Barns will be waiting for you. I noticed his car outside.” Tyler waited for him to enter and shut the door. “He’ll want to speak to you about the will. I’ll let Betty know we’re back. She’ll have made something special to eat. She likes to make a fuss.” He strolled toward the kitchen.

Blissfully cool inside the air-conditioned house, Kale glanced around the home. Strange after being away that the house appeared smaller than he remembered. He stared at his father’s office door with trepidation. He didn’t want to deal with this right now. His head ached with exhaustion. He drew a deep breath and walked into his father’s office to greet the family solicitor. The aged, balding lawyer, in an impeccably tailored brown suit, rose from behind his father’s carved mahogany desk and peered at him over the glasses perched on the end of his nose.

Kale ran a hand through his damp hair and met his gaze. “My apologies, Mr. Barns. I understand you’ve been waiting some time?”

“Not to worry, plenty here to keep me occupied.” He tapped the papers littering the desk. “I thought it best to get all the legal documents out of the way so you could get yourself settled.” He offered his hand. “Welcome home.”

“I appreciate you coming. I’ll need to acclimatize before I venture too far. It was snowing in France when I left, and I’d forgotten how hot it gets here.”

Kale shook his hand, turned, and collapsed into the chair opposite the desk. The smell of cigars and sweat brought back a rush of memories. His father standing over him, fists clenched, his eyes blazing with disgust. His stomach became jittery just thinking about it. How his father had changed after his mother died. He’d become a ruthless bastard in less than a year. Once Kale had loved him, but now it had become too late for forgiveness.

The papers rustled on the desk, bringing Kale’s attention back to Mr. Barns. He forced his mind to concentrate on Barn’s soft voice.

“It’s all pretty straightforward, Kale, but there is a condition. Vine Mountain goes to you, lock, stock, and barrel with $100,000. The rest of your father’s fortune, amounting to about $27.5 million, will be held in trust until you reach the age of thirty-five, unless you marry. He was very aware of the recent High Court ruling against same-sex marriages, and although I did insist the government’s position could change, he would have none of it. He insisted Australian politicians were too ‘old school tie’ and set in their ways to change the law in the next millennium.” The lawyer rested his glasses on the desk, his face creased in a deep frown. “I did explain the difficulty this would impose on you at the time the will was drawn, but your father refused to budge. He was of the opinion with enough incentive you would change your sexuality. The terms will stand up in court.”

Anger straightened Kale’s spine. He dragged in a deep breath, trying to absorb the implications. “But it doesn’t specify I must marry a woman?”

“No, the term is not gender specific. There is a loophole. It does not state a requirement for an Australian marriage license either. You must simply produce a certificate of marriage to inherit the estate.”

Kale scrubbed his hands over his face. His father expected him to fail—$100,000 would not pay for the running of Vine Mountain Winery for a month. He sighed. What’s new?

“Is that for me, personally? Did he leave anything to run the bloody company?”

“That’s it. I used my powers as executor to pay the employees until the end of next quarter and to cover any outstanding debts. You’ll have a few months grace before you need funds. I’m sorry, Kale. He insisted this was for your own good. He couldn’t accept the fact you are gay.” Barns held out his father’s last will and testament.

Taking the offered document, Kale set his gaze on him. “How long will it take to get the transfer of ownership for all of this?”

“Two weeks.”

Running a hand through his hair, Kale glanced at the calendar. January 15.

“Well, my only course of action is to sell the winery. I’m not planning on marrying in the next three months.” He chewed on his bottom lip. “How long will it take for a sale to go through?”

“If all the funds are available, usually the transfers and other paraphernalia take about six weeks.” Barns raised a brow. “But you have to get someone to buy it, and the market is down at the moment. It won’t be easy.” He let out a long sigh. “What about the people who work here and have made it their home? Some of them have been employed here for twenty years or more, or does loyalty mean nothing to you?”

Kale pressed his lips together. Disbelief rode heavy on his shoulders. His father’s homophobia would destroy a very lucrative business that had been in the family for generations. As if he’d marry anyone under false pretenses to suit his father. He leaned back in his chair and sucked in a deep breath. Selling was the only option. He rested his elbows on the arms of the wooden chair, steepled his fingers, and turned his attention back to Barns. “I might be able to get someone to take on the crew if the price is right. If not, I’ll contact the other wineries in the state and try to get them employment, but you’ll have to guarantee the two weeks’ severance pay.”

“I’m sure that’s within my duty of care. Nevertheless, Kale, this is a multimillion-dollar business. If you could hang on for one year, last year’s vintage will be ready for sale, and if you need cash, there’s plenty of vintage stock in the cellar.”

“Yes, but if I liquidate that, I’ll lose the hook to sell the winery. It will look like the business is going bad. I need a quick sale so I can return to France. I like my work there, and a third share in a small business suits me fine. I’ll manage. I have for the past six years without my father’s help.” He grimaced. “I’ll get the money when I turn thirty-five. It will be something to look forward to.”

“Very well. Do you want me to handle the sale?” Barns collected the paperwork and pushed it into a folder. He peered over the top of his glasses with an expression of weariness.

Exhaustion seeped into Kale’s muscles, and the grit from travelling scratched his eyes. He wanted to find a bed and sleep for a week. He forced his lips into a smile. “Yes, thank you. I will consider all offers.”





KALE STAGGERED up the stairs to his old bedroom, only to find it completely stripped of all his personal belongings. Nothing remained of his childhood; the furniture, the gifts his mother gave him on his birthday before she died, all of them were missing. Everything had changed and recently too. The room had a sterile, newly painted odor. A new king-size bed sat against one wall, mirrored wardrobes had replaced the old cupboard once crammed with memories. His father had tried to wipe out his existence.

He threw off his clothes, too weary to care, and flopped down on the bed. Sometime later, he awoke in darkness, coated in sweat. He reached for the bedside lamp and rubbed his eyes. The alarm clock gave the time of 5:00 a.m. He wiped sweaty palms down his thighs. “Jesus fucking Christ, what idiot turned off the bloody air-conditioning?”

He pushed to his feet and stamped across the room. He flicked the switch on the wall thermostat, turning the temperature to the lowest setting. The machine hummed into action and sent a wave of hot air into his face. “Fuck! Get a move on and cool down this place.” He pushed sweat-soaked hair from his face and headed into the bathroom to take a long cold shower. I hope we have water.

A short while later, he moved out into the dark hallway and made his way downstairs. The wonderful aroma of breakfast wafted up from below. His stomach growled in appreciation. It had been a long time since he had eaten the meager meal offered on the plane. A glow shone under the kitchen door, making a triangle of light in the hallway. He could hear voices coming from inside. He strolled down the corridor and pushed open the door. A middle-aged woman stood at the stove in deep conversation with Tyler. His friend sat at the table, drinking from a mug, a plate of bacon and eggs in front of him. He raised his blue gaze, and his full lips quirked up in a smile.

“Hey, boss, must say I’m surprised to see you up this early.” He grinned. “Has your jet stopped lagging?”

“Very funny. Shame you don’t dress as sharp as your wit.” Kale flopped down in the chair next to Tyler and yawned. “What day is it? I’m starving and I feel like I’ve just walked across the Simpson Desert.”

“You’ve been asleep for about fourteen hours. This is Betty, by the way. Betty, meet our boss, Kale Stone.”

Kale raised his head and smiled at the tidy, round woman. “Nice to meet you, Betty. Can you make me some of what he’s got?”

“No worries, Mr. Kale.” She filled a cup with coffee and pushed it toward him, then turned back to the stove.

“Sleep well?” Tyler ran his hand slowly up Kale’s thigh.

What the fuck? His impression of Tyler’s sexual orientation slipped a few notches. Hope rose in his chest, hungry with expectation. He sucked in a deep breath and willed his cock not to react to his friend’s inquisitive touch. Too late. I’m going to be hard all day. Kale met his gaze and searched his shattered mind for a few coherent words. “I slept like the dead. How about you? Do you usually get up this early?”

“Oh, you can get me up any time of the night.” Tyler squeezed Kale’s leg. His touch became bolder by the second, moving up his thigh to rest on his groin. “Do you still ride?”

Kale choked on his coffee and met Tyler’s amused gaze. “Sorry?”

“I have a couple of horses, and I like to go for a ride before work. Thought you might like to come—of course, after you’ve recovered from jet lag. There’s been a heap of improvements since you left. We can ride up to the new plantings. I’ll show you around.”

Kale accepted a plate of hot food from Betty and then turned his gaze to Tyler. “Sounds good, but I have a pile of paperwork to go over, so give me a couple of days.” He sipped his coffee. “Tell me, are you still doing the rodeo circuit?”

“Nah, no time, but I do enter the local events. I won a thousand bucks last year, bull riding.”

Kale raised a brow. “Bull riding? Hell, that’s dangerous.”

“Depends on the bull.” Tyler grinned wolfishly.

I Heart You

By: H.C. Brown