Title: Cross to Bare
Series: Men of London
Author: Susan Mac Nicols
Publishing Company: Boroughs Publishing Group
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Tough in business but romantic at heart, fashion designer Lenny James isn’t hiding his masculinity behind his super successful female alter ego, but a vulnerability that only handsome financier Brook Hunter will be man enough to reveal…and worship.
TWO OF A KIND
It’s amazing what a little mascara and lipstick, a blonde wig, false boobs, and top-notch female fashion can hide. Not that Lenny James is hiding his masculinity. He uses his normal voice when he’s Laverne, and he’s not particularly camp as a man. His reasons for creating his alter ego are locked deep in his past. He is who he is: tough in business, and a romantic at heart. What he’s hiding is vulnerability. He wants a man to accept both sides of him.
Gorgeous, commanding, and dark as sin, Brook Hunter meets Lenny and knows nothing about Laverne until fate pushes her into his path. Cross-dressing is as far from Brook’s reality as fashion is from his world of diplomacy and high finance. Understanding and truth take time, and trust doesn’t come easy. But Brook is about to show Lenny that there are no sides to true love, just the place where they meet in the middle.
Brook smiled. “The chemistry is still there, though. No doubt about that.” His brows furrowed. “And if I remember from our last window encounter, you promised to return the favour,” he murmured as he reached out and removed the glass from Lenny’s hands. He put the whisky down on the table by the window then dipped his finger in the cool liquid. Brook’s finger came up, and he slid it across Lenny’s bottom lip, slowly. He thought he was going to shoot in his pants with the eroticism of that gesture. The whisky flavour burned into his lips and he slid his tongue out and sucked the finger caressing his mouth. Brook’s eyes widened in lust, the pupils expanding. His lips parted and Lenny wanted to thrust his tongue and his cock inside the hot, wet heat of that mouth.
“Let’s get this over with, shall we, because obviously neither of us can wait,” Brook whispered, as his tongue slid into Lenny’s ear. His hands slid under the red jacket, tugging the shirt from his trousers, and then caressing the heated skin beneath. “Otherwise we’ll not enjoy my wonderful Chicken Cacciatore that I slaved over all day. Let’s fuck first, talk later.”
Lenny agreed wholeheartedly. With a low moan, he mashed his mouth against Brook’s and took possession of it. Familiar and wanton in return, Brook’s questing tongue slid into Lenny’s mouth. The slippery sensation of that deliciously heated organ, currently on a quest to drive him crazy, took him back to those passion fuelled days when he and Brook had been together. The feel of strong fingers against Lenny’s skin and the heat of that body pressed against his – it was if they’d never been apart. Lenny wasn’t one for insta-love but insta-lust he could definitely understand.
“I’d forgotten how damn good you taste and feel,” Brook gasped as his hands fumbled with buttons, opening Lenny’s trousers. He cried out as Brook’s hand slid inside his silk boxers and slid fingers down his hardened and wet cock. “This – this is what I want, you inside me.”
That phrase made Lenny thrust his cock harder into the tight confines of Brook’s hand.
“You keep saying that and I won’t have anything to fuck you with because you’ll make me come,” he managed to get out. “Turn around, face the glass.” He didn’t wait for Brook to obey, simply spun him round hard and slammed him against the cold, silken wall. “You’d better hope this is one way glass, because otherwise your neighbours are going to see you being royally skewered this time.” Lenny kicked off his trousers and underwear, giving a sigh of relief as his cock sprung free.
Hello Susan! Welcome to my blog and thank you for answering my nosy, I mean discerning, questions! First, please tell us a little about yourself and the kinds of stories you like to write. Would you say there is an underlying theme behind your stories?
Hi Sarah, it’s great being here with you again. Well, I live in the UK, just outside London, and besides working in the Financial Services industry, I’m a writer and editor of an online magazine. I write gay fiction, of the romance kind as you know. There are themes in any story I think, depending on the unique storyline, but my overall message is that there is always hope for two people to find each other, even when faced with what might seem like insurmountable odds.
What gave you the courage to submit your first story to a publisher?
I’d written my first book, which started off a screenplay, and once it was done, I remembered that I’d Linked In with a romance publisher called Boroughs. I thought, what the hell, they can only say no. I submitted the story and no one was more surprised than I was when they said yes. It was the first and only publisher I’d submitted to so I was blown away. It was one of the best moments of my life.
I see you write M/M fiction. Would you characterize your stories as M/M romance, erotica, or something in between?
I write M/M Romance, I guess, if anyone needs to label it. It’s a genre I’m very proud to be in, as there are so many talented story tellers in it. Ultimately it’s simply fiction, set in the romance/science fiction/detective/paranormal genre, featuring gay protagonists. There’s a lot of controversy around the terms M/M Romance and Gay fiction. I’m not going to go into that though!
In the long run, I’d like to think I write books with a story first but which happen to have gay characters as the protagonists. In its early days, one of my books, Love and Punishment, spent a long time in the Mystery and Thriller category, with no LGBT labeling attached. It also won a crime award in a group that wasn’t gay focused. I rather liked this; that one of my books is classed as what it is about first, a novel about crime and intrigue, rather than just an M/M or gay romance book.
Do you have a favorite character that you’ve created? Why does this character resonate with you?
I think my favourite character so far is Leslie Scott from Suit Yourself. I love his wide eyed appreciation of the world and his drive to make things better for everyone. I have a fondness for heel wearing characters in books I read, those men who aren’t afraid to show another side to themselves. Leslie seemed to climb into the heart of a lot of readers, and they loved his sassiness and tender nature.
If you could have one super power or magical element from popular science fiction movies or literature, what would it be and why?
I want to be able to travel in time. I have this burning desire to visit the past places from history and see them for myself. London in the 1880’s is somewhere I’d love to visit. See if I could solve the Jack the Ripper case I haven’t much interest in the future though; I prefer to let that play out without knowing too much.
Do you see your writing as a hobby or is it your goal to be a full time writer at some point in the future?
It is definitely my goal to be a full time writer at some point. I’ve just reduced my work week to four days and to me, that’s a start. It means I can perhaps give more focus to writing more books, and with more books hopefully comes more income. It’s a pipe dream at the moment to give up full time but without a dream, we have nothing to chase and aspire to.
Research: love it or hate it?
I love doing the research. It’s like taking a long car trip on your way to a treasured holiday- stopping off at the services for a burger and a cup of coffee, or a local pub for lunch or getting out the car and taking photos of the scenery on the top of a mountain or hill. It’s a part of the journey. You know you’re going to end up somewhere beautiful or cherished at the end, but the steps there are as valued as actually reaching the end destination. Not to mention you learn something and have fun while doing it. I’ve visited a lighthouse on the coast, lived in a circus, walked up the hill to the Tor in Glastonbury and spent time in a town of magical intrigue called Mistley not far from where I live -so it’s all good memories.
How much do you think that a good blurb and good cover art figure into the success of a story?
I think it’s important. A cover is the first thing you see when you’re looking for something to read. It needs to hold your interest. Having said that, I’ve seen covers that aren’t perhaps too exciting but the blurb sounds good. So it’s critical to have both representing the story as best they can in my opinion.
Have you ever been intimidated by reviews?
Of course. I started out feeling gutted when I read a bad review. It would make me question my talent as a writer. After a while, I was able to shrug it off, realise that as long as you got more praise for your stories than damnation, you were doing a good job. Now I read reviews on Amazon, not Goodreads, and I’m able to nod my head and see if criticism is constructive, or not and if not, then ignore it.
What are your writing goals for 2016? Your personal goals?
I have a release due out on 28th January- the sixth book in my Men of London series. It’s called Flying Solo and is Maxwell Lewis’s story. We meet him in Suit Yourself. I’ve finished book seven ‘Damaged Goods’ already-that’s Jax’s story, the young teen we meet in Feat of Clay. I’m also currently writing the last book in this series, Hard Climate, which is Ryan ad Mango’s story, who we met in Cross to Bare. I’ve also started writing my next stand-alone novel, ‘Living on Air, the one set in a circus. I’ve also got plans for a spin off series from Men of London, featuring Tate and Clay from Feat Of Clay. This will be a detective thriller series featuring them all the way through but with different cases each time. So there is plenty on the go.
Thank you for joining us here today, Susan! As always, you bring such colorful characters vividly to life–I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!
Susan Mac Nicol is a self-confessed bookaholic, an avid watcher of videos of sexy pole dancing men, geek and nerd and in love with her Smartphone. She is never happier than when sitting scribbling down words and making two men fall in love.
In an ideal world, Susan Mac Nicol would be Queen of England and banish all the bad people to the Never Never Lands of Wherever -Who Cares. As that’s never going to happen, she contents herself with writing her HEA stories and pretending, that just for a little while, good things happen to good people.
Sue is a member of Romance Writers of America and Romantic Novelists Association in the UK. She lives in the quaint village of Bocking in Essex, set in the countryside and not far from the sea should she get the yen to eat crab or oysters on the Cromer Pier.
Read all the Men of London