Hi peeps! We have Kat Cassidy popping in today with her new release Back Streets, we have a great excerpt and a fantastic giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~
“Where there’s nothing to gain and everything to lose.”
It’s modest, but after a lifetime spent barely holding on, former car thief Peter Bauer is proud of what he’s managed to achieve. He’s got a legal, legitimate job as a mechanic, a firm grasp on his addictions, and a steady relationship with Nikos Petrakis—stable, handsome, and recently widowed. Nothing is going to upset that, not the ever-present memory of Nik’s wife, not the claustrophobia Peter is starting to feel trapped in domestic bliss, not even the sudden reappearance of Peter’s ex—the sexy and dangerous Stavros Giannopoulos.
But when Nik’s daughter goes missing, Peter will be forced back into the seedy underbelly of the LA crime world, where anything goes. Can his and Nik’s relationship survive? Can Peter?
Backstreets is the second book in Kat Cassidy’s Hot Wire series which contains themes of crime, suspense, family drama, hurt/comfort, dark humor, addiction, and abuse. It should not be read as a standalone.
GIANNOPOULOS, DEMITRIUS Kristo
It is with great sadness that the family of Demitrius Kristo Giannopoulos announces his sudden passing on Saturday, August 17, at the age of sixty-one. Demitri will be lovingly remembered by his children, Adara (Christopher), Matteo (Diana), and Stavros (Stasia). Demitri was predeceased by his devoted wife of twenty years, Lenore Giannopoulos (née Rosso).
A memorial service for Demitri will be held on Tuesday, August 20 at 3:00 p.m. at the Saint Sofia Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 5546 West 15th Street, with Father Alec Tahvo officiating. Interment will follow in the family plot.
Those who so desire may make donations in memory of Demitri to the Greek Heritage Club of Southern California.
The obit didn’t mean much if you didn’t know what you were looking at.
But if you did, it held promises.
It was three in the morning and Peter Bauer was wide awake. The ceiling fan rotated lazily above him; its incessant whirring did almost nothing to drown out the sound of Nik’s seismic snoring. Nikos Petrakis was the best boyfriend Peter had ever had by a longshot. He was caring and handsome and stable, and sometimes Peter fantasized about smothering him in his sleep with a goddamn pillow.
Peter was sweating beside Nik on the cramped double mattress. He briefly contemplated if it was worth it to try to shove Nik over onto his side, but decided against it. Peter was a long way off from sleep anyway.
Peter peeled back the sheets and stood, sliding on his glasses from the bedside table. He moved silently across the dark room to gather a pair of basketball shorts and a t- shirt from his duffle bag. Nikos didn’t stir. Peter liked to think that this was because he still had his thief’s stealth, but, honestly, Nik was just such a deep sleeper that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade could’ve marched through the bedroom and he wouldn’t have woken up.
The truth was that after almost a year of living straight, Peter felt painfully rusty. He knew he didn’t need the life anymore, but part of him felt uneasy about losing his edge. It might have been a fucked up security blanket of a skillset to want, but it had been the only thing that had kept him alive for the better part of thirty-three years. He wasn’t sure who he was anymore without it.
Peter stole out into the hall towards the kitchen, pulling on articles of clothing as he went. He’d heard Nina get up to feed baby Teddy half-an-hour ago, but the house was quiet now. He poured himself a glass of water from the tap and dried his hands on the tea towel after he’d finished. The towel was printed with stylized avocados and the phrase ‘holy guacamole.’ It was one of the overly twee touches in this place that reminded Peter that he had slotted himself imperfectly into somebody else’s life. Helena’s fingerprints were still all over this house. She was the dead one, but sometimes Peter felt like he was the ghost here.
Peter slipped quietly into the double garage. It was the one space in the house that was wholly Nik’s. He didn’t bother to turn on the light. The moonlight streaming in through the window was sufficient and he knew the way. He headed to the beat-up old leather sofa on the far end of the room. Every so often, Peter came out here when Nik’s snoring or his own insecurity got to be too much for him.
Nik’s daughter Mia had left a rubber ball on one of the seats. He rolled it back and forth between his hands, then threw it against the concrete floor. The ball ricocheted off the wall with a low sound and returned to him. He caught it and repeated the motion, losing himself in the rhythm of bounce-thump-catch like a man confined to solitary in a prison movie.
The light flicked on, surprising him, and Peter released his throw early. The ball sailed into the wall far too hard and then bounced directly over his head. It hit Nina’s Chevy Cruze with a tinny thud and rolled to a stop at the foot of the stairs.
Nina was standing in the doorway, looking curiously between Peter and the ball. “What the hell are you doing out here?”
Peter’s relationship with Nik’s sister-in-law had reached a détente, though Peter mostly still tried to stay out of her way when Nik wasn’t around to buffer the conversation. His finger idly traced the bullet hole she had left in the sofa the first day she and Peter had met.
“I couldn’t sleep,” he answered honestly.
It didn’t escape Peter’s notice that Nina was fully dressed. She was carrying a small metallic briefcase and the recycling bin from under the kitchen sink.
Curiosity got the better of him. “What about you?”
“Teddy woke me up. I couldn’t get back to sleep either.” She regarded him carefully for a moment and seemed to make up her mind about something. She jangled the bin. “I was going to go shoot some cans. Want to come?”
Peter grinned. “Abso-fucking-lutely.” This was exactly the kind of reckless shit he’d been missing.
They set up on the undeveloped edge of Nik’s subdivision, beside a huge dirt berm left by contractors digging the foundations of almost two dozen new houses. Moonlight shone brokenly through the beams of the unfinished homes. Peter and Nina had the place to themselves. That was a good thing, because even with the suppressor on, her M9 was fucking loud.
Nina was a dead shot, taking out all ten of the cans she had set up on a stack of pallets in a matter of seconds.
“Damn, that felt good,” she said, ejecting the magazine.
“It looked good,” Peter commended, taking his fingers out of his ears. “And terrifying. I’m glad you’re no longer pointing that thing at me.”
“For now. Don’t let me catch you breaking Nik’s heart,” she warned with an inscrutable smile.
Peter had a feeling she was only half-joking.
Nina strode over to the berm, setting out a new row of cans. She returned to where he was standing, tossing him her hearing protection. “You’re up, Bauer.”
Peter slid the ear muffs into place. Nina fed another magazine into the gun, started to hand it to Peter and then paused with a frown.
He lifted one of the muffs. “What?” he asked self- consciously.
“Has anyone actually bothered to teach you gun safety? Or did they just skip right to point and shoot on your first day of Gun Crime for Juvenile Delinquents 101?”
“Definitely the latter,” Peter admitted. Erik Bauer had not been a particularly nurturing teacher. It was a lot of figuring things out for himself. “I know what I’m doing though.”
Peter had shot a handgun on more than one occasion, but only in situations like this: low pressure and low stakes. He had never actually fired a gun at anyone, though he had brandished one once or twice to get a point across. It just wasn’t his weapon of choice. When they had been together, Stavros had carried a Glock for intimidation, and he had regularly busted Peter’s balls for preferring the hands-on approach of his crow bar. Peter had always found solace in not having to worry about accidentally shooting his dick off.
“Humor me then,” Nina said. “One: your gun is always loaded. Two: Never point at something you don’t want to fuck up. Three: Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot. Four: Be sure of your target and what’s behind it.”
“Yes ma’am.” Peter snapped a smart salute at her. “I feel safer already.”
Nina handed the M9 to Peter. “Let’s see what you can do, hotshot.”
Peter fixed his ear muffs and leveled the weapon. It took him a bit longer to line up his shots than Nina, but he managed to hit a respectable eight cans square on and a ninth with a graze. The last bullet went high and wide, striking the berm with a puff of dust.
“You empty?” Nina asked.
Peter had been counting the rounds. “Yeah, that’s ten,” he said, lowering the weapon and reengaging the safety.
She smacked him on the back of the head.
“What the shit, Nina?”
“You’re never empty. Rule one: your gun is always loaded.” She grinned at him. “Also, next time try squeezing the trigger smoothly instead of jerking it back. You’ll pull the muzzle less.”
She was right about the squeezing. Over the course of the next hour, Peter quickly and consistently shot ten out of ten from about twenty-five yards, and he and Nina had burned through all of the recycling.
“Well, you’re not hopeless,” she said.
Peter helped her gather what remained of the cans back into the bin. “Please, you’re embarrassing me with your glowing praise.”
“What, you want me to lie to you?” She tucked the Beretta back into the gun safe. “You at least got marginally better.”
“And we’ll get in some more practice before I move out. I think it’s good protection to have a gun around the house, but Nik won’t touch the damn things after Helena.”
Peter paused in retrieving the casings. “What do you mean, before you move out?” He’d come to accept Nina as a permanent fixture in Nik’s home, much like the ugly puke green tub in the en suite.
“Teddy’s almost a year and a half. He needs his own room.” Nina turned self-conscious. “If I’m ever going to start dating again, I need my own room.”
“Get it, girl.” Peter said, deadpan.
Nina snorted with laughter. “Please never say that to me again.”
They began to make their way back to the cul-de-sac. Even at night, the blacktop radiated warmth, LA’s current heatwave showing no signs of letting up anytime soon. A thin bead of sweat ran down the length of Peter’s spine.
“Not to pry, but how are you set up?” he asked.
“I’m not about to go out with one of your shady buddies,” she said. “I’ll take my chances with Tinder, thanks.”
Peter pulled a face. “I meant how are you set up for a down payment on a house? We could probably float you something from the shop’s profits if you need it.”
“You know, you can be shockingly decent sometimes.”
“I mean it, Nina; you’ve got to cut it out. All this flattery is going to go to my head.”
“Thank you, really, but I’m fine moneywise. Markos took out a huge life insurance policy when he found out I was pregnant. I told him he was crazy.” Nina kicked a rock down the street as they walked. “Joke’s on me, I guess.”
“Sorry,” Peter said, unsure of how to respond.
“It’s fine. I’m just tired of third-wheeling your and Nik’s relationship.” She rolled her eyes. “And it’s only going to get worse once you live there.”
“What?” Peter almost dropped the recycling bin.
“Shit, pretend I didn’t say that.” Nina wrinkled her nose. “Nik’s going to ask you to move in. Act surprised.”
Hot Wire series!!
Night Moves (book 01)
Kat Cassidy is a romance novelist. She’s a dreamer, a schemer and, above all else, a believer in true love. She lives in Canada with her husband and her lovable mutt, and she likes loud guitars and strong IPAs.
Her debut novel, Night Moves, has been nominated for the Goodreads M/M Romance Members’ Choice Awards Best of 2018 for both Best Debut Book and Best Main Character.