Hi peeps, we have Joanna Chambers popping in today with her new release Tribute Act, we have a great excerpt and a fantastic giveaway where you can win a ecopy of Tribute Act and a $25 Amazon gift card, so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! <3 ~Pixie~
Nathan Bridges hadn’t intended to settle down in his hometown of Porthkennack—he just ended up staying after saving the family business from ruin. The truth is, Nathan can’t stop himself from stepping in when problems arise. He’s a fixer, the man everyone turns to. But even fixers can’t solve everything.
When Nathan’s sister needs an organ transplant, it’s his stepbrother, Mack, who the family turns to as Rosie’s only potential living donor. Nathan’s curiosity about the stepbrother he’s never met turns to shock when he realises that Mack is his latest—and hottest ever—one-night stand.
Nathan and Mack agree to forget their single night together, but that’s easier said than done. When Mack moves in to Nathan’s place to recuperate after surgery, it’s not just the sexual tension between them that keeps growing. Against all the odds, and despite Mack’s wariness of intimacy, the two men grow close enough that Nathan begins to wonder what it would take to mend the rift that’s kept Mack and his father estranged for over a decade . . . and whether Mack might consider staying with Nathan in Porthkennack for good.
Hello, book lovers! I’m Joanna Chambers and this is the blog tour for Tribute Act, my new romance which is book #8 in the Riptide’s Cornwall-set Porthkennack series. I’ll be sharing thoughts on writing my first full length contemporary, writing Christmas songs as an extreme form of authorly procrastination and my love of men with sad eyes. Please join me for a chance to win a copy of the book and a $25 Riptide gift card!
One of the downsides to living in Porthkennack was that the nearest decent gay club was over an hour away, in Plymouth. Luckily one of my best friends from my school days, Gav, lived there. What’s more, he was bi, and following the recent demise of his long-term relationship, he was desperate to get out and meet new people, of both sexes.
It was after ten when I finally arrived at Gav’s. After he’d bitched at me for my lateness and forced me to down a couple of large vodkas to catch up with him, we headed out.
“I can’t believe how nervous I am about this,” Gav said as we walked. “My stomach’s in knots.”
“It’s not that long since you’ve been clubbing. We went to Rainbow City at New Year’s.”
“Yeah, with Carrie. But do you realise it’s been almost six years since I went to a club actually trying to meet someone? I don’t know how to do stuff like that anymore!” He shook his head at himself.
“It’s like riding a bike,” I said, as though I didn’t have exactly the same fears. “Besides, it’s got to beat another night in watching TV.”
Gav looked grim. “I suppose.”
I bumped his shoulder with mine. “That’s the spirit. You’re not going to meet someone if you never go out.”
He glanced at me, his expression disbelieving. “You’re one to talk.”
I sighed. “I know. It’s been a while. The last time I hooked up was that night out at Rainbow City, and that’s, what, eight months ago? God, I seriously need to fuck tonight.”
Gav screwed up his nose. “Ugh. It’s too weird hearing you talking about hooking up—you never used to do that.”
“I never had the chance,” I protested. “Five boyfriends over a decade with no time off for good behaviour. Then fuck all for nearly two years.” I kicked at a stone with my foot, sending it skittering into the gutter.
“Yeah.” Gav’s sigh was sympathetic. “It’s only been four months since Carrie moved out and I still feel like I’ve had an arm cut off. We were together for almost six years. I hardly stepped foot in a gay club in all that time, and even when I did, she was with me, so it wasn’t like I was looking. Well, I was looking—we both were obviously—but we weren’t flirting.” He glared at the pavement. “And now I don’t feel like I can do it anymore.”
“If you’re hinting that you’d prefer to go to a straight club, the answer is no way, my friend. I need to get some cock tonight.”
He laughed weakly. “No, don’t worry. It’s not as if I’d find a straight club any easier. I can’t remember how to flirt with guys or girls, Nath. I’m fucking bi-awkward.”
I stretched out a hand and ruffled his pale hair. “It’ll get easier,” I said gently. “You just need to make the effort to come out—force yourself to meet new people. Practice.”
“Aaand once again with the pot, kettle, black.” He grinned at me and I laughed.
“I know, I know.”
We turned the next corner, and there it was: Club Indigo. A couple of bouncers stood at the entrance, lording it over a thankfully modest queue. When they opened the door to let a few people in, a fat house beat leaked teasingly out.
Twenty minutes later, we finally got inside, paid a tenner to the cute twink at the desk, and headed for the bar.
“We need a drink,” I told Gav, grabbing his hand and towing him after me. We were bloody freezing by now, Gav having insisted we leave our jackets at the flat, but we’d soon warm up, given how mobbed the place was.
Snaking through the dense crowd, we reached the bar and promptly ordered two Coronas and two tequila slammers. We did the shots, drained the beers, then ordered another round, snagging a little table with a couple of high stools when two other guys vacated it.
The drinks soon did their work on us, though in different ways. It had been another long, tiring week for me and, although I had a little bit of a buzz going from the tequila, the last thing I felt like was dancing. This was the first time I’d relaxed in ages, and I just wanted to kick back for a while and let the music wash over me.
Gav, of course, wanted to dance. He’d loved clubbing before he’d settled into coupledom with Carrie, and he couldn’t tear his eyes from the mass of bodies writhing to the music. He tried to persuade me to join him, but I waved him off, knowing he’d soon find someone to dance with. I watched him disappear into the throng, white T-shirt glowing like a beacon under the UV lights, his shaggy blond surfer hair and pretty-boy face causing more than one head to turn.
After a couple of songs—and another beer for me—Gav reappeared, this time with a tall, built guy in tow. He had to be, what, six three? Four? Other than the height, he was an ordinary-looking guy: light-brown hair, nice enough face. Not quite in Gav’s league though—not many people were.
“Introduce yourselves,” Gav ordered. “I’ll get the beers in.” He scooted off.
The guy stared after Gav for a few moments before he finally turned to me. He seemed a little dazed. “Sorry.” He held out his hand. “I’m Adam.”
We shook. “Nathan,” I told him, though I doubted he heard me. Already he was sneaking a glance in the direction Gav had gone.
“So,” I said. “You just met Gav.”
Adam was forced to give me his attention again. “Um—actually, no. We work in the same building—different companies but we sometimes end up in the same bar for Friday night beers.”
God, Friday night beers. The office workers’ weekly freedom call. I felt a stab of nostalgia for that TGIF feeling I used to get at the end of the week. It wasn’t a feeling you ever got when you were running your own business.
“I didn’t know Gav was bi,” Adam added. “It was a surprise seeing him here.”
“A good one?” I teased, lifting an eyebrow. Like I didn’t know.
He laughed then. “Very.”
He had a nice laugh, and a genuine smile that turned his ordinary face into a much more handsome one. And God, he was into Gav—as Gav approached us, beers in hand, Adam’s stare became openly admiring, hiding nothing. Not the most mysterious guy in the world, this one.
While Gav set down the beers, Adam slid off his stool and tried to make Gav take it. They bickered flirtatiously about who should sit and who should stand and eventually both decided to stand, which was ridiculous given the height difference. I tuned their conversation out, content to sit back and relax. I had no desire to be a third wheel.
When Adam went to get another round of beers, Gav gave me an apologetic look. “Sorry, Nath, we’re ignoring you, aren’t we?”
I tipped the last of my beer into my mouth, then set the empty bottle down and gave him a lazy smile. “Mate, I am totally fine. Honestly, it’s good to see you enjoying yourself. And the truth is, having a few beers and taking it easy is just what I need. It’s been quite a week.”
“You sure?” he said. “I can ditch Adam if you want to go somewhere a bit more chill.”
“I’m sure,” I said firmly. “Go for it with this guy. Seriously. I’ll be fine—I’ve got your spare key so I can head off any time I decide I’ve had enough. I’ll text you if I bail.”
He frowned. “I thought you wanted to hook up with someone?”
“Yeah, and I still might,” I said, though the yawn that followed those words gave away my lack of enthusiasm. “Sorry. I’m so fucking beat.”
“You’ve been working too hard,” Gav said disapprovingly.
“Yup.” I couldn’t disagree. “Oh, look, here comes your boy.”
After the next round of beers, Gav and Adam returned to the dance floor while I slid off my stool and strolled back to the bar for what I’d already decided would be my last drink. I figured I’d stay another half hour, then text Gav. Maybe get a kebab on the way home. You usually got some salad in a kebab after all. Between that and the carrot cake, I’d be halfway to my five a day!
Most of the crowd were on the dance floor now, so the bar was much quieter. As I waited to be served, my gaze slid over the heaving throng of bodies. I couldn’t even pick out any individual guys, much less pinpoint anyone I was attracted to. The crowd was like one big pulsing, breathing animal form.
I turned away, feeling oddly empty.
And that was when I saw him.
He was skirting the edge of the dance floor, making a beeline for the bar. Most of the clubgoers were reasonably dressed up, but not this guy. Worn jeans, plaid shirt, scuffed-up boots, and a beanie. Seriously, in the middle of a nightclub, a woollen beanie.
I didn’t normally go for guys like this, but for some reason, I couldn’t take my eyes off him. As he drew closer, he slid the beanie off and tucked it in his back pocket. His hair was dark—black maybe, or very dark brown. Difficult to tell in this light—and a startling contrast to his pale skin under the UV lights. He had a lean face with longish stubble, verging on an incipient beard. His eyes were what I really noticed, though. I’ve always been a sucker for dark, soulful eyes and his were gorgeous, with a slight downward tilt at the outer edges.
When he was almost at the bar, he glanced at me, and I flushed, embarrassed to be caught staring. He slowed though, meeting my gaze.
For a couple of beats, we just stared at each other, then he subtly shifted direction, joining me where I stood at the far end of the bar.
My mouth went dry and my heart began to pound with nerves and excitement.
“Hi,” he said when he reached me. “Can I buy you a drink?”
So smooth. Fuck.
“What do you fancy?”
“A beer?” Why was I asking him? More firmly, I added, “Corona.”
He gestured for the barman’s attention with a negligent lift of his chin I envied, especially when the barman immediately moved towards him, and with a smile he hadn’t flashed for me all night.
I watched as my new friend gave the order, bantered lightly with the barman, and paid for our drinks. At last he turned back to me, handing me a cold, wet bottle of beer. He offered me the neck of his own bottle, and I clinked mine against it in salute.
We drank then. I only sipped my beer, but he took a long pull from his, his pale throat working as he swallowed.
My cock stirred.
When he set his bottle on the bar, I said, “Thanks for the beer. I’m Nathan by the way.”
He smiled. “I’m Mack. Pleased to meet you.” Was that a Scottish accent?
I swallowed. “Likewise.”
“So,” he said easily. “Are you looking for some action tonight?”
Christ. There was direct, and then there was direct. Distantly, though, I heard myself say, “Yeah. How about you?”
Jesus, his eyes. I wondered if he actually felt sad right now, or if the impression of melancholy was just an accident of genetics—that slight tilt, and the dark, melting colour.
“Oh, definitely,” he replied, a distinct smile in his voice. “Hopefully we’re after the same thing—what exactly is it you want?”
I didn’t know what to say to that. Did he want specifics? “Well, to blow off some steam, I suppose.”
I was just playing for time with that one, but he smiled as though I’d pleased him. “Sounds like we’re on the same page.”
He leaned towards me, and I thought he was going to kiss me right then. Disappointingly, though, he stilled before our lips touched and said, “Shall we . . . pay the bathroom a visit?” He raised an eyebrow in teasing enquiry.
God, I was into him, my cock stiff as a board at having him so near. Even so, my stomach knotted up at his suggestion. I wasn’t into sex in club bathrooms. No matter how hot it sounded coming out of Mack’s mouth, I knew once we got there, I’d probably start hating it, feeling self-conscious and watched.
“No?” he said, at whatever he saw on my face.
I met his gaze. “Maybe somewhere . . . a bit more private? I’m not much of an exhibitionist.”
He didn’t seem to find that too absurd, just asked calmly, “Are you asking me back to your place?”
I made an apologetic face. “I’m staying with a friend tonight, and I think he’s about to get lucky, which means I’ll be on the living room floor . . .”
He seemed to think about that, watching me in silence. At last he said. “Well, I’m at a hotel—we could go there if you don’t mind a walk. It’s on the outskirts of town, though.”
I swallowed against sudden nerves. Whispered, “Sounds good.”
“Okay,” he said, offering me a crooked a smile. Then he lifted his beer, drained it, and set it on the bar. “I’m ready to go whenever you are.”
Read more at: https://riptidepublishing.com/titles/tribute-act (Just click the excerpt tab)
Welcome to Porthkennack, a charming Cornish seaside town with a long and sometimes sinister history. Legend says King Arthur’s Black Knight built the fort on the headland here, and it’s a certainty that the town was founded on the proceeds of smuggling, piracy on the high seas, and the deliberate wrecking of cargo ships on the rocky shore. Nowadays it draws in the tourists with sunshine and surfing, but locals know that the ghosts of its Gothic past are never far below the surface.
This collaborative story world is brought to you by five award-winning, best-selling British LGBTQ romance authors: Alex Beecroft, Joanna Chambers, Charlie Cochrane, Garrett Leigh, and JL Merrow. Follow Porthkennack and its inhabitants through the centuries and through the full rainbow spectrum with historical and contemporary stand-alone titles.
Check out Porthkennack Universe!
Joanna Chambers always wanted to write. In between studying, finding a proper grown up job, getting married and having kids, she spent many hours staring at blank sheets of paper and chewing pens. That changed when she rediscovered her love of romance and found her muse. Joanna’s muse likes red wine, coffee and won’t let Joanna clean the house or watch television.
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