Hi guys! We have Kris Jacen popping in today with her new release Step Up With Me, we have a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway so check out the post and enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~
Step Up With Me
Richard “Tank” Martin was a big boy from the start. Born weighing over 11 pounds, he didn’t stop growing. When he was in middle school, a football coach took him under his wing and finally explained to him the mystery of calories in, calories out and from then on it was all good for him. At least he thought. Being called to meet with his platoon sergeant and told that he was now part of the Army’s overweight program, sent him into a spin that only his crews can help him out of.
Dr. Jack Dillon thought his life was good and finally settled. Part of an active veterinarian practice, volunteering with a service dog organization, spoiling his sister’s triplets and training in sports jui-jitsu…the only this missing was a partner. He never thought that his world could be shattered with just a phone call even after being around his military friends.
Tank and Jack have been dancing around each other for months until Tank takes a chance and kisses Jack at their friends’ wedding moving their slow dance into a heated bump and grind. Can these two survive the changes coming their ways together or will all the changes break them apart?
“Doctor Dillon,” Jack murmured into his phone as he tried to engage his brain. He’d gotten home from an emergency and crashed hard. Now, it looked like he was in store for more. Christ, maybe he should think about what Heather had mentioned to him, another vet would–
“Jack! Focus!” his brother in law’s voice came through the phone.
“Tom? What the hell? You need to get sleep before the babies arrive,” Jack said as he shifted under his blankets. Maybe he was going to get more sleep tonight after all.
“You need to get your ass to the hospital right now if you want to meet the babies. Your sister is in labor and threatening every male around so be prepared. Really need you here.” Tom sounded proud and worried at the same time.
“Sandy’s in labor and you’re on the phone with me?” Jack started to pull the phone away from his ear as his sister’s voice sounded in the background.
“Get your ass out of bed and here now!” Jack chuckled at his sister’s demand.
“I’m assuming you heard her so get here now!” Tom hung up before Jack could reply, but really? What was he going to say? No? Not likely.
He climbed out of his bed, pulled on some clothes and drove to the hospital in record time. When he got to the reception desk and gave them his name, he was directed to the maternity waiting room. Jack sat down and tried to get comfortable. No telling how long he’d be waiting. Next thing he knew he was looking up to see Tom standing there with a huge smile on his face. Jack glanced around and noticed light coming through the windows. Okay, maybe he’d fallen asleep.
“Babies? Sandy?” Jack asked as he stood and crossed to Tom.
“They’re all good. One boy and two girls. Sandy was a champ.” Tom threw his arms around Jack and started to cry.
“Hey…hey… it’s okay. Everyone’s good and healthy. You’ve got this. Congratulations, Daddy.” Jack patted Tom’s back and let him have a moment.
Tom pulled back and wiped his cheeks on his shoulders before pulling Jack toward the hallway. “Come meet the babies.” Tom pushed open the third door on the left and led Jack into the room. Jack looked over and there was Sandy propped up in bed a baby in her arms and he could see a basinet next to the bed.
“Hey Uncle Jack. Come meet your nephew,” Sandy greeted him holding out the baby. As Jack took the baby in his hands, she said, “Ethan, this is your uncle Jack. He’ll always be there for you and your sisters.”
“Your mama’s a smart woman, Ethan. I will always be there for you.” Jack placed a kiss on the baby’s head before turning toward the basinet. “What are the girls’ names?”
“Faith is on the left and Grace on the right,” Tom said as he stroked their cheeks.
“Hello, princesses. I’m your–“
“Oh, hell no! Princess is unacceptable,” Sandy snapped. “My girls will know that they are more important for what they do and how they act than how they look. I’m putting a list on the refrigerator.” Jack looked over at her and could tell that she was dead serious.
“Okay, no princesses. I’ll find a different nickname for them. For now, hello little ones, I’m your uncle Jack.”
The sound of the door opening had the adults turning toward the door.
“Why is the fag holding the baby? Don’t want him to give them AIDS,” Tom’s brother, Harry, said as he walked in with his wife following behind with a sneer on her face.
“Harry! Leave that outside or you’re not welcome here,” Tom said, frowning at his brother. “Nice of you to finally show up. Called you hours ago.”
“Wasn’t like the babies weren’t going to come whether I was here or not. Why sit in an uncomfortable chair when I could get more sleep?” Jack watched as Harry looked around the room, not coming closer to see the babies at all.
“Would you like to hold our nephew?” Jack asked politely. He was going to be cordial if it killed him. He was not going to get into a fight with the jackass in his sister’s maternity room.
“Why would I want to hold him? He’s a baby. They’re all the same.”
Jack tried to keep his mouth from falling open at that statement. Okay, yes, all babies were similar at birth but to not want to hold your nephew or niece? Yeah, he’d have to be dead to not want to cuddle these little bundles of joy.
“Out! Get out of this room now!” Sandy screamed, waking the babies who expressed their displeasure with loud cries. Tom reached into the basinet and handed one of the girls to Sandy before picking up the other baby and turning to his brother.
“You heard Sandy. Get out and don’t come back until you’ve found your civility.”
“You can’t kick us out. We’re family,” Harry sputtered. Jack wondered if his wife ever opened her mouth. She was just standing there with a pout on her face. Jack shifted Ethan to his shoulder, supporting his head, and soothing him by rocking.
Jack looked to Sandy and Tom, then placed a kiss on Ethan’s head again. “They can and will kick you out. Don’t make me put Ethan down and escort you from the room. I will if you push me. You’ve upset Sandy and all the babies. They don’t need this hours after the birth. Now leave.” Jack could tell that Harry was weighing his options before he turned and stormed out.
“Well, that went well. Can I hold one of the girls now?” Jack asked.
Tom blew out a breath and chuckled. “After that? Yes, you can hold one of your nieces. Here’s Grace. Give me Ethan. And Jack? If we weren’t sure before that display, we’re listing you as guardian for the children. There is no fu–” Tom stopped himself then continued, “way we’d ever want my brother and sister-in-law to raise them if, God forbid, something happens to us.”
“Whoa! Whoa! Let’s have no talk of anything happening to anyone when these little ones have just arrived.” Jack backed up a bit, still holding his nephew.
“Jack! Snap out of it. We have no intentions of going anywhere. We’re planning on long happy lives raising these three but just in case…promise me?” When Jack looked into his sister’s face, he could see this was important to her.
He looked down at his nephew sleeping so peacefully and then at the two little girls in their parents’ arms. “I promise.”
With Me Series!
Wait For Me (book 01)
Explore With Me (book 02)
Learn With Me (book 03)
Challenge Me (book 04)
Kris Jacen grew up just north of Boston, Massachusetts, met her soldier in high school but didn’t marry him until almost ten years later. She moved around with him and their daughters (born in two different states thanks to the Army) for the first 19 years of their marriage (they celebrated their silver anniversary in 2018) before settling in western New York.
She has been the Editor in Chief and Formatting Director for ManLoveRomance Press and its imprints since January of 2008 and has never looked back. Working with the amazing authors at MLR has allowed her to both hone her editorial skills and indulge her inner fangirl. She also acts as editor, mentor and sounding-board for newcomers which lets her “pay-it-forward” and help authors realize their dreams.
You can find out more about Kris on her website www.krisjacen.com.