The Novel Approach is thrilled to welcome Susan Mac Nicol back on her Waiting for Rain Blog Tour. Read on for an excerpt, watch the gorgeous trailer, and see how you can win an e-copy of Worth Keeping or Waiting for Rain!
BLURB: The village of Stamford, the quintessential chocolate box English scene, seemed an impossible dream for foster kid Toby Prentiss. Now he’s found a home among the haystacks and village fairs as the general manager for the Duck and Drake Hotel. With the fears and demons from his youth hidden away in this bucolic oasis, he’s very protective of who he lets in. Until he stumbles across shirtless carpenter Rain Engel building the hotel’s new custom-designed bar.
Working in the countryside, Rain prepared to face his biggest fear: sheep. He didn’t expect to deal with his second biggest fear: commitment. Toby’s controlled tough guy façade coupled with his “find happiness where you can” optimism calls to Rain like nothing before. While Rain may be an exhibitionist, his romantic history forces him to hold his emotions close. As their relationship develops, secrets from their pasts drive a wedge between them: the ex-boyfriend who tore apart Rain’s trust and Toby’s history with the law. But can the secrets hiding among the quirky villagers bring them together? With missing sheep, pole dancing at the winter festival, and a crippling drought, everyone is waiting for Rain.
Excerpt: a scene from Rain’s POV- their first kiss…
The next couple of hours were spent dragging equipment from the van into the bar room. Lucas and I were sweating like the condensation on an ice-cold Coke by the time we’d finished. I’d just finished straining to put down a particularly big saw blade. As I let it drop to the floor, there was a loud ripping sound, and I felt a cool breeze where no breeze should blow. Lucas broke into peals of laughter as he pointed at my back.
“Fuck, Rain, you’re showing your skin, mate. Your bloody shirt has just ripped in two right down the middle!” His hilarity was not only off-putting, it was also really not on. I was standing in the middle of a swanky hotel with a shirt on my back that was ripped in half, flapping like wings.
“Christ, what do I do now?” This denim shirt had definitely had its day. “I don’t have anything else to bloody change into.” I looked at Lucas in dismay. He was laughing so hard now the tears fell down his ruddy cheeks. I was going to get no help from him.
I growled at him. “I suppose I’d better see if I can find the manager or someone and see if they have a lost property section. Maybe they can loan me a shirt, or it’ll mean driving home to go get one. I don’t fancy that much.”
I walked to the door and down the corridor, shrugging my shirt off as I did so. I rolled it up into a ball, about to throw it in a rubbish cart in the corridor on my way to reception, when I heard a soft cough behind me. I turned to find a man about my age staring at me. His right eyebrow was raised questioningly, and his face was very polite. He was well dressed in a suit and tie, his mid-length dark-blond hair artfully mussed and gelled. He was lean and wiry and very bloody sexy. My groin twitched in interest. I gazed at him, and he gazed back warily.
“Sir, we don’t generally allow people to wander around the hotel shirtless. It’s hotel policy. May I ask what’s wrong?” His voice was quite deep, a mix of Cambridge posh and something else. I scowled.
“I don’t usually make a habit of walking around half-naked. Not in public in hotels, anyway.” The other man’s eyes narrowed slightly, and his nostrils flared. “I can assure you that if I had a choice, I’d still be wearing a shirt. It ripped in half, so it was no bloody good to man or beast. I was going to ask the management staff if they had an overall or something I could put on. Maybe something from lost property—I assume you have one of those?” I raised an inquiring eyebrow at him. He licked his lips. He had very nice ones, I noticed distractedly. Full and pouty, definitely good for kissing.
Christ, Rain, get a grip, man! Stop ogling the staff. I was twenty-eight years old, but I was acting like an adolescent kid.
“I see.” He moved forward and extended a hand. “Toby Prentiss. I’m the general manager here. I’m sure we can find you something to wear, Mr.…?” He raised his eyebrows again, looking very alluring, and I gave a mental groan.
It has definitely been too long since I’ve gotten laid.
“Rain Engel. I’m here to build the new bar you guys ordered.” I shook his hand. A slight electric current ran through my palm as he touched it. He pulled his hand away quickly. He tried hard not to stare, but his gaze seemed hypnotically drawn to my hairy, bare chest. I suppressed a grin. This could be fun. I felt the thrill of the chase. My instincts at spotting other gay men were normally spot-on.
“Rain? That’s an unusual name.” He swallowed as I moved a little closer to him. I wanted to test my theory.
“It’s a long story. My name is Reinhardt. It was shortened to Rhine, mostly. But my last boyfriend didn’t like it. He said it was too Germanic. So he called me Rain, and the name stuck.”
I knew I smelled rank, but I could still see his pupils dilate slightly. He nodded. He’d definitely noticed the word “boyfriend.”
“You have a slight accent too. Where’s that from?”
I moved a little closer, watching his lips. He seemed mesmerized by my slow dance forward. “South Africa. I was born in Durban, then moved over here when I was ten. Eighteen years ago. I never seem to have lost some of the accent, though.” I cocked my head at him. “Are we done with the inquisition? I’m getting a little cold.” I looked down pointedly at my nipples, which were indeed hardening—but not from the cold. He cleared his throat as his eyes were drawn to them, and his pale cheeks grew rosy. He looked absolutely fucking adorable. I felt the stirring in my groin and smiled slightly.
Chalk one up to me.
“Of course. Let me try and find you something to wear. I don’t think we have any overalls, but I do have a lost property section with some tee shirts and such. But if you’re worried about wearing someone else’s clothes, perhaps I might have something that will fit you….” Toby’s voice trailed off as I shifted my shoulders. His face fell, and he shook his head in resignation as he realized we really weren’t a match.
Not in that way, anyway.
“No offense, but I’m not sure your clothes would fit.” I shrugged. “Lost property will do just fine. Let’s see what you’ve got.” I wasn’t sure whether he took the double entendre in my words, but I think he did. He stared at me, nodded, and motioned at me to follow him. It was a good move. His arse was a really great fit in his fancy pants, tight twin globes that moved with every step he took. I enjoyed the view. I spotted his face in the mirror as we passed down the hall. He was smiling.
My first thought was, shit, he’s seen me watching. My second one was, God, he has a great smile.
“Are you ogling my backside?” Toby asked in amusement. “I kind of think you were.”
I gave the only comeback I could think of. “It’s a nice backside. Who wouldn’t?”
He looked back at me and grinned as he reached a wooden door in the hallway. He took a bunch of keys off his belt, chose one, and inserted it in the lock. The door swung open. The room was dark and musty. He flicked on a light switch and entered, muttering to himself as he checked shelves.
“I know there was a sweatshirt and a bunch of tee shirts that some guy left from the wine-tasting convention we had here about a month ago. And then there was a suitcase that was left behind which had some really good stuff in it.” He sounded envious. “It was all Pierre Cardin and designer wear. I don’t know how anyone could just leave that behind. Where the hell is that bloody stuff?”
I listened to him ramble, thinking I’d never heard anything so completely cute. Although Toby might have boxed my ears for describing him as “cute.” He gave a sudden exclamation of satisfaction and pulled out what looked like a dark-green tee shirt and a large red hoodie, turning to me with a flourish.
“Eureka. I thought….” His voice trailed off as I moved forward, closer to him, and breathed in his ear.
“Toby, you are the sexiest thing I’ve seen in months. And I really want to kiss you.” I hoped my gaydar was right, or I could be about to get decked or arrested for sexual harassment. His breathing deepened. Toby was about six foot and I was six three, and I found him looking up at me a real turn-on. His lips parted slightly, and I took that as a yes. I moved in quickly, pressing my mouth against his, feeling the warmth and softness as he sighed slightly and leaned into me. I forced my tongue against his lips, parting them roughly, sliding my tongue in to touch his, slicking it against the underside of his as he slicked back. In that small room, with the smell of unwashed clothing, my sweat, and his cologne, time seemed to stop, and there was only the taste of this man in my mouth and the hardness of his cock against my groin. I felt like exploding. It had been too long.
Toby tasted like coffee and warmth and pure sex. His breathing into my mouth drove me crazy with sheer want, and the movement of his lips and tongue on mine was expert, teasing. I cupped his backside in my hands, pressing him against me, feeling his body shudder against mine. Lost in the moment, I groaned when he pulled away, his lips wet, his eyes unfocused. I reached out a hand to pull him back, and he moved away.
THE TRAILER: Featuring the stunning and talented Andre Corey
AUTHOR BIO: Sue Mac Nicol was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. At the age of eight, her family moved to Johannesburg, South Africa, where she stayed for nearly thirty years before arriving back in the UK in December 2000. The first year Sue was back in the UK, it snowed on her birthday, as it did the day she was born in 19*coughs* and she swears this was England welcoming her back.
Sue’s career has mostly been in the financial services area and she specialises in what she calls ‘boring’ compliance and regulatory work. That’s why she escapes into the world of writing and fantasy where she chats to her characters ad nauseum and is overjoyed when they reply. It beats the monotony of legalese, contracts and legislation and let’s face it, writing hot scenes between men can only be rewarding.
Sue is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association in the UK. She is also a member of a rather unique writing group called the Talliston Writers Circle, whose ‘creator’ is a man who is both a Bard and a Shaman. It makes for a really interesting evening and dinner conversation. 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 oysters.
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