Icarus Smith has two problems, and they both want him…their Mediator.
Icarus Smith has just landed an unusual assignment. A licensed mediator used to handling squabbling spouses, he’s been hand-picked to negotiate a forty-million-dollar welterweight championship title fight. The problem is, these two world boxing champions hate each other. Worst of all, Icarus has discovered that one of them, Italian superstar Paolo de Luca, is the man with whom he had a passionate affair in Italy the previous summer. Paolo cruelly dumped him, and Icarus realizes he is still devastated. Can he overcome his personal feelings to work with Paolo and the boxer’s arch-nemesis, US champion Adam Wyler?
So far, the fight scheduled to take place at New York’s Madison Square Garden is a bust. Fans have bought tickets, and Pay-Per-View sales are through the roof. Just like Lady Di’s face once adorned dishcloths, these guys have their faces on buttons, badges, posters, TV and print ads. And they don’t care.
But Icarus has an even bigger problem. He’s just accepted promoter Thaddeus Halsey’s huge wad of cash to broker this deal and Icarus wants the money for a restoration project in his hometown in Las Vegas. Can Icarus go through with mediation? Can he persuade the man who broke his heart to face the guy who now apparently wants it?
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of multiple male ménage.
Publisher's Note: This book was previously released by Totally Bound under the same title. It has been expanded, revised and re-edited for re-release.
General Release Date: 19th December 2014
“You’re ordering that?” Jerome Curtin scoffed at me.
I looked up from the menu, trying to hide my embarrassment. Ten minutes I’d known the guy, and it was ten minutes too many. Before I could respond, a man in red silk pants and a lime green shirt rushed by me on stilts. Jugglers followed him, then came the singers. The diners around us began to applaud. To my astonishment, the statue of an old man sitting on the bench right opposite me came to life.
The briny smell of St. Mark’s Square and the canal’s waters filled my senses with nostalgia. The singers in their brightly colored costumes gathered near the fountain, gaudy masks held to their faces, and started to sing. The Carnevale di Venezia came beautifully to life. The twilight ambience with its flickering wall sconces put me in a better mood, as did the old Italian folk melody. I recognized it, but didn’t remember how.
I glanced back up at the waiter. Pity flashed in his eyes. I guessed he’d had his share of bad dates, too.
“Sorry.” In a flash of joy it came back to me. “Lu Me Sceccu,” I practically shouted.
My table companion looked startled then he rolled his eyes. “Number one on Billboard, was it?”
Well! No need to be rude. “I know that song!” I tried to place it and it hit me.
I couldn’t believe that almost eighteen months later, I’d buried the memory so deep that it hurt to recall it. It was like a scar on my soul. I spent my whole life counseling people, urging them to forget the past. Me, I’d just submerged the pain in work. I took a deep breath and grabbed my glass of iced water.
“Sir?” The waiter’s eyes were full of sympathy. “Are you okay?”
No. “Yes, I’m fine, thank you.”
Jerome Curtin suddenly leaned across the table and kissed me. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he slipped his tongue into my mouth. It was like being invaded by an electric eel.
I pushed him off me. “What are you doing?” I sputtered as iced water ran down my suit and tie. It figured that the one time I’d splurged on new clothes, they’d be ruined.
The waiter produced hand towels out of nowhere and gave them to me, still looking like he felt very bad for me.
“Thank you.” I pressed the towels against my soaking wet shirt.
“You looked like you wanted to be kissed,” Jerome said.
Not by you.
“You had this look in your eye.”
Yeah, I could just imagine. I’d thought I was over it—him, that is. The astonishing man I’d met that summer, when I’d found the love I’d thought would never die. Lu Me Sceccu. I smiled now, recalling that it was an elderly woman’s love song to her dearly departed forty-year-old donkey.
“Icarus, you’re keeping the man waiting!” Jerome blared the words at me over the top of the singers’ voices.
A busboy appeared and deftly replaced the tablecloth, gave me a new napkin, then refilled my water glass. I thanked him. I could feel water seeping into my underpants. Later, I might find this funny. Right now, I wished I’d gone home and caught up on case work, like I usually did.
“I’ll have a dozen oysters,” I said, changing my order. “And the tomato ricotta salad, please.”
The waiter nodded. “Excellent choice, sir.”
As he took Jerome’s order, I grasped for the fleeting moments of sheer happiness I recalled from that magnificent Sunday lunch when Pio had taken me to meet his family. I had never felt so accepted, so…embraced by a family. I’d wanted to be with them forever. And it wasn’t like me, not at all, to fall so quickly, so hard.
To love total strangers so deeply.
A.J. Llewellyn lives in California, but dreams of living in Hawaii. Frequent trips to all the islands, bags of Kona coffee in the fridge and a healthy collection of Hawaiian records keep this writer refueled.
A.J. never lacks inspiration for male/male erotic romances and on the rare occasions this happens, pursues other passions such as collecting books on Hawaiiana, surfing and spending time with friends and animal companions.
A.J. Llewellyn believes that love is a song best sung out loud.
Reviewed by Rainbow Book Reviews
This is a sizzling man-on-man-on-man action in a love triangle ménage story that is scorching hot. I totally enjoyed it! The tone, setting, and length was perfect for this “startling-turn-of-events”...
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A.J. Llewellyn - BTSe Mag feature
One of the things rarely addressed in romantic fiction but of obsessive interest for me, is who pays for dinner on that first date? The protocol of paying is a tricky subject for single people – gay or straight – and when I broached the subject recently with friends, I was surprised by the reactions I got.
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A.J. Llewellyn - Cara Sutra feature
I am totally stoked to be here at the Cara Sutra blog. I’ve been reading some excerpts posted by other authors and I am fanning myself from the e-flames! There are some hot story tellers out there…
I have over 200 romance novels published, many of them with the awesome Totally Bound. I’ve got loads of free material to share with you, including some steamy excerpts, so let’s get this party started!