Romance Novel Giveaways - Freebies and Giveaways of All Things Romance Romance Novel Giveaways: Building Up to Love by J.V. Speyer 💕 Book Blitz, Guest Post & Gift Card Giveaway 💕 (M/M Romantic Suspense))

Friday, May 31, 2019

Building Up to Love by J.V. Speyer 💕 Book Blitz, Guest Post & Gift Card Giveaway 💕 (M/M Romantic Suspense))

Jared is at the top of his game, professionally. His love life leaves a little to be desired. All he wants is someone who can love him for him, and who doesn’t demand he “pick a side.” The sudden reappearance of his college boyfriend, Logan, doesn’t make anything better.

Logan knows he broke Jared’s heart all those years ago. He plans to keep a respectful distance, especially once he starts defending a mob case. The last thing he wants is to bring more trouble into Jared’s life. As they keep getting thrown together, he finds it harder to stay away.

The Mob isn’t known for being considerate of their targets’ love lives. It’s not going to be easy to build a new relationship with Jared as Logan’s client’s enemies come knocking at his door…

Building Up To Love is more about love and murder than it is about home improvement, although there is plenty of home construction going on in the story. I’ve never been big into construction projects, probably because it wasn’t ever my dad’s forte either. He’d do what he could, and we weren’t exactly rolling in cash. We couldn’t afford to call in Ward Design and Construction when, say, the living room ceiling collapsed in the 1920s bungalow where I grew up. Sometimes he’d call my grandfather, but if my grandfather wasn’t up to the task he had to do it himself.

One incident I remember, because it’s seared into my brain like one of those weird brands people put on their hamburgers or steaks in home goods catalogues, dates to when I was ten years old. We had a kitchen. People on home improvement shows would call it “dated.” It probably was. Those cabinets were a unique shade of yellow only found in that house, but they held our plates and cups and stuff.

It was also dark, because Syracuse gets more precipitation than the Pacific Northwest, homes were built close together on our street, and the whole street (and every yard) was lined with trees. The kitchen had one electric light overhead to help cope with the lack of natural light in that room. It was dim, but what are you going to do?

So the light died one day when I was about ten. It wasn’t the bulb that died, something else needed to be done. I didn’t understand it then and I don’t care enough to research now. All I know is Dad had to deal with it. He had to use a ladder, and my job was to hold the ladder and call and ambulance if things went to hell.

So there I was, standing at the foot of this ladder while my dad muttered words I pretended not to understand. All of a sudden I smelled something weird – not burning, but not natural in my mother’s kitchen either. My dad cursed, and as he jumped off the ladder I looked up.

Have you ever seen one of those medieval paintings of Pentecost? The ones where flames, representing the Holy Spirit, arc down from the heavens toward the apostles’ heads? Yeah, like that. Except at ten, I already knew I was no apostle and there was nothing holy about whatever had happened there.



“Did you turn the power off before working on the fixture?”

“Um… maybe.”

To be fair, a lot of older houses have some weird wiring. He may have thought he turned off the power to the kitchen and actually turned it off to the basement, or the neighbor’s garage, who knows.

What I do know is that he packed up his tools and did not touch them again. We duct taped the switch for the overhead light down, so no one could use it again. We used floor lamps in the kitchen until I moved out. And we never spoke of the light incident again.

You know, until I just shared it all with you.

Luther examined his fingernails. “Yeah, okay. People die from injuries all the time. They fall down stairs, or get hit by busses.”
Logan met Luther’s eyes and held them. He didn’t know what he expected to accomplish there, but whatever it was he didn’t get it. Luther showed no remorse, no guilt.
Logan flipped the page. “And here we have an imprint, left in the victim’s cheek, which matches a ring you wear. That same ring is in your personal possessions downstairs. Come on, Luther. I’m not here to convince you, I’m here to help you avoid as much jail time as you can. I’ve been doing this for a while now. I’m pretty damn good at it, and I’m here to tell you in my professional opinion that you’re fucked.”
Luther sat up a little straighter, his chains clanking as he moved. “Wait. Your job is to get me out of this jam.”
“Luther, Jesus Christ himself could come down from Heaven and argue your case, changing the judge’s water into wine, and you’re not going to weasel out of this one. Sorry, but it’s the truth. You know it. And like you heard at your arraignment, this isn’t even the worst of the crimes you’re being charged with. Because you work for a criminal enterprise, you’re being looked at for a whole lot more than roughing up some sex workers. RICO means hard time, Luther, and lots of it.”
Luther lost a little bit of his color. “So what do you want me to do here? Just surrender? I’ve still got to go to trial. I’m not no hit man or nothing.”
“I know. I also know — or rather, the Feds know — you’re involved in more than just harassing pimps for cash.” Logan flipped through the file again. He knew he had Luther’s attention. “The fact is, Luther, they don’t really want you. They’re happy enough to send you away, but they know what it’s really like out there. Your bosses have another guy in your place by now. They had him ready to go before you were done with processing. I don’t know who it is, and I don’t care. It’s another pimp they promoted, just like you. Someone younger, hungrier, and not in jail.”
Luther looked away. “They’ve got my back. They always have.”
“Not this time. They know once you’re up on federal charges, it’s all over. Even if you walk — and you won’t — you’d be in under a microscope forever. It’s not personal. It’s just business.” Logan ran a hand through his curls. “Here’s the thing. They’re going to let you twist. But I think we can reduce the amount of time you spend in jail. All you have to do is tell the Feds what they want to know.”
Luther’s eyes bulged. “You want me to be a rat? You’re crazy.”
“It’s your choice. I can try to set up a deal for you, that gets you out of jail while you’re still young enough to have some kind of life. Or we can go to trial. It’s your decision. I’ll back your play either way. I just want you to be realistic about your options, Luther. I’m not going to try to sell you a bill of goods. I’m not that kind of guy.” Logan shrugged. He got paid either way. To be honest, he felt it would be better for Luther to go away for as long as possible, but that wasn’t his job.
Luther ran his tongue over his teeth. “Can I have a few days to think about it?”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a big decision.” Logan packed his things up. “You have my number, you know how to get in touch with me. I’ll check in with you in a week, if I don’t hear from you before that.”
They closed with a few pleasantries, and a request from Luther to reach out to his mother and wife, and then Logan headed out. He wanted nothing more than to go home and shower for an hour. Being at Nashua Street always made him want to wash up. Being around Luther Hall made him want to bathe in hand sanitizer.
He did neither of those things. If he let himself start with that kind of thing, he’d never stop. A defense lawyer who got obsessive about scrubbing up after prison visits would start to have problems pretty quickly. He checked his messages instead, and found one from the developer at his new building.
Mr. King, this is Randy, from Washington Street Homes. We’re ready for you to come and select finishes for your unit, if you’d like to call and set up an appointment.
Logan made a snap decision. He called Randy back and asked to come by within the hour, if it was convenient for everyone involved. “I could use the pick-me-up, and I don’t have anything else on my calendar.”
Randy agreed to the meeting, and Logan got his driver to bring him to the new building. Everything seemed to be coming along quickly, and Logan couldn’t have been more delighted. When he signed the papers he’d been told it would be eight to twelve weeks before he could move in, but if he was able to pick out appliances and finishes he might be able to move in sooner.
He’d have to invite Gage over for drinks, just to say thank you.
Randy ushered him into the trailer he used as an office. “I can’t wait until we can get into the building,” he commented as he sent a text. “Something about leaving the trailer out here all night in the middle of the city just makes me nervous. I know, it’s stupid, but I can’t help but feel I’m going to come back in the morning and find it up on blocks with all the metal gone. The guy doing the indoors is onsite, so we were able to set this up for you. He had to take over for the previous guy, who got arrested. I don’t want to know what happened, but whatever. This new guy is even better than the previous guy, though. I like him. I’m going to try to use him on all my projects going forward. He’s young, but he knows the business and he’s efficient.”
The door to the trailer swung open again, and Logan’s heart stopped beating. He should have expected this, because life always liked to kick him in the teeth. Jared Ward had filled out even more over the past decade or so. His hair had grown too. His tool belt accentuated his narrow hips and waist. The smile that had been playing around his lips fell away when he saw Logan.
Logan covered his mouth. He didn’t know if he was hiding a smile, or a sob, or what he was doing. He needed to get control of himself. “Hey, Jared. Been a while.”


J. V. Speyer has lived in upstate New York and rural Catalonia before settling in the greater Boston area. She has worked in archaeology, security, accountancy, finance, and non-profit management.  She currently lives just south of Boston in a house old enough to remember when her town was a tavern community with a farming problem.  (No, really. John Adams complained about it. A lot.)

When not writing, J. V. enjoys watching baseball and seeking out all of New England’s creepiest spots.  Her Spawn has turned her into a hockey enthusiast. She can be bribed with gin, tequila, and cats.


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