Monday, October 26, 2015

[Spotlight]: "Stygian" Excerpt + Giveaway!


Santino Hassell says that while New York City is his heart, writing is his soul. He writes LGBTQ romance heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of NYC, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

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Stygian by Santino Hassell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (October 26, 2015)
Genre: M/M Paranormal

Jeremy has been isolated and adrift since the death of his brother. Most people just see him as the skinny emo kid who wears eyeliner and plays drums. No one gets him. Nobody tries. He thought the indie rock band Stygian would become his anchor, but—lost in their own problems—they’re far from the family he sought.

Still, hoping to get close to Kennedy, the band's enigmatic guitarist, he follows Stygian to northern Louisiana for a summer retreat. They had planned to spend six weeks focusing on new music but things go awry as soon as they arrive at the long-deserted Caroway mansion. Tempers flare, sexual tension boils over into frustration, and Jeremy turns away from the band to find a friend in his eerily beautiful landlord Hunter Caroway.

Kennedy suspects there’s something off about the creepy mansion and its mysterious owners, but Jeremy thinks he's finally found somewhere he fits. It isn’t until Kennedy forces the Caroway’s secrets into the light that Jeremy realizes belonging sometimes comes with a price.

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Stygian by Santino Hassell

A bolt of lightning streaked across the sky again, and for one very brief fragment of a second, Jeremy saw Kennedy’s strained expression and that vulnerable glint in his eyes.

“You could have me. Even if the band fell apart, we could be together.”

“You think I haven’t thought about that?”

“No, I don’t. Because you act like you don’t want me. You kiss me and totally fucking wreck me, and then say you just wanted me to shut up.”

“What should I have said? That seeing you in pain made me feel like shit? That I wanted to fucking comfort you, but I didn’t know what to say? That I felt like a selfish dickhead for whining about Caroline and bringing all of that stuff back for you?”

“Yes,” Jeremy yelled. “That is everything I wanted you to say! But you didn’t say it because it’s not true. You’re just spitting words now because they sound good.”

“Jeremy, just stop.” Kennedy slammed his hand against the wood, and the rickety cabinet shuddered beneath him. “You don’t think I see you when you’re behind the drums— sweating and flushed with that gleam in your eye? You don’t think I like it when you get all up on me after a show— that I don’t notice how bad you want to fuck just to get rid of the adrenaline?”

Jeremy slid his shaking hands over Kennedy’s shoulders and drew him closer.

“You think I don’t get horny when you sleep pressed against me in those cheap motels?” Kennedy’s voice was an octave lower. “That I never get the urge to grind my wood against that ass in the morning?”

“Fuck,” Jeremy whispered, digging his fingers in harder. He could see it so clearly—all the things that could and should have been if Kennedy would just give in. All the times they could have touched each other in a motel or in the van while Quince drove and Watts snoozed in the passenger’s seat. Stolen kisses and discreet hand jobs, riding Kennedy in the back of his El Camino after a show…

“I see you,” Kennedy said. “I’ve always seen you. And I’m human, kid. If you don’t think I want what you’re dying to give, you’re out of your mind. I just can’t stand the idea of it all going wrong.”

Each word brought Jeremy’s attention to the glint of Kennedy’s lip ring in the darkness. By the time realization kicked in and he caught on to what Kennedy was saying, the single-minded focus on the tempting curve of that silver loop spread into the white-hot burn of need. Jeremy leaned in, closing the scant inches between them, and dragged the tip of his tongue across the full swell of Kennedy’s mouth until he tasted metal.

Hands clamped on Jeremy’s upper arms, powerful and nearly painful, but instead of pushing him away, Kennedy stood stock-still. A hushed sound answered Jeremy’s tentatively searching tongue, and despite all of his reservations, Kennedy did nothing to prevent Jeremy from licking at the seam of his mouth.

“Don’t start this,” Kennedy whispered.

Jeremy spread his thighs wide enough for his hamstrings to burn, but it was nothing compared to the pressure of Kennedy’s erection pushing against his own.

“You want me to start it.”

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Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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