Many thanks to Sinfully Sexy for hosting my Cutting Out blog tour. This is the fourth novel in the Cutting Cords series and a direct sequel to Cleave. I’m going to be sharing excerpts in a serial fashion. You can expect to read something different at each stop as I move forward in the novel. An e-book copy of Cutting Out will be offered to one lucky commenter as part of the deal so make sure to leave your contact information when you comment. Sinfully Sexy will pick the winner.
Cutting Out (Cutting Cords #4) by Micky B. Ashling
Title ~ Cutting Out (Cutting Cords #4)
Author ~ Micky B. Ashling
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 29th October 2014
Sequel to Cleave
Hours after stepping off the yacht where they had their mock wedding, real life intrudes, and arguments arise between Sloan Driscoll and Trent Hamilton. Seeking relief at his BDSM club, Trent bumps into an old army buddy who tells him things are different now that DADT has been repealed. Meanwhile, Sloan receives a frantic call from ex-lover, Cole Fujiwara, who tells him that his twins and ex-wife have been kidnapped. Cole asks Sloan for help but makes him promise not to include Trent in the rescue attempt.
Trent considers the opportunity to resume a career cut short, and despite Sloan's threat to postpone the wedding, he leaves for the Middle East as an independent mercenary while Sloan rushes to aid Cole.
In Tokyo, disturbing revelations draw the former couple together, and old feelings are rekindled. Despite this new understanding, neither man makes a move. Sloan is focused on rescuing Cole’s family without jeopardizing his relationship with Trent, while Cole must prepare himself to survive disappointment if Sloan chooses to segue into married life as a military spouse.
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The next morning, Cole insisted on working out before breakfast. He appeared calm and amazingly focused on keeping his routine as normal as possible. I jumped on the suggestion, hoping that exercise would steady my frazzled nerves. They were jangling and I wasn’t sure why. Perhaps it had to do with Cole himself, and being back in his life 24/7, or was it the potential danger awaiting us that had led to a sleepless night and long moments of introspection? Granted, the booze had wound me up instead of relaxing me. My dreams were messing with reality and it was hard to separate the two. I kept reaching for Trent, and the shock of finding an empty space kept jerking me awake like dreaming about falling off a cliff, and gasping for breath as I plummeted to my death. It was disconcerting as hell, especially when I picked up my phone and saw nothing in my inbox. I wish I knew what Trent was doing. Did he miss me? Was there even time to dwell on love when he was dodging bullets?
I’d gotten into the habit of jogging with Trent every other morning, so accompanying Cole to the hotel gym wasn’t such an ordeal. I’d thrown a couple aspirins down my throat to ward away the beating drums in my brain. I hit the treadmill while Cole did laps in the heated pool. Everything was going fine until he asked me to spot him on the free weights. He was lying on his back with his legs spread apart on either side of the bench as I stood sentinel above his head. It was impossible to keep my eyes away from his crotch since his damp nylon swim trunks were plastered to his junk. Memories of our sex life slammed into me, and I could feel a stirring in my groin that was unwanted, and wholly unexpected. I must have made some involuntary noise because he paused in mid-lift and asked if there was a problem.
“No,” I replied coolly, doing my best to mask my voice. This sudden dip into forbidden territory was more terrifying than anything else that had happened since we’d left New York. Trent and I were monogamous, happy, and on the brink of marriage. How could I even contemplate sex with a man who’d ripped my heart to shreds? Fortunately, Cole couldn’t see my face, or the bulge at my groin, as I struggled to get myself under control. I blamed my slip on pure physical need; my body was used to daily sex. Trent and I had a morning routine that always ended with spectacular orgasms. That was it. Plain and simple, and even as I thought it, Oscar Wilde’s quote came to mind. It was stenciled on the wallpaper in the men’s room at Max’s club. The truth is rarely pure and never simple. The beige wall was covered in quotes written in red script; impossible to avoid when one was engaged in the serious business of taking a dump. I often wondered what it would have been like to befriend a man who could spout wisdom so effortlessly.
When Cole was done lifting, I went back to the treadmill to sweat out my demons. Once I found my running rhythm, I lost the boner, and could concentrate on my breathing. It felt good to knock out the kinks from my travel-weary muscles. We were at the gym for over an hour, and when we finished up, we decided to shower in our individual rooms rather than using the spa, which was just as well. I didn’t need more reminders of what I was missing.
A special thank you to PAS Promotions for their expert handling of my blog tour.
Meet Mickie B. Ashling
Mickie B. Ashling is the alter-ego of a multifaceted woman raised by a single mother who preferred reading over other forms of entertainment. She found a kindred spirit in her oldest child and encouraged her with a steady supply of dog-eared paperbacks. Romance was the preferred genre, and historical romances topped her favorites list.
By the time Mickie discovered her own talent for writing, real life had intruded, and the business of earning a living and raising four sons took priority. With the advent of e-publishing and the inevitable emptying nest, dreams were resurrected, and the storyteller was reborn.
She stumbled into the world of men who love men in 2002 and continues to draw inspiration from their ongoing struggle to find equality and happiness in this oftentimes skewed and intolerant world. Her award-winning novels have been called "gut wrenching, daring, and thought provoking." She admits to being an angst queen and making her men work damn hard for their happy endings.
Mickie loves to travel and has lived in the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East but currently resides in a suburb outside Chicago.
Leave a comment below along with your contact information for your chance to win an e-book copy of Cutting Out… Giveaway ends Midnight GMT 15th November, 7pm EST 14th November.