Thank you for inviting me to your blog to talk about contemporary, erotic MM romance, ‘Love Unmasked, At the Candy Apple’.
So what is the Candy Apple?
It’s the club where Tom one of the heroes works. He’s one of my favorite heroes because he’s so laid back. He struggled through college, but then after taking the job at the Candy Apple to pay his tuition, he begins to love the atmosphere and the job itself. Tom is open minded and generous. He’s competent and inherently happy, but deep down he longs for love.
My other hero, Scott, is based on a friend of mine. A man who hid his sexual preference at work until one night when we were both leaving late I saw his boyfriend meet him and grab him into a kiss. He still hasn’t told anyone else he’s gay and I would never do anything to hurt him. He’s a sweetheart and invited me into his circle of friends who are predominantly gay guys. He waited a long time to approach his boyfriend because he thought he ‘wasn’t good enough’ (his words). Turns out the man had been watching him with his friends when they had a drink after work in one of the London bars and was on the verge of approaching him. They love each other, that much is obvious when I see them together. These guys embraced me into their group and have told me heaps about being gay. It’s been invaluable to me in my writing.
I wrote this story long before the horrific Orlando tragedy and considered asking Encompass Ink to hold off publishing the story for a while since its set in and around a club, however the Candy Apple isn’t a gay club per se. It’s an elite club for anyone, and in fact, there’s an M/F story featuring the Candy Apple releasing on July 1 and yes, Tom has a mention. How could he not? Love Unmasked is a happy story of gay love and maybe it will join the throng of other stories that make up a critical mass of support for the LGBT community.
I hope you enjoy ‘Love Unmasked.’ The title reflects not just a physical happening, but the revelation of love that occurs between characters. It’s a sizzling, contemporary story and I must have happy endings in my romance stories, so naturally this story has one.
(At the Candy Apple #1)
Published ~ 20th June 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary Erotic M/M Romance
Handsome Tom Wells sets lonely Scott Palmer’s heart racing as he watches Tom come and go from his apartment across the street. Scott longs to meet Tom, and when he scores a new job delivering goods for a local distributer, fate hands him the opportunity.
Tom works in a nightclub—the Candy Apple, and in the sultry environs, a masked stranger seduces Tom. The seeds of passion are sown, but just who has ignited Tom’s passion?
Scott’s longing to know Tom leads him to join the elite nightclub. On his first visit, the club holds a masquerade event.
Who is kissing who? Who’s under the black velvet mask?
An erotic MM romance, with a twist, and an HEA.
Available on Kindle Unlimited
Scott gulped down a cup of coffee. He pulled on a jacket, and grabbed up his cell phone and keys. Tom’s lights were on in his apartment. Scott saw him walking to and fro in one of the rooms, firstly without a shirt and then with a shirt on. Scott held his breath. He closed his eyes for a second as a wave of longing drifted over him. I don’t even know if he’s gay. He’s probably straight. I’m torturing myself. I’ll just check where he works. It can’t matter for me to look, to know—I don’t mean any harm. Scott left his apartment and went to sit in his car.
He’d been there more than half an hour. He watched the passersby, people hurrying some place, heads down against the rain-laden wind. A woman bumped into a man. Her bag bounced onto the sidewalk. The man marched on and the woman struggled to pick up things that had strewn onto the street. Scott leapt from his car and helped her. As she thanked him and he backed away he saw Tom’s truck edge into the stream of traffic. Scott hurried to his car. He took chances as he sped after Tom. He made it and was a car away from Tom’s truck. His hands shook and his heart pounded.
When Tom’s truck took a right and then slowed to enter a narrow street, Scott drew up behind him indicating right, too. He followed Tom down the street and then as Tom took a left into a large parking lot, he passed and stopped a short way off. Scott’s stomach ached. His heart raced. He slunk out of his parked car and practically tiptoed to the parking lot. Tom’s empty truck was parked close to a large building. Scott approached and skirted the hedging that grew by the wall. Lights on a white paved path led him along to the main street and Scott stood there at a loss to know where Tom might have gone. He set off to his right.
His heart nearly stopped when he saw Tom with a couple of men talking in the doorway of what had to be a club of some kind. The approach to the club on the street was slightly hidden from the path by a screen of tall but manicured hedge, now the building beckoned with a colorful, striped awning and brightly lit porch. Scott froze. He took out his cell and stared at it trying to look as if he checked a text. When he looked up again Tom was gone, but the guys at the entrance to the club lingered. Bouncers or security maybe. Scott sauntered past, but checked the name of the club that was blinking in relatively sedate white lights across the door lintel. He wasn’t sure because he daren’t stare, but it he thought the name of the club was Candy Apple.
Scott walked to the end of the block and then doubled back. He desperately wanted to go into the club. He forced himself up the steps to the porch. The bouncers blocked his way.
“Sorry sir, members only.”
Scott backed off a step, but a lie dropped from his mouth. “I’m supposed to meet a friend.”
“I suggest you wait on the sidewalk, sir. There’s no entry to the club without a member signing you in.”
Scott’s shoulders slumped. Disappointed, he nodded cordially at the man who faced him and took the few stairs quickly down to the street. He went back to his car and sat gazing out of the window as he thought. There must be information about this place somewhere. You have to be able to join. I’ll look it up. He drove home eager to check on the internet for the Candy Apple club.
Scott made a cup of instant coffee and booted his laptop. He typed Candy Apple club and the city name into his browser search box. There weren’t many hits, so perplexed he read the small amount of information available. The club used to be a gentlemen’s club, now it was “a member only multifaceted, club environment.” Scott grinned at that description. At least there was a phone number to call for membership inquiries. Scott keyed the number into his cell phone contacts. He closed the browser. The place was mysterious. Something has to be weird. Maybe it’s a secret gambling hang out, or maybe it’s a strip club … or maybe it’s a bordello. He laughed aloud at the word he’d remembered from a movie. Maybe it’s just an elite club. Is there any point calling now? The office probably closes at night.
Scott hadn’t eaten dinner. He went to the fridge and stared in. A steak lay on a tray covered by Saran wrap. He picked it up. If he had an egg, he’d make a steak and egg sandwich. That was comforting. He checked the drawer in the bottom of the fridge where he stored eggs in their carton. Two eggs remained in the pack when he lifted the lid. He took one out.
As he cooked, he planned how he’d call the Candy Apple the next day and ask to join. Then he wondered how much the membership fees might be. Whatever it is will be worth it so that I can hang out and watch Tom work.
Copyright Elodie Parkes 2016, Encompass Ink and imprint of CHBB publishing house.
Meet Elodie Parks
I’m a writer who is in love with happy endings, currently based in southern UK.
I love: music, art, flowers, trees, the ocean. I work with antiques by day and words by night. Like a vampire, darkness is my friend, that’s when the silence is only broken by an occasional hoot of owls in the woodlands opposite my home, and I write.