Today we welcome Eli Easton back to Sinfully to celebrate her new release, Merry Christmas Mr. Miggles. Don’t forget to check out the exclusive excerpt and enter the giveaway!
Merry Christmas Mr. Miggles
Published ~ 23rd November 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, Christmas
Toby Kincaid loves being the junior librarian in his hometown of Sandy Lake, Ohio. He spends his days surrounded by books and chatting with the library patrons. He especially adores the head librarian, Mr. Miggles, who is kind, witty, knowledgeable about everything, and hopelessly addicted to Christmas. Sean Miggles is also pretty cute—especially for an older guy who wears ties and suit pants every day.
But Sean keeps himself at a distance, and there’s a sadness about him that Toby can’t figure out. When Sean is accused of a crime he didn’t commit, he gives up without a fight. Toby realizes that he alone can save the library—and their head librarian.
Toby will need to uncover the darkness in Sean’s past and prove to him that he deserves a second chance at life and at love too. And while Christmas miracles are being handed out, maybe Toby will get his own dearest wish—to love and be loved by Mr. Miggles.
::: LISA’S REVIEW :::
"I think you should go, Toby."
"Wait. Just… wait."
I took a deep breath, desperate to marshal my thoughts. There was still so much to say, so much I had to talk to him about. And I had a deep need to comfort him, which was positively asinine. I had to stay focused. "Look. What I came here to say is that we need to fight this. You and me and the library…. We're a team. Like… like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern."
"Rosencrantz and Guildenstern?" Mr. Miggles’s mouth formed a ghost of a smile. "Sometimes, Toby, I think you were born in the wrong decade."
"Yeah, that's what my mom says. Batman and Robin then. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. The point is it works. Us and the library. We're needed. You can't just let them rip us apart."
Mr. Miggles gave me a pitying look, as if I was being naive. "If the town board wants me gone, they'll find a way sooner or later. And if people read in the papers that I'm accused of… of abusing a child, they'll doubt. It's human nature. They won't feel comfortable bringing their children to the library anymore. I can't be responsible for that. Don't you see? I don't have to be guilty. I only have to be under the shadow of suspicion. I won't pull the library down to save my own skin."
I walked over to him, slowly, afraid he'd back away. But he didn't. I got very close. Sean Miggles, one-time basketball player, was a few inches taller than me, something not always apparent at work since we rarely got this close. I stopped just short of touching him, and he didn't step back. His gaze was steady as he looked down into my eyes. Steady, sad, and, unless I was crazy, there was longing in there too.
"I once heard you tell a kid that you can't let bullies roll all over you. That's what you're doing if you don't fight this, Sean. Letting the bullies win."
His eyes roamed over my face and his jaw flexed. He started to speak, hesitated, then said, "You're right. But. Maybe this is… maybe it's no more or less than I deserve."
That made me angry. "Are you serious right now?" I asked, incensed. "You think this is punishment for the car accident? What kind of fatalistic bullshit is that?"
"I suppose it is a bit fatalistic."
"Even Mr. Rochester, who locked up the woman he'd married and then married someone else, even he got a happy ending!"
Sean's expression was somewhere between sad and fond. "Well, to be fair, Toby, he did lose Jane for a considerable period. He was scorned, his family home burned, and he lost his eyesight."
Oh my God, I thought. I'm completely and totally in love with this man.
"Fine. He did pay a bit. It's fiction!" I scrubbed my hands over my face in frustration. "Sean, you're the best man I've ever met. You do not deserve this."
"Perhaps. But we aren't always strong enough to do what's right.” He shut his eyes for a moment, his face pained. “I… can't do this again, Toby. What happened in Los Angeles nearly finished me. I don't have it in me to fight this time."
"That's okay," I said firmly. "Because you won't be fighting alone."
He shook his head ever so slightly, but he didn't say anything. He gazed at my face as if he were trying to memorize it. He looked briefly at my mouth. It was a tiny thing, only a moment’s glance, the barest flicker of longing, but it made the low throb of tension in my belly flare to life.
I guess I was thinking with…. Well, I'm not sure what I was thinking with. I wanted to show him that I cared, more than cared, that I believed in him. And now that I knew for certain he was a gay man, my self-confidence kicked in too.
I wasn't going to let him disappear, let him vanish from my life like a story I'd read long ago. The mere thought caused a surge of dread. The life that stretched out before me without Sean Miggles in it was a bleak one. Who would be my library ninja then? Sandy Lake's knight errant? Who would keep me on my toes? Make literary remarks that had me gushing all warm and fond inside? Be the most secret wish of my heart?
There comes a time when you have to reach out for what you want. And damn if this wasn't that time. I leaned up on my toes, raised my hand to his neck to hold him in place, and kissed him.
He didn't pull away. There was a brief moment when he froze. Then he turned into heated energy under my hand, my lips. He kissed back, opening up to suck at my mouth. His hands went to my hips and gripped there like he was drowning. He swayed against me as if he couldn't help it.
Hell, yes, Sean. More.
I'd been right all along. This growing crush I'd had on my boss was not just some foolishness I should have denied and pushed away. We felt right. We felt so damn right. In an instant, we were equals. We were lovers. No longer playing our respective roles, all of that stripped away, stripped down to Toby and Sean, Sean and Toby. And, dear God, it was beautiful. My heart sang with the joy of it.
One of us made a long, low moan. I sucked on his tongue desperately, pressed closer to—
Suddenly he froze, grabbed my arms, and pushed me back.
"Don't," I said, seeing the warring emotions on his face.
He shut his eyes and took a deep, shaky breath. Without looking at me again, he let me go, turned away from me, and stepped back. "I… can't do this with you. I'm sorry."
Connect with Eli Easton
Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, an organic farmer and a profound sleeper, Eli is happily embarking on yet another incarnation as a m/m romance author.
As an avid reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, three cows and six chickens. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest fiction writing.