We are thrilled to welcome R.Phoenix to Sinfully today as she celebrates the her recent release of Too Close. Go check out the excerpt and don’t forget to enter the giveaway.
Published ~ 30th December 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
Skylar Orion's life has been complicated ever since his mother abandoned him and his sister Evie. Making ends meet seemed impossible until Tate Chandler took them in -- his knight in shining armor who promised to make life about more than just surviving. But Tate is not the man he seemed to be, and even his whispered I love yous and generous gifts do little to soothe the pain he causes. Knowing he can't give his sister all that she deserves without Tate, Skylar stays with him, relying on bad puns and a worse sense of humor to keep up the charade.He will do anything for his sister, even if that means acting the responsible adult and going back to his old high school to meet Dexter Weston, the hot math teacher who can make even algebra interesting. Sparks fly between the two of them, but with his dependence on Tate, Skylar isn't free to follow his heart. He wants what is best for Evie, but can he pass up the chance to find love that heals instead of harms?Warning: This book contains scenes of domestic abuse and violence that some may find triggering to read.
“I love you, Sky,” he whispers into my ear.
Then why? I want to ask. Why won’t you stop hurting me?
After a moment, he seems to realize I’m not going to respond, and he speaks again. “My mother was a mean drunk,” he says, words so soft I can barely hear them despite our proximity. “And every time I locked myself in my room, I thought that I must have done something so wrong that she didn’t love me anymore. That she couldn’t. Because who could hurt someone they love?”
Tate’s fingers clutch me more tightly.
I’m mesmerized despite myself. I’ve wondered the same thing. It’s not exactly a surprise to find out someone had hurt him, and I know firsthand what it’s like to have a shitty mother. But he doesn’t talk about his childhood, his past, his life… It’s always been this huge secret, and for the most part, that’s suited us both. Neither of us wants to dwell in the places we came from.
“I try so hard not to,” he confesses, me and the darkness the only witnesses to his offering of words. “I know it’s wrong, Skylar. I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Then why?” I finally whisper, almost choking on the question.
Behind me, he takes a deep, ragged breath. Then another. And another. “When I get upset – angry…” he finally begins. His arms briefly tighten around me before he relaxes them again. “It’s as if…” I can almost hear him searching for an analogy. “I feel like I pressed play on a movie that can’t be paused or stopped. No matter how many times I try to tell the actors not to go into the abandoned building, the outcome isn’t going to change. It’s already scripted, and it’s already recorded, and all I can do is watch.”
That… isn’t comforting.
Tate must realize that, because he kisses the top of my head and insists, “I’ll do better, Sky.”
“How can you?” I ask, tears stinging my eyes. I will not cry. Damn it, I will not cry. “You just said you can’t change it.” I’ve been telling myself that he means it when he says he’ll do better. But now? Well, I feel like one of the actors in the movie he was talking about – doomed to repeat the same actions over and over, no matter how many times it’s played. If he can’t change…
“I–” He sucks in a breath. “Sky, it isn’t that simple.”
Of course it is. You don’t hit people you love.
And if he can’t help himself? What then?
So what? He should be alone?
My stomach lurches at the thought, and for a moment, I think I’m going to get sick.
It’s probably a good thing I don’t know what to say, because I don’t think I could talk if I wanted to.
“Please,” Tate says quietly, and he sounds so vulnerable that I’ve turned around and wrapped my arms around him before I even realize I’ve moved. He kisses my shoulder. “I’ll do better, Skylar.”
I nod even though he can’t see me. What am I supposed to say? Hell, for that matter, what’s he supposed to say? I don’t think anyone knows how to deal with something like this.
“Good night,” I whisper.
Meet R. Phoenix
R. Phoenix has an unhealthy fascination with contrasts: light and dark, heroes and villains, order and chaos. She believes that love can corrupt and power can redeem. Her muse is a sadomasochistic slavedriver who thinks it’s terribly amusing to give her the best ideas when she just got comfortable and warm in bed, and she passes on that torture to her readers.
If she had it her way, she would describe the books in her “Ripples in the Status Quo” world as: “Supernatural creatures take over the world and turn humans into pets and food. There’s some sex between guys. And… um… fucked up things happen.” It’s probably a good thing she has people around her to remind her that she actually wants people to read her books. (They should really be more diligent, especially when they know she’s writing her author bio.)
She’s an author, stay-at-home mother, housewife, second time college student, and duck herder extraordinaire. She’s learning how to cook without burning the house down, her garden is somehow neither drowning nor drying up, and one day she might remember what that mythical thing called “free time” is. She’s starting to wonder who thought it was a good idea to write bios in third person.
She also tries entirely too hard to be funny, and she mercilessly inflicts her terrible sense of humor upon anyone who speaks to her. Really, it’s not you. It’s her. All the same, she’d love it if you’d say hello, because it makes her day to hear that someone read something she wrote. If they enjoyed it, there’s usually an awkward happy dance and embarrassing sounds of joy to accompany it (no, not that kind of sound, you perv). If all of that hasn’t scared you away, please say hello!
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