Title: Third Son
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: October 2, 2017
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, mystery, action, family-drama, gay, crime, suspense, explicit, criminals, bodyguard
American Niall Monroe returns to Hong Kong—a city he calls home—after being away for eight years. He hopes to finally find happiness with Peter Wei, his closeted lover of fourteen years, but is disappointed to find Peter has been put in an untenable position. He must marry and produce the long-awaited grandchild or get cut off by his millionaire father.
Gerard Sun, a talented artist, bursts back into Niall’s life after a one-night stand in Las Vegas. Circumstances force the men to deal with their attraction, especially when Niall’s firm considers Gerard to help promote tourism in the People’s Republic of China.
James, Peter’s younger brother, has been Niall’s best friend since they were schoolmates. He encourages Niall to ditch his brother and move on. He encourages Niall to ditch his brother until he finds out Niall is thinking of dating Gerard Sun, a talented artist.
Coming home seemed like a great idea until it wasn’t. Niall finds himself a stranger in a familiar landscape, slammed on multiple fronts by broken promises, jealousy, intrigue, unimaginable deceit, and undercurrents of evil. As his dreams quickly turn into nightmares, Niall reaches out to new allies for support.
Mickie B. Ashling © 2017
All Rights Reserved
Many thanks for giving me the opportunity to share an exclusive excerpt from my latest release, Third Son. The idea for this novel appeared out of the blue like all my other stories, and I jumped on the chance to explore the mind of a character whose outward appearance and psyche are completely at odds. Having grown up in a country where I was a minority—the Philippines—it was easy to relate to Niall. Although he speaks the language, and understands the prevailing mindset, a blue-eyed ginger in China sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb. This story is a departure from most of the romances I’ve written in the past and I’m happy it found a home at NineStar Press.
Niall and Gerard had a one-night stand in Las Vegas. Suddenly Niall finds himself in the same city with the famous artist. His open relationship with Peter is unsatisfactory, and after another bitter argument, Niall decides to give Gerard a call.
To make sure I didn’t do something stupid like crawl back to Peter, I turned on my phone, ignoring the multiple missed calls, and pulled out Gerard’s card from where I’d tucked it away in my wallet. I sent a text, letting him know I’d be at the opening tomorrow and would like some private time to go over a proposal. It was almost midnight at this point, and I hadn’t expected a reply, so I was astounded when my phone rang. I thought it was Peter, but the caller ID said otherwise.
“Hey,” I said, accepting the call. “I didn’t think I’d hear from you until tomorrow. It’s late.”
“Not for me,” Gerard said. “I do my best work at night.”
“Good to know,” I murmured. “When do you go to bed?”
“Are you offering?”
I smiled ruefully. It was nice to know he was still interested after I’d been so rude the other night. “Don’t get too excited. It’s been a long day and I’d fall asleep the minute my head hit the pillow.”
“I’m encouraged that you’re even considering it.”
“Will wonders never cease,” I replied with a biting edge.
“If you had a fight with that piece of shit, I’ll be more than happy to provide whatever comfort you need.”
I felt guilty for a split second but shoved my righteous feelings away as quickly as they appeared. Gerard knew the score. If we ended up in bed again, it would be to our mutual advantage. There was nothing shady about the guy. He’d been honest with me from the beginning, and he was obviously still interested if he’d sought me out. I wondered what it would be like to date someone who wasn’t ashamed to be seen with me. I pushed those thoughts away. Already I was way ahead of myself, planning a future with Gerard when I hadn’t recovered from the sting of Peter’s rejection. Why did I need another man’s affection to validate me? And why on earth would I pick someone from the same culture whose family would hate everything about me? On the other hand, wasn’t a new love affair the best cure for a broken heart?
“It’s late,” I said, not bothering to address Gerard’s offer. “I’ll see you at the show tomorrow.”
“Let’s plan on dinner afterward,” Gerard suggested. “We can talk about your proposal.”
My phone chimed again, and I saw a new text from Peter. I powered off immediately.
Before falling asleep, I revisited my time in Vegas where Gerard and I had first met. It was the day after I’d first noticed him. The owner of the hotel had invited my small group of coworkers to dinner, and we were waiting in the lobby when he appeared with my poolside wet dream by his side.
I couldn’t remember what we had for dinner, but I did recall Gerard’s delight when he learned I’d been schooled in Hong Kong and spoke his language. Gradually, we slipped into Mandarin to avoid the eavesdropping as he plied me with questions regarding the advertising company I represented and its goals. By the end of our meal, we had arrived at an understanding with regards to the business at hand. I was slightly buzzed on good wine, success, and Gerard’s engaging smile.
Someone suggested dancing and we piled into the first available limo. We were at the club in no time. The atmosphere was much like Pandora’s, and I moved away from the group hoping to find a willing partner, not realizing that Gerard followed closely behind.
He wrapped an arm around my waist, and we started to sway in time with the pulsating music that blared throughout the place. I was feeling no pain, hoping to have a good time and stop brooding over my long-distance relationship.
I had felt Gerard’s hands sliding down my ass and drawing me closer. His cock was rock hard and mine responded eagerly. For one mad moment, I thought I was with Peter. The similarities in body language were eerie, but when I stared into the honey-colored eyes, I saw the difference. Gerard looked at me like I was something precious, not a toy he could use and discard whenever the mood struck.
“Hey,” I said, under my breath.
“You’re a great dancer,” he said.
“I noticed you at the pool yesterday,” he admitted.
“Same here,” I said. “I especially liked your tats. Are they an original design?”
He nodded. “I’m a dragon.”
I broke into a wide grin. “So am I.”
Gerard looked pleased that a detailed explanation wasn’t going to be needed. We were both born in 1988, a Dragon year, per the Chinese Zodiac, and I already knew the significance. Children born under this sign were considered blessed by the gods and goddesses in heaven. James had clued me in years ago.
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Meet the Author
Mickie B. Ashling is the pseudonym of a multifaceted woman who is a product of her upbringing in multiple cultures, having lived in Japan, the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East. Fluent in three languages, she’s a citizen of the world and an interesting mixture of East and West. A little bit of this and a lot of that have brought a unique touch to her literary voice she could never learn from textbooks.
By the time Mickie discovered her talent for writing, real life got in the way, and the business of raising four sons took priority. With the advent of e-publishing—and the inevitable emptying nest—dreams of becoming a published writer were resurrected and she’s never looked back.
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.
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