My friend Elizabeth Noble is stopping by my blog today for her new book Gone Away, book four of her Circles series:
Mason Arquette isn’t one for mincing words. In fact, he often rubs people the wrong way—with the exception of Riece Burrell. Riece came with his own set of social issues, but he saw right through Mason’s tough exterior, and they made a perfect couple. Or so Mason thought… until Riece abruptly ended their relationship without much explanation.
Years later, Mason and Riece are thrown back together. As a US Forestry Service photographer, Riece is sent on assignment to the Black Hills, where Mason works. When Mason is tasked with guiding Riece around the territory, old feelings quickly are rekindled.
But nothing is ever easy. Just as Mason and Riece begin to work things out, they’re targeted by people with motives so vile and twisted they defy imagination. In a desperate race for their lives, they must depend on one another and take a big step out of their personal comfort zones to find their way back to safety—and back to love.
Mason laughed. “Hi, yourself.” He always seemed to think Riece was funny, even when he wasn’t trying to be. “Riece, look at me,” Mason reminded him gently.
Riece complied. He was met with startling blue eyes—unusual considering Mason’s First Nation heritage—coal-black hair, and the same smile he remembered. Most people considered Mason’s cocky attitude abrasive and his self-assured temperament overbearing. He was often referred to as a jackass, or something similar. To Riece those qualities of Mason’s had at one time been a safe port in life’s storm.
“You came to pick me up,” Riece said.
“Nah… I was just wandering through the airport and saw you. It was a complete spur-of-the-moment thing,” Mason said with such a straight face Riece almost believed him. Mason reached down and picked up both of Riece’s suitcases, tucking one under his arm and grasping the other by the handle.
“It’s six hours between here and Custer,” Riece said. “You were being nice. I won’t tell.”
Mason held his fist out. “Thanks,” he said. Riece made a fist and lightly bumped Mason’s. “Do you have a motel room?”
Riece nodded. “I do.” He flipped his wrist over and looked at his watch. “Check-in is in—” Sighing, he closed his eyes for a few seconds and took a deep breath. “—two hours.” Scratching the back of his head, he gave Mason a lopsided grin. “I apparently misjudged my travel time.”
“I guess you did.” Mason dipped his head at the exit. “I’m parked this way. How about you call and cancel your reservation from my Jeep. I know a place to stop for the night a few hours from here.”
Riece turned on his phone and held it, but didn’t call. “I should get to the motel so I’m ready to start work Monday.”
Mason glanced sideways at him as they walked. He heaved a sigh. “Riece, I just drove quite a few hours to pick you up. I’m sorta tired, and hungry.”
“You’re always hungry.” Riece stopped inside the parking garage entrance. “Which way?”
“I’m hungry too. The food on the plane was… questionable,” Riece said.
Mason laughed. It was a hearty sound Riece realized he’d missed very much. “I bet,” Mason said.
“How many rooms?”
“Huh?” Mason asked.
“Where we’re stopping; how many rooms?” Riece asked. He wasn’t sure if he was hoping Mason’s answer would be one or two.
“In the whole place? I have no clue. Anyway, I have a buddy who drives a beer delivery truck, and he also works in the bar there. Best food for a hundred miles. It’s part of a small inn. I booked us there for a few nights. One room for you and one for me.” Mason stopped beside a Jeep. It was the off-road sort, with mud splattered over the burnt-orange exterior.
The vehicle chirped when Mason used a remote to unlock it. He stowed Riece’s luggage in the backseat. Riece walked slowly around the back of the Jeep, running his fingertips over the paint as he wandered to the far side.
“Sweet ride,” Riece said and opened the passenger door.
A small white box with gold embossed writing advertising some store Riece had never heard of sat on the seat. Written over it in thick, black letters and in Mason’s handwriting was the word Riece.
He silently picked up the box and held it carefully while he climbed into the seat, only setting it down long enough to snap on and adjust his seat belt. Mason took his place behind the steering wheel and started the Jeep, glancing at Riece as he put the vehicle in gear and guided them onto the road.
“A little welcome to South Dakota gift,” Mason explained.
Riece frowned and looked out the window. “But we’re in Montana.”
“Not for long, and we’ll be working in South Dakota.”
“We’ll be working in the Black Hills. That mountain range is approximately 125 miles long and 65 miles wide, covering not only western South Dakota, but also eastern Wyoming,” Riece said.
“You sound like a talking travel brochure.” Mason sighed and shook his head. “I live in South Dakota. The office we’ll work out of is in South Dakota. I’m guessing you’ll live in South Dakota too.”
“We’re not in South Dakota,” Riece reminded Mason.
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Elizabeth Noble started telling stories before she actually knew how to write, and her family was very happy when she learned to put words on a page. Those words turned into fan fiction that turned into a genuine love of M/M romance fiction. Being able to share her works with Dreamspinner is really a dream come true. She has a real love for a good mystery complete with murder and twisty plots as well as all things sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural and a bit of an unnatural interest in a super-volcano in Wyoming.
Elizabeth has three grown children and is now happily owned by an adorable mixed breed canine princess and one tabby cat. She lives in her native northeast Ohio, the perfect place for gardening, winter and summer sports (go Tribe!). When she’s not writing she’s working as a veterinary nurse, so don’t be surprised to see her men with a pet or three who are a very big part of their lives.
Book Web Page: http://elizabeth-noble-circles.weebly.com/gone-away.html
Circles website: http://elizabeth-noble-circles.weebly.com/
Vampire Guard website: http://elizabeth-noble-thevampireguard.weebly.com/
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