Welcome to the 13th stop in Kallypso Master’s “How it Began” two-day blog tour. Thanks for having me, I Heart Books.
If you’re just joining in, you can get a list of the tour stops in order at my Ahh, Kallypso…the stories you tell blog page.
Damián, the young Marine who suffered a horrific injury in Fallujah, is the hero in Nobody’s Perfect, book four in the series. Originally, the plan was for Marc and Angelina to move toward a Happily Ever After in this book, too, as a subplot. I’d decided perhaps the man just didn’t have an inner pain to heal from, as the others did. Then I started to write Perfect and, boy, was I wrong.
The Queen Bitch of the Universe, Melissa (you met her on day two of this blog tour), opens up a can of worms for Marc and Angelina at the New Year’s weekend at Marc’s parents’ family ski resort. About a month before publishing Nobody’s Perfect, I realized these two stories needed to be told in separate books, or Marc and Angelina would become a distraction to Damian and Savannah’s (Savi’s) romance. Damian and Angelina are on the sidelines at the slopes watching Marc give ski lessons.
… He’d never been on skis before in his life.
Beside him, Angelina sighed. She’d seemed subdued at breakfast, too, but he reminded himself it was none of his business.
Old Dom habits die hard, though. At the club, he needed to look out for all of the subs and that need didn’t end outside the club’s doors. “What do you think of Marc’s family?” This was Angelina’s first time to meet them since she and Marc had moved in together a few months ago.
Her smile seemed genuine. “They’re wonderful. I can see where he gets a lot of his personality traits. They’ve been very welcoming…” Her smile faded; her voice drifted off.
“Except…” She sighed even more heavily. “His late brother Gino’s fiancée is driving me crazy. There’s something…I don’t know. Something Marc hasn’t told me about his relationship with her.”
Okay, so this was a conversation she needed to be having with Marc. “Have you talked with him about her?”
Angelina shook her head. “We haven’t really had a chance.”
“Bullshit, and you know it.”
She looked taken aback at first, then nodded and smiled sheepishly. “Yeah.” She looked down at her lap. “I think I’m afraid of hearing the answers to my questions.”
“You know he’ll tell you the truth. He’s already been bitten in the ass once for lying. I can assure you that the man learned his lesson.”
Angelina stared out at the slopes, and Damián followed her gaze. [spoiler deleted]
“I sometimes feel that Marc wears a mask.”
He turned to Angelina again. “He hasn’t worn one at the club for a couple months.”
“Well, he didn’t stop wearing it voluntarily.” She glanced down. “I…um, well, Karla and Cassie and I were…oh, hell, I destroyed his wolf mask last October.”
Damián raised his eyebrows. Damn. He fought the urge to laugh out loud, not wanting to encourage a sub’s bratty behavior, but it was about time someone got rid of that asinine thing. Marc needed to admit who he was, no matter who might have a problem with it. Chances of any of the people he said he was hiding from, especially his parents, ever seeing him in the club were nonexistent. Maybe he wasn’t hiding from them at all, though, but himself.
Realization struck Damián. Just like—
“Marco taught me to ski in college.”
Damián looked up at a stunning Italian woman dressed in an expensive-looking ski outfit he’d guess had never come near touching the snow. She sat down on the bench on the other side of Angelina, who stiffened and inched closer to Damián. Was this the woman Angelina had just been talking about?
“You went to college with Marc?” Angelina asked. He heard the tremor in her voice.
“Yes. I’ll never forget that September he brought me up here to meet his family.”
Angelina clenched and unclenched her hands. Was she debating whether she should deck the woman or just run away from her?
“Mama D’Alessio invited me over last night to welcome Marco home, but I hardly got to speak with him the way you monopolized his time.”
Angelina’s body tensed.
The catty woman bared her claws as she tried to get a rise out of Angelina. Damián hadn’t heard Marc talk about anyone special who had gotten under his skin before he’d enlisted, certainly not like Savannah had affected Damián.
He reached over and squeezed Angelina’s hand. Surely, she knew Marc thought the world of her. How could she think this woman had any influence over Marc anymore, if she ever had?
Angelina sat up taller. “Marc’s his own man and can decide who he wants to spend his time with.”
“Well, I’m just saying you shouldn’t try to keep Marco away from us. We missed him at Christmas especially.”
The woman made it sound like she was more important to the family—or had more of a right to be here—than Angelina.
“Family is very important to both of us, Melissa. I’ve enjoyed meeting his family very much this weekend, but we couldn’t be in two places at once. He spent Christmas with my family.”
Now it was the bitch’s turn to clench her fists. Apparently, Angelina had hit a nerve. Good for her.
Melissa stood and pranced off in a huff, and Angelina’s body relaxed. Soon she began shaking. He caged her chin and forced her to focus on him. “Breathe deeply.” She didn’t respond. “Now, Angelina.”
She took several shallow breaths, but it didn’t erase the tears in her eyes. At least her shaking stopped. He released her face but took her hand and squeezed it. “Just ignore her. She’s only trying to make trouble. Marc’s with you, not her.”
“Thanks. I’m okay.”
“Talk to Marc. Tonight.”
She nodded. “I’ll try.”
“Don’t try. Do it.”
She pulled away. “I’m going up to the room. I’ll probably see you at dinner.”
Damián watched her walk toward the chair lift and wondered if she had any intention of dealing with the issue. Ultimately, that was between her and Marc. He had his hands full...
Free and Almost Free Books Available in the Rescue Me Series
For those wanting a free glimpse into the Rescue Me world, you can get started with the FREE introduction, Masters at Arms. This book introduces six characters who will go on to have happily ever after Romances shared about them. (Adam & Karla, Damián & Savannah, Marc, and in a small part here but with more to come later, Grant.)
Better yet, because I don’t want you to stop there, I’ve just released a new combination e-book download of the first TWO books in the series—Masters at Arms & Nobody’s Angel—for only 99 cents! You save $3 off the cost of purchasing Nobody’s Angel as a single. Nobody’s Angel introduces you to Angelina and shows her exploration into the world of BDSM, but Marc remained so closed off still in this book, it won’t be until the December release, Somebody’s Angel, that readers will come full circle with this couple. The paperback version of Masters at Arms & Nobody’s Angel is 467 pages long, so this is a bargain at 99 cents! You’ll find buy links to all of my books, which currently are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks, Kobo, Apple, and Smashwords, at my Ahh, Kallypso…the stories you tell blog page.
Giveaway Time! Free eBook in the Rescue Me Series!
At each of the 15 stops, I’ll be gifting one randomly chosen reader a copy of a book in the Rescue Me Series (a $4.99 value), chosen from Nobody’s Hero, Nobody’s Perfect, or the soon-to-be-released Somebody’s Angel. Fill out the Rafflecopter for your chance(s) to win! As with all of my giveaways, this is open internationally. And we’ll also send through the mail some cool swag items, including this red Ka-thunk! pen, hand fan, a Masters Brat button, and other cool stuff!
Your next stop in this blog tour will be at For The Love of Books (www.ftlobblog.blogspot.com ), previous stop was http://www.bookishandbushytailed.com . You also can get links to all of the blogs at my own Ahh, Kallypso…the stories you tell blog. By Friday, we’ll be sure to update with the direct links to each of the entries so you can follow easily and start gathering those answers to the 15 trivia questions!