Review: The Caretaker

Five stars from Pyper451 on Amazon:

The Sin Bin has been a wonderful series so far. Freddie showed up in The Wanderer and I’m so glad we got his story. “Fredrick” and Taine have excellent chemistry, add in the rest of the crew and you can’t go wrong. I’m definitely ready for the next book!!!”

A brief excerpt from After the Scrum

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~ A brief excerpt from After the Scrum ~

“No, Sherlock, stop it. You uncivilized mongrel!” Francis Keen, interior decorator extraordinaire, tripped over his own feet and his dog’s leash.  He landed in a heap on the walk outside his home. “Damnation, you obstinate creature, heel. Do you even know what the word means?”

“Having trouble, love?”

“No, Gran.” Francis straightened himself up, running his fingers through his now thoroughly mussed-up mass of light brown hair.  He ignored his beloved grandmother’s tittering giggles while attempting to glare balefully at his Shetland sheepdog, Sherlock, his beloved and the bane of his existence. “Have a good day, Gran.”

“Try to stay on your feet, love.” She waved at him with another laugh then headed up the walk to their shared home.

Oh, the humiliation.

He’d gotten a smaller dog to go with his own more slender frame.  He didn’t fancy being dragged off by a monster of a mutt.  Sherlock didn’t appear to understand his purpose in life.  Even for a smaller dog, he managed to yank his owner off his feet quite frequently.

The sheltie served other purposes, besides companion and best friend.  Francis simply didn’t advertise what Sherlock’s training actually entailed.  He didn’t want the sympathetic stares.

“One morning, Sherlock, just one would be nice.  I’d give you the largest beef bone in the world if you could allow me to preserve my dignity once.” Francis fumbled with the keys to his only prized possession—a turquoise Fiat 500 from the seventies that had been painstakingly and lovingly refurbished. He patted the dashboard reverently once he’d situated himself and his insane canine. “Well, Watson, time to take the world by storm.  Are you ready?”

 

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Excerpt: The Botanist

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Are you serious about this leaving shit?” Trace sat across from him at one of their favourite bars in Coronado—McP’s Irish Pub. “I thought you’d be in until you hobbled out with no hair or teeth, clinging to your walking frame.”

“They pay you by the joke?” Wyatt flicked one of his onion rings across the table at him. “I’m done—nothing left for me to accomplish.”

“Weak sauce. Utter fucking weak sauce.” Trace leaned forward with his elbows on the table. “It’s the gay thing, isn’t it?”

Wyatt didn’t even blink in response. He waved the bartender over for another round of Guinness; Hamish had gotten all of the SEALs hooked on it. “What gay thing?”

“The fucked up policy that says you can’t serve if you’re open about who you are.” Trace pushed the plate of nachos to the side. “None of us give a shit who you fuck—or who you love.”

Wyatt knew the men under his command respected him, thought of him as a friend. SEAL teams were almost always tight-knit units. They only had each other to count on in the middle of treacherous missions. “None of you?”

“None of our element.”

Excerpt: The Royal Marine

They traded stories over their simple pasta dinner. Akash half expected the man to make a move—or to make one himself—but the evening had been too easy, too comfortable for it; they’d simply enjoyed the shared meal.

A sharp contrast to what Akash imagined a first date with Scottie might entail. The former rugby player had texted him four times since the night he’d stopped by uninvited, having stolen his number out of BC’s phone. The persistence concerned him; he had no interest in having his life turned upside down by a stalker.

Making a mental note to apologise to his sisters for not taking their complaints about similar behaviour from other men more seriously, Akash had sent a text of his own earlier to Tens and Caddock. He knew them the best out of the rugby players involved with the Sin Bin. They’d sort out their mate, or he’d do it for them.

“Thanks for the tea.” Akash gestured toward the tin sitting on the nearby shelf. “Do you know how bloody hard it is to get that particular type of tea? It’s perfect for making biscuits.”

“Right.” Hamish was staring at him. He nodded absently, but didn’t actually appear to have heard him.

“Something wrong?”

Standing abruptly, Hamish strode around the table to grab Akash by the shirt. He dragged him up out of his chair, causing him to stumble forward. Akash could only blink at the slightly taller man in confusion, until those wonderfully rough fingers dug into his hair and yanked him up into a kiss.

Akash surrendered to it briefly before bringing his arm up to separate their lips—and bodies—when Hamish’s fingers drifted down the front of his shirt. “We’re not doing this in my kitchen. Not yet. Well, not in the bakery kitchen, ever. Health inspectors would have a fit.”

Hamish brushed his knuckles across the bulge in Akash’s trousers. “Later, then?”

“Later when we’re somewhere else and there aren’t two nosy brats peeking through the door.” Akash pointed toward the barely visible twins, who were once again eavesdropping on them. “Off with you both. I left you dinner on the table upstairs.”

While the rest of the meal went well, the passionate moment had definitely passed them by. Hamish stayed for another hour, helping to wash up the dishes. They exchanged several heated kisses, until Akash had to quite literally shove the man out the door.

He sank back against the frame of the still open door to catch his breath after seeing Hamish off. “Well, bugger me.”

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