Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Thousand Word Excerpt from Eden Winters

From Diversion, by Eden Winters

The locker rooms were fairly clean, it being early in the day, and Bo and Lucky shed street clothes in favor of shorts and T-shirts in a communal dressing room. Lucky peered at Bo’s ass while humming Black Eyed Peas’ My Hump, and making up his own words: My big old juicy rump…I turn around and things fall down…
Bo gave him the evil eye, nose scrunched as though he’d whiffed something nasty. Being in a gym locker room made funky smells a distinct possibility. “What?” Lucky donned his best innocent expression.
Bo grumbled and stalked away, finding his way to ring two alone.
Lucky’s second thoughts began when he found his opponent flexing, stretching, and bouncing in place through a series of warm-ups. Oh shit. Ex-Marine. Might have a clue. Lots of muscles. Longer reach. Still no match for mean and quick. Maybe. Lucky threaded his fingers together and lifted his hands way up and behind his head, loosening up. He might have to absorb a bit of punishment.
In the next ring two men sparred, decked out in helmets, gloves, and pads. If genius at the door had been paying any attention he’d be approaching now, insisting Lucky obey the gym rules about protective gear.
“You ready?” Lucky asked Bo, ready to get the show on the road. Protective gear had no place in Bo’s upcoming lesson.
“I still don’t understand what this has to do with my training, but bring it on.” Bo stood proud and tall, possibly expecting a fair fight.
Lucky didn’t fight fair. Using his size, or lack thereof, to full advantage, he dropped to the canvas, sweeping Bo’s legs out from under him and rebounding to his feet in one slick move.
Bo dragged himself upright, the light of awareness glinting in his eyes. Returning Lucky’s shit-eating grin, he faked with his left and jabbed with his right. Lucky danced out of reach.
They circled, each seeking weakness in the other. From the corner of his eye Lucky noticed a few fighters assembling around the ring to witness what they probably saw as a grudge match and not Richmond Lucklighter’s Introduction to the Cesspool of My World.
Roughly five minutes in the ring raised Lucky’s appreciation of his new charge. The man knew how to use his fists, even if he did rely too heavily on his hands while ignoring the rest of his body. Twice more Lucky caught him in a sweep. The next thwarted attempt proved the man eventually learned.
Lucky lost all sense of time and place. He focused on his breathing, how he held himself, the subtle shift of Bo’s muscles that betrayed a punch aimed his way. Occasionally he wasn’t fast enough or misjudged and a blow landed on his shoulder or chest, and once, his face. That would leave a mark.
He danced and faked, seeking to tire his opponent rather than beat him. If he’d really wanted an easy victory, Bo would already be laid out on the canvas. Art hadn’t lasted ten minutes during orientation. For some reason Lucky felt the need to test his protégé’s capabilities.
They prowled, they clinched, they jabbed, they fell into perfect rhythm, orbiting each other, seeking an opening. The man might one day be Lucky’s equal. At least in fighting. He didn’t find a worthy opponent often.
Exploiting a split second of distraction while Bo wiped his sweaty brow, Lucky brought the lesson home, catching him on the chin with a lightning fast left hook, followed by a good swift kick, tumbling the man to the mat. Lucky dived like a duck on a June bug before Bo even hit the canvas, easily pinning the larger man.
Despite the rush and heady affirmation that he was “still da man,” defeating Bo hadn’t been easy. Lucky grinned at the fallen fighter, not a gloating grin, but a, “You did good, but I can still beat you” grin.
He hauled a still-stunned Bo to his feet and helped him out of the ring. One arm wrapped around a firmly muscled back, Lucky guided the loser back to the locker room to comments from the bystanders on form, stance, and who’d won bets. Usual gym talk.
In the wake of a testosterone high, Lucky showered, not bothering to hide his appreciation for Bo’s body, lean and taut with light muscles, more of a swimmer or runner’s build than a gym rat’s. Bo didn’t turn away or cower beneath the not-so-subtle scrutiny; he merely lathered and rinsed his hair and body with practiced efficiency. His broad shoulders tapered down to a trim waist, ending in an incredibly firm yet round ass. The guy easily stood six foot. And while he’d never make the cover of GQ, he wasn’t too hard on the eyes, especially when compared to the rest of the department.
Lucky’s cock responded to the intriguing view and he turned away to hide his budding erection. Taunting a rookie was one thing, perving on a coworker another matter entirely—even if he did want a closer look.
Once dried and dressed, Bo asked, “Mind telling me now why we went a round in a gym when you’re supposed to be training me?”
No harm in explaining, Lucky supposed. “I am training you. Our little exercise today served two purposes. One: you can tell a lot about a man by the way he fights. And if we’re gonna be watching each other’s backs, it’s best to know what you’re capable of.”
Bo chewed his bottom lip, brow scrunched. “Makes sense, in a twisted sorta way, I guess. What’s the other reason?” 
“To let you know from the get-go how badly I can kick your ass. Anytime you want to challenge me, remember this day.”
There we have it, an early scene from one of my favorite novels in one of my favorite series. Lucky and Bo's first book is back! 

There are good guys, bad guys, and then there’s Lucky.

Former drug trafficker Richmond “Lucky” Lucklighter flaunts his past like a badge of honor. He speaks his mind, doesn’t play nice, and flirts with disaster while working off his sentence with the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau. If he can keep out of trouble a while longer he’ll be a free man–after he trains his replacement.

Textbook-quoting, by the book Bo Schollenberger is everything Lucky isn’t. Lucky slurps coffee, Bo lives caffeine free. Lucky worships bacon, Bo eats tofu. Lucky trusts no one, Bo calls suspects by first name. Yet when the chips are down on their shared case of breaking up a drug diversion ring, they may have more in common than they believe.

Two men. Close quarters. Friction results in heat. But Lucky scoffs at partnerships, no matter how thrilling the roller-coaster. Bo has two months to break down Lucky’s defenses… and seconds are ticking by.

Buy it at Amazon, All Romance eBooks, Kobo, Rocky Ridge Books, and Barnes & Noble.

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