About House of Cards
Calum Hardy’s life has unravelled. Reeling from the betrayal of a man he once loved, he boards a train heading south, with no real idea where he’s going except a world away from London.
Brix Lusmoore can hardly believe his eyes when he spots one of his oldest friends outside Truro station. He hasn’t seen Calum since he fled the capital himself four years ago, harbouring a life-changing secret. But despite the years of silence, their old bond remains, warm and true—and layered with simmering heat they’ve never forgotten.
Calum takes refuge with Brix and a job at his Porthkennack tattoo shop. Bit by bit, he rebuilds his life, but both men carry the ghosts of the past, and it will take more than a rekindled friendship and the magic of the Cornish coast to chase them away.
Available now from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/house-of-cards
Lunchtime found Brix shuffling through Blood Rush’s back door, hoping to reach his seldom-used office before anyone saw him. Lena had other ideas, though. She was already there, glaring at the appointment book she used to back up the computer system that Brix didn’t understand.
“Afternoon,” she muttered distractedly.
Brix grunted and dumped his bag on the floor. “Can’t you do that somewhere else?”
“What’s got on your tits?”
“Suit yourself. So you’re not as hungover as Calum, then?”
Lena set her work aside and peered at him over the reading glasses that made her look like a punked-up school secretary. “He was pretty ropy when he dropped by this morning, not that he was admitting anything. Did you have a good night?”
“I have no fucking idea. Woke up on the couch at 3 a.m.”
“That bad, eh? Oh, speak of the devil . . . Hey, Calum.”
Brix jerked around faster than his aching head could deal with. Calum stood in the doorway, dishevelled and gorgeous . . . too fucking gorgeous if he felt even a fraction as terrible as Brix did.
“All right?” Calum said, sidestepping Lena, who flipped Brix a wink and left the room. “Did you get your shit done?”
“You said you had stuff to do this morning.” Calum frowned. “Sorry, didn’t mean to be nosy.”
Brix couldn’t handle the barely detectable slump in Calum’s shoulders, the dejection he probably thought no one cared to notice. “You’re not being nosy, mate. I’m being a div. Need a cuppa or something.”
The “or something” was becoming a matter of urgency. As Brix said it, a familiar wave of dizziness swept over him. Damn it. Why the fuck hadn’t he forced some breakfast down? He sat abruptly in Lena’s abandoned chair.
Too abruptly, apparently. Calum stepped forward. “Brix? You okay?”
“Aye, just need to eat. Is Jory around? He’s usually my bitch when I’m hanging. Kid’s fucking awesome at fetching butties from Becky’s.”
“Doorstep sandwich place,” Lena said, reappearing suddenly at Calum’s shoulder. “Can’t beat it when you’re hanging. What do you want? I’ll get it.”
“Anything.” Brix drew the appointment book towards him, hoping Calum would go with her and give him the few moments he needed to get himself together. “I’ll be fine when I’ve eaten, honest.”
Lena knew him well enough to believe him. She grabbed her bag and vanished again without further comment. Calum appeared less convinced. He knelt in front of Brix. “You look like hell.”
“Feel like it. Scrumpy does that.”
Calum snorted. “Don’t I know it? I woke up at the top of the stairs. Didn’t have a fucking clue what had gone on. I’m all right now, though. Kim brought bacon butties in.”
“Kim’s good like that,” Brix said absently, wondering how much “Didn’t have a fucking clue what had gone on” actually covered. “Did you tuck me up in bed?”
“Erm . . .”
“Don’t answer that.”
Calum stood, obviously reassured that Brix wasn’t about to keel over, and perched on the desk instead. “I didn’t want you to get cold.”
Fat chance of that with Calum around. His presence was making Brix more flustered with every day that passed, something that worried and baffled Brix in equal measure. Had things always been this way between them? No, they couldn’t have been.
“What are you doing today? Do you have appointments?”
Shamefully, Brix had no idea. He focussed on the handwritten book Lena kept up-to-date for his sake. “A consultation and finishing up a half sleeve. Think it’s the Alice in Wonderland one I did last month.”
“Are you sure you’re all right? I’ve got that cover-up coming in soon, but I can stay with you if you need—”
“I’m fine.” Brix scrubbed his hands down his face. “I told you. I just need some grub to soak up all the shite I threw down my neck last night. Do what you gotta do. I’ll be out in a bit.”
Calum stared him down for a long moment, his dark gaze inscrutable, then he let out a barely audible sigh and pushed himself upright. “Fair enough. See you on the other side.”
Welcome to Porthkennack, a charming Cornish seaside town with a long and sometimes sinister history. Legend says King Arthur's Black Knight built the fort on the headland here, and it’s a certainty that the town was founded on the proceeds of smuggling, piracy on the high seas, and the deliberate wrecking of cargo ships on the rocky shore. Nowadays it draws in the tourists with sunshine and surfing, but locals know that the ghosts of its Gothic past are never far below the surface.
This collaborative story world is brought to you by five award-winning, best-selling British LGBTQ romance authors: Alex Beecroft, Joanna Chambers, Charlie Cochrane, Garrett Leigh, and JL Merrow. Follow Porthkennack and its inhabitants through the centuries and through the full rainbow spectrum with historical and contemporary stand-alone titles.
Check out Porthkennack! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/porthkennack
About Garrett Leigh
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.
Garrett's debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.
When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.
Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.
Cover art enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
To celebrate the release of House of Cards, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 22, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!