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Stranded by Cara Dee
For a man whose reputation was built on being ice-cold under pressure, Darius is beginning to discover how good it feels to burn.
Series: 8392 (book 2)
Release Date: January 30, 2019
Length: 259 pages
Pairing / Genre(s) / Keyword(s): M/M, Gay Romance, Crime/Suspense
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The 8392 Series on Goodreads
Stranded is the second book in The Auctioned Series. Before you read further, you should read Auctioned.
“You have my word, Gray. I will get you off this island, and I will bring you home.”
It was supposed to be an easy in-and-out job. Nothing Darius Quinn hadn’t done before. But this job had something none of the others did: Gray Nolan.
Like Murphy’s Law advised, anything that could go wrong, would. A mission to save one hometown favorite son was turning into a quest to rescue thirteen traumatized young men against odds so steep, he’d need an oxygen mask to scale them.
Facing new dangers and an uncertain future, Darius keeps Gray close and is soon forced to accept that this has become much more than an assignment. For a man whose reputation was built on being ice-cold under pressure, Darius is beginning to discover how good it feels to burn.
Even though the situation was serious, it was impossible not to find humor in it. Gray was endearing as all hell when he was high, and Darius was confident he hadn’t administered too much—or too little, for that matter.
“Any nausea?” He smiled faintly and sat up. Easier to see Gray that way, and he was on his back with one arm stretched up while he was trying to pinch stars between his fingers. He wasn’t very successful.
“Nope.” Gray wore a silly grin, trying to grab another star from the sky. “That’s the ninth time you’ve asked.”
It was the second, but who was counting. Clearly not Gray.
“First-time users get sick sometimes,” Darius answered.
“Oh.” Gray yawned and folded his hands under his head instead. “Are we sleeping here tonight? Can we go catch bananas?”
Darius coughed around a chuckle and dug out his battered pack of smokes from his jeans. “We’re staying a few hours, at least.” So far, no fresh blood had painted Gray’s bandage, and Darius was counting his blessings for it. That said, he wanted to be careful and not move around. “Can you wiggle your toes for me?”
“Again?” Gray took on the huffy, insufferable tone of a complaining teenager. “See? I’m doing it.” Nothing. Nada. His feet were still.
“You’re actually not,” Darius drawled. “Try again.”
Gray frowned and concentrated, and the tip of his tongue poked out. It was…cute as fuck. “What about now? I’m trying to contact them.”
Darius chuckled once more, and he was relieved when the toes did move. “There we go.”
“Told you,” Gray sang. “Can’t cut off my pulse.”
“Circulation,” Darius corrected with a laugh.
“Hey.” Gray pushed himself up and supported his weight on his elbows. The silly, lazy grin was back. “You laughed, gorgeous.”
That made Darius snort, and he lit up a smoke.
“I’m just sayin’.” Gray plopped down again. “I’d let you wear my letterman jacket.”
Good lord, where the hell were the kid’s thoughts this time?
“Mr. Stone-face,” Gray whispered at the sky. “Hottest cover, but the pages are blank. No, wait. I mean, they’re in another language. I can’t read your book. You know?”
Darius’s forehead creased, and he exhaled some smoke. “I can’t even pretend to know what you’re rambling about, boy.”
Gray waved a hand. “I know some things.”
“Like, you’re a good man. But then…? Poof. You were born in Greece.”
“Because your book is in Greek!” Gray’s triumphant yell echoed and bounced between the trees.
Instantly alert, Darius narrowed his eyes and observed their surroundings. “Keep it down, knucklehead.” They hadn’t searched the whole island yet, and they couldn’t be too careful.
Meet the Author
I’m often stoically silent or, if the topic interests me, a chronic rambler. In other words, I can discuss writing forever and ever. Fiction, in particular. The love story—while a huge draw and constantly present—is secondary for me, because there’s so much more to writing romance fiction than just making two (or more) people fall in love and have hot sex. There’s a world to build, characters to develop, interests to create, and a topic or two to research thoroughly. Every book is a challenge for me, an opportunity to learn something new, and a puzzle to piece together. I want my characters to come to life, and the only way I know to do that is to give them substance—passions, history, goals, quirks, and strong opinions—and to let them evolve. Additionally, I want my men and women to be relatable. That means allowing room for everyday problems and, for lack of a better word, flaws. My characters will never be perfect.
Wait…this was supposed to be about me, not my writing.
I’m a writey person who loves to write. Always wanderlusting, twitterpating, kinking, and geeking. There’s time for hockey and cupcakes, too. But mostly, I just love to write.
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