Welcome to the Fae Out of Water blog tour, phase one–Cutie and the Beast! I’m so looking forward to introducing you all to the Kendrick brothers and their guys, starting this month with Alun and David. As you follow along on the tours—phase two, The Druid Next Door, in August, and phase three, Bad Boy’s Bard, in September—please leave a comment and your contact information for a chance at a $50 Riptide gift card. The drawing will take place after the last Bad Boy’s Bard blog stop. Thank you so much for stopping by!
About Cutie and the Beast
Temp worker David Evans has been dreaming of Dr. Alun Kendrick ever since that one transcription job for him, because holy cats, that voice. Swoon. So when his agency offers him a position as Dr. Kendrick’s temporary office manager, David neglects to mention that he’s been permanently banished from offices. Because, forgiveness? Way easier than permission.
Alun Kendrick, former Queen’s Champion of Faerie’s Seelie Court, takes his job as a psychologist for Portland’s supernatural population extremely seriously. Secrecy is paramount: no non-supe can know of their existence. So when a gods-bedamned human shows up to replace his office manager, he intends to send the man packing. It shouldn’t be difficult—in the two hundred years since he was cursed, no human has ever failed to run screaming from his hideous face.
But cheeky David isn’t intimidated, and despite himself, Alun is drawn to David in a way that can only spell disaster: when fae consort with humans, it never ends well. And if the human has secrets of his own? The disaster might be greater than either of them could ever imagine.
Available now from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/cutie-and-the-beast
Once upon a time, there were three brothers, nobles of the Seelie Court of Faerie, who set out to seek their fortunes. The eldest—
Scratch that. Rrrrrewind.
Nowadays, when tales are told in 140 character bursts on tiny LED screens, rather than spun out by the glow of a midnight campfire, even Faerie’s elite have to get with the program.
The Kendrick brothers have traded longbow for briefcase, battle steed for Harley, and enchanted harp for electric guitar. But while they’re finding their feet in the modern world, instead of finding their fortunes, they stumble straight into love.
Check out the Fae Out of Water series! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/series/fae-out-water
About EJ Russell
E.J. Russell holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer, and business-intelligence consultant. After her twin sons left for college and she no longer spent half her waking hours ferrying them to dance class, she returned to her childhood love of writing fiction. Now she wonders why she ever thought an empty nest meant leisure.
E.J. lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband, the only man on the planet who cares less about sports than she does. She enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.
Connect with E.J.:
To celebrate the release of all three books in the Fae Out of Water series, one lucky winner across all three tours will receive a GRAND PRIZE of a $50 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 23, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the Cutie and the Beast tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
David Evans carried his aunt Cassie from her bedroom to the sun porch, laughing at her squeak of protest.
“Put me down, you dreadful boy. I’m capable of walking through the house on my own.”
“I’m showing off for you. Stop fussing or you’ll wound my masculine pride.” He settled her on the chaise, angling it for a perfect view of her beloved garden. The morning sun was flooding the room with the crisp light of almost-summer. From a big cage in the corner, her zebra finches beeped in cheerful counterpoint to the lazy buzz of bees in the hollyhocks outside the window screens. “And you know how I love to pamper you.”
She patted his arm, smiling up at him as he smoothed a coverlet over her knees. “You look very handsome this morning, Davey.” A faint Welsh lilt still shaded her voice, even after six decades of living in Oregon. “I’ve not seen that tie before, have I?”
“What, this old thing?” David flicked the corner of the blue-on-blue polka-dot bow tie he’d saved for this exact occasion. “I start a new gig today, Auntie. Temporary office manager for a real live health care provider, so I dress to impress.”
“Really?” Her fragile skin puckered between where her eyebrows used to be. “Ms. Fischer assigned you to a medical practice?”
David dodged her shrewd gaze by fiddling with the blinds, adjusting them so the sun didn’t shine directly in her face. “Sandra’s out with a nasty flu. Her assistant is the one who placed me.”
When poor frazzled Tracy had called with the offer, he’d almost reminded her he’d been permanently exiled to telecommuting limbo. But then she’d told him the job was for Dr. Alun Kendrick.
Just once, a few months ago, he’d had a very small transcription assignment for the psychologist. He’d prayed for another, because, God, that voice. A British accent that put Colin Firth to shame. No doubt about it, the man was total ear candy.
So he’d neglected to mention that Sandra had banned him from office positions for life. On paper, he fit this position perfectly. In practice . . . well, there was always a first time. Besides, forgiveness? Way easier than permission.
“Are you sure this is wise?” Aunt Cassie’s mouth quirked up in a ghost of her old sly grin. “The last time, you caused a riot. In a dentist’s office.”
“I did not cause the riot.” He propped her cane within easy reach and dropped a kiss on her rainbow head scarf. “I was merely present when it occurred, and clearly those men were either unbalanced or laboring under the severe stress of looming root canals.”
He nudged her hip gently with his knee and sat beside her, his arm around her thin shoulders. “It’s the ideal job. Swing shift, two until ten, so I can still handle my billing and transcription assignments in the morning. Plus, it’s indefinite, maybe permanent. Tracy hinted that the regular office manager might not return from maternity leave.”
Aunt Cassie plucked at the blanket on her lap, pulling out tiny tufts of green and blue fluff. “Don’t hope for someone else’s misfortune, Davey. It’s bad for your spirit.”
“I’m not. Truly, I’m not. But if she chooses to spend longer at home with her baby, I’m more than happy to keep her chair warm and her desk competently staffed.”
She sighed. “All right. You know best. Show me your lucky earring.”
David turned his head to flash the onyx stud his aunt had given him on his thirteenth birthday. “Never without it.”
“You have your worry stone?”
He pulled the purple quartz oval out of his blazer pocket, thumbing the shallow dip in its top face, the familiar shape smooth and cool in his hand. “Always. Now . . .” He stood up, brushing green fuzz off his gray trousers. “I won’t be home until eleven, but I’ll have my cell phone with me every minute. Lorraine should be here any second to sit with you until Peggy brings your dinner at six, but if you need me, you call. Understood?”
“Pooh.” She scrunched her face in a near-pout. “I don’t need a babysitter.”
He picked up her pill bottle—just as full as it was yesterday. On days like today, when he’d sent off yet another partial payment to the clinic, begging for patience and an extension, he missed the time when the only things he had to worry about were studying for his next anatomy exam, or wondering why his latest sort-of-boyfriend had suddenly turned into a jealous douche bag.
And when Aunt Cassie wouldn’t even comply with the doctor’s orders for the treatment that kept David working as many hours as he could swing—and still barely earning enough to keep them from losing their home? Argh.
“Auntie, how many times do I have to—” He took a deep breath. Don’t be a jerk. You can’t browbeat someone into getting better. He rattled the pill bottle, waggling his eyebrows. “Could you at least try to do what the doctor says?”
Pink tinged her pale cheeks, but she met his gaze calmly. “I’ve been an adult for several times your lifetime. I’ve earned the right to control the end of my own.”
David’s heart tried to scrunch itself into a fetal position. No. No. No and no and no. Life without his aunt? The thought made him want to lie down on the floor and drum his heels against the hardwood like he’d done as a temper-prone toddler, or hide in the closet and rock in denial like he’d done during his years in foster care.
Instead, he dropped to his knees and took her hands. “Auntie, you’re the only family I’ve got. I want to keep you around as long as possible. Please?”
“Ach, Davey. How can I say no to that?” She sighed and took the pills from him. “Revolting little objects.”
“I know, so thank you.” He kissed her forehead. “Love you. I’ll see you tonight.”
“Be careful, cariad.” She rested one palm against his cheek. “You leap into things, heart first. Don’t be too quick to believe this your belonging place. Wait a bit. Learn how the days play out.”
David dropped his gaze from her bird-bright eyes. She had a point, but he couldn’t help it. Something about this job felt so right, as if the ultimate assignment had come along exactly when he was able to snag it.
His cheerful honorary aunt Peggy, one of his aunt’s six closest friends, would say his stars were in alignment. Aunt Regan, the more mordant one, would call it fate. But he didn’t care what any of them called it; he called it perfect.
He’d make it perfect, damn it. This time for sure.