Out of the Ashes
(The Game Series, #5)
Publication date: April 19th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance
Join Master Kingsley and his pet Tate at rock bottom, where their true love story can finally begin. The beautiful and the ugly, the tears and the laughter…and the introduction of a man’s first foray into kink as a submissive Daddy.
We screwed up, Master.
It wasn’t until I stood there alone in the ashes, raw, naked, enraged, and in more pain than I could handle that I realized we’d been wrong from the beginning. I saw our history in the rubble—all our memories, the pictures filled with devotion and laughter, my wholehearted submission to him. And we had to rewrite the ending. We had to. Kingsley and I couldn’t be over. I missed him so much that it hurt to breathe. But we had burned out.
We will burn again, baby.
Our biggest mistake had been to put an expiration date on a love destined for eternity. We’d been blinded by our kinks not lining up perfectly. We’d let fears and insecurities rule in silence, and it was time to confront them head on. We were going to expose ourselves, push every limit, and reignite. Because Tate and I belonged in the fire. We played hard and loved even harder. I wouldn’t allow the unknown to terrify us, to restrict us, even if our new path was…unconventional. Even if we brought in someone else to light the match for us.
We’ll burn together.
The Game Series is a BDSM series where romance meets the reality of kink. Sometimes we fall for someone we don’t match with, sometimes vanilla business gets in the way of kinky pleasure, and sometimes we have to compromise and push ourselves to overcome trauma and insecurities. No matter what, one thing is certain. This is not a perfect world—and maybe that’s why the happily ever after feels so good.
By the time pizza got here, I was painfully aware of Lee’s presence. I’d heard his low chuckle a couple times from where he sat on Lucian and KC’s porch. The cabins were maybe twenty or thirty feet away from the edge of the patio, yet it felt like Lee was standing right behind me.
It was a good thing I had my back to them. Otherwise, I would’ve glued my stare to him.
The one glimpse I’d gotten wasn’t nearly enough. Shay had been right. Lee did look as bad as me, which gave me conflicting emotions. It hurt me to see him hurt, at the same time as I found comfort in that he was struggling too. Did that make me a bad person?
I wanted to see him again. Unlike me, he’d never given much thought to what he wore; he was a jeans and T-shirt guy. Or a hoodie now that the weather was turning for the colder. And I kinda loved that about him. His style, or lack of it, represented comfort and familiarity to me. I didn’t know how many times I’d put on one of his hoodies when I had to spend an evening without him, if he was on call or something. He was wearing one of his old Navy hoodies right now, one of my favorites.
I could just picture him sitting over there, casually, one foot resting on his knee, the foot always bouncing a little, probably a smoke between his fingers… And he often ran a hand through his hair. Hair that tended to fall into his eyes. Hair that I’d always liked to tuck behind his ear. Which sometimes annoyed him in a cute way. Like, “Get your paws outta my face, pet.” And he’d narrow his eyes at me before he nipped at my cheek and—
Oh my God. I couldn’t go on like this. I couldn’t keep playing these scenarios in my head; I got so swept away by them, to the point where I could almost smell his hoodie, feel his lips on my neck, hear his warm voice…
A rushing sound invaded my ears. My heart started pounding, and my vision blurred and became unfocused. The grief gripped me so tightly that I didn’t know what to do with myself, but a second later, my flight instincts kicked in. I shot up from my seat and sent the chair flying backward, and then I was running inside. Jesus fuck, my chest hurt. It felt like it was about to cave in.
I heard both Ivy and Shay call my name, but I kept running. Through the club area, out into the lobby, where I took the stairs. I was just fucking done. Done with the depression, done with the pain, done with feeling like my future had just been stolen from me.
I made it to the third floor, and I was a goddamn mess. Fingers trembling, breathing erratic, I unlocked the door to my guest room and all but stumbled inside. A beat later, panic swallowed me whole.
Shit. I couldn’t breathe. I bent over and planted my hands on my knees, and I choked for air. My skin prickled and went numb in waves, my heart wouldn’t stop slamming against my ribcage, and then dizziness washed over me.
I can’t deal anymore. I give up. Send me to the fucking psych ward.
I heard a strangled groan, or maybe a gasp, and knew it came from within. Black spots filled my vision.
I’m often awkwardly 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.
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, cooking, baking, and geeking. There’s time for hockey and family, too. But mostly, I just love to write.