Amazon : Barnes & Noble : iTunes
I think this qualifies as behaving badly. This is me, Christa Maurice, posting about my newest release, which is a rerelease that happens to be under my kinky pen name, Belle Maurice. And I'm posting at the last minute because I forgot about it until this morning when I got the reminder email.
So, about Trio. I wrote it because I wanted to see if I could get an HEA for three people. That part was successful. The problem arose when real life intruded. When I first wrote the book I was married and I gave the third member of the Trio the same name as a friend of my husband. This would not have been a problem except that shortly before the book was published this guy cheated on his wife and caused a huge rift among our group of friends.
Did I mention that this guy was a professional guitar player? Yeah, the coincidences looked bad, so despite the fact that nothing ever happened between myself, my husband, and the aforementioned cheating guitar player friend. In order to avoid awkward conversations, I changed the hero's name to Sam and awkward coincidences under my hat.
Now that you know the (sadly) not juicy details behind the book, here's the book.
Andrew loves Carla. Carla loves Andrew, but harbors what she thinks is a secret crush on Sam. Sam is Andrew’s best friend and he thinks his crush on Carla is a secret too. Can the three of them make beautiful music together when Andrew invites Sam into their bed?
“Carla!” Andrew yelled from where he’d been standing beside the coffee pot when Sam walked in. Immediately, they heard running feet on the stairs.
Carla flew into the room and skidded to a stop beside the table. She wore a green jersey knit dress that molded to her curves and carried a pair of strappy heels in her hands.
“You weren’t gettin’ all dressed up for little old me, were you?” Sam cracked and regretted it as soon as the words left his lips. It was the kind of thing he would have normally said, but none of this was normal.
“Well, the white sundress was packed in the attic, so I had to go second best.” Carla cracked back and then smiled.
Andrew didn’t pay any more attention than normal, which was none. He took three coffee mugs out of the cupboard and carried them and the coffee pot to the table. Then he turned and grabbed the Danish before sitting down.
Carla poured the coffee with an expert hand, sliding cups to the men before filling her own and sitting down.
“I thought we should talk together before anything else,” Andrew said. Sam noticed a blush creeping up from the collar of his shirt. “The two of you mean everything to me and I wouldn’t want to rush into anything that might hurt our relationship.”
“You’ve never rushed into anything,” Sam said.
“I know, but this is more important than most.” Andrew smirked at him. “Just because you’ll jump head long into anything.”
“Hey now.” Sam relaxed with the common exchanges of their friendship. They made the whole idea seem like it wouldn’t change anything for the worse.
“I think,” Andrew continued. “That if we just all agree to a few things upfront we can save ourselves a lot of problems later. You were right, Sam. This could be a disaster, but if we’re careful, we can make it work. First, we have to agree that this is not an emotional thing. It’s just sex.”
Carla had been holding her coffee cup in both hands, but not drinking out of it. Now she set it on the table. She didn’t look at either of the men, but Andrew glanced at her, pausing until he was sure she wasn’t about to say something.
“It’s also entirely consensual.”
“Con—what?” Carla asked.
“We all agree and nobody is being forced,” Sam said. She knew what the word meant, but the 'sensual' half of that word had snagged him so it followed that it had her too. He didn’t dare look at Andrew, but he could focus on Carla. “You don’t feel like you’re being forced do you?”
Peeking at him, her eyes seemed shy, but dark all the same. She smiled, tightly at first, but it spread across her face into the lush warm smile he was used to. “I’m not being forced. Are you?”
Sam got hard just watching the expression on her face. It should have been in the dictionary under come hither. He shook his head afraid that his voice would crack like a teenager's if he tried to speak. When she turned the smile on Andrew, Sam found out what he'd looked like. Andrew's face softened and a little smile curled his lips. He shook his head too.
“Well, moving on.” Andrew said after a deep breath. “I want us to all agree that we can get together just as friends like we always did.”
“Of course.” Carla sounded surprised. Sam guessed that Andrew hadn’t discussed this with her beforehand. “We have to be able to get together like normal or it’s not worth it.”
Sam reached over and put his hand over hers. “Relax, we’re all adults. We can play nice. Besides, you and I have to work together.”
“I have one more thing,” Andrew said. He looked at both of them and then at their hands on the table. Carla pulled hers out from under Sam’s, folding it in her lap. “I would appreciate it if you two didn’t…” Andrew sat there with his teeth closed and his lips parted on the final letter he’d said as if he’d frozen in the act of speaking. Finally, he gave up. “Without me.”
Sam nodded, looking at the table.
“You can back out if you want to. There’s no pressure and it won’t be mentioned again,” Andrew said. He stood leaving his untouched coffee on the table. “This was my bright idea so I’m going to go upstairs and wait. You can follow if you want.” He left the room and Sam found himself listening with far too much focus to Andrew’s heavy tread as he walked up the stairs.
Carla stared at the table. “Do you still think this is going to destroy our friendship?” she asked.
Sam shook his head. Andrew always thought things through. He could map out a year in advance when he wanted to and he wouldn’t make a move until the ground was solid, but probability said he had to make a mistake some time. “I don’t know.”
“You were supposed to reassure me.”
Sam shrugged. “I didn’t want to lie.” He sipped his coffee. Andrew must have made it. There were no grounds in the bottom of the cup and it didn’t taste burned.
“I think it’s worth the risk,” she said, standing and putting her hand on his arm. “There’s a lot to gain. Don’t you think?”
The weight of her fingers spreading through his body. He wanted her hands all over him. He was already painfully hard, but that just proved the penis didn’t listen to the brain.
She sighed when he didn’t answer. “I’ll be upstairs.”
Sam watched her walk down the hall. She met his eyes as she turned to start up the stairs. Then he was alone with this impossible choice. Walk upstairs or walk out. Neither of them would hold it against him if he left. Well, Carla would be upset, but she would get over it. Andrew would pretend the whole thing never happened. Sam stood and started for the door. He could go pick up a girl in a bar to deal with his frustration and save himself a lot of grief. Hand on the knob, he looked back at the stairs.