I speak often about how much I enjoy writing The Speakeasy books with Brigham Vaughn; the characters and their world have come to mean a lot to me. Behind the Stick, the third book in the series, is no exception.
Kyle McKee first showed up in my head while we were writing Calm, the second Tidal book. A skilled mixologist, Kyle befriended Carter Hamilton and, by extension, Jesse Murtagh, with whom he got on like ‘a house on fire.’ Kyle was charming, funny, and sincere, and a Yin of sorts to Jesse’s Yang. Like Jesse, Kyle asserted himself so much, he practically asked us to give him his own story and we were more than happy to oblige. We were also thrilled to get to know Luka Clarke, a Lieutenant with the FDNY who catches Kyle’s fancy and threatens to run away with his heart.
Love, served behind the stick.
Kyle McKee lives a charmed life. He co-owns Under, an uptown speakeasy, where he is chief mixologist. Friends poke fun at Kyle’s tiny one-bed apartment in Chelsea, but they’re the best support system a man could ask for. Unfortunately, Kyle’s lackluster love life has led him to take a break from dating.
Harlem resident Luka Clarke is a lieutenant with Engine 47, the Pride of Morningside, where he carries on his father’s legacy with the FDNY. Luka, who is mixed race and bisexual, has his eye on Kyle, whom he met at a local burger joint and he just needs to make time to visit Kyle’s bar.
Before work one evening, Kyle is trapped inside the luncheonette when a fire breaks out. Luka’s firehouse answers the call and he connects with Kyle again under the most unexpected of circumstances. When Kyle gratefully invites Luka and the firehouse squad to Under, the flirting between the two men leads to a date.
Kyle and Luka quickly grow close, but Luka’s mother and sister distrust Kyle for being both white and gay. Luka believes his family will come around and accept Kyle in the end, but Kyle is not optimistic and hides his disquiet as attraction blossoms into love.
Kyle and Luka’s near-idyllic bubble is shattered one evening after a hate crime leaves them scarred, inside and out. Shaken, they put on a strong front but struggle inwardly against fear and personal demons. As the emotions seething beneath the surface finally come to a head, both men must decide if they have the strength to find love enough to conquer hate.
General Release Date: 20th August 2019
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