OS: Welcome to Charley Descoteaux author of Safe House. Thanks for stopping by!
Hello and welcome to my tour for Safe House! Thank you to everyone at Open Skye Book Reviews for having me. <3
When the first book in this series was released, many readers commented that they wanted to hear more from Tim—the strong, silent love interest. While I was writing Buchanan House I tried to get him to speak on the page but he refused—I just couldn’t get inside his head no matter how I tried or from what angle I approached him. Frustrating, to say the least!
However, in Safe House he had no choice. (I have to resist the urge to laugh like a supervillain here!)
Series readers might remember that Tim Tate and Brandon Smith, one of the heroes in Safe House, have a history. Their relationship ended in a spectacularly public way, and their interactions since have been tense at best. In Safe House, Brandon has a health issue that forces him to consider his own mortality in a way he hadn’t before, which leads him to ambush Tim to clear the air. To be fair, Bran basically ambushes himself at the same time, going into the conversation with very little preparation.
This is one thing I’m enjoying about writing this kind of series—the kind where each story builds on the previous books. If I’m left with questions about the world or these characters, a lot of the answers have been appearing in a subsequent book. More than once I’ve seen a comment in a review, a desire for more information about a character or a situation and felt the wheels start turning in my head. That is so much fun!
Since the series is starting to wind up, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to tying up loose ends—which threads do I want to revisit and which are complete as they are? Some are planned but most have poured onto the page with little conscious effort on my part. Those moments are my favorites—I love to be surprised while writing, love it when the characters seem to say “get out of our way and listen.”
Fans of Tim Tate might enjoy this excerpt. It takes place at the gym where Bran has been spending, in his estimation, too many of his off-hours. Some of the family (Nathan, Paulie, Eric and Tim) had been waiting for Bran to walk past the juice bar, but the details of that ambush are spoilery so I’m going to share part of Bran’s conversation with Tim that takes place afterward.
Kyle Shimoda is an asshole magnet, has been for as long as he can remember. At forty-seven, he doesn’t see much chance for improving his luck in love. His friends who run Buchanan House, a gay retreat on the central Oregon coast, know he wants to find “someone nice” to settle down with, and they set him up with Officer Brandon Smith. Kyle has a turbulent history with law enforcement, but he can’t deny his attraction to the buff cop.
Brandon has been a police officer in Lincoln City almost since the day he graduated from high school over thirty years ago. He’s cultivated the facade of a serious, disciplined law enforcement officer, but beneath his overdeveloped chest beats the soft heart of a drama queen. A cancer scare shifts Bran’s focus from finding a serious relationship to having as much sex as he can—putting his goals squarely at odds with Kyle’s. If he can’t find the courage to be honest about his feelings for Kyle, the happiness they’ve both been searching for could slip through their fingers.
Everyone else stood and bussed their cups. Before he had the chance to think it through, Bran stepped closer to Tim, catching his eye. “Can I talk to you for a few minutes?”
Tim looked to Eric, obviously hoping for an out, a reason to say no.
Eric smiled. “I’ll get a ride home with Nathan and Paulie. Take your time.” He popped up on his toes and pecked Tim on the lips. He looked at Tim and Brandon and then followed the others out into the parking lot, tossing a “Play nice!” over his shoulder as he went.
Bran gestured to the table, and Tim frowned as he sat. Bran pulled a chair close to Tim’s right side, close to his good ear, and sat as well—too close, by the look in Tim’s eyes, but he didn’t want to be overheard.
“I owe you an apology, Tim. A real apology.”
Tim pulled back, the frown sliding away as though he were trying to wipe all trace of emotion from his face.
“I’m sorry. I want to be sure you know I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have gone so far in the hospital. I should have thought about how my actions would impact you, but I didn’t.” I also should have rehearsed this little speech, but I didn’t. “I wish I could go back and change things—do it differently.”
“What’s going on?” Tim was losing his battle to pretend everything was fine, to detach from anything even in the neighborhood of “unpleasant.”
“Bullshit.” Tim’s eyes narrowed, but a second later they were round and wide. “Are you okay? Are you leaving?” Tim leaned close and grabbed Bran’s arm. “Is Minnie okay?”
Bran smiled. Minnie and Tim had always struck him as a strange pair, but their mutual affection was genuine. “She’s fine.”
“So what, then? You already apologized, more than once. Not as well as that, but—” Tim groaned. “This isn’t a….” He made a gesture only Bran would know how to interpret—or maybe Eric. Tim thought Bran might be making a clumsy pass at him.
Bran sat back, barely containing laughter that would have been highly inappropriate and probably undermine what he’d set out to do. Tim had a sense of humor, but Bran didn’t think he would handle that gracefully. “Tim, I knew going in that we wouldn’t be forever. Even if you weren’t married, I wouldn’t be propositioning you.”
He could see why Tim might jump to that conclusion, however. It was in the changing room of this gym that Bran had made his move all those years ago, engineering things so they were the only two men in the showers, going just barely far enough with his flirting so Tim could ignore it if he wanted to….
Tim made a soft sound, somewhere between a snarl and a sigh, and brought Bran’s focus back to the present. Tim was genuinely red-faced angry. No, he’s frustrated. Not that Tim being emotional would have been a cause to mark a calendar, but Bran had rarely seen him so flustered that he was unable to hide it. He wouldn’t be surprised if Tim had trouble speaking.
“What?” Bran didn’t want to try to figure it out for himself, and not only because he’d probably get it wrong. “You’re half my age and way out of my league. Three years was longer than I thought it would last. I have only the one regret—that it ended in anger because of my stupidity.”
“Tell me what’s going on, Bran.”
“Yeah, I still know you too. And you’re not getting out of here without telling me, so you might as well—go ahead, laugh. Maybe we’ll finish this discussion in the parking lot.”
“I’m sorry. I’m not laughing at you.”
Tim grunted, and Bran fought to find the right words.
“Okay, you made my smoke screen. I’m flattered, okay? I thought you would’ve forgotten how to read me sometime in the last five years. Maybe nothing is going on beyond that I didn’t want to keep thinking I owed you an apology.”
“Bullshit. You’re sick, aren’t you?” Tim looked him over but wouldn’t look him in the face.
Damn, he’s really tearing up?
“No. I had some tests in February—”
“February? What kind of tests?”
“A biopsy. It was negative.”
“So then why do this now?”
Bran shrugged. He wasn’t convinced it was all that great of an idea, even if he might have finally left the guilt over outing Tim behind.
“Bran. You’re trying my patience. And yes, I know I sound like Eric. Tell me the rest and you won’t have to listen to it anymore.”
Tim tried to grunt, but his heart wasn’t in it. He looked away and sighed. After studying the nearly empty parking lot for a few moments, he turned back around. Bran felt pinned in place by Tim’s dark eyes. Even though he didn’t still feel that way, it wasn’t difficult to remember when those sultry eyes had been the first and last things he thought about every day.
“I’m not out of your league. You don’t give yourself enough credit, never have. And if we’re being honest here, I owe you an apology. I was scared and frustrated and angry, and I took it all out on you, and that wasn’t fair. I’m sorry I punished you for being supportive. If I had let you, I know you would’ve been there for me while I recovered.”
CD: Thanks for reading! If you’d like to see how this scene ends, grab your copy of Safe House at the Dreamspinner store or any of the usual distributors.
But first enter the Rafflecopter giveaway! J
Rafflecopter Giveaway (9/12/2016-10/01/2016):
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Three winners! Prizes: One signed paperback of Safe House (US Only); one ebook copy of book one of the series, Buchanan House; one backlist book (any ebook except Safe House)
Buy Safe House:
Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/safe-house-by-charley-descoteaux-7536-b
All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-safehouse-2092639-149.html
Charley Descoteaux has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they’ve agreed to let her sleep once in a while. Charley grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during a drought, and found her true home in the soggy Pacific Northwest. She has survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through one day without stories.
Rattle Charley’s cages:
Dreamspinner Author Page: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=879
Series: Buchanan House (Must be read in order.)
Book Number: 4
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 19, 2016
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Tour Dates & Stops:
Sept. 12: MM Good Book Reviews
Sept. 19: My Fiction Nook
Sept. 20: Alpha Book Reviews
Sept. 21: Open Skye Book Reviews
Sept. 22: Dreamspinner Blog
Sept. 23: Love Bytes