Hello, I’m Elizabeth Noble and thank you for joining me today on Open Skye. Big thanks to Morgan for hosting me!
One of the great things about be a writer is all the fun facts I learn while writing a book. While I have set books in my home town, and even my neighborhood, most of them take place elsewhere.
High Test is one such book. The story takes place in and around Greenville, South Carolina and Clemson University. Two places I’ve never been before. Researching the area, the architecture and the school—as with most research of this type—is something I enjoy. It’s easy to get lost in pictures, and articles about my research project of the day. Google maps becomes my best friend.
When I begin planning a new book one of my first tasks is deciding where the story should take place. In this case I knew I wanted one of the main characters, Hayden, to be in an engine design program. There aren’t a lot of schools for this in the U.S., so the location was dictated by the school Hayden had to attend.
It’s very satisfying as a writer to give people a good story and give them a glimpse of somewhere they’ve possibly never been.
Hayden Owens is just your typical graduate student working his way through school as a barista for the Owens Coffee Company—no relation. But he keeps the “no relation” part to himself when he meets dashing, older Neal Kirchner, a successful architect from an old-money family. Hayden doesn’t exactly lie, but he figures it can’t hurt for Neal to believe he’s a rich kid. After all, Hayden doesn’t want Neal thinking he’s a gold digger.
The closer they become, the harder it gets for Hayden to come clean. Something always seems to get in the way. When a company bankruptcy and a jilted, vindictive woman threaten to expose his charade, Hayden thinks it’s all gone down the drain. Luckily Neal is ready with some innocent trickery of his own.
“I see I’m right on time.” Neal came striding through the suite door and nearly took all the breath from Hayden. “I’m glad I had my things sent ahead. Traffic was more of a snarled mess than usual.” He wore a light gray suit with a subtle pattern and sheen to it. As he walked across the suite, he loosened and pulled off his tie and tossed it to the back of one of the chairs in the sitting area.
“Mr. Owens and I were getting acquainted, and I was telling him how much I hoped to see him here more often,” Nathan said. “I’m always delighted when
you are our guest, Mr. Kirchner. Now, you gentlemen had better eat your lunch before it gets cold and I get in trouble with the chef.”
Neal laughed. “You have that chef talk to me. You’re the reason I stay in this hotel. Thank you for making Hayden feel at home.”
Nathan nodded, wheeled his cart out, and pulled the door shut as he left.
“I have missed you,” Neal said, his voice breathless and his cheeks flushed suddenly. He closed the distance between them in seconds and pulled Hayden into his arms to hold him close.
Hayden slipped his arms around Neal’s waist and relaxed, opening his mouth at once to Neal’s hungry kiss. Warmth coursed through Hayden and settled in his groin, making his jeans tight and his thighs quiver. Neal ran one hand through Hayden’s hair, gripping it and holding Hayden steady.
Easing apart, they both drew a deep breath. Then while Neal ran his tongue over Hayden’s neck, Hayden nipped at Neal’s ear and was rewarded with a deep moan.
Breathing hard, Neal moved back a step and held Hayden by the shoulders, rubbing his thumbs over them. “I think if we don’t eat our lunch, we’ll miss out.”
Hayden nodded. “Uh-huh.”
Dreamspinner Press eBook: http://bit.ly/2yH5uWe
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