In the Raw
By Eileen Griffin and Nikka Michaels
Genre: M/M, Foodie Romance
Length: 85,000 Words
Series: In the Kitchen
Release Date: October 6, 2014
Publisher: Carina Press
BLURB: If you can’t take the heat…
James Lassiter has had a crush on fellow culinary student Ethan Martin for three years, but has never had the guts to make a move. Putting himself out there is hard, especially when under the thumb–and wallet–of his overbearing parents. Now that bad boy chef Ethan–who is always vying with Jamie for best in class–is struggling with the pastry course, Jamie suddenly has a reason to reach out.
Ethan doesn’t mean to be an ass–okay, so mostly he does–but even though he’s secretly hot for Jamie, he sure as hell doesn’t want help with pastry. Ever since his dad walked out, Ethan has been the one to hold things together and he’s done fine on his own. Except that he can’t get his cake to rise.
Jamie could be the answer to what Ethan’s been missing his whole life–someone to depend on. But with the two competing for the same scholarship, things suddenly get too hot to handle. And if Jamie finds the strength to go for what he wants, he isn’t about to settle for what he needs.
EXCERPT: I opened the door, shivering when a gust of wind swept through. I pulled my jacket tight around my body, sighing when I saw no cabs waiting at the curb. “Shit.” I could either call information or wait a few minutes for another to drive by. I leaned against the brick wall of the building to wait when I heard the bar’s door squeak open and shut again.
“You could have waited for me, you know?” Ethan’s annoyed voice as he approached had me wondering what I’d done now.
“No worries.” I shrugged, tired from the long day and the confusing mix of emotions hanging out with him seemed to bring. “I didn’t want to rush you because I was ready to leave.”
He stepped closer, his shoulders hunched as he reluctantly admitted, “I wanted to hang out with you. Not Summer or the guys. Just you.”
I stared at him. “What do you want from me, Ethan? Half the time I don’t know whether you hate me or want to be friends. Then you do something like defend me to my father, who incidentally thinks you’re the antichrist. Tell me what we’re doing here.”
Instead of launching into the verbal tirade I expected, a determined look crossed his face and he murmured, “Fuck it.”
He stepped closer and I tensed. As unpredictable as Ethan was, I wasn’t sure what he’d do. I let it out a surprised gasp when his mouth met mine. There was nothing gentle about it. Months of tension, fighting, flirting all igniting when he touched me. Not a romantic kiss by any means…it was bruising, rough, passionate, intense, all the same things I’d come to equate with Ethan Martin. My fingers curled in the fabric of his sweatshirt, tugging him closer as my eyes slammed shut.
Braced between the solidness of his body and the cold wall behind me, I felt my entire body heat. Ethan’s ravenous lips and desperate tongue claimed my mouth, tasting of beer and mint. He slid one hand up to cup the back of my neck, holding me captive as he braced himself against the wall. I kissed him back fiercely, our teeth knocking together with the force of it.
Sounds I didn’t even know I was capable of making left my mouth and I didn’t care we were in public where anyone could see us. I nipped his lip, sighing with pleasure when he moaned into my mouth. He might be an infuriatingly stubborn asshole at times but one thing was for certain: Ethan Martin could kiss. He broke away, breathing hard as he leaned his forehead against mine.
“Wow.” I fought for breath, a smile tugging at my lips. “For once we’re actually on the same page.” As soon as the words left my mouth, he pulled back. His expression changed from needy to terrified as he released me, his hands clenched into fists.
“I’m sorry.” He backed away, staring at my face like I’d punched him. “I’m really fucking sorry, Lassiter.”
I swallowed hard and took a deep breath, raising my hands as if I was soothing a spooked animal.
He yanked up his sweatshirt hood and took off, leaving me to stare after him in silence. What the hell had happened?
EILEEN GRIFFIN BIO: Eileen Griffin lives in the southwest, but loves to travel and has spent many summers crossing Europe with nothing but a backpack on her back. She enjoys TexMex, lives for good wine, and has a certain penchant for purple unicorns. She loves reading all genres of books, but her current obsession is writing M/M romance. Her past published works include: Chasing Matt, a M/M novella co-authored with Nikka Michaels, Dinner For Two, a M/F romance novella, “Claiming Ayden”, a M/M shifter romance that is part of Evenight’s Alpha’s Claim Anthology: M/M Edition, and “Lost and Found”, a short story written for the M/M Romance Group’s Don’t Read in the Closet: Love’s Landscapes Event. Eileen is currently working on a new M/M series set in a Bed and Breakfast with Nikka Michaels, as well as several other projects both individual and co-authored.
NIKKA MICHAELS BIO: Nikka Michaels lives in the rainy Pacific Northwest where she spends her time cooking, laughing and crafting romantic tales to satisfy her craving for HEAs with heat. A voracious reader, novice knitter and music lover she’s been known to multitask without breaking a sweat. She loves to read and write M/M romance but believes everyone deserves a love story. She currently has several releases out including, Chasing Matt, a M/M novella co-authored with Eileen Griffin, Christmas with Caden, a M/F romance novella from Cobblestone Press, “Waking up Wolf”, a M/M shifter romance in Evernight Publishing’s Alpha’s Claim: Manlove Edition anthology, and the MM series which includes, Mile High Service, Room Service and Lip Service Cobblestone Press’ Blue line. Lip Service, the sequel to Room Service and . She also has a short story, “His Assistant” in Evernight Publishing’s best selling Executive Assistant: Manlove Edition anthology.