This week's feature release is HIS NEEDS. by Kris T. Bethke. HIS NEEDS releases today, and I'm excited to share it with you!
When State Trooper Travis Kinslow is injured right before Thanksgiving, the only positive is that for once he won’t be working during the holidays. Since he has no family, Travis was absorbed into his best friend, Joe’s, and he considers them as good as his own. Everyone except Joe’s brother Noah. Travis has been in love with the younger man for much of his life, but he’s always kept his distance.
As an ER nurse, Noah is a caretaker by nature. When his brother’s best friend is hurt, he’s happy to help Travis while he heals. He’s only ever allowed himself to think of Travis as the next best thing to an older brother, but by the light of the Christmas tree, Noah finally sees Travis’s true feelings. And in that moment, everything changes.
When faced with opposition and a Christmas nothing like they imagined, will their hopes for the future be enough to carry them through?
I asked Kris a few questions about her release, and can't wait to share it with you!
Tell us one interesting trait about your heroes.
Travis Kinslow is a perfect mix of soft and tough.
Noah Mastriano has an innate need to care for others, and especially for Travis
Describe Death Dancer in 5 words or less.
Twist on friends to lovers
Is this book part of a series, and when can we expect to see more?
The book isn't part of a series, but I am toying with the idea of a very loosely based spinoff with one of the side characters for sometime in the future.
What are you currently working on?
I'm just about to start a paranormal romance in which one of the MCs helps to lead lost spirits to their eternal rest.
What is your all-time favorite m/m romance read?
That's such a hard one! I've certainly got a lot of favorites, but one I keep coming back to is Perfect Imperfections by Cardeno C. I love the way Reg and Jeremy fit together, and the way their relationship grows as Reg helps Jeremy find his way.
HIS NEED Excerpt
“I think you need the rest more than I do.”
As if to back up my words, he gave another huge, jaw-cracking yawn, and followed it up with a laugh. “You may be right. Here, I’ll take the chair and you can stretch out on the love seat.” He eyed the thing, then shrugged. “Well, kinda.”
I shook my head. Noah was only about four inches shorter than I was, maybe five nine to my six one, and he wouldn’t exactly fit on the love seat either. But it was a better fit than if I tried to lay down, and really, I didn’t relish the thought of attempting to find a comfortable position.
“I’d rather take the chair,” I said, moving toward it. “It’ll be easier on me to be sitting up.”
He squinted, studying me. “You sure?”
I nodded and then gently eased myself into the seat. He stood close by, ready to come to my aid if I needed it, but I managed to sit just fine. Noah grabbed one of the crocheted afghans from the back of the love seat and draped it over me before he settled himself. He flopped around a little bit, trying to find a comfortable spot, but as soon as he did, he was out.
That fast, and he was sleeping. He must have needed it even more than I thought.
In sleep, Noah looked like an angel. His features smoothed out, giving him a truly peaceful air. His mouth turned up a little, like he was dreaming of something sweet. I could do nothing but stare, wishing I was close enough to run my fingers through his dark locks, trace the bridge of his perfect nose, or ghost a thumb over his plump bottom lip. I slid a little farther down in the chair, not taking my gaze off him, and rested my head against the back of the seat. I would have been happy to do nothing but watch him for hours.
Of course, that was the moment Marielle chose to walk onto the sunporch, holding her sleeping daughter.
Marielle’s smile was sweet as she took in her brother and then turned her attention to me. “I can’t figure out how come he doesn’t see how you feel about him,” she whispered.
I opened my mouth to deny it, but really, what was the point? She’d caught me staring, and there was no hiding it. I wasn’t naive enough to think that Joe and Aimee were the only ones who knew how I felt, though I’d tried not to let it show. Joe and I didn’t talk about things like our sex lives, but the fact that he didn’t warn me away from his little brother made me think he’d be okay if something happened. I knew it wouldn’t, but it was nice to know Joe had given his blessing. Or at least he wasn’t opposed.
“Noah doesn’t see me that way,” I responded.
“Yeah, I don’t think that’s it.”
Her words gave me pause. “What are you talking about?”
“Don’t mind me. Sleep deprivation and all that. I don’t know what I’m talking about.” She gestured to the baby cuddled on her shoulder as if she was the answer. I knew Marielle was lying, but before I could call her on it, she gave me a broad, somewhat mischievous grin. “Is Uncle Travis stationary for a bit?”
I narrowed my eyes in suspicion. “Yeah,” I said slowly.
Marielle nodded. “And is a ten-pound baby going to hurt you?”
I snorted out a tiny laugh, now knowing where she was going. “Not even a bit.”
“She’s more like thirteen.”
Before I knew it, baby Mya was placed in my arms, snuggled up on my chest with a burp cloth under her cheek to catch the drool and a homemade blanket draped over her back. Marielle found a pillow to tuck under my arm so I didn’t have to support her on my own. She barely waited to make sure the baby was settled before she turned to leave.
“Give me like ten, maybe twenty minutes. Okay?”
I nodded and smiled. I knew she needed some time to herself, and she knew she could trust me to stay awake and take care of the baby that long. Marielle gave me a grateful smile before she left, making sure to shut the door behind her.
Mya gave a tiny grunt and then started to wiggle. I patted her diaper-clad bottom to give her a little jiggle, and she settled right down. Within moments, she was once again sound asleep. She was a pleasant, warm weight on my chest, lulling and soothing, and I found myself settling comfortably.
I glanced over at Noah, smiling in his sleep, and an answering grin stretched my lips. Maybe family holidays weren’t that bad after all.
Kris T. Bethke has been a voracious reader for pretty much her entire life and has been writing stories for nearly as long. An avid and prolific daydreamer, she always has a story in her head. She spends most of her free time reading, writing, or knitting/crocheting her latest project. Her biggest desire is to find a way to accomplish all three tasks at one time. A classic muscle car will always turn her head, and naps on the weekend are one of her greatest guilty pleasures. She lives in a converted attic with a way too fluffy cat and the voices in her head. She’ll tell you she thinks that’s a pretty good deal. Kris believes that love is love, no matter the gender of people involved, and that all love deserves to be celebrated.
Confessions of a cynical romantic. Have books. Will travel. Agent: Deidre Knight. #NoH8!