It's weekend, and time for more Rainbow Snippets! The Rainbow Snippets group on Facebook asks its members to share six sentence snippets from their work each weekend. Check out the group's Facebook page to read all the snippets and add lots of great books to your TBR. You'll find all sorts of books with the common thread that the main character identifies as LGBTQ.
This month, I'm sharing a few snippets from The Artist's Masquerade, which was released two years ago this month by NineStar Press with gorgeous new cover art. I feel like picking favorites among my books is like picking favorite children and I can't do that, but I do adore The Artist's Masquerade and Cathal and Flavian's story. This is an opposites attract romance between the uptight and duty-bound duke's heir and a sharp-tongued artist who is in disguise and on the run. There are also spies and intrigue and magic and an exploration of family. When the book begins, Cathal's father has informed him that he has arranged a marriage for Cathal with a relative of the emperor of Ardunn. When she arrives, Flavian is with her disguised as her female companion and prepared to slip away as soon as possible. Things do not go to plan. I've skipped forward a bit for this snippet. Cathal now knows who Flavian is and isn't shy about showing his attraction. (And apparently, I lied last week when I said I would keep to sentence limits this week—I'm sorry!)
“Cathal.” He meant it as warning, protest, but he couldn’t make himself step away. Why was Cathal standing so close to him? A hand came to rest on Flavian’s back, warm and large, fingers drawing slow, caressing circles Flavian felt all the way down to his toes.
He needed to move. He needed to step away from Cathal right this minute and go back to the party where there would be other people and he would be safe from himself. Yet he still couldn’t make his feet move. He just stood, staring up at the lights, while Cathal’s hand moved slowly on his back.
Mesmerizing. The lights swirling and sparkling above them, the slow movement of Cathal’s fingers...the rest of the world faded away. Beautiful though they were, even the lights couldn’t hold his full attention, blurring together in front of his eyes as his focus narrowed to Cathal’s touch. Those strong fingers drawing random patterns up and down his back, the heat of them burning through the layers of fabric separating them from his skin. He tried to make sense of those patterns, tried to anticipate where Cathal would move, but he lost even the attempt in the sensations, the heat shivering through him.
“Flavian...” It was a whisper of sound, and Flavian barely heard it over his own heart beating in his ears.