Giving Up by Lee Brazil
Truth or Dare Series, Book 3
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mainstream, Romantic Suspense, Light Bondage
Can Dr. Arden Grey teach Brandon Blake that giving up control is worth while, with the right woman?
Brandon Blake has a problem. His family is fed up with his controlling ways. They don’t need him managing their affairs any more. Brandon doesn’t want to lose his connection with his brothers, but he doesn’t know any other way to live. He’s been in charge for a long time. Now his brothers are leaving home and making families of their own, and Brandon’s interference has caused some serious rifts. Brandon’s’ stressful job as CEO of the family production studio and his concerns for his brothers have contributed to the ulcer his doctor recently diagnosed. Therapy is supposed to help Brandon learn how to let go and give up the need to control every thing. Brandon finds the counselor he’s been sent to intriguing, if a bit intimidating, though she has absolutely nothing in common with the women he’s dated in the past.
Dr. Arden Gray knows about control. A survivor of marriage to a dominant, abusive partner, she’s spent the last twenty years turning her life around. She’s learned to take control and has made a career of teaching others to do the same. Brandon Blake is a surprise. When his doctor sends Brandon to her, Arden isn’t sure how she can help the man. But after a few sessions, she sees something intriguing hidden inside Brandon Blake, something that tells her he just might be the man she’s been looking for. If only she can convince him that giving up control to the right woman will solve all his problems!
He stood automatically, reaching out to shake her hand in greeting and murmuring a polite good morning. A slight heat rose in his cheeks, and he hoped to hell the blush wasn’t visible. And why the fuck a simple handshake with the doctor should cause him to blush, he didn’t know, but something about her made him feel self-conscious and uncertain in ways he hadn’t felt since he was a wild sixteen-year-old serving as his beautiful mother’s escort to wild Hollywood parties.
He stiffened his spine and forced himself to meet those sharp blue eyes, unwittingly squeezing her hand just a little too tightly. He watched as the blue eyes flared wide then narrowed, and Dr. Grey gently removed her hand from his. The heat in his cheeks grew, and he felt his stomach churn alarmingly. He and Trick were about to have more in common than he’d ever thought possible if he couldn’t calm down soon.
Dr. Grey led him into her office, and he took his usual seat on the plush leather chair in front of the desk. Somewhat surprised, he noticed that instead of taking the chair adjacent to him as she normally did, Dr. Grey seated herself behind the neat steel and glass desk. Crossing her hands on the desktop, she met his questioning gaze calmly, and Brandon let out the breath he hadn’t realized he held. His roiling emotions calmed as he took in her stillness, and even his churning stomach was soothed. This was different, but not wrong.
Or so he thought until she spoke.
“I’m afraid, Brandon, that I can’t keep you on as patient any longer.”
Panic flared. “What? Why not?” His stomach heaved, and he forced himself to breathe deeply through his nose, swallowing rapidly to prevent the consequences of the sudden lurch. He was sure nothing of his feelings showed on his face. He had twenty-three years of practice since his mother’s death at making sure of that. He couldn’t have heard correctly.
“Because I can’t help you in a professional capacity. I’ve given you the tools to manage your problem; you’re an intelligent man, and you can resolve your issues from here on your own.” Her voice remained the same as it always had, soothing and cool, her gaze untroubled and calm.
Damn. How had he come to depend on that calmness in such a few meetings? How would he deal without the soothing effect her voice had on his nerves and stomach? Quickly pulling in resources to hide the shocking sense of abandonment he suddenly felt, Brandon grasped the tiny thread of anger and blew it up.
He surged upright and waved his phone in her face. “Fuck. I could have been at the office heading off a dozen major crises! See this? It’s called a cell phone. I have it with me all the time. Next time you need to change our plans, use it!”
Truth or Dare
Happy Birthday to Breathless Press!
From Lee Brazil
Hi, thanks for having me here at Black Ravens again! I’m Lee Brazil and I write primarily m/m romance. My latest book though, is m/f, and that, let me tell you, is a whole different kettle of fish! I’m not going to whine here about how hard it was to write though – I’ve done enough of that elsewhere this past month.
But a few readers have asked me, “Why did you make this one m/f?” And I thought I should probably explain that. You see, my critique partner and I discussed the series, and I reluctantly agreed that it would stretch the belief too much to have all four of the Blake Brothers be gay. (I know. It’s fiction, and it’s not like the series is realistic, is it?) So, Brandon lucked out and he’s the token straight guy- except, he’s not.
When I first wrote this series, I had no idea it would actually be published – nor did I realize quite how firmly some people drew the line between m/m and m/f romance. Some readers refuse to read m/m. Some refuse to read m/f. Some people didn’t like Telling the Truth because it was a ménage. Readers have a wide a varied appetite for fiction, but not all of them enjoy the same tastes. That’s pretty cool, because not all authors write the same things. It works out.
If I’d known last October that readers would be surprised by the inclusion of an m/f book in my series would it have led to a different story for Brandon Blake? Probably not. You see, the Truth or Dare series is primarily about family. Family comes in many shapes and sizes, many combinations. Some couples are m/m. Some couples are m/f. Some couples aren’t couples at all.
Sometimes the path to love is smooth and easy (think Mischa and Donovan of Keeping House). Sometimes it’s fraught with miscommunication (As in the case of Terry, Dex and Trick of Telling the Truth). And sometimes, it’s about learning a new way of doing things. Brandon and Arden both have issues with control, and each of them needs to learn when to allow the other to exercise that control.
Backing up a bit, when I wrote this series, I had no idea it would be published. I wrote it to fulfill a need of my own, and a friend convinced me that it was worth subbing. (Thank you, Havan!) She also convinced me that I should ignore other people’s advice – Never go with a publisher less than five years in the business – and sub to Breathless Press.
So, I did. I attribute the success of this series to the excellent professionals at Breathless Press. Victoria Miller created gorgeous covers for all of the books, Michayla Hart is a fantastic editor, and the whole team has been awesome to work with!
I just found out that Breathless Press turns 2 this month. So please join me in wishing them a very successful, exciting third year in business…
Cheers to you, Breathless Press! (Raises glass of wine in tribute)
(Sings off key — cause I’m never on key… you’re lucky I’m not three words behind)
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday Dear Breathless Press
Happy Birthday to You.
From good friends and true,
From old friends and new,
May good luck go with you,
And happiness too.
Thanks for dropping by again. Tell Wally that we said hello. Little man has two new cocker spaniels named Max and Jax. I’ll be introducing them at some point this weekend. Also Happy Birthday to Breathless Press. Woo-hoo! The Cafe is two years old this month as well.
So, what’s up for grabs???? How about one (1) lucky winner will receive a copy of Giving Up. Trust me, you definitely want not only Brandon’s story, but the entire series. It’s really good. If you don’t believe me, check out Jaymes’ reviews of Keeping House and Telling the Truth at The Readers Roundtable.
Here’s how to enter: Just leave a response wishing Breathless Press a Happy Birthday. Easy-Peasy!
Now for the rest of the rules:
1. Must be or become a Google Friend Connect (GFC) follower of The Cafe
2. Must answer the question
3. Must leave your name and email address in case you win
4. Must have fun
Of course this is an overnight contest; therefore, you have until 6:00 PM (CST) on Sunday evening to leave a response in the comments section. The lucky winner will be selected using the True Random Number Generator from RANDOM.ORG.
Good Luck Everyone!