Publisher: Carina Press (January 27, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: Paradox Lost
Blurb: Time travel tour guide Reegan McNamara’s job—taking eager tourists whenever they want to go—is usually a breeze. A trip back to 2020 to watch a world-changing speech seems no different, until a woman runs away from his tour group before the jump home. Now her tycoon husband is demanding her safe return—or Reegan will lose more than just his job.
PI Saul Kildare’s business is running on borrowed time. Due to a messy break with the police, he can’t get a referral to save his life. When an enigmatic stranger bangs on his door one night and promises a windfall for a missing-person case, it seems too good to be true. But the two men have an immediate connection, and Saul can’t pass up the chance to spend more time with Reegan, even if he is clearly hiding something.
Saul knows he shouldn’t trust Reegan, and Reegan knows he can’t get involved with Saul. But as their attraction evolves into feelings neither can deny, will they have the strength to take a leap of faith – together?
Saul jerked at the loud knock, and the vodka slipped from his grip. He caught it one-handed before it hit the floor. At least his reflexes were still half decent. With a scowl, he set the bottle back on the desk just as the pounding stopped.
Unless it was Cammie checking up on him—and she had a key—someone had the wrong address. He didn’t have any friends. Not anymore.
The silence stretched long enough that Saul sniffed and reached for the vodka again. His hand had barely brushed it when the pounding resumed, and his fingers twitched, sending the bottle crashing to the floor. The sound of shattering glass didn’t disturb him as much as the sight of all that clear oblivion leaking through the wood planks. “Fuck!” He stalked out of his office and across the reception area. On the other side of the frosted glass, a man’s figure stood, tall and broad-shouldered.
Saul jerked the door open to a sandy-haired Indiana Jones impersonator, and the man’s fist, which had been raised to pummel the glass yet again, dropped to his side. Saul took in the khaki pants tucked into scuffed calf-high boots and the long-sleeved button-down shirt. The safari hat resting on the stranger’s head, tilted jauntily to one side, completed the costume.
Saul rested his forehead against the doorframe and sighed. “Can I help you?”
“I’d like to hire you.”
It shouldn’t have hurt, being the butt of the guys’ jokes after all these months, and mostly it didn’t. Saul had opened the door to his share of male strippers this past year. And singing telegrams. And other not-so-harmless things. His punishment for daring to be gay in the old boys’ club.
He didn’t have it in him to play along tonight. “Tell Ron and the rest of them to fuck off. I’ve had enough. One more incident and I’ll file harassment charges.”
The man’s tentative smile slipped. “I feel like we’ve miscommunicated somehow. Let’s start again. My name’s Reegan McNamara, and I’d like to retain your services.”
This Reegan guy was the best actor they’d sent so far. And gorgeous enough to make Saul reckless. “My professional services?” he asked, loading his tone with suggestion. Reegan’s short hesitation doomed him. That and the way he was staring at Saul’s mouth. Saul laughed. “I didn’t think so. So you must want to partake of my other services.” He stepped into Reegan’s space, leaving a slim three inches between them, just enough to see the pupils of Reegan’s eye dilate, and hooked a finger under his belt. “My blowjobs are legendary, you know.”
A sound escaped Reegan’s throat, and he yanked Saul’s hand away. Muttering something indecipherable, he pushed into the room, gaze passing over the cheap, sparse furnishings. “Listen, not that I don’t find your offer appealing, but I’m in a hurry. I’ve lost someone, and I need to find her as soon as possible.”
Saul grasped for a verbal handhold. “Are you trying to tell me you’re actually a client?”
“I’m trying to be, so can you stop it with the fuck-me eyes? They’re very distracting.”
Only the doorframe kept Saul on his feet. Clearly, he’d killed that vodka bottle the conventional way and was now experiencing alcohol-induced hallucinations. “I’m sorry. I didn’t— I’m Saul Kildare.”
Reegan’s face was pinched and drawn tight over his cheekbones, but he cracked a grin at Saul’s wobbly greeting. “I know. I recognize you from your picture.” He stuck a tanned, calloused hand in Saul’s face and looked him over, taking in the wet splatters on his jeans. “You look like you’ve had a bad night, but frankly, so have I.”
Saul took the offered hand, finding it warm and firm against his own. When Reegan’s thumb curled, stroking over the back of Saul’s knuckles, heat unfurled in his abdomen. He swallowed past a dry throat. “All right, Mr. McNamara. Where exactly did you see a picture of me? And what are you doing pounding on my door at midnight?”
“Maybe I heard you were offering free blowjobs, so I hustled right over.” Reegan flashed a brilliant white smile.
Clients who ignored direct questions were usually more trouble than they were worth. Clients who flirted and ignored direct questions were downright dangerous. “How about the truth?”
“Oh, believe me.” Reegan’s gaze ran appreciatively over Saul. “I was being truthful.”
So this was a scam. Funny how it didn’t hurt his feelings in the slightest. The way Reegan’s gaze ran up and down his body, lingering in all the right places, ignited a fire in Saul’s stomach. And the way he swayed closer, as if he couldn’t help himself, sent the flames higher. Giving in to ill-advised desires was his trademark, and as usual, the consequences felt nebulous and far away. This would hurt less than the Stoli in the long run. Maybe. He backed up until he was leaning against Cammie’s desk, legs sprawling open. “Prove it.”
Bio: Libby glimpsed her true calling when her first story, an A.A. Milne /Shakespeare crossover, won the grand prize in her elementary school's fiction contest. Her parents explained that writers were quirky, poor, and often talked to themselves in supermarket checkout lines. They implored her to be practical, a request she took to heart for twenty years, earning two degrees, a white-collar job, and an ulcer, before realizing that practical was absolutely no fun.
Today she lives with her husband and four children in an old, impractical house and writes stories about redemption, the supernatural, and love at first sight, all of which do exist. She happens to know from experience.
Libby’s State of Mind received rave reviews for being fast, clever, and relentless and was nominated for a Bookie Award for Best M/M Novel of 2011. 40 Souls to Keep, Libby’s third novel, has been described as intense and heart-poundingly good and was praised by Publishers Weekly for maintaining a high level of suspense.
An avid supporter of gay rights, Libby donates her time to the Trevor Project and organizations that work to support marriage equality.
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