Thursday, September 17, 2015

New release from Kris Cook - The Marine In Unit A

Title: The Marine in Unit A
Series: A Mockingbird Place Novella
Author: Kris Cook
Genre: M/M Romance
Published: September 15, 2015
The man who has been more of a dad to me than my biological father is dead. 
He rescued me from the streets six years ago—a runaway teenage boy, escaping a family who thought I was an abomination. 
Now what do I do? I have no one. 
My life might look great from the outside. I’m in college. I have my own apartment. I have lots of friends. 
But I’m dying on the inside. 
I feel so alone. Lost. Hopeless. 
I’m not the kind of person to wallow in self-pity. I need a distraction. 
The guy moving into Unit A may be just what I need to take my mind off of losing my dad. 
**** 
21-year old Oliver Lancaster is attracted to 22-year old Adam Stockton, the former-Marine moving into Unit A. But attraction for the closeted man morphs quickly into something deeper, something meaningful, something that terrifies Oliver. What will happen if Adam learns about the secret from his past? 
Warning: contains skinny dipping, two hot men kissing, and sexual situations taking place in a 10-unit Mediterranean complex filled with college-aged hotties.
“Loved this book! Very touching love story and has me wanting to know more about the residents at Mockingbird Place.” ~ The Smut-Brarians
“It is well written, and you can feel the intensity of the words and the emotions of the characters in the book.” ~ Bloggin' With M.Brennan
“A very nice read that I totally enjoyed. I will read more by this author especially this series.” ~ Inked Rainbow Reads
The Marine in Unit A Mockingbird Place 
© 2015 Kris Cook

I stay behind as everyone says their goodbyes to him. I’m not ready to leave.
He hugs Martha and Sarah last. They wave to me, and then walk out.
When Adam shuts the door, I ask him, “How about another beer? There’s three left.”
“Actually, I’m hungry. Are you?”
“Starving.”
He walks into the kitchen and holds up a grocery bag. “You like ramen noodles? I’m not much of a cook and I figured it might be too late to go out by the time I finished. I was right, even with all the help of our wonderful neighbors and you.”
This will be our first meal together. “Noodles and beer? Sounds perfect.”
Adam laughs. “I even got cupcakes for dessert. Now all we need to do is find a pot in one of these boxes so we can boil the noodles.”
A few minutes later, our dinner is ready to eat.
He looks in several boxes. “I found forks but no plates or bowls. Oh, well. I guess we’ll have to eat out of the pot. And since my dining room table is loaded with boxes and my new sofa won’t be delivered until tomorrow, we’ll have to sit on the floor.” He walks into the living room, carrying a couple of forks and our pot of noodles.
I plop down in the same place I sat in before everyone else arrived. “It’ll be like an indoor picnic.”
He laughs, sits down next to me and then scoots even closer. So close my heart skips a beat.
Adam holds the pot out for me. “You take the first bite.”
Heat rushes through me as I twirl my fork in the pot. I wonder if he realizes how intimate this feels. Was my first instinct about him right? Is he gay? I’m confused. I’m not about to bring up that subject now, especially remembering how he acted when I mentioned the gay strip club. Right now I must be patient with him. I like Adam. If he isn’t gay, I hope we can at least be friends. But if he is…well, that is a different story.
As I taste the noodles, his eyes are fixed on me. “How did I do, Oliver?”
“Delicious.” I haven’t eaten ramen noodles in a very long time. Malcolm was an excellent cook and taught me everything he knew about the kitchen. We always ate like kings. “It has a flavor I can’t quite figure out.”
Laughing, Adam places his arm around me. “It’s beer. I’m no chef and I don’t have any spices except salt and pepper, but I thought if I poured some of my beer in the pot it might make our noodles taste better.”
“It does taste great. Good idea.”
“Really? You’re not just saying that, are you?”
“Yes. Really.” I smile at his enthusiasm. I’ve witnessed a sliver of his dark side when he adamantly stated he wasn’t gay. But now, he seems completely relaxed and open. This seems to be another side to his personality. How many sides does he have? Adam is still a mystery to me.
We polish off the entire pot of noodles quickly.
“I guess we were hungry.” He finishes his beer and remains next to me. “Ready for dessert?”
I would much rather taste his lips, but for now, I will settle for a cupcake. “I would love dessert.”
He jumps to his feet, collecting our two forks and the empty pot, and returns to the kitchen.
Again, I notice his slight limp. I really wish I knew what happened to him. But if I say something it might end the evening, and I don’t want it to end. We’ve only had a little time alone together. I want more, but feel if I stay much longer, I will screw things up.
He brings the cupcakes on a napkin. “There’s a chocolate and a vanilla. Which one do you want?”
I look into his dark eyes, wondering what it would be like to hold him close. “Chocolate, please.”
“That’s my favorite, too.” He sits down even closer to me than before, the sides of our legs touching with only the fabric of our jeans keeping our skin apart.
My heart begins to race. “How about we cut the cupcakes in two, Adam, and split them? That way we both get a taste of our favorite.”
He laughs in such a way I can’t help but smile. It’s hearty and warm. “Oliver, you’re a genius.”
He takes a bite of his chocolate slice and closes his eyes. “Mmm.”
I can’t help but stare at the drop of icing that is on his thick lips. When his tongue appears and sweeps it into his mouth, I think I’m going to pass out. He is the hottest guy I’ve ever met. I need to get control of myself or my excitement will get the better of me.
Adam’s eyes pop open. “What are you waiting for? It’s delicious.”
I take a bite of mine. In the sexiest voice I can muster, I say, “It is so delicious—sweet, moist, and creamy.”
“You should be the bakery’s spokesperson. Have you ever thought about doing commercials?”
So much for trying to sound sexy, but I’m not ready to give up. Not yet. “No, I never have.”
“You should consider it. You’ve got a great voice.”
“Thanks. This has been a blast, Adam.”
“A blast?” He grins again. “I’m glad but I feel like I’ve taken advantage of you. This has been a lot of work.”
Please take advantage of me. “Next time I want to cook dinner for you.”
“That would be great. I’ll bring a six-pack or a bottle of wine. But don’t think you have to top my meal.” He grins, holding up his remaining cupcake half. “This is five-star dining at its best.”
“Yes, it is. And the company can’t be beat.” Despite how much I want to stay, I wrap up the remainder of my dessert in the napkin. “It’s late. I better go.”
A flash of disappointment appears on his face and then quickly vanishes. He gets up on his feet. “Thanks, buddy. Without your help and all the other neighbors pitching in, I wouldn’t have been able to get the truck unloaded.” He holds out his hand in the universal gesture of friendship.
Is this all we are ever going to be? Just friends?
I can’t resist testing the water, just a little. “Come on, buddy. We’ve shared noodles. We’re friends who deserve a hug.” I pull him in and he doesn’t resist.
It still doesn’t confirm my suspicions about him, but it does give me a reason to hope.
Though starting in straight erotic romance, Kris's total focus now is on gay romance. When asked why recently, his answer was "My muse finally came out of the closet. Isn't it about time? I’ve been out since I was twenty-five." A voracious reader, Kris loves many genres of fiction, but this writer's favorite books are romances that are edgy, sexy, with rich characters and unique challenges. Kris' influences include Anne Rice, JR Ward, Lexi Blake and Shayla Black. Last year, Kris married the love of his life Stephen. 
 
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My review
 
Looking for a book with realistic, complex, multi-layered characters, you've definitely found one. A masterpiece of a story.

Mockingbird Place, with it's awesome, close-knit, and welcoming family of residents, is a place I would definitely love to live in. Everyone looks out for each other, even through tragedy.

As a veteran, albeit Air Force, I can easily identify with Adam the Marine, trying to adjust to civilian life which is different from what he expected to be. While it's not mentioned specifically, I can easily see it, which attests to the author's skill in creating and developing Adam's character.

Enter Oliver, an out loud and proud college student and president of the university's Rainbow Student Coalition, who lives a few units down from Adam. From the mixed signals he receives from Adam the question in his mind is simple. Is Adam gay or straight?

I'm definitely no stranger to receiving mixed signals, but it was no easy task to figure out Adam's signals. In fact, I didn't figure it out until it was made clearer. Well done, Kris.

Digging into the pasts of both Adam and Oliver, Oliver's story is one that I read about from time to time. However, I was not expecting Adam's story, which pulled at my heartstrings. His bravery is incredible.

Add in a strong supporting cast and a recent (real) current event, and you have an engrossing page-turner.

One of the best things I like about this book is that the story arcs are realistic, almost if they'd been taken from news headlines. It's more about life outside the bedroom. If you're looking for a book with lots of explicit sex scene's I'm afraid you're going to be in for a disappointment. In fact, there are only 2 sex scenes in the book. It's all about dealing with whatever life throws at you, especially with the support of friends and family.

The promotional group I blog for gives us a scale of 1 to 5 upon which to rate the pre-release books we review. If I could, I'd give this book a 100, but I have to settle for a 5.

This is clearly one of the finest pieces of literature I've ever had the pleasure to read. I will most definitely be reading it again, and hopefully a sequel or 2 (or 3, or 4).

I strongly encourage EVERYONE to read it.

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. You're welcome, Kris. I meant every word I said, and I'm hoping that a sequel is in the works.

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