On the Clock (Market Garden #8)
by L.A. Witt, Aleksandr Voinov
An M/M Romance
From Riptide Publishing
Released on July 13th 2015
When Blake Raleigh’s favorite rentboys retire from Market Garden, they’re sure their friend Jason will be a perfect replacement. Though Tristan and Jared are a tough act to follow, Blake returns to London to test out their recommendation.
Jason is right on the money. Negotiations turn him on. Getting paid turns him on. The higher the stakes, the hotter things get. Each trip to London is more expensive than the last, and the webcam sessions don’t run cheap, but Jason is well worth the sticker shock.
The more time they spend together, the more Blake wants, and not just sex and transactions. But Jason’s been burned before by men who thought they were in love with him, and he’s not making that mistake again. When the lines between personal and professional start to blur, it’s going to take more than money, jewelry, and sports cars to keep Jason from clocking out and walking away.
As a follower of the series and a fan of the Market Garden guys I could not, in good conscience, miss Rolex’s story. My TBR is not happy that I skipped a couple dozen books to get to it. But screw it! It was worth my sleepless night and some rowdy kids banging at my door.
Rolex. Blake. Love him! There was just something about him that called to me. I loved that he didn’t make excuses for his use of Market Garden or for his admiration of the rentboys there. I especially loved that he didn’t hesitate in admitting he missed Tristan and Jared and was happy for them for what they found in each other. But mostly I loved that underneath the expensive suits and extravagant toys was a man who was aware of his beginnings, who didn’t judge based on social status and who loved deeply and without second thought.
Now Jason, he took a while to understand. Mostly because I could not understand what drove him. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, because if not I would only have seen him as a man who only cared about the material things in life. But true to Team VoinWitt’s work, they proved me wrong and made me a believer! I came to love his wicked grin and the way is arousal spiked when Blake didn’t hesitate to up the ante when negotiating. And I won’t even mention that EPIC sex scenes in the garage…*sigh*
But all the hotness aside I do have to say that the story was also great. I appreciated the way the authors worked the story to bring Jason and Blake together. I liked that I got the chance to get to know them and that their connection wasn’t solely physical. Hell yeah! That aspect was fantastic, but there was also a lot more to them than that. They were funny and shared a great rapport that kept me grinning throughout. I loved their flirty banter and enjoyed their candid moments just as much as I loved the few unguarded moments they shared. The touches, the looks, the shared silence, the gasps, grunts and moans. Every little thing worked for me! And when the emotions came into play? I was sold!
Although this is the eighth book in the series, it can certainly be read as a stand alone. But why would you miss out on all the goodness that is the Market Garden? I wouldn’t. Especially if you like your story steamy hot with a sprinkle of humor and a side of emotions.
All in all, a fantastic story that left me wanting more. Let’s just say that another visit to the Market Garden would not be frowned upon.
*I received a copy of this title (which I devoured in a night!) in exchange of my honest opinion.
Jason’s grin would’ve fucked with Blake’s blood pressure if it hadn’t already been screwed up. He leaned closer, laying one arm on the table in that neutral space between their drinks. “I can see why Jared and Tristan referred you to me, then.”
“Is that right?”
“Mm-hmm.” Jason’s eyes flicked toward the table. Toward his own arm, specifically, and when he met Blake’s gaze again, he lifted his arm and reached all the way across. He trailed his fingertips along the side of Blake’s hand, a finger catching on his cuff, then his watch. “They said you’d come looking for me. To be honest, I was starting to wonder if you would.”
“Well, I’m . . .” Blake gulped. “I’m not always in town. Business. I live—”
“In America, I know.” Jason’s grin turned playful. His fingertip traced the edge of the gold Rolex, dangerously close to running across the skin of Blake’s wrist. “But I’ve been intrigued. They told me a lot about you.”
“Did they, now?” Blake watched Jason’s fingers, watched goose bumps rising on his arm as if his skin were trying its damnedest to close that minute distance. “All good things, I hope?”
“Well.” Something in Jason’s tone prompted Blake to lift his gaze, and when their eyes met, the blue-eyed rentboy said, “They said you’re a high roller.”
“Isn’t everyone who comes in here?”
“Some more than others. But as they say, you get what you pay for.” Jason’s fingers left the watch and slid onto the back of Blake’s hand. “And as far as I’m concerned, if a man is willing to pay, I’m definitely willing to play.”
Blake’s body temperature was soaring now, and it wasn’t only from the warm fingertips currently exploring the grooves and contours of his hand. “So you’re saying you’re expensive?”
Jason laughed, the sound soft and mischievous at the same time. “Let’s just say that if they sold me in a department store, I’d be in the ‘if you have to ask, you can’t afford it’ section.”
Oh dear sweet mother of God. Blake’s pulse was out of control. How many men had taken out second mortgages, sold their cars, and lived on ramen noodles to pay whatever price Jason commanded? Money wasn’t an issue for Blake, but damn, sitting across from Jason now while that scorching point of contact drove him insane, he was already cataloguing assets that could be, if the situation warranted, jettisoned.
“So that brings us to the next question.” Jason drew swirls on the back of Blake’s hand because, hell, Blake wasn’t already losing his mind. “What are you looking for tonight?”
Blake swallowed. “Well, um . . .”
Get it together, Raleigh. This is a business negotiation. This is what you do. Close the fucking deal without getting screwed. Err, without getting fucked. Err . . . crap.
He took a deep breath and pushed his shoulders back, channeling the professional side of him that had earned the money that would be going into Jason’s wallet tonight. “You ever driven a Lamborghini?”
Jason squirmed. “Not yet.”
“I have one.” Blake grinned. “Had two for a while, but now I have one.”
“Yeah?” Jason held his gaze, and Blake wondered how close the guy was to licking his chops.
Blake turned his hand over and, with a single fingertip, teased the soft skin on the inside of Jason’s wrist. “Car like that fetches a lot of money. A lot.”
“Yeah, it does.” Jason shifted, as if he were trying not to squirm again, but failing miserably.
What’s that, Jason? Is that a button of yours?
Blake leaned closer, mirroring Jason’s advance from earlier. “So you can imagine that you’d want to be very careful where you invest your money with a car like that. Make sure it’s exactly the right model.” He drew his nail along the side Jason’s hand, and was rewarded with a subtle gasp and some goose bumps. “Make sure the seats are good and comfortable. High-quality leather. Smooth transmission.” He grinned. “Right?”
Jason’s Adam’s apple jumped. He didn’t speak, but nodded slightly.
“So I’m sure you understand”—Blake slid his hand free and laid it over the top of Jason’s—“the necessity of a test drive.”
Jason’s eyes met his, and from his wide pupils to his parted lips, the deal was most definitely struck. “Are you here with your own car?”
“What about this: you’ll take me to your hotel, and if you like what you’re getting in the car, I’ll join you in your room and you pay full price.”
Blake was definitely too interested to haggle about the specifics. Jason struck him as exactly the kind of rentboy to get him over his jet lag and rev his engine, as it were. Settling on anything less was out of the question. “Deal. Let me text the driver.” He fished the cell phone from his pocket and told the driver to be at the curb.
Jason half finished his mojito, and they got up and headed toward the exit. The guard—Brandon—gave them a good-natured I told you so smile, and then they were in the alley behind Market Garden.
The driver pulled up, and Blake didn’t wait for him to open the door—he simply held it for Jason and then slid in beside him. “Back to the hotel, please.”
Jason raised the privacy screen before he turned to face him. Then he took Blake’s hand and pushed it against his stomach, right above the belt buckle, and lifted his hips up to make the invitation doubly clear.
Blake couldn’t decide where to touch him first, how far Jason would let him go and how to make the most of the maybe ten minutes they had until they arrived at the hotel. They were brushing, Jason’s legs wide open, and Blake slid his hand over the very hard cock straining against those leather pants. Long and thick too, and, mingled with the scent of the leather—he couldn’t wait to see it, taste it, feel every inch of it.
“No clothes off.” Jason’s eyes were heavy-lidded, but focused. “No orgasm.”
“You’re too much in control for that to happen after a little touching.”
Jason grinned and grabbed his tie. “Not so sure about you.” He pulled the tie knot a bit tighter. “Italian silk?”
“Milan, I reckon.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever met a man who can analyze a tie while he’s that hard.”
Jason tugged the tie, drawing Blake to him. “Wait till you see what I can do when I’m naked.”
Oh fuck . . .
Jason groaned, his lips nearly touching Blake’s, and Blake realized that he’d squeezed Jason’s cock harder. And obviously Jason liked it, so he did it again, which brought a string of profanity from Jason’s lips. Before Blake could comment—maybe ask how colorful his vocabulary would get when he was naked—Jason kissed him.
Well. That answered the question of whether Jason was okay with kissing on the mouth. Some of the rentboys weren’t, but Jason was . . .
Holy . . .
None of them kissed like he did. None of them. Maybe he was only making sure the test drive was good and impressive, or maybe he really was that turned on, but all the maybes and the possibilities added up to Blake nearly falling to pieces on the limo seat. Jason walked that fine line between aggressive and overbearing, inching just close enough to the latter to be hot as hell. He kept a firm grip on Blake’s tie, as if he knew exactly how much of a turn-on that was, and demanded access to Blake’s mouth. All the while, he rubbed his hard-on against Blake’s palm, as if to remind him that his hand was still on top of the clothed erection that would be his entertainment for the evening.
Jason’s palm warmed the inside of Blake’s thigh, his body heat radiating through Blake’s trousers as if they weren’t even there.
Panic rippled through Blake.
No clothes off? No orgasms?
He opened his eyes and looked past Jason at their surroundings beyond the heavily tinted windows. They were still a few minutes away from the hotel. Still a few minutes away from moving their negotiations into the lobby, the lift, the room, the bed.
And Jason’s hand was slowly—and not very subtly—sliding higher.
Yeah, Jason was controlled enough to keep himself from coming or tearing off some clothing, but Blake’s certainty about his own control was waning rapidly as Jason’s fingertips traced the inseam of his trousers.
Jason ran his whole hand over Blake’s clothed cock and balls. Blake groaned, and he couldn’t help breaking the kiss as he did. He couldn’t concentrate on things like kissing and being kissed and being halfway decent at kissing when those slender fingers were running along every inch of his uncomfortably hard dick.
“Jared and Tristan weren’t lying,” Jason whispered.
“Yeah?” Blake panted. “What . . . what did they say?”
“They raved about you.” Jason’s lips grazed Blake’s at the same time his fingertips traced the head of Blake’s cock through his fly. “They were certainly”—he squeezed Blake firmly enough to make him gasp—“fans.”
“Oh yes.” Jason’s smile was audible. “So far, it’s all true.”
Blake was too turned on to worry a great deal about whether the prostitutes of Market Garden had their own forum where they rated johns. “Such as?”
“Well, what do you think?”
Blake squirmed. “Good personal hygiene?”
Jason rolled his eyes. “That’s a low bottom line.”
“I was trying for self-deprecating.”
“You must be the only guy out there who can be self-deprecating while he’s this hard.” He grinned at Blake, baring all teeth. “It doesn’t really suit you.”
Yeah. Jason was most definitely rattling his cage, and rattling it thoroughly. But it was hard to care with Jason this close, and them both being this turned on. “G-good taste in music?”
“That was one.” Jason sinuously, fluidly pushed against Blake’s hand. “Any other guesses?”
Jason grinned and nodded. “But we already ticked that off the list. They mentioned your good taste in watches. Actually, your good taste generally.” Jason kissed him again, as if to drive home every meaning of the word taste, and it made Blake desperate to feel those lips around his cock. But—no clothes off, and no orgasm. He sure as hell hoped he’d last longer than it would take them to reach his hotel.
Blake broke the kiss and kissed Jason’s neck, caught a whiff of aftershave or shower gel—whatever it was exactly, it made Jason smell delicious. He couldn’t wait to get him into bed and get down and dirty with him.
The car pulled up outside the hotel, and Blake separated from Jason, reluctantly. No need to scandalize the driver with particulars. The man had probably seen worse, but Blake didn’t quite know where the lines of sexual harassment in the workplace started in the UK. “Nearly there.”
Jason sat up. At some point, he’d let Blake’s tie go, and Blake pushed a finger into the space between throat and the knot to loosen it again.
“So, how did you like the test drive?” Jason adjusted himself in his pants.
“I think we’d better go in my office and discuss price.”
About the Authors
EPIC Award winner and Lambda Award finalist Aleksandr Voinov is an emigrant German author living near London, where he works as a financial editor. His genres range from science fiction and fantasy to thriller, historical, contemporary, thriller, and erotica. His books were/are published by Random House Germany, Samhain Publishing, Riptide Publishing, and others.
If he isn’t writing, he studies hypnotherapy, explores historical sites, and meets other writers. He single-handedly sustains three London bookstores with his ever-changing research projects. His current interests include special forces operations during World War II, the history of chess, European magical traditions, and how to destroy the world and plunge it into a nuclear winter without having the benefit of nuclear weapons.
L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut . . .
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of one eBook off each of our backlists (excluding On The Clock) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 18th, and winners will be announced on July 19th. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Please include your email so we can contact you if you win!