#ReleaseTour — Pieces of Me (Spectrum Nights) #1 by Melanie Hansen + Giveaway & Review
Title: Pieces of Me
Series: Spectrum Nights, Book 1
Author: Melanie Hansen
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: January 16th
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
hurt/comfort, step brothers, friends to lovers,
model (ish), reunited, family drama, angst
Deep in the heart of the Florida Panhandle, Scott Ashworth’s bleak life stretches out before him with not much hope for the future. His hardscrabble days are brightened by the arrival of a new stepbrother, Rylan Mahoney, who quickly becomes the friend Scott so desperately needs. Their relationship has just started to deepen into more, when during the course of one terrible night, what Scott overhears sends him fleeing from his home, never to return.
Flash forward six years, and Scott is now the hottest club host on the Phoenix gay scene. He takes what he wants, does what he wants, and does whom he wants. It’s a good life, but the journey to local popularity and fame wasn’t an easy one. For all that Scott’s looks are a blessing, at the same time they’re a curse—the source of his alcoholic mother’s inexplicable hatred.
Rylan dreams of photojournalistic glory. He’s in Phoenix looking for the story of a lifetime, but the project isn’t coming to fruition. Needing rent money, he accepts a gig at Phoenix Pride hawking lewd lollipops and edible condoms…all while wearing gold lamé hot pants and a matching bow tie. When Rylan’s house keys and street clothes go missing after his shift, he’s desperate, until a stranger in a convertible stops to help.
The man is absolute sex on legs, and Rylan is jolted when he recognizes him—his stepbrother Scott Ashworth, long missing but suddenly larger than life. Reunited after six years apart, Scott and Rylan are determined to put their past behind them, but fate intervenes and leaves their future in jeopardy once again.
“I hate you, Ashworth!”
Rylan was gasping for breath, feeling like knives were stabbing into his side. His legs were rubbery from exertion, and sweat was pouring from him.
Scott was dripping wet too, his body glistening with an all-over sheen, but he wasn’t even breathing hard…damn him. He’d run—run—up to the summit and back down…twice…while Rylan was still struggling to reach the halfway point.
“Channel that hate, Mahoney,” Scott called out to him, laughter in his voice, “and use it to climb! Deep breaths in, blow it out. Keep that oxygen flowing!”
Rylan wanted to snarl at him, tell him to shut the fuck up, but he couldn’t spare the breath. The heat was making black spots dance in front of his eyes, and he stopped to drink some of the water Scott gave him at the trailhead. His camera felt like a deadweight hanging around his neck, and more than once Rylan was tempted to fling the fucking thing over the side of the mountain. Why had he agreed to this?
“It’ll be worth it at the top, Ry,” Scott coaxed, jogging lightly in place while he waited for Rylan to finish drinking. “Stunning panoramic views of the Valley. It’s gorgeous.”
Rylan capped his water and put it on the ground, bending over at the waist to prop his hands on his knees, letting his head hang while he caught his breath. “It better be worth it, or I’ll push you off,” he threatened, biting his lip to hide a smile when Scott laughed. He looked up just in time to see Scott snap a picture of him with his phone, and Rylan straightened indignantly.
“What the hell? Delete that!” he demanded, only imagining how wrecked and disgusting he was right now. In contrast, Scott was absolutely mouthwatering, all golden brown skin and ridged muscle, his tank top long since shed and tucked into the waistband of his shorts, which rode low on lean hips. All Rylan could think about was kneeling at his feet to lick up every drop of sweat coursing over his incredible body.
Shit. Hiking with a boner would make things even more difficult.
“I’ll delete it if you keep walking,” Scott taunted. “Otherwise, it goes straight to my Instagram for everyone to see. And what a sight you are,” he teased. “Red-faced and drenched, like a little drowned rat.”
“I’ll get you for this—” Rylan growled, lunging at Scott, who danced easily out of reach.
“So many awesome filters I can use,” Scott called back over his shoulder as he moved on ahead. “So many captions begging to be written. Come get me, Ry!”
Rylan lurched after him, focusing on Scott’s voice, on his mock threats, his gentle encouragement, until at last…at last…they emerged from the shadow of the trail onto the summit. Rylan didn’t even bother to look at the views, just staggered to a small outcropping of rock and collapsed down onto it, his legs shaking.
Several people milled around at the top, taking pictures, drinking water, laughing, and high-fiving. Scott headed toward a small group to fist-bump a guy whom Rylan recognized as one of the go-go boys at the club, a skilled pole dancer whose flexibility while wearing a miniscule Speedo had drawn quite a crowd.
After a few minutes, though, Scott left them and flopped down on the ground next to Rylan’s feet, reclining back on his elbow in the dirt, one knee drawn up. “You made it. I’m proud of you,” he said sincerely. “It’s not an easy climb for a beginner.”
Rylan pouted. “Tell me about it,” he groused. “My legs feel like spaghetti, and I’ll probably have to slide back down on my ass.”
“Now that would be a waste of a mighty fine ass,” Scott drawled, craning his neck back as if he was trying to get a glimpse of it.
Rylan was enjoying the harmless flirting, and he playfully flicked some of his water in Scott’s face. They shared a smile, and Rylan reached down to put his hand on Scott’s shoulder, giving it a squeeze.
“Thanks for helping me,” he said softly. “I would have quit long ago, but you challenged me to make it.”
“I’ll have to remember that threats to your vanity work on you,” Scott said, grinning. “Makes you putty in my hands. But you’re welcome.”
So if that’s not what’s bothering you, what is it?”
Scott rested his hands on Rylan’s waist, and sighed. “I—uh, I have a VIP gig this Friday. At Spectrum.” He tensed, as if waiting for an explosion, and Rylan gave a surprised chuckle.
“Really? Is that all?”
Scott’s eyes widened. “You—you’re not—that’s all you have to say?”
Rylan tilted his head consideringly. “Actually, no, it’s not.” Scott flinched, and Rylan went on, “Can I come watch?”
This time Scott’s mouth dropped open, and Rylan laughed. “Of all things, you thought that’s what I would be upset about? Why?”
Scott sputtered a little. “Because—because—“
“Because you’ll be half-naked on some dude’s lap, grinding down on him?” Rylan gave an exaggerated shiver. “God, that’s so fucking hot.”
Scott could only gape, so Rylan winked at him, pushed to his feet and sauntered to the sink. “It’s your job, Scott. You enjoy it and you’re good at it. Why do you think I’d suddenly have a problem with it?”
Scott followed and leaned against the counter next to him, giving a helpless gesture. “I don’t know. It’ll be a lot different, Rylan, than me just flirting with people at a party. I was afraid that—“
Rylan tossed the dishrag he was wringing out down into the sink, and dried his hands on a towel. “That I’ll be jealous? I won’t be.” He smoothed his palms up Scott’s broad chest, stretching up on tiptoe to give him a soft kiss. “But thanks for caring, and worrying about it.”
Scott put his hands on Rylan’s hips and pushed him back a little, his eyes narrowed. “Should I be worried now because you aren’t jealous? The thought of it doesn’t bother you at all?”
Rylan fought to keep from smiling at Scott’s confusion, and he twined his arms around his neck.
“You want to know why I think it’s so hot?” he murmured against his cheek, and Scott gave a jerky nod. “Because, whoever he is, you’re going to make him want you. You’re going to tease him, and make him dream of fucking you.”
“Jesus, Ry.” Scott gripped Rylan’s hips tighter, tipping his head back as Rylan dragged his mouth along his throat.
“You’re going to make him wonder what you look like naked,” Rylan breathed against his skin. “What sounds you make when you come.”
Scott wrapped his arms around Rylan’s waist, lifting him clear off his feet to kiss him roughly. His mouth tasted like ginger, and Rylan nipped his bottom lip, then soothed it with his tongue. “But he won’t get to find out, will he? Because you’re mine, and you’re coming home to me. That’s why it’s so fucking hot.”
For long minutes all Rylan could do was hold on as Scott ravaged his mouth with his own, until he finally let Rylan slide down his body to standing. They were both breathing hard, and Rylan could feel Scott’s erection digging into his abdomen. He cupped Rylan’s face in one hand, leaning down to brush his lips over his forehead, then the tip of his nose. “I’m the luckiest man alive.”
Pieces of Me by Melanie Hanson tells the story of Scott Ashworth, a good-looking teenager who gets noticed for looks alone and he learns to use that to his advantage. His home life is “trailer trash” in every aspect and the worst of the living conditions are his mother—an alcoholic who drags a different man to her bed—a mother who hates her son with every breath she takes, and Scott feels that hate every time he looks in her eyes.
Rylan and his Dad are close and he’s having trouble seeing the way Scott and his mom act with each other. The fighting and yelling, but Scott assures him it’s all good. The trailer is small and Rylan and Scott must share a room that puts two teenagers together—that under different circumstances—probably wouldn’t ever speak to each other.
Forced together, they form a friendship and a really close bond that leads to some experimenting with each other that was really sweet. Rylan has a good head on his shoulders and is a really good support system for Scott, but Scott has a lot of problems that he doesn’t share with anyone and when it gets to be too much he runs and leaves everyone behind.
Six years later when Rylan accidentally crosses paths with Scott their worlds collide again. Scott is a completely different person. He’s no longer living in filth, and he has everything he could want at his finger-tips—so he says. But, he wears an armor so thick that no one can penetrate it therefore making him a very lonely and bitter person. Rylan wants the chance to be his friend again because he definitely needs one but when Scott tries to take him to bed instead. . . Rylan is furious—refusing to be a notch on Scott's bedpost.
This is an emotional story and the author does a great job of pulling the reader in and making you feel what the characters are going through—especially Scott with his mother—as he shares some of his secrets. And—as bad as his mother is—I was devastated on her behalf with what she experienced. Without going into much detail, my heart breaks for her, she was done wrong, she needs help, but I can’t give her a pass for treating her son the way she did.
I, also, enjoyed Gabriel, Rylan’s best friend and seeing him live his truth even as hard as it was for him but he never gave up. It was also frustrating to see Scott step in and help G when he needed it—never thinking twice to do so—but not thinking enough of himself to do the same.
The story ends on a huge cliffhanger and there are a lot of questions with no answers and a lot of missing time with no explanations that I hope will be explained in the next installment. Scott is still a very troubled man and I really am anxious to see what happens next.
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://indigomarketinganddesign.com *
Meet the Author
Melanie Hansen has spent time in Texas and Florida prisons…for work. She’s been in a room with a 17-year-old mass murderer who was also one of the most soft-spoken and polite teenagers she’s ever met. After a 13-year career as a court reporter, she can tell many stories both hilarious and heartbreaking.
She grew up with an Air Force dad, and ended up marrying a Navy man. After living and working all over the country, she hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles.
Melanie left the stressful world of the courtroom behind and now enjoys a rewarding career transcribing for a deaf student. She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.
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