Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Testing Arthur by Amber Kell


Book two in the Mercenary Love Series

Sometimes strong men need help too…
When Arthur Turner is injured on the job, he relies on his sometimes lover Patrick Edwards to see him through. But Patrick is evidently finished being Arthur's secret lover tells Arthur he only came to check on him because he still cares. After almost dying, Arthur has to re-evaluate his life choices.
Patrick is part owner of his own business, has a solid group of friends…and is utterly in love with a closeted man. When Arthur offers to give up everything for him, he wonders if pressuring Arthur was the right thing to do. Would his lover eventually regret choosing Patrick over his previous life?
Now a killer is on the loose. Fixated on Arthur, the killer is enraged to discover Patrick is part of Arthur’s life. Determined to have Arthur for himself, he lays a trap hoping to get Arthur alone and under his control.
Two men torn apart by lies come together to finally have the relationship they always secretly wanted.

Excerpt From: Testing Arthur

"Are you sure I can’t do anything else for you?" Addison Stark asked.
Arthur bit back the acid words threatening to spill out of his mouth. He needed peace, quiet and no more chattering in his ear. Addison hadn’t shut the fuck up for days.
"No, I’ve got it from here. Thanks for the ride." As much as he appreciated his friend’s help, Addie had become too possessive over the past few days. Unexpectedly showing up at the hospital, harassing the staff about Arthur’s care—the man had been relentless. Arthur almost regretted agreeing to let Addie drive him home after his surgery. Addie had mentioned several times how he’d be happy to stay and take care of Arthur while he recovered. It had taken a lot of lying out of his ass to convince Addie that Arthur’s brother, Callum, would be along soon to take care of him.
Callum would be surprised to hear the news too since he didn’t even know Arthur had been injured. Arthur might have bent the truth until it screamed, but his instincts told him to keep Addie at a distance.
"You can set my bag over there." Arthur nodded towards a spot on the entryway tile. Addie didn’t need to come any farther inside. If Arthur offered him coffee or anything, he’d never leave.
The slim redhead gave Arthur an odd look but set his bag down. "How long do you need to be on those crutches?"
"A couple of weeks to keep the weight off the leg so the wound will heal. I can hobble around on my own after that. I was lucky—no major nerves were severed and he missed the artery." Arthur tried to remember that luck while nightmares played in his head every night. The memory of his partner scattered about their motel room in bloody, oozing chunks remained vivid in his mind.
"Poor Dwayne can’t say the same thing," Addie said. The words were right, but the tone lacked emotion. Horror should’ve been in his voice like it lived in Arthur’s mind. A psychopath had sliced Dwayne’s body to pieces. No one deserved that kind of death, even a screaming homophobe like Dwayne. He knew Addie hadn’t liked Arthur’s partner, but surely there should be some sympathy for the dead?
"Did you go to the ceremony?" Arthur asked.
Addie nodded.
"I’m sorry I missed it. I had wanted to be there for Lisa and Destiny." They’d still been stitching him back together when they’d laid Dwayne to rest. It had spared Arthur the burden of pretending to be broken up over losing his partner, but he would’ve liked to have helped Lisa through the ordeal. His partner had been a tool, but Arthur had always liked Dwayne’s wife and daughter.
"It was a nice ceremony. Lisa doesn’t blame you for his death." Addie dropped that bombshell casually as if it didn’t have the weight to affect the rest of his life.
"She doesn’t?" A pound of guilt slid off of Arthur’s chest—the burden he’d been carrying since he found his partner butchered under the knife of a serial killer. "But I would’ve been there to save Dwayne if I hadn’t gone to meet you."
The fact that he’d returned too late to save his partner weighed on his conscience. If he’d arrived only a few minutes earlier, Dwayne might still be alive.
Addie nodded. "Yeah. Did you ever figure out how he found your motel room?"
"No." It bothered Arthur, that little tingling fact being out of place. He knew he hadn’t been followed and Dwayne hadn’t taken the car anywhere without him. It was almost like the killer had had an inside track on their whereabouts. Arthur pushed that thought away. No one would help a psychopath kill an agent, at least not anyone who had known where Dwayne and Arthur were staying.
"If you’d returned later than you did, you wouldn’t have caught him and he’d still be out there carving up who knows who."
Arthur knew Addie was trying to make him feel better but somehow it didn’t. Pretty four-year-old Destiny with her big brown eyes and corkscrew curls didn’t have a daddy anymore because Arthur had sat down and eaten an eggroll with Addie before he left their meeting. Dwayne might have been a bigoted idiot, but he’d been a caring father and husband.
"But if I’d been there earlier I might have been able to stop him," Arthur protested. His nightmares were filled with the image of his dead partner strewn in pieces across their motel room floor. The patterns of the blood alone remained vivid in his mind like bloody watercolours across his memory. He’d been to war zones that had had less blood than that one crime scene.
He shook his head as if that could dispel the brutal images burned into his mind. 

Amber Kell
Sit down and have a little read 

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