If you’re a fan of Tymber Dalton and The Suncoast Society, you’re in luck. Her newest addition to the Suncoast family comes out on July 4th on Bookstrand.
Coming 7/4/2016 from Siren-BookStrand: Rhymes With Orange (Suncoast Society 35, MMMF, BDSM)
Following a career-ending accident, Danielle needs a fresh start. Despite crippling anxiety and OCD, she’s determined to rebuild her life and isn’t looking for a new relationship. Or a new Dom.
Coop being Hunter’s Master is a little unconventional. Hunter is gay…and has a boyfriend, Todd. And Coop is straight. They’re friends first, but BDSM helps Hunter keep his anxiety at bay. Since Hunter’s deep in the closet with his family, he can only be his authentic self around Todd and Coop.
When Coop’s relationship with Hunter—and Todd—gets more complicated, he rolls with it. Then Coop meets Danielle. Suddenly, Coop has to play Todd’s boyfriend for Hunter’s family. If Dani can’t pull off the role of a lifetime pretending to be Hunter’s fiancée, it could mean disaster for him.
Unfortunately, Dani’s health takes a dive. When Hunter steps in and steps up, will the two successfully go from being co-owned pets to far more than either ever expected?
Video by the Talented Trish Bowers!
Sneak Peek from Rhymes With Orange (Suncoast Society 35, MMMF, BDSM) by Tymber Dalton. Coming 7/4/2016!
An hour into loading the truck at Terry and Margie’s old house, Todd still wasn’t sure how this day would play out. He’d barely been able to have two seconds alone with Hunter to check on him. Instead, Todd was pretending to have to ask Hunter questions since he wasn’t familiar with the house.
Maybe I should have called Tilly as backup.
Even he wouldn’t cross that woman when it came to her sticking up for her friends, but he was afraid her take-no-prisoners approach to defending those she felt responsible for might only add to Hunter’s stress in this case.
Todd was in the kitchen with Margie, helping her wrap and pack dishes, when the first warning sign popped up.
“So, is Hunter dating anyone right now?” She gave him a sidelong glance he didn’t need psychic powers to interpret. “He hasn’t brought anyone to dinner or mentioned any girls in a while.”
“You know how he is,” Todd said. “I keep setting him up with women and he finds a reason to push them away. I’m taking a break from playing matchmaker for a while or I won’t have any single female friends left.”
She arched an eyebrow. “Really.” It wasn’t a question.
“Yeah.” He forced a laugh. “I mean, you know, a guy can only do so much for a friend.”
“Friend. Got it.”
He hoped his face didn’t turn red.
About that time, Coop returned to the kitchen after carrying a couple of boxes out to the truck. Todd was hoping to change the subject when Margie turned her focus to him. “So, I’ve heard Hunter mention you before, but he’s never mentioned if you have a girlfriend or not.”
Todd would have thought this was funny if it wasn’t Hunter’s peace of mind at stake.
Coop looked so cool, he could have sent the Titanic to the bottom of the Atlantic. “No current girlfriend,” Coop said, his gaze locking on Todd’s.
* * * *
Coop knew Todd hadn’t heard the discussion he’d just accidentally eavesdropped on out in the front yard. Hunter’s father and brothers, Kent and Dell, along with younger sister Sascha, had been engaged in what sounded like familiar speculation, based on the context.
Hunter was currently upstairs packing one of the guest bedrooms, and the four of them had been talking in the garage, out of line of sight from where Coop stood.
“I’m telling you,” Kent insisted, “I think Hunter’s gay.”
“Yeah,” Dell agreed. “He and Todd have lived together how long now?”
“Don’t be stupid,” their father said. “Hunter’s had girlfriends.”
“Girlfriends we only meet once or twice before they go away,” Sascha said. “And he never talks about them. It’s always ‘Todd, this,’ and ‘Coop, that,’” she added.
He was going to owe both Todd and Dani apologies by the end of the day. Todd, he suspected, would be okay with it, understanding why.
Dani might be a little pissy about it, understandably so, but hopefully he could count on his girl to do the right thing, or else he’d horribly misjudged her.
He hurried back into the house and to the kitchen, where Todd wasn’t alone. Pulling him aside to talk would be even more suspicious, so he started pitching in there to wait for an opportunity to talk.
He got that opportunity when Margie was called out to the living room by Hunter’s mom.
Coop walked over to him. “We need to talk,” he quickly whispered to Todd.
“Is Hunter okay?”
“We’re going to have to—” The door to the utility room opened.
Coop grabbed Todd and was kissing him, pretending to be surprised only once he knew everyone passing through from the garage to the kitchen had gotten an eyeful.
Coop stepped back, hoping he wore a guilty look and doing his best not to laugh at the shocked expression on Todd’s face. “Sorry,” Coop said to them. “Just sneaking a kiss with my boyfriend.”
But it was worth it to see the triumphant smile on Hunter’s father’s face as he turned to his three children. “See? Told you.”
Todd still stood there, wide-eyed and staring at Coop. “Sorry, babe,” Coop said to Todd. “I know you told me hands-off today. Guess I blew our cover.”
Margie walked in. “What’s going on?”
“Oh, I’m about to let the ‘see I told you sos’ fly with my other children,” Hunter’s dad said.
Sascha crossed her arms over her chest. “Stop it, Dad. I get it. I was wrong.”
Coop slid an arm around Todd’s waist as Hunter’s dad pointed at them. “Hunter didn’t tell us you two were gay.”
“Well,” Coop said, “he was trying to protect our privacy.” Coop smiled at Todd. “And Hunter’s the reason we met in the first place.”
But it seemed to have the desired effect. Hunter’s father waggled a finger at his children. “You three should be ashamed of yourselves, thinking like that about your poor brother. Just because he’s not like the rest of you doesn’t mean he’s gay. Sheesh.” He left the kitchen, shaking his head in disgust.
Coop didn’t bother stopping the man to tell him he was being hypocritical. He’d take the win and savor it later.
The other three siblings also retreated, leaving Margie standing there in confusion. “Uh, what’s going on?”
Todd looked like he was still in shock.
“He caught me sneaking a kiss from Todd. Sorry.”
He pulled Todd a little closer. “We’re dating. Hunter…” He pretended to be making sure the coast was clear and dropped his voice. “Hunter warned me that his dad is sort of old-fashioned and not to do any PDAs. I got careless. Sorry.”
Now she’d finally caught up with and boarded the completely erroneous train of thought Coop wanted her to ride. “Oh! Oh. Heh. Yeah, he’s kind of a dick about that. Sorry.” She quickly glanced around and dropped her voice. “Crap, hope he didn’t hear me say that. I personally don’t care. I know Sascha’s been convinced for years that Hunter’s gay. You probably just burst her bubble. No offense, to tell you the truth, I was beginning to think so, too.”
“Ah.” Todd was still silently standing there next to him. Coop took it up a notch and let go of Todd to step in close to Margie. “If I tell you something, please don’t tell Hunter I told you.”
“Hunter is sort of dating a friend of mine right now. She really likes him, but you know Hunter. He pushes people away if he gets spooked. We’re trying not to jinx this because we both really think they’d be good together. That’s why we’re keeping it a secret.”
“Yeah. Dani’s a sweetheart.”
“Short for Danielle.”
Her eyes widened again. “Oh! I’ve heard him mention spending time with a Danny before, but I thought it was another guy.”
Todd had finally regained the power of speech and let out what Coop knew was a forced laugh. “No, she’s definitely not a guy.”
“I wish you could get Hunter to bring her to dinner at the new house tonight. Just burgers on the grill. It’d really shut up the others if you could.”
“I can call her. But it might piss off Hunter if we just spring it on him. You know how temperamental he can sometimes be.”
He’d laugh if the stakes weren’t so high. Todd had gone silent again and was watching them like a ping-pong match.
Then Hunter himself walked in and the three of them turned to stare at him.
When Coop saw Hunter’s face go red, he knew he had to act quickly. The familiar reaction in the man meant he was close to an anxiety attack.
Margie turned on him. “Hey, please don’t be upset with me, but I asked Coop if we could invite your friend Dani to dinner tonight.”
Hunter’s gaze immediately sought out Coop’s. He met and held it, hoping his boy would be a quick study.
“Dani?” Hunter asked.
Margie grabbed Hunter’s hands. “Please don’t be mad at them. I think it’s sweet you were trying to cover for them being gay. Dad and the others accidentally walked in on them kissing.”
Well, at least the confusion in Hunter’s voice told Coop the impending anxiety attack had been derailed.
Temporarily, at least.
“Yeah,” Coop said, “I goofed up. I know you warned us about no PDAs, but I didn’t think your dad and the others would walk in on us. Sorry. And I just made her promise not to tell you we told her about Dani.”
Coop arched an eyebrow at Margie, enjoying that she went red in the face, meaning she was at least a little embarrassed about not holding the secret longer than most people could hold their breath.
Which he’d expected, counted on, and had worked in his favor.
“Dad’s not going to care Coop and Todd are dating,” Margie told Hunter.
“He’s…not going to care Coop and Todd are dating?”
Coop struggled even harder not to burst out laughing. There were two conversations going on right now—actually three if someone counted Coop overhearing the garage discussion—and only he was privy to all of them.
“And then I told Margie you’re dating Dani,” Coop said. “Look, dude, you know we love you, but I’m going to go ahead and put it out on the table. Dani’s great for you. Maybe she’s not going to push you, but as your friends, we’re going to.”
Coop resorted to a little subtext that would hopefully sail right over Margie’s head. “Boy, heh, you need to not push Dani away. Ask her to come over to dinner tonight. Just burgers.”
“I… I…” Hunter swallowed hard, still meeting Coop’s gaze. “I…don’t know if she can or not.”
Bless his heart, Hunter was really trying so damn hard to stay true to their do not lie rule.
Coop made a mental note to praise and reward him for that as soon as he could.
Margie, her back to Coop and Todd, pulled Hunter in for a hug even as Hunter’s confusion obviously grew.
Coop silently mouthed, “Good boy,” to Hunter and nodded, hard. “Well, how about we give her a call and ask her, huh?” Coop said as Margie released Hunter.
Todd found his voice. “Coop, you should probably call her. You’ve known her longer. She can’t ever say no to you. Neither can I.” He reached out and slapped Coop on the ass, hard, a playful twinkle in his green eyes.
“Sure.” He pulled out his phone. “Oh, my battery’s low.” He held out his hand to Todd. “Can I have the keys, babe? I’ll use your car charger while I talk.”
“Oh, sure.” Todd fished them out of his pocket and dropped them into Coop’s palm.
He headed straight out the utility room door and down the driveway to where the car was parked, leaving Todd and Hunter in the kitchen with Margie.
Actually, his battery was fine. He didn’t want there to be any chance of anyone overhearing what might be a very interesting conversation.
EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK! 🙂 This is a scene where Dani and Ned (Coop) go out to dinner.
Ned knocked on Dani’s door at ten minutes before seven Thursday evening. She opened it wearing what she hoped was a playful smile.
“You’re a little early. You were a little early Tuesday night, too.” She let him in and didn’t miss how he waited for her to initiate the hug, which he seemed happy to receive from her.
“I’d rather be early than late.”
“Fair warning, preventable lateness and ambiguity on timeframes are triggers for me. I’d rather you text or call me if you’re running late to let me know.”
“Well, good news, I come well-trained in that department. Hunter gets twitchy if I’m not there within five minutes of my stated arrival time.”
“A well-trained Dom. Imagine that.”
“Yeah, not very Domly of me, huh?”
She snickered. “Let me get my purse and a jacket. Thanks for not getting scared off by Miky or my issues.”
“It’s fine. You’re not a serial killer, right?”
She turned, looking horrified. “Well, not any more.” A slow, playful grin filled her face, making him laugh.
She liked the sound of his laugh. She liked it even more that he totally got her snark and enjoyed it. Second on the point of contentions list with Clayton had been how he’d never gotten her sense of humor, while she could have her friends and coworkers rolling on the floor laughing.
As they were walking out to Ned’s SUV, he said, “I’m glad you like to be forthright with stuff. That makes my life easier. Please don’t ever hold back because you think it’ll overwhelm me or I’ll think it’s stupid. I need to know what your triggers are. It’s no fun for either of us if I accidentally trigger you and we have to spend our time together with me trying to apologize and undo whatever it was I did.”
“I’ll tell you, don’t worry.”
How many times had Clayton practically—or literally—rolled his eyes when she told him something? When she clearly stated a trigger and he either “forgot” it or walked all over it. After their first six months of dating, after they’d moved in together, he’d quit being attentive to little details like that.
Warm water and a comfy soup pot had kept her trying to overcome those speedbumps. Throwing herself into her work helped, too. Sometimes there’d been weeks where they spent less than six hours together awake at any given time, depending on her work schedule and his, when the theatre was dark, when he had days off.
No time for the water to start boiling.
Dammit. Stop thinking about that tool tonight.
Ned held the door for her and offered his arm for her to hold on to as she carefully climbed in. “Is this too high for you? I could always swap cars next time with Todd or Hunter.”
“No, it’s okay. I drive an SUV, remember? I prefer them, actually.”
He looked like he wanted to smack himself. “Of course you do. And you survived a car wreck. Sorry.”
“Uh huh.” She smiled. “No worries.” He looked adorably doofy in a Domly kind of way.
Once he was sure she was safely tucked inside, he closed the door, rounded to the driver’s side and got in. “Thank you for trusting me to drive.”
“If I’m going to maybe eventually be trusting you to tie me up and beat my ass, I’d better be able to trust you to drive my ass.” She tossed him a playful smirk.
“Did I happen to mention snark is a massive turn-on for me?”
“Good to know.”
* * * *
Yeah, Coop knew he’d be going home and rubbing at least one out tonight. Definitely. He understood that people could be stress-snarky.
Dani seemed to be truly snarky-snarky, but not in a mean way.
It wasn’t just turning him on. It was making him want to give serious consideration to turning his back on every last damn common-sense rule out there when it came to dating and BDSM dynamics in general and having some really serious conversations with her right now to keep her from slipping through his fingers.
That frightened the crap out of him.
Especially on the heels of what he’d just been through with Bethany, and where things seemed headed with Hunter and Todd.
Despite everything she’d been through and was currently dealing with, that Dani kept a sense of humor and was able to express it amazed him. And if it was simply a defense mechanism she used, even better, because it spoke volumes to her personality.
How long had it been since Bethany had been playful or made him laugh?
Too damn long.
Fuck. I am not going to spend this date thinking about Bethany. That’s done and over with.
Wait, was this a date-date, or just dinner?
They hadn’t specifically said it was a date.
When they got to the restaurant, he was horrified to realize it was their karaoke night and the place was busy. “I’m so sorry. Usually we eat here other nights of the week. It’s—”
“It’s okay,” she said, giving him a smile. “As long as they can get us a booth.”
“No, chairs are harder on my back.”
She patted him on the arm. “You can stop apologizing now. I’m comfortable with you. That was the massive hurdle. I don’t know how Hunter’s anxiety manifests, but if I have a strong, familiar anchor, I’m good. I did shows for hundreds or thousands of people. It’s not anonymous crowds that bother me.”
They were shown to a booth that was fairly close to the area where the DJ had set up. It meant a low, quiet conversation wouldn’t be possible. He was about to suggest another restaurant anyway when Dani reached out before she sat down and snagged a binder from a pile of them on a table next to their booth.
After they gave their drink orders to the waitress, she flipped open the binder. “Oooh, let’s see what he has.”
“Songs.” She quickly scanned the lists. Aha!”
There were some slips of paper and a pen tucked into the binder’s front pocket. She pulled them out and wrote her name and three numbers onto a slip and handed him the paper. “Would you mind taking that up to him for me, please? You’re more mobile than I am.”
He walked the paper up to the DJ, who put it in line with four other slips already in front of him. Apparently they were just getting ready to start.
Dani was looking at the menu when he returned to the table. “I think I’ll take a cheeseburger and fries. That’s hard to mess up.” She smiled “I don’t get brave with food until I’ve eaten somewhere a few times.”
This was definitely going to be a different experience than with Hunter. “That’s good to know.”
She leaned in. “Do you like to sing?”
“I can’t carry a tune in a bucket.”
“Oh, well.” She shrugged. “You’re good-looking. I guess you can’t be perfect.” She grinned.
He liked that she kept him slightly off-balance. “God, I hope you and Hunter and Todd get along.”
They hadn’t received their food yet when the DJ called Dani’s name five singers in. She stuck her hand up and waved at him, slowly easing herself up and out of the booth and making her way around the tables.
Now intrigued, Coop sat back and studied her. He could see where she was a person used to being confident with her body, but what the accident had done to her gave her a stiffness that didn’t look natural. Like she was fighting with her own body. He couldn’t imagine the pain she’d been through and still felt.
Could he actually top her?
That was something they’d have to work out. He didn’t want to harm her. If all she wanted was some sensual play, he’d be okay with that. He could beat Hunter’s ass for his sadistic fix.
As she picked up the mic and the music started, he recognized it was a song by Pink but didn’t catch the title. Then…
He couldn’t explain it except that, suddenly, it was like another person stood there. Dani was gone and a Dani-lookalike had emerged. A woman who sang to the crowd, used the stage, made eye contact with the audience.
It sent the good kind of chill down his spine.
If that was a hint of who she’d been before, he wished he’d seen her on a larger stage.
By the time she finished, the audience had all been watching her, paying attention to her, and went nuts with applause and cheers. He’d even missed the fact that their food had arrived while she was singing.
Then she switched the mic off, slipped it into the stand, and his Dani reappeared, slowly and stiffly walking back to their table where she retook her seat.
He stared at her.
“I miss performing sometimes,” she admitted, picking up a napkin and tucking it into her lap. “I’ll pay for this tomorrow though.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’ll be stiff as a board from pain. But I need to move sometimes. My body needs it.”
He was still trying to process that this woman before him had made those sounds up on stage. “You blew me away.”
She grinned. “Not the only thing I can blow.” She took a bite of her burger.
* * * *
Dani knew she’d have to fess up to Ned that this was actually a stress reliever for her. A hit.
For a few blessed minutes, she’d seen the inside of a theatre and the audience wasn’t there to eat, but to watch the show. And she’d brought her A-game to give them their money’s worth.
On stage, she could shove everything else out of her head—pain, worry, stress, anxiety—and focus.
Here, too, although the pain she now felt made sore feet or monthly cramps pale in comparison.
Where he’d seen karaoke as a potential trigger because of Hunter, she’d seen Nirvana. And not the grunge rock band.
Only after her third and final song was over and they were sitting there talking did she finally admit it to him.
He cocked his head and studied her for a moment. “I thought you said you were comfortable with me?”
“I am. That’s not a lie. This is…like a bonus.”
“No way could I ever get Hunter to one of these nights.”
“Then if we keep going, this could be one of our things. He won’t feel jealous about something he won’t enjoy anyway, right?”
“You’re worried he might not like me.”
“I’m cautiously optimistic.”
* * * *
It wasn’t exactly a lie. Coop had stopped by Hunter and Todd’s the night before to talk to them privately, wanting to actually see Hunter’s reactions.
He could tell the man wasn’t going to be an easy win-over for Dani.
“That means,” she said, “you already think this could end before it begins.”
“No. Hunter processes change slowly. And after what we just went through with my ex, he’s understandably nervous.” He had put his hands on the table and she’d reached out and met him, curling her fingers around his.
“One thing I insist on,” he said, “one of my rules is complete honesty. No lies. At all. Not fibs, not white lies to spare feelings.”
“I’m fine with that, but is that for my benefit, or are you leading to something else?”
“It’s more a blanket statement. He admitted he’s nervous about this. And I told him that, no matter what, nothing changes between him and me.” He met her gaze, and again he noticed how similar her expression looked to Hunter’s.
Like a matched set. “You have to be able to accept me and them, and whatever happens with me and them. I can’t promise you I won’t go on to have full-on sex with either or both of them. You and I would need to exchange test results, all of that.”
“What if I decide to have a boyfriend on the side?” she asked, looking curious.
“That’d have to be discussed as well. I was more hoping that I’d be your boyfriend if you and I were having sex, but I won’t say absolutely not when we’re not even playing yet.”
“But he’d have to pass group muster?”
“Yeah. And agree to be monogamous to the group. Meaning with you.”
“But you’re not taking that off the table outright.”
“No. Why would I?”
He didn’t understand her smile. “Just for the record, if you and I are sleeping together, and are boyfriend and girlfriend and not just playing, I probably wouldn’t want another guy in my life. I was just curious to see what your reaction to the possibility would be.”
“Let me guess, your ex was a hell-no kind of guy?”
“Wow. You’re really good at this game.”
“No, if I was, I wouldn’t have dated Bethany for a year.”
“Look at the bright side. You ditched her in time to meet me. Lucky you.” She grinned. “Possibly two anxiety-ridden submissives. Now spell it out for me, who’s the masochist, again?”
He gently squeezed her hands. “Oooh, I’ma gonna spell it out for you who’s the masochist, all right, I get the chance.”
Her steady gaze never wavered from his. “Gonna show me how to make the chimichangas?”
His eyes widened. “You tell me you love Deadpool and I’m liable to propose to you right now.”
She let go of his hands and pulled one hand into the sleeve of her jacket so that her fingers barely showed as she wiggled them. “I bet you’d feel huuuge in this hand.” Then she grinned again.
He roared with laughter, which fortunately was lost in the sound of the crowd cheering for the latest singer as they wrapped up their song.