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See the Light
by Cassandra Carr
Gay Contemporary Erotic Romance
Categories: May-December, Sports-Themed
Publisher: Loose Id
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Heat Level: Sizzling
Word Count: 42,000
Hockey player Jason Monroe lives a double life—star defenseman and soon-to-be Olympian on the ice and closeted gay man outside the rink. A serious relationship is out of the question, and Jason makes do with anonymous sex in barroom bathrooms, not willing to take the chance on coming out as gay in a decidedly macho sport.
Advisor to the US Olympic hockey team Patrick Parker knows a thing or two about being a professional hockey player who’s not out. He’s fifteen years older than Jason, and when he senses the sexy younger man is interested, he knows he shouldn’t give in to the attraction. The two men can’t keep their hands off each other, though, and with each heated encounter it gets harder to hide their relationship. Then their world blows up around them, forcing them into the limelight. Will their love survive or be put on ice?
Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains explicit sex scenes and/or situations and adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.
Welcome Cassandra! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.
Sure! I’m a multi-award-winning erotic romance writer. I’ve got about twenty works out, with more coming all the time. I write m/f AND m/m, along with themes like sports romance, BDSM and ménage.
Is See the Light a single title, or part of a series?
It will be book 1 in an as-yet-unnamed series. I wrote it so it could be either a single title or a series depending on how it sold. Well, it’s selling really well, so there are more coming!
What were your inspirations for the story?
There’s an organization called the You Can Play Project, which works with sports teams at all levels to eliminate homophobia. The NHL was one of the first sports, and certainly the first of the major professional sports, to embrace the You Can Play message. I’ve been following You Can Play since its inception and I’m really proud that the sport I love has been so receptive and supportive of the message that “If you can play, you can play”.
Despite how supportive the league and its players have been, though, there are still no “out” gay players in the NHL. Given stats on homosexuals, it stands to reason that at least fifty of the players in the NHL are gay, or one or two per team. Obviously there are gay players in the league, but they still feel like they can’t come out and be themselves. That’s sad. So I wanted to write a story about one such player.
Please share your setting for See the Light. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?
Part of the book takes place in Geneva, Switzerland, during the Olympics. I’ve never been anywhere in Europe save Italy, though I’d love to go.
When did the writing bug first bite?
I’ve been writing my whole life on and off. I started writing for publication in 2008.
Who are you favorite authors, book/series?
Oh I have way too many to answer this question. I’d forget some and feel bad. Let’s just say that my fellow authors are an incredibly talented bunch!
If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?
Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, Dan Brown, Maya Angelou, and Nora Roberts
Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?
What is this “spare time” of which you speak? I watch hockey, go out with my family and friends. I like to travel, but we have a four-year-old and haven’t been doing much traveling since she was born. Soon we’re hoping to do more.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?
Roosters crowing, competing with the sound of the ocean, in Hawaii.
Ooooo, let me be the first to say that this book rocked! And here’s a little secret…I don’t read m/m. Sure I’ll read it in a ménage but not a straight m/m book. Nothing wrong with it, just not my cuppa. In fact the real reason I picked the book up because of two things: 1) Cassandra Carr wrote it and 2) it’s about my “mistress” hockey. Yes, hockey is my mistress. I worked for the Dallas Stars Hockey Club from 1999-2004. I saw them win the Cup and then tried NOT to throw up when Scott Stevens skated it in Reunion Arena. Tough times but I digress…BTW, I’m married to my first love…BASEBALL!!!
So to say that I picked the book because I wanted to read a book about a m/m romance would be the furthest thing on my mind. I knew that Ms. Carr wouldn’t led me astray in her writing a m/m romance and with the hockey theme, I knew it was a winner. I was not wrong on either count. In fact, I will list the reasons why you should read See The Light even if you don’t read m/m. Yep, it’s that good….
1. Its sports themed and who doesn’t like a sports themed book. No worries if hockey isn’t your thing, the universal theme in the book is sports in general. Plus, they are in Geneva at the Olympics and for some reason, “Do you believe in Miracles” kept rolling around in my head. To really show my age, I was 13 when the USA beat the Russians and won the Gold. I still get choked up when I watch the movie “Miracle”. In fact, I have a signed photo of the team celebrating their win over Russia with the commentary from Al Michaels. It’s a classic.
2. While Jason and Patrick have sex in the book, Ms. Carr handles it well. The visual of two healthy, vibrant and sexy men didn’t send me shrieking. In fact, with Jason’s age and his inexperience in a real relationship with a man, its endearing. Jason’s used to only one-night stands and hookups, so his time with Patrick at first is awkward, funny (yes, funny) and tender. We feel Jason’s changing emotions toward Patrick throughout the book and he’s coming to terms with his sexuality. What he still has to figure out is how to tell Patrick.
3. Patrick is the perfect “older” man. He’s patient, kind, sexy and doesn’t come across as a “father figure” to Jason. He treats Jason with respect but also handles the age difference with a chuckle. In fact, Jason and Patrick talk about the age difference, their roles within the hockey and how it affect them and the outside world. Again, Ms. Carr handles these issues with grace and bit of humor.
4. There really is an organization called You Can Play. Its main goal is to see that sports players that are gay are treated with respect within their teams, other teams and within their league. *soapbox* This sadness me to no end that players in any sport feel that they have to hide their sexuality. Most players come “out” over they have retired and that shouldn’t happen. Good lord, 66 years ago, Jackie Robinson FINALLY broke the color barrier in baseball. Now, baseball has so many countries represented in their league, its like a UN conference. When will it finally be acceptable for gay men/women to be able to come out and still be respected in their sport? Seriously folks, with all the talk of gay marriage, gay couples adopting, benefits for companions and the like…gay players shouldn’t even be an issue. So, leave the macho crap off the field and just play the damn game. Trust me, a gay person isn’t going to hit on you in a game, practice or even the locker room. They have “straight” radar like some people have “gaydar”. * end soapbox*
5. The climax of the book was a good shocker but much-needed for Patrick and Jason. It finally opened their eyes and hearts to the relationship they were having and where they wanted it to go. Plus, the revelations from the team was eye-opening as well.
Overall, the story flowed, dialogue was crisp, funny and while the sex was hawt, it wasn’t the main focus of the book. The relationship to each other was and the reaction that the league and teammates would have if it ever come to light. That was the point of the book. How do two people have a relationship in a profession (sports) that is so macho and unforgiving for past sins? Hell, I’m still waiting for certain football players to FINALLY admit that they are gay and they haven’t played in over ten years. Can you imagine at Poconos Race Week and one of the drivers comes out…trust me, I lurve my NASCAR but there are some drivers that I wouldn’t put it past them and you know what? More power to you! Bring it and I mean that to every sport. Big it on! Its been 66 years since sports has been shaken up and its about time to do it again. 🙂
Fate wasn’t on Jason’s side. Everywhere he turned, Patrick was there. The man had acted strangely ever since their confrontation in the hall, and Jason lived in fear that Patrick had seen something that day and would out him, despite his gut feeling Patrick wasn’t like that.
Another night, Patrick and Jason found themselves on the same elevator at the hotel. Jason groaned to himself when Patrick followed him when he exited on his floor. He knew Patrick didn’t have a room on this floor and braced himself for the inevitable. The best thing to do now was go on the offensive. When Jason reached his door, he clenched his fists at his sides and spun around. “Why are you following me?”
Patrick stopped dead before turning his gaze to the floor, where he worried at a small hole in the carpet with his shoe. “Shit.”
“What?” Jason wouldn’t stand there like an idiot, waiting for the guillotine to fall. Almost without a conscious thought, he took up a battle stance.
The older man held out a hand in supplication. “Please, just let me explain.”
Jason’s eyebrows drew down as Patrick raised his gaze, and Jason read myriad emotions in them. Pain, guilt, shame, and hidden under all that, lust.
What the fuck?
He wasn’t willing to let the man off the hook until he knew what he wanted, so he barked out, “Talk.”
Patrick indicated Jason’s door. “Can we go inside? We shouldn’t stay out here in the hall, not with what we need to talk about.”
“And what is it we need to talk about?”
Jason watched as Patrick cleared his throat and shifted his weight from side to side. In a voice barely above a whisper, Patrick said, “Our mutual attraction.”
Patrick ran a hand through his hair. “Yeah, what you said.”
Without another word, Jason unlocked his door and swung it open, motioning for Patrick to go in ahead of him. As soon as he was in the room, his eyes locked on the king-size bed dominating the space. Fortunately there was a desk chair and a small arm chair, and Patrick fell into the arm chair as Jason slowly lowered himself to the desk chair.
Jason blew out a breath. “So you’re—”
“Yeah. And so are you.”
“How the hell did you know that?” The question came out as little more than a snarl. He saw Patrick arch an eyebrow.
“I’ll admit you had me fooled for a while, but once I saw you check me out and looked into your eyes, I knew.”
“When did I check you out?”
“In the hallway a couple of days ago when we talked.”
Jason’s stomach churned. Busted. There was no use lying, especially since Patrick had already admitted he was gay too. “Can anyone else tell, do you think?”
“No. You hide it well.”
Closing his eyes, he murmured, “Thank God.”
“But I saw it, I see it, and we’re in deep shit.”
“How do you figure that?” Jason shifted in his chair. Even now his cock was half-hard, but he didn’t want the other man to notice his excitement. “I’ve hidden attraction before.”
Patrick blew out a loud breath. “Yeah, but were you trying to hide it when the other person was doing the same thing and there are countless people around at all times?”
“I’ll deal with it.” Rubbing the sudden ache at the back of his neck, he gestured toward Patrick. “Besides, if we can’t do anything about it, why even come here and dredge the whole thing up?”
“Because I think that’s better than trying to ignore it. I don’t know about you, but it was driving me crazy.”
Jason shot to his feet. “And you think now that we know we want each other, things will get easier? Are you fucking delusional?”
Patrick rose as well and stalked over to him. “No, I’m not ‘fucking delusional.’”
Jason stared at the other man, the lust burning him where he stood. He moved even closer, like a moth to a flame.
What the fuck am I doing?
Apparently Patrick didn’t know either, because his expression became alarmed. “What?”
I can’t stop.
“I need to do this.”
Not giving Patrick a chance to react to his words, Jason grabbed him, one hand palming the back of Patrick’s head as Jason’s other arm snaked around the man’s waist, pulling him into Patrick’s rock-hard body. It was obvious the man kept in shape, despite his playing days being over, and a tortured moan escaped before he could stop it. Jason dived into Patrick’s mouth as the passion flared, melting him from the inside out. He hadn’t kissed a man in years, and he realized how much he’d missed it as the kiss went on and on, neither man willing to let the other go.
He could feel Patrick’s cock as it lined up with his, and even through layers of clothing Jason felt the heat pouring off the other man. It made him want to submit to anything Patrick desired, which confused him. Honestly Jason couldn’t remember the last time he’d had a man’s dick in his mouth, but right now he’d give just about anything to suck Patrick off.
Patrick pushed them backward until they crashed into the wall, never letting their lips separate as he took control of the kiss. With a growl, the older man reached down and cupped Jason’s ass, pulling their cocks even closer and rubbing them together. Jason turned his head to the side with a gasp to break the kiss before he passed out, but Patrick kept at him, scoring his teeth down Jason’s neck to his pulse point.
“So fucking hot.”
All Jason could do in return was give a helpless little whimper.
Cassandra Carr is a multi-published, award-winning erotic romance writer with Ellora’s Cave, Siren, Sybarite Seductions and Loose Id who lives in Western New York with her husband, Inspiration, and her daughter, Too Cute for Words. When not writing she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out on Twitter. Cassandra’s book Caught was recently named Best BDSM Book 2011 by LoveRomancesCafe and Impact was named BDSM Book of the Month for May 2012 by BDSM Book Reviews.
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