Here's a short snippet of Open House, book 2 in the Open Series. I'll be posting a sneak peak every Sunday until release day, October 24. Those of you who are fans of the Horizons Series will be happy to see two of our favorite guys making several guest appearances throughout this book, and the one coming out early next year, Open Case. Pre-order links are posted after the excerpt. Enjoy!
Bryce exited on Barrington Road and, after a few turns, entered a quiet subdivision. Most of the properties were an acre or more, judging by the distance between homes. No two houses looked alike, and Seth admired the clean lines of Lil and Grier’s home when Bryce pulled into their driveway. It reminded him a little of a Frank Lloyd Wright home he’d seen featured in a magazine long ago. The façade was unfinished river rocks and glass, and the multiple layers of the large home flowed together to create a structure that seemed part of the landscape rather than an intrusive eyesore. Many of the trees surrounding the property had already changed color and were beginning to drop their leaves in a brilliant kaleidoscope of orange, red, and brown. There were a few pine trees and evergreen shrubs in strategic locations to provide the greenery needed during the long winter months ahead. All in all, it was a gorgeous home and a breathtaking endorsement for Lil’s architectural firm.
“Did you help build this?” Seth asked, soaking up the view.
“Sure did,” Bryce said, killing the engine. “They moved here a year ago, about the time Luca went off to college. Before that, they lived closer to the high school.”
The front door opened, and a couple dressed in casual attire stepped outside to welcome them. The blond, whom Seth assumed was the older partner, had on a raspberry-colored sweatshirt with LL Bean embroidered on the front paired with black sweatpants. His arm was draped over the shoulder of an edgy-looking brunet who wore a collared polo shirt over faded blue jeans. His colorful tattoos were exactly as Bryce had described, completely covering what Seth could see of one arm. Diamond studs twinkled on his earlobes, and Seth wondered why Bryce had never hooked up with him. He was just Bryce’s type: young and gorgeous. Upon closer inspection, though, Seth saw the way the couple held each other and caught a few knowing glances between them. He didn’t have to be a mind reader to see how closely they were connected.
Their welcoming smiles set Seth completely at ease. He hadn’t known what to expect given Bryce’s cryptic remarks about their sexual preferences, but ordinary wasn’t it. If not for the million-dollar background and above-average looks, the men standing at the entrance seemed quite normal.
“Bryce, I’m so glad you could join us,” the blond exclaimed.
“Lil, this is my….”
“Boyfriend? Lover? Significant other?” Lil prompted helpfully.
“All of the above,” Bryce admitted. “Seth, this is the famous Lil Lampert and his partner, Grier Dilorio.”
“Please to meet you both,” Seth said, shaking their hands. “What an amazing home.”
“Wait until you see the inside,” Bryce said. “It makes my apartment look like a slum.”
“Oh, stop,” Lil said with a flick of his wrist.
“Yeah, don’t say shit like that with me around,” Grier said in mock protest. “I happen to think I did a great job with your place.”
“You did,” Seth said immediately, “and Bryce was just kidding.”
“I know.” Grier grinned. “Come in.”
Seth couldn’t believe what he was seeing when they stepped into the house. It had an open atrium design, with soaring ceilings and large planters filled to overflowing with live ferns and colorful flowers. It felt like he was walking into a tropical paradise, not a home in the Midwest.
“My goodness,” Seth exclaimed. “Your heating bill must be astronomical.”
Lil cackled. “Grier complains about the temperature all the time, but I was born and bred in California. This,” he continued with a dramatic sweep of his arm, “is my concession to living in this horrible climate. I suffer from seasonal affective disorder, and it’s important that my lighting mimics the sun during the long winter months. The cost is peanuts compared to my loss of income if I sank into one of my SAD depressions. Isn’t that right, love?” he asked Grier, who was standing off to the side with Bryce
“Lil is a freak about the cold,” Grier said frankly. “You would think he’d be used to it by now, but he still hates it. The seasonal lights go on as soon as the leaves start to change color.”
Pre-order here: Dreamspinner :https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/open-house-by-mickie-b-ashling-7682-b