A plot bunny + hours of YouTube clips featuring famous ice skaters like Johnny Weir = Enforcing Emory. It released in 2015 and continues to be one of my bestsellers. Here's a short excerpt.
“Did that man really tell you to stay away from his family?”
Nikolai nodded an affirmative but immediately realized he should have lied. His mother was fiercely protective of her children, especially Nikolai, her only son. She loved her three daughters unconditionally, but they didn’t have to struggle for recognition or live up to the ideal Igor had saddled on her Kolya. She’d never tolerate anyone who thought he was better than her boy.
“What’s the guy’s name?” Irina asked. She was two years younger than Nik and had taken to Western society like a duck to water. Hooked on social media, she was never far from her iPad. “Let’s google the creep.”
Nikolai snorted. Irina considered Wikipedia and Google the sources of all information, and if she couldn’t find her answer with a few keystrokes, it didn’t exist. She whistled in astonishment after she typed in Emory Lowe and hundreds of links popped up. Images of the saucy young man in every costume imaginable filled her screen, and everyone looked over her shoulders to see what was so shocking. There were photos of Emory caught leaping in the air, frozen in time as the camera captured him performing one intricate move after another. When Irina looked him up on YouTube, they watched him perform his short program at Nationals, and the room hushed as the sound of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet filled the room. Nikolai couldn’t take his eyes off the tiny screen, mesmerized by the graceful movements.
The gangly youth was artistic on the ice, a fluid nymph who appeared oblivious to the huge crowd staring down at him. He owned the performance, one minute soft and tender, the next fiercely determined to win his prize, executing the complicated number with a series of jumps, including a quad, and ending the program with an I-spin that seemed to go on forever. The applause when he stopped and posed without wavering was loud and heartfelt, and that funny grin Emory seemed to have mastered appeared through the heavy makeup. Nikolai felt something twist deep down in the pit of his stomach. Christ, the figure skater wasn’t just bragging—he was dead serious. The guy was fantastic, and Nikolai felt like a lumbering oaf comparing his skills to Emory’s immense talent.
He looked up from the handheld device sheepishly. “I guess he wasn’t lying.”
“Bah!” Igor said loudly. “He’s a poofter!”