This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
Description of King of the Mountain
After years of hard work and training, I finally have the chance of fulfilling my lifelong dream of winning the Tour de France. Nothing can be allowed to distract me from this mission, especially not Gabe O’Reilly, the adorable art student from San Francisco.
But he looks so vulnerable – all alone in France.
I would be failing in my patriotic duty to a fellow American if I didn’t take care of him, wouldn’t I? And what possible harm could come from spending twenty-four hours with him on the shores of the Mediterranean? I deserve that little break, don’t I?
I have never seen a human specimen as perfect as Clifford Du Frey. During our fleeting encounter in Paris, I saw a man who was funny, caring, and tender – so very different from the way the media portray him. He is everything I could ever dream of in a boyfriend.
But in what universe will an international sports superstar pay any serious attention to me?
Do not get involved, my brain yells; you can only get hurt again. But my heart is thrumming to a different tune.
Read an Excerpt of King of the Mountain
Cliff stood in the shallows. His pale skin gave him the quality of a Michelangelo marble statue. His body had magnificent, classical proportions. Every muscle was clearly defined as though chiseled in stone and smoothed to perfection under the loving hand of a master sculptor. I wondered if he realized just how beautiful he was. And I still found it hard to believe that he was giving me the gift of his time.
He watched me as I strode toward him and, when I shook the water out of my hair, he warned, “Don’t you dare splash me. I like to get in slowly.”
“I won’t splash you,” I said as I stopped in front of him. His eyes were unbelievable. The aquamarine of the water reflected off his blue eyes. I had the sensation of looking into a kaleidoscope of colors yet to be invented. I placed my hands on his shoulders and kissed him on both cheeks.
He was startled but did not back away. “What was that for?” he asked.
“We’ve not had a chance to greet each other yet – the French way. The way you taught me. And,” I continued, “to say I’m sorry.”
I gave him my sweetest smile.
“Sorry for wha….”
He didn’t get to finish the sentence because I folded one leg behind him and, in the most basic of wrestling moves, tipped him backward into the water.
The look on his face was priceless, and I burst out laughing when his head emerged, spluttering and cursing.
He reached out a hand and said, “You can at least help me up.”
I took hold of his hand and found myself yanked off my feet with Cliff dunking my head underwater. I shook myself free and rose from the waves to see Cliff making a run for the beach. I lurched after him, tackled him, and dragged him back into the water. He laughed and spluttered till he gained his footing and rounded on me, grabbing my waist, the most ticklish part of my body. He held me tight with one arm curved around my chest while his free hand tickled my hip bone without mercy. I giggled and squirmed helplessly in his arms.
We horsed around in the water like a couple of drunken teenagers. Drunk on sunshine, drunk on life, drunk on L… I didn’t dare to complete the thought. Who was I to think a man like Clifford du Frey would fall in love with me?
Guest Post: My Inspiration for KING OF THE MOUNTAIN
The TV coverage of the Tour de France is an annual sporting highlight for me. It is a thrill to see the riders battling it out as they race through the most spectacular scenery dotted with quaint villages, French Chateau and ancient monasteries peeking out from lush green forests. The setting simply begs for romance.
Because I am a keen cyclist myself, I am in awe of the skill, endurance and mental stamina needed to compete at a professional level. These riders are almost superhuman and sacrifice everything for their sport. They race for two thousand miles over some of the most grueling mountain terrains in the world and at the end, there are mere minutes, if not seconds, separating the winner from the rest of the peloton.
I did some research and was surprised to learn that there has never been an openly gay rider in the Tour de France. That got me thinking. What if? What if the leader of the Tour de France, who has to be utterly focused on the race, finds himself distracted by a burgeoning attraction to a guy? He doesn’t only have to balance these feelings against the commitment to his sport but also has to deal with years of repressed sexuality. That would make a good story, wouldn’t it? Especially if the romance starts in Paris!
Gay awakening is one of my favorite tropes, so I couldn’t resist the urge to weave the story of Clifford, the closeted superstar and Gabe, the dreamy gay art student. On the surface, Clifford holds all the cards. He is successful, wealthy, and a self-assured man of the world. But in this relationship, we soon find that the tables are turned, and Gabe teaches Clifford some valuable life lessons.
Another thing that motivated me was, of course, the sheer sexuality of the sport. Anyone who has ever ridden in a peloton – or just watched the riders closely – can attest that all those lean legs and lycra-clad glutes are a feast for the eyes and fuel for the imagination. Why should hockey and baseball players get all the attention in MM romance? It’s about time we celebrated the prowess of the great men who populate lesser-known sports.
About Author Aiden Ainslie
Aiden Ainslie lives in the Diablo foothills, east of San Francisco. He grew up in various small towns and loves to draw on that small-town feel for his romances: the sense of community but also the petty grievances, intrigue and rivalries. “An author has to draw on personal experience to create authentic stories.”
According to Aiden, setting and mood are critical parts of a romantic story, hence he is always taking pictures of romantic settings to be used in future novels. Check them out on his website www.aidenainslie.com
When Aiden is not writing or listening to audiobooks, he likes to cycle and hike. During those solitary pursuits, he dreams up the characters and plots for his MM Romance novels. He also enjoys zipping around town on his motor scooter, drinking coffee at the local coffee shops, and watching people to get inspiration for his writing.
The author will award a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner.