Giving Ian Pierce His Happily Ever After
by Jocelynn Drake
Within the Unbreakable Bonds world, I don’t think there’s anyone who deserves a happily ever after more than our chef and all-around sweet guy Ian Pierce. The trauma and abuse he suffered before the series even opened meant that we had to be very cautious with how we proceeded.
The first step was finding the right guy.
Well, Ian sort of solved that problem for us when he first set his eyes on Hollis Banner, Cincinnati cop and busybody. Ian took one look at that tall drink of water and decided that he was very thirsty indeed.
That meant we had to make sure that Hollis was properly whipped into shape. He had to be a great, kind-hearted guy who was dedicated to protecting the little guy and taking out the bad guy at any cost.
It also didn’t hurt that he was tall, muscly, and sexy as hell. Yeah, Ian took on look at him and wanted to climb him like a tree. Not that we could blame him after all.
Once we had the right guy, we knew that Hollis had to know the whole truth. All of it. Ian couldn’t be allowed to hold anything back when it came to his past. It couldn’t be something that was standing between them, or they’d never make it long term. That was a big secret to reveal. It was a scary weight for Ian to place on Hollis, but it was also a terrifying thing for Hollis to deal with. He had his own emotions to process, but he was also worried about how to treat Ian after he knew. Hollis didn’t want to cause Ian any more pain than he’d already suffered.
With some time and hard work, Ian and Hollis found their balance.
But the work wasn’t done.
When Rinda and I started working on Rialto, we realized that while Boris Jagger might be dead and gone, his ghost was still haunting them both. Trauma and suffering like what Ian suffered was not something that was easily dealt with. It’s an ongoing healing process. It’s baggage that needs to be unpacked rather than hidden away and ignored.
As Ian faced an unknown villain in Rialto, we knew it was time for Ian and Hollis to face some very hard truths and start working to some healing that was long overdue if they were going to get their happily ever after. Sometimes, the steps we take to protect ourselves can be more damaging than the pain we’re trying to avoid.
And while the Unbreakable Boys are always there to support Ian, this was a step that Ian and Hollis had to take on their own.
I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about the creation of Ian and Hollis from the Unbreakable Bonds world. If you’ve not read the series yet, we hope that you make a stop in Cincinnati and meet the boys. The series is now complete with eight novels and four short story collections. Jump into the adventure today!
Someone has it out for Rialto.
Ian Banner is loving his hectic life. He’s newly married, ready to start a family, and opening a new restaurant. All his dreams are coming true.
The last thing he needs is a problem with his restaurant.
But when one attack after another comes, he grows convinced he has another enemy.
Ian tries to handle things by himself, but his friends are soon drawn in when the attacks become violent. That’s when Ian realizes the target isn’t Rialto. It’s him.
Rialto is the final installment in the Unbreakable Bonds series and features sexy times, Daciana snuggles, overprotective family, fire, and of course, code names.
Available at: Amazon
An Excerpt from Rialto
Ian sighed and stretched his legs out, putting his sock-covered feet onto the coffee table. He’d kicked off his shoes when they’d come in. “I’m still reeling over that damn raid. Someone had to have called it in, and I can’t figure out who would do such a thing. It’s driving me crazy worrying about it.”
“Everything’s fine. Even Sarah told you there’s nothing to worry about now.”
“Still, it shouldn’t have happened, and having those dogs in the kitchen?” He growled softly. “I just hope we don’t get any disgruntled reviews from the people we had to reschedule.”
“Bad reviews happen, you know that.”
“But over something like this? Something completely out of my control?” He sat up and faced Hollis. “I can’t get it out of my head that someone actually turned us in. And all that stuff about drugs? Drugs, Hollis! The last thing Rialto needs is a rumor like that. We had people in that restaurant who heard all that when they first came in.”
He stood and started pacing the room. Hollis watched his slim, agitated form as he moved, noting that his hands were clenched into fists at his sides.
“Rumors of drugs could hurt our chances of becoming foster parents, too!” he nearly yelled. He reached up and ran both hands through his hair, leaving the brown strands sticking up all over the place.
He’d worked himself into a frenzy again. Hollis stood and walked to him. He placed his hands on Ian’s shoulders, feeling the fine bones beneath his palms before sliding his hands down Ian’s back to pull the man into his body.
Ian slumped against him, wrapping his arms tight around him. “Thanks.”
“For what?” Hollis asked.
“For the hug. For knowing I needed one.” He tilted his head and stared into Hollis’s face. “You always know how to calm me down.”
“I don’t want you worrying about drug rumors. The fact that your restaurant only lost one night to the raid before opening up again will squelch any of those. Rialto will be fine. And this isn’t going to hurt our chances at being foster parents. We’ve already gone through the background checks and everything else. It’s all good.”
Ian had worried incessantly about the background inspection, but his past with Jagger had never been public knowledge. It also didn’t hurt that Ian had Rowe’s tech specialist, Gidget, run a check, making sure that there was nothing from Ian’s past that might throw up red flags. Gidget had confirmed that other than Jagger’s attack on Ian at Union Terminal three years ago, there was nothing linking Ian to Jagger.
“I just want it so much,” Ian mumbled against his chest as he leaned close again.
“I know, baby. I do, too.”
Ian lifted his head. “Yeah?”
“You know I do,” Hollis said as he bent down to kiss Ian. Ian’s arms slid up around his neck and he stood on his toes to press harder into Hollis’s mouth. That warm body felt too good against Hollis. He pulled away from Ian and stared at him, taking in the already blown pupils with a smile. “Enough of this worrying. I have a better idea. Stay right here.”
He walked to the front door to set the security alarm, then flipped off the lights. The automatic night-light on the stairs came on, but he knew where Ian was. He walked to his husband and lifted him. Ian’s legs automatically wrapped around his waist as Ian chuckled. Hollis knew he was laughing at being carried, but Hollis fucking loved carting Ian around.
“I bet I know what your idea is,” Ian murmured, kissing Hollis’s jaw.
“If it’s stripping you naked and having my way with you, you get a cookie.” He carried him up the stairs and into their bedroom, not setting him down until they were beside their bed.
About Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott
Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott have teamed up to combine their evil genius to create intense gay romantic suspense stories that have car chases, shoot outs, explosions, scorching hot love scenes, and tender, tear-jerking moments. Their first joint books are in the Unbreakable Bonds series.
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Thank you for the excerpt!