Book Title: Blood Red Roses
Author: S. J. Coles
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Release Date: February 2, 2021
Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance, Mystery, Thriller
Trope/s: Valentines, Opposites Attract, Love Triangle, Fake Relationship, Rich v Poor
Themes: Accepting yourself, Aspiration, Learning what’s important, Trust
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 47 220 words/192 pages
It is a standalone story.
It is part of a collection being released by Pride Publishing,
that will all get released at the same time.
Rick feels like he’s finally getting his life on track…until a dead body in his flat threatens to derail more than his new career.
Things are finally looking up for Rick Bennett. He’s landed a job with Swanson and Gerrard, one of the top finance firms in London and, with it, a chance to pay off his father’s debts and finally make something of his life.
When he’s put in charge of brokering the biggest deal in the company’s history, he knows he can’t lose, even though his boss, Cecily Swanson, clearly wants more than just a professional relationship.
When a rich, handsome stranger, Kim Bailey, introduces himself to Rick at the Swansons’ New Year’s Eve party, Rick is thinking he can definitely get used to rubbing elbows with the upper set. He feels everything is finally working out, despite Cecily’s increasing interest that only seems to strengthen as they approach her high-profile Valentine’s Day wedding.
When someone is murdered in his flat, Rick is shocked but still determined to hold on to his dream. Cecily believes he’s innocent and, more importantly, so does Kim. Though he’s beginning to suspect that there’s more to the guy than meets the eye, Kim’s belief in Rick keeps him strong.
As the investigation continues and Rick finds himself buried deeper in a mess of conspiracy, betrayal and intrigue, he will come to wonder whether the life he’s dreamed of could ever be real.
He’d deleted and re-phrased the text three times by the time he’d got his keys in the front door. He shook his head to himself. He was acting like a teenager again. But everything else was coming together just right. He may be working ten-hour days for a woman he would eventually have to let down, and still couldn’t entirely stop thinking about the envelope in his desk drawer, but it finally felt like his life was coming together.
He wanted to make dating Kim part of that life. He’d never felt the potential of something so early on in a relationship before, especially when he knew so little about the person. But when he thought of Kim’s light, easy manner and the way he treated Rick like an equal without appearing to even have to think about it, something that wasn’t just lust stirred under his belly.
Of course, the striking, beautiful face, devilish smile and sleek, toned body didn’t hurt matters. He tantalised himself with the thought that tonight they might get to—
Rick switched on his living room light and froze. The new sofa was positioned at right angles to his glass coffee table and smart TV. His boxes of vinyl were stacked against the far wall and his running shoes were by the front door. Everything was as he’d left it that morning, but something was…off. There was a chill in the air. And an odd smell.
He moved forward, trying to identify what was causing unease to snake up his spine. A draught brushed against his face. He moved to the balcony door and found it was open a crack. He frowned. Had the handyman left it open? Why would he even open it on this freezing January day? He slid it shut, turning the key in the lock.
The smell was stronger in the kitchen. He frowned. His breakfast plate was in the sink but he’d only had time for toast so that didn’t explain the sickly-sweet, almost meaty, smell in the air. It was then he noticed his block of chefs’ knives was on its side, the knives spilling out onto the counter. He righted it and returned the knives to their slots. There were two missing. He turned, scanning the kitchen and froze.