Hi, all! Thanks for stopping by to help me celebrate the release of Open Case, the final novel in the Open Series. I’m excited to share an exclusive excerpt and give you a chance to win a few giveaways. Those of you who haven’t read the first two books, Open Seating and Open House, will want to catch up before you start this one.
Since the status change from friends to lovers, Seth Wilder and Bryce McFarland, have had more challenges than the average couple. Through it all, they’ve been united, communicating without reservation in their quest for a happy ending. Now that it’s within reach, Bryce’s ex-lover, sociopath Owen Lightfoot, is back, hellbent on destroying it all.
As always, I’d like to thank Bayou Book Junkie for hosting and my wonderful publicist J for her excellent help in organizing my blog tour.
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Series: Open Trilogy #3
Release Date: February 3, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance
Length: 200 pages
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Seth Wilder and Bryce McFarland deal with the aftermath of Owen Lightfoot’s destructive rampage. Once again, the insurance company denies the life insurance benefit despite the compelling evidence regarding the underlying cause of Mark’s death. However, they acknowledge their former employee’s complicity in the multiple crimes that have blindsided Seth and Bryce. They settle to keep their names out of the news, offering the couple a million dollars apiece, which they accept.
Owen learns of the big payoff and is determined to get his cut. Just when Seth and Bryce think it is all over, Owen reappears, and what follows tests the very limit of their endurance. Through the help of friends and relatives, Seth and Bryce find the strength to keep their relationship intact while seeking out the best way to stop Owen once and for all.
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After dinner Bryce called his sister to break the news about Thanksgiving. Seth hadn’t met anyone in Bryce’s family yet. On the cruise Bryce had informed him that he and his parents were estranged, so Seth wasn’t expecting anything in that regard. However, Bryce’s sister, Kate, and her husband and two children were very much a part of his life, and it was with genuine fondness he’d mentioned them over the course of the last two months. Seth was looking forward to meeting them eventually, but at the moment he wasn’t mentally prepared. Too much had happened in a short time, and he was still playing catch-up. He loved where he and Bryce were emotionally. Their connection was rock solid and neither had any regrets about their recent choices, but fending off questions, however benign, was rarely fun. They were both reeling from Owen’s unbelievable rampage, and coming to terms with the aftermath was exhausting.
Nevertheless, it would be interesting to hear how the conversation between brother and sister played out. As far as he knew, Kate didn’t even know Bryce had changed his status from serial dater to committed partner. He put her on speaker so Seth could listen in on the conversation.
“Kate,” Bryce said the moment the familiar voice came on the line. “Don’t count on me for Thanksgiving.”
“What?” she protested. “You butthead! I don’t give you a hard time for staying away most of the year, but you’ve never deprived us of holidays. We were looking forward to seeing you.”
“Shit, sis. I feel bad about it, but there’s a lot going on right now, and I’m just not up for the trip.”
“Bryce, we live in South Bend, Indiana, not California. All you need to do is get in your truck and turn on cruise control. You’ll be here in a little under two hours.”
“I know, I know,” he said, hedging. Looking at Seth, Bryce silently mouthed the word please.
Seth gave in and bobbed his head, hoping he wouldn’t regret his decision. It was only one day after all, and it seemed important to Bryce that he join his sister and her family.
Grinning, Bryce said. “Okay, you’ve convinced me. I’m coming, and I’m bringing a friend.”
“Friend? Which friend?” Kate asked. “Do I know this person?”
“Not yet, but you will in a week. Gotta go, sis. See you on Thursday.”
“Don’t be late!”
Open Case is book 3 and the conclusion of the Open Trilogy series. Seth and Bryce are more in love than ever and dealing as best they can in the aftermath of Owen's attack. When they think they're finally catching a break, though, Owen's reappearance will send them in a turmoil which will test the strength of their relationship.
Seth and Bryce were as fantastic as ever and I loved seeing them so in love despite everything they'd gone through. Talk about a trial by fire with having to deal with the issues with Mark's life insurance and on top of that with Owen, who was seriously deranged. While I'm aware this is fiction, I think at one point Owen actually became this caricature of a villain, completely unrealistic and that dampened my enjoyment of the story a bit. It was a bit too much.
Still, the chemistry between Seth and Bryce was amazing and it was nice to see how far they'd come and get their HEA. The writing was great and despite my issues with Owen, I recommend this book for the fans of the series.
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement.***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mickie B. Ashling is the pseudonym of a multifaceted woman who is a product of her upbringing in multiple cultures, having lived in Japan, the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East. Fluent in three languages, she’s a citizen of the world and an interesting mixture of East and West. A little bit of this and a lot of that have brought a unique touch to her literary voice she could never learn from textbooks.
By the time Mickie discovered her talent for writing, real life got in the way, and the business of raising four sons took priority. With the advent of e-publishing—and the inevitable emptying nest—dreams of becoming a published writer were resurrected and she’s never looked back.
She stumbled into the world of men who love men in 2002 and continues to draw inspiration from their ongoing struggle to find equality and happiness in this oftentimes skewed and intolerant world. Her award-winning novels have been called "gut wrenching, daring, and thought provoking." She admits to being an angst queen and making her men work damn hard for their happy endings.
Mickie currently resides in a suburb outside Chicago.
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