Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/Cari Z/L. A. Witt blog tour for Risky Behavior, book 1 of the Bad Behavior series!
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of one eBook off each author’s backlist (excluding Risky Behavior) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 6th. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.
About Risky Behavior
It’s day one of Darren Corliss’s career as a detective, and not only has he been assigned a notoriously difficult partner, but the guy might also be a pill-popping dirty cop. Internal Affairs needs proof, and Darren gets to be their eyes and ears whether he wants to or not.
Detective Andreas Ruffner doesn’t play by the rules, and he doesn’t play well with others. With bodies piling up and a list of suspects who are way above his pay grade, the last thing he needs is a wet-behind-the-ears kid for a partner. Or babysitter. Not even if that partner is easy on the eyes.
As Darren gains Andreas’s hard-won trust, they both realize there’s more than just mutual suspicion simmering beneath the surface. But their investigation is heating up as quickly as their relationship, and Darren has no choice but to go along with Andreas’s unorthodox—and borderline unethical—methods. As IA puts the squeeze on Darren to give up the man he’s falling for, he has to wonder—is Andreas the only cop left in this town who isn’t dirty?
By the time Darren showed up an hour or so later, the dark cloud hadn’t gone away. As we dove into paperwork, scoured files in search of something we might’ve missed, and drove downtown twice to interview people who might have—but didn’t—know something, I couldn’t shake it. Not that I was surprised.
At just shy of six, I was done. There was plenty of work left, but I was completely spent.
“I think I’m going to duck out early.” I closed a file folder I’d been looking through, leaving a pen in it to mark my place. “You can do the same if you want.”
Darren looked up. “So you’re telling me when I can come and go now?”
The snide tone caught me off guard. “Uh . . .”
“Just go.” He waved me away and returned his attention to the papers spread in front of him. “See you tomorrow.”
I hesitated, trying like hell to figure out what had changed since this morning, but I was too fucking tired to read between any lines. So, without another word, I picked up my jacket and keys, and left.
I didn’t go home, though.
Down by the river, not far from where Darren and I had eaten our sandwiches a while ago, I found a parking space and got out. The evening was starting to cool down, so I zipped up my jacket as I walked toward the water.
The river wound through the city, and it was dotted with parks where people took their dogs or their kids. I sometimes went to the dog park near the north edge of town. It had been years since I’d had a dog—my job just didn’t leave me enough time to give one the attention he deserved—but I liked being around them. Maybe when I retired, I’d get one again.
Tonight, I didn’t want to be around dogs, kids, or anyone. So I’d come here—to one of the industrial areas that had foundered during the last few recessions—where most of the buildings were abandoned and nobody really went. We didn’t even find all that many bodies down here anymore.
It was deserted, and that was exactly what I needed tonight.
Hands in my pockets, I strolled as close to the lazily flowing river’s edge as I could without getting in the mud. As shitty as I felt today, I wouldn’t have been surprised if I were to cap off the evening with a muddy shoe, sock, and pant leg.
With no one around to distract me and nothing to hold my thoughts except making sure I was walking on solid ground, it didn’t take long for my mind to wander back to my partner.
There was no point in entertaining fantasies of coaxing him over the boundary of platonic professionalism, but that didn’t stop me. There was no point in thinking about all the things we could do without clothes or inhibitions, but that didn’t stop me either. I knew how my mind worked. I’d torture myself with the idea that, in some parallel universe, I had a snowball’s chance in hell with him, and before long, I’d be jerking off every night until I was ready to lose my mind just being in the same room with him. All because I couldn’t quit imagining a night that could never in a million years actually happen.
Naturally, though, the one thing that had even less of a chance of happening was me getting a new partner. Captain Hamilton would laugh me out of his office if I requested someone else, even if the reason wasn’t I’m getting chronic blue balls from being around him.
Sighing, I gazed out at the river, watching a couple of ducks cruise along the swirling surface.
I was being stupid. I’d get over him just like I’d gotten over the last few people I’d nearly lost my mind over. My ridiculously hot neighbor had moved away a year ago without anything ever happening between us, and I’d gotten over her. Lieutenant Jackson had transferred to another city two years ago, and though I still kept a few fantasies about him tucked away, I didn’t trip over my own feet when he crossed my mind now. Hell, after my divorce a decade ago, my roommate and I had actually slept together for a few weeks, and then managed to live together as friends after his girlfriend moved in.
My attraction to each of them had been easily as strong as it was to Darren right now, and I’d made it through without going insane. The same thing would happen with Darren. The only reason I was losing it now was that he was new, and I was frustrated that it had been four years since I’d touched anyone. I’d been fine before. I’d be fine this time. All I needed was to get my head together, get all my thoughts of him out of my system, and—
The ground was suddenly softer than I’d expected, and before I could shift my weight back to solid ground, the mud swallowed my left leg to mid-shin.
“Fuck!” I jerked my foot free, and glared down at the thick mud now coating my shoe.
Great. Now I had something else to think about tonight besides Darren.
About Cari Z
Cari Z was a bookworm as a child and remains one to this day. In an effort to combat her antisocial reading behavior, she did all sorts of crazy things, from competitive gymnastics to alligator wresting (who even knew that was legal!) to finally joining the Peace Corps, which promptly sent her and her husband to the wilds of West Africa, stuck them in a hut, and said, "See ya!" She also started writing, because some things she just thought she could do better. She's still climbing that ladder, but can't stop herself from writing, or from sharing what she creates.
Cari enjoys a wide range of literary genres, from the classics (get 'im, Ahab) to science fiction and fantasy of all types, to historical fiction and reference materials (no, seriously, there are so many great encyclopedias out there). She writes in a wide range of genres as well, but somehow 90% of what she produces ends up falling into the broad and exciting category of m/m erotica. There’s a sprinkling of f/m and f/f and even m/f/m in her repertoire, but her true love is man love. And there's a lot of love to go around.
Cari has published short stories, novellas, and novels with numerous print and e-presses, and she also offers up a tremendous amount of free content on Literotica.com, under the name Carizabeth.
About L.A. Witt
L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut . . .
L. A.’s backlist is available on her website, and updates (as well as random thoughts and the odd snarky comment) can be found on her blog or on Twitter (@GallagherWitt).
To celebrate the release of Risky Behavior, one lucky winner will receive an ebook from each Cari and Lori’s backlist and a $10 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 6, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!