Please join me in welcoming Evey Brett, who's here today to celebrate the release of her novel, Capriole, and talk about some her favorite activities, like practicing yoga with horses.
Capriole is available now from Loose Id:
After fleeing a brutal mental hospital in Barcelona, Felipe Camarena is trying to forge a new life as a psychology student in San Diego. Trouble is, he has a knack of knowing things he shouldn’t about people, and the all-too-real demons from his past are coming back to haunt him.
Professor Lukas von Rainer is a Warden—someone who hunts incubi and tames their sexually ravenous and dangerous offspring. As a fellow Sensitive, Lukas is the only one who can help when Felipe is severely injured by an incubus. He takes Felipe to his ranch in hopes that his Lipizzan horses will help him recover, but Felipe refuses to face his past and attempts to seduce Lukas instead. Lukas fends him off, surprised to find himself falling for the young man he’s vowed to aid. For years, he’s believed a physically satisfying and truly loving relationship is impossible because of his abilities, but is it?
He may not get the chance to find out. Even as he and the horses work their magic to heal Felipe, the incubus tracking them means to kill him and anyone who gets in its way.
For more information (as well as the occasional update from the herd) visit http://www.whitehorseyoga.wordpress.com
And if you’re wondering what a capriole is—it’s there on the cover. A capriole is one of the famous “Airs above the ground.” “A jump in place where the stallion leaps into the air, tucking his forelegs under himself, and kicking out with his hind legs at the height of elevation.” The description says “stallion,” but trust me, Lipizzan mares can do it too.
Here's an excerpt from Capriole:
The rest of the day, Lukas wondered if he’d pushed the kid too far. Felipe didn’t emerge from his room except to use the facilities. More than once, Lukas lingered outside the bedroom door, torn between trying to get the kid to talk and leaving him alone. If it were anyone else, Lukas would have at least been able to sense his emotional state, but Felipe retreated behind his icy wall. Other than Lorelei, I’ve never met someone so frustrating.
He almost laughed, as he recalled Michael saying the same thing numerous times. The Chief Warden was his friend, father figure, mentor, and the one man Lukas couldn’t ask for assistance. Lukas was on his own this time, and deep down he knew Michael wanted him to learn a harsh lesson about taking on more than he could handle.
As he took a dinner tray to Felipe, he wondered for a moment if Michael was right. Felipe was damaged, but Lukas also had his attraction to contend with. Lukas wanted him, not because he wanted to be Felipe’s hero and fix him, but because he admired the kid’s strength and intelligence along with his handsome face. Felipe was a survivor, like Rafael, as well as being a fellow Sensitive. He’d be a hell of a Warden one day. The best ones had always seen the worst of mankind.
Balancing the tray on one hand, he knocked with the other. “Ramon? Are you hungry?”
“I’ll leave the tray outside your door, then. I’m going to feed the horses now. Why don’t you come with me?”
This time the handle turned. Felipe didn’t meet his gaze, but he took the tray with a mumbled, “Thank you,” and shut the door.
Lukas set a palm against the flat wood. “Ramon? I’m sorry if I scared you. Come with me. It’s nice outside. You don’t have to touch the horses if you don’t want to.”
No response. Lukas sighed, put on his old pair of boots, and went to throw hay. Grady thrust his head over the fence, ears pricked in anticipation. When Lukas went closer, Grady nudged his chest. “Sorry, boy. I couldn’t get him to come out.” Lukas scratched around his ears.
Then he had an idea. He grabbed Grady’s halter and led him out of the arena and toward the house, straight past Felipe’s window. They paused, and Lukas tapped the glass. The curtains parted. For a few seconds, a deep longing crossed Felipe’s face. Grady nosed the window before the curtains swiftly dropped back into place.
“It’s all right,” Lukas told the gelding as he led him back to the arena. “He’ll come see you soon. If I wasn’t afraid you’d step through the floor, I’d take you into his room.”
He tossed hay and grain in the feed bins and let the herd into their stalls. Later he’d come back out and feed them a smaller ration for a snack, but he was exhausted mentally and emotionally from dealing with Felipe and looked forward to a nap before he did so.
He retreated to his room…and found someone already there. Felipe was curled on top of the comforter, deliciously, utterly naked.
With no blankets handy, Lukas grabbed a towel from the bathroom and dropped it over Felipe’s waist. “Go back to your own room.”
The towel fell to the side as Felipe sat up. His posture—a wanton tilt of the head and the unselfconscious way he maneuvered his hips to keep his groin exposed—was utterly at odds with his complete lack of emotion. “Isn’t this why you brought me here? So we can be alone?”
“Felipe…” The name slipped out as Lukas took in the handsome, nude body, selfishly wishing he could take advantage of the kid’s offer. It would be wrong, terribly so. He’d be no better than Felipe’s pimp of a brother.
His eyes narrowed. “How did you find out my name?”
Shit. Lukas fought to come up with a reasonable answer. “I heard it while you were ill. I didn’t use it because I was hoping you would trust me enough to tell me.”
“It doesn’t matter whether I do or not, does it? You don’t want me.” Disappointment tinged his voice. His gaze landed on Lukas’s groin, which showed no sign of excitement. “Is it because you’d rather be with a woman?”
“That doesn’t have anything to do with it. I’m attracted to both sexes. Besides, I’m a Warden, which means I have a great deal of control over my physical responses.” And it was taking quite a bit of effort to ensure that control.
“I’m not a virgin. I mean…” His voice went flat. “When I worked the streets in Barcelona , I took both men and women.”
“And you were on heroin to endure it.”
“I’ve been clean for three years. And with you…” He met Lukas’s gaze. “I wouldn’t need to be on anything.”
Lukas froze as Felipe stood and placed a hand suggestively against his chest. Progress? In a way—although the kid’s introduction to sex hadn’t set him up for successful relationships.
“I know what you need,” Felipe said. He tangled his fingers in Lukas’s hair, readying him for a kiss. He dropped his hand to Lukas’s waistband and swiftly undid the buttons on his fly.
“Felipe…” Lukas wanted him. More, he longed to take Felipe to bed and show him what love truly meant and what healthy sex was. “I can’t.”
Without letting go, Felipe tucked his head against Lukas’s shoulder. Felipe’s muscles were strong and supple, his body perfect despite the healing cuts. No scars. It moved erotically beneath Lukas’s hands, doing everything a man could want, yet Felipe might as well not have been there. His eyes were vacant, his smile devoid of true pleasure. Many men would have been fooled, but not a Sensitive like Lukas. The kid had walled off the most vulnerable part of himself for protection.
Yet Lukas could sense those trapped emotions welling up and threatening to burst. A simple, insignificant moment could trigger an entire collapse, one that might leave the kid’s mind irreparably broken. If Lukas could find a means of chipping away at the kid’s walls, he might have a chance, but sex was far too intense of a place to begin.
When Felipe cupped Lukas’s cock through his underwear, Lukas grabbed his wrist. “Enough. Go back to bed.”
Felipe’s eyes widened as if he’d been struck. “If you don’t want me, then why am I here?”
Because you’re broken, Lukas wanted to say. Because Padre Rafael left you in my care and I’ve taken a vow to aid those the incubus has affected. Because I want you so badly I can’t stand it. Instead he placed a brief, chaste kiss atop Felipe’s forehead. “I want you to be well and whole. Padre Rafael trusted me with his secrets. I need you to trust me too. Will you?”
His icy exterior cracked just enough for Lukas to get an idea of his physical desire along with the fear and confusion accompanying his body’s need. “You want me. I know you do.”
Lukas took a deep breath, two, before he answered. “I won’t lie. Yes, I want you, but I will not invite you into my bed until you can accept me as a lover and not because you feel obligated to offer yourself. I didn’t bring you here to be my rent boy. Understand?”
Relief flickered in his eyes, though he spoke in the same flat tone as before. “Yo comprende.”
“Good. Now go to bed.” He gave Lukas a view of his lovely smooth buttocks on his way out. Lukas leaned on the nightstand, taking in deep breaths to calm himself. He wanted Felipe as he’d wanted no one else before, yet he couldn’t tell if it was desire or pity. Felipe had been deeply scarred; Rafael had done what he could to heal that hurt, and Lukas wanted to continue that process to the best of his abilities. If Felipe did decide to become a Warden, the training included sex, but that lesson wouldn’t come for some time. Lukas tried to shoo away his disappointment along with his improper thoughts and failed. He’d become a lousy Warden, too infatuated to control himself.
Going to bed was a mistake. Felipe’s scent lingered on the comforter and pillow. Lukas twisted under the sheets, racked with guilt about lusting after the man he couldn’t have and betraying the woman he didn’t love.
Thank you Evey!
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