Riley Long is a wife and mother living a quiet life in the southern US, in a town with no internet, with her husband, son, and very old dog. She works an unexciting desk job and passes her evenings writing, reading, and watching bad television. For fun, she likes to run, plan her next cosplay, and meet with her writing group. She also likes lists of threes. The craziest thing Riley has ever done involves whipped cream and strangers.
You can find her here on WordPress. Check out her book, and don’t forget to leave a review if you read it. Her book information, excerpt, and reviews are as follows:
A cowboy meets an up-and-coming rock star and faces his fears of falling in love.
Playboy and up-and-coming rockstar Ryder Sullivan has it all–a band he loves, a career on the rise, and groupies in his bed whenever he wants. Cowboy Billy Cunningham enjoys his quiet life, but something’s missing. Soon he discovers that what’s missing is Ryder. Ryder feels the same way, and is ready to cast off his playboy ways and jump into the deep end with Billy. Can Billy face down his fears, put aside the complications of an eager would-be girlfriend and his pushy mother, and accept that he’s finally falling in love–with a man?
Ryder Sullivan pushed his way to the packed bar with feigned confidence. He forced a casual look, and managed to maneuver his lean frame, tight jeans and all, onto a high chrome and leather barstool. As he settled in, Ryder glanced around self-consciously, trying to get his bearings. Well, he thought, at least I’ll have an audience. Which Way was packed full of bodies, each one moving and bobbing to the pounding rock music blasting through the speakers to his right.
An adorable bartender, probably a few years older than him, tall, with a soft curve to his face, chuckled. He was as far away from Ryder as possible, making it difficult to get a drink. Every grinning, half-drunk patron seemed to know the guy and laughed along with his antics. Ryder’s breath hitched a little, but he wouldn’t allow himself to think too much about this man right before a show.
The bartender turned and fixed Ryder with sparkling green eyes. Ryder nodded and lifted his slender fingers in a small wave, indicating his growing need for a drink.
“What can I get for ya?” the bartender drawled as he leaned down and eyed Ryder as if he were the only person in the room.
Ryder’s stomach fluttered, and he reminded himself that just because he slept with men did not mean this bartender did. With soft brown curls, muscles bared beneath his honest-to-God plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and perfect ass clad in actual Wrangler jeans, the bartender seemed to be flirting with everyone who crossed his path. None of that meant the bartender would be interested in him. Ryder offered a smile, the guarded one he put on for the endless publicity shoots, and swallowed hard.
“Patron. And a glass of water, too, I guess. Can’t get too drunk if I’m going to get up there and play, can I?” Ryder’s awkward chuckle escaped before he gestured vaguely towards the stage. He grinned, showing off his straight white teeth, and rubbed a hand over the stubble along his jaw.
“No shit, buddy? You’re our entertainment for the night?” The bartender’s grin took over his face as he turned to grab a bottle. He swiftly poured Ryder a large draft of the clear top-shelf liquor in a highball glass. “On the house.” He pushed the drink towards Ryder. “You all right? You look a little outta your element.”
Ryder stared into the glass and fought to keep his defenses at bay. He leaned in a bit, letting a cocky smirk slowly cover his face as he locked eyes with the bartender. If he was just a bit closer, Ryder could have kissed the southern-grown man. The palpable heat between them sent chills down Ryder’s arms, even with the shiny black bar between them. “I could say the same about you, country boy bartending in a rock and roll bar.” He took a sip of the drink before adding, “I’m Ryder.” He took another swallow of the liquor, letting its burn slide down his throat. “Sullivan.”
“Pleased t’ meetcha, Ryder Sullivan. I’m Billy.” Billy placed a glass of water in front of Ryder. “Now I suppose I gotta go do my job before one of these good people jumps the bar, but you just holler if you need anything at all, okay? Good luck up there.” He winked at Ryder before turning away.
Ryder continued to sip his drink, enjoying the warmth as it worked its magic on his nerves, and watched the other patrons collected in clusters around the bar. This was one of his favorite ways to prepare for a show; he spun on his stool and surveyed the crowd to get a read on them firsthand. He felt someone’s gaze on him, and he turned to discover a pretty blonde girl standing a few feet behind him, eying him intently. She tossed her hair over her shoulder and came to rest a hand on Ryder’s arm.
“That bartender’s pretty hot, isn’t he?”
He shrugged noncommittally. “Sure, I guess so.”
“Ah, don’t lie to me, boy. I could see you eye-fucking him from across the room.”
Ryder’s cheeks flushed; he had never been able to keep that heat from creeping across his high cheekbones when he’d been caught, and he ducked his head a little before he glanced up at her. “I’m just here for the show.”
The girl threw her head back and laughed, squeezing hard on Ryder’s arm. She had a head full of curls, cute, petite features, and eyes that showed an undercurrent of fierceness. “I’m Allison. The bartender, that’s Billy. He flirts with everything that moves, so don’t be too flattered. I’m the one he’ll be going home with though.” She flashed a smile that seemed more dangerous than friendly. She took a sip of her beer before she walked away.
Ryder was stunned, and wondered if he should regret his decision to haunt the bar before the show. Maybe he should have just had a drink in that supply closet-turned-dressing room and kept out of sight. As he finished the tequila, the familiar warmth coursed through his blood as if he had fire in his veins, leaving his head just a bit light. He downed his glass of water too, and caught Billy’s eye again to thank him for the drink.
“Anytime,” Billy offered, leaning in again and grinning in a way that made Ryder’s mouth go dry. “That’s what I’m here for, to take care of whatever you might need.”
A beat passed, heavy with meaning, and a blush flooded Ryder’s cheeks again. Billy chuckled and clapped Ryder on the bicep.
“Aw, I’m just fuckin’ with you, buddy. Shaking up the talent is one of the many things I’m good at.”
Ryder was speechless, not used to being tongue-tied. He nodded, feeling like a total idiot. He slipped off of the stool and wound his way through the mass of people. In the backstage hallway, Ryder rounded a corner and nearly crashed into Tyler, the bar’s owner, and the woman who was responsible for having him here tonight. They’d met weeks ago when she waited him out after a gig, and they’d become easy friends, though he’d never been here before tonight.
“Sorry about that, honey,” she said, pushing her long, dark hair behind her shoulders and embracing him. “I’m excited you’re here! I think they’re going to really love you tonight. I’m glad your manager could fit us in your schedule before the tour started. Nervous?”
Ryder realized he was fidgeting with the hem of his shirt and stilled his hands. “About tonight?”
“Well, new bar…You worried about the crowd?”
He shrugged. “Nah, not really.” He wondered if she could tell he was…not lying exactly, but definitely overstating his calm.
“You’ve got talent, good music, you’re a good-lookin’ guy… they’re going to eat you up. And knowing you, I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding someone to spend the night with once you leave the stage.”
“Hey now, you just happened to catch me on a really good night that night,” Ryder protested.
“Oh what, you don’t usually have a half dozen girls and a couple of guys waiting to ask you back to their place? Don’t even try to tell me a story, you and I both know that you don’t have any problems in that department.”
Billy stuck his head around the corner. “Hey, Ty, I need you up front. Jack isn’t here yet and it’s getting busy.” And then, in Ryder’s direction, “Good luck up there,” he said and winked.
Ryder felt his pulse quicken. This guy was not helping.
“Well, gotta get going, I guess,” Tyler said, cutting through his fog. “Seems like the help can’t function without me.”
So beautifully written March 30, 2015 (5 Stars)