Title: Fret

Author: Sandrine Gasq Dion

Cover Artist: Kellie
Dennis

Length: 48,000 words

Release Date: September
01, 2015

Blurb: Former Navy SEAL Axel Blaze
lives a solitary life. He doesn't do emotions, and he doesn't do babysitting.
Used to being on his own, his job consists of Wetwork (a charming term coined
by the KGB) for his former Master Chief, Mac. When an out-of-the-ordinary job
lands on his doorstep, Axel heads down a path that includes a famous heavy
metal rock band and one quiet, vulnerable, guitar-shredding virtuoso named
Gareth Wolf.
Gareth Wolf's life changed in
an instant when a car he was a passenger in crashed, hurting his brother's best
friend and the band's lead guitarist. They created the band, Skull Blasters, as
kids. Gareth had always been happy in the background, playing roadie. With the
lead guitarist's injury, Gareth is suddenly thrust into the limelight and into
a frenzied life he never imagined for himself. Finally fed up with living a
lie, Gareth comes out as gay in a newspaper interview and finds himself in the
bulls-eye of a crazed stalker. Somebody wants Gareth hurt – or worse – and Mac
has been hired to be sure that doesn't happen. Babysitting duty is NOT Axel's
strong suit, but Mac won't be budged.
Enter Axel Blaze. Against his
better judgment, the big man takes the job to protect the shy musician. The
more time he spends with Gareth Wolf, the more he admires the man. Where's a
simple assassination when you need one? The situation becomes more volatile for
each man as the attempts on Gareth escalate just as Axel finds himself falling
for the quiet lead guitarist.
Strong, funny, smart-ass —
and kinda sweet Axel is everything Gareth has ever wanted in a man. Too bad
he's off limits. As the stalker grows bolder, Gareth and Axel move closer
emotionally – but is it too late? All Axel knows is that they don't stand a
chance if he can't find the maniac trying to kill the man he's come to care
about. A  lot.
Everyone knows that
relationships that begin in pressured or volatile situations eventually fizzle
out.

Or do they?

Thumping music was shaking
the walls of the Dome as I headed for my designated spot. I guess I’m meeting
Paul, the band’s manager.
I took mental notes as I
passed through the crowd of screaming, jumping people. The band was rocking it
out and I sought out Gareth Wolf. There were two guitarists, but I found him
right away. Black hair touched his shoulders and his lean body moved with his
guitar.
He was in his element.
The song was wrapping up and
the floor was shaking from the bass drum. The floor-to-ceiling speakers pumped
out the last notes of the song. The crowd immediately went wild as Ransom Fox
leaned over the stage.
“Let’s hear it for the best
lead guitarist on the planet!” he shouted.
Gareth shook his hair back
and bowed with one hand out. Again, the crowd screamed, shouted and whistled.
Ransom went on to give some love to the other members of the group.
I rolled my eyes and pushed
my way through the crowd toward the side of the stage. A large man eyed me and
then nodded as I walked by. Again, I could have been wearing a ‘Hello, I’m God’
tag and security wouldn’t have batted an eyelash. As it was, my tag faced
backwards; he couldn’t even see my name or credentials.
Security for the Skull
Blaster band was sorely lacking.
I sat through another hour of
bone-jarring hardcore metal before the band finally left the stage. I scanned
the area for their manager, but no luck.
I walked right behind the
curtain and fell into step with the band members as they trudged toward their
dressing rooms. They didn’t even notice me — and I’m really hard to miss.
They stepped into the
dressing room; I followed and slammed the door shut behind me. Ransom turned
and his eyes widened.
“Who the fuck are you?!”
“Nice of you to finally
notice me,” I pointed out.
“Paul!” Ransom thundered. He
immediately moved in front of Gareth, shielding him.
“Oh for fucks sake.” I arched
a brow.
The door behind me opened and
a startled man looked me over from head to toe. He flipped my name badge over
and sighed audibly, clearly relieved.
“It’s cool, Ransom. This is
the guy I was telling you about.”
“You could have mentioned he
was a semi-truck.” Ransom’s eyes narrowed.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t meet
you,” Paul apologized to me. “I ran into some media and couldn’t get away.”
“Not that this isn’t fun
—  because, oh so much fun — but I’m here
to do a job. So I need to speak to whoever is in charge of ‘security.’ Now.” I
leaned very slightly — but effectively — in to Paul’s face.
“Why?”
I turned to see Gareth
peeking out from behind his brother’s broad shoulders. His eyes were a shade of
green I’d never seen before, and with his pale complexion and dark hair? The
guy was a looker and then some.
“Because band security
royally sucks. I walked right on back here with them and not one person noticed
or stopped me. That is not acceptable.”
“Who are you?” Gareth gaped.
I pinned him with a hard
look. “I’m your bodyguard.”
Ransom chuckled.
“What the actual fuck?”
Gareth stepped in front of his brother. “Is this a joke?”
“Nope.” Ransom shook his
head.
“Jinx, Harley, Rebel. Give us
a few, eh?” Paul opened the door and tilted his head toward the hallway.
“Sure thing, boss.” Rebel
tipped his hat and winked at me.
I leaned against the wall as
the members walked out. I overheard one of them, not sure which, talking to
another.
“Did you see the size of that
guy?”
“How could you miss him?”
another one answered.
Paul shut the door and turned
to Gareth with an apologetic smile.
“I knew what you’d say if we
told you beforehand,” he admitted.
“Oh, did you now? You had to
get me Conan the Destroyer? Jesus Christ!”
“Gareth,” Ransom warned.
“What? This is stupid! I
don’t need a human shield!”
“You’re going to play nice
and allow this man to watch your back, Gareth!” Ransom shouted. “You’re getting
threats since you came out! I insist you be kept safe!”
“Gareth, why don’t you go
clean up? Then you and Mr. Blaze can get acquainted.”
“Seriously? Blaze?” Gareth
snorted.

I narrowed my eyes at the kid. Well, to me he was a
kid, after everything I’d seen in my life. Gareth was almost twenty-three and I
was pushing thirty. We locked eyes for a few seconds before he turned away.

Best-selling author, Sandrine (Sandy) was born in
Inglewood, California. Raised by “Old School” French parents, she
later moved to Tucson, AZ. It was there that writing became a hobby. Always
told she had a great imagination, Sandy wrote short stories for her friends in
High School. In college, she took more writing classes while working on her
Criminal Justice degree, but it wasn't until a soap opera caught her eye that
she got involved in male on male romances. On the advice of a friend, Sandy
dipped her toes into the world of M/M Romance. Sandy takes the writing
seriously and has had countless conversations with gay men as well as hours of
research. She's been involved with the military in one way or another for over
twenty years, and has a great deal of respect for our men in uniform. She's
traveled the world, but has finally returned to Arizona.

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