Tag Archives: Concierge Service

Saturday Snippet: Concierge Service

How about a Saturday Snippet from Concierge Service? The book will be available this coming week. Have a little taste, where Joshua has come up to the penthouse as a “rent-a-friend” with a deck of cards. Winner gets to ask a question.

****
Joshua sorted his cards and the competition was on.

“Gin.” Craig parlayed a good starting hand into a quick victory. “Hockey or football?”

That took Joshua aback. “Neither,” he said after a moment’s pondering. “If I’m going to watch something, it would be skiing, or skating. Hockey’s just a problem to be solved for me, like can I get six rink-side tickets to a Rangers game. Football is all about ‘how early do I need to order cars to get out to the stadium?’”

“So, if you were at a Super Bowl party, you’d be the one making nachos?” Craig asked.

“Probably, but I’d watch large men falling on each other in public.” Joshua buried that statement in a flurry of shuffling.

Craig liked the pinkness growing in his cheeks, but wouldn’t stare. Too openly. “That’s the best part of football.”

***

Joshua Hannes, the concierge of the Vivaldi Central Park Hotel prides himself on fulfilling every impossible request. Tickets to a sold-out show? A purple dye job for a purse dog? A last-minute table at a premier hotspot? No problem.

But the penthouse guest wants what?

Self-made billionaire Craig Ridley’s in New York on business, but at the end of the day, he wants to relax with someone interesting. The concierge should be able to supply an entertaining companion. Just for a little conversation. Dinner and a card game, not sex.

Craig didn’t expect the concierge to personally volunteer to be a rental friend, and he really didn’t expect to get attached. How can a paid service ever turn real?

A billion reasons why they shouldn’t be together. A billion and one reasons why they should.

Read the rest come September 19.

A Snippet from Concierge Service

Hi, guys!

There really has been a book brewing all this time. Concierge Service, featuring Joshua Hannes, concierge in one of New York City’s premier hotels and Craig Ridley, the guest in the penthouse suit, is in the final stages  of launching.

I should give you a taste, shouldn’t I?  Here’s our two guys, sitting down together for the first time. Craig’s in New York on business, has chased his CFO out of the penthouse suite for being a pain in the ass, and plans to test her assertion that the concierge desk could provide anything he desires. So he’s called downstairs for a “rent-a-friend.”

*****

The rap at the door slightly after eleven jerked Craig away from the e-book he was reading with indifferent attention; if this was a thriller, he wasn’t nearly as thrilled by the text as he was by the interruption.

Perhaps he should have peeked through the peephole, but anyone who knocked on this door had to use the passcard in the elevator, soooo… He opened the door.

Very scenic.

The vision he’d seen coming out of the suite earlier greeted him. Brown eyes under full brows, a perfectly straight nose over a sunny smile, wide shoulders dressed in a decent suit—the same label as the one Craig had treated himself to when he’d sold his first company.

He jerked his gaze back to his visitor’s face—a laser dissection of the visitor’s charms was just not okay. Not when Craig made it abundantly clear he wanted nothing but company. The guy was worth looking at—and an unknown quantity as to what kind of person he’d prove to be.

Ten seconds of admiration for the view. Would this stranger last longer once words started coming out of his mouth?

“I’m Joshua Hannes. You rang?” The smile faltered for a scant second.

Craig found his voice and the memory of why he needed it. “I’m Craig Ridley.” Oh, that was stupid, of course rent-a-friend would know that, but… “Didn’t I see you earlier?”

“You did—I arranged your dinner. Now I’m back. If that’s okay.” Joshua remained in the doorway, a bag dangling from his fingertips.

Oh, right, Craig was keeping him standing. He ushered his guest in. “Hope you brought the Scrabble board, or that there’s one tucked away in some yet to be explored corner here.”

“I don’t think so, but I found us a deck of cards. We could play gin rummy, or War, or Go Fish.” Joshua pulled the sealed deck from his bag.

“Definitely more social than watching a movie.” Craig slit the cellophane wrapper to shake out the cards. “Or we could talk politics and possibly have our first fight, or compare weight lifting routines if we both lifted… Sorry, I didn’t even think about going downstairs to the gym to burn off some energy—I’m exhausted but my body still swears it’s two hours too early to go to bed.”

“No problem.” His visitor’s smile looked genuine. “I brought some Izzes.” He found coasters in the sideboard inlaid with enough exotic woods to endanger an entire rain forest, and two cut crystal tumblers, which he filled with ice from a minifridge disguised as more finely milled cabinetry. “Pomegranate, blackberry, or peach?”

Craig studied a maroon can, searching for symbols. Packaging had betrayed him before. “Is this kosher?”

Joshua examined his own can. “I don’t think it’s certified, but it’s vegan. Is that close enough?”

“Sure is. Blackberry sounds good.” He poured and offered to clink his glass against Joshua’s peach drink. “To new friends.”

Josh gave him that look again, a nanosecond of I don’t understand. “L’chaim?”

“La kayim,” Craig agreed. Whatever that meant. Probably New-Yorkese. That gravelly consonant might just be another regional thing. Craig sipped again, the fruity bubbles dancing on his tongue.

Nice choice—Craig could appreciate the subtlety of not bringing wine or liquor. This wasn’t a date. What the hell did they do next? Cards, okay—another nice choice. Joshua hadn’t mentioned poker. Not when that could go lascivious. Not that Craig would mind in the least demanding shirts and trousers as forfeit.

Stop. That. One more stray thought and he’d have to adjust himself. The thin sweats he’d changed into for lounging wouldn’t hide a thing. Besides, where the hell had that thought come from? That was twice now. His interest hadn’t been piqued like this in years.

“So, gin rummy?” Craig offered.

“You’re on.” Joshua produced a pad and pen from a work of art generally shaped like a desk.

They sorted out their versions of the rules into mutual agreement, and Craig dealt out the cards. “We need some stakes.”

“Money?” Joshua stilled. “Or…?”

Damn it—even the small things worked against this rent-a-friend business. That “or” had to be exactly why his companion hadn’t mentioned poker. He hadn’t removed his suit coat, only pulling the knot of his tie away from his throat and undoing the top button.

Craig liked the lack of assumptions. What else could he like about Joshua? “Lose a round, answer a question, is that okay?” Damn it, that could go bad again fast—Joshua stopped sorting his hand. “Getting to know you kind of questions, nothing super-personal.”

“That works.” Joshua relaxed again. “Prepare to lose.”

“You can try,” Craig shot back, and took the top card from the stack.

*****

The rest will be along shortly!

Publishing Cat 2.0

As many of you know, we lost Joe the Giant Cat about a year ago. He was my special buddy, sleeping on my head, occupying any available lap, and most importantly, supervising my writing and publishing activities. Did you not know, every book requires at least 497 cat hairs to be complete?

It’s taken quite a while for our family to be ready for a new fur pal, but we’ve adopted a kitty. I thought his name was going to be Toby, but MU and Youngerson observed this fuzzy dynamo and dubbed him Dex.

Short for Dexedrine. This cat runs at about 0.7 Miniature Dachsund Units. I’ve never encountered a cat in the laundry cupboard before.  Life with Dexie is like living with a raccoon.

However, he has assumed publication duties. Joe left some mighty big pawprints to fill, but Dexie is stepping up to the pump.
Here he is, supervising the preparation of D.H. Starr’s Wrestling With Passion, which, thanks to Dexie’s assistance, is now ready to read.

And good fellow that Dex is, he’s gotten my butt in gear too. Crises of confidence are best treated with nose boops and purring, according to Publishing Cat II.

So–drumroll please–Concierge Service will be coming out ASAP!  Craig and Joshua owe more than they know to my feline taskmaster.

If only he’d help me write the blurb…