K.L. Noone is here, and today is the day Cinnamon and Strawberries is released! Since K.L. Noone is a fellow JMS writer, I happen to know you can get it for 20% off if you hop on over the JMS site.
It’s my son’s birthday, so I’ll just hand over the reins and let Ms Noone take it from here while I go back to the party (without guests since Covid and all that).
Thanks to Ofelia for letting me drop by to post about my new release and share the holiday love!
I write a lot of m/m romance (and sometimes f/f or m/f with bisexual characters!), and I love historical romance—I love the settings and the stories, the sense of place and time, and shared emotions across centuries. I also love stories about stories: how important they are, how they connect us, how we fall in love with them and through them. Along those lines, “Cinnamon and Strawberries” is a bonus holiday story for my Character Bleed trilogy (Seaworthy, Stalwart, and Steadfast), which is about actors filming a Napoleonic War-era gay love story, and falling in love amid historical costuming and sailing ships and early mornings and hot coffee.
In this bonus story, Jason and Colby have said the I love you to each other, have won a few battles with fear and self-doubt, and have more or less moved in together after filming—but now it’s right before Christmas, and they’ll have to navigate their first holiday season together! Not to mention Colby’s birthday, which is also coming up—and comes with a few ugly memories from his past. But Jason’s determined to make everything as perfect as he can…
“Cinnamon and Strawberries” includes holiday decorations, cinnamon-infused mead, and breakfast in bed—plus some interestingly naughty uses for ribbon! It was sheer fun to write, because I love these characters and their story so much—and I hope you love them too!
Want to know more about Jason and Colby, or check out my other books, or just drop by to say hello? You can find me on twitter or instagram, or follow me on the blog! And here’s my Amazon author page, and my JMS Books author page!
Jason and Colby fell in love on a movie set, and found their own happy ending. But now that filming’s over, they’ll have to figure out what’s next, as holiday bells start ringing in the air.
Jason’s ready to move in forever if Colby asks—but he’s not sure Colby’s ready for that. Colby’s hoping Jason wants to stay—but has a hard time believing in promises.
Together, they’ll face their first holiday season as a celebrity couple, complete with breakfast in bed, new uses for sparkly ribbon, mince pies, and learning how to live together…and a few surprise celebrations.
“Not sure I’ve ever had a real mince pie.” Jason had become sidetracked by traditional holiday foods. “It’s got…raisins?”
“And currants, and apples, and mixed peel, and in my version brandy and a bourbon cream sauce. I’m absolutely going to need a new suit fitting before our premiere. Speaking of, did you see Jill’s text?”
“About meeting up whenever we’re back in LA to see my family? Yeah. I’ll check with Mom tonight and we can figure out the timing.” Jason’s hands snuck beneath Colby’s jumper, under violet knit, resting over bared skin. “You feel nice.”
“I’ve put on weight.”
“Nice,” Jason repeated, with some emphasis; Colby knew perfectly well that those big soulful brown eyes worried. Jason had never liked how thin he’d been, back when he’d kept forgetting to eat and hadn’t bothered cooking much and hid cold weary bones under layers of shirts and scarves and armor. “You want me to make lunch? Something with stuffed peppers and sweet potatoes, maybe? Something easy.”
“I do love it when you cook for us.” He did. Jason was in fact an excellent cook, having grown up with a mother and grandmother who held very loud Italian opinions about sauces and risotto and garlic. Jason had, before Colby, got out of the habit of making anything, living alone and single in Los Angeles and not going to the trouble; but he’d always liked cooking for partners, he’d said, if someone wanted him to, and the hint of bashful embarrassed hope had gone straight to Colby’s heart and woven gold into all the cracks.
They tended to cook together, these days.
He tucked his face into Jason’s neck for a moment. “You smell like pine needles and guava.”
“The first part’s your candles. Also you know I borrowed your soap, in the shower. You were there. Mine’s almost out.”
“We should do some shopping. And I was still a bit fuzzy after all the magnificent sex. You’re lucky I was coherent enough for proper sentence structure. If I was. Did you say something about icing sugar, or did I?”
“You did. Like being decorated, you said. Lots of white splashes all over you. And cream. Can I decorate you some more?”
“Yes,” Colby said, and curled a finger around a belt-loop of Jason’s jeans. “Right now? Right here?”
Jason visibly considered—and liked— this suggestion. But glanced around. “The curtains’re open. And those reindeer are watching.”
“The reindeer are happy you’re here. And we’re on the first—sorry, I’ll try to remember to speak American—second floor. And there’re lights and snowflakes all over the windows. Could you perhaps do something with that ribbon and my wrists?”
“Sometimes you are an exhibitionist,” Jason said. “I mean, not seriously. You wouldn’t and I wouldn’t. But kinda. You like thinking about it. Me putting you on your knees in the middle of the living room, or getting you off in the men’s room after that planetarium show, my hand on your cock and my fingers in your mouth, keeping you quiet…”
“That one was your idea,” Colby protested. “I looked too happy, you said. Irresistible.”
“Like now.” Jason tugged at his jumper; Colby lifted arms so Jason could peel it off over his head. “Secretly kinky. Into the reindeer watching. Telling me to tie you up with holiday ribbon. Adorable innocent Colby Kent. No one’d ever believe it.”
“I’m not innocent.” He tried for a scowl, didn’t mean it in the least, gave up. “It’s just what people think. You know I’m not.”
“You’re you.” Jason traced a line along Colby’s collarbone and chest: down to one nipple, taut and eager. Then began playing with it: tugging, teasing, pinching. “My cream puff.”
Colby whimpered out loud, shameless and thrilled. His trousers felt tighter, arousal building.
“On your knees, like you want,” Jason said, and Colby knelt, gazing up, devout and willing.
Jason stepped away, picked up a coil of ribbon—dark red and glittering gold, slightly stiff edges for decorative shaping and bows, several inches wide—and came back. Colby watched him.
Jason was so beautiful. Tall and large and thoughtful, he filled up a room simply by existing: not because he had any particular need to take over or prove himself, but because he was broad and generous and a shield for others. Colby loved him and would jump in front of a runaway sleigh for him and would forever readily kneel for him, trusting Jason with everything he was.
He thought suddenly that perhaps Jason needed to know that; perhaps Jason needed some reassurance as well. Jason did a lot of taking care of him, and had hung lights and put up garlands without complaint, and now was indulging Colby’s mildly kinky fantasies, just because Colby had asked.
Jason brushed the end of the ribbon across Colby’s throat, down his bare chest, over tingling electric skin. The whisper of it quivered bone-deep.