Meet The Divas
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Aloha Man, Danica St. Como's #Newrelease! #gay #romance #LGBT
Hurray! I'm thrilled to announce that my pal and fellow Diva Danica St. Como's long awaited romance Aloha Man (from the Men of Sanctuary series) has finally released! Danica's fans have been chomping at the bit for this one, and they won't be disappointed by this sexy and moving story. More good news--the rest of Danica's Sanctuary tales have been contracted by Loose Id, and will be made available in the future. But for now, enjoy a snippet from the book!
Hawaiian demolitions expert Kamaka decides to take charge of his life, and spends a long winter at Sanctuary paramilitary training camp revamping himself from soft and mellow to hard bodied and focused. When Kamaka is introduced to exquisite Navajo silversmith Zachariah Black Crow, his heart damn near stops and his libido kicks into overdrive. Kamaka is convinced the Island gods have bestowed upon him the greatest gift the earth has to offer—all Kamaka needs to do is convince the younger, over-the-top handsome man to come to his bed. Freely. Willingly. Naked.
Zach, shy and withdrawn, avoids entanglements with people he doesn't know. After a brutal rape and beating in his college days, he focuses on his art to help deal with the nightmares. He's never had a relationship, male or female, so his newly awakened sexual interest in Kamaka confuses him. Should a man want to submit to another man, the way he wants to submit to Kamaka? Can he be the responsive, giving lover Kamaka needs, the man Kamaka desires?
NEVER HAS THERE been such a magnificent man. Zachariah did his best to breathe evenly. The Hawaiian had to be well over six feet tall, looking very much like the WWE wrestler-cum-actor who played the Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns , but with long warrior braids, perfect teeth showing in a wide, beautiful smile, and the thing his right eyebrow did. His print shirt, fully unbuttoned, exposed a heavy chest with abs like slabs of granite. Low-slung jeans barely hung on sculpted hips. His bronzed skin appeared smooth and hairless. A tattoo covered each breast.
Unnerved, Zach felt warm blood suffuse his face as the sight of the huge man’s inked skin heated up his blood, kicked up his pulse. The unfamiliar attraction made his palms sweat as his breathing quickened. He stepped back. He needed to put some space between the newcomer and his own uncomfortable responses to the man’s larger-than-life presence.What’s this all about? Hot and bothered over a man? Can’t be right.
It took a moment before he noticed the wide, flat necklace around Kamaka’s heavy neck, the necklace’s finger-length danglers resting against his broad chest.
Zach found his voice. “Ivory?”
“No, man, ivory has bad juju. These are puka shells. Puka shells, cowrie shells, Island woods.” Kamaka unfastened the necklace, offered it without hesitation.
Zach brought the necklace to his worktable, sat, examined the piece under a powerful magnifier for several minutes. He turned to Kamaka. “Every wooden bead is incised with the image of a tiny sea creature. This is magnificent. Who did the work?”
Kamaka shrugged. “Aolina. She’s an artist in Maui.”
Zach fumbled, almost dropped the necklace. He leaned back in his folding chair. “Aolina Hualami? You can’t be serious.”
Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed Keko shifting her posture. It appeared she wanted to say something but changed her mind.
Feeling as if he held an offering to the gods, Zach presented the necklace to Kamaka.
“Yep, the one and only. I know how I know her—how do you know her?”
Zach shook his head, not believing his luck. “This is unreal. I majored in art history through archaeology, primarily prehistoric art and primitive cultures. Hualami is at the top of the short list of contemporary artists in those genres. I actually met her once, after a seminar at which she spoke. She really knows her stuff. I didn’t know she dabbled in jewelry.”
Keko jumped in. “She’s doing a bit more than dabbling. The breakout showing of her new jewelry line happened just last week. In Maui.”
Zach felt as overwhelmed as a total neophyte in the presence of greatness, one level removed—in the company of the art, not even the artist. “The woman is like a force of nature.”
Keko snorted, but Kamaka chuckled. “Yeah, that’s one way to describe her.”
Lorelei ran her fingertips over the owl. “Zach, this is the best piece you’ve done so far. The bursts of color in the opals are spectacular, and the etching on the silver looks like tiny, perfect feathers.”
In a sudden rush of impulsiveness, Zachariah carefully lifted the owl necklace from its nest, then handed it to Kamaka, who still held the shell collar.
“Try it. The chain is extralong, should fit around your neck.” Your hot, sexy neck, with the thick, corded tendons. Usually a very private person, Zach fought the urge to touch the other man. Touch him? What’s wrong with me? This is crazy. Maybe too much sun.
Lorelei took the necklace so Kamaka could collect his hair in his free hand and lift the mass. She fastened the clasp at the back of his neck, patted his shoulder. “There ya go, big guy.”
Both women spoke at the same time. “Perfect.”
Zach held up a hand mirror so Kamaka could check out his reflection. Perfect, indeed, as if Zach had fashioned it with Kamaka in mind. The hammered silver conchas lay flat against his dark, golden skin. The silver-and-opal owl rested between the big man’s tattooed pecs, highlighting the sepia-inked owl and frangipani flowers, picking up the blues and greens and golds of the other tattoo.
“Outstanding! That’s it. Gotta have it.” Kamaka reached into the back pocket of his jeans, made a face, tried the other pocket. “Damn, you gals rushed me. I left my wallet and everything back at the cabin.”
Zach cleared his throat. “You didn’t ask about the price.”
“Doesn’t matter. Whatever the price, the owl is worth the cost. This is way too cool to let escape.”
Lorelei spoke up, dug into her shoulder bag. “Look, Kamaka, let me pay for the necklace. You can settle with me later.”
Kamaka laid a hand on Lorelei’s arm to stop her. “Thanks, but I’ll take care of this. If someone has a card or something, I’ll write down my number for Mr. Black Crow.”
“Call me Zachariah, please.” Zack’s cheeks heated up again as he handed Kamaka two business cards—one to keep, one to write down his number.
“Okay, Zachariah. If you’ll put the necklace aside for me, I’ll be back for it in the morning. Just promise you won’t let the thing leave with anyone else.”
With his second impulsive reaction of the day, Zachariah found the words leaving his mouth without his brain gears meshing. “Take the piece with you. Come back in the morning to settle the bill.”
Kamaka and both women stared at him. “That’s really generous, dude, but no way do I want to be responsible for that. You don’t even know me.”
Zach knew his hasty offer had been reckless. Definitely not very businesslike. He felt the need to justify his decision. “If you belong to Sanctuary, you’re trustworthy. However, if you’re not comfortable with that, I’ll lock the necklace safely away. Pick it up tomorrow. It’s yours, I promise.”
They shook on it. Zach couldn’t prevent his hand from trembling as their skin touched again. Energy traveled over his flesh with no way to disconnect. What’s with the voltage running through my body?
“Thanks, man, that works for me.” Kamaka turned toward Lorelei and Keko. “Now that I’ve probably spent my next six months’ wage allotment, I’ll allow you ladies to buy me lunch at the Hungry Bear Café.” He collected his companions with a giant hand on each woman’s shoulder, then marshaled them into the flow of foot traffic. He called over his shoulder. “See you in the morning, Z-man.”
In a matter of seconds, they vanished into the throng of tourists.
Weak-kneed, Zach took a step backward, collapsed into the folding chair. What the hell just happened?
Aloha Man is available at:
Loose Id (at a sale price!)