Monday, October 20, 2014

Macarons at Midnight by M.J. O'Shea & Anna Martin

Macarons at Midnight by M.J. O'Shea & Anna Martin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Release Date: October 13, 2014 

Tristan Green left his small English town for Manhattan and a job at a high profile ad agency, but can’t seem to find his bearings. He spends a lot of time working late at night, eating and sleeping alone, and even more time meandering around his neighborhood staring into the darkened windows of shops. One night when he’s feeling really low, he wanders by a beautiful little bakery with the lights still on. The baker invites him in, and some time during that night Tristan realizes it’s the first time he’s really smiled in months.

Henry Livingston has always been the odd duck, the black sheep, the baker in an old money family where pedigree is everything and quirky personalities are hidden behind dry martinis and thick upper east side townhouse facades. Henry is drawn to Tristan’s easy country charm, dry English wit, and everything that is so different from Henry’s world.

Their new romance is all buttercream frosting and sugared violets until Tristan's need to fit in at work makes him do something he desperately wishes he could undo. Tristan has to prove to Henry that he can be trusted again before they can indulge in the sweet stuff they're both craving.

In this section our two heroes Henry, a baker, and Tristan have just met. Tristan offers to help Henry deliver some fancy macarons to an Upper East Side birthday party. Mostly he just wants an excuse to be near Henry some more but he gets an eye-opening experience on how the upper crust lives:

There really were no adequate words to describe the inside of Poppy St. Clair’s townhouse. Tristan, who described things for a living, had nothing. It was the stuffiest, most elegant, most beautifully unwelcoming place he’d ever been, and one of his uni friends had been ridiculously well off and had taken Tristan to meet his parents in their massive Belgravia mansion. Even that house had nothing on the museum-level decor in the St. Clair townhouse.

They’d been ushered into the back hall with their boxes of macarons by this whirling dervish in a bright-pink dress and matching sweater and heels. It was a lot of pink and perfume and hair. Lots of hair. Tall, puffy hair. The woman, probably Poppy, had grinned. Her smile had been more calculating than welcoming, toothy judgment hidden under a peeling veneer of restrained graciousness. Tristan didn’t like her. He understood why Henry wanted to get out as soon as possible.

“Hello, sugar,” she’d said to Henry. Her smile had turned warm and gooey when she’d looked Henry up and down in his smart, body-hugging jeans and that blue shirt that did amazing things for his dark eyes and hair. Tristan wasn’t stupid. He knew why she smiled the way she did. Then she’d taken a long look at Tristan as well, her smile growing, if anything. “And who do we have here?” she asked. “I’m Poppy.”

“Um, hullo Tristan.” He stuck out his hand, unsure if he were even allowed to touch the likes of Miss Poppy. “I’ve lent Henry a hand for the evening.”

She took his hand and shook it daintily. “Well, aren’t you too cute! We have a boy who sounds just like you on the derby circuit. His father raises some beautiful steeplechasers. I do love an English accent.”

Tristan wanted to run away already. She’d been nothing but polite, more than, but he was unnerved by her perfect, gigantic hair and flawless dress and clickity-click heels. He got the sense that if he turned away from her long enough, she might take the opportunity bite his head off like some sort of praying mantis. He saw Henry watching both of them closely.

“Well, come, darlings, I have a place ready to set up the macarons.” She opened one of the boxes and giggled, pressing her fingers to her collarbone. “Well, those are bright.”

“Just like you asked for,” Henry said. He had a tiny bit of steel in his voice underneath the politeness. Probably reminding her he’d done exactly what she wanted, and bitching would not be appreciated.

“That I did. I’m sure they’ll be wonderful. Follow me.”

They followed, as commanded, in silence, through to an elaborately decorated living room at the front of the huge house. The overwhelming color was white. White everything, in varying shades and textures: pale pinkish white on the walls, champagne-colored carpets all over the floors, opulent, ornate, satiny white furniture. An explosion of sophisticated blankness that didn’t exactly suggest this magazine-ready house was as homely place for a teenager.

For the party, the white had been overlaid with kitschy bunting in different fabrics, garish colors that matched the biscuits they’d been up all night making―well, Henry had, at least. 

The centerpiece of the room was a huge round table where piles of gifts, all elegantly wrapped, bordered the space Tristan guessed would be for the macarons.

“Can you set up here?” Poppy asked, gesturing to the table.

Henry nodded. “No problem.”

“Excellent. I’ll leave you to do what you do, if that’s okay. Plenty still to organize!”

She shot them a sunny if slightly terrifying grin before clipping away through the house.

“I’m scared to breathe,” Tristan said in a low voice, leaning into Henry. “I might get something dirty.”

Henry snorted and took Tristan’s arm, leading him back outside to the van.

“Wait till the kids arrive. Then it’ll be even worse.”

“How can it be worse than all that white?”

“Girls. Screeching girls.” Henry made a face.

Tristan shuddered. “I’d like to avoid the screaming teenage females if at all possible.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll protect you.” Henry winked.

Author Bio:
I’m Mj O’Shea:) I grew up, and still live, in sunny Washington state in a little old house. While I love to visit other places, I can’t imagine calling anywhere else home.

I spent my childhood writing stories. Sometime in my early teens, the stories turned to romance. Most of those were about me, my friends, and our favorite movie and pop stars. 

Hopefully, I’ve come a long way since then!! 

When I’m not writing, I love to go to concerts, hang out with my friends, play the  piano (and my other instruments), dance, cook, paint pictures, and of course read! I really, really like coffee and tea, nail polish and glittery sparkly things, headbands, hats, scarves and sunglasses! 

I have two little dogs who sit with me when I write. Sometimes they come up with ideas for me too…when they’re not busy napping of course.

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