Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Advent Calendar Day 20


Today we're giving away a complete set of the Adrien English audio books -- narrated by Christopher Patton -- to one lucky viewer. Er, listener.
This particular gift was donated by Kim in the Goodreads group, so thank you very, very much to Kim.

Share a thought on the Adrien English series in the comment section below to be eligible for the random selection process.

And in the meantime, here's a sneak peek at the new Adrien English novella, So This is Christmas.

If all goes according to plan, this will be out New Year's Day weekend.




 

“What the hell just happened?” I asked the universe.

“You’re talking to yourself again,” the universe replied, pushing open my office door.

Okay, it was Jake, but he was kind of my universe.

For a guy who’d had less sleep than me, he looked unfairly refreshed and vital on a damp and drizzly Monday morning. He wore boots, jeans, a tailored white shirt and a brown tweed blazer, which brought out the gold glints in his hazel eyes. His blond hair was silvering at the temples and just a fraction longer than he used to wear. He was still hard and fit, but he’d lost that gaunt, haggard look he’d had six months ago when we’d met up again after two years apart.

In fact, he looked healthy and relaxed. Like he’d really spent the last few days on vacation instead of the family holiday from hell.

Hey,” I said, by way of greeting. I won’t say I actually fell into his arms, but I was pretty happy to see him.

“Hey yourself,” Jake replied and kissed me, the warm pressure of his mouth firm against my own.

Hard to say—and it was a theory I planned on testing a lot over the next forty years—but I didn’t think I’d ever get tired of kissing Jake.

Even these quick perfunctory kisses—well, it had started out quick and perfunctory, but the taste of him: that weirdly erotic blend of coffee and breath mint; the smell of him: an even weirder erotic blend of suitcase and Le Male aftershave; and the warm weight of his hand on my shoulder, drawing me in close, closer…

Reluctantly, we parted lips.

“Jesus, I missed you.” He smiled into my eyes.

“Same here.”

“I got used to spending all day every day with you.”

I said regretfully, “If only it paid better.”

There was definitely a sparkle in his eyes. “Well, I might have some good news on that front. Are you ready for lunch?”

I laughed. “Lunch? It’s ten thirty in the morning.”

“Is it?” Jake glanced at the clock on my desk. His dark brows rose in surprise. “It feels a lot later.”

“It’s been a long morning,” I agreed.

“Everything okay?” He took a closer look at me. “Is Natalie okay?”

“I think so. I hope so. Actually, why don’t we get a coffee or something? I need to get out of here for a little while.”

True, I’d only been in there about five minutes.

His brows rose. He said, “Sure. You want to walk or you want to take a drive?”

I grabbed my black overcoat. “Let’s walk.”

When we stepped outside the bookstore, the rain had softened to a light, shimmering mist. More like holiday décor than actual wet. Christmas is the only holiday I can think of where it continues to feel like holiday-in-progress even the day after. Maybe because people were still bustling around with heavy shopping bags, and the Eagles were plea-bargaining from storefront speakers.

If not for Christmas, by New Year’s night…

Window displays were filled with fake snow and glittering lights and toy trains and anthropomorphic stuffed animals drinking coffee and showing off engagement rings. Who knew how much penguins relished that holiday bling?

Everyone who wasn’t trying to park or find their car was in a festive mood. And it was contagious. As in, I needed to remember to take my vitamin C when we got back.

“Funny how cities have their own smell,” Jake remarked. “London just didn’t smell like Pasadena.” He casually dropped his arm around my shoulders and I smiled at him.

It’s not like I needed the physical proof of PDAs, and frankly Jake’s willingness to put his arm around me or hold my hand in public meant as much to me as the actual act. But I can’t deny that warm weight on my shoulders felt good. Right.

“Thanks again for going with me,” I said.

“Not like it was a big sacrifice. I like being with you. I never figured on seeing London, so that was actually kind of nice.”

And kind of exhausting. Or maybe that was more my take than Jake’s. I’d been the one to push for coming home early.

“If we were to travel somewhere for a real vacation or…something, where would you want to go?”

The arm around my shoulders jumped as he shrugged. “Never thought about it. Kate always wanted to go to Italy.”

I glanced at him. His smile was a little wry, his expression distant. He almost never talked about Kate or their marriage, and I understood that this was out of loyalty to her. That loyalty was just one of the many things I liked about him.

 I said, “Ireland maybe? With a last name like Riordan.”

“Maybe. Anywhere you’re going works for me.”

I looked down, smiling, and his arm tightened in a quick squeeze.

 

55 comments:

  1. Adrien is back!!! God, I can't wait for New Year's now! I already have all the AE audiobooks so I'm out. Just wanted to say how much I love AE and how happy I am that we get to have one more go :-). Thanks, Josh!

    goge

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  2. I'm so happy that there is another AE. I love your books and especially this serie.

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  3. I love this series. I wasn't a fan of novels with a lot of romance in them, usually I found them boring because the characters were usually plain and behaved in an unreal way, but then I came across this series and my perception changed. The mystery in them are really well built and the characters are so well developed, they feel so real that they transport me to their world. I'm really excited about revisiting their world again :)

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  4. Adrien converted me to M/M fiction, I can't wait for his return. I NEED to know what happens next.

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  5. Aww! Every moment with Adrien and Jake is such a wonderful gift! Can't wait!!! :-)

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  6. I love Adrien and Jake. They developed so much throughout the other books. I loved watching it.

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  7. You know, when I first read Fatal Shadows, I hated Jake. Just hated him. But I stuck with the series - Adrien pulls all the right heartstrings. It was a journey worth taking and this just shows how far Jake has come and me along with him. :)

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  8. It's like a visit of dear good friends. I love, that Jake is so free with his feelings, in gestures and in words and that Adrien is so sure, that he thinks about the next forty years.
    Thank you so much, Josh!

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  9. Awww! I'm grinning foolishly here! You pretty much left me speechless with this wonderful snippet. What a way to start the new year — with Adrien and Jake! Can't wait to do just that. Thank you, Josh. :-)

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  10. I loved the dynamic between Adrien und Jake. Every emotion and feeling was there friendship, resentment, love, disappointment.

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  11. Little kitty sigh of contentment.
    Adrien was my "First". He will always be my "First". He introduced me to a whole new world and a whole new group of wonderful people who scratch me between my ears and under my chin and make me purr, melting like a helpless kitten.
    Oh, and I really like the books.

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  12. Yep, one of the first series I read and boy, did I fall in love with these characters. I love Adrien's subtle snark. I anxiously waited for Jake to come to the same conclusion as the rest of of us, as he realizes just how much he's willing to risk for Adrien. It's a journey not for the weak or faint-hearted. This would be my first set of audiobooks, *hint-hint*. lol I am so excited for this newest installation to their story.

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  13. You've made me so happy with this snippet. And the quote above about Jake being Adrien's universe just about made melt for these two all over again. Thank you so much!

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  14. Reading this was like cuddling up in a fuzzy blanket with a cup of hot cocoa. Left me all warm and cozy feeling. :) Loved Adrien's comment about Jake being his universe, then Jake's PDAs and "Anywhere you’re going works for me." *melts!*

    I never used to be interested in mysteries and because of that, was hesitant to read the AE series. Once I started, I got hooked. After listening to the audio books, any time I read Jake, I ALWAYS hear his words in Chris Patton's voice. Seriously, that voice has got to be my favorite of any narrator I've listened to!

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  15. I love this softer side of Jake!

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  16. I love this so much.

    I was having a bad anxiety day yesterday and started listening to Fatal Shadows again (for the second time this year) and it was like snuggling up with a warm comfy blanket. Even though I was at work. Audio blanket?

    I already have all the AE audiobooks so I hope whoever wins enjoys them as much as I do. :) <3

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  17. and as I don't celebrate Christmas (or any other holiday) I plan to settle down with a good book and try to ignore the mayhem out there. I think gin will feature rather heavily too.

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  18. Loved this, especially “Anywhere you’re going works for me.” Of course Jake doesn't look gaunt and haggard anymore :) I need to re-read (re-listen to??) the series again to get ready for the novella, good thing I'm off next week! Thanks so much for this, made my day!

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  19. 'Old friends, sitting on park benches like bookends.' My first serial m/m romance was Jake & Adrien. No wonder I am hooked on the genre.
    Thank you.

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  20. I cannot tell you have happy I am to see Adrien again. I'm even happy to see Jake! This snippet is much appreciated. Thank you. Now I need the New Year to hurry up and get here! 😃

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  21. Can't wait for the new book. I have all but one of the AE books in audio but I'm chiming in to say thanks. Your books were my gateway drug to the m/m genre and I'm widely read now. But Adrien & Jake remain an all time fav couple.

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  22. I pre-ordered as soon as it was possible, and now I have to wait. I really want it now. I love Adrien and Jake (they were my first M/M romance... and I just fell for them)

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  23. Oh gosh. Adrien. And Jake. And the whole cast. These books stand up so well over time. 'Fatal Shadows' was the first "adult-oriented" M/M book I read it opened the door to a whole new world. It's a journey I've never regretted.

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  24. I've read all the books in english and now I'm reading it in italian... I love Adrien and Jake!!!

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  25. I am so excited that there's more Adrien on the way. This was one of my first mm series and holds a special place in my heart. :)

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  26. Like curling up under your favorite blanket in front of the fire. We need Adrien & Jake to start us off right come 2017. Merry Christmas to us all!

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  28. Whenever I am feeling gloomy I go back and read the last chapter The Dark Tide. The scene where Jake finally says I love you gives me all the feels in a good way. It is romantic is a very real way to me.

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    1. You and me both. It squeezes my heart.

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  29. Jake and Aiden were my first m/m couple and still my go to when I hit a book slump. They also open me up to many more Lanyon books and Mermaid Murders is a very close second. Looking forward to some holiday love from the boys.

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  30. I have read the Adrien and Jake series many times, but some of my favorite parts involve Adrien interacting with his mother. Someday I would love to read a book/short story where Chen informs Adrien (after their return from London) that Kate is having a difficult pregnancy (last night before that fateful boat ride?), but she does not want to tell Jake. In the end, Adrien insists Kate move in with them, and Adrien's mom is just beside herself with joy that she will finally, after she had given up all hope, become a grandmother. I'm not crazy about baby stories, but I would love to read this one.

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  31. Another AE story (it's pre-ordered)! What a great way to brighten up the new year.

    I have the AE series in audio and hope the winner will love them as much as I do.

    Thanks for all you do for us, Josh.

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  32. It's getting harder and harder to wait. It's so great to see them together as a real honest-to-goodness couple. :-)

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  33. Whenever there's a new Lanyon book -- and this goes even more for ANYthing about Jake and Adrien--I tell myself I'm going to read it slowly, make it last. "Uh huh." Fortunately, Audible files don't wear out, so I can listen as much as I like. Thanks for your wonderful characters, Josh: Jake and Adrien, Tucker and Elliot, Rob and Adam, Mitch and Web. Matter of fact, I think this afternoon I'm going to spin up "Lone Star." Two more weeks? I can hardly wait.

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  34. These were the first books of yours that I read and opened a whole new genre to me. Wonderful. I still love seeing "it's Adrien with an 'e'".

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  35. I can't say any words - just so happy.

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  36. It's always Adrien with the E for me, the ever hopeful and it looks like he is reaping the rewards now.
    Off to diary for this release!

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  37. I care about these characters. I feel like I am coming homes to take a peak in their lives every time I read the stories.

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  38. I'm looking forward to seeing what Adrien and Jake are up to now! I'm lucky that I read the rest of the series only after it was complete, so I didn't have to suffer through waits between books (especially after book 3).

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  39. A&J♡♡♡, I have read these so many times I can't keep count. These books are like an M/M right of passage. Since I fangirl on all things Lanyon, I think it's fair to give a new Adrien English story a gigantic squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!♡♡

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  40. Those two are like a hot coffee, a blanket and a lit fireplace in a cold winter. I feel so happy and relaxed reading your lines.

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  41. Oh no. No, no, no, no, as much as I love these two I shall wait reading the whole story on release day... (I sneaked a peek though. ;p)

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  42. This snippet just brought a smile to my face :) It's just so good to read something new about those two. And it was a happy snippet, not something that almost makes me cry.

    I think this series is one of my favourite series of all time. And I mean across genres.

    There is something special about this series, that I don't find that often. I'm so very glad that I found this series and by that my favourite m/m author.

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  43. I just relistened to the series again with the group to be fully prepared for So This Is Christmas. I loved the discussions and reading the different theories everyone has. I envision reading this new book like letting milk chocolate slowly melt in my mouth, LOL, I'm going to savour it. I already have the audiobook so don't include me in the contest. I'm also sending a very merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones Josh.

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  44. I' loved the sneak peek, but I' didn't read all, because if I find some spoiler

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  45. A thought on the Adrien English series. Well, sit down and get comfortable...! No, really, this series is so special to me. It really was my "gateway" into the MM world, but aside from that, I just love Adrien and Jake together. I was never one who flat out hated Jake, probably because the entire series was complete before I discovered it, and I read them back to back. I didn't have time to let anger and hatred for Jake simmer! I can't wait for So This is Christmas, I miss them!

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  46. This looks like a very interesting series

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  47. Kim, you are a darling. Thank you. Whoever wins, that's a lovely gift.

    Fatal Shadows was my first Josh Lanyon story. What a way to get introduced to an author! I've always been a mystery reader, and sad to say did not have a high opinion of romance. My opinion of romance definitely changed before I stumbled on to the AE series thankfully, but, then to find a series that not only had wonderful mystery but also a great romantic storyline, well, that was just a dream! I haven't experienced these in audiobook yet, but it's definitely in my plans. As for So This is Christmas, I definitely left the sneak peek for others to enjoy so I can experience it all fresh. But thank you!

    (caroaz [at] ymail [dot] com, if needed)

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  48. The Adrien English was my introduction to MM romance and holds a special place in my heart. I'm really excited for this short I've been waiting a long time to get another peek into Jake and Adrien's life.

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  49. I've heard so many things about this series yet for some unknown reason, I've yet to start it. I must fix this. Thanks for the chance.

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    1. YOU. MUST. FIX. THIS. ��

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  50. I can't wait to read this book. I have always want to know what happen after the happily ever after. I wanna read how they work together now that they are a couple.

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  51. How I love the AE Mysteries. Amazing stories in their own right, with the gritty, messy, reality of Adrien and Jake finding their way to, themselves first, and then to each other. Fabulous isn't sufficient praise.

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  52. If I could marry the Adrien English series and carry Josh Lanyon over the threshold, I would. I have never been disappointed in a Josh Lanyon story. Ever. But Adrien and Jake? *sigh* Be still my heart. One of the things I love most about Josh's books is that they give me butterflies in the tummy with brilliant dialogue and well-developed characters, something sadly lacking in most books these days. Every time Jake says "Uh huh," I melt. How was Adrien ever strong enough to resist?? Because I sure can't! Thank you, Josh, for sharing your incredible gift with us.

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