Cervena by Louise Lyons

 

 

 

BLURB

When Joel Jones finds homeless Russian, Sasha, outside his gay nightclub in Prague, he cannot find it in his heart to turn him away, so he offers him a home and a job as a dancer and stripper.

Despite a fifteen-year age gap, romance develops between them, but is interrupted when Joel has to return to England for many weeks to deal with a death in the family.

Upon Joel's return, he is horrified to discover his business partner, Karel, has gambled away the club's money and put them all at risk. Joel buys him out of the club, but when Karel continues to gamble, the people he owes pursue Joel for the debt instead—and they'll stop at nothing to get paid. 

Suddenly Joel and those he cares about—especially Sasha—are in danger, and Joel finds himself with no choice but to seek the help of known criminal, Vincenc Jankovic. Ensuring a happy future for himself and Sasha will mean a struggle and some difficult decisions, but Joel is determined to protect what they've built together.

 

EXCERPT

“Fucking tease,” Karel responded, taking a step back.

“What the hell is going on?” I demanded. “Sasha?”

Karel muttered something as he walked away, and Sasha gave me a nervous smile. “He, um, he made a pass at me.”

“I saw. Are you okay? Karel can be pushy.” I frowned in concern. It should have occurred to me that Karel would make a move. He made passes at all the dancers at some point. The only surprise was that he’d taken so long to do it with Sasha.

“I’m okay. I told him to fuck off. Shame he doesn’t speak Russian. He probably didn’t get it.” Sasha’s smile became more genuine and his eyes twinkled.

“Oh, I’m pretty sure he got it. He doesn’t like rejection, so he probably won’t bother you again, but let me know if he does.” I made my way back to the bar, where Karel was waiting for a drink, gesturing impatiently at Kris.

“Karel.” I scowled as he turned to look at me.

“What?”

“Leave Sasha alone.”

“Why?” Karel’s lips twitched up at the corners. “You’ve had a month to make your move, but you haven’t tried.”

“I don’t plan to. But I don’t want you messing with him. He’s a sweet boy. He’s not used to all this.”

Karel laughed. “He’s not a boy, Joel, he’s a man. Perfectly capable of saying no if he wants to. Which he did, by the way. So you needn’t worry, I don’t sniff around the same piece of ass twice if I don’t get anywhere the first time. He’s still available for you. But I wouldn’t wait forever.” 

My face warmed, and I was grateful for the dimness and colored lights in the club to disguise my discomfort. I did want Sasha, and again I asked myself why I kept my distance. Maybe because I feared he would say no to me as he had to Karel. But my determination to keep away from Sasha diminished every time I saw him.

 

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