Put a Ring on It (Ready or Knot Book One)
by K.A. Mitchell
Purchase Links: Dreamspinner Press / ARe / Amazon
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Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Date of Publication: September 9, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-63476-380-6 Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-63476-381-3 eBook
Number of pages: 204
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Kieran Delaney-Schwartz—adoptee, underachiever, and self-professed-slacker IT guy—lives his under-the-radar life by the motto: Don’t try, don’t fail. His adopted siblings are all overachievers thanks to his driven, liberal parents, but Kieran has elected to avoid disappointing anyone by not getting their hopes up. He’s coasting through his early twenties when he’s hit head-on by Theo. The successful decade-older Broadway producer sweeps him off his feet for a whirlwind thirteen months that are pretty sweet, until it all comes screeching to a halt on Valentine’s Day, with an unexpected proposal via an NYC Times Square flash mob. Now everyone wants in on the wedding, except the grooms….
KIERAN’S PHONE buzzed incessantly in his pocket, and he glared at his khakis as if he could see through to the caller. What part of ‘away from my desk’ is confusing to you people?
It was his own fault for violating his core principle: Success invariably leads to diminished returns. He’d done one job well because it was interesting, and now everyone in the building wanted the Korean IT Guy With the Hair to be the one who showed up when they yelled for help.
He sank down against the wall until he sat folded, head on his knees. He’d hide out in the server room, at least until the afternoon sleepies hit around two and they all started playing their Facebook games. In fact, as long as they could get online to Facebook, probably no one would notice if everything else on the servers went dark.
This room had a consistently cool temperature, perfect humidity control, and top-of-the-line filters. His nose and eyes never itched when he was in here. The constant rush of the fans blotted out any outside noise.
The phone buzzed again, a steady rhythm. He should have put it on silent.
Just audible over the white noise of the fans, keys jangled outside, then scraped against the door. Not a lot of people had keys to the server room, but most of the ones who did could fire him. He rolled onto his knees and slid across the floor, pulled out a screwdriver, and prepared to look busy.
A voice came to him now—Shanara, the office manager. As bosses went, she wasn’t a bad one, but Kieran still figured hiding and ignoring his phone would probably get him reported to the head of IT, who was a total dick.
“Someone said they saw him headed this way.”
“Thank you for all your help, Shanara.”
Kieran dropped the screwdriver. What the hell was Theo doing here, thirty blocks away from where Kieran thought he was? His brain raced through multiple possibilities. Theo had met Kieran’s family, but why would Theo have been the one to come if something had happened to one of them?
“My pleasure, Mr. Medina.”
The door opened. Kieran straightened from picking up his screwdriver and caught Theo’s wink square in the chest.
There it was again. That funny jolt that Kieran was sure his sister, the epidemiologist, could explain resulted through neurotransmitters, conditioned responses, and hormone dumps. But since Siobhan had been in Sierra Leone for the past eight months working to contain the latest Ebola outbreak, she was a little busy for stupid questions about why Kieran’s heart jumped when his boyfriend looked at him like that.
As cheerful as Theo usually was, Kieran was pretty sure Theo wouldn’t wink if something bad had happened. It didn’t explain why he was suddenly next to Shanara in the door to the server room.
Hi seemed like a safer bet than What the fuck are you doing here? so he went with that.
“Hey, I wanted to take you to lunch.” Theo’s smile didn’t affect Kieran’s nervous system like that look could, but it was definitely an autonomous response that made Kieran smile back. “I planned to do it tomorrow, but it’s the understudy’s first matinee and I need to be there.”
“You’re so lucky, Kieran.” Shanara had a smile a bit brighter than her usual professional one. Theo had the same effect on other people. “My boyfriend probably won’t even remember.”
Kieran was already in the same boat with Shanara’s boyfriend. Then he saw the rose Theo produced from behind his back, and Kieran’s brain latched on to the significance. Valentine’s Day was this weekend.
Theo turned and offered the rose to Shanara. “If you can spare him.”
She held the paper-wrapped stem in the space between them. “I thought this was for Kieran.”
Theo sighed. “He’s allergic to flowers. And romance. But I’m working on him.”
Kieran shoved his glasses up on his nose and glared, only to get smacked with another Theo wink, which induced a helpless shake of his head.
“It might take some time….” Theo trailed off and glanced at Shanara.
Her smile was broad, sharpening her cheeks. “You have personal leave banked, right, Kieran?” Barely pausing for his agreement, she said, “I’ll write you as out for the afternoon, let Todd know.”
Kieran nodded. The less he had to deal with the asshole director of IT, the better. Especially now that Kieran was in high demand.
“Thank you so much, Shanara.” Theo handed her a business card. “Just present that at the Will Call window any time and they’ll take care of you.”
“Thank you, Theo. Be sure to lock up the server room, Kieran.”
Shanara shut the door, which had an auto lock, so Kieran was puzzling over her order when Theo put his hands behind Kieran’s neck and kissed him.
A typical Theo kiss, warm, open, inviting Kieran to decide if it was going deeper.
Kieran put his hands on Theo’s back, under his coat, touched the velvety fleece, and breathed in the rich leather scent from his shoulder. The heavy wool coat Theo had been wearing when they met vanished immediately when Kieran confessed his allergy to it.
When Kieran drew back, Theo released him with a leer. “Cozy in your little den, here.”
Kieran shook his head. “The servers are sensitive to humidity. I’m pretty sure that includes jizz.”
“I’m insulted. I never spill a drop.”
Theo said it mockingly, but the reminder of how incredible Theo was at sucking dick stirred a tingle in Kieran’s balls.
“Yeah.” Theo leaned to brush his forehead against Kieran’s. “You’re thinking about it now.”
He was right. Because Theo was damned good at reading Kieran. The first person ever who bothered to pay enough attention to figure out—and offer—what Kieran wanted.
A nooner sounded interesting, but they certainly weren’t doing it in the server room.
“Thought you said we were going to lunch?”
“I did. Are you hungry?”
Kieran shrugged. He could eat, but he didn’t want Theo to think Kieran expected a lobster dinner just because he was peckish. Theo liked making people happy. He wasn’t a pushover or anything. Kieran had heard him get pissed enough to snap at people on the phone. Once when he met Theo at the theater, Kieran had heard him go off in a rage about a delivery of light bulbs. So scratch that. Theo was nice to most people, but he liked trying to make Kieran happy. And that didn’t suck at all.
The look in Theo’s eyes did that thing to Kieran’s circulatory system again as Theo tugged him toward the door. “Come on, then.”
Who’s ready to say “I do”?
I’m so excited about Put a Ring on It, the first book in my new series, Ready or Knot. The series features four guys who have been each other’s families since college. When Theo decides he’s going to propose to his boyfriend, it shakes up the whole group. Yes, Gideon, I’m looking at you.
Gideon gives me a side-eye
Come on, introduce yourself.
Gideon: Whatever, didn’t you already tell them my name?
K.A.: Do it or I’ll type schmoopy stuff for you to say.
Gideon: Fine. I’m Gideon DeLuca and K.A. dragged me here to talk because some people thought I was kind of an asshole in Put a Ring on It. She thought I should explain. I think it’s fucking self-evident. I’m an asshole.
But, I’m an asshole who will gut anyone who fucks with the people I love.
Let me tell you how the shit went down. First, you have to know Theo. There’s no one like him. He has the biggest heart and he’s always shoving it at people who want to use him, poor bastard. He’s so kind he can’t even see the bad in people like me. And my issue with him proposing to Kieran has nothing to do with the fact that Theo and I were together for a nanosecond back in college. That was back when I still entertained the notion that everything would not end up complete and utter shit.
So Theo, he falls in love easy and goes down hard. And because of who he is the guys he falls for take advantage. They want stuff. Career stuff. Money stuff. And when we finally get him to see that, they break his heart, and I’m picking up the pieces, because that’s what I do.
So he’s been with this kid Kieran now, what? A year? And not only is Theo’s heart on the line this time, but he wants to actually marry this gold-digging brat who was barely out of diapers when we went to college. Jax and Dane and I, we’re just trying to talk some sense into Theo. Protect him. Even Jax, dim as he can be sometimes about stuff, he sees how bad this could be. (Though he’s starting to get that look, too. Christ.)
I’m perfectly fine with you thinking I’m some heartless bastard, but I think you should also know, it’s not just me. Even the damned kid isn’t sure he should marry Theo—which makes me maybe like the kid a little for having common sense, though I’m still going to see his signature on the prenup before Theo can get out his I do.
For fuck’s sake, I thought the point to being queer was that we didn’t have to live like straight people. Now you’ve got guys rushing off to commitment like they’re all lovestruck teenagers wanting to marry the first person who gets their dick hard.
At least I know it’ll never happen to Dane. Or to me. That’s a guarantee.
Hey, writer lady, K.A., why are you laughing? I wrote your stupid blog post for you, don’t try any shit with me.
Put a Ring on It is now available here at All Romance Ebooks. Look for the next two books in the series, Risk Everything on It and Take a Chance on It coming in 2016. Thank you so much All Romance Ebooks for having me here!
Since Put a Ring on It kicks off with a flashmob proposal in Times Square, I watched a few proposal videos to see how others did it. This one made me cry it was so romantic and everyone was so happy. https://vimeo.com/84990105
About the Author:
K.A. Mitchell discovered the magic of writing at an early age when she learned that a carefully crayoned note of apology sent to the kitchen in a toy truck would earn her a reprieve from banishment to her room. Her career as a spin-control artist was cut short when her family moved to a two-story house and her trucks would not roll safely down the stairs. Around the same time, she decided that Chip and Ken made a much cuter couple than Ken and Barbie and was perplexed when invitations to play Barbie dropped off. She never stopped making stuff up, though, and was surprised to find out that people would pay her to do it. Although the men in her stories usually carry more emotional baggage than even LAX can lose in a year, she guarantees they always find their sexy way to a happy ending.
K.A. loves to hear from her readers.
She is often found talking about her imaginary friends on Twitter @ka_mitchell