THE GOOD LIAR
by C.P. Harris
Cover & Excerpt Reveal
Release Date: March 15, 2023
Cate Ashwood Designs
Rafa G. Catala
Jorge Del Rio Romero
Genre: M/M Romance
Trope: Stepbrothers, second chance, cheating, jealous & possessive MC’s, pining, bondage, hurt/comfort, HEA
Six years ago, Jasper Des Moines traded in the only life he knew. In order to keep a promise and a secret, he walked from the only man he’d ever loved.
Now, he has a career in need of constant defending, a best friend who knows nothing about his past, and a husband he should love. He has the life he believes he deserves.
Until one day, the unfinished business he’d left behind catches up with him, and he’s faced with the one man he’d never been able to resist or forget.
Cole Kincaid arrives in New York City with ulterior motives, but good intentions. He simply wants a place in Jasper’s world again. And if Jasper is happy, then so is he. But as the truth of Jasper’s new life unfolds, the role Cole wants to play in it begins to shift.
He soon reminds himself that Jasper belongs to him, and no promises made before God to a man who isn’t him will ever change that.
Cole’s presence threatens the carefully constructed life of penance Jasper has created. And while Jasper is focused on maintaining the existence he’d rightfully earned, Cole tempts him with the existence he actually wants.
Tragedy might have torn them apart, but lies will bring them together again.
**The Good Liar is Book 1 in the Infidelity series. Each book features a new couple, can be read as a stand-alone, and ends with a HEA. Themes include possessiveness, jealousy, and second chances. Both MCs are consenting adults. Please use the “Look Inside” feature for a full list of tropes and trigger warnings.
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I took it upon myself to give Cole’s driver the rest of the day off. “You and I are riding the subway today,” I said.
He breathed in the cold November air, and with a smile that was all teeth, he said, “You lead, and I’ll follow.”
We did the cheesy touristy stuff like take in the breathtaking views of the city from the Empire State Building observatory deck, then ran to catch the departing, red Big Bus Tour out front. We rode the open-roofed second level of the double decker, because you haven’t lived until the frigid bite of fall cut into your cheeks at a mind-bending speed of twenty-five miles per hour. Even less when caught in a cramped pocket of midtown traffic.
We ended that part of our day eating hot dogs topped with sauerkraut and mustard while taking on the Herald Square crowds packing in to get a view of the Macy’s holiday window display. They’d unveiled it early this year.
“A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Cole said, lighting up brighter than the ornamented tree the Peanuts Gang gathered round in the window. I swiped a glob of mustard from the corner of his mouth—he’d insisted on extra, licking it off my finger without thinking, sending us into a freeze-frame not even the squealing kids pushing between us could interrupt.
Cole snapped out of it first, his eyes sparkling mischievously, deviating from their intense default setting.
“Are you remembering the times I’d watch A Charlie Brown Christmas on repeat with the volume high just to piss you off?” I asked, coming in close so he could hear me over the mayhem surrounding us. Cole had always been a grouch around the holidays, and I’d made it my mission to change that, even if I’d nearly lost a limb in the process.
“Yes, I am,” he said.
“You were so mean,” I shouted above the murmuring and camera flicking crowd.
“I still am,” he said.
“You’re such a pretender.” It was meant as a joke, but ended up hitting too close to home, because the award for pretending went to me.
“Where to next,” he asked.
“Now we visit the city’s hidden treasure. Do you have room for some of the best Dim Sum you’ve ever had?” I could’ve sworn I heard his stomach say yes. “Come on.” I caught his hand, steering us out of the fray to walk the dozen or so blocks to Dim Sum Palace.
The street was fairly residential, the restaurant itself sat below a three-story apartment building, and the inside wasn’t much to write home about. I knew the owners, though, and had considered it my lunch sanctuary ever since stumbling in there for directions my first week in New York. I hadn’t brought anyone there before. It was my something-for-me, but I couldn’t wait to share it with Cole.
We were in luck, my usual table by the window was available, so we showed ourselves over with a nod from Mr. Yan.
Cole rubbed his cold palms together to generate warmth while I shrugged my coat over my shoulders. Without thought, and as natural as it had once been, I covered his hands with mine, providing added friction. “You were always more warm blooded than me,” he said.
“That was a lie I told so you’d let me into your bed at night,” I confessed. My stepfather hated the heat. To him, anything above freezing was a degree too hot. We’d survive below mountains of quilts and roaring fireplaces at night. During the day we took advantage of his absence by turning the house into a tropical oasis with the heat set to maximum combustion. My mother would join in on the action, too.
“You think I didn’t know that?” Cole snorted, picking up his menu. “I’d end up being the one keeping your lanky limbs warm.”
My phone vibrated on the table with a text from Daniel. I powered it down and shoved it into my pocket. Cole’s cell phone chimed next, and at the shake of my head, he turned it off, too.
He relaxed in his seat, drumming his fingers on the table as he worked out what to say on the topic. “Don’t you at least want to let him know you’re alive? You’re going to have to face him eventually.”
“I sent him a text earlier saying I was with you. The rest will have to wait.”
“Alright,” he said, “but I get the feeling the silent treatment is more about punishing yourself than Daniel.”
“What makes you say that?” I asked. Cole waited until the server had filled our kanto mugs with hot tea before continuing.
“You were always harder on yourself than other people. You make a mistake and you can’t seem to let it go, but you’d brush aside my wrongdoings with such grace.” He folded himself in closer. “You remember the kiss last night and you feel bad about it, don’t you? Is that why you’re avoiding him?”
In all honesty, I didn’t feel bad. Maybe because I hadn’t faced the kiss we’d shared last night yet. That would change once I forgave Daniel. Once I forgave him, I would then be the one needing to be forgiven. Letting go, forgiving him, would have to wait. I wanted to feel good just a little longer.
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About the Author
“Possessive, steamy, messy love.” Be prepared for all three when embarking on a journey alongside CP’s flawed but real characters. So real you’ll see your reflection on the pages. C.P. Harris is devoted, through her work, to portraying the sides of human nature that tether us all. The parts of ourselves often abandoned to the dark. The gray areas. She does this all while wrangling two demon cats and teenage twins. Send cake.
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