What is Control? w/ Leigh Carman + Excerpt

July 7, 2017

What is Control

 

 

Hello Dreamreaders! I’m Leigh Carman and I’m here to discuss the release of Two-Man Advantage, book 3 in the Players of LA series. Two-Man Advantage is the story of a hockey player named Viktor Novak, a self-destructive young man who for reasons you find out in the book, cannot stop his life from spiraling out of control. Viktor is reckless, immature, and prone to violent outbursts.

That’s when Bowen Miller steps in. Bo is the absolute epitome of control. The cocky PR specialist operates under the mistaken belief he can teach Viktor a thing or two about self-discipline, and the ability to clamp down on his emotions, successfully bringing the guy to heel. Bo finds out how wrong he is.

Now that I gave you some background on the MC’s, it’s clear that in Two-Man Advantage, I put one man who is way, way out of control, up against an obsessive-compulsive control freak. Reckless vs. cautious. Spur of the moment vs. planned out to the nth degree. Of course, these differences lead Vik and Bo to butt heads constantly, the friction between personalities sending tempers exploding with every interaction. But it’s possible Vik and Bo’s relationship goes deeper than two polar opposites who rub each other the wrong way. Perhaps their constant bickering is a sign that there’s more going on in Vik and Bo’s minds than visible at first glance. The back and forth, the men playing off each other, delving into both men’s histories to carve out each individual persona is what drove me as an author. I have to admit I loved writing these two highly emotional, temperamental, and stubborn men.

After I pinned down traits for each character along with the reasons behind them, I had to shape Vik and Bo’s relationship with each other. To do this, I researched a lifestyle called Power Exchange. For those of you who don’t know, a Power Exchange is a facet of BDSM in which one person gives up total control—a.k.a. the submissive—trusting their partner to make every decision, thus caring for their needs. The partner in control—or dominant—has the responsibility of ensuring the submissive is happy, healthy, and fulfilled. A Power Exchange can be a full-time lifestyle, or something that only comes up in certain situations, such as in the bedroom.

What I found interesting was the more I read, the more realistic the dynamic between Vik and Bo became. Except despite the research, I still had questions. Who would be the one to take control? The man who plans out every action and word in advance, or the man who struggles to get a grip on his flying-off-the-handle temperament?

Does the rigid control freak in Bo extend to every part of his life, including dominating any action in the bedroom? Or is it possible that Bo is exhausted. Weary from having to make every single decision down to the smallest minutiae, on a day-to-day basis. Maybe Bo needs a minute, an hour, a night, to let go and allow someone to see the cracks in the façade. To stop doing so much thinking, even if only for a brief respite.

Or is it Viktor who steps up to the plate? Is it possible for the guy who feels as though he has no say over anything that happens in his life, in both his career and personal interactions, to find safety within the walls of his bedroom? Is sex the one and only facet Vik actually can control, whereas he’s a passenger in every other aspect of his life?

For me, it could go either way, but it was fun figuring it out. To find out who dominates who, you’ll have to read Two-Man Advantage. Here’s a brief excerpt to introduce you to the guys.

 

Check out Two-Man Advantage today!

 

TwoManAdvantage_postcard_front_DSP

 

Blurb:

A hockey star skating on the edge of a catastrophe.

A PR specialist so adept, he’s called “the Fixer.”

Working together will be the biggest challenge of both their careers.

The LA Vikings hockey team is fed up the violent outbursts of its huge, intimidating enforcer, Viktor Novak. Hounded by a homophobic and domineering father, Viktor takes out his frustrations by spilling blood—on and off the ice. Now he has one last chance to clean up his image, or his career is over.

That’s where Bowen Miller comes in.

Bo has taken on the hardest cases and succeeded—by micromanaging every aspect of a client’s life—at the expense of his own happiness. But in the stubborn, hot mess that is Viktor, Bo might have met his match—both in and out of the bedroom. One man is out of control, and one controls everything. But when sex and attraction come into play, those roles are open to negotiation.

 

 

Excerpt- Bo and Vik meet

Bo

After speaking with Dom then meeting with upper management about working with the Vikings to clean up Viktor Novak and his explosive personality, I spend the rest of the weekend doing research on my new client. More research than strictly necessary for this type of job, but for some reason every time I try to close down my computer and walk away, I’m drawn right back in, addicted to skimming through photo after photo of Viktor Novak.

Hockey isn’t a sport I’m very familiar with as I’m not a fan, and this will be my first NHL client. I don’t know why, but I’m shocked to find out the rugged hockey player is flat-out physical perfection. No missing teeth or crooked nose, though Viktor does have the requisite scar slashing across one pale eyebrow.

According to his Vikings stats, the man is twenty-three years old, six foot three inches and two hundred pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes that pretty much confirm the Eastern European—or possibly Scandinavian—heritage that his surname suggests. As I stare, my mind begins to wander, and I can’t help but wonder if Viktor Novak is blond all over. Actually, from the looks of him, he probably doesn’t have much body hair.

Damn. I blink back the dirty thoughts, determined to get my mind on track. I need to figure out a plan, not fantasize about my client.

In 99 percent of the pictures I flicked through online, a deep frown furrows Viktor Novak’s strong, handsome face. Even in his team photo he’s wearing a menacing scowl. It’s as if the man doesn’t know how to smile. For such a young guy, he looks way older.

By the time I walk into the conference room of the Vikings’ home office at Brinks Arena Monday morning, I pretty much know what to expect. A grumpy, grimacing, angry blond hulk of a hockey player with a hair-trigger temper and a loud bark. When I enter the room, however, what I see instead shocks the hell out of me.

First, the man in the conference room isn’t merely big, he’s freaking enormous. Even with Viktor sitting down, I can tell he’s much, much larger than he appeared in any of the photographs. Second, not a single one of those hundreds of pictures did the man justice. At this moment, he doesn’t look scary, or even angry for that matter. No, what Viktor Novak does look like is drop-dead fucking gorgeous. The hockey player in front of me is so good-looking, his physical presence so overwhelming, I can’t bring myself to look directly at him for fear I’ll either spontaneously combust or come in my dress slacks like a horny kid.

To avoid embarrassment and maintain control of the situation, I keep my eyes low, my jaw clenched, and force myself to focus on the task at hand. Anything to keep from staring at the stunning man who is no doubt watching my every move with his sharp, calculating gaze. I’m sure if I were to glance over and make eye contact, I wouldn’t be able to hide the fact I’m undressing him in my mind.

My sudden inability to speak or look at him must piss Viktor off, because he threatens to leave.

“If you’re not going to talk to me, or even look at me, I see no point in being here. I’m a busy guy and don’t have time for bullshit games, so, I guess I’ll see you later.” His voice is low and menacing. Husky and over-the-top sexy, just as I imagined. It vibrates straight to my groin, sending a rush of heat down my spine and into my cock.

Jesus, get ahold of yourself, Miller, and act like a professional, not some simpering virgin.

Unfortunately, the method I choose to deal with my inappropriate attraction to my new client overrides common sense. My need to seize back control of my body and the awkward situation has the first words out of my mouth making me sound like a massive douche.

I stare at the attractive man, my fingers curling into the polished wood of the table to maintain restraint and keep my dick under control. “I suggest you stay exactly where you are, Mr. Novak. If you want to keep your job, that is.”

The big man jerks back in surprise. “Now you’re going to speak?”

Afraid I’ll say something laced with innuendo—instead of apologizing or remaining calm—I continue acting like a flaming jackass, poking the beehive with a pointy stick. “I’ll speak when I’m ready, and you’ll listen. That’s how this works. You make messes, and I clean them up.”

The inexplicable need to get closer to the shocked man has me thinking with the wrong head. Even as dangerous and hostile as Viktor appears, I circle the conference table, drawn to the hockey player like a moth to a flame. Once I’m close—too close—I lean over his chair in a show of dominance. Big mistake. For the first time in my life, it backfires on me. When I inhale, Viktor’s raw, masculine scent clogs my nostrils, hitting me hard. The potent scent sends a dizzying sensation from my brain straight to my dick. When he turns his head to scowl at me, I catch a whiff of… sour apple?

As I wonder what that apple scent is, Viktor shoots me a deadly glare, his upper lip curled back to expose perfect white teeth. Viktor’s blue eyes spark with…. What? Lust? No way. Fury. It must be fury. A man like Viktor Novak doesn’t appreciate being put in his place.

So what do I do? Do I back off and put some space between us like any normal human being with any sense of their own safety would do? No, I choose to lean in even closer toward the dangerous man, watching with rapt interest as the hockey player’s cheeks turn red.

“So, do you understand why we’re here?”

Viktor nods, shifting in his chair uncomfortably. I glance down and note his big hands are balled up, clenched tight in his lap. That’s my cue to get out of his face before he lands one of those enormous fists on my chin.

“Good.” Now that he knows who’s in charge, I step back and extend my right hand. “I’m Bowen Miller. Call me Bo.”

 

About the Author:

Leigh Carman is the pen name for the M/M romances written by bestselling Contemporary romance writer, Heather C. Leigh.

She lived outside Atlanta for 15 years and recently moved to Houston with her husband, 2 kids, and French bulldog.

She is leaving explicit directions in her will for her friends to discreetly scatter her ashes around Fenway Park. Then they are to sit back, watch a game with a beer and a Fenway frank and have a wicked good time.

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