Release Blitz, Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway:
Because of Ben
By Lisa Henry
Star Crossed, Book 2
Marco Chase is the lead singer for Static, one of the world’s most famous and successful rock bands. Marco’s bad boy rock star image isn’t just one he’s cultivated for his fans—it’s Marco all over. Marco’s past is full of one night stands, bad decisions, and blackouts. Marco never saw a cage he didn’t want to rattle—and from the moment he lays eyes on him, he really wants to rattle sweet, innocent Ben Selden’s cage.
Ben Selden comes from a fundamentalist Baptist family. Ben is struggling under the weight of knowing that he’s gay, and a lifetime’s teachings that tell him that his God will condemn him, and his family reject him, if they ever find out. With a future he doesn’t want already mapped out for him, Ben’s at a breaking point when he meets Marco.
Marco’s teasing, flirting, and obvious interest awakens a hunger in Ben, and he knows this might be his only chance to act on his attraction to a man—if he’s brave enough to risk his future, and his family, to take it. He doesn’t expect Marco to be his savior, but maybe a savior isn’t what Ben needs—maybe he just needs someone to believe in him enough that he’s willing to save himself.
Because of Ben is the second book in the Star Crossed series, where regular guys meet famous ones, and sparks fly.
Special Exclusive Excerpt:
“Tell me something about you that nobody else knows,” Ben murmured.
Marco was silent.
“Sorry.” Ben stiffened again, as though he was going to sit up, but Marco held him gently in place. “I don’t have any right to ask that.”
“That’s not why I didn’t answer.” Marco brushed his fingers against the hair at the nape of Ben’s neck, that soft little duck’s tail that probably meant he was due a haircut. “I was just trying to think of something.”
Ben put his hand over Marco’s heart.
Jesus. This kid. He could fall hard for this kid, no question. He was probably halfway there already.
“I have ADD,” he said at last. “That’s not the thing that nobody knows, but sometimes it’s like I’ve got a hundred different tabs open in my brain, with no way to filter them. I have trouble focusing. Zane calls it my pinball brain. Sometimes I talk a lot, about everything on my mind. I’ve probably never had a thought that I haven’t spilled in an interview somewhere. I’m an open book. None of the pages are in any order, there’s no index, and half the sentences are written backwards and probably in Sanskrit, but the book’s open.”
Ben laughed softly, his breath warm on Marco’s throat. He lifted his head and straightened up. “Am I getting too heavy for you?”
“You’re just right,” Marco said, holding his gaze. Ben had beautiful eyes. Marco could write a million songs and not get close to describing them. “Oh! My tattoo. The planets.” He shifted, placing his arm between them so that Ben could see the tattoo. Ben traced an ellipse with his fingertips. “I tell anyone who asks that I just saw the design and I liked it.”
“What does it mean?”
“It’s the music of the spheres,” Marco said. “It’s this idea that all the planets and the stars and the moving parts of the universe come together to make this divine symphony. It’s about God being a musician, I guess, or a composer. It’s about creation.”
“Oh!” Ben’s eyes widened as he rubbed his thumb over a planet, and Marco’s skin tingled and prickled under his touch.
“I mean, it’s medieval theological bullshit, but the idea is beautiful.” Marco shrugged and snorted. “But I’ve never told anyone that because it’d make me sound like a total douche with an ego bigger than the sun.”
“I don’t think it makes you sound like a douche,” Ben said softly. He lifted his hand and touched Marco’s hair. Marco couldn’t see what he was doing—giving him elflocks maybe—but there was a faint half smile on his face. He caught Marco’s gaze again. “I think it’s nice, thinking about all the different pieces that would come together to make a divine symphony. There’s a pastor here who says that God is like a Magic Eye picture, but I think He’s a composer too.”
The difference between them was that Ben actually believed in God, while Marco just liked metaphors. The way Ben was looking at him now, like maybe he’d been hiding his soul-deep convictions behind his grin this whole time, made him uneasy. He didn’t have hidden depths—he didn’t lie awake at night and ponder the nature of God and the universe—and he didn’t want Ben to be disappointed when he failed to uncover them.
“I don’t believe in God,” he said. He expected Ben to recoil, but apart from the wrinkle that appeared at the top of his nose, Ben didn’t react. “That’s a thing you should know about me. I think the Bible is bullshit. I don’t just mean I don’t believe in a literal interpretation of it. I mean I think it’s all bullshit.” And there was the recoil he’d been expecting from the start: a flinch, like he’d got a hit. “I think I’m not good for you, Ben, in so many different ways.”
“I…” Ben’s eyes shone, and his breath hitched. “I don’t expect you to be something that you’re not. I don’t want you to feel bad for this. And you shouldn’t feel bad because I want this.”
“I know you do,” Marco said, regret stabbing him. He lifted his hand and brushed his knuckles gently down Ben’s cheek. “I know that, but it’s hurting you all the same.” He forced a smile. “It’s a mess, ain’t it, pretty boy?”
“It’s a mess,” Ben echoed softly and leaned his forehead against Marco’s.
Enter the Giveaway:
To celebrate the release of Because Of Ben, Lisa is giving away a $20 Amazon Gift Card!
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!
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Catch-up on the series with Book 1:
Not Until Noah
Carter Westlake is on the brink of being Hollywood gold. Cast as the lead in a highly-anticipated sci-fi trilogy filming in Australia, he’s primed to be the next A-list action hero: all-American, hot as hell, and straight. The problem is, Carter can only check off two of those boxes. But that’s okay—his bisexuality can remain a secret until these movies are behind him.
Childhood educator Noah Jones has a plan. Work as a nanny for six months, make some extra cash, and move to the UK to teach. He doesn’t expect his new boss to be a Hollywood star. And he certainly isn’t prepared to fall for the guy.
One kiss sends them tumbling into a secret relationship, even though they both agree it can be nothing more than a fling. Carter needs to stay in the closet for the sake of his career, and Noah’s leaving. But when their feelings continue to grow into something deeper, Carter has a decision to make. Knowing that exposing his sexuality could cost him his career, would he rather carry on living a lie, or risk it all to stand tall in his truth?
Not Until Noah is the first book in the Star Crossed series, where regular guys meet famous ones, and sparks fly.
About the Author:
Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.
Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.
She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.
She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.
Lisa has been published since 2012, and was a LAMBDA finalist for her quirky, awkward coming-of-age romance Adulting 101, and a Rainbow Awards finalist for 2019’s Anhaga.
To connect with Lisa on social media, you can find her here:
She also has a Facebook group where you’ll be kept in the loop with updates on releases, have a chance to win prizes, and probably see lots of lots of pictures of her dog and cats. You can find it here: Lisa Henry’s Hangout.