For the first time New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice writes as C. Travis Rice. Under his pen name, Rice offers tales of passion, intrigue, and steamy romance between men. The first novel, SAPPHIRE SUNSET, transports you to a beautiful luxury resort on the sparkling Southern California coast where strong-willed heroes release the shame that blocks their heart’s desires.

Logan Murdoch is a fighter, a survivor, and a provider. When he leaves a distinguished career in the Marine Corps to work security at a luxury beachfront resort, he’s got one objective: pay his father’s mounting medical bills. That means Connor Harcourt, the irresistibly handsome scion of the wealthy family that owns Sapphire Cove, is strictly off limits, despite his sassy swagger and beautiful blue eyes. Logan’s life is all about sacrifices; Connor is privilege personified. But temptation is a beast that demands to be fed, and a furtive kiss ignites instant passion, forcing Logan to slam the brakes. Hard.

Haunted by their frustrated attraction, the two men find themselves hurled back together when a headline-making scandal threatens to ruin the resort they both love. This time, there’s no easy escape from the magnetic pull of their white hot desire. Will saving Sapphire Cove help forge the union they crave, or will it drive them apart once more?

Book Type:

Contemporary Romance

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Excerpt: Sapphire Sunset
By C. Travis Rice

Excerpt: Sapphire Sunset

New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice writes as C. Travis Rice to deliver the first in a contemporary romance series rife with passion and intrigue.

SAPPHIRE SUNSET is out tomorrow, but I’m honored to share a sneak peek with you today!

The last time Logan had been this afraid, he was in the midst of a training exercise off the coast of Camp Pendleton a few months after a CH-46 had gone down during similar maneuvers, drowning a Marine he’d been buddies with in the process. When he’d looked out the open door of his hovering Black Hawk and realized the sparkling Pacific was a lot farther down than he’d first thought, his stomach lurched and his head spun, like they were both doing now. Combat deployments had brought with them their own sense of persistent anxiety, but the IED that had knocked him out of his Humvee he’d never seen coming, and the few times he’d been fired on had come fast and furious too. Neither incident compared to the sudden terror of that moment high above the Pacific, the dread that came with staring possible disaster in the face.

That’s what he felt now as he rehearsed what he’d say to Connor.

Vertigo-inducing terror.

But he wasn’t high above the ocean. He was sitting at one of the tables outside of Laguna Brew, the one farthest from the teenage girls who were texting like they’d lose money if their words-per-minute count dropped.

Then a car turned into the mini-mall’s parking lot. Logan’s heart lurched.

It wasn’t just a car.

It was a big, gleaming silver Rolls-Royce.

The teenage girls stopped texting at the sight of it. The mother and her three kids who’d emerged from the yogurt shop next door stopped in their tracks, jaws agape.

The Rolls-Royce came to a stop, and Connor stepped from the back seat, looking as sparkling and perfect as the car itself. Dark blue, form-fitting designer jeans that plumped his perfect butt. A blue polo shirt with white trim on the collar and bicep-hugging sleeves. And the kicker: white leather shoes fringed with rhinestones that made it look like he was walking on air.

Baby blues and then some.

He looked like a shiny little piece of candy, and Logan wanted nothing more than to unwrap him.

Maybe that’s why he’d stood up suddenly, like a shotgun had gone off.

Connor was walking toward him, his seductive smile lighting up his eyes. A draft of his citrusy cologne reached Logan before he did, inspiring a head-spinning memory of their perfect first kiss the night before. He’d styled his hair so that the sides were gel darkened, but the top was still light and feathery. Just enough for Logan to run his hands through.

Oh, God. I can’t do this.

Connor took Logan’s extended hand, using it to pull them into an embrace. Quick, but firm enough to cause a stirring in Logan’s balls.

“Thanks for doing this on such short notice.” Logan patted Connor’s back three times in a row, like a coach congratulating his player.

Connor flinched. “Of course.”

“Cool.” Logan couldn’t think of anything else to say. Pulling Connor’s chair out for him might send the wrong message, and sitting down would bring them another step closer to the moment he was dreading.

But Connor took his hand suddenly, and just as suddenly Logan was struggling to keep his balance as the force of nature pulled him across the parking lot.

Oh, crap. He’s trying to get me in the Rolls.

Before he could protest, Connor opened the car’s door, which opened in the opposite direction from most normal cars. He knew the term for it, a suicide door, because mob guys couldn’t take cover behind it before hitting the pavement and opening fire. Suicide might be exactly what Logan was committing if he stepped into the suddenly open space between him and the car’s interior, but Logan entered it anyway. The display set up on the seat chased his breath away. Chocolate and peanut butter.

Cowboy boots. For line dancing, no doubt. It took a few seconds, then he recognized the shape the peanut butter cups were arranged in. The chevrons on a sergeant’s badge. Connor had remembered he’d been a staff sergeant. And Logan had mentioned that, what? Once? Had he put this together himself or hired someone to do it? Did it matter? It was both too much and more than enough at once.

His heart was racing like it had when he’d peered out that open Black Hawk door. But instead of the ocean far below, he saw the fear and need in his former street fighter father’s eyes the night before. A man out of options. Except for his only son.

“That’s…” But Logan’s voice left him.

“Oh, no. What? You don’t like chocolate and peanut butter after all?”

“No, that’s really amazing, Connor. I don’t know what to say.”

“You don’t have to say anything. Just, you know, get in the car and I can show you some other places that are as nice as the ones I showed you last night.”

Summoning all the resistance he could manage, Logan straightened, backed away from the car door, and when he finally turned to face the man next to him, he saw it happen instantly. Saw Connor recognize the fear and uncertainty on Logan’s face and saw it dash something across the rocks inside of him.

“Oh.” Connor wasn’t pouting, but it was damn close. “I guess this was too much.”

“No, no. This is amazing…I…”

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