A couple of months ago, I took part in a blog tour for Tales by Rails. It was a fun sexy romp, and I cannot recommend it enough if you’re looking for something to spice things up. My friend, Jewel E Leonard, recently published a sequel to it, Smiles by Trials.
If you haven’t read Tales by Rails, please avert your eyes now.
There are spoilers ahead…
Okay, I warned you…
Smiles by Trials is a little more complicated than Tales by Rails. It takes place a couple of months after Rhea has arrived in Chicago. After sharing first a room on the train, and then a room in a hotel, she and Adam have entered into a long distance relationship with one wild stipulation – they must try to sleep with other people.
After reconnecting with an acquaintance from high school, Rhea ends up sleeping with two very different people. Unfortunately her night of wild sex has some unexpected consequences that end up affecting her relationship. Will she ever get her happy ending?
Just like Tales by Rails, Smiles by Trials features some very steamy sex scenes. In fact, I had to take one or two cold showers while I was beta reading it for Jewel. It also features some very real characters who are struggling through life and trying to figure out their futures. It can be very gut wrenching at times, especially when you discover one character’s very troubled past.
I cannot recommend it enough.
To give you an idea of what you are missing, here’s a snippet that Jewel gave me to share.
From outside Serenity’s curtain, she asked, “Brianna? Can I join you?”
“Of course,” replied Brianna. “Get yer ass in here!” As Rhea stepped inside, Brianna asked her, “How’s it look so far?”
“You’re—you realize you’re kinda exposed there and I can sorta see—”
“Yup,” she chirped, tossing a saucy smile at Rhea. “So what do you think?”
Rhea swallowed hard, shifting her gaze to Brianna. Those are pretty damn amazing.
She’s asking about the tattoo, dork.
Are you so sure?
Oh shut the fuck up and look at her tattoo before this gets weird . . .er.
Serenity was nearly three-quarters finished outlining a floral design that—once colored—Rhea guessed would be cherry blossoms.
“They’re—it’s—lovely.” You’re sexy and it’s killing me. Happy now?
Brianna glanced at Rhea with a frown. “Lovely? See now you’re scaring me—”
“I don’t mean to,” Rhea yelped. “Serenity’s doing an amazing job, I swear. ‘Lovely’ is a good thing.”
Serenity smiled, still hard at work tracing the transferred guidelines with her tattoo machine. “We’re gonna stop with the outlines tonight and I’ll add the color in a couple weeks. Gimme, oh—” She paused to check her watch, its face placed against the inside of her wrist. “—twenty more minutes.”
“That’s—fine—” Rhea faltered. “I’m in no rush.”
“So . . .” Serenity cleared her throat. “How do you two know each other?”
“We’re both reformed band geeks,” replied Brianna.
Serenity leaned back, wide-eyed. She glanced between Rhea and Brianna. “You, Bri? Really? Color guard, right?”
“No.” Brianna chuckled. “Flute and trumpet.”
Rhea wondered if she should have been offended over Serenity’s shock that Brianna was a ‘band geek’ when she clearly had ‘band geek’ tattooed on her forehead.
“You two go way back, huh?”
Brianna flinched and whimpered as Serenity continued to work. “Yep.”
“Hey . . . on all those overnight competition trips, did you ever . . . you know . . .?”
Rhea glanced at Brianna who slowly smiled. “I dunno about her,” said Brianna, “but the thought’s crossed my mind.” Her smile faded. “She’s obvs not into me though. My loss for sure.”
If there was any further conversation that night, Rhea didn’t remember it.