Infected Series by Andrea Speed
Infected Series Reading Order
- Infected: Prey
- Infected: Bloodlines
Narrated by: Paul Morey
Length: 2 hrs and 34 mins
Cardeno C. – CC to friends – is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few “awwws” into a reader’s day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno’s stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever-after sunset.
Enter to win an Audio Copy (from Audible) of McFarland’s Farm!
To keep up with our age-old tradition I picked favorite author Jay Northcote to answer Five Awkward Questions!
What’s your favorite curse word to say out loud?
BOLLOCKS! What can I say? I’m a Brit. I like lots of curse words, but that’s definitely the best. It’s a very satisfying word to yell.
What’s your favorite smell and a smell you loathe?
I love the smell of fresh lime. Citrus smells in general are lovely but lime is my absolute favourite. I hate the smell of fish. I like the taste of it fine, but I loathe the smell. I always have to rush past the fish counter at the supermarket.
Where is the weirdest place you’ve had sex?
In a cave on a beach in Pembrokeshire. It sounds way more romantic in theory than it was in reality. It was April and it was really cold, and stony (I should have gone on top instead of trying missionary clearly!) and over pretty quickly because we were afraid of getting caught! It was still fun though, and it’s always good to have an amusing sex location anecdote to share in later life. Eighteen-year-old me had no idea it would come in so useful.
What’s a sex word you would never use in one of your books’ sex scenes?
Member. Because it never fails to make me snort when I read it. I think I read ‘member’ a lot some of my early forays into erotica so it still has that teenage giggle factor for me. It’s just not a sexy word in my opinion. I like to call a cock a cock (or a dick).
First childhood celebrity crush?
Simon Le Bon from Duran Duran (that shows my age, huh?). I actually liked John Taylor better, but my friend had claimed him as hers and I wasn’t allowed to like him too—so Simon was my second choice. We were at boarding school and used to have posters of them plastered all over our cubicle walls. I remember actually kissing his poster goodnight cringes
Well, I certainly made out with a fair few posters when I was a wee lassy. (And teddy bears. And pillows. And my bed. Is that weird?) Me thinks Jay needed better friends at boarding school (oh hello, twenty more inappropriate questions I didn’t ask), because sharing means caring.
Afterwards, Sam denied he’d started it.
He’d been aiming for the tree behind Ryan, not at Ryan himself, he insisted. But whatever its intended target, Sam’s snowball hit Ryan perfectly on the back of his neck, exploding on impact and sending powdery snow down the gap between beanie and jacket.
After that, mayhem ensued. Snowballs flying as they ran and ducked, laughing and trash-talking each other. They were in a small copse with a few trees and bushes for cover, but as soon as one of them ventured out in search of a new patch of snow to make missiles with, the other would take the opportunity to release a fresh barrage of snowballs.
Finally, frustrated by Sam’s surprisingly good aim, Ryan reverted to his rugby skills and tackled Sam, knocking him full length into the snow with an “Oomph!” Of course, Ryan went down too. But by then he was too wet and cold to care.
They were on a slope, and the impact caused them to roll together, over and over until Ryan wondered if they were going to turn into a giant snowball like characters in a cartoon. But they finally came to rest, panting and laughing as the slope levelled out.
Sam ended up pinned beneath Ryan, laughing out loud. He’d lost his hat at some point in their tumble, and his hair was in his eyes. Snow crystals had caught in it, glinting in the sunlight. His smile was wide and infectious, and Ryan laughed too, dazzled for a moment. Then Sam’s gaze drifted over Ryan’s shoulder and focused on something above them.
“Is that mistletoe?” he asked.
Ryan pushed himself up and offered a hand to Sam to help him back onto his feet. Then he tilted his head back to squint at the spherical tangle of leaves in the bare branches of the tree above them. “I think so.”
Ryan met Sam’s eyes again, then realised he was still holding his hand. They each had gloves on, and Ryan wished they didn’t. He wanted to feel Sam’s skin. They stared at each other for a moment, and Sam licked his lips. They were pink, a little chapped from the cold, and Ryan’s gaze locked onto them. His heart surged, and panicky heat flooded him.
“So,” Owen began. “I gather you’re into cock now?”
Nathan’s eyes widened, and his cheeks flushed pink. “Um…. Yes?”
“Cool. So, do you wanna get out of here and go someplace to fuck, or suck, or whatever?”
Nathan raised his eyebrows. “Seriously?”
“Yeah.” Owen let his gaze slide down over Nathan’s torso to land on his crotch. It looked like Nathan might be getting a little hard. Either that, or he was a shower rather than a grower. “I always thought you were hot. I just never knew you swung my way. So how about it?”
Nathan cleared his throat and shifted uncomfortably in his seat. He was definitely getting hard. Owen lifted his eyes expecting to see a smile. But Nathan was frowning and biting his lip.
“That’s flattering, but I’m not interested.”
Owen raised an eyebrow and glanced briefly at the bulge in Nathan’s jeans again. “You sure about that?”
Nathan’s face was even pinker now, but he held Owen’s gaze. “I’m not interested in a hookup. I’ve been there, done that, and decided casual sex isn’t for me. I’m looking for something more serious.”
Owen blinked. This wasn’t how the conversation was supposed to go. He found himself blurting out his next words without thinking. “What, like a relationship? I could have a relationship. With you, I mean.”
Nathan chuckled then, a snort of laughter that raised Owen’s hackles, because what the fuck? He’d made a move and was being laughed at. That wasn’t cool.
“What’s so fucking funny?”
“Sorry.” Nathan pulled himself together and pasted on a more serious expression. “But Owen. You don’t do relationships. Everyone knows that. I know what you were like at uni, and from what I’ve heard on the grapevine, you haven’t changed much. And that’s fine—each to their own. But I don’t want to be another notch on your bedpost. I’d rather be friends with you than one of your conquests.”
Owen’s irritation rose, and he resisted the urge to pout childishly, but he wasn’t prepared to back down. Nathan’s words had stung, because yes—Owen would be the first to admit he was a bit of a tart on the surface, but at least he was honest about it. He’d never strung anyone along or made promises he couldn’t keep. And he’d never met anyone who made him want more than a one-night stand or a few casual no-strings repeats.
But that didn’t mean he wasn’t capable of having a relationship, and he found himself wanting to prove to Nathan that he wasn’t as bad as his reputation seemed to imply.
“Will you go on a date with me instead, then?” he asked.
“A date?” Nathan narrowed his eyes. “What, so we eat first and then have sex? I’m not sure that would be any better.”
“We don’t have to have sex!” Owen protested, raising his voice in frustration, then lowering it quickly as he noticed a few people glancing their way. “Jesus. Contrary to popular opinion, that’s not the only thing I’m interested in.”
“So if we went on a date, you wouldn’t expect me to put out?” Nathan’s lips quirked in amusement. He seemed to be enjoying this conversation a little too much.
“Not unless you wanted to.”
“I’d like to get to know you better first. I think we’d need more than one date for that.”
“Okay, so what’s your magic number? Try me.”
Nathan’s brow furrowed as he considered the question for a moment.
“Five,” he finally said. “Five sex-free dates. Then when we’ve had a chance to connect, we can take it from there. Oh… and in case it wasn’t obvious, if this is going to be a relationship, I’d expect you to be exclusive.” Nathan sat back in his seat and folded his arms. “So, what do you say?”
Owen glared at him. Nathan’s pink lips stretched further as he grinned, and all Owen could think was how he wanted to come all over Nathan’s smug face.
Nathan’s smile vanished abruptly. “You’re… what, really?”
“Really.” Owen smirked, finding Nathan’s obvious surprise very satisfying. “Five dates with no sex. So, when are you free this week? I can see you every night apart from Thursday, so if you’re free to meet most nights we can be done with all five dates by next weekend.”
“Oh no. No way.” Nathan shook his head. “If we’re going to take things slow, the dates need to be spread out. One a week for five weeks.”
Somehow Owen had thought his loophole was too good to be true.
“You drive a hard bargain, but okay.” He shrugged, conceding some ground, but not defeated. “Next weekend for our first date then?”
“And while we’re discussing ground rules for this… whatever-the-fuck this is.” Owen waved his hand disparagingly. “What are we counting as sex for the no-sex rule? No fucking obviously, but does that extend to no blowing each other? No handjobs? What about dry humping?”
“Shh!” Nathan’s face was flaming, and he moved his chair closer, leaning in so he could talk quietly. “Keep it down, for fuck’s sake.”
To be fair, Owen’s voice had got rather loud, and a group of girls at the next table were looking very interested in their conversation.
“Well?” Owen asked. “We need to be clear what the boundaries are. Can we even kiss?”
“Kissing is fine,” Nathan replied promptly, and his gaze dropped to Owen’s mouth. He paused before adding, “No orgasms. That’s the line.”
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.
She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.
For a chance to win an eBook copy of Jay Northcote’s last release Nothing Special, enter the Rafflecopter!
DISCLOSURE: SBC, LLC and ShamelessBookClub.com, as well as our social media outlets, contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may receive paid commission from the retailer on sales of those products or services we write about. Our editorial and opinion content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships.