Pivot and Slip
by Lilah Suzanne
Former Olympic hopeful Jack Douglas traded competitive swimming for professional yoga and never looked back. When handsome pro boxer Felix Montero mistakenly registers for his Yoga for Seniors class, Jack takes an active interest both in Felix’s struggles to manage stress and in his heart, and discovers along the way that he may have healing of his own to do.
Faced with the ghosts of his athletic aspirations, can Jack return to his old dream or carve out a new path, and will their budding romance survive the test of Felix’s next bout in the ring?
Felix settled his hands on Jack’s shoulders, positioning him directly in front of the punching bag. “Now, plant your feet, like that, yeah. And bend your knees.” Felix’s hands slid from Jack’s shoulders and down his arms as he moved in closer, speaking into Jack’s ear from behind. “Keep your arms tucked in. You always want to remember to be defensive and not just go in for the attack. Keep your guard up.”
Jack bent his arms in front of his face and tried bouncing on his toes, though he imagined the effect was more Tigger than Tyson. Felix chuckled, his warm breath puffing against Jack’s neck and spreading heat across his skin.
“Focus on using your shoulders and legs for strength.” Felix’s hands trailed back up, from shoulder to shoulder, then fleetingly touched Jack’s thighs. “You have really strong shoulders. I always admired that about swimmers.” He lips brushed Jack’s ear. “Always had a thing for blonds, too.”
Jack shivered with the touch but narrowed his eyes and tried to focus on sending energy to his core, on breathing deeply, on trying not to think about the heat of Felix’s body; the tremors left in the wake of his hands; the heady scent of him, inviting and inebriating; his voice murmuring low in Jack’s ear, breath hot against the shell. “Excellent focus. Now, Jack.”
He hit the bag one-two, one-two, one-two, the blows reverberating through the gloves and his skin and humming in his bones.
Jack turned, his eyes finding Felix’s hopeful and searching.
“Yeah,” Jack replied. “That was… pretty intense.”
Felix circled around him and reached out to remove the gloves from Jack’s tingling hands.
“That was power. Strength. The only time I ever felt safe was when I was fighting, as strange as that sounds.” Felix tucked the gloves under one arm, opening and closing one dangling strap with a harsh rip of velcro.
“It makes sense,” Jack shrugged. “Like you said, you have to keep your guard up.”
Felix offered a half-smile. “Maybe I could try letting it down a little.”
Jack’s heart gave a little flutter in his chest. “Well in that case, I solemnly swear that I will not knock you out.”
Felix tipped his head, eyes low, lips softly curved.
“I think it may be a little too late for that, Jack.”
Let's Learn a Little about Lilah Suzanne:
What is your writing environment?
I write in a corner of my bedroom, currently at a low, long desk that’s gotten pretty cluttered, but I have a small standing desk that I like to use too. I need it it be quiet, but it doesn’t have to be total silence. My dog is usually sleeping on the bed behind me along with a cat or two.
Who is your perfect hero and why?
I like heroes who are good and moral without needing to be special or chosen. Or if they are, that being special isn’t the most important thing about them, the fact they do the right thing because it’s right and they are kind without getting anything out of it is what matters.
What authors have caught your interest lately and why?
I’d say John Green, because he really understands how to engage with his audience and he’s savvy and respectful and humble while promoting himself. Some good lessons there I think.
What type of book have you always wanted to write?
I have this historical novel set in the 1930‘s in New York that’s based on the story of my great grandparents that has been tugging at me for years. Historical novels are so overwhelming. But, hopefully, someday.
Top 3 things on your bucket list?
See the tulip fields in Holland
Visit the Redwoods in California
Publish a book- I get to check that one off now!
How did you get the idea for this particular novel?
I wanted to explore the concept of dreams and passions and what happens when you lose your way. It’s a story that hits home for me, not athletic dreams like these characters, but in writing. Something I gave up on once upon a time and then had to cope with what failure means and how to stay true to myself.
What is your favorite scene in your new release?
There’s a scene where Felix goes back to box again, despite it being very dangerous to do so, and Jack has to decide what loving and supporting someone really means and that love is not a magical fix.
What are you working on now and when can we expect it to be available?
I’ve just started the editing process for my second book about a sex advice columnist and his messy love life and journey to his happily ever after that will be out sometime early next year.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I like taking it easy! I’m a homebody and pretty mellow. Just hanging out with the people I love or doing something low-key, like a movie or a park (as long it’s not too hot out!)
What would you consider a perfect date?
Something simple: Dinner and a movie or just hanging out. When my husband and I were dating we went a lot of concerts. I don’t have the energy for that anymore, but there is something special about live music.
What is one interesting fact about you that readers don’t know?
I come from a very creative family—lots of musicians and artists and writers and entertainers. I’m a musical person and sang in choirs all through school, but I’ve never been able to master an instrument. I can play the ukulele, but only a little!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Lilah Suzanne has been writing actively since the sixth grade, when a literary magazine published her essay about an uncle who lost his life to AIDS. A freelance writer, she has also authored a children’s book and has a devoted following in the fan fiction community.
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