"4.5 Nymphs!...Cassie Stevens does an excellent job weaving suspense, action and love into Tangled Web. Rick and Val sizzle together from the very beginning. The various family members are something out of The Sopranos with the backstabbing, murder, drug deals and affairs that go on. One of the things I loved about the story the most, though, is that she leads the reader on a merry chase as they try to figure out who the good guys and bad guys are."--Critter Nymphs, Literary Nymphs Reviews
"5 Angels!...A Recommended Read!...This is one adventure I'd take again and again! Cassie Stevens certainly shows she can write an adventure story....The emotional twists and turns...[were] a pleasant surprise...entirely unpredictable. This coupled with the adventure is probably what made this story so worth reading. The setting also lent to the adventure well...filled with romance, suspense, and intrigue. Highly recommended by this reviewer!"--April, Fallen Angel Reviews
“...A very complex adventurous mystery. The title describes this story very well. As the men explore each other and the terrain they are searching, it becomes very dangerous. You think you recognize the bad guys to look out for...only to have the story pull the rug out from under you, so to speak. Cassie Stevens has written some amazing novels, and she does not disappoint. This is a must-read for those who like danger, excitement and hot men!”--Raine, Joyfully Reviewed
...Val Lancaster glanced around his small apartment at the clutter of equipment. Although his archaeological trip to Guatemala was still two weeks away, he wasn’t about to take a chance he’d forget something. First impressions were oh-so-important and he didn’t want his future colleagues to find him lacking in any way. He’d made list upon list of items, then ransacked the family garage for what he needed. Now, with everything spread out around him in a circle that took up the entire room, he whittled it down to basics.
“Tent, no. Sleeping bag, yes. Air mattress…” He paused. “No.” He set the object aside. It was dead weight since there’d be cots on-site. “And I won’t need the ground cover either.” He stacked the plastic sheet with the air mattress.
He surveyed the pile. It was going to be a long process. He couldn’t go down there looking like a pack mule, but he also couldn’t go unprepared. This was his career. His first time out and the only chance to make a good first impression.
Val raked back his hair and caught sight of himself reflected in the window pane. God, he needed a haircut. Maybe he could shave it all off. The rainforest was hot and humid as hell. Of course, that would give mosquitoes a nice, shiny target. He also admitted to being vain enough to not lose one strand of—as his older brothers teased him—his pretty blond hair.
At least they were talking to him now. There were several tense years when they could barely look at him after he told the family he was gay. He owed his sister a lot for helping him cope. Ginny had helped him truly accept his sexuality, himself, telling him over and over again that he was still who he was inside, that the rest didn’t matter. Then she laid out role models for him to follow, men who pursued their goals and ignored any social stigma being gay might give them. Men like Rick Ramone.
How Ginny knew of the man was a mystery. She claimed she’d read about his work in National Geographic. Val would only have been more shocked to hear she’d read The Advocate. He supposed that was possible, but he’d never known his sister to read anything weightier than the latest tabloid or entertainment magazine. Of course, being a mother might have changed her view of life and made her want to expand her horizons, if only for Bobby and Jody.
Val smiled. He’d gone through his own metamorphosis since he’d started college. Coming out and surviving the backlash. Realizing a degree in business wasn’t what his soul wanted. Finding his path and seeing doors of opportunity open for him. He’d worked for it all, paying his way. Now this.
Talk about a sense of accomplishment. After all these years, he was finally going to meet the man who’d inspired him. Val could hardly believe it himself. A dream-come-true, to study and work with archaeologist Rick Ramone.
Val respected and admired the man. Rick’s achievements in the field of Maya archaeology were amazing. The fact he lived his life on his own terms, equally so. Val wasn’t a bug-eyed teenager. He knew the difference between respect and idol worship. He didn’t do crushes and never had. But he’d never forgetten the rush that swept over him the first time he’d seen Rick’s picture.
Rick Ramone was the proverbial tall, dark, and handsome man. His smile confident. The glint of humor sparkled in his dark brown eyes. Val would have gotten a hard-on even if he hadn’t known the man was gay. Just like the one he had now.
Val squeezed his erection into submission. The stubborn beast didn’t back down. He prayed his first introduction to Rick wouldn’t result in his dick trying to shake hands with the man first. Still, he idly stroked himself, wondering what it would be like. Lying naked on a cot, sweat-drenched from a long day in the tropical heat. Bodies gliding smoothly in time while their cocks rubbed together, igniting a fire that threatened to engulf everything within a twenty-mile radius. Rick would lock his gaze with Val’s, lift Val’s knees and rock them back while his cock nudged Val’s anus for entry. He’d ease past the muscle and the burn would crawl over Val’s balls then…
Val jerked his hand away before he spewed cum into his jeans. He’d worked too hard for a chance like this to blow it on a fuck. No matter how badly he wanted it. Val pouncing on Rick the second they met wasn’t the best impression to make. Maybe down the line… His cock throbbed at the possibility.
Val tried to rein his thundering heartbeat back to normal. After all these years of college, his goal was to get hands-on experience as an intern that would lead to a full-time paid position. Hands-on experience didn’t mean hands on himself or Rick Ramone. He’d be doing himself a favor to remember that.
He glanced down at his erection. “Yeah, remember that.”
His penis had the nerve to ignore him...