by Sean Michael
166 pages / 51000 words
Available file types - html, lit, pdf, prc, epub, Sony Reader pdf and paperback
Game designer Henry Delloit loves his life, his mountain community, his
isolated dream home and the snow. He also loves that the X-treme Games
blow into the area for a month every year, bringing with them hundreds
Ecco Rasmussen loves boarding; he needs it in fact. He knows he'll never
make it to the big times but as long as he can get on his board and go
he doesn't care. The only fly in the ointment is his manager Blake
Dobbs. The man is possessive and mean and believes he owns Ecco. Given
the way he's isolated Ecco and holds all the money, not to mention the
way he treats the boarder, Ecco figures maybe he does.
When Henry and Ecco meet at the Branchberry Games, it's lust at first
sight. An injury on Ecco's qualifying run gives them the opportunity to
spend some quality time alone together at Henry's home, away from the
crowds and out from under Blake's thumb.
Will lust have the opportunity to turn into love? More importantly, what
will Blake do when he finds out?
Kiernan Kelly, author of Turquoise: Something's Gotta Give, writes:
Henry is a snow-sports enthusiast, and when the X-treme Games come to
his neck of the woods, he’s happy to go watch the games, and ogle the
There’s something special about Ecco, one of the snowboarders --
something that pulls Henry right in. After a little mutual flirting, he and
Ecco hook up for dinner. They hit it off, and soon Ecco is spending time at
Henry’s remote, if beautiful, home.
Ecco comes complete with baggage, though, including a manager who seems
bent on owning Ecco, body, soul, and bank account.
In Sean Michael’s newest offering, X-Factor, we’re taken inside the
exciting sport of snowboarding. Our senses are assaulted at every turn, from
the breathtaking views of snowy mountains and quiet valleys, to the
thrilling shush of the boards and the exhilaration of catching air, to the
passion of newly-awakened love. We feel for Ecco, trapped in a horrible
non-relationship with his manager, and thrilled for him when he finds love
with Henry. Sean Michael’s tugs at our heartstrings, then gives our hearts
wings, taking us on a trip through the gamut of human emotions with
plentiful, steamy stops in the bedroom. Don’t miss it!
Henry sipped from his mug, the heat of
the rum going through him. He was lucky enough to be within driving range of
several of the local X-Games, and the next month or so would be one big
party as the athletes moved from venue to venue.
A joyful noise drew his attention to down below the balcony where a group of
boarders were greeting each other, the laughter and stunts making him grin.
"Yo! Man! How'd your run go this morning?"
A stocky little blond boy grinned, then did a sudden handstand. "I rocked
Henry grinned. Christ, that was sexy -- all that energy and exuberance.
The loose shirt dropped down, exposing a ripped belly covered in black ink.
Henry swallowed his gasp, unable to tear his eyes from the sight. The guy
was just his type, not to mention fit, gorgeous and clearly having a good
The kid did a couple of push ups. Look at that. Henry was glad he was
wearing snow pants now and he hid his drooling behind his hot toddy.
Something about this kid called to him more than the others and he felt his
The group hooted, cheered, then the kid popped up, red-faced and smiling.
Henry couldn't help himself, he put down the hot toddy and clapped as well.
He got a grin, a deep curtsey, a wave. He waved back and raised his mug to
the kid. If he hadn't had to shout, he might have offered to buy one for the
"Show off prick." He barely heard the words, but they came from somewhere.
Frowning, Henry looked around for the speaker. There'd been more than a hint
of menace in the voice. Nothing looked out of place, though, and there were
so many people... anyone could have spoken. People milled out in square and
on the balcony, mostly groups of athletes, some hotel staff, identifiable by
their blue tuques with white snowflakes on them. Henry shook it off, turning
his attention back to the young man and his friends.
The kid was now perched on the little retaining wall, arms wrapped around
himself, hands rubbing. Henry stood and wandered over casually. He'd offer
the kid a drink, shoot the breeze, talk about the games.
He got a grin as he headed over. "Hey man."
"Hey." He recognized the kid as he got closer. The guy went by Ecco and was
an amazing boarder. He'd been putting in some great times lately in the
Fine and blond, with the biggest, prettiest blue eyes he'd ever seen -- Ecco
"Can I buy you a drink?" Henry asked, lifting his mug.
He got a long, curious look, then a quick smile. "Sure. I'd like that. It's
bitter." That was an understatement, but a warm drink and good company could
go a long way to making you forget about the weather.
"What's your poison?"
"Hot Peppermint Patty?"
"Coming right up." He went over to the bar window, giving the girl whose
name he still couldn't remember a smile and ordering Ecco's drink along with
a top up of his toddy. He also picked up a couple of hot sweet rolls. In his
experience, anyone who spent the day outside boarding was always hungry.
Ecco sat at a table, sprawled out, showing off muscled, strong, short legs.
Henry schooled himself -- no drooling, no staring.
He set everything down and sat in the chair next to Ecco's. He held out is
"Ecco. Pleased." He knew from the stats that Ecco was in his late-twenties,
knew the man was on the old end of competition, but there was youth in the
man's face, except for right around the eyes.