I am thrilled to have Avril Ashton on my blog today chatting about her leading man, Gabriel Ashby from her newest release Love the Sinner - take it away Avril and thanks so much for bringing along my absolute, most favourite male model to join in the fun today...
Thanks to Lily Harlem for hosting me today. I’m introducing you guys to my other leading man in Love the Sinner, NYPD Detective and all around nice guy, Gabriel Ashby.
Gabe is your average guy, a man’s man, doing his job to keep the streets of Brooklyn safe. When we first meet him, Gabe is in a long term relationship, one he’s struggling with since his girlfriend wants things he’s not sure he does.
An attraction to a man isn’t as unwelcome as the identity of the man he wants. To be with Angelo, if he chooses to do so, puts Gabe on the side of all he fights against.
It was easy to write Gabe, easy to get into his head and understand him. His life is nothing like Angelo’s, neither are his beliefs. In Gabe we see a strong man, willing to look the other way even when he shouldn’t, but not at all weak. His strength I think draws Angelo in more than anything else.
I scoured the net for hours to find the right picture of the right man who I thought would bring Gabe to life and bring justice to the image of him in my head. David Gandy finally fit the bill. He’s my Gabe.
I admit many times the dynamic between the good guy Gabe and not so good Angelo, drove me up the wall and had me backed into the corner more than once. With men at odds the way these two were, I couldn’t really see the light at the end of the tunnel for a long while.
Gabe’s voice was loudest in my ear, his pain far more realized, his heartbreak sharper than Angelo’s. I think that’s because Gabe had given up more, broken more rules in order to be with Angel, to let him in and once Angel had secured Gabe’s heart that should’ve been it.
Falling in love was the easiest part for these men. For Gabe.
Love the Sinner was emotional, really emotional, and there was no way it couldn’t be. Not with all that was stake. Not with Gabe. Even now he’s still with me, as is Angel, both whispering in my ear. I keep listening to them, to him.
Not that I have a choice.
You can’t help but feel for Gabe. And question his sanity for the road he embarks on. Sure, we could name him a fool for taking a shot, a chance, on Angelo when he knew the risks to his life and his heart, but I think Gabe would only shrug and say, “I love him.”
To him and for him, that sums it all up.
Blurb for Love the Sinner
A notorious gang leader and an NYPD cop. An unlikely couple, but is it true what they say? Could Gabe hate the sin but love the sinner?
Detective Gabriel Ashby has never looked twice at another man, yet the criminal across from him, the man he’s interrogating, isn’t like any other. Gabe can’t deal with the sudden, intense need he has for one of NYPD’s Most Wanted. Everyone close to Angelo Pagan ends up dead, with the smug gang leader standing amid the rubble. Gabe would love nothing more than to bust Angelo’s ass and lock him up. So why is he seeing the bastard in his dreams at night?
Angelo Pagan knows attraction to Gabe is suicide. He’s resolute to ignore the chemistry…until a police raid goes wrong. He critically injures Gabe, changing the trajectory of both their lives. Now the two can’t get close enough. They settle into a forbidden affair threatened by lies and betrayal, living on different sides of the law with no way of breaching the gap between them. With the authorities looking to make an example of Angelo, Gabe has to decide if it’s really worth it to hate the sin but love the sinner.
Reader Advisory: This book contains brief scenes of gang-related violence.
“You put the people you claim to care about in jeopardy and here you are, burying your sister. How does it feel to be the reason your sister’s dead? The reason your mother is heartbroken?”
Pagan just stared at Gabe, his lips curved, eyes mocking. Unmovable. Unreachable.
Gabe ached to punch him in the jaw, knock some sense into him. Some morals. Most of all he ached to touch the man, test the texture of those lips, and wasn’t that the most fucked-up thing of all? Before he stepped into this room his most pressing concern was how to react if Trish brought up marriage again, and now this.
Lusting over a criminal. Gabe pushed back his chair and got to his feet, spinning away in an attempt to hide the bulge in his jeans. He headed over to the door and opened it before turning to Pagan. “You can leave, but trust me when I tell you we will find the person responsible for this.”
Pagan got up, grabbing his sunglasses. He walked past Gabe, brushing up against him, body heat reaching out to scald him. Gabe hissed in a breath, schooling his features into a blank slate. His fingers twitched, itching to fist in the thick luxury of Pagan’s hair.
“I’d warn you not to take justice into your own hands, but I’m hoping you’ll try.”
Pagan stopped and met his gaze with a raised eyebrow.
“I want you to try something ’cause I’ll be there watching,” Gabe growled. “And I’ll get to lock your ass up. Take you off the streets finally.”
A slow smile spread over Pagan’s features, genuine and real, catching Gabe completely off guard. He fisted his hands at his body’s hungry reaction, glancing away before Pagan caught any signs of his attraction in his eyes.
“I’ll be seeing you, cop.”
Gabe turned back to him, watching as Pagan allowed his mask to slip for a second. There. Written behind those flashing gold eyes was the same heat. The same attraction.
Then he blinked and it was gone.
Pagan sauntered off, leaving Gabe’s heart thumping and his body aching.