A MelanieM Release Day Review: Stage Two (Lexington Lovers #3) by Ariel Tachna

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

 

Love has a steep learning curve.

Assistant high school principal Blake Barnes has everything he wants—a chance to help troubled students and an outlet for his passion for theater. Well, almost everything—he still goes home to an empty apartment. Then his high school crush explodes back into his life, the unexpected guardian of two boys in Blake’s care.

Thane Dalton has always been a bad boy through and through. Not much has changed, including his mistrust of authority figures, and no amount of institutional bureaucracy will keep him from protecting his nephews from the bullies terrorizing them. If that means butting heads with Blake, so be it.

Blake and Thane have lessons to learn: that they both have the boys’ best interests at heart, that the tension between them isn’t just confrontational, and that sparks can fly when opposites come together.

Stage Two by Ariel Tachna was just an excellent all around story, that it happened to include a romance was a definite plus as well.  It was as much about two young teenagers adjusting to the loss of their mother, making a new home with their uncle, dealing with, frankly, a very scary bullying situation in their new school as it is about Blake and Thane finding each other.  That it all happens under stressful conditions realistically portrayed here by the author is one of this story’s strengths.  Everyone becomes more grounded and believable when faced with the situations and relationship dynamics dealt with within this story.  And it’s a guarantee for us to connect with them all.  I deny anyone not to feel the pain and loss that these boys are going through. Its comes pouring out so vividly here that you want to comfort them yourselves.  In tandem with those boys grief is their uncle’s confusion, bewilderment and anger. Thane too has lost his sister, he’s trying to deal with being a guardian to two boys in mourning in a new situation and unsure he can handle it all.  That his go to method of dealing is anger and all too often his fists to settle situations?  Well, I think we have all met people like Thane as well.

Blake is a joy of discovery, for the reader and all the main characters within the novel. I’m including the boys in with their uncle Thane since they are so much a part of this story.  New facets of Blake’s personality unfold to the delight of the reader, Thane and the boys as the narrative moves forward and all the characters find themselves in different situations inside and outside of school.  I found myself eager to know what new side of Blake was going to come forward and show itself.  And each time it did, the author managed to make it happen in such a way that I should have seen it all along.  So should have Thane.

This is a story of long ago attractions that come rushing back, but no real instant love.  Everything else is handled in a way that feels adult, responsible and yet, doesn’t rule out passion and romance.  And the fact that there’s two young men counting on both Blake and Thane.

As much as I adored the first two stories in the Lexington Lovers series, this is by far my favorite.  I recommend the entire series but they can all be read as stand alone tales so pick this up first.

Cover Artist: Bree Archer.  I really like this cover, from the background with the curtain to the model, just so well done.  Warm and inviting.

Sales Links

Book Details:

ebook, Dreamspun Desires #33, 224 pages
Expected publication: May 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1635331498 (ISBN13: 9781635331493)
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Lexington Lovers

An Alisa Review: Sand Trap (The Wyverns #4) by L.M. Somerton

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Exposing secrets can be lethal.

 

Crow has had his eye on baby-faced Shelton since the young man became part of the Wyverns, but Crow is a committed Dom and unsure that Shelton is ready, or willing, to become his submissive. Getting trapped together during a dust storm provides an opportunity to find out.

 

When the dust settles, the winds have scoured the desert and uncovered a shallow grave full of bodies. Smuggling people across the border is big business and Crow knows that the traffickers will not want their gruesome secret revealed to the authorities.

 

When Shelton is taken and used as collateral, Crow and the Wyverns have to decide just how far they are prepared to go to serve justice and save Shelton’s life.

 

This was another nice story in this series.  Crow and Shelton have been dancing around each other for quite awhile.  After the Wyverns are away on a mission for an extended period of time Crow decides they have had enough waiting.  They just get started exploring their connection when Shelton is taken.

 

Shelton and Crow have a great connection that they have built through their flirting and friendship.  We can see both Shelton’s and Crow’s feelings for each other and how desperate Crow is to get Shelton back.  With the length of this book there wasn’t actually much of it that had the characters together, which I would have liked to see more of.  I’m really looking forward to Hatcher’s story which I hope is next.

 

The cover art by Posh Gosh is eye catching and follows the pattern for the series.

 

Sales Links: Pride Publishing | Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 61 pages

Publication: May 2, 2017 by Pride Publishing

ISBN: 9781786515452

Edition Language: English

Series: The Wyverns #4

A Stella Review: Catch A Falling Star by Matt Burlingame

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RATING 3,5 out of 5 stars

A therapist once told Martin Stevens that being gay was the only thing that saved him from being the most boring man alive. He spends his daytime working a dead-end job and his nights still pining after the ex-fiance who left him five years ago. When his older brother, Daniel, takes him to see a touring musical, a mishap sends superstar performer Alec Jameson flying off the stage right into Martin’s lap. It’s love at first sight. But can that love withstand the scrutiny of the press, a shock-jock radio personality bent on causing trouble, and the return of Martin’s overbearing ex-fiance?

I was very enthusiastic to read this new release by Matt Burlingame, the author conquered me with his holiday short called The Fortune Cookie and Catch a Falling Star was no exception.

This novella was exactly what I needed, it was sweet and fast paced and with loveable characters. Martin and Alec couldn’t be more different and that was exactly why they worked so well together, the first is considered from everyone a boring person, the second is a well known actor that everyone love. From the moment Alec literally fell on Martin, the attraction between them couldn’t be ignored.

I loved the main characters, I found both of them to be quite well done and cute, and the secondary ones, like Martin’s brother, were a huge bonus. He was supportive and stubborn to help his little brother in this new relationship. Yes, maybe the love is quick and instantaneous, but I’m a fan of those kind of stories so it didn’t bother me at all. It was sweet and romantic and simple with no drama, just how I wanted it to be.

I enjoyed Catch a Falling Star a lot, it  put me in a good mood and I can’t wait for more by this author.

The cover art by Can Stock Phot/ocusfocus is cute and well done. I like it.

Sales Link:  Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 64 pages

Published April 4th 2017 by Matt Burlingame

ASIN B06Y2KQHW4

Edition Language English

A Lila Release Day Review: The Perils of Intimacy by Rick R. Reed

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Jimmy and Mark make an adorable couple. Jimmy’s kindness and clean-cut cuteness radiate out of him like light. Mark, although a bit older, complements Jimmy with his humor and his openness to love.

But between them, a dark secret lurks, one with the power to destroy.

See, when Mark believes he’s meeting Jimmy for the first time in the diner where he works, he’s wrong.

Mark has no recollection of their original encounter because the wholesome Jimmy of today couldn’t be more different than he was two years ago. Back then, Jimmy sported multiple piercings, long bleached dreadlocks, and facial hair. He was painfully skinny—and a meth addict. The drug transformed him into a different person—a lying, conniving thief who robbed Mark blind during their one-night stand.

Mark doesn’t associate the memory of a hookup gone horribly wrong with this fresh-faced, smiling twentysomething… but Jimmy knows. As they begin a dance of love and attraction, will Jimmy be brave enough to reveal the truth? And if he does, will Mark be able to forgive him? Can he see Jimmy for the man he is now and not the addict he was? The answers will depend on whether true love holds enough light to shine through the darkness of past mistakes.

The Perils of Intimacy is a story about the power of love in all its degrees. It centers around Marc and Jimmy, but it goes beyond their connection to all of those who interact with them–directly or indirectly–on a daily basis. And those who played an important part of their formative years and past.

I’m not going to get into detail on the reasons why this story is more than an MM Romance because isn’t a traditional one. There’s no knight in shining armor, or grand gesture to bring the main characters together. They find their chance at love by loving themselves, and that love serves as the bonding element that brings them together in the end. It’s definitely an excellent piece of gay fiction.

It took me a minute to get used to the dual first-person present POV. I’m not a fan of characters breaking the fourth wall in writing or acting for that matter, but the author did a great job intertwining Marc’s and Jimmy’s life threats. Making them seem like a friend telling the reader their life story.

As told by the title, intimacy is the centerpiece of this novel. How it plays a role in every interaction we have and in what we want for our futures. It shows its levels and how deep and meaningful it can be for those touch by it.

There’s a lot of background information for all the characters in the story. Everyone has a reason to cross paths. There’s a lot of drama, but not angst. Even when I spend one part of the story thinking, “please don’t do it.” Don’t get me wrong, there are some sad moments in the story, but the hope that comes from every conversation in this book is enough to keep the reader entail.

After the thirty-five percent mark, I was completely engrossed in the story. I normally take a couple of days off to think about the stories before writing my reviews, but I didn’t want to miss a point so I’m writing it only an hour or two after finishing it.

If you’re looking for an angst-filled, overly dark and sad book, I don’t think this is it. This book is about love, hope, second chances, and the reality of many gay men. It lets the reader into a very real world, with detailed descriptions of drug usages and recovery–of pain, wishes, mistakes, and transformations.  It might not be everyone’s perfect love story, but it is perfect for Marc and Jimmy. It’s their journey for us to learn and for them to tell.

The cover by Reese Dante is perfect for the story. It doesn’t only portraits Jimmy during his addiction, but the thoughtfulness of the book.

Sale Links: DreamspinnerAmazon | Kobo

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published: May 1, 2017, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 1635336384 (ISBN13: 9781635336382)
Edition Language: English

 

RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway: Risky Behavior by LA Witt and Cari Z

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Risky Behavior (Bad Behavior #1) by L.A. Witt and Cari Z.
R
iptide Publishing
Cover by: G.D. Leigh

Read an Excerpt/Buy it Here at  Riptide Publishing

 

Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/Cari Z/L. A. Witt blog tour for Risky Behavior, book 1 of the Bad Behavior series!

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of one eBook off each author’s backlist (excluding Risky Behavior) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 6th.  Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

About Risky Behavior

It’s day one of Darren Corliss’s career as a detective, and not only has he been assigned a notoriously difficult partner, but the guy might also be a pill-popping dirty cop. Internal Affairs needs proof, and Darren gets to be their eyes and ears whether he wants to or not.

Detective Andreas Ruffner doesn’t play by the rules, and he doesn’t play well with others. With bodies piling up and a list of suspects who are way above his pay grade, the last thing he needs is a wet-behind-the-ears kid for a partner. Or babysitter. Not even if that partner is easy on the eyes.

As Darren gains Andreas’s hard-won trust, they both realize there’s more than just mutual suspicion simmering beneath the surface. But their investigation is heating up as quickly as their relationship, and Darren has no choice but to go along with Andreas’s unorthodox—and borderline unethical—methods. As IA puts the squeeze on Darren to give up the man he’s falling for, he has to wonder—is Andreas the only cop left in this town who isn’t dirty?

Risky Behavior is available from Riptide Publishing.

About Cari Z

Cari Z was a bookworm as a child and remains one to this day. In an effort to combat her antisocial reading behavior, she did all sorts of crazy things, from competitive gymnastics to alligator wresting (who even knew that was legal!) to finally joining the Peace Corps, which promptly sent her and her husband to the wilds of West Africa, stuck them in a hut, and said, “See ya!” She also started writing, because some things she just thought she could do better. She’s still climbing that ladder, but can’t stop herself from writing, or from sharing what she creates.

Cari enjoys a wide range of literary genres, from the classics (get ‘im, Ahab) to science fiction and fantasy of all types, to historical fiction and reference materials (no, seriously, there are so many great encyclopedias out there). She writes in a wide range of genres as well, but somehow 90% of what she produces ends up falling into the broad and exciting category of m/m erotica. There’s a sprinkling of f/m and f/f and even m/f/m in her repertoire, but her true love is man love. And there’s a lot of love to go around.

Cari has published short stories, novellas, and novels with numerous print and e-presses, and she also offers up a tremendous amount of free content on Literotica.com, under the name Carizabeth.

Connect with Cari at http://cari-z.net/  or via her blog, http://carizerotica.blogspot.com/

About L.A. Witt

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut . . .

L. A.’s backlist is available on her website, and updates (as well as random thoughts and the odd snarky comment) can be found on her blog or on Twitter (@GallagherWitt).

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Risky Behavior, one lucky winner will receive an ebook from each Cari and Lori’s backlist and a $10 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 6, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Release Day Blitz: Nate and the New Yorker by Kevin Klehr (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Nate and the New Yorker

Series: Nate and Cameron, Book 1

Author: Kevin Klehr

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: May 1, 2017

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 23300

Genre: Contemporary, cisgender, contemporary, cross-dressing, depression, gay, grief, long distance relationship, non-explicit, paranormal, reunited, romance, vacation

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Cameron has it all. He’s rich, lives in Manhattan, and even has a cross-dressing butler. But then he meets Nate, an Australian who’s bitter about love. Cameron is determined to turn this realist into a dreamer by sharing his world of classy restaurants, Broadway shows, and fabulous parties. And while Nate’s friends see the makings of a fantasy romance, it’s Nate who has to learn that in order to open his heart, he has to face a painful secret.

Excerpt

Nate and the New Yorker
Kevin Klehr © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Trailer: https://youtu.be/p3zjFttpjXc

Both Cameron and I had Hawaiian shirts to wear, while Rowena sported a tie-dyed sarong and an afro wig. And around us, interesting guests wore chic little skirts, James Dean–style jackets, hippie gear, and mod wear.

“You haven’t introduced me yet,” said a middle-aged woman to Cameron. Her rust-colored coat had a masculine cut. Yet she elegantly held a long-stemmed cigarette holder with something that smelled very much like a joint burning on the end.

“Sorry,” said my charming American. “This is my friend, Nathan. And this well-dressed lady is my aunt Beverley.”

“Nice to meet you,” I said.

She took my hand and kissed it. “I hope you don’t think me too forward; it’s just that you’ve got such fascinating features.”

“My aunt likes to flirt.”

“It runs in the family,” she replied. She gave me a measured wink. “Now, nephew, where have you been hiding this handsome Englishman?”

“I’m Australian.”

“It’s your accent. I never can tell the difference.”

“I need you!” yelled a girl in a flower necklace. She was the drummer of the band and was addressing our host.

“It’s time,” Cameron said.

“Time for what?” I asked.

He kissed me on the cheek and then headed for the microphone stand.

“You’re in for a treat,” whispered Aunt Beverley, her voice raspy from years of smoking.

“He sings?” I asked.

“He sings,” she replied.

A laid-back strum of the bass guitar started the song, followed by a drum beat. Then the vocal. And before I knew it, I was being serenaded in front of a room full of acquaintances. But, wow! What a unique experience.

“I’ve never seen him go out on a limb for someone like this before,” said his aunt.

I smiled politely, then closed my eyes. He was crooning. His honey voice made my soul rise out of my body and search for a dream. And in the hip nightclub that appeared in my mind, he wore a gray suit with a crimson tie, standing tall in front of the trumpet section who were waiting for their cue. And I was the only one in the club.

“Where are you?” asked Aunt Beverley in a low tone.

I wanted to say I was in love but stopped myself. I realized it was rude to have my eyes closed during Cam’s song. I opened them. He had me in his sights. I wanted to jump into the waves on his Hawaiian shirt and end up on a deserted island with just him and me.

“Would you like a toke of my cigarette, Nathan?”

“No, thank you. I think the fumes have already hit me.”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Kevin lives with his long-term partner, Warren, in their humble apartment (affectionately named Sabrina), in Australia’s own ‘Emerald City,’ Sydney.

From an early age, Kevin had a passion for writing, jotting down stories and plays until it came time to confront puberty. After dealing with pimple creams and facial hair, Kevin didn’t pick up a pen again until he was in his thirties. His handwritten manuscript was being committed to paper when his work commitments changed, giving him no time to write. Concerned, his partner, Warren, secretly passed the notebook to a friend who in turn came back and demanded Kevin finish his story. It wasn’t long before Kevin’s active imagination was let loose again.

His first novel spawned a secondary character named Guy, an insecure gay angel, but many readers argue that he is the star of the Actors and Angels book series. Guy’s popularity surprised the author.

So with his fictional guardian angel guiding him, Kevin hopes to bring more whimsical tales of love, life and friendship to his readers.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | YouTube | Vimeo

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Release Blitz- Bryan T Clark’s Come To The Oaks (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Paperback: Amazon US | Amazon UK 


Length: 89,745 words


Blurb

n 1845, as America is drowning in its own racial conflict, in a time when forbidden love has to remain a secret, can two young men find love when one has everything to lose, and the other has nothing?

For Tobias, a young African man, life has ended before it began. Snatched abruptly from his homeland and enslaved into the Antebellum South, grand homes and majestic oak trees meant little to him. Now he is considered the property of other men, but his spirit would not be broken.

The awkward Benjamin Nathanael Lee lives a privileged life. His father owns the largest tobacco plantation south of the Mason Dixon line. Ben wants little to do with the harsh realities of running a plantation—that is, until he meets Tobias, the one person that changes everything for him.

Wealth, greed, and power brought them together. The same now threatens to separate them forever. The two men are on the verge of losing the one thing that matters: their love for one another. Against the odds, they steal off and embark on a journey to find freedom: the freedom to love one another and to live a life without the chains of slavery.

Come to the Oaks is the tale of a forbidden romance—a love forged by two young men as they journey through a land that is tearing itself apart.

Excerpt

In the dead of night, Tobias made his way out into the giant oaks. His heart pounded like that of a cat chasing a mouse as the cool air filled his lungs. Bursting with excitement, he had to slow his steps in the dark, to force his body not to run. They had shared a kiss, and he wanted more. Swiping away at a harassing cicada in front of him, he focused on where he was stepping, listening for Ben as he thought of that kiss.

Tobias smiled when he first heard what sounded like an owl’s call being carried to him on the gentle breeze. Immediately, he knew it was Ben—it was the worst impression of an owl he had ever heard.

Tobias must have been five feet in front of Ben before he saw him kneeling beneath the leafy canopy created by the massive oak trees.

“You’re right, it’s dark out here.” Tobias stopped in front of Ben and started to sit.

“No, not here.” Ben took Tobias by the hand and led him about thirty feet deeper into the grove of oak trees. “Here.” Ben pointed to a quilt spread out over a carpet of dried leaves.

Tobias stood over the small patchwork quilt as he listened for something, anything indicating that they weren’t alone. The rattling buzz of the cicadas and the susurration of the branches swaying above them was all he could hear. Being in the dark didn’t scare him—he was used to running through the jungle at night by himself. So why was he nervous?

Ben lay on the quilt. “Sit down.” A slight smirk brushed his face as he gently patted the quilt beside him. A devilish grin turned the corners of his mouth.

Tobias hesitated before taking a seat. He wondered what was going to happen. Was Ben going to kiss him again? Tobias forced himself to take a breath. When did I get so nervous? I was fine when I left the cabin. A light touch on his hand from Ben caused him to jerk his hand back and suck in a breath of cool air.

“Relax, no one’s out here.”

Tobias sighed deeply. “How long have you been out here?” His eyes had adjusted to the low light of the moon, and he was able to see Ben’s beautiful smile.

“About an hour. Beginnin’ to think you weren’t comin’.” Ben moved in closer to him. Their eyes locked onto one another. Leaning in, Ben gently kissed him. The ever-so-light touch of his lips caused Tobias to gasp for air.

The gentleness in the kiss, the sweetness in Ben’s innocent eyes as they focused solely on him, sent a warm sensation throughout his body. Meeting Ben’s piercing stare, Tobias initiated the next kiss. It was wet and awkward as they struggled to find the place they had been the other day. Feeling a light push across his chest, Tobias realized that Ben was trying to lay him down.

“Wait, wait!” Tobias broke free and sat up. “I’ve never done this.” His heart was pounding as he tried to think of what to say. He could feel his entire body quivering as if he was about to explode.

“Me neither,” Ben murmured, as he reached for Tobias again.

Author Bio


Bryan Thomas Clark is a boisterous extrovert who is a proud member of the GLBT community. After twenty-seven years in law enforcement, he retired in 2015. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Bryan now lives in the Central Valley of California with his husband of thirty-one years. Behind his keyboard working on his next novel, Bryan writes gay fiction with an emphasis on a moral dilemmas and M/M romance. On the rare occasions he isn’t writing, Bryan enjoys traveling, following his husband around the state of California to various equestrian competitions, laying by a body of water soaking up the sun, and watching a good movie while snuggled up with his husband on the couch.

 

https://www.facebook.com/Authorbryantclark/
https://twitter.com/bryantclarkx2
https://www.instagram.com/romanceauthor/

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Release Blitz – The Perils Of Intimacy by Rick R Reed (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK


Publisher: Dreamspinner Press


Length: 63,000 words


Cover Design: Reece Dante 


Blurb

Jimmy and Mark make an adorable couple. Jimmy’s kindness (and clean-cut cuteness) radiates out of him like light. Mark, although a bit older, complements Jimmy with his humor and his openness to love.

But between them, a dark secret lurks, one that has the power to destroy.

See, when Mark believes he’s meeting Jimmy for the first time in the diner where he works, he’s wrong.

Mark has no recollection of their original encounter because the wholesome Jimmy of today couldn’t be more different than he was two years ago. Back then, Jimmy sported multiple piercings, had long bleached dreadlocks, facial hair, and was painfully skinny. And he was a meth addict. The drug transformed him into a different person—a lying, conniving thief who robbed Mark blind during their one-night stand.

Mark doesn’t associate the memory of a hookup gone horribly wrong with this fresh-faced, smiling twenty-something… but Jimmy knows. As they begin a dance of love and attraction, will Jimmy be brave enough to reveal the truth? And if he does, will Mark be able to forgive him? Can he see Jimmy for the man he is now and not the addict he was? The answers will depend on whether true love holds enough light to shine through the darkness of past mistakes.

Excerpt

I watch from the corner of my eye as Cinnamon Roll, as I’ve dubbed him, downs his low-carb breakfast. How someone can eat poached eggs without any toast is beyond me, but it takes all kinds.

“You got a thing for him or what?” Matilda Blake, the other server on duty, whispers to me. She pauses just behind me with three plates balanced on two arms. I smell pancakes, bacon, and the sage aroma of sausage.

I turn a little to grin. “What?”

“Ah, don’t play innocent with me, Mister. I could see the lust in your eyes from fifty paces.”

I shrug. “Guilty. Maybe. A little.”

She laughs, and it’s a sound like a bell tinkling. Matilda doesn’t even reach five feet and probably doesn’t top ninety pounds, but she’s a workhorse like you wouldn’t believe. She has short, spiked blonde hair and numerous tattoos. On the weekends, she plays in an all-girl metal band called Two Spirit. And in my head, I call her Tinker Bell, because that’s who she looks like to me. She takes off to serve her customers, but not without prompting me to “Go over and talk to him.”

I busy myself filling ketchup bottles and the salt and pepper shakers I’ve removed from empty tables, but I keep an eye on Cinnamon Roll. His food is gone and the newspaper’s been abandoned and he’s staring off into space. I shudder because I wonder if he’s recognized me and is thinking about our last encounter, a little over two years ago, at his place on Dexter Avenue.

But no, that couldn’t be possible, could it? I’m a different person now, inside and out. Back then I was twenty, twenty-five pounds lighter than my current one hundred and sixty-five. I had a septum piercing like Ferdinand the Bull. My hair, which is now cut high and tight and is reddish brown, was long back then, bleached blond, dirty, and tangled up in dreadlocks that reached down almost to my waist. My skin had, I’m sure, a pasty and unhealthy pallor.

That person doesn’t even exist anymore, and even though it’s only been two years, I look completely different today. He’s probably just thinking about his day or something.

Right?

I walk over to his table, a little nervous that he’d come to and look at me with an accusing glare. There’d be a scene. And maybe I’d end up getting fired or something. Thinking back to what I did to him, I deserve it.

But when I approach his table, all he does is smile. And that smile melts my heart. It did back then too. Just not enough to keep me from my desperate and dark ways.

“You need anything else?”

He looks down at his paper and back up at me. A blush rises to his cheeks, and I gotta say it—there’s nothing more adorable than this face staring up at me right now.

 

 
Author Bio

 

Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love.

He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). He is also a Rainbow Award Winner for both Caregiver and Raining Men. Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.”

Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.

 

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/rickrreedbooks
Twitter: www.twitter.com/rickrreed
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RickReedWRITER
Blog: http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/
Website: www.rickrreed.com
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rick-r-reed
Email: rickrreedbooks@gmail.com

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