Rick heard Max before he saw him, even above the music. When Max poked his head into the lounge and did a quick scan, Rick expected him to leave or to speak to someone else, but after pausing for a moment, Max walked right up to him. His stomach was doing little flips, and Rick sighed, trying his best to ignore it.“Having fun?” Max asked as he approached. His tequila bottle was half-empty already, and yet he didn’t appear to be affected by it.“Yeah, I don’t know where Pete got to.” Rick took a swig of his beer.“Best not to ask,” Max said. “Ready for something stronger?” He tried to hand him the tequila bottle again.
“No, I’m good. Thanks, though. I’m not a big drinker.”
Max huffed a laugh.
“What gave you that idea?” Max took another gulp of his drink. Something seemed to catch his eye, and he waved. “Jade, over here.” As Rick looked toward the door to the kitchen, he groaned. This could not be happening. “Jade, this is—”
“Rick?” Jade looked at him in surprise. “What are you doing here?”
“You two know each other?”
“Um, yeah, kind of,” Rick said, recalling their occasional hookups. “Small world, huh?”
“Yeah, wow.” Jade snaked her slender arm around Max’s waist. “I guess you must’ve finished studying now?”
“Yeah, just finished. You?”
“Last year. I’m working here in Elfinbrook now.”
“How do you two know each other?” Max asked, frowning.
“College over in Leatherton when I was doing my hairdressing course,” Jade said. “Our classes were in the same building.”
“Oh, and we went out a couple of times.”
Rick cringed. Thanks, Jade.
Max’s expression froze for a second. “What?”
“Yeah, nothing serious, though, right, Rick? Don’t worry, sweetie, I think we got it out of our systems. I’m all yours when you decide to give me a chance.”
“I’ve got a thing for blonds.” Jade laughed and ruffled her hand through Max’s hair. “Although this one keeps turning me down and pretending he’s not interested.”
“You’re my best friend’s sister. There’s no way I’m going there. Do you know how much stick Sian would give me?”
“One day you’ll give in to my charms,” Jade said and hugged him. “Make sure you drink plenty, sweetie. You deserve it after putting up with that lot on tour. See you around, Rick.”
“Yeah, bye, Jade.”
“You and Jade, huh?” Max said finally.
“She’s a sweet girl.”
“What happened to you liking guys?”
“I like guys too. I’m bi.”
Rick tried to hold back a smile and failed. “Is that a problem?”
“I have no reason to care who you sleep with.”
Rick took a swig of beer, giving him the courage he needed to push a little more. “Pete was right about you.”
“How’s that?” Max frowned.
Their eyes locked, and despite his effort to ignore it, a spark of desire rocketed through him. Rick grinned. “That you have a sexy ass.”
Max rolled his eyes and glanced around nervously. “He did not say that. That’s totally gross. Pete’s like family.”
Rick waited until Max looked at him again. “No, you’re right. Doesn’t make it any less true, though.”
“Are you always like this?”
Max tugged at the label on his bottle. “Confident, I guess.”
“Life’s too short, right?”
“Right. Listen, I have to go see if my girlfriends are here yet.”
“Sure, I’ll see you later.”
Damn it, he should have known that was pushing too hard. And that Max would be in some sort of relationship. Flirting with Max was definitely out of the question; he knew that now. He just hoped he’d get a chance to see Max again later, that it hadn’t destroyed any chances of friendship with him.
Meet Max and Rick in a fun and entertaining summer read about a bunch of crazy-ass heavy metal musicians, a martial arts expert, and loads and loads of really delicious food. Purple Method is out on 9th July!Are you ready to join the party?
An up-and-coming heavy metal singer and a martial artist desperate to join a top MMA gym must decide how hard they’re willing to fight—for their dreams and each other.
Max Diaz is firmly in the closet, and as unbearable as that’s becoming, he can’t risk his only remaining family—his brother, Tony—or his band Purple Method’s chance to make it big.
Rick Bernstein dreams of rising in the ranks of the MMA circuit and securing a training career at a top gym, but with rejections coming thick and fast and his financial future in dire jeopardy, starting a relationship is the last thing on his mind—especially with someone who isn’t out.
But when Purple Method returns to Elfinbrook after a six-month tour, one kiss changes everything. Now Max and Rick face decisions that will change both of their lives forever.
Victoria Milne discovered fiction writing relatively late in life, back in 2012, and has loved every second of the journey. Her belief that life is one big adventure to be experienced to the max has stood her in good stead, but it has resulted in rather a lot of plot bunnies that don’t give her a minute’s peace!
A firm believer that consensual love should come without labels and without prejudice, these themes often appear in her stories, as do Victoria’s passions for martial arts, cooking, yoga, and loud music. It was no surprise when these subjects began to resonate in her writing, frequently taking center stage, and rather than fighting it she’s learned to accept and enjoy that these will always be indispensable elements in her work.
Although Victoria appreciates that stories don’t always have to have happy endings, hers always do—because everybody deserves to find their true love(s).
In 2016, Love Unlocked—the anthology in which her story “Writer’s Lock” was published—was a Rainbow Award finalist. The experience fueled her desire to learn as much about the mechanics of writing as she could. In 2017 Victoria completed her training with the Society for Editors and Proofreaders and became a full-time freelance editor. Victoria has always loved reading, and still can’t quite believe she’s been lucky enough to not only create books of her own but also help other writers perfect theirs too!
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