Tag Archives: angst

Release Blitz: I’ve Got You by Becca Seymour

I’ve Got You | Becca Seymour

BANNER FB I've Got You.jpg

Buy Links:

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Amazon CAN | Amazon AUS

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Blurb

When a single dad and a newly outed veterinarian meet by chance, it takes red-cheeked conversations, a tentative friendship, and the willingness to put their hearts on the line to show these men they’re made for each other.

Single dad Davis Jackson is busy balancing his coffee shop and being the best dad he can be. That doesn’t mean he’s not lonely. After a fumbling encounter with a man who looks as gorgeous as he does unhappy, Davis is left wondering who the mystery man is.

All Davis knows is that he has never felt such an instant attraction to anyone before, but when he discovers the brown-eyed man’s identity, it’s clear the recently out-of-the-closet veterinarian is lost and quite possibly broken.

 

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Excerpt

I was thirty-three years old and still had no clue who I was.

Just two steps and I’d be able to breathe again.

One.

I clutched the handle and yanked the door open. Fresh air greeted me. I stepped into the darkness and pulled the door quietly closed behind me, then looked around the fenced backyard, only seeing the side panels and nothing beyond the darkness. My gaze settled on a couple of chairs. While it wasn’t complete escape, it gave me time to catch my breath and get my head straight.

Easing into the wooden chair, I leaned back, stretching out my neck and glancing up at the star-filled sky. With no lights on in the yard and just the faint glow filtering out from the busy kitchen, I was able to focus on the tiny specks overhead. I released a heavy exhale, pulling the calmness of the outside into me. I shouldn’t have come. Damn, I should have been at least two thousand miles away by now, away from this tiny town that threatened to splitapart my whole world.

Claws on the wooden deck, a not-so-softgrunt and sigh, and I glanced to my right to see Carter and Tanner’s monster dog, Rex, ambling over to me. The first couple of times I’d met Rex at the veterinary clinic, it was no surprise to Carter or methat the Ridgeback had taken an instant dislike to me. Hell, I didn’t even like myself most of the time. But as he walked toward me, I no longer tensed in fear. This was the third visit I’d made to Carter’s, andit seemed Rex had had a change of heart.

He huffed as he sat next to me, his large head immediately landing on my thighs. My first real smile of the night spread across my lips, andI reached out both hands and rubbed behind Rex’s ears. “Hey there, mutt.” I rubbed a bit harder, andhe moaned happily. I snorted. “You like that, huh?” Rextilted his head and leaned his right ear into my palm. “You know, bud, I think you’ve got the right idea.” He blew heavily out of his snout, andI laughed, the sound filling the quiet space. “Life’s a hell of a lot easier if you’ve got no balls at all to lead you around and confuse the heck out of you.”

A snort-laugh from out of the darkness had me tensing. I squinted, looking toward the end of the yard. After a moment, my eyes adjusted and I saw a man looming, his figure moving closer until he stepped into the faint light.

Damn.So much for alone.

Rex’s head flipped to the side to look at the guy coming toward me. He grunted again and then thumped his head back down onto my thighs before nudging my hand for me to continue.

I started to rub, not as invested, nor as relaxed. With my jaw locked, I risked a glance at the guy. Light spilled onto the stranger’s face, highlighting his strong jawline. While I couldn’t see the color of his eyes, I did see the creases surrounding them. It immediately made him seem approachable and friendly. As he moved closer, a small smile lifted his mouth. My gaze landed on the slight curve of his lips before traveling back to his eyes. They were brown, but in the dull light, I couldn’t tell the exact shade or depth.

Friendly, he most definitely was, if his smile and the “Hey” he offered me were anything to go by. But he also looked tired as hell.

I cleared my throat, suddenly aware I’d stayed quiet for a few seconds too long. “Hey.” My voice was gravelly and sounded unnaturally deep.

The guy paused in front of me, his hands dipping into his jeans pockets. He was quiet for a beat, seeming to contemplate what to say.

“You know Rex then?”

I nodded and then took a glance at the large head resting on my lap. With a small nod, I smiled. “Yeah. He finally likes me, so I’m taking it as a win that we’re friends.”

The brown-eyed man’s head tilted slightly, his gaze scanning my face a moment before his eyes returned to mine. “So you’re a friend of Carter’s?”

A humorless snort burst free, not enough to startle Rex, but enough for the guy to raise his brows. I cleared my throat again, not especially likingthe fact that it seemed to be closing up and becoming uncomfortably dry in front ofthis guy. “Well, sort of. We used to work together.”

“Not anymore?”

I bit back the bitter retort dancing on my tongue, tempted to ask if that wasn’t what “used to” explicitly meant. There was no need for me to be so defensive or any bigger of an asshole than I already had a reputation for being.

“Nope. Just trying to figure out my next move.” I clamped my mouth shut, wondering why I’d shared so much. He sat on the lounger beside me, stopping my analysis. “Please, take a seat.” Damn, I really needed to learn to keep my mouth shut and stop being a dickhead. “Sorry.” I threw him a small grimace, noticing both of his perfectly arched brows were lifted, his attention solely on me. There was also a small smile on his lips. I was positive I saw it twitch.

“Hey, I can leave.”

Though, he stayed put, making no indication he planned on moving. He didn’t even shrug or twitch as he spoke.

While solitude had been what I’d craved, I was smart enough to recognize that just maybe not being alone was a good thing. Being alone, I was discovering, was not helpful at all. All it did was give me too much time with my thoughts. And that had a habit of screwing with my head. While I’d sought the quiet, especially since my blowout with Carter a while back, I recognized how dangerous isolation could be.

Loneliness was a slippery slope.

AUTHOR PICTURE-Let Me Show You-Becca Seymour

About the Author

Becca Seymour lives and breathes all things book related. Usually with at least three books being read and two WiPs being written at the same time, life is merrily hectic. She tends to do nothing by halves so happily seeks the craziness and busyness life offers.

Living on her small property in Queensland with her human family as well as her animal family of cows, chooks, and dogs, Becca appreciates the beauty of the world around her and is a believer that love truly is love.

Social Media

Author Website: https://beccaseymour.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/authorbeccaseymour

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/beccaseymourauthor/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/beccaseymour_

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorbeccaseymour/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18745264.Becca_Seymour

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/21905/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Becca-Seymour/e/B07NYXX6JP

Giveaway

Becca is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. For a chance to win, enter via Rafflecopter:

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Blog Tour: Puzzle Pieces by JP Sayle

Puzzle Pieces by JP Sayle

La Trattoria Di Amore Series #1

Puzzle Pieces Tour Banner.jpg

MM Romance

Release Date: 17.05.19

Buy Links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Puzzle-Pieces-Trattoria-Amore-Book-ebook/dp/B07RFRLS7Q/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Puzzle-Pieces-Trattoria-Amore-Book-ebook/dp/B07RFRLS7Q/

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Blurb

Sebastian Smythe is an accomplished chef and restaurateur with several businesses and has the perfect life. That is until his long-term partner decides he no longer wants to be with him.

Suffering the devastation and loss of his “boy,” Sebastian struggles to let go of the past and move on and find someone new with his ex’s shadow still hanging over him.

Richie Bellinger has his life mapped out for him by his girlfriend. A career in management once he’s completed his masters at university. Then marriage, followed with a house and two point four kids, and they’d all live happily ever after.

Only the universe seems to have other plans for him. With his mother diagnosed with breast cancer and his father having done a runner, Richie finds himself dropping out of uni and applying for the position of office assistant at the restaurant, La Trattoria Di Amore, to earn money to pay the mounting bills.

Richie’s well-organised life is turned on its head when he meets the enigmatic Sebastian. All the things Richie thought he knew about himself and what he wanted are challenged at every turn.

Will these two learn that there is more to life if they just let go? Can they both accept each other, slot the puzzle pieces of their lives together, and reform their future?

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Excerpt

His head shot up, and he twisted his body, his pulse racing. He stared at Daddy, his mind in a complete fuddle as to what had just happened. As Richie glanced down his body at his limp cock, his cheeks heated. He was positive they now matched his flaming arse.

He groaned and buried his head back in the pillow.

“We’ll have less of that, boy. There will be no hiding from me. Not now, not ever. I won’t tolerate it. Do you understand?”

Richie looked up, meeting Daddy’s heated stare, grateful he lay belly down so Daddy couldn’t see how his body reacted to his “Daddy voice.” You are so fucked.

He ignored the voice in his head stating the obvious and answered, “Yes, Daddy.”

“Good boy. Now lie back down so I can rub in the coconut oil cream I found in the bathroom. You’ll feel a little tender for a few days.”

Richie heard the humour and smug satisfaction in Daddy’s voice as he did as he was told. He squirmed at the cold of the silky cream on the warmth of Daddy’s hand when it touched his overheated skin. Sensations spread down the crack of his arse. He spread apart his legs in an invitation. He wondered where the boldness came from, but Richie didn’t question it.

About The Author

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Let me introduce myself, my name is Jayne, I’m a lady of a certain age (50, bites fingernails). I am an identical twin, the younger one of course by 7 minutes. I am married to a wonderfully complicated man, or as he puts it, off his rocker Rob. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary recently. I have one daughter and two grandbabies, one boy and one girl.

I was born in the Isle of Man; this makes me Manx (not British or English). I moved to the UK for several years, and as a child, I lived in Italy for a while. But, the island calls to me so I returned home in 1998. I love the sea and now it’s only a stone’s throw from my home.

I have worked in the caring profession for 34 years and have been a hospital nurse manager, out of hours, for the past couple of years. I made the decision to work part time nights in 2016 so that I could pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a writer.

I have always believed that I could and would write a book, but life just seemed to get in the way. Until someone asked me the question, “What do I want?” The answer was easy, the hard part was making it happen. Well, it did and it has and it was life-changing for me.

So over two years later, my career path has changed and so has my life. I found my happiness again in something that just brightens my day. Now I won’t say it’s been a breeze because those who write know it’s not a total blast all the time, but it has been fun and exciting.

I am asked a lot why did I choose to write a gay romance. I went to a creative writing group (couldn’t recommend this enough for new writers); anyway, the course leader gave me these words of advice. “Put your inner critic aside, put pen to paper and just write, don’t worry about what comes out, just write.” I was a bit, ‘really that works’, but I decided to give it a go with it.

Ignored all the research I did, which said to write about what you know because that just wasn’t working for me for many reasons. The answer it seemed was to try something different and I found it flowed out and six weeks later I had the bones of my first book (113,000 words). Writing something so different to what I was doing in my life, freed me.

My island is steeped in folklore and I have used some of this in my writing, particularly Where it all Began: Manx Cat Guardians Origins. The book, I have to say I love the most, if I had to choose right now, but that might change ☺

Writing has unleashed a beast in my mind and now I can’t switch it off. I follow a lot of authors and I listen to them talking about their characters talking to them. I so get this now, I find myself muttering and talking at odd times. I wake up at 3 am in the morning, with bits of story wanting a voice.

I have six books written currently with two more in the pipeline and a couple of ideas for future series, so you never know what will come next. I have lots of places you can stalker me if you’re interested in finding out more.

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Doctor Dickward gets a great redemption arc

I've Got YouI’ve Got You by Becca Seymour

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love me a good redemption arc and that’s just what I got here as Becca Seymour completely turns around Doctor Dickwad and had me falling for him big time.

Davis was just the right man for Scott to lean on, first in friendship and then more, as he came to terms with acknowledging his sexuality out loud and all the levels of anxiety and doubt that came with it.

The narrative does a great job of slowly peeling back all the layers, never excusing Scott for his poor behaviour towards Carter in the first book, but giving explanations for why.

I loved pretty much everything in this story, including Scott’s sister and her two kids, and it never felt like the plot was ticking off boxes.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

View all my Goodreads reviews

One of Garrett Leigh’s best romances to date

Kiss Me Again
Kiss Me Again
by Garrett Leigh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I read a Garrett Leigh romance I know my emotions and my brain will be put through the ringer.

However, I also know that, ultimately, I will be left with such an overwhelming sense of hope once the story is done. Her books depict life in all its many shades, there is harshness but there is also joy.

This one is one of her best imho, it takes a truly complex medical condition – that of bipolar – and not only never sugarcoats the manic highs and scary lows – but also treats Ludo, and how it affects every aspect of his life, with respect.

There are moments in this when I wanted to shout at Aiden to warn him that Ludo was falling, moments when I wanted to hug Aiden because he was so determined to be the best help he could.

The scenes in the hospital when the two first meet are among the finest Garrett has written. The disorientation, the fears, the pain, the connection, the start of something beautiful, is all laid out with such clarity.

There wasn’t a bit of this book that didn’t work for me and I love how it’s also linked with a loose thread to her Dreams series. Ludo is Angelo’s cousin and while there is no reunion in this book, I’d love for Aiden and Ludo to take a trip down to Joe’s farm and visit with the gang.

Another brilliant addition to the catalogue of exemplary works from this author.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

View all my Goodreads reviews

Blog Tour: Gypsy’s Rogue by Layla Dorine

Gypsy’s Rogue | Layla Dorine

Gypsy's Rogue eCover.jpg

Buy Links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsys-Rogue-Layla-Dorine-ebook/dp/B07QDKGSP3

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gypsys-Rogue-Layla-Dorine-ebook/dp/B07QDKGSP3

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Gypsys-Rogue-Layla-Dorine-ebook/dp/B07QDKGSP3

Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.com.de/Gypsys-Rogue-Layla-Dorine-ebook/dp/B07QDKGSP3

Blurb

Growing up with a strictly religious father in a house with little joy, or love, left Grady Stoltz eager to get out. At the first opportunity that presented itself, they left home with a young man who swept them off their feet, used their preferred pronouns, and accepted that they were gender fluid and wished to shed the name Grady and all of the constraints of their former life.

Dubbed Gypsy, they never expected to return to that farm or the rural community they’d been raised in, but life took some unexpected turns, and they found themselves returning four years later. A little older, a little wiser, and the new owner of a house full of memories and regrets.

Cleaning the place up is only the first step towards deciding if they wish to sell it, or if they wish to stay and try and make a life for themselves in a place they’ve never felt as if they belonged. Haunted by the memories of the father who could never accept them, the mother they lost at a young age, and their own shortcomings and failures, they are in a very dark place when Rogue arrives.

Charismatic when performing in front of an audience, yet shy and vulnerable when faced with the prospect of being alone in a crowd, Rogue seeks shelter with Gypsy on their middle of nowhere farm, hoping for a new beginning and a chance to see if the tiny spark that had flared between them once before, can be kindled into a roaring flame.

Two battered souls, one tattered farmhouse, an old dog, a cranky chicken, several misspoken words, and one crazed ex-husband combine in an explosive combination of truth, lust, dreams, and vengeance.

Will the force of it tear Gypsy and Rogue apart, or will it leave them closer than they ever dared to hope?

Excerpt

They rolled, blinking against the torrent, rainwater washing into their eyes, over their cheek, down their chin. Gypsy opened their mouth and it coated their tongue, nearly gagging as it hit the back of their throat, forcing them to swallow. It was cold and pure and they wondered, for a moment, if this was what the sky tasted like. A deep chuckle drew their eyes left, to a pair of black shitkickers standing out in stark contrast to the muddy green of their lawn.

Those boots were attached to long legs encased in wet denim, a sodden House of 1000 Corpses t-shirt stretched across a thickly muscled chest. Through their watery gaze they caught a glimpse of tattoos wrapped around a tanned pair of arms, their breath catching in their chest when they couldn’t fully make out the patterns of them.

Oh god, oh god it couldn’t be. They strained to see the man’s face, but the rain was blocking out his features. Gypsy began to panic, sucking in breath after breath, hyperventilating, as if the crying hadn’t been enough. They wished a sinkhole would swallow them up even while they were grateful the rain had washed away their tears.

Gypsy was only vaguely aware of the man going to one knee beside them until he reached out. Recoiling sharply away from his touch, Gypsy went rolling through the mud. Their breathing picked up more, sucking in panicked gulps as they closed their eyes and squeezed their fists until mud squished through their fingers.

“Hey now. Gypsy. Hey, slow down your breathin’ for me. I didn’t mean ta scare you.”

He reached out again, and this time Gypsy was too tired to pull away. Exhausted, cold, with frayed emotions and their clothing stuck to their skin, they focused on the voice and tried not to fall off a cliff of blind panic.

“You can do better than that. Stop holding your breath, ya gotta breathe,” the voice insisted and they could feel their hand being placed against the center of a muscular chest so that the heartbeat thudded gently beneath their fingertips.

“Try and match your breathing to mine. Shit, I didn’t think you’d react like this to me coming out to see ya.”

They gasped, shuddered, batted weakly at the hand until they let go.

“Shit, Gypsy, I’m not gonna hurt you.”

The man’s voice slowly sunk in and with it came the realization that it wasn’t their ex. They wanted to weep all over again for the mercy of that small act. Their breathing eased, and slowly, slowly they unclenched their fists from the grass. Rogue didn’t attempt to touch them again, just heaved a sigh and flopped onto his back beside Gypsy, shoved his rain soaked hair out of his eyes and let the deluge wash over him.

“Shower broken?” he quipped.

“No.” They didn’t look at him again, couldn’t. Gypsy was betting there would be pity in his eyes, that, or he’d be eyeing them up like he was measuring them for a padded room.

“So this is for fun then?” He wiggled a little, getting comfortable, settling in like he planned to be there awhile.

“Why are you here? How did you ever find me?”

He chuckled again, turned on his side, brushed the wet grass aside so he could see them more clearly.

“You told me about this place over a bottle of Grey Goose and Brit Coms.”

A bark of laughter erupted from their throat, harsh, rough, but it was a pleasant memory and damn, they needed those. “You laughed so hard you puked.”

“Yeah, that was your fault too. Never thought those things would be remotely amusing.”

“That doesn’t explain how you were able to find it.”

“We always keep records of the towns we’ve visited and the places we’ve set up shows. It wasn’t hard to backtrack through them and figure it out.”

“Why would you go through that much effort for me?”

“Why not? You didn’t call, you didn’t write, so when Isaac told me you’d headed back here, I figured I’d come find out what happened and make sure you were okay. You said you’d never return here, so I figured something drastic had to happen to change your mind.”

“My father died.”

“Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”

“I don’t know yet.”

“Then I’ll wait ‘til you decide if you want condolences or a celebration.”

“That’s harsh. I wouldn’t…I’d never…”

“Sorry. I would though.”

“You didn’t even know my old man.”

“I was talking about mine.”

About the Author

LAYLA DORINE lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, cooking, and dabbling with several artistic mediums. In addition, she loves to travel and visit museums, historic, and haunted places, caves, monuments, national parks and quirk spots.

Layla got hooked on writing as a child, starting with poetry and then branching out, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls.

She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found curled up with a good book and a kitty on her lap.

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005197938547&fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/layladorine

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/layladorine/

Tumblr: https://layladorine.tumblr.com/

Author Website: layladorine13.wix.com/layladorineauthor

Author on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9814124.Layla_Dorine

 

 

I’m so glad Kieran and Bennett got their “one more day”

Close-up portrait of a handsome young man with brave manly face.
If We Could Go Back
by Cara Dee

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been pondering for ages just how to review this book.

Do I focus on the brilliant way Cara Dee makes you root for a couple who are breaking a romance taboo?

Do I focus on the narrative which takes you on a five-year journey from tentative friendship, through to genuine affection and into a deep-rooted forever love?

Do I focus on how life isn’t black and white but made up of various shades of grey, some much darker than others, and how Bennett and Kieran struggled throughout their affaires de cœur?

Or do I focus on how this book is about love, about how it finds us in the most unlikely of places at times and how the journey to a lifelong happy ending is often paved with broken glass and shards of other peoples’ pain?

Let me just say that I adored this book. I adored Bennett and Kieran, I loved their collective kids, I loved Bennett’s dad and his sister, I loved Kieran’s sister Grace and his brothers Des and Con. I hated Kieran’s other family. I felt sorry for Maggie and I was utterly indifferent to Allison.

“You’re my ‘If I could just have one more day’ person. You know what I mean?”

Yes Kieran, I know what you mean and I’m so glad you and Bennett got your one more day.

As a PS, this cover also features one of my all-time favourite models so that’s another bonus point 😉

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

View all my Goodreads reviews

Release Blitz: Gypsy’s Rogue by Layla Dorine

Gypsy’s Rogue | Layla Dorine

Gypsy's Rogue eCover.jpg

Buy Links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsys-Rogue-Layla-Dorine-ebook/dp/B07QDKGSP3

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gypsys-Rogue-Layla-Dorine-ebook/dp/B07QDKGSP3

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Gypsys-Rogue-Layla-Dorine-ebook/dp/B07QDKGSP3

Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.com.de/Gypsys-Rogue-Layla-Dorine-ebook/dp/B07QDKGSP3

Blurb

Growing up with a strictly religious father in a house with little joy, or love, left Grady Stoltz eager to get out. At the first opportunity that presented itself, they left home with a young man who swept them off their feet, used their preferred pronouns, and accepted that they were gender fluid and wished to shed the name Grady and all of the constraints of their former life.

Dubbed Gypsy, they never expected to return to that farm or the rural community they’d been raised in, but life took some unexpected turns, and they found themselves returning four years later. A little older, a little wiser, and the new owner of a house full of memories and regrets.

Cleaning the place up is only the first step towards deciding if they wish to sell it, or if they wish to stay and try and make a life for themselves in a place they’ve never felt as if they belonged. Haunted by the memories of the father who could never accept them, the mother they lost at a young age, and their own shortcomings and failures, they are in a very dark place when Rogue arrives.

Charismatic when performing in front of an audience, yet shy and vulnerable when faced with the prospect of being alone in a crowd, Rogue seeks shelter with Gypsy on their middle of nowhere farm, hoping for a new beginning and a chance to see if the tiny spark that had flared between them once before, can be kindled into a roaring flame.

Two battered souls, one tattered farmhouse, an old dog, a cranky chicken, several misspoken words, and one crazed ex-husband combine in an explosive combination of truth, lust, dreams, and vengeance.

Will the force of it tear Gypsy and Rogue apart, or will it leave them closer than they ever dared to hope?

Excerpt

They rolled, blinking against the torrent, rainwater washing into their eyes, over their cheek, down their chin. Gypsy opened their mouth and it coated their tongue, nearly gagging as it hit the back of their throat, forcing them to swallow. It was cold and pure and they wondered, for a moment, if this was what the sky tasted like. A deep chuckle drew their eyes left, to a pair of black shitkickers standing out in stark contrast to the muddy green of their lawn.

Those boots were attached to long legs encased in wet denim, a sodden House of 1000 Corpses t-shirt stretched across a thickly muscled chest. Through their watery gaze they caught a glimpse of tattoos wrapped around a tanned pair of arms, their breath catching in their chest when they couldn’t fully make out the patterns of them.

Oh god, oh god it couldn’t be. They strained to see the man’s face, but the rain was blocking out his features. Gypsy began to panic, sucking in breath after breath, hyperventilating, as if the crying hadn’t been enough. They wished a sinkhole would swallow them up even while they were grateful the rain had washed away their tears.

Gypsy was only vaguely aware of the man going to one knee beside them until he reached out. Recoiling sharply away from his touch, Gypsy went rolling through the mud. Their breathing picked up more, sucking in panicked gulps as they closed their eyes and squeezed their fists until mud squished through their fingers.

“Hey now. Gypsy. Hey, slow down your breathin’ for me. I didn’t mean ta scare you.”

He reached out again, and this time Gypsy was too tired to pull away. Exhausted, cold, with frayed emotions and their clothing stuck to their skin, they focused on the voice and tried not to fall off a cliff of blind panic.

“You can do better than that. Stop holding your breath, ya gotta breathe,” the voice insisted and they could feel their hand being placed against the center of a muscular chest so that the heartbeat thudded gently beneath their fingertips.

“Try and match your breathing to mine. Shit, I didn’t think you’d react like this to me coming out to see ya.”

They gasped, shuddered, batted weakly at the hand until they let go.

“Shit, Gypsy, I’m not gonna hurt you.”

The man’s voice slowly sunk in and with it came the realization that it wasn’t their ex. They wanted to weep all over again for the mercy of that small act. Their breathing eased, and slowly, slowly they unclenched their fists from the grass. Rogue didn’t attempt to touch them again, just heaved a sigh and flopped onto his back beside Gypsy, shoved his rain soaked hair out of his eyes and let the deluge wash over him.

“Shower broken?” he quipped.

“No.” They didn’t look at him again, couldn’t. Gypsy was betting there would be pity in his eyes, that, or he’d be eyeing them up like he was measuring them for a padded room.

“So this is for fun then?” He wiggled a little, getting comfortable, settling in like he planned to be there awhile.

“Why are you here? How did you ever find me?”

He chuckled again, turned on his side, brushed the wet grass aside so he could see them more clearly.

“You told me about this place over a bottle of Grey Goose and Brit Coms.”

A bark of laughter erupted from their throat, harsh, rough, but it was a pleasant memory and damn, they needed those. “You laughed so hard you puked.”

“Yeah, that was your fault too. Never thought those things would be remotely amusing.”

“That doesn’t explain how you were able to find it.”

“We always keep records of the towns we’ve visited and the places we’ve set up shows. It wasn’t hard to backtrack through them and figure it out.”

“Why would you go through that much effort for me?”

“Why not? You didn’t call, you didn’t write, so when Isaac told me you’d headed back here, I figured I’d come find out what happened and make sure you were okay. You said you’d never return here, so I figured something drastic had to happen to change your mind.”

“My father died.”

“Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”

“I don’t know yet.”

“Then I’ll wait ‘til you decide if you want condolences or a celebration.”

“That’s harsh. I wouldn’t…I’d never…”

“Sorry. I would though.”

“You didn’t even know my old man.”

“I was talking about mine.”

About the Author

LAYLA DORINE lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, cooking, and dabbling with several artistic mediums. In addition, she loves to travel and visit museums, historic, and haunted places, caves, monuments, national parks and quirk spots.

Layla got hooked on writing as a child, starting with poetry and then branching out, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls.

She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found curled up with a good book and a kitty on her lap.

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Author Website: layladorine13.wix.com/layladorineauthor

Author on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9814124.Layla_Dorine

 

 

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