Style of Love | AJ Sherwood
Gay 4 Renovations #1
Release Date: March 4th, 2022
Universal Link: https://readerlinks.com/l/2340743
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Asher’s dream job: Interior design – check.
His dream boyfriend: Park Bo Gum – not check. Sadly.
Straight as a board, childhood bff Zar: check
Zar becoming his boyfriend: che–wait, what?!
Oh look a contemporary romance, GFY, Best friends to lovers, Dumbasses to lovers, not so much slowburn as two idiots standing around on fire, emotional baggage check, HGTV meets BL, family of choice, Asher needs a better family, Zar’s will adopt him, healthy choice making (and some impulsive ones), no angst here only cuddles, best friends giving The Talk, yes that one, Gage hates -coughlovescough- them, tropey tropes a lot, yaoi fangirls as co-workers leads to interesting situations, and sexy photoshoots, best supporting character goes to the dog, small town, Asher and Zar are so obvious there is a bet riding on them, Zar uses handcuffs for not sexy reasons, at least the first time, only one sledgehammer was sacrificed in the making of this book
Trigger warning: Toxic family members
Gage and I went to lunch afterwards, meeting at our favorite Chinese joint. As I waited for my order to arrive, he sat and looked me dead in the eye.
“You look tired, and it’s barely eleven.”
“God, don’t tell me I looked like that in front of clients.” I resisted the urge to get up and run for the bathroom mirror.
“No, it’s not obvious. Takes someone who knows you well.”
I relaxed in relief. “Well, you’ve known me since I was in diapers, so I guess you qualify. Truth is, Mom called me on the way over there.”
Gage slumped back in the chair, almost horizontal. “God, is she on that kick again?”
“She is. I think the whole family is. How many times do I have to come out to them before they get it?”
“I think they’re actively choosing to find other reasons for you not dating women. They’re not comfortable thinking of you with a guy, so they find mental ways around it.”
It sounded like a pretty accurate analysis. But then, Gage knew my family well, as we’d grown up next door to each other. We’d been in and out of each other’s houses our entire lives, despite him being two years older.
“After eight years, though, I’m out of patience. And tactics. I honestly don’t know what else to say or do to get through to them. Their latest tactic was trying to convince me to work for Adam at the dress shop.”
Gage’s expression turned blank. “How does selling wedding dresses make you straight?”
“No, think like them,” I corrected wearily. My mouth wanted to curl up in protest. “If I’m selling wedding dresses, then I’m around women all day. I’ll forget my gayness or some crap. That, and I’ll have a ‘steady’ income.”
“Uh…what? You have a steady income now.”
“But they don’t believe that.”
Gage kept staring at me, a man waiting for me to make sense.
“I don’t know what else to tell you.” I shrugged. “They don’t. They think I spend every dime I make as soon as I make it. The fact that I have a nice house and car and all of that makes no impact on them. They honestly think Adam is in a better financial situation.”
“Okay, now that’s insulting. I’m actually insulted for you.” Gage really did look it, too. “Because if you’re in a bad financial situation, then do they assume I am too? We work at the same company. We make the same amount of money. I’m a fucking structural engineer. Do they assume I’m making piss-poor money and then lying about it?”
“Oh snap, I didn’t think of it from that perspective. I don’t think they have either.” I pondered the situation for a second. “I think it’s more that I’m an interior designer, so therefore I can’t be making much money. I think that’s as far as the thought went. They have no faith that anyone in the arts can do well.”
“I,” Gage announced, “am going to crash your parents’ place for dinner and ream them out. And straighten them out. How dare they think so poorly of us.”
I grinned in delight. Gage when mad was like an orator. He could preach a sinner into confession.
“Do it. Let me be a fly on the wall, I don’t want to miss this.”
“I think you should watch. I know you hate arguing—”
“I’m entirely happy watching you doing the arguing for me. No problem.”
Gage gave me a satisfied grunt. He had a very evil look in his eye. “I think this has been a long time coming. Your parents might have good intentions, but my god am I tired of their methods. I’ve found it frustrating just watching you fight this out with them. I can at least prove without a shadow of a doubt that you’re doing great financially and get that argument settled.”
“Please and thank you. Let me know when you come up with a good tactic for how to convince them I’m gay.”
“Get a boyfriend.”
I stared at him, honestly a little miffed. Like I didn’t want a boyfriend. Like I hadn’t tried a thousand dating apps in the past three years. Even Grindr, god help me.
I threw it back at him. “Date me, then.”
My oldest friend didn’t even bat a blue eye. “I’m officially off the market. No one bought me, I just expired. Go date Zar.”
“Pfft, like our totally straight friend would date me.” I groaned and slouched in my chair. “Come to think of it, are you even interested in dating? I haven’t seen you with anyone since college.”
“I haven’t found anyone worth dating since college, either. I’d say I was picky, but…I’m just not interested in hookups. That scene got old quick.”
I nodded in agreement. I was with him on that one. “What we both want is a stable, sweet relationship.”
“With hot sex.” Gage sighed, slouching with me. “I guess that’s a tall order.”
“Apparently. Our dating life aside, we have a meeting in about”—I checked the time on my phone—“forty-five minutes. We’d better eat quickly and get over to the office.”
Gage slouched a little more. “The only way for me to get through the rest of the day is thinking of tonight. A movie in the park while getting drunk is just what today ordered. What are the odds Riggs has paperwork he wants me to fill out?”
I snorted. “I don’t take sure bets.”
About the Author
AJ Sherwood believes in happily ever afters, magic, dragons, good men, and dark chocolate. She’s often dreams at night of delectable men doing sexy things with each other.
In between writing multiple books (often at the same time) she pets her cats, plays with her dogs, and attempts insane things like aerial yoga.
She currently resides in Michigan with aforementioned cats and dogs.
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