Tell Me Our Story | Anyta Sunday
Release Date: March 21st, 2022
Cover Illustration: Lauren Dombrowski
Icy, standoffish Jonathan Hart always turned towards that laugh. Full-throated, uninhibited, addictive.
Soft smiles encouraging him over swing bridges. Hearty chuckles dancing around a ballroom. Wobbly grins. Double-glances. Eyes that brightened the world. His world.
From the moment he met David O’Hara, Jonathan started forming a smile of his own.
And then O’Hara left.
One lingering look.
No last goodbye.
Seven years later, that laugh again.
O’Hara. Still all fire and flame, still drawing Jonathan in.
And now he wants Jonathan paired with him in a seven-week social influencing challenge.
Now, he wants to finish melting his heart…
Jonathan sat at one of the dozen tables for the opening dinner and willed himself to hold it together. His first ICon. Months of mental preparation, and still he sweated. Willed himself not to search out the bright, full-throated laughter that rippled through the dining area. Willed himself not to scan the hundred-plus crowd for him.
But all during dinner, Jonathan’s ears had been filled with that uninhibited laughter. Like a wet umbrella popping open in his face, covering him forehead to chin in fresh rain. It tickled. Made him shiver.
He needed it. He needed to escape it.
Key-card cutting into his palm, he dashed to the lobby and pressed the up button between two brass-doored elevators. He’d go to his room. Call it in for the night.
Movement caught his peripheral vision. His nape prickled; his limbs locked together.
“I thought you lived in Sydney?” came a creamy female voice.
“Couldn’t miss out on all the naughty fun that happens at night.” That laugh. “Come on. Show me your room.”
“You’re determined, O’Hara.”
“I prefer charming.”
Both sets of elevator doors dinged and opened. Jonathan hurriedly slid into the fuller one, alongside another couple and their massive suitcases. He jabbed at the button for the 12th floor and the doors blessedly began to close.
“Quick, Mira. Let’s catch that one.”
“But the other one is empty—”
“Hold the doors!” O’Hara called jovially.
The middle-aged woman next to Jonathan immediately unfolded her arm and the doors buckled open again.
Jonathan dropped his gaze to the floor as they squeezed in. A glittery red dress and strappy heels pushed past him, followed by tight, monotone grey jeans and a darker grey jersey, artfully distressed at the hip.
A braided leather wristband caught his eye. O’Hara dropped his hand from the panel of floor buttons and a whoosh of air breezed against Jonathan’s arm. There was a slight hitch in the air. A hesitation.
Jonathan’s focus froze on the panel. No new number had lit up. Either O’Hara and Mira were on the same floor as the couple, or they were at the top like him.
The elevator creaked and groaned as it ascended, and Jonathan’s key-card bent under his squeezing grip. The floors took forever to pass.
O’Hara shifted, bumping into the couple’s suitcase. A thump had him crouching with cheerful apologies, and just like that they were talking about where they’d been in Australia so far, and where they should go, and joking about O’Hara’s accent—neither Kiwi nor Aussie despite his having lived in both countries, but it didn’t bother him, because everyone loved an unusual accent. It started many a conversation, just look.
The elevator reopened and the couple pushed out with their luggage, waving happily and wishing O’Hara and Mira a wonderful evening.
Jonathan looked quietly toward O’Hara’s black ankle boots, one crossed over the other. He couldn’t deny, O’Hara had always been skilled at forging connections.
The elevator clattered upwards again with a sway. He touched his fist to his mouth and focused rigidly on the floor numbers counting up, ignoring the whispers and flashes of twirling red and grey as O’Hara hummed Johann Strauss. That song. Was he . . . trying to say something?
“I thought the dancing was all made up,” Mira murmured.
“An old friend had ballroom-champion parents. He taught me . . . everything.”
Jonathan closed his eyes and squeezed his key-card.
Mira sighed. “Do you twirl everyone you meet?”
“It puts a smile on their faces, so why not?”
“A smile on their faces. Yeah, that’s why you do it.”
O’Hara didn’t respond, but there was another twirl of red and grey.
Jonathan shut his eyes—
The elevator groaned and stopped.
—he shot them open again.
The lights above died, and the doors weren’t opening. He drew in a deep breath and shoved the key-card into his pocket before he snapped it. Power cut. Probably due to the storm.
Any moment, it’d kick back on.
Keep it together.
About the Author
A bit about me: I’m a big, BIG fan of slow-burn romances. I love to read and write stories with characters who slowly fall in love.
Some of my favorite tropes to read and write are: Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers, Clueless Guys, Bisexual, Pansexual, Demisexual, Oblivious MCs, Everyone (Else) Can See It, Slow Burn, Love Has No Boundaries.
I write a variety of stories, Contemporary MM Romances with a good dollop of angst, Contemporary lighthearted MM Romances, and even a splash of fantasy.
My books have been translated into German, Italian, French, Spanish, and Thai.
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To celebrate the release of Tell Me Our Story, Anyta is giving away a complete e-set of her hit, Love, Austen Series