Follow Peter into the summer following his senior year to face new beginnings, new friends, and old baggage.
After a tumultuous final year of high school, Peter Mandel needs a break. It's the summer of 1991, and his secret relationship with his ‘best friend’ Adam Algedi is put on hold as Adam goes away to Italy for the summer. On the cusp of adulthood, Peter has a couple of months to explore who he is without Adam at his side.
Enter Daniel McPeak, a slightly older, out, responsible college guy with a posse of gay friends and an attraction for Peter. Drawn into the brave new world of the local gay club, Peter embarks on a whirlwind of experiences—good and bad—which culminate in a hotel room where he has to make the ultimate choice.
But Adam will come back eventually, and there are promises that have to be kept. As autumn draws near and college awaits, can Peter break free of the binds of twisted first love? And what exactly is Daniel's role in his life - a brief temptation, or something more?
Join Peter in the second book of this four-part coming of age series as he struggles to love and be loved, and grow into a gay man worthy of his own respect.
This new series by Leta Blake is gay fiction with romantic elements.
Book 2 of 4.
Length: 100,000 words, 328 pages
These books contain aspects of: New Adult fiction, ‘90s gay life, small city homosexual experiences, Southern biases, sexual exploration, romance, homophobia, bisexuality, and twisted-up young love. Oh, and a guaranteed happy ending for the main character by the end of Book 4.
The stool next to me wasn’t empty for long. Minty dropped onto it, his purple tutu rubbing against my chinos and his thin, white arms curled up to rest on the bar. He stared at me for a long, curious second. “I’ve met you before, right?”
“Yeah.” I shook off my disappointment and gave him my attention. “Last spring, up on campus.”
“Did we fuck?”
I almost choked on my soda. “No.”
“Right.” Minty frowned. “Did I suck you off?”
I stared at him.
“My car was broken down,” I said slowly. “Daniel helped me.”
Minty grinned. “Oh, right! I remember now. You looked amazing that night. Made of moonbeams. Everyone was made of moonbeams.” He tilted his head. “You look all right now too.”
Minty laughed and fluffed his tutu. He turned away from me to hammer his fists on the bar. “Jolly Zima, Barry! Watermelon! Hit me!”
Barry rolled his eyes, but he pulled a Zima out from the fridge and popped the lid, then reached under the counter and came out with a watermelon Jolly Rancher, unwrapped it, and dropped it into the drink. Minty slapped three dollars down and took a dainty sip.
“Ah! Perfection!” He turned to me with his eyelashes lowered flirtatiously. “Anyway, back to what you were saying. We haven’t fucked yet?”
Startled, nervous laughter bubbled out of my mouth.
“Minty,” Barry said. “Drink your Zima and leave Peter alone.”
“Sure thing. You’re the boss.” Minty sighed and leaned toward me conspiratorially. “He won’t fuck me either. What’s a girl gotta do these days? I mean, I look good, don’t I?”
I looked him over—white, though scuffed, ballet slippers, purple tutu, toned, pale, lithe arms, and his made-up face. “Sure. You look really pretty.”
Minty grinned. “Aw, you know how to make a girl feel nice.”
“Didn’t I just see you downstairs with two guys, though?”
“Two? Please. That’s just a warm-up.” He sniffed.
Renée appeared at my side, dropping an arm around my shoulder. “Minty, doll baby, I need you backstage in an hour. You’re my naughty boy tonight.”
“Okay, but I want to wear my tutu.”
“You’ll be gorgeous.” Renée grabbed hold of Minty’s face and looked him over. “We need to put some eyelashes on you too.”
“And red lipstick.”
“Yes! Every man in this room will ache to be in that pert ass of yours.” She glanced at me and then back at Minty. “Except Peter here.”
“He catches?” Minty asked.
“Like Johnny Bench, baby.”
I didn’t like my positional preferences being discussed like it was any of their business, but I was mystified that Renée seemed so certain about it. Was there something about me that screamed loves it up the ass?
“How do you know who Johnny Bench is, woman?” Barry handed Renée a milky-looking drink topped with brown liquor.
“I’ve never mentioned baseball to you and you know it.”
“Of course not. You’d never do that to me. Earl at Ringo Comics, though, he babbles on and on about it when he’s trying not to come. Earl says I catch like a pro.” She patted her ass.
Daniel was right last spring when he said Robert and Renée were the same but different people. Robert could be sassy and forthright about his sexual shenanigans, but raunchy details rarely left his mouth. My face burned.
“Hear, hear!” Minty cried, throwing back his head to draw a long swig from his Zima.
Barry frowned. It was the first time I’d seen Barry look even moderately unhappy about Renée—or Robert’s—indiscretions.
“What?” Renée asked defensively.
“Earl’s positive.” Barry’s gaze bore into her. “You used a condom?”
“Of course!” Renée licked her lips and shifted nervously to her other foot, her hip cocking out. “I always do. You know that.”
Minty bit his purple-painted thumbnail, eyes going distant. “I’m probably positive. I should get tested. My mom wants me to get tested.”
Barry nailed Minty and Renée with a frustrated glare. He reached under the counter and pulled out two condoms. Then his gaze shifted to me and he pulled out a third. “For fuck’s sake, use these. Every time. Every damn time.”
Renée stuffed the condom in her bra. Minty held it up in front of his face and then gave it a kiss before lifting up his tutu to tuck it into the waistband of his white briefs. Nodding, I pocketed the one Barry handed to me, even though I wasn’t going to need it. Adam was in Italy and the casual sex Minty and Renée played with was something I’d never risk.
Breaking the tension, the two guys Minty and Daniel had come upstairs with shoved into the space between us, ordering beers from Barry and slinging their arms around Minty’s shoulders or Renée’s waist.
“Who’s this?” asked the muscular, olive-toned one, dropping a kiss on Minty’s upturned cheek.
“Peter,” Minty said sweetly, like I was a cat he was fond of. “He knows Renée, Barry, and Daniel.”
“Ah.” The guy was handsome with bedroom eyes. Dark circles smudged beneath them, as if he’d just left a fistfight or he’d been crying his eyes out. Both thoughts twisted something up in me, a hand grabbing my heart and squeezing for a second. He looked like he needed a hug.
Minty caught me staring up at his friend. “He’s smarter than he looks,” he said, out of the blue, and I blinked in confusion. “And he likes to kiss more than fuck.”
“Okay?” I had no idea why Minty was telling me this.
“Oh, and he’s a big pussy cat when he’s in love.”
“Is he your boyfriend?”
“What?” Minty looked scandalized. “Of course not. That’s gross.” He grinned slyly. “He could be your boyfriend, though.”
I shook my head, and Minty laughed.
“Name’s Antonio,” the guy said, sticking out his hand. “Ignore him. He’s always trying to set me up with pretty bottoms. I keep telling him I’m not a top.”
Minty rolled his eyes. “You have to be a top. Have you looked in the mirror? Those eyes? That mouth? Your tough-guy pout? C’mon. Fuck me.”
Antonio sighed. “I only like to stick it in chicks. I’ve told you.” He tugged their Asian friend a little closer. “This one’s the top.”
I gulped club soda, unsure how to deal with a conversation with complete strangers about who liked what about butt sex.
“I forget you’re bisexual,” Minty said archly to Antonio. “You never bring girls around.”
Antonio snorted. “I love eating pussy, but nothing beats a cock up my ass.”
“Cheers!” Minty cried, toasting the sentiment.
Antonio went on. “Sometimes a man’s gotta make a choice about what he wants to pursue in life, and, well, I’m chasing dick.”
“Can’t blame you for that, man,” Barry said, nodding.
Minty grabbed their Asian friend’s tie and pulled him down close, saying to me, “This is Windy. With an ‘i’ in the middle and a ‘y’ on the end. And he tops like a champ.”
Windy kissed Minty’s cheek and winked at me.
Minty’s eyes narrowed. “Don’t ask where he’s from, it pisses him off.”
“Why would I ask him that?” I said, confused.
“People always want to know. ‘Are you from Japan? Or China?’” Minty rolled his eyes. “He’s from Vietnam.”
Windy shoved Minty hard enough to unseat him from his stool. “I’m from Kentucky, asshole.”
I sipped my club soda. “Kentucky’s nice. Horse farms. Bluegrass.”
Once Minty had righted himself, he gripped my shoulder and whisper-yelled into my ear, “Windy’s basically my best friend besides Daniel. We only fucked once.”
Windy corrected him again. “Twice, actually.”
“That’s how I know for sure he’s a great top. You should try him.”
“Um, no. Thank you. I’m good,” I babbled.
Windy laughed at me and then swept in and gave Minty a wet kiss on the mouth. I wasn’t sure if there was tongue or not. Breaking away, Windy grabbed Minty’s Zima and took a swallow from it.
“So, Minty and Windy, are those your real names?” I asked.
“Is your real name Peter?” Minty asked, his eyes narrowed.
“Well, aren’t you lucky then?” He tossed head, lifted his hand dramatically, and Windy pulled him up from the stool. “To the dance floor!” He grabbed hold of my arm and tugged me up too. “Let’s show this crowd what gorgeous bitches we are!”
Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake's educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.
“You think we’ll have trouble like we
almost did in the Army?”
“Well, if we keep a low profile—stick
to ourselves—nobody should bother us. Not too many people west of Missouri right now anyway.
If we live far enough from a settlement and only go to town once or twice a year,
it shouldn’t be a problem.”
“What about when folks come in and
they see one bed? What will they think then?”
“We’ll always have to keep two
bedrooms up,” Gregory said sleepily.
“All right,” Frank said as he drifted
off to sleep.
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Hold my hand and I’ll go anywhere with you…such romantic words that can only come from a romance novel, right?
How about hearing those words after spending four years in the Civil War in the 1860s? That’s the set up for my first novel, A Place to Call Their Own. Frank Greerson and Gregory Young return home to Iowa after the Civil War to gather their belongings. They plan to head west to unsettled territory in Kansas to stake their claims and build their lives together where no one will bother them. Or so they think.
APTCTO is my debut novel, it originally came out in 2013. The current, second edition, was released by JMS Books in 2015. I am planning on starting the sequel, A Life to Call Our Own, in January 2017 after I finish my current WIP, Sartin.
I also chose APTCTO as my giveaway through InstaFreebie during the Big Gay Giveaway!
Jonathan Vallen has never felt good enough. A gentle musician who loves to garden, he’s woefully unsuited to running Vallen Industries, the family business. When his father hires a hotshot executive, Marco Pellegrini, to save the company, Jonathan moves away and leaves his humiliation behind. A year later and forty pounds lighter, Jonathan runs into Marco on an LGBT cruise. Marco doesn’t recognize him, the sparks fly, and Jonathan pretends to be someone else for the week—Jonah Rutledge—someone good enough to be loved.
Marco Pellegrini has always been driven. He rose from poverty to the pinnacle of business success, and he’ll do anything to protect his reputation—including hiding his bisexuality. Having saved Vallen Industries, he’s weary of the rat race and ready for a more meaningful life. When Marco meets his soul mate for that new life—Jonah Rutledge—on an LGBT cruise, he prepares to stop hiding and start living.
Back on land, the romance crashes when Marco discovers his perfect man is not only a lie but the son of his boss, Frederick Vallen. Jonathan resolves to win Marco back, but Frederick takes vengeful action. Jonathan and Marco must battle their own fears as well as Frederick’s challenge to get to the future that awaits them on the horizon.
Jonathan eyed the moon and waited for Marco, who was getting something from the bar to bring back with them to his stateroom. He smiled up at the stars, heart full, ready to ride the wave of this fairy tale all the way to shore. Then a hand caressed his neck, and he turned to smile at his handsome prince. Marco smiled back, his pendant glimmering on his chest and a bottle in his hand.
“What did you get?”
“I thought it’d be nice for an after-dinner drink as we listen to Debussy.”
They strolled along the deck. “We are almost too fancy for words.”
Marco chuckled. “I’ve never been accused of being fancy before.”
Jonathan eyed him, tall and elegant with his black curls and Roman nose. “You seem fancy to me. Or, well, sophisticated is more like it.”
“If only Mama could hear you. She’d know her bambino had made it in the world.”
Jonathan followed Marco into his stateroom, letting his Jonah Persona take the lead lest he pass out from sheer nervousness. “Nice digs.” Digs? Where’d that come from?
“Thanks.” Marco picked up a large envelope that had been shoved under the door, glanced at the front of it, and tossed it to join a pile of others on the desk. “Work faxes. They don’t seem to get I’m on vacation in the middle of the ocean. They can wait.”
A shiver took hold of Jonathan, thinking of Father and how totally like him it was to be bugging his CEO in the middle of his vacation.
“You aren’t cold, are you?” Marco asked.
“No, it’s fine. I’m fine. Everything’s good.” And I’m running off at the mouth. Cool it.
“Oh, okay. Good. Let me get the Debussy up on my iPod. They have a docking station with pretty decent speakers in here.” Marco sounded a little nervous himself.
As Marco fiddled with the iPod, Jonathan opened the Courvoisier and poured each of them a moderate amount, thinking they could both use some loosening up. “Do you want yours over ice?”
Marco turned. “No. That’s okay. There should still be some ice in the bucket if you like it that way. Here we go.” He pushed a button and Debussy’s La Mer started to play.
They sat in two armchairs at one end of the large room, listening to Debussy’s sensual and passionate music while sipping the brandy. The music swelled and crashed down in eerie imitation of the ocean all around them. With the curtains drawn back, they stared out at the real thing, moonlight dappling the midnight waves. Everything about this moment was surreal—a beautiful dream.
After a time, Marco set down his glass, his eyes burning into Jonathan’s. Jonathan gulped down the rest of his drink for courage and put his glass next to Marco’s. Marco held out his hand, and they rose from their chairs. As Jonathan followed Marco to the bed, his palms grew clammy and his heart raced so much he thought he might pass out. Now that his Jonah Persona had been successful in luring Marco to bed, performance anxiety crowded out everything else. God. It had been so long since he’d had sex. Did he even know what he was doing? Anthony’s voice chimed in on the proceedings. Relax, doll! It’s just like riding a bicycle. You never forget. Now, hop on that man and ride!
Meet the Author
After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.
CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories.
In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.
A Jag with out-of-state plates is the last car Scott DeLaney expected to find when answering a tow call as a favor to his drunken godson. But, the tall man in the fedora seems like a nice reward until Scott finds out the stranger’s destination. Yes, he’d take care of the brooding man, but he has a selfish reason for it.
Finding himself in a ditch after dodging a deer is the least of Patrick Samuels’s problems when his rescuer arrives, wearing a tuxedo and driving a hot pink flatbed. Perhaps his older brother’s scheme will benefit Patrick after all.
Who knew that a New Year’s kiss is far more efficient than any boardroom strategy to seal a deal?
Meet the Author
Lila Leigh Hunter is the pen name of a Puerto Rican author with a hyphenated surname. Born and raised on the island, Lila grew up making up stories her siblings pretended to like. But no matter what they say, as the youngest of six, she’s still their mom’s favorite. According to the dusty diplomas on her wall, she’s an architectural designer living in Southern Texas with her husband and four military brats.
She spends most of her free time writing homoerotic romances about middle-aged men finding happiness and the rest hiding from pesky house chores. When outside of her cave, she likes to observe people and try to guess their stories. Sometimes she wishes the voices in her head were real; going out with the boys in her books sounds like a plan made in heaven.
Fooling around with the migrant worker was Frank’s first
contact with another boy and he knew then that he was different than any of the
other boys he went to school with. Frank never heard from Roy again, but he
next year, Jimmy’s family moved to Audubon. They lived there for two years
until they moved away. The last letter said that his pa told him he couldn’t
write anymore. That had come from Colorado somewhere—Leadville, maybe. He said
he would try to sneak away and write, but he never did.
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