Today I am so excited to welcome author Jaime Reese to the blog. Jaime is here to chat more about her recent rerelease, A Better Man. She has brought us an exclusive excerpt, as well as sharing more about her blog tour wide giveaway. So please join me in giving Jaime a big welcome!
Matthew Doner is starting over. After a five-year prison term that alters every aspect of his life, he receives a bequest from his aunt with the stipulation that he use the money to make things right. Breaking free of the long-standing role he’s played and inspired by the few who support him, he decides to create a safe place where people like him can find purpose and start a new life.
Julian Capeletti likes challenges. He is confident, brash, stubborn, and just what Matt needs. Desperate for work after a downturn of luck, he accepts the job to renovate Matt’s crumbling building.
Over the course of a year, romance simmers between them as they restore the house. But there’s a bigger renovation that must take place in their hearts. To become better men, they need to learn to trust each other even with secrets and painful memories they fear may rip them apart.
Julian smiled. He stepped closer to Matt. “Can I ask you a question?”
Matt seemed to have been caught off guard and stepped back, the wall stopping him from going any farther. He stared at Julian as he inched forward. The sound of the wind outside momentarily distracted him but he quickly looked back up to Julian.
“Sure,” Matt cautiously answered.
“It’s about Sam.”
“What about Sam?”
“Is he your boyfriend?” Julian stepped forward a little more. The question didn’t fit into the employer-employee dynamic but he didn’t give a rat’s ass right now. He just needed to know.
Matt gulped and shook his head in response. “We’re friends,” he mumbled. Matt was either not telling the entire truth or nervous as hell because he was getting closer.
“Just friends friends, or friends with benefits friends?” Julian asked as he inched forward again. He blocked most of the candlelight from the edge of the room, putting Matt almost in complete darkness in front of him.
Matt swallowed heavily. “Huh?”
“You and Sam.”
Matt closed his eyes. “Sam and I are friends. Just friends.”
“No benefits?” Julian asked to clarify.
Between the wind noise outside and Julian crowding him, it seemed as if Matt was going to panic. When he opened his eyes, he kept looking from side to side wildly but didn’t move. He finally looked at Julian and held his gaze.
“No, no benefits, no perks, no rewards, no bonus points, no nothing, now or ever. Just a good friend who was there when I needed one,” he responded, abruptly flattening his hands against the wall behind him.
Relief poured through Julian. There was something more between Matt and Sam than just a friendship, but at least he now knew it wasn’t sexual. He couldn’t fault Matt for having a close friend; he obviously kept things to himself, probably as some form of self-preservation. Julian could definitely relate to that. He was grateful Matt had at least had someone he could rely on when needed.
He just wished it was him and not someone else.
The bare hint of light lit Matt’s face, but it was enough to highlight the bewildered look in his eyes. He was breathing heavier. Julian loved knowing he could unhinge Matt like this. He reached up to cradle Matt’s face with both hands. He noticed Matt’s breathing changed, almost settled a little. The bewildered expression in his eyes was replaced with something else he couldn’t quite pinpoint. Matt’s gaze flickered to Julian’s lips for a split second then back up to Julian’s eyes. If Julian had blinked, he would have missed it. Ah, the anticipation in their depths. Julian could totally understand that. He smiled.
“Good.” He slowly stroked Matt’s cheek with his thumb. “Then Sam won’t mind me kissing you,” he said, a breath away from Matt.
Matt shook he head slowly, never breaking eye contact with him.
“Yeah?” he said on a whisper.
“This is me giving you a heads up that I’m about to kiss you,” he said before placing his lips on Matt’s in a gentle kiss.
About the Author
Jaime Reese is the alter ego of an artist who loves the creative process of writing, just not about herself. Fiction is far more interesting. She has a weakness for broken, misunderstood heroes and feels everyone deserves a chance at love and life. An avid fan of a happy ending, she believes those endings acquired with a little difficulty are more cherished.
Jaime is offering up two ebook copies of A Better Man to a commenter on her tour. Be sure to check out the Rafflecopter link below to enter.
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- Readers may only enter once for each contest. Duplicate entries here for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
- Void where prohibited by law.