Today I am so pleased to welcome Lane Hayes to Joyfully Jay. Lane has come to share an exclusive excerpt from her latest release, A Kind of Romance. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Lane a big welcome!
When he turned toward the pool table and the wall of bookshelves at the opposite end of the space closest to the kitchen, indifference gave way to wide-eyed admiration.
I stuffed my hands in my jeans and cocked my head. “Wanna play?”
“Maybe another time.” He bit his bottom lip and then glanced at his watch. “I have to go.”
“You just got here. And I’m… drunk.”
“You aren’t as drunk as you seemed earlier. You’re playing me, and I don’t like it. I’m not sure what your game is but—”
“There’s no game, Ben. I just—want to be with you.”
“You want sex,” he stated in a flat tone, folding his arms over his chest.
“I would never say no, but… that isn’t it. It’s you. I can’t stop thinking about you.”
“Hmm. We can talk tomorrow. I’m going to get us both water and aspirin, and then… I’ll be on my way. Call me in the morning to let me know you’re okay. Where are your glasses?”
“The kind you drink with?”
He squinted at me as if he couldn’t decide if I was joking. He nodded slowly.
“Second cabinet on your right. Wanna watch a movie or something?”
“Really. Come with me.”
I grasped his hand, led him back to the living room, and then handed him the remote to the giant flat screen hanging on the exposed brick wall. I made a show of using a different remote to lower the roman blinds throughout the room while I yammered on about movies my friends had recommended.
“I like action flicks, but I’m up for anything. You choose.”
“This isn’t a good idea.”
“Sure it is. What’s wrong with watching television?”
“Nothing, I suppose, but— This says your last movie viewed was Inside Out.”
“And it was awesome. My niece made me watch it. She’s seven and—I’ll watch it again if you want.” I smiled as I gestured for him to take a seat and make himself comfortable. “I’ll grab a bottle of wine. Or would you rather have a cocktail?”
He hesitated for a long moment before finally obeying. “Wine is good. But I can’t stay, Zeke. Not for long.”
“Just a glass, then.”
I hurried to the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of Cab from the wine refrigerator, two glasses, and an opener. I set everything on the coffee table and then methodically uncorked the bottle. As I poured I made silly conversation about my niece’s favorite parts of the film. I handed him a glass and raised mine in toast. “To you. Thanks for rescuing me.”
Benny took a sip and then glanced at me wearily. “I didn’t rescue you. You sabotaged my date.”
“Oh. Then maybe I rescued you. Cheers.”
Benny inclined his head and settled back on the sofa. “Maybe you did.”
We watched the movie in companionable silence for a while. I stole glances at him every so often, but I didn’t want to upset the quiet. Just being with him felt… nice. His lips curved in humor at the animated hijinks. He turned to share a smile and caught my stare.
And held it. I could have sworn I could hear his heartbeat over the sound from the flat screen. I leaned in slowly and kissed his mouth. It was a featherlight touch. Unhurried and undemanding. When he sighed and moved a little closer, I pushed my fingers through his hair and deepened the connection.
Benny groaned and melted into me, alternately sucking and licking at me until I pushed my tongue between his lips. We made out like teenagers on the sofa with the flicker of light from the television casting shadows around us. I was painfully hard, but I was afraid to break the sweet contact by asking for more. I was content to live in the moment. He pulled away to take a breath and gave me a thoughtful look.
“Was that your ex?”
Talk about a mood killer.
Zeke Gulden is a ruthless Wall Street exec. His hard-edged, no-nonsense attitude has served him well in the cutthroat business world, but less so in his personal life. When he finds out his ex-boyfriend cheated on him with a coworker, Zeke can’t let go—not until he finds a way to get even. However, his meddlesome father has other ideas. The new hire at the family-owned bagel store is somewhat colorful, but his dad is sure he’s the perfect man for Zeke.
Benny Ruggieri is a fiercely proud New Yorker who dreams of making it big as a costume designer in the theater. In the meantime, he’s working two part-time jobs in the food biz. When his new boss sets him up with his successful son, Benny has zero expectations. If nothing else, he figures he can entertain himself by making the uptight businessman squirm. Instead, the two become unlikely friends with an inexplicable attraction they can’t ignore. Benny might be the one to help Zeke set aside his quest for revenge, if he’s willing to let go and forgive what he can’t forget… and give in to an unexpected kind of romance.
Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions in the 2014 and 2015 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband and the coolest yellow Lab ever in an almost empty nest.
Lane has brought a $20 Amazon gift card to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Tuesday, June 21st at 11:59 pm EST.
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