Today I am so pleased to welcome D.J. Jamison to Joyfully Jay. D.J. is here as part of the GRL Blog Tour to share an exclusive excerpt from her upcoming release, Catching Jaime. She has also brought along a copy to give away. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Thanks to Joyfully Jay for hosting me as I gear up for a new book release and my first appearance at the GRL convention! Today, I’m providing an excerpt from “Catching Jaime.” This scene is written from Tony Espinoza’s perspective. This is a key turning point in the book, taking Tony and Jaime from friends to something else … but it won’t be a transition without a few bumps in the road. I hope you enjoy!
Jaime looked at me, his light blue eyes luminous with unshed tears.
I couldn’t look away, painfully aware of the line of his body pressed against mine. I tilted my head a little, bringing our heads close together.
His lips, just millimeters from mine, were sculpted and a delicious shade of watermelon pink. I wanted to know his taste and his texture. I wondered, in a moment of insanity, what kind of pleasurable sounds I could draw from him.
The desire to kiss him slammed into me.
I leaned closer, unable to fight my attraction, but Jaime turned his head. My lips grazed his cheek.
He went rigid with tension — I thought because of my ill-timed and ill-placed kiss — until I felt the hardness digging into my hip. Jaime pulled away violently, stumbling in his haste to put distance between us.
His face was now watermelon pink, too.
“Sorry!” he gasped, not looking at me.
“Hey, it’s okay—”
“It’s not okay!” he said vehemently.
He looked at me, finally, his eyes blazing with emotion. I almost flinched under the intensity of his feelings.
“We’re friends, and you’re not—” He stopped and shook his head. “Tony, you’re straight so you wouldn’t understand.”
Was I straight? I’d been craving Jaime’s kiss too much for that label to apply. But it’s true, I didn’t understand why he’d reacted so strongly. Not the hard-on, I totally got that, was on the verge of it myself. I didn’t get why he was simmering with a mix of desire and grief and fury all jumbled together.
“I can’t be close like that with you. You may think you’re only comforting me, but it’s confusing me. I’m not saying this to freak you out. I hope you’ll be my friend anyway, even though… you know.”
A sardonic smile twisted his face. “You asked me once what my type was, do you remember?”
“You’re my type, Tony. Not just because you’re a guy.” He gestured with his hand toward my body. “Just everything. The whole package. I can be just your friend, I want to be your friend, but if you touch me, if you pull me too close. …” He shrugged. “I may be gay, but I’m a typical guy.”
I huffed a laugh, a little overwhelmed by the speech and the honesty. I probably owed him a few truths of my own.
“What if I want to get close to you?” I asked tentatively.
His brow wrinkled in confusion.
I took the few steps that separated us, and reached out to stroke his cheek.
His eyes fluttered shut, and he breathed in a shaky breath.
“Tony,” he whispered, as I trailed my finger along his jaw and down over his throat. “Are you gay?”
It wasn’t the first time he’d asked that question. I didn’t have the answer he wanted, no matter how much I craved a kiss. My hand dropped, and his eyes opened, watching me with curiosity.
I shook my head. “No, I … I don’t know. I just—”
I leaned in to kiss him, unable to find the words. But I missed once again. The second my lips would have met his, he jerked back.
I stared in surprise. “But you said I’m your type.”
It was a stupid thing to say, but my brain wasn’t firing on all cylinders. I was a bundle of sexual and emotional tension.
“I’m not your type.”
“Maybe you could be.”
He shook his head. “I don’t want to be your experiment.”
“It’s not like that,” I protested.
“We’re already friends,” Jaime said. “What do you think it would do to me if you used me and then figured out you weren’t all that into guys after all?”
My temper flared. “I would never use you! I realize I don’t meet your tidy definition because I don’t label myself gay, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing on the line for me.”
He looked at the floor, his arms wrapped around himself as tightly as they had been when I arrived. It was like I’d destroyed all the progress he’d made since I got here.
“I’m sorry,” he said so softly I barely heard him. “I don’t think I could take it if you let me down too.”
My jaw clenched against angry words. He didn’t trust me, and that hurt more than the rejection. I’d tried so hard to be there for Jaime, but the truth was he didn’t want to lean on me.
“Unless you’re all in, I can’t risk it,” he said. “Are you really ready to tell people you’ve got a boyfriend? Or how about Carlos, huh? Maybe we should go next door and let him be the first to know that his former best friend is now hooking up with his cousin.”
I sighed in defeat. How could I say I was all in when I hadn’t even gotten one taste? And the thought of everyone in town knowing … yeah, I wasn’t ready for that. I didn’t even know what I wanted from one moment to the next. I only knew my craving for Jaime went beyond friendship.
I smiled wryly. “Well played.”
His eyes widened, but I turned away before any more justifications poured out. I walked to the bedroom door and yanked it open. “I’ll see myself out.”
Jaime didn’t stop me. Which was for the best.
He was right. I wasn’t sure of anything. It wouldn’t be fair to kiss him just to see how it might feel. What if I hated it? That could crush him.
He was only protecting himself. But there was a part of my mind that whispered, If he really cared about you, he’d think it was worth the risk.
When Jaime Harris is outed at a party, his quiet life starts to fall apart. His best friend avoids him like the plague, and his younger sister blackmails him in exchange for keeping the truth from their mother. The only bright spot, strangely enough, is Tony Espinoza, who relentlessly pursues his friendship. Why Tony cares at all is a mystery, and as their friendship evolves into something more, it seems too good to be true. Tony comes to his rescue time and again, but can Jaime trust his heart to the cutest, sweetest straight boy he’s ever met?
Tony Espinoza is angry and confused. His brother has broken his trust and he’s torn about the direction he should take with his future. In the midst of it all is Jaime Harris. Fixating on Jaime’s problems makes a great diversion, but the more he gets to know Jaime, the more he realizes the guy is more than just a distraction. Jaime’s slowly becoming everything to him, and Tony just might not be as straight as either of them assumed. Now, if only he could get Jaime to believe it.
Catching Jaime is a gay new adult romance. While it is a sequel, it can be read as a standalone.
WARNING: It contains some explicit content and could contain triggers for those sensitive to sexual assault.
DJ Jamison grew up in the Midwest, and is the living embodiment of the “red-headed stepchild.” She’s an avid reader and has long been a writer and editor, with more than a decade spent in the newspaper industry. When she’s not laboring over her works of fiction or reading ridiculous amounts of books on her phone, she freelances as a blogger and social media marketer. She lives in a small Kansas town with her husband, two young sons and four glow-in-the-dark fish. DJ Jamison is also the author of a m/m series, Ashe Sentinel Connections, that focuses on love connections between the small-town news staffers, their sources and their readers.
D.J. has brought an ARC copy of Catching Jaime to give away to one lucky reader before its July 1 release. 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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