Today I am so pleased to welcome Shae Connor to Joyfully Jay. Shae has come to share an exclusive excerpt from her latest release, Tongue & Groove. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Big thanks to Jay for hosting me today for the release of Tongue & Groove!
This story is a contemporary M/M novella featuring a rock singer who’s on a break while he recovers from a throat problem and the home renovation specialist who comes in to help him fix up the house his grandmother left him. On the surface, Saul and Perry appear to be very different, but you know what they say about books and covers. Their attraction flares bright, but as they get to know each other, they find they have a lot in common beyond just the physical.
The excerpt I’m sharing here is a peek at their first date—or “just drinks and conversation,” as Saul presents it. Perry’s reluctant at first to mix business and pleasure, but he feels the same pull toward Saul that Saul does toward him, so he agrees.
Saul paused when he stepped into the bar for his eyes to adjust to the dim lighting. Thankfully, the place Perry had chosen was smoke-free, and more pub than dance club. This early in the evening, not even eight o’clock, the music remained low enough for conversation. Still, he cleared his throat and hoped he could make himself heard without straining his voice. Last thing he needed was to set back his recovery. It was going to take long enough at it was.
He glanced around the room and saw Perry sitting alone at the end of the bar, a single barstool between him and the wall. He also saw several other men looking in Perry’s direction and had to fight down the urge to glare at them. Instead, he sauntered over, brushing his fingers over Perry’s shoulder as he slid into the barstool next to him.
“Hey,” he said, giving Perry a smile. “Glad you made it.”
Perry turned his head to give Saul a small smile. “I said I’d be here.”
Like the first time they met, Saul found himself torn between staring into Perry’s luminescent eyes or at his plush lips. The former drew him to lean in closer, tilting his head. It was hard to tell in the low light, but…. “Are you wearing eyeliner?”
Perry drew back, shoulders tight, face closed off. “What if I am? Do you have a problem with men wearing makeup?”
Saul lifted a soothing hand. “That came out wrong. I like it.” He smiled. “I was a Goth kid in school. Started wearing eyeliner when I was fourteen. Probably still would, onstage, but”—he pointed two fingers at his eyes—“contacts. Can’t find anything that’ll hold up to a gallon of sweat pouring off me and still be able to see.”
The wary look in Perry’s eyes didn’t dissipate, but he relaxed minutely. “I worked at Ulta back in college,” he said. “And I kind of tried everything. But you know what worked best?”
Saul leaned back in, genuinely curious. “What?”
“Almay. Liquid liner right off the discount store shelf.”
Deliberately, Saul ran his gaze over Perry’s face, lingering on his eyes. “Well, if that’s what you’re wearing now, it definitely works for you.”
Perry’s gaze dropped to Saul’s lips, but Saul held himself back from taking the probably unintended invitation. <em>Just drinks and conversation</em>, he reminded himself. He did note that Perry’s lips shimmered in the light from overhead and guessed he’d gone for lip gloss too. It made him wonder if Perry ever went all-out with the makeup. And was it just the makeup, or did his androgyny lean even more toward the feminine?
A mental image popped into Saul’s head: Perry in a lace garter, stockings, and heels—and nothing else but that small, shy smile. <em>Shit.</em> He’d never considered something like that before, but holy <em>hell</em>, did it ever work for him. And for his suddenly hardening dick.
After fifteen years on the road, rock singer Saul Wilder doesn’t know if he remembers how to stay in one place. While healing from a vocal cord injury, he decides to restore the cozy but neglected Atlanta home his grandmother left him. When home renovation specialist Perry Abrams arrives to assess the job, Saul’s on board with mixing business with a little pleasure. The sex is scorching hot, but the more they learn about each other, the deeper they fall emotionally as well. Trouble is, Saul’s a traveling man and Perry’s a homebody, so finding common ground to share could put the brakes on their relationship before it has a chance to get started.
Shae Connor lives in Atlanta, where she’s a lackadaisical government worker for a living and writes sweet-hot romance under the cover of night. She’s been making things up for as long as she can remember, but it took her a long time to figure out that maybe she should try writing them down. Shae is part Jersey, part Irish, and all Southern, which explains why she never shuts up. When she’s not in front of her laptop, she enjoys cooking, traveling, watching baseball, reading voraciously, wearing tiaras, and hugging a lot. She’s also the volunteer Director/Editor for the Dragon Con on-site publication, the Daily Dragon.
You can find Shae hanging out on Twitter most any time @shaeconnor, but for the more direct route, you can visit her website at shaeconnorwrites.com or email her at shaeconnorwrites @gmail.com. You can also sign up for her mailing list.