Today I am so pleased to welcome Neve Wilder to Joyfully Jay. Neve has come to talk to us about her latest release, Center of Gravity. She has also brought along a tour-wide giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Thanks so much to Jay for having me here today. I’m so excited to share my debut novel, Center of Gravity, with y’all! This story is an emotionally-charged slow burner that really kept me on my toes and steeped in feels as I wrote it.
I don’t really advertise it as a second-chance story. When I’ve thought about it in the past, I’d always put the focus more on the age gap between Rob and Alex and how they navigate their different life circumstances, throw up boundaries against each other, and make some poor decisions as they fight for their happily ever after. Or, in Rob’s case, try his damndest to resist it.
In recent thinking, I’ve decided it qualifies as a second chance romance in its own way. Not based on a premise of old friends or enemies falling in love, or a second chance with an ex, but because of this singular, very short-lived, random occurrence between them before they encounter each other for the second time. So often the past is alluded to in a negative or challenging light—i.e., buried secrets surfacing—so the idea that something from the past can resurface in a positive way was intriguing to me. This blossoming relationship between Rob and Alex definitely highlights that even the things in life that get written off or pushed to the back of one’s mind can re-emerge and take on a new importance. And sometimes, they can lead to the love of a lifetime.
Excerpt from Center of Gravity: In this excerpt, Rob is on the phone arguing with his sister, who oh-so-helpfully set up the impending move with a company called College Buffs Hauling Stuff. Rob is not pleased to begin with. As the truck arrives and the two movers get out, Rob has a moment of awkward realization:
Another door slammed and a guy with short, dark hair ambled around the front of the truck. Cracker Jack opened the door and leaned back inside, soon emerging with a silver clipboard in one hand that he checked before saying something to his coworker. In contrast to the stupid caricature on the side of the truck, Cracker Jack met all the qualifications of college buff from what I could see of his profile. He was an endless summer kind of golden blond, and lean, a bit of leftover sunburn on his cheeks laying over the warm, cabana boy tan beneath. He looked as if he should be holding the handle of a pool net rather than the dolly he deposited at the front gate. “Two Men and a Truck would have worked just fine. Or 1-800-Junk,” I argued.
“The Buffs get five stars on Yelp. Don’t be a stick in the mud,” she replied, knowing it’d get me right in the accountant’s tender spot.
Cracker Jack glanced up at the front door of the house and for the first time I saw his face in full, the dangerously carved cheekbones, the sensually bowed mouth, a bit of silver—incongruous against the golden backdrop of his face—ringed through his lower lip. I froze, first trying to place him, then in frazzled denial. But it was too late: my gut already knew and had twisted up like a pretzel. The memory came in saturated fragments that exploded behind my eyelids.
I narrowly missed being speared by the coat hook as my shoulder slammed shut the faux wood door of the stall. I fumbled the lock with one hand, pulled him to me with the other, fingers spanning and raking the damp sheen of sweat gathered low on his back. A hot wash of breath across my throat, his lips dragging over the curve of my jaw, the tickle of his lip ring against my stubble. He smiled against my teeth and murmured, “A guy who knows what he wants. I like it.”
I felt the color fleeing my face in humiliating mutiny as Cracker Jack stared at the door. I took a backward step. Summer droned on about how she’d just been picking the best option and it was hard to do from far away, that she’d not wanted to interrupt me with something so insignificant during tax season and on and on and on, but it hardly registered.
A rush of cool air over my cock—how had he gotten my zipper undone so fast?—and then the warmth of his touch. The brush of his thumb over my crown. “Fuck, you’re already slick,” he groaned, biting his lip. His forehead bumped my cheek as he looked down at his hand, watching as he stroked me. He paused long enough to spit on his palm then stroked faster, the noise obscene cutting through the piped in music of the club, but the feel of him on me was pure velvet bliss. When I reached for his waistband, he brushed my hand away. “Not yet. I like to concentrate. I’ll get mine in a minute.” He licked at the side of my neck where my pulse was hammering, then tightened his fingers around my shaft, pulling a moan from me. I just wanted him to shut up. Just wanted him to shut up and get me off.
Except he never got his.
And I couldn’t remember his name.
When life comes apart at the seams, love is the only thread that can mend it…
Accountant Rob Macomb has a stable job that he’s good at and… that’s about it. A year of nothing but heartache leaves him seeking refuge from loneliness and grief behind spreadsheets, punishing daily runs, and the occasional anonymous tryst. He wants only to bury the past and focus on his career, but he has one last task to complete: pack up his parent’s quaint beachside house and put it on the market.
Alex Andrews is a budding artist with a penchant for Converse, Cracker Jack, and piercings. Family turmoil sidelines his dreams of finishing art school and building a career in three-dimensional design, and now he’s doing whatever he can to keep everyone afloat.
When Alex shows up as a part of the moving crew hired to help Rob clean out the house, what should be a simple move becomes far more complex. Because it’s not the first time they’ve met, and their last encounter was memorable for all the wrong reasons.
The attraction between them is undeniable and intense, but Rob’s hell-bent on pushing everyone away, and Alex is on the verge of spinning out of control. Can a grumpy accountant and a bootstrapping artist find their center of gravity together, or are they on a collision course to heartbreak?
**An emotionally-charged, slow burn m/m romance featuring an age gap, hurt/comfort themes, and a very hard-won happily ever after. This is the standalone first in the Nook Island, Georgia series.**
Neve Wilder lives in the deep south, where the summers are hot and the winters are…sometimes slightly chilly. She is a mom to three rambunctious weebeasts who have joined forces in a mission to carpet the family home with toys and small items that really suck to step on at six in the morning.
She reads promiscuously, across multiple genres, but her favorite stories always contain an element of romance. Incidentally, this is also what she likes to write. Slow-burners with delicious tension? Yes. Whiplash-inducing page-turners, also yes. Down and dirty scorchers? Yes. And every flavor in between.
She believes David Bowie was the sexiest musician to ever live, and she’s always game to nerd out on anything from music to writing.
And finally, she believes that love conquers all. Except the heat index in July. Nothing can conquer that bastard.
Connect with Neve:
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- Website: https://www.nevewilder.com
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- Amazon Page: readerlinks.com/l/320391
Neve has brought along a tour-wide giveaway. Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter.
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