Today I am so pleased to welcome Lane Hayes to Joyfully Jay. Lane has come to share an exclusive excerpt from her latest release, Starting From Zero. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
He looked seriously straight, but I hoped he was seriously bi. Not that it mattered—nothing was happening here. “Have you been?”
“No. Is it on Santa Monica?”
“Yeah.” Bingo. I was right.
“Next to the new ice cream place,” he continued. “I waited ten minutes in line for a scoop of designer mint chip.”
Okay. Maybe not, I mused as my gaydar flipped back to neutral. Everybody liked ice cream. I couldn’t work with that. And suddenly, it seemed like something I needed to know. I could have just asked, but he wasn’t a random dude at the club. He had an air of sophistication and polish that demanded respect. Like a college professor or the sexy boss you secretly lust after even though you know you’re out of your league. I had numerous fantasies of the high-powered executive, lowly employee variety all the time. The kind that usually involved staying late to work on a secret project…over a desk, on a conference table, in an elevator. Neckties and shirts undone, suit pants unzipped or lowered just enough to get his thick cock out and—
Oops. Now I’m hard.
I straightened from the wall and pretended to take one last drag from the cigarette before putting it out on the trashcan next to the parking kiosk. Then I clandestinely adjusted myself and rejoined him.
“Scoops is always packed. Even in winter,” I said conversationally.
“True. I don’t usually have the patience to wait, but I was with an eight-year-old at the time. It’s amazing how cooperative that monkey can be when there’s ice cream involved,” he commented affectionately.
Talk about an erection killer. My X-rated daydream came to a screeching halt, quickly replaced by visions of a soccer-dad lifestyle complete with a house in the burbs, a hybrid SUV, three kids, two dogs, and a beautiful wife.
“You have three kids?” I asked, unable to keep the irritation from my voice.
“Three kids?” he repeated incredulously.
“Well, you said something about getting ice cream with your son and—”
“Nice try. I never said I had a son.”
“Gee, I could have sworn you mentioned your wife and kids and…whatsa matter? Is this anonymity infringement?” I teased.
“The term was ambiguity infringement, smartass,” he huffed without heat, turning to dispose of his cigarette. “And I was talking about my godson.”
“My bad.” I rubbed my arms and shot a faux-innocent smile at him. “I didn’t mean to get too personal.”
“Yeah, you did.” He stepped in front of me, closer than he’d been before. “I’m single.”
“Good to know,” I said.
“What about the guy you kissed before you went onstage?”
I winced. “I probably shouldn’t have done that. We’re just friends. Tegan’s our drummer. He was going to play bass tonight, but—ugh. I don’t want to think about the mess I got us into. Let’s talk ice cream. What’s your favorite flavor?”
“I love it all.”
I rolled my eyes. “Oh, please. Name two.”
“Mint chip and chocolate.”
“Good choices. I like chocolate chip and chocolate. But I like the basic real stuff. Not designer brands that claim to have fewer calories in fancy containers. I don’t eat much of it, though. Ice cream is a luxury item.”
He looked at me like I was an alien. “Ice cream is essential,” he deadpanned.
I snickered as I folded my arms across my chest to ward off the chill when the wind whistled along the sidewalk. “When you’re on a tight budget, it’s a n-nice to have, not a need to h-have.”
“Hmph. It’s cold out here. Do you want to go back inside?”
“No,” I replied quickly.
We stared at each other for a long moment, letting traffic and pieces of nearby conversation filter between us.
“If your friend is looking for you, maybe you should—”
“He’s not,” he replied quickly. “What about you?”
“My people know I’m weird. They probably figure I won’t stick around.”
His lips quirked in amusement. “Then come have a drink with me.”
“Yeah. Why not?”
I grinned. The casual invitation delivered with the perfect note of nonchalance was hard to resist. “All right.”
With a heightened sense of awareness, I watched him move to the valet kiosk and hand the attendant a ticket. Maybe this was crazy. Then again, that was all the more reason to follow him. ’Cause in my book, crazy was another name for adventure.
Justin Cuevas is going through a rough patch. A broken relationship, a scandal, and the demise of his band have shaken the aspiring rock star’s confidence. Working two jobs and sleeping on his friend’s sofa isn’t ideal, but Justin isn’t ready to give up yet. With a little luck, he’s hoping to re-launch his music career in LA with his new band, Zero. The key is to stay focused, and not get distracted by his past…or the sexy songwriter he can’t get out of his head.
Gray Robertson has written dozens of hits and worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. But he’s never met anyone like Justin. The younger man is fiery, passionate, and smart. A powerful voice for a new generation. Other than an unforgettable one-night stand and a passion for music, the two men have nothing in common. Or do they? Justin knows the out-of-the-blue challenge to write a quintessential love song is a huge opportunity. And it’s the ultimate test for someone who’s doesn’t believe in happily ever after. When sparks fly, Justin and Gray realize they have a shot something special if they start from zero together. Maybe even love.
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, and won First Prize in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.
Lane has brought a copy of Starting From Zero to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Tuesday, May 14th at 11:59 pm ET.
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