Today I am so pleased to welcome Jay Hogan to Joyfully Jay. Jay has come to share an exclusive excerpt from her latest release, Digging Deep. She has also brought along a tour wide giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
It was clear Drake wasn’t going to waste his time with anyone who didn’t bother to find out what they might be in for. I knew where I stood. As yet I wasn’t important enough for him to risk adding me to his life or to dent his routine for. I needed to prove myself or at least that I had some substance. Hell, I didn’t even know if I had any substance. It wasn’t like you needed that shit for a love life that consisted of an endless revolving door of pump-and-dump encounters. If a guy wasn’t interested then I was, without exception, out of there and on to the next. But Drake? I couldn’t get the little bugger out of my head. Damn if I didn’t like him. He was cute as hell, especially when he got all prickly and pissed, not that I’d say that to his face. I fancied keeping my balls a little longer.
But when he talked about having a program to keep himself healthy and that it needed to be his highest priority even above a relationship, he wasn’t kidding, and that gave me pause. It meant that if I wanted a chance at him, I had to put his needs above my own, and wasn’t that just a kick in the teeth for a self-centred, narcissistic commitment-phobe like yours truly. Honestly? I wasn’t totally convinced I could actually do it, and that scared me for Drake’s sake as much as mine. What if he was right? What if it all became simply too complicated? I didn’t do complicated. Hell, I barely did sleepovers without a panic attack.
I didn’t want to dwell on the sex part like a douchebag either, but I was a redblooded guy for whom sex had rated number one on my preferred recreation list since I first found my dick between my legs, so… yeah, there was that. And it became pretty clear that particular arena was never gonna be straightforward, pun intended. I enjoyed switching it up; so not topping wasn’t a deal-breaker at all, but it was clear we’d have to negotiate a ton of other stuff around his health and… fuck. Was this really what I wanted?
The question had taken a fair bit of pondering, not to mention a panicked phone call to Carmen followed by a night of tequila shots and discussion with Daniel—read: lecturing by Daniel, who’d surprisingly ditched his alter ego, concerned Carmen might be a little too direct for my needs. Daniel, or the tequila? I couldn’t be clear on which played the bigger part?didn’t iron out all the wrinkles in my concerns, but it did establish one thing: I wasn’t gonna run, I just needed to hear myself say it out loud.
The first thing Daniel had said on snagging us a table well away from the pumping, steaming dance floor, was that he’d decided that me even considering a relationship was a waste of time. I was clearly freaked out and should just forget Drake and move on. I was, after all, a relationship nightmare, bound to hurt the guy who, let’s face it, could do a lot better than me. To that end I should back off now and let the guy find someone who’d genuinely care for him.
Did I mention he was good?
Not being at all what I’d expected, I sat there with my jaw on the table while he ordered a round of shots, told me to drink up and that he’d be my wingman while I found someone to fuck the cute little midwife out of my system. And yeah, hadn’t that sounded all kinds of wrong.
I threw back the shot in silence, followed by a second, which was damn sneaky of Daniel, all the time imagining Drake with another guy. Jealousy curled in my belly at the mere thought, and until then possessiveness hadn’t even been in my vocabulary. As bewildering as that was on its own, what was infinitely worse was the total lack of interest I had in Daniel’s suggestion of cruising, especially considering I hadn’t in fact been laid since the day I’d first laid eyes on Drake. And goddamn, that recognition in itself sent ripples of nervous confusion through my body. So much so, I had to wrap my fingers around my own pulse and then down a third shot, just to be sure. And stone the fucking crows, that’s when it really hit home. There was never any question that I wasn’t gonna do this. I was just chickenshit about admitting it.
I looked up wide-eyed to find Daniel leaning back in his chair wearing a self-satisfied smirk. “I take it that’s a no, then, to the cruising?” His hazel eyes flashed with mischief.
I nodded, still speechless.
He downed his fourth shot and I followed suit. And where the fuck had those come from?
He pushed his chair back. “Right, my work here is done.”
I grabbed his arm. “Where are you going?”
He wrapped his hand around mine and pulled me to my feet. “First off, we’re gonna dance. Zero cruising involved. Then we’re gonna sit down and you’re gonna tell me what the plan is to convince this hot little number you want that you’re worth the effort. That you’re not some shallow, man-whoring dickhead who can’t see past a little inconvenience to be with a guy who clearly has more going for him than the sum total of every other guy you’ve ever even looked at. And God knows that’s not gonna be easy. And then, my friend, I’m gonna make sure you don’t fuck it all up to kingdom come.”
I scowled. “Your faith in me is such a comfort.”
He smirked. “Hey, I call ’em as I see ’em.”
A Digging Deep Story
Drake Park has a complicated life. As a gay male midwife, he’s used to raising eyebrows. Add Crohn’s disease and things get interesting—or not, considering the sad state of his love life. Experience has taught Drake that most men are fair-weather sailors when it comes to handling his condition—gone for dust when things get rough. Staying healthy is a full-time job without adding in any heartbreak, so a little loneliness is a small price to pay. If he says it often enough he might even believe it. One thing for sure, the cop who arrested him isn’t about to change that.
Caleb Ashton does not have a complicated life. A senior detective with the Whangarei Police Department, he likes his job and is good at it. He works hard and plays hard, happy to enjoy as many men as he can while he’s still young enough—or at least he was. These days he feels adrift for the first time in his life, and the only thing sparking his interest—a certain prickly young midwife.
But can Drake find enough faith to risk opening his heart again? And does Caleb have what it takes to cope with the challenges Drake’s condition presents?
Jay Hogan is a New Zealand author writing in m/m romance, romantic suspense and fantasy. She has travelled extensively and has lived in quite a few countries. She has a BA degree in Nursing and in Theology, and in another life, she was an Intensive Care Nurse, Counselor, and a Lecturer.
She is a cat aficionado especially of Maine Coons, and an avid dog lover (but don’t tell the cat). She loves to cook- pretty damn good, loves to sing – pretty damn average, and as for loving full-time writing -absolutely… depending of course on the day, the word count, the deadline, how obliging her characters are, the ambient temperature in the Western Sahara, whether Jupiter is rising, the size of the ozone hole over New Zealand and how much coffee she’s had.
She has complex boys telling stories in her head that demand attention and a considerable number of words to go with them. Their journeys are never straightforward and even surprise Jay. She does her best to plot things out ahead of time but those pesky characters seem to have a mind of their own. Go figure.
You can find Jay at:
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