Today I am so pleased to welcome N.R. Walker to Joyfully Jay. N.R. has come to talk to us about her latest release, Learning Curve. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
We went back to our room, back to our studies—me at my desk and Cobey on his bed. The single bed looked tiny with his huge body on it. And it didn’t take more than ten minutes before he was back to fidgeting.
He went from lying down on his back to sitting up, to leaning against the headboard, to lying down on his stomach, back to sitting up. He’d turn a page, squint at it for a while, then turn another.
It was the same calculus book he’d been reading earlier, and it was pretty clear to me that he wasn’t getting anything done.
“Not feeling it?” I asked, nodding to the textbook.
He tossed it toward his backpack. “Nope. Nothing’s going in today.”
“How do you normally study?”
He scrubbed his hands over his face. “I don’t.”
He flopped back down onto his back with a sigh. “Might just listen to some tunes. Didn’t mean to interrupt you.”
“You didn’t interrupt me.” I gently closed my textbook. I was pretty sure I had a good handle on the subject. I felt bad for Cobey though. I didn’t like to see him struggle. I didn’t like to see anyone struggle, but him especially.
It also didn’t help that he was lying down, wearing sweat shorts and a shirt that rode up a little. I could see the beginning of some very flat abdominals.
Stop looking. Jeez, Vincent, perv much?
What the hell had gotten into me? I’d managed to go almost twenty years without ogling. Why was he any different?
“Tell me about football,” I said, moving to my bed. I sat cross-legged and pulled my pillow into my lap. Not to hide anything, just for something to hold. A barrier, a safety. I needed a distraction from that sliver of skin above his waistband, and I figured getting Cobey to talk about football was my best bet.
“Football? What do you wanna know?”
“Yes. What you do on the field. What position you play and what that means.”
He sat up, smiling now. “I’m a middle linebacker.”
That name meant absolutely nothing to me. “And what does a middle linebacker do? If I’m going to watch a game on Saturday, then I should probably have some kind of inkling of what’s going on.”
And that was when I got to see the real Cobey Green.
He was animated, used his hands when he talked, his eyes lit up. Actually, his whole face lit up. He talked about defensive lines and offensive centers, stopping the run, the pass, and everything in between. He talked about scoping out the whole game, watching for any plays that develop and directing his team accordingly. He spoke of things I didn’t understand and had never heard of.
But he spoke with such passion it was hard not to be enthralled. For anyone to be that passionate about their chosen career . . . well, it made me happy. Now, I’d never given football much thought before. Lord knows I’d never watched it. Throughout most of my school days, I’d been at the butt end of many jock’s jokes to want to avoid football players forever.
But Cobey wasn’t like that.
Well, I didn’t think he was. Maybe seeing him on the football field or with his football friends might change all that. I hoped it didn’t change him because, holy hell, he was so attractive and sweet—
“So do you want one pass to get into the game or two,” he asked. I must have zoned out because his question took me by surprise.
“Oh, just one is fine.”
“No plus one? I know you said before you didn’t have a boyfriend but that didn’t mean you’re not seeing someone. If you want them to come along, that’s totally fine . . . if you have a secret boyfriend or something and just didn’t want me to know.”
“No, there’s no secret boyfriend.” I felt my cheeks burn. And there he was, sitting across from me, all attractive and whatever, with that tell-me-all-your-secrets face.
So I did.
“There’s no not-secret boyfriend either. I’ve, uh, never had a boyfriend of any kind. Secret or otherwise.”
He smiled. “Really?”
Regret and embarrassment sank in my belly. “Is that funny? Smiling at someone when they—”
“No, no!” he said quickly, sitting forward on his bed and reaching his hand over to pat my knee. “I’m not smiling at you. I just . . . I thought you’d have a boyfriend for sure and you just didn’t want to tell me the other day. Because you’re not out and I thought maybe he’s not either and you were protecting him. I would totally respect that.”
I shook my head, undecided on how to feel. “Nope. Never had a boyfriend.”
“That’s totally cool,” he said.
I snorted. “I beg to differ. It’s not that I don’t want to. It’s just that I’m busy, and I’ve always been busy. I spent my entire high school years trying to avoid being gay, so I’d study and study some more. Can’t be thinking about kissing boys when you’re thinking about quantum physics, right?”
“Uh, I was absolutely the kissing-boys type. Not so big on the quantum thing. And girls. I was kissing them too.”
God, there he was having the best of both worlds and I hadn’t even kissed anyone.
“Maybe this explains why I’m failing class,” he said with a smirk.
“Well, it probably explains why I’ve always made the dean’s list and am still a virgin.”
Did I say that out loud? Did I just tell the most popular guy at school that I was a virgin? Oh sweet mother of god. Did I just say that . . . ? Did I just . . .
Yes, I did.
Franklin University Series, Book 6
There I was, moving into the dorms at Franklin U and not into the shared party house I’d lived in my freshman year. Last year had been all about football and parties, not schoolwork. Which was why my grades tanked. Why I was one failed class away from being kicked off the team.
Why I needed to live on campus and find myself a tutor.
Funny that my new roommate just happens to be a tutor. Funny that he’s oblivious to how hot he is. For a smart guy, he’s pretty clueless. Maybe I could tutor him in how to be more outgoing in exchange for help with calculus. I could teach him how to talk to people, how to make new friends. Hell, maybe I could even help him punch his V-card.
Actually, now that I think about it . . . that’s a really good idea.
And there I was, happy to be back at college, happy to be where I was most comfortable. Happy to be starting another school year, happy to start tutoring again so I could earn some money.
And yes, there I was, equal parts excited and dreading to see who my new roommate would be . . . until Cobey Green’s smiling face appeared at the door. A huge football player loved by everyone. Gorgeous, rich, and out of the closet.
Everything I’m not.
It doesn’t help that he’s genuinely a nice guy. It doesn’t help that I make him laugh and we can talk so easily. And it certainly doesn’t help that we start having private tutoring sessions, which end up way more private than I’d ever dare imagine.
I’d ranked top of my class in every subject since the first grade, yet there I was falling stupidly in love with him.
This was going to be a hell of a year. And one very steep learning curve for both of us.
N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.
She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.
She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love.
She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.
She’s been writing ever since…
Connect with N.R.: https://smart.bio/nrwalkerauthor/
To celebrate the release of Learning Curve, N.R. Walker is giving away an eBook of the Winner’s choice from her backlist and a $10 Amazon Voucher! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!
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