Happy holidays, everyone! And thanks to Nix for having me visit today. I have a Festive Kiss to share from my most recent release. Rough and Tumble is the story of friends, roommates, and gymnastics teammates Grant and Darryn, navigating a newly recognized attraction and making their slow way toward a relationship.
In this excerpt, it’s New Year’s Eve, and Grant is visiting Darryn and his family. The guys get some time alone just as the clock hits midnight…
His dad disappears down the hall, and then it’s just us, the silent Times Square celebration on the TV, and the glasses of sparkling grape juice on the coffee table in front of us. I reach for mine and take a sip, but as I set it back down, Darryn slides from his chair.
“C’mon,” he says. “It’s almost midnight. Let’s go watch the neighbors set off fireworks.”
I lift an eyebrow but follow him onto the front porch. Darryn sits on the porch swing at one end and pats the seat next to him.
“Best view in town, promise.”
He smiles, and there’s nothing on earth that could make me say no.
I settle onto the swing, leaving as much space between us as I can without shoving myself up against the arm. I don’t want to crowd him, but I don’t want to look like I don’t want to be anywhere near him. If I let myself do what I really want, I’d slide right up to his side and wrap my arm around his shoulders to keep him as close as possible.
I mentally shake off the image and give the swing a tiny push. “Is this how you usually spend New Year’s Eve?” I ask. “Swingin’ on the porch, watchin’ the neighbors blow shit up?”
Darryn chuckles. “Sometimes.” He pushes one foot against the floor to keep the swing going. “Some years it’s too cold. Sometimes I don’t want to stay up. Most years, though, yeah. We moved here when I was ten, and probably six or seven times I’ve spent midnight on the porch.”
I tilt my head up at a whistling sound, and sure enough, a few seconds later a small multicolor burst lights the air a few houses down the street. “I guess the show’s gotten better since they legalized fireworks?”
“A little, yeah. They had some pretty fancy stuff even ten years ago.”
We fall silent as a few more fireworks flash in the air and cheers go up in response. The pungent smell and smoke drift our way, but there’s enough of a breeze to keep it from hanging around long enough to irritate.
The silence between us isn’t uncomfortable, but I’m trying to come up with something to break it when the partiers down the street start counting. “Ten! Nine! Eight!”
I don’t know how accurate their count is, but I turn my head toward Darryn anyway, only to find him much closer than he’d been minutes before. He’s smiling softly and his gaze captures me, drawing me in like a moth to a flame. My heart pounds, a hot flush runs over my skin, and all concepts of just a friend evaporate from my mind.
The revelers cheer as their countdown ends, and for that moment, everything in the world is right.
“Happy New Year,” I whisper.
“Happy New Year.” Darryn’s smile slips and his gaze flicks down to my lips. I catch my breath, but before I can do anything, he leans forward to kiss me.
Comment on the post to win a copy of Rough and Tumble. Details of the book below.
Book title: Rough and Tumble
Series: University of Atlanta, Book 1
Author: Shae Connor
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publication date: November 9, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Keywords: M/M, gay, bisexual, college, sports, new adult
Cover artist: Bree Archer
My name’s Grant Clark, and I have managed to screw up my entire life. In triplicate.
Number one: I fell in love with my best friend.
Number two: I thought he was straight.
Number three: Because of number two, I didn’t make a move on number one. Until it was too late.
Or is it?
When I accidentally interrupt him with another guy—and he turns out to be the worst—well, I think it’s time I finally make a move.
Shae Connor lives just outside Atlanta, where she’s a lackadaisical government worker by day 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 while to figure out that maybe she should try writing them down.
Shae was first published in 2010 and has a lineup of short stories, novellas, and novels available and a host of anthology appearances. She’s won two Rainbow Awards for Best Anthology/Collection, one for the multi-author anthology Playing Ball, and one for a solo novella collection, Hands-On.
Shae is part Jersey, part Irish, and all Southern, which explains why she never shuts up. When she’s not chained to her laptop, she enjoys cooking, traveling, watching baseball, reading voraciously, giving and receiving hugs, and wearing tiaras. In her copious spare time, she volunteers as director and editor of the Dragon Con on-site publication, the Daily Dragon.
In addition to this wonderful prize from Shae, and in celebration of the Festive season, I, Nix, will be giving away a £25/$35 voucher for a book retailor of choice across the event. Each comment, on ANY post, will be classed an entrance; just fill in the Rafflecopter at the bottom. You can enter once a day.a Rafflecopter giveaway