For my part in the hop today, I'm introducing you to Canyon, from "Who Better Than Canyon," my m/m sweet romance (sweet romance = no sex).
Why Canyon? Well, because of all of the characters I've written, he's the sweetest. He's a romantic at heart, and determined that the next man he falls for will put a ring on his finger!
Content Warning: Some readers have decided there's infidelity in the book, because a deceased character had a relationship with two people at once - a man and a woman. Well, the deceased character was bi, and um...yeah, he's dead when the story starts, so, there's actually no physical infidelity in the book whatsoever. But if the past actions of dead characters are an issue for you, you've been warned. Just sayin'.
To enter to win a free pdf copy, just leave a comment below with your e-mail. Easy, peasy!
Here's the blurb and excerpt:
“How’d that work, anyhow? Sharing him?” Simon asked.
“It didn’t. I told him it did. I told him a lot of things worked that didn’t.” Canyon shrugged, hoping the nonchalance gesture would steer Simon clear of any more questions. They’d spent the last three hours and two bottles of an expensive-tasting white wine in Simon’s lavishly decorated living room, seated on opposite sides of the room on the softest leather couches that Canyon had ever touched, chatting over this and that, but mostly avoiding the subject of Robert, which was fine.
“Why’d you put up with it?” Simon knelt in front of the fireplace, artfully arranging the wood inside with one hand, while still holding—with a steadiness that must’ve been born of practice—his wine glass in the other. Flickering light from the fledgling fire outlined him, making him look like a glowing angel. My guardian angel. Canyon jerked as the unexpected thought flitted through his mind.
“He loved his wife.”
Simon chuckled. “Natalie.” He raised his glass. “God, I never understood what he saw in that bitch. I went to school with her, you know. With both of them, actually.”
“Yeah? What was he like as a kid?” Canyon asked, fascinated to have a chance to learn such things. It told him Simon’s age, as well. If he’d gone to school with Robert that made Simon forty-four, forty-six at the oldest. Nice. Canyon liked older men; he tended to get along better with them.
“Nerdy. He was the biggest geek. If something new came out, technology wise, Robert had it. He had the first cassette player, the first computer. The first CD player. I remember he had CDs before he even had something to play them on. We saw them downtown at a store, and he didn’t have enough money for the player, but he bought two CDs. When I asked him what he planned to do with music he couldn’t listen to, he just said ‘it’ll keep’.”
“He said that even back then, huh?” Canyon had heard that phrase far too often during his three years with Robert.
Simon nodded. “It’ll keep. That’s what he thought about everything.”
“Yeah. I guess he was right about some things.”
“I dunno. You don’t strike me as the sort of man to be kept on a shelf, waiting.” Simon shrugged and looked away. He stood on unsteady feet, grinning, and went to the kitchen. He had another bottle of wine in his hand when he returned to the living room. He waved the bottle at Canyon. “Top you? Off, I mean. Of course.”
“Sure.” Canyon laughed, his spirits lifted for the first time in days. Simon moved toward him with measured, purposeful steps, tongue caught between his teeth in apparent concentration. He was very handsome, with short spiky hair, green eyes flecked with gold, and a small, almost feminine, lithe frame. Simon leaned over him to pour the wine, breath just tickling the hair on the top of his head, and Canyon’s cock stirred. “On both accounts,” he murmured.
Simon glanced at him, grinning again. “You’re drunk.”
“You started it.”
“Touché.” Simon straightened and stared down at him, a thoughtful expression on his face.
“Penny for your thoughts.”
Simon shook his head. “You’d get robbed on that deal. I’d planned a trip to the beach next weekend. You’re welcome to join me.” He frowned and moved away, headed back to the kitchen.
Generous offer, but one Simon might want to rescind once he knew the truth about Robert’s death. “There’s something you should know.”
“I said there’s something you should know,” Canyon repeated as Simon returned with another bottle. Good lord, did the man own a winery? “Robert’s death was my fault.”
“What makes you think that?” Simon sat back down across the room and cocked his head as he poured himself another drink.
“The night he died, we had a pretty nasty argument. He showed up at my house, said he wanted to get back together.”
“But you didn’t.”
“We’d already been apart six months, and I’d just started to feel normal again. Six months is a long damned time. I considered it, though, but I made it clear he had to leave her.”
“I’m guessing he said no?”
Canyon nodded. “I know he loved her, but I just...I gave up enough of my life playing second fiddle. I wanted something more. I wanted to marry him.”
“Can’t fault you for that.”
“When he left...I’ve never seen him so angry. He shouldn’t have been driving.” Guilt surging through him, Canyon lowered his head and looked away, unwilling to meet Simon’s eyes.
“Well. I think sometimes you have to acknowledge that you can’t control everything. Sometimes...bad things happen.” Simon cleared his throat. “What line of work are you in?” he asked, changing the subject.
Canyon found the switch in topic odd, but then maybe Robert’s death was too fresh for Simon. Maybe Simon needed a safer, less painful topic. “I’m between jobs right now, but the last thing I did was record keeping for a doctor.”
Simon chuckled. “Really? Big strapping thing like you? I had you figured for a landscaper or construction worker.”
“Not in the Arizona heat! I like my air conditioning, thank you very much. And I liked the completion of the tasks. I could start out with a big pile on the side of my desk and whittle it down to nothing by the time I left for the day.”
“But you don’t work there now?”
Canyon shook his head and a blush crept up his cheeks. “Robert left me some money, so I guess now I don’t have to work anywhere if I don’t want. Or at least I can be choosy for a while.”
“Knowing Robert, you can be choosy for the rest of your life.”
“Three million. He left me three million.” Canyon blurted. Why had he felt so compelled to share that information?
“Wow.” Simon let out a hearty belch that had them both rolling with laughter.
“What do you do?” Canyon asked, once he’d caught his breath.
“I’m a painter.” Simon pointed over Canyon’s shoulder behind the couch. “Those are mine.”
Canyon glanced back at the wall. A strange mix of still life paint- ings and what he guessed would be called impressionist works, they showcased a wide range of talent, as far as he was concerned. “Those are really good. There’s a lot of money in art then, huh?” he asked, looking around the room.
“Robert bought the house for me.”
“Oh.” While Robert was incredibly generous when it came to his money, he really only spent it on people he cared a great deal for. Family, usually. Or lovers. Which brought an entirely new dimen- sion to their little situation, didn’t it? Both of them former lovers of Robert’s? But Simon hadn’t said anything of the sort, had he? And wouldn’t someone share such details—compare notes, at the very least? So it must’ve been something different that had bonded the two men. They’d gone to school together, were childhood friends, clearly. Maybe there was nothing more to it. But considering Robert had made it a point to get word of his death to Simon, and considering Natalie’s reaction at the lawyer’s office, Canyon seriously doubted Robert and Simon had been merely platonic.
Simon stood and stretched, and Canyon couldn’t keep himself from admiring the view.
Canyon nodded. He was hungry, all right.
****PLEASE BE AWARE: I write GLBTQ romance. GLBTQ stands for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer. This means my works feature same sex relationships AND same sex sexual acts. If winning that kind of a book isn't your cup of tea, kindly pass on to the next blog in the hop and leave the spot open for someone else. Thank you.****