Maybe This Time by AM Arthur (July release) [Goodreads]
As a regular at gay hotspot Pot O Gold, Ezra Kelley avoids his tangled emotions with the simplicity of one-night stands and attachment-free hookups. Until the night bartender Donner Davis picks him up off the floor after a misunderstanding and too much tequila. Ezra can’t remember the last time someone was…nice. It’s more than he deserves.
Witnessing his lover’s death two years ago has Donner trapped in a holding pattern: living in his sister’s basement, working at the Pot and flirting with the customers. He’s not above spending a night with the gorgeous Ezra, but love is not in the cards. That’s more than he’s ready for.
A passionate night leads to a connection neither man expects, and they take the first steps to something that looks like a real relationship. But Ezra’s been running from himself so long he doesn’t know how to live any other way. And Donner can’t risk his heart just to lose everything again. They’ll both need the strength to let go of the past if they want to get it right this time.
[Ezra] listened to the footsteps on the stairs moving closer, getting louder, timing it so he whipped open the door with Donner’s knuckles poised to knock. Donner still wore his black leather pants and shiny green shirt, but he’d washed his face free of eyeliner and lip gloss.
“Hey,” Donner said. His hand dropped. His other was clutching the strap of a backpack that looked as old as dirt and ready to fall apart.
“Come in.” Ezra stepped aside and let him enter. “I should warn you, they’re at it already.”
“Huh?” Donner glanced at the living room. “Oh, I see.”
“Do you mind?”
“Not a bit. I’ve seen more risqué things at the Pot, believe me.”
“You’ll have to tell me all about it sometime.”
“Want something to drink?”
“No, I’m fine.”
Ezra’s mind raced for something clever or sexy to say. He’d looked forward to this all night, and now that Donner was in his apartment, he was fumbling like an idiot. This was not him.
“Oh, hey!” Alessandro sat up and twisted his head around. The position made him sway a little. “Look, babe, Dasher’s here.”
“Donner,” Jaime said. He wrestled out from beneath his boyfriend, shirt rucked up to his armpits. “Hey, you made it.”
“Dude, what’s your first name?”
Jaime knuckled Alessandro in the shoulder. “Shut up. You’re drunk.”
“Ignore him,” Ezra said to Donner. “Actually, feel free to ignore both of them.”
Donner chuckled. “They’re pretty entertaining, if you ask me.”
“Wait until they start showing off.”
“Forget it.” Alessandro started tugging Jaime toward the spare bedroom. “He’s all mine tonight, amigo. You’ve got your own date.”
Jaime managed a faux-helpless shrug as he allowed himself to be manhandled into the bedroom. The door shut with a solid bang that made Ezra jump. Then he snickered. So much for manners. He understood the sentiment, though. He didn’t much feel like sharing Donner with anyone else.
Strong arms slid around his waist from behind and laced fingers across his belly. A solid chest and abs pressed against his back and ass, and breath tickled his ear. The hold was loose, the intentions clear. “You want to fuck me, don’t you?” Donner whispered, mouth hovering close to his left ear.
About A.M. Arthur
A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone’s throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She’s been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn’t been coined yet back then) and “The Young Riders” with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories.
When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org with your cooking tips (or book comments). You can also find her online (http://amarthur.blogspot.com/), as well as on Twitter (http://twitter.com/am_arthur), Tumblr (http://www.tumblr.com/blog/am-arthur), and Facebook (A.m. Arthur). Other titles by A.M. Arthur are available from Samhain Publishing, Dreamspinner Press, and Musa Publishing.
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