After a rough breakup, Todd Addison wants time alone to grieve. While still dreaming of winning back his ex’s love, he moves across the country and finds work with a construction company. The last thing he needs is the cute office boy developing a crush on him, especially since he’s back in the closet.
Sebastián Nye can’t help feeling sorry for the obviously brokenhearted Todd. Though rebuffed repeatedly, Sebby chisels away at Todd’s resistance, determined to help him forget—a task potentially beyond anyone’s capabilities. He never meant to fall for the poor guy, but he does. Hard.
Desperate to hold on to Todd, Sebby hatches a sneaky plot guaranteed to end Todd’s heartbreak—if Todd doesn’t bail and ruin everything. Just when things can’t get more complicated, Todd’s ex wants him back. And Sebby’s abusive ex is just waiting to catch Sebby alone. Todd and Sebby must decide what’s worth fighting for, what’s worth sacrifice, and what’s worth compromise, or their relationship will begin and end with a broken heart.
The office boy smiled at Todd. “That coffee’s shit.”
Hard hat under one arm, Todd stared at the coffeepot in front of him. He waited impatiently for the drip to stop, conscious of several teammates waiting their turns. They jostled one another as they laughed and joked. The men with their hard hats seemed to take up more space than necessary in the confines of the mobile office. Todd itched to get his coffee and get out into the fresh air.
“You look like someone who would appreciate good coffee,” the boy continued, and Todd knew a fishing query when he heard one. What the boy meant was, You’re gay, aren’t you? Because everyone knew that gays liked gay coffee. Todd tried to remember the boy’s name. They all called him office boy.
“I like shit,” Todd said with a feral grin. “Keeps me awake. Keeps me from falling off buildings.” Todd was not interested in having his cover blown. Passing for straight among a gang of construction workers was easy enough if you watched yourself, and that meant not watching any cute office boys. He reached for a cup, but the boy handed him one first, his tanned fingers brushing against Todd’s.
He’s shorter than I am. Not many guys were. The one who had broken his heart had been four inches taller than Todd.
“I know a good place to get real, honest, quality coffee, not the sludge they keep here,” the boy continued. Apparently, Todd’s feral grin was not scary enough or het enough. “I don’t mean like Starbucks—a local coffeehouse. It’s real nice, lo prometo.”
“I’m allergic to coffeehouses,” Todd said. “Step inside one and I’ll need hospitalization.”
It was in a coffeehouse that his heart had been broken.
The cozy New York coffeehouse had seemed innocuous enough. And then there had been one Vivian Oscar Stanton-Owens, a young man of only eighteen who had so adorably crushed on Todd. Todd should have known better—he had known better—but, flattered by the attention, had thought, Give the kid a thrill, and then had fallen for him like an idiot. There in that cozy coffeehouse, Todd had lost his heart and had it handed back to him like so much old coffee grounds.
Todd poured, staring at the brown liquid and not allowing his eyes to flick toward the boy even for a split second, definitely not noticing his dark-sienna hair and how it curled against the back of his neck.
“I’ll bring you some good coffee tomorrow,” the boy offered. “I only buy fair-trade beans. I grind them fresh each time. And I use spring water and a French press.”
That’s all I need, another kid with a crush. “I prefer this shit.” Todd threw the coffee back like a slug of whiskey, scalding his entire mouth and throat so that he was unlikely to taste anything for days. Adjusting his goggles over his eyeglasses, he turned and exited the mobile office with a manly, het swagger. He forced his mind away from the lingering impression of alluring deep-brown eyes.
To celebrate the release of Love and Other Hot Beverages, one lucky winner will receive a $15 Starbucks gift card and a French press from Laurie! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 8, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
About the Author & Links:
Laurie Loft lives in Iowa, endeavoring to write stories to give you that rush. Her husband, cat, and dogs kindly tolerate this odd activity. Her first M/M novel came about because of a minor character in a straight romance who just took over and demanded his own book. Laurie enjoys NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and other forms of writerly torture. She finds inspiration in her NaNo friends and her fellow Riptide authors. When not writing or working at her mysterious day job, she can often be found screaming at tangled cross stitch threads.