Months after his husband’s death, Garrett Blaine desperately needs a fresh start. He sells his house in Seattle, leaves his accounting job, and starts bartending in Bluewater Bay. There he meets a man who wakes up his nearly forgotten libido.
Jesse Connelly’s friend with benefits bolted after Jesse disclosed his HIV status. Stood up and stinging, Jesse tries to drown his sorrows . . . and finds an unexpected connection with a lonely bartender.
Jesse and Garrett quickly bond over a shared love of comics and card games, and they can’t get enough of each other between the sheets. Not even a bumpy start and a fifteen-year age gap can derail them as they go from strangers to lovers, then friends, then much more.
But as Garrett’s feelings for Jesse deepen, so does his grief for the man he lost—especially as he sees hints of his late husband in his new boyfriend. Now Garrett has to figure out if Jesse is his second chance at true love, or if Jesse’s just filling in for the man he’s never fully grieved. And he needs to figure it out soon, because Jesse’s starting to wonder the same thing.
Something came up. Not gonna make it. Sorry. 🙁
“My ass.” I rolled my eyes and slammed the phone facedown on the bar next to my nearly finished Coke.
A few chairs down, a bearded dude in a flannel shirt gave me a look. It was a look I knew well. The kind that telegraphed in no uncertain terms that he wanted to enjoy his beer and his baseball game without being afraid I might shower him with glitter or something. Most nights, I’d give a sassy hair toss, cross my legs, and shoot him a flirty grin. I mean seriously—Bluewater Bay was knee-deep in queers thanks to Wolf’s Landing, and even dive bars like the Olympic Sports & Alehouse weren’t safe from the likes of me. If he couldn’t cope with a queen at his bar, he was in the wrong town.
But I wasn’t in the mood to fuck with him. Not after Charlie’s text message. I twisted on the barstool, angling myself away from Beardy McHomophobe, and stabbed an ice cube with my straw. I glared at my phone. Even though I couldn’t see the screen, Charlie’s text was seared into my brain.
Something came up. Not gonna make it. Sorry. 🙁
I sighed, shoulders drooping along with my mood. The routine of Jesse meets boy, boy likes Jesse, boy finds out Jesse is HIV-positive, boy loses interest in Jesse was one I’d been familiar with for a long time. It didn’t always happen—I’d had plenty of hookups, friends with benefits, and boyfriends who were well aware of my status—but it happened enough to still make me dread the inevitable “Before we take this further . . .” conversation. I just hadn’t expected Charlie to be like this.
“Refill?” The seriously sexy voice pulled me out of my thoughts, and I looked up to see a bartender watching me. And . . . I had to stare. I’d been coming to this bar sporadically for ages, but I hadn’t seen him before, and that was a face I would have remembered. A face, a pair of dark eyes, a set of shoulders—
I cleared my throat and nudged my glass toward him. “Sure. Thanks.”
“What’re you drinking?” God. That voice. Low and rumbly and hot.
“Um.” What was I drinking? Crap. “Just a . . .” Alcohol? Nah. That would only make me more depressed because oh, right, I was in the process of being stood the fuck up by someone who thought I was a leper. “Coke.”
He nodded and took my glass. As he put some ice in a fresh one, I stole the opportunity to take him in. He was easily in his forties, if not a little older. There were some lines on his face that even the bar’s low lights didn’t smooth over. The gray hair seemed oddly out of place. He wasn’t young, but he seemed grayer than he should’ve been. No, not gray—white. He still had plenty of his natural dark hair, but he had streaks and sparkles of snow white, especially at the temples and along his part.
It didn’t look bad on him, though. Quite the opposite. Striking was the word that came to mind.
So that’s why people dig silver foxes. Holy shit.
Right then, his eyes flicked up to meet mine, and he handed me the Coke.
To celebrate the release of New Hand, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide credit and their choice of two ebooks off LA Witt’s backlist (not counting New Hand)! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 23, 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:
L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut . . .
L. A.’s backlist is available on her website, and updates (as well as random thoughts and the odd snarky comment) can be found on her blog or on Twitter