Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. Readers have the chance to jump from one author to another who share hooks from their current WIP (work in progress) or any previously published books.
For this week’s edition of Book Hooks, I give you another teaser from my upcoming release Back Where You Belong.
He rejected love the first time. Now he wants a second chance.
Blurb: After having his love tossed back in his face, Hudson Suggashie has eliminated the word trust from his dictionary. Since his return to his Ojibway community, his suspicions are running high, all because one man is hinting at a second chance—the too-gorgeous and sexy ball-crusher who turned Hudson’s world to black fifteen years ago.
Stephen Brandt knows he screwed up big time when he rejected Hudson’s love, and he’ll do anything to win him back, even if it means being a mere bed buddy to the man whose love he aches to reclaim.
The longer the former best friends engage in their no-strings affair, they want something more—what they lost as teenagers. But Hudson isn’t about to open his heart again, leaving a desperate Stephen searching for a way to earn back the trust he broke, or for the second time, they’ll lose the greatest love either has ever experienced.
Genre(s): LGBTQ+, M/M Contemporary Romance, First Nations Romance
Heat Rating: Level 3
Publication Date: Coming Soon.
Publisher: eXtasy Books
“Yeah, the question.” Hudson squatted. He opened the glass door and added some ash to the woodstove. “Y’know, I gotta admit you were right the first time.”
“Right?” Stephen turned his chair around while Hudson used a poker to adjust the logs in the fire.
“About love. You told me we were too young…”
“I was wrong,” Stephen quickly said.
“No. You were right.” Hudson glanced over his shoulder. “We were seventeen. Who knows what love is at that age? And who needs love?” He shrugged. “I only came back because I couldn’t stand the thought of anyone living in Kokum’s house. Or selling it. But you gotta admit, a man has needs.”
“I guess so.” Stephen smoothed his palms on his thighs.
“I have a contract for two years at the nursing station. After that…well, we’ll see…” Hudson kept poking at the fire.
“The move isn’t permanent?” Stephen tugged at his shirt collar. He’d assumed wrong.
“I dunno. Like I said—I’ll see how the job pans out. Y’know, after I messed up my other relationships, I thought to myself, love is something I’m beginning to understand I’m not good at.”
Stephen’s eyes widened. Hudson had been more than good at love. He loved me with all his heart. “I think…well, I think you’re wrong, if you don’t mind me saying.”
“I don’t mind.” Hudson closed the door to the woodstove. He meandered over to the table. “But I failed a few times, so I think I’m better off… I’m gonna be honest. At this time in my life, I’m after hookups and nothing more.” He sat in the chair he’d previously occupied.
Hudson’s dead-eyed stare was powerful enough to almost crush Stephen’s fingers. “You don’t want anything other than sex?”
“That’s why I asked you about hookups in the city. Bars. Those kinds of places.” Hudson reached for the bottle of cider.
“But I thought we settled this?” Enough of dancing around the conversation. Stephen lifted his chin in determination and placed his hands on the table. “I apologized. I said I was wrong. I was a coward who should’ve found my balls to live my own life instead of listening to my dad. But I was scared at the time. Terrified of what he’d say.”
“Is that why you suggested one time for old times?” Hudson’s eyes narrowed.
“What?” Stephen gasped. “Is that what this is about? Did you really think I was after a one-nighter? The song by .38 Special. ‘One Time for Old Times.’ That’s why I jokingly said that. I thought you’d get the joke, but I see you’re way off target.”
Hudson stiffened. He glanced away, nibbling on his lower lip. Then he glanced back. “You know how the saying goes—fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
Stephen couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He really believes I’m after sex. He doesn’t believe I really loved him. He sank in the chair, close to putting his hands over his face, but he kept them on the table. Could he blame Hudson, though? The poor guy had opened his heart and received a kick to the balls.
If they were going to move forward, Stephen would have to prove his love. If that meant having to take whatever Hudson dished out, Stephen would do it. He stared at his lap. “You said you want to go into the city for hookups.”
Stephen kept staring at his lap. The jealousy gnawed at him. If Hudson wanted a no-strings night of sex, then…
Before he could contemplate the consequences, the words rushed from Stephen’s mouth. “I’m a gay man. Why not me? Judging by your…reaction to me in Red Lake, I’d say we still share an attraction.”
Hudson’s eyes narrowed. “Yes, an attraction.”
“I, however, wish there could be more,” Stephen added in a small voice, “but you’re being quite clear about what you want.”
The glower vanished from Hudson’s eyes, and they became softer. He picked up the glass and swirled the contents. “I guess this is one time for old times. Or maybe two times for old times. Or three times for old times.”
Stephen sank in the chair. “I guess…I guess it is.”
The temptation to tuck his tail between his legs and slink from the house clawed at Stephen, but he remained in his chair. Somehow, he’d find a way for them to recapture what they’d once had, but how long he could hold out being used for sex, he wasn’t sure.
“Are we starting tonight?”
“There’s no time like the present, is there?” The smile Hudson bared was a smirk, hardly warm.