Keira and I noticed that we’re release day buddies on Thursday the 19th of November, so we decided it might be fun to do a giveaway swap to help get the word out about each other’s forthcoming books.
So…. I’m super excited to be able to offer you the chance to win a copy of Keira Andrews’ Christmas story, If Only in My Dreams on my blog today. Keira is one of my favourite authors, I love her books. If you haven’t already discovered her, go check out her backlist now. And in the meantime, read about her new release and enter the giveaway below 🙂
To be home for Christmas, they must bridge the distance between them. Charlie Yates is desperate. It’s almost Christmas and his flight home from college has been delayed. For days. Charlie promised his little sister Ava he’d be home for her first holiday season since going into remission from leukemia. Now he’s stuck on the opposite coast and someone else grabbed the last rental car. Someone he hasn’t even spoken to in four years. Someone who broke his heart.
Gavin Bloomberg’s childhood friendship with Charlie ended overnight after a day of stolen kisses. With years of resentment between them, they don’t want to be in the same room together, let alone a car. But for Ava’s sake, Gavin agrees to share the rental and drive across the country together.
As they face unexpected bumps along the road, can Charlie and Gavin pave the way to a future together?
Add it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27561177-if-only-in-my-dreams
Drifting in a limbo world between sleeping and waking, my whole body was tense and my legs were nearly pulled up to my chest. My hair was damp with night sweats, and even though I knew I needed real sleep, it wasn’t going to happen. I supposed a couple hours of half sleep would have to do, and I opened my eyes to the faded gray morning edging through the gap in the curtains.
Behind me, Charlie snored faintly. I inched over onto my back and extended my cramped legs, pointing and flexing my toes as I watched him. He’d turned over at some point, and his hand nearly brushed my arm. His lips were parted, and God, I knew it was a cliché, but he looked so innocent.
Without the angry set of his jaw and the tight hunch of his shoulders, he reminded me so much of the Charlie I’d known that first summer. The Charlie who’d been my friend until I’d ruined it.
Until I broke his heart.
He murmured and smacked his lips before falling still again, and I wondered what it would be like to kiss him now. That day at the pond, it had been a frenzy of shoving ourselves together as our hormones exploded like cherry bombs at our heels. I wanted to kiss him slowly now—tease open his lips and feel the slide of his tongue as the rasp of his faint stubble rubbed against mine.
I sucked in a breath. Shit, I should not be thinking about these things with morning wood that was all too eager. My pulse raced and I couldn’t look away from him. It was warm in the room, and he’d kicked the comforter down to his feet.
His white tee had ridden up to reveal a few inches of belly and the dark hair that disappeared in a trail below his waistband. Hair dusted his legs as well, and his left knee was bent a bit, displaying a mole on his inner thigh that I wanted to lick. I could see the bulge of his cock through his plaid boxers, and I wondered what it would be like to take him in my mouth and suck.
Lust and terror tightened my balls. Shit, I should have had the guts to hook up with guys at school; maybe I wouldn’t be wound so freaking tight. But I’d been too chicken. I thought of Candace just before she left for New York, nudging me with her elbow.
“When are you going to go for it? Just jump in with both feet. And hands. And…” She leaned in close and whispered, “And your, you know—dick. It’ll be awesome!”
But she was wrong. Sex with her the few times we’d done it had been awkward and never really right, but it hadn’t scared me. Maybe because I’d known her so well. Or because I’d been going through the motions for so long that it was just one more performance. And I genuinely cared about Candace, and had wanted her first time to be good for her. I’d been so focused on that, I’d ignored what I’d really wanted.
The truth was, the thought of actually fucking another guy in real life and not just in my fevered fantasies was absolutely, positively petrifying. Never mind the fact that it was Charlie I was perving on right now. Because even as I tried to convince myself that it was just dick I craved, I knew it was a lie.
It was Charlie I wanted to touch and taste. I wanted it then, and I wanted it now. But after what’d happened, Charlie could never like me again, and I couldn’t blame him.
My silent phone on the side table lit up, and I reached for it and read my dad’s text, glad for the distraction.
How’s the journey going? You’re okay for money?
I tapped the keyboard with my thumbs and answered:
Everything’s good, and yes. Just waking up in Wyoming. Say hi to Mom. Hope it’s warmer there than it is here! 🙂
Dad’s answer was a picture of a gorgeous white sand beach and blue ocean with a glorious sun rising above it. He added:
Drive carefully and give our love to Candace. We’ll see you when you get back from the slopes. Stay safe, kiddo.
I turned off my phone and sighed. I hadn’t mentioned the tire problem or that Charlie was with me, because then Dad would have all sorts of questions I didn’t want to answer. Questions he didn’t want to ask.
Since I’d gone to college, my parents and I had talked about my classes, and the weather, and Mom’s book club, and Dad’s bowling league, and none of the things that really mattered. Mom clearly wanted me to get back with Candace, but she didn’t even ask if I’d met any other girls. Dad certainly didn’t either.
I admit it—when Candace and I called it quits, I’d waited for my dad to talk to me about why. Talk to me about being gay. It was still weird to think it: I’m gay. I’m really, truly, gay.
I thought for sure he’d sit me down one day and we’d hash it all out. I waited. And waited. Then it was suddenly the day I was leaving for Stanford, and we’d only talked about my job at the local pool, the Red Sox’s pennant chances, and a bunch of stuff that didn’t mean anything.
I squeezed my eyes shut as I thought of that Labor Day Monday in the garage four years ago, the morning after I kissed a boy and then a girl. The morning I didn’t know what the hell to do, because it was the boy I really, really wanted to kiss again. Dad had always been my best friend. He’d always told me the right things. He always knew best.
“Don’t tell your mother.”
Charlie shifted again, moaning as he woke, and the weight of everything I’d missed out on the last four years bore down like I was plummeting to the bottom of the ocean. I sprang out of bed and into the bathroom, turning on the shower full blast so he wouldn’t hear me cry.
After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal, and fantasy fiction, and—although she loves delicious angst along the way—Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said, “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/keiraandrews
Enter the giveaway!
Keira’s given me an advance e-copy of If Only in My Dreams to give away to one lucky winner. The giveaway closes at midnight EST on Tuesday 17th of November. I’ll pick the winner on Wednesday and get the book to you before it’s out for general release on Thursday!
To enter, please leave a comment on this blog post.
N.B. If you’re a new commenter on my blog, I’ll need to approve your post before you can see it (I have to do this to avoid spammy comments), so if you don’t see your comment appear immediately it will go live as soon as I’ve had time to manually approve it 🙂
If you’d like to enter my corresponding giveaway over on Keira’s blog, you can do that here.
UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. The random number generator picked Sue Bowdley – well done Sue, I’ll email you 🙂 Thanks to everyone else who entered! x