TREADMILL Week 174 & What I #AmReading – The Boyfriend Game by Stella Starling

Treadmill Goals/Tracking

  • Get on the treadmill (or equivalent exercise) daily
  • Pace is fine at 30 min/mile, although I may up it on occasion
  • Time range between 30 minutes and 1 hour per day
  • Distance 1-2 miles per day
  • Read the chosen book. I’m officially modifying my original rule of not reading the book-of-the-week off-treadmill. I’m usually going to look at length and try to divide it up somewhat evenly per day, even if that means either closing that book early (if it’s short) or continuing after (if it’s long).

Week 174: March 22, 2020 – March 28, 2020

Sunday 30 min/mile 30:05 min:sec 1 mile
Monday 30 min/mile 30:15 min:sec 1 mile
Tuesday 30 min/mile 30:14 min:sec 1 mile
Wednesday 30 min/mile 30:02 min:sec 1 mile
Thursday 30 min/mile 30:05 min:sec 1 mile
Friday 30 min/mile 30:28 min:sec 1 mile
Saturday 30 min/mile 30:14 min:sec 1 mile

What I’m Reading

Note: Although I will try to avoid them, my weekly reading snippets may or may not contain spoilers, so read at your own risk.

What I #amreading: The Boyfriend Game by Stella Starling

Fake boyfriends for a week? Yes, please.

Carter Olson never expected he’d get a chance to date his older brother’s best friend, Rip Taylor.
Wished for it? Yes.
Fantasized about it? Possibly too much.
But ever thought it would actually happen? Not in a million years, since Rip is straight. But even if it’s just to try and win a gay game show, having Rip for a boyfriend—even a temporary/pretend one—is still the best thing to happen to Carter in… well, ever.
Especially because Rip’s so good at it.
Amazingly good, actually.
So good that Carter starts to hope that maybe it won’t have to end once the show’s over…

If there are two things Rip Taylor lives for, they’re having fun and being there for his friends, so a trip to Vegas to help surprise his best friend’s girlfriend with a big, flashy proposal sounds awesome. And even more fun? His bestie’s plan to try and win some prize money for the wedding by signing the two of them up as contestants on the The Boyfriend Game.
The game show is sponsored by the gay dating app bLoved, and Rip is all in. He may be straight, but he’s never been narrow, and when circumstances (a.k.a. a best friend who can’t hold his tequila) mean that little Carter Olson gets roped into being Rip’s fake boyfriend instead, that’s almost better… because who wouldn’t be able to be a convincing boyfriend to Carter?
After all, Carter’s hella sweet.
Kind of adorable, actually.
And really, really easy to get into character with…

Winning The Boyfriend Game? Rip and Carter have it in the bag.

The Boyfriend Game is a gay romance novel of approximately 75,000 words that contains some confusion about tops and bottoms, a straight guy who realizes he isn’t, an ice cube that melts much too fast, and the kind of luck that can only be found in Vegas. Every Stella Starling romance takes place in the same interconnected, contemporary world. The Boyfriend Game is a standalone book with cameos from other Stella Starling stories, a #boyfriendsbybLoved spinoff that takes place around the time of the epilogue from Ready For Love (Book One of the Semper Fi series).

My favorite lines this week…

✿✿ SUNDAY ✿✿

Carter sighed happily, giving in and melting back against his crush for one single solitary second before he made himself pull away.

Or at least, he tried to pull away. Rip seemed to have other ideas, turning Carter around bodily to face him and looking down at him with genuine concern in his eyes.

Seriously, you okay, Carter?” he asked. “Because I know this boyfriend thing is important to your brother, but if you really don’t—”

✿✿ MONDAY ✿✿

Pet names might not be his thing, but Rip needed Carter to know that he had his back with the whole fake-boyfriend thing, one hundred percent. He’d come up with something.

“Nah, we can do better than just Carter,” he said, squinting as he tried to dredge up whatever he could remember from the chick flicks he’d been dragged to over the years. “How about…snookums?”

“Oh my God,” Carter said, shaking his head. “No.”

The way his eyes lit up gave him away, though. He definitely wanted a pet name. It was freaking adorable.


Finn snapped his fingers in front of Rip’s face, the sparkle in his eyes reminding Rip a bit of Carter.

“Uh,” Rip said, feeling a little dazed. “Yes?”

He wasn’t exactly sure what the little guy had just asked him, all he knew was that he’d just had someone else’s hands all over his waist, ass, chest, shoulders, and face… and that Finn seemed to have some kind of super power that enabled him to both talk at lightning speed without actually breathing and also carry on a dozen conversations at once.


“You get enough sleep this morning, babe?” he whispered, mostly as an excuse to watch the little shiver that Carter always got whenever Rip managed to breathe on a particularly sensitive spot he’d discovered just under Carter’s ear.

And… yep. There it was.



How was it possible that Carter had been right in front of him for basically his entire life, but all week, it had felt like Rip was actually seeing him for the very first time?

✿✿ FRIDAY ✿✿

“Oh, God,” he whimpered, wondering how long it took for a heart to finish breaking. Couldn’t it just snap in two all at once, so that the most painful part could be over quick? Did it really have to keep shattering in this extended slow-mo version where every breath broke off another chunk that rattled around inside his chest with tiny razor-sharp edges and sliced him up even further?


Carter’s heart stuttered to a stop. Then it suddenly restarted with a vengeance. And then Rip repeated it—

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