Available in ebook format on Amazon Kindle!
🌟 Please join me in welcoming author AG Meiers to Stories That Make You Smile! AG is here today celebrating the recent release of her thrilling new novel, Promise Me. She’s brought along and EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT, and an extremely generous GIVEAWAY! Pull up a chair and read on! 🌟
Promise Me by AG Meiers
A fortune shouldn’t get you killed…a promise shouldn’t break your heart.
Publisher: Painted Hearts Publishing
Cover Artist: S. Hardy
Release Date: November 19, 2020
Length: Novel / 85,423 words / 210 pages
Pairing / Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, gay, secret marriage, opposites attract, unexpected inheritance, chosen family, lawyer romance
A fortune shouldn’t get you killed. a Promise shouldn’t break your heart.
Attorney Rafe Stanton knows making promises is a dangerous thing. Over and over he has failed to keep people under his protection safe. For years he watched his younger cousin Noah lose his battle with drugs and alcohol, which eventually led to a deadly car accident. When he finds out about Noah’s secret marriage to Logan Tate, Rafe has one last chance for redemption.
Inheriting a fortune should be a blessing, but for Logan life never works out that way. He’s learned the hard way that dreams don’t come true—and if they do, well, there is usually a hefty price tag attached. All he really wants is a quiet life, but that isn’t in the cards when his apartment gets broken into and a pretentious lawyer from Boston arrives thinking he can call the shots.
The two men don’t see eye-to-eye about the inheritance, but with Noah’s powerful family coming after Logan, they find themselves reluctantly on the same side. A gunman, greedy in-laws, and meddling friends are not enough trouble; soon they also need to deal with the explosive chemistry between them.
But Rafe made a promise to the past and Logan doesn’t trust easily, so a future together seems out of reach.
“From the little we know about Logan Tate—it doesn’t sound like he has the means to hold out against Noah’s family.”
“They’ll come after him hard. This could get ugly. That’s why I’m saying take a look at him and decide how you want to play this.”
Rafe knew his friend was right. “A stripper. Oh, damn, Noah. You couldn’t find anything else to piss off your parents.”
“It’s textbook.” Kane chuckled. “Whatever you decide; I’ve got your back.”
“Thanks, Kane. I’ll keep you in the loop.”
“Sounds good. Drive safe.”
North of Burlington traffic finally eased up. After all the rain, it was finally a sunny day—only a few clouds chased across blue skies. Rafe pulled out his sunglasses and tried to relax. It was quite telling that he wasn’t surprised to learn that Noah’s husband was shady and a modern-day fortune hunter. Ever since Rafe had seen the marriage certificate, he’d been speculating and had been expecting the worst. Based on the initial information the PI had dug up, he had been spot on.
A series of very likely scenarios went through his head. Noah had no people skills—everybody was his friend, and anyone who supplied drugs or alcohol immediately made it on the top of the list. It was easy to take advantage of his cousin, and he’d probably been high as a kite when he signed the certificate. Rafe tried to think back fourteen months but came up with a blank. Noah hadn’t been around much and Rafe hadn’t gone looking for him. The few times they had met, Noah had been doing better—wrong, very wrong. A wave of guilt washed over him with all the sadness of Noah’s death. He’d talked to his therapist about the five stages of grief, but somehow Rafe just felt an overwhelming clusterfuck of emotions. Regret—harrowing regret—waving through it as the only constant.
“Goddamn, Noah, I hope he’s not too awful, so I can at least keep my last promise to you,” Rafe said into the silence of his car. “I know I let you down with everything else.”
Resolutely, Rafe tried to push back all pictures of a skimpily dressed stripper with sly eyes pushing a pen into Noah’s hand while rubbing his groin and whispering obscenities into his ear. He was almost glad when his phone rang again hoping for a distraction, but then he flinched when he saw the name. Fuck. It was tempting not to pick up, but that would be a shit move. Quickly, he accepted the call.
“Hey stranger. I know you said you’d be busy, but I thought I check in. Do you have a few minutes?”
“Yes. I’m in the car driving to a client. Sorry, I didn’t call you back this weekend.”
“Don’t worry about it. You told me about your cousin. So very sad. Of course, you need some time with your family. If there is anything I can do, please let me know.”
Walter Schuller was exactly the type of guy Rafe should be considering for something more serious. A little older. Settled into a successful life as a well-known psychiatrist with a few books under his belt. Smart. Cultured. Liberal. He and Rafe had a ton of things in common and they were compatible in bed. They had met at a charity event in Boston last summer, and since then they’d hooked up occasionally. Rafe knew Walter was interested in being more than casual, but so far Rafe had pushed back. “I’m doing okay. I’m Noah’s probate executor. It’s the last I can do for him now.”
“Sure, I understand, but just make sure that you don’t use your work as shield against your emotions. We humans are social creatures. We need other people around us, and I don’t want you to fall back on your old coping mechanism.”
You mean fucking around? The words were on Rafe’s lips. Lately, he’d been regretting that he’d shared his challenge to maintain a meaningful relationship with Walter—really to scare him off. It had completely backfired. It seemed like Walter was now on a mission to save Rafe from himself. He tried to ignore Walter’s slightly patronizing tone, because it was high time he made an effort to find something slightly more serious than an endless string of anonymous sexual encounters he used for stress relief. And Walter had been the first guy who had stuck around longer than one or two dinners. He had the patience of a saint.
“I appreciate your concern,” Rafe said.
He’d never told Walter about his complicated relationship with Noah, so there was no way he could understand how important this trip was; still somehow, the man managed a flawless response. “I completely understand. Taking care of somebody’s legacy is important. You’re doing the right thing, but if you need a break, I have tickets to a Celtics game in two weeks. The weekend before Thanksgiving. If you feel like it, I’d love it if you came with me. You could stay the night. Let me take care of you for a change.”
Rafe pushed his sunglasses up on his head to rub his eyes. Walter was fucking perfect, and Rafe was a total ass for not making more of an effort.
“I’d love that. Text me the details and I’ll be there.”
“Awesome. I won’t keep you, but I can’t wait to see you that weekend.”
Rafe let out a sigh. “Fuck my life,” he mumbled to himself. Why was this so freaking difficult for him? Letting another guy in. Walter had been nothing but kind and dependable and still, Rafe kept him at arm’s length. Despite his best efforts to focus on Walter and all the solid reasons why he should be making it more official, after a few miles his mind slipped right back to Noah and his secret marriage.
☆ Exclusive Excerpt ☆
Logan was nursing his coffee in his hands. He had yet to take a sip, but his throat felt too tight—even breathing was an effort. He could feel the numbness creep up from the edges of his mind. It’d been a long time since he’d felt this disconnected from everything around him. He was dimly aware of what was going on in the room. Ria was upset. She was reprimanding herself for letting her temper get the better of her. Uncle Vicky and her partner—damn, Logan went blank on the name—tried to comfort her. It didn’t matter that he couldn’t remember the name; he was going to be kicked out. For a few months, he’d found a safe spot to stay. He’d even dared to make some new friends. Foolish. His mother had been right. You’re trash. Disgusting. Nobody wants the likes of you around.
This time Noah wouldn’t be around to cushion the blow. No trip to Hawaii to save him from falling. Logan’s arms suddenly felt like lead and he let his coffee sink into his lap trying not to spill anything and draw attention. He tried to pull in a few shallow breaths to keep the worst of the detachment away.
He tried to rally around the fact that Noah seemed to have come through for him and had kept his promise. Seems like there was some money for him, and that’s why Noah’s lawyer cousin was here. Even through the haze of his mind, Logan could feel Rafe’s presence in the room. Noah had called him his rock. Shit, what an apt description. There was something stony about Rafe Stanton. He was an unmovable object and all edges. His square, strong jaw. The clipped, aggressive way he talked. His flint gray eyes with the straight dark eyebrows that were in contrast to his blond hair. Shit, the man hadn’t smiled once since he pushed his way into Logan’s home…not that there was anything to smile about.
Noah had talked with so much admiration about his older cousin; a tiny part of Logan had hoped he would make a good impression when they finally met. Yeah, he could forget that now. Ria’s outburst still rung in Logan’s ears: Lying cheat. Arrested for prostitution. Not a real marriage.
It’s not fair—just not fair. I’m trying so hard.
“Logan.” Rafe’s voice startled him. His hand wrapped around Logan’s steadying the coffee cup. Only now, Logan realized that he’d lost his grip and a small amount of hot liquid spilled over his jeans.
“Let me take his.” Rafe carefully untangled the cup and put it on the table. Logan forced himself to look up. He tried to pull air into his lungs. It sounded obscenely loud and his exhale was shaky.
“Sorry,” he whispered.
“It’s okay,” Rafe said. The rest of the room had gone silent. Logan could almost feel the air shift as the lawyer took control. “Can I ask about the break-in from last night? Was anything stolen?”
“No,” Logan replied. “The place was searched, but nothing was taken. We—Ria and I—Ria and Victor are my landlords. I’m renting this apartment. Ria and I interrupted the intruder.”
“Is that when you got the shiner?” Rafe reached out and almost touched Logan’s cheek. Instead of pulling back, Logan had the ridiculous urge to lean in, but Rafe dropped his hand rather abruptly.
“Yes. It sounds rather cliché, but the door hit me.”
Rafe looked now at Ria. “It was a single intruder? Or more? How did he escape? Any leads yet, Ria…ehm…Officer Porter?”
“Call me Ria. It’s fine.”
“Okay then, Ria, you raised concern for your family’s safety, so we should address this.”
Reluctantly, she filled him in. “One intruder. He was alone. I saw him escape on a motorbike he must have hidden on the side of the road. It wasn’t a normal break-in. Logan had a very expensive watch on his dresser.”
“Yeah, only an idiot would leave that behind.” Ria’s partner—Jase—that was his name—added.
“So, not a robbery and not related to Logan’s past.” Rafe looked at Logan, who confirmed with a nod. He really hoped Ria believed him now, because Vegas was in his past, and Logan wanted it to stay that way.
“That means we’re back to Noah’s family,” Victor chimed in. “They obviously wanted to find out what kind of person Noah’s husband was. I have to say I don’t approve. That’s a very underhanded way. They should have just knocked at the door and introduced themselves. I always have some blueberry pie in the freezer for unannounced guests. No need to sneak around like that.”
“You’re right.” Ria put her hand on Victor’s leg, and then looked at Rafe. “Do you think that could have been the motive? Logan didn’t think so last night, because we assumed they already knew about him, so why search this place?” Rafe leaned back in the chair. His fingers tapped a soundless rhythm on the armrest. Then, he closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Logan, could I suggest you come with me back to Boston?”
Meet the Author
Eighteen years ago, AG Meiers came to the United States for adventure, but stayed for love. Currently, she lives in New England with her husband and two awesome kids–balancing work, friends and family, and writing.
When she has some free time, her favorite thing to do is travel and visit new places. Her past trips have already brought her to a variety of countries on four continents. She never passes up an opportunity to experience different cultures, diverse people, and amazing locations.
Even though she has been dreaming up stories all her life, she has only recently started to write them down and share them with the world. As a writer, she loves to to put her characters through a lot of challenges, conflict, and heartbreak before she allows them to find their happy-ever-after.
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