Whatever your romance reading preference — gay virgin, opposites attract, friends to lovers, or simply fun how-they-met stories — this collection contains a variety of sweet, contemporary, short gay romances, sure to make you smile.
Rewritten and re-edited, these stories were previously published singly and are available now in one collection!
Contains the stories:
* Cow Pie Bingo
* King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate * Born to Be Wild
* The Straggler
* Now and Forever
* Moving On
* Moving Along
* Dropping Quarters
* Photo Shoot
* Okay, Then
ABOUT THE STORIES
Cow Pie Bingo
The first edition of Cow Pie Bingo was published in ebook format on April 10, 2008 at Torquere Press.
The second edition was published in ebook format on April 10, 2010 at Smashwords.
Evan lets a co-worker talk him into working a kissing booth at a charity fair. Not quite sure what to expect, he certainly doesn’t count on meeting Gary, or kissing a man, considering his past. Kissing is what he ends up doing, though, along with playing cow pie bingo for a good cause. Will Gary end up being more than a six-ticket ride?
King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate
The first edition of King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate was published in ebook and print formats on April 13, 2009 at eXcessica in the Like Magnets, We Attractanthology, edited by Jaye Valentine.
The second edition was published in ebook format on October 8, 2009 at Smashwords.
The third edition is available (as of February 18, 2017) in ebook format as a free single in addition to being a part of this boxed set.
Blaine is a well-dressed, high priced attorney, and George is a hairy mountain of an auto mechanic. This odd couple meets up one evening on a slow night at a bar. The pickings are slim. Slim enough for these opposites to eyeball each other and ask themselves just how bad they want to get laid.
Pleasantly surprised by the evening’s outcome, Blaine is faced with a dilemma. Should he throw caution to the wind and pursue George, or steer clear of that unexpected distraction to his carefully structured life?
Born to Be Wild
The first edition of Born to Be Wild was published in ebook format on August 16, 2008 at Torquere Press.
The second edition was published in ebook format on October 5, 2009 at Smashwords, and added the bonus “Goin’ Steady” scene.
Roland is always willing to help a neighbor, so when the guys from the fraternity next door ask if he and his gay buddies will play a trick on a new pledge, he happily agrees. When Roland happens to discover that new pledge Fisher is not as uptight as he’s been told, he starts to think maybe the joke is on him. Determined to turn the tables, Roland surprises Fisher with more than he bargained for. Will the plan backfire, or work out just like Roland had planned?
The first edition of The Straggler was published in ebook format on November 26, 2008 at Torquere Press in the Taste Test: Shades of Autumn anthology, edited by Mychael Black.
The second edition was published in ebook format on November 29, 2010 at Smashwords.
Blake is a “straggler” at a golf course looking to join a threesome for a round of golf. He isn’t happy when he’s assigned to join Frank Miller, a workaholic cutthroat VP at the company where he works, and the man’s two nutty friends. Has Blake misjudged Frank? Maybe he isn’t such a bad guy after all. He is rather hot.
Now and Forever
The first edition of Now and Forever was published in ebook format on September 13, 2008 at Torquere Press.
The second edition was published in ebook format on January 25, 2010 at Smashwords.
Darryl and Warren have been together twelve years, when their home state of California legalizes same sex marriages. Darryl figures Warren should plan the wedding reception, but they disagree on how much party is too much. Darryl bites his tongue and gives Warren free rein, although he really wants something small and cozy. Will Warren be able to give Darryl what he needs?
The first edition of Moving On was published in ebook format on October 31, 2008 at Torquere Press.
The second edition was published in ebook format on October 31, 2009 at Smashwords.
On Halloween, Graeme accompanies the love of his life, Brandt, to the annual costume party. This year, though, Brandt isn’t dancing with Graeme, he’s dancing with a handsome stranger, and Graeme couldn’t be happier. On the most mysterious night of the year Graeme has one chance to give his beloved the best gift of all and he makes the most of it, from the first dance to the final farewell.
The first edition of Moving Along was published in ebook format on December 20, 2008 at Torquere Press.
The second edition was published in ebook format on December 20, 2009 at Smashwords.
Mark and Brandt have been dating since the night they shared on Halloween, the night that helped Brandt move on after losing his beloved Graeme. Now, it’s their first Christmas together, and while Brandt is trying to decide whether or not he’s in love with Mark, Mark has a gift for Brandt to help move their relationship along. Christmas morning holds more than one wonderful surprise for them as they discover the joys of sharing, in this sequel to the short story Moving On.
The first edition of Dropping Quarters was published in ebook format on September 6, 2008 at Torquere Press.
The second edition was published in ebook format on October 5, 2009 at Smashwords.
Luke’s looking for love in all the wrong places. When he meets Cato at an adult video arcade, then again at his softball league game, Luke figures they might have something in common. Can Luke convince Cato that there’s more to him than meets the eye?
The first edition of Nevermore was published in ebook format on July 16, 2008 at Torquere Press in the Taste Test: A Day at the Beach anthology, edited by Mychael Black.
The second edition was published in ebook format on November 29, 2009 at Smashwords.
As a divorced teacher with small children Ted has gotten more comfortable than he’d like to be in a self-imposed closet. Will his lover’s relaxed outlook and discovery of Ted’s true identity help Ted see the light?
The first edition of Photo Shoot was published in ebook format on November 29, 2008 at Torquere Press.
The second edition was published in ebook format on November 29, 2009 at Smashwords.
Eddie’s a good guy who’d do anything for a friend, especially Trent, but that good-nature is sorely tested when Trent asks Eddie to be the model for a nude photo shoot. Trent’s grades depend on it, so of course Eddie agrees. It’s not easy being naked in front of the guy he wants. There are so many ways he could make a fool of himself. Why does Trent want to take pictures of him, and why does it seem that Eddie’s not the only one blushing?
The first edition of Okay, Then was published in ebook format on July 30, 2016 at JMS Books, LLC in the Love Is Proud charity anthology. The anthology was also published in print format on July 31, 2016 at JMS Books, LLC.
This second edition of Okay, Then was also published in ebook format on July 9, 2017 at JMS Books, LLC in the Vows Box Set, and individually as a JMS Books “Hot Flash” shorty on February 9, 2019.
Revisiting the main characters from ’Til Death Do Us Part, this short story takes place within the timeline of the flashback scenes from that novel, detailing Sam & Henry’s first date/encounter after Sam tells Henry “Okay, then” while they’re together on a research trip in Honiara in the Solomon Islands. It a short story written to be able to stand alone, with its own HFN.
Heat Rating: 3 to 4 flames depending on the story – (3) Moderate – While physical details are described, they are not graphically depicted. (4) Explicit – Intimate scenes are described using more graphic terms.
I really enjoy a good short story. I always seem to have short windows of time to read that lend themselves to these stories. I was really happy to see this collection from a writer whose work I’ve enjoyed over the years. This is a strong collection that covers all kinds of people and circumstances.
One thing every single one of these stories had in common? They all made me want to know more about the couples and hear a full-length story for all of them…which means the author achieved her goal with this boxed set as far as I’m concerned—having me wanting more!
Though I’m the type of person that would prefer to read a whole story about a couple, I think this novella was enjoyable and an easy read. And, if you enjoy creating the ending to stories for yourself, this is the book for you! You can read many of these stories and imagine that it’s the start of the couple finding their HEA, or maybe it’s just a one night meet that ended the next day.
I love short stories. Sometimes a brief “snapshot” taken from a couple’s larger story is all that’s wanted. The narrative of “how they met” is the focus of six of the shorts in this set—quirky tales ranging from meeting at a charity fundraiser, to college kids pranking each other, to a mishap at a XXX adult video arcade.
Also included is a story featuring a well-established couple’s wedding dilemma, a friends-to-lovers tale, a coming-out-of-the-closet drama, and a continuation short that follows one of those how-we-mets. Rounding out this collection is an account revisiting the main characters from my full-length novel, ’Til Death Do Us Part.
All of these stories are contemporary, although one has a bit of paranormal flavor to it. Heat ratings range from “fairly sweet” to “rather steamy.” Excepting the final story, all were originally written in 2008 and early 2009. One (“Photo Shoot”) started out as a prompt word ficlet that I later fleshed out to a more complete story. Each has received a thorough overhaul, some more extensive than others. I hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I did writing them.
Excerpt from Nevermore
Ted sat cross-legged on the rough, sand-covered beach towel as he watched Madelyn and Harris run toward him, dripping wet, sand covering their little feet. With the sun still high and bright in the western sky, he reached for a bottle of SPF 50 to reapply lotion to their pale skin.
“Aw, Dad, again?” Madelyn whined.
Ted laughed at his daughter. “Again and again and again.” He ruffled her hair as she sat beside him. He squeezed sunblock onto her outstretched hand, and she rubbed it on her legs while Ted worked on her back and arms.
“Close your eyes, sweetie.”
She turned her scrunched-up face toward him, and he rubbed lotion onto her face and neck, then gave her arm a light squeeze.
“All done, toots.” He smiled, and the six-year-old affected a dramatic “oh-I-am-so-put-upon” sigh, then scooted off to shovel sand into one of the buckets.
“I can do my own, Dad,” eight-year-old Harris claimed. He was growing up fast and insisted on doing as much as he could on his own.
Ted winked. “Except for your back, kiddo. I’ll do that for you.” He rubbed sunblock onto the boy’s back, then handed Harris the bottle to finish the rest.
“Daddy,” Madelyn said, “will you help me build the castle? It keeps breaking.”
“Your sand is too dry, Maddie. Fill the buckets with water first, and dump them in the sand you’ll be using.” She ran toward the water with a bucket in each hand.
Ted smoothed out a base for their castle, and Harris dug the moat that would surround it.
Madelyn returned with the water buckets and began mixing the sloppy sand. When the kids happily formed sand bricks and built up their castle walls, Ted lay on the towel and closed his eyes as he listened to their chatter.
A soft sigh escaped his lips as he thought about the fun he’d had with them. They all loved spending time at the beach. Maybe they’d go to the zoo tomorrow, or perhaps see that new Disney flick. Madelyn had dropped at least a half dozen not-so-subtle hints about the movie, so at least one of the kids was sure to be thrilled. He made the most of his weekends with them. Keri was fair-minded, and they were generally able to work out any modifications to the formal custody agreement to accommodate their schedules, but it still seemed there was never enough time with the children.
For this reason alone, he sometimes second-guessed his decision to seek a divorce, but in the end he knew it had been the right decision. He’d never been able to work up the courage to confess the full truth to Keri, and they’d parted ways agreeing that, for whatever reason, there was simply no spark between them.
He’d tried so hard in the early years, pretending an interest where one didn’t actually exist. He’d wanted to feel attracted to Keri, a beautiful person, inside and out. Ted was glad she was the mother of his children, and he was truly thankful she’d found happiness in a second marriage.
A smile tugged at his lips as a certain person came to mind, then he frowned. If only he had a stable relationship, which seemed out of the question. He’d pushed the man away yet again last night. Not literally, of course. No, they’d been plenty close. But once again he’d refused to share contact information or even his real name. How many times had they been together now? Thirty-five? Forty? And how many times had they sought each other out, haunting the same bar, and missed?
Ted’s hand wandered to his hip, where a fresh “love bite” lay hidden beneath his swim trunks. He shivered, visualizing those strong hands holding down his hips.
Living his life openly with this man by his side was a nightly dream, but it was a risk he wasn’t sure he wanted to take. How far would Keri’s reasonable nature stretch? If she knew the truth, would it put his visitation time with Madelyn and Harris at risk? Perhaps he should seek legal advice.
“Mr. Rhoads?” A young female voice brought him out of his reverie. Ted bit back a sigh and sat up to see which of his former students had discovered him. There were two of them, both from his third period history class the previous year.
“Rhonda, Megan, how are you girls? Are you looking forward to high school this fall?” He smiled at them. They’d been good students. They’d always gotten their work done, although they did like to prattle on in class when they were supposed to be working on group projects—typical eighth-grade girls.
“Yeah,” Rhonda replied. “Sort of. It’s kinda scary, you know?”
“You girls don’t have anything to worry about. You’re both excellent students. Are you enjoying your summer break?”
“Oh, yeah, lots!” Rhonda spoke up again. “We love the beach. Megan’s dad brought us here today.” She glanced behind Ted.
He stood and turned, putting out his hand to introduce himself. “Hello, I’m Ted Rhoads. Pleased to…” He froze, his jaw dropping.
There was a reason he drove an hour each way to a neighboring city when he felt like cutting loose for an occasional night of fun and debauchery, and it was standing right in front of him with a knowing, shit-eating grin spreading across his face. It wasn’t quite the same as the grin the man had been wearing just last night.