Standoffish Aiden is content keeping people at a distance and ensuring his boundaries are impenetrable. There’s safety in not opening up, but there’s also a loneliness he doesn’t realise exists until he meets Riley, a new member of the LGBTQI+ adventure group Outback Boys.
Fascinated by the new guy, Aiden is quick to discover his flirtation skills are rusty and his sweet-talking is cringeworthy. But sweet and clumsy Riley doesn’t seem to mind so much.
Even though Riley doesn’t quite know how to handle Aiden’s intensity, he’s willing to step out of his comfort zone and see how their tentative friendship unravels.
Between a surf lesson that resembles a kangaroo on acid and paddle boarding that is trickier than walking a tightrope, Aiden and Riley discover love may be a possibility after all.
Happiness relies on honesty and openness, though. And with both men holding on tightly to past struggles, their future together is at risk. Can the two Aussies bounce back and heal themselves and each other, or are some wounds too raw to recover from?
Outback Boys is a sweet and sexy M/M romance series complete with bruised butts, rope burn, and overworked muscles… all in the pursuit of adventure, of course!
Trigger Warning: Contains themes (discussions) of mental illness and suicide.
Stumble (Outback Boys Book 1)
I turned to head towards Pete, only to catch my foot and stumble. I felt myself tumbling forwards, slow motion beginning to play out as I tried to move my hands to protect my face. Not even halfway down, I jerked abruptly, coming to a stop.
“Whoa there.” Aiden’s firm hands were on me, one arm wrapped around my chest. “You okay?”
Wide-eyed, I nodded, angling to face him. With Aiden wrapped around me, it was impossible not to see the green flecks in his grey eyes. “Yeah, thanks.”
He shifted, helping me get myself upright. With my face on fire, I was eager to escape, to hide behind Pete or perhaps jump in the river I could hear in the distance.
“I can be such a klutz.” I forced humour into my words, trying to overcome my mortification. “My parents used to legit carry a first aid kit with them everywhere we went, even if just to the supermarket as a kid. I once broke my little finger playing hopscotch.” My eyes swept over Aiden’s face, still so close his breath brushed against my skin. “Yeah, I know. Hopscotch. How’s that even possible, right?” I seriously needed to stop talking, else I’d end up telling him how I got circumcised after a devastating encounter with a zipper.
That thought had me stepping out of Aiden’s grasp. “Thank you,” I managed again. “For preventing me from bouncing on my arse or my face.” I turned abruptly, giving an awkward over-the-shoulder wave while trying not to spend too much time contemplating how strong Aiden must really be to prevent my backside from meeting dirt.
One thing I could be sure of, between him being untouchable and me being my usual charming, awkward self, it wouldn’t take long for Aiden to forget this encounter as well as my name.
I jumped into the second one without having read the first one first, but I’ve already got it and I cant wait to jump into it. If this one was any indication, I won’t be disappointed.
Okay, so, first things first… this story features Riley and Aiden, who meet at a weekend camping retreat or something like that. I forget what they called it but it was a weekend of adventures, like rock climbing, hiking, kayaking and outdoorsy stuff. I could sense that Riley wasn’t really much of the adventurous type normally but he’d gone with his friend Pete, who I was unsure of at first but grew to love, especially with the hard time he’s having, and I definitely filled out the survey at the end so we can hopefully get his story next… but I digress lol
So, at this adventurous weekend, Riley meets Aiden, who is a guide on said adventure, and he’s gorgeous and stacked and easy-going and though he’s the center of a lot of folks attention with his easy smile and friendly attitude, no one has captured his attention since he lost his partner a few years prior. I didn’t feel like it followed him around like a black cloud, but he definitely kept a part of himself back from people …..until Riley, that is.
The two had instant chemistry, and how could you not be completely smitten over Riley. He’s shy, clumsy, non-confrontational to a fault and there’s just this thing about him that you want to wrap him up in a little bubble and put him in your pocket… he’s so cute, I didn’t blame Aiden for taking an interest.
After the weekend is over, the two exchange numbers and though they live a good distance apart for driving every day and Aiden was living with his Pops (who is very outspoken and hilarious and cares about Aiden and soon after meeting him, Riley as well) but he’s running their cow farm or whatever it is cows do on farms or ranches or whatever… so it isn’t like the two can just pop out and meet up just anytime, but they do make an effort to spend time together through the week and get to know one another.
It’s easy-going for the most part, though both men do have some hang-ups that do cause a little hiccup… not a bump per se, but something they needed to work out before things progressed.
As I’ve noticed with any story I’ve ever read by this author, she does not disappoint. It of course, gets worked out and in the most perfectly swoon-worthy way possible.
Again, I was not disappointed… I adored this story. I adored Riley and Aiden, and I cannot wait to see what happens with Pete. He deserves some happy. <3
5 Pieces of Eye Candy
Becca Seymour lives and breathes all things book related. Usually with at least three books being read and two WiPs being written at the same time, life is merrily hectic. She tends to do nothing by halves so happily seeks the craziness and busyness life offers.
Living on her small property in Queensland with her human family as well as her animal family of cows, chooks, and dogs, Becca appreciates the beauty of the world around her and is a believer that love truly is love.
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Facebook Group: RoMMance with Becca & Louisa