Brant Harkrader is done living by other peoples’ rules. He may not know exactly what he wants out of life, but he’s perfectly happy letting that question figure itself out while starting a new job as a tour guide.
Too bad the one thing he does want—his sister’s BFF—only sees him as a little brother.
Or so he thinks…
Kellan Shelby-Briggs has never shied away from going after what he wants. And what he wants is the important contract that will put his brand new company on the map—and Brant.
Too bad Kellan’s career keeps yanking him away just as things heat up between them.
Now that Brant is back in town—up close and personal in Kell’s living space—can they finally get the timing right to go after the love that has eluded them both for too long?
Keeping Him, Book 2
Kell was staring at him. “You baked?”
“Uh-huh.” The look Kell was giving him made his stomach do backflips. He leaned a hip casually against the counter. “Don’t get too excited, though. Like I said, I don’t know if I did it right. They might be gross.”
“You baked?” Kell repeated. He crept in closer to Brant, slowly, as though he thought Brant would flee at the slightest provocation.
But, today, Brant’s stupid desire to run was nowhere to be found.
Because this was Kell. Kellan Shelby-Briggs, who used to babysit him when he was little, and instead of sitting Brant in front of the television so Kell could spend all night talking on the phone with his friends like most teenagers would do, Kell had played board games with him until it was time for bed. Kell, who saw the world as one giant playground on which he could get shit done and show everyone how goddamn capable he was. Kell, who’d never treated Brant like an annoying kid. Kell, who’d often wandered over from next door to visit Wendy, but who had always brought a little something for Brant—an action figure, a new baseball, a well-loved board game he no longer played, his mom’s freshly baked cookies, hockey cards.
He was literally the boy next door, and he was looking at Brant with a cocky half-smile that was way sexier than it should’ve been.
It made sense in the grand scheme of things, though. Brant had always been attracted to competence and confidence. And here was his dream man in the flesh, coming toward him until he stopped less than half a foot away.
“You baked,” Kell said again, though it didn’t sound like a question this time. More like an acknowledgement.
“Mm-hmm.” Brant straightened, bringing them that much closer. Kell’s eyes slipped to his mouth. “As a thank you for letting me stay here. And for dessert for tonight’s date.”
Those eyes, clear pools of blue, snapped back to his. “Date.”
“Wasn’t that what the steak and shrimp kabobs were for? Not to mention the salad, the veggies, the potatoes, the dip, and the lava cakes. A date.” It had been too much for one person, so he’d brought the leftovers to Wendy’s last night. Except for the lava cakes. Those he’d kept.
“A clandestine one,” Kell admitted. “In case it wasn’t something you wanted.”
Brant wanted so much that he was tempted to let the pizza burn and drag Kell upstairs. Hell, he was kicking himself for not staying for the “movie” the other night. When had he ever backed away when he was interested in someone? The last time he’d seen someone he wanted to know, he’d walked right up to him in the bar and had taken him home two hours later.
Just that things were different with Kell. Everything that pulled Brant toward him—the friendship, the familiarity, Kell’s steady presence—also threatened to push Brant away. Because they were entering dangerous territory and neither of them would remain unscathed if they fucked this up, and it would forever alter their relationship, whatever that turned out to be.
Right now, though, with Kell looking at him with heat in his eyes? None of that seemed to matter.
The oven timer went off, an incessant beep-beep, beep-beep, beep-beep. Neither of them moved.
“Going to get that?” Kell asked, voice dropping to a husky rumble that had goosebumps climbing up Brant’s arm.
“In a minute,” he murmured and, hand to Kell’s chest, pushed him back against the counter, slotted himself between his thighs, and kissed him.
Book 2 in a series, but stands alone.
This story was sweet. Crush on his sister’s best friend since he was a kid. But now everyone is grown up. And the crush works both ways.
Kellan and Brant so easily just slipped into a relationship. Brant was staying with Kellan until he found a place of his own having moved back to his home town. And even without a sexual relationship at all, they just fell in to that groove. They were so comfortable with each other, with mutual crushes, so it was completely natural. Even Brant’s sister- Kellan’s best friend- really had no issue with it at all.
Poor Brant is trying to figure his life out. He played junior hockey as dictated by his step father. He went to college. He got the job in the cube in the city. But he wasn’t happy. So he went back home, back to the small town life and mountains he loves. And Kellan.
Brant has a really strained relationship with his mother and step father. Proving that words can do as much damage, if not more, than fists. Brant’s sister was just old enough to have moved out to college and didn’t know how bad it was. But Brant just kept it in.
Kellan validated Brant. Listened to him, loved him, supported him. Things he was severely lacking from his mother and step father.
It was a fun book that had a little bit of angst with the parental situation, but not the romance situation.
Great book to read at the beach or sitting in the back yard this summer. Most of the sex scenes are very fade to black with some details. You’ll love Kellan and Brant and their dog Ollie.
4.5 pieces of eye candy
Amy‘s lived with her head in the clouds since she first picked up a book as a child, and being fluent in two languages means she’s read a lot of books! She first picked up a pen on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class had to stay inside for recess. Tales of treasure hunts with her classmates eventually morphed into love stories between men, and she’s been writing ever since. She writes evenings and weekends—or whenever she isn’t at her full-time day job saving the planet at Canada’s largest environmental non-profit.
An unapologetic introvert, Amy reads too much and socializes too little, with no regrets. She loves connecting with readers. Join her Facebook Group, Amy Aislin’s Readers, to stay up-to-date on upcoming releases and for access to early teasers, find her on Instagram and Twitter, or sign up for her newsletter.
Connect with Amy:
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/amyaislin/