Plants are easier than people—that’s Leo’s rule of thumb. After all, nobody really wants a man who looks like he belongs in a biker gang but would rather spend his time buried in books and flowers. It’s just easier to be single. Until he meets the owner of the new book shop.
Jacob Morris knows two things: he’s really attracted to the man who runs the local flower shop, and he doesn’t date. Not when he’s still healing from a bad breakup, has a new business to run, game nights to organise, workshops to host, and a website to build.
When friendship blooms into something more, Leo and Jay must decide whether to roll the dice and take a chance on love or keep forging ahead on their quests alone. Will their roll yield a one or a perfect, natural twenty?
Natural Twenty is an 80,000-word contemporary MM romance featuring Dungeons & Dragons, secret flower language bouquets, a spoilt Staffy (or two), and a best friend who is basically a gothic prince. It is book one in the Roll for Love series and can be read as a standalone.
I was still half looking at Leo though, and the table slipped from my fingers and dropped onto my foot. “Mother fishcakes!”
I cringed, squeezing my eyes tightly as my toes throbbed. The table wasn’t the heaviest thing in the world, but it had landed awkwardly on my foot, and I was only wearing Vans. I’d always been clumsy as fuck, and my knees were covered in scars from falling over on the playground or out of trees as a kid. It hadn’t gotten any better as I’d gotten older, except these days it was more dropping heavy things onto myself or tripping downstairs. And there’d been one memorable trip to Accident and Emergency when I’d gotten glass in my foot.
“Are you okay?” Leo asked.
“’M fine.” I shoved the table off my toes. “Totally fine.”
“Sit down for a minute.” Leo’s voice was gentle but firm. I opened my eyes to see him standing right in front of me, looking down with eyes full of worry. It was moments like this, when we stood close, that I realised how much taller he was than me. I barely made five foot six on a good day because I was a complete short arse, and Leo must have been well over six feet. My face was eye level with his chest, and I was trying not to focus on the way his body sat under the thick, knitted jumper he was wearing, or how beautifully broad his shoulders were, or how I just wanted him to wrap his arms around me.
Leo put his hand on my arm, gently steering me into a chair before kneeling in front of me. “Is it okay if I take your shoe off?”
“You don’t have to. It’s really not that bad. It just stings a little.” I looked away, trying not to squirm in my seat while my face and neck grew impossibly hot. “I just banged it.”
“True, but I’d rather check they’re not bleeding or obviously broken.”
Leo gave me a little smile and eased off my shoe. I probably should have been embarrassed I was wearing pink socks with little avocados all over them, but I thought they were cute. Apparently, so did Leo.
“Are those avocados dancing?” He sounded amused as he gently tugged at my sock, and I felt the warm, rough touch of his fingers against my skin. This should not be making me feel the way it did—embarrassed, awkward, and almost turned on. Apparently, my body had decided that any touch from Leo was a good one, even if it came from him trying to check for broken toes.
“Y-yeah. I’ve got another pair with doughnuts on.”
“They’re cute. Like you.” Leo stilled, and my heart stopped. I wanted to say something, but I had no idea what it should be. My brain seemed to have frozen, and all I was getting were fucking error messages.
So, okay, I have a thing for big beefy tattooed guys who you think can squish you into little bits if you were to find them in a dark alley somewhere, but are actually romantic softies that wouldn’t hurt a fly. Well, we get that in Leo.
He’s big and intimidating and can be awkward when it comes to socializing and being around people, but he has a big ol soft heart and it’s impossible not to completely fall in love with him from the beginning. Owning a flower shop, he tends to stay behind the scenes when he can, but when a new bookshop opens up down the block, his employee Emily encourages him to take some flowers to the new owners to welcome them to the hood and congratulate them on their grand opening. That’s where he meets Edward and Jay.
Now, Edward, I will say, I was smitten with. I hope he gets his own story next, but Jay completely took Leos breath away and they bonded instantly over books and cosplay and dungeons and dragons. I will admit that I had to skim over all those bits, I haven’t a clue what any of that is, but it was cute to see how excited they all were over it.
The two of them, as well as Edward and Emily and her husband, they all become friends, having bi-weekly I think it was, game nights and stuff… I adored these secondary characters as well, so the fit so well in the stories, I could see where each guy needed them around. With their budding friendship though, it was impossible to not feel the connection between the two, though neither of them were ready for a relationship or to jump into anything. I was glad to see them take it slow, but I definitely wanted to shake them both a couple of times, Jay especially when he tried to push Leo away. He more than sweetly made up for it, but I was rooting for them from the very start.
Because Leo felt awkard and Jay was still healing from a toxic relationship where his ex cheated with his best friend and never even apologized for it, I could understand his hesitation. Being betrayed like that sometimes never heals, but Leo was patient and understanding and sighhh, he was just perfect.
I don’t want to give too much of the story away, I’ve been told recently that I do that and people straight come for me, so I’ll just say…. if you like a slow burn, with friends to lovers, good friends and cute puppy… you will adore this story. I know I did!
I really wanted that ex to get a peek at Jay and Leo and know what he lost and how happy he is without him, but I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next!
4 pieces of candy for me!
Charlie lives in England with her husband and a dachshund named Biscuit. She spends most of her days wrangling other people’s words in her day job and then trying to force her own onto the page in the evening.
She loves cute stories with a healthy dollop of fluff, plenty of delicious sex, and happily ever afters — because the world needs more of them. Charlie also believes that loves comes in all shapes and sizes.
Charlie has very little spare time, but what she does have she fills with cooking, pole-dancing, reading and ice-hockey. She also thinks that everyone should have at least one favourite dinosaur…
Connect with Charlie:
Facebook Group, Charlie’s Angels https://www.facebook.com/groups/charlienovaksangels/
To celebrate Charlie’s new series release, we are giving 2 lucky winners the chance to win an e-copy of Natural Twenty or a $20/£20 Amazon Gift Card & a e-copy of Natural Twenty!
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