Last year, law student Brady Madison’s binge drinking left him naked, unconscious, and in trouble with the law. Now 350 days sober and with only two weeks to serve the last twelve hours of community service, Brady’s faced with another difficult choice: take an offer from the jerk who took the incriminating pics or spend the remaining hours in jail.
Tate Quinn’s snap judgment in Brady’s hotel room on New Year’s Eve ruined any chance he had of hooking up with Brady. Worse, his parents refuse to pay for another semester of grad school until he makes his mom’s New Year’s charity event a success.
Tate needs a volunteer to help him herd the cats, er, kids, at the New Year’s Eve afternoon party, and Brady has always been good with kids. Can they put aside their past anger and shame for six hours, or will these potential lovers turned enemies resolve to remain enemies in the new year?
New Year Not You is a 55k word enemies to lovers M/M Romance between a recovering alcoholic and a recovering man-child. This novel has an AA sponsor moonlighting as a DJ, a cold war between two moms, and two dudes who are not looking for true love (but find it anyway).
It’s New Year’s Day, Brady was almost arrested for kidnapping and was charged with misdemeanor property damage and drunk and disorderly for accidentally overflowing a hotel tub and breaking a sink with his head when he passed out. In short, he’s had a bad day and it’s still early. He received some mystery texts from an unknown number, and now he’s going to call that phone to discover the owner:
Brady stared at the unknown number, his finger hovering over the green phone button. Should he, or shouldn’t he? He shouldn’t call, he knew he shouldn’t, but he had to know.
“Kara’s phone. This is she.”
Brady nearly dropped his phone. Tate’s little sister. “Kara? As in Super Girl?”
She giggled. “Only Brady calls me that.”
“Ha, you remember.” Warmth spread in his chest. He’d always teased Kara about her name, but she really was a super girl. Tate hadn’t been joking about her intelligence. She also had an uncanny way of just knowing things.
“How did you get my phone number?” she asked, sounding suspicious.
“Is your brother around?”
“You’re the boy trouble, aren’t you,” she accused. “What did he do this time?”
Brady was angry with Tate, but Kara had him beat with her level of animosity. He was grateful it was directed at Tate, not at him. “I’m not really sure, so I was hoping he could sort it out.”
“Tate! Phone!” Her breath came in puffs, like she was running, and he could hear the thuds of her footfalls on carpet.
“What?” Tate sounded sleepy. Brady was supposed to be waking up to that sleepy voice today. Fuck, everything had gone so wrong.
“Oh,” Tate said, probably when the phone was shoved in his face. “Oh no. Really?”
“Talk to him,” Kara whispered from further away.
“Um. Hi. This is Tate.”
“Hi, Tate. Brady Madison.”
A loud clatter made his eardrum ache.
“Shit. Sorry. Um. Hi.”
“Did you drop the phone?” Brady asked.
“Tate! That’s my phone!” Kara shouted from still further away.
“So,” Brady continued. “Last night. You stood me up.”
“I did no such thing. I was late, that’s all. Too late to keep you from fucking someone else.”
Brady had been drunk, but not that drunk. “Did you just swear in front of your little sister?”
“No,” Tate said. “I’m in my room, and she left and shut the door. Grounded, no thanks to you.”
“I don’t know how you got the impression I was fucking someone else.”
“Don’t lie to me. There were clothes all over your room.”
He’d been in such a hurry to impress Tate that he’d left his street clothes on the floor. He shouldn’t have bothered. The only option now was damage control. “How many people have seen those pictures?” he asked.
“Well, the police department, my parents, Sandi …”
Each word Tate said led to a new level of betrayal. Brady hadn’t exactly trusted Tate, but he hadn’t not trusted him, either. Now, he felt sick to his stomach. He’d have to work with the police department as a lawyer. He’d have plenty of charity functions with the Quinns. Sandi was the one friend he still spoke to from high school.
“That’s enough,” he said while Tate was still struggling with names. “Never call, text, or take another fucking picture of me again.”
“I’m – ”
Brady didn’t care if Tate’s next words were I’m sorry, I’m an asshole, or I’m too sexy. It didn’t matter. Brady hung up on him. His law career, hell, his whole life, was over.
Edie Montreux (she/her) is demisexual and an ally for all aspects of the LGBTQ+ rainbow. She loves her husband, Queen, dogs, and video games. Edie works full time to support her writing habit. Somehow, she still finds time to walk the dogs and protect imaginary worlds from fantasy creatures.
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