A gambit for love and a half-baked revenge plot; one hot Seattle summer…
One minute I’m minding my own business enjoying the sunshine, next I’m wearing my iced coffee.
I’m going to teach Tobias Barrington a thing or two; the first: you don’t always get what you want. I have no idea what the second is, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
Falling in love with Tobias is not on my list of lessons.
I’ve never forgotten Arnie Ferguson, or the night we had together. When I find him again, I want to get to know him—as more than a friend.
I may come from a wealthy family; but I know better than most that money can’t buy happiness. But brash, socially awkward Arnie Ferguson makes me think happiness is possible when you let your heart chose.
Feinted Love is a first person, dual POV, following Arnie Ferguson and Tobias Barrington as they do their best to awkwardly fall in love. No cliff hanger, HEA guaranteed. Heat level, 3+.
Crimes of the Heart, Book 1
Side by side, holding hands again because the Broadway neighborhood is awesome like that, we begin to walk north. I’m trying to sort out how to casually invite Tobias to my apartment while I also try to focus on what he’s telling me about Down by Law and the director, Jim Jarmusch. I figure I’m just going to have to watch the movie again on my own.
“He’s the main reason I got interested in writing screenplays. But I also like Wim Wenders, Christopher Guest, the Coen brothers—there’s a ton more who are incredible.”
“That’s cool.” I want to know everything about Tobias. The real Tobias is so different from the imaginary one I built up in my head over the years. “What about your job now?”
“I hate working for my dad,” Tobias answers. “But… I don’t want to ruin the evening talking about the job or him. Want to stop here for a drink?”
I need to tell Tobias about my new job, but I don’t want to ruin our evening either. Here is the De Luxe, a place I’ve never been to even though it’s been in business since before I was born, the outside canopy declaring to everyone who passes by, “Since 1962.”
“You don’t sound too excited.”
We stop walking. I’m trying to figure out how to ask him over without sounding totally pathetic.
I’m not cool. I’m not suave or polished, and I don’t have any idea what I’m doing (both tonight and in general). But I want Tobias to come home with me. You’re supposed to be getting revenge, the little voice in my head reminds me. I shove the thought aside. Revenge is the last thing on my mind right now. That ship has sailed. Being with Tobias isn’t about getting revenge or cosmic justice anymore—if it ever was.
“A drink sounds nice, but…” I’m fumbling my words, but I keep going. “I… do you want to come back to my place? Duff’s not home tonight. I made sure.”
I know I’m blushing a bright, hot red as I force the words out, but if I don’t ask, I will never forgive myself. Never, never, never. Ever.
With a grin, Tobias tugs me out of the way of the foot traffic. “I’d love to come over. Are you sure?”
“Oh, yes. I am very, very, sure.” My cheeks are still burning, but I return his grin.
There’s no stopping me now; I might as well humiliate myself completely. I’ve had a partial erection for hours. I’ve told Tobias the story about Hank the band kid. There’s not much lower I can go. Well, I’m sure Duff could think of an event I’ve forgotten about, but luckily, I’ve made sure he won’t be home.
“Should we grab a bite to eat first? Or was popcorn and Mike and Ikes enough for now?” Tobias asks.
I grab Tobias’s hand and drag him down the street and away from the De Luxe. “Next time.”
Tobias laughs, trailing after me down the sidewalk.
I announce, “You know, you ruined Dick’s for me for years.” I am hungry, after all, and we passed the famous hamburger stand a few blocks back.
I look over my shoulder just as Tobias nearly trips over a crack in the sidewalk. “I ruined dicks for you? Somehow I don’t think so.”
I stare at him, dramatically widening my eyes as far as they will go. “Dick’s, not dicks. You’re as bad as Duff. I mean the burger place, not, you know.” I grab my package to demonstrate exactly what I mean, just as a couple of guys turn the corner heading toward us. They stare at Tobias and me. As they pass by, one of them mutters, “I’d say a four.”
“Oh my god, I can’t believe I did that,” I say to Tobias. At their retreating backs, I yell, “What do you mean ‘a four’? These skinny jeans make me look awesome!”
Tobias snickers and grabs my hand again, drawing me close to his side. “Okay, so tell me more about your problem with Dick’s.”
I love books with nerdy characters. Having them find love despite their odd tendencies is my favorite. And this book had Arnie, huge nerd, and Tobias who was a nerd hiding behind money and his jerk of a father. Two perfect nerds together. 🙂
Having read one or two books from Elle Keaton, I knew this one would be fun, and it was. These two were pretty hilarious together. I don’t often highlight books, it’s usually when I find funny lines, but this one has many highlights. Arnie’s mental musings made me laugh every time. Here are just a few of the things that made me lol:
Role play is not something you do with your mother. Wait. Is there…mommy kink?
“Are you worried about the dinner?” Tobias asks. No, I’m worried about arriving to the dinner alive.
These two tried so hard to create a plan how to be together/not be together, but just had to let nature take its course.
This was just a fun, enjoyable read. No angst, (other than Tobias’ father) and I would absolutely recommend it. Looking forward to the next book in this series.
4 pieces of eye candy
Elle hails from the northwest corner of the US known for, rain, rain, and more rain. She pens the Accidental Roots series, the Never Too Late series, and the soon be published Hamarsson and Dempsey series, all set here in the Pacific Northwest. All Elle’s books feature hot mm romance with the guarantee of an HEA. The men start out broken, and maybe they end up that way too, but they always find the other half of their hearts.
Elle began publishing March 2017, now she has ten books out. Fall 2019 Elle is adding a third series, Hamarsson and Dempsey, also set in the Pacific Northwest. H&D will focus on a single couple as they navigate the treacherous waters of romance and police work.
Elle loves both cats and dogs, Star Wars and Star Trek, pineapple on pizza, and is known to start crossword puzzles with ballpoint pen.
Connect with Elle:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ElleKeatonWrites
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HighwayToElle/