The year began great for me.
Became the starting quarterback for an NFL team – check.
Secured a multi-million-dollar contract – check.
Moved to LA and lived the glamorous life – check.
What could possibly cause me any issues?
Oh yeah, one more thing. I’m gay.
I was outed a couple of years ago to my former team and my family, but it hasn’t been made public knowledge yet. Well, that is, until now. I’ll be known as the first LGBTQ+ active player in the league’s history. And if I stick to the conditions of my contract, it won’t be a problem. The thing is, I’m not really a guy known for playing by the rules.
Most people think of my personality as the three B’s: bold, brash, and blunt. My mouth has gotten me into more predicaments than I can count. Even my best friends have told me I’m stubborn as a mule and have the delicacy of a bull in a china shop. This presents a big problem for me because I have my eyes set on winning over the guy who stole my heart years ago, only he doesn’t know it yet.
Getting his attention is going to be challenging. It’s a good thing I’m tenacious.
Unfortunately, it’s not great timing and could get me into a whole mess of trouble.
Why does falling for a guy need to be anyone’s business but mine?
The past couple of years were a whirlwind of activity. My career took off after my guest shot appearance in Americana. I appeared in a few indie features and finally got a shot at my first major motion picture release. The work came as a great distraction from my personal life, which took a further nosedive after I found out the guy I was falling for had already fallen for someone else.
Why should I be surprised? He was another in a string of failed relationship attempts. I swore I wouldn’t get involved with anyone else, choosing to stay focused on my career instead. That is, until the force of nature known as Archer McMillan came storming into my life.
To be the pursued instead of the pursuer was not in the cards. To top it off, he’s everything I’m not. Yet, there’s something to be said for a guy who can make you laugh when it’s the last thing you want to be doing. I’ll admit he’s got a playful and determined spirit. Archer also has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I’ve ever known. Not the mention the cute way he… Hold on. What am I doing? We cannot be a thing. Nope. Not gonna happen. Ever. Right?
Follow Kai and Archer as they cross the lines as friends, partners-in-crime, and confidants, to discover a love beyond boundaries that needs no definition.
(StrangeLove is a funny, heartwarming, slow-burn love story. It contains a cast of fully developed characters that encounter romance, laughter, and life lessons. It contains adult language, mature themes, and is best enjoyed by those over the age of 18. It can be read as a standalone; however, if you would like to know the backstories of some characters, check out the prior books in the series.)
By TL Bradford
To my chagrin, it’s Xander who opens the door when I arrive. I swear, this never gets any easier. First Noah, now Xander.
He starts cracking up the minute he sees me, bending over and holding his stomach.
“What’s so damn funny?” I ask him, annoyed.
I immediately look down to see if my fly is open or if I have toilet paper stuck on my shoe. I must look like a dog chasing his own tail.
He never has a chance to tell me why he’s laughing before Kai shows up and whaps him across the back of his head.
He says to him, “Xander, I thought you said you were gonna leave, like hours ago.”
“I was, but I had to see for myself, and Archer, man, you did not disappoint.” He starts laughing anew and Kai pushes him to the side.
“Come on in, Arch. Can I get you something to drink before we go?”
“No, I’m good.”
We stare at each other, then I remember to hand the flower arrangement over to him.
“It’s a full bird of paradise. Isn’t it great! What do you think?”
He awkwardly struggles to hold it.
“It’s… uh… big.”
“Yeah, right! It’s huge! I thought it would look good on your living room table.”
“Wow, this is… so much.”
“I saw it and right away I thought of you.”
“Sure! It’s unique, strong, and majestic. Just like you. That plant will probably live forever!”
“Ooh… I bet it will.”
“Yeah, no matter how hard you try to kill it, Kai.” Xander falls over, laughing again. I fail to see the funny.
“Don’t listen to him. It’s beautiful. Just give me a minute to clear some space on the table.”
“It can be a centerpiece. All the super bright colors lighten up the room,” I explain.
“That it does. That it does.” He nods.
I help him move items off the table to place the enormous flower arrangement on the table.
“There! Perfect! It’s a real conversation piece,” I say.
“Yep, we’ll be talking about this for years!” Xander barely manages to get out.
Kai quickly gets his jacket by the door and takes my arm to lead me outside.
Confused over Xander’s reaction, I ask him, “What was that about? Did I do something wrong?”
“No, Archer. You… did everything just right.”
He smiles at me. I smile back.
T.L. always hated math, so it was a good thing she had a way with words. Since she was a shy and quirky kid; words were her best friends. She would imagine entire worlds in her head and talk to herself endlessly. Her mother wondered if she was speaking with ghosts for a while.
Her older sister was a voracious reader of trashy romance novels and would pass them down to her after she had finished them. T.L. was the only 10-year-old kid sitting in class reading “The Stud” by Jackie Collins during reading time. Oddly enough, she never got called out on it.
As she grew older, her tastes evolved, but one thing held fast; her undying attachment to love stories. One day out of the blue, she decided to write the love stories she always wanted to read instead of searching for her story. Since then, writing has been a dream fulfilled for her and she could not be happier.
She enjoys writing about love, regardless of gender and is a proud supporter of the LGBTQ community.
T.L. calls the Pacific Northwest her home and enjoys the quiet rural life of her little oceanside home with her playful/crazy husband and their giant dog Noah.
Catch up with T.L.:
Instagram – @tlbradfordauthor
Twitter – @tbradfordauthor
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