Aaron Laughlin is young, rich, and a star among the Nashville political elite. That’s why nobody is more surprised than him when he ends up abandoned at the altar. But here he is, dumped on the most important day of his life, embarrassed in front of his entire city, and left with a bruised ego in place of a broken heart.
Needing time away to regroup after the fiasco that could very well derail his career, he decides to head to the mountains and enjoy his honeymoon on his own. Only, he isn’t alone. His imposing new bodyguard refuses to let Aaron out of his sight, or his reach, and the way his dark eyes follow Aaron’s every move gets under his skin in a way he can’t shake, and isn’t sure he wants to.
Isaac Chinn is practical, professional and takes pride in being good at his job. He’s never even considered breaching the client/bodyguard boundary, which is why being stuck on the side of a mountain with the gorgeous jilted groom that isn’t quite as straight as he’d like people to think, is such an imposition. The mayor might annoy and intrigue him in equal measure but Isaac knows better than to cross the line.
Only, the heat that flares between them refuses to be ignored. They’re like gasoline and a match, destined to consume each other if they get too close. But when faced with the cold of loneliness, is it worth the risk to feel the heat of passion, even if it might destroy them both?
By Jess Bryant
“No wife or kids at home to worry about where I’m going or who I’m going there with.”
Aaron found that hard to believe. A good looking guy like Isaac who was also smart, kind and thoughtful? Surely he had to be off the market.
“Not since I was twelve and Misty Wallace kissed me under the slide at the park.”
“Wait, what?” Aaron was certain he’d heard him wrong.
“I shoved Misty down and told her to never, ever do that again because girls were gross.” Isaac laughed a little and when Aaron continued to eye him skeptically he sighed. “I’m gay. No wife or girlfriends and before you ask no husband or boyfriend either. My last relationship ended over a year ago because he was closeted and I didn’t want to pretend we were just good friends when we were out in public.”
Aaron’s head buzzed and he realized he had forgotten to breathe. He heard something about an ex-boyfriend. He thought there was mention of being out. But those first two words continued to ring in his head.
Isaac Chinn was gay. Isaac Chinn was gay and he wasn’t closeted. He was out. He was gay and he had no problem admitting it to a near stranger, a man he barely knew.
Aaron could barely wrap his head around the revelation.
Was that why he kept getting those sparks of heat when Isaac smiled at him? Was Isaac interested in him? Attracted to him? Was he being more than just friendly? Aaron couldn’t tell. He hadn’t read into anything Isaac said or did at the time but now he needed to slow everything down and play it back in his head, to see if he’d missed a flirtatious glance or a leering smile.
“Well shit.” Isaac was frowning at him when Aaron managed to blink and bring himself back to the present. “Is that going to be a problem for you?”
“Me, being gay? Is that a problem for you?”
Aaron slowly shook his head, still playing catch up in the conversation, “Why would your sexuality be a problem for me?”
“Why does anyone ever have a problem with another person’s sexuality?”
Isaac shrugged. “I didn’t think you’d care considering your political stance on LGBTQ rights but if that’s all just for show and you’d rather not go off into the mountains with a gay dude as your bodyguard I might be able to call Vaughn and have him send someone else to serve as your protection detail.”
Aaron opened his mouth, closed it again and then gave a violent shake of his head, “No.”
“No, you don’t want to vacay with a gay guy or no, you’re fine with it?”
“No. I don’t need another bodyguard. I like you just fine.”
Jess Bryant is an avid indoorswoman. A city girl trapped in a country girl’s life, her heart resides in Dallas but her soul and roots are in small town Oklahoma. She enjoys manicures, the color pink, and her completely impractical for country life stilettos. She believes that hair color is a legitimate form of therapy, as is reading and writing romance. She started writing as a little girl but her life changed forever when she stole a book from her aunt’s Harlequin collection and she’s been creating love stories with happily ever afters ever since.
Jess holds a degree in Public Relations from the University of Oklahoma and is a lifetime supporter of her school and athletic teams. And why not? They have a ton of National Championships! She may be a girlie girl but she knows her sports stats and isn’t afraid to tell you that your school isn’t as cool as hers… or that your sports romance got it all wrong.
For more information on Jess and upcoming releases, contact her at JessBryantBooks@gmail.com or follow her on her many social media accounts for news and shenanigans.
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