As the new music professor at Korham University, I need to focus on my job. I can’t get entangled with that tall and handsome Facilities Manager who I keep bumping into on campus. Did we have a hot moment together at Christmas? Maybe, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s taking my music lecture. Students are off limits, no matter how flirty and sexy they are.
The problem is that Logan’s not just a student; we’re co-faculty, neighbors, and we’ve become good friends. I’ve started to peel back the layers that make up who he really is. It turns out there’s more to this sweet guy whom I’ve been growing closer and closer to. As the semester winds down, the days of him being my student are numbered. Pretty soon, nothing will stand in the away of us hooking up. It’s scary, but can an athlete like him really fall for a performing artist like me? Because I’m afraid I’m already there.
I’ve been broken for a long time, so I make my job at KU my life. No one has been able to tug on my heartstrings for years. So of course I’m blindsided by this talented and gorgeous new professor I meet. He makes me smile and gives me something to look forward to for the first time in so long. The one catch: I’m taking his intro to music class.
That’s fine by me, I can push down these feelings. I can totally ignore the blazing hot chemistry Wei and I have in the tiny practice rooms while he teaches me scales. But as the semester goes on, I realize he can offer me so much more than just a pretty face; it’s possible that everything I lost all those years ago exist in Wei. When he plays a song, or whenever it’s just the two of us, it feels just like magic.
I refuse to make a move on my professor, even though we’re both faculty. Good things come to those who wait, right? I just have to not let him realize I have a massive crush on him and not let him kiss me…again. And again.
The Strings We Play is a low-angst, male/male romance about two working adults. It involves music lessons, workout sessions, kissing under the stars, soccer-themed birthday cakes, and discovering the love that only a found-family can bring, HEA guaranteed. It is the third book in the Artists and Athletes series but can be read as a standalone.
The next Saturday afternoon, my sister is kind enough to drop me off at the KU Athletics Center. I’m dressed in my suit and tie, and my black hair is expertly styled in spikes in all the right places. I’m super early, but I want to get in some practice time at the stage setup since every keyboard feels different.
As I wander into the large complex, I notice lots of Christmas decorations, but no staff. The rest of the catering company won’t be here for another hour. I walk past one corridor, unaware of how to get into the events space where I presume the formal will take place. Eventually, I come upon one open door to a room where I hope to find at least one staff member.
Peering in, I spot something that takes my breath away: a tall man with brown hair is putting on a white button-down shirt over his naked torso. I swear, time slows down as he shucks it on, unaware I’m standing there. I don’t want to ogle, but his body is magnificent. He’s got tuffs of chest hair—a genetic trait I never got—and miles of muscle coursing over his six-feet=something stature.
My mouth goes dry, but I finally shake my head in an effort to speak. “Um…excuse me?” He turns to look at me, finally buttoning up his shirt. He looks to be about my age, and his brown eyes and chiseled jaw are all gorgeous. Clearly, my gay ass needs to get laid. “I’m looking for the music department?”
The tall guy just stares at me, hands frozen, allowing me a glimpse of his perfect chest for a few moments more. He opens his mouth, but no noise comes out. Weird.
“Wei!” I turn to see Professor Reyes down the hall from this guy’s office. She’s standing in front of an elevator and waving me down. I turn back to the hot guy who is still giving me deer-in-the-headlights eyes and nod at him.
“Never mind. I got it,” I mutter, turning away from his handsome face. I don’t know who he is, but he just became a potential work-related perk here at KU.
Okay, so I’m coming into this one smack in the middle of a series but I didn’t feel like it took anything away from the flow of the story, so I don’t guess they have to be read in any particular order? Anyway, in this one, we have Wei and Logan.
Logan, I wasn’t sure about in the beginning. He wasn’t very likable to me. He went from an overconfident dude bro to an overzealous fan-girl any time he was around Wei, and I thought it was kind of cute, though the dude bro kinda became silly after realizing how he really felt by his inner dialogue.
Both men are as opposite as night and day and I love that about them. I love the opposites attract thing, especially, like these two, the power dynamic and coupling aren’t the way you’d stereotypically think of them. I love that too! These two feel like a real couple to me.
Plus, I’m such a sucker for a good dad figure, or in this case, an uncle. It’s what sucked me in!
Overall, very cute story.
3 pieces of eye candy
CD Rachels has been coming up with stories since he was little. At first it was all about superheroes and pocket monsters, but his genre of choice has expanded since puberty.
He’s been consuming young adult gay fiction since he was a teen, but within the past five years moved up to the big leagues of gay adult romance. In 2020 during quarantine, he burned through more male/male romance books than he ever had in the previous 29 years combined.
He lives in New York City with the love of his life and works in health insurance. When he’s not reading and writing, he’s playing board games and practicing music. He is honored to become a self-published author, and if you’re reading this, your support means so much to him that it’s giving him a tingly feeling (in a good way).
Follow him on Instagram: @cdrachels
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