Top 10 Ads from the Super Bowl. #Footballromance

Hi! Did you watch the Super Bowl? I did. Interestingly, I’ve never been a big football fan until i wrote the Long Pass Chronicles, 3 books that include football players as their main characters. The books are Outing the Quarterback, Canning the Center, and Tackling the Tight End. They turned out to be among my most favorite books, and, of course, i had to learn a lot about football in order to write them. Even though the love interests aren’t football players, it takes tons of research in any field to make a character authentic.

Also, i watch the Super Bowl for the ads. I’m actually a partner in a marketing communication company as well as a full-time romance writer, so i love ads and appreciate them. It makes sense to share this great video showcasing the Top 10 Super Bowl ads. My personal fave had to be the Dirty Dancing ad for the NFL, but that’s partly because i adore the movie. Which were your favorites?  Check out this list —

Thanks for coming by. My next release is actually a re-release of Hearts and Flour on Feb. 14th. You can preorder it now! Here’s the LINK.

8 Days Until SNOW BALLS! #gayromance #taralain

Is it always wrong to pretend to be Mr. Right?

Hi – –

Hope you had a wonderful holiday if you’re in the US and a fine weekend. I just want to remind you that December 6th is the re-release of Snow Balls, one of the most popular books in the Balls to the Wall series. This charming, opposites attract story brings together JJ who looks like a hunky alpha, but is really a femme, and Ryan, the tough, taciturn copy who JJ falls for. To win Ryan, JJ pretends to be what he looks like – -a sports loving, guy’s guy. You can pre-order it now at Dreamspinner Press and Kobo and it will soon be at Amazon and iBooks! To read an excerpt, click HERE.

Meanwhile, here are a couple snippets to whet your appetite. : )

Celebrate New Years with 99 Cent Books!

OutingTheQuarterbackLGHappiest New Year to you! Celebrate New Years with 99 Cent Books!

To celebrate ringing in the New Year, Dreamspinner Press has put 12 popular books on sale for 99 cents. One of those is OUTING THE QUARTERBACK, the first book in my Long Pass Chronicles. You’ll also find some other great favorites like Amy Lane’s Winter’s Ball and Roan Parrish’s In the Middle of Somewhere.

Get over there and make a small investment in some great bestselling reads. Here’s the link to the whole page — Click HERE.

And i hope your New Year is full of love, joy, prosperity and a lot of good books!

TACKLING THE TIGHT END is Audio!!

TacklingTheTightEnd-400Hi and welcome! I’m so happy to let you know that one of my personal favorite books, TACKLING THE TIGHT END is Audio! You can find it HERE. Right now, Audible (aka Amazon) is having a half-price sale so even if you have no credits or don’t want to subscribe, you can purchase the audiobook for under $10. All three of the books in the Long Pass Chronicles are now available in audio.

Also, if you haven’t entered to win the $25 GC on Amazon as part of my Prince of the Playhouse Blog PrinceOfThePlayhouseTour, do it now! Click HERE. This book is being so well received by readers and reviewers. I hope you enjoy it!!

Tara Lain’s New TACKLING THE TIGHT END — $5.24 for 2 More Days!

TacklingTheTightEnd-400Hi —

My publisher, Dreamspinner Press, is having a great sale on contemporary books right now — through January 22nd. That means my brand new release, TACKLING THE TIGHT END, is part of that sale! You can get the new book for only $5.24. If you’d like to check it out, follow this Link.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7254

If you’d like to know more about this book — which is receiving amazing reviews — hop over to this Page where you can read an excerpt and check out what the reviewers are saying.

Also be sure to enter to win the $25 GC as part of my blog tour. Click HERE. :  )

Super Reviews for TACKLING THE TIGHT END! Have You Entered to Win?

TacklingTheTightEnd-400Hi and welcome — My new novel, TACKLING THE TIGHT END, released last Friday and i’m happy to say that the reviews are fabulous! But first, have you entered to win the $25 GC to Amazon. If not, Click HERE and enter in the Rafflecopter.

Let me share a little of my Happy Dance! Reviews for Tackling the Tight End

Alan at Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews said 5 Stars! “If you’re looking for a passionate, eloquent, beautifully-written book to lift your spirits and sooth your soul, “Tackling the Tight End” is the one to read. Don’t miss it.”

Lena Grey at Rainbow Book Reviews said 5 Stars! “If you enjoy reading about Native American customs, football, parental expectations, underhandedness, deceit, kidnapping, drama, and angst, you may like this book. Thank you, Tara, for showing me the true Dennis and for giving him and Raven the love they earned.”

Susan65 at The Blogger Girls said, “Tara Lain has taken a detour to the dark side, and I liked it. It was still sexy, still sweet, but with just Teaser #5 - Tackling The Tight End by Tara Lainenough of a taste of the eerie and obscene that I was left turning the pages until it was over. This was not a hard read, but it wasn’t pleasant either, yet it was entertaining, it was sexy, and the bad guys get it in the end with our lovers, Raven and Dennis, getting each other. As usual, I highly recommend this author and this series.”

That’s just a few. If you get a chance to review the book, it’s always much appreciated. Happpppy week! : )

Released!! Tara Lain’s TACKLING THE TIGHT END. PRIZES!

TacklingTheTightEnd-400

 

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Reading Addict

Tackling The Tight End

(Long Pass Chronicles Series, #3)

By Tara Lain



Blurb:

Everyone wants the best for SCU student and tight end, Raven Nez—and they know exactly what that is. Enter the NFL draft, become a big football hero, promote his tribe’s casino, and make a lot of money to help people on the reservation. Just one problem. Raven really wants to work with gay kids, and while he loves his tribe and likes football, his visions for the future don’t mesh with theirs. Then the casino board hires a talented student filmmaker to create ads for the tribal business and asks Raven to work with him. But the filmmaker is Dennis Hascomb, a guy with so much to hide and a life so ugly it’s beyond Raven’s understanding. Still he’s drawn to Dennis’s pain and incredible ability to survive. Captivated by Raven’s stories of the two-spirited and by the amazing joy of finally having a friend, Dennis knows he has to break free from everything he’s ever been taught was good—but that’s a struggle that could kill him and Raven, too. Is there a chance for “the great red hope” and the “whitest guy on earth”? A future for the serpent and the raven?

Available for purchase at
      

 

You can also order your copy at





Excerpts

 

 

Raven laid out paper plates with pizza, two Cokes, and a
bowl of potato chips on a box he used for a coffee table in front of the couch.
He set them up so that Dennis either had to sit on the floor—not too
comfortable, considering it was very worn carpet—or sit beside Raven. Maybe he
could get Dennis to relax a little.
The movie started, and Dennis took a bite of cheese and
artichoke hearts. He sighed and closed his eyes for a second.
Raven smiled. “Good?”
“Oh yeah. I always have dinner with my parents, which
means I never get to eat anything normal.”
“They must really have bought into all that crap about
eating together keeps the family together.”
“Yeah.” He pointed at the screen. “Okay, so you know this
was partly an homage to the old western serials, right?”
Raven wrote in the air as he said, “Cowboooooys in
Spaaaaaace.”
“Exactly. But it goes a lot deeper. It’s a real Biblical
epic battle of good versus evil. I mean Luke, right? This is the book of Luke.
And the Force. Interesting that most of the ordinary dumb bad guys make fun of
the ancient religion, but Darth Vader knows and uses the Force. That’s what
makes him so powerful. Darth, of course, is a play on Dark, and all the Darths
in the series are the most dangerous villains.”
“Vader is short for invader?”
“I think that’s where it came from, but did you know that
vader means father in Dutch?” He
laughed. “They probably weren’t so surprised at the whole ‘Luke’s father’
revelation in the Netherlands.”
“No kidding?”
Dennis leaned forward for a piece of pepperoni pizza just
as Raven grabbed for the same one. Their hands touched as they both held the
crust. Raven grinned. “If they did this in a movie, you’d probably say it was
contrived, right? Could never happen. The director should get a more original
idea to get them together.”
“Yeah.” Raven heard Dennis swallow.
“So now that you have us here, director Hascomb, what do
you plan to do with us?”
Dennis swallowed again, lifted his thumb, and gently rubbed
Raven’s little finger.
Well damn, he’d had a fair amount of sex in his
twenty-one years, but nothing had ever dived straight to his dick quite as fast
as that gentle caress. “Man, you do it for me.”
“I-I do?”
“Yeah. That’s no demand or even request. I just want you
to know.”
“What’s it like to kiss a guy?”
Their fingers stroked and twined. Nothing else moved if he
didn’t count the expanding of cocks. “I don’t know. It’s great. Maybe not that
different from kissing a girl. More stubble, I guess.” Raven wiped his other
hand across his chin. “But not from me. No beard.”
“I’ve never kissed a girl. I tried to have sex a couple
times but skipped the kissing part.”
“Well, hell, man. That means—”
On the screen, the 3-D projection of Princess Leia popped
out of the communication device in R2-D2. Dennis stared at their linked hands.
“Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi—”
Raven joined in. “You’re our only hope.” He reached a
hand around Dennis’s head and pulled him closer, then pressed half-open lips to
Dennis’s closed mouth. Stroking gently, he persuaded those full pink lips apart
and slipped his tongue slightly between. Dennis startled, but Raven held his
head just tight enough to keep them in contact, but not so tight as to scare
him.
Dennis shivered, made a little gurgling sound in his
throat, brought his hands up against Raven’s shoulders, and then—some dam gave
way. He dissolved in Raven’s arms, even wrapping his own around Raven’s chest,
and oh God, his mouth opened, accepting all of Raven’s tongue. Sweet. As Raven’s tongue slid in, Dennis
sucked. Jesus, Raven practically came just from the heat of that suction.

 

 

“Hi. I’ve been trying to reach you.”
Those blue-green eyes flicked all over the room. “Sorry.
I was so busy. When I found I had this short window, I just came here. I
figured you’d be tied up, so I didn’t bother you.”
Raven crossed his arms. “What’s going on?”
“What?” Dennis swallowed hard.
“Come on.” Raven took his arm and pulled. Dennis pulled
back, but Raven was stronger, and Dennis obviously didn’t want to make a scene,
so he walked as if it was his idea. Raven pushed the side door open and half
guided, half hauled Dennis out to the smoking patio, where no smokers were
currently hanging out. He dropped him in a chair and pulled another one over
beside him. “Talk.”
Dennis crossed his arms. “About what, Raven? I don’t have
much time, and I need to get some more footage.”
“I don’t care if you never get another inch of video
again.”
That got his attention. “What?”
“Two days ago you and I were dissecting Pulp Fiction and planning a video for
the Gay Youth Shelter. Now you won’t look me in the eye. What happened?”
He shook his head but said nothing.
“Dennis? I’m serious. I’m not going to work with you like
this.”
Again he just shook his head, but damn, were those tears?
Raven reached out and touched his hand. Dennis yanked his
hand back into his own lap.
“Come on.”
Dennis blinked. “Where?”
“We’re going for a walk.” He extended his hand. Dennis
didn’t take it, but he stood. Raven started walking, and Dennis fell in beside
him.
The casino stood on a patch of land that abutted a flood
control channel. They’d planted bushes and trees in a strip along the channel
to make it a pleasant walkway, with benches here and there. Since it was a
weekday, nobody was out. Raven ambled quietly for about fifteen minutes. Dennis
walked beside him but hardly seemed relaxed. His shoulders bowed, and he stared
at his feet. Finally Raven flopped down onto one of the benches. For a couple of
minutes Dennis stayed standing, but then he gave in and sat.
Raven picked up a small rock and tossed it. “Want to talk
about it?”
Dennis shook his head again.
“Something bad happened.” He didn’t make it a question.
“I guess.”
“Did I offend you in some way?”
His head snapped up. “No. No way, man.”
“But I must be involved somehow, or you wouldn’t be
avoiding me.”
“Kind of. I mean, indirectly.”
“Would it make a difference if I said I promise to be
discreet? Tell nobody unless you say it’s okay?”
“You know, don’t you?”
Raven shrugged. “No. I’m just thinking about what might
be upsetting you.”
“I think I’m gay.”
Raven smiled. “Two-spirited.”
Dennis cracked a half grin. “Did you guess that?”
“Maybe a little.”
“Do I look like a fag?”
Raven glanced at him sideways. “Remember who you’re talking
to.”
“Sorry. I just thought it might be like a big neon sign
on my head or something.”
“No. But I’m not usually attracted to straight men.”
Dennis’s head swung toward Raven in an arc. “Uh, do you,
I mean, uh—”
“Am I attracted to you? Yes, very.”
“Holy shit.” The H
came out in a long breath.
Raven looked over. “Does that idea appeal to you?”
“I think so.”
Not a ringing
endorsement
. “So that’s why I thought there was a chance you were gay. I
sensed the attraction between us. That’s all.”
“All? Jesus, that’s kind of amazing.”
Better. “So is
that why you’ve been avoiding me?”
Dennis nodded. “Kind of. Being gay isn’t really
convenient for me.” He laughed, but it didn’t sound funny.
“Have you got a girlfriend?”
“No. Parents.”
“I know about that.”
That look of pain blinked in his eyes and was gone.
“So why do you think you’re gay?”
He frowned. “I thought you said I was.”
Raven grinned. “My word isn’t law on this subject. I just
said I thought you might be since I feel a pull between us. But maybe you’re
straight and I just think you’re gorgeous.”
Dennis swallowed. “Thank you. I think. I’ve kind of
suspected for a while. I don’t much like girls. Like that, I mean. Never have.
But I’ve never been with a guy.”
Raven smiled. “Are you asexual, or do you jerk off a
lot?”
He looked uncomfortable, but before Raven could tell him
not to answer, he said, “I spank the monkey when I can.” He breathed. Weird.
Most young guys jerked off all the time. Dennis raised his head. “But I’m not
asexual. I’m definitely attracted to guys.”
“Surprised you haven’t done anything about it. I’m sure
you’ve had interest.”
He stared at his hands. “It’s complicated.”
“Look, just because you think you’re gay doesn’t mean you
have to start cruising West Hollywood. Take it slow. It’s your life, man. Live
it like you want.” He should listen to his own advice.
“I wish.” Apparently they had that in common.
Birds chirped and breezes blew, but Dennis looked like he
was at the bottom of a well with no ladder.
Raven put a firm hand on Dennis’s arm. Dennis jumped, but
Raven didn’t move. “Hey, I like you. We have to work together. Let’s just be
friends and not worry about the rest, okay?”
“Really?” He looked up with pleading eyes.
“Yeah. What do you think, I have to jump your bones just
because you’re pretty? We have two videos to make, right? Maybe, if you’ve got
time, we have some movies to see and shit.” Raven grinned.
For a second he thought Dennis might cry. Instead he
smiled like he’d witnessed the second coming. “I’d like that, man.”
“Good. So would I. Now let’s get back to the buffet and
video it right before we eat some of it, okay?”
Dennis smiled, but as they walked, he wiped a hand across
his eyes.

 



The Long Pass Chronicles Series

 

 

About the Author
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 23. Her best­selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul­mate husband and her soul­mate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

You can find Tara at

               

 
 
Giveaway
Presented By

CANNING THE CENTER is Rainbow Award Honorable Mention! Football Star and Drag Queen.

Canning 28-02Hi — I’m so delighted to announce that CANNING THE CENTER has made the first round cut in the Rainbow Awards and is named an Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention! The Honorable Mentions go to those books that receive one or more high rankings from judges. The actual finalists in each category — mine is gay contemporary romance — will be announced in December. This pleases me so much because Canning the Center is a favorite book of mine. Here is what one judge said about the book —

My feelings for this author have been spread out throughout this review. Suffice it to say: I will be reading a number of her non-sports novels to see if they reach the high mark set by the first two stories. Tara Lain is an excellent author who, for this reviewer at least, tells a most excellent story and whose previous and future works I look forward to reading.
Sometimes a plot can follow what is a “standard” m/m progression: “Am I gay?”; “does that guy like me?”; the two MCs getting together on the DL; characters forced into coming out to their families; homophobia running rampant in one of the character’s workplace; a happy ending; etc., etc.  Canning the Center has all these tropes, but manages to present them in such a way that the reader is rooting for the MCs all the way through the book. Ms. Lain definitely knows her football, and throws in plot twists and turns that make a “standard” plot work wonderfully.
Ms. Lain sets her story in her hometown of Los Angeles, and use her knowledge of the city to the max. As a native Angeleno, I enjoyed Canning The Center Teaser 2knowing where events took place, and feel that even a reader knowing nothing of the city would be just as “at home” in her setting.
This reader really got to know not only the MCs, but most of the all-but- most-tangential secondary characters. Jamal Jones, the titular center on the team, his family and friends, are roundly and well developed. The second MC, a part-time drag queen, who can “pass” in a casual day-to-day situation, along with the man (Trevor Landry, an off-the-test-charts mathematician) is Trixie when he wants to be, but co-exists with his creation. This is a most unusual side to the drag scene meme, and gives a very unique  dimension to the two halves of the man. Throughout, the MCs friends, employers, families and other secondary characters seem to be just as well-developed as the MCs (to the extent they need to be.) Wonderful characters throughout a story I didn’t think I would like all, since I don’t enjoy football, the drag scene, or homophobic bosses  who blackmail their players into doing as they wish. Excellent.
Once I got past my prejudices about football and the drag scene, I was quickly involved by Ms. Lain’s  warm straightforward style. I had expected to have to force myself through this particular novel, and, instead, was caught up quickly in the plot and its straightforward way of presenting its characters, both major and secondary. I think no finer compliment can be paid to Lain’s style, plot and character development, than that I’m halfway through the first novel in the series of which this novel comprises a second effort.”

In case you haven’t read CANNING THE CENTER, here is an excerpt to tempt you. Or click the link to see more reviews, excerpts, and buy links.  —

Excerpt: Canning the Center by Tara Lain – the Football Star and the Drag Queen

Six foot seven inch, 300 pound Jamal Jones loves football, so when he finds out the ultra-conservative owner of his new pro football team fired their current center because he’s gay, bisexual Jamal decides to stay in the closet and hang with the females. Then, at a small drag show, he comes face-to-face with his sexual fantasy in the form of Trixie LaRue, a drag queen so exquisitely convincing she scrambles Jamal’s hormones — and his resolve to nurse his straight side.

 Trevor Landry, aka Trixie LaRue, hides more than his genitals. A mathematician so brilliant he can’t be measured, Trevor disguises his astronomical IQ and his quirk for women’s clothes behind his act as a gay activist undergrad at Southern California University.

 To Trevor, Jamal is the answer to a dream — a man who can love and accept both his personas. When he discovers Jamal’s future is threatened if he’s seen with a guy, Trevor becomes Trixie to let Jamal pass as straight. But Trevor risks his position every time he puts on a dress. Is there a closet big enough to hold a football pro and a drag queen?    

Canning The Center Teaser 3“Bunny, I don’t think this is a good idea. Why don’t you drop me off and go on your own?”

God. He should stick his head in a bucket and drown. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t think about how awful it would be for you to be with all these dumb jocks.”

Trevor put his hand on Jamal’s shoulder. “No. I mean you can’t put your precious future in my hands. What if they all know I’m a guy? You’ll be wrecked. You’ll lose your job and—” He waved a hand. “—everything.”

Sadly, he told the truth. “No one will know. My sister isn’t as feminine as you look tonight.”

“To you.”

“No, to anyone. Plus they won’t be looking for you to be anything but female, and people see what they expect.”

“You’re sure?”

“I’d much rather it was just you and me going out to dinner, but they know I have a date, and everyone expects me to bring you.”

“Wow.”

“I’m so sorry.”

Trevor took deep breaths. He gave a long, slow exhale. “Okay, since we’re doing this, prepare me. Who will I be meeting?”

“Manny Hartford is the coach. It’s his house. I doubt the team owner will be there, although he could. Name’s Arondel, and he’s a total conservative.”

“Clearly the best person to introduce to your drag queen boyfriend.”

Jamal laughed, but he really liked that word, boyfriend. “One other significant player is Boogaloo Johnson. He plays on the team with me, and it’s his sister you saw in that photograph. He’ll be looking to figure out why I want you instead of his sister.”

“Did you explain I have a dick?”

“I missed that part of the briefing.”

Trevor placed his well-manicured hand on Jamal’s arm. “I’ll do my best, Bunny.”

“I know.” But, man, was he praying that Trevor’s best was good enough.

Another fifteen minutes and they were cruising up a winding road in the Hollywood Hills. Unlike some of the other wealthy areas of LA, the houses on these streets generally boasted the best of modern architecture. A true California style instead of something some rich guy dragged back from Italy, like you saw in big sections of the southland. Jamal slowed and looked for an address.

“Pretty houses.”

“Yeah. There. That’s where we’re going.” A glass and wood house on a rise was all lit up. As they got closer, they saw a sign that read Valet stop here.

Jamal pulled over, and a guy about his age opened the door. “Good evening, sir. You here for the Hartford party?”

“Yeah.”

“I’ll take the car. Just keep this ticket.”

Jamal slid out and started around for Trevor, but the valet beat him to it. He did get to see the guy’s eyes widen as one of those long legs in a black stiletto heel stepped out.

The kid’s voice sounded a little breathy. “Good evening, ma’am. I hope you enjoy the party.”

Trevor—or he should say Trixie—offered a hand like the queen of fucking Sheba, and the valet helped him out until he stood in his high shoes, towering over the guy. “Thank you.”

He, uh she—Jesus, he’d never had this much trouble with pronouns in his life. Names weren’t much better. But he needed to get used to calling her Trixie again quick.

Trixie walked around the car, and Jamal met him—shit, pronouns again—with an arm. Feeling that strong, lithe bicep slide against his reminded him again how not a girl this Trixie was. He leaned in close. “Man, you’re something special.”

Trixie looked at him with that direct gaze. “You’re pretty damned great yourself. You in that sweater could be packaged and sold in place of Viagra.”

Jamal laughed. “This old thing?” He’d only spent an hour running out to a store to buy the white silk sweater. He’d picked it because the sales guy said it clung in all the right places and, since the man seemed to be sporting an erection while saying it, Jamal figured it was getting the response he wanted.

“I’ll do my best to carry this off for you.”

“Thank you. I know.” All the way up the walkway, the butterflies in his stomach warred with the throb in his cock.

__________________________________________________

“Straight” Guys Watching Football! Remember $25 GC!

Teaser #3Winter's_Wolf_FinalHi —

Guess what? I’m off to Orlando for the Dreamspinners Authors’ Workshop — and for a few days vacation visiting the mouse. I want to thank you all for making my new release, Winter’s Wolf, such a big success. Remember, the Blog Tour is going strong and you can enter to WIN a $25 GC by entering on the Rafflecopter. Click HERE.

One of the things that has happened with Winter’s Wolf and the whole Harker Pack SeriesCanning 28-02 being BESTSELLERS, is that people are also buying my other recent releases like crazy. this includes my Long Pass Chronicles — Outing the Quarterback and Canning the Center. These are New Adult romances with a football theme. To celebrate them, i thought i’d share this old but very funny comedy video of two straight guys watching football together. Enjoy!

Thank you for coming by! Be sure to enter the drawings. : )

OUTING THE QUARTERBACK is Audio!

51x4FIRr2oL._SL500_AA300_PIaudible,BottomRight,13,73_AA300_Hi everyone —

If you’re here for the LGBT LOVE IS LOVE Blog Hop where you can win a Kindle and 42 774d1f56-cbb3-441d-be6a-96f0ceaae65ebooks as well as a copy of WINTER’S WOLF, my upcoming release, please click HERE.

I’m happy to announce the release of OUTING THE QUARTERBACK, the first book in my Long Pass Chronicles, in audio format. If you like to listen to books, my publisher Dreamspinner Press, does a really great job with audio production.

You’ll find the audio book HERE.

And just to whet your whistle a little, here’s an excerpt from OUTING THE QUARTERBACK!

Teaser #3Will Ashford lives in two closets. He meets his wealthy father’s goals as both the quarterback for the famous SCU football team and a business major, but secretly  he attends art school and longs to live as a painter. And he’s gay. But if he can win the coveted Milton Scholarship for art, he’ll be able to break from his father at the end of his senior year.

In a painting master class, Will meets his divergent opposite, Noah Zajack. A scarred orphan who’s slept on park benches and eaten from trash cans, Noah carefully plans his life and multiple jobs so he has money and time to go to art school. Will’s problems seem like nothing compared to Noah’s. Noah wants the scholarship too and may have a way to get it since the teacher of his class has designs on him, a plan Will isn’t happy about.

When a gossipmonger with a popular YouTube channel finds evidence that Will is gay, the quarterback’s closet doors begin to crumble. Hounded by the press and harassed by other players, Will has to choose. Stay in the closet and keep his family’s wealth, or let the doors fall off and walk out with nothing. Nothing but Noah.     

Will’s eyes moved past the teacher. Lots of easels, students already working, supplies all over the place and—holy shit.

The artist’s model sat naked on a small platform in the middle of the room. But not just no-clothes-on naked. We were talking gleaming, pale beige skin, shining hair, and hard-as-stone butt-cheeks naked.

Will’s deprived cock did a happy dance.

The model’s back—read, bare ass—faced Will while his graceful spine curved away.

The beast in Will’s pants started to grow.

The guy’s long brown hair flowed over his shoulders and outlined his profile, perfectly presented to Will’s artist eye. High-bridged nose, prominent cheekbones, pointed chin.

The damned traitor prick pushed so hard against Will’s zipper he probably had teeth marks on his cockhead. Why was it every time he decided to go straight, some cosmic joker had to twiddle his fucking finger and prove beyond a shadow that William Elliott Ashford III was as gay as a circus tent? Shit!

“Are you in this class?”

Will focused his eyes back on Masterson and clasped his hands in front of his crotch, still holding his tackle box. “Yes, sir. Sorry I’m late. Traffic.”

Masterson glanced at Will’s folded hands and sucked on his cheek like he was trying not to laugh. “Name?”

Will shifted to get the animal to go back in its cave, but no matter how hard Masterson stared at Will, the model still sat there in all his fucking glory. “Will Smith, sir.”

Masterson glanced at a paper on his desk, made a check mark, and pointed toward an empty easel with a folding table beside it and a rickety chair. “There’s a place in the back, William.”

“Will.”

The man smiled and the lean, almost harsh face softened. “Will. Made any good movies lately?”

Oh my, so very original. Will smiled. “Yeah.”

Masterson waved his hand toward the easel and looked at the model. “You can move, Noah.”

Will walked back to the empty place. Do not stare at that guy. Don’t stare. His name is Noah. Noah.

Weird. Usually life models were “interesting” looking, for lack of a better word. Fat or craggy, old, and character-filled. Not perfect, smooth beauties like this guy.

Will set his tackle box on the floor, opened it, and pulled out brushes. Masterson walked up beside him with a canvas. “This is gessoed already so you won’t have to waste any time.”

Will set it on the easel. “Thanks.”

Masterson crossed his arms. “I’ve seen the work you submitted when you applied for the master class. Promising.”

Wow. Music to his ears. “Thank you, sir.”

Masterson grinned. Who knew dimples could live in cheeks that thin? “Try Dwight so I don’t feel so old.”

Will smiled. “Thanks, Dwight. I wouldn’t want to suggest something that’s not true.”

The instructor winked at him and walked back to the beat-up desk in the corner. Winked. Will had read that Masterson was gay. Had the teacher just been flirting with him? Or shit, maybe he’d been coming on to Masterson. When you spent your life in the closet, every interaction was a fucking minefield.

Will sat in the chair and looked up at the model. His breath caught. No way. The beautiful guy had repositioned himself and now sat facing Will, his legs crossed, leaning forward with his arm resting on his thigh. Everything shimmery and perfect—if you didn’t count the six-inch scar that ran from the right corner of his mouth up to the edge of his very blue eye. It skipped the eye miraculously and continued above it on his forehead, disappearing into his hair. The puckered skin pulled that eye closed a slight bit more than the other. Funny. Without it, the kid would have looked almost too angelic. As it was, the eye gave him a permanent touch of cynicism. Yeah, anybody who’d picked up that badge of courage in his life deserved to be a cynic.

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