High Balls and Snow Balls

A Balls to the Wall Paperback Anthology

A fave of readers around the world, the Balls to the Wall series brings together unlikely lovers on hot sand, cool water, and rumpled sheets. The seven bestselling books of Balls to the Wall are favorite “gateway” reads, bringing new fans to the MM romance world. This paperback anthology features High Balls (Book 5) and Snow Balls (Book 6).

High Balls (Book 5)

Though only twenty-six, single father Theodore Walters lives with his head in the clouds and his feet firmly planted in reality. At the center of his life is Andy, his seven-year-old son, with whom he shares no DNA, though nobody—including his religious-fanatic in-laws—knows that, and Theodore will do anything to keep them from finding out. Theodore works hard to get his PhD and the tenure and salary that might follow to make a better life for Andy—but the head of his department thinks his dissertation on Jane Austen and romance novels is frivolous.

Theodore’s carefully planned life goes off the rails when he walks into a popular Laguna Beach bar and meets the bartender, “Snake” Erasmo, a pierced and tattooed biker who sends Theodore’s imagination—and libido—soaring. Snake has even more secrets than Theodore and couldn’t be a less “appropriate” match, but he might be the only guy with the skills to show Theodore that happily ever after is for real.

Snow Balls (Book 6)

JJ LaRousse looks like a quarterback but acts like a queen. He’s trying to be proud of who he is—until a robbery at the famous Laguna Winter Fantasy brings JJ face-to-face with tough cop Ryan Star. JJ hears Ryan likes manly men, so he drops his voice an octave, colors his pink hair, and tries to pass as a football fan.

Ryan Star may be tough, but he keeps his sexuality to himself at work. He learned in New York that being a gay cop can be deadly. His attraction to JJ threatens his secret, but he’s finding it hard to back away from a guy who’s so totally his type. Then, during a ski trip and a confrontation with JJ’s biggest nemesis, all the façades come crashing down. In the aftermath, can Ryan love JJ for who he really is? More importantly, can JJ?

Available in Paperback

Other Information

Published April 20, 2018
87,465 Words 
274 Pages
Paperback (ISBN 978-1-63533-208-7)

Buy the Anthology

Available in Paperback

Other Balls to the Wall Anthologies

High Balls Excerpt

 

“Bartender?”

Snake looked in the mirror again. That was Pink Hair talking. Teddy stood beside the Greek statue and looked—scared? Anxious? Probably embarrassed. Why did he come here? To prance this beautiful man in front of me? He sighed. As if I’m all that.

He turned, tried to smile, and failed. “Yeah. What can I get you?”

“Champagne cocktail for me, darling.” Pink Hair smiled and gazed into Snake’s eyes. Did they know who he was?

Greek Statue asked for the same. Big, hunky, and handsome wanted a beer and—that left Teddy. Snake nodded to him without meeting his eyes. “What can I get you?”

“Beer, please. Uh, Snake, these are my friends.”

Startled at being addressed by name, he finally looked at Teddy. “I gathered that.”

“Uh, that’s Rodney, uh, Rod, and his husband, Hunter. Rod’s a famous painter and Hunter’s a college teacher like me.”

Snake still couldn’t get his smile muscles to move, but he stuck a hand across the bar and shook with both men, although the one called Rod only offered fingertips. Snake’s eyes fled back to Teddy.

Teddy glanced at the beauty next to him and said, “This is David. He owns the Underwood Galley on Forest. He’s Rod’s bestie. His husbands are away playing volleyball, so we’re keeping him company.”

Snake just stared. Too many words he didn’t quite grasp. Did he really say husbands? Like, plural? But bottom line—Snake’s face broke out in a smile. “Hi, David, really pleased to meet you.” He shook the handsome man’s slim hand as his brain repeated the mantra, Not his boyfriend. Not his boyfriend. Not his boyfriend.

Rod said in his dancing, musical voice, “You thought David was Theodore’s boyfriend, didn’t you?”

Snake felt the crease pop between his eyebrows and smoothed it with intention. “Looked like it.”

Teddy really frowned. “So you assumed I lied to you?”

“Thought crossed my mind.” He glanced up at the scowling Teddy Bear and almost laughed. “Sorry.”

Rod said, “Theodore, be reasonable. You two barely know each other. Snake might think you would lie to him.”

Snake shook his head. “No, actually, I don’t. Teddy here’s not the lying type. But….” He shrugged.

Rod grinned. “But you’re the jealous type.”

“Not usually. Let me get your drinks.” He turned away, but saw the Greek god David look at Teddy with wide eyes and mouth the word Wow.

He swallowed his chuckle as he added the bitters to the champagne and then pulled the beer from the cooler.

Rod had this funny wheedling voice. “So you call Theodore ‘Teddy’?”

Snake turned back with two of the drinks and flashed a smile. “Teddy Bear, actually.”

Teddy sat back on his stool. “Snake!”

“I mean, who could call that pretty thing something so stodgy and serious as Theodore?” He cast a sideways glance at Teddy.

David looked at Teddy too. “Uh, you better call him Theodore—because that bear can bite.” He laughed.

“Nah.” Snake slid the other beer and champagne to David and Teddy. “We need to get this boy to stop fighting what he is and work it.”

Rod shrieked. “Snake, I adore you! No one with an endless vocabulary could have ever so perfectly expressed the life plan for Theodore Walters.”

Snake looked at Teddy. “Walters. I didn’t know. Pleased to meet you, Teddy Bear Walters.”

A wild giggle exploded through Teddy’s compressed lips. “You’re all crazy!” He shook his head. “What’s your last name?”

“Erasmo.”

“Snake Erasmo. Your mother did not name you Snake.”

“Nope.”

David said, “Who did?”

“Some friends. Something to do with the walk.”

Teddy rested a cheek on his fist. So damned cute Snake wanted to eat him. “What’s your real name?”

“If I told you, I might have to kill you.”

“It’s the only way to keep me from killing you for calling me Teddy Bear. I mean, aren’t all Teddy Bears portly and hairy?”

“Well, my teddy bears always made me feel good, and warm, like I had love curled up next to my belly.”

Rod sighed. “Oh my.”

Teddy blinked hard. “Okay, but you still have to tell me your real name, or—else!”

Oh man, I could drown in those wide eyes. “Well, in that case, my name is Streams. Crystal Streams, to be exact. My hippie mama was into Native culture at the time I was born. Shit, it’s a good thing. The following year she might have named me Frankincense or—Marjoram.”

All four men laughed, but Theodore cocked his head with a quizzical expression. Hmm.

Snake held up a hand and walked over to the two guys who’d just sat down at the bar, took their orders, filled them, and then slowly sidled back to Teddy and company. Have to give these guys time to size me up, because I think my future depends on it.

Snow Balls Excerpt

JJ stuck out his fist. Ryan looked a little startled, then bumped it. “So maybe I’ll see you Sunday.”

Ryan nodded. “Yeah. Yeah.”

Star turned and walked a couple of steps. He stopped and looked over his shoulder. “Hope so.” And he walked away toward the entrance to the grounds

JJ wanted to sit down in the middle of the sawdust. Did he really see that look in Ryan Star’s eyes when the guy said those two words “Hope so”? Something that looked like he cared if he saw JJ again?

JJ certainly cared if he saw Ryan again. But what the hell? A Chargers game? How could he ever fake his way through that?

He took off at a run and made it to the booth in seconds. Rodney was talking to a few customers and David was on his cell, fingering the twinkle lights in JJ’s display. JJ took a deep breath. Finally, David hung up and JJ pounced. “Oh my god of the last kid chosen for kickball, Ryan Star asked me out.”

David grinned. “Of course, I’m a champion matchmaker.”

But what if…. “Actually, I’m not sure it’s a date. I mean, he asked me to go with him, but it could be just a guy thing, you know?”

“Tell me what he said.”

“He said he could pick me up, or we could meet somewhere.”

David screwed up his smooth forehead. “Hmm. That’s too neutral to tell. What else? Where’s he taking you?”

JJ’s grin defined sheepish. “A Chargers game.” JJ grinned anxiously. “That’s football, right?”

“You’re joking, darling?”

“It’s not football?”

“Yes, it’s football, but you’re seriously considering going to a football game?”

“Yes.” JJ’s hands started to flutter. “Oh God, David, what am I going to do? I don’t know anything about it at all.”

“About what?” Rodney stepped up next to David.

David glanced at his miniature friend. “Football. Somehow JJ has managed to get himself invited to a football game.”

JJ wailed. “And I don’t know the first thing!”

Rodney shrugged. “Simple.”

JJ frowned. “What’s simple?”

“Just ask Jerry. He’s the magical knower of all things boringly athletic. He will be your guru of football. Mick might help too.”

Of course, their good friends Jerry and Mick could cram some facts into JJ’s head.

David threw an arm around Rodney’s shoulder. “Brilliant. You’re brilliant, my dear.”

Rod smiled, then looked up at JJ’s head. “And speaking of football, where on earth did you get that ridiculous cap?”

JJ shrugged. “Ryan Star bought it for me.”

David whooped. “That’s it. In answer to your question, Detective Star is taking you on a date.”

Join the Group!

Become a part of HEA, Magic and Beautiful Boys, the Tara Lain Reader Group! Share your love of Tara Lain books with readers around the world.