Knave of Broken Hearts

The carpenter with a wonky heart and the cardiologist who could break it

A Love in Laguna Novel (Book 2)

Jim Carney has a full time job—running from himself. Since he walked out on his wealthy family at sixteen because he’d wrecked his best friend’s life over some yaoi graphic novels, Jim has lived a macho, blue-collar existence of too much booze and too little responsibility. Then Billy Ballew, the man Jim most admires, gives Jim a chance to come through as his construction supervisor. For once, Jim is determined to make someone proud.

Then Jim goes in for a physical for his new job, and his yaoi dream comes to life in the form of cardiologist Ken Tanaka. Jim discovers he has two heart problems—a wonky mitral valve and a serious attraction to his doctor. But Ken is a major player, and Jim might be just a notch on the doc’s stethoscope. To Ken, Jim is unforgettable—but the living embodiment of his traditional family’s worst nightmares.

How come the minute Jim decides to be responsible, he finds himself taking care of his kid brother, getting a proposal from a wealthy woman, making a deal with the devil, and winding up in the hospital—when all he really wants is the Knave of Broken Hearts?

Available in eBook and Paperback

More Information

Published August 3, 2015
Dreamspinner Press
224 Pages

eBook (ISBN978-1-63216-962-4)
Paperback (ISBN 978-1-63216-961-7)

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Available in French,  German and in Italian

Buy Knave of Broken Hearts

Available in eBook and Paperback

What People Are Saying About Knave of Broken Hearts

Lain returns to her “Love in Laguna” series (after Knight of Ocean Avenue) with Billy and Shaz’s wedding setting the stage for another character to come to terms with his sexuality at an older age than most, in a career where masculinity and homosexuality are considered antithetical. Jim and Ken’s relationship is a comparison/contrast on many levels, but the stress Jim is under professionally and personally practically bleeds off the page and adds an extra dimension to their relationship. Recommended where blue-collar and interracial romances are popular.

Library Jornal

5 Stars
I loved Knave of Broken Hearts. Jim is trying hard to turn his life around, and Ken is stuck in a rut with no happiness in sight. Together they have a chance to find a better future.


Carly Book Reviews

5 Stars
Be prepared to crumble and cry. Be equally prepared to soar. My heart is bruised, but by the end the ache is welcome. Knave of Broken Hearts will make you believe love truly does conquer all.


Diverse Reader

4 1/2 Stars
We were given some great positive characters and the baddies? they were bad, but made interesting reading. I like Tara Lain styles and this series is really very good, don’t miss it.


Three Books Over the Rainbow

4 and 1/2 Stars
I adore Tara Lain and her beautiful boys, she’s been a constant auto buy since I first fell in love with all things m/m, and over the years I think she’s honed her easy on the eye writing style and emotionally satisfying storytelling skills to a fine art.


Macky at Sinfully Addicted to MM Romances

Available in Audiobook

Available at Amazon and Audible

Excerpt from Knave of Broken Hearts


Jim’s eyes opened. Dark except for the streetlights shining in from outside the office suite. Damn, fell asleep.

“Come on, baby.” The voice was muffled, but since Jim’s ear was pressed against the door, he could make out the words.

“No. Go ’way.”

Jim sat straighter. What the fuck? What time is it?

Footsteps, rustlings, and a bump against the wall sounded behind him. He grabbed his phone from his pocket to check the time—9:30 p.m. Man, he’d been asleep for a long time.

“Don’ wanna.”

Shit, that was Ken. The voice had to be right on the other side of the door. Had he been drugged again? Jim popped up and almost fell. Butt asleep. He pounded some fresh blood into his muscles, then slowly pushed down the door handle and opened it a crack.

Over by the elevator, Gene Willings stood with his arm around Ken Tanaka. Ken was a lot taller, so the guy had to reach up. Fucking midget.

Gene said, “Come on, baby. We have to get out of the lobby before the guard comes.”

“Okay.” Ken’s words slurred. That sounded like booze, not drugs—and Jim oughta know. So old Dr. Eat-and-Drink-the-Right-Shit-or-you’ll-Die wasn’t practicing what he preached.

The elevator came, and Gene kind of dragged Ken onto it and the door closed.

Well, fuck. Hadn’t he heard Ken say no? Was he just being hard to get? Did he really want whatever Mr. Pain in the Ass Architect was dishing out? What if he didn’t?

Jim took off to the stairs at a run. At the bottom of the first flight, he stopped. Why the hell are you rescuing Ken Tanaka again?

You know why.


He ran up another flight.

Okay, slow down or he’ll have to take care of you instead of the other way around. He started up the stairs at a moderate jog.

By the fourth floor, he was breathing hard but not about to have a heart attack. Tanaka would be proud—assuming the doc was sober enough to be anything. Jim stuck his head out of the stairwell and sighted down the hall. Nobody. He slipped out and trotted to the office. The outer door was on an autocloser, but it hadn’t latched. The door rested against the jam. Jim pushed it open. Dark inside, but dim lights shone from somewhere in the back of the suite. He closed the door gently, then tiptoed across the lobby and opened the door to the inner sanctum. Voices. He couldn’t make them out too clearly. No screams or bedpans hitting walls.

He should go, but what if the doc really was in trouble again? Hell, he did have the damnedest way of picking up people who wanted to fuck him. Jim stepped softly down the corridor toward the voices.

“Mmmpft. Oh baby, I love this cock. Mmmmn.”

“Oh man.”

Jim stopped. Okay, go now. This was no rape scene. Pretty clear. He pressed against the wall. Do. Not. Look.


“Oh shit.”

Okay, he’d managed to give up booze. Maybe he could stop eating burgers. But not looking into that room to see Ken Tanaka’s cock? Beyond his strength. Very slowly he moved so he could see around the edge of the door. Oh yeah.

Ken lay on an exam table, his jeans pulled down around his knees. Shorty the Architect had moved a chair over so he could get in position, and he bobbed his head over Ken’s hips, the long, surprisingly thick cock disappearing into his mouth and then reappearing as his head moved up.

Jim grabbed his chest. God, they had to hear his heart, it beat so hard. His pulse throbbed in his throat and in his stiff-as-a-board cock pressing against his fly. Dear God, it was like his yaoi dream—except for the short prick doing the sucking. Jim pressed a hand against his own cock. He could come just watching.

“Quit. Quit it.” Ken’s head came up, and Jim dove back against the wall.


“Let go. Don’t wanna.”

A soft pop indicated lips had left cock. “Come on, baby. You know you’re enjoying it.”

“No. Quit. Don’t want you.”

“What do you mean you don’t want me? Who the fuck do you want?”

“Want Jim. Get Jim.”

What? What did he say?

“You said he was straight.”

“Is. Want Jim.”

Oh my God.

“You fucking player asshole. You haven’t changed a bit.”

A slap sounded from the room.

Jim’s head exploded. He screamed, “Get your hands off him, you fucking midget.”

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