Blair Rhodes considers himself an equal opportunity player. He knew from a young age that he wasn’t entirely straight. Ogling his best friend’s older brother was the first thing that tipped him off. But Garrett Erikson is off limits. Always has been. Garrett is as straight as they come.
Garrett’s reputation as a womaniser precedes him, but it’s not who he is. Not even close. And when Blair turns up on his doorstep, heartbroken over a breakup, Garrett knows it’s a bad idea to go drinking with him.
One night is all it takes for everything to change.
For the past ten years, Garrett’s denied his desires to everyone, including himself. And as much as Blair wants to be the guy Garrett needs, he needs to protect his own heart. Like his ex-boyfriend always told him: “Never mess with the straight ones. It only leads to trouble.”
I don’t even know where to start with this book. I only recently fell in love with the MM genre (within the last eighteen months or so), and I guess the thing that I was drawn to the most about this genre is the angst angle that MF romances don’t have.
I’ve never spent so much time or research on a book before, and because of this, Garrett and Blair may just be my favourite couple I’ve ever written. It was a LOT of work, and I’m fairly certain most of my Facebook friends and family think I’m bisexual with how many LGBTQ articles I’ve read and liked.
At time of publishing, right this instance as I write this blog post, we still don’t have marriage equality in Australia. We’re behind a lot of the world when it comes to LGBTQ rights. Which is something my brain often just can’t comprehend. My country doesn’t even allow basic rights to people who are in love.
And while the book deals with Garrett’s fear in coming out as a gay man, my main focus was on Blair, and his fight against bi-phobia. His friends never quite understood it, his parents flat out wanted to ignore it, and his ex-boyfriend (someone who is gay and a big part of the LGBTQ community) thinks bisexuality isn’t real; that bi guys will always end up in a hetero relationship in the end.
And from what I’ve learned in my research is that this is a common thing bisexual people have to deal with. They don’t always feel accepted in the LGBT community because they aren’t “gay” enough. Blair is comfortable in his sexuality within himself to know who he is, but because of this, he still feels the need to hide his affinity towards guys.
The book itself took on a mind of its own. It’s spread over five years. It takes FIVE YEARS for these jackasses to get their shit together. But as with all Eden Finley romances, a HEA is guaranteed, with no cliffhanger in sight!
Because this book means a lot to me, I’m terrified of when it hits the shelves (Come May 22, you might find me cuddling a bottle of vodka). I know the book won’t be for all readers, but I’m hoping as a straight female, I’ve at least done the genre some justice and fans will love my boys even half as much as I do.
Even though my friends were the best friends I could ask for, I didn’t realise there were certain things they weren’t completely comfortable with. We’d known each other since we were kids, and we were the type of friends who would rip into each other over every little thing. Like when Hunter introduced us to Sara a few months ago, we spent a good twenty minutes ribbing him about hanging up his manwhore status and joking about the impending apocalypse. We painted vivid pictures of the devil wearing ice skates and pigs wearing angel wings.
Yet, when I came out and told them I had a boyfriend years ago, I was met with vacant stares and silence. I thought it was from shock, that I needed to give them time. It wasn’t every day one of your best friends said “So, I’ve met someone. His name is Marc, and yes, that’s the correct pronoun.”
Maybe I should’ve broken it to them differently.
When the jokes didn’t come, and then Marc left me, it was over, and so was talking about Blair’s one “gay” relationship.
After the fact, I expected—hoped—they’d start making light of it. There were perfect opportunities. Like when Pip asked Reece to go shopping, I expected to hear “Don’t forget to take Blair. He was gay once.” Offensive? Yes. But I never realised how offensive silence could be until I came out.
I was practically shoved back into the closet. Because if I dated mainly women, I was straight, right? Wrong. So very wrong.
Hitting on a guy in the vicinity of my friends was still a novelty to me. Standing from the booth, I went to head towards the surfer guy who was checking me out, but Hunter grabbed my arm to stop me.
“Maybe you should go to the bar and buy me a drink first,” he said.
“Get your own drink. Or better yet, get your girlfriend to get it. Isn’t that her job?”
“Paige, did Blair just say what I think he said?” Sara asked.
“Could you please remind him that he rents my boyfriend’s brother’s apartment and that sexist remarks may result in eviction?”
“Bullshit,” I said with a smile. “I’m an awesome tenant. Garrett would never kick me out.” For more reasons than one.
“Pseudo-sister trumps awesome tenant,” Sara said.
But does it trump ex-fuck-buddy? How I wished I could’ve said that aloud. I may’ve been out of the closet now, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t hiding some skeletons.
“Dude, seriously,” Hunter said. “Can you please go and buy me a beer?”
I narrowed my eyes. “Why are you trying to cock-block me?”
“I’m not,” he lied. His voice was too innocent and high pitched. “I just really want a beer.”
“Okay, I know he’s lying,” Sara said. “That’s his lying voice.”
I laughed. “Man, you are so screwed. Your girlfriend knows when you’re lying.”
“I’m not lying,” Hunter said.
“What I want to know is why—” My words died on my tongue when someone walked into the bar.
My life, which was constantly on a tilted axis, finally righted itself for the first time in three months—the last time he was home.
I was frozen to the spot, still standing next to our booth.
He was the complete opposite of the surfer. His black hair was in his trademark Erikson quiff style, his wide shoulders and muscular arms looked even larger than I remembered, and the knowing smirk I knew so well was plastered on his handsome face. And those soulful dark eyes … Damn.
He approached the table but didn’t acknowledge the others. Not even his brother.
“Blair Rhodes, as I live and breathe.” His voice was as smooth as it always was. Confident with a side of cocky.
I cleared my throat. “Home twice in a few months. Don’t you live in Sydney?”
Even though we had a fucked-up history—which was putting it mildly—he always had the ability to make me smile just by entering the room. Even back then when everything was so screwed up.
Five freaking years of back and forth.
He was the only guy I knew who was so far in the closet he practically lived in Narnia.
“Not anymore. I’m back. For good.”
Here we go again.