Don't Miss This..
I'm expanding that to my blog because I think it really is an awesome idea to let people knwo when they've touched you. So this week, I'm sharing one of my perennial favorites and go to re-reads:
Passion by Ml Rhodes.
This story hits a lot of notes for me, Robert the workaholic in particular is a character I can identify with. Jesse is sweet but has troubles of his own, and seeing the two of them work things out to create a HEA is just a reaffirmation that love is what it's all about.
If you haven't read it, I highly recommend checking it out today.
As the owner and CEO of his own company, Robert Bauer has spent the past fifteen years building his business into a multi-million-dollar corporation. It’s taken all his time and energy, which hasn’t left much room for a personal life, especially a love life. That’s fine with Robert because he doesn’t believe in the "L word" anyway. Lately, however, every time he goes to his favorite bar, he can’t keep his eyes and thoughts off Jesse McIntyre, the gorgeous bartender with the soulful blue eyes. Even though Robert’s not looking for a relationship, and tries to shake the attraction, he can’t get the younger man out of his system. There’s just one problem...he believes Jesse’s straight.
Jesse’s been on the run from his old life for the past two and a half years. Even though he slings drinks at a gay bar, he has a hard and fast rule about never hooking up with customers. He’s been down that road before, and though his physical wounds have healed, the emotional ones aren’t so easy to forget. He lets his customers assume he’s straight because it makes it easier to keep his distance. That is, until the businessman with the sexy smile starts coming into the bar. Jesse’s drawn to Robert, even though he knows there’s no way a wealthy, powerful man like that would ever be interested in a tattooed, college drop-out bad boy like him. But even if Robert weren’t his opposite, it wouldn’t matter anyway, because Jesse’s determined not to break his rules for anyone.
When fate throws them together, and they find themselves alone for a weekend, the passion that has silently simmered for months ignites a firestorm that leaves them both shaken. Will it be enough, though, to convince Robert, who’s sworn to never fall in love, that he might be pushing away the best thing that’s ever happened to him? Or to force Jesse to face his fears once and for all and learn to trust his heart?
...“What the hell. What’s the worst that could happen?” He dabbed the oil against the pulse points at his neck. That way it would maybe be close enough he’d be able to smell it on his skin for a while, like aftershave.
He pretty much expected the rush of lust to hit him again…but oddly enough, it didn’t. Instead, a slow pleasant heat traveled through his veins, his muscles, his skin, like someone rubbing warm velvet against him. It was arousing, but different from before…this was arousing like a long, slow, sensual kiss that let the passion build gradually. His dick didn’t get hard, but it felt like it was a banked fire, pulsing and waiting for the right attention to flare to life. And an overall sense of well-being filled him. The stress of his long day, the drive on the bad roads, and the strange unease he’d been feeling all evening passed. He felt as if he was filled with an energy and confidence he couldn’t describe.
“Okay…not sure what you sold me, but so far I’m liking it.”
Feeling better than he had all night, Robert slipped the bottle of oil back into his coat pocket, pulled on his gloves, and careful of passing traffic on the slippery, snow-packed street, stepped out of his car.
“Let’s go see what BJ’s Pub has to offer tonight,” he murmured, smiling, his step light in spite of the several inches of snow already covering the ground and continuing to fall around him.
When he pushed his way through the heavy door into the warm brass-and-wood-filled pub he was immediately hit with the scents of beer and popcorn and lemon-oil soap.
Robert shook the snow off his head and stomped his feet. As he’d presumed from the number of cars outside, it was a quiet night at the pub, but about half the tables and maybe half the bar were filled with customers, a trio of men played pool at one of the tables in the rear of the room, and a few couples swayed on the dance floor to a rock ballad.
Though BJ’s was LGBT owned and catered to the gay and lesbian crowd, the town had a pretty wide liberal streak, and because the beer and drinks were good and the food was decent, a handful of straight customers were regulars as well. Still, the intention of the place was a gathering spot for gay men and women who could be open about who they were and connect with like-minded and like-oriented people. Robert had discovered BJ’s about eight or nine months ago—he wasn’t sure how he’d missed it before then—and it was now his favorite bar because it was a little more upscale than a lot of other joints, yet not at all snobby. And it was a far more relaxing and pleasant experience to come here than to deal with the raucous and randy bacchanalias and sex fests that took place at other gay clubs. BJ’s was sort of like the friendly neighborhood queer Cheers.
As Robert took in the sights of the pub at a glance, he was struck again by how damned good he felt. Energized, yet relaxed. Ready for…well, whatever adventure might await him.
He peeled off his coat and noticed a couple of younger men and one guy about his age or a little older with a nice bod and graying hair already eyeing him, measuring him up as a potential hook-up. He eyed them back and smiled, letting it be known he was in the market tonight.
Oh, yeah. He felt certain it was going to be a good night, and all that warm-fuzzy home and hearth, love and romance BS of earlier this evening would fade away as soon as he had his arms around a hard, hot body. This was the way his life was meant to be. This was what it was all about.
And then, like steel drawn inevitably to a magnet, his gaze fell on the one person in all the world who could, and did, cause everything else to fade away.
Robert’s pulse pounded. His breathing came out in slow huffs. And his groin tightened in an ache that was one part lust and two parts agony for what it could never, ever have.
The pub’s buff, bearded, blue-eyed, extremely hot, extremely fuckable, and extremely straight and way off-limits bartender...
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