OF SUNLIGHT AND STARDUST
RILEY HART and CHRISTINA LEE
RELEASE DATE: 09.21.18
Cover Design: JAY AHEER/ Simply Defined Art
Cover Image: Strangeland Photography
After the death of his wife, Tanner Rowe takes a step toward making her dream come true and buys the house with the dilapidated barn she’d been inexplicably drawn to in the picturesque Upper Peninsula. But after a year, he still can’t get past his grief long enough to make the repairs he’d promised.
Recently out of prison, Cole Lachlan has little to his name. Homeless, broke, and without many options as a felon, Cole heads to Red Bluff with hopes of a second chance. There, he meets Tanner, whose loneliness mirrors his own and soon, Cole is trading room and board for rebuilding the burned-out barn on Tanner’s property that hasn’t been touched in seventy years.
Turns out, the barn holds a lot more secrets than either of them could have imagined. After unearthing a hidden journal from 1948, Cole and Tanner spend their evenings poring through the pages and reading about a young man pining after his best friend. As they delve deeper into this forbidden affair from the past, the more Cole and Tanner’s own relationship shifts—from acquaintance to friend…to undeniable attraction.
But as they begin to deal with the newness of falling in love amid Cole’s past and Tanner’s loss, they also become more determined to unravel the mystery of the young lovers who’ve captured their hearts, the rumors about the fire, and what really happened that fateful night.
Tanner’s eyes snapped open. He didn’t know what had woken him so suddenly, but the moment he did, he realized he’d fallen asleep with Cole on the couch, that Cole’s head was on his shoulder.
It was a little weird…and a little not weird…or maybe he was looking for it to be weird or not? As he sat there a moment, focusing on the heat of Cole against him, the feel of his head on his shoulder, it felt good. Christ, Cole felt good to him.
It wasn’t the first time that seeing Cole, touching his skin, studying his hands or his back, felt right. That truth hit him in the gut, so the moment Cole groaned in his sleep and turned his head, Tanner slipped out from under the blanket.
For a moment he considered trying to lay Cole down. Did his knee hurt? Was the position uncomfortable? But he didn’t know how to do it or if he should do it, and he suddenly really fucking needed to get out of the house.
Tanner shoved his feet into his shoes. Thankfully, he was wearing jeans and a tee he’d put on before going to look for Cole last night. His keys were on the kitchen counter, so he swooped them up and quietly sneaked out of the house.
Last night had been…something. How he could breathe easier after the loss of Emma, how much Cole’s friendship meant to him, Tom and Charlie, and falling asleep on the couch. It was…a lot, and he wished like hell he had his fishing supplies so he could go fishing.
So what could he do?