Length: 52,000 words
About the book:
Skylar Orion's life has been complicated ever since his mother abandoned him and his sister Evie. Making ends meet seemed impossible until Tate Chandler took them in -- his knight in shining armor who promised to make life about more than just surviving. But Tate is not the man he seemed to be, and even his whispered I love yous and generous gifts do little to soothe the pain he causes. Knowing he can't give his sister all that she deserves without Tate, Skylar stays with him, relying on bad puns and a worse sense of humor to keep up the charade.
He will do anything for his sister, even if that means acting the responsible adult and going back to his old high school to meet Dexter Weston, the hot math teacher who can make even algebra interesting. Sparks fly between the two of them, but with his dependence on Tate, Skylar isn't free to follow his heart. He wants what is best for Evie, but can he pass up the chance to find love that heals instead of harms?
Warning: This book contains scenes of domestic abuse and violence that some may find triggering to read.
“You mean Mandy’s running out of people to set me up with, and I can’t wait until she does,” I retort. “How the hell do I let you talk me into this?”
“Because you know I won’t shut up until you do.”
And that’s the truth, which is how I end up agreeing to these things to begin with. It’s easier – and far less time-consuming – than trying to talk him down. I’m quiet as we get in the car and I start toward his place.
We fall into companionable silence.
“I just want you to be happy, Dex,” Gavin says when we’re a few blocks away.
“I am happy,” I tell him, though my voice is a little sharper than I meant it to be.
“Uh-huh,” he says. “Which is why you sound like you’re about to try to castrate me with a fork.”
“A fork would be too kind,” I inform him grimly. “Seriously, Gav, I don’t know why you keep doing this.”
“Rosy Palm and her five sisters are getting old,” he says, shrugging.
I glare in his direction. “Thank you for the mental scarring. I’ll be thinking of you every time I jack off for the next month.”
“You mean you don’t already?” Gavin feigns shock, and I have the sudden urge to open his door and shove him out of the car.
“Only if I want to get rid of the hard-on,” I retort.
He laughs. “Come on, Dex. It’ll be good for you to talk and hang out with someone new.” He pauses, then adds, “The ducks don’t count. Just in case you were wondering.”
“What about the rabbits?”
“You’ve had them a while, so they aren’t new.”
“Human beings,” Gavin says firmly. “You spend too much time alone. It’s good for you to get out of the house.”
“Yes, Mom,” I say, slapping the back of his hand when he reaches for the radio. “Don’t even.”
“If you don’t like him, I’ll stop trying for at least three months,” Gavin promises.
“Ran out of gay and bi acquaintances who are single, did we?”
“For now,” he says.
I stop at the curb in front of his house.
“Hey!” he protests. “You could go down the driveway. I don’t want to walk.”
“It’s an extra ten feet. Suffer.”
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About the author:
R. Phoenix has an unhealthy fascination with contrasts: light and dark, heroes and villains, order and chaos. She believes that love can corrupt and power can redeem. Her muse is a sadomasochistic slavedriver who thinks it’s terribly amusing to give her the best ideas when she just got comfortable and warm in bed, and she passes on that torture to her readers.
If she had it her way, she would describe the books in her “Ripples in the Status Quo” world as: “Supernatural creatures take over the world and turn humans into pets and food. There’s some sex between guys. And… um… fucked up things happen.” It’s probably a good thing she has people around her to remind her that she actually wants people to read her books. (They should really be more diligent, especially when they know she’s writing her author bio.)
She’s an author, stay-at-home mother, housewife, second time college student, and duck herder extraordinaire. She’s learning how to cook without burning the house down, her garden is somehow neither drowning nor drying up, and one day she might remember what that mythical thing called “free time” is. She’s starting to wonder who thought it was a good idea to write bios in third person.
She also tries entirely too hard to be funny, and she mercilessly inflicts her terrible sense of humor upon anyone who speaks to her. Really, it’s not you. It’s her. All the same, she’d love it if you’d say hello, because it makes her day to hear that someone read something she wrote. If they enjoyed it, there’s usually an awkward happy dance and embarrassing sounds of joy to accompany it (no, not that kind of sound, you perv). If all of that hasn’t scared you away, please say hello!
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