Please welcome Sue Brown with
Slow Dating The Detective
Cowboys and Angels #3
If you read my books, you might think I’ve got a thing about bars and bartenders. Two of my recent series have been set in bars; Cowboys and Angels in the city, J.T’s Bar in a small town. Which is strange because these days I never go to bars at all. My social life tends to focus around coffee shops. Yes, yes, I’m addicted to caffeine. I admit it.
I needed somewhere guys meet and it wasn’t going to be the gym because that involves exercise. When I came up with the idea of Cowboys and Angels in Speed Dating the Boss, I wanted a place that was a community in itself, a home from home for guys. Somewhere they visited all the time, let their hair down, and relax.
Where do guys go? My ex (he’s a friend so he won’t shout at me for mentioning him) has a life focused around our local pubs. Not for the beer, but for pool, darts, jazz, local bands, pub quizzes, and whatever else is going on. And maybe the beer too. He’s out nearly every night because there’s always something going on and he’s part of many communities. As our kids have grown up, they’ve joined him in some of the activities.
Media always talks about the loss of community in cities and suburbs, no one knowing their neighbour, but there are other ways to become part of a community. People go to church, take their dog to the local park (dog walkers always know the names of the dogs they greet if not the owners), become part of the school community etc. Why not include gyms and bars too.
Let’s not forget online communities for those of us who don’t want to step outside the front door *cough*Sue*cough*. I’ve been in the genre a decade and have known some of the authors and readers in M/M Romance longer than I’ve known some of my local friends. The genre’s grown bigger for sure, but it’s still a community (with its loves and dramas) and many smaller ones within it. My online MM community/family were vital to me a few years ago when real life took a difficult turn. I’m forever grateful.
Going back to Cowboys and Angels, I wanted somewhere that was as much a home from home for my guys as it was for the customers. When I wrote Slow Dating the Detective, it took me two attempts and two different couples to get to their Happy Ever After. With the second attempt I had to slide two completely new characters into the Cowboys and Angels world, but it was easy. Once I worked out who knew who and how, Keenan and Nate were in there, part of Dan and Gideon’s ever extending family. Keenan loses one community but gains another, and a smoking hot boyfriend at the same time. Go Keenan!
My two bars are total opposites. I mean, Cowboys and Angels doesn’t get dirty cops and escaping felons walking through its door on a regular basis. But they are a place for family, friendship, and lots of dating. Maybe that’s where I’m going wrong. I ought to find a bar of my own.
A gentle bartender might have what it takes to mend a relationship-phobic detective’s broken heart… but first they have to admit they’re dating.
Keenan Day could kick himself for letting the hot, dark-haired stranger he met outside a strip club get away. Instead of a phone number, he gets a punch in the face—from the boyfriend of his prospective employer at the Cowboys and Angels bar. When two cops come to check up on him, one is the sexy stranger, Detective Nate Gordon.
The initial attraction hasn’t cooled, and though Nate is leery of commitment, one hookup turns into another until they’re seeing each other in everything but name. After a recent nasty breakup, Nate balks at being part of a couple, and Keenan agrees, even though that’s all he’s ever wanted.
Just as they reach a standstill, a crisis shows them what their friends have known all along—they’ve already moved way past hookups. Now they just have to decide how to move forward.
To pacify Mind Mom, Keenan added a couple of oranges to his order and lemon muffins just for the hell of it. He walked back slowly, his supplies in one arm and eating a muffin. The muffin was so-so, but he was hungry enough that he didn’t care.
Suddenly a large golden retriever ran toward him at full speed and leaped at him. Taken by surprise, there was no way Keenan was able to keep his balance, and he went down under seventy pounds of dog, his bag of food going one way and his half-eaten muffin the other. He just managed to avoid smacking his head on the sidewalk.
“What the hell?” he yelled.
Talking was a bad move as the retriever enthusiastically licked around his mouth at the crumbs of muffin. Then it bounced away to eat the rest of the cake.
“Tucker! Tucker! Come back here. Get back here!”
Tucker—Keenan assumed the dog was called Tucker—ignored the frantic calls and aimed unerringly at the other muffin.
“Oh no you don’t,” Keenan said, trying to pull the dog away from his food. “That’s mine.”
Then Nate stood over Keenan, bright red and panting, beads of sweat across his forehead. “I’m so sorry, he—Keenan? What are you doing on the ground? What are you doing here?”
Keenan was still trying to keep Tucker away from gobbling up his food. “I live here. Do you think you could give me a hand?”
“Sure.” Nate grabbed Tucker and clipped a leather leash on his collar, and led Tucker away from the food, despite the dog’s grumbling protests. “You live here?”
“Around the corner.” Keenan got to his feet and attempted to brush himself off and recapture his dignity. “Are you on dog patrol now?”
“What?” Nate blinked and then looked down, seeming to suddenly remember the dog on the end of the leash. “I’m so sorry. I thought I had him clipped, but he spotted a cat and bolted.”
“How far did you run?” Keenan asked.
“Too far,” Nate grimaced, pushing back sweat-slicked hair. “Are you hurt?”
“Only my pride.” Keenan looked down. “And my muffins.”
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About Sue Brown:
Cranky middle-aged author with an addiction for coffee, and a passion for romancing two guys. She loves her dog, she loves kids, and she loves coffee; in which order very much depends on the time of day.
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