Please welcome K.C. Wells and Parker Williams with
On The Same Page
When a Dom invites a shy bookstore owner to live out his fantasies, more than one life will be transformed.
Words are Heath Snow’s life. He can’t remember a time when he didn’t have his nose buried in a book. He couldn’t make a living as a writer, so he did the next best thing—he bought a bookstore. But when he’s not selling books, he’s living vicariously through the characters he encounters. Real men can’t hold a candle to the hot men in his favorite genre.
The Pride display in the bookstore window may be what captured Xavier James’s attention, but the man enthusing about books interests him more. The BDSM book lying next to the cash register is a pleasant surprise, and when he draws attention to it, Heath’s flushed cheeks and bright eyes pique Xavier’s curiosity even further. Xavier is about to learn that some things are more important than work, and Heath is about to step out of his comfort zone, into a place where fantasy and real life coexist.
Get the book:
HEATH SNOW went out into the street to check the display, and had to admit he was more than satisfied with the results. The window of Wordsmith Books was a riot of rainbows. This would be his second Pride Week since he’d bought the shop, and the first one he was actually ready for.
That made him smile. With more than a week to go until the big day, he was already ahead of schedule.
No one could miss this window. Glittery rainbows were suspended from the ceiling, rainbow flags moved gently, thanks to the A/C, and yet more flags lay beneath the titles on display. There was a variety of books to catch the eye, ranging from a history of gay literature, to London and the culture of homosexuality, right down to several bestselling fiction books and My Two Dads and Me, all chosen in honor of Pride—and also with the unspoken hope that while the colorful window would catch the eye, curiosity about the books displayed there would draw the customers inside.
Content, Heath stepped back inside the shop and took a deep breath. Why is it that the smell of books always calms my nerves? Not that he had much to be nervous about these days, thank goodness. Two years ago? Now that was a different matter. Two years ago, he’d stepped out of his comfort zone and bought a bookshop, and ever since, he’d done his best to make a go of it. If the receipts were correct—and they always were—he was doing okay. Nothing to write home about, of course—he wasn’t about to win the Queen’s Award for Enterprise—but he’d made enough to pay the mortgage on the building that doubled as his home.
Plus, I can afford to eat this week. That was something never to be sniffed at.
The grandfather clock standing in the corner of the shop had belonged to his grandparents, before they passed away four years ago at the ripe old age of ninety-three. The clock’s ornate wooden scrollwork and heavy brass weights added to the feel of the place, with its dark varnished floorboards, oak beamed ceiling, and its lingering scent of—
What do books smell of? It was an unquantifiable thing, something perplexing yet nevertheless comforting on a primal level. It wasn’t until he’d had the place about six months that Heath realized he associated the smell of books with his grandparents’ home. That fits, I guess. They’d left him a decent bit of money in their will, which had given him the collateral he’d needed to get a loan for the rest. And it was even more fitting that their clock should be in the shop, ticking away the hours, its weights gleaming in the lights.
Speaking of the clock….
It was closing time. There hadn’t been a customer in over an hour. Still, he’d decided to stay open, just in case someone came by in desperate need of a last-minute read. Heath smiled to himself. Who am I kidding? It’s Pride. Everyone is in a bar, having a good time.
Heath had other ways of having a good time.
As he crossed the floor, its wooden boards glowing warmly in the overhead light, he felt the familiar thrum in his chest when he realized this was his place. Something built maybe not with blood, but with sweat and plenty of tears. During the first year, when he thought he’d go under so many times, somehow he’d managed to pull things together and stay open one more month. It had become his mantra. One more month. Now, at last, he had a bit of breathing room, not to mention a steady clientele. And in the present economic climate, where stores closed down in the blink of an eye due to the pressure of internet sales, such a clientele was worth its weight in gold.
Heath walked over to the heavy wooden front door inset with glass, turned the sign to Closed, then leaned against the doorframe, surveying his kingdom. Another day gone on the journey that had started with a love of reading. When several attempts to write his own book had failed miserably, he’d done the next best thing. Charles Dickens had nailed it all those years ago in Oliver Twist, when Mr. Brownlow had asked the boy—in the movie, at any rate—if he’d like to be a clever man and write books. Oliver had replied he’d rather be a bookseller.
Oliver Twist. Now he had his head screwed on.
One last glance at his store filled Heath with a sense of pride in a job well done. Now that his time was his own again, he reached under the counter for his copy of Master and Servant, then walked through the shop to the rear of the building, where a narrow staircase led up to his flat. One of the perks of living above the shop—when work was done, he was mere steps away from home.
After putting a chicken-and-mushroom pie into the oven, Heath took his book into the cozy little living room, switched on the tall lamp beside the couch, and sat down, his fingers coming into contact with the slim bookmark he’d left between the pages. Time to pick up where I left off. Master Byerley was just getting ready to put his submissive, the cute, pug-nosed Malcolm, through his paces. Heath’s chest heaved and his breathing quickened as he got to his favorite part. Master Byerley was about to paddle his boy’s arse, turning it a brilliant shade of red, not unlike a glass of merlot—deep, rich, and so ready to be sampled. Master Byerley could sample my arse any day. Heath loved Byerley and Malcolm together, loved how they tore up the scenery with every encounter. This was their third book, which Heath had ordered along with the second, as soon as he’d discovered it was a series, and he’d lost track of how many times he’d read and reread those pages, submerging himself into their world. As much as Heath loved his life by day, surrounded by books, he ached for the evenings when he could shut out the real world and lose himself in a fantasy.
“You’ll take it because I require it, boy. Do you understand?”Malcolm drew in a breath. “Yes, my lord.”Byerley greased his prod, then spread Malcolm’s cheeks. He groaned loudly as he entered his boy, the tightness gripping him like a velvet fist.
Heath’s dick strained against his zipper, and he reached down to adjust himself. This was better than real life any day. It had been a long time since he’d hooked up with anyone, and that time didn’t even last long enough to qualify as a one-night stand. More like half an hour of some guy grunting while he took Heath, who’d grown bored after the first few minutes and had mentally begun putting together his to-do list for the morning. The man had no style or technique. It was obvious he’d only wanted somewhere warm to stick his cock. But the bar had been about to call last orders, and Heath had badly needed to get off, which was the only reason he’d accepted the invitation in the first place. He couldn’t even recall what the guy had looked like, apart from a lack of hair disguised by a comb-over. His dick had certainly been unmemorable.
After that, Heath saw no reason to be needy again, not when what took place between his ears was way sexier and so much hotter than what took place in someone else’s bed. It was far better to slip into a book and pretend he was Malcolm, with Byerley mounting him from behind, taking what he wanted. Fuck yes. Better than most of the sex he’d had in his thirty-six years.
His erection was starting to ache, so Heath unbuttoned his trousers and slid his fingers beneath his briefs, encountering warm, silken, solid flesh. He gripped his shaft, then glanced at the clock on the wall. The pie still had fifteen minutes to go, so he could definitely make good use of the time.
“Do I please you, my lord?”Swat. An open hand came down on Malcolm’s arse, causing him to squawk.“You know better than to talk without being asked. Don’t make me regret sparing you the crop this evening.” Byerley grunted, thrusting into Malcolm in one swift stroke. “You speak when your master wishes it, not before. Do you understand?”Before Malcolm could reply, another hard swat found its target, the pain hot and sharp.“Y-yes, my lord.”Byerley drove his turgid length into Malcolm over and over, each time causing his stable boy to grunt or moan, his round cheeks rippling from the impact. Byerley’s own needs consumed him, but he ran a gentle hand over Malcolm’s backside to calm him and remind him who he belonged to. He grinned to himself when Malcolm babbled about needing to spend. If—when—Malcolm satisfied Byerley’s needs, then Byerley would see to his boy’s.
Fuck, Heath loved this book. Of all the ones he’d read by the author, this was by far his favorite. He closed his eyes, tightened his grip around his now-freed shaft, and moved his hand up and down, slowly stroking himself. In that instant he could almost feel Byerley inside him, using Heath for his pleasure. He could feel the slam of Byerley’s body into his, feel the pleasure/pain as Byerley thrust deep into him.
“Yes, my lord,” Heath gasped. He stood on the edge of the precipice, not daring to come, waiting for Byerley to tell him he could step off and plunge into ecstasy. So close. So fucking—
Knock, knock, knock, knock.
Someone was about to break his front door down, from the sound of it.
Character Interview Questions with Heath Snow
Oh, that’s a tough one. I’m tempted to say snakes, but that’s not even logical, since we don’t see many of them in the heart of London. I guess if I really thought about it, I would say it has to be my shop failing. I’ve put everything I had into it, and I’m meticulous when it comes to my accounts, but there’s always the slightest niggle in the back of my head that the market will drop out, and my shop will go the way of the dodo.
2. What is your most prized possession?
A signed copy of ‘Tales of the City’ by Armistead Maupin I got when I was thirteen and struggling to come to terms with being gay. My mother found it in at a sale, and bought it for me. When she handed it to me, the book was obviously well loved. The tattered cover and the dog-eared pages told me the owner, whomever it was, had spent hours with the book. It was that book that led me to reading more LGBT stories, and each one held my fascination in its own way. I thanked my mother for my love of story, and for leading me in the direction of my shop.
3. What do you enjoy doing on your day off?
Believe it or not, I love to read. Yes, it’s true. The owner of a bookshop loves to curl up with a book late at night, and slip into the world of another person. I’ve discovered so many places that I would love to live just by reading.
You’d be amazed at what you can find out there. Many of my customers are interested in LGBT books, and through them I’ve found previously undiscovered treasures in all manner of genres. I always thought that once I grew up, I’d never see a young adult novel in the same way, but Mrs. Klein ordered Simon and Homo Sapien Agenda for her grandson. She asked if I’d read it, and I admitted I hadn’t. She told me it was a wonderful story of coming out and falling in love. So I decided to read it for myself, and it opened new avenues for me to explore.
4. Your best childhood memory?
Definitely getting that book from my mum. She handed it to me with a twinkle in her eye, and told me that I might enjoy the story. She forewarned me that, like life, not everything was pretty, but she said she was sure I could handle it, and that if I had anything I needed to talk to her about, I could. After I pored over the book, I decided to come out to her.
We were sat having tea and a scone that she’d made, and asked what I thought of the book so far.
“Mum, I’m gay.”
“Thank you for telling me. Now, did you want another scone while they’re still warm?”
And that was it. None of the fearful reactions I’d expected to happen, no condemnation. It was that moment when I realized that I hadn’t trusted mum to be there for me. Now I know that not every kid has someone like my mum, and I would never insist on someone coming out if they’re not ready, but for me, that was the day I could stop hiding and start being proud of who I was.
5. Where do you hope to be in five years?
Oh, goodness. I hope to have a very popular, very busy shop. But… See, the thing is, the neighborhood is no longer what it used to be. There are many buildings that sit vacant, as rents continue to rise. The few shops that remain are barely holding on, and I expect at least half of those to be gone in the next year or so. I hope I’m wrong. I would hate to see all this history just disappear.
About the authors:
K.C. Wells lives on an island off the south coast of the UK, surrounded by natural beauty. She writes about men who love men, and can’t even contemplate a life that doesn’t include writing.
The rainbow rose tattoo on her back with the words 'Love is Love' and 'Love Wins' is her way of hoisting a flag. She plans to be writing about men in love - be it sweet and slow, hot or kinky - for a long while to come.
If you want to follow her exploits, you can sign up for her monthly newsletter.
You can stalk – er, find – her in the following places:
KC’s Men In Love (my readers group)
Parker Williams loves the written word. The discovery of MM romance, as well as a chance encounter with an amazing author, changed the course of his life as he began to write the stories his men were whispering to him. With the help of some amazing friends and a community of writers he’s proud to be part of, Parker continues telling stories of love, hurt, comfort, and sometimes tosses in a little angst for fun.
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Promotional post. Materials provided by the authors.