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First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2005.
The more they get to know each other, the more they like what they see. Dakin has a life to go back to in Texas, though, and Jeff has his own in Canada. Is there any way for their budding romance to survive the thousands of miles separating them? The relationship seems doomed, but at the same time, it feels too right to give up without a fight.
Buy links: Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon
Cat gives this one 4 Meows with a 5 Purr heat index...
Dakin is going to Canada to an art gallery where he meets the director Jeff and its attraction from the get-go. The problem is Dakin has his ranch; Jeff has a good job where he is. Is it just lust they can walk away from or is it more?
From the get go, is a short story about falling in love in another country and learning to deal or make a new life decision. It's fun to read the story, with a quirky writing style and smoking hot man-sex. I wish there had been a bit more story than all the sex but its still a good, uplifting, quick read.
If you like a short story, cowboys, artists, leatherwork,instalove, and lots and lots of smokin man-sex, this is for you.
JEFF LET himself into the Sussex Gallery Tuesday morning, rolling his eyes as his cell phone went off. He was going to have to change the ringtone—he hated the new one already, and he’d only downloaded it on Monday.
Of course, if Jenni didn’t call every two minutes, the ringtones might have longer lifespans.
He pocketed the keys and flipped open his phone. “Yes, Lord and Master?”
“How did you know it was me? Never mind. Where’s my art? Have you got all the pieces yet? I’ve only met one of the artists. That quilter lady with the big hair. Is she for real? The gum chewing alone would make me crazy. The show’s on in less than a week, babe.”
He waited for her to run down as he sorted through the mail. “It’s always you. Your art is either here or en route. No, we don’t have all the pieces yet, but you don’t have to panic until Thursday. I don’t know if she’s for real, but maybe the gum chewing is because she quit smoking? And I’m well aware of my deadline—have I ever let you down?”
“No. But there’s always a first time.”
“And you’ll fire my ass and I like my job, so it’s not going to happen.” He chuckled. “Jenni, go back to schmoozing your guest list and let me do my job, okay?”
“Hey, it’s my job to tell you what to do, not vice versa.”
“All right, then, what do you want me to do?”
“Do your job so I can go back to schmoozing my guest list.”
Laughing, shaking his head, he hung up the phone and made sure the coffee was on.
In short order he had the gallery swept out, the inventory list in front of him, and a cup of coffee in one hand. Despite Jenni’s worries, they were actually pretty much on target. Only three artists’ pieces were still missing, and he had shipping numbers for two of them and assurances from FedEx that they’d be arriving first thing tomorrow.
He spent a couple of hours on the phone: making sure the artists knew how to get to the gallery, confirming they’d be at the opening, and reassuring several that of course they could come in on Friday morning and make sure they were happy with the placement of their art. Jeff shook his head—there were always one or two who changed things just for the sake of changing them, often to the detriment of the pieces. Jeff was good at his job. He might not be an artist himself, but he had an eye for display, and it was very rare that a change in placement by the artist improved the presentation.
Then he settled into the day’s work: filing paperwork and checking over the invite list to make sure everyone who was supposed to be invited to the opening had been. There were a million little details to be taken care of in the last week before a showing, and he enjoyed the pickiness of it—he liked knowing that things were running as they should be. Jenni would reap the praise on opening night, but Jeff knew those compliments would be offered thanks to his own hard work.
By the time the late afternoon sun was shining in on his desk in the little reception area, he’d crossed nearly everything off his to-do list for the day, and a few items for tomorrow were done as well.
He was congratulating himself on a day well spent when the door opened behind him, a soft clearing of throat calling his attention. “Excuse me, sir. I’m looking for a Mr. Tamrin?”
He turned, coming face-to-face with someone who looked (and sounded) like he was out of an Old West novel.
He smiled, delighted by this anomaly. “You’ve found him.” He held out his hand. “Jeff Tamrin.”
“Pleased.” The shake was firm and sure. Eyes so blue they had to be contacts smiled at him from a leathered face. “I’m Dakin McBride. I do the leather stuff? I have a truck full of stuff coming, so I reckoned I ought to introduce myself.”
“My missing art! Wonderful. It’s very nice to meet you.” And if he held on to Mr. McBride’s hand just a little too long, maybe the man would get the idea that it was very nice to meet him.
“Not missing at all. Waiting for a place to land.” Those blue eyes looked around the gallery, taking in the chaos, the lights. “Nice place.”
“Don’t judge her yet; she cleans up really well. Would you like the tour?” Or a drink? Lord, he needed to get out more.
The cell went off again and he sighed, flipping it open. “Not now, Jenni, I’m busy.” Then he closed it and gave Dakin McBride his best smile.
Dakin chuckled, took off the cowboy hat, and nodded. His dark hair was caught back in a tie, a mass of curls spreading over the back of his black shirt. “I’d love a look-see, if you have time. My boxes should be in town first thing in the morning.”
“Excellent. I’m looking forward to seeing your stuff. Jenni’s putting together an exciting exhibition.” He took Dakin’s arm to lead him into the main show area. “Oh! Do you want some coffee, Dakin? May I call you Dakin?”
“I’d love some, thanks, and Dakin’s fine.” He gave Jeff a warm, slow smile. “I’m around for a couple weeks, sight-seeing, so you might see a little of me.”
“That would be all right. I like the little I see so far.” Jeff detoured back to the counter with the pot and poured out a mug. “How do you take it?”
“Black, thanks.” There was a little hemp necklace resting around Dakin’s throat, a single hematite bead in the middle. Yum.
“Where are you staying?” he asked casually, handing the cup over and nodding back toward the main room.
“The… uh….” Dakin fumbled in his shirt pocket, squinting a little at a business card. “Capital Hill Suites? Seems nice enough, but not too harsh on the pocketbook.”
“They’re over on Albert, aren’t they? Being downtown is good—you can walk pretty much everywhere.” He strode into the middle of the large room. “This is the biggest room we have. It takes up most of the main floor, bar the reception area, a small office, and storage in the back. Upstairs are six smaller areas. You can see the large windows and skylights offer a lot of natural lighting. And we supplement with spots.”
“Yeah? I have a few entire hides—y’all realize they take up a lot of room, right?”
He doubted very much that Jenni realized it, but he’d done his homework before the invitations had been sent out. “Indeed. We’re planning on putting a few pieces from everyone down here on the main floor, and then a room for each artist upstairs. Did you want to see the room I’ve assigned you?”
He tried not to think how much that sounded like “come see my etchings.” Did people even say that, or was it apocryphal?
Guest post with Author Sean Michael...
The concept of The Novella...
There was a time when I wrote either short stories, 12,000 and under, or novels, 50,000 and up. Those were my sweet spots and, at the time, what all the calls were looking for. Then came From the Get Go.
Jeff and Dakin gave me 27,000 words and they weren’t budging. No, there wasn’t any more story. I had done my job, taking dictation as they told me the tale of how they met and now they were done, thank you very much. Go away, leave them alone. They didn’t need me anymore.
What was this that I’d just written? It wasn’t a short story. Not even a really long short story. And it wasn’t a novel. Not even a really short novel. It was a novella. But I didn’t write novellas. They weren’t anywhere near my sweet spot. But they were done and that was that.
It was also the beginning of the novella turning into my sweet spot. Oh, I was still writing shorter and longer works, but I was doing a lot of 25,000 to 45,000 works as well.
The funny thing is that now, 27,000 words is short for me and if I’m writing for a call that’s less than 20,000 words, I need to make sure the guys in it have already met because nine times out of ten, less than 20,000 words isn’t enough time to do more than have them first get together.
So thank you Jeff and Dakin, you were the beginning of the longer story that wasn’t a novel in my writing career.
I hope you all enjoy them.
Smut fixes everything
Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.
Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.
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