When layoffs hit Jim LaRue’s company, his first concern isn’t for his own job, it’s for his friend and coworker, Tommy Graves. Tommy’s going through a bitter divorce, and he’s closing on a new home. Losing his job would mean losing the house—and the fresh start he desperately needs. Jim can’t let that happen to the man he’s secretly in love with, so he proposes a swap: his job for Tommy’s.
Now out of work, Jim reluctantly agrees to help Tommy remodel. He needs the income, but he can’t stand being a charity case—especially not when things between them start heading in a direction he hardly dared hope for. The strain drives a wedge between them, and a confrontation might spell the end of their relationship.
Buy links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Cat gives this one 4 Meows with a 4 Purr heat index...
I really was into this book. The Characters are all so interesting and I really loved Tommy and Joe both. I loved how they both had secret crushes, and how Joe gave up so much for Tommy. The story was really interesting and man though the sex was slow built when we got it at 75 percent it was smokin! And then the story just ended. It was like reading along and suddenly slamming on your brakes. I was disappointed. Not because of it being a bad thing but because i wanted more. so much more. I think this would have been even better in a full-length Novel.
If you like friends to lovers, coming out of the closet, straight to gay or gay for you and some really hot man-sex this is definitely for you.
OF COURSE the first person Jim ran into after leaving Keith’s office was Tommy, coming down the hall wiping his hands on a rag, huge smile appearing on his face as he saw Jim.
“Hey! I have some great news. But first, is the boss still in his office?”
“Uh, nope.” Jim winced as Keith’s unmistakable voice just then called for his secretary. “Well, yeah, but he’s on the phone. Really busy. Too busy to talk. Why, what’s up?”
“Oh.” Tommy stopped in his tracks. “I just wanted to ask him about the time off.”
For a brief one-track moment, Jim’s brain thought he’d said “layoff.” He finally caught up mentally. “Time off? What time off?”
Tommy’s grin resurfaced, transforming his regular features into something memorable and special. “Got the official closing date on the house, so need to take a morning off to break my hand signing my name about a gazillion times.”
“That’s great, man.” Tommy’s grin was contagious, and Jim mentally clapped himself on the back for what had just gone down. Tommy had gone through two years from hell, culminating in a nasty divorce this winter that left him broken and silent. After a couple months of doing a great imitation of the walking dead, he finally got interested in living again—by house hunting. Tommy was a serial renter like Jim, but all the hoopla about the record low interest rates and bottomed-out market got Tommy excited about maybe buying a house of his own. A new start, he’d called it.
So Jim had tagged along on many of Tommy’s weekend house hunts and open-house crawls. Not sure just how serious Tommy was, but glad he was embracing life again, Jim humored him as they went through home after home. And then one day, they’d found it—the house. A fixer, yeah, but all stuff that Tommy was well capable of turning around given enough time; a grand old place with great bones under the bad-decorating taste and poor upkeep. It was a short sale, listed for a song, so Tommy had made his best offer and sweated through the long wait for an answer. Finally, in late April, he got the good news.
He tuned Tommy back in. “…and got a call from the title company to set up the appointment. This is it! Gonna hand over my check in two weeks and sign everything and get the keys. Then I can get to work on the renovations. Gave my apartment complex my thirty-day notice last week. I figure I can live in part of it while I do the work. You know. One bathroom at a time, do a lot of takeout and grilling while I do the kitchen. That sort of thing.”
There was a pause, and Jim tried to insert a congratulatory comment, but Tommy barely took a breath before he was off again. “Guess it’ll take me about two months to get it all done in the evenings and on weekends. Depends on the subs I hire too, I guess, but I’m thinking most of it either I can handle or we can do it together.”
Jim blinked at his inclusion in the project, and some of it must’ve shown on his face, because Tommy suddenly reddened, smile disappearing in a flash. “Sorry, making assumptions there. But thought maybe I could talk you into helping out with some things that need four hands instead of two.” Said hands—capable, with long fingers that looked more suited to an artist than a machinist—were currently twisting themselves into knots. Jim knew Tommy’s self-esteem had taken a huge hit when most of his so-called friends had disappeared—or worse, turned on him—during the course of his toxic marriage and divorce.
“Of course I’ll help. Every minute I can spare.” From job hunting, he finished in his head.
“Thanks, Jim.” Tommy’s throat worked as he swallowed before adding sincerely, “It’s good to have someone I can count on for a change.”
“No sweat, Maestro.” His response turned on that smile again. Oh, he’s killing me here.
Jim felt a stirring in his groin and knew it was time to go before he shocked the hell out of his friend. Tommy had no idea that his good buddy Jim was an equal opportunity kind of guy. With a soft spot—hard spot?—for a certain blond machinist….
“Gotta get back to work. I’d say leave a note in Keith’s box about the morning off.” Jim walked away, trying to make himself scarce before he did something else he would regret. He’d already fulfilled today’s quota of crazy moments. Three more hours until the meeting.
Four more hours until he was unemployed.
Am I being a schmuck or noble?
Jim gave a humorless little laugh as he reached his familiar workstation, looking at it with new eyes. Pretty fine line between the two… and he was straddling it.
Oh, his aching balls….
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