A Fabric Hearts story...
Tate Buchanan is a troublemaker who can’t keep a job, no matter how many times his lucky argyle sweater gets him hired. Add to that a learning disability and an impetuous nature that sends him into altercations to protect the defenseless, and he hardly manages to make friends, let alone find a man who’s interested in him for more than one night.
Most people think EMT Jaime Escobar is a player, but the truth is he wants a serious partner—he just can’t justify wasting time on guys he knows aren’t a match. But when he treats a gorgeous redhead after a fight, he finds the spark he’s spent so many years looking for.
Jaime wants to take the next step with Tate, but it’s clear Tate’s not going to curb his impulsive behavior—his next fight sends him to the hospital. Jaime’s relationship with a near criminal isn’t something his family is ready to accept, not any more than Tate is willing to be kept a secret. Jaime will need a lot of understanding—and some luck of his own—to keep them both. But this is one fight he’s going to see through to the end.
Cat gives this one 5 Meows with a 2 Purr heat index...
I adore the covers to this series, and I can see Tate in this cover. Just add Argyle is another great addition to this series. Just Add Argyle is book three in Fabric Hearts, but you can read them in any order.
Jaime is an EMT and has a little money from an inheritance. He isn't egotistical and doesn't brag about his wealth. As a matter of fact if it isn't talked about late in the book you really don't know it's there. Jaime is getting tired of hookups and with his best friend and cousin Caleb settling down is wishing he could too. But he doesn't know how to find the right person. It surely isn't on Grindr or a club. So he takes extra shifts. One one night shift he gets a call to a fight at a mini golf course. When he arrives, he sees a little redhead that reminds him a lot of a man he cared about. Not in looks but attitude. The man was small but had taken on two enormous guys that were attempting to rape a small blonde.
Tate is Jaime's opposite. Much smaller, fiery temper, anger management problems, and poor as a church mouse. Tate can't hold down a job and hates being called stupid. He automatically is attracted to Jaime but knows the EMY is out of his league.
I adored Tate. You can't help but feel sorry for him. The poor guy has been dealt a really crappy hand in life. Even though they are opposites in every way, Tate and Jaime click like pieces of a puzzle. I love all the characters in this series, and I think Tate has become my favorite. The story line is fast-paced, intriguing and it is a great feel-good romance.
If you are looking for a happy, sweet romance like opposites attract, interracial romance, firey redheads, sexy EMTs, and an allover feel-good love story you will love this one!
Monday night, on Tate’s walk from the library, he decided to detour past Area 52. Dusk was falling, and Tate still faced the dilemma of going home while his mother was awake, or pretending to be at work and finding places to kill time.
He suspected Kris would have given his notice Friday night, but just in case, Tate decided it couldn’t hurt to see if he was working. See how he was doing.
Instead of sneaking around the back, Tate walked up like any paying customer, not that he’d be spending his dwindling funds on minigolf of all things. Even though he’d been fired from this job too, he hoped intervening on Kris’s behalf wouldn’t get him chased off the property.
An older couple stood in front of the cash register, paying for their golf game. Tate shifted to the side so he could see the cashier. Kris’s shock of blond hair looked the same as ever, but the face underneath was tired and almost as pale as Tate’s natural state.
Once the couple had taken their golf balls and clubs, moving on to the first hole, Kris glanced Tate’s way, mouth opening on a halfhearted greeting. Then his eyes widened in recognition.
“Tate! Oh my God, Tate!” He barreled out from behind the counter and flung his arms around Tate’s neck.
Unused to such behavior, Tate simply stood there while Kris squeezed and gave him a big fat kiss on the cheek.
“Tate, my hero.”
Heat washed up Tate’s neck and into his cheeks. He wasn’t anyone’s fucking hero. “Kris, don’t say that.”
“I forgot how pink you can get.” Kris’s smile was wide and genuine, but that didn’t change the fact that there was a hardness about him, sharp edges where before he’d been made of cotton candy with puppy-dog eyes.
“I just wanted to….” Obviously Kris wasn’t okay. He probably wouldn’t be okay for a while. “Check on you. I didn’t know if you’d maybe quit.”
Kris shrugged. “I thought about it. But I need the job—I took the year off to work before going to college, and I’m headed there in the fall. This is a decent place.”
Tate didn’t know what else to say, and he couldn’t exactly hang out here like a loser. “Well, maybe I’ll stop in again.”
“Wait, don’t go.” Kris grabbed his arm. “I’m so glad you came by. I didn’t know how to get in touch with you, and I really wanted to thank you.”
Tate didn’t know what to say to that. But a rumble in his stomach filled the silence between them, and Kris smiled again.
“Come eat dinner with me. Please?”
Tate stared at him for a minute. “Not at the picnic tables?”
Kris paled. “Uh, no. Not ever again, I don’t think.”
That was more like it. He’d have thought Kris super brave or super crazy if he was ready to eat after dark down at the picnic tables so soon after his ordeal.
“No. Chickie’s is just next door. We can eat there. My treat.”
How fucking pathetic was it that a pre–college student was going to buy him dinner because he couldn’t afford to eat at Chickie’s and hadn’t eaten since he’d splurged on an egg sandwich for breakfast? Yesterday he’d only eaten half of Mrs. Birenbaum’s turkey sandwich, when she insisted she wasn’t hungry enough to eat both halves.
But he was too hungry to say no.
“Sure. That would be great.”
Kris led Tate back down to the sidewalk.
While they’d been inside, full dark had fallen, and now the katydids sang their nighttime humidity songs.
Tate still didn’t know what to say, and Kris didn’t seem interested in breaking the silence. Not that walking along the Irlo Bronson Highway was ever silent; cars roared past all times of the day and night.
In a surprisingly short time, they were settled in a pink vinyl booth, their black trays laden with burgers, fries, and soft drinks.
Partway through their meal, Kris put his burger down and stared so intently at Tate—or rather, Tate’s black eye—that he also felt obliged to pause in his dinner. Not a bad thing, really. It was more food at one sitting than he was used to, and his stomach was getting full.
“You must think I’m an idiot.”
Tate shook his head. “No, I’d never think that.” Kris didn’t get fired from every fucking job he had—obviously the kid wasn’t an idiot.
“They’d come in earlier that day.” Kris dropped his gaze to the table. “I flirted with them both. Invited them to come back for the end of my shift. I thought it would be… sexy. Having a threesome, you know?”
Tate lifted a shoulder. He had a hard enough time finding one guy he could have sex with who he didn’t want to punch for being an asshole. Two seemed like too much trouble. “Hey. You don’t have to tell me anything.”
“I owe you an explanation,” Kris whispered to the table.
“You don’t owe me anything. I’m glad I was there.” Because there was pretty much no way Kris had been getting out of that on his own, not gagged and held down by two larger men.
“I can’t believe I was so stupid.”
“No. Not stupid. They had no right to take what you weren’t willing to give. They’re the assholes, not you.”
Kris lifted his head, eyes wet and red-rimmed. Poor kid. Once that sunshine and rainbows innocence was gone, it was gone for good.
He sniffed and wiped at his eyes with the back of his hand. “I, uh, never did find out. What were you doing there? Did you hear something?”
Tate shoved a couple of fries in his mouth before he answered. God, he fucking hated having to admit to people how pathetic he was. “Got fired. Couldn’t go home that early, and I remembered the picnic area would probably be empty at that time of night, but found you there and… well….”
“You were just going to sit in the dark? For hours?”
Kris pouted. If Tate were another sort of man, he’d probably be attracted, but even if Kris wasn’t too young for him, Kris wasn’t his type. An image of Jaime flashed in his mind, but he ruthlessly shoved it aside. Even if he ever saw Jaime again, there was zero chance he was gay or that he’d be interested in Tate. But he couldn’t deny Jaime seemed much like his ideal man.
Fortunately Kris wasn’t attracted to him either, so Tate didn’t have to worry about Kris taking this meal or his actions to indicate interest. Which might be why Kris was so comfortable with him now.
“I’m so conflicted.”
Uh-oh. Maybe he was wrong about Kris’s level of interest. “How so?”
“I want to be upset you got fired, but I can’t, because I’m so fucking happy you were there. The right place at the right time.”
The tension in Tate’s shoulders bled out. “Oh. Well, you know me and jobs. Don’t be upset I got fired.” Tate got upset enough for both of them. And in this case, he found himself glad as well. First job he’d ever been happy to lose, truth be told.
“Find anything else yet?”
Tate shook his head, then pointed at his bruised eye. “Nah. No one wants to hire someone who looks like they get in fights all the time.”
“Hey, maybe you could ask Mr. Singh for your job back. I’m sure he’d be grateful enough to hire you back.”
Not likely. Mr. Singh had been a decent enough boss, but Tate didn’t think he’d ever be forgiven enough to get hired back. Area 52 hadn’t been one of his normal fuckups: messing up money or showing up way late for his shifts. Nope, he’d almost gotten in a fight on the greens, right beside a statue of a gray-faced, wide-eyed alien like they showed in the tabloids.
A couple of drunk college guys had started calling a group of younger guys names—faggot, cocksucker, things like that. The younger boys didn’t have any way to retaliate, and they were getting upset. As in, having their evening ruined, one or more of them going to end up in tears kind of upset. Tate hadn’t been able to let it go. If Mr. Singh and one of the other employees hadn’t rushed out when they did, blows would have been exchanged. Mr. Singh had been regretful when he fired Tate, but he’d also been firm and determined. At least Tate had managed to get those college thugs banned for life, and the younger guys a handful of free passes.
“Don’t worry about me, Kris. I’ll find something. I always do.” Even if each new job search seemed more useless than the one before.
“Let me know if I can help, okay? And….” Kris smiled shyly at him. “Maybe you could come back and keep me company at dinner again sometime. Or we could just hang out and do something.”
Tate let himself smile back. “Yeah. Maybe we could do that.” Maybe Tate’s anger had finally done something useful and given him a friend. Friends weren’t easy to come by.
KC Burn has been writing for as long as she can remember and is a sucker for happy endings (of all kinds). After moving from Toronto to Florida for her husband to take a dream job, she discovered a love of gay romance and fulfilled a dream of her own -- getting published. After a few years of editing web content by day, and neglecting her supportive, understanding hubby and needy cat at night to write stories about men loving men, she was uprooted yet again and now resides in California. Writing is always fun and rewarding, but writing about her guys is the most fun she’s had in a long time, and she hopes you’ll enjoy them as much as she does.
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