Everyone dreams of a distant relative leaving them a fortune in their will, right?
At twenty-five, Lake White lives in New York City with his best friend and their roommate. He works at a bookstore, feeling content, but never quite happy. He’s vowed he’ll never return to Illinois where his parents disowned him for wanting to live his life authentically.
Then, one visit from a lawyer changes everything. Not only does it reveal that one of Lake’s favorite authors was actually his late aunt Ruth, but that she’d left him Twin Star Rescue, her life’s work. There are caveats, because of course there are. Lake can’t just decide whether to keep or sell the rescue right away. The book rights, those are squarely his, but there’s also the question of her last manuscript that’s unfinished. Could Lake finish writing it?
Twin Star Rescue’s foreman, Theo Fenton, isn’t the easiest guy to understand or get along with. Having just lost his best friend and boss Ruth, Theo is trying to protect everything Ruth represented to him and the others in their circle. Some city kid with his two friends coming to mess everything up doesn’t seem like a good idea.
At couple of years short of forty, Theo has cultivated his life into what he wants it to be. Sure, he has trouble making romantic connections with people, but he has great friends, a job he loves, and the best dog he could ask for. What else does a guy need?
Together, Lake and Theo navigate the various tasks of the rescue, the animals that need their help, all their friends and found family, and their mutual animosity turning into something more positive. The universe never stops giving them more surprises along the way, because where would the fun be in that?
Lake gestured at the back of the vehicle. “Can you help me with these?”
When I frowned, my brain blipping at what he meant, Lake took it the wrong way.
“I know you’re the foreman here, but I didn’t think asking you to lift some luggage would be that beneath you.” Lake snorted and opened the back door, then lifted down a couple of heavy-looking suitcases and an assortment of other bags, while I tried to catch up mentally.
“Yeah, Theo. Why don’t you help your boss out?” Hudson taunted, smirking.
I shot him a finger. “Fuck off. Move this monstrosity before someone thinks it’s fine to park here.” Nobody would and we both knew that, but I got to snark at my friend.
Lake glanced at us, then shook his head and murmured something that sounded a lot like “straight men.”
Right, Lake and River both were quite clearly, if not gay, at least openly queer. It was hard to say anything about Rey, but then he was a kid so what did it matter. Not that anyone’s sexuality mattered to me anyways. I’d never gotten the hookup culture and while I’d tried to get it at Ruth’s insistence that I should, I hadn’t found anyone who would really make it all worthwhile, regardless of their equipment or self-expression.
Hudson, meanwhile, was straight. At least that’s what Ruth and I had always thought. He’d been married until about a year ago and hadn’t started dating yet as far as I could tell.
Sierra had had a crush on Hudson for years, but she never took it too seriously. Besides, she leaned more towards women and said that Hudson’s “Daddy energy” wasn’t for her, whatever that meant.
I grabbed the two closest pieces of luggage and stomped my feet on the door mat to get some of the dirt and dust off. Then I stepped inside, hoping that everything would go okay.
Hudson hadn’t told me what Lake wanted to do with the place, or any of the details other than for the time being, I had my job and home.
I knew whatever it was Hudson had read in Ruth’s will, he would’ve told it to Lake first. For one, Lake was actual blood family and the primary inheritor. But for two, despite Ruth having been my best friend, I was an employee.
Ruth had told me years ago that she wanted to leave her nephew the book rights. That seemed reasonable. Hudson, once he’d come back from New York from meeting with Lake, had actually told me that Lake worked at a bookstore but had had no idea who his aunt had been.
I put the luggage on the floor in the hall and went back to pick up more pieces. Lake was struggling with two of the largest ones, but he glared at me when he saw me looking, so I picked up the rest instead of trying to help him with his burden.
One of Lake’s suitcases had a squeaky wheel, and it made my headache worse. I grimaced.
When Lake noticed and raised a brow, I rumbled out, “That’s a bit loud.” And nodded at the offending piece of luggage.
Lake glanced at the thing, and his features darkened with anger. “Well, we’re all a bit loud, so you better get used to it.” Then he huffed and marched toward where they could hear his friends talking in the kitchen.
For a moment, I didn’t get it. Then I realized the other suitcase, the non-squeaky one, was violently pink. With all sorts of stickers on it, including unicorns and rainbows and pride flags.
I groaned. “For fuck’s sake ...”