Seven of J.D. Walker's best-selling holiday gay romance stories in one box set! Contains the stories:
And Good Will to All: When Lonnie “Mack” McDaniel returns to town after twenty years, Charles “Charlie” Mayburn is stunned. But he overlooks their past -- and the love he still feels -- and hires Mack for a job at his self storage facility. Charlie senses that Mack is hiding something, and finally discovers he’s homeless. Will the offer of a home be enough to heal Mack and let Charlie back into his heart—to stay, this time?
Boyfriend Countdown: Milo Slowiak doesn’t do relationships, hence his little black book. Nelson Agnew, a frequent buddy in Milo’s bed, has been fine with that, too, until Christmas Day, when he changes the rules. Now, Nelson wants a relationship, and Milo has until New Year's Day to make his decision. Milo is upset, but he can’t erase the feeling that he could be missing out on something good. Should he take the leap?
Grateful for You: Jared Gillespie left home five years ago because his boyfriend, Walt Schneider cheated on him. With a woman. What he doesn't realize is that Walt, the man he still loves was trying to tell him something, which Jared figures out after his mother convinces him to come home for Thanksgiving. Harsh truths are revealed and second chances become possible. Something to be grateful for.
Of Love and Feather Boas: Zachary Bodine can’t seem to move on from the betrayal of his ex, Maddox five years ago on Halloween. Lucius 'Lucille' Lombardi, a gorgeous drag queen is determined to change that. The plan? A few home-cooked meals, kisses, and Dinah Washington. When a surprise visitor appears on Halloween night, Zachary has to choose: let the past rule his life, or don a feather boa and grab hold of Lucius.
Paulie and the Wedding Bell Grouch: Paulie Hajek loves weddings and enjoys working for a wedding planner. What isn’t enjoyable is dealing with the wedding planner’s brother, Van Tremaine on a daily basis. Paulie’s heart was broken by Van a year ago because he wouldn’t commit to something permanent. But now, Van is up to something, and Paulie’s not sure if it will end up being everything he’s always wanted, or a disaster.
The Hippie Whisperer: Carl Neilson meets his match in Ben Brooker, an artist with questionable fashion sense and a garish hairstyle. Ben calls things as he sees them, including the way Carl uses his college-aged son Chester as a crutch. The truth is hard to take, but it forces Carl to look at himself in a new way. And in the end, a willingness to find love in unexpected places might be enough, in spite of it all.
A Hippie Independence Day: Carl Neilson and Benjamin “Ben” Brooker are total opposites, but they’ve made it work for over a year. Carl has made great strides in letting his son Chester live his own life, though he’s still being stubborn about getting rid of the Hawaiian shirts. This Independence Day, Ben will stop at nothing to get Carl to open up to him, and maybe make some fireworks of their own, in the process.
EXCERPT FROM "And Good Will to All"
I was on my way back to the office when, on a whim, I decided to do a quick walk around the facility. It was brisk outside, and I shivered beneath my thick wool jacket. I turned the corner to check the row where Lonnie’s unit was located and noticed his car was parked there. The door to his rental space was rolled up, too.
I walked behind his Honda and came face to face with a half-dressed Lonnie, naked from the waist up. As it was freezing outside, he was shaking and his nipples were hard. I could see goose bumps all over his exposed skin. I was flabbergasted.
“What the hell’s going on here, man?”
“It’s nothing.” He quickly donned the sweater he’d been holding and ran his hands through his unruly hair. His eyes were red and a little crusty in the corners. “I just needed a change of clothes, and I, uh, forgot that there was a stack of sweaters in a box in there.” He turned and moved quickly toward the roll up door when I finally noticed what he had in the unit. Oh God, no.
“What the fuck?” Caught, Lonnie moved out of my way as I advanced toward him. He hung his head and stuck his hands in his pants pockets.
Before me, there was a bedroll, a couple of really flat pillows with mildew spots, a flashlight, folding chair and some food wrappers. His battered cell phone was on the floor next to a bottle of water. From a plastic garment rack that leaned to the left hung his winter jacket, the slacks I’d seen him wear a lot and two Henleys.
I couldn’t believe it. “Are you ... are you living here, Lonnie?”
Still not facing me, I saw him nod reluctantly. I hardly knew what to think or how to respond.
“It’s fucking freezing out here. How the hell do you keep warm?”
“I sometimes sit in the car with the heater on.” He hunched his shoulders. I looked at the car, uncertain how a man of his height could be comfortable in there over a long period of time.
Words threatened to fail me. Now that I thought about it, I’d seen the vehicle on camera in front of his unit a few times, but the why of it had never occurred to me. I mean, why would it?
I rubbed my face a few times, then let my gloved hands fall away. “Why, Mack?” My nickname for him came out without conscious thought. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
He rounded on me. “Why would I? The popular kid in school who left town to conquer the world is fucking homeless? Brilliant, right? Must make you feel like saying ‘I told you so,’ huh?” He was like a wounded bear, his anger vicious, a live thing. I reminded myself that we didn’t have the kind of relationship we used to, and we were essentially starting over. Lonnie needed careful handling, but more than that, he needed a friend and a place to stay.
I made the only decision I could to help a proud man, down on his luck. “Okay, here’s what’s going to happen. You can sleep on the futon in the back room of the office until it’s your time to work. Then, you’ll do your shift, and in the morning, I’ll come get you and have Jenna work by herself for an hour or so while we get you situated at my place.”
His frank disbelief damn near broke my heart. “Why? Why would you do that, Charlie? After what I did, how I left you all those years ago?” Instead of making me uncomfortable, his use of my pet name told me how vulnerable he truly was.
“Mack, we were friends once upon a time, and I’d do anything to help a friend.”