"If you want a story about men “destined to be together”, this is a good one for you. Like quite a few of Stormy Glenn's characters, Nicky (who likes making a home and is good at photography) and Troy (a dedicated cop) just know they belong together. They are presented with their share of obstacles, however, before they can sit back and start the life they have both dreamed about. Nicky is lonely, and he makes the mistake of moving in with the wrong guy just because he wants someone so badly he can taste it. The moment Bruce lifts a hand against him, though, he is out of there. Unfortunately, Bruce is not one to give up easily and Nicky ends up in danger and on the run for quite a while. Meeting Troy makes him happy and he realizes quickly they belong together, especially since Troy accepts Nicky the way he is. I liked that Nicky wasn't the weak or even submissive character in the relationship. He doesn’t accept being called a girl just because he likes making a home, loves embroidery, and is an excellent cook. Troy may be a tough cop, but he is as lonely as Nicky. Once they meet, Troy quickly becomes very protective, but doesn’t ross the line into telling Nicky what to do. Well, he does try once, for Nicky’s protection, but is quickly “told off” and learns his lesson. The way Troy accepts Nicky and stands by him is wonderfully heartwarming. Then there's Nicky's abusive ex-lover, Bruce, who beats him up whenever he can find him—and the bastard is determined to find Nicky as often as possible and get him to come back to him. There's also the complication of Nicky's older brother Jamie who doesn't listen to him...and also happens to be Troy's partner at work. If you like stories about physically weaker men who are mentally just as strong and determined as their more macho counterparts, if you like reading about “destined” couples, and if you’re looking for a read that is sweet and hot at the same time, then you will probably like this novella." -- Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews
Troy took another sip of his beer and watched Graham shoot the white cue ball across the green felt-top table. He chuckled when Graham missed the ball he aimed at entirely, the cue ball bouncing off the side of the table then rolling to the middle. The snarl on the man’s face told the tale. Graham took the game of pool way too seriously.
Troy liked pool as much as the next guy, but he never understood Graham’s fascination with the game. Graham loved it. He probably slept with a pool cue in his bed. From his grouching, Graham wasn’t sleeping with anything else in his bed.
Now that, Troy understood. He’d been going through a pretty long dry spell himself. He hadn’t been out on a date in months let alone had anyone in his bed. He tried to chalk it up to the new job and all, but he knew he was lying to himself.
Troy was tired of the constant dating rat race. Cruise the bars and find a guy, take him home and see if he’s the one. After he leaves, try it all over again. Troy could count the number of second dates he’d been on in the last year on one hand. There hadn’t been any third dates.
He just wanted to find a nice guy, settle down, and have a family. Unfortunately, most of the gay men he’d met lately just wanted to get laid. And while sex was nice—great, even—it didn’t hold him in the middle of the night and make him feel needed and wanted. It didn’t make him feel loved. It didn’t make him feel like he mattered to someone special.
No, Troy wanted something more. He wanted to build something with someone, have that special person to come home to after a hard day at work. He wanted a partner. And he wanted the great sex that went along with being with someone he loved.
“Is Sammy going to make it tonight?” Jamie asked. “Do I finally get to meet him?”
Troy chuckled and shook his head. “I invited him, but knowing my brother he’s forgotten by now. The man’s lost without a keeper. Don’t get me wrong, I love Sammy to death but he would forget to eat unless I called him regularly.”
“Sounds tough.” Jamie chuckled, shaking his head lightly. “I have to warn you, I’m not sure Nicky is much better. Granted, he can cook like a dream, but he has a way of getting himself into fixes that defy belief.”
“He can cook?” Troy sat up straighter. “You didn’t say he could cook.”
Jamie chuckled again, this time with a vast amount of amusement. “Did I forget to mention that?”
“Uh, yeah,” Troy replied. He was a lousy cook, but he loved food. The two did not mix. Granted, he cooked well enough to get by, but it wasn’t gourmet. Sometimes what came out of the oven—or in most cases, the microwave—wasn’t even very edible.
A grimace worked its way across Jamie’s lips, the man shaking his head. “My brother is into some weird stuff. I should probably warn you about that now.”
Troy’s eyebrows shot up. “Drugs?”
“God, no! Nicky would never do drugs.”
“Then what?” He didn’t know what to think when Jamie sighed, stared down at his beer. “Jamie?”
“Nicky’s a good guy but sometimes I think he spent too much time in the kitchen with Mom.” Jamie shrugged. “Maybe I should have made him come outside with me more often or something. He just seemed to really like spending time with Mom and—”
“Jamie,” Troy cut in, “you still haven’t told me what he’s in to.”
“I guess it doesn’t really matter.” Jamie sighed again as he met Troy’s gaze. “It’s not like you guys are going to be best buds or anything. I just want you to meet him.”
“Just don’t…don’t be surprised if Jamie seemed a little girlie. He’s a good guy. He just isn’t very…guyish.”
Troy’s eyebrows rose again. “Is that even a word?”
Jamie chuckled, some of the seriousness leaving his face. “You’ll understand when you meet Nicky.” Jamie stood. “I’m going to go use the john. Order me another beer.”
Troy rolled his eyes and got up from his seat. He started toward the bar, paused, and looked over at Graham. “You want another beer, too?”
“Naw, I’m good,” Graham replied, holding up a half-empty beer bottle. “Two beers and I’m pretty much done for.” He wiggled the beer bottle in his hand. “This is beer two.”
Troy chuckled and walked over to the bar. He held up two of his fingers to the bartender then turned and leaned back against the bar top, scoping out the people in the room. Peabody’s Pub was actually a nice place for a gay bar.
The lights were not too bright, but they lit up the place enough so there weren’t any guys in back corners getting it on. The place was tastefully decorated, with pool tables at one end, tables and chairs at the other, and the bar counter in the middle against the wall.
Troy glanced toward the front entrance when the door opened. . Troy felt the air rush from his lungs as his groin tightened almost painfully when the most stunning man he’d ever laid eyes on walked in.
The man was smaller than Troy. Much smaller, which made this instant attraction all the more stunning. Troy usually preferred men closer to his own size. He liked knowing he held onto a man in his arms and not a breakable china doll.
He might have to change that idea.
Nicky stared at Troy’s generously curved mouth and licked his lips. “Can I kiss you?”
“I’d like that very much.” Troy’s voice sounded so husky that it sent a chill of excitement down Nicky’s spine.
He looked down at Troy’s lips again. He hesitated, afraid of screwing up. The first kiss was always so important. Finally, unable to stop himself any longer, Nicky leaned in and pressed his lips against Troy’s. The light contact immediately sent the pit of his stomach into a swirl. Nicky felt like he just kissed a light socket. Every nerve ending in his body was firing off at the same time.
He used his tongue to trace the soft fullness of Troy’s lips before delving inside to explore. A strong, heady flavor blasted across Nicky’s tongue, a taste unique to Troy and one that Nicky knew he’d crave for the rest of his life.
“I could live on your kisses,” Nicky moaned. He knew kissing Troy was one thing he would want a lot of if they were going to try a relationship together. Nicky loved kissing.
Nicky groaned, pressing himself against Troy’s solid body, but it wasn’t enough. He needed more. He needed skin. Nicky reluctantly pulled his lips away from Troy’s and sat up, swinging his leg over Troy’s lap until he straddled the man.
“I need to feel you,” he said as he grabbed the edge of his shirt and pulled it over the top of his head. He tossed it over the back of the couch then settled his hands on Troy’s massive shoulders. “I think I might die if I don’t feel your hands on me.”
Troy solved that problem by instantly wrapping his hands around Nicky’s torso. Nicky sighed at the gentle touch, arching into Troy. “Oh my God, Troy, your hands,” he cried out. “Your hands are wonderful.”
Nicky wanted to experience more of Troy’s touch, but the man suddenly tilted him backward. Nicky looked to find Troy studying the bruises on his sides. Nicky groaned. “Please, we’ll talk about them later.”
Troy arched an eyebrow. “We will talk about this later, Nicky, and I’ll want the complete truth.”
“Yes, anything, just please, touch me,” Nicky begged, crying out when Troy began to stroke his naked skin. He shuddered when he felt Troy’s lips kiss his shoulder, his collarbone, down his chest.
Nicky concentrated on touching Troy back, stroking his luscious skin, and there was so damn much of it. He could explore Troy’s body for hours, especially the smattering of hair across his chest that narrowed to a small trail leading down under the waistline of his jogging pants. Nicky wanted to follow it with his tongue.
When he leaned forward to lick at the small pulse beating in Troy’s throat, Troy’s hands slipped around to his back. Troy stroked up Nicky’s spine then back down again to grab his ass through his jeans.
Nicky snapped his hips forward in surprise then pushed back against Troy’s hands. When Troy’s hand pushed under the waistline of his jeans and skimmed the crevice at the top of his ass, Nicky lost whatever was left of his mind.
He rose on his knees, reached to unbutton his jeans, then pushed them down. His hard cock sprang free and slapped against Troy’s stomach. Troy’s hands instantly slipped farther down the crack of Nicky’s ass.
Troy suddenly lifted Nicky in the air, and he yelped. Before he knew it, Troy stripped Nicky’s jeans off and spun him around to sit back down on Troy’s lap, his back resting against Troy’s chest.
Troy’s hands were immediately back on his body, trailing down his chest, caressing his nipples, stroking his cock. Nicky arched into Troy’s touch, overwhelmed by the sensations burning through him.
Nicky laid his head against Troy’s shoulder, turning slightly to kiss and lick at the man’s throat. He wrapped his arms around Troy’s neck and pulled his head down into a kiss, his hands clenching in Troy’s hair.
“Spread your legs, baby,” Troy whispered against his lips.
Nicky spread his legs. His breath hitched in his throat when he felt the massive shaft moving between his thighs. He broke away from Troy’s lips and looked down, stunned by the size of the cock rubbing against him.
“It’ll never fit.”
Troy chuckled. “It will fit, baby, don’t you worry.”
Nicky shook his head in disbelief. Troy’s cock was huge. Even with Nicky sitting on Troy’s lap, the thick shaft was almost equal in length to Nicky’s cock. He watched in stunned amazement as Troy wrapped his hands around both of their cocks and began stroking them together.
It looked so exotic.
It felt even better.