Kyle has an unwelcome crush on his nemesis Brent. Brent has a welcome crush on his friend Kyle. As it turns out, the line between a friend and an enemy doesn’t have to be a line at all.
Born on the wrong side of the tracks to the wrong family, Kyle Potter has spent his life clawing his way toward a better future. When he gets the perfect job at the perfect firm in perfect Los Angeles, Kyle is sure there are only blue skies ahead. And then he meets perfect Brent Haralson.
Born with a silver spoon to a well-established family, Brent Haralson has never been interested in leveraging his connections. Friends, success, and dates come easily to Brent and rejection isn’t something he has to deal with in life. And then he meets perfect Kyle Potter.
Kyle despises his unwelcome crush on his lazy, arrogant nemesis. Brent welcomes his feelings for his stubborn, brilliant friend. As it turns out, the line between a friend and an enemy doesn’t have to be a line at all.
This is a 2nd edition without substantive changes from the 1st edition, which was part of the It Was Always You anthology.
Read Chapter 1 Here – http://cardenoc.com/en/book/rough-edges/excerpt
“You offered me a blow job.” Jaw ticcing, Kyle tightened his grip on his towel. “Screwing around about that when I’m already having a shit day is a dick move.”
If the white knuckles, narrowed eyes, and loud voice hadn’t been enough to telegraph Kyle’s anger, the cursing would have. The man was always so careful to put on the prim and proper persona he associated with success and wealth that he didn’t use what he referred to as gutter language. At least not when he thought someone was listening. But Brent had heard him mumble a few curse words now and then, usually after he’d been drinking or if they were out late at night, so he knew there was a different, more laid-back version of Kyle hiding under the stuffy act.
When Kyle started turning around, Brent finally got his brain working again. “It wasn’t a joke.” He let out a deep breath and stepped closer to Kyle. “Pizza’s at least forty minutes out so we have time now.”
The tightness left Kyle’s jaw and his posture softened. “If it takes you forty minutes to get the job done, you’re doing it wrong and I’ll finish it myself.”
Whether the jab was a byproduct of Kyle’s nervousness about taking Brent up on his offer or embarrassment at the possibility of being rejected, Brent didn’t know. Either way, he wasn’t offended. Harsh words were Kyle’s defense mechanism in situations where he felt vulnerable or out of place.
Moving even closer, he met Kyle’s gaze and whispered, “I’ll do the job so well you’ll wish we had more than forty minutes to devote to it.”
Nostrils flaring, Kyle gasped and Brent noticed movement under his towel. Making the best of his advantage, he wove his fingers through Kyle’s and tugged him toward the family room. There was plenty of space for him to kneel in front of the armchair in the corner, making it the perfect spot for what they were about to do. He walked Kyle over to it, pulled off his towel, and gently pressed his shoulder down.
“Have a seat.”
Without resisting or arguing, Kyle sat.
Not one for casual sex, Brent hadn’t ever gone down on a guy he hadn’t kissed or, for that matter, hugged. So his instinct was to climb onto Kyle’s lap and get close to him. He wanted to taste Kyle’s lips, feel Kyle’s body in his arms, hear Kyle whisper loving words in his ear. But he knew Kyle well enough to realize none of that would happen, so he ignored his own needs and lowered himself to the wood floor.
Although the words were barely audible, there was no missing the intensity of the desire fueling them, which encouraged Brent to keep going. This wasn’t his typical MO, but maybe letting go of typical would achieve what two years of unconventional friendship had not. Wedging himself between Kyle’s thighs, Brent tucked the towel under his knees, leaned forward, and inhaled.
“Mmm,” he moaned, loving the scent of man beneath the soap. “You smell good.” He swiped his tongue over Kyle’s sac and up his shaft. “Taste even better.” Brent curled a hand around each of Kyle’s thighs and pushed them farther apart, giving him better access to Kyle’s body. Access he immediately put to use by licking Kyle’s balls until they glistened with saliva.
“God,” Kyle said breathlessly.
Brent glanced up to see Kyle’s fingers digging into the chair’s arms, his head tipped against the back, his mouth open, and his eyes heavy-lidded. Keeping his gaze on Kyle’s face, he gently cupped his balls and then licked his way up his now fully erect dick.
“Love making you hard,” he confessed and then traced the ridge around the perimeter of Kyle’s cockhead with the tip of his tongue. When he eventually looked back down, he noticed liquid glistening on Kyle’s slit so he lapped it up. “Everything about you is delicious.”
Kyle panted in response, apparently speechless, which was something Brent hadn’t considered possible. He was inordinately proud of himself for taking the always rigidly in control Kyle Potter to a place where his mind seemed finally free, and he wanted to give Kyle more.
“Lift your legs onto the arms of the chair,” he said, his voice sounding gravelly to his own ears.
Chest heaving, Kyle stared at him uncomprehendingly. When he wasn’t being snarky, defensive, or resentful, Kyle looked younger, softer. He looked vulnerable. Brent’s heart warmed at the sight.
“Legs up.” Brent caressed Kyle’s calves and then gently lifted them up and out. “Rest them here.”
Blinking his eyes slowly, Kyle looked down at his legs and then at Brent’s face. He hesitated for a moment and then he did as Brent asked and set his legs onto the chair. In that position, Kyle’s hips were tilted up and his thighs were spread wide, leaving him completely exposed.
“Look at you,” Brent said, awed at the trust he was receiving. “So perfect.” He wrapped one hand around Kyle’s dick and tenderly trailed the fingertips of the other down his balls and through his cleft. He allowed himself to relish the soft, warm skin for a couple of minutes before he dipped his head forward and took his tongue down the path his fingers had enjoyed.
He looked up and saw a tinge of worry in Kyle’s eyes. “Shh.” He flattened his tongue and dragged it over Kyle’s pucker. “Just enjoy.”
When love’s on the line, the brave jump in with both feet…
Small town cop Clint Rivera can’t catch a break. His ex of two weeks is suddenly getting married, his dogs tore up his furniture, he’s getting evicted, and he’s out of beer. When he decides to solve his alcohol shortage by going to his ex’s engagement party, Clint winds up too drunk to drive himself home. Enter gorgeous deputy mayor Hawk Black, the man who constantly shows up unexpectedly and sends Clint’s body and mind into a tailspin with nothing but his whiskey voice and blue eyes.
After months of patience, Hawk can finally seduce the man he’s been craving. Clint’s day might not have started out well, but Hawk’s going to make sure it ends with a bang, preferably in bed. He’ll show Clint some rewards are worth the risk.
With love on the line, Clint will need to decide if he can open his heart, tear down his shields, and jump in with both feet.
This is a 2nd edition without substantive changes from the 1st edition.
Read Chapter 1 Here – http://cardenoc.com/en/book/jumpingin/excerpt
“Are you sure about this, sir?”
Was Clint sure he wanted to get the hell out of Dodge? “Yes.”
The valet fidgeted in front of the truck door. “You haven’t been in there very long and you seem a little, uh—”
Though Clint tried to stand patiently and wait until the valet moved, he found himself suddenly tipping sideways. But only his top half. He managed to catch himself by grabbing onto the side of the truck, which left him pressed against the valet.
“Sorry about that,” Clint slurred.
The valet whimpered.
“Did I hurt you?” Clint pushed himself back to a standing position. He gripped the side of the truck bed to help him stay stabilized.
“No,” the valet croaked. “I’m fine.”
“Great.” Clint looked at him meaningfully. When he didn’t move, Clint added, “So, I need to go.”
Still nothing from the valet.
“And you’re blocking the door.”
“You’re really muscular.”
“I mean hot,” the valet said in a panic, his neck turning red. “Drunk!” he shouted. “I mean you’re drunk.”
“I’m fine,” Clint assured him as he patted his shoulder. He was aiming for the shoulder, anyway. He made actual contact with his chest.
The red moved up the valet’s face all the way to the tips of his ears and he started hyperventilating.
“You look like you’re going to be sick,” Clint pointed out.
“I… I… I…” The guy stopped, took in a deep breath, held it for a few seconds, and then blew it out. “Please, sir. You’re not in any condition to drive and I wouldn’t want you to get hurt.”
Though his natural inclination was to get angry about anyone telling him what to do, Clint took a mental count of how much he’d had to drink in a short period of time and realized the guy was probably right.
“I need to get out of here,” he said, more to himself than the valet. “And it’s not like there are any taxi companies in Hawthorne.”
“Oh.” The valet gulped and looked up at Clint from underneath his lashes. “Things have slowed down with all the party arrivals. Maybe I can take you home and, uh, stay for a little bit.” He coughed. “Just to make sure you’re okay.”
Clint must have been drunker than he realized, because the offer wasn’t adding up.
“I’ll take him home.” Whiskey and gravel.
“Mister Deputy Mayor,” Clint said as he turned to the side and found himself face to face with Hawk Black. “It’s good to see you.” He would have offered to shake the man’s hand, or suck his dick, but if he let go of the truck, chances were high he’d fall.
“Call me Hawk,” the deputy mayor said to Clint and then he turned toward the valet and said, “I’ll take his keys.”
“Yes, sir.” With a disappointed sigh, the guy handed them over, looked at Clint sadly, and then shuffled away.
“I think he might be drunk or something,” Clint whispered. At least he hoped it was a whisper. His ears were ringing so it was hard to be certain.
“Somebody sure is.” Hawk smiled at Clint fondly as he circled his arm around Clint’s waist. “Let’s get you in the car.”
“I can walk.”
Hawk looked him over appraisingly. “Doubtful.” He started walking, taking Clint with him. “Besides, this gives me a chance to feel all those muscles that kid was talking about.”
“What kid?” Clint asked in confusion.
“The valet.” Hawk shook his head. “Damn, you’re toasted if you didn’t notice him drooling over you.”
“Never mind.” Hawk opened the passenger door, moved his palm up Clint’s back to his nape, and massaged him gently. “I’ve waited long enough. He’s out of luck.”
Dipping his face forward until his breath blew across Clint’s cheek, Hawk rasped, “Get in.”
A full-body tremor made its way through Clint and he lost the power of speech. Not that he’d been speaking so much as grunting.
“Come on, baby.” Hawk nudged him into the car. “Time to go.”
Had Hawk just called him “baby”?
“Buckle up,” Hawk said with a smirk.
Cardeno C. – CC to friends – is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few “awwws” into a reader’s day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno’s stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever- after sunset.
Cardeno’s Home, Family, and Mates series have received awards from Love Romances and More Golden Roses, Rainbow Awards, the Goodreads M/M Romance Group, and various reviewers. But even more special to CC are heartfelt reactions from readers, like, “You bring joy and love and make it part of the every day.”