A Little Bit Like Love, an all-new sexy STANDALONE MM romance from Brooke Blaine is available NOW!
A Little Bit Like Love by Brooke Blaine
Publication Date: July 27th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance/MM Romance
What if you had everything in the world you wanted…except the man you’d left behind?
Jackson Davenport, the charismatic, strait-laced heir to the Davenport fortune, has a secret. One he’s been hiding since he graduated from South Haven all-boys academy—and that secret’s name is Lucas.
When a work trip takes Jackson back to his old stomping grounds, memories of the year he shared with Lucas come crashing to the surface. With growing pressure from his father to settle down and take over the family business, Jackson knows he’s on borrowed time, and sets out to find the free-spirited daredevil he once knew.
But Lucas isn’t the same man he was eight years ago.
One night. A shattered heart. And an endless parade of nameless faces. Lucas Sullivan is South Haven’s ultimate playboy, a reputation he’s honed since the only boy he ever loved left without a trace. To the world, he’s brash and confident, an in-demand artist who spends his days designing one-of-a-kind pieces and his nights as king of the downtown scene.
Many have tried and failed to get past the barrier he’s carefully constructed, but it’s the shy, studious boy he once coaxed out of his shell who still haunts him.
Maybe it was a mistake. Maybe it was lust. Or maybe…it was a little bit like love.
A Little Bit Like Love
© 2017, Brooke Blaine
Exclusive Excerpt for Love Bytes
“Where you from?”
I glanced up at the bartender, who was watching me as he capped a shaker and went about mixing the contents.
“How do you know I’m not from here?” I asked.
He poured the contents of the shaker across the line of shot glasses, filling them to the top, and then gave my khakis and white t-shirt a pointed look. “And that was before you opened your mouth.”
I frowned and looked down at my clothes. “What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?”
A quick glance at those lined up at the bar revealed just how horribly out of place I was. I looked like a preppy frat boy in a sea of jeans and leather.
“Well, thank you for the fashion advice”—I looked at the bartender’s nametag again—“Shaw.”
“Eh, don’t worry, Yank. I’m sure it’ll only help you get laid.”
Yeah, if the looks I was on the receiving end of were any indication, there were plenty of guys around to help me out of my fashion faux pas. Jesus, what am I doing here? I’d lost my mind. That was the only explanation.
Shaw nodded at my almost-empty beer. “Want another, Jersey boy?”
“Isn’t that where you’re from?”
He shrugged and popped the top off a bottle of beer before passing it to the guy next to me. “Close enough.”
Turning the bottle in my hands, I debated whether to grab another one and stay or whether to get out now before I called any more attention to myself. Before I could make up my mind, Shaw slid another full bottle in front of me.
“You look like you need it.”
With a sigh, I downed the rest of the first beer and then lifted the second one in salute. “Thanks, but I think this was a bad idea.”
“The beer or coming here?”
I opened my mouth, but didn’t know what to say that wouldn’t offend him. Had I known it was a gay club, I’d still be back at the hotel.
“Ah,” he said, his perceptive eyes catching my drift. “First time?”
“Sort of.” And what came out of my mouth next I had no explanation for, other than the beer had relaxed me and this guy seemed harmless enough. Besides, I didn’t know anyone there, and I’d never see them again, so what did it matter? “I’m in town for a few days and thought I’d…see about someone I used to know.”
“And now you’re thinking that was a mistake.”
Pointing my beer at him, I said, “Bingo.”
“This guy have a name?”
Shaw waited for an answer, and when it was apparent I wasn’t going to offer more, he laughed. “Well, if you need me to point you in his direction, let me know. Or if you just want to get it off your chest…” He shrugged. “I’m a vault.”
A vault, huh? The thought was tempting. I’d never been able to talk to anyone about Lucas before. And maybe if I could just see him then I’d realize I’d exaggerated everything in my mind and that the feelings I’d had back then were nothing more than a crush. A simple infatuation caused by loneliness and lack of options.
Leaning over the bar, Shaw met me halfway, and I whispered the name of the person I still tasted on my tongue when I closed my eyes at night.
“Really?” Shaw said, his eyes widened slightly as he straightened. “Well, if that’s who you have your eye on, you’re gonna need something a lot stronger than that. Especially tonight,” he said, nodding at the beer in my hand, and then he pulled two shot glasses from beneath the bar and filled them with tequila.
“Why does everyone keep saying that?”
“What?” he asked.
“Nothing.” Instead of my card, I pulled out cash from my pocket and held it out to him. “Thanks.”
“This one’s on the house.”
“Then keep it,” I said, shoving the fifty in his tip jar, as Shaw raised a brow. Then I picked up one of the shot glasses and, before I could think too much about it, gulped it down. The burn left my throat raw, but I picked up the second glass anyway, drinking it in one gulp and letting the trail of fire it left in its wake spread to my chest and through my veins. I should’ve done this earlier. Liquid courage first, tracking down Lucas second. I hadn’t even worked out what I would say to him if I saw him. Too many years had passed without a word. Would he even remember me now? High school was a long time ago, and maybe what had happened hadn’t meant as much to him as it had to me.
This had been stupid. A stupid, spur-of-the-moment mistake.
I should go. Get out of here before I did something really dumb, like actually find the guy and…do what, exactly? Way to think things through.
When I pushed the empty shot glass away and stood up, Shaw eyed me curiously, and he seemed to be debating with himself about something. Then his gaze traveled around the club, searching for someone. “If it’s Sully boy you want, he’s over there in the corner.”
It took me a minute to work out that he was talking about Lucas, and like he’d shocked me with a defibrillator, I jerked around, looking over at where Shaw had indicated. I couldn’t see him at first, only a crowd of bodies, some of whom were half-naked already, grinding on each other or dancing on their own. But then…
But then for a brief, flickering moment, the crowd parted, and the boy I’d once known came into view, only he wasn’t a boy anymore. He was a man—the most striking man I’d ever seen in my life, and the only one who’d ever had an effect on me. My body hummed, suddenly alive and aware as my focus zeroed in on Lucas and my cock stirred.
He’d shot up at least a couple of inches taller than I remembered, maybe about six one now, but he had the air of a man much larger, one who owned the room and everyone in it. With a cocky half-smile on his face, he eye-fucked the guy he was dancing with as those around him watched his every move, as though waiting for a chance to be the one who had his attention.
God, I couldn’t blame them. He was magnetic, his lean, muscular body undulating to the beat, and his head falling back as he lost himself in the music. His hair was shorter now, but just as inky black from what I could tell under the colored lights that flashed across his body, and I had the ridiculous urge to run my fingers through it the way I’d done the last time I’d seen him.
As the song changed into a slow-building track, his partner pulled a tiny bottle out of his pocket and twisted off the cap. Then he passed it to Lucas, who inhaled deeply in each nostril before passing it back for the guy to do the same. A few seconds later, as the music began to throb, Lucas moved in close, way too close, and arched into the guy so that the man’s hands fell to Lucas’s chest. Then he trailed his fingers down Lucas’s abdomen, dipping past the waist of his jeans—and I saw fucking red. Which was stupid, because he didn’t belong to me, and I didn’t even know him anymore.
So why do I care?
But when Lucas grabbed the guy’s wrists and flipped him around so his backside was against Lucas’s front, I let out the breath I’d been holding—though my relief would prove to be short-lived. Because then Lucas’s mouth moved to the man’s ear, and he whispered something that had the other guy biting his lip, and God, I wished whatever those words were, they had been spoken to me instead. The scene before me had my heart beating faster and my dick twitching as Lucas licked a path up the guy’s neck while his hand moved down to cup between his thighs.
Fuuuck. I knew exactly where this was heading, and what it was like to be the focus of that man’s attention, and the hunger for something I hadn’t even realized I’d been missing was like nothing I’d ever felt.
I had to get out of there. But I couldn’t bring myself to stop watching. I needed to see this. Needed to see that he’d moved on. That I no longer knew the man only a few feet away from me. That he was no longer my Lucas.
As if he’d heard me say his name out loud, Lucas’s eyes flicked up and met mine from across the room, and I caught fire.
My heart clenched.
And Lucas’s smile fell.
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You could say Brooke Blaine was a book-a-holic from the time she knew how to read; she used to tell her mother that curling up with one at 4 a.m. before elementary school was her ‘quiet time.’ Not much has changed except for the espresso I.V. pump she now carries around and the size of her onesie pajamas.
She is the author of Flash Point, a romantic suspense standalone, as well as the co-author of the erotic series, A Desperate Man, with Ella Frank. The latter has scarred her conservative southern family for life, bless their hearts. Licked, a romantic comedy, will be released November 11th, 2015 and is the first in the L.A. Liaisons series.
If you’d like to get in touch with her, she’s easy to find – just keep an ear out for the Rick Astley ringtone that’s dominated her cell phone for ten years.
Connect with Brooke:
FB Street Team- www.facebook.com/groups/TheBrellas/