No Shame Series Book 4
Release date: January 26, 2017
Cover Design: Sloan Johnson/Sloan J Design
Buy Link: Amazon
Brad feels nothing but shame about himself. Shame about his sexual needs, about his reputation, about his medical problem no one knows about. No one, except his best friend Charlie, but no matter what feelings Brad may have for him, he’s not going there. Charlie deserves so much better, and Brad desperately needs something not even Charlie can provide.
Charlie has loved Brad forever, but he’s never acted on his feelings, unsure of where he stood. Plus, there was the complication of his boyfriend. But when his boyfriend’s abuse gets too much for Charlie, it’s Brad who helps him escape and recover.
Miles ends up severely wounded in the line of duty as an FBI agent. He’s floored when the man he was protecting, Indy, opens his home to him so he can recover. Indy also sets him up with Brad, who turns out to be a perfect solution for Miles’ sexual issues…until Miles wants more than sex from him, and a developing friendship between Miles and Charlie complicate things even more.
Bit by bit Charlie and Miles break through Brad’s defenses, until they come crumbling down. Miles will have to prove he can provide what Brad needs, and Charlie’s sweet love will be put to the test. But when Brad finally finds the courage to break free of his shame, will the fragile love that has blossomed between the three of them survive?
No Shame is a steamy M/M/M romance that ends with a happy ever after for all characters, including those from the previous books in the series. It’s the fourth book in the No Shame Series, and is NOT a stand alone novel, so make sure to read the first three books first (No Filter, No Limits, and No Fear). It contains hot sex, a ménage, a little daddy kink, more hot sex, and a poly-amorous relationship that transcends labels. Also: trigger warning for mentions of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, and rape.
The Difference Between Need and Want
Many years ago, in high school, I learned for the first time about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It’s this pyramid that shows us the logical order—hierarchy, if you wish—of our needs. And it shows us the clear difference between need and want.
Is starts with physiological needs, in plain English food and water. After that comes safety, the knowledge that where you are staying and living and sleeping is a safe place for you. Most of us associates these first two with a basic income level. After all, if you have a job or some kind of income, you’ll generally be able to provide food and drinks for yourself and your loved ones, and hopefully, a safe home as well.
Need for Love and Belonging
But the third level is where it gets interesting. This is what Maslow (who was an American psychologist, by the way) called a need for love and belonging. To me, it’s this very level that makes us human. After all, animals need food and water too (mammals, at least) and they, too, need. A safe place to sleep in order to not get eaten by a predator. But as humans, we need to love and feel loved, we need to belong.
Yet many of us don’t recognize this as a “need”, but see it more as a “want”. And that’s wrong. Experiencing love in whatever form, albeit from a partner or a friend, from a child or a parent, from a relative or a complete stranger, we don’t just want this as humans. We need this. We crave it.
Love takes many forms in its expression, ranging from words to presents to physical acts. But one of the most powerful ways in which love is expressed is by fully seeing someone else as they are and where they are, and then acknowledging that they’re good and perfect, just the way they are.
In my No Shame series, it’s this expression of love that I’ve tried to do justice. In each book, we meet men who are in some way not seen…yet. Indy is hiding his identity and has never had the opportunity to be himself. Connor hasn’t fully accepted himself for who he is. Aaron struggles with his feminine side and his sexual wants. But most of all of them, it’s Brad, who we meet in the last book, No Shame.
Brad has learned to become invisible out of necessity, and it’s a habit he’s perfected. No one truly sees him, especially not the many men he allows to let himself by used by. Not even his best friend Charlie sees the real him, though he tries. It takes one stubborn, smart FBI agent to break through Brad’s defenses and see the real him underneath. And when he does, it’s a powerful moment.
There’s a difference between need and want. Some things we want in life, because they bring us happiness or pleasure or make life easier. Other things we need, because they make us feel human and loved and whole.
The thing is that we often try to fill what we need with something we want—and that never works. When we need love, when we need to be seen, and we’re not, that’s a hole that can never be filled with anything else.
Not with one-night stands (as pleasurable as they may be).
Not with more shoes or make up or clothes (as pretty as they may make us feel).
Not with denial (as terrifying as facing the truth may be).
Not with pretending to be something or someone we’re not (as happy as that may make others in the short term).
No, what we need, what we crave, will not be silenced until it’s fulfilled. And that’s not something we should ever be ashamed of.
Charlie held him, caressing his curls. “Tell me what’s bothering you.”
Brad let out a shuddering sigh. “Miles has been cleared for desk duty.”
Well, that was to be expected. The guy hadn’t fully recovered yet, but surely he’d be able to do paper work behind a desk. “Yeah, so?”
Brad moved his head, looked up at him with big eyes. “Charlie, that means he’s going back to Washington.”
Oh, damn. Charlie’s face fell. He hadn’t let the implications sink in. Miles didn’t live here, technically. He was only staying with Indy and the others to recover. Now that he was back on duty, he’d have to return to DC. “Oh,” he said. Then again, “Oh.”
Brad hid his face against Charlie’s neck again.
“Well,” Charlie said. “I’m sure he’s thought of something already.”
“Yeah, like how fast he can get on a plane.”
Brad leaned back again, his face scowling. “Seriously, did you really think this was gonna last? He’s gonna walk out on us, Charlie. They always do.” A heavy shudder rippled through his body, and he buried his face again. “Nobody ever stays with me.”
Charlie’s heart broke, right then and there. The pain behind Brad’s words was so overwhelming, that he felt it physically.
“I’ll stay with you.” He said it quietly, but with determination.
“Oh, Charlie, you too will grow tired of me. Especially after Miles is gone.”
The fact that Brad said it with such casual certainty hit Charlie more than anything else. Despite everything they had experienced together and with Miles, Brad was still convinced it would not last.
“No, I won’t. I know you don’t believe me, sweetie, but I won’t. I love you, and it’s the real thing. It always has been.”
“I’m so tired…” Brad said, shuddering again. “Without Miles, I don’t know how to go on.”
When she was a little tot, Nora’s mom got a library subscription for her. That, as they say, was that, and a lifelong love for books was born. Nora never stopped reading and doesn’t exaggerate when she says she devours books, rather than plain reads them. She started writing stories as soon as she could hold a pen, and wrote her first full book as a teen (on a typewriter!). It took her waaaay too long to follow her dream to become a romance author.
Nora writes M/M romance, because hello, sexy boys, and likes her men flawed, strong, and a tad broken. She appreciates a little kink, but insists on a happy ever after.
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