Country music superstar, Trent Thorne is on the run. What he’s kept hidden from the world is no longer a secret. He trusted the wrong person, a man he’d stupidly thought he was in love with, and instead of a happily ever after all he’d gotten was outed. Unwilling to sit around and watch his private life get plastered all over the news, Trent hits the road and somehow ends up in his best friend Lemon’s small hometown of Fate, Texas.
Lance Nichols knows a thing or two about hiding. He’s so deep in the closet he can’t even see daylight. The former womanizer finally admitted the truth to himself a few years ago but he never thought he’d be able to say the words aloud, not to his family, not to his friends, and certainly not to his secret celebrity crush when the guy stumbles awkwardly into his life.
Fate brought these two together, but will it also tear them apart? One newly outed man refuses to go back in the closet. The other can’t imagine coming out of his.
Title: Stay a Little Longer
Author: Jess Bryant
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: November 19, 2018
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Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, in the closet, coming out, being outed, law enforcement, musician
Stay a Little Longer
Jess Bryant © 2018
All Rights Reserved
Lance Nichols cursed under his breath as he crawled back into his cruiser after writing a speeding ticket to one of his ex-girlfriends. It was actually the third one today. Not tickets. He’d written a handful of those. No, it was the third ex-girlfriend he’d had to face today and considering not one of his relationships had ever ended on a positive note, they hadn’t been pleasant reunions.
He was a bastard. He knew that. He’d come to terms with that and a whole lot of other painful truths a while ago.
He could be a cocky son of a bitch, a side effect of being born with good looks and plenty of charm. He’d been the popular prom king, football team type of guy in high school and in a small town like Fate that had earned him unending hero worship. Adding in the badge only drew more attention, particularly from women, and in his younger years he’d certainly reeled them in as fast as they threw themselves at him.
He’d flipped and flopped and spiraled and ducked and leaped on new girl after new girl. He was embarrassed to say he’d cheated, more than once. At the time, he’d chalked it up to not being relationship material. He’d told himself he wasn’t the settling down kind of guy.
But somewhere, in the back of his mind, in the darkest parts of himself he kept pushed down and hidden and reigned in on a tight leash, he’d known it was something else. That he needed something else not just someone else. It had taken him a long time, a lot of years, and using up pretty much every available woman in town for him to admit he wasn’t going to find that someone who satisfied his wants and needs.
Not here. Not in Fate. Not in the arms of a woman at all.
He shook the stray thought out of his head like he always did. He did not need that shit eating up what little brain power he had left tonight. He was exhausted. He was beaten up and bruised from the verbal insults he’d had hurled at him, and all he wanted to do was go home, collapse onto his bed and sleep through the next forty-eight hours of free time before his shift started all over again for a new week.
Lance pulled the police radio to his mouth, “Base come in, this is Nichols.”
“Base to Nichols, go ahead.” The familiar voice of Sheila, the office dispatcher, greeted him, and if he wasn’t mistaken she snarled a little bit less when she said his name than she usually did.
Maybe she was just having a good day, unlike him. Or maybe she was finally starting to get over the fact he’d slept with her daughter and then bailed the next morning without so much as a promise to call. It had happened six, no seven years ago. Shannon was married now for god’s sake. But Sheila still snarled at him whenever he walked through the office and never missed a chance to point out he was late or had forgotten to check a box on his paperwork. She hated him, just like every other woman in this godforsaken town.
“Heading in for the night. Shaw called in yet?”
“His shift started twelve minutes ago so yes, of course he has.”
Lance rolled his eyes at the sarcasm oozing out of the older lady. Oh, she loved Shaw. He was her good boy. Always checked in early for his shifts, brought her breakfast when he was on days and the little shit had sent her flowers, fuckin’ flowers, on Administrative Professionals Day. Lance hadn’t even known there was such a thing.
“Good.” He said evenly, “Signing off.”
“Noted and relieved of duty.” Sheila paused, “Have a good weekend Deputy Nichols.”
Jess Bryant is an avid indoorswoman. A city girl trapped in a country girl’s life, her heart resides in Dallas but her soul and roots are in small town Oklahoma. She enjoys manicures, the color pink, and her completely impractical for country life stilettos. She believes that hair color is a legitimate form of therapy, as is reading and writing romance. She started writing as a little girl but her life changed forever when she stole a book from her aunt’s Harlequin collection and she’s been creating love stories with happily ever afters ever since.
Jess holds a degree in Public Relations from the University of Oklahoma and is a lifetime supporter of her school and athletic teams. And why not? They have a ton of National Championships! She may be a girlie girl but she knows her sports stats and isn’t afraid to tell you that your school isn’t as cool as hers… or that your sports romance got it all wrong.
For more information on Jess and upcoming releases, contact her at [email protected] or follow her on her many social media accounts for news and shenanigans.
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