May-December romances have always had a place in popular culture. Be it with celebrity couples or fictional flings, people are interested in the inner-workings of age gap relationships. The further the distance between their ages, the more intrigue the couples garner. All sorts of questions come up, some salacious, others genuine: What do they have in common? What attracted them to one another? Can two people from different generations forge a relationship that is strong and enduring? Regardless of skeptics’ sneers, many of these pairings are successful and enduring.
It’s cliché to say that “age is just a number,” and the phrase diminishes the fact that our experiences shape us in meaningful ways. There are some who have lived more life than others—even at a younger age—but the power in the passage of time should never be underestimated. Variables could change the dynamics of any relationship, and at the end of the day, some last and some don’t.
In the first book – Watch Me Fall– of my new series, Start Something, Elijah Tucker, a twenty-seven year-old Chicago powerhouse realtor, falls for a tough-as-nails eighteen year-old high school student, Gideon Valsechhi. At first glance, the two men seem to have little in common, but as the story unfolds, the reader learns that there is something deeper between them than what appears on the surface.
Watch Me Fall is an unconventional love story that explores the balance between sexual chemistry and emotional compatibility. Which is more important? Could one follow the other if that attribute was lacking initially? Does the age gap introduce issues that are insurmountable for Elijah and Gideon?
Though we grow to understand Elijah and Gideon motivations and attachment, this story is the first step on their journey of self-discovery, and of each other. Their story continues in Fall Beside You, which will be released June 26th.
Title: Watch Me Fall
Author: Riley Parks
Series: Start Something #1
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing
Release Date: March 27th 2018
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Find Watch Me Fall on Goodreads
Having it all is hard work, and Elijah Tucker has no problem 24/7-ing to keep himself on top. But life has a sense of humor and a big-ass mirror that reminds Eli where he came from, and shows him what he’s really made of when he meets Gideon Valsecchi.
Gideon Valsecchi has one life goal – get out of the shithole where he lives on the South Side of Chicago. To say life has been unkind is a joke he can’t even laugh at; to say he’s going to have to claw his way out is a reality that nearly crushes him every day. But…he has a secret weapon, and he’s learning how to hone his skills. Yet, hope is a feeling he won’t indulge in until he gets to know Elijah Tucker, who shows Gideon there is an out, and it can include love.
“I don’t want your fucking sweatshirt, man,” Gideon stated, clicking his tongue. “Ain’t your fucking charity case. Go give shit to some other motherfucker if you need to deal with some kinda winner’s guilt or something. I’m not the one.”
“It’s not any kind of guilt,” Eli protested. “I fucked yours up and I’m giving you a new one.”
“Don’t want it,” Gideon replied simply. He began to walk again, visibly irritated when Elijah continued beside him.
“How about breakfast?” Eli asked, holding up the McDonald’s bags in his other hand.
Gideon stopped again and reluctantly held his hand out, appearing taken back when Elijah handed him both bags.
“I didn’t know what you liked, so I got you everything,” Eli said, giving Gideon a small grin as he peeked in the bags.
“Are you serious right now?” Gideon questioned, his nose crinkling as he studied Elijah’s face. “Did you poison this shit or something?”
“It’s a normal question,” Gideon stated, suddenly looking amused by the situation. “If a guy fucked your wife, would you buy him a Ferrari?”
“I don’t have a wife. I’m gay,” Elijah reminded him.
Gideon narrowed his bright blue eyes. “That’s not the point. It’s hypothetical. When people do fucked-up shit to you, do you always bring them fucking breakfast?”
“Mostly I buy them lunch,” Elijah admitted, thinking getting mugged on the South Side wasn’t that different than getting fucked over by half the agents he bought lunch for. He smiled when Gideon coughed out a reluctant laugh.
“I’m not gonna eat all this for breakfast,” Gideon informed him, turning around so he could head back to his house, “but I’ll put it in the fridge and eat it sometime.”
Eli nodded. “Good.”
As they walked in silence back to the Valsecchi house, Elijah reflected on how strange the moment was, but how pleasant at the same time.
“D’you want something? Before I put it away?” Gideon questioned, grabbing a wrapped sandwich out of the bag without giving much of a thought to what it was.
“I’ll eat something,” Elijah decided, reaching his hand into the bag and grasping the first thing he could.
“Hold this,” Gideon said, tossing Eli his sandwich and stomping out his cigarette before disappearing into the house. Once he returned, he took the food back, still regarding Eli suspiciously. “You sure you didn’t do something to this?”
“I’m eating one, too,” Elijah replied, tearing the wrapper and smirking at Gideon, who cautiously did the same.
“I don’t got time to shit my brains out if you laced it with laxatives,” he stated. “Got a game tonight.” He took a tentative bite of the sandwich, watching Eli do the same.
“Mmm, this is damn good,” Elijah remarked, shocked by how delicious the food was.
“You okay over there?” Gideon asked, his mouth full.
“Yeah, it’s just…wow. It’s better than I remember.
“Were you on Mars for a while?” Gideon snarked, grinning when Elijah laughed.
“I don’t eat it a lot,” Elijah replied, talking another big bite. “Shit. So good.”
“Yeah, well…” Gideon cleared his throat as they approached the corner, “enjoy jizzing over your fucking McGriddle, man, but I don’t need you to walk me to school.”
Eli nodded his understanding and offered the sweatshirt one last time. “You sure you don’t want it?”
“Positive,” Gideon scoffed, giving him a dirty look.
Elijah shrugged and started to walk back toward the L.
“Thanks,” Gideon called out, but before Eli could turn and respond, the guy was gone.
About the Author
Riley has always loved to write, believing that life has the possibility to be its most beautiful when it’s portrayed on the pages of a book. Feeling the need to create and liberate in the midst of the political landscape, Riley writes novels that focus on LGBTQ protagonists, wanting to honor a community that deserves better representation depicting lives, loves and triumphs in all facets of fiction.