Wounded Pride releases today from Dreamspinner Press! And today through Sunday you can get Wounded Pride 25% off the cover price. Also, if you haven’t read Wounded Hearts, book 1, now is the time. It’s on sale $0.99 today through Sunday!
Blurb: Brian Daystar needs a break. He’s been working nonstop to turn his Montana ranch into a safe haven for at-risk youth—so much so that he can’t even bring himself to care when he finds out his partner, country star Corey, is cheating on him. Their relationship has been over for a long time, but it might take his feelings for Renford to make Brian accept it.
Both men have decisions to make. Renford must come to terms with who he truly is, and Brian is going to have to decide if he will shun his happiness or embrace it.
* * * *
Once the festivities were over, all Brian could think about was getting some rest. He’d been so overjoyed about receiving such a substantial gift from the man he considered to be a close friend, Brian didn’t waste any time putting it to good use. From the moment Cyrus Abrams had given him his dead lover’s remaining money, Brian had been working nonstop on the renovations for the guesthouse he was to live in, as well as the main house and ranch that now housed the center. He needed a vacation. The question was, where to? He was sure Aunt Theta and his cousin, Tobias, could cover for him while he got some much needed R and R. As a matter of fact, his aunt pushed for him to go. With everything moving in the right direction, Brian felt now was the time to break away.
At his mother’s insistence, Brian had moved in with Cyrus as a teen because of her tumultuous relationship with her boyfriend. Though Brian didn’t want to go, she left him no choice.
Cyrus had been like the father Brian never had. He gave him an opportunity to live and work on his ranch to earn his keep. Now that Cyrus was marrying Zane Ashford, a former cop from New York City, he’d left the ranch to Brian to keep and use as he saw fit. Brian couldn’t have been more grateful.
“Son? Hey, Brian?”
The tall, burly man ventured into Brian’s new living room, removing his white Stetson from his head. “Hey there. That was quite the ceremony. Ash feels terrible for not being here, but duty calls.”
“Of course it does. You guys have been here every day, working on stuff when you’re supposed to be getting married and adopting kids. Means a lot to me.”
Cyrus placed his hat on the table and sat in Brian’s new recliner. “Well, why wouldn’t we? You’re like a son to me, ya know. Like the child I never had.”
Brian smiled wryly and dropped on the couch. “Can’t wait to see you playing the daddy role either. Promise me you ain’t gonna teach him or her any of your bad habits.”
“What? I don’t have any—”
“Pssh, you got plenty. Don’t be teaching the kid to lie, steal, or anything about porn.”
“I thought that last one woulda been your job.”
Brian laughed, shaking his head. “You’re the one who had the porn stash under the damn floorboards in the library. You should’ve been here to see the contractor’s face when he found it too. A thing of beauty.”
Cyrus joined him in the chuckle. “I’m sure it was a sight. Anyway, man. What now? I mean, you been so damn busy with the center and all. When ya gonna take time out for you?”
“Don’t know. I wanna go on a little vacation somewhere ’cause I still have a little cash leftover.”
“What about going to see your man?”
Brian twitched his lips to the side. “Nah. I don’t think so.”
“Why not? When’s the last time you seen the critter?”
“Not since he came back to Great Falls after the album dropped, but that’s beside the point.”
“No it ain’t, Brian. You need a man that’ll take you places, not some kid chasing a pipe dream.”
Brian grimaced. “Cy, that’s not a dream. Corey’s album went to number one. And… he’s nominated for a couple of awards.”
“And from what I hear, he’s living the life of a rock star too. You know that’s Alma’s boy. She don’t stop talking about him even when he fucks up. I know you hear about it.”
Brian didn’t want to admit that he had seen some of the rag papers showing Corey with women or his hotshot manager, who looked to be a complete sleaze, but Brian couldn’t prove it.
“Look, Cy. I appreciate your concern for me, I really do. Let me handle this my way.” In saying that, Brian knew exactly how he would handle it. He didn’t have the heart to tell Corey the truth about how this long-distance relationship wasn’t working.
Cyrus held up his hands in surrender. “All right, man. I’ll leave you two boys to it, then. Don’t get in this place and act like a hermit, okay? Like you used to tell me, there’s a whole world out there and you’re missing out ’cause you won’t let anyone in.”
“I have let someone in, but maybe he ain’t the right guy. Anyways, I need some sleep. Can you give a man peace and quiet in his new house?”
“Oh, so you’re kicking me out now?”
“Damn straight I am. Now git!” Brian kicked his legs in Cyrus’s direction, smiling at his former employer.
“Okay, okay. Damn, I swear, I think you’re turning into me a little more every day.” Cyrus grabbed his hat and started walking toward the hallway. “You’re not letting me out?”
“Hells no! You found your way in—you can find the way out.” He pointed at the exit. “Thanks for everything, Cyrus.”
Cyrus flashed him a smile and placed the Stetson on his head. He gave a mock salute as he backed up. “You’re welcome, kid. You’re always welcome.” He turned and walked out of the living room.
Brian sighed and leaned his head back on his new sofa, staring at the ceiling fan. He followed the blades with his eyes, feeling the sleep come over him.
A long vacation to someplace nice was what he needed to relax and de-stress. For anyone who cared about mending their relationship, the first choice would be the Big Apple to see his country-star boyfriend. For Brian, it was the furthest thing from his mind.