Hollywood royalty Jeremy Jameson has lived a sheltered life with music as his sole focus and only friend. Before embarking on yet another international concert tour, he wanders into a bar in what he considers the middle of nowhere and meets a man who wins him over with his friendly smile and easy-going nature. Accountant slash bartender slash adventure-seeker Reg Moore has fun talking and drinking with The Jeremy Jameson and can’t say no when the supposedly straight rock star makes him a once in a lifetime offer: keep him company on his tour by playing the part of his boyfriend.
Listening to music, traveling the world, and jumping off cliffs is fun. Falling in love is even better. But to stay with Jeremy after the stage lights dim, Reg will need to help him realize there’s nothing pretend about their relationship.
After a mutual laughing fit about yet another of Reg’s college tales, Reg put an end to Jeremy’s joy by saying, “Hey, Jeremy, man, I don’t want to rush you out of here, but we usually close at midnight during the week, and it’s almost one.”
“Oh.” Suddenly feeling sober and tense again, Jeremy rubbed his hand over his nose and reached for his leather jacket, which he’d tossed over the empty barstool next to him hours earlier. “Sure. Yeah. Sorry about that.” He pulled a handful of bills out of his wallet and threw them on the bar, not bothering to count them. “Keep the change.”
Keys in hand, Jeremy climbed off his stool, planning to leave the bar. He was surprised when Reg darted his upper body forward and snagged his keys.
“Hold on, man. It’s late and you’re drunk. Is there someone who can come pick you up?”
Jeremy snorted. “No. I’m in, uh….” He tried to remember the name of the nothing little town. “Whatever Park.” He rolled his eyes. “Why would I know anybody here?”
“Wow. I’ve had people turn into violent shitheads when I cut them off, but snobby diva is new.” Reg flung his everpresent towel into the bar sink and locked up the register. “I was going to offer you my couch for the night, ’cause there aren’t any motels in walking distance, and I have better beer than we serve here, but you can go ahead and sleep it off in your car, superstar. I’ll bring you your keys in the morning.”
“Oh.” Hearing that Reg hadn’t been throwing him out but had, instead, been trying to change locations, vanquished Jeremy’s resurfacing tension. With that relief came the realization that he had acted like all the stuck-up assholes he couldn’t stand. “Crap.” Falling into a nervous childhood habit he hadn’t been fully able to shake, Jeremy tugged the collar of his salmon-colored T-shirt into his mouth and chewed on it. “I didn’t mean to, uh…” He rubbed his palm over his eyes. “I’m sorry that I…” A thought slammed into him, making him flinch and then gape at Reg. “You called me superstar.”
“I also called you a snobby diva.” Reg arched his eyebrows. “Are you ready to earn a spot on my couch and a bottle of Kilt Lifter by playing nice?”
Cardeno C. – CC to friends – is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few “awwws” into a reader’s day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno’s stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever- after sunset.
Cardeno’s Home, Family, and Mates series have received awards from Love Romances and More Golden Roses, Rainbow Awards, the Goodreads M/M Romance Group, and various reviewers. But even more special to CC are heartfelt reactions from readers, like, “You bring joy and love and make it part of the every day.”
Winner’s choice of ebook from author’s backlist (excluding box sets or anthologies).