This month, I have an excerpt for everyone! Since my newest novel, The Lonely Heart, will be available to VIP members from Total-E-Bound on the 17th, I thought it only appropriate to post a peek.
Take two stubborn cowboys, add in one determined little boy, and toss in a snowstorm for good measure. Who knew building a family could be so hard?
If you ask Isaiah Preston, he’s pretty lucky. He’s happy in his job as a ranch manager, admires his boss, Grady, in more ways than one, and if he doesn’t have everything he wants, well, that’s life, isn’t it?
Enter one little brother, and suddenly Isaiah's comfortable world is turned upside down. Everything becomes complicated and he's seeing people in ways he never has before—good and bad. Near-perfect isn't enough anymore. Isaiah wants it all—home, family and, most importantly, Grady, in both his life and bed.
To get what he wants, though, Isaiah is going to have to fight prejudice, misunderstanding, and even Grady himself.
Isaiah stepped onto the porch, zipping up his coat with gloved hands. The ranch was quiet today, the boys hunkering down inside around the wood stove. Isaiah didn’t blame them. The snowstorm that had whipped through the night before had left more than just a thick coating of white on everything. The temperature was down around ‘forget the thermometer, I’m freezing my balls off’ and any sane person was staying inside beside the nearest heat source.
So what did that say about Isaiah? Probably nothing good. But he was going stir-crazy inside, and if he had to put up with Grady’s crappy mood for one more minute, he was going to snap.
Isaiah’s sense of fair play took that moment to pop out and remind him that he hadn’t exactly been an angel to live with lately, either. He told his inner voice to shut up, but it didn’t erase that niggling sense of guilt.
Hell, maybe he just needed to get laid. When was the last time he’d used anything other than his own hand? Isaiah swore softly when he realised he couldn’t remember. No wonder he was so cranky.
Grady, on the other hand, was just being difficult.
The screen door squealed behind him and Isaiah’s jaw clenched. “Get back inside before you freeze to death,” he said around gritted teeth.
Isaiah swung around. “What?”
Grady stood in front of the door, hands shoved in his jeans pockets, clad in nothing more than a thick AQHA sweatshirt. Isaiah rolled his eyes. The man really did plan on freezing to death.
“If you’re gonna bug me, at least put a coat on,” he ordered.
“You want to tell me what’s eating at you?” Grady pressed, making no move to go back inside. “Josh is worried.”
Isaiah snorted. “Oh, please. He’s so absorbed in that new video game you bought him we could blow up the couch and he wouldn’t notice.”
“What is with you?” Grady demanded. “I’ve never seen you in such a crappy mood.”
“You!” Isaiah whirled around. Everything welled up—the sudden responsibility of Josh, moving in with Grady, their constant arguments lately, the lack of sex. God, the list was endless, and Isaiah snapped.
He ignored the way Grady took a reflexive step back, ending up pressed against the side of the house. Isaiah’s temper was in control and it felt damned good. “For the last month you’ve been wandering around in a daze. You barely talk to me and practically run from the room when I’m around. You spend half your time hiding in your bedroom and last night you fell asleep at dinner. You won’t discuss the ranch with me, you won’t discuss business plans. I don’t know what’s going on with you, and you’re obviously not interested in sharing. You want to be an antisocial bastard? Fine, but at least have the decency to quit lying to me.”
“What the hell did I just say?” Isaiah scowled, planting his clenched fists on his hips and struggling with the urge to throw a punch at that stubborn jaw. Talking to Grady could be like talking to a rock. The man only heard what he wanted to hear, and most of that he chose to misinterpret.
Josh and Isaiah had been living in the big house with Grady for nearly a month now. At first, it had been great. For the first time, Isaiah had felt like he was getting to know the real Grady—a big-hearted man whose laugh stirred equal parts lust and affection in Isaiah. He’d managed to shove back the lust, despite the looks he caught from Grady. They were building a comfortable little makeshift family here and he wasn’t about to mess it up by throwing sex into the mix. But just when they’d established a nice routine, Grady had withdrawn.
Grady sighed and shifted from one foot to the other, one toe poking out of a hole in the blue woollen sock. “Can we at least discuss this inside where it’s warm?”
“No.” Isaiah could be stubborn, too. All right, it would be more effective if he wasn’t spiting himself with it, but Isaiah wasn’t feeling very rational at the moment.