Backlist Love Saturday: Together

If you’re not quite ready to say good-bye to the holidays, a little Saturday Backlist Love to share. Enjoy!


Title Together
Holiday 2011 Release #28
Author Diana DeRicci
ISBN# 978-1-60820-502-8 (ebook) $5.99
Release Date December 2011
Cover Artist Deana C. Jamroz



Isaac arrived home not expecting to find anything but his warm bed waiting for him in the dead of winter. A nearly frozen friend from his past brought with him a bad break-up, old memories best left forgotten and one particular problem he hadn’t anticipated. An attraction that he just wasn’t ready for. Not when faced with his friend’s worst problems, it became a priority to help Shawn heal.

Shawn didn’t know where to go when everything he’d been fighting for fell apart. Isaac was safe, far away from the worst reminders and lastly, the only person he could really trust. Shawn once had a crush on Isaac, but it was years ago before Isaac had left LA. A strong friendship had matured through the years since then, giving Shawn the strength to search for him now when he needed a friend.

Just when Isaac and Shawn are reaching a comfortable ground, challenges to their future bring decisions neither would have anticipated. Is Shawn still able to bend after a horrible break-up? Can Isaac trust after already being wounded by a previous lover?

Will either be able to accept that they could be stronger as three when they meet Quinn?

One thing they will learn is all things are possible together.


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5 of 5 from Talking Two Lips reviews:

a really powerful love story that has very memorable characters. ~~ Tina


Pulling in front of his apartment Isaac didn’t see the movement of the person in the shadows by his door until he was out of his car. He squinted in the bad light, discerning the form quickly. “Shawn?” What on earth was he doing there?

“Thank God,” he whimpered. Shawn bounced from foot to foot. “Can I come in? It’s freaking cold out here.” He wrapped his arms around his body bringing his shoulders in, bouncing from foot to foot.

“No shit. Where’s your jacket?” The sweater he wore wasn’t nearly enough to battle the chill snaps of wind blasting around the apartments. He inserted the key and opened his apartment door, herding Shawn through first.

Isaac took his jacket off to wrap over Shawn, then led him to the couch. “Let me make you something hot, then you can tell me what happened.” Shawn’s teeth chattered and clacked as he nodded in answer.

The best Isaac could do was coffee, even at that late hour. Glancing toward the man on his couch, Shawn rocked with cold, shivering, to dig into Isaac’s jacket as if he wanted to crawl into it and its lingering warmth. Shawn’s ears and nose were bright red. It didn’t really matter how long he’d been there waiting, it had been long enough to cause himself harm.

Isaac wondered what had happened, and knew Shawn would fill him in as much as he could. Shawn was a friend of Jasen’s, Isaac’s ex. Isaac and Shawn had always got along fine, and had stayed in contact even after the split. He wondered why he was here instead of finding friends closer to home.

Carrying the mug to Shawn, he sat next to him on the couch. It was a wonder the man didn’t have icicles hanging off him. At least his shakes were slowing down. “Take slow sips until you begin to warm up,” he cautioned. Shawn only nodded, his eyes closing in bliss as he took the first drink. He didn’t even complain that it was straight black.

“I’m sorry for just showing up, Isaac,” he said, curled up tight beneath the jacket, bent over the coffee mug like he was guarding it. “I left Tam.”

Out of all the possibilities, that was the last he would have expected to hear. “What? Why?”

Shawn sipped again, blinking and taking slow breaths. “He’s doing drugs again.”

“Shit, Shawn, I’m sorry.” Isaac thought Tam got that out of his system after his stay in rehab. He was really sorry to hear that wasn’t the case. Knowing Shawn had been dealing with this made Isaac want to curl him against his chest and protect and comfort the other man.

Shawn shook his head, his lips pressed together firmly. “Don’t be. This time I followed him. I have proof, pictures on my cell.” Shawn stared between his hands, nowhere else. “I sent the information to his probation officer. I…” He swallowed, a hard dry sound. “He’s in jail now. I was gone before I even made that call.”

“Wow, Shawn.” That took guts. “Wait. How’d you get here from LA?”

“I had enough money on me for a bus. I need to go to the bank and clear all that up tomorrow. Make sure he’s off the account. I don’t care about the apartment. It was in his name, his stuff.”

“Damn, Shawn.”

“Isaac,” he croaked. He sipped at his coffee, determined to stay in control. “Can I stay here? I don’t have any place to go.” He ran a quivering hand beneath his nose.

“Of course you can,” he answered while rubbing circles over his back trying to calm the shakes out of Shawn.

Finally Shawn’s hunched shoulders relaxed, the weight of the world dragging him down, evaporating.

“Thanks.” Silence filled the apartment between them. “Jasen was a dick to you, Isaac,” he said softly. “I was sorry to see you leave LA.” He looked over his shoulder at a quiet Isaac. “I know John and Blake didn’t even think about it. They have their own world, but I missed you. You were a good friend.”

Seeing Shawn was close to exhausted tears, he replied, “Hey. We still are friends. You needed me. I’m here. Never doubt that.” He shook his shoulder lightly. “Tomorrow, things will look better. You won’t be freezing your nuts off for one.”



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“Okay, bend your knees a little more. That’s it.”

Isaac wasn’t as confident, but if Shawn said he was doing okay, he guessed he’d listen.

“We’ll start on the easy slopes and warm us both up.”

Isaac smiled, though it felt tight, doubting it hid his nervousness. “Sure you don’t want to just go ahead and knock out one of the harder slopes and let me watch from the bottom?” He eyed the snow ahead of them, all that white, and swallowed. It looked far less intimidating on the other side of his room window, or at the bottom of the lifts, or from anywhere but at the top.

“Nope. I told you I’d help you figure this out, and I will.” Shawn braced his poles, bending close to whisper into Isaac’s ear. “The best part is the hot tub tonight. Just remember that,” he purred. Then he had the balls to kiss Isaac’s cheek.

Isaac almost fell on his ass right then and there.

“Not fair,” he growled. The shiver that raced over him had absolutely nothing to do with the frigid temperatures.

Shawn’s laugh was carefree. He lowered his goggles. “Nice and easy, glide, and keep your knees bent like you were earlier. I’m right here for you.”

Isaac checked his poles, positioned his goggles and with a slow and stiff attempt, followed Shawn.

They’d practiced for over an hour that morning already, when Shawn had deemed him bunny slope ready. Isaac wasn’t so sure. One trip in the dark ages didn’t equate to a hell of a lot of experience for him.

Though watching Shawn’s fluid grace made up for a lot of his own misgivings. The man was incredible on skis. Lithe strength and flexibility. Isaac could even imagine Shawn slicing through the air, doing flips and three-sixties that would make many eat their hearts out. He’d have to ask if he knew those kinds of maneuvers.


He focused his attention forward and managed to change direction, whooshing out a breath as his body and his skis complied. Those trees looked a lot thicker and more painful than the snow.

Shawn glided up and steadied him with a firm hold. “You okay?” Shawn brought them both to a stop, raising his goggles to get a clear inspection of Isaac. “Remember you have to lean to turn, right? Use your ski edges.”

“Yeah. Just…” He couldn’t quite meet Shawn’s probing gaze. The only saving grace: He knew the cold rouging his cheeks hid his embarrassment. “My fault.”

Shawn reached up and lifted Isaac’s goggles, Shawn’s eyes sparkling with sunlight and mirth. “If you were thinking about my ass, then we’re both guilty.” His sexy mouth broadened into a huge grin. “And it feels so good to finally be able to even say that.”

Isaac barked a groaned laugh. “I know. And yes, utterly and completely guilty, but I promise to pay better attention to my feet and where I’m going.”

“Good man,” Shawn replied with total understanding. “You’re doing great, by the way. Just don’t zone out. There’s always a chance of something you’re not ready for.”

Isaac nodded and lowered his goggles. “Ready when you are.” Shawn did the same and pushed off to move at a crawl, looking over his shoulder, waiting for Isaac to follow him and catch up.

The rest of the run went easily and without any more near misses. But it didn’t stop him from sneaking peeks at Shawn regardless.


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