Time for a little Saturday Backlist Love. Tougher To Love is the story before my upcoming release, Second Chance Summer. A small town mechanic, a new to town Sheriff, and a murder that involves both.
Author: Diana DeRicci
Cover Artist: Anastasia Rabiyah
Genre: Gay Erotic Romance/M/M
Length: Novel, 47,611 words, 133 pages PDF
Release Date: February 1, 2012
Heat Level: Erotic
Warnings: Gay Male/Male
What readers have been saying:
taken on [a] journey … woven a beautiful tapestry of love and commitment.
The snow hasn’t even attempted to thaw when Ian’s life is turned upside down. His only sister is murdered, leaving him as the sole family to his 14 year-old niece. As an uncle, he’d been there for them, but he is clueless when it comes to actually seeing to Terra’s wellbeing. Muddling through, they become closer, healing together through the trauma, and slowly begin to feel like family.
Ian has a deep secret though. Not even Terra’s mother knew, and when Caleb is the officer to deliver a freezing and terrified niece to his door, that secret is in jeopardy of being blown sky-high.
Ian topped off their mugs then led them out of the kitchen to the living room. Caleb guessed he’d been in that house for years, maybe it had even been left to him. It was reminiscent of the one-level shaker homes in the area, wide open with large windows and spacious rooms. He didn’t have a lot of furniture to fill it, so the wood flooring dominated the rooms.
“Ever get your heater replaced?”
Ian chuckled, motioning to a rocker. He claimed the stuffed recliner, making himself comfortable. “No, we made it through another winter. I’ll have to do something about it this summer. I doubt it’ll manage another.”
“How is she holding up? How are you?”
Ian’s rising hand slowed, but he slurped a bit to let it lower. “We’re managing. She’s talked to the counselor at school once or twice. Maria didn’t have anything left over after the debts were covered. The car is in the garage for Terra when she’s sixteen. That much was paid for.”
“Have you talked to anyone about it?” Caleb leaned with his elbows on his knees, asking gently. The movement brought him fairly close to Ian.
“No. Just waiting for the word that Striker has been caught. Will she have to ID him?”
Ian’s shoulders rolled. “That’s good. I don’t want to keep dragging her back to what happened to her if I don’t have to. I want her to heal.”
Caleb reached and settled a hand above Ian’s knee. “She’s a smart girl, Ian. Tough. She was scared the morning I found her and probably lost, being in pain.”
Almost instantly, Caleb realized what he’d done, felt the hard strength of Ian’s thigh as he flexed under Caleb’s braced palm. Soaked up the heat of jean covered skin through his palm. Ian had solid thighs, long legs. He knew the man owned a Harley. Caleb bet he made a sexy, imposing sight on it. If men gawked unashamedly at women in public, then he was just as guilty, though quietly, for doing it with men.
He removed his hand, though he fought not to yank it away. Not because he hadn’t wanted to do that, but because he’d been wanting to for a long time. Just touch him.
His pulse thudded thickly for a moment. He sat straight as if nothing but a moment of male comfort had occurred.
That was until he glimpsed a stolen look from Ian and caught him watching Caleb through heavy, midnight lashes. Not annoyed, or even ticked. They weren’t friends, hardly more than acquaintances, but there was definitely something in that look. If read the right way, it could mean a lot more than Caleb had expected or anticipated. He’d certainly not hoped for it, but that look had borne hope, and that meant it was time to vacate. Now.
Ian palmed the scattered cards and Caleb stood to get the container for the beans. He placed the deck in the cabinet where he’d seen Caleb find it, however he wasn’t expecting to turn and find himself face to face with the other man.
He felt his heart leap to a new gear, his pulse surging against his neck. The counter cut into his lower spine as parts of him went weak with wanting.
“It’s been a long time, Caleb,” he managed, almost a croak. His throat had gone dry.
“Tell me if you remember how to do this.” Caleb’s breath was warm over Ian’s lips, his mouth coming closer.
Ian’s brain was screaming at him to move, that he couldn’t do this, but his body, and okay, his dick, were giving his sense of preservation the finger because the rest of him wanted this. Caleb knew his secret, and as he studied those patient blue eyes, Ian realized he trusted the man behind that penetrating stare.
Caleb’s rough fingers glided down Ian’s forearm, a light stroke and Ian’s breathing staggered in answer. Then there was nowhere to hide, no way to run because Caleb’s lips were touching his and in that instant, Ian’s brain shut up.
Warmth flooded his body. His heart pounded. And God, his cock throbbed. Ian moaned a low sound, craving, wanting, starving, and not realizing how badly until that moment in time. Caleb shifted, tilting closer and Ian’s eyelids dropped like weights, leaving him in sensory overload.
Gentle hands encircled his bare forearms, roaming upward until discovering palms stopped at the apex of his shoulders. Fingertips lightly scratched the sides of his throat. Ian’s hand found the denim of Caleb’s jeans waist and latched on, hanging on to not melt to the floor. The other was grasping the counter in a knuckled grip.
A strong tongue circled his lips and Ian met his curiosity, stroking out to find Caleb. Rumbles and purrs were his reward. If he’d forgotten how to kiss, Caleb was well versed to reinstruct him, to refresh his memory. Heat danced along Ian’s spine. Hunger gnawed at him, pooling low in his belly, sinking into his balls. Waves of desire were rolling over him.
Then Caleb went a little further, cupping Ian’s nape to play with his hair, threading his fingers through the strands reaching for Ian’s collar. Shivers cascaded down from the playful caresses.
Each heartbeat brought them closer and closer until Caleb covered him, snug against Ian’s frame with the counter behind him. Solid muscles and a rock hard cock pressed into him. Before Ian sank too deep in the lust-filled daze, he jerked Caleb’s hip tight into his groin, grinding in a hard, circular motion. Caleb groaned, a shudder echoing down his body right after.
Ian was moving before he even knew what he’d intended. Another tug, a twist and a spinning step and Caleb was the one captured against the counter. Their mouths tore apart, ragged panting filling the kitchen.
Blue eyes glittered like a summer sky. Generous lips were red and full, and just right for more kisses. Ian bet he’d have that same look after going down on him, and he could imagine it. Clearly.
He swept his tongue over his tingling lip then decided doing it to Caleb would be even better.
Shivers stole over Caleb’s shoulders as his eyes closed to savor.
“I think you remember just fine,” he said, graveled and low with need. Lashes raised slowly. “Even better than I’d imagined.”