Two weeks ago saw the release of book #1 in RJ’s Love for the Seasons series, As the Leaves Fall which is getting some rave reviews. Today, we here at Two Men are so excited to announce the release of the second in this wonderful series set in England. If you haven’t checked out book #1 yet, you can purchase As the Leaves Fall here.
But today we are here to celebrate the release of the second in the series, As the Ice Melts. Isn’t the cover gorgeous? Keep reading for the blurb and exclusive excerpt.
As hearts begin to thaw, a betrayal of trust threatens to put out the flames.
When Marcus McDonald receives a formal warning from his employer, he knows it’s time to tuck tail and head home to Manchester. His medical condition forces him to keep people at arm’s length, and it wouldn’t be the first time his temperament has landed him in trouble.
All Adam Radney wants is some time to paint, but his father’s death, leaving Adam and his mum up to their ears in debt, means taking on two jobs. Working at the family’s run-down Manchester fish and chip shop, Adam is confronted by a new, surly face in town and instantly dislikes the icy newcomer. So what if he pushes all of Adam’s hot buttons?
When the ice melts and things heat up between Marcus and Adam, Adam thinks all his dreams have come true. With Marcus’s help, new customers arrive and the chip shop starts to flourish, easing Adam’s mind. But when Adam puts all his trust in Marcus on the busiest night the shop has seen in years, thing go awry and it leaves Adam with more questions than answers.
When we got downstairs and out into the freezing cold, I bundled Marcus awkwardly into the passenger seat of my old banger. His arms and legs didn’t seem to want to move properly. While I drove, his head fell against the window.
“Where can I take you?” I asked.
Without lifting his head or opening his eyes, he mumbled, “I can crash at Colin’s place till morning. He won’t mind.” He jerked upright then and grasped his head in his hands, presumably to stop it spinning. “Shit. They’ve gone away for the weekend. I knew there was a reason why I picked tonight to drink. I’ll have to go home.”
“Will Gran be awake?”
“No, but it won’t matter. I’m not capable of being that quiet. Oh God, she’s going to kill me. If it wasn’t for my mother, I’d be able to get away with this shit.”
I wondered why he lived with his gran and not his parents. “What’s wrong with your mother?”
“She’s an addict,” Marcus stated simply.
I whipped my head towards him so quickly I nearly passed out. “What have you taken?” I demanded, trying to keep my eye on the road.
“Fuck. Nothing. I swear. I had a few cocktails. That’s all. I know better than to take anything else.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Really? Why are you so out of it if you’ve only had a few drinks?”
“I… I’m on medication, and I’m not supposed to drink. I haven’t had a drink in nearly two years, okay?” His tone turned bitter. “Sue me; I just wanted to get out of my head for a bit.”
“God. You’re stupider than I thought.”
Marcus flinched and turned away from me, hunching in on himself against the door. I could see his reflection in the window, and although he had his eyes closed, a lone tear slipped down his cheek. I felt like an arse.
“Where am I taking you?” I asked after a while. I was nearly home, which was just around the corner from Gran’s so I could have taken him there, but it didn’t seem to be the option he wanted.
Marcus blew a short breath through his teeth. “I don’t know. Just let me out. I’ll walk around until I’m better; then I’ll head home.”
“Do you know how cold it is?” I wouldn’t let a cat out in this weather, let alone a drunk and very fuckable young, gay man. “You can sleep on my sofa. Just don’t vomit.”
Marcus turned and faced me, gratitude shining in his baby blues. “Thank you.”
After parking on the street, I helped him up the three flights and settled him on the couch. I untied his boots, and when I handed him a pillow, he grabbed my wrist and pulled me down. Suddenly his face was right there, his lips an inch away from mine, soft, plump, and a little rosy from the cold. I watched as his tongue darted out to wet them a little. Just when I was about to pull away and go to bed, Marcus closed the distance and moved his mouth hesitantly against mine. A brush of warm lips sent electrifying signals to my dick. He tasted sweeter than I thought he would. He opened and I let myself fall in, but only briefly. I straightened and moved away, pulling my shirt down to cover the skin his fingers had brushed just a second before.
“I want you to fuck me.” Marcus looked up at me from his position on the couch, his eyes hooded with lust, or meds and alcohol. I couldn’t tell which.
“I’m not fucking you,” I stated.
“Because I don’t like you.”
Marcus cringed a little, but his features quickly straightened. “You don’t have to like someone to fuck them.”
“No, you don’t, but it goes a long way to actually wanting to.”
“You know, my arse is so tight, if I squeeze my butt cheeks together I could rip your dick off.”
I huffed. Could this guy be any ruder? “That’s good to know. Not making me want to fuck you any more. Now go to sleep. I want you out of here before I wake up.”
As I stomped down the hallway to my room, I swear I heard Marcus mumble, “And I’m not stupid.”