Title: Nobody’s Home
Author: Dev Bentham
Release Date: November 15th 2016
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance
Second chances can appear where you least expect them.
An artist: You can’t go home again—that was Nick’s motto for the past twenty years. He was a teenager when he left his abusive, mentally ill father back in Lacland, a small town in the northwoods of Wisconsin.
Nick’s made a successful life for himself in New York. Then comes the call—his estranged father has killed himself. Nick flies home to a house crumbling from years of neglect, and one very fat bulldog.
And a veterinarian: Jonas doesn’t love his job enforcing university research protocol. His passion is working with dogs, especially volunteering for his boyfriend’s behavioral studies projects. But when he discovers his so-called “life partner” is messing around, he leaps at a job offer in a small town miles away.
In spite of the grief swirling around Nick and Jonas, their first meeting is electric. But Nick will be in town for only a short time and Jonas is still stinging from the betrayal. The men try to keep their distance, but that’s easier said than done, especially in a small town where misery and hope share the same address.
This poignant story about two mature gay men will warm the hearts of readers who believe happy endings are within anyone’s grasp.
**This is an author’s version of the original story first printed in 2013 by Amber Allure.**
Nick watched Jonas make an incision in poor Lady’s belly. The sight of Jonas dressed in a blue surgical gown, his hair and face covered and his hands gloved, made Nick feel even more like an asshole for not having paid attention earlier. Not to mention, there was something sacrificial about the way Lady lay on her back with her legs strapped to the table’s sides. Nick winced at the sick, slurpy sound as Jonas pulled out a hefty, sausage-like loop of tissue from inside her abdomen.
“This is her uterus,” Jonas said, like he was making a documentary. Probably trying to make Nick feel more comfortable, but it wasn’t working. This whole thing was Nick’s fault and even though he knew it had to happen, watching Lady get cut up didn’t make him feel better about it. Jonas etched an opening in the sausage, reached inside and this time pulled out something wet, dark green and limp. He massaged it for a moment before clamping and snipping the umbilical and carefully set the pup on the towel.
He glanced up at Mary. “I don’t feel any movement but see what you can do.”
She picked it up and started rubbing the puppy briskly with the towel, carrying it over to the table they’d set up with a giant heating pad, towels and little blue bulbs for suctioning the puppies’ mouths.
Nick felt the idea that the pup was dead tumble through him. So much death. Jonas pulled out another and passed it to the blonde who’d been introduced as a veterinary assistant. She buffed the limp pup with her towel and joined Mary. Nick felt the futility of it all. Poor Lady. All this trouble for nothing. And it was all because of Nick’s stupidity. If he’d paid more attention and called the day before maybe these puppies wouldn’t be floppy, slimy, dead meat.
The next pup Jonas pulled out looked as limp as all the rest, but Jonas looked up at Nick and smiled that big bright smile of his. “It moved.”
Giveaway: Win a copy of Dev Bentham’s Tarnished Souls series
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I write contemporary gay romance. My characters are flawed and damaged adult men who may not even know they’re looking for true love, but when they meet their bershert, their true love, their lives are transformed. My stories are set in the real world where gay men have gay friends, families who do or don’t accept them, personal histories they’re not necessarily proud of and a myriad of experiences that have made them who they are.
I live in Northern Wisconsin with my Boston Terrier and Chicago spouse. I’ve published short stories, poetry, newspaper articles and academic papers and have worked in nearly every profession from restaurants to retail to open-water diving and now write m/m romance out of my fascination with love, courage and gender.