Thanks so much to the folks here at Smexy Books for having me today to talk about my new release, HARD RIDE (Clean Slate Ranch #5). This is a fake relationship book and was my first time writing this particular trope, but I had so much fun it won’t be the last! Single guy Derrick Massey is facing a long summer of five family weddings, and he needs a fake boyfriend to keep his family off his back about settling down. Quiet cowboy Slater needs a place to stay in the city while he heals from a broken ankle, and what starts out as an arrangement starts to feel more like the real thing.
The excerpt below is right after their first wedding appearance as a “couple.”
Derrick kissed his temple again as he stood, and Slater…didn’t mind. The gesture was oddly sweet and slightly possessive, and it didn’t seem forced at all. A casual thing between boyfriends. He tracked Derrick around the auditorium this time, admiring the way Derrick’s fine ass moved beneath those dark slacks. The memory of fucking that fine ass over the workout bench flashed through his brain, and Slater bit the inside of his cheek hard.
When Derrick returned, they both said goodbye to the Masseys and little Mia. At the car, Slater said, “I hate to be a wimp about this, but do you mind if I stretch out on the backseat?”
“Of course not.” Derrick helped him with the crutch and got that blanket out of the trunk so Slater could elevate his ankle. His woodsy cologne tickled Slater’s senses and it was not helping his unwanted sexy thoughts.
They’d been on the road for about five minutes when Derrick asked, “So did you have fun?”
“Sure. I’ve never been to such a big wedding before. Six bridesmaids?”
Derrick chuckled. “Yeah, the groom has a lot of sisters, which paired well because the bride has a lot of brothers.”
That made Slater laugh. “One of your aunts said you were breaking hearts by being off the market now.”
“I’m sure those broken hearts will find solace somewhere else.” The statement was forceful and also…possessive? Of Slater?
He poked a little more. “You aren’t afraid of potentially losing dates after we break up?”
Derrick didn’t respond right away, and Slater swore the steering wheel creaked. From this position, Slater could only see a sliver of Derrick’s profile, so he couldn’t read the guy’s expression.
“I didn’t date before we met,” Derrick finally said, “so I don’t see that changing too much after.”
“Back to club hookups, then.”
“Dunno. Guess I’ll find out when it happens.”
Slater dropped the subject and watched the scenery go by. They were both subdued when they got home. No one was in the foyer, so they took their somber moods into the apartment. Slater hobbled to the refrigerator to get an ice pack, then found himself standing by the counter staring at it. Fingers going numb but unable to move. He disliked the idea of Derrick going back to club hookups, because Derrick deserved someone stable and emotionally open. Someone who could love him the way he should be loved. Not someone who fucked up every relationship in his life, including the one with his own daughter.
Not an ex-con like Slater.
Footsteps shuffled up behind him, followed by a light waft of cologne. His body prickled with awareness but Slater didn’t tense up. Hands rested lightly on his hips, and the simple touch sent blood rushing to Slater’s dick. For weeks, he’d slept next to a man he was incredibly attracted to. A man he enjoyed spending time with. Eating with. Doing nothing more taxing than watching a baseball game on a Sunday afternoon.
“I don’t want to think about the future right now,” Derrick said, his voice soft, earnest. “Not when the present feels so good.” Warm lips brushed the back of Slater’s neck, and he gasped. Put the ice pack on the counter but wasn’t sure what to do with his hands. Slater was upside down and turned around, and maybe they could blame this on wedding fever.
Slater grabbed the hand on his right hip and slid it down and around, leaving it over his hard cock. Derrick groped him, kissed his neck again, and Slater said, “Bedroom.”
Derrick must have momentarily forgotten the attached crutch, because his attempt to turn Slater around ended with Slater’s extended calf slamming into Derrick’s knee. Slater fell into him so he didn’t hit the counter, and they both started laughing. Once they righted themselves, they managed to get into the bedroom and unstrap Slater’s leg from the crutch. The cast was still a heavy problem, but hey, tear-away trousers!
Slater tugged at the buttons of Derrick’s dress shirt, wanting to see the guy’s bare torso again but he didn’t want to ruin his clothes. Then again, Dez could probably sew on any missing buttons. All rational thoughts fled when Derrick leaned down to suck on Slater’s collarbone. He wasn’t sure how they’d both ended up naked, but Derrick was slotted between Slater’s spread legs, hard dicks rubbing, and he was making a snack out of Slater’s chest. His pecs, nipples, shoulders and neck. Even up to his cheeks and chin.
Everywhere except Slater’s mouth, because Slater didn’t kiss.
I don’t kiss hookups. This is more than a hookup.
But a mouth kiss felt too much like a declaration he wasn’t ready to make yet, so Slater surrendered to whatever Derrick wanted—for now. Derrick seemed content to taste every exposed patch of Slater’s skin, exploring him in a brand-new-to-them way. Far more intimate than wrestling in a shed. Because they knew each other this time.
Really knew each other.
About the Book
Book Description: Five Weddings and a Fake Boyfriend
City slicker Derrick Massey has always had a thing for cowboys. So a roll in the hay with Kendall “Slater” Stamos during a rustic weekend wedding is more than A-OK. But when Slater’s forced to hang up his saddle for the season, Derrick surprises even himself with his proposition: be my fake boyfriend and get my family off my back about finding a permanent partner.
Though unexpected, the arrangement is a win-win. Derrick gets a plus-one for a slew of summer weddings and Slater gets a place to stay while he recuperates…with lots of casual fun in between. Which is just how the sexy cowboy likes it: casual. Yet it’s obvious the chemistry between them is anything but.
With the countdown to their “breakup” on, the more time the two men spend together. And the more it becomes clear that what they have could be real, if only they let it be.
About the Author
A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone’s throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She’s been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn’t been coined yet back then) with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories. A.M. Arthur’s work is available from Carina Press, SMP Swerve, and Briggs-King Books.
When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org with your cooking tips (or book comments). For updates, info and the occasional freebie, sign up for her free newsletter: https://vr2.verticalresponse.com/s/signupformynewsletter16492674416904
For sneak peeks and exclusive giveaways, please join my Facebook group Pot O Gold: https://www.facebook.com/groups/300209733646247/