After a rocky first few months, Stephen Parker and Russ Bishop’s relationship is at a crossroads when the death of Stephen’s father forces them to visit Stephen’s hometown in southern Georgia.
Estranged from his family, Stephen must find a way to come to terms with his past and say goodbye to the father whose expectations he could never live up to. The small, conservative town provides its own challenges as Russ realizes providing emotional support is one part of being a true partner for Stephen.
After the dishes were done and the kitchen was clean, the three of them sat on the front porch, Russ beside him on the creaking swing as Miss Esther knitted and told Russ stories about Stephen growing up. “Before you leave I’ll show you the photos I have,” she promised Russ and he enthusiastically agreed. Stephen’s gaze flew to the elderly woman.
“You have them?”
“Sure do,” she said easily, the clack of the needles never pausing. “Your daddy tried to throw them out when your momma passed but I wouldn’t let him. I’ve been hangin’ onto ‘em for you.”
“Oh,” Stephen replied, feeling strangely shaky. He’d thought every memory of his childhood had been tossed out.
“They’re in a box in the blue bedroom,” she said. “You can get them down from the shelf in the closet for me tomorrow.”
“I’d love to see them,” Russ said, his tone eager as he leaned forward. Stephen was less sure of how he felt. On one hand, he was relieved to know it hadn’t all been destroyed. On the other, he wasn’t sure how much of his past he could face this weekend. Then Russ’ knee nudged his, their thighs pressing together. As the katydids droned in the background, Stephen felt himself relax, remembering he didn’t have to face it alone.
The moment I began writing the second book in this series, I knew it was going to be a rough one. For so many years Stephen pushed back the memories of his past. He didn’t have to deal with them and it isn’t until he’s forced to go back to the town he grew up in that they all come back. Avoidance is a tricky way of dealing with your issues. It works for a while, but once the status quo changes … they seem to come back twice as hard.
It’s really no exception for Stephen and in many ways, he’s ill-prepared to deal with it. Stephen spent his whole life with his eyes on his future, ignoring his past, and he hasn’t allowed many people to get close to him. Now that he’s forced to deal with his feelings about his father and his hometown, he struggles to let himself lean on Russ, to let himself grieve and be angry.
Russ has been equally isolated and has little experience being the emotional support for someone else.
“Russ hoped it was enough for Stephen. He had no experience with a relationship like this, no frame of reference for what Stephen was dealing with. Bourbon and blowjobs he could do, but emotional support was much trickier. He was trying though.”
He wants to be Stephen’s rock and yet he isn’t sure how to be.
This story is about learning to rely on and trust each other. It’s about their growth as men and as a couple. And about working through the past and building a future together.
Here are the links to purchase the story.
And please, join me on the blog tour. It begins today on Prism with an interview!
9/19/2014 Prism Book Alliance http://www.prismbookalliance.com
9/20/2014 GGR Review http://www.ggr-review.com/
9/21/2014 MM Good Book Reviews http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/
9/23/2014 Smoocher’s Voice http://www.smoochersvoice.com/
9/25/2014 Diverse Reader http://diversereader.blogspot.com/
9/27/2014 Love Bytes Reviews http://lovebytesreviews.com
9/28/2014 The Novel Approach http://thenovelapproachreviews.com/
9/30/2014 Padme’s Library http://padmeslibrary.blogspot.com/
10/1/2014 JP Barnaby http://www.jpbarnaby.com/
10/3/2014 Rainbow Gold Reviews http://rainbowgoldreviews.wordpress.com/