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Monday, 7 August 2017

Author Spotlight; Casper Graham


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Title: Moving On (M/M)
Author: Casper Graham
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Cover Artist: Harris Channing
Genre: Contemporary Romance


[Siren Classic ManLove: Erotic Alternative Contemporary Romance, M/M, HEA]

Blurb:
Raymond Bolton thinks he’s about to get a marriage proposal from Ian McCain during their four year anniversary dinner at the restaurant where they had their first date. Instead, Ian breaks up with him after telling him that the hidden ring is meant for some other guy that Ian has been seeing behind his back for the past year.

Heartbroken and desperate, he tries to get Jake Tanner, his childhood best friend, to whip his body back into shape, thinking that he may be able to win Ian back. As they spend even more time together, his long-buried infatuation for his best friend comes rushing back to the surface. It doesn’t help that Jake is constantly touching and hugging him.

Out of the blue, Ian seeks him out and talks about getting back together.   Does he still have feelings for Ian? Or can he move on and venture into a new relationship with Jake instead?


*Notes:
1. Friends-to-Lovers
2. Mentions of Infidelity & Homophobia



Excerpt:
“Raymond! Jake!”

He jumped a little and turned around before grimacing openly. Ian was standing about one foot away from their table with a strange man. Judging by the man’s possessive arm around Ian’s waist, however, it didn’t take a freaking genius to guess that this must be Ian’s fiancé. He schooled his expression in a hurry and tried to smile through the heartache. Maybe he was still in love with Ian after all. All the weird feelings for Jake that resurfaced recently might only be an illusion. He was probably just lonely, and Jake was so sweet and lovely toward him. It might simply be a rebound feeling in his current state of vulnerability.

“Hi, Ian. How are you?” he greeted, proud that he managed to keep his voice sounding even and casual.

“Oh, life has been awesome,” Ian answered flippantly before gesturing at the man next to him. “This is Nathan Cooper, my fiancé.”

His heart clenched painfully upon hearing it, but he continued to smile and offered his hand.

“Nice to meet you, Nathan. Congratulations to both of you on your engagement.”

It would have made it easier for him to hate Nathan if the guy had been a rude bastard. Unfortunately, Ian’s fiancé turned out to be a polite and friendly man, who quickly shook his hand before doing the same with Jake. It was much worse to witness the lovesick gazes exchanged between Ian and Nathan as they thanked him for the congratulatory remark, and he balled his fists tightly on either side of his jeans. He even grabbed his pants once or twice because he could feel his hands trembling a little as he attempted to get his feelings under control. Most importantly, he tried to maintain a smile, unwilling to let Ian see how much he was hurting right at that moment. It was horrible enough that his ex-boyfriend had cheated on him and then dumped him before immediately proposing to the guy he was having an affair with. He wasn’t going to let Ian see him shed tears over their failed relationship because that would just complete his utter humiliation.

“Jake is my best friend,” he explained to Nathan as calmly as he could manage to.

“Great. It’s really nice to meet you both.”

“By the way, Ray, I forgot to contact you about the unexpected deposit in my bank account. What’s the money for?” Ian asked him.

“Oh, that’s…that’s half of the deposit for our…I mean, the previous apartment,” he corrected himself in a hurry. “I decided to move out before the end of the lease and stay with Jake instead, but I paid the management in full to cover the rental until the end of the contract.”

“That’s great. It’s good that I’ve taken all of my stuff before you move out then. Everything works out fine for both of us.”

“Yeah, that’s…that’s right. Easier for me to pack up, too,” he answered, trying his best to stop the tears from flowing.

He couldn’t believe that he apparently still had leftover feelings for this cheating asshole, but the phantom pain coursing through his entire body was proof enough that he had not gotten over his ex-boyfriend at all.

“Anyway, Nathan and I have to leave. It’s Saturday, and we have plans for tonight.”

“Right, right. Of course. Nice to see you again, Ian. You, too, Nathan.”

Jake only waved good-bye at the other two men. He could tell from Jake’s tightening jaw that his best friend was furious on his behalf. He heaved out a sigh of relief when Ian and Nathan exited the bakery together. He watched their backs for a few seconds longer before sitting down quietly.

“What a fucking insensitive asshole,” Jake spat out, obviously angry.

He shook his head at his best friend. “Thanks, Jake, but I’m okay.”

“Ian shouldn’t have flaunted his new—”

“Jake, please,” he mumbled, feeling even more embarrassed now. “Can we just forget about it?”

Jake eyed him uncertainly for a second or two before nodding at him in understanding.
“Sorry. Should we leave now?”

“No, I’ll be fine.”

“Ray—”

“I’m all right, Jake,” he assured his best friend and sniffled a little.

“Okay.”

The two of them sat in silence for the next few minutes. He ate all the cupcakes in a hurry, doing his best to ignore his aching heart. When he was done, he took big gulps of his smoothie before leaning back against the chair and staring at his trembling hands on his laps. Jake only ordered a slice of rose apple pie and a cup of green tea, but the man wasn’t even done with half of the slice of pie.

“Not hungry?” he inquired, trying to fill in the weird extended silence between them.

“Do you want it?” Jake countered and pushed the pie toward him.

He shook his head. “No, thanks, Jake. I’m full.”

“Ray, should I drop you off at home before—”

“No, I’m going with you to the restaurant. I can help you out tonight. No problem at all. I just want to stay busy. It gets my mind off…things, you know?”
“Are you sure?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay.”

They didn’t talk at all while Jake finished off the remainder of the pie and his cup of green tea. The tense silence stretched on between them. Neither of them uttered a single word as they made their way out of the bakery toward the car. In fact, they didn’t communicate verbally with each other all the way to the restaurant. However, Jake reached out and grabbed one of his hands in a silent gesture of support and understanding. He appreciated what Jake did at the moment, but he couldn’t say it out loud. Instead, he turned his head away from his best friend and gazed out through the window at the passing scenery as he cried quietly.