Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Anne Tenino for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: Wedding Favors
Author: Anne Tenino
Cover Artist: LC Chase
Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance
Lucas Wilder’s best friend is a traitor. First, Audrey moved back to their hick-infested hometown, Bluewater Bay, and now she’s marrying a local. His own brother, in fact. And as her man of honor, Lucas gets coerced into returning for an extended stay. Although, between his unfaithful ex-boyfriend and his artist’s block, going home isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Even if the best man is Gabriel Savage, Lucas’s first crush, first hookup, and first heartbreak.
The only reason Gabe hasn’t been waiting for Lucas to return to Bluewater Bay is because he never thought it’d happen. Not that it matters now that Lucas is back—Gabe’s still a logger who’s never been anywhere (Canada doesn’t count), and Lucas is now a famous sculptor who’s been everywhere twice. Plus, there’s that shared past.
When Audrey asks Lucas to make her wedding favors, the only place to set up a kiln is at Gabe’s tree farm. Soon, they pick up where they left off twelve years before, then blow past it, discovering why neither of them forgot the other. Now they have to choose how much of their history they’ll repeat, and what future they’ll make together.
Lucas trailed behind Gabe through the long grass, not checking out his ass in those jeans at all, Audrey caught up with him. Zach seemed to be going to look in the outbuilding Gabe had been standing in front of when they drove up.
He couldn’t stay mad at her. “Online last night, I found a place in Sequim that might have enough supplies for me to do a few tests.” He’d have to call and make sure they had a red-bodied clay, and terra sigillata, although he could probably get by without it for a while. Because I have horseshit.
“Are you going to have Corbin send up your stuff, then?” She looped her arm through his as they walked.
“Now that I have a place to work. Probably. Anyway, the website says the store’s open until six tonight, so I’ll head over this afternoon.”
“You can ride with me.” Gabe had stopped right in front of the main barn. “I gotta head over there too. Meeting a guy at five on the other side of Port Angeles.”
“No, it’s fine,” Lucas responded quickly. “I’ll just drive myself.” The last time he’d ridden in a truck alone with Gabe, well . . .
Gabe didn’t push it, but that hint of a smirk reappeared.
Whatever. Just because he’d promised to be civil didn’t mean he had to be chummy. Instead he showed great interest in the building in front of him. In fact, he’d always loved the Savages’ barn—it was huge, with vertical wood siding so weathered it looked like it had been treated with creosote except for where the boards overlapped and the thinnest slice of reddish tan peeked through. It didn’t have the traditional roof shape, but was built in more of a horse-barn style—a two-story central structure with single-story additions running down both of the long sides.
Opening a door in the southeast corner, Gabe announced, “This is it.”
Almost ceremoniously, Audrey dropped his arm. “I’ll wait out here.”
Sure, send him into the lion’s den alone, with the lion. She ignored his frown, of course.
Fine. He followed Gabe inside, totally unsurprised to find that—like everything else about this place—it was perfect. Mostly empty, with workbenches built into three of the walls and cupboards on the fourth. For an outbuilding it had large windows that let in tons of natural light, and a sink next to a second door that must lead into the barn proper. Most of the center of the room was clear, just waiting for him to fill it up with his stuff.
Sighing in resignation, Lucas admitted, “It’ll do.”
“It was Grandpa Savage’s office. His eyes went bad the last couple of years, so we put in bigger windows. You probably need that, huh?”
“Yeah, it’s good. It’s really good.” So good he felt like kicking something. “Thank you for your hospitality. For letting me work here,” he added stiffly.
“Don’t sound too happy about that.” Gabe stood with his hands jammed in his pockets, more serious now. Like he really didn’t know if it measured up. He shouldn’t even care what Lucas thought, not after the way he’d been acting since they arrived.
Oh, God, he had to apologize. “I’m sorry I was such a dick earlier.”
“Well.” Gabe glanced around, then met Lucas’s gaze. Blue eyes shot with mossy-brown streaks really shouldn’t look so good with dark-red hair. “On that note, if you expect me to be civil to you, I don’t think it’s unfair for me to expect the same in return.”
Lucas half smiled, somewhere between amused at himself and ashamed. “You’re right.”
“Guess I wouldn’t ever want it said I was inhospitable to a guest.” He was less serious now, and stood straighter. God, he did actually care what Lucas thought, didn’t he?
Lucas did the thing he’d do with anyone else—placed his hand on Gabe’s arm and sincerely apologized this time. He knew he often got too self-involved, which ended up hurting or offending people. Except this time, he didn’t manage more than, “I’m sorry,” because Gabe’s arm was warm and vital under the soft knit of his T-shirt. Alive in a way that spoke to something in Lucas’s body and dammit why was he still attracted to this guy? Shouldn’t what had happened twelve years before have killed off his appeal? But he’s being so nice to me, now.
And it was twelve years ago. And Lucas may have been remembering it wrong.
As soon as he realized he’d been holding on to Gabe too long and studying his face too intently, Lucas jerked away, pretending to inspect the room, but in reality imagining a force field between his body and the large, burly one next to his. It didn’t work—he could still sense energy running between them, as if together they completed a circuit.
“I’ll be out in the machine shed if you need anything,” Gabe said after a second, then he retreated, taking his heat with him.
About the Author:
Catalyzed by her discovery of LGBTQ romance, Anne Tenino left the lucrative fields of art history, non-profit fundraising, and domestic engineering to follow her dream of become a starving romance author. For good or ill, her snarky, silly, quasi-British sense of humor came along for the ride.
Anne applies her particular blend of romance, comedy and gay protagonists to contemporary, scifi and paranormal tales. Her works have won awards, she’s been featured in RT Book Reviews, and has achieved bestseller status on Amazon’s gay romance list.
Born and raised in Oregon, Anne lives in Portland with her husband and two kids, who have all taken a sacred oath to never read her books. She can usually be found at her computer, procrastinating.
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