Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Grace R. Duncan for stopping by today.
Title: What About Now
Author: Grace R. Duncan
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Genre: BDSM, Contemporary, Drama, Gay Romance, Romance
Five years ago, everything went wrong.
Braden Kirk and Rafe Jessen’s long-term relationship started unraveling. They stopped talking, fears mounted, then Braden walked in on Rafe and another man, completely misreading the situation. Without giving Rafe a chance to explain, Braden walks out. Out of their home, their relationship, and the game development company they started together in college.
After months of therapy to deal with the attempted rape Braden walked in on, Rafe begins to understand that his dominant tendencies in the bedroom aren’t a bad thing and that Braden’s submission is likely what scared his partner into silence. But Rafe isn’t ready to let go of the man he loves more than life itself. He arranges for himself and Braden to end up on the same charity cruise, knowing Braden won’t let his phobia—terror of vast, deep waters—rule him.
With a plan and twenty-eight days, Rafe is determined to get Braden back, make him see there’s nothing wrong with being submissive, and find a way to get Braden to stay with him when they get home to LA.
“Your attention please!” Janie tried to call over the noise.
Braden thought it was a hopeless attempt. With a big buffet dinner under their belts and a solid two hours of alcohol, getting the group to quiet seemed almost impossible.
A ship employee offered her a microphone, and she smiled gratefully as she took it, then turned back to the crowd. This time, her “Attention, please” brought silence to the room. “First, I want to thank everyone for joining us. The sales from the cruise tickets alone are going to go a long way toward our goals. Jacob’s Place is well on its way to being built, and all because of you.” She paused as everyone applauded, Braden included, then held up a hand. “Thank you. But we still have a long way to go. To that end, we have a lot of activities planned for the cruise to continue to raise money for the home. We have art that has been donated by Rich Paulson.” She waved a hand at the painting sitting on an easel to her right. “Several more are available besides this one, on display in the Piazza. We also have a number of other prizes up for raffle, including handcrafted jewelry, other works of art, books written by LGBT authors, and much more than I can list here. The full list is in the booklet. These will be awarded the last night of the cruise. You can buy tickets anytime from me, my wife, Meg, or our daughter, Jenna. We do have a few raffle prizes to award tonight, though, since we wanted to give you a chance to use them. We’ve sold an amazing amount of tickets, and I’d like to thank the bachelors and bachelorettes who volunteered to be raffled off.”
A number of people laughed and applauded, and Braden frowned, looking down at the booklet Janie had handed him when he walked in. He didn’t realize there’d been a raffle already. If he’d known, he’d have bought a few tickets, if for no other reason than to help support the home.
“Our first prize is… my daughter, Jenna.”
Braden looked up as a wispy-thin woman who could have been anywhere from twenty-five to forty, as far as Braden could tell, stepped up to her mother. She had long brown hair tucked behind her ear and a wide smile, both of which matched Janie’s, though Janie had silver running through her brown. Jenna was pretty enough, he guessed, though he, of course, wouldn’t have bought a ticket for a woman.
“The winner will get a date of their choice with Jenna. Princess Cruises has generously donated dinner for two at any of the specialty restaurants to go with the date.” She took a small canvas bag from another lady Braden assumed was her wife and opened it up. She pulled a ticket out and read the name to herself in a mumble before looking up. “And I have…. Angel? Angela! Angela Simmons.”
Braden couldn’t help but smile when someone who was obviously Angela Simmons started shouting and jumping up and down. She hurried to the front, then stopped dead in front of Jenna, teetering on her toes for a few seconds and blushing furiously. “Uh, hi.”
Jenna laughed. “Hi. Nice to meet you, Angela. So… how about a date?” She held out a hand.
Angela actually giggled as she nodded, then took the offered hand, and they moved off to talk.
Janie grinned after them, then obviously remembered herself and turned back to the group. “Right. Our first bachelor. Let’s see….” She looked down at the list. “Marcus Jameson?”
A tall, lean man with black hair that hung to his shoulders and a smile that warmed what would otherwise be a severe face stepped forward.
Braden looked up at him and couldn’t decide whether to be intimidated or attracted. He decided attracted went better with vacation and again frowned at the thought that he most definitely would have wanted to buy a ticket for this guy. He might not have been interested in dating long-term, but he wouldn’t turn down a chance at a hookup, especially since he’d been celibate since the big game-release push started. As long as “hookup” was all it was.
Meg handed Janie another bag, apparently with the next group of tickets. Marcus stood next to them, hands clasped in front of him, looking around the room. Braden suspected he was evaluating the people who might have bought tickets.
“Ah, here we go!” Janie turned the ticket around and read it. “Uh…. Harry? Yes! Harry.”
“It’s not that hard to read,” Meg chided her.
“Ha. You read them, then.” She handed it to Meg, who scowled at the small card and handed it back. Janie smirked. “See? Anyway. Harry Zimmer?”
Braden didn’t pay attention to who claimed the prize. He glanced around, trying to decide if it would be rude to slip back to the bar for another drink. Without having purchased tickets, he wasn’t very interested in the events. As such, it wasn’t until the noise in the room grew that he realized something had happened. He turned back to the front to see Janie looking at him expectantly.
“Braden!” Janie called, waving her hand at him.
Braden blinked at her, raising his eyebrows. “Me?”
“But… I didn’t volunteer.” Braden scowled.
Janie grinned. “We were assured you’d be willing to help out.”
Brandon’s scowl deepened. He didn’t have to guess who volunteered him. He’d have some serious words with his mother when they made port in Hawai’i. He considered it a moment, but figured going on a date for charity wouldn’t be too bad. Dinner, maybe some loud music where they wouldn’t have to talk, and possibly ending the night with that hookup he’d thought about earlier. He decided that would be okay, so he stepped forward, forced the scowl off his face, and tried for a smile.
“Good!” Janie’s grin widened, so he must have managed the smile. She turned to Meg, who handed her another canvas bag. Braden blinked at it. The thing was huge. “Let’s see who gets a date with you.” She pulled a card out, then turned to the group. “Once again, the winner will also get dinner for two in a specialty restaurant.” She looked down at the card.
But Braden didn’t need to hear the name. Because at that moment, the last person he ever wanted to see again stepped forward through the crowd.
A man he’d loved for years. The one he’d desperately tried to forget for the last five, but couldn’t.
The one he’d love for the rest of his life.
About the Author
Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.
A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.
As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.
Find Grace here:
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
|This post may contain affiliate links.
|Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews. The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.|