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Title: Seven Days
Author: Cristina Bruni
Publisher: JMS Books
Cover Artist: J.M. Snyder
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance
Release Date: 01/28/2017
During a golf tournament in Virginia, American golfer Reginald Weston meets Russell Lee, the British former world champion in the sport. The two men hit it off when Reginald takes Russell under his wing, teaching him the tricks of the game.
As their friendship deepens, Reginald finds himself falling in love with the Englishman, though he knows Russell doesn’t feel the same. He’s painfully aware of the fact that Russell isn’t gay.
But there’s more to Russell than meets the eye. He’s a troubled soul, plagued by monsters in his head telling him who he should be. He’s spent most of his life hiding his sexuality from the world so he won’t disappoint his homophobic mother.
Is seven days enough time for Russell to break through the years of hurt and accept the new direction fate has in store for him and Reginald?
“How old are you?”
He felt Russell’s gaze at his eyes, his cheeks, his hands…everywhere. And it was burning.
“I’m sorry for asking,” Russel joked, “but I don’t know your biography by heart, and I don’t even have your picture in my bedroom.”
That made Reggie start laughing. He didn’t take it offense, nor did the comment knock down his admiration for the English player. He took it as a joke between friends. It felt good.
“I’m twenty-two,” he said, looking into Russell’s bright blue eyes. Since Russell was smiling at him, he smiled back.
“You seem a couple of years younger. You should grow your beard, like me. You’d seem older.”
“I don’t know if it’d be thick enough…”
“Let’s do it this way. Don’t shave until Sunday, and I’ll tell you honestly if you’re good-looking then or not,” the Englishman proposed.
I’ll tell you if you’re good-looking or not. Shit.
Reggie swallowed. Once back in his room, he’ll have to take a cold shower. And also something else, speaking of which…
He started to nervously tap his foot on the parquet.
“Regarding a boyfriend…I don’t have one.”
Why the hell had he returned to that subject? He should have stayed away from it.
Russell crossed his arms over his chest with a puzzled expression. “Why not?”
Reggie shrugged. “Maybe because I’m too focused on my profession. I dedicate myself to golf. And guys my age don’t really like that.”
The Englishman wrinkled his nose and nodded. “Yeah…well, remember, it’s not about the quantity of time you give but the quality.”
Reggie thought about that.
“Or maybe you should look for a more mature man,” Russell teased.
Reggie’s heart made a couple of flips in his chest. A muddle of emotions exploded like fire on his face. His arousal woke up, dangerously, and he decided it was better to think about something sad to soften it. Thank God Russell was looking into his eyes and not lower.
Oh my God, what an embarrassment…
He chose not to reply, to avoid saying something he would regret.
“And now, forgive me, but I have to go,” Russell
continued, quickly looking at his watch. “My wife awaits me. Well, we’re not really married, but I consider her my wife.”
Reggie’s heart broke at the memory of Danielle’s betrayal.
He wished he could do something, offer Russell some kind of comfort, but he limited himself to a nod.
The man stood and put his hands in the pockets of his trousers. He looked down, as if thinking about something.
“When I was a kid at school, I had a best friend…his name was Daniel,” he finally said.
Russell’s eyes had a faraway look, saddened by memory. Reggie sat up on the couch: he didn’t want to lose anything the man was going to say, not a word or a blink.
“We used to spend entire days together. I spent more time at his house than with my family. Then one day he came out and
told everybody he was gay…”
Reggie had the clear impression there was something else, and he waited, holding his breath.
“I loved him so much that, for a long time, I believed that I…that we…”
He interrupted the sentence halfway through, his face hardening.
“And then? What happened?” Reggie pressed. The tension of the moment ran in his veins like a motorbike on a track.
But the Englishman shrugged.
“I don’t know. We simply took different paths.”
Yes, there was something else there but after all, they had only met the day before. Reggie wasn’t close enough to Russell to pretend he was entitled to know more and, probably, they never would be.
“I have to go. Goodbye. See you on the field, maybe.” Now Russell seemed to be the same man as before: happy, carefree. Too perfect to be real. “Try to keep it under sixty-seven strokes tomorrow.”
Reggie smiled, thankful.
“And remember: if they put a long pin at seventeen, use the eight-iron. You should be able to overcome the water without any problem,” he added with a wink.
Oh, amazing. Reggie had lost a stroke at seventeen by hitting the ball into the water. He flushed again, this time from shame.
“I’ll take the advice of a champion to heart, thanks.”
Russell laughed, bending his head back again in that gesture Reggie liked so much.
“I’m not a champion. I am a normal man who’s played golf for many years. Well, goodnight.”
“Goodnight,” Reggie echoed.
When the Englishman closed the door behind him, Reggie suddenly felt lonely and sad. He’d been wrong about Russell
Lee. He was a good man, exactly how Reggie had always imagined him to be. He felt good about Russell now.
As he stood up, he adjusted his trousers. Carlos was right: he had a terrific crush on his idol.
About the Author
Cristina Bruni lives in northern Italy with her husband and their child. She’s already published many M/M novels in Italy with Triskell Rainbow publisher. Since she was a young girl, her biggest wishes were being a mother and an author and now, after fighting for it for years, she finally succeeded in both. She loves travelling abroad, going to the cinema, reading Sherlock Holmes, luxury bags and playing tennis and golf. She’s madly USA-sick and UK-sick.
She made her debut writing fanfictions and, now, her new wish would be writing love Male-to-Male stories for the rest of her life and living on a beach in Hawaii.
Maybe dreams will come true again, sooner or later…
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