I have a hell of a spotlight for you too. A chapter long excerpt of Confessions of a Wild Heart, a look at some of his work, and a giveaway that is just *sigh* breath taking! So buckle up my pretties!!!
Raised in near seclusion by an agoraphobic mother, Davy Cooper’s social skills are almost nonexistent. Now that his mother has died, he needs to make friends for the first time in his life. He catches Gavin Walker’s eye, but the sexy, confident, bad boy hipster intimidates shy Davy so much that he throws away Gavin’s number every time he offers it.
When Gavin defends Davy from a rude guy, Davy begins to warm to him. However, with his limited experience, he thinks he and Gavin are too different, and anything more than a casual acquaintance will end in complete disaster.
Bobby Gugino realized he may have met the man of his dreams in Jody Olsen, only neither of them were gay, so far as Bobby knew. But when Jody came out and ended his marriage, Bobby's entire worldview was skewed, and his own health issues lead to his own coming out. Fast forward four years and Bobby runs into Jody again, but Bobby may be too busy making up for lost time to see how great they are together.
Jody Olsen's got guilt and mommy issues, but his coming out was smooth and his life had settled into a mundane pattern of kissing frogs while waiting for prince charming and helping run his mother's book store in New York's East Village. When Bobby comes bumbling back into his life with a surprising shared passion for the written word and an endearing love for sugary Frappuccinos, Jody can't help but be quickly swept up by the man.
The struggle to be patient with Bobby and his being unsure about being committed to someone is not an easy one. Does Jody hope for his happy ever after with Bobby, or is the lure of chasing the rainbow too much to fight against?
Includes a fresh-faced divorcee with his nose in romance novels and his heart in the clouds, a thirty-something fresh out of the closet, chasing a missed youth and trying to find his place in the big gay world he'd missed out on... and a little dirty suit sex.
Tucker Gray is a Baltimore, MD waiter, hailing from the deep south, whose mental health issues and past relationships have made it hard to trust more than the cut. After he hits what he thought was rock bottom Tucker decides to keep close to the ones who stood by him and keep his head down, until he finds something to prove it can get better.
Jesse Bauer is unsure what his future holds after an injury forces him to retire from the marines. With all of the decisions he has to make in his civilian life with all of its freedoms and possibilities, he feels staying closeted and keeping the people in his life happy will keep down the chaos.
Until the night he met Tucker Gray at a party he thought that’d be possible, but both of them are instantly and strongly in lust. As their relationship grows Jesse has to prove himself and Tucker has to learn to trust more than the cut.
Logan Marshall moves to New York to be a social worker where he feels he's needed most. Logan's always had it good. His Daddy is a preacher, sure, but he preaches a laid back, tolerant congregation who accepted Logan's sexuality gracefully. He's from a ranch in nowhere, Texas, which makes him a hot ticket in the clubs with his tight, work strengthened body and his cute accent. He's out of his element in New York, not looking for Mr. Right Now but Mr. Right.
Gianni Rodriguez grew up in Brooklyn. Nothing could be further from the way he was raised than innocent, good hearted Logan was. Gianni is fascinated that people like Logan even exist. And parents that not only are God-fearing, but also accepting?
As second in command of Los Cuervos, his brother's not-so-merry band of drug runners and pimps, Gianni's life would be in serious jeopardy if anyone ever knew the truth. That's why his growing attachment for Logan is a bad thing.
When Logan's work collides violently with Gianni's life, Gianni has to decide if the man is worth risking everything, even his family-- the man that may not even want him once he realizes what a monster the man he's been sleeping with really is. Could Logan be Gianni's reason to go straight? Or will they both go straight to an unmarked grave?
Kade's newest book Confessions of a Wild Heart (Available now) is where the following excerpt comes from:
US Army PFC Jase Emery, on leave in Germany, sees Ase Ramirez for the first time with a camera to his face. Ase’s wild child ways provide a welcome distraction for Jase. But their weekend of fun ends abruptly when Ase’s conservative family catches them. Through email, Ase and Jase are able to keep the link open. But that too comes to an end.
Jase was never able to live up to his parent’s expectations like his brother was. He didn’t stay and work the family ranch, or marry. He saw the world. His return from serving in the Army changed nothing, he wanted to be free to live his own life. But the death of his father and his mother’s failing health force him to come home, hide his bisexuality, and live a life in the closet as a local Sheriff Deputy so he can take care of his family. This was to be his life… Until Ase returns.
After his family caught Ase and Jase together, Ase worked hard at getting the heat off himself. His occasional thoughts of Jase and their amazing weekend dwindle as life and family take the forefront and fear drives Ase to make huge mistakes.
When Ase and Jase come face to face again, it isn’t easy. Insecurities, and a hurt that have only grown with time make it hard to see the future.Can their friendship blossom into something more? With Ase’s wild side reappearing from the shadows and major trust issues, can he and Jase, with huge obstacles of his own, learn to forgive, move on, and find a peace they both so desperately want… together?
ASE blinked his eyes open, waking slowly. He was surprised to find that he didn’t have a hangover. Okay, there was a small, mewling hangover in the background, but not the usual dull roar.
He was disoriented, but again, not so much as he usually felt when he first woke. Which is why he realized quickly he wasn’t in his own room, or his own bed for that matter. The smell was the first thing that clued him in, the cedar from the wooden walls being the strongest, with a hint of fabric softener from the clean sheets, and the unmistakable scent of Jase’s spicy aftershave making him feel both relaxed and on edge at once.
As his eyes roamed the large bedroom in the full light of morning or mid-day, which streamed in through thin white curtains on one wall, he noticed all the touches of Jase lying around. The walls had generic framed landscapes, and the furniture was quaint and old farmhouse chic, but the boots and sneakers lined up on one wall were those of a younger man. There was a basketful of laundry in one corner, and a laptop computer on the bedside table, proving he hadn’t fallen back in time. Thank God.
He pushed the tattered old quilt back off him and frowned at his nakedness. He only slightly remembered Jase trying to discern where Ase lived through his sleep haze, then waking to find he was in Jase’s truck looking up at a log-sided cottage surrounded by acres of the blackness of late night. He didn’t remember too much about being put to bed, though. He just remembered feeling safe and warm, like he could put his head down for a long slumber for the first time in ages.
The sheer contentedness of waking in Jase’s bed was painful. He hadn’t dared dream this moment would ever happen. He hadn’t dared hope there would ever be a time he’d get to see the man again, much less be welcome in his home, in his bed, to feel not like he was always up in arms.
He looked next to him, realizing the other side of Jase’s bed was still partly made, and the pillow gone. He was a little disappointed to realize Jase hadn’t slept with him, but also warmed by the fact Jase had been considerate enough to give up his bed the night before even after Ase had been such a drunken asshole to him.
The fight in the truck came flooding back. As did the hook-up. He flushed with desire; remembering Jase’s mouth around his cock, the way they’d said I missed you, don’t leave. It was a dangerous place to be.
That got Ase moving. He needed clothes, he needed to pee, and he needed to get the fuck home. Now.
When he stood, he noticed his clothes neatly folded at the foot of the bed, obviously having been laundered because they smelled fresh and there were no cum stains on Ase’s shirt. He vowed as he dressed, feeling a little less vulnerable, and made his way to empty his bladder, that he’d be gracious with Jase this morning.
If this was meant to be that elusive closure, the least he could do was make it friendly. Hell, maybe he could even salvage some semblance of a friendship with Jase. Although, that seemed like it’d be hard, judging by the ferocity with which jealousy had overtaken him when Jase admitted he hadn’t been quite the virginal closet-case Ase had expected.
He noticed the en suite bathroom had two doors and took a bet that the other led into the main part of the house. He wasn’t disappointed when it opened into what looked to be the living room. He was assaulted with the brighter sunlight streaming through open bay windows on either side of the front door, and the smell of coffee and bacon. The television was on, voices buzzing at a low level, considerate of the fact Ase’d been sleeping, probably. He noticed the sheets and pillow on the couch and felt bad Jase had been kicked to the sofa in his own home.
The Sunday morning news was on, and he saw it was actually earlier than he’d expected, which told him a lot about how well he’d slept the night before since he was this rested at such an early hour.
He followed the sound of a softly humming voice through a swinging door that led to an old, country kitchen, complete with a wood stove in one corner. Ase could honestly say he’d never seen one of those in person. Jase hadn’t noticed Ase come in and continued humming a song Ase was pretty sure was Britney Spears. He couldn’t help the smile that fought through his anxious mood.
Watching Jase from behind was a treat. The man’s hair was sleep mussed, sticking up in many angles, and his bare back had red lines that’d probably once been creases from sleeping on sheets. He was tapping his bare foot as he hummed to himself, which made one of his firm ass cheeks bounce lightly, each jiggle visible through his very thin, threadbare sleep pants.
“Sorry you got booted from your bed,” Ase said, trying to keep the volume of his voice lower so as not to startle Jase.
Jase gave a little jolt of surprise when he turned, those green eyes crinkling at the sides when he saw Ase. “Good morning.” He picked up the skillet he’d been cooking in and moved over to the table. “It’s okay. You were wiped out. I thought you’d do better in the bed. Plus I’d have bothered you moving around really early anyway.” Of course, he’s fucking sweet and considerate. Fuck.
Ase sighed. He wondered what life would have been like had he come to Jase when things really hit the fan a few years ago. Knowing what little he knew of the man, he thought maybe Jase wouldn’t have minded. No matter what he’d told himself, they’d known each other a little back then. Hell, he had internet friends, now, he knew less well than Jase, but still considered good friends. And he’d not slept with any of them.
“Want breakfast? I did basics. Eggs, bacon. I have some chorizo if you’d prefer that.”
Ase couldn’t help teasing. “Was that a Mexican joke?”
Jase let out a huff of laughter. “No, you dick. We take our Tex-Mex very seriously around these parts.” As if to prove his point, Jase retrieved salsa from inside the fridge and tortillas from on top before sitting down at the table. He spooned his eggs on a tortilla and covered it in salsa, looking back up to Ase when he realized Ase was still just standing around watching him.
“Uh… You can sit.” He tilted his head, considering Ase. “Or not.” He shrugged like it didn’t matter, but it obviously did.
“Any more of that coffee?” Ase pointed to the mug Jase sipped from.
Jase pointed to the old-school percolator on the stove. “In there. It’s probably strong. Help yourself.”
Ase poured himself a mug and was pleased to find it was, indeed, quite strong. Just how he liked it. He pulled up a seat at the table and regarded Jase, who was a little too nonchalant.
A thought struck Ase and guilt flooded him. He’d had it briefly the night before, but figured he may as well get his apologizing over with. “I’m so sorry. Last night.”
Jase flinched. “Sorry for what?” His defensiveness was annoyingly cute. In his shorter, stocky body, he looked like a bulldog puppy with that near-offended look on his face.
“We, uh, I… I don’t mind if you don’t want a repeat, obviously. And I’ll keep my mouth shut. I don’t want you in trouble with your girlfriend.”
Jase seemed to deflate, though he did look a little guilty himself. “I don’t have a girlfriend. That was my friend Lacey.”
Ase thought on that. She seemed like more than just a friend, though. Not because she’d kissed Jase’s cheek or because she’d been his date. He knew the look of a smitten girl.
“You sure about that?”
Even Jase’s guilty expression was kind of cute. Again, in an annoying way. Because Ase and Jase, no matter what, could not go down this road. “She’s an ex technically, but a friend first. We were together for a while; she came out to San Antonio and lived with me for a few months. But it just wasn’t working. We were way better off as friends.”
Ase supposed he couldn’t get mad Jase’d lived with someone. He’d tried the same with another man. Anthony. He’d not even been prepared for the fallout that came from being with Ase. Not that he’d been all that nice a person to deserve much of Ase’s sympathy. The stressful thought made Ase’s hand shake, so he wrapped it tightly around his mug.
“Yeah,” Jase grimaced. “Full disclosure; since I’ve been back, we slept together. It wasn’t necessarily a mistake. Two adults and all. But it complicated things.”
Ase could understand that. “Kinda like last night.”
Jase’s eyes were snapping, but he got control of himself before he spoke. “If that’s how you want to think of it.”
Jase crammed the last of his egg burrito in his mouth and pushed back from the table. Ase sighed. He’d been enjoying their momentary truce; the acting like this wasn’t the most surreal morning ever. But the time moment had passed.
“I won’t pretend like it’s a good idea we get involved.”
“Because of your not-boyfriend-slash-friend?” Jase asked the question over his shoulder as he rinsed his plate in the sink, shoulders held rigid.
“No. Because I’m leaving. And you’re in the closet, so far as I can tell. And my life is… I have responsibilities.” And you still think you’re a sissy because you like boys. Jase didn’t even have to tell Ase that, he’d deduced it on his own, even back when they’d met in Munich. The uncomfortable way Jase’s eyes lingered on Dustin had been nothing to the way they had when he’d met Ase’s friend Manila in full drag on that street corner in Germany.
Jase deflated with a loud exhale before turning back to Ase. “Well, can’t we just not fight every time we see each other? Because…” Jase had that naive country boy look Ase’d seen years ago, the thing that’d attracted Ase to him so much. He’d never seen such an innocence that still lingered, even with an understanding of the world. How one kept that kind of sweetness when they’d witnessed what Jase’d probably seen in Afghanistan was beyond Ase. He barely survived what he’d seen at home.
“I don’t suppose it’d kill me to stop being a complete hijo de puta for an old friend.” Ase couldn’t believe he was saying it. He was a dick to everyone. He’d set his dickhead cap on years ago and used it like armor. But he’d only get a few more months with Jase, at most. He could play nice for a bit.
“You sure?” Jase asked, not seeming to believe him. “You’ll have to excuse me for not taking your word for it with how… volatile you’ve been,” Jase said. Ase had to give him credit for being up front. And for not calling him an asshole, showing he was being serious.
“I’m not always gonna be kittens and fucking sunshine, okay? But I can try to play nice.”
Jase studied him for a minute then nodded. “I can live with that.” Jase went back to washing his plate and the cookware. “So what’s with all the visits to the drunk tank? Apparently, you’re notorious around these parts.”
“Just living up to the thug-life reputation.” Ase gave his best interpretation of the accent most people associated with the Latino gang member—Hollywood stereotypes.
Jase didn’t appear to find that amusing, shooting a glare over his shoulder.
“So. San Antonio?” Ase deflected. Again, he got a glare.
“Yes,” Jase supplied. “After, well, after we stopped talking, I ended up finishing school, like I’d talked about. It was only one more semester. I applied for a job in some of the bigger towns’ and cities’ police departments.” Jase came back over and sat down with his refilled coffee mug, topped Ase’s off. He stopped talking, and Ase looked up to see a strange expression on Jase’s face.
Jase visibly shook himself. “Sorry. It’s just surreal sitting here, talking to you. In a good way, but surreal.”
Ase shrugged like it was nothing, but inside he felt the same. He’d just been thinking how surreal it was earlier. And he’d thought how nice it was when he’d had those pretty pink lips around him last night.
“Anyway,” Jase went on. “My parents actually lost their shit. They thought I should stay and get married like my brother, help on the ranch part-time, work for the sheriff or Abernathy PD. But I wanted a job where I could grow. My dad thought I was being irresponsible, my mama thinks I’m a selfish brat.”
Ase’s head went back in surprise. “You fought for your country, and they were pissed you took the one vacation in Germany.” He couldn’t believe he remembered that detail. “Then you decide you’ll continue fighting the greater good as a cop, and they think you’re selfish?”
Jase rolled his eyes. “You know small-town mentality. You’re supposed to do what’s good for the family and for the church, not what’s good for the individual.”
“But… You’re a cop.” Ase was still a bit baffled. His parents were thrilled when his older brother Rafe had ended up at LAPD after being a shithead gang member as a kid. They’d brought the neighborhood down celebrating when he’d been made detective.
“It was seen as me trying to be better than them and abandoning my brother to the ranch.” Jase grimaced. “My dad thought I was a snob for being a soldier, but a pantywaist for wanting to be a teacher.”
“You wanted to teach?”
Jase shrugged. “I thought about it. Had a teacher I respected a lot when I was a kid, and I’m a big fan of history, so I thought it could be interesting molding young minds and all that.” Again, he shrugged. “I love my job, though, and I loved the military.”
Ase had a feeling he knew where Jase’s masculinity issues came from now. He winced when he thought of what Jase would think about what Ase got up to some weekends.
“What about you? Finished med school, I see.”
Ase did not want to talk about the last four years of hell and huge mistakes and regret and piles of guilt. Not when he was feeling so calm and hidden away on a little ranch with Jase.
“And Abernathy? University Hospital?” Jase looked a little hurt when he finished; “You couldn’t e-mail me?”
Ase closed his eyes and took a sip of coffee, wishing for something stronger. “I can’t really tell you how bleak the last few years have been. And I don’t want to get into it, so don’t ask.
“I guess, when I was putting in for residencies, I knew I wanted out of California for a little while, and I remembered how much you loved it here.”
Jase was frowning, looking at some point in his mind rather than wherever his eyes focused behind Ase. “Home.”
“Yeah,” Ase said, lamely.
They were quiet for a moment, a maudlin mood trying to blanket the room. But Jase spoke, batting it away. “Ever seen a horse?”
Ase eyed him. “A real one?”
Jase laughed. “Come on, come with me.”
An hour later Ase wasn’t sure he was glad to have seen a horse in person for the first time. They were… big. And they smelled funny. Jase’d tried to tell him they were only skittish around him because he wouldn’t relax. Ase didn’t give a fuck. Give him motorcycles and high speeds any day. At least a motorcycle wouldn’t kick you in the face.
Ase looked out over the acres and acres of tall, swaying grass that moved in the wind, making a peaceful rustling sound as the blades snapped together.
“When I pictured the ranch after your e-mails, I pictured it more ranch-y.”
Jase sidled up beside where Ase was leaning on the wooden fence that separated the pasture from the yard. He had on a cowboy hat, but not like the silly ones all the deputies at the sheriff’s office wore. Jase’s was worn and broken in, not felt either but a hard, almost straw-like hat. He’d bent the front in such a way it shaded his eyes from the sun just right, and Ase would kill for one right now as he used a hand over his eyes to block the rays.
“Do you mean like a dude ranch?”
“No,” Ase laughed. “I realize I’m a city boy, but I don’t think of ranches as being a tourist attraction.” He shoved Jase with his shoulder. “I meant… I don’t know. It’s kinda dead out here.”
“I call it Rancho de la Muerte in my head.”
Ase looked at Jase searchingly. The despair and loss in Jase’s eyes was hard to take. “That’s sad, gringo.”
“My dad died without ever forgiving me for moving. Had cancer. Didn’t call me home in all those months he was sick. My brother had to tell me. Now my mama had a stroke, and she doesn’t want me home. All over not gettin’ married and popping out babies and living on their land.”
“That’s a sad stack of cards.”
Jase looked at Ase from the side of his eyes. “Doesn’t sound like yours is much better. Hell, I bet it’s worse.”
“Yeah, well. My folks are still alive.” Among other things.
Speaking of which. He pulled out his phone, surprised they hadn’t been blowing it up yet this morning. “Why haven’t you moved Lizeth out there?” “You’re not still doing those things, are you? With men?”
Thankfully, nothing from his parents, but he did have a text from Dustin. You’re welcome.
Little shit. Ase text him back. He’s going back to SA, and I’m going back to SD. Just friends.
He didn’t even know why he felt the need to clarify that.
You tell yourself that if you need to, Doc, was Dustin’s immediate reply.
He scowled at the phone and slid it back in his pocket. Jase had gone back to the barn and started rolling up the water hose he’d been using to fill the trough in the paddock. It seemed all wrong. Ase always had this image of Jase out here on his ranch with that hat and those skin-tight Wranglers and boots, but he was missing that relaxed look he’d had in the photo Ase’d taken of him in Germany. He didn’t look as comfortable in his skin.
Of all people, Ase could understand not coming out to parents who were so pissed at Jase over something as stupid as moving a few hours from home. “So, you’re not out at all?” He didn’t know why it even mattered. Not like it concerned him.
Jase turned to Ase, one side of his lips ticked up in a smile, even if he was surprised by the random question. “That was a little outta the blue.”
“Sorry,” Ase said, smiling as he walked over to where Jase was kicking the toe of his boot in the dirt. “My mind is a scary, mysterious place.”
“I don’t doubt that,” Jase said, with a chuckle. “You’re all mystery, Doctor Ramirez.”
“Why, thank you for saying so,” Ase teased.
Jase rolled his eyes but responded to the question he’d originally been asked. “It’s not that I’m like hiding back in Narnia or anything. I’ve had fuck buddies in San Antonio. And you know how I said I don’t screw anyone without them knowing, so I told Lacey I’d been with guys, though I’m not sure she got that I meant I still actively was over the years. Although, it may be that she just didn’t really care.
“And I told my brother while I was here for my daddy’s funeral. He’s kinda awkward about it. Said basically what I felt about it, though. Not much reason sayin’ much to people at work or anything unless I’m with a man. Why stir the hornet's nest screaming about pride when I don’t have someone by my side to be proud of?”
Ase rankled a bit. He got it, he did. But he supposed that was why gay men gave bi men shit all the time; they didn’t have to come out really, unless needs must. Though, he knew that was an unfair generalization. Jase could tell Ase wasn’t a fan of the answer if his suddenly guarded expression was anything to go by.
“Anyway,” he said. “I gotta go in for a shift this afternoon, so I’ll be off tomorrow for my mother’s big homecoming.”
“Not a problem. I should get home anyway. I’ll have to be at the hospital early for rounds so tonight’s my last laundry night.”
Jase nodded, and they both made their way back to Jase’s foreman’s cottage. Ase looked up at the sad, quiet ranch house, abandoned and unlived in. Jase hadn’t talked about it, but the place felt off limits.
“Hey, Ase,” Jase said, quietly behind him.
Ase turned to him. “Yeah?”
“This was nice. I’m glad you came to Abernathy. Even if you were a pain in my ass the last week.” Jase’s last few words were teasing, but the painful sincerity with which he said the rest before covering himself had made Ase’s hands shake again. A drink would be fucking awesome when he got home. He needed some of his old friend Jose’s help to process this whole morning.
But he’d at least give Jase something. “Definitely.” He winked at Jase, who blushed. Fucking cute gringo. Between them, they had too many issues for any involvement other than friendship—if even that—to be anything resembling a good idea. Didn’t change how they felt together or how uninhibited the sex was. But cutting the shit off at the pass was the smartest move.
It shouldn’t be too hard not to get stupid about it, though. They both had crazy schedules, and Jase had to take care of his mother.
Maybe if Ase kept telling himself the temptation to ride Matilda on down for some action every once in a… wait. “Aw, fuck!” He ran inside to remind Jase they still had to get his bike out of tow. And thinking about the fee and possible fine he’d have to pay was enough to kill not only his hard-on, but any warm fuzzy feelings for the rest of the afternoon.
About the Author