Title: Awkward in Love
Author: Lily Adile Lamb
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer
Length: 118 pages
Release Date: October 8, 2015
Blurb: Ilhan started off on the wrong foot with John, and somehow he always seemed to stay there. When the college student hastily looked away from the apartment building’s hunky maintenance man, John thought he was stuck up. When he tried to get John to knock on his door by leaving his trash out for pickup, John though he was a messy tenant. All he wants to do is get John’s attention, but he always seems to do it wrong…
John’s always seeing the little Turkish twink strutting around like a little peacock, in his too-tight clothes, but it’s hard to ignore that perfect little ass, no matter how bad his manners are. He’s nice to the other tenants, John knows, so he must be cold to John because of his job as a “mere maintenance man.” Too bad, because John would love to see what’s under those clothes.
Yet when one of Ilhan’s more embarrassing moments brings them together, each realizes they’ve been mistaken about the other, and also, so right. And all the awkwardness between them is washed away…
But when Ilhan’s conservative Turkish parents come to Perth to visit, and find their son locked in an embrace with another man, the stress of their demands could tear the two lovers apart...
When Ilhan opened the door, John almost gasped at the vision who opened the door. Ilhan was wearing tight, black pants with a well ironed black shirt. He’d rolled his sleeves up stylishly, and wore subtle eye makeup. The eye pencil he’d used only enhanced how vivid his blue eyes were. He was pretty sure Ilhan also used mascara, which made his eyelashes appear longer. He had a natural beauty, and full lips. They looked as if he’d been kissed, thanks to some lip gloss Ilhan used. As soon as he realized he was gawking at the handsome man, he coughed in embarrassment.
“Sorry for staring at you but you look incredible…sexy.”
Ilhan blushed and gave a hesitant smile. “So do you,” he responded with a hungry gaze.
John reached for Ilhan’s collar to pull him toward him. As Ilhan’s breath hitched, John gave him a quick kiss and asked, “You ready to leave?”
“Yes,” he answered as he gazed on John’s lips.
They drove in silence to Freemantle in John’s Ford Mondeo. As they came close to the restaurant, John turned and watched Ilhan’s face. When he saw him looking around with curious eyes, he smiled and reached out for his small hand to rest it on his leg. John drove holding Ilhan’s hand and feeling possessive of the owner of that hand.
“Like it?” John asked in a way that made Ilhan turn and look at him as they entered the stylish restaurant. It looked a little like a Rajah’s palace. Whatever John showed on his face seemed to make the Ilhan smile and nod his head in a way that made John feel reassured.
He smiled and put his hand on Ilhan’s back to guide him inside.
“I love it. Thank you for bringing me here,” Ilhan leaned forward and murmured, when they were seated.
“My pleasure,” John drawled as he rubbed Ilhan’s ankle with his foot discreetly. When Ilhan startled and bit his lower lip, John grinned. “What? You look unforgettable,” John purred. Before Ilhan could reply, a cheerful waiter interrupted them to ask what they’d like to drink before ordering.
Throughout the evening, John flirted and teased Ilhan, making sure he knew John’s intentions. John scooped the fragrant butter chicken’s creamy sauce onto a piece of tandoori roti bread and offered it seductively to his lover to be. He even sensuously licked his ice cream with laughing eyes.
“Oh. My. God,” Ilhan leaned forward and whispered with red cheeks. “I don’t think I can stand up, John!”
“Why, Ilhan? What’s happening? Is something wrong?” He looked at him with total innocence in his eyes.
“What? Are you kidding me? It’s you that’s happening right now, you tease! I have a raging boner and I’m wearing all tight clothes. The minute I stand up, everyone would know what’s happening here.”
Ilhan shifted closer to the table. “You’re mean… Yeah. A merciless meany. Now how am I going to stand up without giving that old couple in the corner a stroke? Hm? Hm?” He did his best to look cross but his sparkling eyes and lips struggled not to smile, showing how much fun he was having.
“That’s a lie. Take that back. I deny everything. You can’t prove anything. I refuse to accept I’m the cause of your discomfort.” John seductively rubbed his ankle against Ilhan’s leg again.
“Aii. I’m never going to leave this table now. But I’m okay, it’s obvious you want to spend the night here rubbing my ankle instead of doing other things at home… I understand that.” Ilhan patted John’s hand and grinned.
“Hmm. I see my error now,” he drawled and withdrew his foot. “You’d better be ready to stand up by the time I come back.” John stood and winked at the man who was stuck sitting at the table as he went to the gents. When he paid for the meal and returned to the table, he stood in front of Ilhan. “Ready?” he asked with his head tilted.
“Oh. Yes. I’m ready,” he quipped, knowing he sounded cheesy.
“So am I. Come on. Let’s go. Everything’s ready and your chauffeur’s ready to take you home, Mr Avci.” John leered at Ilhan.
“The words sound innocent but somehow I doubt you mean that,” Ilhan blushed, speaking softly.
“Invite me to your home and see,” John leaned toward Ilhan and rumbled in his deep voice.
Ilhan turned beetroot-red as he left the restaurant with John’s hand guiding him gently.
As soon as they got in the car, John grabbed Ilhan by his collar and brought his lips against his. “Open your mouth,” he growled.
Ilhan whimpered and opened his lips. John’s tongue was already prodding inside.
Ilhan mumbled against John’s mouth. “This isn’t as romantic or as comfortable as it looks on TV, eh. The console’s biting into me.”
“No, but I’m still having fun,” John mumbled, making sure he held Ilhan’s face so he didn’t back off.
“That’s because it’s me who’s trying to lean over you while you’re lying on your back thinking of…probably England?” Ilhan mumbled playfully, just holding back his piggy snort. He knew John had moved forward to help him, which warmed his heart, but he still wanted to play too. He enjoyed his time with John immensely.
“My God. Are you one of those talking bed partners? Fuck. Shut up and kiss me properly.” John growled, taking charge of the kiss before they drove back to Perth.
When they arrived back at the flat, Ilhan opened his front door, and turned to invite John in dramatically. “Come in, at your own peril. Mwahaha.”
“You, silly goose.” John grinned and grabbed him, pulling him into his arms and kicking the door closed. “I love kissing you,” he mumbled.
“Good cos I love you kissing me,” Ilhan whispered. They awkwardly walked to the sofa as they kissed. Ilhan mumbled against John’s lips, “This feels like you’re about to have your wicked ways with me.”
John could’ve rolled his eyes, but they were closed and he responded against Ilhan’s mouth, “No. It feels like I’m trying to kiss you while you prattle on.”
Ilhan answered back tartly, but ended up squeaking as John glided his hands to Ilhan’s pants. “I’m shocked! I don’t prattle on… Eeekk! Where are your hands going?”
“What? Oh! That hand. It’s trying to get in your pants to feel your bubble butt, but, fuck! Your pants are so tight, I think the blood supply to my fingers is cut off right now,” John said, and earned a piggy snort from Ilhan.
Ilhan’s shy responses were an indication of how inexperienced he was and it reminded John to be gentler. Humor and play were the best icebreaker at that moment.
Ilhan tsked playfully. “You sound like a quitter. Us Turks would never quit so easily. We’d fight till the end to win a battle. Aii! That hurt!”
“Shut up. You deserve that for your cheekiness.” John gave another playful spank to Ilhan’s bum.
I absolutely love how this all starts because of a “personality misunderstanding” Ilhan is absolutely adorable. Seriously, when I first read him that was my original thought. When I read John for the first time I thought, “How can anyone treat him like crap?” Of course you quickly see what has happened. Then you get to strap in and enjoy the ride.
However, it isn’t all that simple. We have a culture clash happening here. I wasn’t familiar with Ilhan’s culture. Turkish cuisine, lifestyle, all that comes with it. So on top of the fantastic plot, great flow, and fun. I got a wonderful lesson.
Ilhan’s parents don’t take well to his “choice” of lifestyle. And for Ilhan to have John through it all, warmed my soul.
This is a fun and beautiful story with a terrific lesson.