Series: Executioners #3
Publisher: Hostile Whispers LLC
Publication date: November 21, 2017
Length: 123 pages
Reviewed by Meredith
Andrew King’s life wasn’t what he’d expected it to be. At thirty he was a single dad who drove his rig to make ends meet and played in his band Executioners on the weekends. King saw himself being a husband again one day because that’s what was expected. When Melanie had gotten pregnant, their parents had given them one choice—they’d stuck it out a year. At twenty-eight, he became a single dad when Melanie went off to college. He loved his son more than anything, and they’d quickly fell into a life of just the two of them, well, not just the two of them there was Lincoln too. His ex-wife was still his best friend. They all co-parented Mal, it was natural and right.
Lincoln Church lived for his nephew and his teaching job. While King, his ex-brother-in-law, worked driving a truck. As a result, Mal ended up living with him most of the time. It was the closest Linc would ever come to being a dad. The only bleak spot in his life was his feelings for King which he thought would never be reciprocated. It wasn’t so bad because he still had King and Mal in his life and that meant the world to him.
A stupid accident and a broken leg sidelined King, keeping him off the road. When King needed help, Lincoln rushed in, and King couldn’t deny his attraction or love for Lincoln. Would one kiss ruin the weird, little family they’d created?
This is definitely the sweetest book of the batch. There's no angst here at all. This is a romantic story with some romantic suspense. We have seen King and Linc in the other books. They danced around each other. We knew they wanted to be together but there were things holding them back. It was good to finally see them cut the weeds and blossom together.
I smiled through most of this book. It really showed the range this author has and how not all stories have to be filled with darkness and sadness to still be amazing!
Linc was so utterly sweet. He had low self esteem and King rocked at making sure Linc understood how much he was desired. We all long for that and I love seeing that in character connections.
You don't need to read any other book in this series to enjoy this one but you'd be missing out on some wonderful characters! Grab this and really just feel the love.
He Was More Than a Flirt and No Name Fuck
Through the applause, Andrew King and his band, Executioners, took one final bow and waved as they walked off stage. He smiled at the loudest one in the crowd. Lincoln Church, his ex-brother-in-law. The man rarely missed one of their shows, but they only really played at Brawlers, a gay bar, on the outskirts of their hometown. The band was more a hobby than anything, none of them had dreams of fame. They were asked plenty when they’d get themselves a contract and live a life as rock stars—that wasn’t for them, and two of the reasons waited for his bandmates. He watched his friends as they hurried to their partners.
Ghost was married to Harper, and they had a baby on the way by surrogate. He watched as Ghost scooped the petite Harper into his arms and she seemed to just melt into the man. They exuded enough happiness to fill the whole room.
Joker was married, and it was a full-time job keeping the man out of jail, he felt sorry for Dem, Joker’s husband. Dem stayed on his stool and opened his arms. Joker hated being touched but seemed to relax as he walked into his husband’s arms. It was nice to see. A lot had changed since Dem came into Joker’s life and he couldn’t believe how much. Joker even smiled on occasion, well, when the man wasn’t scowling and trying to get himself thrown in jail. Sheriff Camden Pelter had a full-time job on his hands just keeping Joker under control. Throw in the rest of the Crews, and he was surprised Camden hadn’t run as far and fast from Powers as he could.
Sin and Saint, the youngest of his band, were still single, but they had their eyes on a man who was on the run every time they were around. He didn’t doubt the twins would get him eventually. Camden didn’t have much choice. The twins were obsessed, and everyone found it amusing except the Sheriff.
But fuck, he was jealous of what his friends found. Everyone thought he was just a flirt and a fuck, but he wasn’t. He was just terrified of ruining his friendship with Linc. He loved the man. The whole ex-brother-in-law thing ruined his chance. His ex-wife knew he was gay before he did.
He’d loved his wife, but not in the way she’d deserved. They’d done what was expected when they’d dated for several years, and Melanie ended up pregnant. She was currently off at college while he took care of their son, Mal. She came home on breaks and for the Summer, the occasional weekend. She was actually home this weekend, so she was spending quality time with Mal. Being away from their son killed her, but for him, he wanted her to have every opportunity, and that meant college. For as long as he’d known her, she wanted to be a nurse, and he needed her to take the chance.
They had an odd little family, yet it worked for them.
He stepped up to the bar and took the beer the bartender Twitch handed him with a huge smile.
He nodded his thanks and smiled wider as a strong arm circled his waist.
“Amazing as always, King.”
Linc gave him a tight squeeze and took his own refill from Twitch.
Linc let him go, and he almost moved closer to silently ask Linc to put his arm around him again. Linc was the perfect guy. He was sweet, caring, intelligent, handsome, and King loved the man’s softness. Linc was a big guy. Shorter than his own six-three, but Linc was chunky, he had this rounded belly that had a bit of a jiggle to it, his arms and thighs thick. Linc was also hairy as fuck. He’d lost count of the times Linc played the main star in all his jerk-off fantasies.
Linc was a science teacher and high school football coach. He never felt quite good enough even to be Linc's friend. Melanie, Linc, and he co-parented Mal since they’d brought the baby home from the hospital.
He drove trucks during the week, sometimes over the road that kept him away for days at a time, but Mal stayed with Linc. He loved when Linc watched Mal at his house because Linc would sleep in his bed. Linc’s scent would still be on his sheets when he came home. It was the best sleep he’d have all week.
As some guy came up to him, he frowned as Linc stepped away. He turned his head to ask Linc where he was going only to see the man smiling as he started a conversation with one of the bouncers, Bull. King turned down the invite to head outside. He and the man had hooked up before, but it was getting old not being able to have the one he wanted. It also caused him guilt to be propositioned with Linc so close. They wouldn’t ever be more than friends, and that killed a piece of his heart every time he was reminded of it.
Linc always stepped away to allow him space to find someone—to hook up—but that wasn’t what he wanted. He had let people think what they wanted, although, it was getting harder to pretend and deny the truth. Melanie knew him better than anyone, and she protected all his secrets no matter how much she hated it.
His phone vibrated in his back pocket, he pulled it out to find Melanie’s picture on the screen, and he rushed for the front door. He stepped out into the cool night air and took a long deep breath. The breeze felt good on his overheated skin.
“Hey,” he answered.
“Shit, I hate calling you.”
“Melanie, don’t even start, what’s going on?”
He and Melanie had been best friends long before they were a couple or co-parents. Most would probably think their relationship weird, but to them, it was natural to go from husband and wife right back to best friends.
“This is so stupid, but Mal’s in bed and I really want ice cream.”
He chuckled. “What kind and what else do you need?”
“Just the usual, oh, and you know.”
He chuckled, he knew the woman better than he knew himself most days. He sensed her moods even when they were hundreds of miles apart.
“How can you still be embarrassed, we were together for eight years and friends since we were ten.”
“Come on, don’t make a big deal out of it, I want my fucking ice cream.”
“I’ll get everything packed up and be home in an hour or so.” He walked away from the door as it opened and the overpowering bass of the music inside made it hard to hear.
“Perfect, I have homework to do, and a presentation to prepare for. It’s going to be a long night.”
“You got this, Melanie.”
“I know, see you soon, love you.”
“Love you too. We’ll take a movie break when I get home.” They didn’t spend enough time together. He lived under a constant shadow of guilt for the time he didn’t have for Mal, Melanie, and Linc. He worked as a trucker to afford to take care of them, so they wouldn’t have to work harder than they needed to, but lately the cons were outweighing the pros. He’d been doing it for years, and at thirty, he didn’t want to have to find a new job—especially when finding a new one wouldn’t be as well-paying as the one he already had.
“Is Melanie okay?”
He disconnected the call and turned to find Linc behind him. The man looked gorgeous in faded jeans and a v-neck t-shirt that exposed the thick hair that he knew covered the man’s chest and stomach. It matched Linc’s dark blond hair.
“She wants ice cream.”
“Do you want me to take care of it so you can finish up here?”
The man was selfless, Linc was always the first one to offer to help. He did it without even thinking of getting paid back. He didn’t even expect a thank you.
“No, do you want to help me pack up? It was a rough week. I’d just like to go home.”
“Sure. Are you okay? Want to talk about it?”
“I’m fine, I just think I need a vacation, and I might do that later this Summer. We can go somewhere.”
And by we he included Linc and Melanie because to him, it was always the four of them.
“That would be good for you, Melanie and Mal.”
He didn’t correct him, Linc still tried to give him and Melanie space when she was in town. It was as if he didn’t want to intrude on their time with Mal. Linc was always included. He and Melanie had talked about it, Linc was as much a father to Mal as he was.
“Want to come over and watch a movie with Melanie and me, like the old days?”
“That would be great. I’ll make breakfast.”
They headed back inside and made quick work of breaking everything down with Joker and
Ghost helping. Sin and Saint had taken off to stalk the Sheriff who was seated in a back corner having a beer by himself. The man had company he hadn’t expected. Finally, they had the van packed up and said their goodbyes.
“Meet you at the house,” Linc called as he hopped into his car.
He watched until Linc was inside and the man pulled out of the parking lot, heading in the direction of his cabin. He jumped into the van and drove off toward town. His mind wandered to places it shouldn’t. He loved Melanie. She’d been his best friend in high school, and when they’d started dating, it seemed like the thing to do. Melanie was bisexual, she’d told him early on in their friendship, but her family wasn’t accepting, and neither was his. He’d felt like such a hypocrite when he hadn’t shared he was gay. When they’d had sex, it hadn’t been fireworks, but they’d had a great relationship. They never argued. When she’d come to him and asked him if he was gay, she hadn’t been angry when she asked, more disappointed that he hadn’t confided in her.
They’d divorced but continued to live together. It was natural. They’d grown impossibly closer. Nothing really changed except they didn’t share a bed anymore. They’d agreed to never keep secrets from each other, but he didn’t know how she’d handle knowing her ex-husband and best friend had been in love with her brother for years.
He’d wanted to tell her and ask for advice, but he didn’t want to deal with the weirdness that might come from it.
He turned into the parking lot of the only twenty-four-hour gas station in town. He got out and hit the alarm, he strode across the parking lot to get what Melanie needed, then head home to his family.
About the Author
J.M. Dabney is a multi-genre author who writes mainly LGBT romance and fiction. She lives with a constant diverse cast of characters in her head. No matter their size, shape, race, etc. she lives for one purpose alone, and that’s to make sure she does them justice and give them the happily ever after they deserve. J.M. is dysfunction at its finest and she makes sure her characters are a beautiful kaleidoscope of crazy. There is nothing more she wants from telling her stories than to show that no matter the package the characters come in or the damage their pasts have done, that love is love. That normal is never normal and sometimes the so-called broken can still be amazing
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