HEARTSONG BY A.E. WASP
The best music comes from the heart.
Sean Anderson has spent his life waiting to get the hell out of West Virginia. His plans got derailed when his dad shipped him off to “pray the gay away,” but he’s over it, ready to prove that he’s a grown-ass man who can take care of himself. Of course, he’d have a better chance convincing himself if he could stop lusting after his grumpy roommate.
Army veteran Cooper Hill returned to Vermont minus one leg and one career, but determined to build a new life. When an army buddy asks Cooper to keep an eye on his nephew, a junior at the local college, Cooper can’t say no. He’s expecting a sheltered kid. What he gets is a gorgeous young man whose brilliant poetry gives voice to everything Cooper’s been trying to express. He wants Sean more than he’s ever wanted anything. And somehow, miraculously, Sean wants him too.
But wanting each other isn’t the same as being good for each other . . . especially when past pain threatens to write its own verse in their song.
A stand-alone novel in Sarina Bowen’s True North world, HEARTSONG contains first love, found family, kisses around the campfire, and two caring men who discover they make beautiful music together.
Head down against the driving rain, body hunched over the injured dog, I don’t see the taillight of the car pulling out of a parking spot until it’s almost too late. Oh fuck. I close my eyes, turn the dog away, and brace for the impact.
Strong hands clamp down on my upper arms and yank me back. My back slams against a hard, broad chest, and then all three of us, me, my rescuer and the dog, are stumbling into the back bumper of a minivan.
The hands around my arms tighten and I lean against this stranger’s body for a second. The guy is almost the same height as me, but much broader, his chest wide and warm against my wet back. The feel of stubble against my cheek and warm breath blowing over my ear makes me shiver.
“Sean?” he says, voice deep and smooth.
Oh, holy hell. Can it be?
“Cooper, get the hell in here!” a second man calls from behind us.
A’course it is.
I straighten up and try to pull away. I swear his hands tighten on my arms, tugging me back against him for a glorious but far too brief moment before he lets me go. When I look over my shoulder at him, our eyes meet and my words lock in my throat as a sizzle of electricity shoots down my spine. It’s so real, I swear lighting must have touched ground somewhere. By the way his eyes widen, Cooper feels it, too.
I can’t hear anything except our breathing and the rain pounding on the gravel parking lot, soaking my thin t-shirt, and plastering Cooper’s hair to his head.
In my arms, the dog whimpers, and still I can’t look away from Cooper’s piercing gaze. What the hell is going on?
He starts to speak, and I sway towards him, holding my breath.
Those dark, intense eyes narrow and he scowls. “Don’t you fucking know how to drive?”
Speechless, I reel back and he grabs my arm again to keep me from losing my balance.
“Jesus Christ,” the older man says. “Don’t either one of you idiots have the sense God gave a goose? Get the hell inside.”
Cooper drops my arm like it’s scalding him, and I tear my gaze away from his angry face. An older guy with dark-brown skin, grey beard, and salt-and-pepper dreadlocks tied behind his neck waves at us from the open doors of the diner.
Grateful for the save, I walk carefully to the doors and into the diner.
“What happened?” the man asks as I pass him.
“This kid hit a dog and then almost got hit by a car himself,” Cooper answers from behind me.
“Are you always such a dick or is today special?” I snap at him.