Book Blurb: What would you do if you lost five years of freedom? If everything you'd ever known was torn away from you, all because the one person you counted on to save you didn't come through?
This is the cruel reality for Gabriel “Red” Thatcher, convicted at age nineteen for the murder of his father. Now twenty-five and eight months out of prison, Red has nothing to his name and no one to help him. He is carrying close to him a rage hotter than white flames. Had his sister just testified on his behalf in court, he could have been spared the horrible things that happened to him in the doghouse. Things that'll make him never look at intimacy the same way again.
Red can't take swallowing his bitter rage alone anymore. Unable to kill the growing loneliness and ire with time, he heads into the Flower District in search of a gay bar to drown his sorrows. There he meets the bubbly, easy-on-the-eyes Silo Winters.
When Red learns that Silo did three years in prison for an accidental oil fire, he brings Silo home, not so much for a wild romp as to relieve his aching loneliness. Besides if anyone will understand Red's pain it'll be Silo, who's gone through some of the same horrors he has. However, he definitely doesn't count on Silo becoming so much more than a sexy shoulder to lean on. Now, if only Red can learn to let him in.
The Flower District was named for what many men lost there—that moment when the lily white of a pure man’s soul turned red with his first taste of carnal lust. This was not my case, however. I’d lost the purity of having an untouched body years ago, and to a man I didn’t even love…or want.
I sat in the district’s most renowned bar, Divano Messia. I could practically feel eyes cruising over me, but I paid them no mind. I felt bad for the first guy who’d offer to buy me a drink, because I was that one-in-a-million man who wasn’t looking to get laid in a place meant for people looking to get laid. I just wanted to be left alone and drink.
Despite this, I let my gaze wander. I hadn’t gotten any in more than eight months, so I let myself have some eye candy at least. Those times in prison didn’t count. I didn’t exactly find the idea of being forced against some concrete wall by a man I hardly knew a good time. If I wanted, I could have one of these men on my arm in an hour’s time, but because of the past, because of prison, I didn’t. I would never take a one-night stand—that was the promise I’d made to myself eight months ago on my first day outside my prison cell, my first day of freedom.
Besides, I didn’t have much money to buy a guy a drink. All I had in my wallet today was a twenty, enough for two drinks at most and, if I was lucky, a taxi ride home.
I looked down at my reflection in the bar top and sneered. The twenty wasn’t even mine. I hadn’t been able to find work since I’d gotten out of the doghouse, and it stung worse than a rough first time that the money I did have I was leeching off of my sister. I had been for eight months for rent, food, and now alcohol. But as much as I hated being out on the town using my sister’s money, I desperately needed the booze, because if I penned through another to-be-ignored job application sober, I knew I’d blow a gasket.
Thus I ordered the driest cocktail Messia served—a Stinger. It hurt my throat to swallow it, but I sucked up the burn and smacked my lips. It wouldn’t get me drunk, but twenty bucks wouldn’t anyway, so at least I could take my mind off all the shit going on in my life by scalding my tongue.
When I grimaced at my second sip of the cocktail, a man a few seats away from me laughed. I looked up at him, but he wasn’t looking back. I wondered if he’d even been laughing at me as I profiled his average build and cleanly shaven skull. What attracted my attention the most about him were his ice-blue eyes. I only caught a glimpse when he turned to look behind him, but they were astounding. A pale winter blue, almost stark white, just like icicles reflecting the color of the sky. I could almost smell the clean air and feel the frigid chill of winter when I saw them.
Author Bio: Hello everyone! I'm E. L. Esch, a contemporary adult fiction romance writer! I like to try to focus on difficult but realistic life topics, stuff everyday people are challenged with in everyday life. Recently, I've been branching into some sci-fi as well.
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