When his friends bet cynical Jerry that he can’t turn sweet Arlo into a player, Jerry might win the bet but lose his heart.
College senior Jerry Helstrom survived a gay childhood in Texas by being fierce and fabulous. At school he’s known as a player and has kept his heart so guarded that he’s forgotten he has one. When his friends bet him he can’t teach inexperienced Arlo Barnes to become a stud like him, Jerry takes on the challenge and quickly finds himself drawn to his enticing trainee.
Arlo kicks butt as a Tae Kwon Do black belt, but his sexual game is lacking. He’s been dumped by his only boyfriend and needs help getting himself out there. Enter Jerry Helstrom, player extraordinaire and happy to provide Arlo with some hands-on coaching. Jerry encourages Arlo to ask for what he wants in sex and in life, something Arlo struggles with. The struggle deepens when Arlo discovers that what he truly wants is the seemingly unattainable Jerry Helstrom.
Jerry can teach Arlo to play the field, but can Arlo teach Jerry to play for keeps?
Shy guy Jed Carter has always felt invisible next to his charismatic older brother, Kent. Kent’s master plan for Jed is simple: University of Virginia, fraternity, business, sports, and ladies’ man. None of it is Jed, except for playing on the rugby team, which he joins in defiance of soccer-loving Kent. Jed comes out in his sophomore year and starts seeing Pete, an attractive junior, who uses him for sex and videogames. Jed wants more—in life and in love—and starts making his own plans. First on the list: getting to know Charlie, the handsome guy working at the local videogame arcade.
Charlie Ambrose has always felt like an oddball, and not just for his tendency to stutter. Being gay sets him apart from his African-American community, and as a “townie,” he doesn’t fit in with the college crowd. Charlie’s inspiration is his cousin, Morocco, who’s transgender and doesn’t give a fig about fitting in. Art is Charlie’s passion, and when a local videogame designer discovers him, Charlie’s living a dream. The only thing he’s missing is love. But the last person Charlie expects to find it with is a cute, white U.Va. rugby player named Jed.
Marjorie Steel is still healing from the events of the past year, and she’s happy to put her plans to study culinary arts on hold to help her best friend deal with a difficult pregnancy and two recently adopted troubled boys. The fact that Bryce Simpson spends a lot of time at the Steel Ranch is a benefit, and she’s ready to see if her attraction to him might be something more.
Bryce wants to do a hard day’s work on the ranch. Once his muscles give out and he collapses from exhaustion, maybe he’ll stop torturing himself over his late father’s horrific double life. The Steels have a different idea. They ask Bryce to take an executive position complete with a profit share. As he has a young son and widowed mother to support, it’s an offer he can’t refuse. The only catch is Marjorie. She’s beautiful, smart, feisty, and her kisses set him on fire. But he’s an empty shell with nothing to offer her, and she deserves the world.
As the sins of his father continue to haunt him, Bryce learns the horrors of the past may not yet be buried.
The chemistry between Mark and Bryan is pitch-perfect. There’s just one tiny problem: Bryan already has David, a great boyfriend who helped him pick up the pieces when his last relationship went sour. But while Bryan struggles between passion and faithfulness, an earthquake shakes the city—and his perception of what’s right.
Things go from bad to worse when Rowan’s clarinet is stolen right before the school holiday concert. Dex’s life begins to turn around when he accompanies Rowan to school to talk to her band teacher, Ed Alcott. Handsome and kind, Ed likes kids, music, and holiday decorations. Dex comes to think of him as his very own Christmas elf. Ed brings with him everything that’s been missing in Dex’s life: the possibility of love, home, and celebration... and Christmas trees.
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2015 Advent Calendar package "Sleigh Ride".