Thank you for having me here today, Charlie! I’m very excited to talk about the release of my second book, Better Than Chance. Those who’ve read my first novel, Better Than Good will recognize Jay and Peter as Aaron’s best friend and his long-time partner. Aaron makes a point of describing the couple as having a relationship he admires. “In the land of gay, they are what I would wish for one day…. they just seem to get each other.”
I’m eternally fascinated by the mystery of attraction. What is it that makes someone stand out? Looks? Sure, first impressions matter, but looks only take you so far. Most of us learn along the way that what’s on the outside is only as beautiful as what we find on the inside. Getting to know someone is key. Communicating. That’s real life. The reader in me has a hard time with MCs who fall in love immediately. I’m not suggesting it can’t happen but in a love story, I want more! I want to be a part of the journey. I feel cheated if I can’t feel that “oh yeah, I totally get this couple” moment. The moment when infatuation or even dislike or disinterest turns into friendship or passion and eventually love. I’m crazy for it!
In Better Than Chance, Jay’s world turns upside down when he’s assigned to work on a project under the dreamy Peter Morgan. Peter is extraordinarily good looking, but he’s a demanding boss and Jay’s crush quickly fades when he suspects Peter may be homophobic. Eventually Jay concedes he may have been hasty to judge. In fact, as events unfold Jay slowly learns Peter is a multi-faceted puzzle. Intelligent, competitive, and demanding in a business setting, he is also compassionate, kind, adventurous and has a great sense of humor outside of the office. Jay may prefer the simpler pleasures in life but he cannot deny he is wildly intrigued by this complex man. Once Jay acknowledges he’s fallen for Peter, he realizes he may be in for heartache if Peter isn’t ready to take a chance on love.
Better Than Chance is actually my first story though it is coming out after Better Than Good. Jay and Peter have been in my head for so long, I feel as though I know them very well. And I love them! They provide a foundation in a sense for the characters from my first book… and yes, the characters you’ll meet in the third book.
Blurb Better Than Chance by Lane Hayes:
Jay Reynolds has a crush on his project leader at work, but an office romance with Peter Morgan isn’t likely to happen since Peter is straight. Worse, Jay soon fears Peter is homophobic, and his initial infatuation turns to loathing. But one fateful night, Jay is forced to acknowledge things aren’t quite as they seem with Peter. Suddenly, his crush is back and unbelievably, Peter is interested too.
They begin a “friends with benefits” arrangement, which becomes difficult for Jay when he starts falling for his sexy boss. Peter’s past issues keep him from committing, and Jay has to decide if he can be satisfied with friendship if Peter isn’t ready to take a chance on anything more.
Excerpt from Better Than Chance by Lane Hayes:
“Close the door, Reynolds.” His tone was sharp and concise. No argument was expected or welcomed. I obeyed and waited for him to speak.
He didn’t say a word. He pointed to a chair and directed me to sit with a simple wave of his hand as he began a slow pace around the perimeter of the small round table. It was like being stalked by a tiger. There was an electric air of danger in this tiny space and I had set it in motion. I clung to my anger. I wasn’t wrong. Was I?
Peter suddenly stopped. He stood at the other end of the table with his arms crossed over his broad chest. As usual he was impeccably dressed in a gorgeous dark suit tailored to perfection. His dark wavy hair seemed a little longer. I absently wondered if he was growing it out. But his dark furrowed brow and intense stare told me to keep my ponderings to myself. He wasn’t in the mood to chat about hair. He looked pissed.
I blinked twice. I was almost afraid of him, but I knew that was irrational. I had a legitimate reason for my outburst. I just wished I had been a bit more professional about it.
“Fine. I will.” Professional, I cautioned myself. Don’t get personal. “You have given me rather baffling critiques, Mr. Morgan that I frankly find ridiculous and almost contrived in a way that suggests you want to point out the negative whether or not it has any bearing whatsoever to the project at hand.” Good, well said, I thought.
“What the fuck are you talking about?” He looked genuinely perplexed.
“You know what I’m talking about!” I exploded. “Correct paragraph two, sentence one…. that’s one example! What was today’s going to be? Change the use of my pronoun from direct to indirect? Or is it an adjective that you want me to reconsider? Or…”
I had become so worked up that I didn’t register that he’d moved until he was three short feet away from me. He wore the strangest expression. It was a cross between tempered fury and frustration. He held up his hand in that authoritative way of his, demanding that I stop. Stop everything. Don’t talk. Don’t move. I waited like a deer in headlights to see what he’d do.
A fresh wave of adrenaline rushed through my veins as I found myself literally shoved up against the conference room wall with Peter’s large hand at my throat. I swallowed hard and looked into his dark angry eyes, his face was two short inches away from mine. His breath was warm against my cheek. He pulled back and shook his head as though puzzled by his own actions before he tightened his hold at my neck and covered my mouth with his own.
I could barely breath. There was nowhere to hide, no retreat possible so I gave in. My mouth melted underneath his allowing the lip lock to become a kiss. A fiery passionate joining. Our tongues fought for dominance, licking and sucking. Peter’s hands trapped my head as he plunged even further into my mouth taking every last bit of control away from me. He ran his tongue over my lips before tracing a path along my jaw and biting my earlobes. I nudged him back with my nose and heard his low groan as he once again fused his mouth over mine.
I wrapped my arms around him and pulled his body close to mine. My hands kneaded his perfect ass through the fine fabric of his pants as I sent my hips forward to meet his. We gasped at the first feel of friction as our hardened cocks pressed together through our suits. It was electrifying and wickedly carnal. A mere glimpse into how intensely hot the real thing could be if we let ourselves go there. Peter stopped abruptly, straightening his arms on either side of my head. Our heavy breathing was the only sound in the room.
“I want you.” He growled, resting his forehead against mine.
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