As if starting a new job, picking up the reins of a disorganized former colleague, and moving back in with his parents while he saves for a down payment on a house of his own isn’t enough, Cecil Trace has just discovered that part of the Art Director’s job at the exclusive Linwood Academy is putting on a series of holiday pageants…with the first one celebrating Thanksgiving just three short weeks away.
He’s got enough on his hands getting reluctant students ready to wow their parents and the community with their brilliance, and preparing a holiday showing of his own artwork at a local gallery, he doesn’t need recalcitrant but brilliant math instructor Reese Cavelli arguing about every little detail.
While Reese understands the new Art Director’s urgency, he can’t allow Cecil to undermine his authority with the students. Reese can’t help being an ass to the new art director, and he knows in part his behavior is due to his own insecurities, but it’s also got a lot to do with the fact that the vibrant young artist is so damned sexy in his jeans and bohemian shirts. Every time he comes into contact with Cecil Trace, he finds himself.
This story was so much fun to read. Reese constantly doubts himself, sees most things in a negative light, and has a slight case of OCD and anxiety. He shows those hidden fears and insecurities we all have when dealing with the unfamiliar. Once Cecil figures out what’s going on he handles the situation so beautifully. It’s like he knows exactly what Reese needs. Plus they’re both dealing with family around Thanksgiving, and putting on a Thanksgiving pageant. I loved seeing how they got around their miscommunication and Cecil’s lack of spare time. The book is a bit of a slow burn since it took them a while to get together.
Four and a half
The store doors whooshed open and a wave of cold air enticed him inside. The silver gum wrapper nagged at the back of his mind, but he was determined. No more picking up after other people. Not after coming in early and staying late and spending all his planning periods cleaning up Torey Crowe’s disaster of a classroom over the last week.
Pulling out his smartphone, he called up a list of items he needed and swung a cart out of the corral. He knew the store like the back of his hand, but it seemed unusually crowded this Sunday. Ducking into an aisle to detour around a woman who appeared to have at least six two-year-olds in her charge, he nearly collided with another cart. Cursing, he veered to the left quickly. Too quickly as he wound up hitting a hanging display of sandwich containers in gaudy plastic colors.
“Fuck!” Instantly, he backed up a little and bent to retrieve the objects that had fallen from the display. Something rammed into his backside and sent him sprawling forward onto the dirty linoleum. “Fuck!” he snarled, catching himself with his hands and pushing upright.
“Oh, excuse me.”
The pleasant baritone irritated him even more, because it seemed familiar. Spinning about, he found himself face-to-face with the devil himself. Or temptation. The man who’d hit him with the shopping cart was stooping to pick up the sandwich containers, and Reese didn’t have a very clear view of him, but what he saw was enough to make his cheeks burn even brighter and his heart falter just a bit before racing.
Golden hair, in a long, straight sheet fell forward over his face, long…too long for a man, really. Reese tried to sneer, but his fingers twitched again, and he wanted to reach out and push that hair back behind the man’s ear to see what sort of face it hid. He had an impression of slenderness, caught a glimpse of faded denim, and a shirt that looked a hell of a lot like his sister’s baby doll pajamas before his cock swelled. Embarrassed, he jerked his own cart and trotted down the aisle. “Watch where you’re going!” he choked out, racing for the produce department.
Somewhere in a small town in up-state New York are a librarian and a second grade teacher to whom I owe my life. That might be a touch dramatic, but it’s nevertheless one hundred percent true.
Because they taught me the joy of reading, of escaping into worlds crafted of words.
Have you ever been nine years old and sure of nothing so much as that you don’t belong? Looked at the world from behind glasses, and wondered why you don’t fit?
Someone hands you a book, and then you turn the page and see… There you are, running from Injun Joe in a dark graveyard; there you are fencing with Athos; there you are…beneath the deep blue sea- marveling at exotic creatures with Captain Nemo.
I found myself between the pages of books, and that is why I write now. It’s why I taught English and literature for so many years, and it’s why my house contains more pounds of books than furniture.
If I’d had my way, I’d have been a fencer…or a starship captain, or a lawyer, or a detective solving crimes. But instead, I am a writer, and I’ve come to realize that’s the best thing in the world to be, because as a writer, I can be all those things and more.
If I hadn’t learned to value the stories between the pages, who knows what would have happened? Certainly not college…teaching…or writing.
Where To Buy:
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