Workaholic Nate Erickson is a successful real estate developer who thrives on long hours and stress. When a Los Angeles project prompts him to relocate to Santa Monica, he welcomes the change of scenery. Nate has always considered romantic entanglements trouble, but his sexy next-door neighbor isn’t easy to ignore. Which makes no sense, because Nate is straight… or so he’s always thought.
Alex Reyes is a retired professional soccer player turned West Hollywood business owner with an insatiable lust for life. He loves his family, friends, and work. But there’s one life challenge left to accomplish: coming out publically. Respect for traditional Latino values has kept him in the closet, but Alex begins to think he and his new neighbor might help one another combat their fears. As Alex and Nate forge a strong friendship, they soon realize facing their personal demons will take more courage than either man bargained. The reward is immeasurable… if the timing is right.
Alex and Nate are an interesting couple. They dance around each other, claim they’re just playing game to help reacquaint Nate with “the gay side of the street”. But you can tell quickly that things aren’t what they plan them to be. I was a little blown away by the secret Nate was hiding. I’m intensely curious how Tonio found out. I loved getting to see Bran and Jake, and Michael and Like at times in this book. It’s like seeing old friends again.It started out as a slow burn and I really enjoyed that. Especially how Nate tried to come up with all kinds of excuses for what he was feeling. But then it seemed there was more sex later in the story to make up for it. It was hot and worked well for the story. I just found myself thinking “Again? Didn’t they just have sex a few pages ago?” The ending though was beautiful. There are some characters that I’d love to see get a story. One of them has some growing up to do before he can get his story. But Ms. Hayes writes amazing characters. You feel like you know them by the end of the book. Even if they’re not the main characters.
I asked Alex to join us today to tell us the one thing his misses the most about being a professional soccer player. I love the look he gives on how his answer has changed over time. Read and enjoy!
Hi there! Alex here. Thanks for inviting me to your blog today on behalf of Lane. Though I suppose I can answer this question better anyway. What is the one thing I miss most about being a professional soccer player? Not long ago I would have said everything. It wouldn’t have been an exaggeration either. I missed everything from playing the sport I love at the highest level of competition to the camaraderie of my teammates, the screaming fans and the smell of the stadiums. I loved the discipline of training and the anticipation of game days. I loved giving one hundred and ten percent every time I walked out on the field. Blood, sweat, tears of victory or defeat. To me, soccer was life. It taught me the value of hard work and discipline. It demanded my best and wouldn’t settle for less. Losing it was devastating.
My answer is a little different nowadays. It’s been a few years now since I retired and my priorities have changed. I don’t miss the sport the same way. I wouldn’t want to deal with the non-stop travel and days spent away from family and friends. I still have soccer. Now I just play it differently. I play with former professionals like myself and to teach the beautiful game to a new generation of kids. I still train hard and lead a fairly disciplined lifestyle, but at the end of the day I can’t wait to go home to my man and our life, one that doesn’t revolve around tournament schedules and brackets. Maybe I’m a little older and wiser. I don’t need the fan fare and the pageantry the way I once did. Everything I have I owe to the game, but it isn’t healthy to mourn what is no longer possible. I’ve gained more than I’ve lost and learned more than I imagined. I will always be grateful to my sport but I’m through living in the past. Things are much brighter ahead!
¡Muchos gracias! Alex Reyes (The Right Time by Lane Hayes)
I hadn’t worked out with a professional in years, and it felt foreign to wait for someone else’s direction.
“Any issues with your shoulders or arms? Any injuries I should know about?” he asked, handing me the weights.
“No, I’m good.”
“Great. Start with your palms facing your thighs, lift them both over your chest, then lower the left. Good. And now the right.”
He stood over me diligently, making slight corrections when needed. My supine position gave me an interesting perspective. When I looked up, I noted how his strong brow offset his twinkling eyes. I swallowed uncomfortably and turned my head, only to find myself staring at his crotch. His dark shorts seemed to hint they were covering a generous package.
“You doing okay?”
“Uh yeah. Hey, weren’t you going to tell me about your Friday night?” I needed him to talk. I didn’t trust my thoughts anymore, and I was stuck in my current position crazily aware of a man in a way I hadn’t been in over fifteen fucking years. Diversion in any form was welcome.
Alex snorted. “I already told you. I went dancing, and oh yeah, I did get lucky.”
He added the last part with a hearty chuckle, no doubt catching my wide-eyed expression. I hadn’t expected that.
“Right.” I did? The strong flash of jealousy took me by surprise, but I pressed on. “Did you go back to the beach to get those girls’ numbers last weekend?”
He looked confused for a second, but a slow cocky grin soon spread across his handsome features as he crouched so his face was close to mine.
“No, I told you they weren’t my type.”
I gulped and watched his eyes lower to my throat. He licked his top lip and reached out to adjust my wrist.
“Lift ’em both at the same time, Nate. That’s it. Push it. Harder.”
I sent up a quick prayer I wasn’t sporting a tent in my shorts. Alex’s voice, touch, and yeah, the unintentional innuendos were making me nuts. And horny. I felt terribly out of my element. I wasn’t sure what we were talking about anymore, but the potent silence made me more uncomfortable than speech. Keep talking, I thought.
“So a dance partner?”
“What? Oh. Yeah, I think so. I can’t remember. It was just one of those things, you know? Sit up. Let’s give your arms a break.”
“Just one of those things?”
“Yeah. One night. No numbers exchanged. No hassle, no fuss.”
I had no words. Literally.
Alex chuckled gleefully as he led the way to a leg machine. He gave instructions and stood back to observe me for a moment.
“It’s not necessarily my favorite kind of sex, but hey….” He shrugged his shoulders with his hands outstretched as if to say “what’s a guy to do?”
I recognized this cue. It was my opportunity to commiserate about the trials and tribulations of being a single man with a healthy sexual appetite. Now was my chance to admit it was nice every once in a while to have sex of the nonsolo variety with someone who knew the score. But I was tongue-tied and equally aware of a completely different undercurrent. One I wasn’t brave enough to explore.
“You can stop having fun at my expense any time.”
Alex squeezed my shoulder and smirked playfully. “You’re easily rattled.”
“You seem like someone who has a place for everything and likes everything in its place. You have a routine, and you don’t appreciate any deviation. I should be flattered you came to the gym with me at the spur of the moment.” He paused, running his tongue over his plump bottom lip. “If you’re not careful, I’m gonna think you like me.”
The air between us crackled. Alex leaned forward so his handsome face was mere inches from mine. His proximity alone seemed to issue a challenge. Daring me to confess I was more than I appeared to be. I doubt he expected any revelations, but his intent was certainly to… how had he put it, rattle me. And damn, it was working.
Lane Hayes is finally doing what she loves best. Writing! An avid reader from an early age, Lane has always been drawn to romance novels. She truly believes there is nothing more inspiring than a well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Lane discovered the M/M genre a fews ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel, Better Than Good, was a 2013 Rainbow Awards finalist. She loves travel, chocolate, and wine (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband and their very old dog in an almost empty nest.
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/LaneHayesaauthor?fref=ts
Where To Buy:
Dreamspinner Press eBook: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6462
Dreamspinner Press Paperback: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6463
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