Bisexual musician Cody Bellstrom is a free spirit, easygoing and unattached. On a cross-country trip, Cody befriends young Sandy Nixon and gets him safely to Portland and his uncle, Phineas MacDonald. Beautiful Phineas turns Cody’s life upside down, and Cody learns he’s not as unattached as he aspires to be. With the hard-won knowledge of what lies underneath his need to be free, Cody wins a chance at real freedom and true love.
Ever since his longtime lover Allen died, Phineas MacDonald has lived a circumscribed life. He stopped performing as fierce drag queen Phanny Hill and works part-time in a bookstore. Phineas never expected to find love again. But when sexy and caring Cody Bellstrom turns up, Phineas feels his orderly life slipping out of his control. Cody brings him alive again, but now Phineas must find the courage to let go of his grief over Allen and give love a second chance.
When I read Wild and Precious, I loved Cody and desperately wanted him to have his own story. He was such a wonderful character, I wanted to see him get a happy ending. I was so excited when I heard about this book coming out.
Sadly it didn’t deliver the way I had hoped it would. Cody and Phineas were lovely together. They just were very predictable in their actions. I predicted how this story would go after reading the first few chapters. It was written like it was supposed to be a slow burn with Cody taking his time because of Phineas’ past. But it was pretty quick when they were in love and moved in together. The disconnect was a little jarring. It’s still an enjoyable story, I just wanted more for Cody and Phineas.
Cody should have figured out the root of his wandering long before he did. Especially for as often as his friends call him on his actions and didn’t hold their tongue when he was running away through the years. Phineas should have seen how Cody felt about Ralph and the others hanging on him. Especially since he knew Cody didn’t like Ralph before the video and he himself though of Ralph as borderline creepy.
I wanted to like the story more. It just didn’t live up to my expectations for the characters. Though I do hope the series continues with possibly a story for Sandy.
Three and a half
CJane stops by and she brings a letter Phineas wrote to himself five years ago. You get to learn some wonderful information about a future release. And yes, that squee you heard was me when I got the email. The letter though is absolutely beautiful. Grand the tissues though, you may just need them. Read and enjoy!
Hi there! Thank you for having me on the blog today to share about my new novella, There You Are, which is the second book in the Wild and Precious series. There You Are picks up the story of Cody Bellstrom where we left him in Wild and Precious. He moves to Portland, Oregon to join a funk band and meets the man who is to become the love of his life, Phineas MacDonald. But they both have issues to work through before they can get to their happy ending.
By the way, a third story in the series, Sand-Man’s Family, will be released by Dreamspinner in the spring. It’s the story of Phineas’s nephew, Sandy Nixon—his coming out and running away from home, and what happens to him after the events of There You Are.
I loved this prompt and the opportunity for Phineas to go back to the him of 5 years ago, when he was in the deepest despair, and give him some hope! It made me cry a little, though.
You are hurting so much right now you probably won’t be able to hear me when I tell you it’s going to get better. You want to sock people who tell you that right in their ignorant mouths. I know. How could any of this get better? Life gave you Allen – the most wonderful partner, the first person you’ve ever loved unconditionally and who loved you so completely – and now he’s being taken away. And you have to watch him suffer as his body betrays him and the cancer continues its inexorable onslaught.
God, Phinney, I am so, so sorry that you and Allen have to go through this. Sorry that your love for each other isn’t enough to keep him alive. Sorry for all the pain and anguish you’ll endure. From the future, I can tell you that you’ll never stop grieving him and that he’ll always be there, a presence in your life, someone you talk to late at night.
But I can also tell you something else—something you’re not even close to being ready to hear. You will love again. A sweet, caring, sexy man named Cody is going to appear in your life at the same time that your favorite nephew Sandy comes out to live with you. You will go from being a secluded widow to being someone with a family and a future. You’ll be happy again. You’ll even be joyous.
I know you still have to walk the hard road of loss that’s in front of you. But I also know this: life has more miracles in store for you.
Courage. One foot in front of the other. Don’t lose hope.
Love from the future,
“YOU SURE about this?” Bette’s pointed glance packed a world of meaning as she maneuvered the car through the DC traffic and Union Station came into view.
Cody shifted, touching the door handle to ready his escape. “Yes, I’m sure. Didn’t we go over this?” In excruciating detail, he added silently but didn’t dare say aloud. Not with the mood Bette was in.
“I’m giving you one more chance to come to your senses.” Bette pulled up outside the train station, frowning, and turned off the engine.
She looked so unhappy, Cody wanted to change his mind. I can’t, he thought.
Won’t, you mean, said the Bette in his head. He reached over and laid his hand on top of hers. “You’ll get along fine without me.”
“That’s not the point.” She nailed him with a baleful scowl. “We don’t want to get along without you. Dang you, Cody Bellstrom, you have no idea who you are to us.” At his puzzled expression, she turned away and stared stonily through the windshield.
“Well… I guess this is it.” Cody waited, but she didn’t respond. “I love you, girl, you know that, right? You and Aurora.” He meant it. He, Bette, and Aurora had been friends since they were college freshmen ten and a half years ago. Cody sometimes found it hard to believe that he’d known them since before Bette and Aurora had become a couple. It seemed like they’d been together forever.
A barely perceptible nod.
“Come on, Bette, don’t be mad. I’ll be back. I swear.”
“Sure you will.” She sighed and turned a softer face toward him. “Goddammit, you better. We love you. If you gotta do this, of course we can’t stop you. All we want is for you to be happy.”
A car honked behind them, and a uniformed officer motioned them to get moving.
“Shoot,” Bette muttered. “All right, babe. Get outta here.”
Cody leaned over and planted a kiss on her cheek. “I’ll text. And call. And Skype.”
“Okay. Send us a postcard from every stop, and take a picture of yourself in Powell’s Books when you get to Portland.”
Cody opened the door and unfurled himself from the passenger seat, then hauled out his luggage, such as it was. He traveled light; always had. A knapsack, one rolling suitcase, and his guitar, and he was good to go.
He stood on the curb and waved as Bette pulled away, then strode into the station, his spirits lifting, while Willie Nelson’s “On The Road Again” played on a loop in his mind.
After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.
CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories.
In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.
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