Publication date: March 1st 2017
Genres: LGBTQ+, New Adult, Romance, Suspense
From bestselling author Mia Kerick comes a New Adult novel of Gay Romantic Suspense that will keep you up reading all night!
Matthew North waited ten years to heal from the devastating wounds inflicted by the man who abducted and abused him as a child. Living reclusively on a tropical island—with no company but his four cats—he merely avoids the lingering pain.
Wearing twisted ropes of mutilated skin on his back, Matt struggles with a profound hindrance—the scars that deaden his soul. However, on the night he meets lively Vedie Wilson, a local restaurant busboy who expresses his gender by wearing lipgloss and eyeliner along with his three-day beard, things change.
Gradually, Vedie and Mateo unite in friendship. Through a series of awkward encounters, the pair learns each other’s secrets. Vedie learns that an angelic face can front for a scarred soul. Matthew learns that the line between one’s masculine and feminine sides is blurred. Can they embrace the painful stories behind each other’s scars if they’re to find everlasting love? Or will surrendered love come to be yet another blemish on their souls?
Vedie“Lookin’ good, pretty Miss Vedie.…mmmhmm….” No matter if I’m dressed like a dude or a lady, Joey always stares at me as if I’m a juicy bowl of strawberry shortcake—he licks his lips and I know he wants to take himself a nice big bite of a flavor he can’t get at home. Then he slaps a hand hard against my thigh, and creepy-slow, it climbs my leg. It’s headed for my ass cheek, or my name ain’t Vedie Wilson.
“Hands outta the cookie jar, Joey, my man.” I don’t appreciate it when any dude gropes me without asking for permission first. But the sad truth is I ain’t never gonna like Joey’s hands on me. While he gawks, I pull a shimmery hairband out of my bag and wrap it around my head to hold the damp dreads off my face. “Got yo’self a sweet tooth, looks like, Joey. You’d be wise to get your ass home to your sweet wife, not that you asked me for no words of wisdom.”
“Not gonna even think about going home ‘til I had me some fun,” Joey replies, jamming his hand in his pocket—probably to keep it from curving ‘round my ass.
When I bend down to rinse the sweat off my face he stays quiet and don’t goose me. Maybe this time he heard what I told him about gettin’ his butt home to Miz Joey. But more likely he’s checking out my butt.
“Baybeee… uh huh…. mmmhmm… nice ass you got there in them sweet little shorts….”
I sigh real loud, “I got some shit to do here, big dawg, so’s if that’s all you wanted…” The only way to get this guy to take a hike is to tell him point blank that he’s gotta head on out. “Catch ya on da flip side, ‘kay?”
He leans in so close I can feel his scratchy beard brushing on my neck and I shiver in the bad way. He takes a deep sniff—I guess he likes the smell of sweaty dude—and then finally bails. Right now, I sorely wish the tiki hut restaurant I work at had one of them one-person anything goes restrooms—for a dude, a lady, or whoever you feel like at the moment—but at least now I’m finally alone in the men’s room.
I pull out my makeup bag and quickly powder my nose so’s it don’t shine, and glide a deep shade of maroon over my lips, but I take the time to be an artist with my eyeliner and mascara ‘cause I figure eyes oughta say somethin’. When I look good enough that I’d wanna do me, I figure I’m looking good enough for public viewing. My new perfume smells like the freedom I got down here on Placida Island—coconuts and wildflowers and the ocean and honey— I spray it all over my neck and chest.
As I saunter outta the men’s room, I don’t miss that it’s kinda funny how I went in here looking all-dude but comin’ out, you could mistake me for a lady. Ha! More like a red-hot, sexy mama—smooth and silky everywhere ‘cept for the four-day beard.
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.
Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.
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Matt’s journal dated January 2011
When I was about ten, I tried to establish a human connection with Daniel. It was futile. Hindsight makes this clear, I guess. (Looks like this damned journal is serving its purpose.)
I looked into his eyes on many occasions, desperately hoping to see something human there. For so long, Daniel was the only one I had… he was my only choice… my only chance… and because of this, I badly needed to know that he had the capacity to feel. And that he had feelings for me.
But every time I dared to look, the only thing I saw in his eyes were two deep black holes fixed on me with lust and hostility. What alternative was there for me but to consider this a valid form of human interaction?
Lust and hostility: the basis of my single social bond from the age of seven until fifteen. Sadly, it was as clear to me then as it is now that Daniel’s humanity—at least in terms of compassion and love—was in the “off” position. And so I switched “off”, as well. Lust and hostility had to be enough for me, and so they were.
Like “father,” like “son.”