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A Boyfriend by Christmas (Mistview Heights #2)
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I hired him to help me get a boyfriend by Christmas, but time was running out.
Mason: When I searched the Internet looking for confidence tips, I didn’t expect to find a guy who taught confidence for a living. Kade Thompson Confidence Coaching sounded like the worst thing in the world: a brash, tattooed bad boy teaching me how to live my life? Thank you, but no.
But when I met up with Kade, the night ended up very steamy, very unexpectedly. He told me that he didn’t do commitment, and would never want a boyfriend of his own… but he offered to come home for Christmas with me and pretend to be mine.
He isn’t really mine, no matter how hot things get. When we kiss, it’s pretend. When we sleep together, it’s just acting. So why do I suddenly wish it were real?
Kade: I’ve never helped a man like Mason before. He’s shy, like all my clients, but who in the world keeps an Excel spreadsheet of all their dating failures? But I need Mason–my bank account is running on empty, and I can’t pay my rent.
When he needed a fake boyfriend, I offered to do it. Given the opportunity to kiss a sexy man, I never say no. But when I have to pretend I love Mason, my world is turned upside-down. Why am I enjoying this part? And why am I still kissing him when no one else is around?
A Boyfriend by Christmas is a 67,000-word gay romance about two very different men who seize the day… and each other. It features a cat named Squiggles, snowed-in nights by the fire, and plenty of “just faking it” steamy scenes. It’s the second book set in Mistview Heights, but can be read as a standalone novel.
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Know what you want, but can’t seem to get it?
Is every day just the same as the last?
Ready to grab life by the balls?
“Oh god no,” I said to my laptop screen. I closed the lid shut—quickly and firmly, as if I were trapping a grotesque insect—just to make sure nobody could see the word balls glowing so golden and bright, the only light in my room right now. The only light in the world, practically, this time of night. I should have been getting ready for bed, not sitting in front of my computer for hours on end. Not Googling “confidence tips” for the hundredth time. And certainly not clicking on a page that would assault me with such uncouthness.
At least Terry wasn’t here to see it. I was spared that humiliation. What’s that, porn? No, Terry. It’s worse than porn. A thousand times worse.
I looked over to the small window in my bedroom. Daylight was long gone, replaced with the wan glow from the streetlight on the corner of my block flashing green, then yellow, then red. It was nearly ten o’clock.
It had all started innocently. I’d found various articles online about improving confidence. None of them were really helpful, and most of them just told me to be myself.
Being myself was the problem, though. When I tried to talk to guys, I clammed up. It would be fair to say that I had roughly the conversational skills of a brick wall. When guys asked me what I’d been up to, all I could do was grow steadily nauseous as I talked about the weather. I was utterly hopeless, and I knew it was the reason none of my dates ever called me back.
I was an extreme case, one that a website full of tips definitely couldn’t fix.
But as I searched and searched, deep on the fourteenth page of Google search results, was a site called Kade Thompson Confidence Coaching. It advertised one-on-one confidence coaching right here in Mistview Heights, with guaranteed results.
Against all my better judgment, I clicked on it.
And now I’d been subjected to looking at a site that told me I had to grab life by the balls.
I turned back to the laptop, slowly prying it open as if it were a biological hazard.
Kade Thompson: Confidence Coach. Contact me today, and in no time, I will help you turn your life from the daily grind to the ride of a lifetime.
I rolled my eyes. “The ride of a lifetime?” I muttered to no one. But my eyes felt glued to the screen in front of me, like watching a ten-car pileup on the side of the road.
I scrolled and scrolled through descriptions and testimonials for this so-called “confidence coaching.” I clicked the little button at the top of the screen that said “About Me,” and almost jumped when a big picture of Kade loaded on the screen.
Who the hell was this guy? There was a full-body photo of him wearing all black. Of course, he was ridiculously muscular, and his hair was dark and shaggy and perfectly messed up. A few tattoos were scattered along his arms. His eyes gazed right out of the screen, like he was taunting me, daring me to do something.
I didn’t want to imagine what that something might be.
It made sense that a guy who looked like this was a confidence coach. He could have been any rock star about to hop on stage, groupies screaming up at him. I was surprised he didn’t have a guitar around his shoulders and a blazing fire in the background of the photo.
I looked down at my clothes, the same ones I wore every day—checkered button-up shirt, khaki slacks—and I pushed up my glasses on the bridge of my nose. I knew guys like Kade never took a second look at me. I blended into the background, and hot guys walked right past me like I was furniture.
As I looked at his picture, I convinced myself that he was probably an asshole, anyway. The idea of a confidence coach was silly enough on its own. Kade’s face was smug, as if he thought he was God’s gift to mankind. His pose—standing like that, with his chin all proud… he looked self-assured and cocky and inscrutable and… hot.
Oh, for Pete’s sake. He was really, really hot.
I wasn’t even in control of myself as I scrolled further and further down on the website. And the more I saw, the more I was certain that Kade was just some self-obsessed guy who wanted a place to put pictures of himself. There were photos of him clinking drink glasses with other people in clubs, flexing at the gym, hiking up mountains; there was even a video of him jumping out of a moving plane.
At the bottom of the page, there was one photo of him that made me stop in my tracks, though. He was lounging at the side of a glimmering, crystal-blue pool, with palm trees in the background. Shirtless, of course. I couldn’t help but look at every dip and curve of his abdominal muscles, the slight flex of his bicep as he raised the glass in his hand….