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If you woo, win, and walk away, a second chance is going to cost you.

Headstrong Ruben Harper has yet to meet an obstacle he can’t convert to a speed bump. He’s used to getting what he wants from girls, but when he develops a fascination for a man, his wooing skills require an upgrade. After months of persuasion, he scores a dinner date with Henry Normand that morphs into an intense weekend. The unexpected depth of their connection scares Ruben into fleeing.

Shy, cautious Henry, Ruben’s former high school history teacher, suspects he needs a wake-up call, and Ruben appears to be his siren. When Ruben bolts, Henry is left struggling to find closure. Inspired by his conversations with Ruben, Henry begins to write articles about the memories stored in everyday objects. The articles seduce Ruben, even as Henry’s snowballing fame takes him out of town and farther out of reach.


Alice Archer


An engaging history professor, a determined former student, and one intense weekend that flips both their ideas about sexuality and romance on their heads… I have a very steamy excerpt from a smart, sexy, beautifully written romance that I absolutely ADORED.

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By the time he’s back in Henry’s apartment, Ruben’s amped-up energy and residual rage make him feel like he’s going to self-combust—or maybe even hurt Henry. Not because he wants to, but because he can’t control his intolerable feelings.

Thank God for Henry.

Henry shoves Ruben into the bedroom.

Ruben stumbles, willing and eager, needing direction but hating that he needs it. He knows his feelings are too strong to be just a response to what happened at the pub with the black-haired man. Anger, jealousy, yearning, defensiveness, greed, hostility, and aching aggression fly through his body without landing. They blur and block his vision, circle around, taunt and antagonize him over and over.

Keeping track of Henry’s eyes seems to help the most. 

The anchor beneath the waves.

At the last second, Henry flips Ruben to land on the bed on his back. Henry falls alongside him, his movements brisk and intense. He slides a leg over Ruben’s thighs, tucks his foot under Ruben’s knees to hold him tight.

Shades and flashbacks of Henry pinioning him at the radiator make Ruben instantly harder, and he squirms to rub himself against Henry’s thigh. But Henry’s having none of it. He puts Ruben’s hands under his butt and gives him a look that tells him to keep them there. Ruben nods, lost.

After five long years of being the wolfish one, pushing and persuading girls and women to give him what he wants, but then not getting it anyway, after six long weeks of pushing men to get what he wants, but never getting close, Ruben can’t help but compare. The last thirty seconds have amped his meter into the red, heated him to blazing, made him so giddy with arousal at Henry’s torturous promise of deliverance that he doesn’t recognize himself.

Sex is always about fighting for more. 

Except with Henry.

Ruben drops into a willingness so trusting he never knew to imagine it. He relaxes his neck, and his head falls back into the bed, but his fingers try to clench, like they know something he doesn’t—like they’re not convinced it’s okay to relax. He looks up and searches the tempest.

Nothing matters but holding fast to Henry’s eyes and stalking the frightening itch that demands to be scratched.

Please scratch that itch right now.

But right now is not in Henry’s vocabulary.

Thus begins the biggest turn-on Ruben has ever known or imagined.

Henry takes his time unbuckling Ruben’s belt, unbuttoning his jeans, slowly lowering the zipper. It takes approximately thirty-five years longer than Ruben wants it to, and he squirms and wiggles and tries to increase friction where it would count the most. But Henry won’t allow it and holds him close in all the wrong/right ways.

Almost there… after the zipper, he’s almost there. 

Ah. Henry’s hand brushes Ruben’s erection, sending a shooting star through Ruben’s addled mind. But then with a quirk of his eyebrow, Henry takes his hand away and slowly unbuttons Ruben’s shirt, which makes Ruben so demented he wants to cry and so frustrated that he groans from the intolerable mix of desire and anticipation.

Henry looks down at Ruben with an unreachable lure of a smile—a taunt Ruben suspects will feature in mental replays for years to come. It’s a tolerant, all-knowing, mouthwatering smile.

A loving smile.

Ruben closes his eyes to deflect its sharp arrow.

He feels the last shirt button come undone, and Henry spreads Ruben’s shirt panels aside, untucks his undershirt, runs his hand along Ruben’s bare skin from his exposed underwear to his neck and stops when his long fingers spread against Ruben’s jaw.

Ruben opens his eyes.

Holding his gaze Henry slides his thigh, then his leg, then his body on top of Ruben. He drops and presses his weight onto Ruben’s hips at the exact moment he delivers an insistent kiss—the most enflaming kiss Ruben’s mouth has ever yearned for.

This is the kiss I’ve been searching for. 

Only… I need…

Deep inside Henry’s hard kiss, the known universe breaks open and Ruben glimpses the shape of his need.

He inhales a long breath through his nose, pulls his hands from beneath his ass where Henry had put them, grips Henry’s arms, and yanks him closer. He uses lips, jaw, and neck to open Henry’s mouth wider, to take more of him… and Henry follows.

Ruben moans, and Henry lifts away from Ruben’s mouth. The fine lines at the edges of his eyes crinkle with humor.

Oh, God. He’s teaching me.

He knew what this would do to me.

Ruben shoves Henry up and off, focusing his need into precise movements.

I know what to do. I know exactly what to do.

Ruben pins Henry’s shoulders, unfastens and yanks down his pants, grabs Henry’s hard cock in his fist, and issues his first command. “Don’t you dare move a muscle.”

Henry offers no resistance. Only the sweetest smile Ruben can imagine being the cause of.

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