Outback Boys, 2
Standoffish Aiden is content keeping people at a distance and ensuring his boundaries are impenetrable. There’s safety in not opening up, but there’s also a loneliness he doesn’t realise exists until he meets Riley, a new member of the LGBTQI+ adventure group Outback Boys.
Fascinated by the new guy, Aiden is quick to discover his flirtation skills are rusty and his sweet-talking is cringeworthy. But sweet and clumsy Riley doesn’t seem to mind so much.
Even though Riley doesn’t quite know how to handle Aiden’s intensity, he’s willing to step out of his comfort zone and see how their tentative friendship unravels.
Between a surf lesson that resembles a kangaroo on acid and paddle boarding that is trickier than walking a tightrope, Aiden and Riley discover love may be a possibility after all.
Happiness relies on honesty and openness, though. And with both men holding on tightly to past struggles, their future together is at risk. Can the two Aussies bounce back and heal themselves and each other, or are some wounds too raw to recover from?
Outback Boys is a sweet and sexy M/M romance series complete with bruised butts, rope burn, and overworked muscles… all in the pursuit of adventure, of course!
Trigger Warning: Contains themes (discussions) of mental health and suicide.
“It’ll be fun, they said. You’ll feel good, they said. By the end of the day, you’ll be lucky to be alive, said no bloody one.” I wheezed out each word between heavy pants of breath. But it was no good. I had to stop before I collapsed and my red face finally caught fire and lit up the whole damn gorge.
A few steps ahead of me, Pete stopped and took in our surroundings. “Come on, Riley. There’s a spot just around the curve of this trail where we’re stopping for lunch.”
I paused, grateful for the short reprieve, and eyed him suspiciously. “You said that an hour ago.”
The arsewipe grinned. “This time I’m not lying.”
I heard movement behind me and angled back. Another cluster from our group came up from behind, which made me feel marginally better. I wasn’t the last. “Fine, but I swear, if you’re jacking me around, I’m dumping your swag in the river.”
Pete snorted before turning back to the narrow dirt path and trekking on. Reluctantly I followed, knowing I had little choice but to finish the circuit. I had no idea how far we’d walked of the eighteen-kilometre route, but that last incline almost did me in.
Attempting to regulate my breathing, I focused on the inhale and the exhale. I can do this. I really hoped so anyway.
It had taken Pete, one of my workmates, at least nine months to talk me into finally joining the group for a trial weekend. He’d promised me it was the perfect place for beginners, and while he hadn’t said the words “especially if you’re unfit,” I knew that was pretty much the implication. But hell, if this was easy, I really was in worse shape than I thought.
As we reached the bend in the pathway, I closed my eyes briefly and sent up a silent prayer to whoever was looking down at me. All I needed was fifteen minutes, or maybe an hour—actually, half a day would be even better—to regroup and carry on. Once around the rock wall, relief caressed me. About fifteen guys were spread out on the flattened area of grass next to a small creek, with some of the group perched on large rocks. Most of the men wore tees sporting the Outback Boys logo, Pete included. His was red and clung to his fit body well. The jury was still out about whether I’d be joining at this point. My main mission at the moment was surviving this bloody hike.
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Becca Seymour lives and breathes all things book related. Usually with at least three books being read and two WiPs being written at the same time, life is merrily hectic. She tends to do nothing by halves so happily seeks the craziness and busyness life offers.
Living on her small property in Queensland with her human family as well as her animal family of cows, chooks, and dogs, Becca appreciates the beauty of the world around her and is a believer that love truly is love.
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