A fortune shouldn’t get you killed. a Promise shouldn’t break your heart.
Attorney Rafe Stanton knows making promises is a dangerous thing. Over and over he has failed to keep people under his protection safe. For years he watched his younger cousin Noah lose his battle with drugs and alcohol, which eventually led to a deadly car accident. When he finds out about Noah’s secret marriage to Logan Tate, Rafe has one last chance for redemption.
Inheriting a fortune should be a blessing, but for Logan life never works out that way. He’s learned the hard way that dreams don’t come true—and if they do, well, there is usually a hefty price tag attached. All he really wants is a quiet life, but that isn’t in the cards when his apartment gets broken into and a pretentious lawyer from Boston arrives thinking he can call the shots.
The two men don’t see eye-to-eye about the inheritance, but with Noah’s powerful family coming after Logan, they find themselves reluctantly on the same side. A gunman, greedy in-laws, and meddling friends are not enough trouble; soon they also need to deal with the explosive chemistry between them.
But Rafe made a promise to the past and Logan doesn’t trust easily, so a future together seems out of reach.
Publisher: Painted Hearts Publishing
Release Date: Thursday, November 19 2020
Genres: gay (m/m), contemporary romance, romantic suspense
Pairings: Gay (m/m). There is a m/f couple who are secondary characters
LGBTQ+ Identities: Gay
Tropes: secret marriage, opposites attract, unexpected inheritance, chosen family support
Keywords/Categories: gay romance, gay contemporary romance, gay romantic suspense, secret marriage, lawyer romance, chosen family, opposites attract
Warnings: There is a character kidnapped in the story.
Oh, yes, I have a familiar. I think most of us, who attempt to wield word-magic, have one. Mine is a cat. A gorgeous grey tiger. Brady. He’s always around—grounds me when things get dicey and helps me focus on what’s important…well, at least most days…some days he’s just a bloody nuisance and determined on distracting the hell out of me for no apparent reason.
To be completely honest, I don’t think he’s very impressed with my magic skills. He’s perfected the mental eye-roll just as much as my thirteen year old daughter. And he’s got very little respect for my work. He’ll stalk over my keyboard or block the screen. And most days, he looks at me like I’m a completely hopeless case, but he’s loyal…very loyal, so I’m not complaining.
And what they say about cats is true. He picked us. I brought my whole family to find a cat at the shelter and he was the first one we took out of the tiny cage. When I tried to put back him after a few minutes of play he protested so emphatically, we all have no choice but give in to his demand…and that hasn’t changed for thirteen years. He clearly rules our house.
We’ve been through a lot together and he’s truly a member of our family. One of my favorite memories is from a few years back. The whole family was sitting together at breakfast to celebrate my husband’s birthday. We do this candle-in-a-muffin thing, because I’m not a baker (sadly not a kitchen anything to be honest!) and Brady comes running into the room and drops an alive chipmunk right in front of my husband. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
I wrote my new book, Promise Me, last fall when I had just lost my job of many years. Just like the two main characters in my story, I wrestled with life. I spent a lot of time overthinking past mistakes and desperately tried to keep control of my life. And, of course, I poured a lot of my own world into my heroes, but I also noticed that—in his cat ways—Brady was a great friend. Whenever I plopped myself down somewhere, he stretched out right on top of me and, in general, he just stayed close.
So, I consider myself very fortunate that he picked us—picked me thirteen years ago—most days…
“From the little we know about Logan Tate—it doesn’t sound like he has the means to hold out against Noah’s family.”
“They’ll come after him hard. This could get ugly. That’s why I’m saying take a look at him and decide how you want to play this.”
Rafe knew his friend was right. “A stripper. Oh, damn, Noah. You couldn’t find anything else to piss off your parents.”
“It’s textbook.” Kane chuckled. “Whatever you decide; I’ve got your back.”
“Thanks, Kane. I’ll keep you in the loop.”
“Sounds good. Drive safe.”
North of Burlington traffic finally eased up. After all the rain, it was finally a sunny day—only a few clouds chased across blue skies. Rafe pulled out his sunglasses and tried to relax. It was quite telling that he wasn’t surprised to learn that Noah’s husband was shady and a modern-day fortune hunter. Ever since Rafe had seen the marriage certificate, he’d been speculating and had been expecting the worst. Based on the initial information the PI had dug up, he had been spot on.
A series of very likely scenarios went through his head. Noah had no people skills—everybody was his friend, and anyone who supplied drugs or alcohol immediately made it on the top of the list. It was easy to take advantage of his cousin, and he’d probably been high as a kite when he signed the certificate. Rafe tried to think back fourteen months but came up with a blank. Noah hadn’t been around much and Rafe hadn’t gone looking for him. The few times they had met, Noah had been doing better—wrong, very wrong. A wave of guilt washed over him with all the sadness of Noah’s death. He’d talked to his therapist about the five stages of grief, but somehow Rafe just felt an overwhelming clusterfuck of emotions. Regret—harrowing regret—waving through it as the only constant.
“Goddamn, Noah, I hope he’s not too awful, so I can at least keep my last promise to you,” Rafe said into the silence of his car. “I know I let you down with everything else.”
Resolutely, Rafe tried to push back all pictures of a skimpily dressed stripper with sly eyes pushing a pen into Noah’s hand while rubbing his groin and whispering obscenities into his ear. He was almost glad when his phone rang again hoping for a distraction, but then he flinched when he saw the name. Fuck. It was tempting not to pick up, but that would be a shit move. Quickly, he accepted the call.
“Hey stranger. I know you said you’d be busy, but I thought I check in. Do you have a few minutes?”
“Yes. I’m in the car driving to a client. Sorry, I didn’t call you back this weekend.”
“Don’t worry about it. You told me about your cousin. So very sad. Of course, you need some time with your family. If there is anything I can do, please let me know.”
Walter Schuller was exactly the type of guy Rafe should be considering for something more serious. A little older. Settled into a successful life as a well-known psychiatrist with a few books under his belt. Smart. Cultured. Liberal. He and Rafe had a ton of things in common and they were compatible in bed. They had met at a charity event in Boston last summer, and since then they’d hooked up occasionally. Rafe knew Walter was interested in being more than casual, but so far Rafe had pushed back. “I’m doing okay. I’m Noah’s probate executor. It’s the last I can do for him now.”
“Sure, I understand, but just make sure that you don’t use your work as shield against your emotions. We humans are social creatures. We need other people around us, and I don’t want you to fall back on your old coping mechanism.”
You mean fucking around? The words were on Rafe’s lips. Lately, he’d been regretting that he’d shared his challenge to maintain a meaningful relationship with Walter—really to scare him off. It had completely backfired. It seemed like Walter was now on a mission to save Rafe from himself. He tried to ignore Walter’s slightly patronizing tone, because it was high time he made an effort to find something slightly more serious than an endless string of anonymous sexual encounters he used for stress relief. And Walter had been the first guy who had stuck around longer than one or two dinners. He had the patience of a saint.
“I appreciate your concern,” Rafe said.
He’d never told Walter about his complicated relationship with Noah, so there was no way he could understand how important this trip was; still somehow, the man managed a flawless response. “I completely understand. Taking care of somebody’s legacy is important. You’re doing the right thing, but if you need a break, I have tickets to a Celtics game in two weeks. The weekend before Thanksgiving. If you feel like it, I’d love it if you came with me. You could stay the night. Let me take care of you for a change.”
Rafe pushed his sunglasses up on his head to rub his eyes. Walter was fucking perfect, and Rafe was a total ass for not making more of an effort.
“I’d love that. Text me the details and I’ll be there.”
“Awesome. I won’t keep you, but I can’t wait to see you that weekend.”
Rafe let out a sigh. “Fuck my life,” he mumbled to himself. Why was this so freaking difficult for him? Letting another guy in. Walter had been nothing but kind and dependable and still, Rafe kept him at arm’s length. Despite his best efforts to focus on Walter and all the solid reasons why he should be making it more official, after a few miles his mind slipped right back to Noah and his secret marriage.
AG is giving away a Kindle Fire7 with this tour
Eighteen years ago, AG Meiers came to the United States for adventure, but stayed for love. Currently, she lives in New England with her husband and two awesome kids--balancing work, friends and family, and writing.
When she has some free time, her favorite thing to do is travel and visit new places. Her past trips have already brought her to a variety of countries on four continents. She never passes up an opportunity to experience different cultures, diverse people, and amazing locations.
Even though she has been dreaming up stories all her life, she has only recently started to write them down and share them with the world. As a writer, she loves to to put her characters through a lot of challenges, conflict, and heartbreak before she allows them to find their happy-ever-after.
Author Website: www.agmeiers.com
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