Sugarhouse Blues Series
M/M Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 10.07.19
A wounded singer’s second act. A bodyguard’s redemption. Two grieving souls find healing in love’s sweetest song.
Four years ago, a brutal attack shot down my soaring music career. My bodyguard, a man I loved like a brother, was killed, and serious injuries left my voice permanently damaged.
Songs silenced, I retreated to my Vermont home, unsure I’d ever perform again.
Now I’m ready to go public with my new act. But, yeah, I’m a little nervous. So to handle security for a trial-run tour, I’m hiring a guy I trust absolutely—Antonio Callan, my former bodyguard’s brother.
But when Antonio shows up, all super-chill fierceness and warm, understanding eyes, I’m up against an unexpected risk—losing my heart.
Touring backwoods bars with a reclusive singer is the wrong gig at the wrong time. But how can I refuse the wounded kid my brother thought of as family?
After a week in Vermont, I’m feeling more helpless than heroic.
Sage has grown up, and I’m crazy-attracted to him. His broken-but-beautiful voice knocks me out, and his quiet courage sings to my soul. The more time we spend in close quarters, the harder it becomes to resist our attraction.
Soon, Sage’s second act is rocketing to the top of the charts, and being his hero takes on a whole new meaning. It’s up to me to take his cue and find the courage to reach for a star.
Second Song is the first in the two-book Sugarhouse Blues series and can be read as a stand-alone. Contains angsty-hot pining (and Vermont pines), first-time lovin’, sappy songs (and Vermont maples), and the healing power of loooooove.
Cover Designer: Natasha Snow
Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Y982YV6
“This Chicago weather might send you back to Cali real quick.” I gesture toward the windows and the sleet-rain coming down.
Sage smiles slowly as he glances from the window to me. That addictive guitar lick plays in my head again. “This amount of snow and ice does not impress. But you—all hot-bodyguard official in a suit…” He gives me a greedy-hungry look, like maybe I’m one of those maple creamees he loves to slurp. “I’m very impressed.”
“Likewise.” I smile back, my gaze traveling over his features. He’s the sunny beach come to visit. Skin tanned gold, eyes ocean blue, and damn, that smile heats me all the way through.
He looks down at his tea, then he takes a breath and meets my eyes. “So I came to Chicago to take you on a date. That is, if you say yes when I ask you.”
I gently ease against the chair’s back. And then I loosen my tie because breathing has become a genuine hardship. “Sage. Damn.”
“Just…let that sit for a while. I’m too chicken to actually ask you at the moment.”
I make a sound that’s half-laugh, half-curse, and I wonder what I’ll say when I can speak.
I am beyond flattered he’s come all this way to ask me out. I’d be the biggest dick in the world if I refused. I don’t want to refuse. Excluding life-and-death and world-peace scenarios, I want Sage more than I’ve ever wanted anything, ever. But what would happen if I said yes?
Lots of shit has happened in the last couple months, but I don’t think our personal circumstances or our feelings have changed. I’d still be incapable of a casual hookup with Sage Hazen, still incapable of following him where Second Song takes him.
And as for him…
Well, he is not looking casual. Two sunset-colored spots mark the center of his cheeks. His hands are shaking. He stands, walks to the fireplace, and picks up the guitar. His left hand fumbles the tuning pegs. His right hand makes sweaty-squeaky sounds on the shiny wood.
He goes to one of the windows, turning his back to me as he tries to tune and strum. He’s skinnier than he was two months ago; his stupidly sexy skinny jeans don’t cling as tightly as they’re supposed to. Closing my eyes, I pinch the bridge of my nose and try to take steady breaths.
“Working on something new,” he says.
“Yeah?” I look up at him.
He turns to face me. “It’s sexy,” he says, waggling his eyebrows, making an effort and succeeding.
I laugh. “Everything you do is sexy.”
“Uh, no. It’s not.”
“It is. And you have about forty million fans who’d agree with me.”
“Forty million fans don’t know me, Antonio.” His expression turns serious.
“No,” I agree. “They don’t.”
I’m lucky enough to know him, though. And that’s really the point of this meeting, isn’t it?
Wow, talk about an emotional story! This one grabbed me immediately and I was totally pulled into it.
Sage, a famous singer, is the survivor of a horrific and brutal attack. He is scarred for life, both physically and emotionally. The attack took away one of his most precious gifts, his beautiful voice. He has trained for years and can manage to speak clearer but will never regain his original speech. His dear friend Marco who was his bodyguard was killed trying to protect Sage. This makes Sage carry a double load of guilt though logically he knows he is not to blame but the human psyche is a fragile and complex thing. After years of therapy, he is attempting to tour again with his good friend Shiloh. He is taking on the role of songwriting and playing instrumentals. He craves this confidence builder and also wants to support his friend.
Needing a bodyguard for the tour, he turns to Marco’s younger brother Antonio. Antonio deeply misses Marco and also harbors deep feelings about the loss of his sibling. He was in the military and was planning on joining Marco’s security firm later in life. Now he feels if he had started working for his brother earlier maybe his death could have been avoided. So both men are carrying very large quantities of misplaced guilt.
The story did seem to slow down a bit in the middle and there was insta-love which I could attribute to the men’s joint connection to Marco. In time, their feelings did grow stronger and their relationship became believable. There was a tenderness that seemed to surface from Antonio anytime he was around Sage. I was very fond of this tough yet sweet bodyguard that had such a strong pull to the spirited musician.
A low-angst and slow-burn story that I do recommend.
***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement.***
Edie lives in Vermont with her husband, two sons, and random creatures that might or might not be pets. She loves libraries (where she’s found play, work, and love since she was a kid), long walks (unless ice is involved), lewd language (in the right context), luscious romance (of any variety), and alliteration.
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