Title: Out for the Holidays/Out for Gold
Series: Out in College, Book 9
Author: Lane Hayes
Publisher: Lane Hayes
Release Date: July 26
Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex
Genre: Romance, Contemporary MM Romance, Sports Romance, Bisexual, College Romance
Out for the Holidays
A Dream Come True…
This is it! I’m finally opening my own bistro. I’ve spent the last two years getting ready for this moment. I can’t decide if the holidays are the perfect time to begin a new venture, but I’m excited. It would be nice if my family were on board too.
I play water polo. I don’t know anything about the restaurant business, but I want to make sure Derek’s grand opening goes according to plan. I’ll rally our friends, send out invites, and yeah…I’ll even deal with his mother. He’s my number one person and I’ll do whatever it takes to be sure we’re out for the holidays.
Out for the Holidays is a low-angst MM romance featuring Derek and Gabe from Out in the Deep…and a host of friends from the Out in College books!
Out for Gold
Chance of a Lifetime…
Winning a spot on the Olympic water polo team is my lifelong goal and guess what?…I made it! Of course, nothing goes smoothly. This is a bad time for a shoulder injury and an even worse time for my dad to show up out of the blue. I might be doomed.
Family isn’t easy. Trust me, I know. But in my experience, ignoring obvious issues only makes them more challenging in the long run. I can’t solve Gabe’s problems with his dad, but I’ll help if I can. Win or lose, my man is going out for gold.
Out of Gold is a low-angst MM romance featuring Derek and Gabe from Out in the Deep in a full-circle quest for the ultimate prize…love.
*OUT FOR THE HOLIDAYS was originally featured in the holiday collection, Gifts for the Season. Since the anthology is no longer available, I wanted to publish it on my own and add new content. OUT FOR GOLD is a brand-new novella that really brings the whole story full-circle, featuring Gabe and Derek from Out in the Deep.
The early July air was balmy with just a hint of chill. We changed into sweats and rode two blocks to the deserted beach. We spread a blanket and sat facing the ocean with our bare feet in the cool sand. Stars glittered above us and a crescent moon did its best to cast some light, but the darkness was kind of therapeutic. And there was something poetic about the roar of the Pacific and the silent beach. I could almost imagine Mother Nature had been waiting for us.
“This is nice. We haven’t done this in a while,” I commented, crossing my arm over his as I leaned back to watch the waves breaking in the distance.
“We’ve been busy.”
“It’ll get better, Der.”
“But?” I prodded when he didn’t continue.
“You need to talk to your dad, Gabe.”
“I talk to him all the fucking time lately.”
“You let him talk at you. You need to tell him how you feel.”
I groaned. “That’s the last thing I need.”
“It’s exactly what you need. You’ve given him rent-free room in your head. No…you’ve cleaned out space and invited him to take a little more from you. I get it. He’s got a strong personality, and he’s your father. You’re confused, but excited too, and you’re grateful, but you’re also still pretty damn angry with him. And not dealing with those feelings is wearing on you.”
What could I say? It was true.
“Yeah. It is.”
“Sharing your experience is one thing, but giving it away is another. You don’t owe that to him or your mom or me or anyone. <em>You </em>worked your ass off for this chance. <em>You</em> did it, babe. It was all you,” he whispered fiercely.
I didn’t expect the prick of tears behind my eyes. I blinked wildly and squinted at the horizon.
“He’s not easy, Der. He’s not a villain, he’s not my enemy. I’ve talked to countless therapists and I’ve conquered the worst of my anger, but I wasn’t prepared for this. I need to read the handbook about what to do when the guy who abandons you as a kid returns with a vengeance when you’re twenty-fucking-six,” I huffed derisively. “The thing is…he isn’t going to change. He won’t suddenly turn into Dad of the Year. And if he does, it’ll be for half brothers I barely know. How is that fair?”
Derek leaned into my side. “No one said it was fair, Gabe. But he can’t fix what he doesn’t understand. And maybe he’ll never get there. That doesn’t mean you should lose sleep over old pain or worries. Let that shit go. For your sake. For your sanity.”
I gave a humorless half laugh and nodded. “You’re right.”
“I’m pretty smart,” he boasted playfully. “And I have some experience with pushy parents.”
“Your mom is nothing like him. She loves you so much she can’t see straight sometimes. And my mom is like that too…to a less obsessive degree.” I teased.
We chuckled, then let the silence fall like a gossamer blanket. I didn’t want to break it, but now that the cork was off my emotional bottle, I couldn’t help voicing one of my greatest fears.
“I don’t want to be like him, Der. If we ever have kids, I just…please let me know if I—”
“Stop.” Derek shook his head vehemently as he shifted to face me. “You are not your dad. You’re not going to turn into him the day you become a father. You know that. Someday, we will have kids, and they’re going to be really damn lucky to have two dads who love them unconditionally. You’ll probably be the fun dad who lets them get away with everything, and I’ll be the uptight one who keeps track of bedtimes and homework assignments.”
I caressed his jaw lovingly and bit his bottom lip. “Is it crazy that I’m not even a little freaked out that we so casually talk about having kids? Like it’s a foregone conclusion.”
He kissed me and rested his forehead against mine. “It is. You’re going to the Olympics, and then one of us will propose. We’ll close escrow on our house, get married, and talk about starting a family. Sound good?”
My heart was practically bursting at the seams, but I played it cool. “Yep. Sounds perfect. How many kids do you want?”
“Two. At least.”
“Same. And how will we know who should do the proposing?”
Derek smiled. “We’ll know.”
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~ * ~ Kathy‘s Review ~ * ~
What an innovative presentation. A short story dedicated to Derek and another to Gabe. These men are very much in love and an established couple. I first met them in Ms. Hayes’ book Out in the Deep. Trust me when I say these guys are sizzling in a match made in relationship heaven. I enjoyed how each man was facing a life-changing challenge, and that they were there for each other every step of the way.
In Out for the Holidays, Derek is finally going to open his dream bistro. Years of hard work and partnering with Gabe, it looks like it’s going to happen. The one thorn in Derek’s side is his mother. Though she does love her son, her caustic, judgmental comments are slowly chipping away at his self-confidence. Gabe really did shine in this book and how he quietly helped his boyfriend was pure perfection. A very satisfying, sweet, and oh-so-sexy read!
Out For Gold features Gabe’s own lofty goals. This will more than likely be his last chance to be on the Olympic Water Polo Team and the pressure is high, both mentally and physically. Gabe also has a clueless parent but in this case, it is his father. His Dad is only interested in his life while he is doing sports, otherwise, he is not involved. This story was a bit sadder and I really felt bad for Gabe. Again he had complete support from Derick and I marveled at how well they complimented each other.
What I really appreciated about these stories is despite the numerous stressors both men remain strong for each other, and there is no angst between them. They have a lot on their plates but don’t allow the messy side of life to create any issues in their very solid relationship. In pure Lane fashion, I was left with a really huge smile on my face, and now I need to go back and re-read the story that started it all, Out In The Deep. I highly recommend this book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Happy reading!
* * * Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement * * *
~ * ~ Jo‘s Review ~ * ~
First of all, you need to have read Out in the Deep, as this is a little snippet of Derek and Gabe’s HEA. But I’m being silly because of course you’ve read it, you’ve read all the series, haven’t you? I mean the series is absolutely wonderful, fun, sweet, and sexy. Everyone needs to read it.
Here we have two short novellas showing what happened next. I love seeing where the boys are after the end of the book. We get to see them both making their dreams come true. More importantly, we get to see them be there for each other while it happens. Derek gets to set up his restaurant and Gabe gets to go for his golden dream, reaching the Olympics. The boys are just as wonderful as ever, the lightness of touch makes these stories warm and loving, just perfect. Even the angst around Gabe’s family is nicely done.
A must-read for everyone who’s followed the series, and if you haven’t, please go back to book 1, you won’t regret it.
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***
~ * ~ Annie‘s Review ~ * ~
I’ve enjoyed all the books I’ve read in the Out in College series, but Derek and Gabe have a special place in my heart since they were the first we met in this universe. Having a couple continuation stories following their paths as they continue to pursue their dreams is fantastic. As always, the smooth writing, sweet characters, and obvious connection come through making for an enjoyable read.
Gabe and Derek are a fabulous couple and I really enjoy their personalities and support of one another. If you’ve followed along with the Out in College series, you’ve had the chance to see Derek’s bistro come to life. However, in Out for the Holidays, we get the opportunity to witness it in real-time and it’s great. The Olympics moment for Gabe in Out for the Gold was amazing. I loved seeing Gabe achieving his goal and was so happy that a conflict that started in Out in the Deep finally saw a satisfying resolution. These two short stories together definitely made for a cherry on top of Gabe and Derek’s happily ever after.
I loved Gabe and Derek when they first got together, but seeing them continue to succeed in love and life is wonderful. If you enjoyed this couple and their story, I’d highly recommend spending a bit more time with them in Out for the Holidays and Out for the Gold.
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***
Lane Hayes loves a good romance! An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016, 2017, and 2018-2019 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a not quite empty nest.