Hi! I’m Grace Kilian Delaney. Thanks to Bayou Book Junkie for having me here today to promote Living on a Dare, the first of three books in my upcoming Shore Thing series. After a fake proposal dare goes awry, Julien and Draven find themselves at an impromptu engagement party thrown by Julien’s mother. This exclusive excerpt is from the aftermath.
“Draven?” he called. “I don’t know what I would’ve done without you tonight. Everyone knows now, and I don’t have to hide it anymore.”
“What do they know, Jules?” I eyed him, my mind racing, trying to puzzle out what everyone at the party knew now that they hadn’t before we’d announced our fake engagement. That left Jules admitting he liked guys.
“That I love you.”
My heart slammed into my chest. I expected him to say something like his entire family finally acknowledged his mom was a bitch and his dad was an alcoholic. But this? He didn’t mean it, not like love love. Just the I love you like a friend love. Yeah, that was it.
I held a hand to my chest, adding a dramatic flair. “Aw, I love you, too, bro. I’ll be right outside the bathroom if you need me.” I kept the bathroom door open in case he needed me and slumped into a kitchen chair.
Eventually, Jules passed out on the tiled floor, and being the devoted friend that I was, I dragged his sad ass to bed.
Once seated, he came to and started unbuttoning his shirt, giving up after struggling. “Draven? Can you…” There wasn’t much I wouldn’t have done for him when he looked pathetically defeated.
“What’s the matter?” I teased as I unbuttoned the shirt. “Your business degree didn’t prepare you for buttons? What a waste of money.”
He slid out of the shirt, trying to shake off the sleeves. I’d forgotten about the buttons on the cuffs. Holding up his arm he mumbled, “Looks like yours didn’t prepare you for them either.”
“That’s because I was in gym clothes my entire college career. Buttons were reserved for you business types.” I undid the cuffs, doing my best to not look at Jules’s chest and failing. His skin was pale from winter but was still darker than my fair shade, and his bronze nipples were taut from the cool air, begging to be touched and licked…by someone who wasn’t me.
He toed out of his shoes and flopped back on his bed and didn’t move.
“No,” he groaned. “Sleep.”
I lifted his legs and tucked him under the covers. “Good night,” I said, and resisted the urge to kiss him on his temple.
Jules reached for me, catching my wrist. “Don’t go, okay?” he slurred, half asleep.
“I’m not going anywhere. It’s too late.”
“No, I mean, stay here with me.” He tugged gently, pulling me toward the bed.
Julien Bouchard is tired of living a lie. He spent the past year exploring his sexuality in secret, enduring countless dates with women to appease his mother, and dodging his best friend, Draven, who knows everything there is to know about him, except the one thing that could change their friendship. Ready to face his friend, he meets him at a bar and is greeted by an unexpected marriage proposal. The dare isn’t surprising; it’s the scorching hot kiss that sends Julien’s head and heart in a tailspin—and gives him an idea for the perfect plan.
But perfect plans never go according to plan, and news of their fake engagement spreads to their families as fast as a wildfire, forcing them to confront their true feelings about each other and hope they don’t get burned.