Book Title: A Little More Hope (Hot Property, Book Two)
Author: Pauley J Ray
Publisher: NineStar Press
Cover Artist: Jaycee DeLorenzo
Release Date: July 18, 2023
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Tropes: Bi awakening, Emotional scars
Themes: Overcoming adversity, loss, rejection
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 87 900 words/525 pages
This is book two of a four-book series. Each book concentrates on a different main character from the four owners of a successful construction company. Successive books will include spoilers from the previous ones if the books are not read in order.
This story does not end on a cliffhanger.
Your heart must believe there is hope before you can believe there is love
After a vicious assault leaves him a virtual recluse, businessman Mason Wilder escapes to his friend’s beach house in the small seaside town of Melrose Bay to heal and come to terms with the shadow of the man he has become.
When Ashton Michaels, wanderer, surfer, loner, unexpectedly inherits a rundown shack of a house, he must decide: keep running from his disastrous past relationships or return to the place he loves, finally put down some roots, and learn to live life with all its consequences.
After a chance encounter with his elusive next-door neighbor, Ash can see Mason is hurting and it releases his protective, caring side and he knows he’ll do anything he can to aid the handsome, broken man in such desperate need of help.
Mason initially resists the offer of help from Ash, but the guy is persistent and for reasons he can’t figure out, Mason feels drawn to him. When Ash decides to keep and renovate his new home, impulsively Mason joins him and in the process of rebuilding the house, Mason begins to rebuild his life and confront his fears.
He must also learn to come to terms with his unexpected attraction to a man for the first time in his life. Ash is a solid, comforting, and caring presence and offers Mason everything he’s been searching for since his brutal attack.
Ash is falling hard for the quiet and troubled man he’s spending all his time with but is worried the past will only repeat itself and Mason will leave him all alone like everyone else.
Can Mason finally put his demons to rest to move forward with his life and will Ash be able prevent his fear of being left behind from ruining his chance at love?
“It’s late. I should go, and you need to rest,” he stuttered, his eyes looking anywhere but at me.
I hastily stood, then gripped him around the upper arm. Not restrictive, but enough to keep him from moving. He stiffened but didn’t pull away. “Please don’t go.” I placed my other hand on the side of his neck. His eyelids fluttered briefly shut and a light tremor ran through his body under my palm.
“I’m sorry if I unsettled you. It’s just— I’ve— It’s—” I sighed, trying to explain. “I haven’t let anyone hold me since the attack. Not friends or family. I haven’t wanted to.” I waited until his eyes opened and stormy green focused on my own. “You’re the first I’ve allowed.”
He stared at me for the longest time before whispering, “Why?”
I thought about his question, trying to work the answer out in my head, why Ash’s touch and only his didn’t make my skin crawl. I’d attributed my repulsion to being touched to the associated feeling of terror when my assailants dragged me into the filthy dark alley. I knew the difference, obviously, but couldn’t get past the feeling whenever someone tried to put their hands on me.
I shrugged. “I’m not sure I understand why,” I admitted, “but your touch is different. It calms me, grounds me, makes everything okay, and I haven’t felt that way in a very long time.”
I lowered my eyes at revealing that last piece of information, but I’d spoken the truth, nonetheless. “I don’t want you to stop.” I almost begged him, not wanting to relinquish this small piece of comfort I had in my life, the single ray of light in the never-ending darkness.
The shy grin crossing Ash’s face at my words lit me up inside like a beacon. Releasing himself from my hold, his hands moved to rest lightly on my waist as he stepped closer, making our bodies touch.
“This okay?” he asked, his voice gravelly.
Strong arms circled around my lower back to pull me closer, and a shudder shook my whole body as I reveled in the feel of him, of being in his embrace. My own arms mirrored his, sliding up and over his shoulder blades, his taut muscles rippling under my fingers.
“Yeah,” I managed, as he hugged me tighter, yet remaining careful of putting any pressure on my ribs.
He shifted slightly, and my crotch rubbed against his thigh, sending ripples of pleasure straight to my cock, now thickening rapidly in my shorts and shocking the hell out of me. I hadn’t been able to get hard once since the attack, and I was unprepared for the suddenness of getting an erection. Being so close to someone after all this time must be overloading my senses, as I couldn’t find any other explanation for what was happening to me.
Unable to stop, I pushed my hips against his leg, the pressure of his firm thigh on my hardening dick sending my pulse rocketing, bombarding me with sparks of desire.
About the Author
Pauley J Ray writes contemporary MM romantic fiction. His books contain sexy yet complicated and flawed characters searching for their own happily ever after.
When not writing, he can’t wait to get outdoors, and with his husband, go hiking, camping, and travel everywhere they can, as often as they can.
With his husband’s job taking them all over the world, he now gets to write all day, every day, and he’s never happier than when sat at his laptop creating new stories about gorgeous and sexy men.
Except when there’s coffee…ooh and chocolate…yes, he’s way happier when there’s coffee and chocolate!
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