Pieces of Me
(Spectrum Nights #1)
by Melanie Hansen
Date Released: January 16, 2017
About Pieces of Me
Deep in the heart of the Florida Panhandle, Scott Ashworth’s bleak life stretches out before him with not much hope for the future. His hardscrabble days are brightened by the arrival of a new stepbrother, Rylan Mahoney, who quickly becomes the friend Scott so desperately needs. Their relationship has just started to deepen into more, when during the course of one terrible night, what Scott overhears sends him fleeing from his home, never to return.
Flash forward six years, and Scott is now the hottest club host on the Phoenix gay scene. He takes what he wants, does what he wants, and does whom he wants. It’s a good life, but the journey to local popularity and fame wasn’t an easy one. For all that Scott’s looks are a blessing, at the same time they’re a curse—the source of his alcoholic mother’s inexplicable hatred.
Rylan dreams of photojournalistic glory. He’s in Phoenix looking for the story of a lifetime, but the project isn’t coming to fruition. Needing rent money, he accepts a gig at Phoenix Pride hawking lewd lollipops and edible condoms…all while wearing gold lamé hot pants and a matching bow tie. When Rylan’s house keys and street clothes go missing after his shift, he’s desperate, until a stranger in a convertible stops to help.
The man is absolute sex on legs, and Rylan is jolted when he recognizes him—his stepbrother Scott Ashworth, long missing but suddenly larger than life. Reunited after six years apart, Scott and Rylan are determined to put their past behind them, but fate intervenes and leaves their future in jeopardy once again.
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An Excerpt from Pieces of Me
To his horror, Rylan felt a burning in his eyes, the precursor to tears. This had been such a shitty fucking day in every way. Not only did he now have to hand over the majority of his hard-earned food money, he still had to break the news to her that he’d also lost his keys. His body hurt all over, and on top of it, he was sticky and his crotch had been sitting in countless other men’s ball sweat all day long.
He took a deep, shaky breath, but before he could speak, he saw Mrs. Popovic’s mouth drop open. There was a warmth at Rylan’s shoulder, and then the sound of a honeyed Southern drawl washed over him, making him shiver. “Hello, ma’am. I was looking for my brother. Hey, Ry.”
Mrs. Popovic’s eyes were well and truly goggling now, and Rylan spun around to see Scott standing there with a dazzling smile on his face, one that showed his even white teeth and made his gorgeous green eyes sparkle.
“You were taking so long, I started to wonder if there was a problem.” His voice was warm, and he leaned against the counter with one hip and crossed his arms, the pose emphasizing his biceps and long legs.
Mrs. Popovic was practically hyperventilating, and Scott said, “Ma’am? Everything okay in here?”
She pointed to Rylan. “You―you his brother?” she croaked. Scott gave her another slow smile, and he faced her full-on, resting his elbows on the counter as he looked up at her through long, thick lashes.
“Stepbrother, actually. Just found him again after a long time.” He winked at her, and Rylan thought for a minute she’d swoon. “Isn’t that terrific news? Means I’ll be here a lot visiting him, catching up.”
He straightened again and lifted his arms over his head in a casual stretch, the motion causing his tank top to ride up, showing a slice of muscled belly. “You have a pool, right?” Scott directed this at Rylan. “I could come lay out with you over the summer, drink some beer.”
Mrs. Popovic’s greedy eyes devoured Scott’s body, clearly imagining him in a swimsuit sprawled out by the glittering pool that was visible from the office window.
“By the way, I’m Scott.” He stuck out his hand, and she took it, tucking her impossibly red hair behind her ear with the other and giving Scott a simpering smile.
“Irina,” she replied with what was probably intended to be a giggle, but instead it came out sounding like the wet croak of an asthmatic frog.
“So nice to meet you, Irina.” Scott leaned against the counter again, still holding her hand, and Rylan could only look on in amazement as with a few bats of his eyelashes and a couple more devastating smiles, he had her talked into waiving the late fee. Not only that, she was going to unlock Rylan’s apartment door for him with her own key and have the maintenance man up within the hour to rekey everything and give him a new set.
“I’ve just seen the master at work. Again,” Rylan whispered to Scott as they followed Irina’s ample form down the sidewalk toward Rylan’s building. “Some things apparently never change.”
“Putty in my hands,” Scott said with a wink, and he lengthened his strides to catch up with Mrs. Popovic, continuing to charm her until Rylan’s apartment door was safely open and they were inside.
About Melanie Hansen
Melanie Hansen has spent time in Texas and Florida prisons…for work. She’s been in a room with a 17-year-old mass murderer who was also one of the most soft-spoken and polite teenagers she’s ever met. After a 13-year career as a court reporter, she can tell many stories both hilarious and heartbreaking.
She grew up with an Air Force dad, and ended up marrying a Navy man. After living and working all over the country, she hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles.
Melanie left the stressful world of the courtroom behind and now enjoys a rewarding career transcribing for a deaf student. She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.
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