Invitation to the Blues
(Small Change #2)
by Roan Parrish
Release Date: March 28, 2018
About Invitation to the Blues
Eight months ago Jude Lucen fled his partner, his career, and a hospital in Boston after a suicide attempt. Now back in Philadelphia, he feels like a complete failure. Piano has always been his passion and his only escape. Without it, he has nothing. Well, nothing except a pathetic crush on the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen.
Faron Locklear came to Philly looking for a fresh start and has thrown himself into tattooing at Small Change. He’s only met Jude a few times, but something about the red-haired man with the haunted eyes calls to him. Faron is blown away by Jude’s talent. What he isn’t expecting is the electricity he feels the first time they kiss—and the way Jude’s needs in bed speak directly to his own deepest desires.
Jude and Faron fall fast and hard, but Jude has spent a lifetime learning that he can’t be what the people he loves need. So when the opportunity arises to renew his career in Boston, he thinks he has to choose: music, or Faron? Only by taking a huge risk—and finally believing he’s worthy of love just as he is—can he have the chance for both.
The Small Change series is set in the Middle of Somewhere universe and features crossover characters from that series. Each book can be read on its own.
Content warning: This book contains explicit discussion of depression, anxiety, attempted suicide, and feelings of worthlessness.
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An Excerpt from Invitation to the Blues
Faron pulled me to my feet easily but didn’t let go of my hand. He drew me to him slowly—so slowly that I had time to pull away a dozen times.
My heart pounded as my chest drew flush with his and he wrapped his arms around me. It felt like sighing with my entire body. I hugged him back, pressing my palms against the musculature of his back. We stood there, entwined, just breathing, and I wanted to stay like that forever.
Tears pricked my eyes. It had been so damned long since anyone had held me, just held me, with nothing else at stake.
When Faron eased off like he might let go, I squeezed him back to me. Often, my sensitive sense of smell made me recoil from human scents. But he smelled good. Something fresh like grass and something warm like amber, and beneath it something dark and musky. The second I pulled him tight, his hand went to my hair. He tugged the elastic out and ran his fingers through it. I only heard his breath catch faintly because my ear was pressed close to his chest.
“Is this okay?” he murmured, one hand on my back and the other combing through my hair.
I kept my eyes closed as he worked the tangles out of my messy hair. I let it wash over me that, no matter how affectionate Faron was, this was probably more than a hug of friendship. I told myself that over and over, since I was capable of finding any of a hundred reasons to excuse the intimacy of his fingers in my hair and his arms around me. My stomach fluttered and I made myself breathe deeply in rhythm with the rise and fall of Faron’s chest.
There was a whistling noise, and then the scream of the teakettle, and Faron broke away, moving quickly to the stove as Waffle started snarling and my heart pounded.
Well. So much for the most peaceful I’d felt in years.
Faron turned the stove off but didn’t make the tea. He came back to me and looked at me intently. His eyes were intense. Searching.
I held my hand out, not even sure what I was reaching for, and he tangled his fingers with mine.
“Can I kiss you?” His voice was so soft I thought I’d imagined it for a moment. But when I nodded, he squeezed my hand and cupped my cheek with his other palm. Then he leaned in and kissed me. His mouth was luscious and my heart was racing at the first touch. The closeness of him, the press of his lips, was so intimate that I felt dizzy. He stroked my cheekbone with his thumb and eased back, thick lashes half lowered over his beautiful gray-brown eyes.
Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia, where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.
When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.
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