Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Teaser: Ripple Effects by Alex Winters #promo #teaser #excerpt #comingsoon #romance #rabtbooktours @changelingpress


Contemporary Romance, Multiple Partners

Date Published: June 21, 2024


Brady Sampson and Myer Joyner met in college, quickly bonding in their business classes and both landing gigs at nearby Global Initiatives in scenic Lost Lake, Tennessee. Combining their signing bonuses to invest in a rental house beside the lake together, the two take to being roommates the way they have every other challenge they’ve faced over the past two years -- secretly pining for one another while never speaking a word about it.

That is, until their sexy new coworker, Carly Carmichael, produces an uncommonly sensual stirring in both men. When Brady invites their new neighbor over for a meet and greet, she takes him up on the offer on the one day he’s out. While she and Myer sip wine and get to know each other better, both let it slip that they have a crush on Brady, unleashing a series of events that threaten to topple everything they thought they knew about each other.




“White or red?”

Brady Sampson glanced over at his new roomie, Myer, holding up two wine bottles and wearing an almost face-splitting grin. He struggled to ignore the equally cataclysmic ripples of desire that rang through his body as he kept a placid look on his face.

“Which do you prefer?” Brady answered.

Myer glanced from bottle to bottle as if he’d never seen them before, giving Brady time to openly adore his big, veiny hands as he held each aloft. “I always drank beer before now.”

Brady chuckled, never less than amused by Myer’s vaguely off-kilter outlook on life. “So why don’t we grab some beer then?”

Myer wrinkled his nose, nostrils flaring under a spray of cheery soft freckles to go with his mop of strawberry blond stubble. “I dunno, this seems so grown up right now, you know?”

Brady steered his own shopping cart closer, inching into the liquor aisle to join his new roomie. “Beer is grown up,” he suggested, studying the labels next to the shelf where Myer lingered. “And cheaper, too.”

Myer gave him a “spoilsport” frown but set the bottles back just the same. “Dude, you’re not going to be one of those cheap-ass roomies who puts his food on one shelf and mine on the other and pro-rates the rent if I happen to steal a grape or two, are you?”

Brady chuckled. “No, of course not. I just don’t really feel like paying for stuff I’m not going to drink, you know?”

Myer considered this as if he’d never thought of it before. “Valid point, I suppose.” His big fingers did unspeakable things to Brady's already lurid imagination as he moved down the aisle, touching several brands of champagne. “Bubbly then?”

Brady nodded, as if equally inspired. “That’ll work,” he agreed, taking one of the two bottles from Myer’s hand.

“Hey!” Myer’s youthful face -- oh yeah, he was definitely getting carded, for sure -- broke into a surprised grin. “I thought I was in charge of alcoholic beverages this time.”

“You are, but that doesn’t mean you’re paying for it all.”

Myer’s gaze quickly assessed the running total of Brady’s half-full shopping cart. “You’re paying for the steaks already, though.”

“Cuz they come in a two-pack. You want me to tear them in half and get the butcher to rewrap them?”

Myer frowned, looking effortlessly casual in a mustard-colored V-neck and striped blue Madras shorts, the clothing seeming to hang off his lean, rangy frame the same way his shirt and ties did at work every day. “Fair is fair, though.”

“Now who’s the cheap one? Huh, Myer?”

Myer glanced at his own cart, only slightly less full than Brady’s. They were facing each other in the liquor aisle, carts side by side, just two bros out shopping like any other two bros out shopping. And yet, to Brady at least, the seemingly humdrum errand had such an intimate feel to it he had to struggle to keep from sweating.

“I mean,” Myer teased, nudging Brady’s elbow with no idea of what that little tremor from his touch felt like racing through Brady’s body. “Have you seen the price of yogurt lately?”

Brady snorted, romantic reverie suddenly broken. “No, Myer, because I’m not a retired housewife on a diet.”

They chuckled together, drifting onto the next aisle and quibbling over potato chips and pretzels like an old married couple. Brady struggled to keep things light when all he wanted was to reach out and grab Myer’s hand and cling to it like they were an actual couple.

He swallowed the desire, as he had all his life, and played it cool instead. Said the right things. Glanced Myer’s way just long enough, but never too long. Walked just close enough to him as they argued over wheat bread versus rye, and never too close. Laughed just hard enough, smiled just wide enough, sending all the right signals like he always had.

He'd leapt at the chance to room with Myer when they both got transferred to the Tennessee branch of Global Initiatives after their internship at the corporate offices in Latham, Georgia. They’d hit it off as interns, sharing lunch breaks and chatting it up in the campus gym after weekend workouts. Brady thought it would be the perfect way to solidify their friendship, even if he knew they could never be more than that. He thought he could be strong, thought he could fight the temptation, thought it would be easy, like it had been back when they’d just shared a cubicle.

But now? Sharing a sprawling house out on secluded Lost Lake, shopping together, padding barefoot down the same halls in various stages of undress? Suddenly Brady wondered if he was strong enough to weather the ups and downs of living with someone who only wanted to be friends.

When obviously, achingly, frustratingly, Brady wanted to be so much more.



About the Author

Alex Winters is the pseudonym of a busy restaurant manager whose curious young staff would love nothing more than to follow him around the dining room reading his steamiest, most romantic passages aloud! When not writing romantic holiday stories of various heat levels, he enjoys long walks with his wife, scary movies and smooth jazz. Visit him online to see what stories are brewing up next!


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