Renovations Book 1
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Toby is a lawyer who spends his free time “flipping” houses, which means buying a fixer-upper and selling it once it’s cleaned up. He met contractor Ven on his last flip, and decided he liked the guy a lot. He likes Ven’s work ethic, his style, and maybe a lot more.
Length: Novella | Rating: Hot | Publisher: Torquere Press
Themes: Interracial Relationship; Working Class Hero; Interclass Relationship; Hero with Children; Bisexual Hero; Contemporary Romance
A few minutes later, Toby heard the sound of tile clattering together, so he padded back downstairs to find Ven sweeping up broken tile in the kitchen. He’d taken off his coat and draped it over the counter, giving Toby a clear view of his strong arms and barely-covered chest.
“Ven…” Toby sighed, leaning against the archway leading into the kitchen. “Let me clean up. You’re off the clock, remember?”
Ven tossed his head so that his hair swung out of his way. No wonder he kept it tied up at work. Even so, it was a shame to keep all that sleek, long hair hidden all day long. “I don’t want the boys to cut their paws,” he said, smiling at Toby. “It’s no trouble. Not like I was planning on being asleep right now or anything.”
“It doesn’t look like it, no,” Toby agreed, and then realized what he’d said. Yeah, Ven looked like he’d been out to get laid, but if he wasn’t interested, it was really impolite to press the issue. Still, damn, the man looked good. Blade, lying down where he wouldn’t hurt himself, let out a long-suffering whine. Toby felt the same way.
Ven tossed the last dustpan of tile fragments into a cardboard box and left the pan and broom there. “If things went like I expected, I’d never have any fun surprises.” He dusted off his hands and looked Toby over as he came closer. “You sure you’re okay with staying here alone?” he asked, slipping his hands into his pockets.
Maybe Toby had been wrong about Ven not being interested. That would be a fun surprise. He raised his eyebrows a little, a grin tugging at his lips. “You offering to keep me company?”
“Yes.” The answer was as calm and neutral as if Ven was working. He stopped just a little too close to be outside Toby’s personal space. “If you’d like my company.”
Ven echoed Toby’s smile, and Toby echoed Ven. “Yes.” He reached out to pluck lightly at the sheer, clingy shirt Ven wore. “You’re pretty good at this. No matter what I’m wearing, you manage to make me feel under-dressed. Suits, jeans, you’ve always got something to top it.” Even when they were both wearing jeans, Ven’s jeans were more worn, more lived-in. Some days, it made Toby feel like he was wearing sneakers in the courtroom. Tonight, it just made him feel lucky he got to look.
“Me?” Ven laughed and stepped a little closer. Toby tipped his head back. They were about the same height, but Ven’s boots made him taller. “You’re the one who shows up looking like you walked out of GQ every day.” He leaned in, and Toby tilted his head, ready for the kiss. “If we’re being honest,” Ven murmured, “I’d rather make you feel undressed instead of under- dressed.”
“I think we can probably arrange that,” Toby said, closing the last of the distance between their lips. Toby had wanted to kiss Ven since the day Ven had shown him the hardwood floors. Ven had joked that Toby would want to kiss him for the surprise, and he’d been right, though Toby hadn’t done it. Now, though, it was more invitation than teasing, so Toby angled his head a little more, flicking his tongue out to tease at the seam of Ven’s lips.
Ven slid a hand into Toby’s hair and kissed him as expertly and thoroughly as he did everything else. He hooked a finger through a belt loop of Toby’s jeans and pulled him closer. Toby didn’t resist at all. Ven kissed like he was enjoying it, getting messy and hungry as he explored Toby’s mouth with his tongue. Toby made soft, pleased sounds, curling one hand around the back of Ven’s neck and the other around his hip. It hadn’t been a good day, but Toby’s night was definitely looking up.
“This is a wonderfully fun and light-hearted start to what is sure to be a great series!” — Emily, Rainbow Reviews
“A hot little story.” — Hayley, Fallen Angel Reviews
“Great fun! …It’s obvious that Ven and Toby aren’t done with each other and I’m definitely not done reading about them!” — Nannette, Joyfully Reviewed
“A sexy and lava hot read for a lazy afternoon full of fun and heat!” — Bella, TwoLips Reviews