[Siren Classic ManLove: Erotic Alternative Interracial Romance, M/M, HEA]
A successful businessman, Calvin Thomas knows exactly what he wants, and it isn’t commitment or a white lover. However, one look across a crowded room into Avery’s eyes leaves him bewildered and beguiled.
Avery is certain Cal is his Mr. Right, but finding out Cal is straight dashes all his hopes. So, Avery joins a dating service and is knocked for a loop when Cal turns out to be one of his matches.
Avery sets out for his first date with Cal full of expectation, but the result is a chain reaction of misunderstanding and one incredible night that leaves Avery with more of a question than an answer. How did he win the heart of a man determined not to love a white man?
Cal knows he’s caught, but the course of true love never does run smoothly, especially when a man with a gun has Cal in his sights.
A Siren Erotic Romance
Buy Vanilla Beguiled at Siren-BookStrand
This story is certainly a lesson in keeping work-life and home-life separate! Cal is a successful accountant with his own firm. Avery is an artist specializing in paper goods. They each have a mutual friend who happens to be in a committed relationship with Cal's cousin. Now, I know a number of accountants and none of them ever struck me as the adventurous type. I had my doubts when I found out the story's hero was a CPA. Pleasantly, I was wrong.
Avery is a very pale redhead with softer, more feminine ways. He likes his lip gloss and jewelery. He's the temperamental, artistic type waiting for love at first sight. I'd go so far as to call him a hopeless romantic. He's the sort of person who can't wait to introduce a new fella to his mother. Sweet and loveable are two great words for the man looking for his forever love.
Cal hasn't been much of a relationship sort of guy since a bad experience left him extremely hurt. It also didn't help that the bad relationship was with a white man. Since then, Cal has preferred to live his life as a bisexual man. Avery is the last person that would have shown up on his radar without the push of his friends. One teensy, tiny little problem. An abusive blast from his past has hooked up with one of his employees and is embezzling money from his firm and his clients. This particular ex is also a stone cold killer with Avery in his cross hairs.
I really liked the intrigue. Plot twists and turns kept my attention right up to the end. Yes, the relationship part was nice and the sex scenes were good, but shots fired in anger made the book worth reading! There isn't a car chase, but that's the only thing that would have made the ending better.
If your looking for a work read, I might would keep this one on the down low. Siren-BookStrand rates this one as Sextreme. If your looking for a steamy weekend or vacation read, add this one to the list. I give Vanilla Beguiled 4 stars!
“Ash, you son of a bitch,” he muttered. “I told you when I filled that thing out it was just for laughs. I wanted nothing to do with your little dating service.”
Ash snorted. “You’re one of those closet men who walk around wearing that ‘bisexual’ cloak when you know what you really want is a hard, warm body, not a soft one.”
Cal glared at Ash, whose face was suffused with accusation. His chin tilted up and those blue eyes held him trapped. As much as he’d come to trust and like Ash over the years, he wasn’t about to share his reasons for not having a relationship with a man with him, but he wasn’t a closet gay. “Ash—”
“Yeah, I know,” he cut in, rolling his eyes. “You’ve dated women all your life, blah, blah, blah. Yet you haven’t found a single one to settle down with even temporarily.”
He’d tried, but none had appealed in any way that mattered. They couldn’t soothe the frayed edges of his soul. “I haven’t been looking, dumbass,” he snapped.
Ash gave him a patient look that Cal held with defiance as he crossed his arms over his broad-muscled chest.
“My slippery friend, those lies you love to spout about not wanting a ball and chain are just that. Lies.” Ash grinned but Cal saw that loneliness in his friend’s eyes. It was a hunger that Ash kept carefully tucked away when talking about his own romantic life. He knew it because once in a while he saw it in his own eyes and felt it rumbling around in his own soul. “Yeah, I know your type.”
“You don’t know shit about me,” he grumbled. His type? The type that hungered for more but was too afraid to open his heart to it? If that’s what he meant, then that was him to a tee and he had to agree Ash knew him well because he was just as hungry and wounded.
“But we still have a problem,” Ash said. “You know I pride myself on giving my customers what they want and need.”
Cal cringed inwardly at that mischievous look in the man’s eyes. That damn Ash had something up his sleeve and was looking to make him his guinea pig. “I don’t see how that becomes my problem,” Cal commented carefully.
“It’s your problem because I’m not giving this guy a refund just because you’re a coward,” Ash told him matter-of-factly.
“I’m not a coward,” Cal snapped and leaped to his feet. He paced across from Ash’s desk to look out the window onto the small patio at the back of the building. It was one of Ash’s many venues for first meets. Couples could have a quick introduction made there before going off on a date.
“He’s hot,” Ash began. “Long red hair, cute little button nose, nice little body, and a pair of the prettiest—”
“Redheads are too pale,” Cal broke in. He faced Ash. “You know I’m not that into white guys to start, so don’t throw some little pale-as-hell redhead my way and expect me to honor your commitment. Offer him two more free dates or whatever.”
“Nope,” he said, shaking his head. “You’re his perfect match. If he’d merely just picked you, I’d fix him up with someone else, but I think you’ll like him. He’s under six feet just like you prefer, doesn’t smoke, has a job, and he’s not straddling the fence.”
“He’s gay, and he knows it,” Ash told him, and smiled. “He’s a bottom boy, and we both know you’ve got them hot fantasies of a strict bottom that’s willing to let you be the man in charge.”
He glared at his friend, but he was right. He liked his men a little submissive but not mindlessly obedient. Dominants were nothing but trouble. “I’m not taking out some—”
“Some homo?” Ash cut in, giving him a cold glare. “News flash, big sexy, you’re a homo too, but you just won’t admit it.”
“Be honest for once in your sorry life, man,” Ash said, his voice holding a hard edge. “Tell me you don’t love sinking your mouth down on a hard prick over eating pussy. Tell me the sweet smell of a woman gets you hotter than hell. Tell me you want to be married to a woman, and I’ll have you ten perfect choices by the end of the day. Each one will be just your type, but you’ll reject each one of them like you always do after a few dates. Hell, you couldn’t even get it up for that last one.”
“That is not true,” he retorted coldly, and Ash laughed as he got to his feet.
“No? Remember that evening a week after you met her? I walked in on you two at your office making out. She was giving you the business real good, but your dick was so limp in her grip it could have belonged to a five-year-old. Then, you saw me watching and stroking my cock and your dick came to attention faster than a corporal in a general’s presence. I thought you were going to shoot your load right then.”
“You’re an ass.” Cal shook his head in self-disgust. Women had never really done it for him, and he’d realized that when his college professor approached him in the library one night. He’d been attracted to the man, turned on more than he’d ever been with any girl he’d ever met. That had been his first male lover. A delicious black man who’d introduced him to the real joys of sex.
“But I’m not lying.” Ash perched on the edge of his desk and Cal faced him. “It’s time to come all the way out of the closet.”