When mega movie star and two time Academy Award winner, Austin Grainger voluntarily gave up his dazzling film career, his adoring fan base thought he’d lost his mind. For Austin, the seclusion of fifteen hundred acres in the middle of Texas sounds like paradise. No more cameras, paparazzi, or overzealous media to hound him every day and night. Little did the sexiest man alive know when one door closes, another usually opens. And Austin’s opened by way of a sexy, hot ranch owner right next door.
Kitt Kelly wasn’t your average rancher. He’s young, well educated and has hidden his sexuality for most of his life. When his long time wet dream materializes as his a new neighbor it threatens everything he holds dear. No way the ranching community would ever accept him if he came out. With every part of his life riding on the edge, can Kitt risk it all for a chance at love or will responsibility to his family heritage cost him his one chance at happiness?
“I have a severe case of book hangover. Seriously readers – you need to read this book. Ten stars for me!”
Kitt and Austin will stay with me for sometime as their story warmed my heart, so if you have read or are open to reading a M/M book I strongly suggest you come meet these strong alpha men.
♡ EXCERPT ♡
“Hey, boss man. I just got word that all three truckloads of your cattle are arrivin’ tomorrow, for sure. They’re close now and gonna book it through the night. I’m guessin’ the first one’ll be here around eightish tomorrow mornin’,” Mike said, anchoring a hip on the porch rail in front of Austin.
“Want a beer?” Austin asked, his mind solidly on Kitt. He wondered if he could lure his foreman into conversation so he could learn more about the cowboy.
“Sure,” Mike said, and reached for the cooler. Austin cocked his head toward the empty lawn chair next to his for Mike to sit down. “I’ve got the crew comin’ in tomorrow. I trust everyone comin’ to keep your secret. The only one who doesn’t already know is Micah, but like I said, I trust him.”
“That’s fine. Let me know what I need to pay everyone.” Austin absently stared out in the night. He finished one beer while reaching for another.
“Nah, that’s not how it works around here. We all pitch in and help each other out.” Mike twisted the cap off his beer as he kicked his boot up next to Austin’s on the rail. He took a long drink before removing his ball cap and rubbing a hand through his sweaty hair.
“Yeah, I remember some of that. I just haven’t given anything back,” Austin said, just as casually as Mike did.
“But I have. They’re helpin’ me. I’ve helped them enough, now they’re givin’ back to me. I’ve got Micah, his oldest two boys, Kitt, and all your ranch hands slash security who’ll be here. They’re all pretty worthless though. You do know that, right? We’re gonna have to hire more hands now that the animals are comin’, but I think we got enough people for tomorrow. I can get kids from the FFA program at the high school. They’ll need volunteer hours for the class. You’d have to stay hidden if they come.” Mike took another long drink.
“I’ll be here to help, too. You’ll have to tell me what you need me to do.” Austin cast a sideways glance toward Mike.
“Tomorrow won’t be too hard. It’s just runnin’ them through. It’ll be taggin’ and vaccinations that’ll be what takes the time. They’ll be quarantined and separated for a while. Micah and Kitt can handle all that. They’re bringin’ their horses, a couple extra too. They’ll do their part on horseback. I’m thinkin’ we’ll start breedin’ right away. I think I told you Kitt started an artificial insemination program a few years back. I know we agreed to run the bulls and cows together for now, but we could look at something like that, too. I know Kitt’s cattle is gonna sell big this year,” Mike said. His hat sat crooked on his head, and he seemed just as lost to the lure of the night as Austin.
“I need to apologize to him. I still feel bad about all that over the fence. Does he run the farm by himself?” Austin didn’t hesitate to take his opportunity.
“Pretty much. His stepmom and sisters live in the main house. She does all the cookin’ for everybody. Has a badass garden out there she maintains just about year-round. Kitt’s got about ten full-time hands. He’s really got it goin’ on over there. It’s just taken a lot to get the ranch back up and movin’ forward again. His dad didn’t modernize.”
“Yeah, I can’t see old man Kelly being too modern.” Austin winced remembering the hardened John Wayne kind of a guy Kitt’s father had represented.
“They butted heads pretty hard, but it turned out good for Kitt. He tried to come home after his bachelor’s degree. It didn’t last. He went back to school,” Mike said, finishing off his beer. Austin quickly handed him another hoping to keep the conversation going. Hell, Austin would get Mike drunk if he had to, he was already getting way more information than he thought he would.
“You met Kitt in college?”
“Yeah, he was in the graduate program. He got a full ride, he’s freakishly smart. I met him when he was a teacher’s aide in one of my classes. I think he might’ve become a professor if his dad hadn’t up and died. I was on financial aid, and Kitt found me work pretty regularly during the summers. He’s a good guy. You shouldn’t judge him by what you saw,” Mike said, and this time it was him giving a sideways glance at Austin. It seemed Mike might be trying to smooth the path between him and Kitt. Funny, it was about the same thing Austin wanted, but for far different reasons.
Austin nodded as Mike kept his eyes on him. He thought that might be better than letting Mike know his overall plan was to fuck Kitt.
“Did he marry someone down here?” Did that sound casual enough?
“Nah, he says he doesn’t have time for that even though the ladies in town try real hard to change his mind. He’s real focused on that ranch.” Without realizing it, Mike gave Austin exactly the information he wanted.
They both stared out at the night as Kitt’s choice of underwear again entered Austin’s thoughts. “Do you have his number? I can’t get it out of my mind that I need to apologize.”
“Yeah, sure. Here.” Austin typed the number Mike spouted off. “He goes to bed early, but honestly, Mr. Grainger, Kitt doesn’t get mad like that often, and he doesn’t hang on to it like his dad did, either. He’s fine.” Mike turned his full body toward Austin, hooking an arm over the back of the chair and looked directly at him.
“Good. I’d hate to have already pissed off my neighbors.” Austin chuckled.
“What’re you thinkin’ about all this so far?” Mike’s eyes didn’t waver. Austin was finding Mike had a way about him of just cutting to the root of a situation, finding out what he wanted to know.
“I love it. All the silence out here rocks! I love how y’all don’t treat me any different. I regret ever leaving,” Austin said honestly.
“Okay, I guess I can see that. What’re you gonna do when you get found out? It has to happen eventually.” Mike drained his beer and shook his head when Austin offered another.
“I’m hoping enough time passes that no one really cares anymore.”