It’s release day!!! Turning Wood is now available in the shops.
Mason’s ex has liberated him of just about everything he owns, but instead of telling his family the truth, he’s to spend Christmas hiding in Snowmelt, a small place in the middle of nowhere. He decides to spend his last money on getting royally drunk and then take a walk in the serene winter landscape.
Otho spots a man walking out on the ice of river and knows he has mere seconds to save the man’s life. Once he gets Mason into his cabin, he’s reluctant to let him go, and gently persuades him to stay with promises of Christmas food and sweets.
Otho moved around the kitchen—his small, safe, lovely kitchen. He’d made it the way he wanted it. Everything was as it was supposed to be. He’d built the home he needed, and he didn’t need anyone else, didn’t need to share his hopes and dreams with anyone.
He brought out plate after plate from the refrigerator—the turkey, the Christmas tree-shaped breadsticks, the Brussels sprouts, the prime ribs, the salmon, and the rest of the Christmas food he’d made.
He began preparing the garlic roasted carrots Joslyn liked, the herb-roasted potatoes, and the goat cheese sweet potatoes he wanted to try when there was a knock on the door.
Joslyn didn’t wait for him to open, she never did, just stepped right in. “Hi, sweetie!”
Otho went to greet her and caught Mason staring at the two of them. “Joslyn.” Otho nodded. “I take it you’ve met Mason already.”
“Yeah, the computer guy.” Mason filled his lungs to respond but Joslyn waved a hand at him before he could. “Is that food I’m smelling?”
“I was starting—”
“Great, I’m starving.” She went past him into the kitchen and sat on one of the two chairs by the small kitchen island. Otho reached for a wine glass and fetched a bottle from the pantry to pour her some.
“Thank you, dear.” She gripped the glass with her delicate fingers now adorned with several rings. She took them off when she was working, but, as soon as her shift was over, the bling came back on.
Before stepping away from the table, he glanced out into the living room to make sure Mason was okay. He couldn’t see his face, but the blanket was tucked snugly around him. Otho smiled, his chest going warm at the sight.
Joslyn huffed a sigh. “So, have you proposed yet?”
He glared at her, but he couldn’t work up the energy to do it properly.
“Oh no, you have, and I missed it.” She faked a shocked gasp and touched her hand to her mouth.
“I haven’t done anything.” Otho turned back to the potatoes—potatoes understood him.
“Good, good. We’ve trained for this, remember?”
He ignored her.
“I’m serious, Otho, no more broken hearts because you think he’s the one.” She made air quotes.
“Oh, for fuck’s sake, Lyn. I fished him out of the river. I know he’s not here for me.”
“They never were and yet you gave them your heart in five minutes flat.”
Otho growled. “Do you want food or not?”
“I want food.” She grinned and took a sip of her wine. “But, I feel it’s my duty as your best friend and the one in charge of picking up the pieces when things go to hell to remind you that just because someone smiles at you, it doesn’t mean they want to get their happily ever after with you. It’s why you moved out into the middle of nowhere—to reduce the number of cute guys smiling at you and you falling head over heels, remember? Men are bastards and they’ll take advantage of anyone they can, you need to be careful.”
This time Otho glared. “Are you done?”
“I would’ve reminded you earlier, but your phone isn’t working.”
He sighed. Right, the phone. “It took a dive into the river.”
“You seriously walked out on the ice for him?” Joslyn narrowed her eyes. “Are you out of your mind? You could have died!”
“Shh.” Otho glanced toward the living room.
“Oh, come on, he’s heard every word we’ve been saying. Your house is tiny, remember?”
A second later, Mason appeared in the doorway.
* * * *
Mason wasn’t sure he liked Joslyn much, and he almost wished he’d come here for Otho just to prove her wrong. Heck, if he’d known Otho existed, he might have… one day. He shouldn’t eavesdrop but listening to their conversation gave him more clues about Otho than anything else had so far. And now he knew he liked cute guys. Too bad Mason wasn’t a cute guy. He was an ordinary guy, an average looking guy, a guy other men, as Joslyn put it, took advantage of.
With a groan, he got to his feet. He wouldn’t have come for Otho, he lacked the confidence to do something like that, but he could stop Joslyn from making Otho feel bad for being nice.
His body had thawed some and his muscles obeyed him. With a shiver, he dropped the blanket on the sofa and headed toward the kitchen. The view greeting him robbed him of words. The kitchen was small, but there was food everywhere. Christmas dinner.
Mason’s stomach rumbled. God, when had he last eaten? And when had he last had homemade food?
For Otho Newcomer, the small village of Snowmelt is a haven from his old life. If he’s not exactly a changed man, he at least hopes to keep his distance from all those easy romances, and the inevitable heartache and disappointment that have always followed.
Mason Dager is an idiot. His ex has cleared out his bank account, sold his car and gotten him thrown out of his apartment. And he has no one to blame but himself. But what better way to celebrate a new chapter in his life—one that includes homelessness and the humiliation of telling his family they were right all along—than to spend Christmas at a swanky winter resort like River Cove? It’s already paid for after all.
When a very drunk Mason makes yet another dumb decision, Otho comes to the rescue, throwing the two men together during the most magical time of the year.
What should be the wrong choice for both of them, might be exactly what they need. They’ll just have to survive a nosy best friend, an asshole of an ex, and the scars of their pasts.