Today, I started my day by pouring myself a cup of coffee and walking over to my computer to sign a book contract. #PictaBook is a 36k long contemporary gay romance story, and it might be my favourite of all the stories I’ve written. Maybe… It’s always hard to say which story is your favourite, but I loved writing this, and I wasn’t even bored with it by the time I sent it in.
Starting a story is always fun. Once you’re halfway through it, it’s not as fun anymore. Towards the end, you just want it done, but then the editing starts. Normally, I reach a f*ck-it stage where that delete button looks mighty inviting.
It didn’t happen with #PictaBook. Jules made me smile, even on the final read-through.
Jules Rose took a sip of his red wine and scrolled through his PictaBook feed. There were several new books, and he made a note of checking if they’d be available to order for the library where he worked. Not all books were, especially not in niche genres.
The speech bubble in the right hand corner showed someone had commented or liked one of his reviews. It had turned to green. Jules’ heart sped up.
He liked PictaBook because it was simple, and it was about books, so what was not to like? But the main reason he liked it was because no one tried to interact with him. He had approved no one for personal messages, and he’d searched a long time for a way to remove people’s ability to comment on his reviews, but apparently there was no such option.
Staring at the green speech bubble, he blew out a breath and tapped on it. SexyDoornail69 has liked your review of The Empty Egg. Jules frowned. He couldn’t remember that book, and wanted to get back to the one he was reading.
Closing PictaBook, he opened his reading app, took another sip of wine, and popped a piece of chocolate into his mouth. He loved Friday nights—wine, chocolate, and a book were all he needed in life.
As he was about to open the book, another notification from PictaBook showed at the top. SexyDoornail69 commented on your review. It stayed there for a few seconds before it disappeared, leaving the screen free of interruptions. Damn.
For too long, Jules held his breath. He didn’t want anyone to comment on his reviews, but it would be rude not to reply, wouldn’t it?
He opened PictaBook again and clicked on the speech bubble. SexyDoornail69 had commented on The Empty Egg. Jules went to check. The picture he’d uploaded was of a lumberjack, and the hashtags he’d used were: #MMRomance #Contemporary #Lumbersexual #OppositesAttract #EstablishedCouple #Fetish #DualPOV #ShortAndSweet #BonerWorthy.
Ah, he remembered it now, but it had been years since he’d read it. A blush crawled up his cheeks as he read the comment, and he quickly took a sip of wine to calm down.
SexyDoornail69: Hi, ReadingInACorner! Love the hashtags. How boner worthy are we talking?
Jules took a long, deep breath, and hit the reply arrow.
ReadingInACorner: Read it and find out, though read the first book in the series first.
He closed the app and put away the phone as if it had burned his fingers. Standing, he righted his glasses and took more deep breaths to calm his racing heart. Booksy, his beloved, super lazy and slightly murderous cat, was resting in his usual spot on the windowsill in the bedroom, and Jules went to pick him up.
Booksy wasn’t the cuddly kind. Jules had gotten him from a shelter two years ago, only days after having moved in, and the scars on his ears and face spoke of a harsh life. They deemed him to be around three years old when Jules had adopted him. The hostile glare Booksy had given everyone who passed him, had made Jules pick him over all the other cuter, more social, well-behaved kittens.
Booksy was a kindred soul, and they understood each other. Neither of them liked people, neither of them liked to be cornered, and neither of them liked conversations.
Jules Rose leads a quiet life working as a librarian. He’s happy to spend his spare time reading books and talking to his homicidal cat. What more could he wish for? But when his cozy Friday night is shattered by a friend request on his book community app, politeness gives him little choice but to accept. Jules doesn’t want to talk to anyone, but he can’t be rude. Besides, if he had to talk about something, books is the topic he’d pick.
Phoenix Ford is dyslexic and avoids everything that has to do with the written word, but when the colleague he’s trying to impress calls him stupid, he decides to convince the other man, he’s mistaken. All he needs is the right book to make him look smart, a perfect balance between intelligent and short. And who better to ask for help than a guy who loves books so much, he labeled one boner-worthy on a book app?
When Jules finds out Phoenix never has read a book from start to finish, he’s on a mission. He will find the right book, the book that will make Phoenix fall in love—with reading. Phoenix’s plan might have been to listen to the book Jules picked for him to impress his colleague, but that was before he got to know him. Talking about books is a sure way to Jules’ heart, but is it enough for him to agree to go on a date?