Author: Andrew Grey
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Mar 16 2015
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Brighton McKenzie inherited one of the last pieces of farmland in suburban Baltimore. It has been in his family since Maryland was a colony, though it has lain fallow for years. Selling it for development would be easy, but Brighton wants to honor his grandfather's wishes and work it again. Unfortunately, an accident left him relying on a cane, so he’ll need help. Tanner Houghton used to work on a ranch in Montana until a vengeful ex got him fired because of his sexuality. He comes to Maryland at the invitation of his cousin and is thrilled to have a chance to get back to the kind of work he loves.
Brighton is instantly drawn to the intensely handsome and huge Tanner—he’s everything Brighton likes in a man, though he holds back because Tanner is an employee, and because he can’t understand why a man as virile as Tanner would be interested in him. But that isn’t the worst of their problems. They have to face the machinations of Brighton's aunt, Tanner’s ex suddenly wanting him back, and the need to find a way to make the farm financially viable before they lose it.
She turned off the engine and unfastened her seat belt, muttering the entire time. She didn’t stop as she went to the barn or let up as she was opening doors and shooing the “beasts” outside. “They have water and feed. The rest is up to you. I’ll see you later.”
Brighton met her at the barn door and saw her stop, eyes widening. “What is it?” he asked as he followed her stare. “Oh…,” Brighton added as one of the biggest men he’d ever seen walked down the drive in a cowboy hat, tight jeans hugging tree-trunk thighs, and a flannel shirt that look about ready to bust at the seams if the man breathed too deep. “Jesus,” he whispered, watching as the man got closer. Brianne, who had been in an all-fired hurry to get away, suddenly stood stock-still. Not that Brighton could blame her. He blinked twice and stepped out of the barn, taking slow steps as he leaned on his cane. The man got close enough for Brighton to see blond hair poking out from under his hat and eyes as blue as the summer sky.
“Hello,” the man said in a deep resonant voice. “I’m T-tanner.”
Brighton leaned on his cane, breathing hard, his mouth dry. Damn, the man was gorgeous in a rugged, had-a-hard-life kind of way. He pushed those thoughts aside, though, because they weren’t appropriate on so many levels. First thing, this guy could snap him like a twig if he wanted, and second, hell, if he hired this man, then he wasn’t doing anything with an employee. Stop, he silently yelled at himself. He was getting way ahead of things.
“I’m Brighton, and it appears I’ve inherited this place, but as you can probably guess, farm chores aren’t something I can really do.” Brighton began moving toward the house. “How did you get here?”
Tanner pointed toward a motorcycle parked out near the road. Brighton wondered why he’d parked it way out there but didn’t ask. And Tanner didn’t seem too keen on talking.
“I’m Brianne, his sister.” Brianne reached to shake Tanner’s hand. Tanner looked uncomfortable but shook her hand.
“Didn’t you have things to do?” Brighton asked Brianne. She smacked him on the shoulder.
“I’ll see you later,” Brianne said, laughing as she walked to her car. Brighton waved as she got in and then drove away. Then he turned back to Tanner. “Can we go talk on the porch? I need to sit down. My leg hurts because I’ve been standing too long.” He hobbled across the yard and climbed the two steps, then sat down in the rocking chair. There were days when he felt so damned old. Brighton motioned to the other chair, and Tanner perched on the edge of it like he wanted to be ready to run away at any second. “Arthur told me that you worked on a ranch in Montana.”
Tanner nodded and reached up to lift his hat off his head. He placed it in his lap and nodded again. Brighton got no further answer.
“What kind of work did you do?”
Brighton waited but didn’t get any further elaboration. “Did you make repairs?”
“Take care of horses and animals?”
Tanner nodded again without speaking, but his attention was clearly on Brighton.
“I need someone to feed and clean up in the barn and help with repairs around here. My grandfather hadn’t been able to do a lot of things, and it’s hard for me to haul and carry.” It was hard for him to know he was getting his point across. Arthur had said his cousin didn’t talk much, but he hadn’t said he was nearly mute. “Do you understand?”
Tanner opened his mouth, but no sound came out at first. “Yes. I can… help.” Tanner stood up, and without any further word, he walked over toward the barn and disappeared inside. Brighton sat a minute and was about to get up to see what was happening when he saw Tanner hauling a wheelbarrow full of mucked bedding out of the barn. He looked around and must have seen the muck pile. Tanner emptied it and returned to the barn without a word.
Brighton wasn’t quite sure what had happened, but it seemed he’d hired himself some help. He’d have to explain to Tanner what he needed, but from the looks of things Tanner knew what he was doing and was willing to get his hands dirty. Brighton could do some things on his own, but many were beyond his capabilities. One thing he needed to do was to get Internet and his work equipment set up in the house if he was going to be spending his days here. For the first time since speaking with the lawyer, he felt that things just might work out. But then again, things had a habit of going to hell just when he thought he was out of the woods.
Full Name: Brighton McKenzie
Nickname (if applicable): Doesn’t have one.
Age: Late twenties
General physical description: He’s slight and was in an accident so he walks with a cane and has trouble navigating stairs.
Hometown: Grew up in Maryland.
Type of home/ neighborhood: Raised by his aunt and uncle after his parents death. They took in him and his sister but were never particularly welcoming.
Relationship status: Very single at the moment.
Current family: His one close family member is his sister Brianne.
Family background (parents, previous marriages, etc.): His parents are deceased.
Friends: He has a few friends, but mostly he worked to take care of his sister once he was old enough in order to get her free from their aunt and uncle.
Other close relationships: Very few. He spent much of his recent life helping his sister and grandfather.
Relationship with men: Brighton has had a few relationships, but none since his accident.
Relationship with women: None
Job: He’s a freelance computer technician.
Dress style: He dresses casually, jeans and polo shirts mostly.
Religion: He was raised Christian, but hasn’t been to church since he became an adult.
Attitude to religion: Had enough of it when he was a kid.
Favorite pastimes: Life for him has been hard with his mobility issues. He’s simply been trying to make it through day to day.
Hobbies: Working with animals. Taking care of the farm becomes his hobby and then the center of his life.
Favorite sports: None particularly. Brighton is pretty much a nerd.
Favorite foods: Pizza and steak.
Strongest positive personality trait: He’s loyal and caring. He helped support his sister so she could go to college.
Strongest negative personality trait: He can be stubborn to a fault.
Temper: Definitely when riled.
Consideration for others: Most definitely. He put his sister ahead of himself for years.
How other people see him/her: Most people see a nerdy guy with a gimpy leg. But Brighton is so much more than that and Tanner is able to see it.
Opinion of him/herself: He knows he’s a capable programmer. He’s also strong when he needs to be.
Other traits, especially those to be brought out in story: Brighton’s determination. He decides to keep the farm that has been in the family for hundreds of years rather than sell the land because that was his grandfather’s last wish.
Ambitions: His main ambition is to save the family farm and make it financially viable again. In doing so, he meets Tanner and his life changes forever.
Philosophy of life: Treat others as you would like to be treated.
Most important thing to know about this character: Brighton can be stubborn, but its that stubbornness that ultimately gets him what he truly wants.
Will readers like or dislike this character, and why? I think readers will love this character. He’s bright and caring, but life has dealt him a tough hand of cards. He doesn’t take the easy route, but does what’s right, even when his life could be smoother if he didn’t.
Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a
father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since
then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He
has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in
information systems for a large corporation.
Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey