Author: Andrew Grey
Series: Eyes of Love Series (Book 2)
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Oct 2016
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Marcello Bagnini has a history of falling for the wrong men, and it seems he’s done it again. Working out at the gym with his straight friend Jerry is becoming harder by the day—in more ways than one. Worse yet, Jerry isn’t the only one who notices Marcello’s wandering eyes. So instead of risking his friendship with Jerry and alienating the other guys at the gym, Marcello keeps his feelings to himself.
Real estate agent Jerry Foland has never explored his interest in other men, but there’s something different about Marcello, and Jerry’s starting to think he might like to see where his attraction could lead. However, Jerry’s controlling father makes it clear that it’s either stay on the straight and narrow or Jerry can say good-bye to his family.
As much as they try to stay away from each other, their lives overlap, both at the gym and when Jerry is contracted to sell the home of one of Marcello’s friends. Friendship grows into more, but Jerry’s father has his own agenda, and it doesn’t include having a gay son.
“Ronnie always was driven that way,” Jerry agreed. “What do you do, withhold it?”
Clay chuckled. “I blow his mind, and then he doesn’t have enough energy to think about a goddamned thing. He says that stops the wheels in his head from spinning. I know it’s the one way to get him to be quiet and lie still for a few hours. It’s a challenge, but one I’m usually up for.”
Jerry groaned again, probably from the gay sex talk.
“Sorry, man,” Clay added to Jerry, who shrugged.
“So what’s it like with him? I’d think it would be hard to deal 24/7.”
“The thing is, it’s all part of who he is. We’re working on his filter and the things he says. Ronnie is an open-minded person, but you’d never know by what he says. And most of it is for effect. He needs constant attention, or thinks he does.”
“I have noticed that he’s less outrageous than he used to be,” Jerry said. “Especially when it comes to women. How did you do it?” Jerry asked, settling back, the water rising to just around his pert, flat, suckable nipples. Marcello closed his eyes to try to cut off his thoughts.
“I used my phone and recorded three days’ worth of what he said and then played it back for him one night. He didn’t believe me at first, but hearing it was a shock. I don’t want to change his personality—it’s part of what I love about him—but the hurtful speech was getting out of control. He only needed to hear himself, and that pretty much took care of it.” Clay seemed pleased with himself. “Ronnie is still an amazing man, and I think I love him even more for trying to change.”
“Are you traveling any time soon?” Jerry asked.
Marcello had just made tentative plans. “I’m going back to Italy next spring, I hope. My grandparents live outside Venice, and I’m going back to visit them. This time without my parents.”
“They cramp your style?” Jerry asked with a smirk.
“I try not to let them.” He sighed. “My parents are very traditional, and they don’t understand the whole gay thing. I told them, and they acted like they didn’t hear me at all. They never talk about it and don’t want to know about my life. The last time I visited, they invited some friends over each night, and they all had daughters who were single and about my age.” He caught Jerry’s eye.
“My mom has done that. She wants grandchildren and isn’t above trying to prime the pump, as she says.” Jerry got out of the water and sat on the edge of the tub to cool off.
Marcello had to control himself so he could look at Jerry without appearing to stare. “When I wasn’t interested, they got upset with me. It was pretty bad, and we ended up fighting about it. I tried to explain to them how I felt, but they didn’t want to listen. My grandmother doesn’t speak much English, but she understood perfectly. My Italian isn’t great, but I know my grandmother cares for me no matter what. She even said that if I meet a ‘nice young man,’ that I’m supposed to bring him to meet her. Sometimes it’s hard to believe she gave birth to my mother.” Just talking about all that made his anger rise hard and fast. He hated that his parents wouldn’t face reality or accept him for who he was. They had even refused to listen to his grandmother, telling her it was only a phase or some such crap. Marcello sat next to Jerry on the edge of the hot tub but wasn’t comfortable.
“You know it isn’t your fault that your parents don’t listen. It happens, but you have to know it isn’t your fault in the least,” Clay said.
“I know,” Marcello said, then turned to Jerry when he started speaking.
“Honestly, I think you got off lucky. At least they still see you. So they’re in denial—there are worse things. My God, one of my cousins came out to the family that she’s lesbian years ago. She and her partner have a baby together, and at the last family reunion, my father sat next to her and asked if she just hadn’t found the right man yet.” Jerry climbed the rest of the way out of the whirlpool. “I’ll see you guys inside.” He grabbed his towel and headed off toward the locker room.
Clay shook his head. “Wow. That got really serious.”
Marcello agreed and watched as Jerry left while trying not to appear like he was looking.
1 Physically Strong
Character Name: Jerry
1 Physically Strong
2 Searching for belonging
3 Tough exterior hides a softer core
6 Willing to look below the surface
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.
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