A Different Light
Series: A Begin Again Novel
Cover Photo: David Velez Fotografia
Cover Design: X-Potion Designs (Kelley York)
Model: Joao Pombeiro
RELEASE DATE: Early October
Bennett Cole had lived next door to Mitchell “Mac” Campbell, III for eighteen years of his life, in the small town of White Acre. They’d never gotten along, never seen eye to eye, and never understood one another…not that they’d ever cared to try.
But when Bennett’s so-called buddies ditched him at a party in the woods where he was assaulted and left for dead, Mac was the one who came to his rescue. Bennett pulled through, but the emotional scars rendered him too terrified to go back to school and face his “friends” or his attackers. With little choice, his family packed up and left town.
Ten years later—at the request of his mother—Bennett returned to the place he’d grown up and the home he’d once felt safe, to oversee the repairs before his childhood house was sold. The contractor? None other than Mac, the once annoying boy next door, who still lives there in the home his parents gifted him.
Being in such close proximity—working together every day, to repair the Coles’ family home—Bennett and Mac’s contentious relationship goes from bad to worse as their personalities continue to clash. But are their heated exchanges truly as antagonistic as they seem? And when Mac’s involvement in Bennett’s rescue on that fateful night is revealed, can the men begin to see each other in a different light?
When Mac’s silver eyes locked onto his and his sexy as fuck smile spread across his equally sexy as fuck lips the anger that had built up slowly started to drain away. Bennett wanted nothing more than to lick and kiss those lips. But he had to remember he was angry and had no right to just kiss the guy when Mac clearly hadn’t wanted anything more than what they had shared.
The revving of the one motor stopped and Mac’s full focus was on him.
“Mac, quiet down. Can't you see how early it is?"
“What, did I interrupt your beauty sleep, Princess?"
That line was all too familiar to Bennett. It may have been years since he’d heard it, but it would be stuck in his memory forever, he was sure. The nickname had been a point of contention between them years earlier. Now though? Bennett had to admit if only to himself, that hearing it fall from Mac’s lips now wasn’t the same. It was teasing and playful and at times, like now, so hot and full of heat.
“You’re revving two motorcycle motors at the ass crack of morning. Of course, you interrupted my sleep.” Bennett paused then mumbled, “And stop calling me princess.”
Mac walked around the bike to stand in front of Bennett not saying a word just staring at him. “Were you being a good boy last night?”
Bennett sputtered in complete shock. “What…what do you…why did you ask me that?”
“Don’t you remember you were always the good boy staying up late to study and I was the bad boy staying up late to…not study.” His words were slow, tone low and suggestive. Like he was trying to seduce Bennett with his voice alone.
Clearing his throat Bennett replied, lifting his chin, “I did happen to stay up late. I had painting to get finished. I’m behind schedule.”
“Maybe you deserve a reward then.” Mac had taken a step forward, his steps fluid and easy. His body radiating sex and want. How Mac did that Bennett would never know. But he could feel his body respond. Cock twitching and growing, the warmth of his blood heating with every step he took closer.
“I…no. I just did what I had to do. No reward—”
Mac was so close he lost his train of thought. So close that Bennett could reach out and grab what he wanted all week, but he was so weak with want he couldn’t get his mind to cooperate to move his limbs.
“You don’t want a reward for your hard work?”
Mac’s hand came up as if in slow motion. At first it was just his fingertips, gliding against Bennett’s waist. A shiver rushed through him. Then Mac’s palm touched, warming, moving around his side until it settled at the small of Bennett’s back. Mac slowly pulled him to his chest. He could feel Mac’s heat seep through his own shirt. “There’s nothing you can think of that you’d want?”
Bennett’s breathing picked up. His mind raced. His balls tingled and tightened. He knew Mac had to see the pleading of want through his eyes. Bennett couldn’t hide it, not then, not so close to Mac, feeling his body against his, feeling his breath wisp across his lips as they stared into each other's eyes. It felt big, like Mac wasn’t just staring into his eyes but into him, searching for something.
Then Mac was closer, so close he could feel the words against his lips. “Because I think you deserve a kiss for being such a good boy. You want that kiss, Princess?”
All Bennett could do is close his eyes and nod. Speaking was beyond his abilities at that point. When did Mac become so sensual, so full of sex and radiate desire so easily? Bennett loved sex, the tease, the lead up to the physical explosion of pleasure. But Mac brought it to a whole other level. Using words and small innocent touches, turning it dirty and provocative.
“B, open your eyes.”
Bennett listened, as hard as it was to not just stay floating in the place of just feeling, he opened his eyes. What he saw made him moan. The want, the need in Mac’s eyes matched what Bennett felt coursing through his own body. He couldn’t think of anything else because as lost as he was in the sensations Mac had him feeling with his eyes closed he was just as lost in the heat that poured off the man now.
“What did you think would happen, B? Coming out here all flustered and angry with just a t-shirt and those cute boxers on?”
At first Bennett had no idea what he was talking about but then he remembered. He slept in his ‘Particle Physics Gives me a Hadron’ boxers and had been so lost in his anger that he’d never put on pants.
He swallowed trying to loosen his tight throat so he could speak but Mac leaned in, lips touching Bennett’s ear and then the only thing that came out was a whimper. He never whimpered. Fuck.
“Nothing turns me on more than you in full on Princess mode with your geek on full display.” And to prove that Mac pulled them tighter together with the hand that still sat in the small of his back. Bennett could feel Mac’s hard length pressed against his. The barrier of the worn jeans that Mac had on and Bennett’s boxers was like paper between them.
“I’ve been good this week too. Not kissing your sweet lips, not touching your body, not taking you against any and all surfaces when you were so god damn sexy with paint splattered all over you and your shirt sticking to your body soaked from your sweat. So maybe I deserve a reward too.”
“Oh, god, yes.”
About the Author
Morningstar Ashley is a transplant from the Yankee-controlled territory of New York, and now finds herself in the heartland of cowboys and longhorns—Texas. Armed with her imagination, wit, and trusty sidekicks in the form of her two crazy kids, devoted dorky husband, big lap dog, and rambunctious cats, Morningstar spends her time reading the books she loves, crafting her own characters, and arguing the merits of hot chocolate over the bitter brew known as coffee. (Hot chocolate wins, FYI.)
Morningstar loves graphic design, so much so she returned to school for a degree and regularly tromps her exams and maintains a stellar GPA that occasionally leaves her confounded and pleased. She can while away the hours on new designs, and perfection isn’t too much to hope for when it comes to her art. Her ideal career would be full time artist and author, and so far, she hasn’t come up against anything to stop her on her journey. A fierce and devoted friend, Morningstar tries her best to always be kind, always be learning, and always improving. Giving up isn’t an option, and her greatest talent may be in her ability to convince others not to give up, either.
After a lifetime of trying to get people to realize her first name wasn’t Ashley, Morningstar decided the best way to settle the debate was to put her name on a book cover. An avid reader and fiction reviewer for the blog and site Diverse Reader, Morningstar harbored a dream to one day join the ranks of her heroes, and she sweeps into the contemporary gay romance genre with her debut novel, LETTING GO. With plans to conquer gay, lesbian and LGBTQA+ romance, Morningstar has her gaze set on the horizon, her determination her own guiding star.
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