The Soccer Star, the Interior Designer & The Right Words
by Lane Hayes
I think it’s safe to suggest soccer, design and literature are very separate topics, but my new release, The Right Words, touches on all three. Michael Martinez is a closeted professional athlete who suffers a potentially career ending injury. Luke Preston is a literature enthusiast as well as an interior designer who has recently left an abusive relationship. Both men need time to heal. Renovating a tired old beach house is the perfect way to rebuild and restart, literally and figuratively.
Michael was a more complex character for me to write than Luke. Maybe that was because I have more in common with Luke, minus some of his neurosis. I am an interior designer who writes and loves literature. There wasn’t much research to be done regarding interior design because I’ve personally done Luke’s job. I’ve dealt with my fair share of overzealous homeowners who want high-end makeovers at discounted prices. And much to my husband’s dismay, I still have a huge collection of expensive tile and fabric samples cluttering up office space.
Soccer? Well, that’s another story. All of my kids have played the sport and one of my sons is still a big fan (Arsenal is his team :)), but that certainly didn’t give me the background needed to write about a professional athlete. However, I love sports. ESPN is the channel of choice in our house. I won’t claim to know more than I do about any given sport but I do listen and over the years, I’ve learned quite a bit. And when I’m uncertain, I’m smart enough to ask someone who does. Michael’s career in the story is actually secondary to the fact he’s a closeted Latino man. He was raised in a traditional, religious home that upholds a very machismo attitude toward male and female roles. Being gay may be part of who he is, but it isn’t something he wants anyone to know. At the beginning of The Right Words, healing quickly to get back on the field faster is what is importantÉ not his sexuality. Until he meets Luke.
Language is powerful. Words carry more weight than they are often given credit. In a world where the goal is to condense sentiment in 140 characters or less, we often lose sight of their incredible strength and ability to build or destroy. The Right Words aren’t necessarily easy to say, and they aren’t the same for everyone. However, I do believe they have the potential to change lives and unlock doors for those brave enough to use them.
Thank you for having me on your blog today!
Happy Reading! Lane Hayes xo
About The Right Words
Escaping an abusive relationship left Luke Preston anxious and spouting panic-induced poetry. Desperate for a fresh start, Luke accepts a job remodeling a tired old beach house for a professional soccer player and his model girlfriend. While his passion is literature, not sports, focusing on the renovations eases his anxiety. Until the job he signed up for turns out to be more complicated than advertised.
Sidelined with a serious injury, soccer star Michael Martinez decides his beach house is the perfect place to recuperate. Remodeling might be the diversion he needs to keep his mind off his busted knee. Falling for the pretty designer with some quirky habits wasn’t on the drawing board. Unfortunately, Luke didn’t build a big enough closet for Michael to hide in. Having a star-powered sports career used to be all Michael lived for, but he’ll have to reevaluate his plans and find the right words if he wants to build more than a beach house with Luke.
Available at: Dreamspinner Press
An Excerpt from The Right Words
“One day at a time,” he repeated thoughtfully, making an obvious effort to steer the topic toward something more pleasant. “Well, I don’t have anything better, so… I’ll go with that too.” Michael’s smile lit his entire face. It was a beautiful thing to witness. He was handsome always, but wow… what a smile.
“Was the picture of us good at least?”
This time he laughed out loud, a sweet, musical sound that made me chuckle along with him.
“Yeah, very hot.” He reached over and pulled me into his side effortlessly. “Look, I wasn’t trying to send mixed signals this week. I know I haven’t been around like I said I would. I… Jamie isn’t going to go away easily. This has been a weird blow to add to an already fucked-up situation, but… I like you and I do trust you.”
“You like me?”
He gave a small half chuckled and shrugged. “Un poco.” He translated when I gave him a blank stare. “A little.”
“I like you a little too.”
I couldn’t help my response at being near him. I curled into his side like a cat begging for attention. Michael wrapped his arms around me and kissed my cheek and my chin. I didn’t want a “friend” kiss, though. I wanted what he gave me Friday night. I wanted “that kiss.” I intercepted him when he leaned in to peck my temple and stuck my tongue out to trace the corner of his mouth. He groaned and accepted the invitation, diving and thrusting his tongue inside my mouth to stake his claim. His right hand traveled down my throat and came to a stop over my left nipple. He rubbed at the sensitive flesh through my tight T-shirt and squeezed hard when he heard my moan of approval.
I arched my back into his touch but kept my mouth fastened to his. I didn’t want to lose this connection. He bit at my chin and sent kisses down my neck as his hand dipped down to my belt and came to rest on my hardening cock. I whimpered and scooted on his lap to straddle his thighs.
“Is this okay? Am I hurting your knee?”
“It’s good, honey. Really good.” Both of his hands splayed flat on my back and circled to the front to pluck at the fabric of my T-shirt. “Take it off.”
I didn’t have to be told twice. I was burning up. I yanked it over my head and tossed it aside before I began working on the seemingly endless row of buttons on his dress shirt.
“Fuck. Help me get his off you. I need to feel your skin.”
I barely recognized my voice. I sounded breathless.
When Michael finally leaned forward to let the fabric slide from his shoulders, I met him halfway to feel his skin against mine. Heaven. He was simply beautiful, with finely toned washboard abs and gorgeous skin. It was smooth like mine but much darker. Olive against golden. I loved the contrast and I was anxious to explore. I let my hands roam, over his chest, down his stomach, and back again. My fingers itched to palm his cock through his worn jeans. Instead I fused my naked torso against his and ground my aching cock against his equally hard member. We both hissed, and the kiss became something more like sex.
About Lane Hayes
Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and her third received an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband and the coolest yellow Lab ever in an almost empty nest.
As part of this blog tour, Lane is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card and eBook copy of The Right Words!! To enter, just click the link below!
Please be aware that the only way to enter the giveaway is to click the Rafflecopter link above. Any comments on this post will not count towards entering the giveaway unless otherwise stated but are still welcome anyway.