Exclusive Excerpt from Redeem
by Christina Lee
My gaze locked on the lone figure in the corner booth. Michael had his laptop open and his cell to his ear, speaking to someone. He stayed. I had no idea why he was here, and I tried to pretend it wasn’t because of me.
Because if it was…what the hell did it mean? Was he hoping to hook up again?
I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to it.
With a dry towel slung over my shoulder, I began wiping up tables for the new customers in line.
When I neared his booth, I noticed he was no longer on the phone. Instead, his eyes were fixed on the newspaper he’d folded in thirds in order to work on the daily crossword puzzle. A smile tugged at my lips. “You need me to do the heavy lifting again?”
His eyebrows rose to his hairline as he tore his gaze away from the newspaper. An instant later, awareness dawned, and he barked out a laugh that lit up his entire face.
“Not today, smartass.”
I stepped closer and noticed that indeed, he didn’t have any empty spaces left on the puzzle. “Decided you needed a different setting?”
“Something like that,” he replied, glancing briefly at his computer before pressing the top down. “Been working so many hours at the office that the same four walls were getting to me.”
“I hear you,” I said, glancing around the coffee shop, the familiar brick walls and wooden beams not always so welcoming or soothing as the week dragged on.
“That why you’re busing tables?” He motioned to the rag in my hand. “Does it help to keep moving?”
“Yeah, it does,” I replied, my pulse throbbing that he’d actually noticed. “But I like to keep the place clean too.”
My jaw ticked as I remembered the story Elijah had shared with me about West finding a job as a busboy after he left Michael. Michael certainly hadn’t been too kind about the news.
“I suppose you think it’s beneath a manager to bus tables?” I asked with an eye roll.
“No way,” he said, shaking his head, his shoulders sagging. “Not anymore.”
Successful financial analyst Michael Walsh leads a picture-perfect life that anyone would envy—unless they caught a glimpse beneath the surface. Haunted by failed relationships and self-doubt, Michael harbors a soul-deep loneliness that no number of casual hookups can fulfill. So why can’t he stop thinking about his New Year’s fling with a man whose quiet desperation matches his own?
Barista Stewart Jenkins has an abysmal track record with relationships, and no matter how hard he tries to keep things tightly under wraps, his life is spinning out of control. His hookup with the gorgeous Michael was only supposed to be sex—hot, dirty, and uncomplicated—but that small taste leaves him desperate for more.
Every no-strings encounter that follows between Michael and Stewart peels away more layers, blurring the lines between them, until they’re left with a raw tenderness and acceptance they’re both urgently craving. A relationship absolutely wouldn’t work on paper; they come from drastically different lives and are plagued by inexcusable sins. All that vulnerability is sure to reveal old wounds, and forgiveness seems so far out of reach unless they can find a way around their fears on the road to redemption.
Available at: Amazon
About Christina Lee
Once upon a time, I lived in New York City and was a wardrobe stylist. I spent my days shopping for photo shoots, getting into cabs, eating amazing food, and drinking coffee at my favorite hangouts.
Now I live in the Midwest with my husband and son—my two favorite guys. I’ve been a clinical social worker and a special education teacher. But it wasn’t until I wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper that I realized I could turn the fairytales inside my head into the reality of writing fiction.
I write Adult, New Adult, and M/M Contemporary Romance. I’m addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. I believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.
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