Chapter One & Two of Daddy Material

It’s been one heck of a year for me, but I am proud to announce that despite several unanticipated publication delays and personal setbacks, my next release will be debuting on Tuesday. Daddy Material is part of the Dirty Daddies Pride 2022 anthology, and while it ties in to my Masters of Romance series, no knowledge of the series is necessary to fully enjoy the story.

Daddy Material stars Derek, the divorced owner of a luxury construction company who still likes to work hands-on with his crew, and Aiden, who has traveled across the country to attend his father’s alma mater and will be staying with Derek—his dad’s best friend—while he goes to school.

Typical of all my Masters of Romance titles, you’ll find heat in spades and tons of humor, endearing best friends, and no relationship angst. The Daddy kink in this story is light, meaning that if you’re unsure about all this Daddy stuff, this is the book for you. Derek is a new Daddy and learns a lot from his Aiden, his insatiable bookworm of a boy. There is no age play, ABDL, or discipline. Aiden loves to be spoiled and is a very good boy, and Derek is way too sweet to ever harshly correct him.

Y’all, these two are so sweet I cannot.

I hope you’ll love them as much as I do.

The Dirty Daddy Pride 2022 anthology will only be available for a limited time via Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Amazon. If you want to help us realize our dream and get an LGBTQIA+ title onto the USA Today bestseller list for Pride Month, we would especially appreciate purchases on Barnes & Noble and Apple. We need strong sales across all retailers in order to qualify for the list, and since the LGBTQIA+ readership is so strongly Amazon-centric, we need all the help we can get. Right now the anthology is on preorder for just $0.99 on all store fronts, but will be going up in price after its release on June 21, 2022, so make sure to lock in your copy(ies) today.

Want a sneak peek at Daddy Material? Check out chapter one & two below. Enjoy!

Chapter One

There’s a coffee stain in the shape of a crescent moon on the otherwise spotless carpet in my dad’s best friend’s bedroom. It’s mostly hidden by the bed, which is big and old and beautiful—the stately kind you might find in the bedroom of an old English lord, if that English lord liked intricately carved and highly polished redwood—but if you come around the bed’s far side, the one nearest the window, there’s a chance you’ll see it poking out from beneath the bed frame. A sickle of brown surrounded by ivory. The only imperfection in an otherwise neat and tidy room.

But if I’m being honest, it’s not the kind of thing most people would notice. You can’t see it from the door, and unless you’re really looking, you’d never stumble upon it by accident. The only reason I know it’s there is because I’m the one who made it. It happened the morning after my dad’s best friend, Derek, took my virginity.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to the beginning.

Back to when I was eighteen and heading off to college, before I became his boy.

Chapter Two

The first time I saw the man I’d love for the rest of my life, he was on his knees in the front garden of the big center hall colonial house that was to become my home. It was a hot day in Staten Island, made worse by an oppressive humidity that thickened the air, but the heat didn’t deter him from his work. He plunged his hands into a bag at his side and hauled out a crumbling heap of mulch, patting it down around the base of an unruly shrub. A few firm pats later, he sat back on his heels and dragged his arm across his forehead to wipe away his sweat, then glanced over his shoulder at the car idling on the edge of the property.

Straight through the car’s back window.

At me.

Our eyes locked. There had to be at least fifty feet between the curb and the garden, but I swear I saw curiosity ignite in them. The gleam of a man enchanted by the allure of the unknown. He watched me for a long, tense moment before the corner of his lip twitched, and he shook his head. With a wince, he hoisted himself off the ground and climbed stiffly to his feet. A clap of his work gloves later, he stepped out of the garden and set a leisurely pace across the yard, toward the street.

I’d spent the drive from Newark Airport with my nose buried in a paperback, too caught up in the world within its pages to notice what was happening around me. That same paperback, still open to the page I’d been on when my Uber slowed to a stop in front of the house, now drooped and tumbled out of my hands. It struck my shoe on its way down, its edge digging into my foot, then fell onto the floor fore edge first, its pages fanning beneath its own weight.

My fingers twitched out of instinct, expecting the rest of me to dart down and scoop up the book before the spine got bent out of shape, but I was frozen. Paralyzed.

Because that man…

That stranger…

Looking at him made me forget that fiction was more beautiful than reality.

It wasn’t that he was handsome in the traditional sense of the word. If anything, he was ordinary. Forty, maybe forty-five. Tall, but not striking enough that you’d notice. He was the t-shirt and flannel type, the kind who wore jeans until they fell apart, the amalgamation of every guy who routinely shopped for lumber at Lowe’s early on a Saturday morning.

But there was something different about him. Something that kept me so riveted, not even the fate of my signed paperback could make me look away.

His eyes.

I won’t wax poetic about their shape, or their color, or even the way they fit his face. Truth is, from so far, I couldn’t make out their finer details anyway. These days I could go on forever about how when the early morning sun streams through our bedroom window, the brown in them lights up like amber, or how at night, when he comes home after a long, hard day and sees me for the first time, desire turns them dark as coal, but at that moment, with so much space between us, I could only make out the most important thing—how they looked at me.

“Hey, kid.”

I’d been so busy staring I’d forgotten I wasn’t alone. Startled, I whipped my head around and locked eyes with my Uber driver, who was maybe five years my senior, and who looked like he wished eject buttons came standard in Toyota Corollas. “You gettin’ out,” he asked, “or what?”

“Yeah… sorry.” I laughed awkwardly—an introvert’s attempt at an apology.

It didn’t help. I could see the strongly worded letter to Toyota being drafted behind his eyes.

“I’ll just… Um… I’ll…”

The driver saved me from myself by jabbing a button on his dashboard, releasing the trunk with a mechanical click. It bounced up on its hinges, and like a spooked rabbit, I unbuckled my seat belt like my life depended on it, flung open the door, and bailed.

My feet hit pavement—the rest of me hit soup. The humidity here was worse than it had been at the airport, sweltering to the point of stickiness. So thick, I was practically swimming. How did the gardener work like this? I spared a glance across the yard, expecting he’d have made it to the curb and would be standing watch nearby, but he was nowhere to be found.

Where could he have gone?

I closed the car door with a bump of my hip, then stood discreetly on my toes and craned my neck to get a better look, but it didn’t help. In those precious few seconds I’d spent being terrified by my driver, he’d vanished, and along with him, the spell he’d held over me disappeared.

Instant chemistry with a stranger?

What had I been thinking?

Maybe it was time I took a break from reading—no one in real life would look at someone like me the way he had, and they certainly wouldn’t stop what they were doing to come over and introduce themselves. I was dreaming up stories again, imagining happily-ever-afters that would never exist. The gardener was just an average guy who’d happened to look my way when the car pulled up to the curb, and he’d gotten up to… um… get a trowel, or whatever. Some more mulch, maybe.

There was no way he’d ditched his job to come see me.

But then there came a sound—the gritty crunch of roller wheels on pavement.

I turned toward it, and there was the gardener. He’d come around the car and taken my first suitcase out of the trunk and was going back in for the second.

“You Malcolm’s kid?” he asked. He had a deep voice, gruff, a little gritty from the strain of hauling my heavy suitcase out of the trunk. With a grunt, he set it carefully by the first, then popped out the retractable handle and extended it with a quick tug to lock it into place. “Didn’t think you were getting in until three.”

“Oh. Um, yeah.” I stepped around the car to join him, coming to hover nervously an arm’s length away. “My flight was early, and I had nowhere else to go. I’m sorry if it’s an inconvenience. If you unlock the door for me, I can just let myself inside. Did, um, did Mr. Hartford tell you I was coming?”

The gardener had his arm up, hand on the trunk, ready to slam it shut, but froze when I asked the question. “Mr. Hartford?”

“Um, Derek?” I glanced toward the house as though Mr. Hartford himself would be watching from the window, conveniently positioned within our field of view so I could gesture at him à la Vanna White. “The guy who lives here, in the house. Your boss?”

The gardener chuckled and shut the trunk, testing it with a tug to make sure it was latched, then stepped away from the vehicle, wheeling my suitcases to the curb. As the Uber pulled away, he stepped up onto the grass and came to stand in front of me.

“Derek Hartford,” he said earnestly, stripping off his work glove and extending a large, calloused hand. “It’s nice to meet you, Aiden. Welcome to your new home.”

Need more? Read the rest in the Dirty Daddy Pride 2022 anthology available on Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Amazon for a limited time!