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Unconventional in Kansas City

Unconventional in Kansas CityBy Carol Lynne, T.A. Chase, Stephani Hecht, Jambrea Jo Jones & Devon Rhodes
Totally Bound
ISBN eBook: 978-1-78651-476-9
Genre: Contemporary, Western, Gay
Book Length: 56,112 words
General Release Date: August 16, 2016

Order ebook at Totally Bound | Read an Excerpt

‘Kiss Me, Cowboy’ by Carol Lynne

It isn’t easy to cling to teenage promises when you become one of the forgotten.

For Eli Barron, Jesse Clooney has always been the one. From their first day of kindergarten through their high-school graduation, the pair were inseparable. So, when a situation arises that splits the two men apart, it’s up to Eli to keep the home fires burning as Jesse sets off to follow his dreams on the rodeo circuit. But how long can a man continue to stoke the fire before the flames die out?

‘New Vocations’ by T.A. Chase

Two men who believe in second chances meet and their lives are never the same again.

Layne Daly comes to participate in the American Royal. He’s there to show off the abilities of the retired thoroughbreds he adopts straight off the track. He wants people to know these animals can do so much more than race. He has three horses there to do exhibitions in reining, barrel racing and cutting. When his usual groom gets sick, he has to hire someone fast.

Carl Stewartson used to love coming to Kansas City for the rodeo. He’d ride broncs and hang out with his friends. But since his career-ending injury early in the year, Carl has been spinning his wheels, trying to find something to do with his life now that he can’t rodeo anymore. He runs into Layne and offers to help him with his horses.

Together, they have to deal with not only the stress of the event, but also starting a new relationship. Second chances are what Layne does best and he’s more than willing to give Carl the opportunity.

‘Stallions and Ice’ by Stephani Hecht

Sometimes you have to climb a mountain to see the future.

While Brandon loves to go and watch his friend, Nichole, at the American Royal every year, there is no way that he is ever going to climb on a horse. His feet belong on the ground or the ice. As one the of the players of the local minor league team, the Wichita Thunder, all he dreams about is someday moving up to the major leagues. That is, until he meets Nichole’s brother, Ethan.

Ethan grew up in a family that has always been in the rodeo circuit. There was no question that he was ever going to be anything else…until he’s sidelined by seizures and can no longer ride. Then he meets Brandon and he begins to wonder whether maybe, just maybe, his life isn’t over.

Will decades of tradition tear the men apart? Or can they can overcome all their obstacles and be together?

‘Playing with Fire’ by Jambrea Jo Jones

Ranch cook against restaurateur—who does it better?

Hayden McGrath has the formal training and knowhow to run one of the best farm-to-table restaurants in the city. This year he wants to prove his worth by entering the barbecue competition at the American Royal. It has nothing to do with a certain cowboy from the Flying P…

Amos Vasquez has been the ranch cook at the Flying P Retreat since it was an actual ranch. Now it’s a place tourists flock to so they can have a taste of his food. This year he is going to win the barbecue competition and nothing will stand in his way, not even a certain sexy redheaded restaurant owner who has caught his eye.

This will be the barbecue competition to beat all competitions at the American Royal.

‘Resuscitating Love’ by Devon Rhodes

If Hill keeps putting cowboys ahead of his marriage, even being a cardiologist won’t help David fix their broken hearts.

Hillard ‘Hill’ Pearson, the new events director of the American Royal, has worked hard to get to where he is. This is his first year as director, and the huge responsibility of the more visible position has taken over his life. Yes, he could be considered a workaholic, but he’s put fifteen years into the event he’s loved since he was a kid, and now is his chance to shine.

When David Weinstein finally convinced his long-time partner, Hill, to marry him, he thought it would bring them closer together. Instead, they’re not even to their first anniversary and their relationship is suffering. David’s finally at a stage in his medical career where he has regular hours, but he can’t seem to connect with his husband when he’s free. Now, with the event that he’s sick of hearing about underway, he feels like he’s making all the effort with no return.

Can Hill and David resuscitate their love before David gives up on the promise of forever?

Excerpt

Eli Barron lay on his back, staring at the dusty beamed ceiling of the barn. What extended family he had left had gone back to Wichita after spending three days mourning the death of Eli’s dad, Jonathan. He turned his head to stare at the only person on earth who truly knew him.

The fading bruise under Jesse Clooney’s eye said everything about his fucked up home life. Jesse had spent a lot of time at the Barron ranch over the years in an attempt to distance himself from his abusive father, and, because of that, Jesse felt Jonathan’s death as deeply as any member of the Barron family.

Jesse squeezed Eli’s hand. “You’re not coming with me, are you?”

Eli shook his head. Since the age of fourteen, he and Jesse had made big plans to join the rodeo circuit the minute they graduated. Eli was okay at roping. He’d even managed to place first in the Johnson County Fair’s barrel racing competition the previous August, but he wasn’t near good enough to compete with the professionals. Jesse was good enough, or at least he could be with a few years of practice, but Eli had always planned to tag along with Jesse just to be close to the boy he’d fallen in love with at thirteen.

“I can’t,” Eli finally said. “With Zeb in his first year of veterinary school, it wouldn’t be right for me to ask him to stay home and deal with shit here while I follow you around the country.”

The realization that he’d be left behind hurt nearly as much as his dad’s death, but he couldn’t be selfish. Not only did he have two younger sisters, but his mom didn’t deserve to shoulder the burden of the Barron family ranch on her own.

Jesse rolled to his side and rested his head on Eli’s bare chest. “I can’t stay here.”

Eli wrapped his arms around Jesse. “I know.”

Eli had always known Jesse was better than the life he’d been handed. He still wasn’t sure why Jesse’s mom continued to stay with her abusive husband, but she’d made it clear during Jesse’s last beating that she wouldn’t go against her husband, even if it was to save her own son.

“Maybe once you get everything settled, you can join me,” Jesse said.