Hey there, I’m Kris T. Bethke, and I’m excited to be here today to bring you an exclusive (and slightly NSFW) excerpt from my new release, Hearts and Hazelnuts, available now.
Mechanic Jordan Hart is down on his luck, so he gladly accepts a temporary job servicing tractors at a hazelnut farm in Newberg, Oregon. He doesn’t expect to be attracted to his boss, Beckett Shaw. Still working on embracing his bisexuality, he’s reluctant to start anything, but Beckett’s gentle coaxing convinces Jordan to take a risk.
Beckett has vowed not to get involved with anyone until he can restore the Shaw Farms name as a leader in hazelnuts. But there’s no denying his interest in the shy mechanic who shows up at his door. Just as they begin to find a balance, outside forces threaten to tear them apart. Job opportunities force Jordan out of the Portland area he loves so much. But when danger comes too close to Beckett, Jordan must decide if he can follow his heart to the Willamette Valley… and straight back to Beckett.
The swirls inked on Jordan’s shoulder and biceps fascinated Beckett. During their first time together, Beckett had been so intent to get Jordan out of his clothes and into bed that he hadn’t taken time to truly appreciate them. But a week later, having finally managed to convince Jordan to stay past dinner, Beckett took the time to explore.
A few nudges, a little coaxing, and Beck had Jordan stretched out beneath him on the couch. Jordan’s shirt disappeared quickly, and he had one hand buried in Beckett’s hair as Beck licked and kissed the whorls and twists of the tattoo. The other palmed one of Beckett’s asscheeks and squeezed convulsively every time Beckett hit a hot spot. If that weren’t enough, the way Jordan bucked his hips—seeking friction against Beck’s pelvis—let Beck know how much Jordan enjoyed it. Beck liked it just as much. He glanced up, gave Jordan a wicked grin, and made sure he had his attention before he pointed his tongue and purposefully dragged it across Jordan’s already-wet skin.
“Stop,” Jordan hissed as he tightened his grip on Beck’s hair to still Beck’s head. “You’ll make me come, and there’s no way I’m driving home with sticky underwear.”
“You can always stay.” Beckett said the words softly and muffled them into Jordan’s skin.
Beckett had quickly learned not to push. Jordan seemed to think that staying over meant something more than it did, and he hadn’t stayed since that first night. He tried not to read too much into Jordan’s behavior, but it was clear he didn’t want to make any kind of commitment. That was fine with Beckett. His focus was the farm, and he was happy to keep things casual.
But that didn’t mean he didn’t want his lover in his bed through the night.
“That’s not—” Jordan moaned as Beckett bit gently on the sensitive skin of his upper arm. “—keeping things very separate.”
“Sure it is.” Beck kissed the spot to soothe the hurt and trailed his lips up and over Jordan’s shoulder. He buried his nose in Jordan’s neck and inhaled the scents of sweat and aftershave and autumn wind. “Work is work. And play is play.” He ground his hips against Jordan’s and dragged a moan out of him. “Very different.”
“You’d tempt a saint.” Jordan’s tone was playful, and there was no doubt he was still turned on. Beckett could feel the evidence against his hip. But Jordan was also a lot less pliant and relaxed than he’d been a moment before, and the last thing Beck wanted was for Jordan to bolt.
“Tell me about the tattoo?” Beck latched on to the first thing that entered his mind—anything to keep Jordan with him instead of getting in his truck and driving away.Jordan shrugged his decorated shoulder and offered Beck a kind of half smile, even as his gaze darted away.
“No story. A friend was learning and wanted to practice. I let him do whatever he wanted. He kept playing with shapes and lines and cleaned up the older stuff as he got better. And after a couple of months, I had this.”
Beck was stunned for a moment. He didn’t have any tattoos. He’d never thought of something important enough that he’d want it inked permanently on his body. And Jordan had just let his friend play. That took a lot of guts, and it perfectly fit what Beckett knew of Jordan.
“That’s cool,” Beckett said when he realized he’d been silent for too long. Jordan offered him a smile, and Beckett returned it and made it dirty. Jordan’s eyes heated, and Beckett pushed himself up so he could speak right into Jordan’s ear.
“You got any more I haven’t seen yet?”
Jordan sucked in a breath, and the tiniest whine escaped. He licked his lips, swallowed, and slowly turned his head until he was looking Beck right in the eye.
“Why don’t you take me to bed and find out?”
Kris T. Bethke has been a voracious reader for pretty much her entire life and has been writing stories for nearly as long. An avid and prolific daydreamer, she always has a story in her head. She spends most of her free time reading, writing, or knitting/crocheting her latest project. Her biggest desire is to find a way to accomplish all three tasks at one time. A classic muscle car will always turn her head, and naps on the weekend are one of her greatest guilty pleasures. She lives in a converted attic with a way too fluffy cat and the voices in her head. She’ll tell you she thinks that’s a pretty good deal. Kris believes that love is love, no matter the gender of people involved, and that all love deserves to be celebrated.
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