Kevin Fraser has a good life--a good job, good friends and a nursing degree within his grasp. There's not a lot of excitement to be found in Asheville, but so what? He doesn't need excitement. Or love, for that matter. Until a big man with an Elvis fixation and the voice to match shows up in his ER and changes his point of view.
A diabetes diagnosis isn't the end of the world, just one more problem Owen Hicks doesn't need. It hasn't been easy finding his place in the Cherokee tribe, his family and the world at large since he came out. On top of that, learning to manage the disease that killed his mother is a daunting challenge. He counts himself lucky that the nursing student he befriended in the hospital is willing and able to help.
As their fast friendship deepens into something both of them want--yet fear--pressures from without and within stretch their bond to the breaking point. The only way to find the strength to love each other is to find the courage to let go...and hope love is strong enough to bring them together again.
Warning: This book contains medical drama, relationship drama, sex, silliness and a Cherokee Elvis. Sorry, no fried banana sandwiches. Thank ya very much.
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Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
July 02, 2012
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Excerpt from Graceland by Ally Blue
When Kevin Fraser caught the first strains of "Love Me Tender", his rum and Coke lost its way halfway to his mouth and ended up right back on the table without having touched his lips.
Ignoring the laughter, groans and pointed remarks from his friends about absent-minded nursing students, he twisted in his chair to get a look at the owner of the full-bodied Elvis sound-alike voice with just a bare hint of a sexy rasp.
He stared when he saw the man. Tall, paunchy, with shaggy black hair and unremarkable features, he was hardly the gorgeous specimen Kevin had expected, but something about him drew Kevin's attention anyway. Maybe the way his large hands caressed invisible shapes in the air. Or the way his eyes screwed shut and his head tipped back with an emotion Kevin felt all the way in the back of the dark, crowded little bar.
In Kevin's experience, karaoke usually inspired nothing stronger than drunken sentimentality. Whoever this guy was, though, he didn't seem drunk. What he did seem was deeply in love with the damn song.
Which was kind of cool.
Sahara dug a skinny elbow into Kevin's ribs. He turned to look at her, and she grinned. "Didn't know you were an Elvis fan."
"I'm not, usually. But, well." He gestured toward the tiny stage at the other end of the low-ceilinged, grungy wooden room, where the nameless man's amazing voice rose toward the song's climax. "Just listen. I mean, damn."
On Kevin's other side, LaRon laughed. "You got that right. Tell you what, if I had cash to lay down, I'd bet on that one winning the prize tonight."
Everyone around the table agreed. Asheville seethed with wannabe crooners, but Birdie's monthly Karaoke Night singing contests usually didn't draw this caliber of contestant. Sahara and her roommate, Pam, had always blamed it on the bar's location in the wilderness of gas stations, strip malls and budget hotels west of the city proper. After all, Asheville's arts scene--including music of every type you could imagine and some you'd probably rather not--thrived in the downtown area, not the suburbs. LaRon, cynic that he was, generally rebutted with the argument that most people didn't sing nearly as well as they thought they did, especially after they'd knocked back a few.