When rough-and-tumble Trace Collins allows his buddies to drag him to a gay strip club for his birthday, he doesn't expect to find his soul mate. But it's love at first sight for Trace and he is immediately enthralled by the sexy young Adonis who's getting naked on stage. Trace is determined to make that man his.
Riley Beckett doesn't want anything to do with romance or love. Past hurts and a jaded attitude make Riley a tough nut to crack, but Trace is no quitter. He's determined to win Riley's trust and show him what real love means. Persistence pays off when Riley finally begins to thaw and it looks as though "happily" might just meet "ever after". There's only one thing standing in their way--the devastating secret Trace is keeping.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
November 13, 2009
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from His Every Breath by Chelsea James
Britney might be a train wreck, but she sure did put out music that was perfect for half-naked men to dance to. The crowd at Boyztown, Austin's best-known gay strip club, went more than a little nuts when Miss Britney's opening notes began. Riley Beckett hid a smile as he hit the stage, his signature pop princess music all but drowned out by the cheers.
Gauging his audience as he went through his routine, Riley worked his way over to the right side of the stage, picking a few big tippers out of the crowd over there. And sure enough, all it took was a provocative tug on his thong and they ate it up. Sinking into a split-legged crouch, Riley gave the group of men a saucy wink before moving on.
A couple of shimmies, another spin on one of the three polished silver poles and Riley's gaze landed on the man seated at the end of the short runway, black cowboy hat pulled low. Stage presence kept his seductive smile in place but inside Riley was torn between laughter and pity. Either the guy was really hard up, or he had a thing for one of the boys. Riley had seen him here almost every night for the last...damn, it had to be at least a month. If the guy did have his eye on one of the other dancers, well, he might get what he was after. It depended on whom he was into.
Working his way back to the center of the stage and forward to the edge, Riley gave his hair a flip, pulling off his thong as he sank to his knees, grinning a little at the sudden cheers. And people said strippers didn't get recognition. Riley's eyes met those of the man in the cowboy hat and he gave him a wink. Let him dream.
The cowboy reached calmly into his front shirt pocket and pulled out a hundred-dollar bill, tilting his head back enough to meet Riley's eyes from under his hat. He held the bill up between two fingers, arching a brow.
Riley's brows lifted too, but he quirked a sexy smile and crawled forward, taking the bill from the man's hand with his teeth. The cowboy's eyes raked over Riley's body, fully exposed under the bright, colorful spotlights, then pulled out another hundred, twirling it a bit to indicate Riley ought to give him a little spin and the full view.
Riley didn't. The cowboy tilted his head slightly, tossing the bill to the stage and plucking out another with a clear is-that-enough-to-see-the-goods look.
Riley shrugged a little, letting his seductive smile curve his lips as he pushed to his feet and gave a small spin, meeting the man's eyes over one shoulder. Behind the smile though, he was rethinking his original assessment. The man wasn't hard up, he couldn't be.
Riley had just gotten a good look at his face and there was no way a man with that kind of wicked appeal wasn't getting every bit of ass he wanted and then some. And he wasn't into one of the other guys. Or if he was, he was fucking loaded. Riley hadn't ever seen a guy drop three bills on a dancer he wasn't into. The third hundred was tossed to the stage and Riley danced away and finished off his routine, his eyes continually drawn back to the deep, shadowed blue gaze that watched him like a hawk. He didn't know what the guy's deal was but Riley would be glad to get offstage and away from those piercing eyes.
The man watched as Riley finished his routine, gathered up his money and sauntered seductively offstage. Riley glanced his way one last time as he slipped behind the curtain, shaking his head.
Rolling his neck as he made his way toward the dressing room, Riley did his best to shake off the lingering uneasiness of that...encounter? He didn't even know what to call it. Whatever it had been, it'd stirred up feelings and memories Riley had no desire to revisit. He'd learned his lesson about messing with customers. Sam had taught him well. As he opened the dressing-room door, the usual hubbub and chatter went a long way toward soothing his jangled composure. Or at least it did until the door opened again and Ronnie poked his head in.
"Riley. Private show, Champagne Room, now." The command was short, terse and Riley scrambled to his feet, darting for the door.
"Ronnie! Come on! You know I don't..." The club manager cut Riley off with a shake of his head, his brows lowered. Riley recognized the look and sighed inwardly.
"They want you, they paid for you. You know the rules when it comes to the VIPs. Now go." Ronnie walked off without another word and Riley scowled, turning on his heel and stalking back into the dressing room to put some clothes on.
Riley was still muttering under his breath as he skirted the audience at the back of the club. Damn it, Ronnie knew he hated doing private dances. He made more than enough in tips during his set to be able to pick and choose his one-on-one dances. Riley sighed and wiped the scowl off his face, replacing it with his stage smile as he slipped through the entrance to the Champagne Room, crossing to the corner cubicle and parting the curtains.
His smile, however, slid right off his face and he raised a brow when he saw the man with the cowboy hat. "Didn't get enough out there? I don't do private shows, cowboy." At least not if he hadn't hand-picked the customer. And he most certainly hadn't this time around. He would have stalked out then and there and given Ronnie a piece of his mind but he liked his gig here and if he pissed Ronnie off, not only would he fuck that up, but word could get around and he would be screwed.
His temper rose when one of the waitresses came in and he got a look at the drinks on her tray. A beer and a vodka martini, dirty. How the hell did the man know his favorite drink?
The man quirked a smile, dropping some bills on the waitress's tray for the drinks and a healthy tip, and lifted a brow at Riley, who stood with his hands on his hips, not even bothering to hide his irritation at the break in his routine.
"My apologies, darlin', the fella out there didn't seem to have a problem with it." The cowboy's lips curved in a half smile as he picked up the martini and held it out to Riley, his brows lifting. Riley wished he'd put on something besides the ripped and faded jeans that hung almost obscenely low on his hips. "Here, you must have worked up a thirst and the answer to your question is no."
Riley gave the man a baffled, impatient look and got a wide grin in return.
"No, I didn't get enough." The cowboy still held out the drink but Riley continued to ignore it, wishing it was as easy to ignore the man offering it.
Riley gritted his teeth, his hands clenching into fists at his sides. Never mind just giving Ronnie a piece of his mind, he was going to kill him. But he couldn't back out now and he knew it, even as he started making a mental list of all the ways he could make Ronnie suffer.
He fixed his stage smile back in place and, shaking his head, met amused blue eyes. "I don't drink when I'm working. So what is it you want from me, cowboy?" He nearly snarled when blue eyes gleamed wickedly in answer. "If that's what you're after, you can forget it."
The cowboy's smile cooled and he set the drink down. "I can guarantee you the back room of a strip club is not where I prefer to fuck. Nor do I pay for ass, even one as nice as yours."