Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway:
By JJ Harper
Bar 28, Book 5
I’ll never find a boyfriend. Who would want me? I’m too shy, too geeky, too ugly. And I carry a truckload of baggage.
A few hookups, some quick groping in the dark, is all I’ve had, but I want more.
A man who takes over the reins every now and then. A man who tells me what to do and takes care of me.
Jonas is the man I’ve dreamt about. Quiet and funny, kind to patrons and staff alike. When his voice turns to steel, all I want to do is drop to my knees before him.
Too bad he’s my boss. No way would he be interested in me. And even if he is, can I trust him with my past?
I’ve given up on finding my man. My brothers found their happily ever after, and I’m happy for them. But it’s not in the cards for me. Believe me. I’ve tried. I’ve had boyfriends, but as soon as my instinct to control kicks in, they broke up with me.
One look at Haydn and I know he’s the one for me. A ray of sunshine, bubbling with energy, and so eager to please.
He has secrets he’s not willing to share. I’m a patient man, though. I’ve waited thirty-six years for the perfect man. I can wait until he trusts me and opens up to me.
Haydn is an MM romance featuring hurt/comfort, low angst, instant attraction, a bubbly geeky boy, and a man who likes to be in control. It’s book 5 in the BAR 28 series, but it can be read as a stand-alone. This book is based in the UK and is written in British English.
Check out Bar 28 on Goodreads
My bank account was dangerously low. I needed a job, but every single one I’d applied for hadn’t amounted to anything. I hated to think it was because I was gay. I’d had enough
“Have you heard anything yet?” Kieran asked as he walked into the kitchen. He was a couple of years older than me and ran his own gaming software company. After he’d stopped the arsehole jerks from pushing me around like it was a fun sport, he’d told me he had two spare rooms in his house. I’d moved in the next day.
It had only been a couple of days since I’d handed in my application. And to be honest, I wasn’t expecting to hear anything from them. Why would they need me behind the bar? Not when they could hire an eighteen-year-old that would cost them less.
“Nope. I told you I’m not what they’ll be looking for.” I wasn’t surprised, but I was a little disappointed. It would be cool to work there.
I carried on cooking the sausages for our dinner. I did most of the cooking now. It wasn’t fair for Kieran to do it after being stuck in his office all day, not when I was at home and not doing anything. He rested his chin on my shoulder and peered into the pan.
“Yum, sausages. My favourite. You’re going to make a wonderful husband. I’m going to change.” He kissed my cheek and wandered off upstairs to his bedroom.
My phone rang, startling me, and I dropped the spatula into the pan, splattering hot fat over myself. “Shit, crap, bollocks. Hello?” I grunted.
“Mr Cooper? Is this a bad time to call?” A deep, rumbling, and intensely sexy voice spoke. My spine tingled.
“Hmm, what? No, sorry.” I cringed. Could I have sounded any dumber?
“This isn’t Mr Cooper?” Mr Dark-melted-chocolate-and-smooth-whiskey asked.
“No, I mean, yes, this is me. Mr Cooper—Haydn. And it’s not a bad time. How can I help you?”
“I’m Jonas Richardson, one of the owners of BAR 28. You handed in an application form for the vacant bartender position here. I’d like to invite you for an interview. Are you still interested?”
“Yes!” I squeaked, then coughed. “Sorry, yes. Are you sure you meant to call me? Of course, you are. You said my name.” I slapped my forehead. “I’m still interested and would love to come and talk to you.”
The husky chuckle made my dick throb. “Excellent. Can you make eleven thirty tomorrow?”
“Absolutely, thank you.”
Kieran came back into the kitchen, his hair slightly damp. I pointed at my phone and mouthed “BAR 28” at him.
“Thank you. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow.”
“Thank you so much.” I ended the call and jumped up and down. “I got an interview!”of that already. Being out and proud wasn’t as easy as I’d expected it to be, and I had taken my fair bit of bullying. On the other hand, it could have been my size and stature that made me easy pickings. That was where Kieran had come in and become my friend. He was a popular, fit, and buff rugby player, not somebody I thought would ever save me. He’d dragged the thugs off me and kicked seven shades of shit out of them. We’d been best friends ever since.
“Let’s go and get a drink.” Kieran picked up his empty plate and put it in the sink.
“I can’t afford it.” Yeah, I was feeling sorry for myself, even though I wanted to go.
“I’ll buy. Get your arse up and out of that chair. We’re going to get drunk.” He held out his hand, which I grabbed, and hauled me up. “I know just the place. Hot gay bartenders and great drinks.”
I knew exactly which bar he meant: BAR 28. The guys there were gorgeous, and it wouldn’t hurt to stare at them for a couple of hours. Not that I would ever dare approach any of them. They were way out of my league. My curly hair tended to have a life of its own, my glasses made me look like a total nerd, and I was five seven and on the skinny side, so I always got IDed. None of these bartenders would look at me twice.
The huge doorman must have recognised me because he didn’t ask me to prove my age. Instead, he gave me a wink and told me to have a good night. I tripped over my own feet, heat rushing from my neck to the tips of my ears. But even if he’d noticed, he didn’t show it.
The place was packed, which didn’t surprise me. For the next hour, it was half-price drinks, so everyone was making the most of it. I weaved through the crowd, following Kieran to the bar, scooting between two behemoth-sized men, and made it to the long, highly polished mahogany bar. The men working behind the bar were all smiles as they joked and flirted with the customers. The tall, blond pony-tailed bartender leant over the bar and kissed a man with a big beard and a beanie hat. The look they shared was so private, so knowing and full of love. My heart squeezed. I wanted that so much.
Kieran got our drinks, and we looked for a place to sit. As luck would have it, a couple stood up from a table for two. “There.” I pointed and made my way to it.
“I’ve just heard something interesting,” Kieran said after we’d sat down. “They’re looking for another bartender. You should apply.” He took a sip of his drink.
Was he crazy? “You’ve met me, right? How on earth could I fit in here? I can hardly reach over the bar top.” I shook my head. “Plus, they’re all so gorgeous. They wouldn’t want a geeky guy like me.”
“You don’t see yourself the way everyone else does, Haydn. You’re always getting chatted up. Look, just apply. You need a job, and they need a new bartender. I’ll get an application form when I get the next drink.”
I knew he wouldn’t let it drop. Besides, he was right. I needed to get working and soon. But I was sure it wouldn’t be in this bar.
As the evening wore on, we were getting drunker and sillier, but I left with the application form in my pocket.
The next morning, with a cup of strong, black coffee to perk me up after one too many last night, I studied the form. They were looking for someone to start immediately. Hours were negotiable, and the pay was good. The problem was that it was the start of the university year, so every Tom, Dick, and Harry would be looking for work.
I walked back into town to drop the form off in person. I wanted to see what the bar was like in the daytime. We’d only ever been in the evenings. I’d spent a fair few Friday and Saturday nights in the club downstairs too.
I loved living here and wanted to stay sharing a house with Kieran, but if I couldn’t get a job, I wouldn’t be able to afford the rent. The thought of a new town and new faces didn’t appeal to me. I pushed the door open. Low music and the buzz of chatter and laughter greeted me. Even though all the tables had filled up, the atmosphere was definitely more relaxed than at night, but just as inviting.
How amazing would it be to work here. I forced my feet to slow down their bounce and walked to the bar, mustering up as much calmness as I could. The bartender was the gorgeous one I’d seen plenty of times before. Tattoos covered him, like, everywhere, yet they only enhanced how stunning he was. Add the high cheekbones, wide mouth, and dirty blond hair, and he was the total package of hotness. He looked me up and down, but not in an unkind way. “What can I get you?”
“I wanted to hand this in.” I placed the envelope with the form on the bar. “It’s for the job.” I grinned. Hopefully, it came across as friendly, not weird.
His eyes sparkled with humour. “I’ll make sure Jonas gets it.”
“Thank you. Have a great day.” I spun around and all but ran out the door.
Enter the Giveaway:
To celebrate the release of Haydn, Jess is giving away an e-set of the Bar 28 series so far!
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!
Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cc0f2a57544/?
About the Author:
You will normally find her in the living room—typing away—with her wayward puppy, Siddiqi. As a hopeless romantic, JJ dives into her stories, always falling in love with her men, making sure they get the happy-ever-after they deserve, even if they do have to work hard for it.
JJ lives in a small, very quiet, village in Lincolnshire, UK, with her husband and dog, and spends all day dreaming up stories full of really hot men
Connect with JJ:
Author page: https://www.facebook.com/authorJJHarper
Amazon author page: amazon.com/author/jjharper
Harper’s Honeys: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HarpersHoneys/