Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway:
Room For Dessert
By Dann Hazel
Some Like It Haute, Book 1
In this “tasteful” HEA gay romance, not all of the action occurs in the best restaurants!
For almost ten years, Sebastian and Matt lived happily together as romantic partners.
Then, Bobby enters the picture and Matt’s infidelity tears Sebastian’s world apart. For a long time, Sebastian has no appetite for a second course of romance.
That is, until Aladdin casts his unexpected spell during drinks at a tapas and cocktails bar.
Sebastian hadn’t bargained for how sweet a second round of love could be!
Then, something happens. A tragedy which sends Matt back into Sebastian’s life, begging for a second chance.
Hungry for love, Sebastian faces an impossible choice. Should he pick Matt, the man who betrayed him?
Or Aladdin, the troubled man whose family roils in a scathing public scandal?
Tropes: Second Chance Romance, Coming Out, Foodies and Chefs
Trigger Warning: One chapter in this novel focuses on a parent’s suicide.
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The handsome, erudite Sebastian Crudite was passionate about his work as an ad designer for the Orlando office of the Lakeview Public Relations and Marketing Group. But today had been an unusually taxing one. First of all, he’d been assigned an uncharacteristically heavy workload due to a higher-than-usual attrition rate. Additionally, each and every one of his clients had concerns, issues or questions about their campaign that had to be handled now.
So, when his best friend, Andrew Salisbury, asked Sebastian to meet him for dinner at the Twirling Fork Authentic Italian Trattoria, he jumped at the chance.
Now that his workday had taken a sharp turn south? He wondered whether it would have been a better idea to take a raincheck. Because Andrew sounded down in the dumps—which probably meant that he needed Sebastian to be a sounding board. His armchair shrink. After work, he wasn’t sure he would be down with the role of either.
As Sebastian drove to Celebration, the once-controversial Disney-inspired community where the restaurant was located, he felt remorseful for entertaining second thoughts about dinner. Being a professor at a prestigious university—Andrew’s profession—was no cakewalk, either. And yet, when Sebastian broke up with the impulsive, nonconventional Matt after a committed relationship lasting ten years, Andrew always showed up for him. He was always ready to help with Sebastian’s problems. During the two hours separating his last two classes of the day, Andrew dried Sebastian’s tears and soothed his broken heart. Andrew said all the right things. Listened without judgment, even though Sebastian was sure his best friend graciously concealed many observations about Matt, whom he never particularly cared for anyway.
“He’s cocky,” Andrew once said, after Sebastian first introduced them. “A know-it-all. I bristle in the presence of people like that. Are you sure he’s the man you want?”
Then, when Matt moved in with Sebastian, Andrew tried his best to be amiable. He wasn’t always successful, but Sebastian appreciated the effort.
All the while, self-absorbed Matt remained blindly oblivious to Andrew’s disdain for him. That’s how naïve and out-of-touch he was. Or perhaps it was evidence of Andrew’s acting chops.
Sebastian admired Andrew’s best qualities, one of which was his ability to read people accurately. His insights into personality and character were uncanny, even after chatting with new acquaintances for only a few minutes. Andrew, polished and intellectually inquisitive, had a wonderful sense of humor (though occasionally, he came across as a bit haughty, which Sebastian knew to be a defense mechanism), and was a dedicated friend. There were times when Sebastian wished they could be a couple. Their values matched. They enjoyed similar music, movies and books. But despite their similarities, Andrew just didn’t have the physical attributes that turned Sebastian on. It wasn’t that Andrew was unattractive. He wasn’t. But his good looks trended toward a studious, bookworm-ish kind of handsome. Which made sense, since he was a Humanities professor at the University of Central Florida, known locally as UCF. Andrew wore stylish clothes, kept himself well-groomed and well-coiffed—a contrast to his impoverished childhood with blue collar parents who worked much too hard and spent too little time with their son. Thin with well-defined muscles, he worked out daily at the university gym. He sported a friendly face, wore glasses with wildly colored frames, and at least once a week, showed up to his classes wearing a gaudy bowtie—just to keep my students amused.
He relished the image of the quintessential quirky college professor.
There must be many men who found his type attractive. Based on the number of women who came on to him, surely that must be true. Though he was hardly a slut, he never had a problem finding a date (though, in truth, Andrew enjoyed playing the game of “hard to get” more than the actual conquest).
Sebastian took the busy exit from the Interstate toward Celebration’s Town Center. Maybe his evening was looking up, as he quickly found a parking space in a high-demand area.
My lucky day! Unsuccessfully, Sebastian resisted the smug, self-satisfied smile stretching across his face as he pulled into the one remaining space before the Tesla could.
He entered Twirling Fork just as his stomach growled on cue. Like many Italian restaurants, the place was noisy, exuberant. After a short wait for the busy hostess, he informed her that he was meeting a friend. He’d barely finished his sentence when he spotted Andrew, waving vigorously to get his attention.
“Never mind,” he told the hostess. “I see my friend now.”
Sebastian and Andrew greeted one another with an embrace.
Enter the Giveaway:
To celebrate the release of Room for Dessert, Dann is giving away a signed paperback copy of the release (US and Canada Only) & an e-copy for an International Winner.
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!
Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cc0f2a57637/?
About the Author
Dann Hazel has been writing both fiction and nonfiction for more than twenty years. Besides writing, he has taught English on the high school level and psychology on the college level. He has also directed grants and worked as a therapist in a psychiatric hospital. His fiction genre interests include thrillers, horror and gay romance.
Personal interests include reading and writing, cinema, running, Broadway, keeping up with current events and travel.
Dann lives in Central Florida with his husband, Josh, and their American Eskimo dog, Flurry.
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