Monday, June 28, 2010

Hot Flash-- Cardamon and Clove by Willa Okati

Cardamom and Clove by Willa  Okati
Read an excerpt

Cardamom and Clove

by Willa Okati
cover art by Bryan Keller
ISBN: 978-1-60521-460-3
Genre(s): Guilty Pleasures (Contemporary)
Theme(s): Gay and Lesbian
Length: Hot Flash


Roguish, rough and ready, Russ is a rake who refuses to be tamed. But even for a master like him, there comes a time when loving 'em and leaving 'em loses a lot of its charm.
Now, this wild child is looking for someone with a little more staying power, and a cutie with a pinch of cardamom and clove in his cappuccino is about to change Russ's life for keeps.
Publisher's note: A previous version of this title was published under the title "Sugar Man". It has been reworked and rewritten for this release.

Cardamom and Clove
Willa Okati
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2010 Willa Okati

This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.

Calen. Russ saw him first in a gay-friendly cafĂ© in the middle of downtown, where times were always good and the men were -- often -- pretty. Russ had taken up a casual seat by the window where he could see the beauties and cuties stream in and out while he sipped at his coffee. Perfectly positioned to see Calen walk into his life, though he didn’t know it yet.
The man, a stranger to Russ, stood calmly in the middle of a milling crowd around the bar and refilled his mug at the speed he damn well pleased. Rather than jostle and jeer at him, the crowd parted, seemingly without realizing they did so. Quiet, strong, with no need to make a show about it, yet so commanding a presence that Russ couldn’t look away. He even put down his mug to watch, and that was serious business.
He had a reason: wanting to see how the man took his coffee.
During the course of his many, dear God was it many, too many hookups, Russ had decided one could tell a lot about a man by the coffee he preferred. Of course, he knew that to be just his point of view and, ergo, bullshit to the rest of the world, but as a philosophy it worked for him. On top of that, as a shaving of chocolate would garnish whipped cream, his system almost never steered him wrong.
Black coffee men: straight-up and straightforward. No time for creamer or sugar or crap like that. In bed, they wanted it hot and hard and fast. Nice, when Russ was in the mood for it, but not tonight. He’d passed by one spoken and one unspoken offer so far. He wanted something a little slower.
Coffee with cream: non-fat, half-and-half, creamer, whatever. Smooth, but dark and sometimes bitter too. Around here, they favored Lennon sunglasses and affecting the demeanor of a man as cool as cool could be. Whatever you want, man, that’s fine, but don’t expect me to call you in the morning.
Not tonight. Russ wanted something a little sweeter.
Sweetened coffee: sugar men, now they were sweet. Cuddlers, handholders, enthusiastic and yielding and no challenge at all -- for Russ, at least in his present mood.
Russ twitched his shoulders, irritable, telling himself he was far too picky for a man who’d circled the block often enough to wear grooves into the pavement. He’d enjoyed those travels, too, but now... with every year, it seemed to grow harder to trudge that familiar walk, the men less tempting and the mornings-after all the emptier.
Black coffee, coffee with cream, coffee with sugar... he’d been there and done that, and now that he thought he’d like something a little longer-lasting than a latte, well, when it came to this joint and his method he might just be out of luck.
And then there was this man, who stood with the calm confidence that mountains would move before he did when he had his mind set on something. He wore a bookstore employee nametag that Russ craned his neck to read. Calen. A good name, with a sort of spice to it that enticed the senses.
Call him crazy, but Russ was invested -- really invested -- in seeing how this man took his coffee.

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