Long long ago, in a galaxy far far away my ex-fiancé revealed to me that he was bi-sexual and he had a boyfriend. I was seventeen and I was in shock. This was long before the time I was a romance writer, especially a male-male, ménage romance writer.
The way he told me could have been a scene in a book. He took me to a party which turned out to be a gay party where I was the only female. If that wasn’t strange enough to me (it took a few minutes to dawn on me what kind of party it was) my fiancé French kissed another man. Then he introduced me to him as his boyfriend.
Why I didn’t run out of the party screaming and crying I don’t know. I guess it’s good I kept my cool. The truth is I was in total denial. I couldn’t process what was going on.
Then the man tried to persuade me he wasn’t cheating on me by being with another man. That it would only be cheating if he was with another woman. He also succeeded in convincing me that all men were attracted to other men.
For years I believed that and had great difficulty believing men when they told me they were attracted to me, or (gulp) loved me. I was badly scarred. Perhaps I still have trouble believing that any man is only attracted to women.
Since then a lot of changes have happened to me. One of my best friends is gay, my oldest child is transgender female and is attracted to females not males, and now, believe it or not, I write male-male and even ménage romance.
And most recently, I used one of my book covers as my icon on one of my social media outlets. When I realized too many men were flocking to my profile and especially when they began making lewd proposals every time I went online, I knew for a fact that many men are attracted to women.
It’s been a long journey with a lot of bumps in the road but now I know that people are people. Each one of is a unique individual with different desires and needs. And so I write stories with a mixture of sexual orientations (mm, mf, mmf, mfm, mmm, transgender and maybe one day ff) because people are people.
In Business or Pleasure, the heroes are gay much to their families’ dismay. Luckily, they don’t let other people’s views about their sexual orientation bother them. They have other issues they’re struggling with.
Guy Rogers is extremely attracted to his new realtor, Tom Beaudreaux. As a passionate vegetarian and animal activist, he’s ecstatic that Tom is a kindred soul. He could never be with a carnivore. Unfortunately, Tommy isn’t really a vegetarian or animal activist. He never said he was either, he just didn’t eat meat when he was with Guy. And maybe he emptied his house of all meat and dairy products before inviting Guy over. In fact, Tommy’s family owns the most popular barbecue restaurant in town and if his family has their way, he’ll manage the new location.
When Guy finds out that Tommy eats meat and his family owns a restaurant that is a monument to eating meat, he’s livid and doesn’t know if he wants anything else to do with Tommy.
But then Guy’s life gets crazy –his dad’s paranoia blossoms into violent dementia, he gets arrested for picketing a doggy mill, and then he winds up in even more legal trouble. When Tommy sticks by him through all his trouble and does everything he can to help him, Guy wonders if he’s been too militant and narrow-minded. Perhaps he can learn to live with people who have opposite views.
Guy finished his meal, wadded up his napkin and dropped it on his plate. “Do you think it will take long to find more houses for me to look at?”
“I’ll make you—it—my priority. Just give me a couple days.” Damn! A Freudian slip.
Guy reached over as if to put his hand on Tommy’s, but stopped in midair. His eyes softened and hope flickered. “I’d like it if you made me, not my business, your priority.”
Tommy’s throat went dry and his heart flipped over. “Do you mean what I think you mean?”
Guy lowered his hand and took Tommy’s in his. “I think so. I like you—a lot. You’re handsome and charming and I feel a connection. I know it’s quick, but I’m a forthright, fast kind of guy. Besides, if you find me a house as rapidly as I want, you’ll be out of my life before I can do anything about it. Do I have a chance with you?”
Tommy wanted to jump up from his seat and shout, “Hell yeah!” But his inner angel was quarreling with his inner devil about work ethics. It wasn’t as if real estate agents had long-term contracts or dealings with their clients. They found a home, closed the deal then moved on to the next client. He supposed it wouldn’t be the end of his career if he got together with one client. Feeling as if his heart had leapt into his throat, he turned his hand over and squeezed Guy’s fingers. “Yeah. I like you a lot too.”
Guy looked like he was about to let out a whoop of victory then remembered where he was. Instead, he lowered his voice to a husky whisper. “I’d invite you to my place, but my dad would be a buzz kill. Do you have your own apartment?”
Tommy swallowed a gulp. “I do in Davie. If you don’t mind the long drive.”
“You’re a funny, funny man, Tom Boudreaux. I’ll follow you to the ends of the Earth.”
Tommy licked his suddenly dry lips and his cock twitched. In mach three, blood was rushing into it. “So I did hear that?”
“Yeah, babe, you did.”
He liked being called ‘babe’, especially by Guy. He threw several dollar bills on the table, which included a generous tip, then he stood, hoping the evidence of his arousal wasn’t noticeable. From the amused glint in Guy’s eyes, it had been noted.
Ashley Ladd lives in South Florida with her husband, five children, and beloved pets. She loves the water, animals (especially cats), and playing on the computer.
She’s been told she has a wicked sense of humor and often incorporates humor and adventure into her books. She also adores very spicy romance, which she weaves into her stories.
How you can contact Ashley: