THE PET STYLIST AND THE PLAYBOY
The Hedonist Book 2
RELEASE DATE: 07.07.18
Cover Design: Reese Dante
Swish has been in love with Dante since the day the tough biker found him homeless and miserable in a gas station restroom, but Dante's never shown the younger man anything more than brotherly affection. Deciding it's time to move out of the MC's clubhouse and away from Dante, Swish takes a live-in job working in a privately-owned animal shelter where he can continue his pet stylist business. What he doesn't realize is he's not going to be as far away from the object of his affection as he thinks.
Dante's time of being a playboy biker is fast coming to a close. At summer's end he turns 30, and that means fulfilling his promise to his parents and returning to high society in the Hamptons. That dim prospect should be all Dante can think about, only Swish is moving out, and suddenly Dante can't do anything but obsess over the kid he's always thought of as a younger brother. Telling himself he's only making sure Swish is doing okay on his own, Dante takes a summer job landscaping at the animal shelter where Swish has taken a job. There he learns a few things about the young man he's never bothered to find out before, including that Swish's real name is Isaac, and he enjoys wearing a certain something under his jeans--something that Dante's surprised to find he would really like to remove--preferably with his teeth.
When Dante gives in to his need for Isaac, the playboy biker quickly finds that disentangling himself from the man he once thought of as a kid brother proves harder than expected, and that perhaps after years of one-night-stands and partying, his priorities need to change. Only not in the way his wealthy and controlling parents want them to.
Realizing Swish was getting a boner, I’d met his deep, dark gaze.
“See something you like?” he’d asked me in that flirtatious manner that he f*cking never directed at me. My balls had tightened, and time had stilled for who knows how long. I didn’t even comprehend what he’d called to me over his shoulder before disappearing into the house. Even then, I’d just stood there until reality had slowly started seeping in, and I’d realized I was staring at the house like an idiot.
I swung around and got to work, hammering like a fiend, but my mind kept going back to Swish in his swim briefs, and I missed the nail and hit my thumb with the hammer instead.
“Mother f*cker!” Goddamn, that hurt!
Deirdre stuck her head out the door.
“You okay?” she asked.
I wanted to rail at her that no, I wasn’t f*cking okay, but she was only trying to help, and it wasn’t her fault I had been daydreaming instead of watching what I was doing. Stuffing my thumb into my mouth, I nodded and gave her a rueful smile.
I hadn’t been back at it ten minutes when Swish sashayed out the front door wearing a pair of jeans and a tight T-shirt with a unicorn on it. He’d braided his long, thick hair over his shoulder, and I suddenly wanted to grab it like a rope and pull him close. I watched out of the corner of my eye as he bent to pick up a piece of wood. His shirt rode up, exposing smooth skin and a thin piece of lace just above the low waist of his jeans. This time, I caught myself before I pounded my thumb. Fumbling the hammer, I dropped it on the ground, just missing my foot.
My brain faltered, thoughts slamming into one another before backing up and restarting the flow.
Holy sh*t, was Swish wearing a lace thong?
Swish turned around and caught me staring. But, hell, I couldn’t look away. I was sure I’d never seen him with anything like that on his body before. Or had I ever really paid attention? Had I spent so much time trying to compartmentalize Swish, like Zeke had said, while I f*cked away thoughts of a dismal future? No. There was no way I wouldn’t have noticed the single most sexy thing I’d ever seen in my life.
“What’s the matter?” Swish’s voice cut into my self-assessment.
I licked my lips, trying to get a grip on myself. I could lie, turn around and resume working, and bang my thumb all over again; or I could address the issue.
Swish had always been one to speak his mind, maybe I’d take a page out of his book and go for it. Besides, my hand couldn’t take much more abuse.
“Are you—” Frustrated at how shaking my voice sounded, I cleared my throat and blurted, “What the f*ck are you wearing?”
Swish’s face shuttered, and I immediately wished I hadn’t said anything. But there was no going back now, and I couldn’t leave him with the impression I was judging him.
“I mean, uh, are those...are you wearing...” I could feel blood rushing to my face as I tried and failed to make it seem like a casual question.
“A lace thong? Yes.” Swish turned his back to me again and got to work.
I was having trouble breathing because I could see it—that thin strip of lace crossing Swish’s lower back.
I swallowed hard before attempting to speak again. “I didn’t know you liked that kind of thing.”
Swish turned on me so fast, I almost toppled over the stack of wood behind me.
“That kind of thing? You mean wearing women’s underwear? Why, yes, Dante, I do enjoy that kind of thing. I always have. Do you have a problem with that?”
An angry Swish was almost as captivating as a Swish wearing ladies’ underwear. His cheeks got red, his dark eyes sparked fire, and that quirky mouth rearranged itself into a hot sneer. He didn’t get worked up that often, but when he did, the sight never failed to raise my heart rate.
“No, of course not. I’d just never known...that about you.”
“And why would you know that? You’ve never shown an interest in my underwear before.”
I straightened and carefully stepped aside to avoid the planks of wood. “I’m not showing an interest—I was just surprised, that’s all.” I ran my hand over my hair. “Hell, lately it feels like I never knew you at all.”
Swish frowned. “You’ve never tried to get to know me.”
“We’ve talked a lot,” I objected.
“Not about anything important,” Swish mumbled, looking away. “Not until recently, when you asked about my past.”
I stood transfixed, thinking about it. We’d joked around and watched movies, but had we really never touched on anything personal? Ever, in the entire two years? I didn’t want to admit to myself I’d been so dismissive of him, or that he might have been reluctant to ask me about myself. He seemed to know just about everything about the other guys. And come to think of it, I really didn’t know a hell of a lot about them either.
“Maybe I’ve been a little self-involved,” I said. I could tell I’d surprised him. I turned away and picked up the hammer I had dropped, very aware of Swish’s eyes on me. My phone buzzed in my pocket, and for the first time ever, I was relieved to see my father’s name on the screen.
This was a bit of friends-to-lovers with a touch of opposites attract, and a side of motorcycle club thrown in for good measure (don’t worry—it’s not the seedy type of MC stuff) . Though it’s the second in a series, it can be read as a standalone without impacting your enjoyment of the story.
Swish—a.k.a. Isaac—was a wonderful character. Difficult childhood, rocky start to adulthood…until Dante comes across him at Swish’s lowest point. Swish is a sweet guy who despite his troubled past has a relatively positive outlook now thanks to Dante’s intervention and the support of the motorcycle club. There is the problematic, unrequited crush he has on Dante (though it’s really more than that), but Swish knows the score and puts up a good front until he can try to get past it.
Dante. Okay, so for a very large portion of this story I was deeply disappointed in him. I really wanted to like him since I knew how Swish felt about him; but Dante made that almost impossible. I have very little patience for characters who allow their parents to dictate their lives, and Dante showed absolutely no backbone, continually caving to his parents wishes.
As for the supporting characters, I really enjoyed all of the club guys, and both Blaze and Ax have my interest piqued for their own stories. And while I was prepared to despise Felicity because of who she was to Dante and her entire attitude toward their relationship, in the end she surprised me (in a good way).
Though at times the story did drag a little, overall it was pretty entertaining even if I wanted to constantly strangle Dante. This story gets 3.5 stars from me, and I’d recommend it to M/M romance fans 18+ for adult language and explicit sexual content (oh yes…that’s something Swish and Dante get very, very right).
I've always loved to write and have written since I was a child, usually to entertain my family. I enjoy writing m/m romance because there's nothing hotter than two men in a loving relationship. I write contemporary romance but am not limited to that. I enjoy writing alpha/omega and vampire stories, and I wouldn't rule other things out. I'm very prolific, so look for a lot of things to come!