When a night out turns into a matchmaking scheme, they thought communication would be their biggest challenge to their happily ever after….
Signs of Desire
by Tempeste O’Riley
Desires Entwined, #4
M/M Erotic Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Release Date: November 30, 2014 (ebook/print)
Length: Novel / 200 pages
♥ ♥ ♥ Dreamspinner Press ♥ ♥ ♥
Add to: Goodreads
Simon Tyler knows his job as a gay romance author makes his lack of faith in love more than a little ironic, but he’s tired of being used for his wallet. When a night out turns into a matchmaking scheme orchestrated by his best friends—though he’s not the target—Simon’s not thrilled, but since he’s sworn off happily-ever-after anyway, he goes along with it… until he meets the object of their efforts, Adrian, and finds perhaps he hasn’t given up on love after all.
Professor Adrian Keys has tried to date hearing men before, but being deaf himself, he’s never had any success at making a connection. After his friends con him into going out and Adrian realizes it’s all an elaborate plan to set him up, he braces for yet another failure, only to discover there is a spark—except it’s not with the man his friends had in mind, but with Simon Tyler instead.
Not all their friends have found a way past their romantic failures, but Simon and Adrian might be on the path to happily-ever-after.
When his cell beeped, alerting him of a text, he pulled his thoughts back to the present and checked to see who was texting him. Chase. It was only then that he realized he’d been standing in the open doorway to his office for a half hour. Forcing himself to focus, Simon stuffed the last of his bagel into his mouth as he stepped over to his desk, setting his coffee mug—the huge one that kept the drink hot for hours (a gift from James that he loved)—down before he read the text and turned on his computer. He snorted at the words, glad he wasn’t drinking his hot coffee right then. Yeah, of course Chase wanted to know how last night had gone. Ugh!
»Adrian drove me home. He was very nice but quiet. That’s it. «
He set the cell down beside his laptop, shaking his head. Sometimes he wondered how he and not Chase was the romance author. The man was a hopeless romantic, though only his close friends knew that. Simon settled on the ball, then opened Microsoft Word, knowing he had to work through his latest round of edits. The story was angstier than his usual, the characters’ journey a little rougher than his normal style. He knew the tone had changed thanks to his own love life being dead. Still, he thought it a good story, if a little painful before the characters got their happily ever after. Even in his current mood, he couldn’t make himself write a romance with a sad or painful ending. He knew authors who wrote that way, many he even loved, but it just wasn’t in him to do that to his characters—they deserved love too, dammit, even if he didn’t seem to.
By the time he had the current manuscript open to where he’d left off, Chase had already texted him again, twice, demanding more details. Why Chase thought anything had happened between him and Adrian was beyond him. Simon used to love to dance and party as much as Chase, but just like Chase, he was a long-term kind of guy. Unlike Dale. Now he’d probably gotten some the night before—from Grayson if he got his way, or from some other cutie at the club—but that had never been Simon’s thing. Dancing with all the sexy boys, oh yes! Taking them to the back rooms or home, no.
»I have work to do. So do you, ya nosy brat! kisses«
»Be that way. HUFF«
»Love you too. Now be good! TTFN«
After hitting Send again, Simon set the phone to the side and dove into the world of his characters and the list of comments and edits scribbled across his digital pages.
Three more chapters in, Simon’s cell rang, pulling him out of his work and the world he’d created. He blinked hard, trying to get his eyes to focus on something other than the text on the page, as he scooped up his phone. He hit the Answer button before checking the display, but as soon as the voice of his caller came through, he groaned.
“Simon!” The yell did nothing for his headache, but he resigned himself to another painful chat.
“Don’t you ‘yes, Zoey’ me, Simon.” He loved his sister, really, but since he came out shortly after graduation, he’d rarely spoken to her—she’d sided with his parents, claiming he was only playing gay to hurt them. A concept that never had made any sense to him. “Mom and Dad’s anniversary is coming up soon, and I want you there. It’s in the ballroom at The Pfister. It’s time you stop all this nonsense and come back to your family! They need you.”
“You know full well I can’t go to their party, Zoey. I’m not welcome there.”
“You would be if you’d do the right thing and act like a normal person instead of continuing this gay nonsense.” Her tone dripped disgust, though that was normal for her as well as his parents, on the odd occasion they all spoke. The last time he’d spoken with his mother, she’d tried to set him up on a date with a girl and told him his father would help him get a nice, normal job with good people at the construction site he owned. God, he hated the word normal!
“I’m not acting gay, Sissy. I am gay. I like being who I am. And I do not need their approval to live my life. So thanks for the reminder, but I’ll have to pass on the party. I will send them a present, though, as I do every year.” Simon always sent his parents a gift card for Red Lobster—even though many of their friends thought Red Lobster too common, he knew how much his mother loved their food—flowers for his mom, and a gift certificate for the pro shop at his father’s country club. He wasn’t even certain they used the cards, such things probably being beneath them. He never received the same in return, but that never stopped him from trying.
The sigh she let out was as loud as it was annoying. “Fine! Don’t say we didn’t try to include you in the family.” With that said, she hung up.
Simon shook his head as he set the phone down again. Why do I bother answering her calls? He knew the answer but didn’t want to think about her, or them, any longer.
“I found it a beautiful tale of unhappiness changed to romance and then love with a happy ending.”
—Rainbow Book Reviews, on “Designs of Desire”
“Designs of Desire is a tough realistic book that is touched by violence countered by the growing love between the two heroes.”
—Sensual Reads, on “Designs of Desire”
“It’s a great book to fall into and enjoy some really good characters.”
—Love Bytes, on “Desires’ Guardian”
“This is my favorite in this series so far. I love seeing how these characters are growing, all of them. As individuals, as couples, as friends, and as a family.”
—MM Good Book Reviews, on “Desires’ Guardian”
“The writer did an excellent job with the characters, they are likable and perfect. Not perfect in the way that they have no flaws, but in a way that they grab you and complement each other.”
—Love Bytes Reviews, on “Temptations of Desire”
*shorts in series +shorts in anthologies
Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud pansexual genderfluid whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what they couldn’t—defy the hate and come out. He has been their hero ever since.
Tempe is a hopeless romantic who loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. Though new to writing M/M, they has done many things in their life, yet writing has always drawn them back—no matter what else life has thrown their way. They counts her friends, family, and Muse as their greatest blessings in life. They lives in Wisconsin with their children, reading, writing, and enjoying life.
Tempe is also a proud PAN member of Romance Writers of America®, WisRWA, and Rainbow Romance Writers. Tempe’s preferred pronouns are they/them/their/theirs/themselves. To learn more about Tempeste and their writing, visit http://tempesteoriley.com.