Series: A Campus Connections Story
Author: CJane Elliott
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 6/7/19
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Length: 93 pages
Genre: Romance, New Adult, contemporary, college, coming of age
When his friends bet cynical Jerry that he can’t turn sweet Arlo into a player, Jerry might win the bet but lose his heart.
College senior Jerry Helstrom survived a gay childhood in Texas by being fierce and fabulous. At school he’s known as a player and has kept his heart so guarded that he’s forgotten he has one. When his friends bet him he can’t teach inexperienced Arlo Barnes to become a stud like him, Jerry takes on the challenge and quickly finds himself drawn to his enticing trainee.
Arlo kicks butt as a Tae Kwon Do black belt, but his sexual game is lacking. He’s been dumped by his only boyfriend and needs help getting himself out there. Enter Jerry Helstrom, player extraordinaire and happy to provide Arlo with some hands-on coaching. Jerry encourages Arlo to ask for what he wants in sex and in life, something Arlo struggles with. The struggle deepens when Arlo discovers that what he truly wants is the seemingly unattainable Jerry Helstrom.
Jerry can teach Arlo to play the field, but can Arlo teach Jerry to play for keeps?
After Arlo left, Tyrone blew out an exasperated breath. “Why’d ya have to be so mean, boo?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Eric laughed. “Jerry’s mean to everyone at first. Right, Will?”
“I never noticed,” Will drawled.
“You wouldn’t.” Eric leaned in for a kiss. “But believe me, he had you down as a boring sports jock.”
“Hot, though,” Jerry murmured. “That won you points right away. And the fact that you were driving Eric crazy was entertaining.”
“For you.” Eric glared at Jerry.
Will put his hand over Eric’s. “Yeah. Eric was driving me crazy too. Blue balls city, man.”
“Oh my.” Jerry put his chin in his hands and widened his eyes. “I always wondered how y’all managed to beat off with the other one right there. Do tell.”
Tyrone held up his hand. “Guys, guys, can we have this conversation another time? Y’all need to help me talk Jerry into mentoring Arlo.”
“Mentoring him in what?” Eric raised laughing eyes to Jerry. “Although I can think of several areas.”
<em>I miss you</em>. It came out of nowhere. He and Eric had been thick as thieves all through college. Once they sorted out that they weren’t meant to be boyfriends, they’d remained best friends and shared countless late-night conversations in this very restaurant. Most of them this year had been about Eric’s seemingly hopeless crush on Will. But all of that had come to a halt now that Eric and Will were lovers. Not that Will would mind if Eric and Jerry continued their habit of hanging out in Alekos. At least Jerry didn’t think he would. But Will and Eric were currently wrapped up in their own romantic world.
Jerry shook his head and focused in on what Tyrone was saying.
“… and since Jake dumped him on his ass after cheating on him, Arlo’s been moping around. We were talking, and he was telling me that he needed some advice about getting out there. Jake was the only guy he’s ever dated, and he needs help in figuring out the hookup scene.”
“That guy? Wants to dive into Grindr?” Eric shook his head. “I can’t see it.”
“Well, that’s what he tells me,” said Tyrone. “And who better to teach him but our Jerry here? Gay stud extraordinaire.”
“You called me a stallion before. Make up your mind.”
Will smirked. “Given the look on your face, Jerry, I’d say the odds of you performing this service are nil to none.”
“Ah, but Jerry owes me, and I’m calling in the favor. Right, boo?”
“Owes you for what?” Eric asked.
“For hooking him up with Ted. Too bad they were together for, like, two seconds.”
Jerry huffed. “I never meant it to be a thing. Although our little affair did have its moments. But still, the answer is no. Think of something else for me to do.”
“Yeah, Tyrone. No fair assigning Jerry an impossible task.”
Jerry narrowed his eyes at Eric. “Impossible? I never said that.”
“Well, I’m saying it. That guy Arlo? You’ll never turn him into a player. He’s a one-man type. I can spot it a mile away.” Eric hugged Will. “This guy’s the same.”
“True.” Will gave Eric a slow smile. “I’m not complainin’.”
“You all are truly over the top. But you’re wrong, Eric. I’m sure I could transform Arlo into a player if I put my mind to it.”
Eric’s clear disbelief goaded Jerry into rashness. “Sure. What do you want to bet me?”
Tyrone clapped his hands. “I knew you’d do it.”
“Hmm.” Eric tapped his fingers on the table with a thoughtful air. “If you turn Arlo into a player, I’ll do your laundry for a week.”
“Please. You’d mix the fabrics, turn my whites pink, and shrink my favorite shirt.” Inspiration struck. “How about, if I win, you tear yourself away from Will there and commit to regular late-night Alekos runs with me? Plus one cage dance at Club Risque?”
“Okay. And if I win, you do my and Will’s laundry for a week, plus make us cool costumes for Pride.”
“Deal.” Jerry extended his hand, and Eric shook it. If Eric thought he could win this bet, he was seriously underestimating Jerry’s abilities.
Meet the Author
After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work, and her characters are travelers too, traveling into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.
CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming-out stories. In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her family supports her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intently at her laptop.
CJane is the author of the award-winning Serpentine Series, New Adult contemporary novels set at the University of Virginia. Serpentine Walls was a 2014 Rainbow Awards finalist, Aidan’s Journey was a 2015 EPIC Awards finalist, and Sex, Love, and Videogames won first place in the New Adult category in the 2016 Swirl Awards and first place in Contemporary Fiction in the 2017 EPIC eBook Awards. All the Way to Shore was Runner Up for Best Bisexual Novel in the 2017 Rainbow Awards.
Author Guest Post
Thank you to BFD Book Blog for having me on today to share about my latest release, The Player’s Protégé, the second story in the Campus Connections series. It features Jerry, the cynical best friend of Eric from The Kinsey Scale, and Arlo, a sweet, inexperienced guy for whom Jerry becomes a mentor.
This is blog post #9 in the tour. In blog posts #1-8 we’ve looked at the backstory for Jerry and Arlo and their barriers to love. After a rocky start as coach/coachee they warm up and start to appreciate one another. Their desire for each other goes through the roof when Jerry decides to give Arlo some hands-on sex training and Arlo proceeds to give Jerry the best fuck of his life. And does it again a few days later.
Let’s look at what happens after that. Jerry is so shaken by the experience of having sex with Arlo he calls his sister for advice. But he isn’t ready to hear what she has to tell him.
“What?” His older sister never bothered with niceties. Jerry found it soothing.
“Hold on.” Denise called out to someone, “Brandon, no calls until I say so. Thanks.” She came back on the line. “How are you fucked? In a good way or a bad way? Although I’m assuming it’s bad if you’re calling me.”
“I actually have recently been fucked in such a good way that now I’m royally fucked in the worst possible way. You need to stop me before I do something very stupid.”
“Why? So you got yourself a hot lover? I fail to see the problem, Jerome. And get to the point. If you were a client, I’d be charging you big bucks for my time.”
Along with being the only one Jerry trusted to help him get his head out of his ass, Denise was also the only one who got to call him by his given name.
“I will do my best to summarize. The problem’s name is Arlo Barnes. He’s a farm boy and a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I’ve been hired by Tyrone to be Arlo’s sexual consultant, because he wants to get out there after being dumped by his one and only boyfriend.”
“So? Piece of cake. Why wasn’t this a fifteen minute consultation? And what does fucking have to do with it, unless you crossed about fifty million boundaries and fucked your client?”
“Er, well…. Actually, he fucked me. Twice.” Jerry could hear Denise’s umbrage in the silence and hastened to explain. “See, one of his problems is he’s never topped because his boyfriend wouldn’t bottom, and he felt awkward about it. So I volunteered to give him some, uh, hands-on coaching.”
“That was stupid and blurred the lines. It would have been totally unethical if you were, like, his therapist or a professional life coach or something. But I’m taking it he’s not paying you for your expertise?”
“Well then, if it was agreed on between you, and he got the experience he was looking for, what’s the problem?”
Jerry squirmed and stared at a bolt of fabric. “I’m being ridiculous, is the problem. You’re right that showing Arlo how to get out there really required nothing more than a fifteen-minute consultation and setting him up on Grindr. Instead I’ve spent several days with the guy, counseling him, taking him shopping, and now this. I let him top me, not once but two times, and I’m… like, I can’t believe this guy is for real. Denise, it was so good. Right up there with the best sex Eric and I ever had.”
“Oh, I see.”
“You see what?” Jerry noticed he was clutching the fabric. He released it slowly and checked the time.
“Your bringing Eric into this is quite interesting.”
“You need to step back and look at yourself, Jerome. Normally, this whole thing wouldn’t faze you. You’d take the opportunity to be the greedy bottom you are and run with it, then set up this farm boy on Grindr and go your merry way. That you equated the sex with you and Eric tells me there’s something about this guy that’s got you hooked. Eric was the only one who ever managed to snag your heart, and you couldn’t handle that. What says you can handle this Arlo doing something similar?”
Jerry stiffened as anger raised the hair on his arms. “Wait a minute. Slow down. I’m not about to lose my heart. That’s ridiculous. I shouldn’t have done that with Arlo, because it was, as you said, unprofessional and crossing boundaries. That’s all.”
Well, we all know that this is not the end of the story, even if Jerry thinks it is. You can find all the blog posts at my website: http://cjaneelliott.com/the-players-protege-release-and-blog-tour/. Follow along for more chances to win.
6/7 ~ Moonbeams Over Atlanta
6/8 ~ Gay Book Reviews
6/10 ~ Love Bytes
6/11 ~ MM Goodbook Reviews
6/12 ~ Bayou Book Junkie
6/14 ~ My Fiction Nook
6/15 ~ BFD Book Blog
6/16 ~ Drops of Ink