Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway:
Meet Me in the Blue
By A.M. Johnson
Hemlock Harbor, Book 1
Meet me… in the place where the sun kisses the horizon and sinks into blue shades of you and me.
Meet me there… where everything was always perfect. You and me and the damp grass at dawn and the gray dirt in the late evening rain.
Meet me where we were ourselves and not these two people who can’t even say I love you.
Meet me there and maybe we’ll remember…
We’ll remember the us we were before them, before miles, before lost hours, and you’ll ask what color the sky is, and I’ll say blue like your eyes.
And you’ll smile, and I’ll forget I ever missed you.
Luka and Rook have been best friends since they were nine years old.
Five years ago, Luka threw it all away.
When his dad’s health takes a turn for the worst, Luka must come home to say his goodbyes and mend the bridges he burned all those years ago. But coming home is harder than he imagined, and after reuniting with his family, there’s only one person he needs.
His best friend.
The one man he pushed away, the one man, no matter how hard he tried to forget, he can’t stop himself from loving.
Even if loving him means breaking his heart all over again.
Meet Me in the Blue is a stand alone, best friends to lovers, second chance, demi-awakening, MM romance, with a whole lot of small town heart, meddling moms, gossiping townies, self-discovery, a friendship forged of forts, Dungeons and Dragons, and a love that will stand the test of time.
“Hey, Stace.” Avoiding her expectant smile, I kept my head down as I grabbed a pint of Rocky Road from the freezer.
I preferred Moose Tracks, but Rett refused to carry it. If he didn’t love my father so much, I’d think it was personal.
“I tried to get him to order it, but you know him…” Stacey cringed and narrowed her brown eyes. “He’s a stubborn asshole. Rett said…” She lowered her voice to something akin to the man himself and my lips twitched at her attempt to mimic the old bastard. “Rocky Road is a staple.”
“I suppose he’s right. Can’t argue with traditions.”
“Isn’t the customer always right?” she asked, and I set the pint on the counter.
Chuckling, I shook my head. “I don’t think Rett gives a shit.”
Stacey bit the corner of her pink-stained lip and looked over my shoulder, grinning like she had some sort of secret. Picking up the ice cream, she shoved it into a brown paper bag. “Well, I give a shit.” Her flirty smile and bold eye contact made me wish I’d skipped coming to the pharmacy in the first place. I stared at the bag on the counter instead, feeling my pulse in my fingertips as the seconds ticked by uncomfortable and loud between us. “It’s on the house,” she said, her confidence fading. “My treat.”
“Stop being so nice all the time, Rook. Let a girl buy you a pint of ice cream.” I could hear the smile in her voice but kept my eyes down. “I insist.”
“Thanks,” I said, conceding even though I knew better.
I glanced up and found her big eyes, hopeful, staring back at me. My face heated as her triumphant grin stretched across her face.
“Anytime…” She fiddled with the small stack of flyers next to the register.
My chest ached a little, wishing I could summon some sort of attraction for her. She was sweet and conventionally attractive with a lean, athletic build. She used to be a cheerleader way back when in high school, and I remembered all the guys on my hockey team would talk about her, mostly crude locker room shit. But Stacey was just Stacey to me. Rett’s niece. Rett, who’d owned this damn pharmacy longer than I’d been alive. She could hit on me every time I walked through those front doors, which she did without regard for her own feelings, and it wouldn’t change the fact I wasn’t into her. Or anyone, really. This town was too small and too nosy, at least that’s what I’d tell myself when I got home and made dinner for one and ate this ice cream like a sad cat lady. I wasn’t sad though, and it was hard for people to understand. Especially my family. “You’re thirty-two, son. The older you get the slimmer the pickings.” And “I worry about you, worry you’re lonely in that big house of yours?” And “Stacey… she’s a sweet one.” And my personal favorite. “Son, your mother and I… we want you to know you can tell us anything. We want you to know we love you unconditionally, straight… or gay, we love you and want you to do whatever makes you happy.”
I wished it was as easy as gay or straight. What if being alone was my happily ever after? Would that be so bad?
“I heard Luka’s coming back to town,” she said, and my heart skipped at the mention of his name, pulling me from my thoughts.
“Yeah?” I swallowed past the twinge in my throat. “I saw Nora at the clinic last week, said he was coming home soon.”
“Too bad about their dad. He was a good man.”
“Is…” I corrected. “He is a good man.”
He was still alive, still breathing.
She bit the side of her cheek, her face pale. “I didn’t mean… I shouldn’t have said—”
“It’s okay, Stace.” I tried to conjure a smile on her behalf but failed. “Dr. Abrams’s prognosis isn’t a secret.”
I’d known Isaac Abrams for most of my life. He’d joined my dad’s practice when I was nine years old and was like a second father to me. I’d grown up with his family, his daughter Nora like a sister, and his son Luka used to be my best friend.
Used to be.
Luka’s smile beamed bright behind my eyes, his laugh a distant echo in my ears. It had been five years since I’d seen Luka Abrams. Five years of feeling lost without a compass.
“Is it true?” she asked.
“I’m sorry, what were you saying?”
“Dr. Abrams… he’s on hospice now?”
“Yes.” I didn’t elaborate. A man’s life, or end of life, should be his own. Not a juicy piece of small-town gossip.
“Fuck cancer,” she said, the frown on her face genuine.
“I should get going.” I held up my bag with the ice cream inside before turning to leave. “Thanks, Stace.”
“When you see Luka, tell him to stop by. It’s been ages since he’s graced us with his presence, and I’ll never forgive him if he doesn’t at least come say hello.”
Ms. Johnson is an auto read for me, so this was a no brainer. My brain exploded a little bit when it dawned on me that Nora (Luka’s sister) is from Not So Sincerely Yours…and Andreas and Ethan are briefly mentioned.
This book is heavy and sweet and a couple of my favorite tropes (second chance romance and friends-to-lovers) all wrapped up in a bow. I love that Luka and Rook are rediscovering each other and finding that they’re the same as always where it counts – in their love for each other.
As Rook has his sexual awakening, he reminisces about when they were children through a new lens and discovers what he was looking for was right in front of him the whole time, he just didn’t see it. Luka tried to go live his life away from home and Rook and basically hated it. It was that separation that woke them both up to what they wanted – each other.
Small towns are always a favorite of mine and Luka finds he loves it too…much to his surprise. There are a bunch of great characters that I can’t wait to learn more about in future books.
Enter the Giveaway:
To celebrate this exciting new release, Amanda is giving away the winner’s choice of the Illustrated or Amazon Paperback copy of Meet Me In The Blue!
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!
About the Author:
Amanda is an award winning and best selling author of LGBTQIA and contemporary romance and fiction. She lives in Utah with her family where she moonlights as a nurse on the weekends and hikes in the mountains as much as possible.
If she’s not busy with her three munchkins, you’ll find her buried in a book or behind the keyboard where she explores the human experience through the written word, exploring all spectrums and genres.
She’s obsessed with all things Hockey, Austen, and Oreos, and loves to connect with readers!