Ahhh, Valentine’s Day. A day that appears in the retail shops right after Christmas…no, really- it does. No sooner is the tinsel and Santas off the shelf when the red heart shaped boxes appear.
And just when we think we can get back on our diet and stick to our New Year’s resolutions, sugar of every varying form appears…candy. Yes, we give candy for Valentine’s Day, didn’t you know? Unless you have the cash for a dozen roses…or how about diamonds?
Retailers cashing in on love.
Well, as for me? I enjoy a good romance. And this year my V-Day release is I Love You I Hate You.
A title as confusing as February 14th is itself.
Two men? Three men? How about a couple who aren’t really a couple, and a man who really shouldn’t be attracted to a co-worker, and tie that all in a messy Valentine’s Day bow and you have a novel about men who can’t help who they fall in love with. Or can they?
I Love You I Hate You
Get lost in the moment, oh, and put down that chocolate. Don’t you know it goes right to your hips?
Thanks, Carson, for once again allowing authors a voice on your blog. Smooch!!
Parker Douglas started his new job at Judas’ Rainbow as a sex and style columnist for the LGBT magazine. After one week he was learning the office politics and gossip. It didn’t take long to figure out two of the men who worked beside him were having an on-again-off-again, fiery relationship.
Forty year old group advertising manager, Mason Bloomfield always had bad karma for being attracted to Mr Wrong. It seemed to Mason, no matter how hard he tried he was drawn to very young pretty men who treated him badly, and the hunk, Dack Torington, was no different. Mason was smitten by the twenty-six year old man’s looks and physique, but inevitable, Mason was let down, again and again.
When Valentine’s Day hits the couple hard, and thirty-five year old Parker witnesses some firsthand drama between the two men. Parker’s impulses are at first to stand clear of the mess- but his second thought was…complete empathy for Mason, who is clearly the loser in the scenario.
Can the end of one relationship signal the beginning of a new one? Or are love and hate truly tied together like a bow on a box of Valentine’s chocolates?
I Love You I Hate You!- Parker knew which emotion he preferred, and soon it became clear to Mason, Hate was not a virtue, nor did it have a place in a healthy relationship.
Buy I Love You/I hate You at Amazon
Buy I Love You/I hate You at Amazon
Sample Chapter, I Love You I Hate You
Mason used the espresso machine to make hazelnut coffee for himself. As he loaded a small packet into the machine he noticed Dack enter, closing the door behind him.
“Leave it open.” Mason knew Dack’s tactics. He’d been dealing with them for nearly six months.
“Baby, don’t be like that.” Dack drew close, close enough so Mason could feel his body heat on his back. “I’ll make it up to you.”
Mason didn’t know how any man could make up standing him up, and cheating, but somehow he allowed Dack to do just that, repeatedly.
The espresso machine stopped and steam rose from the cup. Mason removed it and knew it would be scalding hot. He set it on the counter and added flavored creamer.
When he spun around there was Dack-the-rat, looking hotter than hell, giving him his ‘forgive me, baby’ eyes.
“Where were you last night?” Mason used a wooden stir stick to mix his coffee.
“Just out with friends. You know. I only intended on spending an hour, but I had a few drinks…” Dack leaned in to kiss Mason’s neck, sending chills through Mason’s body.
How many times did Mason hear that same excuse? “And you couldn’t call? Couldn’t return a text message to tell me you weren’t coming?”
“Time got away from me.” Dack pushed his cock into Mason’s hip. “Yoseph was buying shots. Ya know. I was too drunk to—”
“Not here. Not at work.” Mason nudged him away, sick of the same sad story every time Dack didn’t show up.
Dack stepped back and held Mason’s belt loops, rocking him side to side while their crotches met. “Let me make it up to you.”
Why did Mason always forgive this man?
Dack glanced back at the closed door. “Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. I’ll book us a room for two at your favorite hotel.”
“What’s my favorite hotel?” Picking up the cup, Mason blew on the hot coffee. He didn’t have a favorite hotel but that didn’t stop Dack from pretending he did.
Dack appeared to think hard about it. “Whatever hotel you want. Name it. Dinner for two? Candlelight? Huh? What do ya say?”
What could Mason say? He wanted Dack. “Okay.”
Dack pecked Mason’s cheek and scooted off, as if he were through with his ‘forgive me, baby’ ritual and could get back to being his rotten self.
Parker tried not to appear obvious that he was being nosy. Dack exited the lounge first, smug and full of himself. Since only five minutes had passed since the two men were in the lounge together Parker assumed Dack hadn’t given Mason a make-up BJ. But whatever magic Dack had cast on Mason, the spell seemed to have worked.
Before Mason emerged from the employee lounge, Dack snatched one of the long stemmed red roses from Henry’s desk and rushed to sit at his own.
Mason exited the break room a moment later, holding a cup of coffee, looking smart in his designer business suit. In Parker’s estimation, Mason Bloomfield had to be in his late thirties, maybe early forties, was nearing six feet tall, maybe a skosh under, and was trim and well put together from his brown full head of hair to his bright hazel, yes, they were hazel, eyes, to his expensive Italian leather shoes.
Though Dack was the type of stud gay men drooled over, the candy on your arm type of lover, Parker went for men like Mason. Handsome, mature, bright, trim and not stinking of ego and heartbreak.
When Dack presented the rose to Mason as Mason walked passed, Parker stifled a sneer and roll of his eyes at the pathetic gesture.
Mason fell for it, appeared to melt, and sniffed the rose. He gave Dack a wicked smile and once again vanished into his office.
Dack grinned at Parker, as if Parker was in on the conspiracy to woo a man who had been, what? Cheated on? Parker didn’t know but Dack had managed to win back the affections of a good man, even though he was most likely a cad.
Parker gave Dack a tight smile and went back to typing his column.
‘…Wolves in sheep’s clothing. How to spot Mr Wrong!’
Mason carried the rose into his office, sniffing the fragrance. He was a sucker for romance and having a man like Dack woo him was pure flattery. Yeah, they’d had some ups and downs, but Mason had a forgiving heart. He gently rested the flower across the desk, sipped and set his coffee aside, and resumed his work on getting advertising for his magazine. He was lucky to have some clients who were regular contributors and was always sniffing out new blood.
Judas’ Rainbow was a gay and lesbian monthly magazine which alternated between men’s and women’s issues but normally addressed them both, which was unusual for one magazine to do. Most magazines catered to one sex or the other.
Mason thought Senior Editor, Sigourney Edina was a pioneer and though she was tough, outspoken and ‘loud’ when she was annoyed, he admired her. She began this magazine on her own, online, and it grew until they had a few million glossy issues in circulation across the world, in many different languages. It was then a share of her company had been purchased by a huge media conglomerate, keeping her and her staff intact, but no doubt, paying Sigourney a tidy sum.
Mason had worked with her for three years and had seen many employees come and go, men and women not up to Sigourney’s high standards of productivity, or personality clashes. Either way, if you lost respect from Sigourney, you were out of a job.
He began typing on his keyboard, going through his list of steady clients who shelled out for their big two-page ads first, then he’d hit up the smaller companies until he determined what space was left to fill. It was then he wheeled and dealed with the smaller, lower income clients who were grateful to get an ad in their gorgeous hot-selling magazine for under a grand.
His instant messenger pop-up box opened, one from the internal email group. It was from Dack. It read, ‘got us a suite at your favorite- the Wilner Hotel!’
Mason narrowed his eyes. That was not only not his favorite hotel, he had never heard of it. He looked it up on line and was immediately disappointed not only with the two star rating but the reviews. “You gotta be kidding. My condo is nicer than this place.”
Instead of reacting in annoyance, like he wanted to, Mason ignored the instant message, picked up the rose, and snapped it in half, tossing it into the garbage pail by his desk. He felt a sting and looked at his finger, which was bleeding from a thorn. He sucked it in his mouth and muttered through his finger, “Injured by a prick. How appropriate.” He shook his head in annoyance.
‘…men who perpetrate a cycle of torture,’ Parker typed, trying not to stare at Dack as Dack texted on his phone, rocked in his chair and did everything but appear to actually work.
‘…by begging forgiveness from their partner, even though they have done something quite unforgivable. Are we all insecure, or just love the underlying BDSM themes? Could we want to be treated like a doormat? Is that the new fetish?’
Parker stared into space thinking about what to write, and then noticed Dack put his phone down, and begin working on his computer again.
There were fifteen employees actually present in the LA office; except the big wig who owned other companies including the one who bought a share of this up and coming magazine, and freelance contributors and photographers, as well. But in reality, that brought the total of employees in this downtown LA office to only a whopping twenty.
Though the job did pay well, and if Parker was honest with himself, he liked the ideals of the magazine and everything about its content. But…inter-office love affairs? Gossip? He had a feeling this place was rife.
He kept writing, ‘…have we learned to love the cycle? Wash-rinse-repeat? Or is there hope that good men who finish last, at least have a decent orgasm?
‘…as a man in his thirties, has my generation and the ones that came before me, left single to fend for themselves, allowed the decomposition of their own self-respect. Do we lower our standards in ways that become sinister? Or are we still suckers for the pretty faces, and bods?
‘…if a man is not looking to hookup on a nightly basis and craves a real partner, how low can we go? Are we willing to sacrifice so much just for a warm body? Or do we draw the line and decide, better alone than a doormat?
‘…The Cycle of Torture…it may sound like some S&M contraption to titillate, but for those of us in our mid-thirties and older, are we really getting off on something (may God give me anything!), rather than nothing?’
Parker re-read the whole article and hoped it didn’t reek of cynicism nor become obvious he had detected a vicious love cycle in his midst.