Belong to Me series
by Vawn Cassidy
Jesse Ainsley’s life running his busy veterinary practice in the sleepy Cornwall bay he grew up in leaves no time for a serious relationship… at least, that’s what he tells himself, but the simple truth is much more cliché. He’s been in love with his best friend forever, but when he starts pulling away and goes radio silent on him for six months, Jesse begins to wonder if their friendship is finally over.
Deacon James lives his life at two speeds, a hundred miles an hour and stop. He’s spent the last decade travelling the world, winning races, partying with the most beautiful men and women, and living life on his terms, a life which was pretty close to perfect… with just one caveat… he’s never quite been able to get over the boy he left behind. His best friend Jesse has always made him yearn for something he’s too afraid to face and cutting him out of his life seemed like the only answer.
But things are never that simple. When Deacon wakes from an accident in Italy with Jesse asleep in the hospital chair beside him, he discovers Jesse’s been keeping secrets of his own.
At a crossroads in their life, they’re faced with a choice, build something deeper and stronger from the ashes, or let words unsaid and secrets tear them apart forever.
From author Wendy Saunders writing as Vawn Cassidy comes this second chance, friends to lovers, hurt/comfort with a HEA.
I surface through the syrupy depths of consciousness, and this time it’s a little easier. My body still screams in agony, and I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. My head is pounding, and my throat feels like it’s filled with razor blades, but as I open my eyes, they don’t feel so heavy and it’s easier to focus.
I tilt my head slowly and glance at the chair wondering if I really had seen Jesse or if it had been some kind of feverish dream.
It wasn’t, unless I’m still hallucinating because he’s curled up in a comfortable looking leather chair next to me, idly leafing through a magazine. I’m sure he’s wearing a different colour shirt than before, and I take a moment to study him.
His short blonde hair is in need of a trim, sticking up slightly as if he’s run his fingers through it in agitation. There’s a light scruff along his jaw, which means he probably hasn’t shaved in a few days, and there are smudges under his eyes, like he’s barely slept.
“Jesse…” My voice is barely more than a croak, causing Jesse’s head to snap up in my direction.
“Deak.” He leans forward with a gasp of relief. “You’re awake. You opened your eyes for a few moments yesterday, but then you were out cold again.”
Yesterday? I stare at him in confusion. “Where…” I try to speak, but my voice sounds like a rusty nail, and my mouth is so dry I don’t even have any spit when I attempt to swallow.
“Here.” Jesse carefully lifts a small plastic cup and guides a straw to my lips. “Sip slowly. They had to put a tube down your throat to help you breath for a while, so you probably have a sore throat.”
I sip gratefully. The water is lukewarm and has a faintly clinical taste to it, but against my painful throat it feels like the best thing I’ve ever tasted. I release the straw, feeling a bead of water drip from my lower lip. I watch as Jesse reaches out unconsciously and runs his thumb along my lip. My heart kicks up a notch, and once again the stupid machine next to me starts beeping faster.
Realising what he’s done, he drops his hand and swallows, staring at the machine. “I’ll go get someone.” He frowns.
“Jesse,” I whisper hoarsely, lifting my hand clumsily to grasp his. “Where am I?”
“You’re in a hospital in Rome,” he replies quietly, his warm hazel eyes searching my face for any flicker of recognition, but so far, I’m drawing a blank.
“Rome?” I frown, and I have a vague recollection of a party. “What happened?”
“You were in a car accident.”
I close my eyes against the sudden flash of lights, the sound of grinding metal, glass shattering.
Jesse feels like he’s taking care of everyone and everything. He doesn’t mind, he loves them all, but he’s starting to struggle under the pressure he’s putting on himself. While he misses his best friend desperately, having him back may be more than he can take. Deacon is having a bit of a life crisis. He’s struggling with finding enjoyment and purpose in his current life, to the point that he’s cut off the most important person to him. An accident brings them back together, providing the opportunity to connect and maybe develop their relationship into something deeper.
Cassidy delivers a very emotional romance with moments of humor and a bit of heat but also filled with a lot of angst, brooding, and misunderstanding. Not everyone is into that kind but I think those that do will really enjoy themselves. The characters, both main and secondary, are enjoyable and the HEA ending is an enjoyable conclusion to a heartwarming (and occasionally heartbreaking) story. I’m super excited to see what is in store for the rest of them 🙂
Vawn Cassidy is the mild mannered MM obsessed alter ego/ pen name of contemporary fantasy & romantic suspense author Wendy Saunders. She’s a Brit and lives in the UK with her husband and kids.
To celebrate the release of Definitely Deacon, Vawn is giving away 2 e-sets of the Belong to Me Series so far (2 eBooks: Suddenly Beck & Definately Deacon)!
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