When it comes to The Vers, the queer podcast I host with my best friends, I’m The Romantic. The one who’s looking for love in all the wrong places. If there’s a jerk close by, I’ll find him. I’m beginning to think my Mr. Right doesn’t exist.
It’s definitely not Elliott Delgado Weaver, the shameless flirt who keeps asking me out. We’re not supposed to run into each other in Vegas or get drunk together. We definitely aren’t supposed to wake up married…only, we do.
Before we can figure out what to do, Elliott’s family finds out. He doesn’t want to let them down by telling them it was a drunken mistake. My parents had the perfect marriage until my mom passed, and since I’d hate for my father to discover what I did, Elliott and I decide to pretend we’re in love and stay married for six months. Better to amicably divorce later than own up to our screw up, right?
All I’ve ever wanted is my happily ever after, and now I live with a serial hookup artist who never planned on settling down.
But then, why is Elliott so good to me? He takes me on dates, makes me laugh, and touches me like I’m someone to cherish. He’s shown me I’m a sucker for praise, and lucky for me, he loves giving it to me. Our marriage is playing tricks on my heart because suddenly I’m wishing my happy ending can be with the husband who doesn’t think love is for him.
The Romantic is a wake up married, opposites attract romance with tons of praise, an unforgettable massage, found family, and sweet moments on the pier.
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My head was fucking pounding. Was someone beating on my skull? It felt like someone was beating on my skull, which was pretty rude if you asked me. My whole body was dead weight, like I’d gained a hundred pounds overnight. I tried to move but couldn’t. Panic flared in my gut, making my eyes jerk open. Argh! I closed them quickly as the light flooding in from the window made them sting. I felt breath on my neck, and a moment later realized that the reason I couldn’t move was because of the leg and arm thrown over me.
Oh no. God fucking damn it! I’d slept with Elliott! After months of being good, going cold turkey on sex and dating, I’d caved and had what was clearly unmemorable sex with Datey McDaterson.
I groaned. Loudly.
“God. Make it stop,” Elliott said, his voice husky, sounding like he spoke through a mouth full of cotton. “You’re moaning so loud, it’s giving me a headache.”
“That’s the hangover, and if you weren’t attached to me like a suckerfish, then maybe it wouldn’t bother you so much.”
He peeked at me, only opening one eye. “Does that make you algae?”
“That makes me annoyed. I can’t believe I had sex with you.”
He rolled off me, and I sat up, but…oh…I was wearing clothes. Why would I have put on clothes after fucking?
One glance at Elliott showed he was dressed too. We were both wearing the same thing we’d had on last night, including shoes.
“We didn’t have sex.” He grabbed his head. “I’m dying. I can’t believe you made me drink that much.”
“I didn’t make you drink anything, and how do you know we didn’t have sex?”
“Because you’d be thanking me instead of being annoyed with me, and I definitely would have remembered making you come over and over again.”
I rolled my eyes, which actually hurt. “Because of course you think you’re the King of Orgasms.”
“It’s Your Majesty to you.”
I tried not to laugh. It was frustrating that he was funny. “I’d argue with you, but I have to pee.”
I stumbled out of the bed. Well, at least we were in my room. My feet tangled in each other, and I almost fell as I made my way to the bathroom. I didn’t have the energy to close the door. I swayed when I undid my pants and pulled my dick out, moaning in ecstasy as I began to relieve my bladder. “Is there anything as good as a piss after drinking your weight in alcohol?”
“Sounds like the other men you’ve been with definitely weren’t the King of Orgasms.”
It wasn’t until I was standing at the sink, washing my hands, that I noticed the band on my finger…the silver band on my wedding finger. “What the fuck?” I said, looking at it as I went back into the room. Elliott was still lying on his back, but his hand was in front of his face, and he was looking at… “What’s that?” My heart dropped to my feet, my breathing suddenly coming out in short pants.
“A ring I didn’t have last night.”
My gaze shot to my hand, taking it in. Elliott looked at me, wide-eyed and panicky as he realized I had a matching band.
“Oh God, Elliott. I’m gonna throw up.” I ran to the bathroom as he jolted out of bed.
“This can’t be what I think it is. It can’t be. They don’t really marry drunk people, do they?”
I’d already collapsed on the floor by the toilet, dry-heaving. “Busy puking over here!” When nothing came up, I tried pulling the offending piece of cheap material off my finger, but it was stuck, because of course it fucking was. “This is a joke. Please tell me this is a joke.” I leaned against the wall, still sitting on the bathroom floor. “They’re just rings. They don’t mean anything.”
“No, but this does.” Elliott stood in the doorway, holding up our paperwork.
“Holy shit, Elliott!” I shoved to my feet. “I was supposed to get married on the beach…a small ceremony, just close friends and family. It was supposed to be intimate and the man with me someone who’d swept me off my feet. He’d make me cry when he read the vows he wrote for me, and he’d do the same when I read the ones I wrote for him. My dad would be there, so fucking happy that I found a love like he and Mom had. Declan, Marcus, and Corbin would be by my side, and my husband totally wouldn’t care that tying himself to me was also tying himself to them.”
I paced the room, my vision blurring, little spots dancing in front of me. Dizziness swept me up, and I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t fucking breathe.
“Hey, it’s fine. We’ll figure it out. If this is legit, we can get it annulled.” Elliott wrapped his arms around me, and damned if I didn’t let him. “Plus, I didn’t make you come like crazy, so does that mean this isn’t real? Is that a thing?”
“Are you really consoling me while also bragging about how good you think you are in bed?” I said, amused despite the circumstances.
“How good I am. There’s no think about it.”
I ignored him.
But he was right. No one knew. We could get this taken care of, and then I could forget it ever happened, but…but it had. I’d wanted to only get married once in my life. I’d wanted it to be real, my fairy tale, but unlike Mom and Dad, we would get our happily ever after.
“You good?” Elliott asked, hand rubbing up and down my back, and strangely, I was. This felt nice. Elliott wasn’t half bad at consoling people. He hooked his finger beneath my chin and angled my head up. “You’re too pretty to look so worried. We’ll figure it out.”
My knees went weak. Stupid fucking legs. And why was my pulse going so fast?
He gave me a cocky grin like he could tell what I was thinking, and I jerked out of his hold. “You’re so annoying.”
“I have you figured out, Parker Hansley.”
I didn’t even want to know what that meant.
His phone rang. Elliott took long strides to the nightstand to grab it while I was still trying to catch my breath.
“It’s my dad.”
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About the Author
Riley Hart’s love of all things romance shines brightly in everything she writes. Her primary focus is Male/Male romance but under various pen names, her prose has touched practically every part of the spectrum of love and relationships. The common theme that ties them all together is stories told from the heart.
A hopeless romantic herself, Riley is a lover of character-driven plots, many with flawed and relatable characters. She strives to create stories that readers can not only fall in love with, but also see themselves in. Real characters and real love blended together equal the ultimate Riley Hart experience.
When Riley isn’t creating her next story, you can find her reading, traveling, or dreaming about reading or traveling, and spending time with her two perfectly snarky kids, and one swoon-inducing husband.
Riley Hart is represented by Jane Dystel at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret Literary Management. She’s a 2019 Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Of Sunlight and Stardust.
Connect with Riley
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