After a Marine roughs him up at a gay bar, Ensign Aiden Lange has some cuts and bruises on his face that are sure to raise questions at work. At the urging of a sympathetic cop, he spends the next day hiking to Okinawa’s Hiji Falls where he’ll claim he hurt himself in a fall. But at the end of the trail, he’s in for a pleasant surprise—a gorgeous young guy in a pair of swimming trunks.
Connor didn’t come up to the falls to find a man, but when the ensign with the bandaged eyebrow finds him, he’s instantly intrigued. A hike turns into dinner, and before either of them know it, they’re inseparable. Connor’s experience with men is limited, but Aiden is gentle and—in spite of their mutual hunger for each other—infinitely patient.
It’s a small world, though, and an even smaller island, and when Connor’s father catches the two of them together, he’s more than just an overprotective dad—he’s one of Aiden’s high-ranking bosses. With a few phone calls, he can derail the Naval Academy grad’s carefully planned career trajectory. The ultimatum is simple—stay away from Connor, or kiss his dreams of advancement goodbye.
Aiden’s not so easily deterred, though, especially when it comes to someone like Connor, so the two continue seeing each other in secret. But there are only so many places to hide on a tiny island, and sooner or later, Aiden’s going to have to choose—Connor or his career.
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No one ever claimed it would be easy.
Running away from his messy divorce did not bring Ira Fragale the peace he sought. If he’s going to get his life together, he needs to pull up his big-boy pants and take care of business. He’s been hiding out in Skagit, licking his wounds, for two years now. Keeping his head down, except for the trail of twinks he’s left behind. Something’s gotta give.
Bartending at the Loft is easy, and Cameron McCulloch likes the friendships he’s developed since his family rejected him, but he wants more. To get that, Cam needs to knock Ira off the pedestal he’s placed him on. Ira’s older, but that doesn’t mean he has any clearer handle on life and the universe than Cam. Cam needs to focus on his own needs and forget about Ira, but he can’t.
Ira didn’t choose Skagit at random; decades-old events set him on the path he is on today. The mystery of his father’s murder may never be solved, but Ira would like to lay his spirit to rest.
None of this explains why Cameron is suddenly the target of a series of hate crimes. The small town of Skagit has its share of trouble, but someone has it in for the LGBTQ community, and Cameron is directly in their crosshairs.
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When Sam Carlisle was called away to the Navy SEALs, he left behind his family and the man he was falling for. Though he promised he’d come back, he never expected it to be like this: half-dead, bloodied, and terrified to say anything to the man he left behind.
Wes Adams loved his town, his job, his best friend—and his best friend’s brother. But Sam is gone and hasn’t tried to reach out to him since their fateful first kiss.
When Sam comes back from a dangerous mission, Wes embarks on his own: falling in love with a man who has already broken his heart.
Can these two make the most of their second chance together, or has too much come between them for love to bloom once more?
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