Hi guys! We have debut author Robert Winter popping in today with his upcoming debut novel September, we have a quick intro from Robert and a fantastic exclusive excerpt, so check out the post and enjoy! ❤ ~Pixie~
David James is smart, successful, handsome… and alone. After the death of his lover, Kyle, from cancer, he buried himself in his law practice and the gym. At forty-eight, he is haunted by his memories and walled off from the world. When David injures himself working out, he’s assigned to Brandon Smith for physical therapy. The vibrant young therapist is attracted to David and realizes he needs a hand to get back into dating. What begins as a practice coffee date escalates to friendship, passion, and maybe something more, as they navigate a new relationship in Washington, DC, and the gay mecca of Provincetown.
But David remains trapped behind the barrier of fear and guilt. Will he remain loyal to Kyle’s memory if he moves on? Can he and Brandon manage a twenty-two-year age gap? Brandon thinks he understands David’s concerns, and for him, the answer to those questions is yes. He wants to be with David, and he believes he can overcome David’s barriers. But Brandon fails to account for the world’s reaction to a handsome young man attached to an older, wealthy lover. David’s memories, Brandon’s pride, and an unexpected tragedy might cost them something very special.
In September, David struggled with the loss of the man with whom he thought he would spend his life, and with his own age. The excerpt I have chosen for you contains two scenes that take place shortly after David has injured himself while working out, and has met Brandon for the first time to start physical therapy. By showing David with two of his close friends, I hope you will get a glimpse of the conflicts David feels about where he is in his life, and the challenges he and Brandon will face.
At lunch that day, David walked to a sporting goods store a few blocks away from his office and bought some small dumbbells for the exercises he’d been assigned. Back at his desk, with the office door closed, he studied the list Brandon wrote out for him and began some of the stretches and moves. The handwriting was neat and even, the instructions straightforward and clear. For some reason it made David smile.
He met Chris McCracken the next evening at Annie’s Paramount Steak House, a favorite neighborhood restaurant with good steaks and large cocktails. Going through the experience of Kyle’s illness and death made them close friends, and they still managed dinner or lunch together at least once a month. As David entered the restaurant, he couldn’t help but remember Chris showing him how to give injections to Kyle and how to clean the feeding tube. He remembered Chris telling him when it was time for hospice, and then crying together.
It made David sad to recall, but at the same time, it was comforting to spend time with someone who remembered Kyle. Many of their friends had originally been Kyle’s friends, and after the memorial service in Provincetown, had steadily drifted away. Chris was one of those who made an effort and reached out, something that was often hard for David.
Over martinis Chris asked about his shoulder, and David rolled it experimentally. He grunted. “It’s a bitch right now, but the therapist you sent me to seems to know what he’s doing. Between the heat and ice, I feel like it’s already a bit better.”
“Which one did they assign you to?” Chris asked.
“Umm… blond guy, handsome…. I’m blanking on his name.”
“That’s the one.”
“Oh, he’s a doll. I think he’s been there about a year. He gets good results.”
“I’ll just bet he does.” As he thought about Brandon applying the tape and running his hand over David’s shoulder to press it down, a small smile crossed his face. Chris peered at him in that way he had and made David feel like he was looking too deeply.
“You know, David, this may be the first time you’ve shown an interest in anyone.”
David blushed and then scoffed. “I just meant he’s a good therapist. That’s all.”
A week later, on Saturday morning, David woke early and headed to CrossFit. Rebecca was wary of his injury, but he liked staying part of the group as much as he could. Along with an extended prescription for therapy, Chris had reluctantly given him the okay to return to the gym and even run a bit, as long as he didn’t engage his shoulder.
The WOD on that Saturday was focused on front squats, which used his legs and core muscles but put no stress on his shoulders, so he talked Rebecca into letting him work with the others. As usual the class divided up into groups of three on different weight-lifting racks. Each person performed sets of five squats at a time, with a thick metal barbell propped in place at the top of the shoulders and loaded with enough iron plates to challenge that individual athlete. Terry was in his trio, so they chatted while they waited their turns.
Terry pointed at the kinesio tape, which was visible under David’s tank top. “Does that help?”
“It does, though I’m not sure why. Brandon explained something about the fascia, but it went over my head.”
“Is he that therapist you’ve been seeing?”
“Right.” David stepped up to the weight rack and positioned the barbell over the front of his shoulders, his palms facing up as he gripped the bar lightly, and his elbows pointing forward. He lifted the bar out of the rack, stepped back, and then began five slow, careful squats.
“Deeper. Deeper. Keep the knees out,” Terry said as he helped to guide him through the full range of motion. “Good,” he complimented as David finished his set and re-racked the weight. He helped Mitch add plates to the bar for his turn. Mitch was all of twenty, and David thought the kid probably resented being paired with the old guys in the class. Then he ordered himself to stop it.
Mitch started his set of squats, and David stepped back to talk to Terry. “The therapy seems to be working. I’ve got very little pain, and I’m getting a lot more mobility.”
“How many more weeks do you have?”
“I don’t really know. I’m supposed to go back to my regular doctor next week to check in and see what he thinks.” Maybe the injury is good for another month or so. David felt a twinge of alarm at ending the therapy visits. They were really helping. Brandon was really helping.
“By the way, Davy, you got any plans tonight? Joe and I are throwing together a little last-minute cocktail party. Maybe ten, twelve people, not a big deal. We do have some nice single friends, though.” Terry’s voice trailed up as he tried to entice him.
David thought about it as he changed the plates for Terry’s set and Terry stepped to the bar. Was he up to a party? Terry meant well, but David had a feeling it was more of a set-up than a cocktail party. Still it wasn’t like he had anything exciting planned for the evening, just some work he brought home and then maybe a movie on Netflix.
“Sure. I’d like that,” he told Terry once he finished his set. “Thank you.”
Robert Winter is a recovering lawyer who likes writing about hot men in love much more than drafting a legal brief. He left behind the (allegedly) glamorous world of an international law firm to sit in his home office and dream up ways to torment his characters until they realize they are perfect for each other.
Robert divides his time between Washington, DC, and Provincetown, MA. He splits his attention between Andy, his partner of fifteen years, and Ling the Adventure Cat, who likes to fly in airplanes and explore the backyard jungle as long as the temperature and humidity are just right.
Contact Robert at the following links: