By Carey PW
GENRE: LGBTQIA Contemporary Romance
Love knows no gender.
Pate Boone, a twenty-six-year-old transgender man, embarks on a new adventure when his childhood best friend, and yes, ex-lover, Oakley Ogden, convinces him to escape their hometown in hopes for something new.
They land in Cloverleaf, a tiny rural town in Montana, so that Oakley can care for his granny who is battling breast cancer. She pressures the two young men to enroll in a nearby college. Pate immediately becomes enthralled with Maybelle, a young, vivacious freshman to whom he fears revealing his transgender identity. Still, he finds it impossible to resist Maybelle, even after he meets her ex, Bullet, a large, violent man determined to keep Pate away from “his girl.”
But there are others who accept Pate immediately, like Stormy. An outdoorsy, rugged freshman, Stormy warns Pate away from Maybelle and Bullet, but Pate’s too infatuated to heed these warnings.
Oakley tries to support his friend’s new love but finds himself entangled in his own emotional calamity when he unintentionally falls for Jody, a gay and ostentatiously confident drag queen. This new relationship awakens deep internal conflicts in Oakley as he struggles to accept his bisexuality, lashing out at Pate and causing friction between him and Jody.
Oakley must decide if he can overcome his insecurities so he doesn’t lose the love of his life. And Pate must discover if the love between him and Maybelle is strong enough for her to accept him as a transgender man, or if she will break his heart.
“Do you not realize that all these things you do hurt me?” he asked.
“I apologized for that. I thought we were over that,” I pleaded.
“Then you call me your boyfriend, but you don’t tell your parents,” he continued. “And you know that people around here already know about us, yet you won’t hold my hand at lunch. Not to mention that you still won’t touch me.”
I looked down in shame. “I told you it’s hard for me.”
“So when does it get hard for me, Oakley? How long am I supposed to date someone who seems repulsed by me?”
I shook my head. “I don’t know what to say. You know I’m straight.”
Jody wiped some tears from his eyes. “Maybe that’s the problem. I shouldn’t be wasting my time on a straight guy, or at least a guy who keeps insisting that he is straight. I told you upfront that we could be friends and that if you wanted to pursue this, then you needed to be ready to actually do it.”
“Are you breaking up with me?” I asked desperately. Jody finally made eye contact.
“No, not yet anyway. But I’m not waiting for you, Oakley. You need to figure this out because my heart isn’t a tool for you to figure out your sexual orientation.”
“I promise. I’ll try harder. Don’t give up on us yet.” I grabbed his hands.
Jody smiled and went to touch my cheek with his hand, but I pulled away. He shook his head in disappointment.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Carey PW (he/they) is a debut author, college instructor, and mental health counselor. Carey is currently completing his next manuscript, Acing the Game.
Carey lives in Montana, and identifies as nonbinary, transmasculine (AFAB) and panromantic asexual. Due to the lack of resources in rural communities, Carey has discovered that writing about his lived experiences is a therapeutic outlet for him and hopes that his readers relate to his own personal struggles and triumphs shared through his characters’ narratives. Carey is particularly interested in exploring relationship conflicts around sexuality and gender differences. He has also worked as a high school writing instructor and college writing instructor, earning a B.A. in English Literature, a M.Ed. in English Education, and Ph.D. in Social Foundations of Education all from the University of Georgia. In 2020, Carey earned his second M.Ed. in Counselor Education and works as a licensed clinical professional counselor, LCPC. He has a strong passion for working with the unique mental health issues of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Readers can learn more about Carey from his blog, www.careypw.com. When he is not writing, Carey is busy training for marathons, parenting his six cats, sharing his culinary talents on social media, serving on the board for the nonprofit Center for Studies of the Person (CSP) and learning photography.
Carey PW loves to hear from readers. You can find his contact information, website and author biography at http://www.pride-publishing.com.
Author Blog: www.careypw.com
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