- N. N. Light
New Release | Music of Us by @skyburton28 #mmromance #lgbtq #romance #booklove #nnlbh
Title Music of Us (book 1 in series)
Author Sky Burton
Genre Contemporary romance, LGBTQ/gay/MM romance
Publisher Leaving Madmen Publishing
Ryan, a 21-year-old actor starts the year frustrated with his life and can’t seem to commit to his on and off again friends-since-grade school girlfriend. But he was just cast in a gay romance movie, so at least he’ll be busy for a while. At the urging of his sister, Ryan goes to a club to hear David, the young singer songwriter for the movie. David’s inner and outer beauty catches Ryan off guard as he experiences an unexpected desire for a man he just met. A surprise encounter with David at a party one night awakens new passions but leaves him confused enough to break it off with David. Yet, everything the thought he knew about himself has changed. At the initial cast meeting Ryan meets his straight co-star, 30-year-old Josh. Soon they are both swept up in the on-screen movie drama and romance as well as their own off-screen blossoming friendship and love that goes beyond what either of them expected. “Is this real love or just a sexy fantasy rooted in the passionate movie? Do you ever fall out of love with your best friend?” Music of Us is the first in the series. Steamy beginning to a MM friends to lovers. Sweet love to laugh and cry a bit. Best followed with book 2 – Dry Drowning that continues the love story as they face the media and their families with the realization that they fell in love with their best friend. Music and Movie backdrop. Sweet, funny and 4 out of 5 chili pepper hot! Happily-ever-after stories worthy of true romantics. It's easy to fall in love with these guys! I did!
She was a natural beauty, but still I felt nothing. The sweat trickled down our backs and her knees got weak. And I loved her for those four days, but I knew on the fifth I wouldn't. I wanted to leave. But I am the nice guy—a twenty-one-year-old baby-faced actor barely breathing. There were the obligatory expectations of the morning-after and I was already working up a few excuses to skip the morning. I did not want to walk the beaches of Pebble or play a privileged round of bad golf with her storied father. I didn't even like golf.
It was New Year's Day 2021. I met Olivia a week ago, the day after Christmas. The holiday itself was the usual—spectacularly uneventful. I was beginning to hate Christmas for that exact reason. Yet it was the best as it could be with my mother and sister and a handful of family-few friends who nearly drowned every year in Christmas cheer, happiness, singing and bearing gifts they put much thought into. It was not them. It was me. Melancholy had slipped past me and taken the shape of a lifeless dragon not dead, but out of fire. My mother said I looked unhappy, and my sister said I was bored and needed a change. Both were right.
So, the next day, I took the drive to Monterey Bay. By myself. I wanted to eat calamari and drink enough beers and tequila on the wharf that I would need to find a place to stay for the night. The next day I would wake up with a slight hangover and I would go alone to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, something I had done often with my family when I was a child. Apparently, my discontent started as a toddler, and I was soothed by petting the bat rays and watching the fish spin around in the giant two-story tank. My favorites were the jellyfish in their segregated tube. They floated effortlessly, dancing in lacy costumes. The water calmed me. The ocean still does.
California, and the place I loved called Santa Cruz, had become a place that moved between fires and floods, droughts, and deluges. It had been a rainy December, and I had spent the early part of it as a volunteer handing out trash bags and food in an area hard hit by floods along the San Lorenzo River. It's a good feeling for a day or two after to help, but as soon as it's over, you can sink into the despair of it all and it wasn't just Santa Cruz. It was everywhere. Something horrible. Every day. Somewhere. But that's not what started my melancholy at the end of 2020. Mine was more selfish and personal. I was young, but I still wanted something important in my life. Friends I had plenty of, but no constant companion and lover to spend time with—that is, the love of my life. Optimistic? I try. I suppose that's the reason I went to Monterey that day—not to find the love of my life—but to be alone because it was the only person I was tolerating lately.
Older women coming on to me was a common thing. I didn't mind. Older lovers were usually better, and I'd had a surprising amount of experience in my twenty-one years. They saw me as safe. Too young for permanence—just a pretty face and a good time for the evening. They would push fingers through my blonde hair and attend to every inch of me with the delicacy of a gourmet meal, and I loved every one of them for those moments.
I wasn't quite sure about Oliva, but it didn't quite matter. So, I met her at the bar, and we played the usual seductive dance for several hours and then she took me home to her Pebble Beach house on the golf course and I stayed because that was the kind of mood I was in. Stay. Go. Indecisiveness and apathy had become my personal plague while we were in the midst of a global one.
On New Year’s Day I would stay for breakfast and coffee and give her a kiss on the mouth, but I wouldn't tell her I would call her again because I had no intention of it. She was beautiful, rich, and sweet enough, at least after only knowing her for four days, but I felt nothing, and I was wondering if I had become emotionless.
So, I did what people do in the new year. I made one decision. Some say it's a resolution—a list of things to accomplish, but I figured I was only good for one. I would be open to possibilities—let my guard down to finding the love of my life, as absurd as that sounded to me that New Year's morning.
Two months later, I met Josh and stepped into a foreign world.
Sky grew up along the beaches of Orange County, California and, at one time, was a gallery represented artist with work in Palo Alto, California and Los Alamos, New Mexico. When she’s not writing, she’s painting, walking, or reading and always with music in her ear.
Much of her career incorporated her background in behavioral science working with companies in advanced technology marketing in Silicon Valley. She also designed and manufactured one of the first children’s shopping cart seats, started the first Silicon Valley VIP Tech Tour (she was a technology history nerd), and was founder of a public relations firm.
She reinvented her life from business writer to creative in 2014 when she went rogue, became fully self-employed, bought a tiny trailer and traveled alone for 18 months writing and volunteering.
Other books include Road Noise, the three-month road trip memoir; Running With Chickens, (co-authored with her son) published in 2016 but currently expanding and will re-publish later in 2022. She also wrote Leaving Madmen, published in 2001 and updated in 2016, and a variety of other nonfiction including In The Land Of Bugs And Rain and the wildly entertaining International Public Relations Guidebook.
Books in the works: Third book in the Music Of Us series (the MM romance continues) she plans to write while in Italy Fall 2022, Elements (sci-fi Winter 2022), and Essays After A Lot Of Tequila (2023).
She is an eclectic reader from nonfiction, true adventure, and romance to her obsession with all the Dugald Steer pop-up books.
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