When Justin gets fed up with his best friend Chaz avoiding him, he decides it’s well worth sacrificing his favorite T-shirt to try to save their relationship.
Chaz is finding it impossible to hide his attraction for his straight roommate, so he tries avoiding Justin until he leaves for the summer. He just has to get through a few more days, then he’ll be home free—at least until Justin comes back in a couple of months. Still, he firmly believes that space between them is the best answer for now.
But Justin is not a man to be ignored. He’s known Chaz for almost a decade, and can tell when something is weighing on his mind. And being shut out is not acceptable, especially just when he’s finally ready to commit to more than friendship. When closer than usual proximity just before his trip to Central America turns up the heat between them, he takes matters into his own hands by restraining Chaz’s hands—and feet—until he gets some answers.
The results are explosive and more than either could have dreamt, but the abrupt shift in their relationship is almost impossible to reconcile in the short time they have left together. It will take remarkable restraint from both to find a way to weather the separation, to stay friends…and to grow into something more.
Reader Advisory: This book contains light BDSM elements and bondage.
Publisher's Note: This book was previously released as a short story by another publisher. It has been considerably expanded for release with Pride Publishing.
General Release Date: 20th March 2015
Chaz Warren groaned with frustration as he removed his hand from his cock and gave up his fruitless quest for orgasm…yet again.
Two months, he thought with mingled disbelief and pride, turning over onto his stomach on his bed. The comforter abraded his tender flesh in a beguiling way, but he resisted the urge to thrust. He knew from experience that it was useless to try to get off that way and it would just serve to exacerbate his arousal. The thick black plug in his ass shifted as he moved, and he pushed backwards with his hips and bit his lower lip until it settled.
It wasn’t even noon yet, and a light sheen of sweat covered his naked body, the ceiling fan doing little to combat the brutal August heat wave. It had been hard to get to sleep, then he’d ended up oversleeping. He must have had a sexy dream he didn’t remember, because his morning wood had been almost painful. So after he was done in the bathroom, he’d decided to have a little fun.
He swiped at a trickle of sweat running down his neck then ran his hands over his head, alternately tugging his short blond hair and scratching his scalp. He was still weary, having been unable to sleep well all week knowing that Justin would be back any day now. He was actually supposed to have been back four days ago, but according to the fuzzy message Justin had left on his voicemail, some road had washed out in flooding and put the bus behind schedule, so he and some other guys had missed their original flight. He hadn’t heard from him since, and the waiting was driving him crazy.
Warring emotions were tying his stomach in knots. Chaz was nearly dizzy with excitement at the prospect of finally seeing the man he had secretly been in love with for years—and been with almost daily just as long—after the summer-long separation. But he was uncertain how Justin would feel about him after two long months with their only contact being a few hurried phone calls and voicemails. At this point, he hadn’t spoken to him in weeks, which made his mind go to unpleasant places, especially given the emotional state of confusion they had parted in in the aftermath of the farewell party in June.
Chaz and his best friend and roommate Justin Travers had spent that warm, early summer weekend at the beach at a friend’s beach house party, blowing off the built-up stress of getting through the spring semester of their master’s program and finals. It had been a sort of combination end of term party for a couple of friends and a send-off for Justin, who was heading away for the summer to do volunteer work before returning to continue his master’s degree work in the fall.
Chaz hadn’t even wanted to go to the beach house. Though he knew the group of guys who was going to be there, they were more Justin’s friends than his. He didn’t really feel a part of the group, and the partying atmosphere wasn’t his scene. But Justin, in his usual forceful style, had bullied and nagged him into it, and in the end, had simply taken matters into his own hands, literally herding Chaz into the car. It was the story of their long friendship—Justin deciding for the two of them and Chaz inevitably trailing in his wake.
The Twins, their mutual friends called them—completely ironic, considering that they didn’t have a single feature in common. Justin, with his dark, riotous curls over sapphire blue eyes, was the polar opposite of Chaz, who had close-cut straight blond hair, plain brown eyes and pale, occasionally freckled skin. But you never saw one without the other, at least until this summer. Chaz shook his head and flipped onto his back again, stifling a gasp as the breeze from the ceiling fan caressed the taut, overheated skin of his shaft like a physical touch.
Giving up any pretense of trying to get some sleep in the suffocating warmth of the bedroom, Chaz rose and walked toward the kitchen of the apartment he and Justin had shared. Officially, Justin still lived there, even though he had been gone all summer, volunteering at a worksite in Central America. His bedroom held all his belongings—he hadn’t bothered to pack up, declaring that he’d rather continue to pay his half of the rent than store everything. That had been fine with Chaz, who had been dreading the thought of interviewing potential new roommates. The thought of living with anyone else besides Justin, even just for a summer, gave him a strange, sickening feeling inside.
Chaz glanced by unconscious habit into Justin’s quiet and tidy room as he passed the open doorway, then stopped short, his gaze sharpening as something caught his eye in the dim light cast from his own room. A package lay squarely in the middle of the bed—an item that he knew for certain hadn’t been there earlier today.
Devon started reading and writing at an early age and never looked back. At 39 and holding, Devon finally figured out the best way to channel her midlife crisis was to morph from mild-mannered stay-at-home mom to erotic romance writer. She lives in Oregon with her family, who are (mostly) understanding of all the time she spends on her laptop, aka the black hole.
Reviewed by MM Good Book Reviews
Despite the confusion these guys go through throughout the book, it’s nice to see their happy ending practically tied up in a pretty package for us. I’m really looking forward to reading more of...
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Reviewed by Prism Book Alliance
It was a good start to this series and I look forward to more. This was a short novella, but it packed a punch, especially since this was just a beginning. Bravo to the author for mastering the skill of...
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Devon Rhodes - Female First feature
Remarkable Restraint came to life when I had an idea for a scene where one friend literally ties his best mate down in order to get some answers from him…and sparks ignite.
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Devon Rhodes - USA Today feature
Three of my favorite desserts:
When I'm in a nostalgic mood, I love pumpkin pie with real whipped cream. Mom always made it from scratch every holiday, and I've kept up the tradition. She still makes sure to bake one when I visit, even if it's summertime.