Nov 20 2017 12:03pm

Jenny Holiday Excerpt: Infamous

Jenny Holiday

All that up-and-coming musician Jesse Jamison has ever wanted is to be on the cover of Rolling Stone. When a gossip website nearly catches him kissing someone who isn’t his famous girlfriend—and also isn’t a girl—he considers the near miss a wake-up call. There’s a lot riding on his image as the super-straight rocker, and if he wants to realize his dreams, he’ll need to toe the line. Luckily, he’s into women too. Problem solved.

After a decade pretending to be his ex’s roommate, pediatrician Hunter Wyatt is done hiding. He might not know how to date in the Grindr world, how to make friends in a strange city, or whether his new job in Toronto is a mistake. But he does know that no one is worth the closet. Not even the world’s sexiest rock star.

As Jesse’s charity work at Hunter’s hospital brings the two closer together, a bromance develops. Soon, Hunter is all Jesse can think about. But when it comes down to a choice between Hunter and his career, he’s not sure he’s brave enough to follow his heart.

Get a sneak peek at Jenny Holiday's Infamous (available November 28, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

“Finally.” Jesse sighed. “Sorry about all that.”

“He speaks!” Hunter teased. “I thought maybe the fire had hypnotized you.”

Jesse smirked. “Pro tip: the fastest way to get Billy to go away is to stop talking to him. Also, I sort of gave up trying to protect you from him by about the time croquet with shots started. Billy’s an acquired taste. I figure you’ve either acquired him by now, or you’re never going to.”

“I think I’ve acquired him.”

Jesse liked that answer, judging by the unguarded smile that blossomed as he pulled yet another exquisitely bronzed marshmallow out of the fire. “Are you ready for another one?”

“No!” said Hunter, holding his stomach.

“Okay, I’m done too, so I’ll torch this, then.” Jesse moved the poker back to the fire.

“Wait!” Something in Hunter rebelled at wasting such a meticulously cooked marshmallow. “Give me the marshmallow without the other stuff.”

Jesse pivoted, and the poker came out of the fire, the marshmallow pointing at Hunter. He started to grab it, but Jesse suddenly pulled it back.

“Careful!” Jesse said. “You’ll burn yourself.” He retracted the poker and started to remove the marshmallow from it.

“And you won’t?”

“I’m an expert at this,” Jesse said, and Hunter would have thought he was joking, but his face betrayed no hint of amusement. And, of course, he was an expert at marshmallow-toasting, along with about a million other things, so why wouldn’t he be an expert on removing molten marshmallows from sticks?

“Here,” Jesse extended his hand. The marshmallow rested between his thumb and first two fingers. But then the marshmallow stared to sag, and Jesse said, “Whoa!” and rotated his hand to try to save it.

Hunter didn’t even think about it until Jesse’s fingers were in his mouth. His aim as he lunged—his imperative—had been to save that perfect marshmallow. The idea of all Jesse’s work landing unceremoniously in the dirt had seemed unacceptably tragic at that moment.

But then, of course, Jesse’s fingers were in his mouth.

And maybe it was the booze, but they might as well have been on his dick.

They might as well have been everywhere on his body, actually, all at once. Everything in him jumped to attention, even as his brain started to panic. What the hell was the matter with him? He’d just sucked Jesse Jamison’s fingers into his mouth.

But, damn, his Tinder date from the other night had wrapped his mouth around Hunter’s cock and hadn’t been able to summon the kind of reaction Jesse had with a couple of fingers in Hunter’s mouth.

A couple of fingers that were not moving. They remained in his mouth, and Jesse’s eyes sparked.

Maybe. Or it might have been the reflection of the fire.

It was probably the fire.

The booze had made Hunter slow. He didn’t understand why Jesse hadn’t pulled his hand away.

Probably because Hunter hadn’t actually eaten the marshmallow, which, of course, had been the whole point.

So, as awkwardness started to creep in, he did. Tried to dislodge it without too much . . . sucking. He had to resort to sort of scraping his teeth along Jesse’s fingers, which judging by the way Jesse’s nostrils flared—like he was about to lash out in anger, almost—hadn’t been any more welcome than sucking would have.

He pulled his mouth off as quickly as possible, ordering himself not to look at the shiny, marshmallow-coated fingers he’d left behind. “Sorry,” he tried to say, but since his mouth was full of oozing marshmallow, it came out as an inarticulate mumble. He hammed it up a bit, chewing exaggeratedly, but Jesse didn’t even crack a smile.

Still, he forced himself to play it cool, to not look away. To look away would signal that he was embarrassed, that he was imbuing what had happened with more meaning than it deserved. “I didn’t want all your hard work to go to waste there,” he said when he had finally swallowed the damned marshmallow.

Jesse didn’t move. Not only had he not moved back to the spot he’d been occupying before Billy left, he hadn’t lowered his hand. Which left them face to face, staring at each other, Jesse’s hand floating in the air near Hunter’s lips. Jesse’s mouth was closed, but his jaw moved slightly, like he was grinding his teeth, and he was still doing that flaring thing with his nostrils. He looked like he was at war with himself.

God damn, Hunter hoped he hadn’t ruined everything. With a start that cut through his tipsy sluggishness, he realized Jesse Jamison was, functionally, his best friend.

And now, his functional best friend was, rightly, pissed off, and—

No. Wait.

Now his functional best friend was . . . about to kiss him?

While he was performing his mental self-flagellation, Jesse’s hand, which had been hovering so close to Hunter’s cheek, made contact with it.

It was like a brand. A brand that sucked the air out of his lungs. He was breathing heavily—short, sharp exhales through his mouth—as he watched Jesse’s face get closer and closer, the flames from the fire painting its sharp planes with a shifting light that was both eerie and beautiful.

And if Jesse had been at war with himself, suddenly, it was over. The victorious side emerged in the form of a smile—a small, knowing one he flashed for only a second before he placed his mouth over Hunter’s.

The kiss was loose, a little bit sloppy, and insanely hot.

Maybe it was the fact that they were both buzzed. Or maybe it was more of Jesse’s inherent ability to know exactly what was called for in any given situation, but Hunter had never had a first kiss like this. There was no lead-up. No orderly progression from “now we are kissing tentatively with closed mouths” to “now someone is making an incursion” to “okay, now we’re all in.”

No. Jesse just lowered his already open mouth over Hunter’s, like this was something they did all the time, and let their tongues sink into each other’s mouths.

Jesse groaned.

No wait, that noise, that moan of relief, had been Hunter. It was like his body, his entire being, was setting down a huge burden, falling onto the warmest, fluffiest bed after days of toil.

It was followed by a matching groan he was pretty sure was Jesse; though, honestly, he was no longer certain about the boundary between them. And, as their tongues licked deep into each other’s mouth, he didn’t really care.

But then, another hand. Two hands on his head. Anchoring it. Tipping it back, holding it in place so Jesse’s desired angle could be achieved. And once it had been, the hands started working back along his skull, into his hair, pressing hard against his scalp.

Jesse was kissing him.

Jesse Jamison. Rock star. Famous person. Functional best friend.

A straight man.

Or at least a man everyone—Hunter included—assumed was straight.

Hunter had no idea what was going on with Jesse, but he’d be damned before he’d let himself be a piece on the side or an “experiment” for a straight rock star. No freaking way was he doing that again.

Hunter’s next groan was one of defeat, frustration, and, truth be told, a little bit of anger as he pressed his palms against Jesse’s gorgeous chest—his hands making contact with the bare skin he’d been admiring all day, touching it for the first and last time—and shoved. Hard.


Copyright © 2017 by Loretta Chase.
Learn more about or order a copy of Infamous Armor by Jenny Holiday, available November 27, 2017 by visting the publisher’s website.

Jenny Holiday started writing in fourth grade, when her aging-hippie teacher, between Pete Seeger songs, gave the kids notebooks and told them to write stories. Jenny’s featured poltergeist, alien invasions, or serial killers who managed to murder everyone except her and her mom. She showed early promise as a romance writer, though, because nearly every story had a happy ending: fictional Jenny woke up to find that the story had been a dream, and that her best friend, father, and sister had not, in fact, been axe-murdered. Today she is a USA Today bestselling author of historical and contemporary romance. She lives in London, Ontario.

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