Only You

by Kay Doherty

$4.99

Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 1 customer rating
(1 customer review)

Case Holden hates his life. Made rich at a young age, he slipped into a lifestyle of partying with multiple boyfriends who only wanted to be with him for what he could give them. After confiding to his aunt that he’s miserable, she extends an invitation for a visit. Case plans to spend the time in small town Clover City to reprioritize and plant his feet on the road to happiness. He does not expect the Clover City sheriff to step into his world and wreak havoc on his emotions.

Two years ago, after the death of his partner, Rawley Kane moved to Clover City, trading the painful memories and big city madness for a less stressful existence. Even as sheriff, his life is uncomplicated and quiet. That is until Case Holden rolls into town and reminds Rawley just how lonely he is, and of everything he’s been missing.

Case is everything Rawley shouldn’t want. The man has six boyfriends and a life back in Denver, not to mention he’s quite a bit younger than Rawley. No matter what he tells himself, he can’t get enough of the young man. And Case has made it clear Rawley is the only one he wants. Now if they could just get past Rawley’s guilt and Case’s insistent boyfriends, they just might stand a chance.

Available in Print from most major retailers.

Only You

Book Info

Author: Kay Doherty

Release Date: December 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-947904-63-7

Format: ePub, Mobi

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Category: Romance

Genre: Contemporary

Word Count: 51800

Pages: 141

Sex Content: Explicit

Pairing: MM

Orientation: Gay

Identity: Cisgender

Excerpt

Only You
Kay Doherty © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One

Smoke billowed from beneath the hood of Case Holden’s Mustang as he slowed, easing to the side of the road, where the engine gave a final rattle before dying. Case did his best to maneuver the car completely off the pavement to avoid getting hit by other vehicles. Rain was coming down in sheets, and he cursed when he felt one of his tires come to a sudden halt in the mud along the shoulder of the road. He was on a remote country byway and hadn’t passed another car in quite a while, but he still didn’t want to risk anyone knocking into his baby with the limited visibility caused by the downpour. This Mustang was his pride and joy. He had spared no expense when he bought the car, adding every luxury available. Though he was careful to keep it in pristine working order, this trip had pushed the vehicle to its limit.

Case didn’t know a damn thing about cars. He had entrusted the Mustang’s mechanical issues to one of his many boyfriends—a boyfriend who was just one of many reasons he was making this drive. Case had become a partying drunken slut in the past several years, hemorrhaging money. Now, because of choices made and paths taken, he was stranded in the middle of nowhere in the pouring rain. He lifted his cell phone out of the middle console and let out another string of expletives. There was no service and the battery was about two seconds from dying.

When he finally managed to arrive at his aunt’s house, he was going to have a discussion with her about her choice of address. The last time he visited his Aunt Sylvia, he had fallen in love with her cozy house and the massive amount of land he’d been allowed to explore for hours on end. He didn’t remember the drive being so long and desolate, though. Sylvia and her late husband, Ed, had bought the acreage with the hopes of starting a ranch, but that idea had died a quick death shortly after they had moved into the two-bedroom cabin. The house was situated at the edge of a forested area, with an awesome lake for fishing within walking distance, but the cabin itself had been in need of serious attention.

Two years and hundreds of thousands of dollars later, Sylvia and Ed had basically rebuilt the place. When Case last visited at age fifteen, it had been state of the art with all the modern amenities and taken every dollar his aunt and uncle had put away for the ranch. It had been ten years since Case was out this way. He’d slept in the back seat for the majority of the drive during that family trip, which he now knew he preferred after being alert, painfully aware of every boring mile traveled. It was mind-numbing. Case allowed the engine to cool for several long minutes before he turned the key in the ignition. The engine made an awful grinding noise but never caught. He gave a few more futile attempts before slamming his palms against the wheel in frustration.

“Damn, damn, damn. What the hell am I supposed to do now?” he yelled to the empty seats. He was out in bumfuck nowhere, alone, with a dead phone and a dead car. He was a city boy surrounded by the most up-to-date electronics, none of which were any use to him. He twisted in his seat and looked down the road behind him and then slowly turned to look out all the windows to assess his options and found zero. There were no houses, no traffic—nothing but rain and flat terrain as far as the eye could see. Admittedly, that wasn’t all that far at the moment. He stuffed his phone into his bag, jerking his jacket on with angry motions. The chances of another car coming upon him and actually stopping were slim to none. Walking seemed to be his only option since he couldn’t call anyone for help.

Case grabbed the strap of his bag and dragged it across the seat as he got out of the car. Once he was free from its confines, he slung the strap over his shoulder and locked the doors. Rain instantly soaked through his jacket, droplets sliding down his neck onto his chest and back, making him shiver. He stuffed his hands into his pockets, ducked his head against the occasional gust of wind, and started walking, hoping like hell there was a house or gas station or something with a phone in the near distance. After almost losing a shoe to the sucking mud that lined each side of the two-lane highway, Case decided to risk walking on the pavement. Since there hadn’t been a car in recent memory, he figured he was safe.

 

Chapter Two

Sheriff Rawley Kane massaged the stiff muscles of his neck with one hand as he maneuvered the steering wheel with the other. Despite the heavy rain, the truck’s speedometer showed he was pushing fifty miles an hour. He’d driven on this highway almost daily for the past two years and was familiar enough with it to know the chances of another vehicle being on the road on a sunny day were small, let alone in a downpour. The population of Clover City just didn’t go out in weather like this, and if they did, they knew the road just as well, if not better than he did. Worst thing Rawley had to worry about was a stray dog or a deer running out in front of him.

Bright gold winked in the distance so Rawley slowed the truck. As he drew closer, he realized the bright gold was a car on the side of the road. Rawley carefully eased alongside the vehicle, a Ford Mustang that was all kinds of fancy and all kinds of expensive. It was also empty. As he passed the vehicle at a crawl, he looked at the car through the side mirror and noticed the front passenger wheel was sucked pretty deeply into the mud. Rawley sighed as he stopped the truck right in the middle of the lane.

He wasn’t about to pull off the pavement because the weight of his truck would sink him into the same mud the Mustang was mired in. A nice car like this no doubt belonged to some hotshot city dweller unfamiliar with country roads or driving too fast for the conditions. He flipped on the bar of police lights on top of his truck to alert any potential motorists he was stopped in the middle of the road. He mentally ran through the list of deputies who might be in the office as he picked up the radio.

“Ted, you in?” Rawley asked through the CB. He jotted down the Mustang’s license plate number while he waited for a response.

“Yep. What’s up, Kane?” was Ted’s static reply.

Two years after being elected sheriff of Clover City, Rawley was accustomed to small-town informality. He had come from the Denver Police Department, broken and jaded, and hadn’t adjusted all that quickly to the change. Now, the friendship and camaraderie of Clover was familiar, comfortable—he wouldn’t trade it for anything. He eased his foot off the brake, allowing the truck to coast down the highway at a snail’s pace while he scanned the surrounding area for the car’s missing occupants.

“Can you let Dusty know we have a car stuck in the mud just south of McKesson’s farm heading toward town?”

“He won’t go out in the storm. Afraid of getting struck by lightning or some dumb shit. You know that,” Ted said.

Rawley rolled his eyes. “Just tell him it’s there. He can go get it later when it clears.”

“All right, I’ll call him. You on your way back?” Ted asked.

“I’m heading that way, but the car was empty, which means I’ve got a driver and possibly passengers missing in action. I may be awhile if they aren’t on the road ahead.”

“Roger that, boss man,” Ted said.

Rawley set the radio back into the cradle as he pressed on the gas to increase his speed. His gaze slid across the rain-soaked terrain as he moved down the road, hoping to find the owner of the Mustang hunkered down under a tree or lumbering through the mud because he did not want a missing person investigation to deal with. Three miles down the road, he slowed once again when he caught sight of a man, hunched over against the rain, walking down the middle of the lane. The red and blues were still flashing, but he hit the button for the siren long enough to alert the person to his presence. The man turned to face Rawley as he skipped to the edge of the pavement, out of the way. Rawley unlocked the doors as he pulled up alongside the man. Without any encouragement, the guy opened the passenger door and climbed into the warm, dry cab of the truck.

“I’ve never been so happy to see a cop in my life,” the man said.

He turned a radiant smile on Rawley, causing Rawley to momentarily forget how to breathe at the man’s stunning beauty. He was young, handsome with dark hair made black by the rain, gray-blue eyes with thick, dark lashes, and he was thoroughly soaked. It had been years since Rawley had seen a man as beautiful as this one, and urges he thought he’d left behind in Denver once again stirred. Rawley shifted slightly in the seat as he cleared his throat.

“That your car back there?” Rawley asked with a backward jerk of his head.

“Yeah. Engine died. There was a grinding noise and smoke coming out of it,” the man answered with a flourish of his hands Rawley assumed was to indicate smoke rising.

The man lifted the strap of his duffel bag over his head to push the bag to the floorboard between his feet. Rawley caught himself staring at the man’s muscled bicep and thigh as the guy leaned forward. Rawley yanked his attention back to the windshield when the man straightened. He shut off the emergency lights and stepped on the gas.

“What’s your name and where you headed?” Rawley asked as he pushed the truck up to speed.

“Case, and I’m going to my aunt’s. She lives out here…somewhere,” Case said, twirling his finger in a circle. “Hey, do you have a phone I can use to call her? What are the chances of me getting my car towed?”

“I’ve already called for a tow. Your car will end up in Clover when the storm blows over. As for a phone—here.”

Rawley pulled his cell phone from his coat pocket, unlocked the screen, and handed it over to Case. He tried not to shudder from the hot tingles Case’s touch ignited when their fingers brushed.

“Thanks,” Case said as he worked the phone.

“Sure. I’m surprised you don’t have one.”

“I do, but the battery died.” Case lifted the phone to his ear and waited.

“Having a streak of bad luck today,” Rawley pointed out.

Case scoffed at the remark, and then muttered, “You don’t know the half of it.”

1 review for Only You

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Elaine White

    Book – Only You
    Author – Kay Doherty
    Star rating – ★★★★★
    No. of Pages – 141
    Cover – Nice!
    POV – 3rd person, dual character
    Would I read it again – Yes!
    Genre – LGBT, Contemporary, MM, Romance

    ** COPY RECEIVED THROUGH NETGALLEY **

    WARNINGS: deals with issues of mental health and PTSD

    The acknowledgments highlight an early warning that this book deals with the invisible illness that is PTSD. As someone with an invisible illness, though not PTSD or a mental health issue, the acknowledgment speaks to me in a way that promises to handle these issues with gentle awareness, compassion, understanding and, most of all, an intimate awareness of how debilitating and all consuming an invisible illness can be. That is before taking into consideration outside influences, such as other people’s impressions and their treatment of those invisible illnesses, which can often be as debilitating and harmful as the PTSD itself.

    .

    Holy cow! That was an emotional rollercoaster and a half!

    This is a new-to-me author and I’ll definitely be giving Kay Doherty another go in the future. The writing was spot on, exactly my kind of writing style, and with exactly my kind of balance between description and dialogue.

    With great attention to detail – well balanced, not over-done or exaggerated – the story began with a great set up of mood, location, atmosphere and characterisation, beginning the story with our all important introduction to Casey, on the day all his luck has run out. I loved that we were immediately in his head space and aware of his issues, without it being an info-dump. Then, when the POV switched to Rawley, I was thrilled. Dual POV is my favourite, especially when one of the MC’s is a broody, grumpy sheriff!

    Both these MC’s have a past and a history that has left deep emotional scars, but they work so well together. I could feel the chemistry between them the minute they met, and that carried on throughout the story, growing and becoming solid. Saying that, however, I really loved how realistic they both were. Rawley and Casey accepted that they barely knew each other, that their feelings were based on lust and a physical attraction, and some deep seated need to be loved. It didn’t stop them from being together, but I always knew they were going in with their eyes wide open. Each of them, at some point, considered the challenges and consequences – Casey’s numerous boyfriends, Rawley’s past, their age difference, how little time they’d known each other, Rawley being closeted in town, even the consideration that Casey might leave and go back to his numerous boyfriends. Though they often got swept up in the romance and the lust, neither of them ever forgot the bigger picture and that’s rare to find in a romance novel.

    What I also loved – but can’t say too much about, because it would be a huge spoiler – is that even the MC’s have to face the consequences of their actions. I’m talking about the end of the book, which is why that’s all I’m going to say about it. It’s great to see it happening, because it’s real and logical and, sure, it may not be romantic, but the author sure made it feel right for the characters and the moment. And, in a way, it really was quite romantic, all for reasons I can’t explain.

    Were there any negatives? There were some minor editing issues, with a missing word in one or two places, but surprisingly very little for an early release/ARC copy. I did find that some of the early chapters had a flow/timeline issue that just didn’t have the seamlessness of the rest of the novel, but those are all minor things and really didn’t make an impact on my reading.

    Overall, it was a fantastic read. It really lifted my mood with the perfect ending, despite the rollercoaster I’d had throughout. I loved everyone! Jordan was over the top. Trent was adorable. Aunt Sylvia was amazing! Jake and Ryan were brilliant. Ted is awesome! Everyone is awesome!!! In fact, I would absolutely love to read more about this little community, especially if Ted or Trent were to have a story of their own. Please????

    In the end, I can only say that it was pretty perfect. From the chemistry, the characterisation, the plot, and the writing style, it all came together in a great book that dealt sympathetically with some very serious issues. It’s a story of self-discovery, of healing, of emotional torment, of self-acceptance, of recovery, and of the realities of PTSD. But it’s also a story about growth, love, change, and letting go of the things that hold a person back and stop them from moving on.

    ~

    Favourite Quote

    “The way his aunt was talking, Case had to wonder just how well she was acquainted with the sheriff. Uncle Ed had been dead for five years, but Aunt Sylvia was still fairly young and lively. If Case found out he was salivating over his aunt’s newest, much younger love interest, he was going to dig his eyes out of his skull.”

    ““You don’t stop loving someone just because they die, Rawley. You loved him then, you love him now, you will continue to love him for the rest of your life.”

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.