Interview with Ryan Loveless & ‘in me an invincible summer’ Review

Marc reviews ‘in me an invincible summer’ by Ryan Loveless. This book was released by Dreamspinner Press on October 30th, 2014, 336 pgs.

Why I read this book: I read ‘Ethan, who loved Carter’ by Ryan Loveless and loved the story. It was one of the most beautiful love stories and I thought the author danced over a potential minefield with grace and an unwavering determination that everyone deserved love. As such, I have long since wanted to try out another book by the author and when I attended the author’s Twitter Q&A, I was so intrigued by the story that I got in contact with the author to set up an interview and review.

Synopsis: To an outsider’s view, world-famous action star Joe Nestra lives the Hollywood dream—parties, women, and a high-profile divorce. In reality, Joe’s agent directs his public life. Those women he’s supposedly intimate with? Prearranged dates ending at the red carpet. With his assistant and best friend Derek Simmons’s help, Joe has lived safely in the closet since his divorce, choosing to let off steam with discreet male escorts rather than risk an actual boyfriend. At forty-four, he has no plans to change. Then, taking a role in a film without flashy explosions upends that.

When Joe signs on to play an early 1990s-era AIDS-stricken gay man, his internalized homophobia threatens the production. His out costar Hunter Starling won’t put up with Joe’s behavior. As the animosity between Joe and Hunter grows, saving the film means Joe must face his deepest fear. Challenges pile up from all directions, from his father disowning him to the entertainment industry’s backstabbing reaction. Amid the backlash, Joe ventures into his first gay romantic relationship, tries to help others worse off, and slowly learns how to live his life instead of just acting it.

Buy Link: Amazon, Dreamspinner Press, All Romance, Barnes & Noble


In your short bio at the end of the book, it says that your first story was (probably) about G.I. Joe. As this book’s main protagonist is an A-list action hero in Hollywood, I wondered if this story has been developing in your mind for a while and whether the action genre is something you personally enjoy or just something very ‘macho’ that worked for this character.
It’s been developing awhile, but not as long ago as the GI Joe stories were.  I was probably 7 writing those. I love action movies. Among my favorite movies (of any genre) are the Bourne Trilogy. I can watch them over and over. I like smart action films. I used to love Jean-Claude Van Damme movies because they didn’t always have predictable endings. But that’s not why I made Joe an action star. It was because I think now we’re at a time in Hollywood where it’s considered that it’s acceptable for some stars to be out and others it’s frowned on. Action star is like the last bastion of “stay in the closet or kill your career.” I also chose for Joe to be an action star because I wanted him to be ripped out of his comfort zone when he shows up to play a gay role in a gay movie, and that’s the catalyst to start him thinking about what he’s doing with his life and whether he wants to continue down his current path.
And to answer why this story developed in my mind–it’s because I have a weakness for the “closeted actor doing a gay movie” trope. I got a plot bunny that was a twist on that and decided to run with it!
I thought Joe’s journey to being true to himself and others was handled very realistically. Not only does he have to deal with discrimination and alienation with people he works with, but not everyone in his family is supportive of his ‘lifestyle’ and his choices. There is an incident in the book that puts our hero in real danger and it was very hard for me to understand Joe’s wish not to make the man, who put him in mortal danger accountable for his actions. I thought the consequences that person had to deal with and the reactions of Joe’S family to the incident very mild. If you were in Joe’S position, do you think you would make the same choices?
I think this question is important enough to give some spoilers. So it’s Joe’s father that harms him, and Joe doesn’t want to press charges. He wants the incident over with, forgotten, but he doesn’t have that choice because his father has committed a crime and the state charges him against Joe’s wishes.  So, what we’re dealing with here is a man (Joe) who was abused throughout his childhood, who moved across the country to get away from his homophobic, violent, father, now faced with that same guy again. But the thing is–Joe loves his dad. Even though he’s an asshole. Even though he beat Joe way more than Joe’s other siblings. There’s a line from The West Wing, episode Hartsfield’s Landing where Toby confronts the president about his abusive father in which he implies that it’s all Bartlet’s dad was and President Bartlet gives a response that resonates so much for me:   “He’s my father, he wasn’t a Dickens character!” Because I’ve read a lot of Dickens, you know, and that hit home. LOL
Okay, so there’s still love from son to father. It’s a complicated love, but it’s the love that doesn’t want Dad to end up in prison, potentially getting hurt. He couldn’t live with that guilt. I picture that when Joe was younger, he probably stepped up to protect Jeff and Janie, and maybe he feels guilty for leaving them behind, but he reached a point where he had to get out. Now he’s got 20 years of freedom behind him, and he can put that distance between himself and his father again easily. So he’s wanting to do that, and he’s refusing to press charges both to protect his father and himself. He’s still in the closet. If he presses charges, he’ll out himself. If he sends his dad to prison and something happens to him in there, Joe will take that on himself. Choosing the path he does might not seem logical to some, but it is to Joe. I understand it.
However, if the other person hurt in the incident had wanted to press charges, Joe would have gone along with it because for Joe, he doesn’t care if he’s harmed. This isn’t the worst his dad has ever done to him. It’s just the first time he’s been caught. But another person shouldn’t be tangled up in this, so if he had said “I’m pressing charges”, Joe would have said “tell me what you need from me” because his default is to protect people. Sadly, that doesn’t extend to his personal safety.
 I used to think that Hollywood and the entertainment industry must be a very open and accepting place with many different people, colorful personalities, eccentricities and so on. It seemed to be more casual about things like this. In some ways I still think that, but books like ‘in me an invincible summer’ have opened my eves to the fact that it strongly depends on the kind of job a person has, the level of fame the kind of fanbase and many other things. Being a famous action star comes with very specific expectations. It is easy to say that everything will be better if a person comes out, but there are certain consequences that have to be expected and it is not for no reason that many gay people choose not to come out. Do you think the industry is changing positively and becoming more and more accepting as more public people out themselves, does the level of ‘acceptance’ depend on how successful a gay person is, or do you think that there will always be discrimination and intolerance against gay people in Hollywood, even when it is not easily seen on the surface?
I’m not in the movie industry, so I can’t answer this with anything but speculation and observation as an outsider. As a writer, I spent 90% of my time thinking and observing. So, what I can say is, if you look at who runs movie studios of the size that Joe does his action films for, it’s not a diverse group. Hollywood actors are diverse. That’s about it. Actors don’t have much power, unless they can get involved with making the money that goes into films. If you look at what drives decisions, it’s money. What will make money? What will lose money? Public reaction to an actor affects this, and the studios prediction of the public’s reaction can be enough to keep an actor’s secrets buried. I used to work for a publicist and we had a client who said he wasn’t gay. He had rumors following him everywhere about this. Swore up, down, and sideways that he was straight (to us; I don’t know if he ever made a public comment on it). He wasn’t an actor. He was in a career that was/is viewed as stereotypically gay, but yet had no out gay men in it. He achieved the top tier possible for his profession. That’s how fucked up this is, that even a guy in a career where, if he came out, people would say, “well, yeah, of course, after all, he’s a _____,” chooses to stay in the closet rather than face any backlash. (Disclaimer: I don’t know if he stayed closeted due to this or if he was just a very private person.) He came out many years after his retirement.
For someone like Joe–there are <i>no</i> out action stars of his status. (In the US–maybe there are in other countries.) That first person will be taking a big risk, because you can bet he’ll have been told by all the industry people running him that he’s going to lose money, lose jobs.  And if it’s someone with a billion dollar franchise on his shoulders, damaging that franchise is going to bring hell down on his head. Because money, money, money. Not to mention that any other closeted action stars are going to be watching closely to see the reaction and determine if it will be safe for them to come out.
That said, wouldn’t it be wonderful to see it happen and for the public to accept that person? But that’s the issue. Enough people need to accept him for his career to maintain its current level and, ideally, go higher for Hollywood to be satisfied and for other closeted actors to think “yeah, I could do this too.” I’m thinking now of Chely Wright, the country singer who came out a few years ago. Her career has totally changed since then. She hasn’t been invited back to Grand Ole Opry since, which is a big deal. But I heard her on NPR (National Public Radio) recently, talking about Ty Herndon and Billy Gilman, country singers who came out on the same day, and she said that even though it has been rough on her career, she is personally very happy. And I think that’s what it’s like for Joe. Joe was closeted in his personal and professional lives. It’s not hard to consider that there could be an actor who is out to his close friends and family (which includes agents, managers, etc), but closeted elsewhere in his career. Joe’s upbringing with a homophobic father made him incapable of having even that inch of freedom until it exploded out of him.
As a lesbian author of M/M Romance, do you encounter similar prejudices, where people put you in a certain box and have a hard time accepting that their gender roles and expectations might not always be accurate? 
As a woman in real life who does not conform to gender “norms”, I have gender expectations shoved at me constantly, mainly by my own family.
 I thought Miranda was a very interesting character. A ‘Mom’ to her clients, harsh but honest. She has come through for Joe a lot, is a great negotiator and seems to care for him. She is a strong, powerful female character in Joe’s life. I really liked that she does not actively discourage Joe from any path he is determined to take, though she knows and shares the risks, but it is obvious that she also is not the type who would work pro-bono to support him. In the end, do you think she considers Joe a friend and genuinely cares for him? 
First, a plug for Miranda’s business partner Joanne, who appears in my book Building Arcadia (Blueprints Not Included). She’s Sam Henning’s agent. (Sam has a mention near the end of In Me an Invincible Summer.)
Second, yes, she genuinely cares for him. But no, she’s not Joe’s friend. She is focused on doing what is best for all her clients, but it’s business first for her. She does care, in her own, stern mom way. But she’s not going to parties with him. She has no interest in socializing or small talking with him. She wants him to succeed. His success is her success. She’s not going to interfere with his personal happiness, but when that happiness interferes with her ability to do a good job with him, she has to let him go. She feels the same about all her clients.
You told me before that you had two beta readers in the industry to get certain details right and help to make locations you do not personally know feel authentic. How much research goes into a book like this and where do you find people who are experts on certain aspects of novels you are writing?
For most of my other books, I read a lot to do research. In Offside, Ethan, Who Loved Carter, and The Forgotten Man, I include reading lists in my author’s notes. For this one, I wrote the draft and then asked my industry betas to show me where I’d gone wrong and I wouldn’t have been able to portray what a film set is like without them. I had one person, Julie, who is a 2nd Assistant Director and another, Cheryl, who is a film editor. I met them both through different fandoms and have known Cheryl for about 14 years and Julie for about 5. Fandom is a great place to meet people because fans come from all backgrounds and you can know someone as a fellow fan for years and build up your relationship that way before you even get around to talking about “hey, what’s your job anyway?”
The book has a very satisfying conclusion. Sometimes when I finish a book, it seems that something is missing and it cannot stand on its own.I didn’t have that feeling here at all. However, as one of the characters mentions, the main protagonists journey might be at a midpoint, but it is not over. His personal live has changed dramatically as has his worklife. He is getting closer to his ex-wife and her son and to his niece Stephanie. As he finally shares a part of himself that he has hidden, it seems that his relationship with his family as a whole is changing and we did not meet all of them like his brother. Given all that, do you think it likely that you might return to these characters or is there story told to the extend that you want it told? Is it hard for you to let go of characters or do you like to create a new cast with every new book?
Well, considering I’ve only ever done one sequel (which I never bothered to publish and was to Building Arcadia), it’s pretty darn easy for me to let go of my characters! But it’s not only that. When it comes to writing a direct sequel, I might start something and it works for me, but I start worrying about if it will be what readers want, and the end result is nothing gets done. I’ve told people I would do sequels, and I hope to keep that promise, but I’m going to have to figure out a way around the worrying. For standalone books, I just write what I want. For this book, if I did spin-offs for the other characters, I would revisit Joe that way, but for me the story I wanted to tell with him is told.
The other book of yours I’ve read is ‘Ethan, Who Loved Carter’. I thought you handled a difficult subject very well. Having worked as assistant to enable people with disabilities a normal life in which they can make their own decisions has opened my eyes to discrimination and prejudices faced by many people everyday. Sometimes the worst offenders are those, who think they are doing the right thing in trying to limit a person’s free choice and protecting them. In some cases that may be true and people have to be protected from sexual abuse, but it is a very difficult line to walk and thus a very controversial topic. Ethan and Carter, of course, are written in a way that leaves no doubt for me that they are in love, lust and capable of making their own decisions and the book is one of the most beautiful and heartwarming lovestories I’ve read. I wonder, though, with some time gone by since the release of the book how the reception overall was? Did people embrace the couple or were some of your readers offended by the subject?
It was overall massively positive, with some negativity, which all centered around the person’s belief of whether Ethan was capable of being in a sexual relationship or if it was abuse. A lot of it came from people who had preconceived notions of TBI survivors (or who actually seemed to confuse an adult TBI survivor with someone who had had their injury in childhood or been born that way, which would have affected their ability to understand and process mature relationships.) Some of them had people in their lives with TBI who weren’t able to have a relationship like Ethan is and were seeing Ethan as the same. On the same token, some of the positive reviewers were in the same boat, but rather than see Ethan as the same, they saw him as a possibility that their loved one didn’t have.  The positive reviews came from a wide mix of backgrounds including people who had experience with TBI survivors and people who didn’t. This is why I included the reading resources list in the book. I wanted people to read more and see that all types of people have TBI with all types of results. Ethan in no way is supposed to be representing all TBI survivors.
Pretty much no one mentioned Carter. The love or hate of the book was all due to Ethan. I heard from one person who had a child with Tourette’s who was very glad about how I portrayed Carter. That meant the world to me.
How do you deal with positive and negative comments? Do you read your reviews?
I don’t deal with them at all to the reviewer. Unless the person directly engages me, I don’t see that a review is any of my business. I try not to take them personally, good or bad. I’ll read reviews the first week to get an idea of the response to the book and then I move on.
 Do you have any upcoming releases or projects you can tell us about? 
Translations of Ethan, Who Loved Carter are upcoming in French and Spanish. I don’t know the dates yet. I have several WIPs, but I’m such a slow writer I couldn’t tell you when I’d finish or which one it would be. I’ve had a lot of people ask me for a YA version of Ethan so they can share it with their kids and Dreamspinner is on board for it, but the plot I’ve worked out actually contains elements of a sequel to the adult version, even though it’s intended to stand separate from the original and work fully as YA. So that makes me want to write it after, but the adult version is basically going nowhere right now. So, if I can ask your readers a question–

Thanks so much for this great interview


The Cover:

The cover image is striking and full of meaning. A man underwater, closed eyes and clothed in suit and tie. For me the clothes could be a symbol for the mask Joe wears. Social expectations, the white of innocence, a tie that is wrapped around his neck making it harder to breath. Most important, though, is the symbol of water. A symbol of life for the person so deep in the closet that he never allowed himself to have a real life. A symbol of a re-birth, a new life. Change.

For me there was something special captured in the image that fit the story perfectly and captured my attention from the very first time I saw the cover.

The Title:

‘in me an invincible summer’

There is something inherently poetic in the title. It is beautiful, but perhaps not quite as memorable as other titles, due to the poetic phrasing.

The Story:

Joe Nestra is a world-famous action star, who injured himself in a stunt for a big Hollywood production and wants to show a wider range of his acting skills in a smaller independent production, while he heals enough to resume his famous action role. Only when he has fully committed to the role does he realize the independent movie has him playing a gay man and will confront the deeply-closeted actor with his biggest fears.

His openly-gay co-star is extremely competitive, out for an Academy Award and not really easy to deal with. Given how deeply uncomfortable Joe is with the idea of showing to much of his true self to audiences and strongly damaging his career in the strongly macho action world of Hollywood, it really doesn’t take long for him to clash against his co-star.

We also have the incredibly loyal assistant Derek, the only person Joe trust with his secret, his no-nonsense powerhouse of an agent Miranda, a slightly eccentric, but likable director and the big and burly husband of Joe’s co-star and the chaos is predestinated.

I thought all the characters, with all their plentiful and deeply human faults were lovingly drawn in great detail and came alive off the pages. They felt real and that made the way they related to each other and the way their relationships developed during the 300+ page story all the more interesting.

I really was deeply invested in their lives and really wanted Joe to finally start living and take control of his live. It seemed like he was hiding behind his job and his family and I did not quite realize how high the stakes were for him.

That is until he almost loses the person he didn’t know he loved, and the truth not only sets him free but leaves his live in shambles.

The most amazing part in this exceptionally well-written novel is how uncompromisingly realistic the author tells Joe’s story. It doesn’t end with the moment of his perhaps greatest achievement, nor with the moment of his greatest courage. The novel shows us the fallout of his revelations and the dire costs personal fulfillment may have for someone in his position.

There is great personal development in Joe’s character and readers will be proud of him, even while the consequences of thinly-veiled discrimination, prejudice and greed cause heart-breaking devastation. In the end though, this book will leave readers satisfied and happy – even if they can’t help but to want more.

The Rating: 10/10 pots of gold (100% recommended). Compares to 5/5 stars.


Buy Link: Amazon, Dreamspinner Press, All Romance, Barnes & Noble



JOE BUTTONED his shirt. He kept his back turned to the young man lounging on the bed, still naked even though Joe had showered already.

“I can’t believe how big you are,” the kid said. “I mean, fuck. The way you stretched my ass.”

“Thanks.” Joe responded out of politeness. The compliment was par for the course for the money this kid was getting. It was also untrue—both in terms of Joe’s size and the claim that the kid had felt it as much as his moans implied, and Joe didn’t hold with exaggeration as flattery. Joe looped his tie around his neck. “You signed your nondisclosure form, right?”

There was no real need to ask. The kid wouldn’t be in the room if he hadn’t. Joe knew better than to get in the way of Derek and his fanatical protection measures. He hadn’t bothered to get his new buddy’s name. Name, age… that was all up to Derek. As long as they were at least twenty-one, Joe didn’t care who they were or where they came from.

By dint of a miracle and Derek’s vigilance, Joe hadn’t been outed by any of them yet, but he was on borrowed time. He was smart enough to know that, and not just because Derek looked a little more peeved every time Joe told him to “find me some company tonight.” If he were really smart, he’d stop letting his dick rule his urges. It was too fucking dangerous.

“Yeah. You were worth it.”

Joe turned around and saw the kid grinning at him. Twenty years ago, Joe might have preened. Now his sexiness came from confidence, and he didn’t need to work it to prove he had it.

Joe didn’t bother with a reply. Getting the hint, the boy started to move. He pulled his track pants on—no underwear—and stretched his Gap T-shirt over his head. In the mirror, Joe caught a last glimpse of the finely haired torso. Then the kid bent to find his shoes jammed against the wooden support beneath the bed. Derek didn’t allow Joe’s tricks to bring their bags into the room. The kid’s shirt rode up in the back, showing off a sparse trail of brown hair leading down to his ass. Moments before, Joe had lain between his legs, licking down that trail. Joe’s cock sat flaccid in his jockeys now. At forty-four years old, it took more than a reverse strip show in a reflection to get him going again. He looked around for his own pants.

“You think I could get an autograph?”

Joe turned and stared at him. He wanted a souvenir?


He looked so starstruck that Joe forced himself to relax. Derek’s papers would keep the kid from blabbing. They promised prosecution to the signer and any person “or entity” he told. “Leave your address with Derek. I’ll have him send you something.”

“Okay. Great.” The kid flashed him an endearingly toothy smile.

“What’s your name?” Joe asked.

“Devon. Listen, Mr. Nestra….”

Joe put his hand up. “Go see Derek.” He kept his voice gentle. He liked this kid, but he still had to leave. “Tell him I said to give him your address.”

“You’ll send me an autograph?”

Devon’s eyes lit up, like having Joe’s two-dollar scribble meant the world to him. Joe almost felt bad for him.

“Sure thing, Devon.”

After Devon left, Joe found his pants and finished dressing. He could hear Devon and Derek in the hall. Derek walked in a minute later, having used Joe’s spare key to get in, which Joe had dutifully handed over at check-in. He gave Joe the once-over, his expression disapproving from Joe’s head to his toes.

“What have I told you about leaving them alone while you shower? Are you trying to get cleaned out?”

Joe shrugged. “You took his bag. What’s he gonna do, stick my wallet up his ass? Besides, I watched him get dressed.” Derek chewed his cheek and muttered something. Joe bit back a smile. “I’m sorry, it won’t happen again.”

Derek recited the last bit along with him.

“Okay, okay.” Joe grinned. “I mean it this time.”

Looking toward the ceiling in silent supplication, Derek asked, “So, what did we think of Devon?”

“Put him on the repeat list.”

“Very funny. No repeats.”

Joe forced a smile and faked a careless wave. “I know, I know. But it would be nice sometimes, you know? To have a regular.”

“You want a ?regular,’ you get yourself a real live boyfriend. I’m not risking you getting outed by a rent boy who gets too far into your head and then decides to take your bank account for a ride. You pay me so that doesn’t happen, remember?”

“I know. I just want more sometimes. I’ll get over it. Always do.”

Derek’s face took on the scrunched sour-candy expression that appeared whenever he came within two yards of discussing an emotion.

Joe wasn’t surprised or upset—talking actual feelings wasn’t his ideal either—when Derek changed the subject. “How was your physical therapy today?”

Joe’s knee injury had come in the middle of filming his third movie as the title character in the Thom Gilroy series, putting him on light duty—no running, jumping, kicking, falling, or fighting—for the rest of the film’s principal photography. For three weeks after his on-set accident, he’d spent two hours a day with a physical therapist. Under the condition he continue his physical therapy and because filming didn’t conflict with his existing contract, the studio allowed him to accept an outside role in The Hard Soul, the indie film that had brought him and Derek to Canada. By the time filming wrapped on it, he should be fighting fit again and ready for the Thom Gilroy 3 pickup shoot.

Joe’s regular therapist was a short-haired, friendly, but take-no-prisoners lesbian. Vancouver had presented him with a muscle-bound German man with gentle hands who nonetheless manipulated him into angles he didn’t want to bend, especially less than an hour after getting off a plane. Derek had Devon waiting in Joe’s room when he returned.

After a decade and change together—closer to two decades—Derek was scarily good at anticipating Joe’s needs. In this case, the need was to work out some tension before he walked onto a new set and took the biggest risk of his career.

It had seemed like a good idea when his agent had mentioned the project. As soon as Joe was laid up, Miranda started talking him into it. Rad Fisher was a rising young writer-director with a reputation for films that squeezed emotions by the balls. It was the polar opposite to the films Joe did, and after Miranda said she’d floated his name to Rad and Rad was interested, it seemed it might work.

That was before she’d told him what the “little Canadian indie” was about.

“PT was fine,” he answered Derek. “I’ll be ready for the pickup shoot.”

“They’ll be glad. You know the producers will think you owe them for dropping you a break to do this movie.”

Joe rubbed his face. He needed a shave, but he was under instructions not to. Once he got on set, the hair and makeup wizards would sculpt him into the character. “I know. And they’ll be right, but they would’ve been waiting on my knee to heal either way.”

Derek offered a half grunt of acknowledgment. “The car will be here in five minutes. Are you ready?”

“I don’t know where my script is.”

Derek produced it from a stack of papers in his arms.

“Thanks.” Sitting on the bed, in the very spot where he’d made Devon cry out for his Lord and savior, Joe flipped through it. He’d memorized today’s lines on the plane, but his stomach still flipped with an unpleasant rhythm. “I can do this, right?” He looked at Derek for reassurance.

“Of course you can,” Derek said.

“It’s a lot of words, and nothing explodes.”

“Hey.” Derek folded the quilt aside to bare the bedsheet—his face politely did not crinkle with disgust over his knowledge of what bodily fluids freshly anointed the quilt—and sat down. “Change will be good for you.”

“I’m a closeted action star about to take on the gayest role ever written. And all because I’ve got a bum knee that’s keeping me from doing my own stunts.” And because I was too proud to back out once I got the full story. That wasn’t all of it, though. Maybe this would be good for him, help him face his fears, both over his acting and over being gay—albeit for “pretend”—in front of people. The experience might be a good thing if he could stop being so scared of it.

“Not the gayest. Did you see Priscilla?” Derek asked.

“You know what I mean. People are going to talk.”

“Listen,” Derek said. “This is going to be good. Trust me.”

He slapped the bed close to Joe’s hand and spread his fingers apart over the sheet, stopping short of contact with Joe. They’d never declared a taboo on touching, but Derek wasn’t a tactile guy, and Joe took his cues from him. Derek showed his affection by giving Joe things he needed, and Joe reciprocated by acknowledging that most of the time Derek was right.

“I’m scared.” Joe put in words what he couldn’t say to anyone else. Derek was his right-hand man, with him 100 percent, the only person Joe trusted with every aspect of his life… with his life, period.

“I’m right here, man. All the way. And you? Are going to kick ass. Fuck anyone who doesn’t think so. This will change your reputation in the industry, but it’ll be a good change. People will take you seriously after this.”

“I don’t care if they take me seriously. I just want to work.”

Usually Derek would have retreated into his “no emotions allowed” stance by now. The fact he hadn’t made Joe nervous. Derek on a roll was difficult to stop, though.

“You’re good, Joe. You just haven’t let anyone see it yet. Including yourself.”

Joe turned his discomfort into a smile. “Thanks.”


Copyright by Ryan Loveless



Ryan Loveless is a farmer’s daughter. She has a B.A. in English from a private college in Illinois and a master’s degree in library and information science with an archival certificate from a university in New York. Raised in a conservative family, she was shocked and relieved when her coming out was largely uneventful. She has been writing since she could read and has always drifted towards M/M because she enjoyed the relationship dynamics. It’s possible that her first story was about G.I. Joe. She wishes she still had that story.

Visit Ryan at her Blog, on Facebook, or at Twitter.

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