It’s time to come home, Finn.
It’s been seven years since Daniel Finley left his hometown in Florida for the hustle and bustle of Chicago’s city life.
Since then, he’s worked hard for his position at the prestigious law firm Leighton & Associates, even when it’s caused distance and isolation from his family and friends. But that’s all about to change.
On his thirtieth birthday, he receives the one thing he never dared hope for. Something that was promised to him years earlier—a note. One simple sentence from the man he’s never been able to forget.
Six words will forever change the course of their lives.
Brantley Hayes has it all. Or so he thinks. When he first made the decision to take a job down in Florida, his family thought he was crazy. But, after years of living in the quiet beach town, he finally feels a sense of community. He’s surrounded himself with friends who are like family, has a job he loves, and owns a spectacular beachfront property that is his sanctuary.
Yet he still feels unfulfilled, as if a piece of the puzzle is missing, and he knows exactly which piece it is. On an impulse, he follows through with a promise he made years earlier. A promise to call home the one he sent away.
Nothing is as simple as it seems.
After years of separation, the former lovers are reunited, but Brantley wasn’t expecting to encounter the high walls now guarding Daniel’s heart.
Daniel may not be the same person he was when he left, but he knows that the first step to healing is the note in his hand.
1- Who is Ella Frank and what is she all about?
Who is Ella Frank? Hmm she is an Aussie transplant to the USA. She is a wife. She is a BFF. She is a daughter, sister, and Aunt to two wonderful little boys, and she an avid writer of romance novels!
2- What was it that made you want to write about gay characters and MM novels?
My love of reading the genre! It’s really as simple as that. I started reading the MM romance genre around six or seven years ago now, and I simply fell in love with the dynamics that could be explored between two men.
3- How do you come up with such interesting gay storylines and hot characters?
You know, I don’t actually believe it’s that much different to coming up with any storyline. Like all romance novels you have an obvious goal. It’s how you get there that’s the fun part. What obstacles do you want these characters to face, and how can you make them unique and different to other characters you have written in the past.
4- Your fans love your characters so much, what do these characters mean to you? How close to your heart do you keep them?
Very close! I love all of my characters, and I feel very connected and protective of all of them. Writing is extremely personal for me. I always pour my heart and soul into it and give each book everything I have. So, it’s important to be proud of what you put out there, that way no matter what, you can love your people and know you did them justice.
5- When did you first realize that you were a writer?
When I was around thirteen. I loved writing. I would write on anything and everything! Napkins, notepads and eventually my computer. I also used to read my stories to my friends and make them listen LOL The very first ever, Audible!
6- What’s the most difficult element of being an author today?
As a self-published author the most difficult part is the ever-changing market. It constantly shifts from day to day, and being able to stay one step ahead and understand everything that is going on is time consuming and difficult. Our job doesn’t end with just writing the story. As indie authors we rarely stop. We work at least 16-18hrs a day, sometimes more. It’s a hard but amazing job to have.
7- What is it that you believe draws a large amount of female readers to MM novels?
Well, at first, the fact that it was a new genre to most of them! It has only in recent years become such a crossover and widely accessible genre to everyone. But now, I think it is the emotions that are displayed between the men. It is nice to pull back the layers on men and see their soft, vulnerable side.
8- What is your favourite curse word?
Hands down — fuck. ← so good in every situation.
9- What was the last book you read and your thoughts on it?
Better than Chance by Lane Hayes! And I loved it. This entire series is now an absolute favorite of mine. I listened to all of them on Audible, and highly recommend them!
10-When did u decide to do a spin-off of the Temptation Series? And why did you choose Finley?
I had this all planned out in my head when I wrote Trust. I always had Daniel and his professor in mind for a story (and the reason he was so drawn to Logan). So, there was a reason he was brought BACK into Trust, and that was to spin him off in his own direction.
11- I know for myself and those who have read Finley we are wanting to know if Derek and Jordan will be getting their own book?
Hmm you will know the answer to this VERY soon. As in…three days!
BRANTLEY KEPT A discreet eye on the final student to leave for the morning as Mr. Finley strode down the stairs to the front of the classroom. They were three weeks into the semester and he was ashamed to admit that, with every day that passed, his fascination with the young man grew.
At first, he’d tried to convince himself that it was purely academic. The kid was smart. He’d aced all the weekly quizzes, and Brantley was more than aware of the way he watched him lecture with keen, intelligent eyes that never strayed from him.
Oh, he was fascinated, all right, but he made sure to tell himself at the end of every class that it had nothing to do with the mischievous grin Daniel would flash at his friends or the easygoing laugh that would bubble up out of him at any given moment. But he knew he was lying. Daniel was quite possibly the happiest person he’d ever met, and his joy of life lit up the room and everyone in it. Including him.
When Daniel stopped in front of him and dropped his paper on the desk, Brantley acknowledged him with a glance before returning his gaze back to the notes he was going over.
“Any big plans this weekend, Professor?”
The question had been so unexpected that he didn’t think to catch himself before he replied, “Nothing too big. Just going out with some friends. You?”
Daniel smiled at him as he shoved his arms through the loops of his backpack, and Brantley couldn’t help but look at his shirt as it stretched across his broad chest.
“I’m going to hit the beach. Such great waves right now.”
“Ahh, you like to surf. That explains it.”
When the side of Daniel’s mouth crooked up, the effect was charming as hell. The kid was a knockout.
Annoyed that he’d made such a stupid slipup, he looked back at the papers in front of him, hoping Daniel would get the message and leave. No such luck.
“Explains what?” he asked again.
Brantley sighed and rested his arms on the desk as he studied Daniel’s inviting face. “It explains your hair.”
“My—oh,” he said, touching the ends of it. “Do you like it?”
Stunned by the direct question, he sat back in his chair and fought the smile tugging at the corners of his lips. “Do I like your hair?”
“Does it matter?” Jesus, fuck. Stop it. Stop flirting with him.
But it was too late. Daniel put his hands on the desk and leaned forward, Brantley toed the ground, shoving his chair back.
“No. No, it couldn’t,” he said as he got to his feet, shaking his head.
Daniel straightened and tucked his thumbs into the straps of his backpack, no doubt to taunt him. His eyes were too knowing for someone his age, and when they held his longer than was acceptable, Brantley’s heart skipped a couple of beats.
“Was there something else, Mr. Finley?”
“You said you were going out with friends this weekend…”
Shit, did I? “Yes, that’s right.”
As Daniel ran his thumb down the left strap of his bag, he admonished himself for noticing every little move he made. He needed to get a fucking hold of himself.
“Are any of them more than a friend?”
If he hadn’t been watching Daniel quite so closely, he wouldn’t have believed the words that had just come out of his mouth. But he had been. So he did.
“I don’t believe that’s any of your business. You better hurry or you’ll miss your next class.”
Satisfied that he’d firmly dismissed Daniel, he sat down and made a show of focusing on the books lining his desk and didn’t dare look and see if he had left this time or not. He wasn’t sure what he’d do if he was still standing there.
He reached up to adjust his tie, which suddenly felt a little too tight around his neck, and with each passing second that he was consciously not checking to see if he was alone, he swore that it was getting tighter.
His head snapped up at his name, and when Daniel had his attention, he continued.
“Are you gay?”
Brantley’s eyes widened, and he wondered how his mouth hadn’t fallen open at the blunt question. Instead, he went with, “Excuse me?”
“I asked if you were—”
“I heard what you said. But I don’t see how that is any business of yours, either. You should think before you speak, Mr. Finley. I’m your teacher, and it’s time for you to leave. This conversation is over.” He flipped open one of the books on his desk and shook his head. He couldn’t believe the audacity of the kid—or the fact that he was so damn forthright. As he sat there, grinding his teeth in an effort not to look at his student—who was still standing in front of his desk—a bead of sweat ran down his collar and he cursed the fact that his nerves were getting the better of him.
“I only asked because, well, I am too. And I thought it would be nice to have someone to talk to.”
Well, hell. He couldn’t fault him for that. The only problem was…talking wasn’t what sprang to mind when he was around Daniel Finley.
He clasped his hands on the desk and stared into the anxious face peering down at him. Daniel was worrying his lower lip with his teeth, and he suddenly looked very much the young man he was.
“Are you?” he asked again, and there was no way he could deny that hesitant curiosity.
“Yes, Daniel. I am.”
As his words drifted between them, Daniel’s mouth slipped into a smile. “Oh.”
Brantley laughed at that. He wasn’t sure what Daniel was thinking right then. He’d thought for sure with the way he’d been looking at him earlier that, if he’d admitted this, he would be fending off—or at least putting up a good show of fending off—an unwanted pass. But, instead, Daniel appeared thoughtful.
“Does that bother you?”
Daniel adamantly shook his head. “No.”
“Are you sure?” he pressed, and the look that entered Daniel’s eyes then was so hot that he thought he may overheat.
“Yes. I’m very sure.”
Oh, fuck. Okay. Where the hell did the nervous guy disappear to? One minute, Daniel was endearingly awkward, and the next, he was looking at him like he wanted to strip him out of his clothes and—“Stop right there,” he said, and he wasn’t sure if he was telling himself that or the contradiction eyeing him with newfound knowledge. “Whatever you’re thinking, stop thinking it.”
Yep, he was fucked. That wasn’t a word he generally used, but in this case, he was well and truly fucked. He should’ve just stuck to the run–along–now speech.
“Because I’m your teacher.”
“This isn’t high school. I’m an adult.”
He sighed. “That may be true. But I’m your professor and this conversation is inappropriate.”
“How? I just asked if you were gay and you said yes. I don’t see what the problem is.”
When Daniel aimed a mischievous grin at him, Brantley knew he was very aware of what the problem was.
“Out,” he said, pointing to the door. “Time to leave, Mr. Finley.”
This time, he made sure to watch Daniel so he knew he was actually leaving. He walked to the door, but at the last minute, he turned around to look back at him. Not willing to back down and show weakness, Brantley kept his eyes on his student as Daniel ran his tongue along his lower lip.
“You should call me Finn. Everyone else does.”
Christ. The kid was going to drive him to an early grave, but damn if he didn’t laugh at his audacity.
“Out,” he said again, and this time Daniel pushed out the door and disappeared into the hall.
Daniel Finley is now a well-known defense attorney and is about to become partners in one of the biggest firms in Chicago. He couldn’t be happier how his career is going. However, the opposite can be said for his personal life. Finn had his heart torn out over 7 years ago and vows to never let it happen again. But, when his 30th birthday rolls around so does a note from the one man he loves with all his broken heart but also despises and wants to make pay. This is what leads Finn back to his hometown in Florida and to the arms of a man who tore his heart to shreds.
Brantley Hayes is a law professor. The one thing he never expected was to fall deeply in love with one of his students. Only, that is what happen when Daniel Finley bulldozed into his life so many years ago. Brantley made a hard decision seven years ago to give Finn the opportunity to go to one of the best law schools. Unfortunately, this school was in Chicago and in order to get Finn to accept he had to push him away. This decision has haunted Brantley for years. He never expected that Finn wouldn’t return. Knowing he has waited long enough he takes a leap and sends Finn a note hoping to bring him back home where he belongs.
Will Finn be able to forgive Brantley for hurting him? If so how will ever work when the both live their lives so far apart?
Ella Frank is one of my favorite authors. Her writing is Brilliant. She has the ability to have you connect with her characters on such a personal level that your heart breaks when theirs does. You laugh along with them and you want nothing more than see them get their happy ending because you have come to love them too. Finley does all this and then some. I love how you get bits and pieces of secondary characters. Knowing there is a story building there as well. I can’t wait to see what Ella Frank writes next as I know it will be another must read.
About Ella Frank
Ella Frank is the author of the #1 Bestselling Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust and is the co-author of the fan-favorite erotic serial, A Desperate Man. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”
A life-long fan of the romance genre, Ella writes contemporary and erotic fiction and lives with her husband in Portland, OR. You can reach her on the web at http://www.ellafrank.com and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ella.frank.author
Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Philips.
Ella Frank Author Links
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Website – http://www.ellafrank.com
Twitter – @EllaFrank2012
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