The Chess Master Chronicles (Books 1-3, Sam's Cafe Romances)
Welcome to Sam’s Café, where men from all walks of life gather for the best coffee in town and to try their hands at the King’s Game. Through challenges on and off the board, they move toward an endgame that might involve romance and a happily ever after—if they make the right moves.
The King’s Mate
Sam convinces Russell Pine to act as grandmaster in a chess tournament, but he soon learns the game isn’t the real challenge. A secret admirer is courting Russ through words and pictures. But in a café full of beautiful young minds, who could be interested in the aging chessmaster?
A Wounded Promise
With his abusive ex behind bars, Justin is eager to pursue his relationship with Russ. But when an alcohol-induced rage rekindles Justin’s trauma, Russ will have to find a way to make amends for his mistake and heal the wounds on his lover’s heart.
The Rodeo Knight
Amnesiac Brian Stouten doesn’t fit into the heterosexual life laid out by his family, so he returns to a small college town in search of clues to his past. The man he hopes to contact won’t be of any help—but an out-of-place cowboy just might.
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The Rodeo Knight (Book 3, Sam's Cafe Romances)
Struck by amnesia after a car crash, Brian Stouten has been living a life laid out by his family, a heterosexual life that just doesn’t fit. When he learns it was all a lie, he returns to the small college town that’s his only clue to his past. But the town is still unfamiliar, and the man he’d hoped would make all his memories return is on a honeymoon with another man. To add insult to injury, everyone thinks Brian died in the crash. It’s only when an out-of-place cowboy asks to bum a smoke that Brian realizes this trip was meant to be.
Sylvester Thomas has always fought a secret desire, and done it successfully. But when geeky Brian offers him a smoke and a light, a simple brush of hands has Sylvester’s hidden passions burning deep. Did he make a mistake letting Brian walk away?
A Wounded Promise (Book 2, Sam's Cafe Romances)
Having survived one nightmare of a relationship, Justin Tesh thought he'd left the worst behind when he put his ex Peter behind bars. But when his new lover Russell Pine explodes in a fit of alcohol-fueled rage, Justin finds himself frozen with a fear he thought he’d long since worked through. While older, more experienced Russ is anxious to put the incident behind them, avoiding personal issues never works, and for Justin his fear is an open doorway to demons both he and Russ need to confront.
Despite their histories of loss and pain, Russ has faith in the promise of their relationship. But if he can't heal the wound he's inflicted on his lover’s heart, he risks losing Justin forever to Peter’s legacy of brutality.
This novella is part two of the Sam's Café Romances, following The King's Mate.
The King's Mate (Book 1, Sam's Cafe Romances)
Russell Pine goes to the café every morning to enjoy his time chatting with Sam Tesh, the café owner, a friend made over the past twenty years. So when Sam asks a favor, Russ reluctantly agrees to play in a chess tournament. But the contest isn’t the real challenge: Russ finds himself the focus of a secret courtship in words and pictures left for him to discover each morning, leading him to the question: In a café full of young and beautiful minds, who is looking at the graying chessmaster?
The King's Mate is part of Dreamspinner Press's Daily Dose: Make a Play collection.
Reviewed at GayListBookReviews (read the full review):
This story felt new. Beautiful. All of the men in this story made me ache.
This story moved me, slowly building layer upon subtle layer of emotion and