Publisher: Spectrum Books
Release Date: May 7, 2022
Genres: Contemporary M/M Romance – Beach Read
Tropes: Friends to lovers
Themes: Coming of Age, Embracing Sexual Identity
Heat Rating: 2 flames
Length: 50 000 words
It is a standalone book and does not end on a cliffhanger.
A Fire Island beach read that will melt the hearts of all ice queens
College law student, Connor, is a bit pretentious, high-strung and what some might describe as being cold as ice. After catching his boyfriend cheating on him and then being dumped, Connor decides to take his best friend Byron up on his offer for a summer gaycation experience to Fire Island.
While at Fire Island, Connor reevaluates his identity and goes through a deep soul searching experience to truly understand himself. While on vacation, he befriends a stranger named Lawrence, who encourages Connor to open up more and become lively. Lawrence proposes that Connor completes a series of wild, fun tasks, which he dubs as the Fire Island Ice Queen Challenge to get Connor to come out of his shell more. Will this frivolous and boisterous vacation at Fire Island be enough to melt the heart of this Ice Queen?
“Ewwwww!” I exclaimed, noticing the skinny, shirtless guy dancing on the box out of the corner of my eye. He had two older men standing below holding dollar bills up at him.
The whole scene gave me an unsettling feeling in my stomach. The boy reeked of desperation for attention and the old men reeked of desperation for the pale and frail twink. I was expecting to see his skin glisten like diamonds when the strobe lights moved on top of him. He was decidedly vampiric-looking, but lacked the hot features of Edward Cullen.
I rolled my eyes and diverted my focus back to my boyfriend, Derrick, who was beside me at the bar, ordering us another round of drinks.
“What are you ewww-ing about now?” he asked.
“Just that dirty ginger up on the box.” I pointed in the direction of him, now bending over on the box, getting the money tucked into his waistband by the two tragic geriatrics.
“Ugh! Why do you care about him anyway, Connor?” Derrick questioned me with a vexed tone in his voice.
He was right. I did care too much about how other
people behaved, dressed, acted, etc. I was a very judgmental person and I could recognize that in myself. However, I wouldn’t dare to let other people think that of me. As much as I cared about how others presented themselves, I cared even more about how I looked and how I was judged. I went to the gym every day, made sure I was the top student in all of my college classes, and wanted everyone to know that I was beyond mature for my age. I wouldn’t have them think any less of me.
But, I’d be out of my mind to admit this to my boyfriend.
“I don’t really care about him at all. It’s just an observation,” I confessed.
Derrick handed me my drink that the bartender gave him. “Yeah. But just let him be. He’s a young guy just trying to have fun. Clearly, he doesn’t care what other people think of him. If anything, you’re giving him the attention he wants by even making thatcomment.”
My boyfriend had a point here. I was giving him more attention than I should. And now, by having this conversation with Derrick, I was donating way too much of my time and energy in talking about him.
Derrick then reached for my empty hand. “Do you want to dance?”
I shook my head, recoiling from him. “Nah. I’m good. You can go ahead. I’ll chill out here at the bar for a bit. I wouldn’t be caught dead dancing out there.”
He simply shrugged and chugged his drink before turning around to head out to the dance floor.
I decided to take the now empty seat at the bar he left open. I glanced down at my phone and began scrolling through a few social media posts. This place was getting boring. Yawning, I checked the time to realize it wasn’t even midnight yet. What a snooze-fest tonight had turned out to be. Our usual friends had other plans and couldn’t make it out tonight, which left Derrick and me stuck alone with ourselves. I turned back around to try and pinpoint his location on the crowded dance floor, but had no luck.
I let out a heavy sigh, tapping my right leg up and down on the foot of the barstool. I had to really take a piss, and couldn’t hold it in much longer. But, at the same time, I didn’t want Derrick to come back and think I had disappeared.
However, I would only be gone for a minute or so. Oh well. I stood up and walked across the dance floor towards the bathroom.
“Nice ass!” I heard a man behind me say as he grabbed my butt as I scooted by him.
Dirty fucker! He was lucky I had to use the bathroom so badly. Otherwise, I would have turned back around and made a whole scene in front of everyone.
I pushed my way through the random guys chilling in the hallway leading to the bathroom, who were either gossiping or making out with one another. I opened the bathroom door and saw that the four urinals were occupied. One of the two stalls had the door halfway open, so I slightly kicked it to make sure no one was in there before I claimed it.
Locking the door behind me, I dropped my pants and released myself, letting out a light sigh of relief. I glanced down at the floor and could see a rather large shadow coming from the next stall over. There was definitely more than one person there. I could then hear a few wet and sloppy kiss-like noises coming from next door as well.
Like seriously!? Get a fucking room!
I flushed the toilet and walked out of the stall, shaking my head in disdain. Moving towards the sink, I checked myself out in the mirror as I proceeded to wash my hands. I rubbed my hand through my hair, making sure it was swept back nicely. My mouth gaped open at what I saw next. The door to the stall that was next to mine opened and the two guys emerged from it. The first was some random, cute guy who had a similarly toned body to me, except he had bright bleach blonde hair. Then, behind him, was Derrick.
Derrick was with that stranger in the stall!? What the fuck!?
I immediately turned around to face them both.
“Derrick! What the fuck!? Are you shitting me right now!?” I yelled.
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