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Advance & Retreat: The Midwest Series Book 4 – Ian & Ricky)

by Brigham Vaughn

Olympic-size dreams come at a price.

Openly gay college swimmer Ian Harrington feels like he's fighting against a current of tragedy. He's grieving the loss of his parents and best friend, and now he's dealing with a toxic coach and judgmental brother. But he won't let that stop him from chasing his dream: Olympic gold.

Ricky Chavez has just about everything he wants in life: a great career, a supportive family, and a side gig as drag queen Rosie Riveting. The only thing he's missing is a partner to share it all with.

When the two men connect after Rosie’s performance, they're immediately drawn to one another. But it's never that simple. Ricky isn't the type of man to hide, and with Ian's coach breathing down his neck, he can't openly love a drag queen without making waves.

They'll have to brave deep waters to make it to the finish line.

This book is on:
  • 4 To Be Read lists
  • 1 Read list
Publisher: Independently Published
Cover Artists:
Pairings: M-M
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Bisexual, Gay, Genderfluid, Questioning
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Age Difference, Bad Breakup, Class Differences, Coming of Age, Coming Out / Closeted, Cultural Differences, Find Love and Come Out, Forbidden Love, Geek and Jock, Interracial Relationship, Love Can Heal / Redemption, Meet Cute, Most Mindblowing Sex Ever, Opposites Attract, Out for You, Passing as Straight, Rescue, True Love
Word Count: 105,980
Setting: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters

When the door closed behind them, Ian looked around Rosie’s dressing room. Feeling a little out of place, he took a seat on the sofa.

He’d pictured approaching Rosie dozens of times, but in all of the scenarios, he’d never imagined hiding out in her dressing room because he was afraid of being discovered. He’d wanted to be smooth and charming, and now he was going to look like a scared little boy. He sighed. Perfect. Just fucking perfect.

It was a nice place to wait though. Cramped and cluttered but the couch was comfortable, and the room smelled good. Like flowers and honey but not too sickly sweet. He wondered if Rosie smelled that way. He wondered if he’d be able to find out.


The thought made him feel anxious and excited, so he looked around the room again to distract himself. The wall space next to the mirror held a bunch of pictures. Even from a few feet away, Ian could see they were pictures of Rosie with other people. Other drag queens mostly, although a few were with an older couple. Ian wondered if they were her parents.

They looked proud and happy, so Ian figured if it were her family they must be pretty supportive. Ian had wondered what his parents would have thought if they’d found out he was into drag queens. Of course, he couldn’t ask them now. As for his brother Chase ... ugh. Ian had a feeling that wouldn’t go over well.

Ian noticed a vase of flowers on the dressing table too and cursed that he hadn’t thought to bring some. Of course, clearly Rosie got flowers all the time. They wouldn’t exactly set him apart from every other person trying to win her over. Ian sighed. What the hell were you thinking? He was way too much of a mess to ever impress someone like Rosie. She was a goddess. He could swim really fucking well, but otherwise, he was just a stupid college student with a crush. She’d probably send him packing the moment the coast was clear. God, I’m such an idiot. Maybe he should just leave now. If he moved quickly enough, he could probably get out through the stage door. People there would be looking for the entertainers. Not someone like him.

He was internally debating what to do when he heard the rattle of the doorknob.

“Knock, knock.” The door opened and Rosie stepped inside, a smile on her face.

Ian stared up at her, awestruck as he rose shakily to his feet. “Hi.”

Nope, there’s no way I’m leaving now.




About the Author

Brigham Vaughn is on the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga.  She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.