Book Two in the Arizona series
Arizona started a new life when his birth daddy, Gaston Bondurant, found him living with a foster family and facing criminal charges for assaulting his abusive stepfather. Plucked from the squalor of rural Acadiana, Arizona was thrust into New Orleans high society and an elite New England boarding school. Home for the summer, Arizona sets out to find his younger brothers and sister, who were scattered to different places when their family was torn apart. Along the way, he reunites with his tenth grade sweetheart, Preston Montclair, who still holds a torch for him.
But Arizona is struggling to figure out the man he’s supposed to be. He’s got an obligation to his daddy, who wants to mold him as his heir, but he’s also got a responsibility to his wayward siblings. It feels like he’s swimming against the rapids, trying to do both while figuring out if he belongs with his boyhood love or an educated man who can help him with his dream of being a famous writer.
- 1 To Be Read list
Heat Level: 3
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: Under 18
Protagonist 2 Age: Under 18
Protagonist 3 Age: 36-45
Tropes: Class Differences, Coming of Age, Student-Teacher
Word Count: 80,000
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
I’M ASHAMED TO say I wasn’t looking forward to going home to Louisiana for the summer. I’d finished my junior year at Middleton Academy in Massachusetts, and I’d made so many friends and settled into such a fine routine, I’d rather have kept going with it. At school, I had my people, who were Jonathan Gutierrez, Dale Knox-Levy, and Russell Thorne. We were together every day from breakfast to late night carousing. At the top of the year, I thought I’d never fit in at that fancy school, but I’d done fit in and I was proud to be a big blue gorilla, which was what we called ourselves after the school mascot.READ MORE
Let me fill you in on an important fact about me. I’m gay and proud. Through a whole lot of trials and tribulations, I came out in my first two months as the first openly gay student in Middleton’s history. Then Jonathan came out, then Dale, and then Russell. Well, we like to say Jonathan and Russell only got one toe out of the closet. But what a miracle we found each other. It was 1985, and Middleton Academy for Boys was just about the straightest place you could find on the map.
The four of us looked out for each other. Jonathan and Russell looked out for each other a little extra, having decided to be boyfriends, which was cute as heck. We even started the works on a school-sanctioned Pink Triangle club. I ain’t saying we painted the school pink. There were plenty of ignorant students and ignorant teachers who gave us ugly looks, but we were making strides and having loads of fun. Some Saturdays we hopped on the train to Boston where you could have some real fun in the South End. That’s the gay neighborhood in town.
It wasn’t just my friends I’d be missing that summer. I’d joined the equestrian club, and call me a nerd, but I liked being in school and knew I'd be missing my teachers. Especially Miss Antonelli who taught English literature and who I told about my big dream of being a writer like Mr. Thomas Wolfe. He was my favorite writer at the time, though I was such a bookworm, ask me another day and I might tell you different. Anyway, it was one sad morning on moving out day, and I’m not too proud to admit I wept saying goodbye to Jonathan, Dale, and Russell. Three months felt like forever. We swore we’d write letters and talk on the phone from time to time.
Jonathan was going home to Los Angeles where he’d be saving up money washing dishes at his uncle’s restaurant. Russell’s family was taking a month-long trip to Europe. Dale, our aspiring actor, was enrolled in a pre-college theater program at Yale. Me, I’d be spending the summer at my daddy’s house in Darrow. I had a lot to do and not much to do at the same time, which I’ll get to later.COLLAPSE