What’s a straight guy to do when he falls for his new friend?
Paramedic Connor Devlin is a stressed-out tower of a man. Hoping knitting will help him unwind, he visits a local craft shop, where he’s overwhelmed by the yarn selection but more so by his feelings for shop owner Judah.
Judah Bissel is tired of falling for unavailable men. He can’t help his crush on Connor, though, or wanting to get closer to the big, gentle bear. And that just might spell trouble because pining for straight guys is not Judah’s style.
As a blizzard pummels the city, the men hunker down together to wait out the storm. When the spark between them ignites, will the revelation that Connor feels more than friendship for Judah bring them together or tear them apart?
Hooked On You is a 72.8K friends-to-lovers MM novel. It features a stressed-out paramedic who’s figuring out he’s not quite straight, a yarn shop owner with a bad habit of falling for unavailable guys, lots of knitting and snowdrifts, and a sweet, happy-sigh HEA.
- 1 To Be Read list
Publisher: Independently Published
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Bisexual, Gay, Questioning
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Find Love and Come Out, First Time, Friends to Lovers, Gay for You / Straight to Gay, Hurt / Comfort, Meet Cute, Out for You
Word Count: 72855
Setting: United States, Massachusetts, Boston
Languages Available: English
You are in way over your head, buddy.
Connor Devlin had never seen so much yarn. Literal boxes of it, cubbies stacked floor to near ceiling on the walls of Hook Me, a knitting supply shop in Boston’s North End and only a few blocks from Connor’s apartment. He’d walked by the shop dozens of times on his way to work but had never been inside it until tonight. And he had very little idea of what he was looking at other than so. Much. Yarn.
Eyebrows drawn together, Connor peered into the cubby nearest him and its neat stacks of wooly bundles, vibrant hues ranging from deep rose to shocking pink. Movements tentative, he fingered one of the bundles, his frown growing deeper as he considered the colorful, organized chaos. Where the hell did he start?
“Do you have a particular pattern in mind?”READ MORE
Connor almost jumped out of his skin. For a guy who stood six-foot-four, he’d always been easy to startle, a personality flaw many of his co-workers exploited with great glee. Forcing himself to take a breath and peel his shoulders down from around his ears, Connor turned to the guy who had appeared at his side. Still, his surprise must have shown because the guy’s face immediately scrunched up in a wince.
“I’m so sorry,” he said to Connor. “I didn’t mean to sneak up on you.”
“You’re fine,” Connor murmured, blinking rapidly as the guy’s lips quirked into a smile.
Oh, crap. Fine was an understatement.
This guy was nothing at all like the caftan-wearing ladies Connor had imagined working in this store. Mr. Hook Me was maybe five years younger than Connor’s thirty-two, with striking gray-green eyes and a Pride pin attached to the collar of his black shirt. He’d been behind the counter when Connor had walked in and Connor’s attention had been on the yarn. No chance of ignoring the guy now that they stood only a foot or two apart, however, especially with Mr. Hook Me smiling at him. Connor was abruptly glad he’d exchanged his Boston EMS uniform shirt and jacket for street clothes before leaving the station.
Wait, what? What difference did it make what Connor wore?
“I noticed you’d been standing here for a while,” the guy said, then gestured toward the wall of cubbies. “I thought I’d check in, make sure you were finding everything you need.”
“Thanks.” Connor pushed his hair back over his shoulder, his cheeks on fire as he caught himself staring. He hoped his beard hid at least some of his blush. This guy looked like a film actor for crying out loud, all slim and sleek, his form graceful compared to Connor’s meaty body. Not that Connor should be thinking about Mr. Hook Me’s body. Or any man’s. Except he was. And why?
Shifting his focus back to the wall of cubbies, Connor cleared his throat. “I’m, um, honestly not sure what I need.”
“Is that why you were talking to yourself?”
“Say what now?”
Mr. Hook Me’s smile grew a little wider when Connor glanced back, and his eyes crinkled at the corners. “You said ‘Where the hell do I start?’ A question I hear often, by the way. People talk to themselves all the time in this store. I suspect it’s a knitter thing.”
“Oh, I’m not a knitter,” Connor said. He looked away again, his face blazing hotter. He was making himself sound awfully stupid. Not to mention talking out loud to no one in a public place. “Or at least not yet. I wasn’t kidding when I said I have no idea what I need, though. I’ve never even held a pair of knitting hooks.”
“They’re called needles,” Mr. Hook Me replied, his tone easy. “A hook is what you’d use for crochet, which is different from knitting entirely.” An encouraging expression crossed his face when Connor met his gaze. “Or maybe that’s what you want to do instead?”
“I’m … not sure.”
With a shake of his head, Connor glanced at the door. He could leave. Call this outing what it was—a mess—and go home and fix himself a sandwich for dinner. He’d only come in here because his coworker Olivia was convinced that a hobby would help wrangle some of Connor’s anxiety. He could find a different yarn shop. Maybe do some googling before he ventured in, and hope it was staffed with safe, caftan-wearing ladies who didn’t make Connor’s insides go both tight and melty when they smiled.
“Don’t worry about it,” Mr. Hook Me said, his voice soothing. He cocked his head at Connor. “Can I ask what brought you in here tonight? That might help me understand what you’re looking to do.”
Connor gave a terse nod. “Right. Well, like I said, I’ve never knit or done crochet before, so I guess I’m more looking to get started than anything else.”
“That makes sense.” The guy’s forehead puckered, and a thoughtful air came over him. “Is there a project you’re looking to work toward once you understand stitches and the mechanics of needlework?”
“Yeah, actually. How did you know?”
“Lucky guess. A lot of people have an idea in mind when they decide they want to learn to knit, be it a scarf or socks, or even a winter hat.”
“I want to knit a baby blanket,” Connor blurted. He drew a rectangle in the air with his index fingers, then almost rolled his eyes at himself—what the hell was wrong with him tonight? “I’m not really sure what size would be best, though.”
“No problem. We’ve got books of patterns that could be of help if you’d like to look through them.” Mr. Hook Me tipped his head in the direction of the counter.
“That’d be great, thanks.”
“Of course. Knowing what you’ll need to create your final project may help me too, so I can direct you to the right yarn or recommend specific stitches. I also have plenty of suggestions about how to get started with the learning part. Oh, man.” Bowing his head slightly, Mr. Hook Me set a hand over his heart. “I’m being super rude. I’m Judah and this is my place.”
“Nice to meet you, Judah.” Connor shook the hand Judah extended. This guy was something. Confident but genuine, too, and so good at not making Connor feel like a big oaf. “My name’s Connor. I’ll take any advice you can give me on the learning and the blanket and whatever else I might need to know about knitting. Or crochet. Hah.” He huffed out a breath. “I’m sure I sound like a complete dope wandering in with zero idea of what I’m doing.”
Judah gave a soft chuckle. “Not at all. People walk in here all the time with an idea of what they’d like to make and no concrete knowledge of what it will take to get there. It was a daily occurrence in the run up to Hanukkah and Christmas! That’s where I come in.” He gestured Connor toward the counter. “How about we get started with the patterns and go from there?”COLLAPSE