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Love in the Balance

by Brigham Vaughn

Love in the Balance - Brigham Vaughn - Russ & Stephen Peachtree Series
Part of the The Peachtree Series series:
Editions:Kindle: $ 4.99
Pages: 259

Love isn’t always enough.

Russ Bishop and Stephen Parker are in love. They’ve settled into their relationship and are both happy. But Russ wants more than what they have now, he wants forever.

To him that means marriage, but for Stephen that has never been an option. Marriage equality still isn't recognized in Georgia so why want what he can't have?

When Stephen’s ex re-appears, they’ll have to decide once and for all if they’re ready to commit to a lifetime together.

This book is on:
  • 2 To Be Read lists
Publisher: Independently Published
Cover Artists:
author - american, format - kindle, format - kindle unlimited, format - novel <100K, format - self published, format - series, potential trigger - abuse - past, potential trigger - traumatic past, potential trigger - violence, what - concept - acceptance, what - concept - committment, what - concept - denial, what - concept - family conflict, what - concept - homophobia, what - concept - internal homophobia, what - concept - isolated, what - concept - resilience, what - concept - second chance, what - element - coffee, what - emotion - angst, what - emotion - grief, what - emotion - guilt, what - emotion - hope, what - emotion - love, what - emotion - pride, what - holiday - christmas, what - holiday - general, what - holiday - thanksgiving, what - sex - bdsm light, what - sex - bondage, what - sex - dirty talk, what - sex - discipline, what - sex - experimentation, what - sex - kink, what - sex - rough, what - sex - sexual fantasy, what - sex - spanking, what - topic - friendship, what - topic - marriage equality, when - season - fall, when - season - spring, when - season - summer, when - season - winter, where - city - atlanta, where - country - usa, where - general - beach, where - region - us south, where - state - georgia, where - state - south carolina, who - description - alpha male, who - description - ensemble cast, who - description - established couple, who - description - friends, who - description - mature man, who - description - muscular bottom, who - description - older, who - description - over forty, who - description - unaccepting parent, who - description - white collar, who - occupation - accountant, who - occupation - businessman

Pairings: M-M
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 46-65
Tropes: Age Difference, Class Differences, Healing Power of Sex, Honeymoon, Hurt / Comfort, Love Can Heal / Redemption, May/December, Most Mindblowing Sex Ever, Office / Workplace Romance, Rescue, Tease and Denial, True Love, Uncommunicative Masculinity
Word Count: 92562
Setting: Georgia, USA
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters

Stephen reached out and squeezed his thigh. “Speaking of commitment, I know we’ve talked about this before, but I’d like to make an appointment with a lawyer to draw up all the power of attorney and living will paperwork soon. If something happened to you … Well, I don’t want to find myself in the position I was in with Jeremy. Alan is wonderful, so I know he wouldn’t keep me away, but we might as well have all of the legal protection in place.”

Russ nodded. “Yeah, you’re right. We should do that soon.”


They had essentially already made the commitment to each other, so why not formalize it? Even if Stephen lost every penny or became sick or injured, Russ wasn’t going anywhere, and he knew Stephen felt the same. There was no question in his mind that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Stephen. And after meeting his mom, he no longer had the smallest doubt that he was capable of serious commitment. He wasn’t her, and he never had been. He was in this relationship for the long haul with Stephen, and the law should recognize that.

It seemed so cold and soulless to go to a lawyer’s office to draw up paperwork though. It felt like too big a moment to treat that way. He knew some couples had parties after, to celebrate, but that didn’t seem right. No, what he wanted was to publicly declare his feelings for his partner and show the rest of the world how much Stephen mattered to him.

He didn’t want to sign a few sheets of paper and pretend as if it weren’t one of the biggest moments in his life. He wanted more than that. He wanted … Russ stilled as it hit him what he truly desired. He wanted marriage. He blinked, trying to absorb the enormity of that realization. For a guy who’d struggled with the idea of long-term commitment, he knew he had come a long way. Maybe it was time he showed Stephen how serious he was about their relationship. Hell, he wouldn’t be surprised if Stephen had wanted it for a while and had been hesitating because he was worried Russ wasn’t ready.

He glanced over at Stephen and pictured standing in front of an officiant, their friends, and family and telling all of them that he wanted to spend the rest of his life making Stephen happy. He could picture it so clearly, and it felt right.

Maybe Georgia was light-years behind other states when it came to marriage equality and all it would legally recognize was signatures on a power of attorney form. But there was no reason they couldn’t go out of state to get married. And someday, when Georgia finally recognized it, they’d be married there too.

Husband. Russ tested the word out in his head, and something about it felt so right. He felt a surge of giddy elation as he imagined sliding a ring onto Stephen’s finger as they promised to spend the rest of their lives together.

He was going to do this. He was going to ask Stephen to marry him.


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.