Playing House

Rough Play Book 2

by Suzanne Clay

Playing House - Suzanne Clay - Rough Play
Part of the Rough Play series:
Editions:ePub: $ 6.49 USD
ISBN: 978-1-951880-75-0
Kindle: $ 6.49 USD
ISBN: B08635DTQZ
Pages: 273
Paperback: $ 17.99 USD
ISBN: 1951880765
Size: 8.00 x 5.00 in
Pages: 359

After six months deeply in love with each other, childhood best friends Logan and Christian are excited for their first summer away from home. With one year of college under their belts, they’re ready to grow up and see what the rest of their lives will be like together by strengthening their relationship over the next few months. But fate has never followed their neat plans.

Christian receives an opportunity to pursue one of his greatest unfulfilled passions: acting. It’s a chance to explore a talent his parents crushed before he could dream of spending his life studying it—but is he up to the challenge? Is it worth taking the risk, knowing his family won’t support him?

Logan struggles with his attachment to Christian and his fears of being left behind. If Christian’s career on the stage takes off, will he abandon Logan and replace him with far better lovers? And how can Logan be so hypocritical when another man has caught his eye? Or has that man perhaps captured Christian’s attention as well?

Their relationship will be tested far beyond their imagination—but love always has room to grow, even in the face of fear.

This book is on:
  • 1 To Be Read list
Published:
Publisher: Ninestar Press
Editors:
Cover Artists:
Genres:
Tags:
Pairings: M-M-M
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Bisexual, Gay, Polyamorous, Transgender
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 3 Age: 18-25
Tropes: Everyone is Queer, Friends to Lovers, Interracial Relationship, Menage, Slow Burning Love
Word Count: 80000
Setting: Georgia, USA
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
Excerpt:

Logan’s muscles ached like hell. It probably had something to do with the mountain of opened boxes sitting in the corner of the small bedroom. With the massive bed taking up the lion’s share of the sunshine-lit room, his empty moving boxes cluttered up the rest. Everything still wasn’t in its place, but he couldn’t be mad about it right now. This was home for the summer—away from Fulton State University.

Words couldn’t express how grateful he was not to be going back to the little town of Greenbarrow. God knew he’d have finer company here than there with his family.

The sound of footsteps crumpling plastic bags on the floor behind Logan made him speak. “You haven’t changed a bit.”

“Don’t need to change when you’re perfect.” Christian’s familiar drawl had the same effect on Logan that it always did: a slow series of tingles drifted down his spine. “Don’t be roasting me on how I pack shit.”

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“You make it so easy.” Logan turned around and pointed at the equally messy pile of empty bags. “That. Look at that. I’ll buy you suitcases, duffel bags, anything you want—just stop putting everything in a goddamn trash bag.”

Christian slung an arm around his shoulder and kissed his cheek. “How much does it cost to get you to stop running your mouth?”

Difficult to think of a price, really, when goose bumps were still skittering over his arms. He turned his head and found Christian’s mouth less than an inch away. “…half an hour of making out.”

“Done.”

With a solid shove to his back, Logan landed facedown on the bed, then grunted when Christian’s weight crashed down on him. Instincts kicked in—he dug his elbow into Christian’s side and shoved him away, then rolled away to get a better position for wrestling.

Six months of dating, and they still acted like they had every day of their thirteen years of friendship. It wasn’t an easy habit to break. For every kiss they shared, there was Christian pinning Logan down until he said uncle and swore he’d do the dishes that night. Each evening they snuggled in one of the tiny bunk beds in their dorm, and they couldn’t keep from shit-talking each other until their eyelids were heavy.

Weirdly, Logan thought being out of college for the summer would make their relationship a little more like a movie—soft, sweet, and romantic—but as he lunged for Christian and pinned an arm to his chest, he realized things might never change. And he was okay with that.

“I said making out,” Logan gritted out as he batted one of Christian’s massive hands away before it could grab his hair. “Not me kicking your ass again.”

Christian laughed breathlessly. He snagged the back of Logan’s neck. “This is just foreplay, baby, don’t be silly.”

Baby. He still wasn’t used to that either. The air caught in Logan’s chest long enough for Christian to put him on his back. With the sight of his stunning boyfriend rising above him, all dark skin and dangerous eyes and smirking lips, he didn’t much feel like fighting anymore.

Whatever energy was overflowing in Christian seemed to dissipate. He trailed the back of his fingers down Logan’s cheek, leaving a path of fire behind them. One finger snagged in the neckline of Logan’s T-shirt as Christian bit his bottom lip and sighed.

The mood changed fast with Christian, and Logan never knew how to keep up. Not even after all this time. All he could do was watch him with a sense of wonder and see what he was going to do.

“I was gonna ask if you wanted to grab some food now that we’re done unpacking,” Christian murmured. He tugged at Logan’s shirt, and the hook in his belly yanked even harder. “Now I’m pretty sure I wanna eat you.”

Logan exhaled sharply. “You know you don’t gotta ask.”

Christian crashed down, their lips smashing together painfully, as he dug his fingers into Logan’s thick curls. As he shoved Logan back on the mattress to try to get better leverage, something fell to the floor, and Christian lifted his head with a huff. “The fuck is that? Are you already breaking shit?”

“Me?” Logan shoved him with a laugh, then rolled over to reach for the fallen binder. “C’mon, this is gonna make you feel old as fuck. You ready?”

“Aw, hell.” Christian lay on his side, head supported by his hand. “What’s this?”

Logan opened the binder. Inside were a few memories that he wouldn’t have shown anybody else for love or money—but Christian was different. He was the man he loved. And these little treasures included him too.

“Oh my God.” When Logan held a photograph toward Christian, he took it with another rough chuckle. “You’ve gotta be kidding me.”

“So cute,” Logan teased, and Christian elbowed him.

It was an old, battered photo of Christian as a child in his first-ever church play. Some girl was trying to pull off her shoe in the background, and a boy was going completely off script and pushing someone off the stage, but Christian stood very seriously at the front of the stage as he delivered some poorly written line or another.

“Jesus Christ,” Christian breathed, shaking his head, and Logan threw an arm around his waist with a grin, snuggling closer to see better. Christian scoffed. “Damn. Probably a good thing I never went after that shit. I look stupid.”

“You’re a kid. You all looked stupid.” Logan left a messy kiss on his cheek.

“Funny.” Christian set the photo aside, then pulled something out from the other sleeve of the binder. “What’s this?”

“Oh, that’s…” Logan reached to take it away, but Christian was sitting up out of reach. “Hey, c’mon—”

“Ooh, I remember now! Baby’s first monologue!”

Logan made another dive, driving Christian to his feet. “Don’t! It’s awful, man, give it.”

“Not a chance in hell!” Christian turned his back to him and began to recite. “Family. Is there any deeper hell than family? Is there—”

Logan couldn’t listen to a word. With strength he hadn’t used since they’d started dating, he practically crawled up Christian’s shoulders and snatched the paper away with such force that he ripped it free from the fingerhold of paper Christian had. “No, we’re throwing this shit away right now.” The mere memory of how enthralled he’d been by Christian performing it when they were teenagers was embarrassing.

“Hey, hey.” Christian grabbed Logan’s shoulders, but when he didn’t reach for the paper again, Logan stayed still, tension in his chest. “Just ’cuz we were young and awful when we did that shit don’t mean we shouldn’t keep it. Remember where we came from. You know?”

Logan scoffed an unamused laugh. Yeah, great to keep it around when we’re never gonna get to follow those dreams again. Right.

“Logan?”

“Just put it away, man.” He offered the paper over his shoulder, then turned his head to watch and make sure Christian did as he asked instead of being an asshole.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Amy Dufera on Goodreads wrote:

Suzanne Clay's Playing House is absolutely mesmerizing! The second book of the Rough Play series, it can easily be enjoyed as a standalone, yet reading Playing Around first is recommended.

Words cannot express how deeply I fell into this story. To say it is all-consuming is an understatement. I felt every single moment of tension, insecurity, fears, and chemistry. I felt like I couldn't breathe...waiting...waiting to see what was gonna happen. I was fully consumed by the underlying sense of angst and anticipation.

The writing is absolutely gripping, powerful in it's development, and impressive in the issues that are tackled. There is seriously a lot going on in this book.

Christian and Logan. Aww... The reader can feel the intense connection between these best friends and boyfriends. As well, the reader can feel every single moment of tension, doubts, and declarations of love. There is no doubt these two men love one another.

But they have a lot of issues to deal with. One is facing his fears about his dreams and forging the path he wants in life. The other is realizing the depth to which his life revolves solely around the other.

And then there's Noah, their roommate. His contribution to this story is life changing. Personally, I love the way he is written. I find his character to be realistic and his sensitivity to be handled with care and understanding. Damn, I just love him.

This story tackles co-dependency, racism, polyamory, family issues, and life dreams. It tackles the conflict between self worth, love and sacrifice. It tackles the conflict between love and letting one be happy without you. It tackles the intense fear when two lives don't quite match up. And it tackles the over-bearing weight of family expectations.

Playing House is way more than I could have ever anticipated. Suzanne Clay powerfully tackles some heavy issues in the most impressive of ways. This entire story is character driven, focusing solely on the heavy emotions involved. I love it! Every single second of it.


After six months deeply in love with each other, childhood best friends Logan and Christian are excited for their first summer away from home. With one year of college under their belts, they’re ready to grow up and see what the rest of their lives will be like together by strengthening their relationship over the next few months. But fate has never followed their neat plans.

Christian receives an opportunity to pursue one of his greatest unfulfilled passions: acting. It’s a chance to explore a talent his parents crushed before he could dream of spending his life studying it—but is he up to the challenge? Is it worth taking the risk, knowing his family won’t support him?

Logan struggles with his attachment to Christian and his fears of being left behind. If Christian’s career on the stage takes off, will he abandon Logan and replace him with far better lovers? And how can Logan be so hypocritical when another man has caught his eye? Or has that man perhaps captured Christian’s attention as well?

Their relationship will be tested far beyond their imagination—but love always has room to grow, even in the face of fear.

CONTENT WARNINGS:

  • Explicit MM and MMM sex
  • Consensual nonmonogamy (triad and polycule)
  • Homophobic language from a minor character (challenged)
  • Attempted assault of a trans and a bi character (unfulfilled, challenged)
  • Referenced past transphobia (challenged)
  • Codependent behavior (challenged)

About the Author

Suzanne Clay is an asexual woman with a great love for writing erotica and enjoys spending her time confusing people with that fact. She believes there is a need for heightened diversity in erotic fiction and strives to write enough stories so that everyone can see themselves mirrored in a protagonist. She lives with her spouse and cat, and, when not writing, Suzanne enjoys reading, playing video games poorly, and refusing to interact outdoors with other human beings.


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