Gabe’s life changed in a heartbeat when his husband died in a plane crash, leaving him a widower and a single dad to their newborn daughter. Two years later, he’s finally ready to return to his work as an artist. When a bright, attractive college grad named Matthew presents himself as a live-in caretaker for Isabela, Gabe thinks he’s the perfect fit.
Matthew is more than the solution to Gabe’s childcare problems. The two men soon fall into bed together, and Gabe wonders if Matthew was heaven-sent to create the insta-family of his dreams. But behind Matthew’s irresistible exterior lurks a desperate soul who could plunge Gabe into the greatest nightmare of his life.
Romeo Preminger’s Guilty Pleasures Editions are a hardcore thrill ride with sex, murder, mayhem, and high stakes drama.
- 2 To Be Read lists
Campus Call Boy
Andrew J. Peters © 2020
All Rights Reserved
I’ll admit I’d nearly deleted Matthew Gianforte’s cover letter and résumé. I had a traditional nanny in mind to provide Isabela a female role model, but then I decided that wasn’t fair. She had three grandmothers who loved her dearly, including my father’s second wife, and Isabela spent time with my good friend Caroline who had a three and an eight-year-old and lived not far from us. I set aside my sexist assumptions, which tried to nag at me: what will my friends, family, and neighbors think?
Let them think whatever they will. Matthew had as much experience as the other candidates. He deserved a chance.READ MORE
Matthew greeted me at the door with an enormously appealing smile. In fact, he held me speechless for a moment—those piercing blue eyes behind a pair of wire-rimmed glasses. He had a thick, tidy coif of jet black hair, and he wore a sky blue striped tie, a white Oxford shirt, and a navy blue suit jacket. He fairly sparkled in the morning sun. He looked like he had just come from boarding school graduation.
He thrust out his hand, and I took it to shake. “I’m Matthew Gianforte. Thanks so much for the opportunity to meet with you.”
I stood aside to let him in and took a quick glance at his car in the driveway while he passed. A dusty, silver Toyota sedan. Looked like it had a lot of mileage on it. It didn’t match his expensive clothes, and that scored additional points with me at the time. He had not fallen to earth from heaven, and I appreciated he had put in the effort to look his best.
I led him to the study and directed him to a Chesterfield chair opposite me. I had his résumé on a clipboard and retrieved it from the desk along with a pen. He struck me as a friendly and attentive young man, never taking his eyes off me.
“Thank you for coming,” I said. “Did you find the house all right?” I blushed and fidgeted. “I suppose you must have. You’re ten minutes early. Which is fine, I mean, it’s actually quite considerate and professional.” I cringed inside. I sounded like a babbling fool. “Well, as you know, the position is for a live-in caretaker for my daughter.”
Matthew nodded along as though I was doing very well so far.
I scratched the side of my head and decided to be candid with him. “I’m sorry. You’re my first interview, and this is a rather big deal for me.”
His eyes widened sympathetically.
“Isabela just turned two last month,” I told him. “I’ve always taken care of her. And I will still be taking care of her. It’s just time Daddy returns to his career.”
“If you don’t mind me asking, what do you do?”
I blushed again. “I’m an artist.” It was time I started saying that out loud again. I gathered some confidence. I had to be at least ten years Matthew’s senior. All right, fifteen more likely. “I have a gallery in town, and I do most of my work right here. Our barn house has been converted into a studio.”
Our. That was still coming out of my mouth even though Wyatt had been gone two years.
“Wow. That’s really cool. And having a studio right here at home must be perfect for you,” Matthew said. “I must’ve misread the posting the agency sent me. I thought it said you were a single father. What does your wife or husband do?”
I was reasonably certain he was assuming the latter. He had a perceptiveness and a familiarity about him. Gaydar is hard to explain, and I wouldn’t say I’ve always been accurate with it. Matthew dressed and groomed himself immaculately. The only thing that did not fit was his faded, tan wingtip shoes. They were clean but might have been as old as his car. Otherwise, I guess I picked up a sense of kinship from his solicitous, well-mannered demeanor. I could have been wrong, though.
“Oh, no that was accurate. It’s just Isabela and me. My husband died.”
The stricken look on Matthew’s face! He was immensely likeable. I’d passed the point of dreading sympathetic reactions from strangers, burdening them with my grief. Matthew’s sympathy seemed to come from such a heartfelt place, it was touching.
“I’m so sorry,” he said.
“Thank you. It’s been two years, which is also why the time seems right to start, well, living my life again. That’s what my therapist says at least.” God, I was being personal with him minutes into the interview. I grinned to myself, wondering if the young man was already having second thoughts about the position.