Games of the Heart - Book 2
He's an arrogant, dominant badass...who finally meets his match
Karen R - "I LOVED this book. It was one surprise after another throughout.This is honestly one of the most original storylines I’ve read. The development of Hank and Avery’s relationship was fascinating, unpredictable, and hot! You will definitely want to read this story."
Amazon Customer - "My hat is off and I bow deeply to Claire Thompson for taking this on and succeeding to a degree I can only say makes for wonderful story-telling and a heart-warming redemption of Dickensian proportions."
Hank Seeley works through his rage over his ex’s betrayal by using rent boys from an exclusive escort service, forcing submission whether it’s wanted or not. When the service sends Avery Thompson rather than one of the usual twinks, Hank gets way more than he bargained for.
To make ends meet, Avery, a brew master, takes a temporary job as a sex worker. When he’s asked to meet with a customer who has developed a reputation for being too rough on the subs, Avery doesn’t mind taking the gig. He’s always up for a challenge. It doesn’t take long for Avery to sense something deeply hidden beneath Hank’s entitled, angry façade.
The clash between the two men is immediate and intense, as is the attraction. Hank, used to being on top of the world, is overwhelmed by the upheaval taking place in his life, including the sexy bear of a man who is so different from anyone he’s ever met.
Turning the Tables is Book 2 of the Games of the Heart series. While it is a stand-alone novel, your experience will be enhanced if you read Book 1 – Dangerous Games.
- 2 To Be Read lists
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 36-45
Tropes: Alpha Character, Badass Hero, Class Differences, Healing Power of Sex, Most Mindblowing Sex Ever, Moral Failure, True Love, Villain to Hero
Word Count: 65000
Setting: Denver, Colorado
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
“Gentleman’s Elite. How may I help you?”
“Hank Seeley. Account number 10896. I want Stevie. Eight o’clock sharp at my place.”
“One moment, please.”
Hank drummed his fingers on his knee while he waited.
The voice came back on the line. “I’m sorry, but Stevie’s not available.”
“I said, not acceptable. Make him available. I’ll pay double the usual fee.”
“Um, hold on please.”
After another annoyingly long pause, the guy was back. “Stevie isn’t available. I’m terribly sorry. How about Diamond or Troy? They’re both happy to come visit you, sir.”
Hank frowned. He wanted Stevie, damn it. He’d loved that spark of fear in Stevie’s eyes. He’d enjoyed the sudden change in his demeanor when he’d gotten his sizable tip. So what the fuck was going on? Not available, my ass, he thought peevishly.READ MORE
Diamond was a hot little number too, Hank reminded himself. But Diamond was a seasoned whore who didn’t care what Hank did to him. And he was too butch. He didn’t remember seeing Troy in the catalog. He must be new.
“Tell me about Troy,” Hank said.
“He’s five foot, seven inches tall with blond hair and blue eyes. He fits all the criteria on your check list. I can text the link to his stats to your phone if you’d like, and you can call back if you’d like to confirm an appointment.”
“Okay, you do that.” Hank hung up and waited a few seconds until the text arrived. He clicked on the link and opened the boy’s profile. Troy was good looking, slight and slender as he liked them, with large, innocent eyes and a small rosebud mouth. He was saved from looking too feminine by a prominent chin and several days’ stubble on his youthful cheeks.
“Why not?” Hank said with a shrug. He’d give him a try. Maybe he’d have both Troy and Stevie in a threesome some time. He could make them do stuff to each other while he directed the scene.
It was nearly an hour before Hank finally got the text on his cell that a visitor had entered the gate. He glanced at the screen. The name read Avery Thompson. He was confused for a moment, until he realized that Troy must not be the twink’s real name. Whatever. He didn’t care what he was called as long as he delivered the goods.
A moment later, the doorbell rang. Hank’s cock twitched with anticipation as he got to his feet.
“About time,” he muttered, moving quickly through the house. But when he pulled open the door, he couldn’t quite process what he was seeing.
The guy was easily six-four and maybe two hundred fifty pounds, too much of it in his gut. There was solid muscle beneath it though. He wore a black muscle T-shirt that stretched over his broad shoulders and barely contained his bulging biceps. His arms were covered in a down of golden-red fuzz. He had ginger red hair, cut short, and sported a mustache and goatee, trimmed close.
What the hell? No way this guy was Troy. Hank stared up at the big man in confusion. He had very green eyes that seemed to bore right into Hank, as if he were privy to all his secrets. His nose looked like it had been broken at least once and his skin was the sunburned, ruddy color of someone who’d spent much of their lives outdoors.
The man extended his large hand. “I’m Avery.” His voice was a deep, masculine rumble. “From Elite.”
Hank finally found his voice. “Where’s Troy? You’re not what I asked for. Jesus, how old are you, anyway? Forty?”
The man lifted his eyebrows and had the gall to laugh, a throaty, open sound. Hank saw nothing funny in the question. “Getting there,” the guy said, still smiling. “Thirty-eight.”
Hank waited for some kind of excuse or explanation, but Avery said nothing more.
“I ordered Troy. You’re not Troy,” Hank said, increasingly annoyed.
“No,” Avery agreed placidly. “I probably weigh twice what he does,” he added with a grin. “So you’re getting a bargain.”
Hank glared at the big man. “Is that supposed to be funny?”
“Apparently not,” Avery replied, still smiling. “Comedy was never my strong suit.”
“You’re nothing like my usual boy,” Hank snapped.
Avery shrugged as if they were equals. “Again, my apologies. Apparently, Troy had some issues with your, uh, style.”
“What?” Hank sputtered. “I’ve never even met the guy.”
“I’m sorry. I really couldn’t say. The guys talk to each other so…” Avery trailed off.
That fucking Stevie. He was happy enough when he got his three-hundred-dollar tip, the ungrateful little bastard.
“I never listen to the gossip,” Avery continued. “I was happy to accept the gig. But if I’m not what you’re looking for, perhaps there’s someone else available who might be willing to come.”
Willing to come? What the fuck? Wasn’t Hank the goddamn customer here?
Apparently unaware of Hank’s rising distress, Avery added, “Unless you’d like me to stay?”
Hank opened his mouth to snarl thanks but no thanks, but something in those compelling green eyes kept him mute and still. He didn’t understand his own hesitation. He never went for the bears, and this guy was entirely too cocky and self-assured. Yet, for some strange reason, Hank didn’t want him to leave. Without consciously making the decision, he stepped back and gestured for Avery to enter.
“What the hell. You’re here now. You give good head, Avery?”
Avery entered the hall, allowing Hank to close the door behind him. “So I’m told. How about you?”
“Do you give good head?” Avery repeated calmly, a small smile playing over his generous mouth.
Who the fuck wasthis guy? “I’ll ask the questions,” Hank snapped. “You’re on my dime, don’t forget. This isn’t a social call.”
“Okay,” Avery replied, entirely unruffled. “Would it be an accurate guess that you don’t get many social calls?”
How dare he? “What the fuck is your problem?” Hank demanded. “I’m not paying you to talk. I’m paying you to get on your knees and suck my dick. Got it?”
He waited for the guy to quail and drop to his knees, but Avery remained standing. Rather than fear or irritation, Hank saw only gentle compassion in the man’s eyes, or was it pity? Hank bristled. This rent boy had the audacity to pity Henry Winston Seeley III? Who the fuck did he think he was? Hank’s face heated with anger, his hands curling into fists at his sides.
“Hey,” Avery said in a maddeningly gentle tone, daring to place his huge hand on Hank’s arm, “I’m really sorry if I offended you. I know it’s rough when you’re alone. I understand that. Even with all this.” He waved his hand around Hank’s large, elegantly decorated living room. “The old adage is true, huh? Money can’t buy happiness. I’d venture to guess you’re one very unhappy man.”
“Jesus Christ!” Hank shouted. “Who the fuck do you think you are? Is this how you treat all your customers? What the hell is wrong with you?”
“You’re not my customer, Hank.”
“What?” Hank spluttered indignantly. “You work for Gentleman’s Elite. You’re here because they sent you. For this hour, I own your ass.”
Avery pursed his lips thoughtfully and then slowly shook his head. “I’m sorry, Hank. This isn’t going to work out. Have a good night.” He turned back toward the front hall.
Fury warred with incredulity. “Where the hell do you think you’re going? I paid for this hour. You’re a fucking hooker. This is what you do. You can’t just walk away.”
Still unruffled, Avery replied calmly, “I prefer the term sex worker. And yes, while I offer sexual services in exchange for money, I have preferences and standards. Common civility is one of those standards. I will not be treated as less than, simply to satisfy your insecurities. To put it another way, I won’t allow someone to stand on my neck so they can feel a little taller. No amount of money is worth that. So. It was…interesting to meet you. I’ll be on my way now.”
“Wait,” Hank cried, confusing himself. Hadn’t he wanted this guy to leave a moment before? But, no. He would go when Hank dismissed him, and not a moment before. And, in spite of himself, Hank was intrigued.
Avery was nothing like the boy toys Hank purchased on a regular basis. He was so calm. So peaceful. How could a base whore—oh wait, excuse me—a sex worker, act so high and mighty, as if he had the key to the fucking universe?
If nothing else, Hank was terribly curious. And he hadn’t been curious about anything in a very long time. He found himself saying, “Look, I’ve—I’ve had a rough few months. Please stay. Would you, um, would you like a drink or something?”
Avery regarded him silently, as if weighing his decision before replying.
“Please,” Hank tried again, suddenly desperate for Avery to stay. “Can we maybe start over?”
Avery tilted his head, those green eyes penetrating Hank’s soul. Hank had to resist the urge to squirm under the man’s calm but relentless scrutiny. Finally, Avery nodded. He stuck out his hand, and Hank grabbed it as if it were a lifeline.
Avery’s handshake was firm and warm. “Sure. I’ll stay. I believe in second chances.”COLLAPSE
Amazon Customer on Amazon wrote:
FIVE STARS - "I LOVED this book. It was one surprise after another throughout.This is honestly one of the most original storylines I’ve read. The development of Hank and Avery’s relationship was fascinating, unpredictable, and hot! You will definitely want to read this story."
FIVE STARS - "...My hat is off and I bow deeply to Claire Thompson for taking this on and succeeding to a degree I can only say makes for wonderful story-telling and a heart-warming redemption of Dickensian proportions." (click link to see full review)