Thank you for hosting my tour for Polyester Prince. Today I want to chat about my favorite places in Albuquerque I managed to write into the ABQ Heat series.
Polyester Prince takes place in my hometown of Albuquerque, NM. Because of this, I was able to write about a few of my favorite places with ample experience to use as a reference.
Scarpa’s is a local restaurant Isaac takes Kyle to for their second try to their first date. Scarpa’s is mostly known for their gourmet brick oven pizza, but they also have pastas and salads. Their menu is a bit on the unique side (green chile cheeseburger pizza), and they use local flavors in their Italian dishes (red chile cream pasta). It’s a popular restaurant in the city, and I’ve never once seen business slow. By the way, chile isn’t referring to a location, but a chile pepper that’s a staple in all of New Mexican cuisine. “Red or green?” is a common question during ordering a meal. I prefer green but sometimes I feel adventurous and get red on the side.
Isaac mentions ordering a local wine with their meal. I haven’t ordered wine with my pizza, so I don’t know if Scarpa’s stocks any local wines, but New Mexico does have wineries. NM wines aren’t as well-known as wines from California, but my favorite red wine is from the St. Clair winery in the Mimbres Valley in Deming, New Mexico. I buy it at my grocery store during my regular visit or at the St. Clair bistro if I’m in the area.
Another location mentioned in ABQ Heat series is Neal’s coffee shop, Beans. Beans is entirely fictional, but I based the shop off of a real shop named Michael Thomas Coffee Roaster. I buy my ground coffee for home and work from Michael Thomas Coffee, my friend is a barista there, and I absolutely love their unique blends. (Bold with light for the flavor of bold but caffeine from light!) I had to change the location of the shop to better fit the story, and the interior is different to fit with the renaming to Beans, but all of the knowledge from coffee came from Michael Thomas Coffee.
What is one local shop where you live that you would miss the most if you moved away?
Title: Polyester Prince by Hayley B. James
ABQ Heat Book Two
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, Romance
Length: 214 pages
Sequel to Paid Leave
ABQ Heat: Book Two
Kyle Edington built his life around clubs, alcohol, nameless sex, and turning a blind eye to his future, but having front row access to his best friend’s perfect relationship leaves him wanting something he doesn’t understand—the white picket fence. After an ankle injury hinders his plans for PrideFest and puts his day job selling furniture at risk, Kyle attends Pride anyway to cheer himself up. Leaving his crutches at home was a mistake, though, and he’s shoved off balance and hits his head.
A bike officer keeps him safe until the paramedics arrive. Kyle’s memory of the event is foggy. He doesn’t recall the name or face of his guardian angel, but he definitely remembers the finest polyester-covered ass in all of Albuquerque.
But when he goes in search of his polyester prince, Kyle realizes relationships take hard work. After he learns the name of that perfect ass, a lifetime of avoiding serious boyfriends leaves Kyle second-guessing himself and making difficult decisions about what he wants for his future.
For the second night in a row, Kyle found himself standing on Isaac’s stoop contemplating how much alcohol it would take to kill the butterflies fluttering in his stomach. He rang the doorbell and listened for the footsteps on the other side. The door swung inward, and Kyle was met with the grin that had been on his mind since he had woken that morning.
Isaac opened the door wider. “Hi to you too.”
Kyle squeezed beside Isaac to get inside. He lingered against the strong frame for a tight hug. Isaac released him, closed the door, and smiled brightly.
“I expected you to decline my dinner offer,” Isaac admitted. “Back-to-back dates sounded a tad desperate to me, but I couldn’t talk myself out of the idea.”
“I had my phone out to call you when you called me, so I guess we’re both desperate.” The embarrassing honesty wasn’t Kyle’s usual style. He was used to playing the aloof guy who didn’t care whether or not the other reciprocated his feelings. But it felt nice to know Isaac had wanted to see him as much as he needed to see his polyester prince.
“We’re going out tonight,” Isaac said. “No pizza this time. I’m going to impress you.”
“Please tell me you have a reservation at Chuck E. Cheese.”
“Better. Peter Piper Pizza. Peter is Chuck’s poor cousin, and he needs the support.”
Kyle laughed at Isaac’s quick wit. “I think Peter Piper was closed.”
“Then we’ll just have to stick to Scarpas.”
Kyle smiled. Italian menu mixed with local New Mexican flavors wasn’t his favorite place, but he was definitely impressed. It wasn’t expensive, but it was considered a fancy restaurant by Kyle and his usual crowd. Mainly because they preferred dining at cheaper establishments so they could spend their money on alcohol.
“Technically Scarpas is pizza,” Kyle challenged.
“It’s pasta,” Isaac argued with a smirk.
“Okay. You win. I’m impressed. Are you going to order wine without tripping over the name too?”
“Yes. But I avoid that possible embarrassment by sticking to local wines.”
Isaac had kept his hand resting on the doorknob. The way his fingers constantly jittered on the handle made Kyle think he was trying his hardest not to touch him. It wasn’t a nervous tic. Isaac was restraining himself.
“When do we need to leave?” Kyle asked.
“We have twenty minutes before we need to be there. With driving time, I’d say we should leave within the next five minutes.”
“Five minutes,” Kyle repeated. “Then kiss me.”
Isaac released the door handle, grabbed Kyle by his waist, and pulled him against his body. He tipped Kyle’s chin up and captured his lips. The kiss was unrestrained, and Kyle melted under the scorching heat. Wrapping his arms around Isaac’s neck, Kyle prevented him from ending it too soon. He felt Isaac’s hands on his lower back under his shirt, fingers digging into skin.
How would they ever make dinner reservations?
When Isaac took Kyle’s lower lip between his teeth, Kyle tugged at a fistful of auburn hair. Isaac chuckled, smoothed the spot with a light kiss, and pulled out of Kyle’s grasp.
Hayley B. James is a lifelong resident of New Mexico with no plans to pack up and leave just yet. Writing is her part-time job and full-time hobby. She works in a small office during the day and lives in her written worlds at night.
When she isn’t writing, Hayley is reading m/m romance, mystery, real-life crime, fantasy, and yaoi novels, and can be found cruising Tumblr and webcomics. She may or may not have an unhealthy obsession with police officers. It’s still up for debate.
Winner’s prize – A set of paperback copies of Paid Leave and Polyster Prince
A “Paid Leave” coffee mug
Runner Up will win – An ecopy of the book
Follow the rest of the tour HERE.