So I, Rhys Ford, wrote a contemporary romance.
And it’s out on March 17, 2017.
It was a challenge and one I enjoyed doing because it stretched out what I could do in a story and at the same time, forced me to reach into POV lines I’d never done before.
So when it came time to do a blog tour for There’s This Guy, I wanted to convey what the book was about—basically, a broken and heartsick man finding not only the love of his life but also his own salvation. There’s This Guy is pretty much the story of a man named Jake whose world is so bleak and unforgiving, it is dull and colourless. It is only after he’s met Dallas, does he learn to find the joy around him as well as the happiness he can have within him.
I knew going into it, I wanted to write a serious book about personal tragedy but also how there is light in the darkness someone might be drowning in. Jake does find his rainbows but only by accepting he is worth the love offered to him and by working through the pain he carried inside of his heart.
To celebrate this release, I wanted to do something different—something new as it were. In TTG, Jake is an artist who works in metal and fire but also has a deep interest in architecture and of course, ironworks, so it made sense for me to post something you, the reader, could bring to life with colour…in your own style…with your own vision.
Title: There’s This Guy by Rhys Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Romance
Length: 200 pages/Word Count: 71,030
How do you save a drowning man when that drowning man is you?
Jake Moore’s world fits too tightly around him. Every penny he makes as a welder goes to care for his dying father, an abusive, controlling man who’s the only family Jake has left. Because of a promise to his dead mother, Jake resists his desire for other men, but it leaves him consumed by darkness.
It takes all of Dallas Yates’s imagination to see the possibilities in the fatigued art deco building on WeHo’s outskirts, but what seals the deal is a shy smile from the handsome metal worker across the street. Their friendship deepens while Dallas peels back the hardened layers strangling Jake’s soul. It’s easy to love the sweet, artistic man hidden behind Jake’s shattered exterior, but Dallas knows Jake needs to first learn to love himself.
When Jake’s world crumbles, he reaches for Dallas, the man he’s learned to lean on. It’s only a matter of time before he’s left to drift in a life he never wanted to lead and while he wants more, Jake’s past haunts him, making him doubt he’s worth the love Dallas is so desperate to give him.
Read my review HERE.
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The shapes called to him, begged to be molded into a waterfall of beaten silver and russet. His mind crawled with the need to create the spaces between the forms. It was different at home. Work was… work. He had to follow form there, rigid lines of design dictated by other people’s imaginations. Sure, there were times when Evancho told him to go wild with a project or, like that morning, nodded to a bunch of scrap and told Jake to make something out of it. But those things were… not his. Never would be his. There was nothing in those pieces but a craftsmanship he was proud of, but still, not enough of Jacques Moore poured into them.
At home he was the only thing the sculpture knew. His hands, his mind, his soul set fire and hammer to the metal and turned it, forging something beautiful from the discarded chunks left to rot in forgotten places. The stupid thing was he understood his father’s drive to shape something, to mold something and dominate it. That obsession burned in Jake, a need he couldn’t slake any other way than forcing his vision onto scraps of metal.
His father. No, that had to be shoved away. Buried for the rest of the day at least. And if Jake was lucky, the old man wouldn’t come riding in on his nightmares….
Jake almost got up from the couch, abandoning both the food and the beer on the coffee table, drawn along the threads connecting him to the unfinished piece. Almost. Halfway through leaning forward, his phone burbled and sang, vibrating on the arm in a happy dance to catch his attention. The number was local, at least in the same area code, but unfamiliar. His heart flickered and pulsed with worry. Hardly anyone called him. Evancho a few times and mainly the nursing home and doctors. Unfamiliar meant something bad on the horizon, something he hadn’t prepared for.
“Or it’s someone trying to sell you something. Get your shit together.” Tucking the phone against his ear, he growled, “Hello?”
“Hey, Jake.” Lightning poured across the phone and into Jake’s ear, curving down through his spine and straight into his belly. “It’s—”
“Dallas,” Jake choked out. He was going to lose the job; Jake was sure of it. He should have kept his mouth shut… hell, probably shouldn’t have even taken the damned water from Celeste and just walked away because he couldn’t talk to people. Sadly, his brain couldn’t stop his tongue and mouth from blurting out, “Hey… um. Hi.”
“Sorry, I know it’s late. I just dropped Celeste off and—”
“Yeah, about Celeste,” he cut in. “I was a shit to her today. I should have—”
“Hey, don’t worry about it. We found a dead guy under a pile of stuff. We’re going to be a little bit off,” Dallas reassured him. “She gets it. I just wanted to see how you were doing. Okay, I was pretty much calling to see if you were coming back and working on the place tomorrow, because well… dead man under a pile of stuff.”
“Yeah, I’m fine. Um… just got in and having some leftover Thai food.” Relief at not having to tell Evancho he’d screwed up eased the twisted pangs in Jake’s chest, and he tamped down the tickling beginning in the back of his brain when the thought of spending three weeks around Dallas began to sink in. He caught a quick whiff of the open box, a sour, malignant odor wafting up from the now room temperature noodles. “Or not. I think it went bad.”
“Yeah? You said you were in K-town, right?” Dallas rolled on, not giving Jake a chance to reply. “I’m right on Oakwood and Western. Wanna grab something to eat? I split some fries with Celeste—which means I got like two fries—so I’m starving. My treat.”
“Sure. Okay. And I can get dinner—”
“You kidding? Did you miss the dead guy under a pile of stuff thing? I owe you, man.” His laugh was a soft, rolling pour of gold through the phone. “Tofu House sound good, or something else? I can come grab you or we can meet.”
“I can walk to the one across the church on Wilshire. If that’s good.” It would take him about two minutes to put on actual clothes and find clean socks, then another few minutes to sprint down a block. Eating with Dallas was insane. The thought of sharing a table with the man, being up close, was probably the dumbest thing Jake would ever agree to, but the insane part of his brain appeared to be in full-steam-ahead mode. Swallowing his last objection, he offered, “Five? Ten minutes?”
“Ten’s great. I’ll see you there.” A siren cut through the line, drowning out Dallas’s voice.
“Sorry, what?” Jake rubbed at his ear, soothing his ruffled eardrum. “I couldn’t hear you.”
“I said it’ll be great to see you, Jake.” Dallas’s voice dropped, growing husky. “Ten minutes, man. Or I’m coming to hunt you down.”
Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series and was a 2016 LAMBDA finalist with her novel, Murder and Mayhem. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.
She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Yoshi, a grumpy tuxedo cat and Tam, a diabetic black pygmy panther, as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people
Rhys Ford is giving away a $15 Gift Certificate to ONE lucky winner! To enter the giveaway, fill out the contest form below by midnight eastern time Wednesday March 22nd:
Winner will be selected Thursday March 23rd.
Follow the There’s This Guy Blog Tour:
14 MM Good Book Reviews (https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/)
15 It’s About the Book (http://itsaboutthebook.com/)
16 Joyfully Jay (http://joyfullyjay.com/)
17 The Novel Approach (http://thenovelapproachreviews.com/)
19 Boy Meets Boy Reviews (https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com/)
21 Sinfully Gay Romance (http://sinfullymmbookreviews.blogspot.com/)
22 Prism (http://www.prismbookalliance.com)
And on March 17, a BONUS exclusive excerpt to be posted at Book Reviews & More by Kathy (http://bookreviewsandmorebykathy.com/)