Hello, I’m Mackenzie Blair and I’ve been reading romance novels ever since my mom took me to used book sale after book sale as a teenager. I loved that every romance novel had a happy ending. (Those covers were also pretty scandalous to my small-town mind, so there was probably a good dose of rebellion in my reading as well.) A few years ago, I discovered MM romance, and although I’d considered writing a romance novel for years, it turns out it took an MM story to finally inspire me to finish one!
So I hope you enjoy reading THE QUARTERBACK as much as I loved writing it.
About The Quarterback
In walks Trevor Kim, a gorgeous, pierced, tattooed fellow Bodine student who does massages—without happy endings—to pay for school after his family kicked him out for being gay. Trevor takes one look at Matt and breaks all his own rules about mixing business with pleasure.
Matt needs to keep his scholarship, win the National Championship, and survive his asshole father. Instead, he falls in love. Trevor needs to accept that the football god is meant to end up with him rather than a perky cheerleader. It’s time for a happy ending for both of them.
Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/the-quarterback
About Mackenzie Blair
Mackenzie Blair is an award-winning screenwriter in Los Angeles who’s written for shows and films you’ve probably heard of. Mackenzie grew up in the South but fled the humidity for earthquakes, university, and a brief stint in finance. As a cynical idealist, she prefers to write happy endings whenever possible.
To celebrate the release of The Quarterback, one lucky winner will receive a $30 Riptide gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 16, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
Matt shuffled from one foot to the other as his best friend, Connor, leaned in to chat with the woman at the front desk of the spa. A spa they’d driven forty minutes outside of campus for, well past the Bodine County line. Connor, known for his loud mouth on and off the football field, spoke in low tones. Discreetly. Which meant this place was exactly the type of place Matt feared.
It wasn’t like dudes had spa days like chicks. Unless it was one of those places. Matt groaned. He knew his buddies were just trying to cheer him up. And they didn’t even know how bad his social life had gotten—pretty much nonexistent. He pretended he was just discreet with his hookups, but the truth was, he’d essentially been celibate for almost three years. God, that was depressing. Everyone else was cutting loose senior year. But Matt couldn’t. He couldn’t. He was team captain, on a full athletic scholarship, and that came with expectations.
Expectations that meant he should not be standing in a happy endings massage parlor off the interstate next to a budget motel in the deep South. So what if he had a three-year case of blue balls? He could handle a few more months. But, apparently, his friends had other ideas.
“All right, boys, we’re set!” Connor said with a huge grin, passing over a wad of cash to the receptionist. Cash.
Yep, Matt was screwed. And not in the way he wanted to be.
Connor handed their teammates and suite mates, Damian and Ryan, two white robes, which they immediately put on over their jeans and T-shirts. Matt reluctantly took his robe from Connor, the big lug of a linebacker, and followed his buddies to the locker room. If Matt weren’t so terrified about what was about to happen, he would’ve found Ryan’s and Damian’s eager excitement amusing as hell.
They were total opposites in appearance—Ryan with pale skin and buzzed hair, Damian with his dark Jamaican skin and a huge Afro. But personality-wise, they were totally in sync. Goofy, ridiculous, loveable idiots.
“I could be a young Hugh Hefner.” Ryan strutted like a playboy in his terry cloth robe as they reached their assigned lockers.
Damian scoffed at him. “Please, boy. That’s pathetic. Aim higher. Like Bond, James Bond,” Damian said with a horrid British accent, trying for a sexy pose. A purposefully pathetic sexy pose.
“No wonder ya’ll never get laid,” Connor said, rolling his eyes. Matt even managed a chuckle.
They all shucked off their clothes, used to being naked in front of each other in the locker room. In fact, Damian loved to walk around nude, bragging that he had to prove that the stereotype about black men was true.
Not that Matt looked. Ever. He was way too careful. Thankfully, Matt had zero interest in his friends in that way. The thought actually made him shudder.
As everyone shrugged on their robes again, Matt considered asking Connor what exactly he’d paid for, maybe backing out of a certain happy ending. Because knowing Connor, he would have requested the prettiest girl for Matt . . . and it would do absolutely nothing for him. It never did.
His dick liked other dicks. And he’d hid it for years. Maybe if he thought about enough gay porn, he’d be able to get hard for the pretty masseuse. Then again, he could just tell her no thanks. She’d probably be relieved. Working at a happy ending massage place couldn’t be all that glamorous. Especially off an interstate in Alabama.
“All right, boys, ready?” Damian clapped his hands eagerly.
“This is stupid,” Matt said. “We’re not a bunch of sorority girls.”
“Dude,” Connor snapped. “I took a major hit for you the other night. My back is killing me. It’s either one of Coach Boyd’s lackeys works it out or a pretty lady does it here. I choose option B.”
At that moment, a discreet knock came on the door, and they were led to separate massage rooms. Matt hoped his room was last, so he could just bail on the whole thing, but the dang girl led him to his room first. His buds gave him thumbs-up. He wanted to die. The girl ushered him through the door.
“Just take off your robe and slide under the sheet,” she instructed before heading back out.
Matt slipped off his robe, wishing he’d at least kept his boxers on, but he couldn’t race back to the locker room without causing a scene. So he reluctantly slid his bare-ass self under the cool sheet. He lay down on his stomach, his face nestled in the cushion provided.
Long minutes later, a knock came. “Come in,” he called out a bit hoarsely. He kept his head firmly down. He could do this. The regular massage part would feel good, and if it came to more . . . well, he’d just pass.
“I’m Trevor, I’ll be your masseur today,” Matt heard, and he snapped his head up. Holy shit, it was a guy. And not just any guy, an absolutely gorgeous guy who he knew from school. Trevor Kim. Fuck. Fuck.
Because damn the man was hot. Asian with dark-brown eyes and almost shoulder-length jet-black hair, a piercing in his left eyebrow, and a thin tattoo snaking around his wrist—he wasn’t the usual type at Bodine College, which was filled with soon-to-be yuppies. Any ethnicity other than white or black was less than five percent of the student body. He was tall, just a few inches shorter than Matt’s six-foot-two frame, and toned but not overly muscled. And Matt was the asshole staring at him.
“You’re a dude,” Matt heard himself stupidly say.
“Uh, yeah, last time I checked,” Trevor said with a small smile. “Is that a problem?” He looked away, quickly pulling his hair into an elastic band.
Yes, yes, it was a huge-ass problem! Because worse than being massaged by a chick whom he wouldn’t have a reaction to, was getting massaged by Trevor and having a huge reaction. But he couldn’t exactly explain his predicament.
And why the hell had they sent him a guy? Were his friends fucking with him? Or had they known he wouldn’t want a happy ending? Maybe all the girls only did massages for men who wanted to get off, and the guys did massages for men who didn’t? Yeah, that made sense. Right?
Apparently, he’d been lying there too long with a stupid expression on his face, because Trevor looked down at his clipboard and said, “You requested a Deluxe Deep Tissue Athletic Sports Massage. Is that right? Do you want someone else?”
Matt let out a relieved breath when he heard it. “No, no, that’s fine. We’re all on the football team, and yesterday’s game was brutal.”
“Are you sure?” Trevor asked again, reaching for the doorknob.
“Yeah, totally,” Matt said with a smile, sinking back down to his elbows. He doubted a chick at a place like this had enough strength to work out his muscles. Actual massage skills were probably not their best selling point. But, damn, Matt needed it. He’d been tackled hard after he’d thrown that final, perfect pass in the game yesterday. “If you can get out the knots, go for it,” Matt added, trying to ease the awkwardness. “My back is killing me.”
Trevor gave a nod and set aside the clipboard. “Sure, no problem. Go ahead and lie back down, and we’ll get started.”