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Authors: Amy Lane

Bitter Taffy

BOOK: Bitter Taffy
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Candy Man

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to celebrate the wonder of Amy Lane and the fabulousness of this freaking story—
Candy Man

—Joyfully Jay

“There are two Amy Lanes – the very angst-filled, need a bunch of tissues Amy and the very sweet and happy Amy. This story is firmly in the second Amy camp and my favorite kind of Amy to read.”

—Hearts on Fire Reviews

Candy Man
is sweet, without being syrupy, and the gentleness of Adam and Finn’s love story was heartwarming.”

—Rainbow Book Reviews

“I highly recommend picking up this sweet novella and savoring the tasty bits of love and life inside.”

—Prism Book Alliance

“I love when Ms. Angst-and-Pain-Amy-Lane writes a sappy sweet holiday tale! I mean it! …
Candy Man
was just…adorbs!”

—Boys in Our Books

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when Amy Lane is on, she writes killer books. This is one of those killer books.”


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“This is a SWEET Amy Lane story, and those are my favorite… I loved everything about
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“…this was a very enchanting book and I hope to see these characters again in the future.”

—Hearts on Fire

“It is truly storytelling at its best and I highly recommend this novel to you.”

—Joyfully Jay


Behind the Curtain

Beneath the Stain

Bewitched by Bella’s Brother

Bitter Taffy


Candy Man

Christmas with Danny Fit

Clear Water


Food for Thought

Gambling Men: The Novel

Going Up!

Grand Adventures (Dreamspinner Anthology)

Hammer & Air

If I Must


It’s Not Shakespeare

Left on St. Truth-be-Well

The Locker Room

Mourning Heaven


Puppy, Car, and Snow

Racing for the Sun

Raising the Stakes



A Solid Core of Alpha

Super Sock Man

Tales of the Curious Cookbook

Three Fates (Multiple Author Anthology)

Truth in the Dark

Turkey in the Snow

Under the Rushes

Wishing on a Blue Star (Dreamspinner Anthology)



Guarding the Vampire’s Ghost • I love you, asshole! • Litha’s Constant Whim

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Keeping Promise Rock • Making Promises

Living Promises • Forever Promised


Chase in Shadow • Dex in Blue • Ethan in Gold • Black John


The Winter Courtship Rituals of Fur-Bearing Critters

How to Raise an Honest Rabbit • Knitter in His Natural Habitat

Blackbird Knitting in a Bunny’s Lair


Talker • Talker’s Redemption • Talker’s Graduation


The Granby Knitting Menagerie

The Talker Collection

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I put Mary through a lot last year in terms of fiction. I gave her drug addicts, Alzheimer’s, murdered children, OCD/Asperger’s/ADHD/bipolar disorder, and
cases of characters who didn’t make it all the way to the end. This book was her reward. It was sweet. It was lush. There was nothing here that would rip her heart in twain. This book is MARY’S book. And Mate’s too—because he’d take in a River Cats game in a hot second.




Thank you to the real Darrin from Candy Heaven and the real Roget from Rose-Eye Photography, who agreed to let themselves be in my book. Folks, if you want the real romance between these two, you’re out of luck—they’ve never met in real life, but they have both made a tremendous impact on
. Thanks, guys, for good humor and a willingness to be fictionalized. You’re sheer awesomeness—don’t ever doubt it.




Kellerman looked

José Ricardo Juan Gonzalves-Macias shuffled the ad copy he’d worked on all night and thought twice about the presentation he was about to make.

He’d interned at this company for four months—had done some really awesome work for them, if he said so himself—and he’d thought Artie Kellerman liked him. Of course the old guy was sort of an old-school backstabbing junkyard dog, with an iron lock around his family and a micromanaging streak, size macro, so “liked” was maybe a relative term.

But the way Kellerman stalked into the meeting room in the converted Manhattan warehouse made Rico think maybe he’d broken the cardinal commandment of bosses, be they hostile

Kellerman’s youngest son, Ezra, was at his father’s heels, looking—for the first time in Rico’s knowledge of him—mussed and out of sorts.

“Dad,” Ezra said, a little desperately. “Dad, you can’t do this—it’s not his fault.”

Ezra’s dark blue eyes sought Rico’s out over the heads of the rest of the marketing group, and Rico’s stomach started pumping acid so fast he thought he was going to vomit right there.

Oh no.

broken the cardinal commandment of bosses. Thou shalt not
sleep with the boss’s son.
if thou wert a man.

“Not his fault that he
my son?” Kellerman shouted, and Rico knew his black-fringed brown eyes got huge because he could see them mirrored in Ezra’s fashionable glasses.

“It was mutual!” Ezra shouted back, and even as he shouted, Rico caught his rolled eyes. It had, in fact, been
mutual. They’d been having sex for months before Rico even understood the concept of top and bottom as it applied to something besides bunk beds. As far as Rico was concerned, both positions felt good, and whoever felt the most like receiving did all the prep first. And if they both did the prep, well, that’s what round two was about.

But that’s not what Ezra was talking about now.

“It was mutual, Dad,” Ezra said, darting a pained glance to Rico. “He… he didn’t even know he was gay.



never even thought about it?”
Ezra’s smile glinted as white as the fat snowflakes falling around their faces in the December cold. “I mean, you’re….” His smile went away. “You’re beautiful. That was my first thought when you walked into Dad’s office. That you were beautiful. That….”

Rico swallowed, and Ezra’s vulnerability shivved open his gut, letting spill things he’d tried to tamp down for years.

“You, uhm….”

Oh God. Ezra’s eyes were bright, his lower lip trembling. He’d been Rico’s entrée to this amazing, frightening new city, and he’d given his time tirelessly to help Rico thrive in the challenging new job: marketing Kellerman’s fabrics to the top fashion designers in the city.


Rico closed his eyes and remembered his cousin Adam, who had told their family straight out that he was gay and that was why he’d left the service.

Their grandmother had grabbed him by the ear and thrown him out—she’d slammed the door in his face so hard Adam had needed a butterfly bandage to make the bleeding stop.

He’d shown up at Rico’s hotel room that night, and Rico had applied the bandage, then given him a place to sleep, since Grandma Macias was out of the question. It was funny, but whenever Adam talked about that moment, he talked about Rico’s text to him as he’d been thrown out the door. Weird how sometimes people needed reassurance more than food, more than shelter, even more than personal comfort.

“If I was gay,” Rico said, trying to keep his voice kind and not wistful, “I would so want to kiss you.”

Ezra must have heard something there—something Rico hadn’t wanted to share but Ezra sensed nonetheless. “Would you kiss me right here on the street?” he asked winsomely.

And Rico… oh God. Those wicked blue eyes, that full mouth…. Years pretending that hunger for a man’s touch, a man’s body, didn’t exist, and here he was.

Right there.

Ezra’s lips were so soft under Rico’s, for a moment they felt like another flake of snow.



at Ezra helplessly, and then at the guy who had been his snarling mentor, telling him Rico could be the best marketing director in New York if he stuck with products he believed in.

Well, the product, Rico believed in.

But he didn’t believe in Artie Kellerman anymore, if he ever had.

mutual,” he said with a crooked smile. “We fell in love.”



on his stomach, looking over a pale shoulder sprinkled with a constellation of small moles. “I know I’m a coward,” he began, and Rico put his fingers on Ezra’s lips to stop that right there.

“Family’s complicated,” he said, meaning it. “I’ve pretended for my whole life.” He’d watched Adam struggle without even his mother to protect him from the censure of their grandmother. Poor Adam—such a good kid, grown into such a nice guy, and he’d been kicked in the teeth again and again. “Nobody wants to stand alone,” he finished roughly. Because if he came out to his family, that’s exactly where he’d be.

“I think I love you because you get that.” A smile flirted with Ezra’s lips, and Rico thought that if he was a good guy—a
good guy—he’d comfort his lover and tell him he’d never let anyone hurt him.

But even then he’d known it wasn’t that simple.


BOOK: Bitter Taffy
5.63Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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