(The Walkers of Coyote Ridge #10)
by Nicole Edwards
Trey Walker has one major flaw as far as he’s concerned: he impulsively falls in love too easily and too often. That reckless impulse resulted in several failed relationships, not to mention the implosion of his marriage. And what’s the best way to ensure you don’t make that mistake again? That’s easy. You shrug off relationships for good.
And it was working for him.
Right up until it wasn’t.
Trey was on a winning streak until fate threw him a curveball eighteen months ago when he crossed paths with Magnus Storme, the smoking hot, ridiculously persistent twenty-four-year-old owner of Camp K-9. Using the 12-year age gap as an excuse, Trey managed to resist Magnus … for about a minute. Did he mention Magnus was persistent? His first mistake was taking Magnus home, thinking one night with him would get the man out of his system. One night turned into two, then a week, a month, two…
After a year, Trey still adamantly denied falling for Magnus, which meant he wasn’t only lying to Magnus, he was lying to himself.
Just when Trey’s life seems to be cruising along the right track, another unexpected turn arrives, this time in the form of a woman from Magnus’s past. Only Ava March isn’t just any woman, she’s one Magnus has a history with, and now Ava needs him.
Trey has to make a decision: live in denial and walk away from the man he loves or accept that his feelings are in direct contradiction to everything Trey thought he knew about himself.
This MMF romance can be read as a standalone; however, Trey, Magnus, and Ava’s story picks up where things left off in Confessions from the Brantley Walker: Off the Books series.
Trigger warning: While this book is about love, healing, and perseverance, some readers may find the retelling of the physical abuse Ava suffered at the hands of her husband difficult to read.
Excerpt from TREY
“See you in the mornin’, Gia,” Trey called out as he headed toward the main office in the Camp K-9 building.
“It’s your turn to bring breakfast,” she said with a smile in her voice.
“Round Rock Donuts?” he asked, knowing it would make her happy.
“I’ll love you forever, Trey Walker.”
At least someone will, he thought to himself, hating the morose turn his subconscious had taken these past four months. At the same time, he didn’t know how to change it. These days, he was going through the motions, grateful that Ava was back on her feet and things were getting back to normal. Didn’t matter that normal had taken on an entirely different meaning than before.
In an effort to help things along, Trey had been filling in at Camp K-9, helping out while Magnus dedicated his waking hours to taking care of Ava. During that time, Trey had come to enjoy what he was doing. Working with dogs, learning the ins and outs of the kennel, as well as observing the training sessions that took place gave him a sense of peace he wasn’t sure he’d ever known before. It was a far cry from the stress of working against the clock in search of missing people, which he’d done as a member of the Off the Books Task Force for the year prior to Ava’s disappearance. While it had pained him to do so, he’d made the difficult decision to quit the task force, and he felt significantly better for it despite having left his brother and the team in the lurch. While he suffered some guilt, Trey figured if he hadn’t, his mental state would’ve been significantly worse than it was now.
While he enjoyed his temporary work, Trey knew he would have to move on sooner or later. He couldn’t continue to ride the coattails of Magnus’s new life simply because he didn’t want to walk away. His relationship with Magnus, which had been new and exciting, had turned into something else entirely. They’d reverted to the way it had started when sex was merely a means to an end, a distraction, if you will. Trey wanted more, but he damn sure didn’t intend to ask for it, and since Magnus wasn’t broaching the subject, he figured the only option he had was to take a permanent step back. Hence the reason he’d been putting more distance between them in recent weeks. The expiration date was nearing, and as soon as he could get up the nerve to walk away permanently, it would be nothing more than a fond memory.
Grabbing his phone from his pocket, Trey shot a quick text to Magnus, letting him know he was leaving for the day and that he’d be back first thing in the morning. It was a chickenshit thing to do, but saving face wasn’t high on his priority list these days.
Before he could get out the door, his phone chimed with a response.
Come by the house before you leave.
Trey opened the door and stepped out into the gravel lot, his gaze darting over to Magnus’s house.
It would’ve been in his best interest to get in his truck and drive away, pretending he hadn’t seen Magnus’s request. If he went to that house … if he went inside…
Trey exhaled heavily, his cock thickening just from the mere thought of getting a few minutes alone with Magnus. Those instances were few and far between these days, and the absence of the intimacy they’d once shared was weighing on him heavily. Sure, it was Trey’s fault, but the longer he let himself feel something for Magnus, the worse it would be when they reached the inevitable end. Which he feared was coming much faster than he’d anticipated.
While neither of them had officially put a name to this thing between them, there was no denying a relationship had formed despite Trey’s adamance that they keep things casual. That was his fault, too. He was the one who’d claimed Magnus as his boyfriend back when they’d been searching for Ava. It had been a knee-jerk reaction, one he wished he could regret if for no other reason than it would make things so much easier.
For months, Trey had tried to pretend things were normal, that there wasn’t an enormous obstacle establishing a permanent residence between him and Magnus at this very moment. That obstacle had a name: Ava March. There was no doubt in his mind that Magnus was in love with the beautiful wisp of a woman who’d come a long way during her recovery. Physically, she was healed, but emotionally, she had a long road ahead of her.
Of course, Trey had always feared it would come to this. Being with a man who was admittedly bisexual hadn’t been the smartest move he’d ever made, but Trey wasn’t really known for his intelligent actions. He let his heart lead, even when he fought the damn thing tooth and nail.
The back door of Magnus’s house opened, and the man appeared, effectively derailing Trey’s thoughts. His breath lodged in his chest when he saw Magnus standing there, his broad, muscular torso bare, accentuated by a pair of athletic shorts riding low on his lean hips. With his dark hair tousled and his jaw unshaven, he looked like Trey’s darkest fantasy. As many men were prone to do, Magnus had spent the better part of the last four months focused on working out as a way of shoving aside the emotional turmoil. Because of that, he’d honed an already superb physique, turning it into a masterpiece. One Trey craved like all the other vices he’d come to yearn for over the years. And like an affinity for alcohol, Trey knew this particular addiction was only going to end badly.
With a crook of his finger, Magnus motioned him over.
Trey knew he shouldn’t.
He really, really shouldn’t.
But he would because … fuck.
Resigned to his fate—he’d been a glutton for punishment his entire life—Trey headed that way, tucking his phone in the back pocket of his jeans as he sauntered closer, meeting Magnus’s gaze. He held his stare as he stepped up onto the deck. As he approached the door, Magnus moved back, giving him room to come inside.
Go home, man. Don’t make this any harder than it has to be.
A mirthless laugh rumbled in his chest as he wondered whether or not his brain was talking about his dick or his heart. It could be either because Trey wanted this man with a passion that no longer made sense.
He took another step forward, although he was mentally shouting at his legs to go in the opposite direction.
Another step, then another, and he was walking into the house.
No turning back now.
Where do I begin? There is just so much to say about Trey, Magnus, and Ava's story but I think the most important thing is THANK YOU Nicole for writing this one. I have been following Trey and Magnus for a while now, while Trey was working with his brother Brantley on the OFF THE BOOKS Task Force he was by his side helping solve some cold cases and some current ones and during that time we were introduced to Magnus the K-9 instructor. We've watched their relationship grow from a one-night stand to something more, something that Trey really didn't want to admit to, and during this time I kept hoping that we would get more of them. Then the unthinkable happened in CONFESSIONS*, Magnus' friend Ava went missing and he was accused of Kidnapping her. Trey, Brantley and the rest of the Team devoted their time to finding her and finding her they did only that was just the beginning of things. So THANK YOU NICOLE for giving us what we so desperately wanted, Trey to get his own story and find his true HEA.
In this story we learn what it is to love, heal, and move on to a better life. Ava not only has the love of her longtime friend guiding her back but also Trey who spends time with her helping with whatever is needed so Magnus can sleep for a few hours. She is one very lucky woman to have these men take care of her the way they did. I loved watching as all of their relationships grew into something different than any of them expected, especially Trey.
If you were or are a victim of Domestic Abuse this book may be hard to read and I will admit to having to put this book down a few times as Ava recalls what her husband had done to her over the years they were together. Read with caution and know if you need help there is help out there for you.
I would recommend this book to those that enjoy STEAMY Romances, MM Romances, Menage Romances, Friends-to-Lovers Romances, Triad Romances, or Romances that have a heroine reclaiming her life.
*confessions does not have to be read in order to enjoy this book
About the Author:
Nicole lives in Texas with her husband and their youngest of 3 children. The two older ones have ventured out in the world on their own. She has a beautiful granddaugther and a rather spoiled grand-puppy.. Oh, she and Colt also have four dogs. Most of the time, you can find her hiding in my writing cave. If she's not there, she's probably hanging out with the family, reading, or watching hockey and football. One thing for sure... Nicole is always trying to have fun.
*Book Teasers and Excerpt are property of Nicole Edwards
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