Love & Rugby Series
During a rugby practice, Easton Santiago is tackled by the revelation that he and his teammate are dating the same man. Confronting his boyfriend’s deception also forces him to face the feelings he’s refused to acknowledge for his teammate, Kade.
Kade March is furious to learn that the man he’s been dating for three weeks has been using him to cheat on Easton, one of Kade’s favorite people. Being hurt is one thing, but someone hurting Easton is something Kade won’t allow. He cares too much, too deeply, and can’t deny it any longer.
Mutually breaking up with their cheating ex bonds them and sets them free to explore the allure of each other. But Easton’s been burned one time too many, and Kade’s self-doubts run deep. One touch, one admission, one kiss, sets off a chain reaction neither of them expected, and risks their friendship, their team, and how much they depend on each other.
Spending his fortieth birthday in a club filled with twenty-somethings and members of his brother’s rugby team isn’t Finlay Davidson's idea of fun, but falling into the arms of a sexy stranger who looks as out of place as Finlay feels, entices him to stay. For a decade, he’s partnered with his siblings, focused on building a successful family business and ensuring the well-being of his employees. Romance hasn’t been a priority, but meeting the man, who moonlights as a bouncer and is one of his brother’s teammates, shifts his world and ignites his desire for more.
For the past year and a half, Mateo Rossi Ayala’s life has revolved around working two jobs, bouncing on weekends and doing home remodels during the week. His only respite is the weekly rugby games and practices with teammates who have become like family. Meeting Finlay, his rugby teammate’s brother, is a spark of light in a hectic life consumed by commitments and responsibilities, strong enough for Mateo to believe that the unattainable is possible.
The intensity of their immediate connection outweighs Finlay’s hesitation over dating someone who plays a dangerous sport, and makes Mateo determined to fit their relationship into his life without dropping any balls. When their worlds turn upside down, Finlay’s fears and Mateo’s worst nightmare collide. With their differences and doubts laid bare, can their burgeoning relationship survive the strain or will their bond be severed?
Cameron Davidson is a devoted father, a marketing whiz for the company he owns with his siblings, and the captain of the over-thirty team for the inclusive rugby club he founded. His life is full, but he feels like something is missing. Exchanging messages with the anonymous, charming shopper who handles his groceries fills the void, but he longs to take their interactions into the real world. When Aspen Ocean, the attractive and aggravating captain of the under-thirty team, is revealed as the mystery man, Cam is forced to rethink their relationship and admit there’s more to his fascination with Aspen than his ever-changing hair color and kaleidoscope of tattoos.
Aspen Ocean loves being a makeup artist, his tight-knit friend group, and captaining the under-thirty rugby team. His second job as a personal shopper was supposed to give him extra income, not find him a boyfriend. He’s floored when the sexy single dad he’s been flirting with is actually Cameron, who has been a thorn in his side for the last five years. The discovery compels him to concede there’s something to the undercurrent of attraction swirling beneath their encounters on the pitch and acknowledge that he yearns to see what lies beneath the sarcasm and humor that Cam presents to the world.
The decision to get to know one another allows Cam and Aspen to see each other in a new light. Beyond the attraction and chemistry, they find support, caring, and a connection that deepens with each passing day. But Cam is protective about who he allows into his and his daughter’s lives and into their hearts, and Aspen feels ill-equipped to navigate anything traditional, including a relationship that is more than just him and Cam. Can the fire of what they’ve built blaze bright despite the obstacles or will it fizzle out?
Hercules Hoffman has spent the last few years starting over, in a new job, new living situation, going back to college, and in a new role as manager of the inclusive rugby club he used to play for. His friendships are solid but with his life in transition, he doesn’t believe he has a lot to offer someone until the goals he’s working towards are achieved. From their first meeting on the pitch, Hercules sees Apollo as out of his reach, but the gentle giant is never far from his thoughts.
Zoologist Apollo Leos finds animals easier to understand than people. Joining the rec league rugby club pushed him out of his comfort zone and gave him a supportive friend group for the first time in his life. Slowly shedding the shields he developed to protect himself from the harshness of the world, he’s gaining confidence and the ability to relax and trust. Except when it comes to his attraction to Hercules. He’s never dated before and feels his inexperience will be seen as a hindrance to a relationship. Not knowing how Hercules will react to that information freezes him from making the first move.
After their matchmaking friends scheme to get them together, Hercules and Apollo take a tentative step that quickly falls into a heady rush of firsts. Kisses, dates, sharing pieces of themselves, they form a bond that opens up their worlds. As Hercules wars with doubts about himself and Apollo navigates the unfamiliar territory of a romantic relationship, their summer romance is tested by Hercules’s belief that people don’t stick around and Apollo’s worry about what will happen when he trusts someone with his heart.
Greer Fox is a teacher, an actor, and a hopeless romantic. He has a life he adores, but longs to find a love like his friends have with their partners. Despite getting bruised, he keeps his heart open. Catching feelings for Owen Kim, his secret hookup buddy from his rugby club, surprises Greer, but he’s open to exploring whatever might come from a relationship with Owen.
Physical therapist Owen Kim’s life has revolved around building and expanding his practice. In his black and white world, Greer provides the color. What started out as fun and casual has now opened his eyes to what he’s been missing, and Greer is the catalyst to exploring what he hasn’t let himself have in years.
A new year’s eve spent dancing and kissing with their mutual crush, meteorologist Storm Breen, gives the trio a taste of what can happen when desires are explored and the knowledge that they want more of what they can bring to each other.
Fitting each other into their lives is almost seamless and the trio clicks together like nothing else they’ve ever experienced. But their deepening bond also brings vulnerabilities to light. Neither Greer nor Storm have been in a relationship with more than one person before, and Owen fears the reason his last triad ended could repeat itself. Sharing secrets, needs, and feelings isn't easy for three men who have good reasons for keeping defenses in place, but if they don't learn to trust in each other, they risk losing everything.
Firefighter Gage Garrison prides himself on being strong and reliable. Since his last relationship’s humiliating end, he’s kept to himself, but thanks to the rec league rugby club he joined, he’s slowly gained new friendships and a place to belong. A place that is threatened when his attempts to rescue a kitten in a tree thrusts his secret fear of heights into the spotlight, in full view of his new friends, and the teammate he’s been crushing on all season.
Dendrologist Valentine Bartley loves plants and trees with a passion. Settled in a new city, a new house, and a new job, he’s now part of the rugby club he used to love playing against, and has formed some solid friendships there. He’s also developed a crush on his fearless teammate Gage. Taking part in the tree rescue gives him a glimpse behind the tough mask Gage shows the world and he’s determined, quirks and all, to pursue the intriguing man.
Caring for the kitten bonds the men. Sharing vulnerabilities and wants, they find support, honesty, and a connection that feels like the solid foundation for a relationship. But with Gage’s worries over how his phobia could color Valentine’s and his teammates’ opinion of him, and Valentine’s doubts over whether he can trust Gage to keep his word when others haven’t, will fears of history repeating itself keep them from the promise of new beginnings they’ve found in each other?
Swoon was part of the Love is All: vol. 5 charity anthology and has since been expanded.