Jamie Craig - Writing on the Edge of Erotic Romance

May: Corazón

The fifth of May is the single date that could change the course of one man’s life.

Mason Ritter does not want to go to Puebla, Mexico, with his long-time boyfriend, Miguel. He claims he does not want to deal with the hassle of traveling from San Antonio to Puebla. He doesn’t like the way Miguel pretends Mason is just his good friend when they’re around Miguel’s father. He doesn’t want to take the time off work...

But in reality, Mason has only one reason to avoid the Cinco de Mayo fiesta in Puebla—Anton Rocha.

Anton Rocha is engaged to Miguel’s sister, Pedra. Anton Rocha is off-limits. Anton Rocha is also the most desirable, intoxicating man Mason has ever met. And before the end of the fiesta, Mason is in serious danger of losing his heart...

5 angels from April, Fallen Angel Reviews:...Jamie Craig only gets better in the Calendar Boys series and the May installment is no exception. Mason’s infatuation with his boyfriend’s sister’s fiancé comes across as just a crush in the beginning of the story, but things heat up between Anton and Mason at just the right speed. Although I’m not sure if I liked Miguel’s sister very much, Mason and Anton were enduring characters. I couldn’t help but want a happy ending for them both. Corazon is one of my favorites in the Calendar Boys series.

5 ribbons from jhayboy, Romance Junkies:...MAY: CORAZON in the CALENDAR BOY’s Series could not be more aptly named. Anton wants to do the right and honourable thing, not only for his sake but because of promises made. He will make any sacrifice, even letting the man of his heart go, in order to do the right thing. While Mason has no choice but to accept Anton’s reason for going through with a wedding to someone he doesn’t love, he hopes for a different parting between them. When he has a chance to think, he knows that he will accept nothing less than everything from Anton. When you can’t have your heart’s desire, it makes a difference as Anton quickly realizes. He goes about making changes to his life in order to give his heart what it wants – it’s Corazon.

4.5 nymphs from Mystical Nymph, Literary Nymph Reviews:...another well written and plotted story I thoroughly enjoyed. While the plot vehicle of both Mason and Anton cheating on their respective significant others generally would have turned me off immediately, the manner in which the author(s) expressed the unhappiness and uncertainty of both men allowed me to overcome my usual unforgiving reaction. So imagine my surprise when I found myself rooting for the success of their new and growing relationship. What can I say? I’m a sucker for two guys in love.

4.5 stars from Jessewave:...How they resolve their issues and achieve their HEA makes for a very delightful story. The characterizations were terrific and believable.

4 stars from Frost's Fancy, Rainbow Reviews:...Author Jamie Craig (the writing duo of Pepper Espinoza and Vivien Dean) spin an excitingly romantic and sensual story of four individuals webbed together by tradition, expectations, romance, and lust. Battling their way through a situation that seems destined to hurt somebody no matter what action is taken, the characters evolve each in their own way. Eventually the protagonists come to understand that sometimes the deepest character change comes through the most difficult decisions.

4 lips from Tina, TwoLips Reviews:...heart-wrenchingly sweet romance at its best.

From Ley, Joyfully Reviewed:...As the story progresses, the chemistry and passion between the two become stronger and more desperate. It also becomes clear that Miguel and Mason’s relationship is nothing more than the need of companionship. Corazón fittingly touched my heart mostly because of Anton. He’s the big, strong silent type who only wants acceptance and love and luckily he finds it with Mason.

From Elisa Rolle:...Can I rename this book "How to pick up two unlikeable characters and make you like them"?...In the end I supported Mason and Anton. I still felt a little sad for Miguel (not so more for Petra), but between Mason and Miguel there wasn't the real love that there is with Anton.

EXCERPT

...Mason studied Anton for a few moments before speaking. “If you don’t mind me asking…when was the last time you were with a guy?”

“Besides you?”

.”

“Four years. Not since I moved to Puebla.”

“Then why…” Mason paused, wondering when he had become such a masochist. “Why take the risk you took with me?”

Lime juice trickled down Anton’s thumb, a single drop that he completely ignored as he lifted the bottle to his mouth. He took a long drink, then another, the beer half gone by the time he set it back down.

“You took a risk, as well,” Anton said. “Anyone could have seen us. I think we both took the risk for the same reason.”

But Mason immediately understood the risks were different. Losing Miguel over a single kiss would be painful, but Mason could survive it. He had lost boyfriends over less, and he hadn’t vowed a lifelong commitment to Miguel.

“Honestly, I’d be willing to take that risk again.” Mason licked his lips. “Not that I’m suggesting we do, or think we should.”

“No, we shouldn’t.” His gaze drifted back to the crowd. “But that doesn’t mean the wish disappears.”

“So we’ll just…pretend that the wish isn’t there until I go back to San Antonio. That’ll be for the best. Right?”

“The best. Yes. I think so.”

A young couple, their hands in each other’s back pockets, were the next to descend on the jukebox. While Anton watched them make their selections, Mason watched Anton. Pedra didn’t even realize how lucky she had it, he decided. Did Anton consider himself bisexual then? Or gay and settling for the life he thought he wanted? So many questions, not nearly enough beer in him yet to ask them.

“Is San Antonio so different?” Anton finally shifted his attention back. “If I was Miguel, and we were there, would you and he be able to be yourselves right now?”

“More or less. There are still places it’s best for openly gay men to avoid, but it’s gotten better over the last decade. And I have friends who tell me it’s even better in Austin.” Mason leaned forward. “Do you ever get to be yourself, Anton?”

“This is myself.” But the evasive duck of his eyelashes said otherwise.

“But you’re going to live the rest of your life pretending you’re cured of something that’s not an affliction.”

“No, I’m going to spend the rest of my life with a woman I adore. Not everyone can be as lucky as you are, Mason.”

Mason’s first impulse was to argue with him, but he understood that even though they were sitting at the table, they were living in two different worlds. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have…I was out of line.”

Anton’s mouth canted into a sad smile. It panged even more when Mason realized the sadness extended to his dark eyes. “You said what you believe. Nobody should ever be faulted for being honest.”

“Even if the honesty isn’t exactly asked for or prudent?”

“We’ll just blame the beer.” He lifted his bottle in a salute before tipping it to his mouth again. “Though if I drink much more of these, I think I’ll be blaming it for more than a few words.”

“Anton…” Mason rubbed his face. “If you keep saying things like that, I’m going to forget that I’m trying to keep my hands to myself.”

“You won’t,” Anton countered. “You’re a better man than that.”

“What makes you say so?”

Pushing away his empty bottle, Anton shifted to face him more directly than he had since they’d sat down. “I’ve seen you with Miguel.” The intimate tone of his voice sent another shiver through Mason, and he wished irrationally that Anton would go back to looking at everything but him. “I’ve watched you set aside your own needs for his. I’ve listened to the way you two are together. I didn’t give you the answer I should have earlier, when you asked why I took the risk with you. I should have told you that I thought the man you are was worth the risk. And the fact that I didn’t just goes to prove why pretending is still best.”

Mason didn’t know how to respond. Long seconds passed, and he still didn’t know how to respond. But he did want to be the man Anton thought he was. At that moment, he felt more like the sleazeball ready to cheat on his boyfriend many, many times with a man that, objectively, he barely knew...

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