September: A Simple Truth
Falling in love is harder than coming out...barely.
Shy and privately conservative, Charlie Labrecque has lived a lie for most of his adult life, choosing to marry a woman and father a child rather than come out of the closet. But now that he is divorced and sees his young son only half the year, he decides it is time to start being honest with himself. And his friends. Starting with his best friend, openly gay Bryce Hanson.
Bryce responds with his encouragement, and promises to be Charlie’s training wheels through the difficult transition. But now that both men feel like they can be honest with each other, new desires are found, and new truths are spoken...
5 angels from April, Fallen Angel Reviews:...A Simple Truth is easily my favorite in the Calendar Boys series. Charlie is an almost middle-aged man just opening up to the truth about himself. He’s lucky to have a friend like Bryce who sort of holds his hand through the whole dating thing, even when Bryce is really in love with Charlie. Of course Charlie just wants to embrace the lifestyle before he commits to anything permanent, not just with Bryce but with anyone. Jamie Craig creates a sort of coming out of the closet story with a slight twist. The romance between two best friends turned lovers was especially touching, with the overall theme of the story carefully woven in.
5 stars from Teresa, Rainbow Reviews:...Jamie Craig has created a story that gets right to the heart of one man’s coming out and all the emotional upheaval that occurs during this time. This story brings to life the emotions and challenges that can occur in looking for a partner for a gay man. The descriptions of the club that Charlie goes to brought the mood and emotions of the men to life for the reader. Charlie has finally made a choice, but he may learn that even after, things are never quite what they seem. Bryce gets the surprise of his life. Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine that he would ever have a chance to have his dreams come true. Thanks go to Jamie Craig for an incredible story.
4 nymphs from Mystical Nymph, Literary Nymphs Reviews:...a heartwarming tale of trust, friendship and new beginnings. The characters are likable, caring, and have a good time together, even when they’re acting like old friends and not new lovers. I guess the thing which makes Bryce and Charlie work as a couple is that they have so much in common that has nothing to do with the passionate physical aspect of their relationship. They truly like each other as friends and enjoy spending time with each other whether in bed, watching a ballgame or barbequing a steak. The reality is A Simple Truth is a sweet and tender story of finding the love of your life right under your nose, and it’s perfect for an easy afternoon read.
4 stars from Jessewave:...Both protags were appealing and the sex was hot and very sensual...
4 lips from Tina, TwoLips Reviews:...an emotional coming out and true to yourself story. I found the plight of Charlie to be well done. He thought he was straight for a long time, but realized he wasn’t and ended his marriage all in one fell swoop while trying to keep his relationship with his son intact. I thought Charlie was very brave. Jamie Craig did a wonderful and tactful job with Charlie’s coming out.
4.5 ribbons from jhayboy, Romance Junkies:...The emotions are real, and the love scenes are gentle and unassuming.
From Raine, Joyfully Reviewed:...Bryce is incredible. He helps Charlie even when he wants the man for himself. And it is totally hot when he finally goes after what he wants. September: A Simple Truth, while a series book, is a stand alone. Jamie Craig pens an incredible story that you will not want to miss out on.
...Charlie opened the third bottle. “You are bound and determined to get me laid, no matter what happens on this date, aren’t you?”
“I’m bound and determined to get you laid? Who thought up this date? You. Who is going to have an extremely intimate and romantic dinner in the convenience of his own home? You. I think despite all your protests to the contrary, you’re really looking forward to the prospect of getting laid.”
When Bryce painted it like that it, it looked very bad. “I only wanted it here because I figured I could control it better.” His friend’s unwavering gaze compelled him into further confession. “Do I hope something happens? Yeah, I guess I do. Am I terrified about it anyway? Oh, hell yeah. I haven’t even kissed another guy in years, Bryce. Something tells me Dean is going to want a little bit more than that.”
“So what if he does?” Bryce tilted the newly open bottle, pouring the wine right to the top of his glass. “I know you said you don’t just want meaningless sex. And I even get why you wouldn’t want a string of flings. But you can’t tell me you don’t want somebody to touch you, that you’re not hungry for that contact.”
“Oh, I want it. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I decided to tell you the truth.”
“What are you scared of? That you won’t do it right?”
“Honestly?” He drained his glass. It was too warm in the house. He needed to remember to lower the thermostat the day of the date. “That it’ll be over before it really gets a chance to start because I’m too excited.”
“Having seen Dean, I don’t blame you for being worried about it.” Bryce licked his lips, and his face seemed a little flushed. “You could find a way to take the edge off.”
“You mean jerking off beforehand?” Charlie shook his head. “I’m already doing that.”
Bryce opened and closed his mouth, then returned to his wine. The food on both plates was utterly forgotten, and Bryce’s eyes had a new shine in them. “You’ve been jerking off for the past two weeks to prepare for your date?”
“No. I’ve been jerking off ever since I decided I was going to come clean with you.”
Bryce turned in his chair to face Charlie fully, tucking his foot under his knee to fit more comfortably. Charlie frowned, but he didn’t move, or stop Bryce from cupping the back of his neck. His fingers almost felt cool against Charlie’s flushed skin. Bryce leaned forward, his mouth coming within an inch of Charlie’s before he paused.
“You should stop me.”
“Because of Dean.”
“No, he’s not your boyfriend yet. But if I kiss you, I’m probably going to want to kiss you again. And again.”
His throat tightened. “You’ve drunk your wine too fast.”
“Yeah, I probably did. Doesn’t change what I said.”
“You’re my best friend.” Somehow, that felt like it should make a difference.
“Maybe that’s why I want to kiss you senseless right now. Maybe it’s that and the wine.”
Charlie smelled it. And the Cajun spices from the fish. And the cologne Bryce preferred, the one that always made Charlie think of their hikes when he couldn’t stop staring at Bryce’s ass. They combined into a cocktail that made his mouth water, and he had to swallow before he did something stupid.
He just said the something stupid instead.
“Half the time when I jerk off, it’s not because I’m thinking of Dean,” he confessed...