First love conquers all in Perfect Day, a captivating contemporary male/male retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion.
Love doesn’t burn out just because the timing’s wrong. It grows. It never leaves.
When Joshua Newton, prodigal son of one of New Milton’s elite, fell in love with ambitious young actor Finn Callaghan, his world finally made sense. With every stolen moment, soft touch and breathless kiss, they fell deeper in love.
Finn was his future…until he wasn’t.
Love stays. Even when you don’t want it to, even when you try to deny it, it stays.
Eight years later, Finn has returned to the seaside town where it all began. He’s on the brink of stardom, a far cry from the poor mechanic who spent one gorgeous summer falling in love on the beach.
The last thing he wants is a second chance with the man who broke his heart. Finn has spent a long time forgetting Joshua Newton—he certainly doesn’t plan to forgive him.
Love grows. It never leaves.
There was one last perfect day.
High in the dunes on the east side of the bay, in the secret hollow that had been their haven all summer, Joshua lay with his head in Finn’s lap and watched the gulls wheel across the evening sky.
Happy laughter drifted from the other end of the beach where the season’s last visitors kept a tenacious hold on summer. Joshua felt the same, all too aware that life after this magical few weeks might spin out from beneath his feet.
“When we’re in LA,” Finn promised, “we’ll hang out on the beach all year.”
Joshua gazed up at him, at his sun-kissed skin and the face he loved. Freckles danced across the bridge of his nose, his eyelashes tipped with gold from spending too long in the sun, and that perfect bow of a mouth curved into a warm smile. “You won’t have time for the beach,” Joshua said, finding a smile of his own. “You’ll be too busy being a big-shot actor.”
Finn gave a self-deprecating laugh, but Joshua saw the dream in his eyes. “Nah,” Finn said, shaking his head. “I mean the odds of that ever happening… You know.”
They’d been through it a hundred times, but Joshua could go through it a hundred times more. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for Finn Callaghan. Of all the unknowns ahead, Finn’s inevitable success was the one thing Joshua didn’t doubt. Sitting up, he settled himself next to Finn and dug his toes into warm sand, squinting out across the sun-burnished ocean. “The odds crappy,” he acknowledged, “for most people—those who lack talent, drive, and movie-star good looks.”
“Dude,” Finn said, embarrassed and pleased all at once.
His unfeigned modesty made Joshua’s heart soften and he nudged his shoulder against Finn’s. “You’re the real deal,” he said. “You’re going to be a star, Finn, surrounded by beautiful people all day long, and I’ll probably never see you except at movie premieres.”
Finn leaned into him, shaking his head. “You’ll be too busy dazzling everyone at Colburn to have time for pointless things like movie premieres.”
“I’ll make time. Now and then. Only for the major movies, obviously. With the big stars.”
Finn scooped up a handful of sand and let it run through his fingers. “Only for the A-listers, huh?”
“That’s right. You’ll have to make it worth my while. I’ll expect at least, um…” He ran through his tiny list of movie stars and came up wanting. “Brad…”
After a beat Finn turned to look at him, one eyebrow lifted. “Pitt?”
“Right. Yes, him.”
“Because you liked him in…?”
Joshua narrowed his eyes. “That old movie. The one we watched in your trailer.”
“Uh-huh. Which one?”
Laughter gleamed behind Finn’s bright eyes. It made Joshua smile as he floundered. “Um… ?”
Flinging his arms wide, he yelled, “I’m the king of the world!” He grinned at Finn. “Right?”
“Right.” Finn fought a smile. “Except that was DiCaprio, you doofus.”
Joshua laughed—as if he could tell them apart. As if he cared. He only had eyes for Finn.
“Whatever.” He flopped back onto the sand and gazed up at him. “You can introduce me to them both at some horrible Hollywood party you’ll be forced to attend.”
After a silent beat, Finn said, “Don’t want any of that without you, Josh.” He looked at him intently, in that way he had of making Joshua feel like the whole universe was spinning around them, as if they were right at the beating heart of it all. “Don’t want anything without you. You get that, right? You get that this—” he threaded their fingers together and held tight “—you and me? is the real deal, Josh. I mean it. You’re it for me. You get that, right?”
“I do,” Joshua assured him. “These last couple months, this summer… Finn, it’s changed everything.”
Finn searched his eyes, a slight frown creasing his brow. “And what about your dad?”
“Soon.” He tensed guiltily. “I’ll tell him soon.”
“That’s what you said last week.”
“Tomorrow, then.” The prospect of telling his father about Finn, about his radical new plans for the future, had crouched like a storm on the horizon all summer. And no matter how hard he’d ignored it, it hadn’t gone away. He swallowed. “I’ll tell him tomorrow.”
“I don’t want to think about it now. I only want to think about us, Finn. Tell me about us.”
Finn’s expression warmed. “This is just the start for us, man. It’s like… It’s like we’re at the beginning of a road and it’s rolling out ahead of us, long and straight, and so fucking bright. I can see it, man. I can it.”
“Finn…” Joshua pulled him down next to him, touched their foreheads together. He wanted so much to see Finn’s gilded road, but when he closed his eyes all he could see was the gathering storm. “I love you,” he whispered urgently. “I love you more than anything, Finn. More than . Remember that.”
Finn smiled against his lips, trailed his fingers through Joshua’s hair and kissed him long and sweet. He smelled like sun cream and the ocean, like fresh air and summer. “This is the beginning, Josh. This is the beginning of everything for us.”
But of course it wasn’t. It was the end. It was the last golden hour of the last perfect day.
Perfect Day is out August 13th and is available for pre-order here!