Book Title: Rising Tide: A Changing Tides Novel
Author: Bryce Winters
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Resplendent Media
Genre/s: MM Contemporary Romance
Length: 73,000 words
It’s a standalone story. The first book in a trilogy (The Changing Tides Trilogy)
The rising tide brings storms…
Harris Brewer has seen it all – and cut it open. As a cardiac surgeon, he’s used to challenges, used to surprises. But when he’s slapped with a high-profile malpractice suit the last thing he expects is to get shipped off to a tiny Oregon town to ‘let the lawyers handle it.’ Then he sees a big blonde hunk jogging down the street and realizes that maybe a hot vacation fling is just what the doctor ordered…
The rising tide brings change…
Never get involved with a tourist. That’s been Reid Colburn’s policy and it’s served him well. They come, bring their money, and leave. That’s good enough for his restaurant business – and his heart. But this new guy in town, he’s something else. Reid can’t deny enjoying the relentless flirting. Too bad Dr. Stud is just passing through…
The rising tide erodes the past…
Despite being careful to avoid it, Reid finds himself on the brink of falling in love. They both knew this was a temporary thing, so why does it hurt so bad when Harris going back to Los Angeles becomes the inevitable reality? Maybe Reid shouldn’t be fighting against the tide. Maybe he should just ride this stormy affair to wherever it leads…
Reid left Harris to peruse the menu, refreshing drinks and chatting with other customers. But even while he remained busy, his attention stayed hung up on the newcomer. By the time he came back around to Harris, the man was staring at him again, chin resting in one hand, the other drumming a simple rhythm on the bar. Reid smiled at him, ignoring the swooping sensation in his stomach.
“What’ll it be?” Reid asked.
“Since I liked your first recommendation, I thought you could give me another,” Harris said, a suggestive smile playing on his lips.
Reid knew Harris meant something off-menu. Preferably in a bedroom. Reid also knew he should shut this down now. It had gone on too long already. He plastered on a distant but friendly smile and said, “Fish ‘n chips. We use rockfish, which has a richer fish flavor if that’s what you’re looking for. Cod can be a little bland. We have cod, too, if you’d prefer.”
Harris pushed the menu toward Reid, all traces of his flirtatious behavior gone. “That sounds good. The rockfish.”
Reid kept the smile on his face, though a hollow ache had suddenly bloomed behind his stomach. Disappointment. In himself for not going along with Harris’ suggestive behavior and letting himself have a little fun. He was surprised to find that he wished he had given a different answer, that maybe the night could have taken a different turn for both of them. He resisted the urge to try and salvage it, to flirt back with Harris.
« Coming right up, » Reid said instead, heading toward the kitchen.
Julie’s kitchen was on top of it tonight, and Harris’ order came up quickly. Harris ate in silence, though Reid felt the weight of those incredible eyes. They held a sad mystery in them, one that Reid wanted to discover. But Reid had his hands full with drink orders and customers at the bar, the night picking up rapidly. The Irish drinking songs had already begun in the dining room, much to Sasha’s chagrin.
« These men know nothing, » she groused. Reid laughed. Sasha had immigrated from Russia only a short time ago. Reid didn’t know much of her past besides what Sasha had been willing to share. He knew she used to be a ballerina, but she remained stubbornly closed-lipped about the rest. Including the family she left behind. Her thick accent threw a lot of customers off at first, but she was generally friendly unless you said the wrong thing to the wrong person.
« They’re still paying customers, Sasha, » he said as she hefted another heavy tray full of beer.
She muttered something in Russian as she wandered off. Harris snorted and laughed at his end of the bar.
« She’s got a mouth on her, » he said.
« You understood that? » Reid asked, curious.
« Yeah, » Harris said, finishing off his beer. Reid noticed that his plate was empty, with only a used lemon slice and a little bit of tartar left in its bowl.
Reid’s curiosity and interest in the man ratcheted up ten-fold. It had been hard enough to convince himself to stick to his principles without Harris proving to be even more interesting.
Instead of asking Harris how he knew Russian or even what Sasha had said like he so desperately wanted to, Reid gathered Harris’ plate and took it into the back. Then he printed Harris’ tab and slid it his way with an easy smile.
« I hope you enjoy your stay in Seaside, » he said and left Harris to it, though every ounce of his being screamed in protest as he walked away.
A few minutes later, well after Reid had watched Harris slip out the door without so much as a wave goodbye, Sasha picked up Harris’ receipt and let out a sharp curse in Russian. At least, Reid had always thought it was a curse. She said it a lot. Reid abandoned the drink he had been pouring and made his way to Sasha’s side.
« What is it? » he asked, looking over her shoulder. Then he choked on air as surprise shot through him.
Large loopy letters spelling out one-thousand dollars resided on the tip line.
About the Author
Bryce Winters lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two crazy cats.
She’s a professional tutor by day, writer by night, and loves helping students achieve their goals. When she’s not writing, Bryce enjoys crocheting ridiculously large blankets and reading all the romance she can get her hands on.
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