BACK PIECE by L.A. Witt
E-Original published by Swerve
Publication Date: April 25, 2017
Colin Spencer is a tattoo artist with a past he’d prefer to keep a secret. Actually, he has a few secrets that he’d rather people didn’t know about, which is why Colin doesn’t do commitment. But when a shy sailor approaches him at the gym, Colin finds this guy pushing all his buttons.
Growing up in a conservative family, then escaping with the Navy, Daniel Moore is an unsure virgin who feels like he can’t share his true self with anyone. Seeing Colin—and his tattoos—at the gym are the sign Daniel needs to finally get those tattoos he’s always wanted, and maybe try his hand at flirting.
As Colin and Daniel spend more time together, their awkward hesitations turn into a deep passion neither expected. But with both men harboring secrets, will their relationship be able to survive their insecurities and become something beautiful?
Back Piece by L.A. Witt is a sexy, emotional journey of two people learning to love and finding acceptance for who they really are.
L.A. Witt also writes under the name Lauren Gallagher.
Outside, some of the guys from the gym were milling around in the parking lot, so Colin took Daniel around the back of the building where they’d have some privacy. There he stopped and faced him, fighting the urge to fidget nervously. “So, how’s the tattoo healing?”
“Good. Good.” Daniel shifted his weight. “It’s still kinda itchy, but it’s getting better.”
Colin grimaced sympathetically. “That’s the worst part. The pain I can deal with, but the itching sucks. You’re not scratching it, are you?”
“No, of course not.”
Their eyes met, and they both smiled, but quickly looked away. Awkwardness didn’t even have to set in—it was already present and accounted for.
After a moment, Colin raked a hand through his hair. “Look, things went really fast the other night, and I’m sorry. I mean, maybe—”
“No. No.” Daniel shook his head. “You didn’t do anything wrong. I just kind of freaked out.”
“But . . . why?” Colin struggled to hold his gaze. “Did I make you nervous?”
“No, you didn’t. But what we were doing . . . yeah. It did. Kinda.” He paused. “Okay, a lot.”
“So, how is that not me making you nervous?”
Color bloomed in Daniel’s cheeks, but blushing wasn’t as cute this time. He seemed genuinely uncomfortable and embarrassed, and Colin’s stomach turned with guilt over putting him in this position.
Daniel took a breath and met his gaze again. “The thing is, that was . . .” He scratched the back of his neck and added a barely audible, “My first time.”
“Your . . .” Colin blinked. “Are you serious?”
Daniel was bright red now, and nodded. “Yeah. I mean, I made out with a guy while I was on cruise, but otherwise . . .” He laughed uneasily. “I’m a virgin.”
Colin stared at him. “Really?”
“Wasn’t it obvious?”
“Not from the way you kissed, no.”
Daniel gave a soft, self-conscious laugh. “Beginner’s luck, I guess.”
“Something like that.”
Daniel moistened his lips. “So it wasn’t that I didn’t want to do anything the other night. I did. And it was . . .” He laughed again and looked at Colin. “It was amazing. I know I took off and all, but it was fucking . . .” He whistled, shaking his head.
Colin smiled. “Good. I was worried I’d maybe gone too fast. Pushed you too far.”
“No. It wasn’t your fault. I mean, I liked it. A lot. And I definitely want it. More. More of it. I just . . . I . . .” He pinched the bridge of his nose, pausing as if trying to collect his thoughts. “Okay, the reason I freaked out is afterward, I thought you’d want me to reciprocate. And I . . .” He dropped his hand and stared at the ground between them. “Man, I don’t have a fucking clue what I’m doing. I guess I was scared you’d be disappointed.”
“Disappointed?” Colin shook his head. “No, not at all.”
“Yeah.” Daniel laughed humorlessly. “That’s because I left before I had a chance to make an ass of myself.”
“My God. Did you think . . .” Colin cautiously stepped closer. “You wouldn’t have made an ass of yourself.”
Daniel said nothing.
Colin advanced again, and now he had to be well within Daniel’s comfort zone. He halted, giving Daniel a chance to pull back if he wasn’t comfortable, and when Daniel didn’t move, Colin reached for him. He paused, glancing around to make absolutely sure they were still alone out here, and then slid a hand around Daniel’s waist, his own skin prickling with goose bumps even before Daniel’s breath hitched. “So you’re afraid you won’t be good at it, right?”
Daniel nodded, still avoiding Colin’s eyes.
“Is that the only thing stopping you?”
“Definitely.” Daniel hesitated, but finally made eye contact. “Because I really, really wanted to keep going last time.”
Colin grinned. “Is that right?”
“Well, my house is just over there.” He nodded past Daniel. “Five minute walk, and my brother works nights, so we’ll have it to ourselves.” He lifted his eyebrows. “You want to?”
Daniel gulped. Then he whispered, “Yes, please.”
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This is my first book by this author and I assure you it won’t be my last. I’m a fan of military and m/m romance and honestly this blurb sounded like it was something right up my alley. I can say I definitely wasn’t disappointed. This author did am amazing job in writing Daniel and Collins story. The story was beautiful and intriguing but it also deals with homophobia and acceptance.
I love a man with a tattoo but when you make that 2 men, I’m a goner. What I loved most about this story was how we got to see these characters develop and a friendship that later evolved into more. Colin is a tattoo artist who is openly gay, Daniel is in the Navy and has recently come out to members in his crew.
Daniel is not experienced, he’s shy but so curious. Colin is not afraid of who he is and he’s experienced. I loved how Colin was so patient with Daniel. He understood his inexperience so he never pushed him. This is why I really enjoyed this book besides the sex (which lordy was scrumptious), Daniel and Colin actually got to know one another. I really loved seeing the connection they have and the relationship really felt real.
Of course things are not easy for Daniel and Colin but they try to understand each others lives and make adjustments along the way. We see a shy Daniel come into his own and become more adventurous. We see both men’s insecurities turn into strengths when they have to face the ugliness of homophobia. I loved the support system both men had with their other friends. These friends helped to guide them through the uncertainties they experienced. This was a great book that was full of promise and hope, I can’t wait to see what comes next.
L.A. Witt is a M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies.