Ronnie Durand is a country boy who transfers to the University of Washington after two years at Central. He'll have to give up playing football, though finishing his education at a major university in Seattle--and being out and proud without having to look over his shoulder--makes the sacrifice worthwhile.
But finding friends at a huge school is tough, especially when the hottest guy Ronnie meets makes him doubt his own sanity.
Sang's been on his own a long time. He's only a couple steps away from living on the street, and he's got dreams so big they don't leave space for a steady boyfriend. Then he meets Ronnie, who just might be strong enough to break through his barriers....as long as Sang lets him in on one big secret.
Be Warned: m/m sex
Sang wants to spin, to expand into the space. He shows his desire in the way he raises his arms and sweeps the floor with his gaze. He's wearing a simple white wife-beater over his jeans, but it’s topped with a long navy double-breasted coat with gold trim, the kind of thing worn by Union soldiers in the Civil War. It fits like it was made for him, and my palms burn to touch it.
I move deeper onto the dance floor. I'm broader, wider, and the crowd packs tightly around me. I get as close to Sang as he'll let me, belly to belly. He's only about 5'4", and when he turns his back, he presses his ass against my thigh.
I take it as an invitation. Keeping one hand on his shoulder, I let the other wander. He reaches behind, grabbing handfuls of the denim wrapping my legs. I stroke his throat, bend down to tell him how pretty he is, chicken out and do nothing but breathe in his ear.
Bodies crush, sweaty and raw, shifting us to the center of the floor. My dick's engaged in an argument with the fly of my jeans. I let my hand drift lower, across Sang's chest. His small nub of a nipple hardens under my fingertips, but no softness surrounds it. If he's really a girl, he totally got shortchanged. I sweep my fingers wider. Nah, these pecs belong on a man.
I move my hand lower, going slow, giving him time to stop me. I stick my thumb into a belt loop. He grabs my wrist, tight.
"What?" I ask. The bare, light toast skin of his neck is inches from my lips. I could taste him. I want to. Over the stink of sweat and too many colognes I smell him, some warm spice scent like the incense Mom used to burn.
He brings his mouth within kissing distance. "Don't."
"What you got under the hood, pretty? You packing a V6 or a V8?" I want to kiss him, to taste him, to admire this perfect jewel of a person.
"V6 or V8." He grins, and it's the curve of his lower lip when he smiles that I'll remember, like his mouth is held by a chalice. "Does it really matter?" he asks.
It does, but not in the way he thinks. I leave off my search, but don't move my hand from his belt. See, my stepdad threw me into football when I was eight. I was good at it, good enough nobody messed with me. The locker room's not known for being a gay-friendly place, but being able to dead lift 280 pounds at age fifteen bought me some peace.
I'm still a guy, though, and I like lovers who are smaller and prettier than me. Call me a cave man. Whatever. Sang is my small-town boy's fantasy, and the press of his body has me so turned on I'd think about doing him even if he’s actually a she.
My fingers are trembling with the need to touch, to know.
"Come on, Sugar Cookie. Does it matter?"
I lean in, drawn like his lips are the center of a flower and I'm one very horny bee.
"Oh no." He jerks away, his gorgeous smile extinguished. "No kissing. I don't kiss strangers."
Puzzled, I reach out. He's hemmed in by the crowd, so it's nothing to loop my fingers under his shirt and draw him closer. "No kissing, then." Some guys are like that. He rocks against me, straddling my thigh, giving me a taste of the hardness in his groin. Hell yeah.
"Is your ID legal?" Because somehow it matters that he's at least 21. I can't keep the grin off my face. His dick is going to be gorgeous, and I'm going to suck it, and he's going to scream.
"Of course." He's not frowning anymore. He's sly and shimmering and a little mean. "I do love a man in cowboy boots. The rest of it…" He brushes his hands down the sleeves of my plain white t-shirt. "Not so much. But I'll do you for your boots."
I get both hands around his waist and drag him further up my leg. He hangs onto a handful of my shirt. I'm not sure his feet are even on the floor. The song changes, or maybe it doesn't. They all sound the same. My cock is pressed against him hard enough to make me grit my teeth. "Let's go."
His heavy eyelids drift down until he has to tip his head to maintain eye contact. "Bathroom?"
I guess it's that or an alley. "Sure."
He grabs my wrist roughly and leads me through the disorganized crowd. We go right past the men’s room to the women’s. “Less crowded,” he says over his shoulder.
The restroom smells like piss and semen and sweat. We find a stall, and I get down on my knees before he can argue. The floor is sticky, but I figure I can’t catch anything too scary through my knees, and from there I can nuzzle his belly.
"Are you always like this? I like a nice toppy guy, you know, but he's gotta be able to—"
I don't hear what he thinks a guy's gotta do seeing as I've covered his mouth with my hand, smearing gritty sticky lip-gloss with my fingers. The bossy little fuck has just dragged me in here like I'm some kind of prized bull, and now he’s gonna whine about me? There are crinkles of laughter at the corners of his eyes.
"Sang?" I'm not sure what the question is. The door to the stall is at my back, and I'm wrestling with the buttons on his very tight jeans. "Hey, I'm new in town. You should treat me like a guest and let me do what I want."
He drags my hand away. "Now you just wait a minute. What do you think I'm going to let you do? Because if you do anything I don't want, I'm going to scream."
"You'll scream, all right."
Posted by Beverly on 6th Jan 2016
Country boy Ronnie tranfers to the University of Washington to finish his college education. Giving up football is the price he must pay, but at least he can be out and proud in Seattle. In return, his academic future is looking positive so he’s hoping for an equally successful social life. When he meets Sang his world tilts. Sang on the other hand really doesn’t have time for a boyfriend,relationships tend to be all consuming .He’s been on his own struggling to survive trying to make ends meet to attain his dreams. Ronnie just might be the one to secure a place in his life and ultimately,his heart. What will happen to this promising relationship when Sang’s big secret is revealed?
Don’t let the title mislead you, this is a well-crafted lovely romance. Ronnie are Sang are everything in this story, they are totally different but those differences are what makes the attraction so strong. I loved the connection along with their saucy banter. Even though the length is short the character development and engaging language makes for a good read. The supporting characters are also well drawn in this nifty novella. Sang does have a big secret and a very interesting nickname for Ronnie therefore I won’t spoil for you. This is the heart and soul of the story that completely kept me engaged to the end. All in all, a very interesting book worth a read.
Posted by Donna on 31st Dec 2015
Twenty-one year old Ronnie Durand is a little overwhelmed. He’s just moved to the University of Washington, he had to give up playing football and for the first time he can simply relax and “be gay”. Problem is, his only friend is straight, and hardly wants to go hang out in gay bars with Ronnie. Luckily for Ronnie, the perfect guy for him practically runs straight into his arms on the street one night. Sang is so small and pretty and feminine that at first Ronnie isn’t completely sure that he’s a man, but he decides that he likes Sang so much he doesn’t even care. The two men hook up a couple of times, but whenever Ronnie sees Sang at school, Sang pretends that he doesn’t know him.
This short story is told from Ronnie’s first person point of view, and I really liked the way the author executed it. To begin with it felt kind of awkward or stilted, like Ronnie was relating a story that he wasn’t confident in telling. But either I got use to it and stopped noticing, or the story became smoother. And actually, I decided that I rather enjoyed “Ronnie’s voice”. This is the first book that I’ve read from this author, so I can’t say if all of her stories are written this way or if it’s unique to this one, but it matched the character of Ronnie really well – a little bit awkward but moving forward without hesitation.
We never learn a huge deal about Sang, he pretty much remains shrouded in mystery until the very end. Halfway through the story you kind of get an idea of what might be going on with his behavior, but it isn’t really a let down, rather it’s a validation that he isn’t a dick.
This was a cute, quick read and I’ll definitely check out more from Liv Rancourt in the future. This author also uses the best description I’ve ever come across to create a picture of her clubbing twinks – they looked like artfully decorated cupcakes. I love that!
Posted by Michelle on 22nd Dec 2015
Ronnie left his small town to go to college in the city. He gave up playing football, but he feels it’s a small price to pay for living life out of the closet. Ronnie has one friend when he arrives and trying to fit in is more difficult than he thought.
A chance meeting puts Sang directly in Ronnie’s path. Sang is the perfect mix of femme and male and Ronnie immediately wants every part of him. But Sang is a mystery and every time Ronnie sees him the mystery deepens. Getting closer to Sang is impossible as he tells Ronnie he is working all of the time and can’t take phone calls, but Ronnie cannot get the guy out of his head. Sang has no intention of letting anyone get close to him as he struggles just to survive, but Ronnie may just be able to find a way in.
What an unexpected treat this story was. Unexpected because this was the first book I have read by this author and just within the first few pages she captured so many intriguing sparkles of thought. For the duration of the story we are with Ronnie as he is first adjusting to life in the city. Ronnie is an athletic guy and has always been attracted to smaller men, but he is so not prepared for Sang. Rancourt uses an edible supply of descriptions that only added to the erotic feel, and when the guys meet, Sang immediately has a nickname for Ronnie and Ronnie is entirely captivated.
Ronnie is a straight forward guy but Sang has a secret as is referenced in the title. The mystery of Sang is unraveled throughout the book, but Sang was such an intriguing character and more from him or more of him would have greatly added to their story. This story was a great read with enough character development to carry most of it and, while I could have used an additional scene as the ending was abrupt and rushed, such is the nature of a short story. So instead of me pulling out yet another quote to share with you, pick up your own copy of The Secret of Obedience. As an added incentive or to take note of: “All proceeds from the sale of this story will go to the NOVA Project, Seattle Public Schools alternative high school.”
Posted by Melody on 29th Nov 2015
I want to say this was a awesome book you have two guys from two sides of the road i think love the neck names in this book and the banter between sugar cookie and Sang they are so awesome together. You will fall in love with these two and i hope that everybody that reads this book will get how they are together. This is a book for everybody to read so go ahead and one click you will love it for the country boy and the city slicker
Posted by ellenvg on 28th Nov 2015
This exquisite little novella packs a solid punch of sass and feels. I love the frank narrative voice of Ronnie, “gay country boy” and ex-footballer, who acknowledges his naivety but goes the hell after what he wants. And that’s the sassy, eyeliner-and-lipgloss-wearing Sang — elusive, effervescent, Ronnie’s own “freaky, funky beauty”, who gives his “sugar cookie” a run for his money.
The language in this novella is wonderful. Liv has totally nailed her descriptions with witty images and clever details that are just spot on. And the banter between all the characters is saucy and honest and very real. The naughty scenes are hot and written at just the right level, and there’s no mistaking the depth and growth of feeling Ronnie and Sang have for each other across only 40 pages. Normally I find this length too short for strong character/emotional development, but not here.
There’s also a couple of well-drawn supporting characters, and a nod to the Washington state Referendum 74 to approve or reject the February 2012 bill to legalize same-sex marriage.
Overall the novella is a really neat little package with depth and diversity and satisfying levels of emotional intensity. The “secret” aspect of the title isn’t all that difficult to pick, but this is not a mystery story, so who cares. It’s about love and acceptance and fighting for what you want — and quirky fashion.
I love this one rather a lot. Highly recommended for m/m (in fact all romance) fans!
Posted by IP on 28th Nov 2015
Sorry, I had to do the BDSM disclaimer because the title hints at a different type of story.
I loved this story and I'm not sure how to describe it. Jock/Twink? New Adult? New Beginnings? None of the catch-phrases seem quite adequate.
Hot. Sweet. Bright. Hopeful. Those are maybe a little closer.
Yes, there really is a secret, and I won't divulge it. You can read the blurb if you want the premise, but the blurb won’t tell you the best thing about this book. For me, the strengths of this story were Sang and Sugar Cookie. Sang with his delicate exterior and tough attitude. Ronnie, the jock, who's arrogant about his athletic prowess but adorably nervous about life in the big city. Both men felt incredibly real to me. I fell a little in love with them during their first meeting on the street and I was rooting for them all the way.
Definitely a recommended read for me.