Title: Nobody’s Home
Author: Dev Bentham
Release Date: November 15th 2016
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance
Second chances can appear where you least expect them.
An artist: You can’t go home again—that was Nick’s motto for the past twenty years. He was a teenager when he left his abusive, mentally ill father back in Lacland, a small town in the northwoods of Wisconsin.
Nick’s made a successful life for himself in New York. Then comes the call—his estranged father has killed himself. Nick flies home to a house crumbling from years of neglect, and one very fat bulldog.
And a veterinarian: Jonas doesn’t love his job enforcing university research protocol. His passion is working with dogs, especially volunteering for his boyfriend’s behavioral studies projects. But when he discovers his so-called “life partner” is messing around, he leaps at a job offer in a small town miles away.
In spite of the grief swirling around Nick and Jonas, their first meeting is electric. But Nick will be in town for only a short time and Jonas is still stinging from the betrayal. The men try to keep their distance, but that’s easier said than done, especially in a small town where misery and hope share the same address.
This poignant story about two mature gay men will warm the hearts of readers who believe happy endings are within anyone’s grasp.
**This is an author’s version of the original story first printed in 2013 by Amber Allure.**
Nick woke with a stiff neck and a spring poking into his rib. Served him right for sleeping on the lumpy couch, but the last thing he’d been ready to do the night before was lay down on the filthy sheets in his father’s bedroom, especially if he had to pass that spot on the stairs to get there. He sat up and tried to stretch a crick out of his back. If he was going to spend another night here, he’d need to tackle the upstairs.
How long was he staying anyway? His ticket home was for Wednesday but could he really get everything done by then? It had taken him hours to clean the kitchen. The rest of the house would take days. And then there were the papers to go through. Maybe he could shove those in a suitcase, more like two or three suitcases, and only that if he sorted out the magazines and junk mail to leave behind. But the thought of sitting on the floor of his sterile New York apartment wading through the evidence of his father’s illness made him nauseated. Better that what happened in Lacland stayed in Lacland.
Osborne had assumed there wasn’t a will, but for all anyone knew, Buddy had left everything to the John Birch Society and the documentation was at the bottom of one of those piles of papers, or stuffed in the china cabinet or buried in the backyard. And they’d be welcome to it. Nick had a fleeting fantasy of handing over all the chaos and garbage to some rabid group of insane old white guys. He could picture them going through everything with a feverish intensity, looking for treasures and threats. Back in the real world, Nick would need to sift through the stacks of paper for evidence of a bank account. And bills. It was too cold outside to neglect the gas and electric bills. And maybe somewhere in this forest of dead trees there’d be an explanation of why, or at least why now.
It wasn’t just the paperwork or the house, there was his father’s body to deal with. Nick shuddered at the image of his dad lying on some refrigerated storage shelf with a note on his toe. That probably only happened on TV. Nick tried to remember going to a funeral as a kid but he couldn’t come up with anything. Given the weather, maybe they’d stuck his dad in an unheated shed where the mice could gnaw on him. Shit. This wasn’t helping.
There wasn’t anything he could do about it over the weekend. Osborne had said he’d need to wait until Monday to call the funeral home. And arrange what—a funeral? Would anyone come? What did you do to memorialize a sick and lonely old man? Before his mother’s funeral, his grandmother had spent hours contacting friends and family. Should Nick be calling people now, and if so, who?
Giveaway: Win a copy of Dev Bentham’s Tarnished Souls series
About the Author
I write contemporary gay romance. My characters are flawed and damaged adult men who may not even know they’re looking for true love, but when they meet their bershert, their true love, their lives are transformed. My stories are set in the real world where gay men have gay friends, families who do or don’t accept them, personal histories they’re not necessarily proud of and a myriad of experiences that have made them who they are.
I live in Northern Wisconsin with my Boston Terrier and Chicago spouse. I’ve published short stories, poetry, newspaper articles and academic papers and have worked in nearly every profession from restaurants to retail to open-water diving and now write m/m romance out of my fascination with love, courage and gender.