Dating in Retrospect – Exclusive Excerpt

Please welcome Lila Leigh Hunter to Gay Book Review today. We’re thrilled to host an exclusive excerpt to Dating in Retrospect!

Long-Distance Relationships

Hello, guys! I’m happy to stop by Gay Book Reviews today to share an excerpt from my States of Love novella set in Iowa, Dating in Retrospect. As the title suggests, this story is all about dating. Clay and Aaron agreed to date for a year and take things slow. Distance killed their relationship shortly after they graduated from college, and fifteen years later, distance still plays a role in their plans. In the following excerpt, you will see the main characters planning their next date to the Cy-Hawk football game. They’re currently on a Skype call, late at night. Well, at least late in Aaron’s case. I hope you like this window into their world and read more to see how they made their long-distance relationship work. Enjoy!

Exclusive Excerpt

“It took you long enough to call me back.”

This time Aaron was curled up in bed, and he could only see his face, barely lit by a night-light.

“I had to go check on Dad to be sure he had everything ready for tomorrow morning. Sorry if I cut this call short, but I’m almost asleep, love.”

Clay could tell. It was not often that Aaron let his defenses down. He treasured those moments. “That’s all right, sunshine. How’s your dad doing?”

“He’s fine, as stubborn as always. He asked me when you are going to stop by. He has some round bales with your name on them.”

“I’m too old now to roll them down and keep them in the right path to the barn. I can use the baler. Well, after I practice first.”

“Oh no. I got a new baler last year, and it’s my baby. It has to last me at least for the next twenty years.”

“I’m going to be in your life for the next twenty years and some. You’ll have to let me use it at some point.”

Aaron didn’t answer, and Clay couldn’t tell if he had fallen asleep or not. He would do anything to climb in beside him and sleep in Aaron’s arms. It had only been three months since they started dating, and Clay was already thinking about ways to be with Aaron more often. Using the baler sounded like a nice way to spend his days. Now that he had been away from Iowa for so long, it didn’t seem as backwater as when he was younger. His parents had sold their grazing fields and moved to San Diego to be closer to his sisters and their grandkids; he drove down every so often to see them all. If he were to go back now, it would be only for Aaron.

“Hey, sunshine.”


“I’ll call you tomorrow, sleepyhead. I just want you to know that I’m sorry I can’t travel now, but I promise to keep in contact and see you next month.” He was going to send a note later with another clue about their next date.

“That’s okay.”

“No, it isn’t. I promised to see you often, and it has been six weeks since we went to Dyersville, and I can’t be there ’til mid-September.”

Aaron sat up on the bed and adjusted the tablet. Clay was mesmerized once again by Aaron’s tousled locks. He wanted to kiss the exposed skin and leave his mark all over Aaron.
“I know I’m falling asleep, but my face is up here.”

“I’m just enjoying the view. You look so different, but at the same time, you’re still that boy I love.”

“Please, Clay.”

“It’s true. I’ll show you, every chance I get.” And he was saying the truth. He would do everything he could to show Aaron how much he wanted to be with him. “Let me let you go. We can talk again tomorrow.”

“What about our date? You didn’t tell me where we are going.”

“What? Herky and my sexy sweatshirt weren’t enough clues? What about Coach Ferentz and the fifty-yard line?” He waited for Aaron to process the information and saw the moment he put it together. He was glad Aaron had the tablet over his lap this time. If not, he would have dropped it again.

“How far up?”

“That’s a surprise. Can you make it?”

“Are you crazy? I’m going to be there in time to tailgate. It sucks the game is in Ames this year, but I can live with that.” Aaron almost bounced in place, making Clay smile. “You aren’t wearing that shirt to the game, right?”

“Do you want me to?”

“Hell no! Burn that thing.”

“We should take it to the game and sell it to a desperate freshman. We would make a buck or two.”

“Burn it. Hey, but don’t forget to bring Herky.”

“Of course I’m taking Herky to the game. He’s the best team mascot in the Big Ten. And when I get a chance to see you at home, I’ll bring the sweatshirt and we can burn it in the farm’s pit. Deal?”
“Deal. Man, we should make a wager.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know. You’re the planner. Figure it out.”

“Give me a minute. Let me think.” They had bet blowjobs and chores before, but that sounded too juvenile, even for him.

“I need to go to sleep, love. Tell me tomorrow.”

“No, no. What about, if the Hawkeyes score more than, I don’t know, thirty-five points, you’ll let me sleep in your bed—with you, that is. Don’t try to find a loophole. I know you, sunshine.”

“And if they don’t?”

“I let you sleep in my bed.”

“You have a deal, love.”

Title: Dating in Retrospect (States of Love series)
Author: Lila Leigh Hunter
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 15, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 107

Giving the commencement speech at his alma mater doesn’t fit Clay Keller’s meticulous schedule. As Chief Executive Officer of Travel Mogul—the largest travel connoisseur company on the West Coast—he has no time to get back in touch with his country roots. He left fifteen years ago without a second look, but a medical scare makes him change his mind about the speech and brings him face-to-face with his only regret.

Time always moves slower in Southeastern Iowa, and Aaron Grant loves it. He’s added solar farms to the Grant Lanes portfolio and has been teaching at the local university for a decade. The last thing he needs is to have his tenure application compromised by the return of his ex-boyfriend. If he had known who the commencement speaker would be, he would never have volunteered to be the administration liaison.

A proposal—to date for a year—will help them discover that time changes a person, even when everything else stays the same.

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Meet the Author

Lila Leigh Hunter is the pen name of a Puerto Rican author with a hyphenated surname. Born and raised on the island, Lila grew up making up stories her siblings pretended to like. But no matter what they say, as the youngest of six, she’s still their mom’s favorite. According to the dusty diplomas on her wall, she’s an architectural designer living in Southern Texas with her husband and four military brats.

She spends most of her free time writing homoerotic romances about middle-aged men finding happiness and the rest hiding from pesky house chores. When outside of her cave, she likes to observe people and try to guess their stories. Sometimes she wishes the voices in her head were real; going out with the boys in her books sounds like a plan made in heaven.

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