Title: The Piercer’s Game (Chess #6)
Author Name: Sean Michael
Publication Date & Length: December 5, 2014 – 32036 Words
Luke sees a lot in his job as a piercer, but for all that, he’s shy and lonely. Can live-in-the-moment Temple open his eyes to life’s pleasures?
Luke’s a piercer and owns a successful business with his tattooing partner. Despite his job and his inked and pierced appearance, Luke is actually quite shy and lonely, not to mention inexperienced. An event from his past has left him unable to open up completely to anyone and it’s easier for him to just keep to himself.
Temple is a cancer survivor, coming up on five years cancer free. He’s travelling across North America on the back of his motorcycle, just going where the wind blows him. Ever since first being diagnosed, he turned into a true believer of living in the moment.
When Temple first turns up at Luke’s shop, Temple is immediately drawn to the quiet piercer. First he’s going to have to convince Luke that there’s something between them…then he’s going to have to work his way past Luke’s defences.
Reader Advisory: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series but can be read as a standalone.
Luke and Temple…yum! While I don’t normally subscribe to “insta – love” books, it didn’t bother me so much this time around. Both of these characters were strong, independent, loving men. But together, they became this whole new entity.
Temple was a character that I didn’t love right away, but he grew on me. It seemed like he was obsessively worried about eating “raw” and despite him always re-assuring Luke that it wasn’t necessary for Luke to do the same, it was just a lot of Temple’s dialogue. I think the author could have gotten away with not making the food that Temple ate, such a big deal. I did enjoy how affectionate Temple was towards Luke.
Luke was a lover, right away. He was always kind, always willing to help his friends. I really liked his character from the start. His past was somewhat hard – not tragic, but sad. I also liked how his group of friends were his family. That despite sometimes having disagreements, he knew that they would always be there for him, just the same as he would always be there for them. He was someone who, despite their past, was able to let Temple into his life – to help heal his heart. Also, his piercings sound so hot! I would love to see those all in real life.
This was a great story – one that held hope and re-birth for both characters. I enjoyed the development of their relationship – and I thought it was a great progression.
Luke finished doing his orders and the taxes, then rolled his head on his shoulders. Tired. He was tired and ready for a beer and a burger. He headed out of the little office he shared with Donny, waving at his best friend and partner as he passed by.
“I’m going to bail. You need anything?”
Donny shook his head. “No, I’ve only got another ten minutes or so left and Armen is picking me up. Turn the sign to closed, though, will you?”
“Totally. See you tomorrow?”
“Yeah. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.” Donny winked at him.
The bell over the door jangled as the door was opened, a tall, skinny, bald man in leather walking in.
He and Donny looked at each other, wincing. No one was going to want to start something new this late in the evening.
“I’ll handle it,” Luke offered. It was probably just a question anyway, right?
He headed to the door, offered the dude a grin. “What can I do you for?”
“I’d like a tattoo, I think. Are you the tattoo artist?” The man had a gravelly voice, like he’d swallowed glass or something, and his eyes were so brown. They seemed huge, too, probably because of the bald head.
“No. I’m the piercer. Would you like to make an appointment?”
“I’d like to talk to someone first. Can I talk to you?”
Donny was swamped and about to leave anyway, Bill and KT were both working on big pieces that were going to take them until well past closing, so no one else was currently available. “Absolutely. Talk away.”
Those brown eyes took him in. “Yeah, I think you can help me.”
“Well, I’m the co-owner, so I hope so.” Just look at those pretty eyes. Luke could happily spend some time thus occupied.
One big hand was held out to him. “Temple Garrison.”
“Luke. Pleased.” He shook Temple’s hand, a jolt of electricity passing between them. Wow, he’d never felt anything like that.
Temple’s nostrils flared. “Oh. Hi.”
“Hi.” They were just standing there, holding hands like that zap had fused their flesh. “Jesus, sorry. Sorry, man.” He let his hand drop, feeling like a bit of an idiot.
“No, no apologies necessary. You felt it too, eh?”
“I…” What did he say to that? “How can I help you?”
“There somewhere around here we can sit? Have a bite to eat?”
“I…” Okay, that was odd. Intriguing, though. Surprisingly. “Jack’s Diner is two doors down.”
Wait. Had he just agreed to eat with a stranger? At least it would be in public.
Temple smiled, looking pleased as punch. “Okay, let’s do it.”
“Let me grab my phone.” He headed to the office. “Going to Jack’s, having a bite with a customer.”
“What? Why?” Donny demanded.
Donny gave him a glare. “A repeat customer?”
Donny sighed, rubbed his face. “You’d better be careful.”
“I’ll have my phone, man.” And Jack’s was practically next door and there was that whole ‘in public’ thing. Still, Don was a good guy. A genuinely good guy.
“Okay.” Donny repeated it, “Okay. You’re a grown man.”
“I know, right? Weird.” He gave Donny a smile and headed back out, turned the sign around on the door. “You ready, man?”
Temple straightened from where he’d been leaning against the counter. “I am.”
“Cool. It’s a decent place—burgers, fries, pancakes.”
“They do a salad?”
“I’m sure they do.” Even if Luke thought a salad was a weird choice for a tall, bald guy dressed all in leather, he tried not to make judgments like that, but this guy screamed biker and he had yet to meet one who was into salads.
“Cool.” Temple walked along next to him, long legs just eating up the pavement.
The walk didn’t take long enough to even talk, the well-lit diner inviting in the late summer night.
Often referred to as “Space Cowboy” and “Gangsta of Love” while still striving for the moniker of “Maurice,” Sean Michael spends his days surfing, smutting, organizing his immense gourd collection and fantasizing about one day retiring on a small secluded island peopled entirely by horseshoe crabs. While collecting vast amounts of vintage gay pulp novels and mood rings, Sean whiles away the hours between dropping the f-bomb and persuing the kama sutra by channeling the long lost spirit of John Wayne and singing along with the soundtrack to “Chicago.”
A long-time writer of complicated haiku, currently Sean is attempting to learn the advanced arts of plate spinning and soap carving sex toys.
Barring any of that? He’ll stick with writing his stories, thanks, and rubbing pretty bodies together to see if they spark.