Storm Moon Press - After the First Taste of Love Untitled Page

After the First Taste of Love

Salome Wilde
Talon Rihai

Out of Print

In high school, Nick Torres and Angelo del Valle were inseparable, outsiders who found strength in friendship. The bond between the gay, mixed-race teens turned isolation into brotherhood. Overachieving loner Angelo became "big bro," looking out for cocky, mischievous "little bro" Nick. But everything changed when Nick fell in love and moved away. Angelo tried to be happy for his dear friend, seeking solace in his college studies and a lonely string of one night stands.

Then, one late night two years later, Angelo's phone rings. Nick is back in town, and he needs his big bro's help. Nick's dream life has become a nightmare, and he's come to the one person he could always trust for shelter. But when Nick looks to Angelo for more than brotherly affection, Angelo is left to wonder if Nick's feelings are genuine or an effect of his trauma. And if those feelings are genuine, Angelo must then decide if his own feelings for Nick have grown into something deeper as well.

There was a strange finality to the click of the payphone as Nick hung up. He'd been glad to see one at the grungy Greyhound station on Chicago's west side. Payphones weren't as common as when he was a kid, and since Barrett owned Nick's cell phone, he wouldn't have called Angelo from it, even if he still had it. It—and everything else Barrett had bought him—had been deliberately left behind. So much was deliberate about the past twenty-four hours. He'd thought about leaving for a long time, but something always kept him: fear, denial, hope. Once he made up his mind, though, he left.

With few possessions, it was easy to cram everything that meant anything to him, plus some changes of clothes, in one backpack. The laptop belonged to him outright, having once been used for college, so he felt no guilt at the weight of the messenger bag. It felt good to have only what belonged to him and no more, nothing owed. Still, until he'd heard Angelo's voice, he hadn't realized how lonely he'd been. Hadn't let himself. Sitting down gingerly on a bench to wait, he was careful to take slow and shallow breaths. He knew the feeling of a cracked rib; it hurt like a motherfucker. But he didn't cry then, and he wouldn't cry now. He was just lucky Angelo hadn't written him off as "pathetic", like Barrett often said he would. Hell of a way to talk to someone you supposedly loved. He cursed silently, wishing he could stop thinking about Barrett now that he'd finally gotten away from him. He forced his mind to the present, to Angelo. Angelo was coming. The rest he would figure out later.

***

Exactly what Nick was up to, Angelo didn't know. Not details, anyway. That they hadn't spoken in two years and Nick called out of the blue from a bus station said a lot. That his voice had an unfamiliar shakiness said more. But who knew, maybe Angelo was imagining things. Nick could always take care of himself, and even though they'd parted company on a bad note, Angelo did want to see him. As he slipped on his shoes and grabbed his keys, his mind flew to the past, to the day he'd met the cocky rich-boy Barrett, slimy as they came yet irresistible to an oblivious Nick, desperate for his first taste of love. Angelo had loathed Barrett from the moment he saw the adoration in Nick's eyes, heard the declaration that Nick was moving out of the dorms and in with him. What could Angelo do, a friend who wasn't even really the "big brother" Nick called him? Nothing. So, he accepted reality, grudgingly, and watched Nick—inexperienced and eager to spread his wings—go. All the way to D.C. and not to return... until now.

4.5 - Caitlin Ricci
"There are some books that shake a reader to their very core. This book was one of them for me. I hadn't read the blurb before starting it, simply knew that I liked the cover and that I wanted to try out a new author or, in this case, a pair of new authors. But Nick and Angelo snared me from the prologue. There were so easy going, so simple then. Kids really. Then to see Nick after he's able to get away from his ex, to see the pain he's gone through and the fear he feels- that's heartbreaking. And these authors captured that. Something else that these two authors did was make these characters real. They have flaws, they have their problems, they're humans. Seeing real characters deal with real problems is a relief. "

4 - Susan at Top 2 Bottom Reviews
"The friendship between Angelo and Nick is brought out so well, with humor and quips, a kind of gentleness that’s wonderful to see. These are likeable men, even if Angelo has self-doubt and Nick acts like a kid sometimes. It’s nice that they have that family background instead of the usual melodrama of having been raised by nuns or some such. Angelo’s mother, especially, is a strong, comforting presence. Long story short (too late!), After the First Taste of Love is a good story I recommend to all who like friends-to-lovers stories and overcoming abuse."

4 - Fashionta at Confessions from Romaholics
"I really enjoyed this story. It showed how love can be closer than you think, if only you have the courage to open your eyes to see it. Love can also change you, but sometimes the change is merely a new mold, one that allows two people to shape their lives together.... I really enjoyed both Nick and Angelo and they way they were able to overcome and even change while together."

4 - Pants Off Reviews
" I am just so in love with the diversity in this book, talk about a cultural experience. Both MCs are of mixed race and man...that’s just a beautiful thing. The first 20% of the book was excellent and the rest was alright, I understand the need to set a lighter tone but I feel many issues were avoided. Regardless, I liked the guys and really enjoyed reading this book. "

Series

Nick and Angelo

Length

47,000 words

Release Date

Book Type

Novella

Categories

Gay

ISBN

978-1-937058-85-2 (print)
978-1-937058-34-0 (ebook)

Cover Art

Yana Goya

Keywords

M/M, friends to lovers, contemporary, domestic abuse, interracial