Book Title: Lonely
Publisher: The Original
Cover Artist: Josh Fippen;
Photograph by Cura Photography
Release Date: December 4,
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Tropes: Military Romance, Coming Out, Overcoming Adversity,
Themes: Dealing with Trauma, Gay in a New City, Forgiveness
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 109 000
It is part of a series, but each
novel can be read as a standalone.
It does not end on a cliffhanger.
Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited
Two conflicted military men. A longing for happiness. One
Lonely Diner, where people often search for a recipe for love. (The food is good there,
Two conflicted military men. A longing for happiness. One Lonely Diner, where
people often search for a recipe for love. (The food is good there, too.)
One man plays it straight. Another grieves over a lost best friend with
Everyone thought they were meant for each other. Lance, an Air Force
computer engineer, and Ryan, a former submariner in the Navy and now a military college
professor, are gay men blinded by the painful wounds of their past decisions. Both men are
ready for love. But because of their pasts, they’ve slammed the brakes on their desires.
Now thirty years old, a younger Ryan Ball decides he can be happy only by
conforming to social expectations. So what does he do? He decides he must have a wife and
kids. Though he acknowledges that he can never be straight, he is convinced that with effort,
determination, alcohol and erectile dysfunction meds, he can play the necessary roles.
Vikki, Ryan’s girlfriend in high school and now his wife, begs to differ.
At thirty-one, Lance Dingle falls for his best friend and roommate, Randy, a stunt
pilot who agrees to a friends-with-benefits arrangement. From Lance’s perspective, there’s a
spark in their arrangement that Randy denies. Then, tragedy strikes. Lance finds himself
alone and lonely, living with memories of Randy and an ever-expanding list of “what-might-
have-beens.” Finally forcing himself into the dating scene, Lance discovers that Mr. Right is
more elusive than he ever imagined.
Then, Callie Yenti, transwoman, drag performer extraordinaire and
entrepreneur, enters the picture. She owns the popular Lonely Diner and possesses an
uncanny insight into the workings of the heart.
Even the complicated hearts of her two hard-headed friends, Lance and
An HEA gay romance.
Trigger Warning: This novel includes scenes from a sexual assault
and a PTSD episode.
It was at this point—this question—that Ryan slammed
both hands flat against the table. He heard Diamond’s short scream and grimaced. He
lowered his voice. “Okay. Fine. The two of you want the truth? The whole truth? You’ll have
He could imagine what Vikki would say. She would never
have advised handling his parents the way he intended now.
Ryan inhaled deeply. “For years now, I have denied a big
part of who I am. In my denial, I asked Vikki to make a sacrifice—a sacrifice of which she was
unaware for years—while I sorted my shit out. A fool’s way of avoiding the truth. It took a
stint in the Navy but finally, I did. I sorted everything out and realized I am gay. There. I said
it. And I said it without fear or shame.”
“Oh, dear God!” Mr. Ball’s voice boomed, echoing against
the walls of the dining room. “What kind of farce do you have in store for us next? That
you’ve fallen in love with a sailor, and with him, you intend to live happily ever after?” A
pause. Then: “Gay!” He spat out the word. “Another fad. Another trend. It’s not real. I’ve
known men who thought they were homosexuals, then after years of lying to themselves
passed, I discovered they were happily married with children.”
“How many people have you told?” Mrs. Ball demanded.
“To what degree have you brought shame to this family?” And then, after a thought: “And
what about Vikki? Can you say with certainty that you’re really Diamond’s father? After all,
you’ve been at sea for months at a time.”
“Wait just a minute!” Ryan’s voice exploded. “First, I must
say that your assertion is offensive—both to me and, I’m sure, to Vikki. Just because I’m gay
doesn’t mean I can’t perform sexually with a woman.” He turned to his father. “Which
probably is part of the reason why your gay acquaintances were able to pull the wool over
your eyes so successfully. Being gay is more than just sex, you know.”
Mr. Ball glared at his son. “I am so fearful of what will
happen to this country when your generation takes the reins.”
“Just—stop it! Just shut the fuck up! Both of you. I’m tired
of it. Tired of the bullshit.”
The expression on both parents’ faces confirmed the fact
that their son had never spoken to them using this tone, these words.
Ryan lowered his voice to a subtle whisper. “What Vikki and
I are dealing with? Well, it’s our concern. No one else’s.”
Then, a voice. Vikki’s voice. Coming from the doorway.
Diamond, still absorbed in her coloring activity in the family room.
“Please understand. Both of you. I was able to handle your
son’s honesty. Was I deeply hurt when I discovered the truth? Yes. Of course. And I’m sure
you bear some hurt of your own. But you should not weaponize that hurt into anger against
your son. It’s important that you try to do what Ryan and I did. It took some effort, but it was
worth it. With open communication and a willingness to be accessible to one another, we
began to work things out. I know there are still challenges ahead of us, especially with our
little girl. That’s uncharted territory, to be sure. But Diamond is loved. By both of us. We will
still be a family, even when Ryan is in Florida and I’m here, in Virginia. We want both of you
to be a part of our family. But that’s not going to happen if the two of you can‘t see your way
forward to cultivate a little understanding.”
To avoid escalating the situation even more, what Vikki and
Ryan did not say was that Mr. and Mrs. Ball would never see their grandchild again if they
could not surmount their anger, doubt and resentment.
About the Author
Dann Hazel has been writing
both fiction and nonfiction for more than twenty years.
Besides writing romance, he
has taught high school English and journalism, college psychology and human sexuality,
directed federal grants and worked as a therapist in a psychiatric hospital. His fiction genre
interests include thrillers, horror, literary and gay romance. He has published the Some Like
It Haute Gay Romance Series, including Room
for Dessert, My Own Private Biscuit and
Nonfiction works include
Witness: Gay and Lesbian Clergy Report from
the Front and Moving On: The Gay Man’s Guide for Coping When a Relationship
Dann’s personal interests
include reading and writing, cinema, jogging, Broadway, keeping abreast of current events
Currently, Dann lives in
Central Florida with his husband, Josh, and their American Eskimo canine,
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