Desert Snow by KC Kendricks

Two lonely hearts meet at a White Party

Laird Bennett accepts a friend’s invitation for a vacation with his eyes wide open. His buddy is pimping for him - in a sneaky sort of way. Why else set up his business meeting in Palm Springs the week of the annual White Party and ask Laird to go along? Laird goes with every intention of enjoying the eye candy, the weather, and behaving himself. Those plans change his first night out while waiting to cross the street and a younger man in white leather greets him. 

Haydn Rinehart is at a crossroads. His pilgrimage to the White Party is to honor a promise made to his late partner before moving into the next phase of his life. Haydn strikes up a conversation with an attractive party-goer while waiting for a traffic light to change and invites him for a drink. When he discovers Laird is one of his favorite authors, Haydn volunteers to assist in some hands-on research in his hotel room. 

After all, they are at the White Party and some fun is in order.


“Haydn is a good German name for a man of German descent.”

I looked at the Celtic emblem on his neck cord. It was possible he wore it not as a symbol of his heritage, but because he simply liked the design. “Actually, Haydn could also be of Welsh origin.” I didn’t add it meant “fire” in the Welsh and suited him to a tee. One should never appear over educated to a new acquaintance. 

“So are you into genealogy and stuff?” His whiskey-brown eyes held genuine interest. 

Darn, he had pretty eyes, so clear with a dark outer ring around the iris. “When I was a lad, back in the hills of West Virginia, I stumbled upon an old graveyard in the woods. I restored it to get my Eagle Scout award.”

“No kidding? For real, man?”

“Yep. It led to my writing career.”

I managed to refrain from grinning at him as he blinked at me, his lips slightly parted. He jerked and gulped down a few swallows of his beer, which had unfortunate consequences. He choked. I thumped his back as he coughed. 

“Sorry.” He wheezed a few times in my general direction. “I’m such an ass.”

I gave him one last pat between the shoulder blades and reached for my drink. I wanted to touch him far too badly to allow it to continue. I wasn’t here to get laid. 

“You’re going to have to explain that statement. Why does choking on your beer make you an ass?”
He cleared his throat and risked a sip from the bottle. “I’ve never met a writer before. Are you here to make notes for in a book or something?”

I sighed. “Haydn, the whole world is fodder for an author. Everything we see, hear and learn ends up on the page sooner or later.” I smiled at him. “I write true crime novels as a profession, and erotic gay romance as a hobby.”

Those lovely brown orbs fixed me with a ruttish stare. “Then may I volunteer my services as a research assistant for your hobby?”


Yes, it would be wonderful to spend a few hours rolling around on his sheets. He appealed to me. Haydn projected the aura of maturity a man had when he was content in his own skin. That I recognized it surprised me, considering our short acquaintance, but I didn’t imagine it. He had it. The argument for or against taking him up on his offer was with myself. 

I looked at him over the rim of my glass as I took sip. The cool liquid slid down my dry throat and delivered a nice kick as it hit bottom. His gaze flicked to my lips as I licked the tart drops. “I wouldn’t want to come across as easy.”

His left eyebrow lifted. “Not a word I’d use to describe my take on you. I think I’ll get a few more drinks into you and see if you’re more agreeable to some fun.”

I grinned at him. “You give a guy my age too many drinks and the only fun you’ll get will be listening to him snore.”

Haydn tightened his arm around my shoulders in a quick hug. “I’ll risk it. You’re what? All the way to forty?”

“I waved goodbye to that a while back.” I took a good swallow of mojito. Damn, it was delicious, and good enough to gulp down and ask for more - but I wouldn’t. “Pray tell - how young are you?”

“No, no, no. You can’t be a day over thirty-eight. Let me see your ID.”

The idea of showing a complete stranger my driver’s license made me uneasy. I didn’t know him well enough yet to give him more than my first name and a hand job. I shook my head. “You’ll just have to take my word for it.”

He knew he’d stepped over a line. “Sorry. No harm, no foul, Laird. If you don’t want to go to my room, we can stroll down the street to the next place.”

“I’d like that.” I tapped my glass to his bottle again and we swilled down the remainder of our drinks. He’d not answered me as to his age, so I accepted my initial impression was correct. He was a lot younger than me.

Weaving our way to the door through the crush of male bodies was an adventure. The crowd of partiers had increased and grown bolder. I finally cupped the front of my pants to keep all the smiling men from copping a feel. I noticed Haydn didn’t seem to mind the fun. He grinned and grabbed back. When we finally stepped outside, he held up a fistful of slips of paper. 

“Wow. These guys are really friendly.” He paused to count his prizes. “Eleven, all with names and cell phone numbers. Some of them have hotel and room numbers, too.”

“That should keep you busy, young man.”

He shoved the slips in his left pocket. “You might think so, but I’m really not interested in a series of one-offs that I’ll have no memory of the next morning.”

I started to walk east, toward the booming bass of loud music. He fell into step beside me, our strides equal in length, his hand causally touching the small of my back. I liked the easy, controlled way he moved, and his attentiveness, but started to worry about leading him on too far. 

What did I really want for the evening? To be fair to Haydn, I had to decide soon. Saying he wasn’t interested in fucking his brains out might be for my benefit. If the urge was upon him, I wouldn’t stand in his way if he wanted to go find a more willing playmate. We stopped at the tail end of a long, snaking line. Haydn tapped the guy in front of us and asked him a question while I admired the guy’s ass, which looked pretty good in white leather pants. I’d come to look at the eye candy, after all. 

“What’s the deal here?”

The guy pointed at the sparkling marquee a good thirty feet away. “It’s Glimmer, man. They only allow two hundred patrons inside at a time.” He looked at me and grinned. “We can blow this honky-tonk and have a little three-way back at my hotel if you like.”

Annoyance surged through me, and crystallized how I felt about having some fun with Haydn. I gave him a nudge to move him sideways so we could bypass the line. 

“Sorry, big fella. This one is all mine tonight.”

Contemporary gay romance
Available at

Universal link to additional booksellers

No comments: