Congratulations to my fellow Evernight author Douglas Black on his new release!
Taylor and Charles’s story is finally here.
The first inspiration for Taste In Men hit me like a heavy box falling from a high shelf. Almost literally, in fact, but I managed to jump out of the way.
At my mother’s request I was in my parents’ loft, “throwing away all that junk you don’t need.” This is an event that takes place approximately once every eighteen months. I go home, my mum tells me to get rid of the stuff I left behind when I moved away for university, and I go into the loft and spend the day rediscovering things I forget I owned before going downstairs to announce there is simply no way I could get rid of a single item. Then we have dinner.
On this occasion, I was being more clumsy than usual (which is saying something) when I accidentally pulled down a giant cardboard box stuffed with all my old video games. On the shelf behind that box, wrapped in bubble wrap and black bin bags, were the first three games consoles I ever owned.
And that’s sort of where Taylor was born. My loveable, anti-social nerd whose every move is fuelled by his terror of commitment. I poured all my geeky teenage habits and interests into him and watched him come to life as one of the most interesting and complex characters I have ever written. I hope you enjoy spending time with him as much as I did!
Taylor Dale is terrified of getting tied down. After years working a job he doesn’t like in a city he’s always wanted to leave, he is finally on the verge of starting over. He just has to make it through his two-week’s notice.
A team-building weekend throws a spanner in the works when Taylor meets Charles. Charles is definitely not Taylor’s type, but attraction sparks hard and fast between them. Against his better judgment Taylor decides there might not be any harm in a weekend of no-strings-attached fun.
But Taylor never was very lucky.
One night with Charles threatens to turn his world upside down, if Taylor is willing to let it. In a panic, Taylor pushes Charles away, but distance isn’t enough to stop him wanting the man. Soon, Taylor realizes he has to take a chance and see if there might be a future between him and Charles. But for that to happen he’s going to have to hope Charles will answer his call.
Taylor stood off from the main throng of his colleagues. It was a dreary Friday morning, cold for June and wet although the forecast Taylor had looked up on the Met Office app on his phone suggested conditions were due to improve later in the day. It hadn’t escaped Taylor’s notice that, thanks to the team-building weekend, he was at work earlier than normal. He was trying to distract himself from dwelling on that fact, by people-watching his colleagues.
It said a lot about Taylor’s time at Webb that, despite spending almost every day for the past six years with these people, Taylor knew next to nothing about them. In a way, it was strange to think he might soon never see any of them again, but Taylor didn’t think it likely he would lose sleep over it.
Taylor had never felt like part of a team, but that had been his choice. He took the job at Webb Glasgow when he was eighteen for the simple reason he needed a wage. Working for a company specializing in commercial and industrial building ventilation systems and products was, Taylor was pretty certain, never going to be anyone’s dream job. On the day he signed on the dotted line in his cheap supermarket suit he made himself a promise that in ten years his time at Webb would be a distant memory.
Six years later, more than half a decade of training courses and personal reviews and Continuous Professional Development sessions, he was about to begin cashing in on that promise. Having spent those same six years working nearly every evening and weekend on the project that, only a few months earlier, had paid off in spectacular.
He wondered if the managing directors realized how fucked they were going to be without him. Taylor doubted it. He knew a lot of them saw him as just another corporate lackey willing to jump through any hoop presented to him. That was a reputation earned during his first few years with the company when Taylor had chased every promotion and pay rise even when at times he thought the amount of sucking up might kill him. Taylor thought it was because of that and his fake smile and even faker attitude that the bosses didn’t seem to realize that despite the other colleagues in his office, including Malcolm, Taylor was the IT Department. That wasn’t arrogance on Taylor’s part, it was simple fact, and Taylor wished he could set up a hidden camera to see the chaos he knew was inevitably going to follow his departure.
A lot of sacrifices. That was Taylor’s overwhelming memory of his time at Webb, but then that had been the running theme of his life since his early teens. It didn’t bother him. Not really. Especially not now it had paid off. And he hadn’t gone completely without. Time could always be found for jaunts to Glasgow’s gay bars and nightclubs and there was never a self-imposed deadline so pressing a pretty, pampered twink couldn’t take precedence.
No relationships, no friendships requiring any sort of effort, and no other commitments that he couldn’t get out of in a hurry. Ensuring he never got tied down had always been central to the plan.
Born and raised in bonnie Scotland, Douglas Black writes contemporary MM erotic romance. Welcome to your fantasy.