Book Title: A Soul Unbroken: A Journey
Author and Publisher: A.D. Britten
Cover Artist: (for printed book) Cover design from Amazon template by author, photo by Elijah Hiett on Unsplash; (for ebook) Cover design from Amazon template by author, photo by Oliver Sjostrom on Unsplash
Release Date: Originally released in 2006; updated and re-released in 2019
Genre. Contemporary M/M Romance
Theme: Overcoming the odds
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Length: 85 735 words/414 pages
It is a standalone book.
Joey Christopher has never had an easy life, but living with Allen made everything better, until it wasn’t.
Joey Christopher has never had an easy life, but living with Allen made everything better. His mere presence made Joey happy and made life seem more manageable despite Allen's serious faults. However, when Allen is arrested during a drug bust Joey must learn to live on his own for the first time. He even spends some time in a homeless shelter, while he does everything possible to get Allen home to return to the life they once lived-only better.
Joey had been very busy that day; there was a major book sale and a well-known local author had stopped by for a reading and book signing. He was thankful for the distraction, because he was having one of his weak days. Then, toward the end of his shift, Gary showed up suddenly. Joey had not noticed him until he came up to the counter, being the next customer in line, and Joey happened to be the cashier who was free.
Even before he could turn in his direction, he heard Gary’s voice and recognized it immediately.
“Well, well, well, I’m going to have to come here more often,” Gary said with his characteristic bright and easy smile. “How are you, Joey?”
Joey’s heart stopped for moment, after hearing his name from such a familiar voice. He looked up from the cash register and saw Gary smiling brilliantly at him. He was always such an open and friendly person, albeit a little too friendly at times.
“Hi, how are you, Gary?” Joey managed to say. He did not want to repeat the mistake he made with his earlier exchange with Brian and Jason. Besides, Gary was probably there for business-related reasons and not just as a customer.
“I’m good. I had been trying to call you, but your phone was out of service.” Joey had changed his cell phone number for obvious reasons.
“Yeah, my number changed.”
“Well, I never thought I’d see you again,” he said sincerely. “Anyway, I was having a get-together Friday night and, well, would you like to come?”
“I don’t know,” Joey said honestly. “I remember what happened the last time.”
“All that’s over,” Gary reassured. “Folks have moved. No more drama.”
That’s all Gary needed to hear. “Here’s my business card. It has my cell number. Call anytime.” Gary carefully placed the card on the counter. To be courteous Joey picked it up and put it in his pocket. Then Gary furtively winked at him and left. The next customer walked up to the register, and Joey started to ring up her purchases.
Joey told himself that he wouldn’t go; he couldn’t go. He meant to take the card out and tear it up before leaving work, but forgot. When he got home later that night he meant to take it out and rip it up, but he was so tired that he just got ready for bed and went to sleep. The end of the week came and the card was still there in his jeans pocket. He happened to wear the same pair of jeans that Friday that he had worn on the day of Gary’s visit. Joey took a deep breath as the last customer left and he went through the store rearranging misplaced books on the shelf and tidying up the store. Mr. Griffin came out of his office and told him that Joey could go home early. He would finish up.
The next day was going to be busy with another book signing and Joey was going to be the only person that morning. The older woman who had worked there last time, Mr. Griffin’s cousin, would not make it to work until later in the day.
So Joey left the store and told himself he was going home. He wanted to go home. But somehow he found himself at 7 pm standing on Gary’s porch, one of the first to arrive at his party.
About the Author . . .
A.D. Britten is a published author of various short stories, articles, and two novels. Originally from the Midwest, Britten now lives on the East Coast.