As You Are

Operation Danny…that’s all bartender and recent college graduate, Julian Hallowell has had on his mind the past year. Julian may have no idea what he wants to do with his life, but he definitely knows he‘s in love with the boy next door: The one in next room to be exact, his roommate Danny Wallace.

Danny owns a used text book store just off campus and while Julian has done his level best to make Danny fall for him, all his hard work appears to have been in vain. Danny doesn’t seem to view Julian as anything other than that…a roommate and friend. So when new guy in town Andy Baker asks him out on a date, Julian can’t seem to think of a good reason to say no.

Julian has already instituted a Reverse Operation Danny plan, which he’s positive will purge all thoughts of love and lust for his roomie out of his head. He’s ready to move on and start looking for his next Mr. Right, and Andy just might fit the bill.

Release date: 13 November 2013, Second Edition
ISBN: 978-1-925031-64-5
Category: Gay Romance
Sub-Genre: Comedy, Contemporary, Romantic
Number of words: 61,000 words
Formats available: e-book, print and audiobook
Heat level: 2 Flames out of 5

5 Stars

The first thing I should say about this book is DO NOT read it in public.  People will think you are completely mad when you start laughing out loud and are unable to stop!

Prism Book Alliance Reviews

A light breeze blew the leaves across the field as Danny and I made our way toward his group of friends. It wasn’t long after moving in with Danny that I’d noticed his personality altered once he got around these dudes. I think he began to notice this as well over time, seeing himself mirrored back through my eyes. It was a change that had lessened quite a bit as the time that we lived together lengthened.

Most of these guys had been in a frat together back in college, and they were very much all-for-one types. Only a few were gay, but other than the gay-trashing banter and slurs that got tossed around occasionally, they actually seemed to be a decent pack of guys. All except for Donald Thomas, that is, who was Danny’s oldest friend. They’d grown up together, and both turned out to be gay. That’s pretty much where the similarities stopped. Danny was at the core a very kind and caring person, while Donnie seemed more like…the spawn of Satan himself.

Donnie was not a bad-looking guy. He’d actually be pretty fucking hot if it weren’t for his personality. He was tall with buzzed, short hair like Danny’s, like they were both getting ready to enlist. Donnie had very chiseled, masculine features. His nose had been obviously broken at least once before.

But there was something in his eyes. They were blue, but it was as if they’d faded over time, like a picture that had been exposed to the sun for too long. He was taller than Danny and built Ford tough as well, with very nice, long legs. Just about when Donnie had your tail wagging, he’d open his mouth and ruin everything.

“I didn’t realize we were playing smear the queer.” Donnie placed a hand on his hip and looked beyond irritated at the sight of me.

He was one of those people who always seemed to be giving somebody shit about something. It didn’t matter whether you provoked him. He was either really in love with the sound of his own voice or just pissed off that he’d been named after a cartoon duck. Donnie had become worse where I was concerned since the night he’d come on to me and I’d shot him down. He really didn’t seem to appreciate the fact that I didn’t want to have sex with him.

“What’s Pinky doing here?” Donnie asked, walking around acting all girlie, giving a limp-wristed routine while firing nasty looks at Danny.

I yanked out my phone and snapped a quick picture of Donnie walking around like a big nell. “Now I have the photo for my Christmas card.” I smiled sweetly as Donnie gave me a die-bitch-die look. I reached up and played with my nipple while pouting at Donnie. “I wore this old thing just for you, Donnie.”

I laughed, seeing Donnie’s jaw start to clench a bit.

“Hey, Julian,” Chris, one of Danny’s straight friends, greeted me. Chris seemed to get me. He always knew what I was up to. I adored his new wife as well. Since she as well was not a Donnie fan, I could guess that Chris was already looking forward to running home to describe to her what she’d missed.

I smiled and waved at the rest of the lot of them as Danny began organizing teams. Since Fuck Face, a.k.a Donnie, refused to be on my team, stating he didn’t feel like losing, he wound up being the other team’s captain. Donnie’s team consisted of Barney the Belcher (self-explanatory), Tommy Two-Tone (sporting a major farmer’s tan), Kevin the Crotch (because he always had his hand down there, which I assumed meant he either had a perpetual case of jock itch or it was so big that it required constant attention), Todd the Sprinkler (a major spitter), and Fred. What can I say? Poor Fred wasn’t even interesting enough to deserve a nickname.

To be fair, most of the others just ignored Donnie, while I made it my mission to tweak his nose whenever possible. I knew it bugged him even more to have a skinny little shrimp like me standing up to him.

Chris had of course jumped at the chance to be teamed up with Danny and me, and the other members rounding out our side consisted of Jake and Jimmy, whom I referred to as the twins. While they did sort of look alike, it was due more to the fact that they always laughed at the exact same time, like synchronized divers—only with laughs. It was unsettling, and it didn’t help much that their laughs were identical. One laugh…two bodies. Spooooky. The final team member was Aaron, whom I called, Flame On, but only in my head. I didn’t think he was gay, but he had the thickest, fullest head of red hair I’d ever seen on a man. He could also do a very convincing imitation of a wall—as in, he was as big as a…

As the six of us huddled up, it took everything I had to not laugh my ass off about how ridiculous it had to look having skinny ol’ me clad in skintight, neon clothes bunched up in this mix. These frat boys were mostly huge muscle junkies like Danny, which probably made me look like the annoying little brother one of them had been forced by his parents to bring along.

Usually they went for blood and played full-on tackle football. These guys were, if nothing else, serious about their games. I felt a little sad they were stuck with me, but more than happy to be mashed up into the group of manliness and muscles. Tommy Two-Tone had just been cleared for normal exercise after surgery—to remove his appendix, as I recall. He was still a bit sore, I guess, so luckily for me this was football-lite.

As the game wore on, it did, however, become more than a little difficult to concentrate as the smell of soap, sweat, and deodorant was constantly wafting up my nose and heading directly to my crotch. As if that weren’t enough, having Danny yell at me to bend over, then shoving his hands in my crotch as I hiked him the ball… Let’s just say I was really rethinking my smart-ass decision to wear skintight jeans.

The game stayed neck and neck in terms of score as it moved along. We were about halfway down the field from our goal line, and if we scored, the game would be over. I was beyond sick of listening to Donnie and his mouth. I’d heard the words pussy, pansy, sissy, queer, and nelly about as much as I could stand for one decade.

On top of that, almost everyone had their shirts off by then, and the scent and sights of all the sweaty beefcake… I needed to beat the other team so I could run home and beat off. I was nearing delirium, and so help me even Shit-Head McGee started to look good when I pictured him naked…with a ball gag in his mouth.

I was literally panting and doing my best to make it seem like I was just out of breath. In addition, I was seriously cursing myself for having Mom get me out of high school PE after only two weeks. Oh, the things I must have missed.

Danny started snapping his fingers in my face. “Pay attention, fucker.”

Okay…wow…that nearly made me come in my pants. “Sorry…I’m with ya!”

“We’re gonna take these motherfuckers down right now.” Danny had a gleam in his eyes. It wasn’t the least bit nice, but it was sexy as hell. I might have actually run in and robbed a 7-Eleven had he asked me to in that moment.

“Yeah!” all the other guys yelled out in sync with deep, throaty, rip-your-head-off gusto.

I was just about ready to throw myself onto the ground and beg to be gang banged. Who knew team sports could make me so slutty?

Danny grabbed my chin, making me focus on his eyes as opposed to moist, glisteny, rock-hard, wish-I-could-lick…

“You’re gonna take us home on this one, Julian.”

I could see the other guys getting a bit nervous—along with me. I knew I’d garnered some respect for my speed, which kept the other team from making much ground when they tried to score. It seemed to make up for my uselessness when it came to helping us score.

“No one here can catch you, buddy. You’re the fastest little shit I’ve ever seen, and no one from their side will be paying any attention to you.”

“Danny, I can’t catch,” I squeaked out in a please-don’t-make-me voice.

He looked at me with a you-can-and-you-will expression that made me more nervous.

“Honestly, I’ve never been able to catch…anything.”

Danny let out a frustrated, blustering sigh. “All right, fuckers. Here’s what we’re going to do.”

As Danny went over his plan or play or whatever it was called, I could see his eyes flit over to Donnie and the other team. The intensity coming off my guys to shove the other team’s fucking noses into the dirt was intoxicating. I knew as I stood hunched over in the sweaty huddle of man-meat that I would most likely never be the same after that afternoon.

As we broke and got into position, I bent over to hike the ball, and Danny patted my ass, giving it a rough squeeze before shoving his hands into my crotch.

That was apparently all the motivation I needed. I hiked him the ball and wriggled my little body through the line of hard-muscled opposition. I ran down the field, keeping my eyes peeled and focused on Chris, who had Donnie hot on his tail. I turned, veering toward Chris as he did the same toward me. Chris jumped up and caught the ball when he was about five feet away. He landed just before we passed one another, and handed the ball off to me. I veered off toward the goal line.

When I glanced back, I saw that it had worked. Donnie was still chasing Chris. Then, realizing what had happened, he turned toward me. I smiled as I tore down the field, knowing no one was going to catch me.

I’d had tons of experience running as a kid. Getting from my house to Cara Cardwell’s on the other side of our subdivision became no easy feat with Gary Hamm’s house smack between my house and hers.

Gary had been the bane of my childhood existence, especially after he’d gone through some Chernobyl-like growth spurt at the age of ten. That summer before the start of fifth grade, I became a sprinter. Forrest Gump had nothin’ on this bitch.

I crossed the finish line and slowed to a stop. I could feel the biggest shit-eating grin in the world stretch my face. I turned to see Donnie coming to a stop several feet away. My teammates all came running up, slapping my ass and shoving me around. I swear to you, the disgust on Donnie’s face was the only thing that kept me from falling to my knees and start grabbing for cocks. When I saw Donnie’s jaw clenching and knew my victory would eat away at him for the rest of his rotten life, something snapped in me. That’s when it happened.

“Who’s the pussy now, ‘roid-boy?” I pushed away from my teammates and began jumping around like I was on fire.

“You just got lucky!” Donnie yelled.

I was oblivious as the testosterone level and man-scent overload I was hyped up on took me over. It was a bit like an out-of-body experience as I took the football and held it down between my legs, pretending like it was a big, hard cock and yelled, “Suck on this, you punk-ass bitch. Pinky Boy just wiped the court with your punk ass!”

Everyone was snickering as Danny whispered, “Field, not court.”

“That too!” I yelled as Donnie spun around in a tizzy and stormed off, muttering stuff under his breath.

Danny walked up and slammed his chest into mine. I fell back onto my ass as Danny looked down at me wide-eyed. WTF? We looked at each other in shock. Then I glanced past Danny to the rest of my teammates, all doing chest bumps and high fives a few feet away. I began laughing as Danny helped me back up. Dude…my first chest bump! I suddenly began to feel like one of the boyz.

The feeling was short-lived, though. Danny brought me all the way to my feet, then tossed me up over his shoulder. He spun me around to carry me back to the rest of the guys. I laughed and called out to Donnie in a high-pitched, girlie voice, “Come back, loser!”

Danny smacked me on the ass. “Settle down there. I think he got the point.”

“The best fucking day ever!” I yelled out, laughing.

I could feel a low, rumbly laugh radiate through Danny’s body as he put me back down and I high-fived my team. It wound up being the only time I ever played football with the guys. Not because I hadn’t been invited back, but I honestly didn’t think my cock could take the torture. I practically beat myself raw that night with an erection that refused to stay down.

The fabulous Elisa Rolle says –
“Ethan Day is gifting us with Comedy books that are the paper version of the Comedy movies I love so much”
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A Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read
“a brilliant author with the ability to spin a tale that will leave you wanting for more”
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5 Stars from Two Lips Reviews
“one of the funniest books I have read in more than a year – I mean laugh out loud, tears rolling down the cheeks funny”
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5 Stars from Whipped Cream Reviews
“a heart-warming, humorous, drama-oriented story that is a breath of fresh air”
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5 Stars from Prism Book Alliance Reviews
“The first thing I should say about this book is DO NOT read it in public.  People will think you are completely mad when you start laughing out loud and are unable to stop!”
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5 Stars from The Blogger Girls
“If you’re looking for something funny, sweet and a tad sad, give this one a go because you won’t regret it!”
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Sensual Reads says
“Ethan Day has crafted a marvelous, must have love story.”
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4.75 Stars from Reviews by Jessewave
“a wonderful, hilarious story with fabulous characters that I highly recommend”
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4.5 Stars from the Bookwenches
“As You Are, is a well-written and clever romantic comedy that will tug at your heart, make you smile, and lead you to think about the complexities of human nature”
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4.5 Nymphs from the Literary Nymphs
“I thoroughly enjoyed Ethan Day’s As You Are”
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4.5 Stars from Top 2 Bottom Reviews
“A great romance with a HEA ending. The dialogue is super, the plot done well—Ethan can add another fan to his long line.”
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GGR-Review says—
“This story is a fast paced funny, sad, heartwarming, and maddening read that grabbed me from the beginning and held me. This is a great book, and I highly recommend it.”
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4.5 Stars from Hearts on Fire Reviews
“I highly recommend this to all fans of this author but also to those who like a wonderful contemporary romance where the guys have to work hard to reach it, but ultimately get their HEA.”
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4.5 Stars from The Novel Approach
“As You Are is Ethan Day at his snarky best. I completely enjoyed this book the first time and even more the second. Highly recommended.”
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4.5 Stars from Because Two Men Are Better Than One Reviews
“Ethan Day has done it again – what a fun and fabulous story told with such wit and humour! Totally wonderful!”
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4.5 Stars from MM Good Book Reviews
“I’m surprised that I liked this book so much. I don’t tend to be all over 4+ hearts for a rom-com but wow. I literally started reading and never stopped till I reached end.”
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4.5 Stars from World of Diversity Fiction
“The relationships in this story and the happily ever after ending leave you feeling all warm inside. Highly recommended!”
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4 Stars from Prism Book Alliance Reviews
“When an author can make me put aside my usual tastes and enjoy their story despite all the things I normally hate, I know I have found talent”
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4 Stars from 3 Chicks After Dark Reviews
“I love an Ethan Day novel because I know I will laugh out loud numerous times. The dialogue will be clever. The characters will be engaging, fun and diverse. All these characteristics drive me to reach time and time again for Ethan Day books.”
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4 Stars from Lily @ Rainbow Reviews
“this is a fabulously entertaining story – I highly recommend this romantic, sexy, fun-filled story to everyone”
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4 Stars from Night Owl Reviews
As You Are was a fun, entertaining read”
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4 Stars from Love Bytes Reviews
“I stayed up till six am, laughed, cried, and growled angrily…so I think I can say this story was well worth the read.”
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3.75 Stars from Leslie @ Reviews by Jessewave
“this is a fun book with a light, breezy writing style”
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