A Bit of Me ( Love in Xxchange 6) by Bailey Bradford

Title: A Bit of Me              Word Count:309 pgs

Genre:  Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Chase Murphy lost everything—money, his best friend, and his confidence-but one man wants to help him regain what was taken from him along with a love that Chase never expected to have and doesn’t believe he deserves.

A chance encounter gives hope…

Xavier Talbot has everything a successful man should, or at least he thought he did. Suddenly he discovers that his brother is a sick sadistic jerk, the boy he found on the streets and raised for the past several years is going to give Xavier a clear understanding of ‘empty nest syndrome’, and the club he’d built up from nothing, The Xxchange, now seems like a sleazy place instead of the GLBT paradise Xavier had imagined. Then a chance encounter with one man gives Xavier a bit of hope in his rapidly depressing world.

…but will they discover love together?

Chase Murphy only wanted one thing—to find his best friend, James Stratton, who’d been kidnapped by a vengeful sociopath. Hurt and stranded in a town he has no intentions of staying in, Chase meets a man he wants to hate, but he can’t stop thinking about Xavier Talbot no matter what he does. Slowly, seductively, the town and its inhabitants draw Chase in and make him rethink his opinion on forming friendships and the possibility of a long term relationship. He isn’t sure he wants to hang around to see if things would work out, but it isn’t until James is found that Chase discovers the truth about what it means to love people, as friends and, for Xavier, as a lover.

My Review: Xavier Talbot, owner of club Xxchange can be described in so many ways: snarly, sexy, dangerous and definitely dominant but never vulnerable. But that is exactly how he feels when he thinks he is about to lose Billy, his faux brother/ son. Xavier has protected Billy since he picked him up off the streets since  he was 15. Billy is very effeminate and a twink to boot. He is always getting into trouble since he bites off more than he can chew with the burly men he’s attracted to.

 When Xavier finds his own brother Randy assaulting Billy for the second time, he goes off the rails and beat the holy hell out of his brother. Xavier is helped  by FBI Stone who also comes to rescue Billy and who promises that he wants to become a more permanent fixture in Billy’s life. Xavier’s bond with Billy feels threatened and he just knows that his place in Billy’s life will be usurped by this sexy FBI agent. He feels insignificant and he knows he is experiencing the empty nest syndrome even if it hasn’t happened yet officially.

When he meets Chase Murphy, a friend of his former employee Adam, he knows he is just the man to fill the void. Their connection is very electric, but there is only one problem, Chase is determined to fight their connection every step of the way. Chase has been tortured by some bad people from Adam’s past and even though he is hurt, he is on a mission. A mission to find his best friend James Stratton who  has been missing for awhile and feared to be dead. Chase believes he has no time to pursue whatever he feels brewing between him and Xavier. Also, Chase has a few issues with intimacy. He is definitely a self professed top in the bedroom and looking at Xavier it is clear that he is definitely very toppy and dominant. Chase just doesn’t see how things can  work out for them. 

These guys realize how potent heir attraction is when they see each other again, but Chase is still fighting it. Also , Chase is in the midst of receiving confirmation from agent Liam Stone that his friend James is alive, but has been thoroughly tortured. He pushes all thoughts of Xavier to the side,but his fantasies are too vivid and he lives through these. Chase tries to be honest with himself and in his dreams its feels liberating to be vulnerable and bottom for Xavier.

Things come to a head when Xavier is drugged at his club by a twink named Paulie. Chase is livid that something like that has happened to Xavier. He can’t seem to stay away anymore. As soon as Xavier is out of the hospital, Chase goes up bluntly to tell him that he wants him. Xavier counteracts by letting Chase know he doesn’t bottom and that he is not looking for a one night stand. Chase has to rethink everything he ever understood about himself and sex. He compromises, but it wasn’t very hard since he can’t lie about the way Xavier makes his body open up. Their first time is combustible even though they don’t go all the way. Xavier knows that he will have to earn Chase’s trust.

Trust comes in increments for them and soon these sexy strong- willed men find out what its like to be vulnerable while falling for each other. They both open themselves up to each other, both doing things that they said would never be a possibility because of their dominant personalities. The trust that they feel for each other is amazing and definitely a good foundation on which to build their relationship. 

Chase proves to Xavier that he is in it for the long haul. He pools their resources together and makes plans with Xavier to revamp their club the Xxchange into something more sophisticated. Xavier also helps Chase to sneak around trying to find out the secure location where his friend James is being hidden. Chase is so happy to see that even though James is just a little broken , he is still alive. They are all hoping to to have James recover to his former self. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

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