Title: Remember My Name
Author: Laurencia Hoffman
Cover Designer: Melissa Stevens at The Illustrated Author Design Services
Publisher: Encompass Ink
Publication Date: September 4th, 2020
Hosted by: Lady Amber's Reviews & PR
Dark and twisted secrets mar Shane Coulterâs skin, and darken his fragile heart. Yet he keeps his nightmarish truth hidden from all those he holds dear with a smart mouth and abrasive attitude.
His first love, Callan Reid, refuses to accept Shaneâs tough exterior. Convinced something truly horrific lurks beneath Shaneâs defenses, Callan vows to uncover the truth.
But some things are better left buried. As darkness from the past threatens to be brought to light, there are those who would kill to prevent it. Can Callan break down Shaneâs walls? Or will digging into the past come with deadly consequences?
Laurencia Hoffman is the author of several novels and novellas and co-author of The Wages of Sin series. She specializes in thrillers but loves to dabble in other genres including horror, fantasy, and romance.
When she's not writing, she also enjoys making her own line of natural products, satisfying her sweet tooth, and watching films.
Heaving an exasperated sigh, he stood in the waiting area and listened to the cheesy music. It was just like Troy to be late, leaving Shane to fend for himself in a crowded and uncomfortable area. If they werenât best friends, heâd be getting a lot of shit for it.
He kept checking his phone, trying to appear busy since some of the patrons were shooting him looks. Shane didnât own just-in-case clothes, so he didnât have anything appropriate to wear to a restaurant like this. If he had known, he would have borrowed something from Troy.
Shane didnât care how he looked most of the time. It wasnât that he was lazy or didnât try, but he didnât care to carter to the judgments of other people. His comfort was the most important thing to him.
His eyes flicked upward to settle on a familiar face. He would have sworn that his eyes were playing tricks on him, yet, when he blinked and returned his gaze to the tall, handsome blond, he was still there.
The blond was laughing and patting one of his friends on the back. Shane didnât recognize the people he was with.
For a moment, he was frozen. This seemed like a dream, a nightmare, or a hallucination â anything but reality.
And then those sparkling blue hues spotted him, and the blondâs face turned white as a ghost.
âShane,â he whispered.
Lifting his chin, he looked the man up and down as if he had only just noticed him. âThe one and only. How long have you been back, shithead?â
The manâs cheeks flushed pink and he excused himself from his group of friends. As he took a step closer to Shane, Shane took a step back.
âJust a couple of weeks. Iâm here for work.â
âOf course you are. Iâm not sentimental enough to think that youâd be here for me.â Running his tongue along the front of his teeth, Shane folded his arms.
The older man swallowed hard. âDo you think we could talk outside?â
âOh, sure. Wouldnât want your friends to think I ever meant something to you, right?â
The blond gave him a stern look. âThatâs not fair.â
Heaving a sigh, he obliged the man by exiting the restaurant and standing to the side of the entrance.
âWhat the fuck do you want to talk about, Callan? How you broke my heart, and abandoned me, forever tainting my view of love?â
âDid I really?â With a sigh, Callan shook his head. âI thought you might have forgotten me by now.â
âUnfortunately for the both of us, I didnât.â He wanted to say so much more, like how the six months they had spent together had changed his life in good ways and bad. But he didnât want to give Callan the satisfaction of knowing just how deeply heâd been affected by their time together. âWhatâs with the entourage?â
His features brightened, happy with the change in subject. âTheyâre my colleagues, actually. Iâm sure you remember my love of photography.â
âHow could I forget?â
âWell, Iâm dabbling in journalism now. And Iâm able to provide my own pictures.â
âGood for you.â He wanted to grumble something about how heâd never doubted Callan, but thought better of it. âWhat are you working on?â
âJust a piece about some of my favorite places.â He paused. âI could include you if you want.â
Shaneâs first instinct was to say yes. Callan had been his first â and only â adult relationship. At the time, he had been convinced that he would never need anything more, that Callan was the one and only person for him. And when that had fallen apart, heâd been devastated. Did he want to open himself up to the possibility of being hurt like that again?
âWhy, because Iâm one of your favorite places?â
âWell, of course.â
He rolled his eyes. âA person canât be a place.â
âThey can be if that person is home.â
Shaneâs nostrils flared, furious that he had the audacity to say something like that after the way theyâd left things. âI donât think so, Cal. Maybe if we were strangers...â
âWhy canât we be?â he asked in a hushed tone.
âYou want a clean slate?â
It was something to consider. In their six months together, Shane had managed to keep all of his secrets, including his health. He had fallen hard, and fast, and he didnât want that to happen again. If they were even going to consider speaking to one another, it needed to be on his terms.
âOkay. If weâre going to play that game, itâll be by my rules.â When Callan didnât protest, he went on. âIâll text you a time and a place and weâll meet for the first time all over again.â
Callan smiled. âIâm looking forward to it.â
âAre you now?â Shane lifted the cell phone in his hand. âThings have changed since the last time we saw each other. Iâve changed. And youâre going to be treated just like anyone else.â
He furrowed his brow before nodding. âOkay...are you going to tell me what that means?â
âI guess youâll find out. Or maybe not. Is your number still the same?â
âYes. Do you remember it?â
âOf course I remember it, you idiot.â
After checking to make sure there was no oncoming traffic, Shane walked through the parking lot, waving his hand in the air.