Simple Things

By: Kade Boehme


Carter Darling’s life has been a whirlwind since his mother was elected to the senate when he was a teen. From private school to joining the military, he tried to forge his own path while making as few ripples as possible. But an injury forced him to figure out new goals for his life. After his parents were involved in a sex scandal, he decided to go back home to Tennessee to get some distance and get away from the madness.

He didn’t bargain on Jeremy Beck returning at the same time.

Jeremy was finally past the rich boy angst that made for some dramatic teenage years, but he hadn’t earned back much respect from his parents by playing in an indie band. Now that his band was on hiatus, Jeremy was looking for space from his unhealthy non-relationship with a band mate, so returning home to figure out his next step seemed like the way to go.

Their initial reunion     turned awkward. Carter was still holding on to hurts from their last meeting and Jeremy was trying to convince himself that Carter was still just his sister’s closeted little friend. But when they open up to one another again and decide a staycation fling would be a nice distraction, they may get more than they bargained for.

For two guys who’ve had so much drama in their lives, it might surprise them to find that sometimes love is found in the simple things. Who knew?


A huge thanks to Heidi for making this shine. Also, to J.K. Hogan for this phenomenal cover work. And to Wendy for the hours upon hours upon hours of my major writer’s block freak outs and outlining and general neuroses over the last 6 months. Without you guys, this book wouldn’t be.


To all who found out the hard way that being an adult didn’t mean you’d suddenly have all the answers and soldiered on anyway, without losing your shine and your optimism. You’re the brave ones. Nothing is braver than knowing things suck and still finding the will to hope.


“You can’t really be leaving,” Ella stated. “Isn’t there some big PR rule about not going MIA during scandals or you give the rumors power?”

Carter Darling snorted inelegantly and continued folding his shirts, placing them in his biggest suitcase. He didn’t plan on returning to New York City for quite a while.

“Besides, your parents are going to flip if you take a whole semester off.”

Carter turned on his friend and roommate then. “They get absolutely zero say in how I handle their problem. They made the problem, they can damn well fix it. I’m not going to play smiling trophy child while they do it.”

Ella huffed. “Well, you can’t leave me in a lurch with the rent. That’s not fair.”

“My trust is going to wire payments to the landlord, same as always.”

Ella pulled out her phone and started texting furiously as Carter went back to his packing. “Besides, it’s my parents’ names on the lease, so if you want to move out, you’re more than free to do so.”

She huffed behind him, again. He turned on her, again. “What the fuck’s it to you, anyway? You were all team Fuck the Darlings, now you’re …” He narrowed his eyes. “Shit. Did they ask you to keep me in town?”

She glared. “It’s nothing that nefarious. But Paul did call to see if I could talk you into backing down for a few days, see if you’d be there for your mother’s resignation speech.”

Should have known. Fucking Paul Buchanan wasn’t ready to give up his gravy train with the Darlings, yet. And Carter’s mother wasn’t ready to throw in the towel on her political career. The second coming of Hillary, they called Carrie Darling, Carter’s mother. Although, the Clinton scandal had been all on Bill. Both Carrie and Carter’s father, Wayne, had shot their political careers in the proverbial foot this time.

“How much are they paying you?”

Ella reared back. “That’s low.”

“Well, you had a price tag before when I decided to come out. What’d they get you this time?”

“Maybe,” Ella snapped, “I don’t want my friend to self-destruct. And don’t forget, you used my services as much as your parents did.”

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