Better Off

Cover for Better Off by Tanya Chris shows a man and a suit and a man with long hair holding a flower in front of a bookshelf

Only one thing stands in the way of millionaire Gregory MacPherson’s project to revitalize the gritty neighborhood of Ball’s End: a run-down used bookstore. Since none of Mac’s employees seem to be able to get Hailey’s Comic out of the building Mac needs to tear down, he decides to take matters into his own hands. He expects to have it all under control, just like he has everything under control. What he doesn't expect is to fall hard and fast for the store’s owner—the colorful, willowy, and unexpectedly male, Hailey.

Hailey refuses to give up his lease, no matter how many incentives Mac dangles in front of him, but when it comes to consummating their mutual attraction, he’s a lot more flexible. Soon Mac is finding it as hard to pry himself out of Hailey’s bed as it is to pry Hailey out of the building. With time winding down and no other options, he does the unthinkable.

Mac is trying to improve Ball’s End. Hailey thinks it’s Mac who could stand to be improved. But with a few compromises, they might all end up Better Off.

Note: this book was originally published under the title Him Improvement. No significant changes have been made.

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Publisher: Tanya Chris
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Excerpt:

“You know what I like about you?” Hailey asked.

Mac straightened up with a shake of his head. He knew what people usually liked about him. He was a handsome man with strong features and thick hair. He came from money, had turned that into more money of his own, had the manners and confidence to comport himself anywhere. He made decisions quickly but logically, took action when others froze, and played a good game of hockey. But he expected to hear something different from Hailey—maybe that he had a bright aura or had been some form of cuddly animal in a previous life.

“Your shoulders. I’m a sucker for a guy with good posture. You had that suit on in the store, but I could still tell. Is that not okay to say?”

“I was expecting something more… well, less superficial.” He’d wanted Hailey to see something in him, something he maybe hadn’t even known was there himself, a goodness of some kind.

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“Like that you have a beautiful soul? We all do, don’t we? Your beautiful soul happens to be topped by an impressive pair of shoulders. But all right, I’ll tell you what I meant to say before I got distracted by them. I like how transparent you are.”

“I’m not transparent.” He was a consummate businessman, a master of impassivity.

“But you are. Right now you’re vaguely insulted because you think being transparent is a weakness. A moment ago you were disappointed to discover that I’m a human male, not an ethereal saint, and right before that you were thinking about how much you want to fuck me.”

Since that was a pretty good summary of the last three thoughts he’d had, arguing seemed pointless. “Maybe you’re just good at reading me.”

“I don’t see how anyone could miss what you’re thinking. It’s all in your eyes. They’re very expressive. I especially like that how-much-you-want-to-fuck-me look. You never did say whether this was a date.”

 

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Sammy on Joyfully Jay wrote:

[This] is not my first Tanya Chris novel, but it is definitely my favorite to date. With just enough friction between what Hailey wanted and what Mac envisioned, coupled with the loveliest emerging romantic entanglement between the two men, this novel was a delight to read from beginning to end.

loveQhuay on Reading under the rainbow wrote:

I couldn't put it down, i read it in one sitting and I was so happy while reading it. It was a really good book and I highly recommend it.


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