<b>The Geek and His Artist
By Grace R. Duncan writing as Hope Ryan
Blurb: Can Simon get past his fears and take Jimmy’s offer to get out of danger?</b>
Simon Williams spends his lunch periods drawing his geek and trying not to think about the terrors waiting for him at home. He needs to get away from his abusive father before he suffers the same grisly fate as his mother. Because he’s learned the hard way running away doesn’t work, he’s counting the days until his eighteenth birthday.
Jimmy Bennet should be spending his lunch studying so his senior GPA is good enough to get him into college, but he can’t seem to focus thanks to his distracting artist. When he’s given the opportunity to tutor Simon in Trig and discovers Simon’s home-life nightmare, he wants nothing more than to get Simon out of danger. This need becomes more urgent when Simon comes to school the Monday after their first date with bruises, but it takes a broken leg before Jimmy can convince his boyfriend the Bennets really want him.
But the danger Simon thought was past shows up at the most unexpected time, and he must stand up to the fears he’s held so long to protect not only himself, but the man he wants to spend his life with.
Simon frowned down at the grade report in his hand, trying—again—to figure out what he was going to do about his trig grade. His feeling had been right: he’d bombed the fall semester for the class. He shouldn’t have taken it in the first place—he didn’t need it for college—but he had and now he had a D+ to show for it. He could drop the class, but if he did, then the D+ would stay on his transcript. Not the end of the world, but he really didn’t like what it would do to his GPA.
His only other option was to see about getting some tutoring to try to bring that grade up, since his solo attempts hadn’t done much at all for him. He’d been fine with algebra, geometry, and even algebra II. So when he’d signed up for trig, he’d expected he could handle it. Little did he know that trigonometry was a completely foreign language from the others.
The Bastard was going to kill him for being late, but Simon would just have to deal with it, and if he was lucky, he could still make it home in time to cook. He needed the good grades for financial aid.
He sighed, folded the paper back up, and stuffed it into his backpack, then pulled the door to his school library open. He paused just inside the door and looked around, but didn’t readily see anything set up as a tutoring center. The library itself wasn’t big, the bookshelves reaching the ceiling and crammed into just about every available space. After giving himself a moment to make sure he didn’t see it, he moved over to the desk.
A large, older woman in a polka-dotted dress, with steel-gray hair and glasses with blue plastic frames that curved up to points in the corners, stood at a computer, checking in books. Simon guessed she was the librarian. He hadn’t had much need to come into the school library yet, so he hadn’t seen her before. He waited for a couple of minutes, but when she didn’t even seem to see him, he leaned on the counter and cleared his throat.
Her head whipped around. “Oh! I am so sorry, deary. I didn’t notice you there.” She stepped closer and smiled widely. “You’re so quiet! Most of the boys in here make so much noise. How may I help you?”
Simon found himself returning her smile. She reminded him of all those grandmothers he’d seen in just about every movie ever, and he found himself wondering if that’s what a real grandmother was like. He had no idea what his had been like since he hadn’t met them before they died. He shook the thought off. “I’m sorry. I was looking for the tutoring center?”
“Don’t worry, dear,” she said, patting his hand. “It’s over there. Kind of hidden, I’m afraid. One of the tutors is there now.” She pointed toward an enclosed room on the other side of the main library area, the door the only thing showing among the stacks. When he peered closer, he saw the walls above the bookshelves and now could tell it was its own room.
Simon thanked her, she patted his hand again, and he crossed to the door, hoping against hope that whoever the tutor was wouldn’t be an ass. He knew some of them did it for their community service requirements—Simon still had to figure out what he was going to do—and not because they wanted to actually help.
When he stepped through the door and looked around, he saw one person—obviously male, by the breadth of the back—hunched over a table. To his left a clipboard sat on the short counter, asking for name, subject, and date, which Simon filled out, then looked back at the tutor.
And stopped dead, staring.
Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Cover Artist: Kathryn Bone
Editor: Tricia Kristufek
Current Edition (second) – Independently published – October 23, 2020
Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08LF23NGG
Also available through Kindle Unlimited
Hope Ryan is an out and proud bisexual, wife of a loving guy, and mother to three, including an amazingly brave gender-fluid son. She loves to write about the tough stuff, but also wants to see her characters happy in the end. She feels strongly about showing there is hope for everyone, no matter where you come from, how you identify your gender, or who you love.
Hope likes to play board and card games and can often be found playing God with her Sims or running around, fighting monsters in a virtual version of Middle Earth. Her TV and movie preferences lean towards anime, sci-fi, and fantasy, though she’ll never turn down a good happily ever after love story, either. As long as there are explosions or action, she’s happy. She loves to read books of all kinds, though prefers stories about love in its many forms.