Read A Better Man (The Men of Halfway House) Online

Authors: Jaime Reese

Tags: #gay, #contemporary, #romance

A Better Man (The Men of Halfway House)

BOOK: A Better Man (The Men of Halfway House)
2.31Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
Table of Contents

Copyright Page

About Book 1: A Better Man

Title Page


Message to Readers

Trademarks Acknowledgement

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

About the Author



A Better Man

Copyright © 2014 by Jaime Reese


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or in any means—by electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise—without prior written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. Please purchase only authorized electronic or print editions and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted material. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated.


This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.


Published by Romandeavor, Inc.


(Kindle edition) ISBN: 978-0-9914570-0-7

(ePUB edition) ISBN: 978-0-9914570-1-4

(PDF edition) ISBN: 978-0-9914570-2-1

(Paperback edition) ISBN: 978-0-9914570-3-8


Second Edition, January 2014

Printed in the United States of America


Edited by Jae Ashley
Cover art and formatting by Reese Dante

Licensed material is being used for illustrative purposes only and any person depicted in the licensed material is a model.





Matthew Doner is starting over. After a five-year prison term that alters every aspect of his life, he receives a bequest from his aunt with the stipulation that he use the money to make things right. Breaking free of the long-standing role he's played and inspired by the few who support him, he decides to create a safe place where people like him can find purpose and start a new life.


Julian Capeletti likes challenges. He is confident, brash, stubborn, and just what Matt needs. Desperate for work after a downturn of luck, he accepts the job to renovate Matt's crumbling building.


Over the course of a year, romance simmers between them as they restore the house. But there's a bigger renovation that must take place in their hearts. To become better men, they need to learn to trust each other even with secrets and painful memories they fear may rip them apart.











For my hubby…my rock.

Words are not enough.


To CC…

Thank you.

You have no idea how much I appreciate you.

You're a rock star.


To A…

Thank you, for just being you.

To the readers…


To all the readers who read the first version of
A Better Man
and sent me a message:

Thank you.

I appreciate it more than you know :)



If you're a first edition reader who purchased this second edition, THANK YOU.

I hope you enjoy the rewrite and additions.



If this is your first read of
A Better Man

I hope you enjoy the story as much as I've enjoyed writing it.




Trademarks Acknowledgement


The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:


Bentley Continental GTC
: Bentley Motors Limited

Boy Scouts
: Boy Scouts of America

: General Motors LLC

Cheshire Cat (Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland)
: Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Dodge Ram
: Chrysler Corporation

Dr. Phil
: Peteski Productions, Inc.

: Jaguar Cars Limited Company

Jedi Master
: Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd.

: Eastman Kodak Company

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
: Telerep, Incorporated DBA Television Program Enterprises Corporation

Rolls Royce Phantom
: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited

: Starbucks U.S. Brands LLC







Chapter 1




"It's going to be another hot one."

This was the last thing the bubbly radio forecaster announced before Julian Capeletti switched off the radio. It was just too damn early in the morning for that much perkiness.

"Great," he grumbled as he sat up in bed and tried to rub the sleep from his face.

He hated mornings. Some people heard birds chirping, appreciated sunrises, and saw everything through rainbow-colored glasses in the early morning hours, but that just wasn't him.

Especially when he didn't have work.

He just couldn't muster the energy needed to be as functional as he was in the late hours—when he found his groove and could tackle even the most complex third plane mathematical equation anyone could throw at him. Mornings, well, it was a short list. Wake up, shower, drink coffee. Oh yeah, and don't forget to get dressed somewhere in between. He didn't need to have the perky announcer tell him about the weather, he could feel it firsthand as the sweat began to trickle down his chest.

"Fucking gross," he moaned as he rose from bed and made his way to the bathroom.

He followed the same routine every morning. He stared at himself in the mirror, in search of…what, who knew. He splashed some water on his face and looked again. Maybe he should try holy water or some other miracle that would change what stared back at him. He saw the hint of dark circles under his eyes and he hated it.

Vanity wasn't the issue, the dark circles were a reminder of the turn of bad luck that had plagued him for almost two years.

Like a series of snapshots, he always ran the images of that day through his mind. The one that marked the beginning of when it all started going to shit with no end in sight. Well, more than usual at least. The day his last steady foreman project ended because the owner faced trafficking charges and fled the country to avoid his impending capture. With assets frozen, the site was closed down and everyone was out of a job and a steady paycheck. He'd left work early to seek comfort in the arms of his partner, an eternal optimist, and found him busy giving comfort of a different type to another guy.

"Asshole," he mumbled into the towel as he dried his face. Maybe a shower would work. Even if it didn't wake him up, at least it would wash away the disgusting reminder of the South Florida blazing summer heat and humidity.



Freshly showered, Julian read the classifieds as he sipped his coffee. He closed his eyes and exhaled, enjoying the caffeine and sugar slowly bringing him to life. Finally. He skimmed the want ads searching for anything new that morning, something he hadn't already called on that week. He grabbed the monthly community paper and spotted the listing with a large bold headline "Handyman Wanted for Repairs". A long list of requirements followed, far beyond those for a traditional handyman. He exhaled sharply and frowned. He had seen this a lot lately, another potential employer taking advantage of the desperation in the workforce, wanting to hire someone for nothing. The laundry list of responsibilities read like the licensing exam for a contractor, not a handyman's job description.
Cheap bastard
. "Contact Mr. Boner" it read toward the end, followed by an address and phone number. He couldn't resist smiling at the play on words.

"No wonder Boner wants a handyman." He chuckled.

A knock at the door interrupted his morning read through the ads.

"Hey, Jules, you in there?"

Julian cringed, not just at the nickname he hated so strongly, but at the voice he knew came to deliver bad news. He reluctantly rose to answer the knock.

"Hi, David," he said as he slowly opened the door to greet the short, paunchy landlord.

"So, you got my rent this month?" David asked hopefully.

"I'll have some money for you by the end of the week." He rubbed his hands on his towel and looked away.

"That's what you said last week." David shifted to cross his arms in an attempt to intimidate.

Julian looked down at the short man and couldn't blame him for trying. He knew David well enough to realize that he didn't have a choice but to push at this point. He figured the guy was getting some unneeded pressure from the boss.

"I gave you some money last week."

"That was to cover the rent from two months ago. What about last month or this one?"

Julian's head began to hurt. This had been the ritual almost every day for the last month. He was a creature of habit, but there were some customs he wished would change.

BOOK: A Better Man (The Men of Halfway House)
2.31Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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