A Worthy Man

A Worthy Man

(The Men of Halfway House #5)

A story of two men and the boundless love that forever changed them.

Vannguard Shaw has spent the last ten years serving a life sentence and adjusting to the ache of solitude. He accepts his fate, a sacrifice for the only man he ever loved and the one person who saw beyond his rough edges.

Drayton grew up with a trust fund and pre-planned future, but an unexpected encounter one night forces him to abandon everything and start from scratch. He is now a self-made man and developer of one of the most sought after electric exotic automobiles in the world with a fortune greater than that of his birthright. Yet, he’d surrender it all—again—for the only man who’s still ever-present in his heart.

After a decade and entirely too much distance between them, Vann is suddenly released back into a world that has been nothing but cruel. Drayton never lost hope they would once again reunite and pick up where they left off, but Vann’s stubborn nature and repeated encounters with a heartbreaking world prove to be a challenge.

Vann needs to tap into his fighting spirit’s reservoir of strength and hope life doesn’t punish him for taking a chance. Only then will he realize his own value and feel worthy enough to finally have Drayton’s heart. And their chance at forever.

Main Characters: Drayton and Vann
Release date:
 May 2, 2017
Series: The Men of Halfway House
No. in series: 5; can be read as a stand alone
Category: Contemporary Gay Romance
Word Count:  124,300 words
Formats available: e-book and print

Photographer: Eric McKinney of 6:12 Photography

Drayton first appears in book 3, A Restored Man. Vann is first mentioned in book 4, A Mended Man.

Purchase Links:

International Purchase Links**:

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** Available in both eBook and Paperback formats.

Vann grew silent again, rubbing his thumb along Drayton’s hand. “I’m tired of life kicking my ass all the time.”

“Then maybe it’s time you kicked back.”

“Um, I’m pretty sure that’s the kind of shit that would land me back in that hell.” He patted their clasped hands with his free one. “You’re supposed to be the smart one in this relationship.”

Drayton chuckled, thankful the teasing side of Vann was still present. “What I mean is…don’t let this shit hit its mark. You’re not this tough guy everyone thinks you are.”

“You’re supposed to tell me how badass I am and how you’ve been fantasizing about me every night.”

Drayton threw his head back and laughed.

“I missed hearing your laugh all those years,” Vann whispered.

He sighed as he tilted his head toward Vann. “I need you to listen to me. Okay?”

Vann nodded, staring at their clasped hands.

“You’ve got a good heart, and I’ve learned that’s both a strength and a weakness. It’s the reason you are the most caring man I know, but also the reason you feel this pain so much.”

“You’re getting better at this whole reading people thing.” Vann tilted his face toward him, his eyes pleading as if making an effort to absorb his message. “I’m not the same guy I used to be.”

“You’re still my Vann.” Drayton reached out, placing his palm against Vann’s chest. “In here.”

“I feel as if I take one step forward then get kicked ten steps backward.” Vann softly thumped the back of his head against the wall, another tic that seemed to linger after all these years.

“You’re a fighter.”

“That’s what Four Finger Fred said.”


“Never mind,” Vann mumbled.

“You’re not a quitter, so don’t you dare start now. You always find a way to make things work.” Drayton quieted, hoping to convey every ounce of love he felt for the man staring back at him. “That relentless fighter, he’s the guy I fell in love with when I was a kid and he’s the guy who had the strength to pull through the last ten years. And he’s the guy staring back at me right now. Who I love. Back then, now, and always.”

“You’re a romantic fucker,” he said with a weak chuckle. Vann ghosted his fingers along Drayton’s jaw, his focus following his fingers as they traveled down his neck. Drayton’s chest tightened when Vann looked up and gave him a lopsided grin—one that bore a hint of youthful innocence Drayton hadn’t seen in so long. “I’m supposed to be the strong one, standing guard while you change the world. Now…I just feel so fucking lost.”

Drayton leaned in and pressed a kiss to Vann’s lips. “You and me, we’re a team. Don’t ever forget that. I’ll stand guard for you until you find your footing again.”

“C’mon,” Drayton said, tugging Vann by the hand. After breakfast and a countertop quickie, they had immediately returned to the bedroom and had been hibernating there since. He had no objection to spending all day in bed, but he had a surprise for Vann and couldn’t stand waiting any longer. “I want to show you the rest of the house.”

“But I like the bedroom.”

Drayton chuckled, pulling him up with more force. “We can come back after.”

“Fine,” Vann grumbled, finally sitting up on the bed with a dramatic pout.

“You’re cute when you don’t get your way.”

“Cute enough to stay in bed?” He waggled his eyebrows and petted the bed. “It’s really soft.”

Drayton leaned in and gave Vann a chaste kiss, jerking back quickly to avoid his grasp.

Vann’s laughter filled the room. “Damn. You’re still super-fast.” He reluctantly stood and stretched his arms over his head.

Drayton’s lips parted, enjoying the flex of muscles.

“Like what you see?” Vann asked, delivering a cocky grin as he seductively licked his lower lip. “Let’s get back in bed—”

Drayton threw his head back and laughed. “You’re still persistent as hell. C’mon. I want to show you something.”

“I want to show you something too.”

“This is important.” Drayton crossed his arms. “We can skim the other rooms but there’s one that’s special. It’s…yours.”

Vann sobered. “You’ve given me enough to cover every event for the rest of my life and then some. I don’t want—”

“It’s also for me. I’ll watch you while you use the room.”

“Hmm.” Vann pursed his lips. “Okay, you’ve got my attention.”

After a little more bargaining, Drayton finally lured Vann out of the bedroom and down the hallway. He opened the door to his office and stepped inside. “This is the room I’m usually in when I’m here.”

“Not anymore.”

He chuckled as they exited the office. They walked down the hall to the room he’d had converted into a gym.

“Damn, this is nice.” Vann checked the different weight options and looked at each of the machines.

“You’ve got everything here for all types of routines. And if you don’t like the view, you’ve got a TV.”

“The view’s beautiful.”

“Whatever we need to change out or add, we’ve still got space. I do a lot of thinking while I’m on the treadmill, so we’re not getting rid of that.”

Vann chuckled. “Okay.” He walked over to Drayton and leaned in for a slow kiss.

“Mmm. What was that for?”

“Is this the room I’ll use while you watch me? I promise I’ll make you sweat too.”

“..so poignant and beautiful, it made me smile and tear up.”  ~Mary, USA Today/HEA  (must-read m/m romance)

” I absolutely adore it when a story vibrates with emotions. Vann and Dray’s story throbs with its own heartbeat…” ~ Sheri, Book UNfunk

“…emotionally, beautiful and inspiring.” ~Amanda, Urban Smoothie Read

“…this was a story about hope…”
“Vann struggles with his worth in life and man was it a powerful journey with him as he discovers who he is and how valuable he is.”
“This is a book that will absolutely capture your heart and make you just fall in love!”

“Holy flaming balls Batman I loved this book!! I mean, WOW, what you think of a typical romance is not what you get in this book, you get soooo much more.”
“The writing in this book had me laughing, crying and smiling for days.” ~ Wendy, Book Lovers 4Ever

“Damn, but every book in this series is such an emotional ride!”
“These two were more than just epic romantic declarations, they were full of snark and inside jokes…”
“There are so many “moments” that you just have to read for the first time to be able to wallow in the love properly.” ~ Ann, Boy Meets Boy Reviews

“This story is perhaps the purest form of a true romance novel you will ever be likely to read in this genre.” ~ Sammy, Joyfully Jay

“A beautifully written book of waiting, wanting and getting that second chance with the only man you ever loved.” ~ Debbie, Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!
“…I was simply blown away by the story.” ~ Merissa, Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!

“Every moment between Vann and Dray is a fairytale in miniature.”
“If I had to pick just one word to describe A Worthy Man, it would be ROMANTIC. Dray and Vann never give up on each other. They are colors in harmony.” ~Dani, My Fiction Nook

“Beyond being an incredibly emotional story – this story is about love and second chances. It’s about persevering even when it looks like there is no hope. It’s about finding your soulmate and never letting go. It’s about rebuilding your life, when you’re afraid and have nothing. It’s about D + V = ∞ – and it’s a story you don’t want to miss.”
“A great addition to this amazing series ~ a second chance love story that will melt your heart.” ~ Jaime, Alpha Book Club

“A Worthy Man will seal the deal that love is worth waiting for and can truly conquer all. A must read.” ~Evelise, Sexy Erotic Xciting

“The love between these two men was something that I can’t remember ever coming across in a book before.”  ~Donna, Love Bytes Reviews

“…deeply emotional and full of passion…”
“…an enthralling, intensely touching read that is as much love story as it is a fascinating character study…”

“A Worthy Man gave me all the feels: I cried, laughed, got hot and bothered, swooned, got mad and got more hot and bothered!” ~ Kara, Two Book Pusher
“Their story is beautiful, heartbreaking, inspiring, sexy, and moving.” ~ Sandra, Two Book Pusher

“…this awesome, sexy, swoon worthy, romantic, heartbreaking, emotional roller coaster ride that is the love story of Drayton and Vann…” ~ Laura, iScream Books

“A wonderful “second chance at love” story.” ~Wendy Dirty Books Obsession

“A Worthy Man is a gripping story that just completely takes you on one of the most romantic, sweetest rides.  This story was just EVERYTHING.”
“…this story grabs you from the very first page and doesn’t let you go.”
“Their level of commitment and the deep connection they shared is one of the strongest I’ve felt while reading.”
“Vann and Dray’s story took my breath away.” ~Jen, Lustful Literature

“This book is about so many things. It will bring you to every emotion and you will never put it down.” ~ SiK Reviews

“I absolutely adored this story” ~ Lauren, Live Read and Breathe

“…I was drawn into this story and the emotions it stirred.”
“The true and lasting love Vann and Drayton have is amazing.”

“The story warmed my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I loved this from beginning to end and everywhere in between.”
“You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You heart will fill with lots of love for these two characters.”~Jill, Embrace the Romance

“…this book was everything.” ~ Amanda, WickedGoodReads

“Another beautiful romance that will fill your heart with so much joy!”
“The absolute most beautiful aspect of this book was the love between these two men.”
“A Worthy Man is about second chances, personal redemption, and believing in hope.”~Kathy, MM Book Escape

“This is a must read that can be a stand alone…Excellent writing, great characters and a moving story.” ~Erin, Two Chicked Obsessed

“A Worthy Man is a book that deserves and is worthy than more than 5 stars, it is a book that I highly recommend and one that I won’t soon forget.” ~Janna, I’m a sweet and sassy book whore

“Goodness, how this story and these two men took my heart and refused to let go from start to finish.”
“I was able to fall in love with the story of two men who had a love so true and strong that not even a decade apart changed that love.” ~Jen, Dog-Eared Daydreams

“…there was something about both Dray and Vann that pulled me deep into this story from the first page. That feeling never went away through the entire book, and for this reader/reviewer there aren’t many books that can carry that feeling from start to finish.”
“These two men are the perfect example of a love story, including first love and even a second chance at love.”
“I honestly want to fan girl over this story because, for this reviewer, it was pretty damn perfect just on the character side alone. The flow of the story, the storyline, and all the secondary characters added into that mix and made it a highly readable, and even re-readable book.” ~Chris, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

“It is heartfelt, and honest.” ~Becky, Mean Girls Luv Books

“A Worthy Man is full of  such beautiful moments.”~Janeane, BJ’s Book Blog

“You know when you read a book so good, that there’s just no words that will do it justice? That’s how I kind of feel about A Worthy Man. I don’t really have a word or sentence to tell you how much I loved this book.” ~Sanaa, Sanaa’s Book Blog

“A Worthy Man is a story about second chances. Of overcoming your past and the obstacles that life throws your way. It’s about learning that you do have worth, no matter how others may have tried to tear you down. It’s about love.”
“It was beautiful and romantic and uplifting.”
~ Jewel, My Fiction Nook

“I can pretty much guarantee that this is also one story that you will want to read time and time again.” ~Dawn Gay Media Reviews

“…a slow rebuilding of a relationship and a blossoming of development of a man learning his own value in the world. It’s sweet, tender, loving, and most of all – romantic.” ~Morgan, The Blogger Girls

“Another beautiful romance to swoon over.” ~Mandy, Foxylutely

“Completely captivating, utterly beautiful, poignant and breathtaking love story. This book is one of my top reads of the year and I’m moved by the emotions captured and portrayed in the story.” ~ Pavarthy, Gay Book Reviews