#TeaserTuesday - Inahle by DP Denman

Today's #TeaserTuesday is coming to you a day late, but it's worth it for this sneak peek at DP Denman's latest, Inhale. This book releases on Thursday July 20, 2023 and is currently available for pre-order.

From the Blurb:

What can you do when love takes you by surprise? Just breathe.

Cole Rinne is a model with an impossible problem. An invasion of his privacy
ends up in the hands of a blackmailer, and the details could go public any day. His only hope is to ditch the spotlight and hide in the shadows. Then he meets someone with a

Gage Marx is a PI who specializes in impossible problems. He's used to solving the unsolvable. The only thing he's ever declared a lost cause is himself.

From the start, Cole's case holds more surprises than Gage expects. The most shocking is that for the first time in over two years, Gage’s broken heart is showing signs of life.

Their plan to wade slowly into love comes apart when an unexpected opportunity threatens to turn it all into a long-distance relationship. Will occasional reunions be enough to keep them together, or will their separate careers tear them apart?


Gage was an ever-expanding curiosity. The more time Cole spent with him, the more layers it added to the mystery. The only thing he had right so far was that Gage was into men, though he couldn't say exclusively. Gage could be bisexual, which would fit such an enigmatic man perfectly. He could also be in the closet. Even in the social media era, where oversharing was endemic, some people kept their sexuality a secret.

Cole dried his hair, thinking about the guy who covered him with blankets and nursed him through the side effects of his own stupidity without asking anything in return. He left the towel bunched around his shoulders and walked into the bedroom with its dramatic colors. There were no pastels or flower prints, no flock of pointless throw pillows, nothing to hint at a feminine aesthetic. It was all masculine, from the chestnut carpet to the dark burgundy comforter on the bed. If there was a woman in Gage's life, she wasn't easy to spot.

Shaking his head at the puzzle called Gage Marx, Cole draped the towel over the side of the tub, dressed, finger-combed his hair, and left the bathroom. He'd intended to go to the kitchen and check in with Gage. Curiosity drew him across the hall to the guest room instead.

It looked like one: clean, neat, and without a trace of personal touches. The decor was similar to the master bedroom but several shades lighter. The walls were the palest shade of yellow and as bare as the top of the oak dresser. It looked like a furnished rental Gage had moved into with nothing but his clothes and toothbrush.

Cole walked to the living room, wondering at the bottomless mystery of a man who lived like a guest in his own home. He followed the sound of clicking keys to the kitchen. Gage was where he'd left him: perched on a stool in front of his laptop. The work obsession was the one piece Cole could define with any certainty.

Cole leaned against the counter several feet from where Gage sat. Gage smiled at him, eyes drifting to the damp hair that flopped in Cole's eyes.

"You can use my hair dryer if you want," Gage said.

Cole shook his head, hair sweeping back and forth across his brow. "It's fine. It loses too much curl if I dry it without a diffuser."

Gage's attention snagged in those same curls. "I like the highlights."

"Thanks," Cole said. "Free hairstyling is another perk of the job. I don't always like the designers' taste, but this works."

"It does." Gage nodded.

"One had the stylist put in purple accents." Cole stepped closer. "Thank god it washed back out."

"Do they ever cut your hair?"

"Nothing more than a trim. They only own me for a few hours. I have to be available for other jobs when the fashion show is over. I won't be with half my head shaved and dyed bizarre colors." He took another step.

"Does that bother you? Being treated like property." 

"Sometimes. It's like any other job, I guess. Some bosses are better with people than others. I do, however, have a better appreciation for how chihuahuas feel. Nobody asks them what they want to wear or whether they like the color of polish on their toes. Their opinion doesn't count. I think that's why they're so grouchy."

Cole watched Gage, looking for the flicker of attraction he'd seen earlier. All he saw was amusement.
"The stylists would love your hair." Cole reached out and held a lock of Gage's shoulder-length brown strands between his fingers, pretending his interest really was in his hair. "I doubt they'd change it at all."

Amusement turned to wary interest. Cole kept talking.

"They might add a clear lip gloss. Maybe some subtle eyeshadow and a little glitter to catch the light, but I guarantee they wouldn't put you in skirts. They'd build on your masculinity."

"Do you care when they dress you in women's clothes?"

"They aren't women's. They're for anybody who feels like expressing their feminine side, but no." Cole released the strands to trace the line of Gage's stubble with his fingers. "I'm usually all skinny jeans and button-down shirts. Sometimes it's fun to dress up. Even in stuff I'd never wear off the catwalk."

He knew he was pushing the limits of Gage's patience. He could feel the tension under his palm. Cole took a final step and stood straddling one of Gage's knees.

"I want to kiss you. Would you mind?" Cole asked.

Gage stared back at him, motionless. He knew Gage had heard him. He'd watched the question register in his eyes. Some internal discussion was tying up his tongue. Cole waited.

The shake of Gage's head was the barest twitch from one side to the other. Cole held his face, bent close, and kissed him.

He wanted to dive into something hot and hurried that inspired them to shed clothes and look for the nearest comfortable spot to have sex. He craved the sensation of Gage against him, the stubble scratching his skin, that mouth devouring him. The continued tremor under his palms erased the fantasy.

It vibrated in his fingertips, Gage's lips meeting his in a tender, timid, cautious coupling. He'd expected something different from the self-confident guy who acted like he had all the answers.

Cole pressed closer until he felt the warmth of Gage's body. He draped his arms around Gage's shoulders. Gage placed his hands on Cole's ribs, touching him but not in a way that encouraged anything beyond that kiss. 

Cole wasn't surprised when Gage pulled away. 

"I'm not sure this is a good idea." Gage looked dazed and unfocused.

"Why not?" Cole stayed where he was.

"Because you're a client." Gage pushed Cole back a step with the hands still on his ribs.

"And you'll lose your license if you make out with a client?" Cole left his forearms on Gage's shoulders.

"No, but it could make things complicated." Gage's hands slid away.

"And you don't like complicated." Cole didn't bother phrasing it as a question.

A sheepish kind of guilt lingered at the edges of Gage's expression. "No."

"Is that a lame excuse or a personal conviction?" Cole slid fingers into Gage's hair.

"A conviction. I don't like mixing business with my private life."

It was the only undiluted thing Cole had seen in Gage's eyes since he'd first touched his face.

Cole stopped playing with his hair. "If that's true, why did you bring me here last night? You could have taken me home after I fell asleep in your car, and I wouldn't have had any idea I'd ever asked to go anywhere else," he said without accusation. It was a sincere question.

"Because you were drunk and throwing up. I didn't want to leave you by yourself."

"You could have called my sister and taken me there."

"At one in the morning?" Gage stood, forcing Cole to drop his arms and step back. "I brought you here because it was the easiest solution. It has nothing to do with this." Gage slipped between Cole and the stool, fleeing Cole’s intimacy.

It was the first hint of annoyance Cole had witnessed in him.

"Stuff like this can't happen as long as I'm working on your case," Gage told him from several feet away.

Cole recognized the attempt to end the discussion. He also noticed the door Gage had left open. The issue was timing. Not whether Gage wanted him. Whatever might happen between them had to wait.


Inhale is currently available on preorder and will be available as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription on Thursday June 20, 2023.