#ThrowbackThursday - Wisdom Check (Dungeons and Dating #2) by Katherine McIntyre


For this week's #ThrowbackThursday, we're going back to December 2021 and revisiting book two of Katherine McIntyre's Dungeons and Dating series, Wisdom Check

From the Blurb:

Julian’s boss is newly single, ridiculously hot, and looking his way. He’s so screwed.

Cal Morgan’s life was going right on plan—got the wife, the baby, and the board game cafĂ© he opened with his best friends. At least, until his wife dropped the dreaded ‘d’ word. Newly divorced and juggling custody of their toddler with his ex, Cal’s dreams of a family are burnt to ash.

Julian Hale’s been carrying a torch for his sexy boss, Cal, for far too long. As the oldest of five and surrogate mom to his siblings, Julian gets tugged in so many directions that he’s never made time for himself—his wants, his desires—and he definitely desires this man.  

However, when Cal starts turning those scorching stares Julian’s way, he can’t resist, even though he should. They’re boss and employee, and Cal’s fresh out of a divorce with a two year old—it’s a recipe for disaster even if they’re both falling fast. But when Julian’s application to nursing school gets accepted, he’ll have to choose between pursuing the dreams he set aside when his mom died or the one man he could imagine a future with. Life taught him early on that he’ll never get both.

Roll the dice on romance at Tabletop Tavern…


“Okay, truth number two,” Cal jumped in, needing to derail that train before he leapt over and kissed the man. “I feel like I should be more broken up about losing Sara, but I’m not.”

“You’re not?” Julian asked, a furrow in his brow. He shifted in his spot on the blanket, but he didn’t pull his hand away from Cal’s. The connection between them bolstered his bravery like nothing else.

Cal shook his head. “When I’m honest with myself, we were bad for ages. But I’ve wanted a family of my own for so long, something different than the cold, fragmented one I grew up in. I feel like I fucked that up for Kay.”

Julian shook his head and squeezed their interlaced hands. “Kay’s going to grow up with you—and that’s more than enough.”

Cal’s throat tightened. The breeze rippled the hem of his T-shirt, and he brought his knees up to his chest, as if he could curl into himself. This conversation tore open parts of him he’d been burying for a while now, but somehow it felt right. Here with this man, under the gilt sunlight and facing the turbulent sea, the moment was the scent of salt, the taste of peach, and the feel of Julian’s palm pressed against his.

“Your turn,” Cal responded, his tone coming out gruffer than expected.

“Well, damn, how am I supposed to follow that one up?” Julian offered him one of those sloping grins.

“I share, you share. Them’s the rules, Hale,” Cal said, tilting his bottle in Julian’s direction.

“Fine,” Julian said, heaving out a sigh. “I’m terrified of going after what I want.”

His gaze flicked to Cal for a moment, then traveled down to his lips.

The air between them thickened to the point that each breath was heady, heavy. Cal licked his lips. All it would take was leaning forward the slightest bit. The man probably tasted divine, those pert lips sinful heaven. His cock stirred in his board shorts, and he shifted to try to hide his semi. Of course, the thought brought his gaze to those tight-as-hell purple shorts Julian wore, which showed a very prominent bulge there. Cal’s mouth watered.

Fuck, he wanted him so damn much.

A seagull shrieked overhead, and a second later, white liquid splattered on the blanket in front of them.

For fuck’s sake.

Julian’s jaw dropped, and a helpless giggle bubbled out of him. “Did a seagull just shit on your blanket?”

All the heady tension shattered with the big white stain directly in front of them. Cal extricated his hand from Julian’s and heaved a sigh. The sexual frustration formed a steady thump inside him, but he’d been about to dive in and kiss Jules. If he was going to take the leap, he needed time to think, to process this. Because after everything they’d shared today, Julian couldn’t ever be some casual fling.

The man was so much more. He deserved so much more.

“Okay, truth,” Cal said, quick to shift directions. “I don’t like Star Trek.”

Jules knocked knees with him. “That’s it, fake boyfriend, we’re breaking up.”

Even though the lightness seeped into their conversation again, he couldn’t help stealing glimpses of this man who’d fast become one of the closest people in his life.

Whatever he chose, he needed to tread carefully.

For as much bravado as Julian toted around, the man’s heart was gossamer, a thread away from tearing.

And Cal’s shattered heart wasn’t much better.

Wisdom Check is currently available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.