Teaser Tuesday: Failing a Bluff Check by CD Rachels

We're so excited for CD Rachels newest series, The Single Gamer's Society and the first release in the series is Failing A Bluff Check.


My best friend’s brother has to pretend to be my boyfriend—how could this possibly backfire?

When I need a date for my cousin Omar’s wedding, I don’t even think of asking my best friend’s brother. Johnny Shiba—my hot as sin, teenage gay awakening—has been gone for years. But now he’s moved back in with his brother and me, and, no, he hasn’t gotten less hot.

Being in close quarters with him, my decade-long crush only burns brighter. We can’t cross that line because I could never betray my bestie—not that Johnny has any interest in me. 
When he agrees to be my fake boyfriend for a weekend, it’s just a friend thing, right? And when we meet my career idol and he adores our fake relationship, Johnny helps me cement the charade. Kissing, holding each other, and telling me how attractive he finds me are all parts of the bluff.

Our heated moments and intimate touches could never mean anything. And if we roll in the sheets for fun, surely that’s all part of the lying game. I can hold my real feelings at bay, keep my best friend happy, and prevent career humiliation—I have to. 
Strategy and card games have always been easy for me. But this might be one bluff check I won’t be able to pass for long.  

“Failing a Bluff Check” is a male/male adult romantic-comedy featuring beach life, drum kits, slow dances, drinking on boats, and yes, fake dating between rounds of board games. Roll the dice with book 1 of the Single Gamer’s Society. These queer nerds are looking for love, and bluff or fold, they play to win. 


“And you remember my brother?”

I gulp. How could I forget? “Mhm.”

“He’s coming back to stay in the spare room here. He promised he wouldn’t disturb us.” Natie chews his food and stares at his phone while my breath hitches in my throat. 

“Like…for a weekend? It’s not…Christmas or anything, so…” I study his face, knowing Natie has a lot to say. He hides it well, but I know he’s had a somewhat rocky relationship with his only sibling for years now. 

“I don’t know. He sounded like it would be a bit more long-term.”

“Oh.” I stare at him with concern, while he eats. After a few seconds, his eyes meet mine. “Is that…cool? With you?”

“Yes? No?” He leans back and wraps up the remnants of his sandwich. “I mean, he’s family. I see him every year at Christmas.”

“But this is the first time he’s actually staying, right?”

“Yeah.” He dolefully stares at his lap. For a moment, I see him as that sad little teenager who used to longingly stare at the beach. While Natie might not admit it out loud, I know he wishes Johnny visited more often, or stayed closer to home. 

I call my sister and parents regularly; I wish Johnny did the same for Natie, because I want my best friend to be happy.

“Maybe this time he’ll be a more permanent fixture?”

His eyes pool with an odd mixture of hope and skepticism. “Maybe. He’s been so secretive about his life, I barely know what he’s like nowadays.” He taps the table and stares at his fingers. “I wish he didn’t hate being in Newlantic so much, because this is home.”

My heart aches for him—after all these years, it’s so obvious that Natie thinks Johnny, by extension, hates Natie, too. 

“At least I have you.” He reaches over and puts his arm on my deltoid, and we share a smile. “You’ve always been there for me. You’re my brother just as much as he is.”

“Aw, of course, man.”

With a smile, he hops up to put away his leftovers. “And Johnny sees you as a brother, too. Hey, maybe we can have brother TV nights for the three of us, eh?”

He chuckles and tells me goodnight, heading to his room. I respond in kind and try to focus on my food. Instead, a nervous nausea takes root in my stomach. My heart beats harder, thrumming a  three-word realization: “Johnny’s coming back…Johnny’s coming back…” 

Living with my bestie is one thing. Leaving every winter to visit my family in perfect coordination with the few days where Natie’s brother comes back to visit is easy. Johnny usually stays in one of the random rooms on the resort. 

But now he’s coming to live with us—me—here? The place where I eat, sleep, shower, fart, and otherwise look like a hot mess? I’ll have to see Johnny every day? I can barely talk to dudes I’m mildly interested in in everyday life. How the hell am I going to handle sharing quarters with the guy I’ve been crushing on since I was sixteen?

Failing A Bluff Check releases on January 12th and will be available in e-book format and as part of your Kindle  Unlimited subscription.