"We can keep running in circles, or step out and see things as they truly are."
Miguel knew who he wanted to be with, and he knew it the first time he met Thomas. It was love at first sight. He was going to get the boy next door and that was that. And, if he was reading the signs correctly, it seemed his feelings were reciprocated.
At seventeen, Thomas had fallen in love for the first and only time in his life. He wasn't at his best when he'd met Miguel and with a debilitating illness that could kill him at any time, he hadn't looked forward to a future beyond the next day. But Miggy - bright and whimsical Miggy who was so full of life - gave him a reason to look forward to the future with hope and purpose.
With the unlikeliest circumstances the boys would have never believed, happiness seemed just within reach. And, in those short love-drenched seasons, Miguel and Thomas have built a bubble around them that is theirs alone.
But the harsh reality of life is just around the corner. With the impending separation of his parents, Miguel's family is imploding right before his eyes. Meanwhile, Thomas is set to leave the Philippines for a potentially life-altering procedure. Eventually, the boys had to take off their rose-colored glasses and make a decision that would change the course of their relationship forever.
This was Before. Since then, there had been fifteen years of radio silence between Miguel and Thomas.
Teenage, sunshiny Miggy may well be a stranger. At thirty-one, Miguel has become a pragmatic and cynical man with a hastily chosen career path that led him nowhere. Inheriting nothing but the loathsome Vargas patriarchs' namesake and old debts dating back to his grandparents' time, Miguel had to strike a balance between freelancing and his passion for event planning. With the constant struggle to make ends meet, there was simply no time for introspection, let alone love.
Meanwhile, Thomas has more than enough time and money to waste on alcohol, drugs, and sex. Work took over for most of his adult life but with that came success and an easy access to a stream of men and women looking for a good time. But none of these encounters lasted more than one night, and certainly none had involved feelings. Not when he'd closed off his heart many years ago, literally and figuratively. But with his impending return to his home country, Thomas is forced to face some old ghosts - and the very man who had broken his heart.
The year is 2020 and with a global health crisis that's threatening to bring life to a complete standstill, Miguel and Thomas suddenly find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Yet every cloud has a silver lining, and this might just be the perfect time to rekindle the old flame.
Amid the obligation for physical and social distancing, Miguel and Thomas must try to meet halfway to find the missing pieces of a fifteen-year-old puzzle and figure out what had happened between Before and After.
But will this serve to heal old wounds or just tear open new ones?
"Circles" is a heartfelt and sexy M|M contemporary adult romance with mild angst and steam, lots of sexual tension, family drama, the struggles of adulting, embracing a new normal in the face of a pandemic, and a second chance at love. It is loosely based on the song of the same title, by Post Malone. It is the first of a series of full-length standalone novels. Please read the Author's Note for a list of content/trigger warnings.