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Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Romancing the Nose by A.J. Llewellyn

College dropout Kells Beckwith is uncertain about his future. His mother intervenes, giving him an unusual job prospect. Her friend, designer Wendy Hart, has launched her first fragrance. Unfortunately, the “nose”—the man who created her signature perfume—has died. None of the “noses” Wendy hires to duplicate the haunting perfume can crack it. Kells, however, has an uncanny sense of smell that plunges him nose-first into the cutthroat world of high fashion. There, he meets Christophe Morisset, a legendary “nose” and a very sexy man, who can’t—or won’t—reproduce the fragrance called “White Matinee.”

Despite initial friction, the men have a hot fling, but Kells soon learns it isn’t easy romancing the “nose.” Nevertheless, Kells can’t get over the mercurial, sexy Frenchman who teaches him that the sense of smell doesn’t come from the nose but from the brain.

Can Kells ever persuade Christophe to give him a chance, to think with his heart and not his brain? A future with Christophe may be impossible. Though the man never leaves Kells’ mind, he’s always just out of reach until they eventually meet again. Can Kells finally win the love he so desperately wants the second time around?

Genres: Gay/Contemporary/Menage (M/M/M)/Group Sex/Voyeurism
Heat Level: 3
Length: Extended Novella (35k words) 

Read a short excerpt...

...“What is the first memory of scent you have from childhood?”

That threw me. Nobody had ever asked me that before. I thought a moment, but nothing came clearly to me.

“Close your eyes,” he suggested.

I closed them and bam! There it was, breakfast with my grandpa the year before he died. We’d made bananas on toast together. Well, he’d made them and I sat in my high chair watching him. It was my first finger food. I pictured him piling the bananas onto hot buttered toast and cutting the slice into quarters for me. I became emotional remembering him. I was about two at the time, but the memory was so clear. Grandpa laughed as I enjoyed the treat he prepared for me.

“Tasty, huh?” he asked, gazing at me with eyes full of love.

“What do you remember?” Christophe’s voice was low and deep. When I told him, he said, “Keep your eyes closed.” He rattled bottles and unscrewed lids. He sniffed and muttered and moved things around. A few seconds later, he held something under my nose. I breathed in and my heart tore into a million pieces. I’d never had bananas on toast after grandpa died, but it had been one of my favorite smells. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

“That’s it,” I said. I opened my eyes. “How did you do it?”

He laughed. “I’m not saying.” He looked at me. “You miss him, huh?”

I turned to look out of his window at the beach, but had forgotten that he’d shuttered it. I wanted to run and hide from his intense scrutiny, almost as much as I wanted him to fuck me.

“Yeah.” I took a deep breath. “What is your earliest memory of scent?”

He grinned, looking genuinely delighted at the question. “Walking along the Maures cliff road in the Tanneron Mountains with my parents and smelling the wonderful scent of mimosa trees in full bloom.” He looked at me. “Would you like to smell them?”


He fiddled with bottles and I watched how he mixed and dabbed, swirled, and smelled, then turned to me. “Here you are, lovely Kills. I want you to imagine you are in the South of France on the edge of winter.” Christophe held a bottle under my nose and I inhaled. The scent was intoxicating. I closed my eyes and experienced an explosion of color. Yellow. Bright yellow.

“Are mimosas yellow?” I asked. The only mimosas I knew were champagne cocktails.

“Oh, yes. I am so glad you see the color.”

I realized now that he’d infused the scent into his version of White Matinee. I kept my eyes closed as he took the bottle away from my nose and capped it. He closed the case and began moving about the room. I was too afraid of opening them and seeing him walk out, keys in hand saying something like, “Have a nice life!”

Instead, a few seconds later he was back on the bed. I opened my eyes and he was naked and gorgeous. I was hungrier for him than I could even imagine I’d be. He leaned in and kissed me. I put my arms around his neck, surprised at how muscular he was. I’d been with two men sexually. The first one, Howard, was a hippie in San Francisco, and a huge mistake. The second guy had been an even bigger lapse in judgment.

Christophe pushed me to the bed, his lips roaming my face and neck. He paused to pay some extra attention to my throat, then picked up a bottle and dropped a tiny pinpoint of oil on my top lip.

“What is it?” I asked.

“My special blend. It conjures up the fragrances you love most.”

I inhaled as the oil began to warm against my skin. It was there again. The chocolate. And the pineapple, and the deliciousness of pecans. “Oh, my God, I smell bananas and mimosas!”

He chuckled. “I’m going to spoil you for any man you ever meet...”

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