The Rivals of Casper Road (Garnet Run #4) Read Online Roan Parrish

Categories Genre: M-M Romance Tags Authors: Series: Garnet Run Series by Roan Parrish

Total pages in book: 72
Estimated words: 69895 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 349(@200wpm)___ 280(@250wpm)___ 233(@300wpm)

He’s in it to win it until he falls under his neighbor’s spell.

Bram Larkspur’s rugged, sexy looks belie his fear of all things horrifying. But as Casper Road’s newest resident, he’s excited to join the annual Halloween decorating contest. The competition is keen, especially from six-time champion, architect Zachary Glass. But when enigmatic Zachary sparks a prank war, it’s game on – until one sizzling kiss turns these rivals into allies. Now only one thing scares Bram: how quickly he’s losing his heart to Zachary.

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Chapter One


He’d chosen it because of the name: Casper Road. Recently Bram Larkspur had felt like a ghost. At least a friendly one would be an upgrade.

After six months of working at Hollywell’s Tree Farm half an hour north and housesitting for its owner, he’d gotten a tip that Garnet Run was a nice place to be. Cheap, picturesque, and possessed of a more robust queer community than you might expect for a small town in Wyoming.

The money he’d saved was more than enough for first, last, and security, so he’d rented the small house on Casper Road and moved his meager possessions there the night before, arriving after dark and falling into an exhausted sleep.

The August morning dawned, lazy and warm, and Bram felt his heart settle just a little; felt it beat, snugged safe within the protective cage of his ribs.

For a while there, he’d worried it might be irreparably broken.

But that was six months ago. Now, he told himself, he had a new life in a new town on a new street, and he didn’t want to waste a minute of it.

He whistled and Hemlock, his yellow Labrador, pranced into the room, brown eyes warm and familiar. Bram scratched between her ears and Hem put her front paws on his knees, whuffling enthusiastically. He kissed her head and she licked his elbow, as usual.

“Let’s go explore,” Bram said.

Hem yipped with excitement.

* * *

Casper Road was a curvy three-quarters of a mile, ending in the cul-de-sac near Bram’s house. At the other end, it dead-ended into Hoot Owl Road. The houses on Casper Road were of all different sizes and styles, and the road seemed to have grown in order to connect the houses rather than the other way around.

The most notable thing about it, though, was the way most houses contained “Casper Road” in their address plaques. No “745” here; it was all “745 Casper Road.” A few even had ghosts next to the numbers.

Bram and Hemlock spent a pleasant half hour walking up and back the street slowly, noting the gardens and trees (Bram) and sticks and smells (Hemlock). When they got back to number 667, Bram fed Hemlock, made some dandelion tea, and took his tea and his whittling bag back outside to watch Casper Road awake.

Bram settled on the front stoop. Hemlock snuffed around the steps for a while, then settled beside him, half of her on each step.

Bram had been whittling since he was ten, the only one of his five siblings to catch the bug. He’d been transfixed watching his father transform chunks of wood into art. For years, he’d begged to try it, and had always been told, “Watch. Learn.” Then, on his tenth birthday, he’d unwrapped a chunk of basswood and a pair of thick gloves.

“Where’s the knife?” Bram had said, fingers itching to hold wood and blade.

“You get the knife when you promise us that you’ll always wear the gloves while you whittle,” his father had said.

“I promise,” Bram had sworn solemnly, and his mother had produced a knife from behind her back. She’d laughed with joy at his excitement and his father had said, “Carve me something pretty.”

They weren’t the same gloves, of course, but Bram had always kept his promise. Even a thousand miles from his parents, he pulled on his gloves before he picked up the knife.

“What are you going to be?” he murmured to the chunk of wood he’d plucked from the curb on their morning walk. He let his mind and eyes wander as he thought.

Bram didn’t know anything about architecture, but the black-and-white house across from his looked odd. It seemed to have flown together rather at random until you unfocused your eyes and then it was clear that its symmetry was diagonal rather than horizontal. Bram found it both ugly and intriguing, but the more he looked at it the more ugly gave way to intrigue.

Sometimes when Bram whittled, the whole world went away. Other times, it was just something to do with his hands. This morning, it was the latter, and he carved into the wood as he contemplated the diagonal house and the stirrings up and down Casper Road.

What emerged was a pelican, the swoop of its beak breaking the diagonal of the wood. Bram smoothed his blade along its back and Hemlock farted in her sleep.