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The most dangerous current is between them.
Training to be a lifeguard at an Australian beach is tough work, but Cody Grant loves a challenge. He spends long days in the sun and surf rescuing swimmers from treacherous rip currents while trying not to lust after senior lifeguard Liam Fox—who is deeply, painfully closeted.
Liam was supposed to be a football legend. Now in his mid-thirties, it’s been over a decade since his dream shattered along with his knee. Fans still recognize him regularly, and he’s terrified his sexuality will be discovered and his conservative parents will reject him. He has strict rules to protect his secret and keeps everyone at arm’s length. Liam never acts on his need to surrender after being shamed for it years ago by the first and only man he trusted.
Out and proud Cody fascinates Liam—and tempts him to break all the rules.
Cody is practically half Liam’s size and age, but has the confidence and compassion to take charge and give Liam the release, affection, and acceptance he desperately craves. But how long can a secret affair satisfy their hearts? As if saving lives isn’t hard enough, Cody faces his greatest challenge yet convincing Liam to trust him and find the courage to live out loud.
Flash Rip is an M/M gay romance from Keira Andrews featuring a slow burn, an age gap, scorching first times, and of course a happy ending.
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The Hemsworths apparently had another brother, and he was a lifeguard at Barking Beach.
The guy’s name actually happened to be Liam, but Cody Grant thought he resembled Chris—thirties, six-three and muscular, with short, tousled, sandy-blond hair. His beard was a bit more than scruff but not too thick, and his eyes were deep blue. Very Thor, minus the long locks and magic hammer.
As Liam Fox peeled off his blue uniform shirt, he certainly looked like a superhero, revealing a six-pack—or, holy shit, was that an eight-pack?—with hair sprinkled perfectly over his pecs.
A woman jogging across the sand openly stared and then stumbled, red-faced. Same, girl, Cody thought, watching Liam race into the surf with a rescue board. Same.
Cody and his fellow trainee, Mia, were at the north end of Barking Beach for orientation, which had been interrupted by a middle-aged man flailing in the water, having gotten in over his head, literally, when he’d stepped off a sandbank. Cody, Mia, and head lifeguard Teddy stood watching Liam haul the gasping man onto his board.
By them a sign read:
DANGEROUS CURRENTS: NO SWIMMING
There was even a picture of a stick figure swimming with a giant red X over it. Cody squinted out at the dozen people in the water directly in front of the sign. “People just don’t read, I guess?”
Teddy laughed. “Nope. Welcome to Barkers. I like to start with a little talk here by the water, and now Foxy’s giving us a rescue demo. Couldn’t have planned it better if I tried. As you can see, people can get into trouble in a blink. Especially tourists. And they will, because the one thing you can count on is bloody tourists not paying attention to the warnings.” He grinned, the white sunblock on his lips giving him a ghoulish look.
Liam—Foxy, which was a fitting nickname if Cody had ever heard one—had paddled the middle-aged man the ten meters or so back to shore and was pointing down the beach toward the safe swimming area marked by red and yellow flags.
Teddy said, “Even when the surf is gentle like this, people can get themselves in trouble by panicking. And you’ve both been clubbies for a few years, so you know how rough it can get in the impact zone when the swells are up and those waves really hit.”
Mia said, “I joined Nippers when I was five, and I got my SRC when I was thirteen. So I was a clubbie for more than a few years.” She gave Teddy a nervous smile. “Um, for the record.”
There was a hint of a smirk on Teddy’s sun-worn face. He was around forty, wrinkles in the corners of his eyes and pale hair buzzed short. “I know, Ms. Jee. That’s one of the reasons you’re here.”
Cody hadn’t earned his Surf Rescue Certificate until he was sixteen, but to be fair, he’d only moved to Western Australia from Canada and joined the local Surf Life Saving Club at thirteen. His swimming experience had been in pools and lakes until then. He didn’t share any of this since it was irrelevant—he’d damn well earned this opportunity.
Teddy said, “We had dozens of people try out this season for the two trainee spots. Both of you are qualified and don’t need to prove anything. Except out there.”
Cody inhaled the briny air and dug his toes into the wet sand, gazing out at the crystal-clear blue water of the Indian Ocean. Gulls cried, bickering over some scraps. People swam, most splashing safely in the shallows. Others relaxed on the beach, dozing or reading. It wasn’t insanely crowded yet since it was still spring, but Cody knew thirty thousand people could cram onto the single kilometer of sand and sea.
Liam jogged back to them, holding the handle of the long rescue board. He was soaking wet, glistening drops of water caught in his chest hair, his navy uniform board shorts clinging to his meaty, sculpted thighs. He slid the board back into its metal holder on the sand by the danger sign, bending to fiddle with something. Across his incredibly fine ass, the shorts read: LIFEGUARD in white block letters.
“Good work, Foxy!” another lifeguard called as he drove up in one of the ATVs and hopped out. “Showin’ off for the newbies, hey?” He pushed up his Ray-Ban sunnies and grinned with a slightly horsey mouth full of teeth. His ginger curls were damp, and he gave Cody and Mia an enthusiastic handshake.
“Hiya! I’m Brandon, but everyone calls me Ronnie.”
Cody tried to puzzle out the nickname. “Ronnie?”
“The hair,” Ronnie said. “Ronald McDonald.”
“Oh! Gotcha.” Cody could see it, actually, with the toothy grin and gangly frame. Ronnie seemed about twenty, Cody’s age.
Ronnie said, “You giving them the same inspirational speech you gave me a couple years ago, Cyclone?”
Teddy shrugged. “Pretty much.” His name was Edward Tracy, and apparently there was some famous cyclone from back in the day that was called Tracy—hence the “Cyclone” nickname. Teddy seemed pretty laid-back to Cody, and the nickname might have been ironic. There could be many layers to Aussie nicknames, although some were just whacking an “o” or “y” on the end.