The Guy in the Alley Read Online Cara Dee

Categories Genre: Contemporary, M-M Romance Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 94
Estimated words: 90098 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 450(@200wpm)___ 360(@250wpm)___ 300(@300wpm)

Standalone | Hurt/Comfort | Age Gap | Blue-Collar Romance | Found Family
Get comfortable for a love story that promises Chicago grit, sizzling heat, a playful rivalry between a White Sox diehard and a Cubs fan, and an autistic boy’s dream to see the ocean.
There was nothing like starting the new year with a snowstorm and trying to keep a sinking ship afloat in the middle of Chicago. Trace Kalecki had grown up at the Dearborn Clover, an Irish sports bar that’d been in his family since the late 1800s. He loved the place. He lived and breathed the Clover, from its staff and the sports memorabilia on the walls to the creatively named items on the menu and the soup kitchen they hosted twice a week. But the business was a damn headache too.

One night, when he was wrestling garbage bags out to the dumpsters in the alley, he heard a broken plea for help.

Ben O’Cleary was mostly hoping the snowstorm was going to finish him off once and for all. He was cold, hungry, drowning in defeat, and now wounded, too. Wasn’t it just great? Almost fifty years old, and he couldn’t take care of himself, much less his son and his old ma. Ashamed and shattered, he asked a young man for help, and…maybe that was the start of something new?

That guy, Trace…? He had an offer for Ben.


The Guy in the Alley is a stand-alone spinoff following The Guy in the Window. While the main characters from the first book do cross over briefly, it’s not necessary to read it to get the full enjoyment of The Guy in the Alley.

Disclaimer: No fans of the White Sox, Cubs, Red Wings, Dallas Stars, Preds, Cleveland, Canucks, Minnesota, St. Louis, or Green Bay were seriously injured in the making of this book. Probably no Yoopers either.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************


Trace Kalecki

“Dearborn Clover, Trace speaking,” I said, answering the phone as I logged in to the computer. I wasn’t a fan of our new payment system; it was a whole fucking process just to open the register.

“Yeah, hi, I was wondering if you’re showing the home game tonight,” a man said.

What the fuck was it with people? Did they call a clothing store and ask if they sold shirts? Huh? Christ. This was a sports bar smack-dab in the middle of Chicago—yeah, we were showing the home game. Didn’t matter the sport either; the answer was yes.

“Absolutely,” I replied.

“Great, thanks.” The guy hung up, and I sighed impatiently and finally got into our system. We were good to go for a new day. Two big games. We were bound to be busy tonight. Most of the tables were booked from seven.

Adam showed up a few minutes later, and I waited to see Bella running after…

“Where’s my girl?” I asked. I had another week to make her OD on Chicago before they returned to California.

Adam rolled his eyes and tore off his beanie and gloves. “Ev casually threw out that he was spending the day watching old movies, so she stayed with him. I swear she loves him more than she loves me sometimes.”

I chuckled and did a final wipe-down of the bar. He could complain, but he loved it. He’d been with his architect hubby a few years now, going back and forth between Berkeley and Chicago, and when I heard Bella had begun calling Ev Dad and saying how much she loved California, I knew I’d lost her. She’d started school there last fall.

“How’s the new kid workin’ out?” Adam asked.

I pointed to the station where we kept cocktail garnishes. “He thought it was a good idea to cut up fruit right here.” Hence why I’d needed to wipe down the bar before we’d even opened. I’d come downstairs to find random lime wedges and cherries all over the counter. “He’s Petey’s problem now.” I’d sent him back to the kitchen.

“Look at you, being all boss-like.” Adam smirked and sat down on a stool. “Maybe you’ll survive without me.”

Yeah, maybe. Still felt weird, though. Adam and I were supposed to be the “kids” of the place. I ran all over, doing what was necessary. Adam had been a bartender here for six or seven years. Then, all of a sudden, my folks decided to retire and move to Florida. They’d already been snowbirds for a decade or so, leaving me in charge over the winter. Which I’d been happy with. I was only thirty-two, so I had been in no rush to shoulder more responsibility.

Now the whole fucking place was mine.

“You okay, bud?”

I chewed on the inside of my cheek and nodded once. I was okay—but a lot was riding on this quarter. I’d spent our meager savings on fixing the place up a bit, new padding for the booths, some chairs had been replaced, we’d repainted the walls dark red, new payment system, upgraded security, and a new menu design.