angelique jurd jesse's smile

Jesse’s Smile

“It’s more than a bit OCD,” Jesse starts to protest but stops when Drew snorts. His glasses are back in place. Jesse thinks he’s the handsomest man he’s ever seen and that’s strange because his Dad wears glasses for reading and he’s not handsome. Maybe his mom thinks he is.

“Dude, you have never seen my mother with housework, trust me you have a long way to go.” Drew crunches on a cracker he’s smeared with blue cheese. “Jesse, you know, you’re not broken, you’re just different. And I’d still like to take you out tomorrow night.”

Sighing, Jesse sits back in his chair for a moment, unsure of what to do. Part of him wants to run home, lock the door behind him, grab Wicket, and rub his hand over him until his heart stops pounding. Part of him wants to go out tomorrow night and see what happens. And an entirely different part of him wants to climb in Drew’s lap and kiss him again. He decides he should probably ignore that part. For now.

“Okay, what are we going to see?”

Jesse’s Smile, Angelique Jurd ©2017-2018

Twenty six year old Jesse Peterson loves his job in a pet store. He loves the cats and dogs and Sniffles the rabbit. What he doesn’t love is the way people assume things about him. That he can’t look after himself, that he’s isn’t a man, that the brightest thing about him is his smile.

So, when the store’s newest customer, buying supplies for his kitten, asks him out, Jesse has trouble understanding why.

Drew Oliver isn’t other people.  A high school teacher with a history of bad relationship choices, Drew is patient, loving, and doesn’t care that Jesse is different. He just cares about being able to make Jesse smile as often as he can.

Everyone seems to have an opinion about the differences between Drew and Jesse, few notice the things they share. Can their relationship survive the scrutiny and judgement passed by everyone around them? And when one of Drew’s bad choices shows up, will love be enough to help them survive the aftermath?

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Praise for Jesse’s Smile:

This was such an incredible read.

Tosha, Gay Book Reviews 

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What an absolutely stunning story. I fell in love with Jesse from the very first page and I can’t bear that I’ve finished the book – I can’t let him go.

Fiona, Books Laid Bare Boys

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This story is so beautiful! This is not just a romance but a lovely depiction of a real relationship and all the wonders and challenges that entails…

Lulu, Alpha Book Club

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  1. This was one of the most beautiful love stories I’ve ever read. I know that I will not forget this book, ever!! Your character development was so in-depth that I felt I knew these two men personally. I didn’t want the story to end and I will miss them both!

    1. Angelique Jurd says:

      Thank you so much Ann. I’m so glad you enjoyed the book.

  2. Ronald Douglass says:


    I finished this book late last night, or early this morning. (Depending on how you look at it!) I really liked this book, a lot. I tend to gravitate towards books that really develop characters and story and I was not disappointed in this at all. I think I would love to say that I am a man who is strong enough like Drew to date an awesome person like Jesse, I mean who couldn’t love another whovian, but you really laid out some things I never would have thought before, things that opened some good conversation with my fiance. The tunnel scenes where hard to read and left me crying!

    I do have some questions though, as I do get so involved with some of the characters I read about. So I apologize for the number of them.

    Was Jesse excited, or happy about being purposed to? Did they have a wedding or was it more like going to the town clerks office and just having it done? If they did have a wedding what was it like?

    What did he name the new dog, and does she get along with scamps?

    I was hoping after the Tommy scene that they would go back to the farm on a more permanent basis, but I thought they would have started a program for autistic people, do you think that would have happened? I know Drew was looking at going back to school….

    Was was the goodbye like for Jesse when he left the store to move to the farm job? How did he feel about that?

    Did Jesse ever understand what level of guilt that Drew had for David and what could have happened to Jesse? Did he understand that in a way he did take care of Drew by helping put David in prison, by standing up in court and looking at him and telling he didnt win, did he know that he did something that was far better then physically taking care of him? Did he understand that moving was just as for Drew and being able to move on as it was for Jesse?

    Is it possible from your research that they could have a child? I think the level of structure that Jesse likes to have would be important for a child, and from the Tommy scene hes good with kids. Would it have to be an older kid as I can see the crying baby perhaps triggering his PTSD style symptoms that comes with a thunder storm.

    I think that is all I have to ask, I hope its not too much. Do you think they will want another book written about them? I would be super excited to read it. I really did like this one a lot.

    Thank you for telling their story.

    1. Angelique Jurd says:

      Hi Ronald – what an awesome comment. Some of your questions will be answered in “Meet Jesse and Drew” – I’ll be posting that in a few minutes and I hope it helps. As for some of the others, I’ll try and answer them here.
      First up – I released a little collection of short stories for Christmas – The Night Before Christmas – in which we see Christmas Eve from the perspective of each of the couples I’ve written about. The very final story is about Jesse and Drew in their new house with Scamp and the new puppy, Sadie. Jesse chose the name I believe.

      Initially Jesse was confused by the proposal – I don’t think he ever thought about marriage as something he could have – but once he got used to the idea he was excited. Drew was worried that Jesse would think he was simply being passed from one person to another – which was never the case, Drew wanted to marry Jesse, the fact that it made buying a house less complicated just facilitated things.

      The wedding was in the garden of their new home and very casual. Jesse was a little overwhelmed by everything but having all the people who love him around him.

      I don’t think it’s likely that Drew and Jesse will have children. Jesse is great with children as you say and obviously Drew would be a great Dad. I think though that the dynamics of their relationship however work because it’s just the two of them. Jesse often works with kids now that he’s at the farm – especially those with special needs – and of course Drew has nephews and nieces.

      Leaving his job at the store was difficult for Jesse – change is something he struggles with. Drew and Ray spent a lot of time preparing him and it helped that he was excited about working with the farm animals. Drew was very careful to make sure it all happened before he started his new job so he could make sure Jesse was settled.

      I don’t think Jesse fully understands what Drew went through after David’s attack although he understands Drew feels responsible. He sort of knows why but he doesn’t agree – David chose to be bad and to hurt people and that has nothing to do with Drew in Jesse’s eyes. The thing he did understand was that one way he could take care of Drew was to tell the judge what happened so that David would go to jail. Jesse is starting to understand that he can look after Drew in ways that aren’t just physical or sexual and he loves doing so.

      As to another book….there is a possibility but Jesse has not yet decided to share that story so at this stage it is only a possibility. In the meantime, I have a new book coming in a couple of weeks, Joey, that I think you may enjoy.

      I am so pleased you enjoyed Jesse’s Smile – thank you so much for reading and for commenting.


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