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Blog Tour: Lonely Hearts by Posy Roberts

Lonely Hearts | Posy Roberts

A Novella Bundle

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MM Romance

Release Date: 25.10.18

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Stoic men, who believe they’re happy alone, find the world turned upside down when their perfect someone stumbles across their path. In four novellas, eight men encounter unique struggles on their way to their well-deserved happily ever after.

Marc joins the Lonely Hearts chat room where men support men on their way to finding true love. He wants to believe that kind of love is possible for him, but his once-burned heart stops him from going all-in with anyone.

The chat group’s philosophy is, “Figure out how you keep screwing up your happily ever after. Once you know, you’re more likely to find the true thing.”

Skeptical as he is, Marc logs in and meets men in various degrees of getting there. At least he’s not alone. Luther truly loves his single life on the Bakken oil fields. William’s not sure he’ll ever measure up, let alone find someone he can be himself around. And Andrew still pines for a guy he hooked up with on a reenactment battlefield before he got blown up on a real one.

One by one they start dropping like flies. Flies drunk on love. And sooner than he expects, Marc’s luck starts changing thanks to these new friends.

Walk alongside these men as they find the men of their dreams and discover their happily ever afters.

101,000 Words | 396 pages | 8-9 hours to read

blue-collar | reluctant lovers | rural | bisexual | gay | meet-cute | fated lovers | love triangle | Halloween | white-collar | opposites attract | multicultural | coming out | second chance | first time | disability romance | meant to be | military | artist | world traveler | coming of age | long distance | pen pals | gay romance | contemporary | MM romance | lone wolf | alpha male

Stories included: Bent Arrow, Stroke of Luck, Momo, My Everything, and Love on a Battlefield.

Universal Amazon Link: http://getbook.at/LonelyHearts

Universal Buy Link: http://books2read.com/LoneHearts

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EXCERPT

Marc logged into the chat room, unsure what he was getting into, but he’d been reassured by a friend (who was friends with the moderator) that this was a good group of guys. If nothing else, he’d get to know other queer men. If he was lucky, maybe they’d help him find a way to open up his heart to fall in love again. At least that’s how the group was described to him.

5 Members in Chat Room

Marc: Hey, I’m Marc. I’m new here, and the rules said I had to introduce myself. I’m bisexual but haven’t dated much since my ex-girlfriend cheated on me. Work has been my focus, but after three years, I’m lonely. It’s as plain as that. I’m just not sure how to trust someone again.

Hugo: Hi, Marc. I’m Hugo, the moderator. If I disappear all of a sudden, it’s because I’m waiting to chauffeur kids between gymnastics and yoga.

Marc: You have kids?

Hugo: They’re Kevin’s, my boyfriend’s kids. But who knows what the future holds. Anyway, I was in the same place as you not so long ago, with a cheating cheater who cheats. I had a string of shitty boyfriends, but cheating messed me up. Bad. I swore off men for a solid year, and it eventually paid off.

Marc: How did the time off help?

Hugo: I fixed my shit. Figured out what I kept doing wrong. Worked out my patterns

Luther: Oh no, here he goes! Haha. Love you, H! Marc, H is all about fixing shit so you’re ready for love when it stumbles in your path.

Marc: Makes sense.

Luther: If you have a path filled with potential partners, I supposed it does. H is all about twuuuu wuv cuz he has it. All I can find out here on the oil fields is a hookup. Nothing else. Can’t be out.

Marc: That sucks.

Luther: It’s not all bad. I have a lot of sex and very few awkward conversations. Few conversations at all, to be honest.

William: So, Luth, do you save all the awkward conversations for when you come in here to chat? Stop scaring Marc off.

Luther: Ha. Ha. Okay, Mr. Serious, what have you done lately to make yourself available to the hot dudes who run around on the beaches half naked?

William: I bought a guy a drink at the club last weekend. Spent most of the night with him.

Luther: Before you went home alone?

William: Well, yes, but I had to work the next day.

Luther: LOL.

Andrew: Hi, Marc. Welcome. I’m pretty new here too. New to being fully out despite knowing I liked men for years. I’m still trying to figure out how all this works. Gay clubs are about all I’m capable of yet. If I go to a club, there’s no chance I’ll hit on a straight guy, at least. I’m a vet, and my PTSD and injuries make taking that risk of hitting on the wrong guy anxiety inducing. I distrust everyone, including my own brain and injured body.

Luther: And I’m the sole closet case here.

William: Not entirely. I’m not out at work. No one there has earned the right to know that about me yet. But my family knows.

Hugo: I’ve been out for ages, but I’m still not entirely open about my drag persona. That’s still need to know.

Marc: You do drag? What’s your drag name.

Hugo: Yep. Miss Cherri Pop! 😉

Marc: Where does everyone live? Or should I not ask that?

Luther: On the dusty oil fields of North Dakota, but there are tons of men to hook-up with here. No questions asked. No demands to kiss. Just how I like it!

William: Sunny California, though right now, I’d prefer rain.

Andrew: I’m in Texas, happy to be home after four years in the army.

Hugo: Minneapolis.

Marc: Me too! Minneapolis, that is. I gotta say, it’s nice chatting with some queer men. Everyone around me assumes I’m straight. And since I haven’t dated a man in ages, it’s like all my friends forgot I’m bi. But I’d really like to date a man again. I think if I date a woman, I’m bound to . . . What’s the word? Put all my shit on her?

Hugo: Project?

Marc: Yeah. I’m gonna project my hurt on her cuz of my ex. So I’d really like to try something serious with a guy.

William: So, what are your greatest fears when thinking about falling in love?

Luther: Coming out. I know, I know. It won’t be as bad as I think it will be. But what if it is? I’ll lose everyone around me.

William: But you prefer being alone. Or so you’ve claimed, Luth.

Luther: Right. I push people away. Easier that way.

Marc: I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to trust again. And if I do, what if the guy I end up with assumes I’m cheating on him only because I’m bi?

Hugo: My Kevin is bisexual, and I never made those assumptions. We’re not all neanderthals who can’t appreciate subtlety.

Marc: True. There’s that lack of trust thing again.

William: I’m worried I’ll never measure up.

Luther: Says the man who probably has a dick the size of an eggplant.

William: . . .

William: I might. 😉

Luther: LOL. I knew it!

Hugo: If W & L weren’t thousands of miles away, I’d suggest you guys get a room and fuck to work out your sexual tension.

William: Not going to happen.

Luther: He’d probably want to marry me. 😉 I’m not settling down. I just want to fall in love. Big difference.

Andrew: I already know who I want to be in a relationship with. But I’m too boring for him.

William: You’re far from boring, Andrew.

Hugo: The only way you’ll know is if you take a chance. But get into a good headspace before that. Yes, I know, Luther, you’re sick of me saying that, but if I hadn’t fixed my shit before running into Kevin again seventeen years after our last kiss, I would’ve fucked it up that first night.

Marc: Thanks for this, guys. I’m glad I found you.

 

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Posy Roberts started reading romance when she was young, sneaking peeks at adult books long before she should’ve. Textbooks eventually replaced the novels, and for years she existed without reading for fun. When she finally picked up a romance two decades later, it was like slipping on a soft hoodie . . . that didn’t quite fit like it used to. She wanted something more.

She wanted to read about men falling in love with each other. She wanted to explore beyond the happily ever after and see characters navigate the unpredictability of life. So Posy sat down at her keyboard to write the books she wanted to read.

Her stories have been USA Today’s “Happily Ever After” Must-Reads and Rainbow Award finalists. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family and friends and doing anything possible to get out of grocery shopping and cooking.

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Lonely Hearts

Lovely collection of novellas from Posy Roberts

lonely hearts ebook 4x6Lonely Hearts: a novella bundle by Posy Roberts

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Full review when I’m at the laptop tomorrow.

Right, this is a lovely collection of four of Posy’s previously released shorter novellas and they’re all nice easy to read, relatively low angst and moderate steamy romances.

With this novella, they’ve been loosely connected into her North Star Series series as Hugo sets up a chat room into which each of one half of the pairings joins.

So, in order:

3* Luther and Erik in Bent Arrow – set in the North Dakota oil fields, this is a friends with benefits turns into love romance and it worked really well for me.
There’s a small hiccup as Luther panics when he realises his feelings for Eric are a bit more serious and he needs to deal with coming out but overall, the narrative runs smoothly into a happy ever after.

4* Marc and Cas in Stroke of Luck – This one has a really interesting premise in that Cas still lives with Maisie, his once girlfriend and absolute best friend in a sort of unhealthily “non-sexual” relationship.
There’s lots of dramatic flouncing, a bit of misunderstanding, a lovely make-up scene and a lovely ending.

3* William and Nate in Momo, my Everything – oooh this one was a delicious premise but also super irritating.

An interracial relationship with a fair bit of internalised homophobia on the part of William and an amazingly out and proud drag queen Nate who works as the elegant geisha Momo in a Japanese tea house.
Having the narrative solely from William’s point of view was draining and I wanted to kick his ass for the majority of the story but I absolutely loved Nate.

4.5* Andrew and Shep in Love on a Battlefield – very definitely my absolute favourite and I also own this one as a novella in its own right.
I just loved this. It’s hard to pinpoint why exactly but I think it’s just a sense of the fact that these two guys were each other’s lodestones – even through half a decade apart when life conspired to crap all over Andrew’s dreams while making it appear that Shep was living his.
They are just beautiful and I loved the concept of having the letters they’d written, and Andrew’s journals, form such a major part of the story.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

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Blog Tour: Center of Gravity by Neve Wilder

Center of Gravity | Neve Wilder

Nook Island #1

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I’m delighted to welcome author Neve Wilder to the blog today with a Guest Post discussing her debut novel Center of Gravity.

A big thank you to Mirrigold for having me. I’m so excited to share my debut novel with y’all. I thought I’d talk a little about the two main characters, Alex and Rob, and how they came to be.

Rob Macomb was the first to appear to me. I saw him standing in front of a window, peering out through the blinds at this funky orange moving truck as it lumbered down the street. I could tell by his posture and expression that he wasn’t happy about this. He’d been through a rough year, after all. I have a huge soft spot for him, though. He tries to do the “right” thing but he gets in the way of himself a lot.

He’s a stubborn, organized, nose-to-the-grindstone type who keeps ending up with heaps of responsibilities thrust upon him—including his very own unwanted fur baby—because he’s so loyal and dedicated. It leads to a lot of loneliness, though, which is where Alex comes in.

Alex Andrews is the ruiner of Rob’s best laid plans to keep his head down, push through, and focus solely on his career. Initially, I had a clear vision of Alex’s physical appearance, but his inner workings were fairly elusive until I wrote the second chapter of the book and dove headlong into his perspective.

What I discovered was that he was much more cerebral and thoughtful than I’d given him credit for. A fun-loving guy and a shameless flirt, yes, but with plenty of his own struggles to deal with. And no shortage of quirks and oddball moments. Like Rob, he’s stubborn, and that shared trait makes for some serious tension between them that I had so much fun writing, because when the breaking point is reached, oh man, it’s pretty intense.

 
Excerpt from Center of Gravity. In this excerpt, Rob has dinner with Alex’s family and Alex is left reeling by the experience.
*****

Rob walked the length of the room, studying some of the old paintings I’d done before deciding to switch from painting to three-dimensional design.

“Who’s this?” He separated one of the canvases from the rest. Alain’s wide, dark eyes and petulant mouth stared back at us.

“A guy I dated a couple of years ago. Alain.”

“Very pretty.”

Alain was definitely that. “And very shallow, too. But he’s responsible for the nicer portion of my wardrobe.”

Rob smiled and replaced the canvas, setting his wine glass down to pick up a large sketchbook. He found a folding chair, flipped it down, and asked with a gesture toward the sketchbook, “Can I?”

“Sure.” I took another healthy swallow of wine as he flipped through the pages. “Live studies,” I explained.

“I don’t know a lot about art, but these look pretty good to me.” His eyes flickered up in my direction, a subtle shift in them. Respect, maybe?

“Are you surprised?”

“No. Yes. Maybe a little, I suppose.”

“Why?”

“I guess I always think of artists as moody, broody types.”

“I am, sometimes. The way you are apparently capable of being incredibly charming, sometimes.”

He prompted me to continue with a lift of his brows.

“At dinner, what was that? You banter back and forth, you know a ton about cars. You’re funny. It’s very different from the guy I work next to every day. The uptight one who says he doesn’t have a favorite color.”

“I don’t.” His eyes returned to the paper as he flipped a page then stopped short, his mouth slackening as his lips parted. I knew which one he’d gotten to. Another abandoned project idea. The paper was filled with my thighs and my cock rendered in charcoal, Alain’s unmistakable lips wrapped around me, his eyes wide and wicked as he sucked me off.

Rob’s eyes darted all over the page.

“This is…”

“Want to volunteer to be my live model sometime?” I teased. Yep, definitely over the threshold of tipsy now.

Rob slowly turned the page, chasing a charcoal line with his fingertip as I drifted closer until I stood in front of him and he had to look up at me.

“You know,” he said, closing the cover of the sketchbook and setting it aside. “I think ninety percent of your persistence is a conquer mentality. You just want something because someone has told you you can’t have it.”

I’d considered this possibility. It might even have been true, but I’d had part of him and I still wanted more of him. And he didn’t. Or wouldn’t let himself. The latter was the sticking point because I thought he wanted it too, so why wouldn’t he just let himself go with me?

“At least thirty-five percent of it is for the joy of frustrating you.” Gently, carefully, I slid onto his lap.

“I don’t need to be more frustrated than I am, Alex.” His gaze drifted up from my legs straddling him to meet mine. He didn’t push me away, but his hand closed over my thigh in a way that felt more like a warning than an invitation to shift closer.

“I think ninety percent of your stubbornness is because you’ve convinced yourself you shouldn’t have something you want. You’re just going to keep on feeding your misery, shoveling it in by the spoonful because you’re punishing yourself for something that didn’t work out.”

“It’s more complicated than that.” There was agitation in the way he raked his fingers through his hair.

“It doesn’t have to be. You’re just afraid. But there’s no reason to be. I’m not asking you for anything.”

He was hard. I could feel him beneath me like steel. His hand dropped from my thigh when I leaned in to run my open mouth across his jaw. He inhaled a shaky breath and I darted my tongue out, tasting him just beneath his ear lobe.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 98,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Jay Aheer

Center of Gravity-eBook-complete1

Blurb

When life comes apart at the seams, love is the only thread that can repair it.

Accountant Rob Macomb has a stable job that he’s good at and… that’s about it. A year of nothing but heartache leaves him seeking refuge from loneliness and grief behind spreadsheets, punishing daily runs, and the occasional anonymous tryst. He wants only to bury the past and focus on his career, but he has one last task to complete: pack up his parent’s quaint beachside house and put it on the market.

Alex Andrews is a budding artist with a penchant for Converse, Cracker Jack, and piercings. Family turmoil sidelines his dreams of finishing art school and building a career in three-dimensional design, and now he’s doing whatever he can to keep everyone afloat.

When Alex shows up as a part of the moving crew hired to help Rob clean out the house, what should be a simple move becomes far more complex. Because it’s not the first time they’ve met, and their last encounter was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

The attraction between them is undeniable and intense, but Rob’s hell-bent on pushing everyone away, and Alex is on the verge of spinning out of control.

Can a grumpy accountant and a bootstrapping artist find their center of gravity together, or are they on a collision course to heartbreak?

*An emotionally-charged, slow burn MM romance featuring an age gap, hurt/comfort themes, and a hard-won happily ever after. This is the standalone first in the Nook Island, Georgia series.*

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October 4 Bike Book Reviews, OMG Reads, October 5Love Bytes Reviews, October 6Amy’s MM Romance Reviews, October 8Sexy Erotic Xciting, October 9Mirrigold – Mutterings & Musings, October 10Megan’s Media Melange, October 11Jessie G Books, October 12 The Novel Approach, Lillian Francis, Bayou Book Junkie, October 13Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, October 16Joyfully Jay

Neve Wilder lives in the dirty South, where the summers are hot and the winters are…sometimes cold. She is a mom to three rambunctious weebeasts who have joined forces in a mission to carpet the family home with toys and small items that really suck to step on at six in the morning.

She reads promiscuously, across multiple genres, but her favorite stories always contain an element of romance. Incidentally, this is also what she likes to write. Slow-burners with delicious tension? Yes. Whiplash-inducing page-turners, also yes. Down and dirty scorchers? Yes. And every flavor in between.

She believes David Bowie was the sexiest musician to ever live, and she’s always game to nerd out on anything from music to writing.

And finally, she believes that love conquers all. Except the heat index in July. Nothing can conquer that bastard.

Newsletter: You can keep up with Neve’s future projects by joining her newsletter, where you can instantly download the free Watch Me, Extracurricular Activities #1 short story.

The series continues exclusively for newsletter subscribers. Subscribe here: readerlinks.com/l/320361

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Website: https://www.nevewilder.com

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Cover Reveal: Center of Gravity by Neve Wilder

Center of Gravity | Neve Wilder

Nook Island #1

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Release Date: October 4 2018

Cover Design: Jay Aheer @ Simply Defined Art 

Length: 98,000 words approx.

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Blurb

 

Accountant Rob Macomb has a stable job that he’s good at and…that’s about it. A year of misfortune has left him seeking refuge from loneliness and grief behind his spreadsheets, punishing daily runs, and the occasional anonymous tryst. He wants nothing more than to bury the past and focus on his career, but he has one last task to complete: pack up his parent’s quaint beachside house and put it on the market.

Alex Andrews is an art school dropout with a penchant for Converse, Cracker Jack, and piercings. His dreams of finishing college and building a career in three-dimensional design crumble when his unemployed father receives a diagnosis that leaves the family reeling and bills mounting faster than Alex and his mom can keep up with them.

When Alex shows up as a part of the moving crew hired to help Rob clean out the house, things get awkward fast. Because it’s not the first time they’ve met, and their last encounter was memorable for all the wrong reasons. The attraction between them is undeniable, but Rob is bound and determined to push everyone away, and Alex is on the verge of spinning out of control.

Can a grumpy accountant and a bootstrapping artist find their center of gravity together, or are they on a collision course to heartbreak?

An emotionally-charged, slow burn MM romance featuring an age gap, a Jack Russell terrier hell-bent on world domination, steamy hijinks, and of course, a hard-won happily ever after.

This is a standalone first book in the Nook Island, Georgia series.

Neve Wilder lives in the dirty South, where the summers are hot and the winters are…sometimes cold. She is a mom to three rambunctious weebeasts who have joined forces in a mission to carpet the family home with toys and small items that really suck to step on at six in the morning.

She reads promiscuously, across multiple genres, but her favorite stories always contain an element of romance. Incidentally, this is also what she likes to write. Slow-burners with delicious tension? Yes. Whiplash-inducing page-turners, also yes. Down and dirty scorchers? Yes. And every flavor in between.

She believes David Bowie was the sexiest musician to ever live, and she’s always game to nerd out on anything from music to writing.

And finally, she believes that love conquers all. Except the heat index in July. Nothing can conquer that bastard.

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Cover Reveal: Overtime by V.L. Locey

Overtime | V.L. Locey

Cayuga Cougars #4

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Length: 68,000 words approx.
 
Cayuga Cougars Series
 
Book #1 – Snap Shot: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Open Net: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Coach’s Challenge: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
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Blurb

Sander March is one season away from the pros, or so everyone tells him.

If only Sander had as much faith in his ability as the Cougar coaching staff does. Outwardly, he’s cocksure, borderline bitter, and slightly sarcastic. All that strut and sass hides a wounded soul though.

Working to hide a brutal past filled with humiliation, abuse, and a family member who still haunts him, Sander has never found the kind of comfort and understanding he so desperately needs. Until he meets Mateo Castillo, a minor league baseball player for the nearby Elmira Egrets. Mateo and Sander click instantly, and a budding friendship develops between the two athletes.

Mateo then introduces Sander to his boyfriend, Noah Coombs, an aspiring manga comic creator. The three men find themselves bonding strongly, and that slowly gives way to sexual attraction. Eventually, Mateo and Noah invite Sander into their relationship. The path to happiness isn’t going to be easy for Sander as he faces criticism from his friends, teammates, and the press for his choices.

The brash young star can handle all that, it’s when his abuser shows up in Cayuga that Sander fears not only for his own safety, but for the lives of the two men he has grown to love. Will Sander’s past tear him away from Mateo and Noah, or will he be able to leave the darkness behind?

Warning – This story has disturbing subject matter.

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V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Dr. Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.)

She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.

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Good, solid sports romance with low angst

RiskRisk by Baylin Crow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this, my first from this author, and I liked the setting with a sport that doesn’t get as much coverage as the other big four.

Both Asher and Drew were decently developed characters with unique voices and, while Drew was younger, I never felt like he was too young to know his own mind.

The “out for you”/bisexual awakening was handled well and more along the lines of Drew slowly realising he was attracted to Asher the more time he spent with the MMA fighter than any kind of closeted behaviour.

It’s relatively low angst and medium steam, with most of the physical relationship not kicking in until the final quarter of the book.

I’d definitely read more from this author.

#ARC kindly provided by the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

View all my Goodreads reviews

Release Blitz: Owned by the Sea by L M Somerton

Owned by the Sea | L M Somerton

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Cover Artist: Emmy Ellis, @studioenp

Genre/s: contemporary gay romance, BDSM

Length: 60869 words/164 pages

General Release Date: May 8, 2018

It is a standalone story.

Blurb

Storms pass and, in their wake, new beginnings can be found.

Talented young artist Jonty Trelawn paints the sea as self-inflicted punishment. For almost a year he has hidden away from life, survivor’s guilt consuming him, but the time has come to move on. He conceives the idea of a charity art auction in support of the local lifeboat station and the men and women who saved his life. He hopes the tribute to his family will release him from the sea’s invisible chains.

Carpenter Jed Curnow is bound to the water in a different way. As deputy coxswain of the Govenek, the local lifeboat, his world revolves around the close-knit crew. He thinks nothing of risking his life to save others. Saving Jonty is less dangerous but just as important to him. He wants nothing more than to give Jonty the love and security he needs.

Jed’s dominant personality calls to Jonty’s more submissive nature but will he ever allow himself to be happy? It’s up to Jed and his best friend Marmite to help Jonty put his tragic past behind him and live for the future.

Buy Links

Pride Publishing

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Goodreads

Excerpt

Jonty stood on the swaying deck and took a last, longing glance at the shore. His stomach was already heaving and the Caroline, named after his mother, had only just left the shelter of the bay. The next three days at sea were going to be torment. He hated the annual family ritual that took him away from his painting, but his father insisted on it and, at twenty-five, Jonty still hadn’t found the courage to refuse him.

Rex Trelawn, who headed a private bank when he wasn’t torturing his son, had given up on Jonty ever being a ‘proper’ sailor, so Jonty was consigned to the galley with orders to keep the rest of the family fed and watered. He dealt with supplies, stocked the cupboards and made sure the boat was ready for a short sea voyage.

He was also responsible for reporting their position to the coastguard at regular intervals, which he managed between visits to the head where his stomach contents insisted on making unwelcome reappearances.

The Caroline was a forty-six footer and manageable with a crew of four. She was just big enough that Jonty could avoid his father for some, if not all, of the trip. Rex always took the wheel while Jonty’s mother and younger sister, Evie, managed ropes and sails with ease.

Evie had a sturdy build and relished the challenges of sailing while Jonty favored his recently deceased grandfather, being slight and less than average height. They were a small family, just the four of them, and Jonty found it impossible to refuse the one outing of the year that brought them all together, much as he wanted to. Three days battling his father’s disappointment was not his idea of a fun time.

Jonty slipped below deck to the narrow, claustrophobic galley and began preparations for a light supper. Soup and bread, fruitcake and hot chocolate would suffice—not that he’d be able to eat any of it himself. Just the idea of food made his stomach flip over.

The four of them would take breaks and sleep in shifts, sailing out past Land’s End and into the Atlantic during the night. It would be something of an endurance test but Jonty could cope with that. He kept strange hours when he painted, sometimes forgetting to sleep.

His father was first to descend into the cabin, brushing a hand through his windswept silver hair. He shed his waterproofs, hanging them on a peg before taking a seat at the table.

“Wind’s getting up, Jonathon. Be sure to check the shipping forecast later.”

“Yes, sir.” Jonty didn’t need the reminder, but said nothing. He ladled soup into a bowl then placed it in front of his father.

“Not eating?” The usual note of disapproval colored Rex Trelawn’s tone.

“No.” Jonty didn’t expand. His father knew full well that Jonty got seasick every time he sailed.

“Come and join me.”

Jonty held back a sigh. He wasn’t feeling up to defending himself yet again.

“Shaw tells me your earnings are exceptional for such a young artist. He wants more work from you.”

The sigh escaped. “Shaw has no business discussing my finances with you. He’s my agent, not yours.”

“I hope you’re investing well?” Rex waved a soup spoon at him, ignoring Jonty’s objection. “I’ll have to put the rent up on Cliff House.”

Jonty’s family, including his sister who was studying at King’s College, resided in London. Jonty chose to live at the family’s second home in Cornwall where the pure light was perfect for painting. He needed a place of his own where he could cut another tie to his domineering father but somehow he’d never gotten around to house hunting.

He didn’t rise to Rex’s taunt. Housing discussions were preferable to those that questioned his ‘dubious lifestyle choices’. Rex Trelawn had never quite accepted his son’s sexual orientation and it was a topic best avoided.

When Jonty came out at eighteen, Evie had shrugged, his mother had wept for a while then refreshed her makeup, hugged him then commenced trawling her copious address book for prospective boyfriends. Rex had given him the silent treatment for months until Jonty’s first gallery showing had sold out. He’d proved to have some worth, so they’d reached a truce of sorts.

“It’s time I found a place of my own,” he said. “Property is a good investment these days, isn’t it?”

Rex grunted. Checkmate had been reached. Rex wanted his son as a live-in caretaker for Cliff House, a place where he had a hold on him. Rex knew it and so did Jonty. “It’s time for the shipping forecast.”

Jonty switched on the radio then relaxed into the familiar litany of strange names and wind speeds, paying particular attention to Lundy and Sole.
“It’s brisker than I expected,” Rex muttered. “Bloody weather changes on the toss of a coin. We could be in for a bumpy ride.” He cut himself a slice of fruitcake, grinning.
Jonty’s stomach did a jig. He just made it to the head in time.

An unpleasant five minutes later, Jonty returned to the cabin to find Evie swapping places with their father at the table.
“Have you been worshiping the porcelain god again, big brother?”

“The boy has a weak constitution,” Rex grumbled, disappearing up the steps to the deck.
“And he could eat roadkill on a rollercoaster without retching,” Jonty sniped. “You want soup, sis?”

“Only if you haven’t thrown up in it.” Despite her words, Evie’s smile was sympathetic.
“There’s nothing left in my stomach. Besides, you’re like Dad. You’ll eat anything.” Jonty did his duty with the soup then watched as Evie demolished the entire bowl and two sizeable chunks of bread.

“Hungry work out there.” She grinned. “Dad been giving you grief again?”
“Same as usual.” Jonty shrugged. “He won’t change.”
“Next year when he proposes this trip, tell him to go take a running jump off the nearest pier.”

“So says the favored child.”

“I’m straight, gorgeous, I love sport and will provide him with grandchildren. You are not straight, far too pretty for a man, refuse to cut your hair, you hate sport and you have a talent he doesn’t, which will no doubt make you richer than him. Of course he loves me best.” She raised her mug of hot chocolate in a toast.

About the Author

Lucinda lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.

She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She’s fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.

 

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