Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Rip Cord by Jeanne St. James

BOOK BLAST


Book Title: Rip Cord: The Complete Trilogy

Author: Jeanne St. James

Publisher: Self Published

Cover Artist: EmCat Designs

Genre/s: Contemporary Romance, MM Sports Romance

Length: 198 paperback pages 



Buy Links 

Paperback



Blurb

The Reunion

Gil Davis hated high school. Ever the geek, he has no intentions of attending his 10th year class reunion. The last thing he wants is to relive the taunting and teasing he received during his teenage years. However, there is one thing he misses from high school: the star Varsity football player. The one he had a crush on from the first day he laid eyes on him. But the last thing he expects is the now pro football player to come back to their hometown to attend a lame high school reunion. Known as the Bad Boy of the NFL, Ripley “Rip” Cord, not only shows up, but shows up without a date and an eye for Gil.

The Weekend

Geek Gil Davis hasn’t heard a word from NFL player, Rip Cord, since hooking up at their class reunion. Then Rip calls him unexpectedly, he’s taking Gil to his cabin for a weekend of erotic exploration.

The Ever After

When Rip Cordis kicked out of the NFL, he shows up unexpectedly at Gil Davis’ front door. With his career over, Rip’s finally ready for a future with Gil, if Gil’s willing to give him another chance.




Excerpt

Ripley “Rip” Cord was just as tall as Gil remembered. Around five inches taller than him, not that Gil was a squirt. The football player was at least six foot two.

And every inch of him was muscle. Not lean muscle, but heavy muscle. Heavy, rounded, lickable muscle.

Gil glanced at Katie. “You’re drooling.”

Katie wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. “As if you aren’t.”

Gil snagged her wrist and backpedaled until he rammed into something hard. It was the table with the place settings.

Gil peered over Katie’s shoulder to see if his klutziness had caught Rip’s attention.

Luckily it hadn’t. The man was completely surrounded by their old classmates clamoring for his attention.

Throughout the years, he’d followed Rip’s career in the newspapers, on the evening news, on ESPN.

And in the tabloids.

Rip was well-known. Unfortunately it was as the “bad boy” of the National Football League. He started out with a great career in the NFL, drafted straight out of college. He was one of the best wide receivers in the league, but it was all his rumored problems that kept him in the spotlight, not his stats.

And that famous wide receiver was here. Now.

“C’mon, Katie! Don’t stare.”

“Why?”

“Because—”

“Jesus, Gilly, because you have a crush on him!”

Heat crawled up Gil’s neck. He was glad the lights were turned down in the gymnasium. He didn’t want anyone seeing him blush.

Hell, he was twenty-eight years old. He shouldn’t be blushing. He felt seventeen all over again.

He pulled away from Katie to study the name cards remaining on the table. Of course, he read the same card over and over before Katie squealed.

“Oh. My. God.Here he comes!”

Gil nervously tugged Katie next to his side and threw an arm haphazardly around her shoulders.

“Ouch,” she yelped as her curly red hair got caught on the button of his cuff.

“Sorry,” he whispered and straightened up just as Rip arrived at the table.

Gil swore he saw spots. He was not going to faint. He was not going to faint.

His knees buckled, and he grabbed for the nearest solid thing: Rip.

Rip grasped his forearm and held Gil steady. “You all right, buddy?”

Gil looked up—and up—into deep blue eyes. Eyes he had never forgotten. To this day they haunted his dreams.

Dreams he usually woke up from with a raging hard-on.

Gil opened his mouth to answer, but nothing came out. Rip smacked him hard on the back.

“Are you sure you’re okay?”

Gil nodded.

“Did you find your name card yet?” Rip asked, flashing him a bright, white smile.

Gil shook his head.

Rip moved closer, almost hip to hip with Gil, to study the table of white folded cardstock. Gil fought the urge to lean in and nuzzle the larger man's neck, inhaling his manly scent. Roll around in it like a dog.

Hell, he'd probably end up sporting a black eye if he tried.





About the Author
JEANNE ST. JAMES is a USA Today bestselling romance author who loves an alpha male (or two). She was only thirteen when she started writing. Her first paid published piece was an erotic story in Playgirl magazine. Her first erotic romance novel, Banged Up, was published in 2009. She is happily owned by farting French bulldogs. She writes M/F, M/M, and M/M/F ménages. Want to read a sample of her work? Download a sampler book here.

To keep up with her busy release schedule check her website at www.jeannestjames.comor sign up for her newsletter: http://www.jeannestjames.com/newslettersignup


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Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Dangerous Lessons by Naomi Aoki


Title: Dangerous Lessons 

Series: The Yakuza and the English Teacher 
Author: Naomi Aoki 
Self-published 
Released: December 2017 
Genre: M/M Rom-suspense; Multi-cultural 
Length: 174 pgs 
This is book one of three and are not standalone. 


Blurb (Dangerous Lessons) 

Love was never meant to be this dangerous. 

Falling in love had never been the plan.

But when a powerful businessman takes an interest in Jamie how can he say No.

Except Gou is no ordinary businessman.

When the truth comes out, does Jamie run or chose to stay?

And will he have a choice?


Author Profile:

She would love to runaway to Japan or China and live there for a few years... but she can't. Instead she goes there in her books, hoping to drag the reader into a world they've never been to before.

Historical. Contemporary. Time offers no constraint to the stories she writes, happily dabbling in both so long as there is a happy ending.

Twitter: @naomiaokiauthor

Pinterest: naomiaokiauthor

Blog/Website: naomiaokiauthor.com

Excerpt (Dangerous Lessons)

Gou loved the reactions he was dragging out of Jamie by simply sitting next to him. The man rattled by his presence, in a good way, as his usual calm demeanour slipped and he knocked back the whiskey like the glass contained water. The coughing and spluttering it produced gave Gou the perfect excuse to reach out and touch Jamie, resting his hand on the man’s thigh in a show of concern. He took the opportunity to drag his hand higher when Jamie showed no signs of opposing the action, not rejecting his obvious sexual advances. And if the redness of his face and the hitching of his breath were anything to go by, Gou was certain Jamie liked it. Wanted him. But Gou wasn’t ready to take things too far, too soon. He needed Jamie to be consumed with desire before he could allow Jamie to see who he truly was – the secret he kept hidden.

Gou watched Jamie’s body relax as he moved his hand away and leaned back against the couch. Their legs remained pressed hard against each other yet, Jamie made no effort to move away from Gou, thrilling him. Red streaked across the man’s pale skin, disappearing beneath his collar and Gou struggled to resist the urge to tug at Jamie’s clothes, wanting to know how far the colour went. He wanted to hold Jamie’s face in his hands and stare into his pale blue eyes, watch how they changed as he fell apart beneath him.

“I’m going to miss catching up with you next week, Jamie,” swirling the whiskey in his glass, resisting the urge to touch Jamie again.

“Why?” Jamie turned to look at him. Confusion and sadness surged into his eyes, making their blueness change to grey. “Why won’t we be meeting next week?” Disappointment rang through his voice and maybe a hint of panic, making Gou want to pull him into his arms and reassure him.

“Business. Need to travel to Osaka and Kobe for meetings.” Boring meetings full of ceremony and tradition with men further advanced in years than he was. He couldn’t afford to miss a single meeting, even though he despised how they looked down on him. Men envious of the power he had amassed since taking over from his father and yet forced to work with him because of long held agreements created over cups of sake. Gou knew they would have preferred one of the senior members of the Araki-gumi to have taken over after his father’s death, but the Executive made their choice and voted to keep the leadership within the Kitayama family. “I’ll be gone for a week.”

Jamie took a deep breath and released it slowly as he tried to calm himself. “Well, it can’t be helped, then.”

Gou could hear the disappointment ring louder in Jamie’s voice, even as he tried to smile and pretend everything was okay. But Jamie couldn’t hide the way his body slumped, averting his crestfallen gaze away from Gou.

It was tempting to push for more. To use the emotions surging through Jamie, right now, to get a taste of him. But Gou wouldn’t. Too soon. Though, the week’s separation, could provide Gou with an opportunity to test the waters and show Jamie how much he desired him. Gou might not be ready to share his secrets, but at least he’d find out if Jamie wanted him as much as the young man’s body hinted.

“No, Jamie it can’t. Though I wish I could adjust the timing of it. I would prefer not to miss out on our time together,” letting his own disappointment flow into his words.

“Me too.”

Damn did Jamie sound sad, stirring up the possessive streak inside Gou geared toward the young man. The need to protect, to mark him and make Jamie smile was a powerful urge Gou struggled to keep in check. A constant fight against the urge to pull Jamie to his feet and drag him to his bed. If he made it that far. Pushing him against the wall or bending him over his desk was equally appealing and Gou had to shift, a subtle adjustment of himself without Jamie noticing. No, truthfully, he didn’t care if Jamie noticed. But now was not the time, he reminded himself.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Three-Man Advantage by Ariel Bishop


COVER REVEAL


Book Title: Three-Man Advantage

Author: Ariel Bishop

Cover Artist: Ariel Bishop

Genre/s: Sports Romance, Hockey Romance

Buylink: Amazon



Blurb

He can’t choose...

Leadership and setting an upstanding example are everything to Wisconsin Wendigos captain David Dickson. On ice, he’s got it all together. Off ice? Not so much. For years he’s been pining for not one, but both of the loyal alternate captains who’ve stood by him through thick and thin.

They’ve always had his back…

Sasha Ivanov and Bo McAllister have always seemed more into each other then into their captain. But when the stress of the season starts affecting David, they’re more than willing to step up and help him deal with it--by whatever means necessary.

He can’t resist...

When Sasha and Bo offer him everything he’s been wanting, David can’t say no, even though he knows it comes with an expiration date. But the more he finds himself fitting into their life, the more he wants what he knows he can’t have.

Can Sasha and Bo find room in their hearts for one more person? Will David let them bring him into their life? Or are these captains doomed to remain just teammates?

Find out in this steamy sports romance novel, featuring a team captain who’s too stubborn for his own good, a defenceman with a heart of gold, and a goalie who never has a problem using his words.


About the Author

Ariel Bishop is an American romance and erotica author who feels strongly that all love triangles are best resolved through healthy polyamory. She has been a reader of romantic and erotic fiction for the entirety of her adult life and draws on that experience as well as her own imagination to create original erotic stories. She lives in the Ozarks with her partners and their children, plus two bunnies that rejoice in the names Reginald von Pancakes and Snickers.

Giveaway: Ardulum by J.S. Fields

SERIES-GRAPHIC Ardulum

J.S. Fields has a new lesbian sci fi book out in her Ardulum series - Third Don:

The Ardulum series blends space opera and hard science into a story about two women persistently bound to their past, and a sentient planet determined to shape their future.



Giveaway:

J.S. Fields is giving away an eBook copy of books one and two, AND a special collector's edition First Don enamel pin to one lucky winner, via Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4711/?


Sunday, 13 May 2018

Survivors by Jessie Pinkham

BOOK BLAST


Book Title: Survivors

Author: Jessie Pinkham

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

Release Date: May 8, 2017

Genre/s: Romance, M/M Romance, Erotic Romance, Post-Apocalyptic 

Length: 62,000 words/190 pages

This is a standalone book.





Blurb

As a farmer Lee Johnson is well-situated to survive in the aftermath of a plague that killed most of humanity. As a gay man in a small community he's resigned himself to the probability of lifelong bachelorhood, at least until his sister returns home with handsome Army veteran Nate Schlessinger.

Sparks fly between the two men but nothing is easy following the collapse of civilization. Nate claims to be celibate despite his clear interest, Lee tries to keep his neighbors from starving, and the threat of attack looms constantly. Can love triumph in the ruins of the world as we knew it?


Buy Links







Excerpt

Nate looks skeptically at the carrots he pulled up. “Are these carrots supposed to be yellow?”

“Yes. You’ve never seen yellow carrots? They’re the best.”

“How many colors do carrots come in?”

“We grow yellow, orange, and purple, but there are red and white too. White carrots don’t have much flavor so I don’t see the point.”

It’s a nice morning for harvesting. Nate and I are working on carrots while Lily is one field over gathering onions. Every couple of minutes the wind carries over a few words of whatever song she’s singing to herself. The dogs are amusing themselves playing tug of war with a piece of rope I knotted for that purpose.

My shoulders are a bit stiff from helping Stan move yesterday, therefore I’m not harvesting carrots quite as quickly as I could. The fact that Nate is new to pulling carrots is a convenient excuse to slow down. It’s not a difficult concept to yank carrots out of the soil and Nate’s doing a fine job, though he’s the first person I’ve ever seen harvest carrots with a handgun holstered on.

“Yellow and purple carrots. Orange tomatoes. What next,” he asks, “red pumpkins?”

The orange tomatoes were an heirloom variety Mom decided to try this year which are worth growing again. I’ve saved a good amount of seeds, plenty for us and the neighbors. Genetic diversity in crops will serve us well.

“The pumpkins are all orange.”

“Good. I like some consistency in my life.”

“Getting up every morning to take care of the animals isn’t consistent enough for you?” Livestock guarantees a certain level of routine in our lives.

“I like plenty of consistency.”

“Farming is good for that.” I make sure I’m quiet for my next question, something that’s been nagging me. “Do you think we have a good chance of defending ourselves?”

“It depends on a lot of factors. We have the advantage over a small, maybe mid-sized gang unless they have really impressive weapons, but we can’t hold off an army. Fortunately, I think small gangs are more likely at this point.”

“Have I mentioned that my dad kept his great-great grandfather’s Civil War sword? It’s in the chest in the living room.”

“Let’s hold that as a last resort, okay?”

“Works for me. Damned if I know how to use the thing.”

“Now, a Civil War cannon might have more potential.”

“I think we’re stuck with the bows.”

“On the plus side those don’t run the risk of blowing up in our faces.”

“That’s a very big plus,” I say. Nate has his first homemade bow complete now, though it doesn’t shoot very far.

“Our biggest advantage, I think, is that I can probably shoot people as they approach. The military helmets will help a lot there.” He ignores the carrots in favor of looking at me, all weighty responsibility. “I’m going to do everything I can to protect us, to protect you and Lily.”

I demonstrate my appreciation with a kiss. “Thank you. Just remember you’re not doing it single-handedly, okay?”

“You’re a decent shot. That will help.”

He’s being generous. I’m a decent shot at close range with a slow-moving target, and my abilities degrade from there. Like I said, I went bird hunting with my dad sometimes, but it was never my favorite and that shows in my skill level.

“Lily can shoot too,” he says. “Even if she’s not a great shot it will create more chaos and give them more bullets to dodge.” Guns aren’t her favorite, but there’s no doubt she’ll do whatever is necessary. “I think we’ll be alright, barring some property damage.”

“I hope we’re alright. And that any property damage is minor.”

“I’m not going down without a fight,” he says, which I already knew. Nate’s just like that. “I’m happier than I thought I could be after Severny destroyed everything. Not that it isn’t hard, and I don’t miss people all the time, but somewhere along the way I realized I need to let myself be happy, you know?”

“Yes.” I really, really do. It’s easy to fall into survivor’s guilt until you realize that nobody who died would want us to spend the rest of our lives miserable. That doesn’t mean I don’t have my bouts of survivor’s guilt all the same. It does make it easier to move forward and feel okay about it when I smile and laugh.

“You’re a big part of my happiness. You do know that, right?”

“I know.” I kiss him again. “And I feel the same way. You’re awesome like that.”

“Keep throwing around adjectives like awesome and I’m gonna get a big head.”

“Which head are we talking about?” I ask with an unsubtle glance at his crotch.

“I was talking about the one on my neck.”

“Past tense. I can work with that. Let’s hurry up and get these carrots harvested so we can go inside, where I can admire your other head.”

“If I didn’t know better I’d say you only want me for my body.”

“Since you do know better there’s nothing wrong with heartfelt appreciation.”

Nate raises his eyebrows. “Sure, pretend your heart is in charge at the moment.”

“You say that as though it’s a bad thing, but you’re picking carrots faster.”



About the Author

Some kids have imaginary friends. Jessie grew up in rural Maine where she needed to entertain herself, so she created an imaginary village and she has been dreaming up stories ever since. These days she writes romances which reflect her love of hot guys and a good happy ending.
Married to her own Mr. Right, Jessie gratefully acknowledges his support and encouragement. She enjoys exploring the diversity of the universe and therefore cannot commit to a single subgenre of male/male romance. She’s also a chocoholic, avid reader, and travel enthusiast. Too often she rushes out at the last minute because she lost track of time while writing.


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Saturday, 12 May 2018

Double Dutch Courage by Helena Stone


Title: Double Dutch Courage


Author: Helena Stone
Word count: 63k (approx)
Release Date: May 12, 2018

Buy links:
Also available through Kindle Unlimited

Blurb

Ronan Collins has spent most of his life in Dublin hiding who he really is. Coming out would hurt his mother, and Ronan isn’t going to be the second gay man to do that. When he receives news the father he has never known has died, leaving him both a house and a business in Amsterdam, he jumps on the opportunity to get to know the man who fathered him and to discover what he’s been denying himself for years.

Lucas Brandt thought he had it all when Paul Kelly offered him a job and rooms to live in. With Paul deceased he fears he may be about to lose both. He didn’t even know Paul had a son, and now this stranger is on his way from Dublin to pull the rug out from under Lucas’s feet.

The two men don’t expect to like each other, never mind feel attraction. With numerous reasons why hooking up would be a bad idea, why does giving in feel so much better? And is Ronan’s back story really as he’s always imagined it to be?

Sudden changes require great bravery. Can both men find the courage to be true to themselves and each other?



Excerpt 

“So, what does it say?”
Ronan glanced up from the letter in his hands to his mother and back again, his mind blank. She’d thrust the envelope at him as soon as he’d arrived home from work. Of course, he didn’t get registered mail from the Netherlands very often — make that ever — but that still hadn’t explained the nervous tension radiating from her. After opening the envelope and reading the letter, the fraught atmosphere made sense. The contents of the missive on the other hand…
“I don’t understand.” Ronan stared from the piece of paper to his mother. He’d read the words twice now, and still he couldn’t get his head around what any of it meant. For what felt like an eternity, rain and wind from the vicious storm hitting the windows was the only sound in the living room.
“It says.” Ronan took a deep breath. “The letter offers me condolences on the death of Paul Kelly, and informs me that I’ve been awarded a large portion of his estate in his will.” He read the next few lines again, hoping repetition would lead to comprehension.
“Does it give specifics about that inheritance?” His mother’s voice sounded flat, and distant.
“Yes,” Ronan said. “There’s talk about a house which also holds a business, as well as an unspecified, but apparently not insubstantial, amount of money.” None of it made sense.  “I don’t understand. Why would he leave anything to me? He ignored me my whole life. Why would he suddenly remember my existence in a document I wouldn’t be made aware of until after he had died?”
He diverted his attention from the letter just in time to see a horrified expression cross his mother’s face.
“Ma, what’s going on?”
She gazed at him for a moment, as if trying to figure out what to tell him, before averting her gaze. “I don’t know, lad. To say your father has always been a law unto himself would be a gross understatement. I’m sure he had his reasons. Maybe guilt got the better of him after all this time?”
Ronan studied his mother, certain that something wasn’t right. It wasn’t so much that he thought she was lying, but he couldn’t shake the feeling there was more to the story. Questions burned on his tongue, and vague suspicions sprang up in his mind but he pushed them back, two decades of not prying too hard getting the better of him.
He’d been a mere eight years old when he’d realized that asking about his father caused his mother pain. By then he’d known the story by heart. Paul had been married to his mother for just under six months before leaving her when she was three months pregnant with Ronan. It was ridiculous how easy it still was, even after twenty years, to remember the pain and anger in her voice whenever she used to tell him that the man who had fathered him had left because he’d decided he couldn’t deny his homosexuality any longer. His father being gay had hurt his mother, the message had been loud and clear, and Ronan had heard and heeded it. He’d made a point to not ask after him since the day she’d broken down in response to his endless questions. He could still hear the words; two decades not long enough to erase them from his memory.
He left, Ronan. He left because he was gay and couldn’t or wouldn’t love either me or you enough to stay.
He’d accepted those words at the time and, since his father had never been in contact, he had no reason to doubt them. Except that…
“I still don’t understand why he named me in his will.” Ronan looked at the paper, unclenching his fist as soon as he realized he’d scrunched the letter into a ball. “Surely after all this time, he would have other people in his life to leave his stuff to.”
“I can’t help you there, lad.” His mother smiled tentatively. “I have no idea what he did after he left me. In fact, until that letter arrived I didn’t even know whether or not he was still in the Netherlands. He told me that’s where he would be going, but that was twenty-eight years ago, after all.”
“Oh,” Ronan said, acknowledging that his mother wouldn’t be his source for additional details, although he still couldn’t shake the feeling she wasn’t telling him everything. “There’s a number for me to call for more information.”
“Why don’t you phone them and see what exactly you’re dealing with? Once we know what we’re looking at we can figure out what to do next.”
Ronan knew his mother was right. He had to make that call even if it did feel as if life as he’d known it, as he’d constructed it with great care, was about to come to an end. Whether that would turn out to be a good or a bad thing remained to be seen, and there was only one way to find out.



The Author

Helena Stone can’t remember a life before words and reading. After growing up in a household where no holiday or festivity was complete without at least one new book, it’s hardly surprising she now owns more books than shelf space while her Kindle is about to explode.

The urge to write came as a surprise. The realisation that people might enjoy her words was a shock to say the least. Now that the writing bug has well and truly taken hold, Helena can no longer imagine not sharing the characters in her head and heart with the rest of the world.

Having left the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam for the peace and quiet of the Irish Country side she divides her time between reading, writing, long and often wet walks with the dog, her part-time job in a library, a grown-up daughter and her ever loving and patient husband.





Thursday, 10 May 2018

Giveaway: Owned by the Sea by L M Somerton

RELEASE BLITZ


Book Title: Owned by the Sea

Author: 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







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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