Thursday, 13 September 2018

FREE READ - KISS ME GOODBYE


The salty breeze gently brushed Adam’s hair back from his face as he sat cross-legged on the sand. He was close enough to the water’s edge for droplets of spray from rolling waves to dampen his skin, but back far enough to ensure the safety of his jeans. He smiled. Ben always teased him about his unwillingness to get his precious jeans dirty. Not that Adam cared. They were what brought them together for fuck’s sake.
The memory flooded back as though it were yesterday. He’d been staring at them on the rack, weighing up the pros and cons of splurging on a genuine pair of Levi’s, versus the cheaper pair he’d seen in Walmart that would mean he could eat more than beans on toast until pay day. That was when a voice from behind him said, “Your arse would look fantastic in those.” His smile widened as he remembered the carrier bag resting against the leg of the chair in the coffee shop half an hour later. He couldn’t remember what they’d talked about over that first of many coffees, but he’d known from the start that he could listen to Ben, forever.
What about Josh?
Adam sighed heavily and brought his knees up to clasp his arms around them. Josh. Josh was uncomplicated. Josh was steady. Josh was… present. Adam looked out across the water, squinting as the sun peeked out from behind a cloud. “What the fuck am I supposed to do?”
“What do you want to do?”
Adam sucked in a breath and closed his eyes. “I knew you’d find me.”
“You wanted to be found?” Ben flopped down beside him.
“True.” Adam opened his eyes and continued to stare at the sea. “Sometimes I forget you know me better than I know myself.”
“You needed to think. This is your thinking place.”
Our thinking place,” Adam corrected automatically.
Our thinking place,” Ben affirmed.
“How long have you known?” Adam couldn’t resist asking the question.
“From the start.”
Adam’s gut tightened. “I never meant to hurt you.”
“I know,” Ben said softly.
“Ben—”
“Look at me.”
“I can’t.”
“Why?”
“I’m afraid.”
“Of what?”
“That you hate me.” Adam heard the break in his voice but didn’t care. “That you hate me, and I’ll see it.”
“The only way you’ll know is if you look at me.”
God, he hated it when Ben made sense. Which was basically all the time. It was one of his less attractive traits.
Do you hate me?”
Look at me.”
Adam swallowed past the lump in his throat. It sounded so loud in his own head, he was sure whales at the bottom of the sea were staring at each other with WTF? expressions on their big whale faces. He slowly turned his head, clasping his arms tighter and tighter, his fingers biting into his skin as he willed himself to look at Ben.
“It’s you.” The words were involuntary. Adam couldn’t have stopped them if he’d wanted to.
“It’s me.”
Ben held out his arms and Adam scrambled into them, inhaling the musky scent of his cologne. He curled his fingers in Ben’s shirt, trying to get as close to him as he could. It was comfortable, familiar, like putting on an old sweater. He snorted inelegantly.
“What’s funny?” Ben asked, rubbing his chin on the top of Adam’s head.
“I was just thinking you feel like an old sweater.”
“Um… thanks?”
“In a good way.”
“And Josh? How does he feel?”
“Why would you ask me that?” Adam tried to pull away, but Ben wouldn’t let him.
“Just answer the question.”
“I don’t see why—”
“Adam!”
“Different! Okay? He feels different.”
“In a good way?”
“Yes… but different. Not like you.” Adam brushed at the tears that threatened to escape his lashes.
“He’s not me.” Ben replied. “And he doesn’t have to be.” Ben loosened his hold and cupped Adam’s cheek, forcing him to look him in the eye. “What we were is done, you know that, and even though what we were to each other will never be over, you can have something else with Josh. He’s a good guy. More importantly, he’s good for you.”
“You like him?”
Ben nodded. “I really do.”
“Thank you.” Adam lifted his hand and brushed his fingers through Ben’s hair. Ben captured his hand and pressed a kiss to Adam’s palm. His gaze, when it met Adam’s was sorrowful.
“The sun’s going down.”
“Don’t go yet. I’m not ready.” Panic flooded through him. Not yet! Not yet! “Please…”
“Won’t Josh be waiting?”
“He won’t mind.”
Ben looked out at the water and smiled as he pulled Adam back into his embrace. “Okay, but just until the sun sets, then I have to go.”
They sat huddled together, watching the sun slowly sink towards the horizon, the first twinkling of stars high above them. Adam watched the water turn orange and gold, the warmth of Ben’s arms and the beat of his heart against Adam’s cheek giving him the comfort and acceptance Adam so desperately craved.
Then it was over.
They stood up and Adam brushed the sand off his jeans, ignoring Ben’s smirk. “Not a word.”
“As if I would.”
Adam rolled his eyes and took a deep breath. “I guess this is it.” His throat was thick with unshed tears. “It’s harder than I thought.”
“Nah,” Ben said. “This is the easy part.”
“Easy?”
“Yep. All you have to do is kiss me goodbye.”
“That I can do,” Adam said. He closed his eyes and leaned in until he felt the sweet, softness of Ben’s lips on his, a gentle brush of skin against skin that was over all too soon. Adam opened his eyes. Ben was gone. And even though he’d known he would be, Adam still looked up and down the beach for a sign of him. Of course, there was none. The only thing left behind was the lingering taste of his kiss and the sense of peace Adam needed to move on.
“Hey, are you okay?”
Adam turned to see a middle-aged man eyeing him curiously, holding onto the leash of an exuberant husky. “Sorry?”
“You look a little lost,” the man said with a frown, his gaze moving to the tears on Adam’s face. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine.” Adam wiped at the dampness on his cheeks.
The man looked relieved. “When I saw you talking to yourself, I was a little worried.”
“I used to come here with my husband,” Adam explained. “He died three years ago. And, well, I’ve met someone, you know? It just seemed like the right place to say goodbye.”
The man’s gaze softened, and he nodded sympathetically. “I’m sure he was with you.”
Adam shoved his fingers into his pocket and found the ring he’d put there earlier. He didn’t need to take it out, he knew what was engraved on the inside, he’d looked at it often enough. Ben & Adam, Forever. “I know he was.”


Sunday, 5 August 2018

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE?

As Abba tunes play in my head, flitting from one to another, thanks to the release of Mamma Mia 2, I had a thought.... dangerous I know....

We all love a bit of Abba, whether we're out and proud, or it's a guilty pleasure hidden beneath the cover of our earbuds. You can't help it. From Dancing Queen to Waterloo to Winner Takes It All, they're indelibly imprinted. So much so, that it's really hard to pick a favourite.... but that's what I'm asking you to do today, my lovelies, just for pure and simple fun.

Which Abba song is YOUR favourite?

Saturday, 4 August 2018

LESSONS IN DISCOVERY ( A CAMBRIDGE FELLOWS MYSTERY #3)

Blurb:

Cambridge, 1906.

On the very day Jonty Stewart proposes that he and Orlando Coppersmith move in together, Fate trips them up. Rather, it trips Orlando, sending him down a flight of stairs and leaving him with an injury that erases his memory. Instead of taking the next step in their relationship, they’re back to square one. It’s bad enough that Orlando doesn’t remember being intimate with Jonty—he doesn’t remember Jonty at all.

Back inside the introverted, sexually innocent shell he inhabited before he met Jonty, Orlando is faced with two puzzles. Not only does he need to recover the lost pieces of his past, he’s also been tasked by the Master to solve a four-hundred-year-old murder before the end of term. The college’s reputation is riding on it.

Crushed that his lover doesn’t remember him, Jonty puts aside his grief to help decode old documents for clues to the murder. But a greater mystery remains—one involving the human heart.

To solve it, Orlando must hear the truth about himself—even if it means he may not fall in love with Jonty the second time around…

Review:

The moment I started this series I knew I wouldn't be reading anything else until I'd finished the final page of the final book. I have been gripped from the start. The tender developing love story between Jonty and Orlando, their gentle discovery of each other, is second to none, as they traverse the danger of two men falling in love in the 1900's.

Within this beautiful love story is interwoven a murder mystery that has you turning the pages, needing to know all. 

In Lessons in Discovery, Orlando's memory of the last year and his love for Jonty has been wiped away, and my heart broke for Jonty as he had to keep his own sorrow to himself while supporting his friend. To keep his mind occupied, Orlando is asked to review the legend of the Woodville Ward, a murder within the college's walls that has left generations stumped. I've got to tell you, I loved this story. My own suspicious mind was flitting from one suspect to another and shouted out, "Of course!" when the reveal unfolded, much to my husband's confusion! Loved it, loved it, loved it!

The fluid way with which the detailed terminology of the era is written, the stiff British upper lip, the absolutely everything is effortless and so well written you lose yourself from the very first page to the last. This is a must read. An absolute must read.

Get your copy HERE

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

THE ULTIMATE DINNER PARTY!




Just a quick one, that popped into my head (and we all know if I don't mention it now it'll be gone in thirty seconds - menopause is a bitch!).

If you could host a dinner party for five people (not including yourself), which five would you invite - dead or alive - and why.

Ooh, and what would your three course meal consist of?

The one my glamorous assistant considers the most intriguing, can have an ebook of their choice from my back catalogue :)


Wednesday, 18 July 2018

LESSONS IN DESIRE (A CAMBRIDGE FELLOWS MYSTERY #2) - CHARLIE COCHRANE

Blurb:

With the recent series of college murders behind him, Cambridge Fellow Jonty Stewart is in desperate need of a break.

A holiday on the beautiful Channel Island of Jersey seems ideal, if only he can persuade Orlando Coppersmith to leave the security of the college and come with him. Orlando is a quiet man who prefers academic life to venturing out into the world. Within the confines of their rooms at the university, it’s easy to hide the fact that he and Jonty are far more than friends.

But the desire to spend more time alone with the man he loves is an impossible lure to resist. When a brutal murder occurs at the hotel where they’re staying, the two young men are once more drawn into the investigation.

The race to catch the killer gets complicated by the victim’s son, Ainslie, a man who seems to find Orlando too attractive to resist.

Can Stewart and Coppersmith keep Ainslie at bay, keep their affair clandestine, and solve the crime?

Lessons in Desire is the second book in the gripping Cambridge Fellows series by Charlie Cochrane. Set in Edwardian England, it explores engrossing mysteries and heartfelt gay romances, all set in the historical walls of Cambridge University.


Review:

Gripping is right! I loved the gentle romance between Jonty and Orlando that blossomed in the first book, topped off by the twists and turns of a great murder mystery. And Charlie Cochrane has done it again! I didn't guess the culprit in the first one, and I didn't in this! 

The beautifully crafted way Jonty and Orlando test the boundaries of their relationship, the fear of discovery and the determination to remain together, as must have been the way for many couples of the era. Orlando's naivete is both charming and worrying, but his love for Jonty shines through behind closed doors. 

The story is set on the island of Jersey and the cavalcade of characters, descriptive settings and beautiful prose takes you right across the channel and into 1906. The mystery weaves its way effortlessly through the story of the men's desire to spend some time alone away from St Bride's after the scandalous murders of the previous year. So effortlessly that you are slapped in the face by its utter brilliance when all is revealed.

I have read the blurb for book 3, Lessons in Discovery, and it awaits me on my Kindle. So I'll stop rambling on and nudge you with a hefty elbow towards Amazon to buy your own copies of this amazing series. *NUDGE!* Go on.... off you go.

Buy your copy HERE!


Sunday, 15 July 2018

SNOW FALLING - DAVIDSON KING

Blurb:

After running from a past destined to kill him, Snow has been hiding on the streets.

Tell nobody your name. 
Tell nobody your secrets.
Trust nobody!
These are the rules of the streets. 

His entire life changes when he saves an eight-year-old boy from a violent end. 

Christopher Manos is one of the most powerful crime bosses in the country.

Don’t ask anyone to do something you aren’t willing to do yourself. 
Secrets can get you killed. 
Trust nobody!
These are the rules he lives by.

When his eight-year-old nephew disappears, he never expects the boy’s savior to end up being his own. A man with a dangerous past and a man with a dangerous future find love amidst murder and mayhem. But with Snow's life being threatened at every turn, will Christopher's best be enough to prevent Snow Falling?

Review:

I don't think there is anyone outside of the MM genre who doesn't know Davidson King. I am one of the many lucky enough to say that Davidson is my friend and I am thrilled to be writing a review on her work for a change!

Snow Falling is a well-crafted story with twists and turns that grab your interest in the first few pages and keeps you enthralled until the very last. The characters were vibrant and full of life, leaping off the page and drawing you into their world. True, it is a somewhat violent world, but you find yourself understanding why Christopher does what he does and why he holds those he loves so tightly. Every decision he makes is a life and death one, and he's determined it won't be the latter for his family.

As for Snow.... the tough exterior hides a gentle soul who has suffered far more in his young life than anyone should have to. Living on the streets has hardened him, but he has kept true to the values his mother taught him. It's this part of him that sees beyond the life Christopher leads and finds the man within. Watching them fall in love and the way Christopher comes to terms with the fact that this waif and stray doesn't give a shit who he is and won't take any of his crap, is just wonderful. 

This is Davidson's first novel and I am looking forward to all those that follow, as she grows and flourishes. I know it won't be long before I'm saying...  "I knew you when...."

Get your copy HERE

HOLY CRAP - HAVE I BEEN AWAY THAT LONG?

Hello my lovelies.

My deepest apologies for not having posted in so long. The new every day job started out at three days a week then upped to four and real life has been kicking my arse. Not that that's much of an excuse. But I'm back! I'm writing and hope to have my new book out soon, so thank you for sticking with me. With that in mind.... COVER REVEAL!


A shooting incident at the premiere of his new movie leaves Brock Kipwell wounded and his best friend dead. Not knowing where to turn, he heads for his grandmother's in North Yorkshire where he spent most of his childhood. There he can be plain old Drew Singer, away from the paparazzi and their flashing cameras. He would be safe in Thornby Dale, no one would bother him there. No one that is, except Cam. He'd been the last person Drew expected to see. Growing up together they'd been brother's in arms, best friends and, that last summer when they were fifteen, so much more.