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book cover featuring young man wearing a sparkly crown and a suit, with a wry smile

Guarding the Prince

Oliver, Prince of Meltivia

Things he knows he must do:

  • Become the King of Meltivia
  • Marry a sweet princess who’ll become his queen
  • Produce children to carry on the Cavalluci’s name

Why these may be a problem:

  • He’s as gay as a box of birds

Ezra, Royal Bodyguard

Things he’ll find at Cavalluci Palace:

  • A spoilt, waste-of-money prince
  • An escape from his failed marriage
  • Another dysfunctional family

Things he doesn’t expect to find:

  • Love

Guarding The Prince is an opposites attract, out for you, sensual gay romance with a guaranteed sparkly happy ever after.

Liam Livings, gay romance & fiction author
British humour with plenty of sparkle
Marketing & manuscript support at www.liamlivings.com

Wishing Rebecca Cohen a very happy release day for the latest in the Crofton Chronicles.

I read it while it was under construction and I must say it had everything I demand from a historical – loads of authenticity, a cracking romp-along plot and characters to die for. 

And can I say what a fabulous cover Garrett Leigh has produced for it. Just stunning

I’ll be hosting Rebecca for a Comfy Chair session later in the week, but for now here’s the blurb and some links:

James Redbourn, Viscount of Crofton, enjoys all the pleasures King Charles II’s Restoration court affords him. His encounter with the enigmatic Chivalrous Highwayman in Epping Forest, sets the court aflame. Tales of the charming rogue treating his latest victim with his usual gentle hand has ladies’ fans quivering with every whisper.

While the Chivalrous Highwayman is a delicious fantasy, it is the intriguing Adam Dowson, the son of one of the greatest Cavalier generals, who is firing James’s daytime desires. Their friendship might be growing stronger, but Adam seems to be one of the few men who is impervious to James’s charms, no matter how hard James tries.

When James’s father become deathly ill, James races home. He is ill-prepared to become the 4th Earl of Crofton, and his father’s vague but dire warnings on his deathbed only make matters worse. Now the earl, James must discover what is happening at Crofton Hall that had troubled his father so deeply.

James turns to Adam for help. Despite Adam’s own secrets, James trusts him. James hopes he’s not making a mistake, risking his family estate, and his already bruised heart. Together, they need to work to clear out the rotten core at Crofton Hall, and along the way secure a happy future for them both.

James. Earl of Crofton

Amazon UK

My guest today is Ally Lester – writing as A L Lester – author of the Lost in Time series and currently celebrating the release of her latest novella, Inheritance of Shadows.

Thank you for joining us today, Ally and answering my questions.

~~~

Elin: Can you tell me a little about yourself? For instance, do you have to have a day job as well as being a writer?

Mr AL and I  are full-time carers for Littlest, who is eleven and severely disabled. I used to be an IT geek. Then I taught people office skills for a bit. Oh, and did spiritual healing.  And then I worked in the audio-visual industry with Mr AL  for a while, doing lights and powerpoint and stuff for conferences. I quit that when I had babies because people got cross when I climbed ladders whilst pregnant. And then I started a chicken breeding business and had a market stall selling eggs. I gave that up when Littlest began to  need more care. Plus I started having stress-related seizures and couldn’t drive any longer.

Elin: When you aren’t writing, is there any other creative activity you enjoy? Have you ever written about it?

I do fibre-craft stuff when I have the time and head-space. I knit (quite well) and I spin (very badly). I also needle-felt and sew, but it’s a bit hit and miss. And, erm, I brew beer? And I like to bake. All of this is very dependent on where I am in my head, though. I try and only start small projects these days because I run out of puff and they get abandoned. Oh, and I have a permaculture garden, that’s creative, too – it’s a slow process, but I’m gradually trying to make our garden self-maintaining and also food-producing. It’s a constant battle with the nettles at the moment, so it doesn’t feel very creative or nurturing, just a daily slash-and-burn battle.

Elin: Can you name any author/authors, past or present, who have been a great influence on your work?

Dorothy Dunnett, for the meticulous historical research in her Lymond series – I’m listening to them on audiobook at the moment!  Ursula Le Guin, for her wonderful world-building. And Josh Lanyon was the first gay romance author I read. I love her style.

Elin: What are you reading? Something to be clutched to the bosom or tossed aside with force? Fiction or non-fiction? Recommendations please.

Ooooh! Well. I’ve actually just read Kaje Harper’s new release, Changes Going On! I loved the first in the series – Changes Coming Down – and have been waiting for this to drop on to my ereader. It’s a gay menage, which with some authors is all about the sex and not about the story, but this is NOT that. It’s about a cop, a rancher and an ice-hockey player (again, ice-hockey romances not my thing usually) and how they all fit together. There are murders, too, which I like a lot in my reading. Once I’d finished that, it prompted me to go for a massive Kaje re-read, so I have also read her Life-Lessons duology (closeted cop, teacher) and am now reading Nor Iron Bars a Cage, which is set in a fantasy world with a mage as the hero. They all happen to have gay MCs, but I read all sorts of books with queer protaganists – Ada Harper, C. L. Polk and Allie Therin are all hard recommends. Also Melissa Olsen’s books – the relationships are straight, but it’s so plot-driven that they sucked me right in.

Elin: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Pantser. I’ve been trying to be more of a plotter, but honestly, everything just falls apart. I need to write about 30k words, just splurged on the page, and by the time I’m done with that, it’s become apparent to me what’s actually happening in the book and I have a plot to work with. I write using Scrivener, which lends itself to small scenes I can pull around to where they fit.

Elin: Do your characters arrive fully fledged and ready to fly or do they develop as you work with them?

Definitely develop as I work on them. I suppose I feel that I’m discovering more about them as I go – it’s not that I have to make them up. I just discover what they would do as I’m writing each scene I throw at them.

Elin: Do you have a crisp mental picture of your characters or are they more a thought and a feeling than an image?

Definitely more a thought and feeling. And a smell, sometimes, which is weird, because I don’t actually have that much of a sense of smell in my real life.

Elin: Do you find there to be a lot of structural differences between a relationship driven story and one with masses of action?

I find it very hard to write purely relationship driven stories, so I don’t! I find them a bit boring to read, too, so I think they’re just not my thing. Several people have said to me that I don’t actually write romance, per se, because there’s such a lot of plot going on in my stories. I think with relationship-driven stories so much of the conflict is internal that it’s hard to do them well. It’s possible to have a lot of ‘telling’ going on rather than ‘showing’, which I think makes the story slow – unless you have a lot of misunderstandings and people being horrible to each other etc, which is difficult to make realistic. I am the person who spent all of the school production of Othello muttering ‘just ask her about the handkerchief, just ask her about the handkerchief’. I find a lack of communication between characters annoying rather than a sympathy point for them!

Elin: Villains – incredibly important in fiction since they challenge the main protagonists and give them something to contend with beyond the tension of a developing relationship. What sort of villains do you prize? A moustache-twirling nightmare or … ?

I’d like a tortured villain, if you’re going to make me choose, please, thank you. Someone who is a baddie because of their circumstances or their inner turmoil or because… just a random example… they have been connected to someone else by a magical accident and cannot get free.

Elin: What are you working on at the moment? Can you discuss it or do you prefer to keep it a secret until it’s finished.

I can discuss it! I’m working on a story between a disabled farmer and a disgraced stockbroker, set in the same place as Inheritance of Shadows, but in the 1970s rather than the 1920s. It’s sort of a sequel. But it’s not, really. I loved the farm-setting so much that I wanted to re-visit it. I’m not sure if it’s got magic in it yet though. I’m still in the frantic-pantsing stage.

Elin: Could we please have an excerpt of something?

You may! Here is an excerpt from Inheritance of Shadows. This is my new release – it’s a 35k stand-alone novella set in the Lost in Time universe, although readers who have come across other books will recognize little things that carry across from different books. The first 7.5k words is a tidied up version of The Gate, which is the first thing I wrote set in the universe and which is available free. I then wanted to find out what happened to Matty and Rob after the end of the story- and this is the result.

It’s 1919. Rob and Matty both return from the trenches only to find Matty’s brother dying of an unknown illness. And Matty’s looking sicker and sicker. The answer seems to be in the esoteric books Arthur left strewn around the house.

It’s taken them more than a decade to admit they share feelings. They are determined that nothing will part them. What is Rob prepared to sacrifice to save Matty?

CHAPTER FOUR: Breaking the Cypher

“I think I’ve got it,” Rob murmured, one Saturday evening in November as they sat on either side of the fire in the parlour. He had a notepad on his knee and was transcribing from what Matty thought of as the Himalayas book, with the coded text and sketch-maps. It had been raining all day and they’d been hauling muck from the heap behind the byre to put on the fields of oat stubble. It had been a relief to come in and have a bath before they’d eaten, and they were now relaxed and tired.

Matty paused in his own reading to look over at Rob. He was still working on the green book himself, on the pages of what he thought of as spells. Some of them were in reasonably plain if old-fashioned English, some were in languages he could make a decent stab at with a dictionary, and a few were in a completely incomprehensible scrolling script that he couldn’t place, even after two months of searching. “Got what?” he asked, intelligently, pulled from his fugue.

“The cypher. There’s a bit later on, toward the back, that’s a translation, I think. It looks like I might be able to make the rest out from there.”

Matty rose and went over to sit on the arm of Rob’s chair. He often sat like this, reading over Rob’s shoulder as they puzzled out some piece of nearly indecipherable script. They were moving forward slowly with understanding what the books said. There were many others—piles of them all around the floor. Matty had ploughed his way through Arthur’s well-thumbed edition of The Golden Bough and agreed with Rob that it was the biggest load of cobblers he’d ever come across, neither of them having much use for either magic or religion. There were history books, psychology books—Mr Freud was another load of perfect bollocks, Matty thought, despite Rob’s interest—and books on different languages and people and places. As they had sifted through them all during the dry autumn, it had become clear that the focus of the collection was the pair of antique, handwritten books they had initially identified. Arthur had gathered the rest of his library in his quest to understand those. Now Matty and Rob had taken on his mantle.

Matty often wondered how long Arthur had been investigating this. Was it something he’d come across during his time in London? He’d gone from Oxford to work at the Evening Trumpeter when he’d gone down in 1897. He had travelled abroad to cover the war in the Sudan. He’d been to Afghanistan to write about the Pathans for the same paper. “Perhaps he picked up the brown book in India,” he mused, out loud. “That would make sense, wouldn’t it? A lot of the notes are about that area.”

“Perhaps,” Rob agreed. “I’m not sure it matters, though. Look at this.” He pointed to an untidy page of writing on the flyleaf at the back of the book, scratched in pencil. It contrasted sharply with the reasonably neat pages of the rest of the notebook. He recognised the hand as the one filling the second half of the book. “Here, look, it’s a translation of the cypher.”

“I thought you said it was Trench Code,” Matty asked.

“Sort of. It’s a cypher, really. Trench Code is impossible to crack without a code book—you can guess, but really, unless you know what the words are supposed to stand for, you’re stuck. A cypher, though. You can crack a cypher, if you’re lucky. Even if you don’t have the key.” He drew his finger down the pencil-covered, discoloured page and Matty became a little distracted, following its path. “It’s not a direct key, this here. But I think that it’s a translation of an earlier bit of cypher. This one, here.” He flipped back to a page much earlier in the book, a left-hand page, facing the map of the cave system on the right.

“Here, look. This grid here has pencil marks overwritten. Very faint.” He pointed. “And I’ve just realised…the first few letters on this page…” he flipped back to the flyleaf at the back of the book, “correspond to them. Which gives us somewhere to start.” He grimaced up at Matty. “I’m kicking myself. I’ve been thrashing through it for weeks and not getting anywhere, and it was here all the time. It looks like someone tried to rub them out on the first page, once they’d written it out in longhand.”

Matty looked. “Yes, I can see the marks. So, what does it say?”

 

All the links!

Buy links / https://books2read.com/inheritanceofshadows

Website / http://allester.co.uk

Facebook / http://facebook.com/ALLesterAuthor

Twitter / http://twitter.com/CogentHippo

Instagram / http://instagram.com/CogentHippo

Email / ally@allester.co.uk

April is one of my favourite months. It’s the time of year when we can be pretty sure that winter is over, and there’s Easter – not just about chocolate, but about a celebration of life returning as trees green over, there are lambs in the fields and birds are nesting and in my part of the world there is so much apple blossom.

We also take time to consider those of us who are on the Autism spectrum. Autism Awareness Day was on April 2nd, but this whole month we will be sharing facts and being mindful as part of R. J. Scott’s annual Autism Awareness blog hop. 

At least 1% of the population of the world is somewhere on the spectrum, which in number terms for the UK means almost 700,000 people, and if you consider families and close associates too that means that for nearly 3 million people autism is just a part of their daily life.

For more blog posts, please click on the graphic above or one of the links like this one. I believe there will be gifts available from some of your very favourite authors. Since I don’t have much to offer at the moment, please leave a comment and I’ll pick a winner to receive a gift card.

Happy April. Stay home and stay safe.

 

Today I am welcoming an old friend to the Comfy Chair – well not old exactly but I do seem to have known Lillian for a good number of years and I remember the first edition of New Lease of Life coming out. Here it is in a shiny new second edition and will be an adornment to TBR piles everywhere.

Details of the book, buy links and a substantial excerpt are blow the author interview.

So welcome Lillian and thank you for answering my questions.

~~~~

Elin: Can you tell me a little about yourself? For instance, do you have to have a day job as well as being a writer?

Urgh, the less said about the day job the better. It’s soooo boring. I want to be something exciting, like marine biologist or super spy.

Elin: When you aren’t writing, is there any other creative activity you enjoy? Have you ever written about it?

I’ve tried many but none seem to fit. Knitting – OMG, I’m awful. Cross Stitch – enjoyable but so slow. Card making – fun but ethically goes against my safe the trees stance. I’d love to try something a bit more messy and physical: glass blowing, forging, pottery throwing.

Elin: Can you name any author/authors, past or present, who have been a great influence on your work?

Honestly, no. The books that shaped my formative years and early 20s were golden age mysteries, spy stories, and noir style PIs, nothing like the stuff I write, and I see nothing of what I read in my own work. I never read het Romance, and so have no reference point with that genre.

Elin: What are you reading? Something to be clutched to the bosom or tossed aside with force? Fiction or non-fiction? Recommendations please.

I read so much. Fiction. Non-fiction. Graphic novels. Single issue comics. Webcomics. Audiobooks. Paper reads. Kindle. Digital. Podcasts. Cereal packets. Okay, that last one isn’t true, but only because I don’t eat boxed cereal.

Currently I’m reading:

Kindle: Stolen Hart by E Davies. Love this series so much. Contemporary small town romance done right.

Paper: Scarecrow & the army of thieves by Matthew Reilly. It’s my bath book and I honest couldn’t care if it fell in the water. It’s not as bad as the first Scarecrow book (that I dnf’d) but it’s still not great. I’m only reading because I already owned it and I can’t bear a book leaving the house without at least giving it a chance.

Audio: Kiss Me Again by Garrett Leigh. I loved this as a read and the audio version is just as good.

Hardback: Ruso & the demented doctor by R S Downie. Historical mystery. It’s great but heavy, so I pick this up less often.

Comic: I’ve just finished Gotham City Monsters by Steve Orlando in single issues. Excellent fun if you like an antihero or outright villain as your hero, and with great artwork.

And not really a book, but most definitely a story: Critical Role’s D&D campaigns 1& 2: ‘A bunch of nerdy arsed voice actors who sit around and play dungeons and dragons.’ I’m all caught up with 2 and I’m steaming through campaign 1 while they’re on hiatus. Excellent interactive storytelling; Matt Mercer is awe-inspiring.

Elin: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Pantser. Or more truly a plantser. I generally have an idea of where the story is going and several key scenes sketched before I sit down to write anything.

Elin: Do your characters arrive fully fledged and ready to fly or do they develop as you work with them?

Definitely develop as the story progresses.

Elin: Do you have a crisp mental picture of your characters or are they more a thought and a feeling than an image?

Thought and feeling. I really have to focus to get a proper visual. It’s not something I have right at the beginning.

Elin: Villains – incredibly important in fiction since they challenge the main protagonists and give them something to contend with beyond the tension of a developing relationship. What sort of villains do you prize? A moustache-twirling nightmare or … ?

Sometimes the villain is the character’s own internal thoughts and belief. Sometimes it’s the last person you’d expect. And sometimes it really is the most obvious person in the story.

Elin: What are you working on at the moment? Can you discuss it or do you prefer to keep it a secret until it’s finished.

I’m eager to get to Trevor’s HEA in the Village Love series. Anyone who’s read the series knows he hooked up toward the end of the last book with Smudge’s former Grindr regular.  Doesn’t seem like a lasting relationship to me…

Plus I’m looking at another historical. This one will be an animal based story, like Theory Unproven.

Elin: Could we please have an excerpt of something?

Certainly. Here’s a scene from New Lease of Life.

“Who’s Pip?” Colby asked before he could censor himself.

The side table under the window held nothing but a smattering of books and magazines, and a vase—chunky and colourful, Whitefriars Glass if Colby’s assessment was correct—devoid of flowers. Phillip indicated that Colby should place the box there and frowned. No doubt pondering whether he should answer the question or tell Colby to mind his own business.

I am. My friends called me Pip.”

Called? Colby daren’t ask about the use of the past tense. Instead he rolled the nickname around in his head for a moment, wishing he could try out the simple syllable on his tongue.

“So…” Colby traced a finger over the edge of the box, snatching it away when Phillip—Pip—glared at him. “The box is down now. Are you going to show me?”

“Show you?” With the permanent frown Phillip wore, it was hard to tell, but Colby thought he sounded confused.

“That your unwanted collection is suitable for my shop,” Colby reminded him, as offhand as he could muster.

It gave Colby little satisfaction to watch Phillip wince and bristle as the dual barbed comment hit home. An impressive feat that made Phillip’s slender frame appear as if he were vibrating.

“Oh, I’ll show you.”

Carefully, Phillip eased the lid from the box and removed the top album. Colby read the date over his shoulder. According to the label, the album covered the first nine months of last year. Apparently it had last been updated in September, just seven months ago.

Resting all his weight on the crutch and all but cradling the album to his chest, Phillip flicked through several pages before turning it to show Colby the image he had chosen to illustrate his point.

For a moment Colby took his time to appreciate the quality of the album; the thick vellum pages, photographs held in place with corner mounts rather than glue, and a thin page of translucent tissue-like paper to protect the image. Everything about Phillip and these clothes screamed loved and cared for, and yet again, Colby wondered why anyone who had invested that much care and attention would want to get rid of them.

A younger-looking Phillip—although from the dates Colby knew this could be no more than fifteen months ago—smiled out of the photo at him. His blond hair was neatly trimmed in a short back and sides, more reminiscent of the style of yesteryear than the recent bastardization of the cut by footballers and celebrities alike. His blue eyes shone with laughter, happiness directed at the photographer rather than for the camera, and Colby knew he had now met the man who friends called Pip. Pencilled in beneath the photo, perfect penmanship recorded the occasion. Pip. Emily’s wedding. February. Just over a year ago, then.

Belatedly Colby remembered he was supposed to be looking at the clothes. Pip had combined what appeared to be a vintage, single-breasted tux with a cream and pale green silk brocade waistcoat.

“Waistcoat and tux combo,” he said with a shrug. “Impressive, but everyone dresses up for weddings.”

“That combo is a late 1930s Hart Schaffner Marx two-piece tuxedo with shawl lapels and a vintage Chinese silk brocade waistcoat from the fifties. It took me weeks of trawling to find that piece.”

And yet you are giving it away. What happened to you?

“Still, it’s a wedding photo.” Colby snorted, fabricating the disdain for effect. He had to admit Pip looked bloody amazing, although he couldn’t decide how much of that had to do with the clothes. That smile would brighten up even the crap he was hiding away in now. “Even I can look good at a wedding.”

Colby grabbed his phone from his back pocket and started to flick through his photo album.

“You look great as you are,” Pip said with more sincerity than Colby would have expected. “Very presentable. Stylish.”

Surprised, Colby glanced up from the search of his photo gallery to find Pip—because he couldn’t be anything else now that Colby had seen the man smile, if only second-hand—studying him.

“What? You’ve got that whole ‘lumberjack in the city’ look going on. I couldn’t pull it off, but you…” Pip paused and raked his gaze over Colby’s body. “You look very manly.”

Colby ignored the disappointment he felt knowing that Pip’s interest was in the wrapping and not the contents.

“Thanks.” He returned his attention to the phone, finding the photo he was looking for almost immediately. Then he held his phone out to Pip, the screen on display. “Look.”

“Oh. Very smart.”

Pip didn’t sound impressed. In fact, he sounded downright disappointed.

“Sorry, do I not meet your exacting standards? I thought I looked okay. Handsome, even.”

“You do. Very James Bond.”

“Yeah, if Bond was a builder from Billericay.”

“Don’t put yourself down.”

Colby shot his companion a disbelieving look that was meant to convey the old adage about pots and kettles, but apparently the message got mixed up in the silent communication.

“You do look handsome. I thought, from what you said earlier….” Pip shrugged and forced a smile. Compared to the blinding grin he’d displayed in the wedding photo, it might as well have been a grimace. “She’s a lucky lady.”

“I don’t see why. I got the looks and the brains.” Colby glanced at the screen and couldn’t stop his own smile from peeking through. “Nah, she’s beautiful. I still say I got the brains, though.”

“You make a lovely couple.”

“You should see her husband. Six foot four. Muscles everywhere. In fact you could say he’s full of them.” Colby grinned, pleased with the word play.

“Why are you talking about yourself in the third person?” Pip frowned. “Don’t. It’s weird. I wouldn’t have said you were quite six four, though.”

“What? I’m six two. I was talking about my brother-in-law. He’s Australian. You know? Like the song?” Before he could bemoan Pip’s lack of eighties pop knowledge, realization crashed into Colby. “You thought we were married? Ewww, no. That’s my sister. I gave her away.”

“Isn’t that a father’s job?”

“Normally.” Needing something to do, Colby locked his phone and slipped it back into his pocket. “Ours forfeited the right to that job when he walked out on us as kids.”

“Sorry.” Contrition softened Pip’s voice, and Colby had no trouble believing that this stranger wasn’t just paying lip service.

“I got over it a long time ago. And I wasn’t kidding earlier. Out and proud.” Colby smiled. “But my point still stands. People dress up for weddings. And they rarely wear tweed, knitted waistcoats, or slacks.”

“Don’t know why. Tweed can be combined in so many ways. No reason why it can’t be smart enough for a wedding.”

“Careful, your enthusiasm is showing.”

Dumbstruck, Pip spluttered, and Colby took advantage of the distraction to steal the photo album.

“Let me see.” Colby hummed as he turned to the next page and found a couple of informal shots of Pip, the combination of a variety of layered tweeds and a Fair Isle knitted waistcoat working on his slim frame despite—or because of—the differing patterns, textures, and colours.

The next page showed the same outfit in a staged setting, a group of four photographs: the tweed combined with a belted herringbone wool coat in one, front and back shots of the original outfit, and one shot with Pip’s head cropped out of the photo.

“What’s with the headless horseman shots?” He turned the book to show Pip what he was referring to but kept it out of the smaller man’s reach.

“Give that back.”

Colby flicked to the next page, barely acknowledging Pip’s protest.

Pip and Davy.

“Davy” was dark where Pip was fair. His olive-toned skin, beautifully contrasted against Pip’s healthy glow, hinted at least one Mediterranean parent. One of Davy’s arms was slung casually over Pip’s shoulder, and the pair leant into each other with an ease that proclaimed more than a passing friendship. So where’s Davy now?

The camera loved Davy, and it was obvious that the feeling was mutual, but it was Pip’s smile and the gentle mischief in his expression that drew Colby’s attention away from the more classically handsome man.

A nudge against his bicep warned Colby of Pip’s presence at his side. He could have sworn he heard Pip mutter “Davy, of course” under his breath. Instinctively, Colby shifted the book out of reach.

“Close your mouth,” Pip snapped. “You’re catching flies.”

“I was just admiring—”

“Davy. He was a photographer.” Pip caught his breath. “Is… Davy is a photographer. He was my…”

Pip trailed off as if the words had simply dried up on his tongue. Thankfully, because Colby suddenly had no desire to know what Davy and Pip had been to each other. Not when the passing of that relationship had apparently left Pip a shell of his former self. Colby could fill in the gaps, even though he’d never had a relationship that intense. World. Life. Reason to get up in the morning. Colby had to say something to stop the maelstrom of unfathomable jealousy from twisting around in his head.

“He looks more like a model.”

“That would make his day, hearing that.” Pip sounded fond, as if he’d forgotten the circumstances he found himself in, just for a moment. “He took that shot. He’d been playing around with the timer on the camera.”

“He’s good.”

Pip snorted, an exhale of air from his nose that might have been amusement but for the muttered “good-looking” barely loud enough for Colby to hear. “Strictly amateur. Photographer is not a suitable job for a diplomat’s son. Not when he has a First from Cambridge.”

“Is that where you met? At university?” Why was he torturing himself with these questions? Because it would tell him more about Pip, obviously. About just how far he was out of Colby’s league. Cambridge. Not some grubby inner city polytechnic that tried to pass itself off as a paragon of higher learning.

Unfortunately that was a question too far for Pip’s newfound tolerance.

“None of your bloody business.” The anger flared bright, and Pip reached for the album. “I asked you to give that back.”

“Just one more.” Colby was more than aware that he was pushing his luck, but a desire to ensure that Pip remembered him, even if for the wrong reasons, urged him on.

At about six inches shorter than Colby, Pip could be tucked quite easily under Colby’s arm. Colby would be able to tug Pip against his larger bulk and surround him. And as Colby stared at the smiling man in the photos, Colby found himself itching to do just that. But the reality of the bitter, angry man standing in front of him reasserted itself.

“Give that back, you… you bully.”

Bully? That would be the last word any of his friends or former clients would ever use to describe Colby. It struck him as so out of place that he laughed.

He flipped a couple of pages, hoping to land on a more summer-focused photograph, and the laughter died on his lips.

“Oh my,” Colby whispered on an exhale as all his breath seemed to be squeezed from his chest.

 

Book Cover - New Lease of Life, cover art by Paul RichmondNew Lease of Life by Lillian Francis

 Second edition

Cover art by Paul Richmond

 Universal buy links: https://books2read.com/newleaseoflife

 Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27973790-new-lease-of-life

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/new-lease-of-life-by-lillian-francis-2020-03-18

 

Blurb

Phillip used to laugh a lot, back when his friends called him Pip. However the good deed that left him hospitalised not only marred his body, it stripped him of his good humour too. Ever since, he has pushed his friends away and shut out the world. Donating his vintage clothing to a charity shop should have been the final act in a year-long campaign to sever the links with the man Pip used to be, but the stranger on his doorstep awakens feelings in Pip that he hasn’t experienced since the incident that left him angry at the world and reliant on the cold metal of the hideous hospital-issue crutch.

Colby forces his way into Pip’s life, picking at the scab of his past. Colby isn’t interested in Pip’s money or his expensive address. He has only one goal: to make Pip smile again.

With every moment in Pip’s presence, Colby chips away at the walls Pip has built around himself. Pip knows it’s impossible to fight his attraction with Colby’s sunny disposition casting light into the darkness in his soul.

 

 

 

It’s always a red letter day when one of my dear friends releases a new book for me to enjoy, but when it’s a new instalment of the fabulous Lancaster’s Luck series OOH BOY!!

Peeps, this is SO GOOD.

publicity for book featuring cover

Title: The God’s Eye
Author: Anna Butler
Series: Lancaster’s Luck
Necessary to read previous 2 books? Best read in sequence
Wordcount: c110,000
Category: Steampunk adventure | M/M romance.
eBook Publication Date: 21 January 2020
Publisher: Glass Hat Press © 2020
Editors: Desi Chapman (Blue Ink Editing)
Megan Reddaway
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Internal Art: Margaret Warner

Blurb:

Rafe Lancaster is reluctantly settling into his role as the First Heir of House Stravaigor. Trapped by his father’s illness and his new responsibilities, Rafe can’t go with lover Ned Winter to Aegypt for the 1902/03 archaeological digging season. Rafe’s unease at being left behind intensifies when Ned’s fascination with the strange Antikythera mechanism and its intriguing link to the Aegyptian god Thoth has Ned heading south to the remote, unexplored highlands of Abyssinia and the course of the Blue Nile.
Searching for Thoth’s deadly secrets, Ned is out of contact and far from help. When he doesn’t return at Christmas as he promised, everything points to trouble. Rafe is left with a stark choice – abandon his dying father or risk never seeing Ned again.

Goodreads link

Digital Stores link

About The Series
The Lancaster’s Luck series – which is best read in sequence – charts the adventures of Rafe Lancaster, ex-aeronaut and pilot in Her Britannic Majesty’s Aero Corps. After being shot down and injured in action during the Boer War in 1899, Rafe’s unable to continue as a fighter pilot.

The Gilded Scarab
Returning to London, hard up and looking for a new career, Rafe buys a coffeehouse close to the Britannic Imperium Museum in Bloomsbury where he meets love of his life, archaeologist and First Heir House Gallowglass, Ned Winter.
The Gilded Scarab was a finalist in the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Awards, and nominated for the Independent Publishers Book Awards in 2015.

The Jackal’s House
Ned’s excavation at Abydos, Aegypt, faces disruptive tricks and pranks that develop into a real threat to their lives, all seeming orchestrated by the god Anubis. When the life of Ned’s young son is on the line, Rafe carries out a daring rescue attempt and learns the shocking truth about his own heritage.
The Jackal’s House won joint first place for Best Gay Historical Romance in the 2018/19 Rainbow Awards, and joint third place for Best Gay Book.

GIVEAWAY

Between 20 January and 07 February, enter this Rafflecoptor for the chance of a first prize $20 (or equivalent) Amazon gift card, or the second prize of an ecopy of The Gilded Scarab

Rafflecoptor code: Click here to enter the competition

EXCERPT [NSFW}

The rhythm was always there, underlying everything.
Our lives for the last few days had been all chaos and confusion—anarchic, even—but at that time and in that place, in a quiet private room, with the muted sounds of a Cairo night drifting in past the half-drawn curtains, we found our peace again. It was there in every touch, every movement, every kiss, every gasp and low moan, every hitched breath and soft-voiced word. With us through entangled limbs, fingers laced together or smoothing heated skin; through kisses flaming like comets across a winter sky; shaking with us through every shattering moment.
Harmony and empathy. Two of the pillars holding up my world.
I never used to believe in love. Not before Ned. He did change me, I can’t deny it. But for the better, I believe. Thanks to him, I felt love then.
And now. And always.
It was hard to breathe. I let my fingers move in the cool, fine linen sheets to ground myself, remind me who I was and where, and raised myself to stare down at Ned’s head, bright gold in the lamplight. He looked back up at me, greeny-hazel eyes warm, expression soft, smiling around the tip of my cock, teasing me with his tongue. First with a languorous sweetness, his tongue flickering so softly, so gently, I was straining to feel it. Then, without warning, he changed the entire cadence. The unhurried touch of his lips became a sudden, hard lick from root to crown and, each time he reached the crown, he stayed there to savour it, mouthing it and swirling his tongue around the tip until I was giddy. Faster. And faster. Urgent. Demanding. And slackened again in an instant. Sweet again. Calming me with lips and tongue.
And all the time, one of his hands trailed up the inside of my leg from knee to the softer skin of the inner thigh, and back again. Over and over. Fingers fluttering and sometimes barely touching, sometimes the harder pad of finger tips pressing and claiming. The other hand he twisted, somehow, to find the bottle of fragrant oil, and while his tongue now teased the skin of my thigh, he smoothed the oil over my straining cock.
By then I was helpless, writhing, hips rising and falling to match Ned’s rhythm. A restrained, quiet pace when Ned had offered slow, undemanding sweetness, faster when he denied me the delicious, calm deliberation for a more frenzied, powerful snap of the hips.
I was the arrow trembling against the pulled bowstring, waiting for the pluck of Ned’s fingers to send me flying.
Perfection.

About Anna

Once Anna was a communications specialist with several UK government departments. These days she’s thankfully free of all that, and writing full time. Anna lives in the depths of the Nottinghamshire countryside with her husband and the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockapoo, who’s supported by Mavis the Assistant Editor, a Yorkie-Bichon cross with a bark several times bigger than she is but with no opinion whatsoever on the placement of semi-colons.

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It’s always good news when a book is released in the lovely Alpennia series. Congratulations, Heather Rose!

FLOODTIDE

HISTORICAL FANTASY
from Heather Rose Jones

Editor: Medora MacDougall
Cover Design: Sandy Knowles

ISBN: 9781642470468
Trade paper, 270 pp, $16.95
Ebook, $9.99
Lesbian Historical Fantasy
Bella Books, Inc.
Publication Date: November 15, 2019

The streets are a perilous place for a young laundry maid dismissed without a character for indecent acts. Roz knew the end of the path for a country girl alone in the city of Rotenek. A desperate escape in the night brings her to the doorstep of Dominique the dressmaker and the hope of a second chance beyond what she could have imagined. Roz’s apprenticeship with the needle, under the patronage of the royal thaumaturgist, wasn’t supposed to include learning magic, but Celeste, the dressmaker’s daughter, draws Roz into the mysterious world of the charm-wives. When floodwaters and fever sweep through the lower city, Celeste’s magical charms could bring hope and healing to the forgotten poor of Rotenek, but only if Roz can claim the help of some unlikely allies.

Set in the magical early 19th century world of Alpennia, Floodtide tells an independent tale that interweaves with the adventures.

A stand-alone book in the Alpennia series (Alpennia #4)

Bella Books logo - female silhouette in front of open book.

Buy from Bella: https://www.bellabooks.com/product/9781642470468/
Buy from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Floodtide-Novel-Alpennia-Heather-Jones/dp/1642470465

Excerpt

You know the scent of lavender on the fresh sheets? When you take them from the linen press, you breathe it in, remembering the long rows of purple flowers in the summer sun. You think of the smile on the maisetra’s face when she settles in for the night with that scent still lingering. That’s what I always imagined love would be like.

But loving Nan was like stripping the lavender spikes in Aunt Gaita’s stillroom back in Sain-Pol. The sharp resin filled my head and the memory of it clung to my hands and my clothes. I’d say the prayers to Saint Cheler with my aunt as we distilled lavender water and mixed herbs to add to the soap. Sometimes I’d get a warm, stretchy feeling at the base of my belly, like the one I got during the mysteries at church.

When I was in the middle of the lavender harvest, I’d forget about everything else. I wouldn’t think about how lucky I was that Aunt Gaita picked me out from my brothers and sisters to learn a trade and teach me how to behave proper in service. I’d forget about tending the boiler where the linens were soaking. My mind would wander off and she’d box my ears and threaten to send me back home to mind the babies. I knew she didn’t mean it, but the scent was that strong it could drive everything else out of my head.

Loving Nan was like that. I was never free of thinking of her. I’d watch her from the laundry room door as she went up and down the stairs to the family rooms and find excuses to call her over to ask about some mending she’d brought down. I’d lean close and breathe in how lovely she smelled. Then at night, even when we were so tired we could barely talk, we’d kiss and cuddle in the narrow bed we shared.

Nan was the one who taught me what to do with that feeling in my belly. We’d never meant it to go further than the ordinary sort of keeping company. Most girls in service have a special friend. You get lonely away in the city with no family about. But it did go further. I was so hungry for Nan we’d be up late into the night, trying not to make noise and wake Mari in the next bed and then stumbling bleary-eyed through the morning chores.

Bio

Heather Rose Jones is the author of the Alpennia historic fantasy series: an alternate-Regency-era Ruritanian adventure revolving around women’s lives woven through with magic, alchemy, and intrigue. Her short fiction has appeared in The Chronicles of the Holy Grail, Sword and Sorceress, Lace and Blade, and at Podcastle.org. Heather blogs about research into lesbian-relevant motifs in history and literature at the Lesbian Historic Motif Project and has a podcast covering the field of lesbian historical fiction which has recently expanded into publishing audio fiction. She reviews books at The Lesbian Review as well as on her blog. She works as an industrial failure investigator in biotech pharmaceuticals.

Book Links

Bella Books: http://www.bellabooks.com/Bella-Author-Heather-Rose-Jones-cat.html
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Heather-Rose-Jones/e/B00ID2LQE6

Social Media:

Website and blog: http://alpennia.com
Twitter: @heatherosejones
Facebook (author page): https://www.facebook.com/Heather-Rose-Jones-490950014312292/

I’m very pleased to welcome my friend Liv Rancourt to my blog today in order to celebrate her new book Lost and Found, which has a fantastic cover, with an excerpt and a giveaway. But first, here’s a little message from Liv:

Hello! I just wanted to drop a quick note to thank Elin for having me on her blog. The very best part about this publishing community is how supportive everyone is. As an indie author, I don’t have a publisher’s marketing department to rely on. Instead, I have friends like Elin who will help me spread the word about my newest release.
So…yeah. Thanks Elin! And thank you to everyone who has shared my posts and tweets and what-have-you. I’m very proud of Lost & Found – and I LOVE the cover art – and am happy to have it out in readers’ hands!

Lost & Found
By Liv Rancourt>/h2>

Blurb

A dancer who cannot dance and a doctor who cannot heal must find in each other the strength to love.

History books will call it The Great War, but for Benjamin Holm, that is a misnomer. The war is a disaster, a calamity, and it leaves Benjamin profoundly wounded, his mind and memory shattered. A year after Armistice, still struggling to regain his mental faculties, he returns to Paris in search of his closest friend, Elias.

Benjamin meets Louis Donadieu, a striking and mysterious dance master. Though Louis is a difficult man to know, he offers to help Benjamin. Together they search the cabarets, salons, and art exhibits in the newly revitalized city on the brink of les années folles (the Crazy Years). Almost despite himself, Benjamin breaches Louis’s defenses, and the two men discover an unexpected passion.

As his memory slowly returns, Benjamin will need every ounce of courage he possesses to recover Elias’s story. He and Louis will need even more than that to lay claim to the love – and the future – they deserve.

About Liv Rancourt

Liv Rancourt writes romance of all kinds. Because love is love, even with fangs.

Liv is a huge fan of paranormal romance and urban fantasy and loves history just as much, so her stories often feature vampires or magic or they’re set in the past…or all of the above. When Liv isn’t writing she takes care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether she’s at work or at home. Her husband is a soul of patience, her kids are her pride and joy, and her dogs – Trash Panda and The Boy Genius – are endlessly entertaining.

Liv can be found on-line at all hours of the day and night at her website (www.livrancourt.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/liv.rancourt), or on Twitter (www.twitter.com/LivRancourt). She also blogs monthly over at Spellbound Scribes (https://spellboundscribes.wordpress.com/).

For sneak peeks and previews and other assorted freebies, go HERE to sign up for her mailing list or join the Facebook page she shares with her writing partner Irene Preston, After Hours with Liv & Irene. Fun stuff!

Giveaway
Click here to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway to be in with a chance to win a $25 gift card. Giveaway ends 10/31/19.

Excerpt from Lost & Found by Liv Rancourt:

M. Richard was wise to have sent me straightaway. By the time I strolled down the Boulevard de Magenta to Le Marais, found the street and the shop, and had an extensive fitting, I barely made it home in time to meet Louis. I was putting the finishing touch on my tie—the Windsor knot gave me trouble—when he knocked on my door.
“Bonjour, I’ll be…” All I could do was stare. Never a shabby dresser, tonight the exquisite cut of his suit made the most of his broad, lean body, and his precise hairstyle brought out the dramatic lines in his face. “One, um, one moment.”
I backed away, gesturing for him to come in. Even his cane had been replaced by an elegant black walking stick with a gold handle.
He paused a moment before responding to my request. “Double breasted? Where have you been hiding this? You look superb.”
I busied myself collecting my wallet, murmuring the name of the shop.
“In the Marais Quarter?” He spoke with a hint of amusement. “You traveled far.”
Collecting myself, I moved toward the door. “M. Richard sent me.”
He smirked. “Good thinking on his part.”
The evening was warm and clear, the memory of sunset only an aqua light in the western sky. In the half-light, I brought myself to broach the possible awkwardness between us. “I was surprised to hear from you.”
“I find myself drawn to your plight.”
“You do?”
“Absolument.”
I couldn’t tell if he was laughing or not. “Regardless, I do appreciate the invitation.” We smiled at each other through the twilight. “Now, should I rely on you to speak for me?”
That earned me a raised eyebrow.
“My accent.”
Louis laughed. “My friend tells me that most of the other guests share your particular malady, so you’ll feel at home.”
At home? “Perhaps.”
His chuckle dispelled what was left of my distress, and we walked on in comfortable silence. Navigating the narrow stairs to the Métro proved a challenge for Louis, so once we were on the platform, I took the initiative. “Someday, you should let me look at that.” I waved in the direction of his leg.
“Someday, I would like you to do more than just look.”
Louis met my surprise with bland amusement, though when it became apparent I was too flustered to respond, he changed the subject. “The train won’t come for a while. Tell me more about your friend Elias. I need to know the kind of man he is, to know whom I should talk to tonight.”
“What kind of man?” Looking to the past was safer than dealing with the gentleman standing next to me, so in the concrete cave, under the harsh fluorescent lights, I told him a story. “Elias is always up to something, you know? Like…” A particular memory made me smile. “Do you ski?”
“Un peu.” He indicated a small distance with thumb and forefinger.
“Okay, so one night, he knocked on my window after I’d gone to bed. There was about three feet of snow on the ground, but the moon was out, and he wanted to ski.”
I’d dressed as quickly as possible. Outside, the air was so cold, ice crystals formed with every breath. “He followed me to the barn, where I saddled up our old gelding Rocky. Elias didn’t have skis of his own, so he grabbed mine and climbed up behind me on the horse. The moon was huge that night, and so bright we could see just fine.”
“We rode up along the ridge behind our house, four, maybe five miles until we got to the crest. Our plan was he should ski, and I’d ride down to meet him, and then we’d switch. Rocky was stable enough even for Elias to ride.”
His expression neutral, Louis nodded at me to continue. A rumble started from far off. The train must be coming.
“Well, what we didn’t figure was there was ice underneath the snow. Things had warmed up just enough to melt a little, then we’d had a hard freeze, followed by another dump of snow. Elias got himself buckled into the skis, and right as he’s about to take off, he hollers to the heavens.” And with the moon behind him, he’d looked like some forest spirit come to life. “That yell stirred things up, and the snow started sliding.”
The rumble grew, and a pinpoint of light appeared in the tunnel ahead of us. “He’d set off an avalanche.” Though miles and years away from that moment, my heart still skipped a beat. The noise of the train echoed the roar of the snow in my mind. “I thought, God, he’s done. He’ll be buried in snow, and I’ll never find him.
“I brought Rocky as close to the edge as I dared, but all I saw was snow and ice and torn-up trees. We raced down the ridge, faster than I’d ever seen that horse move, through the valley to the place where we usually met up. I figured Rocky and I would do better climbing up to find Elias rather than trying to get down from the top. And you know what?” Full of the one moment I’d never forget, I barely looked at Louis. “He skied up like nobody’s business. He’d stayed just ahead of the snow, said he’d never skied so fast in his life.” I looked toward the ceiling, blinking fast. Elias had made it, his face burned from the cold. His eyes, though. His eyes had been full of stars.
“Come.” Louis took my arm, leading me back to the present as much as onto the train. We fell silent, settling side by side on one of the wooden bench seats. When Louis spoke, the sound of his voice startled me.
“I think your friend has a very big soul.”
I kept my gaze fixed on the window, though all I could see was the gray cement wall of the tunnel. “Big soul? Yes.” And a bigger heart.

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Today I’m really pleased to feature a new book from an old friend. Welcome JB. Wishing you and your new books all the best wishes in the world.

book cover shows title and two young men kissing

Book title: The Boyfriend Trap
Author: JB Buell
Genre: Gay Contemporary Romance
Length: 23,965 words
Heat rating: Moderate

Summary:
Male stripper Jamie has been seeing his boss, club owner Luke, for a while now. Jamie wants a more committed relationship, but Luke is dragging his heels about getting more serious with Jamie or introducing Jamie to his daughter, Sofia.

But Sofia has had enough waiting around to meet her dad’s not-so-secret boyfriend, and devises a plan to get them together.

In this sweet rom-com, two grown men find themselves outwitted by a precocious eight-year-old.

Author Interview

Question 1:
So JB, can you tell me what your new book is about?

Answer 1:
‘The Boyfriend Trap’ is a story about Jamie, his boyfriend Luke, and Luke’s young daughter Sofia, whom Jamie meets for the first time on a day out.

Jamie is a male stripper slash mud wrestler, and he’s perfectly fine with that. He’s also been seeing his boss, Luke, the club’s manager. Jamie thinks they have a future together, but Luke is hesistant to introduce Jamie to his young daughter, Sofia, and include Jamie in on family time.

This has left Jamie feeling shut out from Luke’s life, and he can’t help but wonder if it’s because his lifestyle isn’t what Luke wants after all. So Jamie gives Luke an ultimatum: either they’re serious about each other and spend more time together, including meeting Luke’s family, or Jamie walks.

Then Sofia, Luke’s eight year old, surprises Jamie with a phonecall out of the blue, and invites him to their family picnic.

Jamie suspects that Luke may be unaware of this invitation, but he goes along anyway because he loves Luke and wants to be part of his life.

It turns out that Sofia has arranged a surprise picnic date for them (Luke is certainly surprised), but Sofia seems so thrilled about meeting Jamie that they can’t be mad, so they go along with her scheme and end up having a fun day together.

Maybe a little family day out is just what they all needed!

Question 2: Stripper/mud wrestler is a wonderful profession. I have to ask, what kind of research did you do?

Answer 2: My interest and love for clubs, nightlife, and what could be viewed as unconventional professions started from a young age watching movies, TV procedurals (like Law & Order), and American wrestling. What I like showing about characters who may have unusual jobs or careers is that they’re also regular people too, and this story in particular is mostly focused on the home, domestic and family side of things.

Jamie is concerned that his job and his background are what’s stopping him from having a committed relationship with Luke, so showing Jamie in a very normal setting like a picnic in the park on a family outing, and then baby-sitting for the first time on his own, was kind of throwing him in the deep end of family life. But it all turns out okay!

Question 3: One of the most important characters in the book is Luke’s daughter, Sofia. How did you tackle writing someone with that young point of view?

Answer 3: My inner child is louder than my inner adult, so it was no problem for me.
Lol, joking. (But not really.)
I don’t often write young characters, but it was fun writing Sofia who is bright and bubbly, in contrast to her dad, Luke, who has a very dry sense of humor and could even be described as grumpy at times. That was a fun dynamic, and then bringing Jamie in seeing Luke and Sofia interact for the first time, he gets to see a softer side of Luke in dad-mode.

EXCERPT:

“Who’s Jamie?” Sofia asked.

Luke coughed into his glass, trying not to choke on the orange juice he’d been drinking. He looked around to where Sofia was sitting at the table, homework all spread out. His cell phone was there too, screen up on the table, and Luke cursed his own stupidity.

“What?” he said, acting nonchalant as he wiped OJ off his chin.

Sofia gestured at the phone with her pencil. “It’s lit up three times with the name Jamie. Who’s Jamie?”

“He’s someone daddy works with.” Luke swooped in and grabbed his phone. “You finish your homework and I’ll get started on dinner in a minute.”

Sofia was quiet, watching him closely. Luke felt his flush intensify under her gaze, then thankfully she changed the subject.

“Can we have pasta?” she asked.

“Sure,” he agreed with relief.

When Sofia turned back to her homework, wriggling excitedly at the prospect of food, Luke opened his phone’s lock screen to read his messages.

4:13 Jamie: Hey

4:25 Jamie: I miss you. Can we talk?

Luke sighed inwardly. He’d better try get this straightened out.

* * * *

Sofia was feeling nosey.

Her dad was great, but he could be so secretive and squirrely about things.

She quietly left the table and tip-toed through the apartment, right up to her dad’s bedroom door. She put her ear close, and listened.

“Yeah, of course I want to see you,” her dad was in the middle of saying. “Well, no… You gotta give me a chance here, Jamie …”

It sounded like he was placating the other person, using his patient and quiet tone of voice.

Sofia frowned, trying to place the tone. It almost reminded her of a mommy and daddy talk, when they’d tried to keep quiet and talk about something in another room so Sofia wouldn’t overhear.

But her parents were divorced now, and her mom had a boyfriend who was very nice.

It was kind of sad that her dad always seemed to be on his own. He needed someone nice too.

Sofia listened, heard him say, “I promise I’ll talk to her. Of course I want you to be involved, Jamie, but you gotta give me a chance to tell her. There hasn’t been anyone since her mom, okay? This is a big deal…”

Sofia’s breath caught as her eyes widened. Was he talking about her? He had to be. So, did that mean…?

Sofia grinned to herself.

Her dad had found someone. Finally.

* * * *

Available from Saturday 28 September with JMS Books

Buy link: http://www.jms-books.com/jb-buell-c-224_405/the-boyfriend-trap-p-2905.html

Author bio: JB Buell is a non binary writer (they/them, or he/him) of m/m romance and gay rom com stories. They are a cat person, and can’t decide if they’re more of a coffee or tea person but is quite happy to drink both.

I’ve been waiting for this one with considerable excitement because a) werewolves, b) historical that isn’t Regency!!! * c) it’s by Joanna Chambers with a cover by one of my favourite artists d) it’s available from today, and e) there’s a giveaway at her website where you could win a copy of the book and a $20 giftcard! Scroll down for details.

BLURB

Gentleman Wolf (Capital Wolves duet #1)

An elegant werewolf in Edinburgh…

1788. When Lindsay Somerville, the most elegant werewolf in Paris, learns that the man who held him in abject captivity for decades is on his way to France, intent on recapturing him, he knows he must leave the Continent for his own safety. Lindsay cannot take the risk of being recaptured—he may have been free for a century but he can still feel the ghost of his old chains under his fine clothes.

… on a mission…

While he’s in Edinburgh, Lindsay has been tasked with acquiring the “Naismith Papers”, the writings of a long-dead witchfinder. It should be a straightforward mission—all Lindsay has to do is charm an elderly book collector, Hector Cruikshank. But Cruikshank may not be all he seems, and there are others who want the papers.

… meets his match

As if that were not enough, while tracking down the Naismith Papers, Lindsay meets stubborn architect Drew Nicol. Although the attraction between them is intense, Nicol seems frustratingly determined to resist Lindsay’s advances. Somehow though, Lindsay can’t seem to accept Nicol’s rejection. Is he just moonstruck, or is Nicol bonded to him in ways he doesn’t yet understand?

Note: this is the first book of a duology – the story continues and will complete in the second book, Master Wolf.

CONTEST LINK

https://joannachambers.com/2019/08/24/gentleman-wolf-release-day-giveaway/

* This is in no way to suggest that I dislike Regency but it was only NINE years and I get very excited to see some of those other many thousands of years getting some attention.