I admit it, I don’t write much kink. If you were expecting kink simply because it’s gay romance I’m sorry. I might dabble in the bear world in Holding Together and a little D/s in Morning Report, but really I write kitchen sink stories whether they’re about a gym, a ranch or cops. Social issues such as LGBT homeless kids in The Sky is Dead interest me far more than up front kink.
The title comes from a friend of mine who described my writing ‘kinky shit’ – it wasn’t a compliment. Two guys together? It has to be kink, doesn’t it? Then she read Fifty Shades of Grey. Now that is kinky (or so I’ve heard). Compared to that mine rates a one on the kinkometer. Now she won’t read me because compared to FSoG my books are boring and still icky. What can I say? People choose what they like to read.
I admit to getting annoyed when I’m classed as erotica, or even erotic romance. What would I call myself. How about gay romance? How about fiction? Or… just romance/fiction/contemporary. Yes I write sex, but it isn’t the whole of the plot. I know that isn’t feasible as yet, but I’ll be pleased when ‘gay’ doesn’t automatically place me in ‘erotic’. Erotic is a category of its own, and I like it. I just don’t write it.
Sequel to The Isle of… Where?
After a whirlwind vacation on the Isle of Wight, where he found the love of his life, Sam Owens sends Liam Marshall home to Michigan to tie up loose ends so they can be together forever. When all communication with Liam goes silent, Sam worries. Fearing the worst, he enlists the help of his brother, British Metropolitan police officer Paul Owens, to help him find Liam and get him back safely in time for their wedding. Paul has little difficulty digging into this mystery across the pond. Paul is also good-looking and openly bisexual, all of which adds to the dismay of Wisconsin Detective Olaf Skandik.
Olaf is ex-military and still closeted now that he’s part of the police department. He’s frustrated, hemmed in by the walls he’s erected, and when he meets Paul, he wonders if this may be the time and opportunity for change. Looking into his brother’s missing fiancé, Paul also starts looking into Olaf, and business soon mixes with pleasure, a bit of romance that may strengthen his case for them to make a future together.
Paul lay back, appreciating the view. Gaz was lean and young—just out of school. He’d be a stunner when he was older. Paul liked him well enough, and he’d been flattered by Gaz’s obvious attempt to seduce him at the chief super’s retirement party, but it was time to send the kid home.
He was about to get up and change the sheets when he heard a knock at the door. He grabbed his dressing gown and headed for the door. Whoever the bastard was making the noise, he didn’t stop until Paul wrenched open the door. Paul had to step back swiftly before he got a fist in the face.
“Where the hell have you been? I’ve been calling you for hours,” his brother said as he pushed past him into the flat.
“Fuck off,” Paul said easily; then he caught sight of Sam’s face. “What’s happened?” He saw Sam’s face crumple, and pushed him onto the sofa. “Here. Sit down before you fall down. Tell me what’s happened.”
Sam swallowed several times before he managed to say, “Liam’s missing.”
“That’s what I said, didn’t I?” Sam snapped.
Paul refrained from snapping back. He could see his older brother was at the very end of his tether. “Tell me everything. No, wait, do Mum and Dad know?”
Sam nodded. “I rang them first. They told me to call you.”
“So why didn’t you call me?”
“I tried. I’ve been calling you since seven o’clock. It’s just gone to voice mail.”
Paul picked up his phone from the coffee table. The screen was blank. “Hell, I forgot to charge it. I’m so sorry, Sam.”
“I came round earlier, but you were out. I’ve been at Mum’s since then.”
“It was the super’s retirement bash. God, I’m such an idiot.”
Sam shook his head. “It doesn’t matter. You’re here now. I… who is that?” He looked past Paul to the doorway.
Paul looked over his shoulder to see Gaz standing in the doorway, looking embarrassed.
“Sorry to interrupt,” Gaz said. “I’m off now.”
“Yeah.” Paul smiled at him. “See you Monday.”
“Aren’t you going to introduce me to your… friend?” Sam said. Because taking the piss out of your younger brother obviously trumped worry about your fiancé.
“Sam, this is Gaz. He works at the police station. Gaz, this is my annoying older brother, Sam.”
Gaz’s eyes widened but Paul didn’t give him a chance to say anything else. “You can see yourself out. Yeah?”
The kid looked disappointed but he nodded, and after a muttered, “Bye,” he headed for the front door.
Sam waited until the front door closed before he spoke. “He’s young. And male.”
“Nineteen. And very observant.” He was legal and willing, and that’s all Paul cared about.
“I didn’t know you were gay, or that you liked ’em young,” Sam said carefully.
Paul could see a million and one questions in Sam’s eyes. “Perhaps I’ve changed my type.”
“Are you gay?”
“I thought you were here about Liam?” Paul arched an eyebrow in what he knew was an infuriating manner.
It worked. The superior smile slid off Sam’s face, worry taking its place. “I don’t know where he is.”
“When did you last hear from him?”
“Three days ago.”
If it had been anybody else, Paul would have made noises about Liam just going for a short holiday, but Sam and Liam were stupidly in love and called each other at least twenty times a day.
“What was he doing in America? I thought Her Majesty had deigned to let him in the country.” He knew that Liam’s immigration status had been settled the previous month. “I didn’t think you’d let your boy out of your sight once he was allowed in.”
“Liam was finalizing the donation of his furniture and going to visit Tea and Kathy. He was only supposed to be there for three days.”
Paul frowned. “Those names sound familiar. Who are they?”
“Alex’s daughter and ex-wife. He was going to try and persuade them one last time to come to the wedding.” Alex had been Liam’s best friend until his death from colon cancer three years previously.
“And where do they live?”
“Milwaukee. They moved there last year.” Sam sucked in a breath. “He called me to say he was leaving to go and visit them, and that’s the last time I spoke to him.”
“Have you rung him or e-mailed?”
Sam looked at him as if he were stupid. “Of course I’ve bloody rung him. And e-mailed and texted. His phone just goes to voice mail now.”
“The battery must have run out of charge.”
“I worked that one out for myself, Kojak.”
“What do you want me to do?”
“Can you do something? Use your contacts?”
“I’m a Met beat copper. I don’t have contacts in America. Have you spoken to the police in Douglas?”
Not wanting to stay in Alex’s home after his death, Liam had moved to a small apartment in Douglas, Michigan, soon after returning from his first trip to the Isle of Wight.
Sam pulled a face. “They weren’t very helpful. I got the feeling they thought I was overreacting.”
Paul thought for a minute. “I’ve got some leave due. We could fly out there and look for him?”
“I don’t have the money for another flight. All my savings have disappeared on the flights to visit Liam and the wedding.”
Paul leaned forward to squeeze Sam’s hand. “Leave that to me. The family will help. Go get packed and meet me back here in a couple of hours. I’ll book the flights. Can we stay at Liam’s apartment?”
Sam nodded. “The lease isn’t up until the end of the month, and he gave me a key, thank God.”
“Go on, then, and drive carefully. I’ll pick you up in a cab once I’ve packed and organized the flights. We’ll need open-ended tickets.”
Sam was an appalling driver, and under normal circumstances Paul would drive him home, but he’d been drinking and was over the limit.
“Thanks.” Sam’s voice cracked as he impatiently dashed away some tears.
Paul hugged his brother. “We’ll find him, Sam. I promise. The Owens won’t lose one of their own.” He felt Sam sob and patted his back. “Go home. I’ve got calls to make.”
“Okay.” Sam wiped his eyes again and visibly pulled himself together. “Pack for the summer. It’s much warmer than here.”
“I’ll pack my Spiderman shorts.” Paul herded Sam out the front door and headed for the kettle. As it boiled, Paul called his parents’ house.
When his mum answered, he said, “Hi, it’s Paul.”
“Paul? Thank God.” For once she sounded relieved to hear from him. “Did Sam get hold of you?”
“He did. I’ve sent him home to pack. We’re going to fly out to Detroit as soon as I can book the flights.”
“Do you need the money for the flights? I can transfer some money over now if you need it.”
“I’ll cover it. If I need help, I’ll ask. We’re staying at Liam’s place, so we don’t have to worry about accommodation.”
“Good. Good.” She hesitated. “I’m not going to tell Rose for now. She doesn’t need the extra worry.”
Rose, Paul and Sam’s grandmother, had recently come out of hospital after a long stay because of a fall. She adored Liam and treated him as one of her own. Paul didn’t want to upset her any more than necessary.
“That’s a good idea. I’ll tell Sam to keep quiet. I’ll call you when we’re on our way.”
“Keep in touch. I want to know where my son has got to.” Mattie had adopted Liam almost from their first meeting. “Call me regularly, and you look after Sam, okay? No diversions.”
Paul laughed. “I think I can focus on the task at hand, Mum. I’m a big boy now. A copper, remember?”
Mattie sniffed derisively. She hated authority, and the police in particular. “I still worry. Remember the time you fell off the cliff?”
“It was a hill, and I was younger then,” he protested.
“It was a cliff and it was three months ago. You had to be rescued by the coastguard.”
He laughed again, knowing that she had a point. His reputation was… interesting. “I’ll speak to you later.”
“All right. Pack lots of warm clothes. Take that jumper Rose gave you. Night, love.”
Paul rolled his eyes. “Sam told me the opposite. It’s May, not December. Night, Mum.”
He pulled his computer toward him and searched for cheap flights. The price made him wince, but he booked two for the earliest flight he could get. Then he called his police station, knowing that getting leave on short notice would make him very unpopular. But Liam was family, and he was missing. The guv had to understand that his brother needed him, and if he didn’t, Paul was going to be very loud. And Paul was good at being loud.
Sue Brown is owned by her dogs and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop. In fact she hides so she can plot, and is an expert at ignoring the orders.
Sue discovered gay romance at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.
Sue can be found at her website, http://www.suebrownstories.com/; her blog, http://suebrownsstories.blogspot.co.uk/; Twitter, https://twitter.com/suebrownstories; and her Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/suebrownstories.