Giveaway: Boy Meets Boy Meets Boy by JL Merrow and Josephine Myles

BMBMBBoy Meets Boy Meets Boy

A Mad About the Brit Boys anthology by JL Merrow and Josephine Myles

Release date: 15th March 2016

Buy link: Amazon

Word Count: 15,000

Price: $0.99/£0.99/€0.99

Cover art: Lou Harper

Other titles in the series:

Mad About the Boys

Boys Who Go Bump in the Night

Help, My Boyfriend’s an Alien!

Truly, Madly, Boys (coming May 2016)

Giveaway: Jo and Jamie are gifting one lucky commenter with a book from each of their backlists.

photo credit: Three Investigators (CC) via photopin (license)

Anthology blurb:

Good men come in threes!

Three’s definitely not a crowd in this trio of contemporary erotic male/male/male ménages with a very British flavour from gay romance favourites Josephine Myles and JL Merrow.

Let your fantasies run wild as you take in the fit bodies down at the gym, or enjoy a very special birthday present from a loving partner. And even a trip to the dentist can be enjoyable with the right sort of distraction!

These stories have all been previously published, but are now available exclusively in this anthology.

Anthology introduction by Josephine Myles (taken from the ebook):

I do love a good threesome.

Err, a fictional one, that is. Because there is such a thing as too much information, and I don’t know about you, but I sometimes I prefer not to know what people get up to behind closed doors.

Okay, so that’s a lie. I’m a writer and we’re notoriously nosy people. I’ve always been one for peeping into people’s houses—winter evenings are perfect for this, especially in December as most folk like to keep the curtains open to show off their Christmas trees. However, I’ve only once been rewarded by spying a couple shagging, and I suspect they were exhibitionists anyway as they were doing it by a busy pub.

But I digress; this is less about my voyeuristic tendencies and more about my love of a fictional ménage. Just what is it that appeals about a good threesome? Okay, so there’s all the smutty possibilities that suddenly become apparent when you add in a few extra limbs, appendages and places to shove said appendages—but it’s not all about the sex. To be honest, writing ménage sex scenes tends to give me a headache what with having to make it clear to the reader who is doing what to whom, and it’s especially complicated when all three participants are the same gender.

What makes a threesome really interesting to me as a writer is thinking through all the emotional entanglements—ones that can be brought to the surface even by a seemingly casual encounter, such as the one in my story for this anthology. Indeed, I so enjoyed the process of writing this story that I ventured into writing a full length ménage romance, which allowed me to explore the dynamics of a three-way relationship in more depth.

While Jamie has never written a novel length ménage romance, I’ve always loved reading her m/m/m shorts. Incidentally, two of the stories here were first published in an anthology of threesome shorts from Dreamspinner Press back in 2010, and that was our first ever joint anthology credit. I still remember how privileged I felt to have a story in the same anthology as her! And although we’ve had many joint anthology projects since, she’s still a writer I’m thrilled to team up with, honest guvnor (I have to put that in or Jamie will punish me! [Jamie: This is true])

We might not write many short stories these days, but we haven’t run out of old ones to republish just yet, so keep your eyes peeled for at least one more Mad About the Brit Boys anthology.

Happy reading,

Jo x

Josephine Myles, February 2016

Individual story blurbs:

Kit Bag by JL Merrow

Working late at the gym one night, Kit’s delighted when two of his fantasies made flesh come in for a workout. The guys he’s dubbed Black Muscle Vest and Grey Sweats are tall, gorgeous and insanely built, and Kit can hardly take his eyes off their glistening, pumped-up muscles.

But he’s not the only one who’s been dreaming of a little hot and sweaty man-on-man-on-man action. Harry and Sven are only too happy to make Kit’s fantasy a reality in the changing room—and Kit’s going to get a workout of his own he’ll never forget!

Unwrapped: The Birthday Gift by Josephine Myles

All Dave wants for his birthday is a threesome, and his devoted boyfriend Mark is keen to oblige. Enter Pedro, the mysterious stranger they pick up from the pub. Taking him home with them promises a scorching encounter… if only Dave can deal with his nerves first!

Getting a Filling by JL Merrow

Ivo’s terrified of going to the dentist, even with his lover, Colin, there for moral support. But when the dentist turns out to be gorgeous—and gay—fear turns to flirtation. The next time Ivo ends up in the dentist’s chair it’s a lot more fun, as the support Colin and Ted give him is very immoral indeed.

Author bios

JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.

She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and mysteries, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy, and her novella Muscling Through and novel Relief Valve were both EPIC Awards finalists.

JL Merrow is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, International Thriller Writers, Verulam Writers’ Circle and the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Find JL Merrow online at: www.jlmerrow.com, on Twitter as @jlmerrow, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jl.merrow

English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.

Jo publishes regularly with Samhain, and now has over ten novels and novellas under her belt. Her novel Stuff won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Romance, and her novella Merry Gentlemen won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Romantic Comedy. She has also been known to edit anthologies and self-publish on occasion, although she prefers to leave the “boring bits” of the ebook creation process to someone else. She loves to be busy, and is currently having fun trying to work out how she is going to fit in her love of writing, dressmaking and attending cabaret shows in fabulous clothing around the demands of a preteen with special needs and a soon-to-be toddler.

Website and blog: http://josephinemyles.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/josephine.myles.author

Twitter: @JosephineMyles

Excerpt from Getting a Filling by JL Merrow

“You,” Colin said decisively, prodding Ivo painfully in the ribs, “are the world’s biggest wuss.”

Ivo glared at his lover. “Excuse me? I think you’ll find, actually, I’m being extremely brave here. I’m not trembling in fright at home, pretending it’s all going to go away. Oh, no. I’m here. Standing tall—”

“Sitting on a comfy chair, actually.”

“—and facing up to my fears. I think you’ll find that’s the very definition of bravery.”

Colin made an annoying sort of tsk sound with his tongue. “And I think you’ll find that most grown men in your situation would not call this anything even remotely like bravery. Especially seeing as you dragged me along to hold your hand. You’re not marching into battle, Ivo. You’re not about to have experimental brain surgery. You’re not even going bloody bungee jumping. You’re at the dentist’s! For a check-up. How terrifying can it be?”

Ivo was wounded. “I had a bad experience at the dentist’s when I was little, I’ll have you know. It scarred me for life.” He shuddered at the memory. “You never saw the dentist I used to have to go to. His surgery was in a big old house like the one in the Amityville horror films.”

“A perfectly ordinary terraced house in the High Street, no doubt.”

“Well, it looked scary enough when I was a kid. All Masonic patterned tiles and Gothic windows. And the dentist was an absolute ringer for Vincent Price. It was bloody terrifying, seeing him looming over you with a drill.”

“Well, it should have taught you not to eat so many sweeties, then, shouldn’t it?” Colin said with the smug air of one blessed with a take-it-or-leave-it attitude to sugar and naturally strong teeth. “If it wasn’t for your chocolate addiction, we wouldn’t even be here. I’ve never had to have a filling in my life.”

“Which is why there’s nothing intrinsically manly about you being so bloody blasé about trips to the dentist. You’ve never had reason to be scared.” A shiver ran through Ivo’s frame. “All the times I had gas at the dentist’s, feeling that horrible taste in my mouth and wondering if I’d ever wake up…”

“You can’t feel a taste, Ivo,” Colin put in dismissively, picking up a battered copy of Reader’s Digest apparently for the sole purpose of dropping it again with a shudder.

“Maybe I’m synaesthetic,” Ivo muttered sulkily. “Just because you haven’t experienced something doesn’t mean it isn’t a perfectly valid—”

“Would you like to come in now, Mr Eccles?” The nurse smiled around the waiting room door. Ivo felt a sudden flash of loathing for her, with her starched white uniform and her perfect nails and her friendly manner. He took a deep breath. No. The nurse was not the enemy.

Merely a collaborator. Ivo wondered what she’d look like with that artfully highlighted hair shorn off and a badge of shame hung around her neck reading Dentist Lover.

“Mr Eccles?”

Scrambling to his feet, Ivo squared his shoulders. He might be heading towards unimaginable terror and suffering, but by God he’d show some good old-fashioned British backbone. Unfortunately, his voice didn’t seem to be playing along. It came out in a bit of a squeak. “You’re coming with me, right, Colin?”

Colin sighed. “If I have to.”

As Ivo walked into the surgery, the smell hit him. A mix of antiseptic and that horrid pink stuff they made you rinse your mouth out with after they’d finished their sadistic little round of torture. And a faint whiff of mint. Uniquely dentist, it transported Ivo back to his childhood and his mother’s harassed voice, promising him a whole box of Smarties if he’d only, please, just try to be good at the dentist’s this time.

“Ivo, you’re hurting my hand,” Colin hissed in his ear. Ivo let go hurriedly.

And then he looked at the dentist, and all his anxiety seemed to drain away. Right along with most of the blood in the upper portions of his body. It seemed to be heading south so fast Ivo was vaguely surprised he didn’t keel straight over on the floor, leaving just his dick standing up and waving enthusiastically. The dentist was absolutely bloody gorgeous. Well, what could be seen of him was, at any rate. Green eyes twinkled above his surgical mask, and dark, almost black curls poked out from under his cap. The whole effect was Pan, gone middle-class professional. Ivo found himself wondering if there might be two tiny horns nestling in those curls under the cap. And as for the rest of him… His tight white tunic (and how come Ivo had never realised just how sexy a tunic could be?) seemed to strain to contain his muscular chest, and his trousers clung lovingly to rock-hard thighs.

Ivo heard Colin’s sharp intake of breath and knew his lover was just as affected by the sight as he was. It was one of the many reasons he felt so lucky having Colin; they had very similar tastes in men.

“Ah, Mr Eccles? If you’d like to take a seat.” The dentist waved politely at the chair, which looked more like a couch in its present semi-reclined state. Really, you could get up to all sorts of things in a chair like that.

“Ivo,” Ivo told him as he moved forward, drawn by the lure of that mellow voice. “Please, call me Ivo.”

Coming Soon: House Hunt by Jackie Keswick

House HuntHouse Hunt by Jackie Keswick

Pre-order available now. Due out 30th March 2016

Buylinks: All Romance | Dreamspinner | Amazon

The Power of Zero: Book Three

Jack Horwood hates owing favors. But when a simple day out to treat Gareth to the best oysters in England leads to a discovery of drugs and counterfeit money—things that neither Jack nor Gareth have the jurisdiction to handle—he has to call in help. Help that doesn’t come cheap, and that forces him to do something he promised himself he’d never do again—walk away from Gareth and the family he’s starting to make for himself.

Three months undercover is a long time. After missing Gareth’s birthday, Jack is determined not to miss their first anniversary. But coming home and being home are two very different things. So when he is asked to assist with a corporate espionage investigation, Jack can’t say no, despite knowing it will impact his already straining relationship.

Except, of course, he’s walking into a trap….

New Release: Finding Love: The Perfect Size for You by Lily G. Blunt

Finding Love: The Perfect Size for You

by

Lily G Blunt

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A male escort takes on an inexperienced client and breaks the first rule of rent boys: don’t get attached.

After updating his Rent Boy blog profile, well-endowed porn star Ty receives a text from a sexually inexperienced client. Andy, the client, asks Ty to provide him with the necessary know-how so should he ever get a date with the guy he’s attracted to, he’ll be fully prepared.

Little does Ty know that this hookup will lead to a friendship that will subsequently change his life.

 

This story has been previously published as The Perfect Size for You by Torquere Press in the Take It Like a Man anthology.
 
This second edition has been expanded and reedited.
 
Format: ebook and paperback
Language: English
Book Length: Short Story (12K)
Pages: 60
Genres: Contemporary, Gay, Erotic Romance
Heat Rating: Burning
Release Date: 9th March 2016
 
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The door opened, and a skinny geek with specs faced me. Thinking I had the wrong house, and worried that the boy’s father had made the appointment, I floundered. Now, that will be awkward. How’s he planning to get his kid out of the house?

“Excuse me. I’m looking for Andy. Is he here?”

The boy flushed bright red and pushed up his black-framed glasses. “That’s me, I’m Andy Parker. You have the right address.”

You’ve got to be kidding me.

“Okay, son! How old are you?” He didn’t look a day over fifteen.

His eyes widened, but his gaze didn’t leave mine. He bristled a little, rising to his full height. “I’m eighteen. Nineteen in three months. I can show you my ID, if you like.” He looked beyond my shoulder, then ushered me hastily inside.

I followed him to the kitchen. “I’m Tyrone, by the way.”

He hadn’t even asked my name. I could have been any weirdo coming into his home. I guessed he recognized me from my online photos or my porn videos. Whatever. It looked like he was expecting me anyway.

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Praise for The Perfect Size for You

Amazon and Goodreads Reviews

“A big fan and this one did not disappoint! Totally adored it and can’t wait for her next book already!”
“I just love this writer… This storyline was well written and I loved each page. I wish it had gone on longer too damn short!”
“I really enjoyed this short story. I’m a sucker for rent boys/porn industry stories and this hit the spot wonderfully! I really loved Andy and Ty together.
The sexy times were sweet and then hot! I’m really anxious to get to this author’s other porn industry book!”
“A definite must read!”
“Lily’s writing flowed well for me. She combined a nice mix of sweet and hot but neither guy came across as needy or desperate.”
“It’s a good short story you can read while having a cuppa. I’ll definitely be reading more from Lily.”
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Lily G. Blunt writes contemporary gay romance. She loves to explore the relationship between two men and the intensity of their physical and emotional attraction. Angst often features in her stories as she feels this demonstrates the depth of the men’s feelings for each other. Lily is forever writing imaginary scenes and plots in her head, but only a few ever make it to the page–there never seems to be enough hours in the day despite having left the teaching profession to concentrate on her writing!

Lily discovered the wonderful world of m/m romance novels five years ago via fan fiction and went on to write stories in her spare time. With the encouragement of her friends and readers she decided to publish some of her work. Lily subsequently self-published several stories via Amazon. She later published short stories with Torquere Press and Wayward Ink Publishing. Lily is excited about joining Pride Publishing for her latest release, The Handyman Can.

Lily is an avid supporter of GLBTQ rights and advocates equality for all. She was recently a steward for Pride in London. She lives in central England with her rather bemused husband and a ‘mad as a bag of frogs’ Shetland Sheepdog called Barney.

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Sign up for her newsletter HERE to keep in contact via email.

Review of North to South by J.K. Brighton

Review by Sue Brown
I’m a crime/detective/mystery fiend, so when AB Gayle recommended North to South by J.K. Brighton, I was more than willing to forgo my embargo on buying more books (I fail so badly) and spend Sunday evening reading the tale of a Glaswegian detective forced to go down to Brighton by his homophobic boss to investigate the death of his son – the boss, not the detective.
Amazon buylinkBrighton as you have never seen it (or him) before…

The male polar by nature is a solitary creature, but to solve this case Polar needs an ally. Who in Brighton can be trusted? Who will work with Polar North when the detective himself isn’t trusted by his colleagues?
Accidental death was the initial conclusion when Prentice Fullerton’s body was found on Brighton beach – a drug overdose being the pathologist’s verdict. His father isn’t convinced, however, and as the man in charge of Greater Glasgow police, Chief Superintendent Fullerton won’t be easily fobbed off. He demands that one of his own detectives is assigned to the case. The out of favour Polar North being the ideal candidate. So DI North travels south to Brighton, and to the backdrop of its annual arts festival, he finds some unlikely allies in Brighton’s gay community

Review:   As I said up top I’m fanatical about crime, and I love Brighton, so reading a whodunnit which combines the two is my idea of reading heaven. I haven’t read J.K. Brighton before but I like his style, light to read but with enough twists and turns to keep me interested til the end, and a main character with an interesting background. Yes, Mr. Brighton, I read until the early hours of Monday morning, which I’m somewhat regretting now, as I’m knackered. My only real niggle is the characters are a tad predictable; the gay guys banding together, the boo-hiss pudgy homophobic cops, the female ‘ball-crusher’ boss who seems extremely easy to manipulate. However, it made for a good read, all the characters are well-rounded and I can forgive the predictability for a good plot that kept me reading late into the night. I highly recommend North to South, and I hope there will be more in the series.

New Release: Forever Dusk by Lisa Worrall

Forever Dusk by Lisa Worrall

 Buylinks: Amazon | All Romance
There is nothing as strong as the bond between a sire and his vampire.
But what do you do when you find out your partner’s sire is also your own?
Jonah had been a vampire for over a hundred years when he met Sebastian, the owner of the vampire-themed nightclub in downtown LA. Twenty years later and Jonah and Sebastian are stronger than ever.
But when another’s jealousy brings their sire to the club, will their relationship be able to withstand the strength of their bond with Vincenzo, and their bond with each other?

Sue Brown’s Review:

I’m not a fan of vampires but I am a huge fan of Lisa Worrall, and I was more than willing to read another one of her stories.  If you like beautiful and descriptive prose with hot vampires then this is most definitely the book for you.
I loved the relationships between the men. They so are hot and sensual together, and as usual, Lisa writes wicked love scenes.
This is double the length it was before, although I think this book could be a gorgeous full-blown novel, but that is just a niggle.

Excerpt:

Prologue
Newley, West Virginia – 1860
Jonah was trying to coax his thick hair into some semblance of order when his brother Oscar burst into his bedroom. He damn near jumped clear out of his skin as the door bounced off the wall with the force of Oscar’s excitement.
“C’mon, Mona. We gotta go. Pa said if you don’t stop primpin’ we’re gonna leave without ya.”
“Don’t call me Mona,” Jonah grumbled at the use of the nickname his brothers had saddled him with as soon as he could walk. “You know I don’t like it.”
“Of course I do,” Oscar scoffed. “That’s the point, little brother.”
“Gee,” Jonah said sarcastically and pulled his cap on, tucking a few wayward curls underneath it. “How lucky am I? To have a brother of your caliber to look up to.”
“Considering there are three of us, I’d say you’re the luckiest sumbitch in town.” Oscar’s retort was quick and snappy, in line with his acerbic wit. “Now get your ass movin’, boy.”
Jonah tossed the comb at him and stormed past him. “And don’t call me boy, neither.”
Oscar chased him along the hall and Jonah narrowly missed knocking his little sister off her feet, only skirting around her at the last second, Oscar hot on his heels. He made it out of the front door and off the porch before Oscar barreled into him and sent him sprawling on the lawn.
“Get off my grass you ingrates!”
“Nice, Pa,” Oscar pushed Jonah off him and sat up, a grin curving his lips. “Is that any way to talk about the fruit of your loins?”
“You leave my loins out of this,” Angus Roberts snapped back. “And if you’re the fruit boy, from where I’m standing you must have been pretty low hanging.”
“Angus!”
Jonah shot Oscar a knowing look and tried not to smile at the warning tone in his mother’s voice as she admonished his father. They’d all been on the receiving end of that sharp tongue at one time or another.
“They started it, Maude,” Angus complained.
“Angus Roberts, I swear I’ll never know why I bothered to have all these children when I’ve got my hands full trying to raise you.” Maude ushered Jonah’s seven-year-old twin sisters down the porch steps and called out for his two older brothers. “Cooper! Raymond! Don’t make me start counting!”
“Why’s Ray takin’ so long, Mama?” Felicity, older than her twin, Charlotte, by two minutes, asked innocently.
“Well, Short Stop,” Jonah said before his Mama could respond. He scrambled to his feet and scooped her up into his arms. “I think it might have something to do with Mary-Anne Watkins.”
Felicity locked her fingers behind his neck and grinned at him. “Is Ray fixin’ to kiss her at the fair?”
“No I am not,” Raymond said haughtily as Cooper shoved past him. Raymond closed the front door behind them and glared at Jonah. “Don’t be fillin’ her head with nonsense, Mona,” he said as he strode down the path. “Now c’mon. We’re gonna be late.”
“We’ve been waiting on you for the last half hour. Why the God awful rush now?” Angus asked, holding out his arm to his wife.
“He promised Mary-Anne Watkins he’d meet her at the lemonade stand.” Oscar side-stepped Raymond’s swatting hand and hefted Charlotte onto his shoulders. He took off at a trot making horse noises for the little girl’s benefit and his parents smiled fondly after him.
“Can we do that, Jo-Jo? Can we, can we?” Felicity begged.
Jonah quickly obliged and, after making sure Felicity held on tightly, he headed after Oscar and Charlotte, leaving the others to follow behind at a more sedate pace. The girls laughed as he and Oscar carried them along on their backs. Their joy was Jonah’s favorite sound in the whole world.
The girls had been a surprise addition to the family. He’d been fourteen when they were born and, up until then, the youngest. His mama thought she’d reached the end of her time as far as babies were concerned, but when she started craving pickles dipped in mustard, it was obvious they needed to get the well-used crib down from the attic.
Jonah had fallen in love the moment he laid eyes on them; half an hour old and wailing up a storm, but he didn’t care. They’d taken a bit of getting used to but by the time they could crawl they had all four of their big brothers wrapped firmly around their tiny little fingers.
When they rounded the corner at the end of Main Street Jonah heard Felicity’s gasp in his ear and he grinned at the sound, her excitement infectious. Stalls and tents of all sizes dotted the usually somber green, strung with lights and laden with all manner of pies, cakes and jellies. Pens holding tiny lambs and mooing calves were surrounded by cooing children jostling each other to stroke soft noses. In a larger pen, three ponies were being led up and down with brightly colored ribbons plaited into their manes and a giggling child on each back.
Felicity wriggled to be let down and Jonah squatted so her feet touched the ground. She bounced up and down beside him and he heaved a sigh of relief as their parents walked toward them, with Cooper hot on their heels. His father smiled at his mother and dropped a kiss on her cheek. The love that still burned between them after all this time warmed Jonah’s soul. If, one day, he found even half of the happiness they’d shared, he knew he’d still be the happiest man on earth.
“Mama, Mama!” Charlotte practically vibrated with excitement her brown eyes alight as she tugged at their mother’s skirt. “They’ve got pony rides, Mama!”
“I see that, flapjack,” Maude replied, stroking Charlotte’s hair from her eyes.
“Can we, Mama? Can we?” Both girls spoke in perfect unison.
Their father laughed heartily and kissed his wife again as he pressed some money into her hand. “Well, darlin’, looks like your dance card is filled.” He nodded at Jonah and his brothers. “C’mon, boys. I think it’s about time we make a man out of your brother.” Cooper and Oscar threw their arms around Jonah’s neck and let out a few ribald comments. Comments that stilled immediately their mother cast her steely gaze at them. A gaze she then turned on their father.
“Only one, Angus Roberts. You hear?”
“Of course, Maude.” Jonah had to bite the inside of his cheek at the mock-affronted look on his father’s face. “As if I’d let him get pie-eyed on his first trip out. It cuts me deep that you would think that.”
“I don’t think, Angus Roberts, I know,” Maude replied with a raised eyebrow. “And if the four of you aren’t upright by the time we’re fixing to leave, I’ll have Sheriff Dobbs throw you in the drunk tank with old Cleetus. And don’t think I won’t.”
“Oh I don’t think, darlin’.” Jonah choked back a laugh as his father turned his mother’s words against her. “I know.”
Their father walked toward the beer tent and his brothers ushered Jonah after him. The grass crunched under foot and the laughter of children filled his ears as they followed their father. He knew in that moment he would remember this night for the rest of his life. The scents, the sounds, his brothers’ cheesy grins and the fond look his father gave him over his shoulder as he walked ahead. All of it; he would remember all of it—forever.
Inside the tent the air was thick with smoke. The heaviness of it stole Jonah’s breath and he raised his fist to his mouth to cover his sudden coughing fit. His brothers laughed as he looked from one to the other, his eyes watering.
“Don’t worry, Mona,” Cooper said good-naturedly. “Oscar’s first time in here he puked in the spittoon!”
“Shut up!” Oscar nudged Jonah towards the makeshift bar where their father was talking to Mr. McReady who lived in the big house on the corner of their street. Oscar indicated the array of jugs and bottles on the tables. “It’s time for drinkin’, not talkin’. What’re ya gonna try first, Jo? Bourbon? Whisky? Gin?”
“Don’t push him, boys,” Angus said, tipping a wink at Jonah. “Let him find his feet.”
Oscar and Cooper administered encouraging slaps to his back then headed across the tent to the beer barrels where some friends were waiting on them. Left to his own devices as his father engaged in a detailed conversation with Mr. McReady about the impending Mexican war, Jonah had no idea what to do next. Although he’d managed to catch his breath, the cloying thickness of smoke seemed to hang above them and it scratched at the back of his throat. If he was honest, right now he could do with a soda.
“It is, how you say, your first time?”
The voice was heavily accented and had an almost musical lilt that lifted the hairs on the back of Jonah’s neck. He shifted his feet and turned to look at the man beside him. If it wasn’t such a ridiculously romantic notion, Jonah would have sworn his heart actually skipped a beat when he looked into deep brown eyes surrounded by black lashes. He swallowed hard as the man’s gaze held his, pinning him as steadfastly as if he were one of the bugs Raymond collected in glass frames.
“Excuse me?” Jonah managed to mumble.
The man smiled; a soft and apologetic smile then held out his hand. “Forgive my manners. Let me introduce myself. I am Vincenzo Moretti, here on business from Sicily.”
Jonah stared at Vincenzo’s hand, unable to drag his gaze from the man’s long pale fingers and an image of those fingers curled around his cock blasted every thought from his mind. Vincenzo cleared his throat, breaking the awkward silence between them, forcing Jonah to meet his gaze. Something dark and knowing flashed in Vincenzo’s eyes as if he knew exactly what Jonah had been thinking, then it was gone.

Review of This Other Country by John Wiltshire

By Sue Brown (also published on her blog)
I’m tired and a tad grumpy so I’ve been curled up on the sofa this weekend, reading This Other Country (More Heat Than The Sun#4) by John Wiltshire. I’ve just bought number 5 in the series as well, but I haven’t read it yet. I’ve actually re-read the whole series this weekend but I couldn’t remember if I’d read This Other Country.

Buylinks: MlrBooks | Amazon.com

Nikolas is the sanest, straightest, person he knows, so can anyone tell him, why he’s on a gay therapy course? Nikolas Mikkelsen could make a very long list of unpleasant things he’s endured in his life. Then order it from ‘nearly killed me’ to ‘extremely horrific and don’t want to do again’. And what did it say about his forty-five years that being hit by a tsunami would be a considerable way down this list? But nothing, not torture, imprisonment, nor starvation has prepared him for what he now has to endure for Ben Rider’s sake-attendance on a residential, gay therapy course. At least he has a new contender for the top spot on his ‘my awful life’ list.  

Review of the series: I have a love-hate relationship with this series, and This Other Country is no exception. I love the relationship between Nikolas and Ben, I love the banter, the hot sex, the angst, the secondary characters, the dog etc., but the plots drive me slightly insane, as it’s like reading James Bond meets Strike Back on crack. Honestly though, if I hang up my disbelief on the nearest peg, I’m hooked to every single word. I’ve bought every book and will continue to read it to the end, because even though it drives me insane I love More Heat Than The Sun. I think you need to have read the previous 3 books to have a clue what This Other Country is about and I’m not about to spoil the plot. So go buy the series. Now!

Excerpt:

“Come in, gentlemen, please. I’m sorry to have kept you waiting.”
The doctor held the door for the two men who walked into his office from the plush waiting room. They both towered over him, although at five foot eleven he’d never thought of himself as short. They wouldn’t have struck him at first glance as either gay or a couple, and as his speciality was relationship counselling for gay men, he considered himself something of an expert. One of the men was incredibly striking: scarred with an aggressive, impatient air about him. Dressed in what the doctor immediately recognised as bespoke tailoring, he appeared the more dominant, coming through the door without apparently considering allowing his partner in first. He chose and took a seat without being asked, which in the doctor’s view was unusual in these circumstances.
The second man was extraordinarily beautiful. It was the only way anyone could describe him. He had wide-set green eyes in a smooth face with cheekbones that drew the gaze, until he smiled, and then that was the only place you could look. The doctor had counselled thousands of gay men, but he’d never had one so attractive in his office before. He shook himself slightly and noted more professionally that this man was some years younger than his partner and was dressed in ripped jeans and an old T-shirt that had clearly seen many washes. He was vaguely familiar, as were a lot of the doctor’s clients. Again, this went with the territory, given he ran, amongst other things, a counselling service for men in sexual crisis from one of the smartest addresses in London-he had a lot of celebrity clients. These men didn’t glance at each other as they sat opposite him, and he noted they leant slightly away from the other’s chair, as if mere physical presence were oppressive.
Given all these considerations, he decided he’d never met a more mismatched couple in his many years in the business, and that he had his work cut out for him. There was nothing like a challenge to start the day.
The scarred man was now studying the certificates and framed photographs on the wall, his hands relaxed in his lap. Trying to decide an appropriate opener, the doctor couldn’t get a reading off him at all. It was as if the blond giant were there in body alone: he exuded no discernable emotion whatsoever. The younger man was far easier to read. He was staring at his nails, picking at the side of one of them, his foot tapping on the carpet. The doctor decided to go with something very simple. “Gentlemen, to start with, I’ll outline how I like to work. This isn’t an easy process by any means, and it’s very important you’re both comfortable where we go on this journey and with the vehicle we choose to-”
“Please be concise, Doctor.”
His mouth still open a little from the interruption, attempting to untangle the heavily accented vowels, the doctor coughed to cover his annoyance with the blond-haired man who hadn’t even had the courtesy to turn from his examination of the certificates. “Yes, thank you. I’d like us to all talk together for a while, but then I think it’s always beneficial for me to speak with you one to one. It gives each partner the freedom to express-”
“I’m not comfortable with that.” The scarred face turned to him at last. The amber eyes were cold with remote calculation. The doctor raised his eyebrows. He wasn’t used to being challenged like this so early in his sessions. Most men coming for couples’ therapy were far more nervous and unsure of themselves. He coughed lightly again and glanced at his notes. “Mr Mikkelsen. I assure you, it-”
“We speak together, or we don’t speak at all.”
“Don’t answer for me. You’re always doing that!” The younger man shot the older one a furious glance then added a little contritely, “I think it’s a good idea to have a chance to speak separately. That way we can-”
The older man interjected a harsh, barked laugh. “That way you can tell him all the terrible things I do and say? I don’t think so.”
“Gentlemen, please. Can we focus for a moment on why we’re here? Put aside your anger. You’ve made an important first step by booking this appointment. It shows you’re trying to move forward. Let’s not waste this opportunity. I want you each to think about why you agreed to come here today and let the other know what you want out of this session. Ben, may I call you Ben? Perhaps you’d like to go first.”
“I just want him to-”
“Use his name, please.”
“I want Nikolas to decide what he fucking wants. I want a boyfriend-not an employer with an overactive cock.”
“Don’t swear at me. And don’t be crude.”
“You’re not my boss anymore! Stop telling me what to do!”
“Right. Mr Mikkelsen, Nikolas, perhaps you’d like to tell us why you agreed to come here?”
“I agreed to come here because if I didn’t I would probably not get laid tonight.”
Ben stood up. Folding his arms, he walked to the window. The doctor frowned deeply. “Ben, honesty is always good, even when something is just said in jest…”
“Who said I’m joking?” The older man crossed his legs and checked his watch. “I have another appointment in half an hour. Can we please speed this up a little?”
The young man turned. “Why don’t you just fuck off then? You’re not taking this seriously. You’ve never taken one thing seriously in the whole time I’ve known you.”
“As usual you exaggerate. I take your moods very seriously. I have to live with them, after all.”
Ben sat back down, seemingly a little recovered in nerve. “No, actually, you don’t. Why don’t you go back to your wife? You give her more respect than you’ve ever given me.”
The doctor leant forward, scanning his notes very quickly as he did so. “You’re married?”
Nikolas pursed his lips as if he didn’t like the conversation going this way or being put under the spotlight. The younger one laughed. “Yeah. Exactly.” He turned toward the doctor and explained bitterly, “He’s supposed to be divorced, but all of a sudden he’s decided he doesn’t want a boyfriend-a relationship. Says he’s not gay. Says he’s thinking of going back to his wife. Spends the weekends with her.” He actually used air quotes to underline his frustration.
The doctor leant back once more and steepled his fingers against his lips, tapping them. “This isn’t so uncommon. I’ve had many patients in your position, Nikolas. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.” He consulted his notes once more. “Do you live together?”
The younger man huffed. “Sometimes. When he’s not back shacking up with the corgi.”
“Please, Ben, try to speak more in terms of how Nikolas’s behaviour affects you rather than attacking him.”
“Oh, I’ll tell you exactly how it affects me. It pisses me off. I don’t want a part-time boyfriend.” He brushed his knee deceptively casually. “There are plenty of other guys more than happy to take on that role full-time…”
The older man glanced at him and sneered in a low voice, “Blackmail now, Benjamin? You’re behaving like a sulky little boy, and I’m tired of it. You’ve been more than happy to share my bed-and whore around on my money-when it suits you. Well it suits me to have you still in my bed. That’s why I agreed to come here today.” At that, he crossed his arms and seemed to emotionally withdraw from any further involvement in the session, staring once more at the wall of photographs.
The young man shrugged, picking at a thread in the torn knee of his jeans. He began to say something, but suddenly the other man rose and interjected abruptly, “Come, we’re going.”
“Wh-? But I want-”
“If you want a free ride then I suggest you come now. If not, you’ll have to make your own way back. Good day, Doctor. This session has been extremely illuminating.”
The doctor stood uncertainly, shook the offered hand and watched as the impeccably dressed man left. He stared at the younger one for a while who mumbled in obvious embarrassment, “I’d better go. I-I didn’t bring my wallet…”
The doctor watched him move towards the door then ventured, “Ben? My best advice? Consider finding yourself one of those other boyfriends you mentioned…”
The young man smiled weakly and headed out to the adjoining room. The older man hadn’t waited for him.
It was the first time Doctor Julian Wood had ever counselled a couple to split. But as he’d thought earlier, they were the most unsuited couple he’d ever met.
Unsuited for each other.
Perfect, perhaps, for his requirements.