My new M/M release should be out in November. I’m waiting for confirmation so don’t hold me to that. But I thought I’d give you a little teaser of the first few pages to see what you think.
This is the longer blurb…
When Toby Prentiss, Hotel Manager at the Duck and Drake in rural Stamford, meets hunky Rain Engel , master carpenter, in the hotel, there is a definite spark between the two men. From a heated kiss in the hotel’s lost property room to assignations in a garden shed and a rather raunchy session on a haystack, it’s surprising that their passion for each other doesn’t set the stack on fire.
Despite very different backgrounds , the two men begin a relationship that starts to develop into something deeper. Rain has been hurt in the past and he’s very wary of getting involved again. Toby comes from a broken background and he’s had to learn everything the hard way. But when he gives himself to someone, there’s no holds barred. And when Rain’s ex lover turns up to convince Rain to take him back, things get a little stressful. Toby’s past comes back to haunt him and the two men find they have a lot of soul searching to do. But it’s only when the small town erupts in an act of violence against one of them, that true feelings are bared and they have to come to grips with the extent of their feelings for one another.
And here’s the longer excerpt. This is still a WIP (Work In Progress) and has some editing to be done.
I looked down at the man I straddled, feeling grim satisfaction at the expression on his face.
Trevor was bloody terrified.
Normally when I sat across his hips we were making love but this time, no one could mistake the look on his face for one of passion. “If you try hit me again, I will kill you,” I enunciated slowly. “You crossed a line and now there’s no going back.” My hands curled into tight fists at my side and my heart beat fiercely in my chest with the adrenalin high. I tasted blood in my mouth from the punch he’d thrown at me.
Trevor looked up at me, his face pale. “Christ, Toby, get the hell off me, you bastard.” His high pitched voice was strained. I knew that was because I’d just kneed him painfully in the balls. The man might be singing soprano for a while to come. I shifted off him, standing fingering my jaw gingerly. Trevor was a big man and he packed a powerful wallop. He grasped his damaged bollocks, curling into a foetal ball. I left him lying in his small, ornately furnished lounge and walked into the kitchen. I opened the freezer and took out some ice cubes, packing them into a tea towel. I held the cold pack against the already swelling flesh of jaw and lips, hissing at the sting. Someone entered behind me and I turned, ready to defend myself again. My soon to be ex-boyfriend of only six weeks stood in the doorway. His face was drawn with pain and the look in his eyes was not pleasant.
“You hurt me, you psycho. Christ, I should have known better than to get involved with someone like you.”
My insides churned at the sneer in his voice. “Someone like me? What’s that supposed to mean?” But I thought I knew.
Trevor laughed harshly. “A foster kid who lived on the bloody streets and did God knows what with who knows who.”
“Whom,” I said quietly.
He frowned. “Huh?”
“If you’re going to fucking insult me, Trev, then at least be grammatically correct.” I have a tendency sometimes to make bad situations worse through what I think is clever use of my snark. Trevor decided he wasn’t a fan. He moved over to me quickly, his hand raised. He must have seen the look on my face because he stopped and lowered his hand. “You think you’re so clever, Toby. You didn’t have to kick me in the balls like that.” His voice was a mix of aggrieved hurt and suppressed violence.
I looked at him in disbelief. “You punched me, Trevor, because you thought I was having it off with the boy from the coffee shop. You threatened to ‘ram your fist down my throat and fuck me till I was blue.’ Your exact words. You can surely see I might not like that scenario?”
He grunted. “You were being mouthy as usual. And you can’t tell me you don’t fancy little Brett. You and he are always flirting with each other.”
I shook my head in stupefaction. “He’s only nineteen years old, for God’s sake! Far too young for me, and besides, I had you, remember?” His eyes squinted at the use of the past tense. “And yes, we flirt but we both know it’s not going anywhere.” I laid the ice pack down in the sink, moving towards the door. Trevor moved in front of the doorway, blocking me.
“Trev, let me out,” I said. “We both know this is over. I won’t let any man knock me about like you just did.”
Trevor sneered again. “God, you are so far up your own arse, Toby. It was just this one time. And you made me do it.”
“One time is too many.” I stood in front of him, holding my ground. Trevor was a bully and I’d learnt most times if you stood up for yourself, they’d back down. “It’s best we just part ways now. I don’t need a jealous arsehole as a boyfriend, even if the pickings in town are lean. I’d rather do without, thanks.” I held his gaze and finally his eyes slid away. He moved slightly to one side. I brushed past, half expecting him to hit me from behind. He didn’t.
I went to the lounge, picked up my jacket from the back of the chair and slung it over my shoulder. There was very little of me in his flat, even though we’d spent quite a bit of time there. We hadn’t graduated to me keeping a spare toothbrush in the bathroom, or extra clothes. I rarely stayed the whole night anyway, preferring to walk the half mile up the road back to my own place. My apartment room at the hotel I worked at wasn’t suited to booty call visits. I liked to keep my private life separate from work.
“I’m probably better off without you anyway,” he said vindictively. “There’s loads of blokes who’d like me to bend them over and give them one.” He waved dismissively. “And you weren’t that great in the sack anyway.”
I ignored his attempts to piss me off as I made my way to the front door. My lip was stinging, my jaw ached and all I wanted to do was get home, take a painkiller and fall into bed. It was almost nine p.m. so I’d even have time to watch True Blood before I went to sleep. As I opened the door, I turned to face him.
“Stay away from me, Trevor,” I said as I stepped out into the corridor. “Let’s just make this a clean break with no drama. I’m sure you’ll find some poor sod to take my place soon enough.”
His eyes narrowed. “You bet I will. And don’t worry. I wash my hands of you. I’ve got better things to do.”
I nodded. “Good. Then we understand each other.” I left, closing the door behind me. For a minute, I leaned against the wall, my eyes closed as I took a few deep breaths. Then finally, I walked down the short flight of stairs to the street below, headed for home.
About a week later I had another little contretemps. Mercury must have been in retrograde. I’d never realised what it felt like to be ‘at the end of my tether’ before. I knew the expression, having looked it up in an idle moment once when I was bored. The Cambridge Dictionary defined it as ‘having no strength or patience left’ and UsingEnglish.com said it was’ to be at the limit of your patience or endurance.’ Both of these phrases were true. Personally I preferred ‘fucked off beyond all restraint and ready to kill.’
I gritted my teeth, my jaw aching as the little old lady in front of me waved bejewelled and gnarly fingers in front of my face. I wanted to bite them off one by one, watch as they fell into little white and bloody strips onto the very expensive carpeting we stood on. The hotel owner wouldn’t like that one little bit. Not the fact I’d bitten her fingers off but the fact that the blood may stain his carpeting. He was no fan of Esther either.
“Young man, are you even listening to me?” Esther Mountjoy’s face was like crinkled crepe paper, her tone haughty. Faded blue eyes gazed out of a face that was immaculately painted. Her thin lips were twisted in a grimace of displeasure that I wasn’t hearing what she was saying. People passing by in the plush hotel entrance glanced at us curiously. Some were even loitering, waiting to see how the whole ‘square off’ would turn out.
I’ve been listening to you for the last ten fucking minutes, you homophobic, ignorant cow.
My face formed into what I hoped was a reassuring smile and not the visage of a psycho axe murderer wanting to strike the woman’s head off her shoulders. Preferably with a blunt axe. “Mrs. Mountjoy, of course I have. You’ve made your point loud and clear. But I’m sorry. I can’t ask these two people to leave the hotel simply because you don’t like the fact that they are –how did you put it? Oh yes, ‘poncy nancy boys’. I’m afraid this hotel has an open policy on things like this and we won’t judge people who wish to stay here based on their sexual preference.”
My friend and receptionist Tammy watched me carefully from the elegantly panelled wooden reception desk. She peered over the top of her very prim and proper glasses. I think she was getting ready to pull me off the lady patron standing in front of me should I decide to go completely insane. I wanted to pick up and use the stone vase sitting innocently yet alluringly on the polished oak side table in the foyer and bash this woman over her immaculately coiffed head.
“But they’re queer, Mr. Prentiss!” Esther hissed, scandalised, her eyes darting around the busy reception area, no doubt for fear someone might hear her utter a taboo word. I wanted to break into song and chant the old Northern maxim ‘there’s nowt so queer as folk’ but I didn’t think that would help.
“They are two gay men who have paid to stay here like everyone else, Mrs. Mountjoy.” My smile was starting to crack, my hostility level rising.
Christ, I was so bloody sick of this attitude. I’d faced it all my life.
“Mr. Wren and Mr. Carmichael have every right to be here.” I clenched my hands by my sides, my fingernails cutting into my palms. Out of the corner of my eye, Tammy twitched and half stood up from behind her position at the reception desk.
“Then I shan’t be coming back here, if people like that are allowed to soil these beautiful premises with their presence.” Her satisfied, smug words sent an immediate jolt of fury to my chest. “It’s scandalous, that’s what it is. That God fearing folk like me and Mrs. Wainwright have to put up with that disgusting filth in the same place we lay our heads at night. Isn’t that right, dear Selma?” She turned to the tall, spare, woman standing quietly at her side who looked uncomfortable at her proclamation. Her eyes were raised to mine almost in apology. Selma Wainwright had always been open minded as far as I knew. My head pounded at the description of two gay men as ‘disgusting filth’. My temper rose and I groaned inwardly.
Keep it loose, Toby. For God’s sake, don’t go bloody ape shit. Not here.
So what do you think? Does it grab you, want to make you read more? This is also my first foray into the world of first person POV and the chapters alternate between Toby and the man who still has to make his appearance, the sexy Rain Engel. And boy does he drive poor Toby crazy….
If anyone fancies reading a chapter from Rain’s POV, leave a comment and let me know. Then perhaps I’ll post something that gives you a little bit of insight into who Rain is.
Thanks for reading!