Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday's Safe Word Shelf: Back Where He Belongs by Isobel Starling

Back in Scotland after five years working in Australia, Kier Campbell finds himself stranded on a road in the Scottish Highlands on Christmas Eve. He has to get to the next village urgently or freeze to death in his broken down hire car. Kier hikes down the icy road and as he walks memories of the life he'd run from-and the love he'd abandoned in Scotland return to haunt him.

With a blizzard fast approaching, a passing motorist finds Kier and offers him a lift. He is surprised to recognize the driver. As the weather worsens he realizes they is no way he will reach his parent's farm, and so is stranded with his savior for the holidays.

Kier's one Christmas wish is to make up for the mistakes he made all those years ago, but, curiously, he finds he has an unexpected rival for his lovers' affections...

FYI: This 'second chance at love' story contains descriptions of Gay sex and Puppy Play (Woof!) 

This book comes with an additional free short story "The Christmas Bonus"

Kier has returned home after five years away.  Having run to Australia out of fear of coming out to his parents, he also left behind the one person who truly held his heart, Douglas.  Stranded but thankful when a stranger stops to help he finds himself not with a stranger but with Douglas.  Will the time alone due to Mother Nature be what they need to reignite or has their time come and gone?

I featured another holiday-themed story by Isobel Starling on last year's Random Tales of Christmas blog posts but I have never actually read her before so to me she's a new author.  Some find trying new authors to be dangerous or at the very least iffy but not me, I find it to be exhilerating.  The added adrenaline of liking or not liking their work along with the natural rush of discovering the characters' journey, just heightens the experience.

As to Back Where He Belongs, its a wonderful holiday novella.  I just wanted to wrap Kier up in bubblewrap one minute to protect his heart and knock him upside the head the next for not revealing his heart.  Some might say that this story is a little on the cliché side, old lovers reunite unexpectedly and stranded by weather they rediscover the love, and maybe their right but just because the idea is, doesn't mean the writing, the characters, or the story is cliché.  Don't mistake cliché for boring.  Kier and Douglas' journey is anything but boring.

I will add that although puppy play is not my typical cup of tea or really tick any of my BDSM boxes, however the author portrays it tastefully.  It fits the characters' journey and its actually quite lovely.  But, if its not something you really want to read, its done in a way that you can skim over it so you don't miss out on a lovely holiday tale that will warm your heart and make you believe in love.


Author Bio:
Inspiration strikes at the strangest of times.

Born in Germany, I spent most of my twenty-year professional career making art. I relocated to the UK and faced with the dreaded artist’s creative block, I started to write and found I loved it more than making art.

My first novel “Fall Together” was a bestseller in the GLBT-Bisexual genre on the ‘All Romance e-books’ site. I have just completed my sixth book and signed French translation rights for the whole Shatterproof Bond M/M series.

My greatest love is writing M/M relationships, and I hope one day to actually finish the fantasy novel that I put ‘to rest’ three years ago.


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