Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Blogger Review: Love in Spades by Charlie Cochet

Ex-Special Forces soldier Anston “Ace” Sharpe is fighting a different battle these days—one involving the world of private security across the state of Florida. As part owner of Four Kings Security, Ace and his fellow Kings tackle everything from armed transport and investigations to cyber intelligence and executive protection. Cocky, fearless, and brash, Ace isn’t afraid to take risks.

After years of working alongside his father, Colton Connolly is ready to take the helm at Connolly Maritime, but his father’s retirement is put on hold when Colton begins receiving death threats. If that isn’t bad enough, his father signs a contract with Four Kings Security to provide Colton with round-the-clock protection, despite his adamant refusal. Colton’s life has been turned upside down, the last thing he needs is a shadow, especially in the form of infuriating, sexy-as-sin Ace Sharpe, who seems to be on a mission to drive Colton mad.

Sparks fly the moment Colton and Ace meet on a sultry night club dance floor. But getting involved with a client, even one as fiery and beautiful as Colton Connolly, is a line Ace is unwilling to cross. Colton might be attracted to Ace, but he’d been burned before. He might be willing to put his life in Ace’s hands, but not his heart.

As the Florida nights heat up, so does their passion, and Ace and Colton are faced with a difficult choice—take the plunge and risk it all, or play it safe and walk away?

If Ace can keep a deadly threat from robbing Colton of a future….

Colton Connolly is ready to take over running the family business, Connolly Maritime, but he's been receiving disturbing mail and packages.  Colton isn't concerned but his father is and hires Four Kings Security to protect his son.  Anston “Ace” Sharpe and his friends have found a new place in life running Four Kings Security after their military career was over and its given them a new lease on life.  When their new client is Colton Connolly things don't go too smoothly at first but when Ace steps in and does what he does best, Colton has a change of heart.  Will their attraction to each other put lives at risk or only their hearts?

When I saw there was going to be a new series from the author who brought us THIRDS I was pumped.  I have to admit that when I'm that excited about something, I am often a little disappointed afterwards, that it didn't quite live up to my expectations.  WELL!! I needn't have worried because Love in Spades lived up to my expectations and more.  One can't help but compare bodyguard/client romances to The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston, for me it just seems the natural comparison.  Let me tell you that Charlie Cochet's Love in Spades far surpassed my love of that movie.  Ace and Colton are a perfect pair,  By "perfect" I don't mean that everything is Utopian, because to me that isn't perfect.  Perfect relationship-wise is a meshing of love/hate, arguing/making-up, strengths/weakness, "perfect" is a balanced scale of good and bad.  That is exactly what these boys are, a well balanced duo.

As for the mystery behind the threatening letters/packages, well I think you know what I'm about to say: for those answers you have to read for yourself.  Trust me, you don't want to miss it!  I had some ideas from the very beginning and they evolved as I read the book(which a well written mystery should) so let me just say it was definitely intriguing that kept me hooked from beginning to end.

Four Kings Security is going to be great and I can't wait for more.  They may not be the boys from THIRDS but they are a very close second, I wouldn't want to put money on the difference and if the two series were cars I wouldn't want to put my finger between them.  Just brilliantly written with characters that I loved, even if I wanted to strangle a few of them at times(and not just the bad guys).  As I said, I am on the edge of my seat waiting for more.


Chapter 1
“Goddamn it, Ace, get your ass back here!”

King’s indignant shout came through Ace’s earpiece, and it made his lips curl into a wicked grin. He hit the accelerator, and his Chevy Camaro Zl1 convertible roared like a wild beast. With the wind whipping through his hair, he tore down Anastasia Park Road, his vehicle mere feet from the black SUV trying to outrun him. Did they really think they were going to escape him?

“You’re not Vin Diesel in a fucking Fast and Furious movie! You’re going to get yourself killed!”

“It’s like you don’t even know me,” Ace shouted with a laugh, swiping his Glock from the holster under his arm. He leaned to the left and fired a warning shot, which hit the left taillight. The SUV swerved, regained control, and then lurched forward at full speed.

“Did you just open fire in a state park? Jesus fucking Christ!”

“Language, buddy. What would Momma say?”

“Don’t you bring your mother into this!”

“There’s nothing but road and trees. Besides, you need to be watching your blood pressure, old man.”

“Old— Fuck you! I’m a year older than you.”

“Technically, two years older.” Ace leaned over again, this time shooting out the right taillight, making the SUV swerve again. Amateurs. “My birthday’s not for another two months, which puts you at forty-one while I’m still in my thirties.”

“Would you stop shooting!”


“Why? Why? The ‘why’ should be obvious, you little shit!”

Ace tried hard not to laugh. King made it way too easy. “Like I said, there’s no one out here, so relax. I’ll have them before they reach A1A.”

“When I get my hands on you—”

After some scuffling, Red’s smooth rumble came over the line. “Ace? You gotta stop, buddy. Let the police handle it. Fifteen minutes. They’ll be with you in fifteen.”

“No can do, pal. My client, my problem.”

“Yeah, I get that, but, Ace, you’re not liable if the product you’re contracted to transport gets hijacked before you arrive to transport it.”

Fuck that. Didn’t matter that when he’d arrived at the client’s house, the client was screaming at a black SUV burning rubber, making off with the man’s million-dollar antique firearms collection. The point was, it was his client, and no fucking way was he letting these assholes get away with this shit on his watch.


Ace smiled at the sound of his cousin’s thickly accented voice, part of the Hispanic heritage they shared thanks to Ace’s Cuban mother. “Hey, the family’s all here! Hi, Lucky. How’s King?”

“Pacing the office and saying something about you sending him to an early grave. Por favor. Can you please not give our best friend and boss an ulcer, please?”

Ace snorted out a laugh. “King’s like a fucking Florida roach. Indestructible. A tank landed on him, and he’s still alive. Remember that?”

Red and Lucky erupted into barks of laughter, loud and boisterous. Man, he loved these bastards.

As expected, King was back on the line snarling at him. “Now you listen to me, you arrogant pain in my ass. You better do whatever the fuck you set out to do and not get dead, or I am going to hunt you down and murder you!”

“Well, that makes no sense. How can you murder me if I’m already dead? I mean, I guess maybe if I was dying and then you strangled me, or if—”


“Got it. Get the job done. Don’t get dead. That should be our new motto. I can see it now, right beneath the Four Kings Security crest. Clients will love it.”


“Gotta go. Don’t let Red eat all the donuts, and tell Lucky he still owes me fifty bucks.” He could hear Lucky cursing him out in English and Spanish before Ace disconnected the call. Time to put an end to this. He’d given the assholes two warnings, which they chose to ignore.

“Three strikes and you’re out.” With the opposing traffic lane empty, Ace floored the accelerator and pulled up beside the SUV. The driver looked at him, and Ace waved, gun in hand and a big smile on his face. He motioned for the guy to pull over, but was flipped off for his trouble.

“Okay, have it your way.” Ace prepared to shoot out one of the tires, but the guy wrenched the steering wheel, and Ace slammed the brakes. “Fucker tried to slam into me! So that’s how it is, huh?” Ace stroked his steering wheel. “Don’t worry, baby. No one’s gonna hurt you. Daddy’s gonna take care of it.” Pedal to the metal, he charged forward into the empty lane and sped past the SUV until he was several feet ahead. They were getting close to A1A and, more importantly, traffic. He jerked his steering wheel, the Camaro spinning until he was facing the opposite direction. He put the car in reverse and slammed the accelerator down, grinning at the stunned driver of the SUV as he whizzed by before moving into the lane and putting them almost nose to nose. Ace whooped loud, adrenaline rushing his system. Who did these guys think they were dealing with? Defensive driving was a staple of Four Kings Security. And the years Ace had spent driving all manner of vehicles over every kind of terrain didn’t hurt either.Movement from the

passenger seat drew Ace’s attention. The guy stuck the MP5 out the window, but before he could aim, Ace shot out one front tire, then the other. And unlike Ace’s car, which was equipped with run-flat tires, these guys had shit. The SUV’s driver lost control, careening off the road and into the shrubbery. Ace spun his car back around and followed, then hit the brakes when the SUV lurched to a stop. He put the car in park, unfastened his seatbelt, and got out. He was about to walk toward the SUV, when he heard King’s nagging voice in his head. With a grunt, he removed his double holster and snatched the tactical vest off the passenger seat. He quickly strapped it on, secured his Glock, popped the trunk, and pulled out his Taser shotgun.

Once the trunk was secure, he headed off into the dense shrubbery, shotgun at the ready. The only noise around him was from A1A traffic in the distance. He stalked toward the SUV, making sure to remain crouched low in the dry and dead overgrowth. It was after noon, and although the temperature was in the low eighties, the seventy percent humidity and glaring sun were trying to bake him. His black T-shirt was already sticking to his back, and sweat beaded his brow, the weight of the tactical vest certainly not helping. Having hunted through worse conditions, he barely registered the discomfort.

The SUV rocked, and the two front doors opened. The driver and his companion dropped out of the vehicle into low crouches. The driver held a handgun close to him, his companion the MP5. They darted to the end of the SUV, and the driver opened the trunk. A large armored crate sat in the back, and Ace shook his head. Were they planning on using a bunch of antique firearms?

“Fuck,” the driver hissed. “It’s got some kind of high-tech lock.”

No shit. These guys were obviously new to the whole hijacking gig. Did they really think a gun collection worth millions of dollars was going to be shoved in any old box? Ace recognized the crate, and that particular brand of awesome was equipped with biometric locks and a fingerprint scanner, so these dudes were shit out of luck. Ace steadied his breathing and crept into position right behind the two men. He’d seen all he needed. Gingerly he stood and aimed the shotgun at them.

“Any heart conditions I should know about?”

“The fuck?” MP5 guy and his companion jumped like spooked cats. They spun around, staring at him before their eyes dropped to the shotgun in his hands, their expressions comically bewildered. It was probably the bright yellow sections of the gun that were throwing them off.

“The fuck is that?” the driver asked, motioning to the shotgun.

“You didn’t answer my question. Heart conditions. How’s your ticker?”

The two men exchanged glances before the driver shook his head. “My heart’s fine.”

“Mine too,” the other replied.

“Glad to hear it.” He fired the shotgun in quick succession, hitting the driver’s companion first, then the driver, the 500 volts of electric shock dropping them to the ground, giving Ace roughly twenty seconds. Sirens filled the air, and by the time the police arrived on the scene, Ace was leaning against his car, arms folded over his chest, with the two men zip-tied on the ground by his feet.

Four squad cars skidded to a halt, and Ace waved at them. One very tall, very annoyed-looking officer wearing aviators got out of his car. He swaggered over to Ace like a cowboy from an old western, or more like a cowboy from Texas, since that’s what Officer Mason Cooper had been in another life. Mason towered over Ace, long legs, broad chest, and thick biceps, his large hands resting on his utility belt. He moved his aviators onto his head, his full lips—which Ace knew firsthand tasted very nice—pulled into a thin line.

“Good afternoon, Officer Cooper,” Ace said, grinning wide.

“Fifteen minutes,” Mason growled, that slow Texan drawl of his bringing back memories of them in bed together, naked, all that hard muscle pressed against Ace, his sexy rumble making Ace’s toes curl. “You couldn’t wait fifteen goddamn minutes?”

Ace squinted at him. “Is that a rhetorical question?”

Mason’s ice-blue eyes narrowed. He grabbed Ace’s arm and started hauling him away from the car before calling out over his shoulder. “Get ’em outta here. I need a word with Mr. Sharpe.”

Ace held back a smile at Mason’s manhandling. “Well, this brings back memories.”

Mason grunted, making sure they were far enough from the other officers before he released Ace, his low timbre doing lovely things to Ace’s groin.

“You okay?” Mason raked his gaze over Ace, his eyes darkening with lust. He tugged on one of Ace’s vest straps. “You listened.”

Ace rolled his eyes. “Yeah, well, it was either that or have King nag at me about it.”

“I like how you were more concerned about King naggin’ at you than the possibility of ending up with a bullet in you.”

“I believe the two are not mutually exclusive. Remember when you arrested Red?”

Mason groaned. Loudly.

“Yeah, how’s that ‘not being nagged by King for the foreseeable future’ working out for you?”

“How many times do I gotta apologize for that? I was doin’ my goddamn job. I shouldn’t have to apologize! It was my first day. I didn’t know who the fuck y’all were. I answered a B&E, Red was there and strapped. How the fuck was I supposed to know he’d been hired to babysit the property? It wasn’t until King arrived at the precinct and everyone lost their fuckin’ minds because I’d apparently pissed off the Second Coming that I was told about y’all.”

Ace doubled over, laughing at Mason’s traumatized expression. Like he was having flashbacks of first meeting King. It had not gone well. The thing was, Ward Kingston only lost his shit with those he considered family because his emotions got the better of him, but with everyone else? He didn’t even have to talk. It was impressive. King gave off this weird vibe of familiarity, like he suddenly morphed into whatever guy the person he was dealing with had a soft spot for. He became their big brother, their beloved son, their favorite cousin, a long-lost love, and then they were eating out of his palm and they’d do anything not to disappoint him. It was something in those deep blue eyes of his and the way he smiled.

“I’m glad you find my distress amusing,” Mason mumbled. He glanced over his shoulder before turning his attention back to Ace. “So, what you up to this weekend?”

“Providing King doesn’t murder me? FYI, if you can’t find the body, flex those manly muscles in front of Lucky. He’ll sing like a canary.”

Mason scoffed. “No offense, but your cousin’s a manwhore.”

“Why would I get offended? He wears the status with pride.”

“Besides, you know I ain’t interested in Lucky.” His blue eyes softened, and Ace swallowed hard as he looked away.


Mason let out a sigh. He nodded before letting his head hang. “I know. Doesn’t hurt to try, though, right?”

“That’s where you’re wrong, Coop,” Ace said, gently poking Mason over his heart. “It does hurt. We tried, remember?” Mason Cooper was a great guy. Problem was, after almost a year of dating him, Ace knew as much about him now as when they’d first met. Mason had secrets. Lots of them. He also had major trust issues. The fact he couldn’t bring himself to confide in Ace—someone who made his living operating with complete discretion—after almost a year, made it clear they had no future together. Ace could have dug into Mason’s past or run a thorough background check, but he respected Mason, and looking into him without his permission would have been an unforgiveable breach of whatever they’d had. Having access to the information, didn’t give him the right to use it.

The sex had been amazing, and the intimate moments even better, but Ace needed more. The problem was he cared about Mason, which led to them hooking up several times after their breakup. Having Mason shut him out each time he tried to get close had become too painful, so he’d done what he did with every guy who made him feel like he’d want more—he left them before they could leave him. They could be friends. Nothing more.

“I reckon you’re right,” Mason said quietly. “It was good, huh?”

Not trusting himself to speak, Ace nodded. He patted Mason’s shoulder. “I’ll follow you to the station.” He spun on his heels, walked backward to his car, and winked at Mason. “Gotta call this in. I’ll be sure to tell Lucky you asked about him.”

Mason’s laugh when he flipped Ace off made him smile. Whatever demons Mason was battling, Ace hoped the guy found some peace. He deserved to be happy.

Ace helped two officers haul his client’s crate into the back of Mason’s squad car before he climbed behind the wheel of his Camaro. “Thanks, officers!” Ace waved as he waited for Mason to get into his car.

Watching the man walk by was always a treat. As soon as Mason was on the move, so was Ace. Since his client’s property was now in police custody, Ace wouldn’t be letting it out of his sight until his client arrived at the precinct. It would take some time for the property to be released from evidence, then Ace would transport it as agreed. Soon as he was done, he’d drive off to his home away from home. Of course, that meant having to deal with his less-than-thrilled brother-in-arms. If all else failed, he’d do what he’d been doing for years when it came to pissing off King. Hide.

Author Bio:
Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

EMAIL: charlie@charliecochet.com

Release Blitz: On the Ice by Amy Aislin

Title: On the Ice
Author: Amy Aislin
Series: Stick Side #1
Genre: M/M Romance, Sports
Release Date: May 8, 2018
For college sophomore Mitch Greyson, determination and persistence are the name of the game if he wants to make it as a professional hockey player. A busy schedule of practices, games, classes, homework, two part-time jobs—and now, working with a tutor to help him pass the class he’s failing so that he can keep his scholarship—shouldn’t leave him with enough time to flirt with the NHL player in town. But that doesn’t stop him.

Placed on the injured reserve list until his broken arm heals, NHL defenseman Alex Dean is using the time off to be with his ailing grandfather and get a head start on the book he’s been commissioned to write. He doesn’t expect to get roped into a tutoring gig, especially not for cocky, smart-ass Mitch.

But Alex soon discovers that there’s more to Mitch than meets the eye...and he really likes what he sees. Only Alex doesn’t dare risk his NHL career by coming out, and a relationship between them would jeopardize Mitch’s chances with the organization too.

It looks impossible. Then again, the best things usually do...

“Good game against Colgate,” Alex said, pocketing his phone.

The mask slipped off Mitch’s face. “You were there?”

Alex shook his head. “Watched it on TV.”

Holy crap! An NHL player—Mitch’s hockey crush, no less—had watched his game. At a loss for words, Mitch stood there blinking at Alex like a putz.

“You’ve got impressive foot work,” Alex said.

Mitch continued to blink at him.

“You skated circles around Colgate and that goal in the third?” Alex smiled wide. “You broke Colgate’s end as if the defensemen were pylons. It was beautiful.”

“I—” Mitch cleared his throat. “Well, McCall passed me the puck at just the right time, so… I mean, I did figure skating for years and…” He had no idea what he was trying to say.

“Huh. I know a couple of guys who did some figure skating after their game slipped and it helped them rebound. It’s something I’ve been considering to improve my foot speed.” Alex leaned a shoulder against the wall and crossed his arms, but his cast got in the way so he ended up shoving one hand in his pocket and letting the casted one dangle. “Your training shows in your footwork. How else has it helped your game?”

In total disbelief that an NHL player was asking him for advice, Mitch said, “Figure skating is about using edges and your body to change direction on the ice. It’s about learning to cut a corner or to pivot the right way while maintaining your speed. It made me a better skater.”

“It shows.”

God, the compliments were going to go to Mitch’s head.

“What made you decide to stick with hockey instead of figure skating?”

Mitch shrugged and told the truth. “I liked hockey better.”

“Could you do a triple axel in full hockey gear?” Alex asked, a teasing grin on his face.

Mitch had to laugh. “I’ve never tried.” But now he was itching to.

“No? What about a—” Alex held his index finger up and moved it in small circles, “—with the leg out in front?”

“A sit spin?” Mitch scratched his head. “I actually think that one might be harder than the triple axel in full hockey gear.”

They stood there smiling at each other for a moment, Alex’s eyes the color of the Green Mountains in summer. The man was too gorgeous for words and he was nice to boot. Mitch couldn’t help staring at Alex’s mouth, red and surprisingly soft in an otherwise rugged face.

Alex cleared his throat and edged around Mitch. “I’ve got to get back to my friend.”

“Wait, I—” The hallway was empty so Mitch plastered his sex smile back on his face, walked right into Alex’s personal space, and put a hand on Alex’s hip. “Why don’t you come over tonight and we’ll—”

Alex palmed Mitch’s shoulders and pushed him away. “Look, kid—”

“I’m not a kid.”

“Mitch.” Alex held him at arm’s length. “Whatever it is you’re trying to do here, it’s not going to happen. I don’t even know you.”

“What difference does that make?”

Alex dropped his arms. “I don’t jump into bed with people I don’t know. Hell, I don’t even jump into bed with people I do know.”

Alex wasn’t saying I’m not gay, but it did sound like he was saying I’m asexual or something similar, which left Mitch exactly nowhere.

Author Bio:
Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in the suburbs of Toronto, Amy is a marketer/fundraiser at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including travelling, astronomy, ecology, and baking. She binge watches too much anime, and loves musical theater, Julie Andrews, the Backstreet Boys, and her hometown of Oakville, Ontario.



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Release Blitz: Owned by the Sea by LM Somerton

Title: Owned by the Sea
Author: Lm Somerton
Genre: M/M Romance, BDSM
Release Date: May 8, 2018
Cover Design: Emmy Ellis @ studioenp
Publisher: Pride Publishing

Storms pass and, in their wake, new beginnings can be found.

Talented young artist Jonty Trelawn paints the sea as self-inflicted punishment. For almost a year he has hidden away from life, survivor’s guilt consuming him, but the time has come to move on. He conceives the idea of a charity art auction in support of the local lifeboat station and the men and women who saved his life. He hopes the tribute to his family will release him from the sea’s invisible chains.

Carpenter Jed Curnow is bound to the water in a different way. As deputy coxswain of the Govenek, the local lifeboat, his world revolves around the close-knit crew. He thinks nothing of risking his life to save others. Saving Jonty is less dangerous but just as important to him. He wants nothing more than to give Jonty the love and security he needs.

Jed’s dominant personality calls to Jonty’s more submissive nature but will he ever allow himself to be happy? It’s up to Jed and his best friend Marmite to help Jonty put his tragic past behind him and live for the future.

Jonty stood on the swaying deck and took a last, longing glance at the shore. His stomach was already heaving and the Caroline, named after his mother, had only just left the shelter of the bay. The next three days at sea were going to be torment. He hated the annual family ritual that took him away from his painting, but his father insisted on it and, at twenty-five, Jonty still hadn’t found the courage to refuse him. Rex Trelawn, who headed a private bank when he wasn’t torturing his son, had given up on Jonty ever being a ‘proper’ sailor, so Jonty was consigned to the galley with orders to keep the rest of the family fed and watered. He dealt with supplies, stocked the cupboards and made sure the boat was ready for a short sea voyage. He was also responsible for reporting their position to the coastguard at regular intervals, which he managed between visits to the head where his stomach contents insisted on making unwelcome reappearances.

The Caroline was a forty-six footer and manageable with a crew of four. She was just big enough that Jonty could avoid his father for some, if not all, of the trip. Rex always took the wheel while Jonty’s mother and younger sister, Evie, managed ropes and sails with ease. Evie had a sturdy build and relished the challenges of sailing while Jonty favored his recently deceased grandfather, being slight and less than average height. They were a small family, just the four of them, and Jonty found it impossible to refuse the one outing of the year that brought them all together, much as he wanted to. Three days battling his father’s disappointment was not his idea of a fun time.

Jonty slipped below deck to the narrow, claustrophobic galley and began preparations for a light supper. Soup and bread, fruitcake and hot chocolate would suffice—not that he’d be able to eat any of it himself. Just the idea of food made his stomach flip over. The four of them would take breaks and sleep in shifts, sailing out past Land’s End and into the Atlantic during the night. It would be something of an endurance test but Jonty could cope with that. He kept strange hours when he painted, sometimes forgetting to sleep.

His father was first to descend into the cabin, brushing a hand through his windswept silver hair. He shed his waterproofs, hanging them on a peg before taking a seat at the table.

“Wind’s getting up, Jonathon. Be sure to check the shipping forecast later.”

“Yes, sir.” Jonty didn’t need the reminder, but said nothing. He ladled soup into a bowl then placed it in front of his father.

“Not eating?” The usual note of disapproval colored Rex Trelawn’s tone.

“No.” Jonty didn’t expand. His father knew full well that Jonty got seasick every time he sailed.

“Come and join me.”

Jonty held back a sigh. He wasn’t feeling up to defending himself yet again.

“Shaw tells me your earnings are exceptional for such a young artist. He wants more work from you.”

The sigh escaped. “Shaw has no business discussing my finances with you. He’s my agent, not yours.”

“I hope you’re investing well?” Rex waved a soup spoon at him, ignoring Jonty’s objection. “I’ll have to put the rent up on Cliff House.”

Jonty’s family, including his sister who was studying at King’s College, resided in London. Jonty chose to live at the family’s second home in Cornwall where the pure light was perfect for painting. He needed a place of his own where he could cut another tie to his domineering father but somehow he’d never gotten around to house hunting. He didn’t rise to Rex’s taunt. Housing discussions were preferable to those that questioned his ‘dubious lifestyle choices’. Rex Trelawn had never quite accepted his son’s sexual orientation and it was a topic best avoided. When Jonty came out at eighteen, Evie had shrugged, his mother had wept for a while then refreshed her makeup, hugged him then commenced trawling her copious address book for prospective boyfriends. Rex had given him the silent treatment for months until Jonty’s first gallery showing had sold out. He’d proved to have some worth, so they’d reached a truce of sorts.

“It’s time I found a place of my own,” he said. “Property is a good investment these days, isn’t it?”

Rex grunted. Checkmate had been reached. Rex wanted his son as a live-in caretaker for Cliff House, a place where he had a hold on him. Rex knew it and so did Jonty. “It’s time for the shipping forecast.”

Jonty switched on the radio then relaxed into the familiar litany of strange names and wind speeds, paying particular attention to Lundy and Sole.

“It’s brisker than I expected,” Rex muttered. “Bloody weather changes on the toss of a coin. We could be in for a bumpy ride.” He cut himself a slice of fruitcake, grinning.

Jonty’s stomach did a jig. He just made it to the head in time.

An unpleasant five minutes later, Jonty returned to the cabin to find Evie swapping places with their father at the table.

“Have you been worshiping the porcelain god again, big brother?”

“The boy has a weak constitution,” Rex grumbled, disappearing up the steps to the deck.

“And he could eat roadkill on a rollercoaster without retching,” Jonty sniped. “You want soup, sis?”

“Only if you haven’t thrown up in it.” Despite her words, Evie’s smile was sympathetic.

“There’s nothing left in my stomach. Besides, you’re like Dad. You’ll eat anything.” Jonty did his duty with the soup then watched as Evie demolished the entire bowl and two sizeable chunks of bread.

“Hungry work out there.” She grinned. “Dad been giving you grief again?”

“Same as usual.” Jonty shrugged. “He won’t change.”

“Next year when he proposes this trip, tell him to go take a running jump off the nearest pier.”

“So says the favored child.”

“I’m straight, gorgeous, I love sport and will provide him with grandchildren. You are not straight, far too pretty for a man, refuse to cut your hair, you hate sport and you have a talent he doesn’t, which will no doubt make you richer than him. Of course he loves me best.” She raised her mug of hot chocolate in a toast.

Author Bio:
Lucinda lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.

She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She's fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.

EMAIL: lmsomerton@aol.com


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