Giveaway: I’m offering a free signed paperback copy of my Icelandic-set romantic suspense novel Fall Hard (I’m happy to ship internationally) to a randomly chosen commenter on the tour, plus a $10 Amazon gift certificate!
I’ll be making the draw around teatime on Monday 1st September, GMT. Good luck! :D
Some memories are better off lost in the mist… Fall Hard
You can run from the past…but the past runs faster
Shamwell Tales, Book 1
Behind Robert’s cheerfully eccentric exterior lies a young heart battered and bruised by his past. He’s taken a job teaching in a village primary school to make a fresh start, and love isn’t part of his plans. But he’s knocked for six—literally—by a chance encounter with the uncle of two of his pupils.
Sean works in pest control, rides a motorbike, and lives on a council estate. On the face of it, he shouldn’t have anything in common with Robert’s bow-tie, classic-car style and posh family background. Yet Robert is helpless to resist Sean’s roguish grin, and a rocky, excruciatingly embarrassing start doesn’t keep the sparks between them from flaring.
Despite Robert’s increasingly ludicrous attempts to keep his past where it belongs, his past hasn’t read the memo. And soon his secrets could be the very things that drive Sean away for good…
Warning: contains the alarming misadventures of a pest control technician, a stepsister with a truly unfortunate name, and a young man who may have more bow ties than sense.
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Exclusive excerpt from Caught!
In this scene, Robert and Sean have just returned from their first successful date, and Robert has invited Sean in for a coffee—but the water in the kettle isn’t the only thing that’s got a little heated…
The kettle boiled noisily and we broke apart, both of us breathing rather quickly. “Um. Coffee?” I said, my voice shaky.
“Uh, yeah. Wow.”
“Definitely wow. Talk about your hidden depths.”
I gave him a sidelong look. “Not that hidden, surely?”
“Depends. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like the way you dress—it’s different and fun and all that—but yeah, it’s not exactly in-your-face sexy, is it?” He gave my rear a gentle squeeze. “Course, when I saw you in your running gear, with your hair all messed up and that… I mean, most of the time you’re so put together, you know? It was like… Shit, this is a bad analogy, ’cos I liked you before, anyway, but it was like that really corny moment in films when the girl in the lab coat takes off her glasses and shakes out her hair, and suddenly she’s gorgeous.”
I frowned. “I don’t wear glasses. And my hair’s too short to shake out. Plus, and I really feel I should emphasise this point to avoid any possible misunderstandings, I’m not a girl.”
Sean laughed. “I told you it was a shit analogy.” He brought one hand up to stroke my face, and I fought the urge to nuzzle into it as his other hand slid farther around my waist. “But you are gorgeous.”
Delight and embarrassment warred. Embarrassment, as usual, won. “I think I’d better make you that coffee now. The wine tonight obviously had quite an effect on you.”
“Yeah, two thimblefuls and I’m anybody’s.”
“Nah, not really. I’ve got pretty high standards.” His fingers brushed my throat, and I swallowed.
“Um. You’d probably better let go of me. So I can make the coffee,” I reminded him.
“Probably.” Sean’s hands didn’t move.
“Soon?” I hinted. “Before we have to boil the kettle again?”
“Definitely.” He leaned in to kiss me, his lips soft, then slowly let go.
I blinked at him for a moment before remembering I was supposed to be doing something now.
“Coffee,” Sean said helpfully.
“I knew that.” I spooned coffee into the mugs, managing not to spill more than half of it over the counter, which I counted as something of a victory.
“Course you did.” Sean leaned in beside me and swept the spilt coffee grounds up with his hands, then brushed them off over the sink. “Milk?”
“Fridge.” I inclined my head in the fridge’s general direction and poured hot water into the mugs.
“Cupboard. I’ll get it.”
“Bot—” I caught myself halfway through the automatic answer. “I beg your pardon?”
Sean leaned on the counter, an evil grin plastered over his face that gave him a disconcerting resemblance to his nephews. “Sorry—thought we were playing word-association games. I always used to like those when I was a littl’un.”
JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy.
She is a member of 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
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