A Caryn Review: Best Behaviour by Matthew Metzger

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Matthew Metzger is always a bit of a hit or miss author for me, but when he’s good, he’s very, very good!  As I was reading this book, I was thinking of how affirming it would be for a questioning (especially in regards to gender identity) teen, because there were some amazing role models in here.  It’s not a YA book, but I am going to recommend it to the non-binary people I know, and see what they think of it.  I expect they’ll be impressed as well…

Jim was a guy who always had a bit of a chip on his shoulder.  From his childhood growing up poor with a sister and a single mother, through some stupid teenage pranks that landed him in jail, to the predicament he found himself in at the beginning of the book – out of a job, deep in debt, and evicted from his apartment.  At rock bottom, he called his sister, who reluctantly took him in to her house.  With her much older, reverend husband and 3 young children.  Sarah told him he had to be on his best behavior, and that meant NO MEN.

Jim hated it.  Hated his sanctimonious 62 year old brother-in-law, who he described as a “posh upper-class twassock…[whose] hobbies included fishing.  Not going fishing but watching it.  On the TV.  For hours on end.”  Heh, I don’t think I could stand him either.  Jim told himself he could do this, stay with Sarah and her family, only as long as it took to get a good job.  And then he was out of there.

But then he met the music teacher, and was instantly infatuated.  Fran might play the proper, straight-laced teacher, but “he was definitely the innocence-defiled sort”.  What started out as a hookup turned into something real for both of them, but in order to make it work, Jim needed to learn what being on his best behavior really meant.

The character development was excellent in this book.  Jim initially was petty, childish, and seemed to spend more time trying to annoy his sister than he did trying to get a job and grow up.  I almost wanted her to kick him out.  Getting into a relationship with Fran brought out a different side of him – and it became clear that his reaction to his situation was exactly what had gotten him into trouble when he was younger and immature, and he already had learned to do better.  Fran had been through his own struggles, especially in regards to his orientation and gender identity, and I had to admire the easy way the author introduced those and made them such natural and surprisingly low angst revelations.  There were so many examples of Jim understanding what respect and consent truly were, and that is when I started feeling differently about him.  When one of Sarah’s children came out as queer to Jim, he was the one to help her understand that what she felt was okay, normal, and not deserving of the shock and anger she saw from her parents.  All of that is what made me feel that this book would be so helpful and comforting for any person who is doing their own soul searching about their identity.

In addition to the wonderful message of the book, I also thoroughly enjoyed the writing.  Mr. Metzger was poetic without resorting to purple prose when describing how Jim felt about Fran, and there was a lot of humor in the book as well – both Jim and Fran are pretty snarky, and the dialogue was excellent.  The way Jim saw Sarah’s kids in particular had that dry British humor that really balanced out the intensity of the other more difficult parts of his life.

I found the cover art by Erin Dameron-Hill to be eye-catching, but by the time I finished the book I felt the text “He’s not known for obeying orders” to distract from what I thought were the best parts of the book

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon | Kobo

Book Details:

ebook, 222 pages
Published February 12th 2019 by Pride Publishing
ISBN 139781786517050
Edition Language English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Black (Kitty Play Romance) by Quin Perin

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Dima was finishing a modeling job when but his manager and lover left him high and dry in the Netherlands and never looked back. He was going through a personal hell at the time, but even though left to fend for himself, he makes the best of his situation and begins work as a baker for a small pastry shop not far from his apartment.  Lunchtime always finds him by the seaside enjoying the fresh air, even when the weather is brisk.  Fiercely independent, he wants no man in his life for more than one night. Never again will he allow himself to be vulnerable and dependent on one person.

Tony comes to town to visit his sister. She’s a single mom and has a great boyfriend—Jan, the man who owns the bakery where the handsome and elusive Dima works.  An American and a journalist and author, Tony has let his vagabond spirit take him all over the world, but once he meets Dima and talks him into intimacy the first time, he starts to rethink his need for travel. 

From the moment the two meet, their passion for each other explodes in sex and they quickly move from frottage to anal and add a little kink to their passion when Tony decides Dima’s love of scratching him in bed deserves a set of cat ears. They add more to their kink play as the story goes on so those who enjoy erotica with a twist should like this story.

My rating is low primarily because I didn’t like either character. No matter how involved they became with each other and no matter how much they changed and became romantically involved, neither man felt real and neither man held my interest. Most of the story took place in bed—or other locations around the apartment—where they had mad, passionate, and very descriptive (and lengthy) sex sessions. The sex scenes became boring. I enjoy kink, including puppy play, and the kitty kink was a nice twist on that, but the overall impression I was left with was that these men were lucky to be able to walk when they stood upright—which wasn’t often. Giving the benefit of the doubt, maybe love can grow after hot, hard, toss-him-around sex. Who knows?

Tony didn’t feel three-dimensional to me at all. All I recall is he’s blond, had tattoos, is American and has a big you know what—naturally!—and he used it constantly. Dima was independent and self-contained, until it came to Tony. He was small, slender, with long hair and was described as beautiful outside and in. He had the potential to be a loveable character, but I didn’t feel any warmth toward him and neither were characters who will remain memorable after I post the review.

I don’t doubt that others found this story and these men appealing. And I assume most readers will enjoy the dynamic and the sex and the sex and the sex. It just wasn’t the book for me.

Cover Artist: Quin Perin, cover art is simple and to the point.  Kitty play it is.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1, 350 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASINB07PBCV4CF
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Free Dreamer Review: Apple Boy (The Quiet Work #1) by Isobel Starling

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

A new Fantasy series by award-winning author Isobel Starling

A lost lordling, a farm boy, and a tale of mystery, magic, and murder!

After a traumatic event, Winter Aeling finds himself destitute and penniless in the backwater town of Mallowick. He needs to travel to the city of Serein and impart grave news that will bring war to the Empire, but without a horse, money, and with not a soul willing to help him, he has no choice but to line up with the common folk seeking paid work on the harvest. 

As wagons roll into the market square and farmers choose day laborers, Winter is singled out for abuse by a brute of a farmer. The only man who stands up for him is the farmer’s beguiling son, Adam, and on locking eyes with the swarthy young man Winter feels the immediate spark of attraction.

Winter soon realizes there is a reason he has been drawn to Blackdown Farm. The farmer possesses a precious item that was stolen long ago from Winter’s family, and he determines to retrieve it. He also cannot take his eyes off the farmer’s son, and as the young man opens up Winter can’t help wondering if Adam is just kind or his kind!

I was really looking forward to “Apple Boy”. Finally a M/M fantasy novel that actually has more than 300 pages! In the end, the book didn’t quite meet my expectations, however.

I quite liked the beginning. I enjoyed slowly finding out about what happened to Winter, and about the world in general. I was charmed by the unusual plot idea and the highly likable MCs. But the more I read, the less I enjoyed what I was reading. The MCs were still likable and the plot unusual, but somehow the initial spark just got lost.

One thing I noticed right away was the slightly sloppy editing. There were several recurring minor spelling mistakes, like Gods vs. God’s, that really have no place in a finished novel. I’ve definitely read worse, but there just is absolutely no excuse for bad spelling and grammar.

The world building was very thorough and yet somehow lacking at the same time. We learn a lot about the different provinces of the Empire and their past, as well as how the magic works. I mostly missed some details. I didn’t understand why homosexuality was completely normal and accepted by everybody in Winter’s home province, while it was an offense punishable by the death in the neighbouring province. Those are two opposite extremes I wouldn’t expect from neighbours under the same government. I also completely missed any kind of religion. I’m not even sure if there was one god or several, because of the constant switches between Gods/God’s.

I enjoyed the relationship dynamics between Winter and Adam. Winter is younger, yet more experienced and more powerful. Adam is older by five years and has absolutely no experience with relationships or sex. I really liked how their relationship developed with time.

While I didn’t mind the writing style initially and thought it fit the setting, it got on my nerves after some time. It started to feel very much like purple prose and the many exclamation marks made it all feel overly dramatic.

The story definitely captivated me. I was at work when I read the very first scene of Adam and Winter sharing forbidden kisses and when the door of the shop opened and a customer came in, I very nearly got a heart attack and felt super guilty.

I was quite surprised by how the plot turned out. There were some big surprises and a couple of twists I most definitely didn’t see coming and I liked how it all played out.

Overall, I did enjoy “Apple Boy”. The story itself was great, but the editing and writing style definitely had a negative impact on my reading experience. The next book in the series won’t be about Winter and I’m actually not sure if I want to read it or not.

The cover is very pretty. Adam looks gorgeous and just how I imagined him. I wouldn’t expect a Fantasy story behind such a cover, though. There’s nothing remotely magical about it.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Book details: Kindle Edition, 556 pages

Published February 15th 2019 by Decent Fellows Press

An Alisa Review: Demon on the Down-Low by EJ Russell

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

After decades of unrequited love, this kangaroo will jump at the chance for a date. Any date.

 

Lovelorn kangaroo shifter Hamish Mulherne, drummer for the mega-hit rock band Hunter’s Moon, waited years for the band’s jaguar shifter bassist to notice him. Instead, she’s just gotten married and is in a thriving poly relationship. How is Hamish supposed to compete with that? But with everyone else in the band mated and revoltingly happy, he needs somebody. Since he can’t expect true love to strike twice, he signs up with Supernatural Selection. Because what the hell.

 

When Zeke Oz was placed at Supernatural Selection through the Sheol work-release program, he thought he was the luckiest demon alive. But when he seems responsible for several massive matchmaking errors, he’s put on notice: find the perfect match for Hamish, or get booted back to Sheol for good. The only catch? He has to do it without the agency’s matchmaking spells, and Hamish simply will not engage.

 

But Zeke starts to believe that the reason all of Hamish’s dates fizzle is because nobody in the database is good enough for him. And Hamish realizes that his perfect match might be the cute demon who’s trying so hard to make him happy.

 

This series has been so great and I love how it was tied up, I’m probably going to have to go back and read the Fae out of Water series because I liked these characters so much and if the author ever makes another series references these characters it will be on my tbr immediately.  Hamish has resigned himself to a life without love and just hopes to find some companionship with the help of Supernatural Selection and against all odds gets registered.  Poor Zeke, he’s just trying to escape Sheol and the hell he lives there but seems to have just traded it for another with the restrictions put on him.

 

I loved that we got to see the couples from the previous books in this one and how great everything was for them even though everyone thought they were mistakes.  The twist of how everything was getting mixed up was interesting but I was so glad to see the culprit get what he deserved along with Zeke being able to break free from the prison his life was.

 

I felt for Zeke from the beginning, all the way from the bullying from the AI and the bullying from his Sheol master, he is just trying to survive and be able to stay in the upper world.  Hamish took a little to connect with but that was mostly because he was lying to himself about being able to find love but he quickly grabs onto the idea when he realizes that Zeke would be the perfect one for him.  I was so happy for these two to find a happily ever after, especially Zeke as we have seem how much he was struggling in the first two books.

 

Cover art by LC Chase is great and I love the visual of Zeke with Hamish’s drums and how it is similar to the others in the series.

 

Sales Links: Riptide Publishing | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 320 pages

Published: February 25, 2019 by Riptide Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-62649-858-7

Edition Language: English

Series: Supernatural Selection #3

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If You Love Fantasy Don’t Miss The Book Tour for Apple Boy (The Quiet Work #1) by Isobel Starling

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REVIEW TOUR

Book Title:  Apple Boy (The Quiet Work #1)

Author: Isobel Starling

Publisher: Decent Fellows Press

Cover Artist: Valentine Pascadian (Lennel)

Genre/s:  Fantasy, M/M Romance

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length:103 600 words/ 556 pages

Release Date: February 15, 2019

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Blurb

After a traumatic event, Winter Aeling finds himself destitute and penniless in the backwater town of Mallowick.  He needs to travel to the city of Serein and impart grave news that will bring war to the Empire, but without a horse, money, and with not a soul willing to help him, he has no choice but to line up with the common folk seeking paid work on the harvest.  

As wagons roll into the market square and farmers choose day laborers, Winter is singled out for abuse by a brute of a farmer.  The only man who stands up for him is the farmer’s beguiling son, Adam, and on locking eyes with the swarthy young man Winter feels the immediate spark of attraction.

Winter soon realizes there is a reason he has been drawn to Blackdown Farm.  The farmer possesses a precious item that was stolen long ago from Winter’s family, and he determines to retrieve it.  He also cannot take his eyes off the farmer’s son, and as the young man opens up Winter can’t help wondering if Adam is just kind or his kind!

About the Author

Isobel Starling spent most of her twenty-year professional career making art in Ireland.  She relocated to the UK and, faced with the dreaded artist’s creative block, Isobel started to write and found she loved writing more than making art.

Isobel is currently working on her nineteenth book.  

“As You Wish” (Shatterproof Bond#1) narrated by Gary Furlong won the Audiobook Reviewer Award for Romance 2018.  It is the first M/M Romance audiobook to win a mainstream audiobook award.

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Review Tour – A Body In A Bathhouse (A Mitch O’Reilly Mystery) by Brad Shreve (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 65,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: UmeWorks
 
Blurb
 

On the verge of bankruptcy, private investigator, Mitch O’Reilly takes any gig that comes his way, while running his Eye Spy Supply shop in a forgotten Los Angeles strip mall. After two tours in Afghanistan, Mitch’s life amounts to operating his store, coping with his fun-loving sister, Josie, and scoring with anonymous men he meets online. That changes when he gets a break. A beloved comedy scriptwriter is murdered at a bathhouse, and Mitch is hired to prove the innocence of the club custodian. Adapting from a two-bit gumshoe to a high-profile sleuth proves more challenging than he expected.

As if Mitch didn’t have enough to deal with, charismatic bathhouse operator, Trent Nakos, enters his life. After a heartbreaking past, the manager is the definition of a man the brooding P.I. actively avoids.

Following leads from sprawling mansions to sketchy hoods is demanding but becomes more troublesome when deadly threats jeopardize the biggest opportunity of his career.

 
Excerpt

“This case will be good for both of us,” Eve said. “If we get my client off, we look like heroes. If we don’t, he’s just another Mexican in prison who’ll be forgotten.”

“You’re one cold-hearted bitch.”

“Just honest, Mitch.”

Attorney Eve Aiken and I had worked together twice before. Once, I took pictures of a drug-abusing father in a custody battle. The second case involved a Pomeranian and suspicious bite marks.

“He’s probably an illegal. That’ll make it harder for us.” She pulled her gray suit jacket off, revealing a low-cut, black shell top. The skin above her breasts and down her arms was rough, wrinkled, and splotchy, making her look far beyond her fifty years. “I’ll give you the quick and dirty.”

I cocked my head and smirked. “Quick and dirty is the way I like it.”

She glared. “You probably know about the murder at that gay bathhouse yesterday.”

“It may surprise you to know there is no gay underground to disseminate information.”

“Don’t you watch the news?”

Before I could answer, a bell on the main door handle jingled. I rolled my desk chair to see the front of my store, Eye Spy Supplies. My twin sister, Josie, was showing up for work an hour late.

My desk, tucked in the corner of the cramped storeroom, is one of those heavy-as-hell, gray metal types the government used for decades after World War II. I placed my arm back on it, bumping a pile of paperwork to the floor where it mingled with more papers sorted in no particular order.

Eve scowled as she combed my shabby storeroom office with its dimmed fluorescent lighting and dark wood paneling. Stacked boxes slanted, ready to fall at any moment. A stool next to the desk barely balanced a mountain of bills on top, all stamped “past due.” I casually took a book off my desk and placed it on the pile. I had opened the store to be my own boss and get out of detective work. My plan was failing miserably. I still didn’t make enough from the store to stop being a private investigator, and I didn’t make enough as an investigator to close the store.

“You were saying?” I urged Eve on.

“A man was killed yesterday morning at the Club Silver Lake bathhouse,” she said. “Familiar with it?”

Familiar? It had been almost five years since I’d been inside, but I would never shake the lure of sheer self-indulgence that consumed my life after I left the army.

“I’ve heard of it. What happened?”

“A man by the name of Victor Verboom had his throat slashed while in a steam room. They have a suspect in custody—Ernesto Torres, a jilted lover who swears he didn’t do it. I’m defending him. That’s why I need your help.”

“Given your feelings towards ‘the gays,’ it’s surprising you took the case.”

“I work with you, don’t I? Anyway, it doesn’t matter which way the wind blows, as long as the cash is green.” She slid forward on my turquoise thrift-store couch and leaned toward me.

“They found Verboom’s body at 3:00 a.m. Apparently, he has a huge house in the hills, but he was known to sleep at the bathhouse several nights a week. Can you imagine

I could but didn’t say so. “What’s his story?”

“He was a staff writer for some TV comedy I don’t watch. It’s in the file.” She opened a manila folder that was in her lap. “Let’s see, it’s a show called Don’t do That! You ever see it?”

“I don’t watch much TV, but I can’t imagine you watching sitcoms. Is it even possible for you to crack a smile?”

Eve’s lips turned down, and she furrowed her brow. In an attempt to lean back, she forgot she was seated too far forward, which caused her to slump on the couch flailing her raised hands. Grunting and clearly embarrassed, she scooched up in her seat and straightened her gray, stained skirt. I was forced to grit my teeth and look away to maintain self-control.

She brushed aside a strand of her thin, black hair and crossed her arms. “Do you want this job, O’Reilly?”

“I’ll quit with the witty banter.”

“Witty? Don’t flatter yourself.”

 
About The Author
 

After growing up in Michigan and North Carolina, Brad Shreve criss-crossed the country while working in the hotel industry. In addition to working in hotels as a bellman, front desk clerk, and reservation call center director, he’s managed coffee houses, waited tables, sold potato chips off a truck and even hocked pre-burial funeral plans.


He credits Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak for developing his interest in art and storytelling. He’d spend hours on the floor sketching and painting and writing stories. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George gave him his first inklings that he’d like to be a novelist someday.


In addition to perpetually thinking of how to kill people, he’s a proud dad, a beach bum, and coffee house squatter.


He currently lives in the Los Angeles South Bay with his husband, Maurice.


Website/Newsletter Sign Up: www.bradshreve.com
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bradshreve
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bradshreveauthor

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In Need of More Loving? Check Out the Blog Tour for A Broken Promise (Loving Again #3) by Mel Gough (excerpt)

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LOVING AGAIN SERIES BLOG TOUR

 

January 25, 2019 – A World Apart

February 22, 2019 – A New Life

March 22, 2019 – A Broken Promise

 

NEW RELEASE – BOOK 3

 

Book Title: A Broken Promise (Loving Again Series, Book 3)

Author: Mel Gough

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Black Jazz Design

Genre/s: Contemporary romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 127 print pages

Release Date: March 22, 2019

Add on Goodreads  

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link

Amazon US 

Amazon UK

 

Blurb

Ben and Donnie are happier than they’ve ever been. Zac’s adoption went off without a hitch, their new home is tranquil and the perfect place to build their future.

But Donnie can never catch a break. An old affliction flares up again and as a result his physical condition is more precarious than ever. Helen is nervous about the environment to which Ben subjects their daughter, and Ben struggles to keep everything ticking over.

Then he meets Paul, an enigmatic, handsome journalist who is more than a little interested in Ben. In equal measures flattered and disturbed by the attention, Ben finds himself on the brink of a decision that might shatter the happiness he’s worked so hard to achieve

 

Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

How could they have so much stuff?

When Donnie and Ben had moved into the duplex just over six months ago there had been ten boxes, eight of which had been Ben’s. Donnie had had a ruthless clear-out of his and Floyd’s little house, and had thrown away most of his meagre possessions.

Of course, adding a baby—toddler now—to the mix meant a lot more stuff, and it all needed packing up.

Still, fifteen boxes in the bedroom alone seemed excessive.

Ben straightened and wiped his brow. He surveyed the result of three hours’ hard labor. Only a small suitcase remained open, with a couple of changes of clothes for each of them. The living room and kitchen were equally crammed with boxes, though they’d held back packing the crockery so far. The kitchen was chaotic enough with all of their different dietary requirements without having to hunt around for plates to eat from, too.

The new house, a find of Arthur’s just like their condo had been, was less than a mile from the apartment. Ben and Donnie had both come to love Ormewood with its quiet, leafy streets. The small bungalow had two bedrooms, which they’d badly need. The smaller one was going to be the nursery, with a second bed for Laura. Unlike the condo, the house wasn’t freshly decorated, but the road it stood on was quiet, and they would have a large yard at the front and back, where flower and vegetable beds had already been in good use.

The front door banged shut. “Evening,” Ben called, but there was no response. He put down the parcel tape and scissors and went into the hall.

Donnie stood by the front door gripping the doorknob hard, his head lowered. His breath came in painful-sounding gasps. Zac, who stood by Donnie’s side, looked around. The confusion on his round face cleared as he spotted Ben. “Pa!” He came running, and Ben picked him up. Fear churned his gut at the sight of Donnie’s bent-over form.

Hoisting Zac onto his hip, he asked, “What’s the matter?” In response, Donnie lifted his head and Ben’s question was answered at once. His face was white as chalk. “Whoa,” Ben exclaimed. “You look terrible.”

“Some kids got the stomach flu, and… shit…” With a low moan, Donnie staggered past Ben into the bathroom and shut the door.

“Dadda?” Zac asked tentatively.

Ben stroked his back. “I think Dadda’s not feeling so good. We gotta be nice, all right?”

Zac nodded, looking scared.

Ben hugged him. “It’s gonna be okay,” he whispered into the little boy’s dark curls, as much to reassure himself as Zac.

Donnie reemerged a long few minutes later, seemingly on the verge of passing out, his face ashen and sweaty. Ben hurriedly stood Zac on his feet and took Donnie by the elbow, his own heart hammering. “C’mere.” Donnie leaned his head against Ben’s neck, breaths ragged, his forehead burning. They stood still for a moment until Donnie began to shiver. “Let’s get you horizontal,” Ben murmured. Zac trailed them into the bedroom.

Ben struggled getting Donnie out of his shoes and pants. He had sweated through his shirt so Ben got a fresh T-shirt from the open suitcase. Great timing.As if moving wasn’t stressful enough already.

“Here, stretch out.” Ben pulled the blankets back. Donnie curled up, shuddering, his hands pressed hard to his stomach.

“You sure it’s just flu?” Ben asked, dread twisting his insides.

Donnie buried his face in the pillow. “What else?” His voice was tense and despondent.

“Could be your pancreas again?” Ben swallowed, dismayed at the thought. He sat on the edge of the bed and put a hand on Donnie’s neck, which was clammy and hot.

“Daycare kids’re sick,” Donnie insisted. “I just picked up their virus¾”

“Even if that’s true,” Ben interrupted. “We need to get you looked at, have your T-cells checked¾” He broke off as Donnie groaned and struggled to sit up.

Ben helped him to his feet, but Donnie pulled away. “Can manage.”

To distract himself and give Donnie some space, Ben went into the kitchen to locate a basin in one of the boxes. He was on his way back to the bedroom when Donnie reappeared, looking even whiter than before. Ben took him into his arms and Donnie clung on hard.

“Feeling any better?”

“Not really.” The hands went back to Donnie’s belly. Fear gripped Ben like an icy fist, but he said nothing.

Zac had somehow managed to climb into their bed. He looked at them with a serious expression on his little round face. “Dadda,” he said and stretched his arms out.

Donnie stopped dead. “He’ll get sick, Ben.”

“If he’s going to catch this it’s already happened,” Ben said. “But I’ll call Arthur, ask him if he can take Zac until you’re over the worst. I can’t look after you both, not with the move, as well.”

Donnie’s face creased. “I don’t like it when he’s away,” he whispered. “But you’re right. I’m real sorry, Ben.”

“It’s okay.” Ben hugged him and kissed his temple. “For now, give bub a cuddle. You need it.” He helped Donnie back into bed, and Donnie pulled Zac close, curling around him with a whimper. Ben watched them a moment. Donnie shivered and shifted around. With a sigh, Ben went to find his phone which he last remembered seeing in the chaotic living room.

When he returned to the bedroom Donnie had fallen asleep. Zac was stroking his face, but when he saw Ben, he started to wriggle free. Ben extracted him with care. Donnie sighed and turned over without waking. Ben put Zac in his cot, then, phone pressed to his ear, he started to pack a bag for Zac’s visit to Arthur.

 

About the Author

Mel was born in Germany, where she spent the first twenty-six years of her life (with a one-year stint in Los Angeles). She has always been fascinated by cultures and human interaction, and got a Masters in Social Anthropology. After finishing university she moved to London, where she has now lived for ten years.

If you were to ask her parents what Mel enjoyed the most since the age of six, they would undoubtedly say “Reading!” She would take fifteen books on a three-week beach holiday, and then read all her mom’s books once she’d devoured her own midway through week two.

Back home in her mom’s attic there’s a box full of journals with stories Mel wrote when she was in her early teens. None of the stories are finished, or any good. She has told herself bedtime stories as far back as she can remember.

In her day job, Mel works as PA and office manager. No other city is quite like London, and Mel loves her city. The hustle and bustle still amaze and thrill her even after all these years. When not reading, writing or going to the theater, Mel spends her time with her long-time boyfriend, discussing science or poking fun at each other.

 

 

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