Friday, 18 October 2019

Ukuleles & Scrums (Mitch & Cian #4) OUT NOW!!!!!!


Buy links: Universal | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Available to read with Kindle Unlimited

Also available as a paperback

Blurb

Falling in love is easy. Building a life together takes more work.

Nine months after getting together, Mitch and Cian are studying in Dublin and sharing an apartment. For both, this is a dream come true and even boring household chores become fun when they do them side by side.

Tensions arise after Cian joins an inclusive rugby club and Mitch a ukulele orchestra. Insecurities, jealousy, and lack of relationship-experience soon lead to resentment, and each struggles to balance romance with their individual interests. After Cian and Mitch accept separate invitations to Halloween parties, hoping the other will accompany them, their doubts grow.

Will All Hallows’ Eve drive a wedge between them or could there be another miracle in the making?

Ukuleles and Scrums is the fourth novella in the Mitch & Cian series. While it could, possibly, be read as a stand-alone story, the reader will enjoy it more if they read A Miracle in the Library, Lessons in Love, and Pride of Place first.

*****

Happy Release Day to Ukuleles & Scrums. When I wrote A Miracle in the Library last year, I thought I'd written a charming Christmas story and that would be the end of it. I had no idea it would be the start of a year-long journey. .

Little did I know Mitch and Cian had different plans. They weren't happy they only got to share a few kisses and told me that it was only fair to tell more of their story, if only because it would mean they'd get to know each other better - in all sorts of ways. 😉



So, here I am, almost a year later, bringing you the fourth installment of their journey together. And boy has it been a journey. These two have done some growing up over the past ten months, as this, not entirely safe for work, excerpt clearly shows.

Excerpt

“Can’t find what you’re looking for?” he asked, not trying to hide his amusement.
Cian glanced up at Mitch, inspected his surroundings, and had the grace to grimace and flush. “Sorry about that. I’ll fix it in a min.” He glared at the various items of clothing on the floor, then bent and picked something up. “Gottcha.”
“What’s that?” Mitch squinted at the item consisting more of connected bands of material than solid pieces. He thought he recognized it but didn’t want to hazard a guess and make a fool of himself.
 “A jockstrap.” Cian slung one strap over his index finger and swung the piece of underwear around.
“Jockstrap, hey?” Excitement heated Mitch’s blood. “I can’t say I’ve ever seen one of those up close and personal.”
Cian glanced at him, his gaze intense. “I’ll be right back.”
Mitch watched, bemused, as Cian hurried into the bathroom. When Cian returned, moments later, Mitch’s bemusement turned into pure, hot lust when he noticed how well the jock’s pouch encased Cian’s package. “Nice.”
Cian turned on the spot, giving Mitch his first sight of Cian’s bare arse, framed by black straps.
“Very nice.” Mitch didn’t try to hide the heat in his voice. He approached Cian, who had come full circle and faced him again. Wrapping his arms around Cian’s middle, he grabbed both cheeks with his hands and squeezed. “Is there a rule saying you can only wear this when you’re on the field?”
Cian chuckled. “I guess you’re on board with the rugby idea, then?”
Doubts and fears tried to worm their way back into Mitch’s thoughts, but he shrugged them off, concentrating on the familiar and wholly enticing feel of Cian’s naked butt. Pressing closer to his boyfriend, he smiled as the hard bulge of Cian’s erection pressed into his tummy.
“I’m never going to complain about seeing or feeling more of your arse,” he muttered, very aware of his own rock-hard cock tenting the material of his loose trousers.
“I created a monster,” Cian said before claiming Mitch’s mouth in a heated kiss. He pushed him backward until they tumbled to the bed, their lips never losing contact. Two soft thuds indicated the two bags had bounced off the bed, but Mitch barely registered the noise, too lost in Cian’s mouth and the hungry interaction between their tongues.
“You’re overdressed,” Cian murmured before hurriedly removing Mitch’s clothes. He tugged on his dick, and Mitch lost himself in Cian’s body. As white-hot need rushed through his veins, Mitch couldn’t remember why he had been concerned about Cian’s rugby team or what had triggered the thoughts in the first place.
“I want to fuck you.” He gasped the words at Cian, fully aware this was something they rarely did and that it was the first time he’d verbalized the desire.
“Let me guess,” Cian said, his voice heated. “You’d like me on my knees, with my arse in the air so you can see the straps while you ride me.”
Before Mitch could reply, Cian turned on the bed and presented himself exactly as he’d suggested. The sight took Mitch’s breath away, and for a few moments all he could do was stare at the sheer beauty and incredible hotness of Cian’s well-formed backside. When Cian reached behind him and pulled his cheeks apart, Mitch moaned softly.
“Hey!” Cian glared at Mitch over his shoulder. “This arse isn’t going to fuck itself.”
The joke, expressed in a needy tone of voice, was exactly what Mitch needed. He pulled the tube of lube from the bedside table and squeezed some onto his fingers before making short work of preparing Cian for the coming invasion.
It wasn’t long before Cian was pushing back, trying to fuck himself on Mitch’s fingers, and Mitch took it as a sign. He withdrew his hand, squeezed more lube onto it, and spread it across his cock, grateful they’d decided to forgo condoms shortly after moving in together. Since they were a couple and exclusive as well as each other’s first, they’d agreed to do without the protection.
Fighting his need, Mitch eased his way into the narrow heat. Cian seemed eager enough, but that didn’t change the fact that he rarely bottomed. When the full length of his dick was buried deep inside Cian, Mitch rested, pressing his lips to Cian’s shoulder while their bodies adjusted.
“Will you get a move on.” Cian wiggled his arse, stressing his impatience.
“Your wish…” Mitch didn’t waste any more time on words and pulled back, only to immediately slide into Cian again, relishing the hot grip the tight hole had on his straining cock. He’d forgotten how good this was.
“Fuck, yeah,” Cian groaned. “You feel so good.”
“You too,” Mitch said, struggling for breath. “So tight. This won’t take long.”
He moved faster, pushing in and out of Cian with more force. Already he could feel the telltale tingle in his balls, and he struggled to fight his impending explosion, to extend the pleasure for a few more moments. Cian enthusiastically moving with him intensified every penetration, which didn’t help at all.
When his orgasm hit, Mitch felt it in every inch of his body. Cian’s arse contracting around his erupting cock only enhanced Mitch’s climax. It wasn’t until he’d shot the last drop of cum that Mitch realized he’d completely ignored Cian’s dick and even failed to release it from its pouch.
Still seated deep inside Cian, he lifted one hand and reached for Cian’s cock, expecting to find it throbbing and hard. When his fingers connected with a wet, sticky patch of material instead, he chuckled.
Cian glanced at him again, and Mitch wasn’t sure whether the red glow on Cian’s cheeks was the result of his recent climax or embarrassment over how he’d reached it.
“That was hot,” Cian said. “We’ll have to do it again.”
Mitch couldn’t argue with that. He might not be sure how he felt about Cian joining a gay rugby team, but he had no doubts about how much he loved having a rugby-playing boyfriend.

*****

If you're curious about the earlier titles, you can find them in the following places: 

A Miracle in the Library: Universal | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Lessons in Love: Universal | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Pride of Place: Universal | Amazon US | Amazon UK



Friday, 24 May 2019

Flashback to Equality




Almost exactly four years ago, Ireland voted in favour of marriage equality during a referendum, making us the first and so far only country to introduce this right through a popular vote. As you can probably imagine, I was very invested in both the campaign leading up to the referendum and in the eventual result. I remember working in the library the day the votes were being counted and spending most of my time staring at my twitter account as the results from the various counties were announced.

Counting the votes always takes at least a day in Ireland and I was home again by the time the national result was officially announced. Although by that stage it had been clear for some time that the YES-vote had won the day, I still released a huge sigh of relief (and shed more than a few tears) when the official declaration was made.

The referendum and the months leading up to it made such an impression on me that I had to put it in a book. The result was Equality, the second book in my Dublin Virtues trilogy which was released on the first anniversary of the referendum. To this day it ranks very high on my list of favourites. 

In the following scene we are getting close to March 22nd, the day the referendum is to take place, and Lorcan and Eric have joined the Yes campaign in Lorcan’s hometown, where he’s expected to make a speech.

***

After over an hour of listening to all the reasons people should vote No, Eric wanted to scream. They were the same claims he heard on radio and television every day, and they didn’t get any less ridiculous just because people kept repeating them.

“Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. You’ve now heard the arguments from those who oppose the suggestion made in the referendum. For the sake of objectivity, we decided it’s only fair to also invite someone from the Yes campaign to state their case.” The man on stage nodded at Lorcan, who appeared to stiffen more, if such a thing were possible, before getting up and slowly approaching the speaking platform. Eric’s heartbeat increased as he worried about the man he loved, and he said a silent prayer to the God he didn’t believe in, for the words to flow and the audience not to be too hostile. He held his breath as he waited for Lorcan to start.

“Thank you for allowing me to say a few words.”

Eric released the air he’d been holding as he stared at his boyfriend—if that was still true—and recognized the nervous tension on his face. Lorcan moved his head as if he wanted to memorize the faces of everybody in the hall for future reference and yet, Eric was sure he didn’t see anybody.

“I realize this isn’t a comfortable subject for most of you. Trust me, it isn’t easy for me, either. It never was.” Lorcan paused, as if he wasn’t sure how to go on, and for a moment Eric was convinced he was about to step away from the microphone and sit down again. Eric imagined he could hear Lorcan’s deep sigh before he continued. “You’re being asked to vote in favor of something you’ve always been told is wrong. Most of you are certain people like me are an abomination in the eyes of God.”

Eric saw several people nod in agreement.

“But don’t you feel that thinking along those lines amounts to accusing God of making countless mistakes? God, we’ve been told, is almighty. God is infallible. If that is true, then why are gay children being born every day? Because believe me when I say that none of us woke up one morning and decided to be gay out of spite, or out of some deep-rooted desire to be different. Far from it. When I first realized I was attracted to men, I hated myself. I didn’t want to be the odd one out. All I desired was to be the same as everybody else—to fit in. And I don’t. I can’t begin to explain how much it hurts when you’re being treated as different, less than others, just because you were born a certain way.”

Lorcan paused again and Eric braced himself, convinced someone in the audience would start heckling any moment, but silence reigned supreme. Eric didn’t think it would have been his approach, but maybe honest and vulnerable was the way to win over the crowd.

“We’re not asking for special treatment. All we want is to be treated the same way as you. This vote isn’t about whether or not you understand or approve of homosexuality. It has nothing to do with raising and adopting children. All a Yes vote would ensure is that we will be a little bit less separate from the rest of society. We just want to be equal. Nothing is going to change for you. Your marriages will still be as good or as bad as they are right now—your weddings still as lavish or as simple as you want them to be. Voting Yes won’t cost you anything and will give so very much.”

Lorcan looked up and his gaze sought Eric’s before he bowed his head and took a small step backward.

“But what about the children!” an angry voice shouted from somewhere in the back of the hall.

Eric turned to see who had spoken but was too late. When he focused on Lorcan again the man had gone through a transformation. The hesitation was gone, and no sign of shyness or awkwardness remained as Lorcan all but glared at the crowd.

“Yes! The children. Let’s talk about them. Like I said, this referendum isn’t about whether or not a gay couple should be able to adopt a child. Children are already being raised by same-sex couples and legislation to facilitate that is separate from the marriage issue. But, if you are so worried about the children and their feelings, how can you possibly stand by while people proclaim, day after day, that the only way a child should be raised is by a heterosexual couple? How do you imagine that makes children who are now growing up with gay parents, or are being brought up by single parents, feel? Do you seriously believe it’s a good idea to tell all those children they’re just not good enough? Because that’s what you’re doing. Just as you’re telling every child who is questioning their sexuality right now, and trying to come to terms with the fact that they don’t fit what society has decided is the norm, that they’re inferior. Don’t tell me you’re worried about the children if you’re prepared to hurt so many of them just to win your argument. Don’t be a hypocrite. This has nothing to do with the children and everything to do with your prejudices.”

Hesitant clapping started on Eric’s right and within moments others joined in. Eric’s heart swelled as he watched Lorcan fully relax for the first time in four days. He had no doubt Lorcan knew as well as he did that he wouldn’t have convinced everyone. But, by the sound of it, he’d managed to make at least a few people think.

***

Blurb

Love is love. But what if the fight for equality gets in the way of building a relationship?
Lorcan Barrett has never considered himself relationship material. After his parents made it perfectly clear they’d never welcome a partner of his into their home, he learned to love his own company and now can’t imagine sharing his life with another. After a single passionate kiss with Eric Kavanagh—the night before he travels to Canada for three months—Lorcan’s no longer sure he wants to be on his own. The problem is, he has no idea what sharing his life with someone else might entail.
Eric Kavanagh grew up in a loving and supportive family and had always assumed he’d end up in a committed relationship. Sure that he’s found the one, Eric doesn’t worry about the fact that Lorcan has no experience when it comes to love and relationships. They are good together, so what could possibly go wrong?
When both men get involved in the marriage equality referendum in Ireland, it appears to bring them even closer together, until Lorcan’s insecurities get the upper hand and he shuts Eric out. Will the fight for a Yes vote cost them their relationship, or will they be able to find a balance between the love they share and the need for equality?



Monday, 20 May 2019

Flashback to Strangers in the Night


Happy Monday, my friends. Are you ready for another flashback?

This one is from Strangers in the Night which is in fact the very first MM story I ever wrote as well as the only time I had a writing partner. We had so much fun figuring out how to write a story together, and fell in love with our characters during the process. I'm still sorry that Jaycee Edward, my co-writer for this book, isn't writing anymore.

If the excerpt below leaves you curious, you can find the book here: Strangers in the Night: mybook.to/SitN

***
THE SOFA was too damn short. And too damn narrow. That’s what a man got for being a Good Samaritan: a long, sleepless night. Callum sighed and pulled the blanket closer around him as he listened to the sounds coming from the bed.
Slade had looked exhausted, tossing and turning only a few times before drifting off to sleep. The jagged scar on the young man’s thigh confirmed Callum’s suspicions. He’d seen Slade rubbing that leg and favoring it when he walked. He was certain it was a war wound. The other scars, though…. Some fading, some angry red. They littered his arms and thighs, and—what intrigued Callum the most—they were straight. Self-inflicted.
As he pondered the possible reasons behind the scars, a change in the boy’s breathing caught his attention. Low moans and murmurs, words Callum couldn’t quite make out, filled the room, growing ever louder.
Slade’s restless movements morphed into violent thrashing. A gut-wrenching scream broke from his chest, startling Callum from his musings.
Jesus. The lad was having one hell of a nightmare. He couldn’t just lie here and listen.
It was only a few steps from the sofa to the bed. Slade was completely wrapped up in the bedclothes. In the faint light from the smoldering fire, Callum could see sweat shining on the boy’s face.
Please… please… and Zach? He couldn’t make out the other words. The pain in Slade’s voice and the few words Callum could distinguish were heartbreaking. Callum sat on the edge of the bed and shook the boy’s shoulder. Slade continued to toss and tangle himself further in the covers.
He flailed as if he were frantic to reach something… or someone. Callum shook him, harder this time.
“Wake up, lad. You’re dreaming.”
“Talk to me, Zach!” Slade shouted, still fully immersed in his nightmare.
The tossing and flailing increased, bringing Slade precariously close to throwing himself off the bed. Callum grasped Slade by both shoulders and shook, hard. Slade continued to jerk. This was more than just a simple nightmare. Lying across Slade’s body, Callum grabbed his wrists, pinning them above his head, and rendered him immobile. Slade’s eyes flew open, and he instantly calmed.
“Interesting,” Callum mumbled without thinking. “You’re safe,” he said aloud to Slade, maintaining his hold on the boy’s wrists.
Slade stared into Callum’s eyes, unblinking. The boy had completely relaxed beneath him. He seemed more than content to stay as he was— pinned under Callum.
“What were you dreaming about, lad?” Callum kept his voice soft.
For the first time since he’d woken up, Slade looked away. “Can’t remember.”
“Don’t lie to me.” Callum allowed some authority to creep into his voice and was only half-surprised to see the boy instantly react to it.
“Deployment. A bomb.”
Despite the severity of the situation, Callum couldn’t suppress the thrill running through him. It took so little to make this lad react. He needed to be told what to do. Callum suspected it wasn’t the only thing the boy needed.
“Look at me, lad. Tell me what happened.”
Slade complied, bravely meeting Callum’s gaze. “We were trying to flush out insurgents.” He swallowed. “There was an explosion. My friend…. Zach….” Slade turned his head.
“Eyes on me.” The naked pain in Slade’s eyes when he obeyed cut right through Callum. The sudden impulse to pull the young man to his chest and hold him close unsettled Callum. That wasn’t what Slade needed right now. Instead, Callum sat up, lifting himself off Slade’s chest but retaining the firm hold on his wrists. He had no intention of letting go anytime soon.
“Tell me what happened,” he repeated.
A single tear slid down Slade’s cheek. “I was near the end of the line when we entered the building. I knew something was wrong.” A second tear escaped the brimming blue eyes. “I was going to warn them, tell them to go back, when….” The boy’s voice faded as his tears started to flow. “The flash, the noise, and then this unnatural quiet. Zach…. At first I couldn’t see him. And then….”
Sudden anger flashed through the tears. “You want to know what happened? He was shredded by that bomb. There was blood everywhere. I couldn’t reach him. My leg….” As quick as the anger had flared, it disappeared again. “He died before I could drag myself over to him. He died alone. He died because I was too slow… with my warning.”
“You can’t blame yourself, lad. Things like that happen in war. You know that. Everyone in combat loses someone close to them. I take it Zach was the first friend you lost?”
Slade’s eyes slid closed, but his tears continued to fall. He shook his head. “No.”
Callum cocked his head. “What is it, then? Why does his death haunt you more than any of the others?”
“He was… special.”
“Okay….” Callum drew the word out as he nodded thoughtfully. He selfishly wanted to ask what “special” meant, but this wasn’t the time. “Thank you for telling me.”
He released the boy’s wrists and wiped the tears from his face. “If I leave you alone, will you sleep?”
Callum saw something in Slade’s eyes, something that looked a lot like hope. “I don’t know.” It was barely a whisper.
It wasn’t a difficult decision. In fact, it wasn’t a decision at all. “Move over, then. Tonight, at least, you won’t be alone and you will sleep.” Callum had no idea if it was possible to make someone sleep peacefully simply by ordering them to, but for the lad’s sake, he hoped it would work.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Flashback to Lessons in Love



Good evening my friends,

I hope you're enjoying my weekly teasers because there are still a few to come.

This week it is the turn of Lessons in Love, the second story featuring Mitch and Cian.

Mitch has turned eighteen since he met Cian in A Miracle in the Library, and has travelled to Dublin to spend the long St. Patrick's Day weekend with Cian...on their own...without parental supervision.

Unsurprisingly, this means our two young lovers take their relationship beyond the kisses they've so far enjoyed. But with Cian not being a whole lot more experienced than Mitch, there's a fair amount of worry and second-guessing involved.

Enjoy

Lessons in Love buy link: mybook.to/LiL

***

When he’d run out of reasons to be in the bathroom, Cian slowly made his way back to his room, taking a deep breath before opening the door, only to release it on a loud puff.

Obviously, Mitch didn’t share his concerns, considering he’d found his way into the bed and under the covers with only his head and shoulders—his naked shoulders—visible. The light mounted on the wall behind the bed spread a soft glow over his mop of black hair.

A quick glance around the room showed Cian the pile of clothes Mitch had left on the floor under the curtained window. As far as he could tell, the collection did not include any underwear.
Without looking at Mitch but fully aware of his gaze locked on his body, Cian made quick work of stripping and adding his jeans and top to Mitch’s clothes.

The first thing he noticed when he slipped underneath the covers was that for once they weren’t chilly. Mitch’s body heat had created a nice warm nest for him to crawl into. The second thing was Mitch’s naked thigh pressing against his. He shifted, breaking the contact between them before it could freak Mitch out.

He wished he could have practiced for this night, that there was a scenario he could follow. He knew he should just open his mouth and talk to Mitch, find out what, if any, concerns he had. But he couldn’t for the life of him figure out how to phrase the question without it sounding as if he was asking Mitch how far he was willing to go.

He stiffened when Mitch’s leg connected with his again, but decided to ignore it. With the bed being as small as it was, contact would be unavoidable, and making an issue out of every time it happened would only make the situation worse, not better.

The mattress dipped as Mitch turned. When he placed a hand on Cian’s exposed neck, his breathing hitched.

“Is this okay?” Mitch’s question indicated that Cian’s discomfort hadn’t escaped him.

Cian turned on his side and faced Mitch, shocked to find his boyfriend’s face only inches from his. “Yes, if it’s okay for you, it’s okay for me.”

A small smile played on Mitch’s lips. “You realize I have no idea what I’m doing, right?”

Cian returned the smile, grateful that Mitch had found the courage he lacked. “I haven’t got much more of an idea, to be honest.”

Mitch gazed at him, his brown eyes even darker in the dim light. “Well,” he said, “I know we’re both okay with this.” He drew closer and pressed his lips against Cian’s.

The connection, the soft glide of Mitch’s tongue across his lips, was all Cian needed to chase away his worries. Mitch was right. They both knew how to do this…very well. They’d figure the rest of it out as they went, together. Then those thoughts faded too as he deepened the kiss and lost himself in the smell, taste, and feel of Mitch.

When he could think again, Cian noticed they had somehow ended up pressed together, most of their upper bodies touching too. As a result, there was no way he could fail to notice Mitch’s stiff cock pressing against his thigh, mere inches away from his own equally hard dick.

As their kisses got ever more heated and demanding, Mitch moved against Cian’s body, obviously seeking more pleasure. As tempting as it was to touch Mitch’s dick, Cian resisted and limited himself to stroking his boyfriend’s shoulder and chest. His heart sang when Mitch copied his caresses, while Cian’s cock went from hard to bordering on uncomfortable.

It wasn’t long before the combination of Mitch’s touch, kisses, and still covered dick rubbing against his leg became too much, and Cian lowered his free hand and squeezed his own cock. A slight shift in the bed told him Mitch had copied this action too.

Lust took over, pushing any and all concerns Cian had harbored into the back of his mind. He pushed the duvet to the end of the bed and freed his straining penis from his suddenly very tight boxer briefs, stroking himself slowly without ever pulling out of their endless kiss.

Hmmmm. Mitch hummed against Cian’s lips as they both tugged at their dicks.

“Wanna see.” As much as he hated ending their lip-lock, Cian couldn’t resist his longing to see Mitch in all his naked glory. Without interrupting his wank, he raised himself up a little and allowed his gaze to travel across Mitch’s naked body. Christ, but he’s gorgeous.

His body, stretched out on the bed, was lean but not skinny. The muscles in his legs and arms were easily visible without being clearly defined. As for his cock…. Cian swallowed hard as his gaze locked on the long, erect, and “heavier than he would have expected” dick and Mitch’s hand gliding over it, pushing the skin up and down while soft, needy sounds fell from his lips.

Cian wasn’t sure why this felt much more intimate than the few hand and blow jobs he’d given and received in the past. All he knew was that the combination of watching Mitch as he pleasured himself and his own hand on his ready-to-explode dick drove him to his climax with shocking speed.

He raised his chin and shifted his focus to Mitch’s face. His lips were parted, his cheeks flushed, and his gaze was firmly fixed on Cian’s hand as he stroked and squeezed his erection.
“So good,” Mitch rasped, his breath escaping him in sharp, short bursts. Then he stiffened, and Cian lowered his gaze just in time to see cum erupting from his cock.

It was all Cian needed to push him over the edge too. His orgasm roared through his body, forcing his eyes shut as he surrendered to the previously unknown pleasure of coming together with someone he cared for.

***

Please check back next week for a new excerpt.




Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Flashback to A Miracle in the Library



As I mentioned in my previous post, I've started sharing excerpts from my published books in my Facebook group, Helena's Book Haven. If you want to read them as soon as I put them up, you'll have to join my group, but I will share them here too a week later.

This week the spotlight is on A Miracle in the Library and I've decided to share another first kiss.

****

Mitch didn’t recognize the smile on Cian’s face. It was soft and warm and inviting and….
“You are something else.” Cian reached out and lifted Mitch’s chin with the press of a few fingers. “Stop me if you don’t want this.”
Cian’s gaze mesmerized him. He glanced from the beautiful brown eyes to Cian’s mouth and back again. Stop him? Nothing was further from Mitch’s mind. He was lost in the moment and hoped he would never be found.
Mitch’s heart beat faster when Cian pressed his lips against his. The only people to have ever kissed him were family members. It didn’t compare. Lips should be lips should be lips, but there was a world of difference between Aunt Mary’s dry pecks and Cian’s lush caressing of Mitch’s mouth.
He wanted more. He wanted…a taste. With his heart rate increasing even further, he parted his lips slightly and pushed the tip of his tongue through until he encountered Cian’s mouth. Cian’s response was immediate. He wrapped a hand around the back of Mitch’s neck, holding him in a light yet possessive grip. At the same time he too parted his lips, and the next moment Mitch was lost.
Closing his eyes, Mitch didn’t actually see lights flashing, but he understood why people described the experience as such. He was transported to a version of life he hadn’t known existed, a world filled with sensations, feelings, and thoughts he didn’t recognize. The kiss sent tendrils of heat coursing through his veins. Mitch felt Cian’s heart beating against the palm of the hand he’d pressed against his solid chest. This was…. He didn’t have words for what it was. New, shocking, the best thing in the world, scary, delicious, more….
The urge to scream came over him for the second time when Cian pulled back, gave him one more peck on his lips, and stepped aside.
“Much as you taste like more, I think that’s probably enough for here and now.”
“Much as I hate to admit it,” Mitch grumbled, “I think you’re probably right.” He kicked the fence for good measure.
“Will I see you in the library tomorrow?” Cian asked.
“Abso-fucking-lutely,” Mitch said, cringing when he realized how childish that sounded.
“It’s a date.” Cian grinned before giving Mitch one more kiss and walking away.
Mitch didn’t move from his spot until Cian was out of sight. It’s a date. He had a date.

****

If you'd like to read more, you can find the A Miracle in the Library here: mybook.to/AMITL

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Flashback to Double Dutch Courage



This week I started something new in my Facebook Readers’ Group.

Because it will be some time before I’ll have a new book to announce or new tidbits to tease you with, I’ve decided to share a fragment from one of my earlier books once a week.

There’s a poll in my Facebook Readers' Group where members can indicate which story they’re most curious about. At the moment, Double Dutch Courage holds the #1 spot, so I shared an excerpt from that story last Monday.

I will post the excerpts I share in my group here too. But, if  you want to be first to read them or if you want to have a say about the order in which I share these flashbacks, you can join my group here: Helena’s Book Haven


The following scene takes place at the end of a rather difficult and painful conversation and features the very first time Ronan and Lucas kiss...the very first time Ronan kisses full stop. 

If the excerpt makes you hungry for more, you can find Double Dutch Courage here: mybook.to/DDC

****

Ronan took a few steps, closing the distance between them, his gaze so intense it sent shivers down Lucas’s spine.
“I didn’t think too much of it at the time, but now I’m thinking he must have been speaking from personal experience. Didn’t you say he’d been looking at your Facebook timeline?”
Ronan nodded again.
“Maybe,” Lucas said, “he regretted leaving as he did but felt it was too late to fix the situation? Did you ever ask your mother? Would she have allowed contact if that’s what your father had wanted?”
He could almost see the cogs in Ronan’s mind working as he pondered the question.
“No, I never asked but I don’t think she would have been okay with that.” A grim smile tugged at his lips. “If she mentioned ‘good riddance to bad rubbish’ once while referring to Paul, she must have said it a thousand times.”
He took the last few steps separating them and dropped to his knees opposite Lucas. “Thank you. I’m not sure where that came from. Like I said, I never used to waste any time thinking about him. I guess living in his house, living his life almost, has triggered some long repressed curiosity and resentment in me.”
Ronan seemed to search Lucas’s face for something, then lowered his gaze until Lucas was convinced he was staring at his lips. He mused that the sunshine had to be getting to him as the afternoon took on a dreamlike quality. Ronan licked his lips, the tip of his tongue tempting Lucas, teasing him. When Ronan leant forward Lucas wondered what was happening, whether he was imagining things. Surely Ronan wasn’t about to —
The soft press of Ronan’s lips against his elicited a sigh from Lucas. He would have been embarrassed about his reaction if he hadn’t been lost in the moment. It was the second time Ronan had taken him by surprise in this manner, except on this occasion he didn’t appear to have any intention of pulling back.
With so many reasons why this was the worst idea ever, it didn’t make any sense that the overriding thought running through his mind was more.
He cupped Ronan’s neck, keeping the pressure light, barely there. Ronan reacted as if Lucas had used force and pressed his lips firmer against his, parting them in the process.
Lucas was helpless against the onslaught. It had taken him days to stop obsessing about Ronan’s mouth after that quick, shy kiss a week earlier. There would be no coming back from this. He had no doubt he would end up hurt. Even as he had the thought, Lucas parted his own lips, slipped his tongue through the gap and tentatively caressed Ronan’s mouth.
“Oh.” Ronan’s soft exclamation meant his lips parted farther and Lucas took advantage. Fuck being sensible. Fuck worrying about tomorrow, or next week, or six months from today. He was here, now, and the tongue hesitantly exploring his was nothing like what he’d expected and everything he wanted it to be.
The kiss transported him back to his teenage years, to the first boy he’d ever kissed. Clumsy and with clashing teeth, it had been as awkward as it had been exciting. Pretty much as it was now, except this time it didn’t make sense.
He pulled back until the tips of their noses were the only parts of them still touching. Ronan’s lashes fluttered before he opened his eyes. They widened and he lowered his gaze.
“That bad, eh?” Ronan directed his words at the grass beneath their knees.
“Not bad.” Lucas tried to figure out what to say. Not sure what he was reacting to, he didn’t know which words to use either, so the truth would have to do. “It just brought back a memory of something I hadn’t thought about in ages.”
“Oh?”
Ronan still wouldn’t look at him and Lucas didn’t like it. He lifted Ronan’s chin with his index finger. “It reminded me of when I was fourteen and me and Hans, my best friend back then, decided to find out what the big deal about kissing was.”
“It was like your first kiss?” Ronan still tried to avoid meeting Lucas’s gaze.
“Yes.” Lucas smiled. He couldn’t believe Hans had slipped his mind. They’d done a lot of exploring together before Hans decided he was interested in girls after all. He got so lost in his reminiscence he almost missed the words Ronan muttered.
“Makes sense.”
It hit Lucas like a ton of bricks. Here was yet another reason why getting involved with Ronan was the worst idea ever. If he was right, he would be Ronan’s first in everything. The thought that Ronan’s inexperience might include kissing hadn’t crossed his mind until this moment. He wasn’t sure he could make that journey with Ronan without getting emotionally involved. He had to know for sure.
“I’m your first?”
The combination of shame and defeat Lucas read in Ronan’s expression tore at him. He didn’t need an answer. He also didn’t need to think about what to do next. Yes, he would end up getting hurt, but he’d deal with it. It wouldn’t be the first time or, in all likelihood, the last. He could be Ronan’s first and make it a good, a memorable, experience.
“I want to be your second, too.” He didn’t wait and pressed his lips back against Ronan’s before he could respond.
The change in Ronan was immediate, tension leaving his body as if Lucas had managed to open a valve. The touch of Ronan’s hand against his cheek, his fingertips tentative as they explored the stubble, mesmerized him. Those fingers traced every inch of skin on the right side of Lucas’s face, as if they wanted to commit his features to memory.
He smiled into the kiss when he realized this second encounter was already less messy than the first had been. In fact, it wasn’t just less clumsy, it was also more sensual than any second kiss had the right to be. Ronan appeared to have moved on from shy to curious and explored Lucas’s mouth with breathtaking intensity, making the kiss more sensual with every passing second. Lucas was very aware of his cock filling and grateful they were still kneeling, so it wasn’t quite as obvious.
He lost himself in the kiss, straightening his upper legs and pulling Ronan up with him. Their chests connected, his hands were on Ronan’s shoulders, back, and sliding lower until he cupped his ass and pulled him closer again. He wanted more, he needed to lie down, feel Ronan on top of him, underneath him. It didn’t matter where or how but he yearned to be close.
“Mam, waaromzoenen die mannen?”
The young voice shattered the moment and Lucas drew back, following the kid and his parents with his gaze while releasing Ronan so suddenly he swayed before finding his balance again.
“What’s wrong?” Ronan turned his head in the direction Lucas was gazing. “What did he say? What did it mean?”
“The kid asked his mum ‘why are those men kissing.’”
“Oh.” He tried to be casual about it but Lucas didn’t miss Ronan’s sudden need to inspect his surroundings. “I forgot where we are.”
“Yeah.” Lucas sighed. “That makes two of us. And I should have known better.”
“I thought Amsterdam was pretty tolerant when it comes to same sex relationships,” Ronan said.
“Sure,” Lucas agreed. “But there’s a difference between being tolerant and wanting to witness full-on exhibitions of lust.” He couldn’t stop the grin from spreading. “And that was more than just a kiss.”
Lucas watched in wonder as Ronan touched his own lips. He’d never believed people did that in real life.
He should be grateful they’d been interrupted. He should take this opportunity to talk to Ronan about all the reasons why this was a bad idea. He should remind Ronan of the fact that work relationships had a bad reputation for good reasons. He should… He should… He should… And he already knew he wouldn’t do any of those things. For better or for worse he would take what was on offer while trying to build a buffer zone around his heart so that when—if—Ronan decided to go back to Ireland he wouldn’t be shattered. He had no choice. There was no way he could make himself dim the light that had sprung to life in Ronan’s eyes.