Lessons in Discovery
by Charlie Cochrane
Published by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Blurb: Cambridge Fellows Mysteries Book 3
On the very day Jonty Stewart proposes that he and Orlando Coppersmith move in together, Fate trips them up. Rather, it trips Orlando, sending him down a flight of stairs and leaving him with an injury that erases his memory. Instead of taking the next step in their relationship, they’re back to square one. It’s bad enough that Orlando doesn’t remember being intimate with Jonty—he doesn’t remember Jonty at all.
Back inside the introverted, sexually innocent shell he inhabited before he met Jonty, Orlando is faced with two puzzles. Not only does he need to recover the lost pieces of his past, he’s also been tasked by the Master to solve a four-hundred-year-old murder before the end of term. The college’s reputation is riding on it.
Crushed that his lover doesn’t remember him, Jonty puts aside his grief to help decode old documents for clues to the murder. But a greater mystery remains—one involving the human heart.
To solve it, Orlando must hear the truth about himself—even if it means he may not fall in love with Jonty the second time around…
I'm always slightly wary of amnesia as a fictional trope, but on the other hand this was the next installment of a beloved series, and I wasn't let down. Not to mention that there was a historical mystery to be solved and more details were slowly revealed about our heroes' families and pasts. These stories just keep geting better and better...
by Charlie Cochrane
in the Last Gasp anthology
Published by Noble Romance Publishing, LLC
“Safe upon solid rock the ugly houses stand: Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand.”
People come to Syria for many reasons: tourism, archaeology, or because they need to leave Edwardian England to escape potential disgrace. Andrew Parks is one of those, burying past heartache and scandal among the tombs.
Charles Cusiter has travelled here as well, as chaperone to a friend whose fondness for the opposite sex gets him into too much trouble at home. Out in the desert there aren’t any women to turn Bernard’s head—just the ubiquitous sand.
The desert works its magic on Charles, softening his heart and drawing him towards Andrew. Not even a potentially fatal scorpion sting can overcome the power this strange land exerts.
Archaeologists! Men in hats! The British abroad! What's not to love?
The anthology is now out in print, and I'll be ordering a copy in that format too as soon as it's available from UK stores online.
The Girl In The Painting
by Anne Brooke
Published by Untreed Reads Publishing, LLC
When Celia becomes obsessed with her grandmother’s painting, she realizes her life will never be the same again. How can she ever break free?
A small, but perfectly formed, piece of lesbian literary fiction. Haunting in the utmost.
by Harper Fox
Published by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
All Dr. Tom Penrose wants is his old life back. He’s home in Cornwall after a hellish tour of duty in Afghanistan, but while the village is the same, he isn’t. His grip on his control is fragile, and it slips dangerously when Flynn Summers explodes into his life. The vision in tight neoprene nearly wipes them both out in a surfing mishap—and shatters Tom’s lonely peace.
Flynn is a crash-and-burn in progress, one of only two survivors of a devastating rescue helicopter crash that killed his crew. His carefree charm is merely a cover for the messed-up soul within. The sparks between him and Tom are the first light he’s seen in a long, dark tunnel of self-recrimination, which includes living in sexual thrall to fellow crash survivor and former co-pilot, Robert.
As their attraction burns through spring and into summer, Tom must confront not only his own shadows, but Flynn’s—before the past rises up to swallow his lover whole.
I won this one a while back, and finally got the chance to read it. It was another very literary romance, and very nicely done it was too. There was also a subplot that fitted the setting and the characters backgrounds perfectly and a wealth of minor characters (including a dog). Beautiful.
Dulce et Decorum Est
by JL Merrow
Published by Dreamspinner Press
The First World War cast a long shadow, and in the winter of 1920, it's still at its darkest. When solicitor's clerk George Johnson moves into new digs, he's instantly attracted to friendly fellow lodger Matthew Connaught, who lost an arm in the Great War. As the two become inseparable, George begins to wonder whether it's just friendship that Matthew feels for him or something more. And if it's something more... can George risk a revelation of his shameful past?
One of a big bunch of Seasonal stories I picked up from Dreamspinner this year. The big secret wasn't the one I was expecting and yet another cast of entertaining secondary characters included a pet: this time a cat.
by Alex Beecroft
An extra scene from a story I'm sadly yet to have a chance to read. Sweet literary m/m romance, with a very sweet ghost as the only secondary character. Part of the Speak Its Name Advent Calendar
by Jestana Silvercoat
Another one from the Speak Its Name Advent Calendar. Set just after World War Two. Short and sweet, and I won a sequel to it written just for me!
Mouths of Babes
by Stella Duffy
Published by Profile Books Ltd
Saz Martin is settled into new motherhood with her partner Molly and their nine-month-old daughter Matilda. Things have not been easy since the birth - late nights, early mornings, and a sudden death have all taken their toll - but with Molly's return to fulltime work and Saz happily taking on the role of Matilda's prime carer, both women feel they are finally adjusting to parenthood and the demands of their new life. And then the phone rings. The door knocks. A well-known figure arrives. Instead of moving forward into her role as a mother, Saz is forced to face her past, confronting people and events she had long ago hoped to forget. In a story of how the sins of our past always come back to haunt us, Stella Duffy reveals secrets no-one knew about Saz Martin, explores why Saz is who she is, and asks, is it still possible to believe in our heroes - and our lovers - when their flaws are well and truly exposed?
I'd been wanting to read this for a long time: the other Saz Martin stories are all on my bookshelves and due for a reread. I happened to spot it in the library, and was very glad to add it to my To Read pile. We don't just learn more about Saz, as the blurb implies. We learn about Molly and her family, and about why Molly goes along with everything Saz puts her through. Some potentially triggery stuff for some readers, and the story doesn't end with hearts and flowers exactly, but a worthy addition to the series nonetheless.