Many thanks to JL Merrow for donating ebook copies of her forthcoming historical m/m romances, Poacher’s Fall (Midwinter Manor #1) and Keeper’s Pledge (Midwinter Manor #2), for a lucky commenter to win! Poacher’s Fall (Midwinter Manor #1) and Keeper’s Pledge (Midwinter Manor #2) will be released by Dreamspinner Press on January 30.
One snowy night just before Christmas, 1922, poacher Danny Costessey rounds off a night trapping rabbits by climbing a tree to fetch some mistletoe for his mother – only to fall and break his leg. Taken to the manor house to recover from his injuries, Danny meets the reclusive owner, Philip Luccombe. Village gossip has it Luccombe went mad during the war, but Danny soon realizes he’s simply still mourning his late lover. As friendship grows between them, Danny starts to fall for handsome, shy Philip.
Danny’s lively nature, roguish good looks, and ready laughter enchant Philip, and he finds himself being drawn out of his shell whether he wills it or not. But when Danny tries to move beyond friendship, Philip panics – and his rejection threatens not only their happiness, but Danny’s health.
This is a revised and expanded version of the story previously published under the title of Pleasures with Rough Strife. Everyone who has purchased a stand-alone copy of Pleasures with Rough Strife from the Dreamspinner website (ie, not as part of the Mistletoe Madness set) will be able to download Poacher’s Fall free.
Excerpt (scroll down and expand)
A sequel to Poacher’s Fall, set four years later, in 1926.
Landowner Philip Luccombe has been enjoying a passionate relationship with young poacher turned gamekeeper Danny Costessey for four years now. Danny’s love has brought him out of the shell he retreated into when his first lover died after the Great War. But this Christmas, visitors to the manor threaten their happiness. Philip’s young cousin Matthew is artistic, vivacious, and flirtatious: just the sort to remind him of his long-dead first love – and to emphasise the social gulf between Philip and Danny.
But the worst danger comes from much nearer home. An old flame of Danny’s is discovered in incriminating circumstances, forcing the lovers to keep their distance for fear of being tarred with the same brush. Meanwhile, Danny’s younger brother, Toby, has grown to resent the connection between his brother and the lord of the manor. Danny wants to do the right thing – but that could divide the lovers forever.
Excerpt (scroll down and expand)
JL Merrow is that rare beast: an English person who refuses to drink tea. Having grown up by the seaside, she also loathes fish and chips. She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne. She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporaries and the paranormal, and is frequently accused of humour. You can find out more about JL at her website, blog, Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon.
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*being beautiful* -Mayhem