Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Eden Elsworth - Sebastian's Journal

*Contains adult & sensitive themes
**Review by Stacey

A wealthy playboy living a hedonistic lifestyle, Sebastian Canning never wanted to settle down with any one man. 

From the moment he lays eyes on Nathan, a homeless young man with a secret past he has hidden from for years; Sebastian is captivated by the beautiful teenager. 

Having escaped his abusive home, Nathan lives on the streets, selling himself to survive. When he hits rock bottom, he turns to the only person who might be able to help him: Sebastian. 

As Sebastian devotes himself to Nathan’s recovery, he falls deeply in love with the damaged young man. But Sebastian’s domineering father is determined to separate his son from the man he loves.

Like sci-fi, another genre I don't tend to swing towards and have never actually picked up or looked at, is gay fiction - if I'm completely honest (which I always try & intend to be!) it had never really appealed to me. But when I heard about and read the blurbs of some stories from two authors I recently discovered (real-life partners in fact) I was actually quite intrigued to read them.

Sebastian's Journal by Eden Elsworth is the story of Sebastian (who leads a bit of a 'rich boy' hedonistic lifestyle) and Nathan (who is homeless and has been for a few years) and a chance meeting between them leading to an unlikely relationship.

Sebastian is a bit of a hard, tough cookie to crack, and by his own admittance has never really cared about anyone but himself, most of all in bed where he is only out to satisfy himself. Nathan on the other hand is so fragile & sensitive and really needs all the help he can get. Both personalities are due to their upbringing, and Nathan also due to his line of work on the streets.

After a run-in (literally) and then a parting, Sebastian & Nathan find each other again and Sebastian takes (even more so now) fragile Nathan under his wing. As usual I don't want to give too much away, but Sebastian starts to keep a journal of what has happened to Nathan to make him the way he is now and what is happening now due to this, and it is shown to Nathan's therapist as he doesn't talk much. I like the way this story is written as we don't really see too much of the journal entries in themselves, but we know what is going in there.

Through the course of the story we see Sebastian & Nathan's exteriors reverse - Sebastian turns sensitive, and Nathan turns into the tough one. I think both of the characters were like this deep down, but they just needed each other to bring it out.

I really enjoyed reading this; it was very well written and flowed nicely, and I didn't want to put it down as I constantly wanted to know what was going to happen next. Some parts of the story were extremely sensitive and had me gasping, but they weren't written in a particularly graphic way which would maybe have wanted someone to stop reading. The whole book definitely kept me hooked throughout. I'm so pleased with my first foray into gay fiction and I can't wait to read more from Eden and her partner.

You can keep in touch with Eden and news about her books on her websiteFacebook, or Twitter

Get your copy of Sebastian's Journal here (UK) or here (US).

I won a copy of this book. All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

MJ Rutter - Summer Rain

*This book contains adult themes
**Review by Susan & Stacey

The wettest UK summer in over a hundred years proves to also be the hottest for a young Dorset girl. Kelsey Spires has agreed to spend three weeks at her Aunt’s, when she meets a local’s cousin, her whole world is blown wide open. A romance blossoms, storms are brewing and the fall out when two different worlds collide, is almost catastrophic. 

Set in the beautifully scenic county of Dorset, on the south coast of England, this is a virtuous story of love, lust and lots of rain, showing you that there is so much more to do when its pouring down outside. 

So when Melissa asked me to review her book, 'Summer Rain' I was a little anxious as I consider her a good friend but I can honestly say I feel head over heels with this book.  

We are brought right into Kelsey's life and her father's funeral.  We see the family dynamics of a good upbringing and how Kelsey is settled and has a good job in her home town of Poole and how her dad had been a big part of her life.  My heart just bled for her. Needless to say she gets away from it all by visiting her aunt in North Dorset and her life changes immeasurably. Having visited her Aunt many a time growing up, she has links there, mainly being a friend called Jude and they girls decide to crash a party where Kelsey's life would change forever when she would be introduced to Jeremy.

So between the couples initial issues between Kelsey's grief, and both having recently ended relationships the attraction is there between them from the off.  The pull between them both is incredible. I was willing for them to get together way before they even knew one another (but I'm a pushy madam sometimes hehehe).

Loved reading about them getting to know each other and whilst Jeremy came from a privileged family, now having been shunted out of his family's wealth and being unemployed Kelsey takes him on knowing who he is and makes no fuss about whether he does or does not have money.  Think he has difficulties getting around this with his last relationship.

Kelsey has her issues on the Ex front too! She is standoffish and out of her depth in terms of experience but Jeremy is so loving and respectful I can't imagine anyone not loving him. He's just perfect. But we see the couple have their teething problems and pull through it together. Their physical relationship is hot and mouth watering and simply to die for! 

"I'll make your car seat wet."  I sniffed.
"I am quite good at making my car seats wet." he smiled...

Oh he's a cheeky monkey ;)

A big issue from the past rears its head and threatens to destroy the couple I was so desperately happy for. Jeremy steps up to his responsibility but at the cost to his happiness? Would these two brilliant characters not get their happily ever after?

Kelsey takes some time out to visit family in America and returns home but to what? Will she be bringing home an extra gift for Jeremy? 

Oh's too good for words and I honestly can say its worth a five star rating because I couldn't put it down.  I actually read it in less than a day.  You know it's good when your reading whilst doing mundane household tasks ;)  

It really was a pleasure to read and I'm very much looking forward to the sequel 'Cruel Winter' when I get to read even more about this beautiful couple :) 

I've been meaning to read this book for a long time and I'm glad I did. Kelsey & Jeremy's relationship starts off fairly quickly after meeting at a party which Kelsey and her friend Jude gatecrashed. Being from different backgrounds you would think they are like chalk & cheese but they fall head over heels. Everything is going great until someone from Jeremy's recent past rears their ugly head and it could be the end for their relationship. 

" heart tells you that I love you and I trust my heart," he declared.

Kelsey is a great character and I really related to her as she said a lot of the kind of things I would say so it felt like I actually knew her. Jeremy is so likable too, he would do anything for Kelsey and I could feel his heart breaking through the pages. He is such a sweetheart as he totally respected Kelsey's reasons that she had remained a virgin so didn't rush her into anything, but did turn Kelsey into a bit of a nympho from his experiences! The sexual scenes were really well written and the story wasn't overloaded with them. The other characters were a great mix of different too.

This was a great story of ups & downs and I look forward to seeing what's in store for their future in Cruel Winter.

You can keep in touch with Melissa and news about her books on her websiteFacebook, or Twitter

Get your copy of Summer Rain here (UK) or here (US).

We received a copy of this book to review, but all thoughts & opinions are honest & our own.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

James Frey - Endgame (The Calling) (plus giveaway)

**Review by Stacey

Twelve ancient cultures were chosen millennia ago to represent humanity in Endgame, a global game that will decide the fate of humankind. Endgame has always been a possibility, but never a reality…until now. Twelve meteorites have just struck Earth, each meteorite containing a message for a Player who has been trained for this moment. At stake for the Players: saving their bloodline, as well as the fate of the world. And only one can win.

Endgame is real. Endgame is now. Endgame has begun.

Google Niantic is building a mobile location-based augmented reality videogame inextricably tied to the books and mythology, a major prize will be tied to a puzzle in each book, and Twentieth Century Fox has bought the movie rights.

Read the Books. Find the Clues. Solve the Puzzle. Who will Win?

Now sci-fi & fantasy isn't the usual genre that I would reach for, I rarely read them in fact. But when this one popped up I thought the blurb sounded interesting so gave it a go. 

We meet twelve characters in the book - the Players - and it flits from character to character throughout. Sometimes there was only a page or two in a chapter and it became a little confusing as it's a long book, so I kept forgetting who did what last and had to keep flicking back a few pages. Between every chapter also is what I presume to be a clue for the 'real' game - this distracted me as it got a bit confusing.

Endgame contains a lot of numbers and sequences - some nearly two lines long! Also distracting. One of the characters also has a tick and a twitch and Frey has written the action within the sentences which I found a bit annoying.

We don't really find out much about the characters in this installment, just how they have trained for Endgame and a little family background. Most of them don't get along - but why would they when they're playing a game against each other? - but there are a couple of unlikely partnerships in there. I also wanted to shout at one of the characters boyfriends who she had to leave behind, as he just didn't listen to the danger before him.

Brushing aside the points mentioned above, I did enjoy the story in the end and wanted to continue reading to find out what happened, and I do want to read the next one to find out who gets nearer to winning Endgame.

You can keep in touch with James and news about his books on his Facebook

Get your copy of Endgame here (UK).

I received a copy of this book to review, but all thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.


If you fancy reading Endgame, I have a copy to give away. Just complete the Rafflecopter form below.

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Thursday, 23 October 2014

Mandy Lou Dowson - Bound by Fate

*This book contains adult situations, scenes of erotica and mild horror 
** Review by Susan

From Author Mandy Lou Dowson comes a brand new series jam-packed with the type of characters that readers everywhere are falling in love with.

Moon Bound Series novels, where the Weres are hot, the intrigue deep, and the mystery thick. Follow the pack as they find love in unlikely places, and find themselves in the process. Book One in the series follows Beth, the only un-mated pure-bred female in the Loam Floor pack -- a witty, young female, hell-bent on making her own way in life. Join her as she uncovers a secret from her past that could destroy everything she loves.

Giving her Guardian the slip has never been a problem for Beth. Even for a wolf, she is wicked fast and almost impossible to track. Then she meets Gareth, her new Guardian. Gareth is ruggedly handsome, unfailingly stubborn, and seems determined to sniff Beth out, no matter where she runs. 
After a disastrous night of passion with Gareth, Beth has no choice but to put herself forward for mating. Although, it's not just Gareth that has his eye on this female. Donovan, a wolf from a neighboring pack , has his own reasons for wanting this she-wolf, and when Beth makes the wrong choice, she finds out exactly what happens when you're "thrown to the wolves". 
Secrets are revealed and choices are made. Will love conquer all, or destroy everything Beth has ever known?

"Bound by Fate" is Mandy's first book in the "Moon Bound Series" and well it's simply amazing.  I can't say I've ever read a book about werewolves before.  Am I a team Jacob fan in regards to Twilight?  Yes I am....equally on Edwards side too though!  But this book had me wrapped round its little finger from the word go.

The maternal instinct of a rogue warewolf when threatened and the life of her cubs hanging in the balance? My heart was in my mouth from that first page and it never left there for the duration.  
Beth is our main female character and we see her as a young (unmated) female in her pack and see her being mischievous and cheeky (heck it's why I love her!).  When a romance threatens her virtue a decision is taken to give her a mating ceremony a little earlier than first planned.  Being part human & warewolf (and a purebred warewolf at that!) she would be in high demand and not just to the unmated males she knew! Could her new mate bring an end to a long running feud? Would Beth find herself one true mate?!

I honestly didn't know what to expect or to feel anywhere near the love I did for Beth and her heartache throughout the story but I did. There are various times she was against some horrid decisions but came through it and still managed to find herself happiness.  Only through these situations did she find out the truth about her past and truly understand where she "truly" belongs and who she is "bound by fate" to. 

Her characters are all wonderful and unlike some books where I struggle to keep up with the different people involved I fell head over heels with them (well most of them!). 

An awe inspiring read and I am so excited for the next book in the series.  It really is another five star read and I guarantee you will love it! 

You can keep in touch with Mandy and news about her books on her Facebook or Twitter

Get your copy of Bound by Fate here (UK) or here (US).

I was sent a copy of this book to review. All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Lisa J Hobman - Through the Glass

**Review by Susan

A broken heart can never be a blank canvas… 
You meet someone, fall in love, and live happily ever after…right?

That’s what Jim MacDuff thought, but after years of being blissfully happy, everything he holds dear comes crashing spectacularly down thanks to his interfering mother-in-law. Felicity “Flick” Johnston-Hart is passionate about painting what she sees through the glass. Just like the subjects of her paintings, she’s viewed her life as an observer instead of really living. Although she adores her first love, Jim, more than life, her mother’s expectations eventually chip away at her, making her believe that painting and Jim are simply not enough.

After settling back into life as a single man in the stunning Scottish Highlands, Jim is graced with an unexpected and unwanted visitor bringing painful news that he would rather not hear. A letter from beyond the grave leads him to do something he never imagined and takes him on a journey to try to help Flick rekindle her passion for painting…and maybe win her love again in the process.

Can Jim and Flick make things right before it’s too late, or will events leave them heartbroken and alone forever?

So the story of Jim and Flick. Or should be call her Felicity? We see this couple meet as students, settle into being their relationship and grow up together...or do they grow apart over their ten year relationship?

This book grabbed me from the word go as we see a relationship ten years in, floundering with outsiders who sway Flick to think she needs or deserves more. I was screaming at the characters at points, knowing full well that they were indeed made for one another. 

"I didn't fit into your world....and you wanted to find someone who did. I wanted you to be happy so I let you go."

We see their emotional breakup and see the lead up to these events. Is it the disapproving mother-in-law who thinks Jim isn't enough of a high flyer for her daughter, or the fact that Jim was desperate for a family but after a pregnancy scare realised how little Flick wanted that, it that Flick had changed so drastically and was trying to be so one her mother approved of so much that she cut out the one man in her life who meant anything to her?

When Flick decides to go find Jim in his new life and finds herself in the position where they are bound together because of some awful weather, will she realise her feelings in enough time to claw her ex husband back? Will she be able to explain why she acted the way she did because of family influences? Will Jim realise his feelings before she leaves and heads away for another job halfway around the world? The roller coaster of will they won't they will grip you right to the end. And his final act of kindness to win his girl back might be too little too late...

I want you to go get your copy and find will love this book.
Another brilliant book from Lisa J Hobman that won't disappoint.

You can keep in touch with Lisa and news about her books on her websiteFacebook, or Twitter

Get your copy of Through the Glass here (UK) or here (US).

I wasn't asked to write this review - I bought the book myself. All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Lisa J Hobman - Bridge of Hope

*This book contains adult themes
**Review by Stacey

Love is like a snowflake; beautiful but fleeting in its presence...
I've been in love. But I’ve also been lied to, betrayed by those closest to me and I’ve suffered loss. Sadly it’s those last three things that stick with me the most. The only real constants in my life are music, Angus my dog and Rhiannon; my guitar. 
But things changed when she walked into my place of work. All blue eyes, curves and a warmth that could melt even my hardened heart. I was taken over by feelings that I didn’t expect so soon. Guilt plagued me and I took my anger out on her. 
On Mallory. 
But I fell fast and hard and there was nothing I could do to stop it. When she too became the victim of heartbreak I was the only one who understood her pain but I was the last person she wanted help from. 
Would I ever convince her that we could be friends? And would I ever accept that she couldn’t love me back? 

Bridge of Hope is the companion novel to Bridge Over the Atlantic; it can also be read as a standalone but I think even after reading this, if you haven't read BOtA already, you'll want to as the stories fit so well together and you will want to find out more about Mallory (though I do recommend reading BOtA first!).

BoH is the love/not so much hate story between my favourite potty mouthed Scotsman Greg, and Mallory; but Greg also tells us about his life before meeting Mallory and why he acts like he does now. We also get to find out more about Greg's previous love, Mairi.

When I first heard that Lisa was writing a companion novel I wondered how it was going to not be pretty much the same as BOtA with regards to their meetings, conversations etc. Bridge of Hope takes it to a whole new level though as we really see deep inside of Greg. Whereas in BOtA I might have thought Greg was a bit of a, well, abrupt not-very-nice-person, I totally fell for him when hearing the story from his point of view, and maybe thought of Mallory as the version of Greg from BOtA. He is such a sweetheart really but he puts up a barrier because of the hurt, betrayal and loss he has encountered in the past; he so desperately wants to break out but keeps messing it up and cursing himself (literally) for it. By the end of the book I cast aside all negative feelings I may have had at any point for both Greg & Mallory and thought of them as one of the same, as they both really have suffered the same but deal with it differently.

I laughed, cried, laughed, and cried some more whilst reading this. It really is a whirlwind of emotions and a roller-coaster of events that has shaped Greg to the person who he is, but I don't want to give too much away.

Greg & Mallory's relationship is such a rocky one but they both realise how desperate they feel about each other and both truly want a happy ending. You will have to read both books to find out if they knock down the barriers between them and get it... (To get the full effect of Greg's story and potty-mouth I suggest you read this in a Scottish accent).

You can keep in touch with Lisa and news about her books on her websiteFacebook, or Twitter.

Get your copy of Bridge of Hope here (UK) or here (US).

I wasn't asked to write this review - I bought the book myself. All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Q&A with KA Hobbs (plus an exclusive read!)

*WARNING - Contains explicit language (the extra snippet)
**Interview by Susan

The Ladies Living in Bookland are excited to bring you our very first author Q&A! As well as being a very good friend of ours, KA Hobbs is a new indie author and her writing, as well as getting us both a bit hot under the collar (!), really resonates deep within us (innuendo much?). 

What age did you start writing?

I’ve always enjoyed writing from a very young age. I would write stories and poems, I even had a poem published when I was at school. I love to read and those who love to read usually write to, unable to stop their imagination from running away with them. Before the idea for Doubt came to me, I had been trying to work a story in my head for ages. It wasn’t working. The story wasn’t coming together. Then Sky started showing Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Dracula… And while watching Jessica De Gouw, Doubt was born.

Have you ever experienced writers block?  If so, how did you get back on track?

I have had writers block and it is the most frustrating thing in the world, for a writer anyway. I work through it. I write anyway, even though what I write generally ends up being deleted. There will usually be something I can salvage from it, even if it ends up being just a sentence. People have said step away, that doesn’t work for me. I think you have to do what works for you, and writing through it works for me.

What are your favourite books and who inspires you in the Indie author world?  (Or just general authors!)

The first books that ever effected me profoundly was the Harry Potter series. JK Rowling for me, is one of the most incredible writers. I have lost count of the amount of times I have read the books. And each time it is like I’m reading them for the very first time. Roll forward lots of years, I bought a kindle and I found, like many women, Fifty Shades and since then, my whole reading world was tipped on it’s head. There were so many more books out there for me to read, genres I might not have read before. But now I could. 

My favourite author is Tiffany Reisz. She makes me feel things I have never felt before, she makes me question everything and her stories seep into every aspect of my life. I will drop everything anytime she releases a book. There are some incredible authors out there though, Mia Sheridan, Kristen Proby, Kristy Bromberg to name a few. They are all amazingly talented and inspire me. 

So there is a scene in Doubt involving a strawberry....what other piece of fruit would you have considered if a strawberry was taken and why?! 

If a strawberry was taken? I would have gone for a cherry… stone removed of course. Strawberries are just so very sexy to me, and to a lot of people I think. I can never walk past them in the supermarket without thinking of sex. It can’t be just me, surely? 

What piece of fruit do you liken yourself to and why?! A strawberry by chance?! 

I’m actually going to say a strawberry. It can look innocent, but really, it is always something naughty ;) 

What was the last book you read?

The last book I read, that wasn’t a reread was One Night: Promised by Jodi Ellen Malpas. Miller is incredibly sexy! 

Do you plan to write another series in the future or will there be standalones? 

Right now, I’ve got ideas for two sets of people, I don’t know whether they will be standalones or series’. The thing is, I really don’t know what will happen when I sit down to write. How the The Connected Series is now, wasn’t how I planned it to be. It was going to be three books, all about Doug & Sophie. Things changed when I started to write. Other characters started to talk and other stories took shape. So right now, I don’t know…. Ask me in a few months when I sit down to write them ;) 

Who do you have as muses and why?! 

I have muses for everyone I write about. Not just the characters, but places, clothes, everything.  A character comes to me, and they are who they are, it is my job to work that out. I will have a vision in my head as to what they look like, then I will go searching. My muse for Sophie is Jessica De Gouw and my muse for Doug is the delicious Bernardo Velasco. You’ll meet Harry, Miley and Jonathan in Doubt and Assured and I have muses for them… But maybe I will make you wait to find out who they are ;) 

Do you relate to Sophie as a person?  What are her favourite qualities you like to call your own?

Yes, I absolutely relate to Sophie as a person. One of my best friends told me I put a lot of me into Sophie and looking back now, I realise I did. One of my favourite qualities about Sophie is her ability to love. There is a lot thrown at Sophie in a short space of time, instead of letting what happens to her turn her into a bitter, angry person, she chooses love. She doesn’t always get it right, but who does? I think she is a pretty strong character to overcome what she does, but everyone can have a moment of weakness, it is how you deal with it that makes you the person you are. I think Sophie’s love of heels and getting dressed up is also a quality I love! 

How many hours of writing do you try to get in over a week?

I don’t have a set amount of hours I try to get done over a week. I just have to write something everyday. Or I really do get grouchy. I am not a writer who can switch off from her characters, they are always, and I mean always, talking to me. I might be out shopping and I see something and before I know it, there is a scene in my head that I need to write down. That is when you’ll find me furiously typing on my phone in the middle of the street! I apologise now for holding you up. 

Do you write more than one book at a time or just concentrate on one project?

I write more than one book at a time. I have to or I would lose what is in my head. I have a slightly usual way of writing. My stories usually come to me with the most important scenes first, then pieces come together slowly. Then I have to work out where they all fit within the story and make it flow. I don’t start with chapter one and keep going, I write what I feel and then put it altogether. It is both a hindrance and a help at times. 

What is the hardest thing you've had to write - or read?

The hardest thing I have ever had to write is book three in The Connected series. It was a very personal experience for me, it dragged up a lot of demons and made me cry more than I’ve ever cried before when writing. It is also the story I am most proud of. It is very different to the other stories in the series but very important. A little secret? You’ll find out what book three is at the end of Assured. 

I know you love your music so pick three of your favourite tracks to listen to when your writing your favourite Scenes and post your links to your collections in Spotify.

All my characters have their own taste in music, so depending who I am writing will depend on what I’m listening to. But there are a few songs or artists I find I have on repeat a lot when I write regardless of who I am writing. They put me in a place or a mood and the writing just flows. 

Beethoven - The Moonlight Sonata. 
The Civil Wars 
Sam Smith

The playlist for Doubt:

So we know your gorgeous book covers are that your favourite colour?

Yes. Along with black, even though everyone will tell me it’s not a colour. Purple can be so many shades, dark or light. I like that. 

How do you relax after a hard writing session?!  Eat, enjoy telly, sleep?

I read. Usually anyway. Lately I’ve been watching Game of Thrones - why has it taken me so long!? 

So going back to your younger years (pahaha we are the same age!) what subjects did you like at school and did you excel at English given your now author status?

I loved history at school. Anything to do with the Tudors was a particular favourite as I love that period in history. I can remember going to Hampton Court Palace and everyone moaning saying how boring it was, I loved it! I could get lost there all day. 

I don’t think I excelled in anything at school really. English at school wasn’t enough writing stories for my liking. But it wasn’t bad, better than maths anyway ;)  

So we know book 2 In The Connected Series - Assured - is due for release on 3rd November. Can you tell our Ladies Living in Booklamd more about what to expect from the series? 

What can you expect from the series? Well, you can expect a lot more laughing, a lot more love and probably a lot more tears. After Assured, we leave Doug and Sophie and let the other characters take the lead. You’ll still see them though, don’t worry. You’ve got three more books to look forward to and they will have your favourite characters in. You’ll want to see where they take you, they even surprised me!

What will Assured include?!  More Doug?!  If so I'm a happy lady living in Bookland :) 

Yes. Lots more Doug. Lots of moments that will tug on your heartstrings, some that might make shed a tear or two, but definitely more Doug ;) 

Thank you lovely Ladies Living in Bookland, fabulous questions! Your continued support means the world to me. Doug sends his love AND strawberries to you both *mwah* 

You can find the review for Doubt - book one of The Connected Series - here.


I was asked by Ladies Living in Bookland to write an exclusive extra for them to share on their blog as part of the interview I gave them. It was really difficult to decide on an extra that didn't give away spoilers, but I did it!

Below you can read about Doug at Coopers. It takes place during the time Doug and Sophie aren't together. You'll see what is going through Doug's head and how very much he wants to win Sophie back!
I hope you enjoy it.

Doug at Coopers 

Third night in a row. Same place. Different people. Actually, I think some of these sad fucks were
here last night too. Am I part of the sad fucks club now? God I was an idiot. A sad, lonely idiot. I
look over to the barman, Ethan? I think his name was Ethan, it didn’t matter what his name was, all
that mattered was that he refilled my glass. 

“Another?” a voice that wasn’t Ethan’s comes from over my shoulder.

“Yes. Another. Do you have a problem with me spending money in your establishment?” I growl at

“Not at all. But you’ve been here for the last three nights. Alone. Where is Sophie?” he sits down
next to me and halts the progress of my drink.

“Ignore him. I’m paying good money for that drink. Pass it over.” 

Ethan raises his eyebrows at Jonathan, who nods and passes the drink to me. I bring the glass to
my lips and down a mouthful. The alcohol hitting the back of my throat, the familiar burn back
again. I welcome it. 

“Well?” Jonathan asks, turning on the stool to look at me. 

“Sophie is…. wherever Sophie is.” I raise my hand and wave it around in our general direction. 

“Why isn’t she with you? What have you done?” 

“Charming. As my best friend, you’re supposed to be concerned for my wellbeing.” I take another
mouthful of my drink and shake my head. 

“What is with this fucking music, Jonny?” 

“The evening is early yet, it will pick up soon. So, Sophie?” 

“Sophie,” I close my eyes, picturing her so clearly, “Sophie is at home I guess.” 

“And why are you not at home with her?” 

“Because I fucked up, Jonny. Like big time.” 

“What did you do?” he leans on the counter and asks for a water. 

“I can’t tell you just yet, okay?” I look over at my best friend and feel ever more of a fucker than I
already felt. I was now keeping things from two people in the world I should always be honest with. 

“I can’t help you if you don’t tell me, D.” he tells me, concern in his voice. 

“You can’t help me. Even if I tell you.” I knock back the last of my drink and order another. 

“Slow it down, Doug. I don’t want to have to kick you out.” he was in manager mode now, not
friend mode. As much as I respected it, it pissed me off too. 

“I’ll have another.” I glare at him. 

Over the years, I had pushed Jonny many times. When we were growing up, when my parents
died. He was always the person who was there. Always the one I went to. Why wasn’t I going to
him now then? I couldn’t. I was disappointed with how I was dealing with the whole situation. I was
ashamed of myself and I didn’t want him to be too.

“Take it easy, okay? Whatever you’ve done, it can be fixed. You and Sophie are for keeps. Come
and talk to me before you leave,” he finishes his drink then stands to leave, “And don’t make me
come back down here and remove you, Doug.” 

I don’t reply. There is nothing to say. 

As the night wares on, I drink more. And the more I drink the more desperately lonely I become.
I’m in a packed club yet I’ve never felt more lonely. There is an ache in my chest that has been
there ever since Sophie walked away. An ache I don’t think will ever go away unless she comes

“I’ll have another.” I think I slur at Ethan. 

“I can’t serve you anymore, man.” he says apologetically. 

“Why the fuck not?” I growl, rubbing my hand over my face. 

“Because Jonny has asked him not to.” 


“Well I want another.” I growl at Jonas, getting to my feet unsteadily. 

“Well, you’re not getting one. The only thing you’re getting is in Jonny’s car. Come on.” 

Jonas tries to steer me to the exit, but I root my feet to the floor and push him away. I knew I was
pushing my luck, I knew Jonas was a gentle giant, but he was still a giant. 

“Doug. You know I’ll remove you if you don’t move your arse. You’re wasted and you’re
embarrassing yourself. Go home.” he tells me, looking me in the eyes. 

I see pity. I see concern. I fucking hate it. 

I bring my hand up, trying to make contact with his jaw, but in my intoxicated state he easily moves
out of the way and pushes me towards to the front door where Jonny is standing, a look of
annoyance on his face. I go with him, I don’t put up a fight. 

When I slip inside Jonny’s car, I rest my head back and close my eyes. This wasn’t me. What was
I doing? Jonny talks to Jonas before coming round the car and slipping in to the drivers seat. 

“Whatever the fuck is going on with you, don’t bring it here, Doug, understand?” 

“I know. I shouldn’t have come here tonight. I’m sorry.” 

“I asked you what was wrong. Why won’t you talk to me about it?” he starts the car, the engine

“I just can’t right now. I can’t have anyone else disappointed with me.” I whisper the last few

“Doug, I’m a lot of things with you right now, but disappointed isn’t one of them. I hate seeing you
like this, you haven’t been like this since…” his voice trails off. He doesn’t need to finish the

“I know.” 

“Something changed with you when you met Sophie. You stopped dicking around. You grew up.
You changed. Don’t go back to being that person Doug, you’ll lose more than Sophie, I’m telling

“I know that. But I don’t think I can get her back, Jonny. I don’t think I can.” tears fill my eyes and
the ache in my chest gets so strong I flinch. 

“You have to fight for her. You have to be the man you’ve become, not the man you were. The
man I know you are. You don’t give up on what you want, you never have.” 

“How can you be so sure of what I am, Jonny? What if you’re wrong?” 

“I know you. And for fucks sake, I love you. You’re like a brother to me. So that is why I know you
can sort this out. But you need to stop this shit. You need to pull it together and give Sophie a
reason to come back.” 

I don’t say anything. Jonny’s words hit me harder than any punch. He was right, I had to stop this,
I had to give Sophie as reason to want to come back. I had to get my girl back. 

“Thank you.” I whisper, not looking at him. 

“Brothers don’t pick and chose when to support each other, Doug. It’s always. I’m here and I’ll help
you. You know that.” 

“I do.” 

“Good. Now sober up, get into bed and tomorrow when you’ve showered and had some coffee
we’ll talk again, okay?” he tells me as we pull up outside my flat. 

“Okay.” I nod. 

“Because I know you want a future with Sophie. I know you want a home. A family, A life.” 

“I do.” 

“Tomorrow, we’ll work out how you can have it. And we’ll ask Miley, because she is Sophie’s best
friend and she is so much better at this than me.” he grins. 

“Got it. Thanks, Jonny. I owe you.” I open the car door and into the cold night. 

“Doug?” I lean down and look into the car. 


“It will be okay, you know?” 

“I hope so. Night J.” 

“Night D.” 

And as I walk into my flat two minutes later and look out over London lit up before me, I’m flooded
with memories of Sophie and I. I climb the stairs and head into our bedroom, stripping off my
clothes and leaving them on the floor. I slip under the covers and reach under the pillow, pulling out
the purple chemise Sophie wore to bed that last night she stayed here. I inhale it. It still had her
scent all over it. Closing my eyes, I keep the silky fabric in my hand, resting over my heart.

I was determined to make this right. It was just going to take time. But that was okay. I had all the
time in the world to win back my girl. 

And I would. 

I had to. 

She was my heart.