Sunday Snippet, 3.19.23

Sunday Snippet from my gay Victorian fae romance, Oak King Holly King – available now wherever fine books are found!


The terrible impact rang out across the field like a thunderbolt cleaving a tree in twain.

Wren’s hands flew to his mouth. The crowd leapt and cheered, surging in a bloodthirsty tide. The young man amidst the milkmaids let out a particularly gruesome guffaw. Wren didn’t dare breathe. It seemed the world had ceased turning the instant the blow fell.

The sword had struck Shrike in the side. The Holly King’s blade came away crimson. And the horrible noise, the crunch of metal against boiled leather and bone—

But Shrike rolled.

At first it seemed as though the force of the blow had thrown him aside, but as Wren watched him tumble, he realized Shrike had purposefully dodged. Not entirely, not quite fast enough for that, but dodged all the same, and when his feet came under him again he staggered upright.

And Wren’s hopes rose with him.


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Sunday Snippet, 1.22.23

Sunday Snippet from my gay Victorian cross-class romance, Mr Warren’s Profession, featuring hurt/comfort and a happily-ever-after – available now wherever fine books are found!


Aubrey felt a slight pressure on his thigh. He glanced down to find Lindsey’s hand upon it.

He buried his initial reaction of wild, inappropriate glee deep down where Lindsey would never see it. Yet while he could hide his joy from the outside world, he couldn’t escape it within the confines of his own mind. His imagination presented a whirlwind of vignettes—Lindsey’s fingers brushing the arm of his jacket as they walked to the theatre; once inside, Aubrey taking advantage of the darkness to rest his hand in Lindsey’s lap; he and Lindsey sharing a cab home after the show, Lindsey undoing the buttons of his waistcoat, Lindsey’s mouth on his throat, Lindsey straddling him, Lindsey—

At present, Lindsey’s hand remained on his thigh. Aubrey reined in his fantasies, lest Lindsey encounter more than he’d expected there.

Or perhaps precisely what he’d expected.

Aubrey swallowed hard. Regardless of his tempting offer, Lindsey remained Aubrey’s superior. If Lindsey tired of his companionship, Aubrey would be tossed back in the gutter. The alternate possibility, that Aubrey’s own interest would wane, and Lindsey would demand continued affection as a condition of his employment, didn’t sound any more appealing. And if by some miracle a third path appeared, as the stupider parts of Aubrey’s brain hoped, wherein he and Lindsey remained inseparable in mutual bliss until the end of their days, Aubrey couldn’t conceive of a world in which he became anything more than Lindsey’s pet clerk, a filthy little secret. No. He’d moved on from that role long ago. He had no intention of returning to it now.

Then again, considering all he’d accepted from Lindsey, it looked as if he’d returned to it already.

Realising this uncomfortable truth left Aubrey with only one respectable option. He took a deep breath, gathering courage along with air, and spoke.

“Mr Althorp, I am not entirely comfortable with the position of your hand.”


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Sunday Snippet, 1.15.23

Please enjoy this Sunday Snippet from my gay Victorian whaling romance, HOLD FAST – available now wherever fine books are found.


Turner took Evelyn’s wrists in his hands. Evelyn, startled, looked down at the point of contact, but made no move to resist. Truth told, he had no wish to pull away from his grip. Turner had a firm hand, sure and supportive. A touch such as Evelyn hadn’t felt in many years. He watched passively as Turner rearranged his limbs.

“Your left hand will settle onto the lady’s waist,” said Turner, placing Evelyn’s hand in accordance with his words.

Evelyn’s breath caught in his throat as his palm met Turner’s jacket. Instinct encouraged him to squeeze, to feel the flesh beneath the cloth, to pull Turner close. He ignored it.

“And your right hand,” said Turner, going on as if no untoward thoughts raced through Evelyn’s mind, “takes the lady’s left,” and here he shifted his grip, his hand palm-to-palm with Evelyn’s in a gentle hold—such soft hands, “and holds it aloft. Not down by her waist, nor up over her head, but in line with her shoulders. Allow for a slight bend of the elbow. Do not pull her arm straight out. Just hold it, thusly. You will look the lady in the eye.”

With difficulty, Evelyn tore his eyes away from the sight of Turner’s hand in his own and met Turner’s gaze.

“You will not watch your feet,” Turner continued. “Nor will you allow your glance to settle upon anything between her feet and her eyes.”

Turner’s gaze was steady as the tides—and Evelyn was just as powerless to resist its pull.


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Sunday Snippet, 1.8.23

Sunday Snippet from my gay Victorian fae romance, Oak King Holly King – available now wherever fine books are found!


“Nell reminded me,” Shrike added as Wren gazed at the mask. “I need something to disguise my oddities from mortal eyes.”

“They’re not oddities,” Wren said without even considering the matter, the words spilling forth from his heart rather than his head.

If Shrike minded, it showed neither in his face nor his speech. “I need your help to finish it.”

“How?” Wren blurted. He’d felt desperate to alleviate Shrike’s agonies since they’d begun and equally hopeless he might ever do so in his own mortal failings.

Shrike reached out his forefinger and tapped the centre of the mask’s brow, where a smooth field devoid of veins spanned between the two antler valleys. “It requires a cunning sigil.”

Wren’s unease increased. Even after all the hours they’d spent in each other’s company, hours in which Wren thought it woefully apparent his own mortal skill couldn’t hold a candle to Shrike’s fae mastery, Shrike thought him some manner of wizard. “What ought it to look like?”

“I know not,” said Shrike. “I’ve no gift for glamour. I’m ill-accustomed to seeming anything other than what I am.”

Wren had spent more than three decades disguising his truest self from society’s judgment. Shrike could not have chosen a more experienced practitioner in the art of deceit.


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