Excerpt: Forged in Flood.


Excerpt:

The Blacks of Boscastle had run the forge since before the sixteenth century. All the men and many of the women in his family had been blacksmiths by trade. Ivan had always felt particularly proud to follow in their footsteps. They’d worked through rains, wars, and plagues.

I’m not going to be the first to run over a spot of bad weather.

There was one major downside to everyone in the village having fled—there were no distractions. Ivan had far too much time on his hands to think. His mind went back in time to an event best left untouched. One dismal night, one massive car crash, and three young lives drastically altered forever.

He’d restricted himself to Boscastle and the smithy since then, promising never to take risks ever again. And he hadn’t, not really. His life had become incredibly boring and predictable.

Ivan gritted his teeth and slammed down the hammer in his hand to stave off the onslaught of memories. “Sodding rain.”

As a young man, Ivan and his two best mates had been the pride of their university. Rugby stars in the making; all three had already signed contracts to turn professional upon graduation. The offers hinged on them staying healthy and keeping their heads in the game.

One accident had ruined it for all three of them.

All my fucking fault.

Of the three young men, Ivan had gotten off easiest as far as long-term issues. He’d suffered a severe concussion along with cuts and bruises. The accident left him with memory problems, a short fuse on his temper, and blindingly painful migraines; his balance had also been greatly affected by the damage to his brain.

His mate, Wes, had the injuries that were most visible. His face, hands, and arms had been left covered with scars. He’d also lost the sight in his right eye.

The third of their trio, Rolly, had gone through multiple surgeries on his left leg. Even with the best care, it would never be the same. He’d walk with a limp for the rest of his life.

Three promising sports careers flushed down the toilet by one foolish mistake. Everyone consoled Ivan by reminding him that any of them could’ve been behind the wheel. They’d driven drunk a thousand times before and gotten lucky each time.

Their luck had simply run out. They’d taken their lives (and the lives of anyone else on the road) into their own stupid, drunken hands. The car had flown around a corner on a rain-slicked road and rolled several times before crashing into a tree.

For Ivan, his dreams going up in smoke hadn’t been the worst part. Not a day went by where he didn’t regret losing his best mates. Guilt, more than anything, kept him from trying to breach the gap and contact them.

He’d hidden himself away in Cornwall to avoid ever having to see either man again.

Fucking enough, you fuckwitted moron.

Beating yourself up won’t change anything.

Sod this sodding rain.


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Review: Forged in Flood.

This was amazing.. it was heartwarming and heartbreaking.. it was fast paced and amazing.. it was sweet and sad. it had sso many conflicting emotions and was so moving.. i loved it so much…plus so many times i laughed and smiled. it was wonderful.” 5 Stars, Kaila, Goodreads

Excerpt: The Royal Marine

They traded stories over their simple pasta dinner. Akash half expected the man to make a move—or to make one himself—but the evening had been too easy, too comfortable for it; they’d simply enjoyed the shared meal.

A sharp contrast to what Akash imagined a first date with Scottie might entail. The former rugby player had texted him four times since the night he’d stopped by uninvited, having stolen his number out of BC’s phone. The persistence concerned him; he had no interest in having his life turned upside down by a stalker.

Making a mental note to apologise to his sisters for not taking their complaints about similar behaviour from other men more seriously, Akash had sent a text of his own earlier to Tens and Caddock. He knew them the best out of the rugby players involved with the Sin Bin. They’d sort out their mate, or he’d do it for them.

“Thanks for the tea.” Akash gestured toward the tin sitting on the nearby shelf. “Do you know how bloody hard it is to get that particular type of tea? It’s perfect for making biscuits.”

“Right.” Hamish was staring at him. He nodded absently, but didn’t actually appear to have heard him.

“Something wrong?”

Standing abruptly, Hamish strode around the table to grab Akash by the shirt. He dragged him up out of his chair, causing him to stumble forward. Akash could only blink at the slightly taller man in confusion, until those wonderfully rough fingers dug into his hair and yanked him up into a kiss.

Akash surrendered to it briefly before bringing his arm up to separate their lips—and bodies—when Hamish’s fingers drifted down the front of his shirt. “We’re not doing this in my kitchen. Not yet. Well, not in the bakery kitchen, ever. Health inspectors would have a fit.”

Hamish brushed his knuckles across the bulge in Akash’s trousers. “Later, then?”

“Later when we’re somewhere else and there aren’t two nosy brats peeking through the door.” Akash pointed toward the barely visible twins, who were once again eavesdropping on them. “Off with you both. I left you dinner on the table upstairs.”

While the rest of the meal went well, the passionate moment had definitely passed them by. Hamish stayed for another hour, helping to wash up the dishes. They exchanged several heated kisses, until Akash had to quite literally shove the man out the door.

He sank back against the frame of the still open door to catch his breath after seeing Hamish off. “Well, bugger me.”

Amazon

Review: The Royal Marine

Another great entry in this wonderful series. The MC’s aren’t rugby players but they are good friends with the men from prior stories and their significant others. Akash and Hamish are the kind of characters I’ve come to expect from the author. They’re adults, there’s an age gap and while the Hamish is quite dominant and protective, never treats Akash as anything but an independent, capable adult. There is a touch of suspense around Akash’s business being targeted and danger for Hamish going on protective details that last for months. The romance is always rather low-key but not pushed to the background either. The narrative feels natural and realistic and I also enjoy the diverse backgrounds and family dynamics the author adds to the mix. I find the style of writing refreshing and anticipate reading more from Dahlia Donovan.4.5 Stars, Nrevvy on Amazon

Excerpt: The Botanist

Amazon

Are you serious about this leaving shit?” Trace sat across from him at one of their favourite bars in Coronado—McP’s Irish Pub. “I thought you’d be in until you hobbled out with no hair or teeth, clinging to your walking frame.”

“They pay you by the joke?” Wyatt flicked one of his onion rings across the table at him. “I’m done—nothing left for me to accomplish.”

“Weak sauce. Utter fucking weak sauce.” Trace leaned forward with his elbows on the table. “It’s the gay thing, isn’t it?”

Wyatt didn’t even blink in response. He waved the bartender over for another round of Guinness; Hamish had gotten all of the SEALs hooked on it. “What gay thing?”

“The fucked up policy that says you can’t serve if you’re open about who you are.” Trace pushed the plate of nachos to the side. “None of us give a shit who you fuck—or who you love.”

Wyatt knew the men under his command respected him, thought of him as a friend. SEAL teams were almost always tight-knit units. They only had each other to count on in the middle of treacherous missions. “None of you?”

“None of our element.”

Review: The Botanist

A story filled with lots of emotion, heart, and tenderness. Wyatt just knew that slow and easy was the only way he could go to in order to aid Aled in his survival from the traumatic and horrific events that he had endured. Wyatt was totally on board with his desires & instincts to help Aled succeed; a very satisfying story in this series. After all he was a former Seal and success was all that he knew.

5 Stars, Amazon Reader