Today I am so pleased to welcome Isobel Starling to Joyfully Jay. Isobel has come to talk to us about her M/M Romance Christmas Box Set. She has also brought along…. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Back Where He Belongs by Isobel Starling
Kier Campbell smacked his palm on the steering wheel of his rented black Prius Hybrid SUV and roared with frustration. The engine of the vehicle had cut out suddenly, pulling him from his thoughts and forcing him to swerve to the side of the road before the car lost all momentum. He pushed the key button,but the engine didn’t even splutter, and the lights on the dash were all dead.
Kier had broken down on an isolated stretch of road in the middle of the snow-strewnScottish Highlands, miles from the next village. He grabbed his phone from the holder on the dash feeling dread coil in his gut, and as expected, he didn’t even see one bar on the screen. Kier scratched his russet beard,
“Fuuuck, I cannae believe the signal out here’s still so shite.” He huffed, then hurridly unclicked his seatbelt, and opened the car door. A fierce gust of Arctic wind pushed resistance against the door, and he struggled to push back, but with the accompanying fierce chill to contend with,Kier let the door slam closed. He turned and grabbed his parka coat from the back seat and then searched for the kooky reindeer antler bobble hat that he’d purchased at the airport. In the confined space, he awkwardly shucked into the coat and pulled the Christmas hat onto his head, covering his unkempt rust-red hair. Then he heaved the car door open againand stepped out onto the deserted road.
The frigidity of the wind took his breath away. Kier zipped the coat up and looked left and right considering his surroundings. The road was newly laid, charcoal-grey tarmac with a white-dashed line running down the center and not a pothole in sight. It was a pang of nostalgia that had made him choose this particular route through the Highlands. He’d been away from home for far too long, and on driving north from Edinburgh Airport, a strange feeling of longing crept into his heart to travel down his old favorite route. It was by no means the quickest route to his destination, but Kier gave into that tug of longing.
Kier recalled the pleasure of being surrounded by the stunning mountainous, remote scenery, and his love of driving down empty Highland roads. He could just play his favorite music as loud as he wanted, sing at the top of his voice, and then put his foot down on the accelerator and let it all go. On this road with his tunes, Kier was at one with his place in the world.
While driving from the airport,Kier found he was lost in fond memories of when he’d been given his first car for his eighteenth birthday. Douglas had joined him, and they’d enjoyed a summer road trip driving around Scotland with the view of seeing the country—and finding secluded places where they could fuck.
Kier had been away from Scotland for five years, and Douglas—who knew where the hell he was now? That wistful memory had departed with the final shudders and gasps of the car engine.
Kier popped the bonnet and took a look at the engine. He let out an exasperated sigh, having no idea what to do with a Hybrid engine. He couldn’t immediately see the root of the problem. Nothing had leaked or appeared broken; there was no steam cloud rising to tell him the engine had overheated. He needed help—fast.
Kier already knew that passing traffic on this Highland route would be scarce, more so because it was Christmas Eve. Highlanders were a well-prepared, hardy folk, and they would not venture out in bad weather like this, especially so close to Christmas. Everything they needed to settle in for the holidays would have been prepared weeks in advance as no one wanted to get stuck in deep snow without supplies to see them through the harsh weather.
Kier slammed the bonnet closed. He turned, leaned back on the car, and waved the smartphone around hoping to pick up a signal so he could at least send a message to his father to say that he was in trouble, but still, he couldn’t find anything. Kier frustratedly kicked the wheel of his rented car and roared as a darting pain ran up his right leg. Feckin’ eejit, he scolded himself. It would not do to injure himself as well.
The Campbell Clan were crofters and had been for three generations. Kier carried on the family’s sheep farming traditions, but on the other side of the world. He lived at a sheep station in Queensland, Australia, where he co-managed pastoral lands of over three-hundred-thousand acres and several thousand Merino sheep.
Kier was heading up to his family’s Inverness farm for Christmas. Making such a mammoth sixteen-thousand-mile journey to eat a turkey dinner with his folks was something he’d been reluctant to do. As far as he was concerned, when he’d left Scotland behind, he’d left all of his secrets and uncomfortable memories behind too. However, this time it was different. Kier’s sister Agnes had just given birth to her first baby, and on seeing his nephew via a Skype chat, his heartstrings had well and truly been tugged home. Kier knew that he couldn’t be the best of uncles living so far away, but he could at least make an effort and be there for baby Callum’s first Christmas.
The wild winter wind swirled, groped, clawed, and reached in through every nook in Kier’s clothing, sending its icy tendrils to prickle at his skin. He pulled his parka zip up ever higher, dragged his wooly reindeer hat down as far as he could around his ears, then, not having remembered to purchase gloves, he clapped his hands together for warmth. The wind was becoming so fierce that at times it nearly knocked him off his feet.
Central Queensland had a sub-tropical climate, so the farm Kier managed had never seen even a flake of snow. Had he been away for so long that he’d forgotten how cruel a Scots winter could be? Kier glanced up to the ominous distant mountains and saw the purplish tinge to the fast-moving clouds billowing wave-like over the snowcaps. Damnit! He knew what that meant. The signs of impending bad weather had been drummed into him since he was a wee bairn accompanying his da out on the hills to check on their sheep. That purple hue was a sign that more snow was on the way and from the size of the voluminous clouds, it would be one hell of a blizzard.
Kier shuddered and turned in a full circle to take in the wilderness. The loam was covered n a thin icy crust from the first snow of the season. He scolded himself for just how unprepared he’d been for the journey. He was born and bred in this landscape and should have known better. Christ, I didnae even pack gloves! If he remained in his hire car overnight, Kier knew that he would freeze to death.
The next village was called Inchmabreck, and he’d known it well in his youth. Inchmabreck had a pub named The Forge Inn, that Kier remembered fondly. The elderly landlord, Gregor, had never once asked him to show his ID, even though he and Douglas were underage when they first started drinking there.
The village lay just a seven-mile hikeup and down the long, winding road. It would take a couple of hours to walk, and if he kept going at a steady pace, Kier knew he would be there before nightfall. Then, he could call his da to come and pick him up if the weather wasn’t too bad, and deal with the hire car after the holidays.
Kier strode around to the boot of the vehicle, opened it, and rifled through his rucksack. His suitcase held the most expensive, fragile Christmas gifts, but he’d stored a few Aussie-themed gifts and toys for wee Callum in his duffle bag. He unpacked those, ensuring he had the bare essentials for an overnight stay. Then he locked the car, hitched his rucksack over his shoulders, and started walking.
Award-winning author Isobel Starling presents
The M/M Romance Christmas Box Set containing four funny, kinky seasonal romances
- Publisher: Decent Fellows Press
- Cover Artist: Isobel Starling
- Genre/s: M/M Romance, comedy, puppy play
- Heat Rating: 4 flames
- Length: 46,193 words/262 pages
- This is two novellas and two short stories, all with a Christmas theme.
- Add on Goodreads
The MM Christmas Box Set contains four delightfully humorous and kinky seasonal romances. This box set is available as an e-book; you can read it free in Kindle Unlimited or listen to the exceptionally funny audiobook by award-winning narrator Gary Furlong.
The stories in the box set are:
Fred & Ginger
Chris Miller, a patisserie chef for Big Boy Cupcakes has to rush the last minute order of cock cupcakes for the party of a celebrity, but in his haste to deliver, he falls foul of an over-keen chocolate labrador named Fred, and his handsome owner…
The Christmas Bonus
The Investobank Christmas shindig at the Lorien Hotel puts Jake Walters, and the object of his lust in the same place at the same time… and it’s Christmas!
Daddy Christmas (Daddy Kink short story) NEW!
Ryan Sutherland, a side character from ‘Detective Fox and the Christmas Caper’ at last gets the happy ending he deserves.
Back Where He Belongs (M/M Puppy Play Novella)
Kier Campbell returns to Scotland from Australia to spend Christmas with his family. What he finds there is a gift that is worth more than money could buy.
Please note: These stories are gay romance stories and contain graphic depictions of sex.
The total word count is approximately 46k, the audiobook is just over 4 hours long. These stories have all the Christmas feels to give you a warm glow inside.
Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited
Audiobook – Listen to a sample here
Isobel Starling is an award-winning author of gay romance. Isobel spent most of her twenty-year professional career making art in Ireland. She relocated to the UK, and faced with the dreaded artist’s creative block, Isobel started to write and found she loved writing more than making art.
The Shatterproof Bond series is an Amazon Gay Romance bestseller and has been translated into French, German and Italian.
“As You Wish” (Shatterproof Bond #1), narrated by Gary Furlong, won the Audiobook Reviewer Award, Romance Category 2018. Isobel and Gary have produced ten audiobooks together, including whole Shatterproof Bond series.
Isobel will release the first book in her thrilling new fantasy series The Quiet Work in March 2019.
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