Let Your Heart Decide
Lily G Blunt
New house, new job. A new start with his brother….
Two out of three isn’t bad, right?
Rhys returns to his hometown and must face the brother he’s been avoiding for two years. In his heart, Rhys still hopes to recapture the bond they once shared.
Jake willingly offers him the hand of friendship, but Rhys is reluctant to confront their past, fearing it will only rip them apart again.
When Rhys sees ghostly figures in the grounds of a local historic house, it leads him to investigate their shocking past—and to face his heart’s true desire.
Please note this is a taboo romance featuring two brothers.
(From Chapter One – Rhys meets his new neighbour)
The outline of a solitary figure appeared through the frosted glass of the front door. Male, I’d say, and short. Could be a kid.
I opened the stiff door with a deliberate jerk. “Yes?”
A man, probably in his mid-to-late thirties, stood before me. Short and slim, wearing long khaki shorts, sandals—no socks, thank God. His tanned hairy legs drew my attention for a few seconds too long. He held a plastic-wrapped plate in his hands with what seemed like cake on it. He looked pleasant enough, good-looking in an old-fashioned sort of way, and smiling a toothy grin not far from my face.
“Hello, I’m from next door.”
He inclined his head to the left. There was only one house next to mine, as my house was situated at the end of the cul-de-sac on a corner plot, so I gathered he was my neighbour.
“I’ve baked you a cake as a welcome gift.” He offered me the plate. “Hope you like lemon drizzle cake.” He smiled again and his eyes twinkled. Beads of perspiration dotted along his forehead. I took the plate from him before the moisture had a chance to run down his face and drip onto my cake. It was a warm and sunny June day, the first we’d seen in the UK for over a week. Typical! The day I moved house the temperature skyrocketed. Sweat dampened my pits and trickled down my back. I’d been shifting heavy boxes and stuff around for hours.
“Mmm… looks great. Thanks.” I breathed in and got a strong whiff of sweet citrus—from the cake rather than him, I hoped. “That’s very kind of you.”
“I’m Philip,” he said, edging closer. “And you’re very welcome.”
“Hi, I’m Rhys,” I said, standing firm. As nice as he appeared, I was reluctant to budge and let a stranger enter my personal domain.
“How are you settling in?” Philip peered around my shoulder and upper arm, a tricky task since I was a good six inches taller than him. “I would have offered to help you unload your car earlier, but I was mixing the cake at the time.”
I made the mistake of turning and glancing at my cluttered hallway.
Excerpt from Chapter Four
THAT NIGHT my thoughts blurred into dreams as I drifted to sleep, filling my head with memories of when I was a boy. I pictured Jake running with me down grass-topped sand dunes, flying our kites on wispy tufted downs, and rambling over the ruins of some ramshackle old castle. My heart soared in my dreams. I recalled the many nights we told each other ghost stories under the tents we’d constructed from blankets in our bedroom, times we snuggled under our duvets and shone torches under our chins, making scary faces.
In that haze of half-sleep, not sure if I’d slept yet or not, I jerked awake. Yes, wide awake now, not an interrupted dream.
And there it was again.
And close by.
Not a baby nor a fox, but a man. I lay there, heart thumping, straining to hear in the darkness, trying to pick out the sound and its direction. But nothing came.
In the long quiet that followed, I remembered again how Jake used to hold me when I was scared, or when I came home from school crying because bullies had called me names or pushed me around. He’d stood up for me, protected me, and one day the bullying stopped. I always thought it was because of Jake’s intervention, although he never told me what he did to make it better. I never asked him. One day I would.
The quiet of the night buzzed in my ears.
Maybe the cry was a dream, after all.
What did I think?
I loved the way the story was a contemporary story but hinted at paranormal elements. The historical components were also fascinating, weaved through the story as Rhys finds about the area he has moved in to. So as you read the book you learn about Rhys and his relationship with his brother and about him forging new friendships as he moves back to town after a two year absence. Alongside this is the story of the family who used to live in the Hall, a grand house nearby.
As the author points out, this is a taboo story, so won’t be for everyone. I’m okay with reading stories between brothers, and this was no different. It was about a connection between the two men that went beyond the physical. I did find some aspects of the story a little to easily resolved (I won’t call it out here because of spoilers but I’ll note it on GR so if you want to find out click here), but overall I enjoyed Rhys and Jake’s journey.
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About the Author
Lily G. Blunt writes contemporary gay romance. She loves to explore the relationship between two men and the intensity of their physical and emotional attraction. Angst often features in her stories as she feels this demonstrates the depth of the men’s feelings for each other. Lily is forever writing imaginary scenes and plots in her head, but only a few ever make it to the page. There never seems to be enough hours in the day despite having left the teaching profession to concentrate on her writing!
Lily discovered the wonderful world of m/m romance novels five years ago via fan fiction and went on to write stories in her spare time. With the encouragement of her friends and readers she decided to publish some of her work. Lily subsequently self-published several stories and later published short stories with Torquere Press, Wayward Ink Publishing, and Pride Publishing.
Lily is an avid supporter of GLBTQ rights and advocates equality for all. She was recently a steward for Pride in London. She lives in central England with her rather bemused husband and a ‘mad as a bag of frogs’ Shetland Sheepdog called Barney.
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