Welcome Birthday Guest Clare London!

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A Double Scoop Birthday Trip

 

Lee’s voice was small and hushed in the pitch-black bedroom. “It’s very dark here on the site, isn’t it?”

“Hm?” Patrick was still trying to find a comfortable position on the narrow—very narrow—single bed in the holiday caravan. He’d never been a thin man, even in his youth. And he kept stubbing his toe on the low-hanging cupboard over the foot of the bed.

“I suppose I’m just not used to being away from central London.” Lee gave a grunt that probably meant “thank god”. He turned over again in his bed; Patrick heard the squeak of the mattress and the muffled thump as Lee’s elbow hit the plywood wall.

Lee’s eyes gleamed wide in the darkness. “Patrick? Are you awake?”

“I am now.” Patrick sighed, knowing there was still a smile in his tone.

Lee sighed too. “I’m sorry, It seemed such a good idea at the time. A long weekend away for your birthday, just us, on a seaside holiday, without work or home or anyone else to bother about.”

“It was a good idea. Is. I appreciate it.”

“It’s just, I had to pay out for my new laptop last month, and then I lent Phiz a few quid—”

“Lee—?”

“—which he’s paid back now, he has! But it meant I didn’t have much money at the time, when I booked this weekend, and this caravan site was the only place had a berth left because it’s the school holidays, and it looked really nice regardless—”

“It is,” Patrick hurried to reassure Lee. “Ouch.” He’d forgotten again about the low-hanging cupboard. “It’s just… rather small.”

“Tiny.”

“Bijou.”

“Fucking miniscule.” Lee snorted and they both started to laugh.

Patrick carefully pulled his leg out from under the bedroom fittings and sat up on the edge of his bed. “Pity there were only twin beds.” He could see Lee nodding vigorously, even though the only light in the room was from the moon.

“That was a disaster, wasn’t it? When we tried to have sex?”

“You mean, when I fell out of bed? Yes. It wasn’t far to fall, but I caught my head on the edge of your bed.”

“And your reading glasses—”

“Um. Yeah. I’ll get new lenses on Monday, when we go back to With A Kick.”

“Must have hurt. The broken glass in your arse.”

Patrick was glad of the darkness then, because of his humiliated blushes. But Lee had obviously just realized the rhyme, and was laughing even more.

“Sorry about dropping your phone in the toilet,” Patrick said. “The children shouting at the seagulls outside the window startled me.”

“And their mother shrieking at them. All five of them. By individual name. For ten minutes.”

Patrick sighed again.

“’S okay,” Lee said bravely. “It’ll dry out. Eventually.” He reached out a hand in the dark and Patrick clasped it.

“Well, we might as well get up,” Patrick said. “Neither of us can sleep at the moment, right?”

“We could stream and watch a movie—”

“—if we could get a decent internet signal. Yeah, I know.”

Their combined breath was a fine mist in the chilly air.

“I brought sachets of hot chocolate,” Lee said eagerly. “Maybe the power cut is over by now, and I can boil a kettle.”

“And it’s stopped raining at last. Another day, and our shoes should dry out.”

They both stumbled for the door, jamming up together in the narrow doorway. Despite both of them losing their duvets onto the floor every half hour, Lee was still very warm against Patrick’s body. Patrick’s body liked that. A lot. Things stirred down below. He turned his head and nuzzled Lee’s neck.

“Love you,” he whispered. He really didn’t say it enough. “Thank you for the birthday gift.”

Lee arched back, making a purring sound. “I brought ice cream,” he murmured back into Patrick’s ear. “Our Double Scoop flavour.”

Patrick stilled. His taste buds perked up. “Yeah?”

“It’s in that tiny freezer compartment in the kitchen. Though it may have started melting when the power went out.”

“And you can’t re-freeze ice cream, can you?” Patrick mused.

Lee chuckled. “No way. We’ll have to eat up the whole damn lot. Better start now.”

“The whole damn lot,” Patrick said happily. It was his birthday, wasn’t it? Ice cream was obligatory.

“And there’s wine,” Lee continued. “And cake.”

Patrick caught Lee’s slim waist as he tried to wriggle first out of the bedroom doorway. “And blankets. And sofa cushions we can put on the floor. They’re wider than these beds.”

“You’re a dirty bugger,” Lee said happily. “Love you too. Happy birthday.” He shuffled awkwardly until he was chest to chest with Patrick. Patrick was pleased to feel Lee’s arousal as satisfyingly thick as his own. Patrick loved Lee in pyjamas; he could feel every movement, every shift between Lee’s legs. Even in the fleece pyjamas, which were pretty strong mood killers.

As they felt their way along the narrow corridor to the living room area, Patrick decided to open the curtains on some of the more judiciously placed windows, and let the moonlight spill in.

Because that was pretty damn appropriate, wasn’t it?

 

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Blurb:

A sudden disaster strikes everyone’s favourite ice cream shop, With A Kick. Not only does it threaten the livelihood of its owner, Patrick, but also his loyal assistant Lee. The last thing in the world Patrick would ever want to do is hurt Lee, either physically or emotionally. Why would he? He’s been falling in love with Lee since the day Lee invited himself into the shop’s business and Patrick’s life. But familiar and deeply-held insecurities hold Patrick back – he’s too gruff for Lee, too old, and his labour-of-love business is never going to make him rich.

 

Lee is weary of trying to make Patrick see how much he admires and cares for him. To Lee, it’s a very straightforward situation. Patrick is sexy, Patrick is smart, Patrick needs Lee’s help – and Lee needs Patrick in his life as more than a boss. All the characteristics Patrick finds inhibiting, Lee finds attractive. However, if Patrick’s apparently never going to make a move on Lee, how long should Lee wait to make his own move? Maybe Patrick thinks Lee is too clingy, too immature. Maybe Lee should give up his romantic hopes completely. If, that is, he can bear to do it.

 

The disaster at the shop brings them a whole new opportunity to work – and love – together to make a go of things. They’ve both got to look at each other in a whole new way. With the help of all their With A Kick friends, this could be make or break for the reluctant couple!

 

Author bio:
Clare took the pen name London from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with the weekly wash, waiting for the far distant day when she can afford to give up her day job as an accountant. She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy.  Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic and sexy characters.

Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter 3 stage and plenty of other projects in mind . . . she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.

All the details and free fiction are available at her website. Visit her today and say hello!

 

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62 thoughts on “Welcome Birthday Guest Clare London!

  1. Happy birthday month Amber, and thanks for the invitation to the celebrations! And Happy Hi to everyone who’s in my romance-and-ice-cream-loving club *hehe*.

  2. It’s remiss of me to haven’t said: Happy Birthday, Amber!
    And thank you , Clare for the snippet – I haven’t read the book, so thank you for putting it so I” aware of it (and would look and grab it *g*).

  3. I like that even though the vacation plans were a disaster they still found a way to make it a celebration. It’s those kind of moments that tend to define a relationship.

  4. For some reason I don’t have this series even though I have quite a few or your books. I’ll definitely be adding these to my buy list. Thanks for the short story. 🙂

  5. I think I need to read this series…Thank you Clare London!! As an ice cream addict I can appreciate this one!!
    Happy Birthday To Amber Kell!!!

  6. Thanks for the story! I have stayed in places like that. Glad they could make it fun – ice cream & moonlight. 🙂

  7. My favorite thing about Amber’s birthday bash month is the new authors and reads I find. I’m happy to say I am adding another author and read to my list.

  8. Happy birthday month Amber!
    Clare, I’ve been trapped in a camper like this one! I vowed never do that again, and even now, my idea of roughing it is a motel and hot water.
    The With a Kick series sounds like fun. Zipping over to check it out.

  9. Caravans + Lulworth Cove = never again for me, lol! However reading about these guys I can definitely do 😊

  10. I’ve been i that caravan or one identical!on a site in Cornwall pitched on a hill in 3 as of torrential rain! Had a lovely time after we dried out. No ice cream though. Shame.

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