"...A charming short story of life and gay love in a small town. Dylan has lived most of his life in this town and fears losing his job as a teacher, if he publicly acknowledges that he is gay. Neal is open about his sexuality but respects Dylan’s wishes to hide their affair. Clare London has created a pleasurable story with a standard man-love theme...The aunts are amusing, which contributed enjoyment to this lighthearted saga."--Chocolate Minx, Literary Nymphs Reviews
"4.25 Stars!...Both characters were exquisitely drawn and this is typical of Clare London...Clare had a lot of fun with Dylan’s outré aunts. I won’t describe them because you have to experience them for yourself. All I will say is that they were priceless and had many surprising facets to their personalities...I loved this book and I think you will too if you read between the lines. By the way the sex was smokin’. This story is told in the 1st-person POV from Dylan’s perspective. Definitely recommended."--Wave, Reviews By Jessewave
"5 Lips!...Tickled the hell out of me. I could truly envision the small town and Dylan's pseudo-aunts as they spoke to him in their charming yet had to be antagonizing way. The setting was splendid, the heat level scorching. The give and take of a long distant relationship and secretive life felt real. I hoped they’d find home in each other. This is definitely a read I’ll pick up again, just to get the giggles again before sighing over the loving relationship of Dylan and Neal. I look forward to reading Ms. London again."--Sin, Two Lips Reviews
...I walked up the drive to the Whitman house, the gravel crunching under my boots. There was no sign of life anywhere, either in the gardens or from inside the house. My heavy footsteps broke the silence, my presence a gauche human intervention in the cool calm of nature. Because the house was at the far end of the street, it had no neighbor on the other side and this allowed it far more grounds than any of the other properties. The front garden was bordered with flourishing, dark-green ornamental hedges. Between them and the high gate and wall, the house was sheltered from both the street and prying eyes. Or at least, I’d always thought it was.
I stopped a few feet away from the front steps and took a deep breath. The contrast between this and my own family home was very marked. I suspected the Whitmans were considerably stronger financially than I was, but I was also sure Josie was better at keeping on top of the repairs and maintenance. It was the same size house, but in far better condition. The brickwork was neat, the paint wasn’t peeling, and the lawn was neatly trimmed at the edges of the path. My house aimed for faded charm. Theirs aimed obviously for elegance, and met it, too.
I knocked loudly at the front door, making my gestures very obvious. After all, I didn’t want the Aunts to miss a second of my visiting routine, did I? Now I knew of their secret voyeurism, I could imagine Mitzi at the window of my top floor guestroom, from which she’d obviously found a view of the Whitman’s home over the wall. I was pretty sure she had to stand on a chair and peer over the curtain rail, but that wouldn’t have discouraged her. I worried she’d hurt herself, at the same time wondering how the hell she got up and down the stairs so easily and swiftly at her age. And I also knew that if I turned back now to look up at my house and caught her at that very window, she’d drop back into an innocent, languid pose as if yearning for a faraway suitor, rather than spying on her former ward.
I smiled to myself and clutched the overblown bunch of blooms Bess had insisted I take with me. I felt hot and awkward in my jacket and smart shirt. Hoping that Mitzi might have tired of staring at me, I ran a hand through my hastily combed hair, ruffling it back up.
Damned if I couldn’t hear in my mind Bess’s snort of disapproval at my slovenly behavior.
The door opened abruptly. For a few seconds, I just stared. My heart was hammering, fierce as anything. But the smile that greeted me was broad and mischievous and full of a welcoming love for life. It was also very familiar. Dark, strong features. With a mental nod to the Aunts, I stepped inside. My sight began to adjust to the change, the hallway furniture throwing elongated shadows across the pale, waning sunlight, and then the front door slammed behind me as if cutting me off from the life outside…
And I was plunged into another one.
I never had a chance to speak. The bouquet was snatched from my hands and flung onto the low table by the door. I was pushed back against the wall and a hard, flat chest pressed against mine, hot breath panting in my ear, broad hands reaching to push my jacket off my shoulders. Strong hands. Impatient.
“Fuck.” The voice was harsh and masculine. A man’s face brushed against mine, the jawline rough with a half-day’s stubble, the eyes gazing hungrily at me. “You’re early! I thought we said tomorrow.”
I laughed aloud, partly from protest, partly from the sheer joy of the touch. He was a few inches taller than I was, his body stocky, his shoulders broad. As he opened his arms to wrap them around me, the faded fabric of his shirt stretched tight across his chest, accentuating the sinewy planes of his torso.
“The Aunts insisted I come over today. I didn’t know when you were planning to arrive. If you were. Look, I can go…”
“Don’t you fucking dare!” he snapped, but his eyes danced with pleasure, not anger. The hallway smelled of furniture polish and the lingering aroma of warm toast. Up close, I could also smell strong coffee on his breath, but then he always drank too much of it, a symptom of his commitment to ridiculously long hours of writing and traveling. His face nuzzled into my neck, his skin warm, his thick curls uncombed and brushing his shoulders, just the way I liked it. I ran my fingers into it, tangling tightly, tugging back his head. Hard, just the way he liked it...