Title: By Quarry Lake
Author: Josephine Myles
Genre: NA M/M Romance
Still waters run deep...
Tommy's been away from his home in rural Somerset for three years.
Long enough to sort out who he is, and to get over the feelings of
confusion and shame that blighted his lifelong friendship with farmer's
boy Rob. He's out and proud, now--and he's coming home to claim back
what he lost.
Rob's the one who stayed behind, working on the farm with little time
for a social life. With Tommy coming back into his world, he could have
a lot to gain--and everything to lose.
He's going to have to take a leap of faith. Straight into the ice cold waters
of Quarry Lake.
This story was originally published in 2013 as part of the Summer
A short sweet and lovely romance between Rob and Tommy, best friends who were pulled apart when Tommy was unable to accept himself and what he wanted. It took a couple of years away to find himself to then realise what he had pushed away and lost, or had he?
Tommy is back in town to beg Rob to forgive him and to maybe start that special something he had so violently rejected over three years ago. Rob on the other hand has remained feeling desolate without his best friend and other half of him being by his side. He has been unable to reconcile how he could have got it so wrong with Tommy. He now leads a simple life on the farm working with his Dad. He finds escape at the Quarry Lake when he needs his solitude to think and reflect. Imagine his surprise to find Tommy swimming in the lake some three years after he last saw him.
The story then reconciles the past with the present and a new beginning for Rob and Tommy.
There were some aspects I wanted a more in depth explanation and I did think the forgiveness and reacquainting was a little too instantaneous. However a pleasant read to entertain me for an hour and take me to a little place in Somerset. Lovely. 3.5 stars
Tommy shivered and gasped. Quarry Lake was nothing like the public
baths in Croydon. Bloody hell, how had Tommy forgotten how the cold
water caressed every inch of his body, energising him every bit as much
as it chilled? You could dive without goggles, no chlorine to burn your
eyes. And when you surfaced, you swam up towards the clear sky,
swallows flitting high above in their graceful dance.
And more to the point, there was Rob, just over there and definitely due
a dunking. Fuck, but he looked good. Face and forearms deeply tanned,
damp hair stuck to his forehead. Green eyes echoing the water they were
swimming in. Rob smiled, but it wasn’t the carefree grin Tommy
was craving. The one he remembered. There was something guarded
about Rob’s expression. Something Tommy could only blame himself
Screw it, he didn’t know how to make this right. Plan A had been to just
blurt it all out. Find a natural place to introduce it into the conversation.
Oh, and by the way, I am gay after all. And totally single since I broke
other’s brains out?
Tommy snorted. Like there was any way he could say any of that with
Rob looking at him like he was little better than a stranger. And besides,
that would make it all sound so impersonal. Like Rob was
just a convenient body, rather than someone he’d yearned for all these
Plan B it was, then. Tommy dived down under the water, striking out for
the deeps before flipping round to peer up for a shark’s vision of his prey.
There he was, legs kicking powerfully . Rob looked almost too solid to
swim. Like he was carved out of marble and should sink to the bottom,
but there he was, flesh and blood.
Don’t think too hard about flesh and blood.
Tommy stopped fighting the water and let himself rise, aiming for Rob’s
legs. He caught one, wrapped his hands around a pillar of muscle and
hairy, goosebumped skin. He yanked down, not far. Just enough to dunk
Rob’s head under the water for a second.
Letting go was tough when every part of him screamed to hold on. But
that wouldn’t be much of a game, so he kicked away and surfaced a few
feet away, just out of reach.
“Bastard!” Rob exclaimed, but this time when he looked Tommy’s way
his grin was the one he remembered, wide and sunny. “You’re in for it
“Can’t catch me. I’ve been training.” Tommy snatched a breath and
ducked under the water again.
And this time Rob followed.
Tommy let himself be caught. Rob’s strong hands closed around his calf.
It was almost perfect—if he’d only move his grip higher. Tommy made a
token effort at getting away, but he didn’t want to. Not when those
calloused hands were holding him like that, making him imagine other
places they could grasp.
English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and
busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and
romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and
the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious
muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she
threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.
Jo’s novel Stuff won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual
Romance, and her novella Merry Gentlemen won the 2014 Rainbow
Award for Best Gay Romantic Comedy. She writes for publishers but has
also been known to edit anthologies and self-publish on
occasion, although she prefers to leave the “boring bits” of the ebook
creation process to someone else. She loves to be busy, and is currently
having fun trying to work out how she is going to fit in her love of
writing, dressmaking and attending cabaret shows in fabulous
clothing around the demands of a preteen with special needs and an
incessantly curious toddler.