Release Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway:
His Horizon by Con Riley
Temperatures rise when there are two cooks in Jude’s kitchen...
Jude’s drowning in guilt when he can’t save his family business single-handed. The last person he expects to throw a lifeline is Rob, a rival chef who once beat him to first place in a cooking contest.
Two chefs working together won’t be easy. Not when Rob is everything Jude isn’t—popular, extroverted, and a one-time hook-up. What’s worse is that Rob wears his heart on his sleeve while Jude’s still in the closet.
Jude’s dilemma doesn’t end there. Rob’s rescue package comes with conditions that mean sharing everything from the profits to Jude’s sleeping quarters.
Sleeping with the enemy will either be a disaster or signal a much brighter future, but only if Jude can meet Rob’s final condition and love him in the open.
Featuring opposites who attract, rivals to lovers, and an out-for-you storyline dripping with hurt-comfort feelings, His Horizon is the first in a shared-world series of standalone MM romance novels from Con Riley.
CONTENT ADVISORY: Grief-related angst, Off-page peril & British-English spelling/grammar.
After months at sea, Jude is coming home to help his sister with the pub during the summer. His life onboard the luxury yacht as galley cook has meant time to search for his missing parents but also left Louise, his sister, with the burden of running the family pub alone. When Jude hits shore, the idyllic seaside town is different—ravaged by a storm that has decimated the beach and closed the family campground--scaring off the tourists that were the life blood of the pub’s busy season. Now Louise has called in help—they guy who beat out Jude in the cooking contest he had to abruptly leave after hearing about his parent’s wreck at sea. Rob is a good chef but Jude had him beat and when he left, Rob went on to claim victory. Using the money he’d won, Rob comes to help Louise transform the family restaurant into a posh place complete with fine dining and rooms to let for overnight stays. Jude is shocked and a bit angry at Rob’s intrusion until he remembers how taken he was with Rob and the one passionate kiss they shared before he left.
Picking up as if they had never been apart, the attraction between Rob and Jude sparks anew but this time Rob refuses to act on it due to Jude being in the closet. Jude has always feared his family finding out he is gay because of the strange way his father has acted around gay customers. That along with the pictures of a former mate from their time in the Merchant Marines and his dad’s refusal to speak about the man has caused a wall to come up between father and son. All Jude knows is the guy was the reason his dad was discharged and his parent’s life made harder by not having the funds needed to realize their dream of owning the pub. That meant the pub was mortgaged to the hilt and having Rob buy in as a partner is the last ditch effort in keeping the place open.
His Horizon by Con Riley takes the picturesque setting of a seaside town and fills it with emotional turbulence. Reeling from his parents being lost at sea and refusing to concede their death, Jude is driven by guilt and fear to find them or the proof they are deceased. But in doing so he has left the burden of running the family business to his sister Louise and things are not looking good. At first Jude is worried about Rob being there but even he must acknowledge that between ghosting Rob after abruptly leaving the contest and staying away far too long leaving Louise in the lurch he has every reason to feel bad. But the spark that happened between Rob and Jude is still very much alive and either Jude must finally come out or lose the chance to be with Rob who refuses to have a relationship in the closet.
The story is a rich one with lots going on in the emotions department. However there are a few glitches that left me scratching my head. For instance Louise’s reaction to Jude being gay—why did she need time away from him and Rob after finding out about them when she was never presented as a homophobic person or one who is less than accepting and loving? Also the story seemed to dive right into the relationship between Rob and Jude without giving us any backstory upon which to anchor their attraction. They were hot and heavy immediately and we find out about the how and why piecemeal throughout the story—it made what could have been a fairly smooth romance feel rather forced at the beginning.
I did really enjoy Jude and Rob together—they were polar opposites with Jude being reticent and thoughtful while Rob tended toward funny and brash—a nice combination. This story marks the beginning of a new series for Con Riley and I am looking forward to reading more.
Excerpt:It was beyond dark in the boatyard, clouds covering the moon leaving the way deeply shadowed. Rob held out his phone, flashlight app a white beam that sliced through the darkness, his other hand in Jude’s, fingers laced as they walked in silence to the boatshed. It lit the ceiling when he placed it at the head of the bed, the portholes dark circles above them. He stayed quiet until Jude lay flat on his bunk. “One thing,” he then said, after kneeling over him. “Just to check.” Rob dipped down for a kiss, lips barely touching Jude’s before he pulled back a scant inch. “You didn’t help yourself to a finger or two of cognac from the bar before coming to find me, did you?” His knees were so close to the edge of Jude’s bunk that he slipped after straddling him.Jude grabbed him with one hand on each of his hips, raising his knees to keep Rob steady. Once he was, Jude slid both hands under Rob’s T-shirt, hands travelling up and around to appreciate where his back broadened. “You think I’d need to be drunk to want this? Why?”Rob’s gaze skittered away.It wasn’t easy to switch position. “Jesus, you’re a lump.” Jude pushed up while twisting, rolling them over so Rob was beneath him. “Why, Rob? You really think my judgement needs to be impaired to want you?”“No… I… well, yes.” Rob’s hands skimmed Jude’s hips, his waist, the curve of pectorals that were more pronounced after a year’s sailing. “To be fair, I have had months of Lou telling me about how you never do this.”“This?”“It’s nothing.” Rob’s touch was distracting, but Jude stayed on topic.“Tell me. What did Lou say I never do?”Even in the dim light, Rob’s mask slipping again was visible. “Let people get close.” He squirmed, awkward before adding, “Besides, have you seen you?” He pushed Jude’s shirt higher. “Some people might say I’m punching a teensy bit above my weight.” He glanced down at that last word to where Jude had one hand on his belly. Rob’s skin was soft and giving. “Too many second breakfasts.”“You’re gorgeous,” Jude said, and he meant it. Had done from their first meeting. “Annoying, but gorgeous.”Rob pulled him closer and Jude sank into it, lying instead of kneeling, kissing instead of thinking about what might come tomorrow. With his eyes closed, and Rob’s arms around him, Jude was back in London, after the contest semi-finals, only this time—now—he wasn’t about to stop at kissing. No, if he’d learned anything this year, it was to take as much as he could, because tomorrow could get washed away without any warning.
Enter the Giveaway:
To celebrate Con's new release, we are giving a lucky winner the chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!
Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cc0f2a5727/?
About the Author:
Con Riley lives on the wild and rugged Devonshire coast, with her head in the clouds, and her feet in the Atlantic Ocean.
Injury curtailed her enjoyment of outdoor pursuits, so writing fiction now fills her free time instead. Love, loss, and redemption shape her romance stories, and her characters are flawed in ways that makes them live and breathe.
When not people watching, or wrangling her own boy band of teen sons, she spends time staring at the sea from her kitchen window. If you see her, don't disturb her—she's probably thinking up new plots.
Connect with Con:
FACEBOOK GROUP: facebook.com/groups/458421868222590