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Runaway By Nic Starr

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(World of Love)


Nic Starr


Dr Nathan Powell is ready to settle down near his family, and hopefully find the man of his dreams. He returns to the small coastal town where he grew up, but while life is simpler than it was in the city, there are also complications—like patients’ reactions to an openly gay doctor. And like running into Nate’s first love, Damien, an out-and-proud local business owner who is unwilling to be any man’s dirty secret. The reunion reignites old desire even while it stirs up Nate’s guilt over the way things ended with Damien.

When Nate’s nephew runs away, Damien accompanies Nate on his mission to find the young man. The drive to Sydney, and the search of the city, gives Nate time to reconnect with Damien—and to wonder if he made the right decision years ago—when he determined a future for them was impossible. Is a fresh start realistic for two men in their forties? But before he can ponder the second chance they’ve been given, Nate must locate his nephew.

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

 A big thank you to Divine Magazine for hosting me today as I celebrate the release of Runaway.

Runaway is my latest release. It’s part of the Dreamspinner Press World of Love collection. The World of Love stories are “contemporary romances spotlighting the unique features, qualities and attributes of a specific country as well as the universality of love wherever it’s found.”

The story of Nate and Damien takes place in the Australian state of New South Wales, starting in a small country town on the north coast, followed by time spent in Sydney. To celebrate the release of the book, I thought I’d share some of my beautiful city of Sydney with you all.


In the story, Nate and Damien head to Manly on the ferry. It’s only a short ferry ride from the city centre and is a beautiful seaside area. Ferries are also a unique way to travel, with many commuters taking advantage.

The next morning, they headed to the Quay after a quick bacon-and-egg sandwich for breakfast. Circular Quay was where the city met the harbour. Multiple wharves projected into the sea in a bay bordered by The Rocks, a historic area, on one side, and the Sydney Opera House on the other. Restaurants and shops were in abundance, as were crowds of people yet again. Nate and Damien dodged around the combination of tourists, often evidenced by the cameras slung around their necks, and the commuters descending from the aboveground train station or alighting from the ferries. They purchased tickets on the Manly run, and boarded the green-and-yellow ferry.

“Imagine being able to travel by ferry to work every day. Wouldn’t it be fabulous?”

“Except in the freezing cold of winter.”

“But with this view, I don’t think I’d mind.” Damien stood at the railing on the outside desk, the breeze streaming his unruly dark hair back from his face. His grin was broad as he took in the sights. “What with the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, and look—” He pointed under the bridge. “—there’s Luna Park. This is a much more interesting mode of transport. I’d take this over the train or bus any day.”

Nate chuckled. “You love your boats, don’t you?”

Damien looked at him like he was crazy. “What’s not to like? The sea, fresh air, freedom….”


Manly is quite popular with the locals and tourists alike, and a great place to spend the day.  Whenever I visit Manly, I always feel like I’m on holiday even though it’s only half an hour from my house. There’s something about the beach, the shops, the restaurants and bars, and the hordes of people that give it a summery and vibrant atmosphere.

They disembarked the ferry at the Manly Wharf, walking slowly amongst the throng of people walking towards the Corso. The paved pedestrian walkway, surrounded by shops on either side, led to the ocean beach on the opposite side of the small peninsula.

“Do you want a coffee or something to eat?” Nate wasn’t very hungry but the coffee sounded good, so he agreed and headed for one of the nearby cafes, of which there was no shortage. Sydney people liked their coffee.

Two large lattes later, and they were seated on a bench at the edge of the large pedestrian mall, enjoying the sunshine.

A few metres away, a couple of children were eating hot chips, or more accurately, were feeding the chips to the seagulls. Gulls squawked as they fought over the fragments of potato, swooping to snatch the pieces and hopping away with their prizes. The little boy and girl shrieked with delight while a woman—their mother?—kept half an eye on them and the other on her phone.

“That reminds me—” Nate indicated the small family. “—I haven’t heard from Trish since first thing this morning.”

“She said she’d call if she heard anything. She obviously hasn’t got any new information.”

“I know.” Nate checked his phone anyway, making sure it was switched on and he hadn’t missed any calls. He swiped to take a quick look at his e-mails, but there was nothing there of any real importance.

Damien stood and held out his hand. “C’mon, let’s walk. Every time we stop moving, you start mulling over stuff.”

Nate took the offered hand and pulled himself up, not really relying on Damien to haul him from the bench, but enjoying the brief touch of their hands. They tossed the empty coffee cups into a garbage bin and continued on their way.

“I wish we were here under different circumstances,” Nate mused as they crossed the road to the beach. “We should be eating ice-cream cones, and heading to the beach for a swim, not scouting out the local backpacker accommodation. Manly is a real summer destination.”

I hope I’ve done this beautiful area justice and captured some of the atmosphere in the story. I’ll leave you with a photo of the beach (now I’m wishing it was summer and we weren’t heading into winter in Sydney! 😊 )

I hope you liked seeing a little piece of Sydney and enjoy experiencing a little more when reading Runaway.

If you’d like to see some more of my beautiful country, you can visit the following blogs who are hosting me during the Runaway release.

April 5 – MM Good Book Reviews

April 10 – Alpha Book Club

April 11 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

April 12 – The Novel Approach

April 13 – Open Skye Book Reviews

April 13 – Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews

April 14 – My Fiction Nook

April 17 – Love Bytes

April 18 – Divine Magazine

April 19 – Long and Short Reviews


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Nic Starr lives in Australia where she tries to squeeze as much into her busy life as possible. Balancing the demands of a corporate career with raising a family and writing can be challenging but she wouldn’t give it up for the world.

Always a reader, the lure of m/m romance was strong and she devoured hundreds of wonderful m/m romance books before realising she had some stories of her own that needed to be told.

Nic loves to spend time with her family—an understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a cherished Cairn terrier. Nic is a foodie and wine lover who lives in the city but is a country girl at heart. When not writing or reading, she is often found indulging in her love of cooking and planning her dream home in the country.

You can find Nic on Facebook, Twitter and her blog. She’d love it if you stopped by to say hi.

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