My co-author Lou Sylvre and I are delighted to be here at Divine Magazine as part of our blog tour for Sunset at Pencarrow. Thanks for hosting us!
We’re sharing an exclusive excerpt today from Nate’s POV:
Nate’s mind wandered back to the apartment, to the delicious brown of Rusty’s skin. He’d held up the tube of sunscreen for Rusty to see. “You want any more of this?”
“Absolutely. Thanks. Brown skin burns too.” He smiled as he said it. “And it hurts exactly the same.”
Nate figured he hadn’t been the first person to ask about that, and he wondered if the last guy had enjoyed watching Rusty smooth the cream over his skin, like he had. Walking with Rusty on the trail, he admitted he hadn’t been subtle about admiring shirtless Rusty’s abs—he’d tried, but subtlety had never been one of his strong points. Rusty didn’t seem to have noticed, though, and thankfully he hadn’t asked Nate for help with the hard-to-reach spots.
Nate figured he’d better stop thinking about Rusty’s physique, or he’d end up with heatstroke out there in the bush. He took a stab at small talk. “One good thing about hiking here is that you don’t have to worry about snakes.”
“Or lions and tigers and bears. Oh my!” Rusty slowed down his pace so they were walking together.
Nate laughed. “I wouldn’t have taken you for a Wizard of Oz kind of guy.”
“Are you kidding? I love that movie. My dad used to watch it with me when I was a kid. And anyway, I’m a dyed-in-the-wool friend of Dorothy.” Rusty whistled a tune that sounded suspiciously like “We’re Off to See the Wizard.”
“Hope you don’t think I’m one of the munchkins.” Nate tried to keep a straight face but failed. He waved one hand toward the path ahead. “No yellow brick roads out here either.”
“Oh, I’m glad you’re not a munchkin. Annoying—capital A,” Rusty said. “I’ve always liked Toto, though.”
“The dog or the band?” Nate asked. He felt himself start to relax and enjoy Rusty’s company.
“Both.” Rusty shaded his eyes against the sun and then reached into his pocket for a pair of sunglasses. “So you do listen to more than that one CD of Evermore?”
“Hey,” Nate said. “I like music as much as the next guy, and I have a decent collection, I might add. I just tend to play one CD, or a few by the same group, thrash them, and then move on to the next one. I told you there were other CDs in the glove box. If you’re sick of Evermore, you can put something else on for the trip home.”
“I don’t mind Evermore. They’re growing on me.” Rusty took a swig of water from his bottle. “I don’t recognize a lot of these trees. What are they called?”
Nate looked over to where Rusty was pointing. “That’s a kamahi,” he said, “and the one to the left is a tawa. They’re native. So are the nikau palms and the tree ferns.”
“Have you drawn any? I’d love to take a look if you have.”
Nate hesitated for a moment. “Yeah. I can draw some for you if you’d like a sketch to take home.” Shit, why had he offered to do that? He never offered to sketch for someone else. “Or you can just take a photo of them,” he added lamely.
“I’d love a sketch,” Rusty said softly, “but if you’d prefer not to, I can take a photo.” He seemed to reconsider. “Tell you what, why don’t I take a photo now, and then you can draw the sketch later. Or not.” Rusty pulled out his phone. “Or do you need to sketch with it in front of you?”
“From memory is fine,” Nate said, “or I can sketch from the photo.” He watched Rusty take the shot and noticed he didn’t put his phone away. “What?” he asked Rusty.
“Umm, I wondered if you’d mind if I took your photo.” Rusty shrugged. “It would be something to remember the day by. Okay with you?”
“Maybe later,” Nate mumbled. “The light’s not so great here.”
“It was okay for…. Okay, yeah. Maybe later.” Rusty looked disappointed.
“Okay.” Nate started walking again. He wasn’t going to tell Rusty about his hatred of having his photo taken. It was stupid, really, and usually he joked and said he broke the camera lens and that was why, but for some reason, he didn’t want to lie to Rusty, even in jest.
“I didn’t mean to upset you,” Rusty said.
“You didn’t.” Crap, what was it with him and this guy? He felt as though they took a step forward, then two back. Not that they were trying to grow a relationship or anything, and even a friendship wouldn’t work as Rusty would be going back to the States tomorrow, and that would be it. “Sorry, guess I’m more tired than I thought. I’ll try not to be Mr. Grumpy. Promise.”
Rusty stared at him and swallowed.
Kiwi Nathaniel Dunn is in a fighting mood, but how does a man fight Wellington’s famous fog? In the last year, Nate’s lost his longtime lover to boredom and his ten-year job to the economy. Now he’s found a golden opportunity for employment where he can even use his artistic talent, but to get the job, he has to get to Christchurch today. Heavy fog means no flight, and the ticket agent is ignoring him to fawn over a beautiful but annoying, overly polite American man.
Rusty Beaumont can deal with a canceled flight, but the pushy Kiwi at the ticket counter is making it difficult for him to stay cool. The guy rubs him all the wrong ways despite his sexy working-man look, which Rusty notices even though he’s not looking for a man to replace the fiancé who died two years ago. Yet when they’re forced to share a table at the crowded airport café, Nate reveals the kind heart behind his grumpy façade. An earthquake, sex in the bush, and visits from Nate’s belligerent ex turn a day of sightseeing into a slippery slope that just might land them in love.
World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.
Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/sunset-at-pencarrow-by-lou-sylvre-and-anne-barwell-8532-b (Discount code PENCARROW from 5/31-6/30, 30% off, DSP store only.)
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1126415082?ean=2940157195564#
About the Authors
Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She works in a library, is an avid reader and watcher across genres, and is constantly on the lookout for more hours in her day. Music often plays a part in her stories, and although she denies being a romantic at heart, the men in her books definitely are. Anne has written in several genres—contemporary, fantasy, historical, and SF— and believes in making her characters work for their happy endings.
Lou Sylvre loves romance with all its ups and downs, and likes to conjure it into books. The romantics on her pages are men who fall hard for each other, end up deeply in love, and often save each other from unspeakable danger. It’s all pretty crazy and very sexy. Among other things, Lou is the creator of the popular Vasquez and James series , which can be found at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, and many other online vendors.
Lou and Anne’s shared Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sylvrebarwellhoffmann/
Thank you everyone for reading. I hope you’ll join us for the other stops on the tour. Click here to see the complete schedule and links to the blogs.