A Manx Tale

A Manx Tale GENRE: Gay Historical Romance
ISBN: 9781611520132
PUBLISHER: JMS Books LLC

BLURB:
    Caroline and Cyril have recently wed and are honeymooning on the Isle of Man, a glorious spot in the middle of the Irish Sea marked by picturesque villages, rocky cliffs, and bracing winds. Caroline is immediately drawn to the island’s history of rampaging Vikings, tales of mermaids and legendary kings, and the friendly inhabitants with quaint superstitions and proverbs. In no time, she falls in love with her surroundings.

    But unexplainable events unfold, convincing her sinister forces are at work. Part by accident and part by design, Edward and Leslie join the couple, and together they must identify a turned British agent, retrieve a top secret document, and learn the true meaning of the phrase, "It all comes back to the camps." Will logic and reason prevail, or will a bit of magic and island whimsy save the day?

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EXCERPT:
    Caroline watched a pair of gulls weave and dip their wings in the heavy winds over the turbulent sea. She stood at the ferry’s stern on the upper deck and leaned over the railing. Cyril’s hand on her shoulder broke her reverie, and she turned to embrace him. She shivered and he unbuttoned his heavy coat and wrapped it around them.

    “Warmer?”

    “Mm. Much.” She leaned back into him.

    “I looked all over for you. A quick dash into the gents and my bride disappears.”

    She laughed. “You might be better off if she had. I’m very high maintenance you know.”

    “But worth it,” he said. “What were you thinking just now? You looked ... sad.”

    “No, not sad,” she said. “Content, thinking how happy I am.” She turned and touched his cheek. “Counting my blessings.”

    “Me as well. Who else would have me but you?” Cyril reached inside his coat pocket and pulled out his cigarettes and lighter.

    “You’ll never manage to light one out here in this beastly wind,” she said. “Go warm up inside. I’ll be there in a jiff.”

    She rubbed her hands together then glanced at her wristwatch.

    The ship’s horn sounded.

    Another ferry headed in the opposite direction was passing. A young man and woman on deck waved at Caroline. She smiled and waved back. Maybe they were on their honeymoon as well. A mirror image of people finding one another amidst the chaos of wartime. For Caroline there was something wonderful and comforting that came from being part of a twosome. Something she hadn’t known she’d missed. Until now.

    She turned her head away from the wind, and when she looked back he was there, standing with his hat pulled down, hiding a corner of his face. He’s not fooling anyone. She’d know him anywhere. That dimpled chin, one of his best attributes, always gave him away. And of course there was the monogrammed briefcase: B.A.D. Was Billy a BAD one? She knew he’d never had a middle name. Edward used to joke about it. “Billy has no middle. Just a top and a bottom. But oh, what a bottom he’s got," and then they’d laugh about Edward’s secret friendship with his schoolmate.

    Billy Devlin stood directly across from her now on the passing ship’s deck. A thought crossed her mind: Wasn’t he leaving the next day? Hadn’t he said so earlier in the evening? Something else felt strange, off. He was moving his lips over the sound of the blaring horns and the chug, chug of the twin engines, saying something about France. But what did it all mean?


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