Hello friends! I hope you’ve been enjoying the hot new releases I’ve been spotlighting this summer and finding some sizzling new reads. I’m very excited to be bringing you yet another, but this time, from one Mr. Douglas Black. I told him recently that I love his tagline: Author. Editor. Scotsman. Clever right? I love it! Let’s give a warm welcome to the Scotsman as he shares the inspiration behind his new book, A Secret Love.
‘A Secret Love’ is set over the course of two days in a conservative highland hotel in Scotland. Mark and James have been seeing each other for a long time, but they have always been forced to keep their relationship a secret. They meet up when they can, never as often they would like, and have to make the most of what little time they have together. This time, though, the end is in sight. The couple plan to move abroad so they can start a new life together – they just have to wait six more months for that dream to become a reality.
The inspiration behind ‘A Secret Love’ came from two separate ideas. Firstly, I wanted to explore the idea of hidden relationships. Despite continuing advances in equality, there are still an incalculable number of people the world over who are forced to hide, not just their sexuality, but their relationships too.
I wanted to explore what it would be like to be involved in such a relationship. I wanted to know how James would react when he is finally reunited with the lover he never gets to see as often as he wants. Would he be emotional? Would the stress of absence hurt their relationship and the chance they have to make things work? Those questions were really the reason I wrote the story – I wanted to know the answers.
The second inspiration was the simple fact of location. As well as exploring how James and Mark would react upon being reunited, I wanted to put them in an isolated setting and see what would happen. Would they stay in their room all the time getting reacquainted? Or would they inadvertently draw attention to themselves when they tire of hiding away? Also, if you had endured years of secrecy and still managed to keep your relationship alive, where would you go when the time came to start a new life together? (I think Mark and James make a good choice in the end!)
These two simple threads of inspiration came together to weave ‘A Secret Love’. It was a fascinating story to write as, without meaning to sound clichéd, Mark and James really did pull me into their world to tell me their story. I hope they do the same with my readers!
James is nervous when he pulls into the car park of the secluded and conservative Caledonian Hotel. He slips off his wedding ring, gives a false name at reception and checks into his room.
When Mark finally arrives James expects their time together to conform to the usual pattern, but Mark surprises him. Mark wants candlelit dinners and walks on the beach. James, well, James just wants to make up for lost time. More importantly, he doesn’t want to get caught. They have six months left before they can leave behind everything they know and start a new life together and James is desperate to be discrete. Unfortunately, he never could control himself around Mark. Throw in an interfering old couple and some very public displays of affection and Mark and James’s short hotel stay might just be about to destroy not only the secrecy that has always shrouded their relationship, but also their plans for a future together.
Mark returned the kiss passionately. James trembled in his arms. Tension coursed through his body and he could feel it mirrored in Mark’s. He could almost taste the other man’s nerves in his kiss. James savoured Mark’s strong arms around him. He pushed his hands inside Mark’s suit jacket and clung to the warm, toned body underneath. The body was so familiar despite the amount of time that had passed since their last meeting.
“God I’ve missed you,” James said when he finally pulled away. Mark was breathless and didn’t respond at first, but the sexy, playful smile on his lips told James everything he needed to know. James took his hands and led him further into the room.
It was a large suite with living area and a huge bathroom. Mark swung a new sports bag, bright orange and emblazoned with sponsorship logos, off his shoulder and dumped it onto one of the two couches. He paused momentarily, reaching into his suit pocket.
James watched as Mark pulled out his phone and turned it off without checking for messages. He waited patiently until Mark had tucked it safely into his bag and smiled at him when he had finished. “Difficult getting away this time?” he asked.
Mark nodded. “I left as soon as I could. I was so scared I was going to miss the flight. I’m sorry it had to be mid-week this time. Will you get in trouble at work?”
“I have the flu.”
Mark smirked. “You look perfectly healthy to me.”
“It came on all of a sudden,” James said, closing the space between them. “Unexpected. Probably be gone in a few days. You know how these things are.” Mark nodded and James slipped into his arms once more. With his head on Mark’s shoulder, he turned to whisper against the other man’s neck. “I wouldn’t have been able to stand it if you had missed the flight, if you had cancelled. It’s been so long. It’s always so long.”
Douglas Black was born and raised in bonnie Scotland. He started writing erotica as a means of paying the bills when he was a student at university, but after graduation he found he no longer had the time to write. Over the summer of 2012, Black picked up a pen once more. After a brief, successful flirtation with self-publishing, Black’s novella ‘Business or Pleasure’ was picked up and released in April 2013. It quickly made the publisher’s best-sellers list. Douglas Black’s short story, ‘A Secret Love’, was published in July 2013 by Evernight Publishing.
Thanks so much for being my guest today, Douglas. It was a pleasure and treasure to have you. Good luck on your new release!