QSFer Jackie North has a new MM time travel tale out: Honey From the Lion.
Soulmates across time. A love that was meant to be.
In present day, Laurie, tired of corporate life, takes a much-needed vacation at Farthingdale Dude Ranch.
The very first night a freak blizzard combined with a powerful meteor shower takes Laurie back to the year 1891. When he wakes up in a snowbank, his only refuge is an isolated cabin inhabited by the gruff, grouchy John Henton, who only wants to be left alone. His sense of duty prevails, however, and he takes Laurie under his care, teaching him how to survive on the wild frontier.
As winter approaches, Laurie’s normal fun-loving manner make it difficult for him to connect with John, but in spite of John’s old-fashioned ways, the chemistry between them grows.
Sparks fly as the blizzard rages outside the cabin. Can two men from different worlds and different times find happiness together?
A male/male time travel romance, complete with hurt/comfort, true confessions, a shared bed, fireplace kisses, the angst of separation, and true love across time.
When the hard edges of the outline of the cabin loomed in the darkness before them, Laurie whooped. He kicked up snow as he sprinted past John so he could get there first and wrap his arms around the solid wooden logs that jutted out from the side.
“Oh, thank God,” said Laurie, not even caring as the snow on the logs drifted along his neck.
“Thank you, cabin, for showing up before I froze to death, thank you, thank you, thank you!”
“What’re you going on about, Little Red?” asked John. He must think that Laurie had gone crazy, though he laughed out loud, amused and probably too tired to stifle his reaction. “Come along inside, now. I’ll build us a fire and make a quick supper. It’s late.”
It was late, and the cabin was dark as they went inside, though Laurie managed to take his boots and outdoor things off and put them away without too much stumbling. He was so grateful for the shelter from the ever-present wind, and the bit of warmth that the cabin offered, even before John had lit a fire in the stove.
Laurie moved close to the table as John bent to light the kerosene lamp. When he did, their faces became bright in the dark. Laurie found it hard not to stare at John, lit with gold, his eyes dark blue beneath his almost-black hair. John was smiling, as though pleased at how their adventure across the snow had turned out. Neither of them mentioned the missed shots at the buffalo wolves.
“The last of the meat should still be good though there won’t be much of it,” said John. “I can whip us up some biscuits that we can have with butter and honey.”
Whereas normally Laurie might consider this quite a heavy meal to have right before going to bed, his stomach, growling and ravenous, disagreed with him, so he nodded.
“What can I do to help?” he asked, fully happy to offer, and happy that John nodded, seemingly quite pleased with Laurie’s question.
“Go fetch what we need from the cellar and the pantry,” said John. “And set the table.”
Laurie did as John asked, padding about in his stocking feet, sighing as he relaxed into the evening chores, gratefully inhaling the smell of steaks sizzling in the cast iron pan and the biscuits baking in the little oven in the cast iron stove.
He set the table with the mismatched china dishes and the flat cutlery, and thick white mugs, which he filled with water at the pump. Sitting in his usual spot, he propped his head in his hands, and watched while John finished cooking. His movements were efficient, and he did not seem to mind that Laurie, his audience of one, was rapt in his attention.
Quite quickly, John brought the steaks and hot biscuits to the table, and while it was odd to eat steak with no steak sauce from the fridge, there was plenty of salt and pepper to make each bite delicious.
Laurie slathered the white, lumpy butter on his biscuits and drowned them in honey from the cut-glass bowl and ate them with huge bites. He chewed with his mouth open, wanting John to laugh at him and perhaps to join in with the show of bad manners. While that wasn’t who John was, he was relaxed enough that he smiled, and there was a sound a little like a laugh as John wiped his mouth with the back of his hand as he ate the last of his steak.
“Will you wash the dishes while I bank the fire and go out and check the shed?” asked John. “There was quite a wind today and I want to make sure the door is secure.”
They both got up from the table in tandem, and while John banked the fire, Laurie washed and dried the dishes. He also heated up extra water for them to wash with before going to bed. John wiped the table, and Laurie swept the floor, and then John went out in his shirtsleeves to check the shed.
A gust of cold air swept into the cabin as he went out. Laurie hurried to give himself a wash, and made sure to leave enough water for John. Then he scrambled out of his clothes and slipped on his nightshirt, shivering the whole while.
When John was outside and not nearby in the cabin with Laurie, the cabin felt cold. Dark thoughts of missing home, of missing Zach and Maxton, began to crowd in on him, and he listened for John’s step outside the door, anxious the whole while.
When the door opened, John kicked the snow off his boots on the threshold, and then came striding in, shutting and bolting the door behind him. His presence filled the room, making Laurie feel better, feel safer.
John was shivering as he took off his boots and left them by the front door. Rather than making some smart-ass comment about needing to have worn his coat, Laurie went up to him, dressed in his nightshirt and in his stocking feet, wrapped his arms around John’s waist, and pressed his body to John’s. John was cold from being out in the night, but Laurie had just been by the fire, so he knew that his warmth would soon soak into John.
When John went quite still in Laurie’s embrace, Laurie thought that his action might have been too abrupt, their positions too intimate. But instead of pulling away, John wrapped his arms around Laurie in return, almost gingerly at first, but then his grip tightened as he hugged Laurie.
“You’re quite toasty,” said John, his voice a little high pitched, a little tight, as though he wasn’t quite sure he should be saying what he was saying. “From being near the stove, I reckon.”
“There’s warm water for you to wash with,” said Laurie. He tipped his head back to look up at John, smiling his pleasure, his whole body sighing with the contact of another human being. “I left it for you in the basin on the stove.”
“You might crack the china, Little Red,” said John, touching the pocket watch in his trouser pocket, though he didn’t draw it out. Instead, he pulled out of Laurie’s arms, though his hands trailed along Laurie’s shoulders for a moment, a gentle, heavy weight, before he moved to the stove.
Jackie North has been writing stories since grade school and spent years absorbing the mainstream romances that she found at her local grocery store. Her dream was to someday leave her corporate day job behind and travel the world. She also wanted to put her English degree to good use and write romance novels, because for years she’s had a never-ending movie of made-up love stories in her head that simply wouldn’t leave her alone.
As fate would have it, she discovered m/m romance and decided that men falling in love with other men was exactly what she wanted to write books about. In this dazzling new world, she turned her grocery-store romance ideas around and is now putting them to paper as fast as her fingers can type. She creates characters who are a bit flawed and broken, who find themselves on the edge of society, and maybe a few who are a little bit lost, but who all deserve a happily ever after. (And she makes sure they get it!)
She likes long walks on the beach, the smell of lavender and rainstorms, and enjoys sleeping in on snowy mornings. She is especially fond of pizza and beer and, when time allows, long road trips with soda fountain drinks and rock and roll music. In her heart, there is peace to be found everywhere, but since in the real world this isn’t always true, Jackie writes for love.
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