This post contains affiliate links. They are no cost to you but help to keep my little site afloat. Check out my disclosure.
By Thom Collins
Book 1 of the Jagged Shores series
Release Date: July 7, 2020 by Pride Publishing
Will an idyllic summer holiday lead Arnie to the love of his life, or the end of it?
The Storyline: North Point, the exciting new gay romance novel by Thom Collins
It should be the start of a perfect vacation. After a period of stress, Arnie Walker takes his nine-year-old son AJ home for the holidays. Arnie grew up in Nyemouth, a picturesque fishing town on the North-East coast of England, and he wants AJ to experience the kind of carefree, endless summer he enjoyed as a boy. It’s a short-lived dream. While taking an evening walk along the North Point cliff, Arnie and AJ witness a murder attempt.
For the volunteer crew of Nyemouth Lifeboat Station, it’s a rescue mission like none before, Helmsman Dominic Melton is part of the team who rescue the victim from the deadly North Sea. When Arnie and Dominic come together in the aftermath of the attack, the attraction is instant. Arnie isn’t looking for a relationship. He’s committed to his son’s well-being and has no time for a distraction like Dominic, even though the handsome ex-naval officer is hard to dismiss. Is it possible for Arnie to fulfill his promises to AJ while falling for Dominic?
Despite the distraction, a fledgling killer remains at large. As feelings between Arnie and Dominic develop, so does the danger they are in. North Point may be a beautiful place to fall in love, but it could also be the most dangerous.
What I Liked
This book had a real-life feel to it that is often missing in gay romance novels. It deals with small-town gossip, gay fatherhood challenges, jealous “lovers” and the like. The introduction of the murder mystery within the first few pages really helps to get the hook into you. Don’t worry, there is plenty of romance and feeling your way through the beginnings of a relationship around the murder mystery that is playing out in the background.
All the characters were well built and could easily relate to. Arnie was my favorite character. Being a gay father myself, I could absolutely feel the struggle and angst he felt between the needs of his son and his desires. (Thank goodness, I am not single!) Most gay romance novels seem to glance over that part and jump straight to a sex scene. This was a well thought out progression into building a relationship.
The mystery piece of the book definitely kept my attention, thus kept me turning the pages! Suspenseful might be the best word to use. It was always in the background…checking the security cameras, cautious of workouts, making sure the door was locked when you came in from the garden. As the mystery moves closer to home, decisions need to be made (trying to avoid too many spoilers here).
What I did not Care for
There were a couple of places in the book that got pronouns mixed up, which if you are speed reading will trip you up (he to they). Likely some auto-correct mistake someplace, hey it has happened to all of us at some point. Like I said, it was only a couple of places and in my leisurely reading pace, it was fine.
This was a well-structured, well written, easy read. While there are some small twists as it relates to the murder, it was not hard to follow nor requiring strenuous, deep thought. The author brought in real-life struggles to make it more realistic, including how they both have pasts, both are not young pups any longer, both have “ex-s” (or the non-relationship gay equivalent), and of course dealing with a small town where everything thinks they know everyone else’s business.
I would be remiss if I did not mention: The hotness level was up there as well – two well-built, hunky guys, one an actor, one ex-military. #Gay Romance!
This was my first Thom Collins gay romance book, it will not be my last. In fact, I am looking forward to the continuation of the series. I am waiting to learn what the REAL deal is with the brother-in-law. I enjoyed how there were a couple of little items left up in the air like that. This will only help to seed the next book.
About the Author: Thom Collins
Thom Collins is the author of Closer by Morning, Gods of Vengeance, Silent Voices and the Anthem Trilogy. His love of page turning thrillers began at an early age when his mother caught him reading the latest Jackie Collins book and confiscated it, sparking a life-long love of raunchy novels.
He is currently working on a new series.
Thom has lived in the North East of England his whole life. He grew up in Northumberland and now lives in County Durham with his husband and two cats. Thom loves all kinds of genre fiction, especially bonk-busters, thrillers, romance and horror. He is also a cookery book addict with far too many titles cluttering his shelves. When not writing he can be found in the kitchen trying out new recipes. He’s a keen traveler but with a fear of flying that gets worse with age, but in 2013 he realized cruising is the best way to see the world.
Check out his website for news updates and a free ebook The Night.
Thom’s Social Media Links
Tea Talk with Thom Collins
As many of you know, I have a bit of a coffee addiction. This has developed into a little bit of a sub-theme to my site (BookGemz). I say it is being a father of three wonderful kiddos, BUT, it is more likely because I can never seem to set my book down to go to sleep once I am engrossed into it.
However, I have a small tradition of reaching out to the authors to connect on their favorite caffeinated beverages and other little tidbits. Thom Collins was awesome enough to connect back with me. Unfortunately, Thom has an allergy so sticks to the decaf options for all his drinks (coffee, tea, Coke, etc). However, he is a big hot tea drinker. He prefers it the “old fashion way” (his term, not mine), brewed in a teapot. Some of Thom’s favorites are flavored teas like mint and rose tea.
When he does do coffee, he goes for the milky varieties such as lattes and flat whites. Where it lives in England there are several independent coffee houses and tea rooms and will visit them when out and about. He also noted that one of his favorites makes the best cheese scones so that with his coffee is one of his occasional treats…thou he does say not so great for the waistline!
Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of five ebooks from Thom’s backlist
This Release Blitz is Hosted by
Gay Book Promotions
Sorry, it is part of review sites required by the FCC and others:
- I DID receive a copy of this book from the author or publisher in exchange for an HONEST review.
- All these opinions are mine and I received NO compensation for this review.
- This post contains affiliate links. They are no cost to you but help to keep my little site afloat. Check out my disclosure.