The Lock-Keeper's Heart
|In the aftermath of a failed love, Isaac Evans drops out of college and flees Philadelphia for a lock-keeper’s job on the Delaware Canal in rural Pennsylvania, where he pursues a life of Thoreau-driven solitude.<br<>br> Prussian immigrant Lenert Tessmer trudges along the canal towpath in good and bad weather, hobbled by his dialect which prevents him from connecting with others. Then Lenert breaks his leg, and Isaac’s Quaker beliefs force him to offer a place where Lenert can recover.
Slowly, these two broken men find solace and healing in each other. But with railroads replacing the canal and narrow-minded outsiders who threaten their country idyll, Isaac and Lenert will have to face their deepest fears to develop a love that will endure.
Fans of MM historical romance will appreciate a fascinating time period, filled with unique details and a vibrant location, and a focus on the lives of working-class men in the 19th century who dare to love other men. This historical MM romance set in a small town in rural Pennsylvania in 1872 has a hurt/comfort theme.
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The Gentleman and the Spy
|Can a lord and valet find love in Victorian England?
I'm a huge fan of British historical gay romance, like that written by K.J. Charles and Cat Sebastian, among others. So a year or more ago I decided to try my hand at one. Though many of those are earlier, I wanted to focus on the Victorian era—specifically December, 1877. I can’t say exactly why. But I read a lot of Victorian literature in college and graduate school, so I felt familiar with the era.
I began by with research on the common tropes. Inheritance is a big one, because many of the grand estates were entailed—they were often tied to a title, and the property could only be inherited by the holder of the title. Younger sons were left to find their own way in the world once their father died.
Class differences were also big, and the idea of an upstairs/downstairs romance was frowned upon. I set out to incorporate those tropes into an MM romance.
I began with Lord Magnus Dawson, the third son of a duke. His oldest brother will inherit, while the second son has been set up with a tea plantation in in Ceylon. Magnus’s father bought him a military commission, but when the Duke became ill, Magnus sold his commission to look after his dying dad. The book begins with the Duke’s death, and Magnus realizing he will soon be cut off and needs to find a way to make a living.
One of the ways a young man could succeed back then was by education, and Toby Marsh’s father, a wealthy manufacturer, sends him to King’s College and then to Cambridge. Unfortunately, the senior Marsh dies before Toby can finish his degree, and he’s forced to serve as a valet slash tutor to his wealthy dissolute roommate. When the book opens, he’s struggling to make a living as a freelance tutor in Cambridge. Then an unusual summons arrives, which will put him in close quarters with Magnus.
Love blossoms between them—but can it survive against the stigmas of the Victorian era? One of my beta readers wrote, “I was completely taken with Magnus and Toby and their personal back stories.” I hope you will be, too!