Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway:
People Like Us by Ruby Moone
Winsford Green Stories, Book 2
Arthur Fitch clawed his way out of the violence and poverty of the slums of London to become a valet to the aristocracy. His ambition to secure a higher position led him to a disastrous appointment with a cold, brutal man, and when things come to a head, Arthur is forced to flee into a snowstorm to find safety.
Joseph Wilkinson is the Winsford Green blacksmith. He has a good life, good friends, owns a thriving business, but at the end of the day when he goes home, loneliness consumes him. When he stumbles upon a small man determinedly trudging through the snowstorm, he invites him into his home to shelter.
Arthur Fitch is older, smart-mouthed, and as prickly as hell. But, as Joe peels back the layers, he discovers a warm, funny, vulnerable man whose tastes in the bedchamber leave Joe gasping and desperate for more. Trouble is, having found the real Arthur Fitch, how can he convince him that life in a small town can be infinitely better than working for an Earl? That love really is possible for people like them? Particularly when Arthur’s past catches up with him in horrifying fashion.
Arthur Fitch drifted into awareness slowly. He was warm. Deliciously warm. He rubbed his face against the pillow, sighed, and the warm body behind him shifted with him. He smiled and hummed happily as he eased his way up through the layers of sleep. When he moved, he groaned. Every part of him seemed to ache. Including his head. He stretched out his legs and the body behind him moved again.
Arthur froze. Body? Body behind him? Body in bed with him…?
His eyes shot open, blinking rapidly. Where in God’s name was he? It was a completely unfamiliar room, unfamiliar bed, and … and … he swallowed and turned his head to the side. A completely unfamiliar man. Who, at that moment, opened outrageously blue eyes and looked at him.
Arthur let out a wild yell and leaped from the bed.
“Who the hell are you?” he demanded as he stumbled to his feet. His legs were like water. He grabbed his swimming head with one hand and clutched at the bed post with another as he almost overbalanced.
His blue-eyed bed companion sat up. Dear… sweet …. God. He was magnificent. Huge, muscled shoulders. Pronounced collar bones peeping through the open neck of his night shirt. Shaggy hair the colour of autumn, and an untamed beard.
And he was young.
The man threw back the covers and stood on the opposite side of the bed. “Don’t you remember?” His voice was deep, husky rumble.
“Remember what?” His own voice had become a shriek. “What did you do to me?”
The man took a step back, wariness edging into his blue gaze. Christ, they were so blue.
“I didn’t do anything. I rescued you from the snow.”
Arthur looked around with his mouth open. He was used to being surrounded by the finest things money could buy. Working with the most respected and envied men of the upper ten thousand. Why the hell was he in some poky, rustic, shabby … Did that man have an erection? He stared at the man’s groin. There was definitely some stirring visible. He looked at him and raised a quelling brow. The man flushed, put a hand over himself, and glared at him. Dark brows pulling down.
“You walked from the Abbey in the snow. I brought you in and warmed you up. That’s all. Don’t flatter yourself.”
“My good man, I …” Arthur began, at his most haughty, then hesitated. Memories crowded in. Snow. Cold. More snow and so cold he thought he might die. He held onto his head as it all came flooding back. The giant had indeed saved him from the snow and probably saved his life.
He cleared his throat.
My thoughts: This is the second book set in Winsford Green. It’s a small village full of quirky and delightful characters who have created a lovely home for themselves.
One night, Winsford Green’s blacksmith, Joe is heading home in a snowstorm. He comes upon a bedraggled man who looks as though he is having trouble staying conscious. Taking pity on the smaller man, Joe invites him in for the night – after all the Inn is closed. It’s clear that the man comes from a home of the Aristocracy, but Joe doesn’t recognize him.
Over the course of the book, Joseph gets to know Arthur Fitch. Arthur was the valet for a rather nasty young man. After an incident the night of the storm… Arthur fled and that’s how he ended up with Joe. There’s some mystery to Arthur’s arrival and I loved the way Ruby Moone provided such a background for Arthur. He’s a very focussed man and doesn’t want anything to interfere with the goals he has worked so hard for.
In comparison, Joseph is a very simple character. He loves his work; he cares deeply for the people in his town… and he wants to be loved. Writing it out makes it seem a simple premise, but this book surprised me with how emotional it was. I cannot tell a lie – it drew a few tears out of me!
A large component of this book is the found family in the town. They have created a lovely little community. They are accepting of one another’s lifestyles; they help each other when they can. I loved the way that Moone expanded upon the “found family” idea. It’s not at all inconceivable that a village of like-minded people could come together to protect and nurture one another. I really enjoyed it.
The characters really drive this story. Steadfast, honest, and loving Joseph is a lovely character. He’s very young but he has experienced a lot of loss and really wants a lasting relationship more than anything else. Quite the opposite, Arthur is well put together, a little posh, quirky, and focussed on moving up in the world. The two men bond over a mutual interest in a slightly kinky sexual relationship…but ultimately it seems they want different things. I loved the way the two of them explore what they want and what they are open to. Looking forward to more of this series!
Enter the Giveaway:
To celebrate the release of People Like Us, Ruby is giving away a £15/$15
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!
Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cc0f2a5740/?
Check out Book 1 in the Winsford Green Stories:
Dances Long Forgotten
On Christmas Eve, Dylan, the man of James Pell-Charnley’s dreams, is on the point of walking out. Then they hear the faint strains of a waltz in the library of the empty abbey. The music is said to be heard only by those truly in love, and it gives James the courage to tell Dylan the story.
In December 1841, Lord Hugo Pell-Charnley is in a terrible mess. The youngest son of the late Marquis, youngest brother of the incumbent, never felt to fit. When his life comes crashing down, and his life and his family are threatened, he is forced to face his elder brother and confess his deepest secret. When he arrives at Winsford Abbey he finds he must also confront the shame from his past in the form of Lyndon Cross. The boy he’d loved but betrayed in school.
As they clear the ghosts from the past, they dance in each other’s arms in the library to the soft strains of the waltz, but long buried secrets threaten to destroy their happiness. Two hundred years later, can those dances long forgotten give James and Dylan the courage to hold on to love?
About the Author:
My name is Ruby Moone and I love books. All kinds of books. My weakness is for romance, and that can be any kind, but I am particularly fond of historical and paranormal. I decided to write gay romance after reading some fantastic books and falling in love with the genre, so am really thrilled to have my work published here. The day job takes up a lot of my time, but every other spare moment finds me writing or reading. I live in the north west of England with my husband who thinks that I live in two worlds. The real world and in the world in my head…he probably has a point!
Connect with Ruby: Website – http://www.rubymoone.com/ Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/RubyMoone/ Twitter – https://twitter.com/RubyMooneWriter Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/rubymoone/ Facebook Group – Ruby’s Room – https://www.facebook.com/groups/883596845175216/ Book Bub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/ruby-moone?list=about Tumblr – https://www.tumblr.com/dashboard/blog/rubymoone