Safe Harbour by Thom Collins

Book Info

Author:
Series:
Jagged Shores series by Thom Collins
Series Type:
Individual Stories Same world,
Number In Series:
2
Publisher:
Pride Publishing
Published:
9 November 2021
Formats
Book Type
Words:
58,382
Pages:
279
Heat Level

Synopsis

Two lovers seek shelter in a storm of jealousy and passion

Matt arrives in the seaside town of Nyemouth for a much-needed vacation. As a successful lawyer, Matt has a hectic career, and with an ex-husband still pestering him for money, he is long overdue a break. A holiday home perched above the town and its breath-taking harbour seems like the perfect place to unwind. Matt can’t wait to explore the beautiful, jagged shorelines and lose himself for a couple of weeks.

Jake has made a home in Nyemouth. After growing up in the city, living on the coast is everything to him. Running a business with his sister and volunteering on the crew of the local lifeboat, he is exactly where he wants to be. But Jake’s life is far from peaceful. Though he left his domineering husband Vince a year ago, Vince refuses to consent to a divorce or loosen his controlling hold on Jake.

On Matt’s first night in town, he encounters the couple having a blazing row. When Vince turns violent, Matt intervenes and takes Jake inside to escape his angry ex. Despite what happened, Matt feels a powerful attraction to the younger man. Jake is bright, endearing and unbelievably attractive, but the young man’s life is complicated. Matt already has enough problems of his own. He came away looking for an escape, not a starry-eyed distraction. As Matt and Jake get to know each other better, the gamble on a holiday romance becomes hard for either of them to resist. They have both been unlucky in love before. Maybe this time will be different.

Vince will not be shaken off so easily. He has no intention of letting Jake go…ever. As Matt’s and Jake’s emotions deepen, they do not understand how far Vince will take things to keep his husband. As far as Vince is concerned, they made a vow to each other… “till death do us part.”

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Excerpt

Matt opened the gate and approached Jake, who stood watching as Vince walked away.

“Are you all right?” he asked.

Jake’s skin was rosy, and his chest rose and fell dramatically. His hands trembled. Shock, Matt surmised. Jake turned to look at him. His eyes were wide, the pupils huge. “Yes,” he said, out of breath, “I’m… I’m fine.”

“You’re bleeding.”

“What?”

Matt pointed at his cheek. “Where he clocked you.”

“Oh.” He put his fingers to his face and looked at the blood on the tips.

“Why don’t you come inside for a few minutes? I’ll get you an Elastoplast for that.”

“No, I couldn’t. Sorry… We’ve caused you enough trouble already.”

“Hey,” he said softly, “don’t apologise. I couldn’t ignore what was happening. Come on in. You’re shaking, too. Take a seat until you get your breath back. Give your buddy time to get away. I wouldn’t want you bumping into him at the bottom of the road.”

Jake exhaled, and the tension left his neck and shoulders. “If it’s no trouble, I could come in for a few minutes—just until things calm down.”

“Are you hurting anywhere else?” he asked, leading Jake to the front door and inside. “From when you fell.”

“Only my pride,” he said. “If that counts.”

Matt smiled. “Nothing wrong with your sense of humour.” He led Jake to the kitchen at the rear of the ground floor and sat him at the table. Matt folded a piece of kitchen roll into a small square and gave it to Jake. “Press this tight against the cut. There’s a first-aid kit in my suitcase. I won’t be a minute.”

“No need,” Jake said, pressing the paper towel against his cheek. “This should be enough to stop the bleeding. It’s just a scratch. You’ve done more than enough already. Thanks a lot.”

Being so close to him, Matt realised what a great-looking guy Jake was, with those beautiful eyes and unblemished skin. His T-shirt was well-fitted, showing the fine shape of his chest and shoulders beneath. His bare arms were muscular, gently suntanned and covered in light-brown hair. Despite his serious expression, there were very few lines on his face. Matt guessed his age to be around twenty-five.

“Do you want me to call the police?” he asked. “I got most of what happened on camera—certainly, the assault part. With me as a witness and the video evidence, they’ll have enough to charge him. It’ll get him out of your hair for the weekend, at least.”

Jake shook his head. “I don’t want to involve the police. It will only make things worse.”

“That guy assaulted you.”

“I’ll live. It’s just a scratch. If we phone the police, it will only make Vince worse.”

Matt didn’t push it. He’d seen this so many times before when victims of violence didn’t want to pursue a case for fear of inflaming the situation. “So, who is that guy? Your boyfriend?”

Jake exhaled dramatically. “If only. That would make things so much easier. No, Vince is my husband—soon-to-be ex-husband. At least I hope so. That’s what tonight was all about. My solicitor wrote to him about the divorce and he got the letter this morning.”

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