Welcome to the Give Us Your Best Excerpt Paranormal Romance Blog Hop! I’m delighted to be taking part, and I’m going to be showing off an excerpt from my M/F and M/M paranormal erotic romance novel, Pack of Lies. I hope you enjoy it! Then be sure to scroll down to check out the rest of the blogs on the hop!
Isaac seated himself at the table in the corner, nodding and exchanging greetings with the villagers he passed on the way across the room, relieved that none of them were feeling talkative or wanting to discuss health issues. He wanted the atmosphere of the pub and the sense of not being alone, without feeling inclined to make polite conversation. Perhaps he was giving off that vibe too, because he was normally happy to chat away with fellow villagers about everything and nothing, yet nobody approached his table.
As he took a swig from his drink, he peered over the top of the glass and in the direction of the mysterious visitor. The other man was doing the same thing, and their eyes met. Only his lightning-fast reactions stopped Isaac from spilling beer down his chin and making himself look like a total moron. The other man’s eyes were a startling shade of green, unnatural and beautiful all at once. Hurriedly swallowing a couple of mouthfuls of beer, Isaac put the glass down and made himself maintain the eye contact before nodding and giving a little smile.
Well done, Isaac. That was polite but not over the top. Now look somewhere else. If you keep gawping at him, he’s going to wonder what’s up.
Shifting in his seat, he pretended to catch sight of the glass-covered artifacts behind him for the first time and then become transfixed, reading every word as though he’d never done it before. It was a stupid act, he knew, and he just hoped none of the villagers took any notice of him—they’d think for sure he’d gone barmy, looking at stuff that had been there for years. And the people in the know would wonder what else he could possibly learn about a time he’d lived through.
As it happened, the write-up allowed him to get lost in his thoughts for a while. They weren’t particularly pleasant ones, but they were welcome as a means to get his mind off the sexy stranger and his gorgeous green eyes.
In spite of the centuries, Isaac remembered Mompesson well, and Stanley, though for some reason he’d never gained the historical acclaim that the younger man had. But then there had been a lot of happenings back then that hadn’t been documented, hadn’t made their way into archives, and there were reasons for that.
Isaac sighed. It had been a horrible time, a devastating time. Words couldn’t describe. Even though he and his brother had been in no danger from the disease, they’d been around to watch friends and neighbors die, helpless to do anything to save them. All they could do was ease their suffering, pray with them and eventually help to dig their graves and bury their bodies.
After it had all finished, when the plague had finally died out, the brothers had been massively tempted to leave the village and never look back. The diabolical memories had just been too many, the nightmares too distressing. But Mompesson had talked them out of it, reminding them that that the village still needed its guardians. Needed them more than ever, in fact. Predators still needed keeping out of the village, away from the livestock. Not to mention the devastated families that had to get back on their feet, rebuild their lives, find a way to go on. A deep-rooted guilt had taken hold of the survivors and many of them were struggling to see a way past it, see a way to get back to normal. Mompesson had lost his wife, and somehow he was finding a way to carry on.
And so the two men had stayed, drawing on all their reserves of strength to get them through the tough times. Slowly, for the villagers as well as them, the pain had started to recede and life had begun again. Now, all these years later, Isaac couldn’t think of anywhere he’d rather be. He’d been born in the village and he was determined he would die there too, whenever that might be. It was his home, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and he had Mompesson to thank for that—otherwise he might have left and never looked back.
Turning and reaching for his beer, he lifted the glass in a salute to the man who had done so much good, then drank deep. Then, on the spur of the moment, he made a decision. Standing, he carried his pint across to the newcomer’s table.
“Hi,” he said softly, giving a friendly smile. “Mind if I sit down?”
Green Eyes gestured to the stool opposite. “Please do.”
“Thanks.” Isaac put his pint down on the table and held out his hand. “I’m Isaac Adams.”
“Nathaniel Marsden. But everyone calls me Nathan.” They shook hands for just a millisecond too long, then parted.
Clearing his throat, Isaac spoke again. “So, you staying around here? I haven’t seen you before, and as you’ve probably noticed this is a pretty small village.”
“I just moved here.”
“Oh right, excellent. Well clearly the rumor mills are faulty around here at the moment, then, because normally news like a new person moving in spreads like wildfire!”
The two men laughed, then Nathaniel said, “Nah, they’re not doing too badly. I literally moved in yesterday. I’m in a total and utter mess with boxes everywhere, so obviously cooking meals is out of the question. So I made my way here for something to eat that wasn’t a bloody sandwich and haven’t made it back home yet.”
“Fair enough. Sounds like a good enough excuse to me. And the meals here are delicious. I eat in here occasionally. Mainly when my brother hasn’t cooked anything for me and I can’t be bothered.”
“Yep. We share a house at the other end of the village, have done for years. It suits us, especially since we often work opposite shifts. I’m one of the doctors at the surgery and Matthew works in here. I suspect you’ve already spoken to him.” He jerked a thumb in the direction of the bar. Nathaniel’s gaze shifted over there, then back to Isaac.
“The big guy, dark hair?”
The other man looked at Matthew again, then back at Isaac. “Yeah, I see the resemblance now. Cut your hair or grow his longer and it’d be even harder to miss. So he does the cooking, huh?”
Grab your copy of Pack of Lies here: https://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/pack-of-lies/
Add it to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22756241-pack-of-lies