New apartment, new job, new love – Ben and Donnie’s life in Atlanta is everything they dared to hope for. And when Zac, a baby in need of a home, comes to live with them, their family is complete.
But caring for a little one is hard work, and Donnie’s fragile health soon suffers. And then certain criminal elements from Donnie’s past turn up again. Ben and Donnie fight hard to preserve their little piece of heaven, but the destructive forces are determined to pull their happiness to pieces.
Can the two men prevail, or will they lose their baby son and everything they’ve fought for?
Book Title: A New Life (Loving Again Series, Book 2)
Author: Mel Gough
Cover Artist: Black Jazz Design
Genre/s: Contemporary romance
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 49,000 words/188 pages
Release Date: February 22, 2019
- What one thing happened as you were writing this book that you absolutely weren’t expecting? (No spoilers needed here!)
To be honest, I hadn’t expected this to become a series. As most readers know, the three books started as fanfic. I wrote the first one with no intention for it to be more than a long-ish story on AO3, but found that I loved the concept so much that I wanted more from Ben and Donnie. And I think that Book 2 is the best out of the series, in terms of suspense and action. A lot of drama happens, but there’s such sweetness too, which also was somewhat of a surprise.
- Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
I first write all my books and stories by hand, into an A5 notebook. I can write on the train that way and in fact do so most days. I used to carry one notebook with my current story, but now tend to carry two, one that’s exclusively dedicated to my current new novel and one for other things (like short stories or rewrites of other projects).
- Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
I’m not usually very excited to write the sex scenes. I can write them ok I think, but they’re not my forte. And I don’t particularly enjoy reading sex, either. It’s not that it bothers me, and sometimes it’s needed, but I find it hard to come up with new ways to make those scenes interesting. For the Ben and Donnie books, at least the sex had the added bonus of being something that’s not easy for them, so I used thoe scenes to explore some of their hang-ups and difficulties.
- What does your next project look like?
Which one? 😉 I have a lot right now. I’m writing the first draft of a reverse harem story, which I’m hoping to finish sometime in the middle of the year. Then I have a short story that I want to submit to an anthology. I also have a five-part MF romance series I’ll publish after the Ben and Donnie tour de force is over. They’re currently in a slightly chaotic editing stage.
- Always my fun one! A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?
Ha! It probably got on the wrong train at Victoria and is looking for the zoo. Here in London sometimes the pigeons take the train, and I’m not entirely convinced they don’t know exactly what they’re doing because they’re always super chill and hop off when they get to the stop they wanted!
The story continues with Donnie and Ben, only now it’s a couple of months later and things are settling in with them quite well. They’ve got a new place together, Ben’s got a new job, Ben and his ex are getting along, and he gets to see his daughter, though she doesn’t have much page time in this one either. He’s very much a sometimes dad to her, which sucked in my opinion, because in this one, he and Donnie get a baby and he’s all kinds of a dad to him!
Okay, so I’ll explain. A woman at the shelter Donnie works for is staying there with her baby, and once Arthur (love him) helps her find a job, the baby, Zac, stays in the daycare with Donnie. He forms a quick bond with him, wanting to protect him from the life he knows they live. He’s familiar with it, having lived it himself as a child and he wanted to protect him. He’s also positive, like Donnie, so it seemed to just kind of bond them in a way that was easy and genuine and really sweet, though very sad…He’s good to the core like that, Donnie is. I really grew to like him a lot in this one.
I also liked the realness of the stress and sleepless nights and irrational frustration with people, when they’re only trying to help. Having a new baby around is stressful and I like that things were portrayed the way they would be in real life. Although, some things still irked me….. DCFS, would not take the word of someone saying their a baby’s real father without a blood test to confirm, especially going so far as to show up at a foster carers house without warning and take the child from their carer. There are guidelines and protocol’s that have to be met; the dad would have to have several meetings with the baby, his house to be inspected, paperwork galore and it wouldn’t happen in 10 minutes… more like weeks. Also.. why in the world were Ben and Donnie trying to give a 6-month-old baby, tea? I can’t be the only one who noticed that.
And seriously? I have never, in my life, called a boyfriend “buddy” unless he was in trouble and I needed him to hear my words before someone got hurt… i.e. him…. “listen up, bud.”…. but as far as endearments go…. Buddy is a terrible one. I hope that gets fixed for the next book, which I’m not sure I’m looking forward to if it’s called “A Broken Promise”… I think Donnie’s had enough brokenness in his life, he doesn’t need more and I’m not sure I can handle any more for him.
Also, prepare for random flashbacks that make a little bit of sense in the end, but otherwise were just random, confusing and there is on page sex with someone other than the boyfriend. Some don’t like that… I didn’t mind it because it eventually made sense… kind of. But warning, it’s there.
You’ll also see the word “summat” a few times, if anyone knows what that means, please let me know.
So, in this one, there are more hospital visits, (seriously, they should rent a wing, they’re all there so much), we meet new friends, there’s a new baby (and you all should know by now how I feel bad hot dads), ever patient boyfriends (Ben), loving daddy’s (Donnie) and a cute HFN. I suspect we’ll see more from these three in the future.
3 pieces of eye candy from me
Mel was born in Germany, where she spent the first twenty-six years of her life (with a one-year stint in Los Angeles). She has always been fascinated by cultures and human interaction, and got a Masters in Social Anthropology. After finishing university she moved to London, where she has now lived for ten years.
If you were to ask her parents what Mel enjoyed the most since the age of six, they would undoubtedly say “Reading!” She would take fifteen books on a three-week beach holiday, and then read all her mom’s books once she’d devoured her own midway through week two.
Back home in her mom’s attic there’s a box full of journals with stories Mel wrote when she was in her early teens. None of the stories are finished, or any good. She has told herself bedtime stories as far back as she can remember.
In her day job, Mel works as PA and office manager. No other city is quite like London, and Mel loves her city. The hustle and bustle still amaze and thrill her even after all these years. When not reading, writing or going to the theater, Mel spends her time with her long-time boyfriend, discussing science or poking fun at each other.
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