Two young men from two different countries find a common language as they recover from broken hearts and broken bones. Can they rebuild their lives together?
Ben’s boyfriend has not only dumped him, he’s also cancelled their mutual travel plans. Since Ben has the time off and the money saved up, he decides to travel anyway, and based on a last-minute, very inexpensive red-eye airline fare, ends up in Reykjavik, Iceland.
He’s ill-prepared for the weather and knows nothing about the country, so he considers flying home the next day. Except his new neighbor, Solvin, a local Icelander who is currently on leave from work due to a car accident, shows up with a cane and shoulder sling and literally falls into Ben’s apartment. It’s the beginning of an adventure that might show Ben how good life can be… and that coming home sometimes means traveling halfway around the world.
World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.
Hello and thank you Two Chicks Obsessed for letting me guest post on your blog today! I’m here to promote my soon-to-be released book from Dreamspinner, which is Shoulder Season. But also, I’m here to talk about Iceland, where the book takes place.
Iceland to me has always seemed a faraway, rather exotic place that I would never be able to travel to. The location always seemed too remote, too obscure, too cold, and thus impossible. I’d always heard that Greenland was named Greenland to entice visitors and settlers and that Iceland was named Iceland to keep people from going there. Whether or not that’s true, it certainly worked on me! Iceland was foreboding, far away, and very, very cold.
As I grew older, of course, my opinion changed. I began to see the appeal of any Nordic country, be it Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Greenland, and, yes, last but not least, Iceland. Travel videos and blog posts, as well as the images, the stories about equality among the citizens, the low crime rate, the clean, healthy lifestyle, made me realize that yes, I’d like to go to a Nordic country. But which one? Well, because Iceland was an island, not to mention all those geologic wonders contained in this little country, it won my heart.
If I were to travel there, I’d like to go by boat around the island, stopping off to see all the sites and scenery. I want to bask in the waters of the Blue Lagoon, I want to see the geysers, view the northern lights, and pet sweet-faced Icelandic ponies. I want to eat fermented shark and homemade skyr, the famous Icelandic yogurt. I want to visit all the waterfalls and stand behind as many as will let me, especially Seljalandsfoss, which to me is the prettiest. I want to dance at the edge of the famous (and dangerous) sneaker waves at Black Beach. I want to do everything!
Top of my list is to visit a sculpture called the Sun Voyager. In Icelandic, it’s called Solfar. The sculpture is in the shape of a ship built of bones, and sits at the south end of XYZ bay. It faces the water, and the blue air sweeps over the edges of the sculpture. What I’d love to do is stand there with the Icelandic wind in my hair while the setting sunlight gleams on the metal and, as the sculpture is intended to do, be carried off on thoughts of hope and anticipation as to what the future will bring.
I thought I would share a little excerpt from Shoulder Season:
“What’s the sculpture called again?” asked Ben as he opened the door for Solvin. Solvin gave him a smile as he clambered in. When Ben was settled beside him, Solvin asked a question in Icelandic, and the taxi driver answered, and off they went, down the placid streets of Reykjavik.
“It’s called the Sun Voyager, the boat of dreams,” said Solvin, and he looked at Ben as he said it. “It represents hope and new beginnings.”
New beginnings seemed to be what Iceland had become for Ben, a country where he could start as he meant to go on and where every conversation didn’t end in an argument, and cups of coffee could be drunk in a casual way, with no need to rush off afterward. He settled back in his seat, and when his hand touched Solvin’s thigh, he left it in place and brushed the backs of his fingers along the material of Solvin’s jeans. Not only did Solvin not move away or push Ben’s hand off, he dipped his head and smiled at Ben as though they shared a secret the taxi driver didn’t need to know about.
All the way through town, Ben left his hand there, looked at the blush on Solvin’s cheeks, and thought about new beginnings.
This is a new to me author and I was drawn to it because I am, quite honestly, fascinated with Iceland. Like top of my bucket list fascinated. And this story gave me a nice look into the country.
Ben heads off to Iceland on a spur of the moment trip after being unceremoniously dumped by his boyfriend and their joint vacation cancelled. He got a cheap flight and what seems like an Air BnB apartment to rent but no other plans. Until he meets his neighbor Solvin who is off of work for 6 weeks while recovering from a car accident.
A friendship and very sweet little romance blossoms. They didn’t jump right into bed together. There was no frantic kissing and groping up against a wall. Instead, Solvin takes Ben out sight seeing around Iceland. Everyday they get closer. They were both shy and timid and adorable together.
There was a bit of repetition in the book as far as Ben dwelling on his very recent ex boyfriend and I honestly skimmed over a bit of that as I didn’t think it was necessary to move the story forward.
There is a HEA which is fairly implausible, but hey- why not. We read romances for the HEA’s, not the plausibility.
3.5 pieces of eye candy
Jackie North has been writing stories since grade school and spent years absorbing the mainstream romances that she found at her local grocery store. Her dream was to someday leave her corporate day job behind and travel the world. She also wanted to put her English degree to good use and write romance novels, because for years she’s had a never-ending movie of made-up love stories in her head that simply wouldn’t leave her alone.
As fate would have it, she discovered m/m romance and decided that men falling in love with other men was exactly what she wanted to write books about. In this dazzling new world, she turned her grocery-store romance ideas around and is now putting them to paper as fast as her fingers can type. She creates characters who are a bit flawed and broken, who find themselves on the edge of society, and maybe a few who are a little bit lost, but who all deserve a happily ever after. (And she makes sure they get it!)
She likes long walks on the beach, the smell of lavender and rainstorms, and enjoys sleeping in on snowy mornings. She is especially fond of pizza and beer and, when time allows, long road trips with soda fountain drinks and rock and roll music. In her heart, there is peace to be found everywhere, but since in the real world this isn’t always true, Jackie writes for love.
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