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I think I've always written suspense with my romance. To me, it can be either external or internal: my heroes are either struggling with mad stalkers, murderers or social hardships - or they're struggling with their own emotional feelings! And I confess I like it that way, both as a reader and as an author. It's exciting and challenging, and even if it's exaggerated in fiction, it's often true to real life. Call me cruel to my characters LOL.
I'm Clare London and I write m/m romance, usually erotic though not always. I write in both contemporary and fantasy genres, and include drama, suspense, action, humour, angst - or a mixture of all!
Blinded by Our Eyes is set in London, in the art world. Its psychological drama is more reminsicent of a WHY-dunnit than a WHO-dunnit, though I enjoyed my Agatha Christie-style denouement at the end :). And of course the suspense is flavoured with a strong dose of erotic romance between my two leading men, Charles Garrett the art gallery owner, and Antony Walker, the strong, silent, potentially dangerous sculptor.
The blurb and an excerpt follows here.
BLURB: London art dealer Charles Garrett has devoted his life to appreciating and acquiring beauty, both in art and in his companions. His fashionable life is rocked to the core when he discovers the body of a young artist, Paolo Valero, in a pool of blood in his gallery.
As Paolo's mentor, Charles is haunted by the horror of his violent death. Seeking closure, he investigates Paolo's past and soon discovers a tangled web of motives and potential suspects, some closer to home than he ever imagined. He's drawn to Antony Walker, an aggressive, handsome sculptor with unsavory ties to Paolo. Charles is unsettled by Antony's forceful nature but irresistibly attracted to his passion and his art.
When the evidence points toward Antony's guilt, Charles is thrown into emotional turmoil. Has he lost his heart to a killer?
EXCERPT: (adult-rated for language)
“What are you doing there?” I said, too loudly. I didn’t seem to have full control of my voice. “Why are you bothering with that now? I just want to talk to you.” What are you hiding from me?
He just glared at me, his eyes dark and unwelcoming.
I glanced over at his work in progress. “What kind of themes do you work with,
? Did you work with Paolo? He’s…he was a very talented sculptor.” Is that why you were together—as artists? Or was your relationship something else? Walker
“He was a shit,”
growled, shaking his head. Walker
His bluntness shocked me. “That’s—what the hell do you mean?”
His eyes narrowed. “You think people shouldn’t speak ill of the dead? Paolo Valero leeched off people. He was pretty and he was talented, but for all the time I knew him, he was a liar and a thief.”
I was stunned. “Money?”
“He stole money, yeah. And materials. And ideas.”
sighed. “But he stole time and attention, too. From me—probably from you, too.” Walker
“Why are you saying this? Why are you slandering him like this?”
For the first time I saw uncertainty in
’s expression. “You have no fucking idea, do you? It doesn’t mean I wasn’t his friend. Though plenty of people in this business will tell you he got everything he deserved.” Walker
“What do you mean?” I nearly shouted.
“Is that what happened with you and Paolo?” I persisted. “What did he steal from you? How much?” Maybe too much?
“What do you mean?”
He took a step toward me, threateningly, yet I didn’t move away. I couldn’t identify the expression in his eyes, but it chilled me. “I know guys like you, right? Dealers.” He made it sound like a disease. “You watch other people create, you give your critique, then you pimp the goods. Always on the outside, never really involved. You look around this room with cold eyes. You see a block of stone, you see banknotes, where I see breath and beauty.”
I was furious—suddenly, blindingly furious. “Who do you think you are? You arrogant shit.”
He didn’t even flinch. “And that’s the same look you’re turning on me now. Appraising me.”
I couldn’t speak, my throat was closing tight with the anger. He was right, I couldn’t tear my eyes from him, but it was from anger, not admiration, wasn’t it? Nothing to do with the fierce, sensual attraction that emanated from him, the way his dark eyes caught and fascinated my attention.
“You’re looking at me the same way you look at the stone.” He stepped even closer. A trickle of sweat ran from his throat down the middle of his bare torso. I imagined it pooling above his navel, glistening and bobbing as his belly clenched.
“I’m not.” That’s not me.
“No?” he murmured. He peered at me, sounding puzzled. “Then it’s something else…” His chest was heaving, as if he had the same difficulty breathing as I did. Behind him, the point chisel was still on the edge of the table. He hadn’t locked it away with the other tools. Its handle was a foot from his grasp.
“Get away from me,” I whispered.
He frowned. “Say that again. And this time like you mean it.” He was still searching my face, but now his expression was confused, as if he’d lost whatever he was seeking. And then his eyes slid away from my face to my chest and down the whole of my body, slowly and carefully. When his gaze came back up, lingering for too long on my groin, I blanched. The sexual intent was never in any doubt.
And my body shuddered in response.
Also available in AUDIO book.
Also available in AUDIO book.
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