I’m thrilled to be here and especially thrilled about the reason I’m here: Bengt and Alex are back with The Other Side of Winter. Some of you wanted to know a bit more about what happens between the two books, so I’m taking the opportunity to give you some glimpses into that year the guys spent apart from each other in a series of intermezzos over the course of this booktour.
SPOILER ALERT! A warning for those of you who’ve NOT yet read Santuario: since these scenes are set after the first book, there will, of course, be spoilers.
Thank you for having me,
Read on at your own discretion.
- IX. Happy New Year, pt.2
Bengt turned with a polite smile on his lips, but was hit by a pleasant kick in his veins, when he found himself looking into a pair of winter-blue eyes between a saddle of freckles and a barely tamed mess of ginger curls.
“Bengt, Arne is giving a series of lectures across the country, and we’re lucky enough to have him in Hentavik for the next two weeks.”
They shook hands, and Bengt saw his own appreciation mirrored in Arne’s eyes. Damn, had he just been set up? He threw a quick glance at Tom, but only got his back as he was leading Anna back into the fray.
“Smooth,” Arne said deadpan.
Bengt laughed. “Right?”
There was a moment of awkward silence, then Arne said, “So, small talk, or find a slightly more quiet space and make out?”
Whoa. It was on the tip of Bengt’s tongue to demand dinner first. On the other hand, wasn’t that what he’d come for? At least Arne hadn’t produced room keys.
Bengt set his glass down. “They’re advertising a conservatory above the restaurant.”
A lopsided grin and infinitesimal head tilt were his answer. “Romantic. Lead the way.”
The conservatory wasn’t completely deserted, but low light and an abundance of plants large and small offered numerous little nooks. They meandered past other couples to a spot close to the window and the snow covered gardens beyond. Arne clearing his throat made Bengt turn around to face him. The man’s eyes glittered with amusement. “I’m warning you. I expect to at least be kissed tonight.” He was perfectly at ease, and again Bengt felt that tug of attraction. He knew himself outclassed in the quick-hook-up department, but what made him hesitate was something else—the memory of a pair of much darker eyes.
He cupped Arne’s face and moved his hand around his neck to pull him close, the faint rasp of a beard against his palm recalling Alex’s dark five o’clock shadow. Fuck. He was so fucked.
He placed a soft, regretful kiss on Arne’s lips and stepped back. “I owe you an apology,” he said quietly. “Believe me, I’m deeply conscious of what I’m missing out on, but it seems I’m more haunted by memories than I thought.”
For a heartbeat Arne didn’t even blink, then he said slowly, “Fair enough.” With a faint smile he added. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed, but I’ve been there, so, yeah, fair enough.” He lightly squeezed Bengt’s shoulder as he brushed past him to the exit. “Good luck.”
Bengt swallowed hard. He could have kicked himself. Both for leading the guy on and for depriving himself of what had promised to be a spectacular one-night stand. There had been no promises between him and Alex, no commitment, and yet he felt more committed than he’d ever been in a solid relationship. Oh, yeah, he was quite thoroughly fucked alright.
About The Other Side of Winter
Not all wounds are visible.
Skanian investigator Bengt fell in love with fellow policeman Alex Rukow in a week. But that was a year ago, and they’ve been apart ever since. Then Alex escapes the corrupt and destitute island nation of Santuario and comes to live with Bengt. Happy ever after . . .?
Alex’s lifelong dream of leaving Santuario has come true at last. But he finds himself adrift in a society he doesn’t understand. Worse, past nightmares come back to haunt him, and after so many years of suspicion and self-reliance, it’s harder than he imagined to trust someone else.
Bengt just wants Alex to share his comfortable life. But the more he tries to give, the more Alex pulls away. Their physical connection couldn’t be better, but Bengt can’t seem to get through to his difficult, taciturn lover outside the bedroom. Meanwhile, he has his own demons to confront—not to mention a serial killer on the loose.
Bengt and Alex must dig deep for the courage to face their pasts, but it may be too late to save their relationship or their lives.
About the Author
G.B.Gordon worked as a packer, landscaper, waiter, and coach before going back to school to major in linguistics and, at 35, switch to less backbreaking monetary pursuits like translating, editing, and writing.
Having lived in various parts of the world, Gordon is now happily ensconced in suburban Ontario with the best of all husbands. Santuario is G.B. Gordon’s first published work, but many more stories are just waiting to hit the keyboard.
Connect with Gordon:
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