Series Blog Tour & Excerpt:
More Heat Than The Sun Series
By John Wiltshire
Book 6: Death’s Ink-Black Shadow
Released February 12th
“Learn to love death’s ink-black shadow as much as you love the light of dawn.” Yeah? Well, Nikolas doesn’t do early mornings.
It takes a certain kind of courage to live as if favoured by the Gods, ignoring the ever-present ghosts of your past–or perhaps not bravery, but arrogance. And maybe not even that. Ben genuinely believes that the past is behind them—that they deserve to enjoy the life they have created. So it’s not hubris that leads him to overlook the signs that Nikolas does not share his faith, it’s love. But Nikolas knows something is coming. He can’t stop it; he can only decide how he will choose to face it. And without Ben’s support, he is entirely alone.
Excerpt from Death’s Ink-Black Shadow:
Ben went to his regimental do that night and Nikolas knew he’d crawl in incoherently drunk sometime in the early hours of the morning. He’d then vomit (hopefully not over him, but this was a distinct possibility), and then not wake until the afternoon, when he’d swear never to drink again and be very quiet and contrite and loving until he felt well enough to go for a punishingly long run to sweat out the last of the poison, at which point he’d be ravenous and extremely turned on. So, Nikolas reckoned he had about twenty-four hours of unpleasantness to endure until things got distinctly more enjoyable. Ben horny was always very agreeable indeed.
An evening without Ben was actually something to be treasured. In the past, he’d have immediately indulged more unhealthy pursuits. Their siren whispers were still audible, but he’d ignore them for the moment. He had other things to keep his mind distracted. He turned on a classical piece—full volume—a recording of Jacqueline du Pre playing Bach at the Royal Albert Hall accompanied, amongst others, by Nina Mikkelsen on piano.
Ben, Nikolas knew, would be ranting at this, refusing to tolerate the crap noise. One day, Nikolas thought he might try to explain to Ben how his life had once been filled with such sounds, his mother practising up to eight hours a day, music, always music, scales and arpeggios accompanying all the great triumphs and disasters of Nikolas’s childhood. She’d been playing Stravinsky’s Sacrificial Dance from The Rite of Spring when he’d tumbled off the roof of the villa and broken his leg. He’d always hated perverse dissonance in music ever since. But then he’d lain for over an hour before his mother had come for him. Nikolas knew she’d heard him fall, and the racket he’d made subsequently, lying in the courtyard, but as she’d told him later, Stravinsky negated human feeling.
He’d never tried flying again.
If he’d thought of it, he’d have pushed Nika off first to see if their homemade wings actually worked.
~ * ~ Jo‘s Review ~ * ~
Here we go; so a quick reminder: this is actually one massive story broken up into individual books. It is a bit like a tv series, with episodes where there are episode plots, while an overall arc continues throughout the whole series.
It is really hard to review this series as the stories overlap, and often talking about plot gives too many spoilers. This one moves on from book 5; the danger Nikolas saw coming in book 5 comes to fruition. Ben, however, doesn’t see this, despite his knowledge of Nikolas’s past. This is a story about family, and what they are both prepared to do to protect the one they are making; to move forward with their life together despite the threat of the past, even though Nikolas, for just a moment, loses faith. It is as intense, violent, emotional, and raw as ever. Happiness is often attached to pain and loss for these two. Although I hoped that maybe there might be a future with Stefan, I knew in my heart there wouldn’t be. The passion is still there for Ben and Nikolas, but there are times when I was a little frustrated with the pair, especially with both forgetting who their soulmate actually is. I can see the reasoning for their actions, plot wise, but I did want to bang their heads a couple of times (hence the loss of 0.5).
However, another great edition to the series. I’ll be diving into the next, once I have had a little light and fluffy.
***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement.***
Book 7: Enduring Night
Releasing February 19th
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. Nikolas has always liked art. You’d have thought that Ben and Nikolas would have learnt that their romantic holidays inevitably end up as disasters. A short break on the polar ice sees them trapped in a nightmare of murder and deceit. Neither of them, however, foresees the long-term impact that endless winter has on their relationship. They return with a metaphorical darkness that threatens everything they have created together. Desperate and fearing for Nikolas’s life, Ben makes a bargain with a surprising ally. For the first time, Nikolas meets an enemy more powerful than he is. But fortunately, not as sneaky…
Book 8: His Fateful Heap of Days
Releasing February 26th
“Into his fateful heap of days the soul of man is cast.”
Only a few months from his fiftieth year, Nikolas is feeling a distinct wobble in his formidable certainties. Aleksey Primakov appears to have become irrelevant. All he needs, therefore, is to be dragged into an adventure with Devon’s answer to the three musketeers. How many times can he tell Ben and his moronic friends that a mutilated body buried on Dartmoor has nothing to do with them? But not only does this desecration slowly become their business, it cuts to the heart of the life they have created together. It’s just as well, perhaps, that generals never do actually retire…
Go back to were is all began…
Book 1: Love Is A Stranger
Loving a total stranger can be very hard work sometimes.
How do you love someone who exists entirely in the shadows?
How do you love a man who describes himself as dead?
How do you get that ghost to love you back?
Ex-SAS soldier Ben Rider falls in love with his enigmatic married boss Sir Nikolas Mikkelsen, but Nikolas is living a lie. A lie so profound that when the shadows are lifted, Ben realises he’s in love with a very dangerous stranger. Ben has to choose between Nikolas and safety, but sometimes danger comes in a very seductive package.
Book 2: Conscious Decisions of the Heart
Ben Rider and Nikolas Mikkelsen learn that danger comes in all shapes and sizes and often in places you least expect it. Nikolas’s dark past calls to him, inexorably dragging him back into its seductive embrace.
While he goes on an errand of mercy to Russia, Ben travels to Denmark to learn Nikolas’s language. Convinced Russia’s vastness will swallow Nikolas, Ben doesn’t see the enemy much closer to home. Thinking he has lost Nikolas, Ben then makes a terrible decision that threatens to destroy everything they have together.
Focused on this very personal horror, bound by a new level of commitment, they have no idea that a greater threat is coming. And when it arrives, it changes everything—even the definition of commitment.
Warning: This story contains the violent death of a minor character and some graphic violence and gay sex.
Book 3: The Bridge of Silver Wings
Nikolas and Ben discover that bonds aren’t forged with blood or scars, but in the hearts of men strong enough to love.
Siberia in winter isn’t a place for good men. There is nothing Nikolas won’t do to keep Ben alive. Nikolas has exorcised his demons, but when they end up stranded in Russia, the monster inside needs to be let loose. Ben discovers the truth of the adage, ‘be careful what you wish for’!
Home again, Nikolas then faces an enemy he can’t defeat: Ben Rider himself. Discovering a new family, Ben realizes he’s been living too long in the shadows cast by Nikolas’s all-consuming love. For the first time, life apart from Nikolas is possible.
Is Nikolas strong enough to let Ben go?
Book 4: The Other Country
Nikolas is the sanest, straightest, person Ben knows, so can anyone tell him, why is he on a gay therapy course?
Nikolas Mikkelsen could make a very long list of unpleasant things he’s endured in his life. Then order it from ‘nearly killed me’ to ‘extremely horrific and don’t want to do again’. And what did it say about his forty-five years that being hit by a tsunami would be a considerable way down this list? But nothing, not torture, imprisonment, nor starvation has prepared him for what he now has to endure for Ben Rider’s sake-attendance on a residential, gay therapy course. At least he has a new contender for the top spot on his ‘my awful life’ list.
Book 5: The Bruise-Black Sky
Released February 5th
It’s either a brave or a stupid person who threatens anything Nikolas Mikkelsen loves.
Ben usually overlooks Nikolas’s occasionally jarring dissonance. Not this time. A deep rift, a terrible lie, separates them. Eleven thousand miles from Nikolas, in New Zealand, it’s bitter winter as Ben films the tragic story of a post-apocalyptic gladiator, a victim of his own personal darkness. But on receiving a death threat, Ben suspects the truth of actor Oliver Whitestone’s suicide. Someone doesn’t want this movie made. It’s fortunate for Ben, therefore, that dissonance is a state of unrest, a longing for completion. As if Nikolas would stay at home in disgrace while Ben Rider-Mikkelsen becomes the target of a crazed stalker…
More Heat Than The Sun Series
John Wiltshire is the pen name. The author was born in England, but she travelled widely whilst serving in the British Army, living in the States and Canada and Europe. She retired at the rank of Major, and finally settled in New Zealand.
To date the author has written 14 novels.