Series Blog Tour & Excerpt:
More Heat Than The Sun Series
By John Wiltshire
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…
Excerpt from The Bruise-Black Sky:
Ben could have had no idea when he’d offered to get a tattoo that it would turn into such a huge thing in Nikolas’s mind. Six months on, it was still temporary, still being drawn on and embellished every so often. At the moment, it had the addition of an arrow. The simple M turned into an N and then an A, the middle V was now shaped as an arrow pointing down into Ben’s smooth cleft. This was only a joke Nikolas had added a few days ago, but it was indicative of the problem obsessing him: he wanted Ben branded as his, but, at the same time, he didn’t want him marked or altered in any way. Ben had done that once to go undercover—blond hair, blue eyes, tattoo—and Nikolas hadn’t liked it one bit. So thus, the painful predicament…Label Ben as his…but consequently mark him. It was too awful to decide, but the pondering of it, which always involved the temporary drawing being studied and stroked, inevitably led to studying and stroking a little lower, and hence they were in bed in the middle of the day in the middle of the week and not, as Ben remarked, out saving the world.
Ben joked about a lot of things these days. Being without his memory had apparently been a holiday for Benjamin Rider-Mikkelsen from which he’d returned…impudent. Nikolas had been forced to tread a very fine line in his own home. Or Ben’s house, anyway. To be fair to Ben, Nikolas had been given permission to do what he liked in his London property. Snort snuff porn or watch coke, Ben claimed he didn’t care. Nikolas knew, however, Ben was lying about both these assertions, and that he’d be in very serious trouble if he did either—right way around or not.
It wasn’t fair.
Also (and yes, he was whining in his head; who else did he have to complain to?), he now had to tiptoe around Babushka. When he and Ben had tentatively suggested she come and live with them in England, although they fully understood if she said no, given she had a lifetime of friends in her home town in Siberia, Ulyana Ivanovna had chortled that they were all old fogeys and sent designs for her new cottage. So they were building her a cabin in the grounds while she temporarily resided in one of the guest suites.
Babushka adored Nikolas, but unfortunately for him, that adoration had taken the form of…mothering…deciding what was best for him…attempts to improve him…
“Hey!” Ben rolled over, dislodging Nikolas. “Am I in this bed on my own?”
And if that didn’t exactly prove his point! Since when did Benjamin Rider-Mikkelsen comment on his technique?
Ben mocked-punched Nikolas and then pulled him down to lie on top of him, kissing around his stubble and biting gently into his neck. “Do you need a rest, old man?”
Nikolas rose, sleek and genuinely furious, over the chuckling figure beneath. Ben shook his head fondly, glancing at Nikolas’s cock, which was heavy and risen with thwarted desire. “No, I didn’t think so. Stop thinking and more fucking, maybe?”
Things were going to have to change again.
This was just intolerable.
Book 6: Death’s Ink-Black Shadow
Releasing 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.
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.
Excerpt from Love Is A Stranger:
Ben suppressed a smile. He had no idea what the relationship with his boss really was, but he sure as hell wasn’t going to let the man know he actually liked him. Like was a safe word, and he was sticking with that. He half turned away from the table, moved his plate further out of reach, and asked stonily, “What’s the job you’ve got for me, sir?”
“All in good time.” After a few moments, watching his wife direct one of the gardeners cutting holly, Nikolas asked, deceptively casually, “So, Benjamin, will you indulge me?”
Ben did laugh at that. Sir Nikolas would never be so inelegant as to mention their more unusual extracurricular activities. Ben knew exactly what his boss wanted and nodded. “Sure, why not?”
They led Nikolas’s horses out of the magnificently appointed stables. In most everything else he did, Nikolas retained his enigmatic, impeccable elegance, the facade no one was allowed to penetrate—but not in this. On a horse, he became something else, something dangerous. He became primitive. He was at one with the animal in a way an English aristocrat could never be. Ben felt menace, something truly fierce in the Norseman when they rode together. They negotiated the grounds down to where the gardens met tidal river estuary. It was low tide and the mud flats were exposed. The track was slippery, with a deep, primal smell of mud, salt, and seaweed. They rode carefully, the horses’ hooves picking between the rocks. Then they came to the beach, just wet sand now at the low tide. Nikolas turned around in his saddle, his face animated. “Race?”
Ben wondered how this beautiful man could bear to live his life hidden behind the facades he showed to the world. This was the Sir Nikolas Mikkelsen he was allowed rare glimpses of. After all, it wasn’t easy for a man to keep all his pretences in place when covered in another man’s sweat and come. When Nikolas was deep inside Ben’s body, he was a very different man. Here, on a freezing beach in December, that man of passion and fire emerged once more. Ben laughed, the wind catching the rare sound and whipping it away out to sea.
“What do you win when I inevitably lose?”
Nikolas laughed too and nudged his horse closer, their thighs touching.
“I am a generous host, Benjamin. You can choose your own forfeit.” His thick Danish accent tangled the words. Ben felt the same frisson of excitement at the base of his spine that he’d felt during their very first meeting, a handshake across a desk and a simple greeting,
“Mr. Rider. Thank you for coming.” Nikolas had thanked him for coming in more imaginative ways since then.
Ben made as if to answer Nikolas’s question now, slyly turning towards their proposed route. Then with a kick, he was off. He needed every advantage. The wind made his eyes water, froze his ears. He could ride, but he rode like a man on a horse. Nikolas Mikkelsen didn’t. He was the horse and the pounding surf; he was the wind whipped around their heads, the smell of salt and earthly pleasures. He caught Ben easily, stayed with him and toyed with him as they approached the cliffs that rose to the headland. As they negotiated the tidal pools, he pulled ahead and around the newly exposed section of beach into the cove that was only accessible at low tide. Their finish marker was always an imaginary line between the millstone and the camel, two distinctly shaped rocks Ben had renamed “the arsehole” and “the stiffy.” Nikolas beat him by several lengths, as he always did. He pulled up in the surf, wheeling, his horse dancing to the beat of the waves. Ben reigned in beside him. “Bastard.”
Nikolas turned his horse so they were side by side facing each other. “So, my winnings?”
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.
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.