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Monday 13 January 2020

☀ Heroes in Love - David C. Dawson

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for Heroes in Love, a Contemporary LGBT Romance by (, Boroughs Publishing Group, 266 pages).

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and the Kindle Cloud Reader Preview below, as well as full details of the series.

Author David C. Dawson will be awarding a $10 Boroughs Bucks to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.   Please do take part: comment on our post and follow the tour where you will be able to read other excerpts (☀), reviews (✍).

|| Synopsis || Teaser: Excerpt || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||



Can love last a lifetime? Billy Walsh and Daniel Richards never intended to be matchmakers. After all, they're only at the start of their own love story. When Billy uncovers a failed love affair, he learns it lasted more than fifty years until it fell apart.

He and Daniel see their own fledgling relationship through the lens of the now estranged couple, and they vow to reunite the elderly lovers. But as they set about their task, the pressure of modern life threatens to tear them apart.

Teaser: Excerpt

Chapter 1

Friday the thirteenth of June dawned hot and humid. Summer in Britain could be unpredictable, and this year was already the hottest on record. London especially was never good with heat. The little air conditioning available on public transport was often inadequate, and where there was none, the grubby windows on buses and trains were often jammed shut. Water companies were quick to introduce rationing, and in Billy’s view not enough people in London invested in deodorant in this most un-British weather.
      As he reached the tube station at Wood Green, Billy’s phone beeped. He stopped to pull it from his pocket and found a message from his bestie and work colleague, Vikki.
      “Watch out. Man Cock is trying to dump more clients onto us. I’m at breaking point and I’m sure you are. Have a good day sexy xx”
      Despite the familiar sinking feeling in his stomach, Billy smiled at Vikki’s text. Man Cock was the secret name they had for their manager at Cockfosters Area Social Services in North East London. Billy was not the best of friends with his boss, Caroline Prenders, who had turned passive aggression into an art form, yet insisted on calling her bullying approach to management CCW: care and concern in the workplace.
      She abbreviated everything. Which was why Billy and Vikki had shortened her job title to Man Cock ASS. A small act of rebellion that helped Billy and his fellow social workers get through each day.
      Poor Vikki. He knew her workload overwhelmed her, and she had threatened to leave the service on increasingly frequent occasions. Billy wanted to do the same, but he had no idea what else he could do. And at the moment, he needed the money badly. Things would be even worse if Vikki left.
      He shoved the phone back into his pocket and turned to enter the station only to be stopped by the shrill screech of Whitney Houston singing “I Have Nothing” announcing an incoming call. He retrieved his phone and read the name on the screen. Prenders.
      Billy had thought it prudent not to label his boss’s number Man Cock in case she were to ever see the offending words on his phone. He considered ignoring the call. If she asked him, he could tell her he was on the train and had no reception.
      Dutifully, he answered, “Hello, Caroline. How are you this morning?”
      “Billy,” came the purr of Man Cock’s voice. “I’m so pleased I caught you. I thought you might already be on the train and I’d missed you.”
      Billy cursed silently.
      “We’ve got a bit of a crisis with Polly leaving,” Caroline continued. “I need to reallocate her clients among the teams. You’ll be pleased to know I’ve passed most of them on to the B-team, as I know they’ve got capacity. But there are a few we must take. And after all, we are the A-team.”
      Whenever Caroline Prenders said this, which was often, Billy had visions of Mr T from the movie of the same name. Less a vision, and more a fantasy about the star Bradley Cooper.
      “Caroline,” he began, “I really don’t think I can—”
      “Now, Billy,” she cut across him. “You’re a capable young man. Even though you’ve not been with us long, I know this to be true. We all need to pull together during this difficult time. You know as well as I do we can’t let our clients down. I’m only handing one extra case to you. He’s a nice old gentleman in Hackney with some mobility problems, but nothing significant. I’m sure you can squeeze him into your week without too much difficulty.”
      Billy’s grip on his phone tightened as Caroline spoke. Her ability to offend with faint praise was legendary in the department. To call him a capable young man when at twenty-nine he was only two years her junior was guaranteed to irritate him. He took a deep breath.
      “My caseload is already over the guidelines set by—”
      “Guidelines, Billy,” Caroline responded quickly. “They’re not carved in stone. Don’t let me down on this one. We’ve got your performance review coming up shortly, haven’t we?” He gripped the phone even tighter. “And I was hoping to make some recommendations for your advancement.”
      He opened his mouth to speak, but Caroline was in full flow.
      “I’ve looked at your diary. You can schedule visits to Mr Stuart after you see your agoraphobic client in Shoreditch on Fridays. Start next week and introduce yourself. The sooner the better for continuity. I’ll email you his details so you can read the case notes.”
      “Caroline. I really think—”
      “You’ve got this afternoon booked as leave, haven’t you? I presume it’s to see your mother?”
      Even coming from Caroline, it was a low blow to talk about the extra time he needed to visit his mother in hospital. Was she trying to make him feel guilty for taking time off?
      He said nothing.
      “Well, you take as much time as you need to sort things out there,” she said. “And in return, I’m so grateful that you’re taking on Mr Stuart. I’ll see you at the departmental next Wednesday. Bye now.”
      Billy pulled the phone away from his ear and stared at it. His day had only begun and already he wanted to turn around, go back home, and slam the door on the world.
      His phone beeped as another message arrived from Vikki.
      “Has Man Cock got hold of you yet? She’s a bitch. Don’t let her bully you. xx”
      Too late, he thought. Too late.

Billy had promised his mother he would be at the hospital by two that afternoon. Her oncologist was coming to see her then. But a series of disasters throughout the morning delayed him. His train failed to turn up due to a shortage of crews. He was forced to take the bus, which crawled through the traffic and made him late for his case review meeting in south London.
      By the time he arrived, the meeting had already started. A man from Westminster education services with a loud voice and bad breath accused Billy’s department of flagrant negligence in the case of an eight-year-old boy and his abusive mother. The man’s argument turned personal when Billy arrived, and the meeting dragged on with frayed tempers for nearly three hours. It was well past lunchtime before he finally headed for the station, on his way to the Royal Marsden Hospital in Chelsea.
      As the train rattled through the tunnels under London, he sat and stared into space. A half-eaten sandwich lay in its wrapper on his lap, and he clutched a plastic bottle of water. A combination of the morning’s events, the heat, and anxiety about what he might learn when he got to the hospital robbed him of his appetite.
      Had his life really been reduced to this?
      He was nearly thirty, doing a job he liked but for a manager he loathed and feared in equal measure. His last boyfriend had gone off with another guy as soon as Billy’s mother got sick again nearly a year ago. He struggled to remember the last time he had gone on a date, let alone had sex. These days, his life seesawed between work and caring for his mother. He studied his distorted reflection in the window opposite. Not a bad looker for someone who was rapidly disappearing over the hill into his thirties.
      His early twenties had all started so promisingly.
      He’d won a scholarship to drama school, and in his final year, at age twenty-two, he was the first to get an agent. Despite the dire warnings of his acting tutor, work turned up on a semi-regular basis for the next five years. He was the first choice when casting directors needed a sensitive-looking young man with curly brown hair and gentle, puppy-dog eyes.
      Then, one day, his mother called him and told him she had cancer. After the surgery and chemotherapy, her recovery took nearly a year. During that time, he turned down offers of parts in soap operas and TV commercials to look after her. She had no one else.
      Within six months the offers dried up. Another sensitive-looking young actor with curly brown hair and gentle puppy-dog eyes became the preferred choice for casting directors.
      Billy was broke and needed a job.
      He moved back into his mother’s tiny house and considered his options. He had fallen out of love with acting.He wanted nothing more to do with the fickle world of entertainment, even if he had been offered work.
      He decided the only other skill he had acquired over that year was as a carer. He applied for a job as a social worker and, to his surprise, was successful. His clients were older people whose company he enjoyed and whose life stories he looked forward to hearing when he visited them. The only downsides were the awful management and low pay.
      And then last year the cancer recurred.
      Billy’s mother faced more surgery and chemo. His plans to move out of her house and reestablish his independence vanished overnight. Now, between the daily grind of work and caring for his sick mother, his social life had come to a dead halt. He had no time for himself, and certainly none for a boyfriend.
      Two weeks ago, his mother passed out, and he rushed her to hospital. Her white blood cell count had fallen dangerously low. She had been in hospital ever since.

Billy was nearly an hour late when he finally made it down Fulham Road and into the entrance of the Royal Marsden Hospital, where he ran into a black-haired, brown-eyed vision of masculinity. Literally ran into. Publicly crashed into a stunning man wearing a white fitted t-shirt, a linen suit, tan loafers, and stood tall like a catwalk model. Too late, Billy skidded to a halt and into the arms of the handsome stranger.
      “I’m so sorry,” Billy blurted out.
      The vision of masculinity reached forward and grabbed his shoulders to stop him from falling.
      “No problem.” The man looked directly at Billy and held on to his shoulders for a moment or so longer than was probably necessary.
      Billy wanted to crawl away and hide in a corner. He had never considered himself a cool guy. The roles he played in soap operas as a sensitive-looking young man with an apologetic, hesitant manner were in truth no more than an extension of his own personality. He was uncomfortable in large social gatherings and preferred his own company.
      But this man with wavy black hair, deep brown eyes, and strong arms was someone he would dearly like to spend more time with. Billy struggled to find a witty phrase, a bright piece of banter to rescue the moment.
      Sure? Billy shook his head at the crassness of his response. The man smiled, dropped his arms, and strode off.
      When Billy arrived at his mother’s room on the third floor of the hospital, the oncologist was already at her bedside.
      “Dr Jerome,” Billy said as he entered the room. “I’m really sorry I’m late. I’ve had a nightmare day.”
      “Don’t worry, Mr Walsh,” the oncologist replied. “And it’s Mr Jerome. We get to drop the doctor title once when we get to my level. But please, call me Arvind.”
      “I’m sorry, um, Arvind.”
      Billy looked across to his mother, who was tucked up like a fragile china doll in the crisp linens of the hospital bed. Plastic tubes connected her to complicated-looking machinery. An oxygen mask was strapped to her gaunt, emaciated face, and her thin, bony hands rested delicately on top of the sheets. Her eyes had not opened since he entered the room.
      “Please, take a seat.” Arvind gestured to the chair. “Your mother’s resting, and I need to talk to you.”
      Billy’s chest tightened, and he forced himself to breathe deeply as he sat on the small plastic chair next to the bed. He leaned across and kissed his mother on her cheek. She made no response. Billy took her fragile hand in his and gently massaged the protruding joints of her long fingers.
      The oncologist’s face betrayed no hint of expression as he spoke, calmly, in a low voice. “I’m afraid your mother hasn’t much time left,” he began. “When the time comes, we’ll give her morphine to ensure she has no pain. That means she’ll sleep a great deal. We’ll continue to provide the nutrients she needs. But that’s all we can do now. I’m sorry.” Arvind Jerome’s mouth creased into a faint smile, and he raised an eyebrow. “Do you have any questions?”
      Billy couldn’t think of anything to say. The speed of his mother’s decline had taken his breath away. He felt winded, as if punched in the stomach. He looked from the doctor to his mother. Her breathing was steady and even. She remained in the same position she lay in when he first arrived.
      Arvind Jerome cleared his throat. “Relatives often ask how long,” he said. “And my answer is that it’s impossible to say. But what I can assure you, Mr Walsh, is that we’ll do everything we can to ensure your mother is in no distress.”
      Billy looked back at him. “But how long is it likely to be?” he asked. “Months? Weeks?” he stopped. A million thoughts clouded his brain, including the empty house. A house that, finally, would be devoid of the constant presence of this maddening, bossy, constantly demanding woman. What should he do? What should he plan? The change in the situation was too sudden. He needed time to catch up.
      Once more Arvind Jerome’s face displayed a controlled, professional smile. “We can’t say. But prepare yourself for sooner rather than later. Is there someone who can help you plan? Your brother or sister? Your wife?”
      Billy shook his head. “It’s only me.”

Heroes in Love
Pre-order NOW! Out 21 Jan 2020

purchase from purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo UK purchase from Smashwords find on Goodreads

About the Author

David C Dawson writes contemporary thrillers featuring gay men in love.

He’s an award winning author, journalist and documentary maker.

His debut novel won Bronze for Best Mystery and Suspense in the FAPA awards, and he has published two books since.

David lives in London with his boyfriend and two cats. In his spare time, he tours Europe and sings with the London Gay Men’s Chorus

Follow David C. Dawson:

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Giveaway and Tour Stops

Enter to win a $10 Boroughs Bucks – a Rafflecopter giveaway
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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow Heroes in Love's tour at:

January 13:
1: Viviana MacKade
2: Ilovebooksandstuffblog
3: Iron Canuck Reviews & More
4: Romance Novel Giveaways
5: Lisa-Queen of Random
6: Harlie Williams, Writer
7: Readeropolis
8: BooksChatter

January 14:
1: fire dancing for fun and profit
2: Nickie's Views and Interviews
3: Edgar's Books
4: It's Raining Books
5: Dragon's Den
6: The Hidden Bookshelf Club
7: Let Me tell You a Story

January 15:
1: tory richards
2: Dawn's Reading Nook
3: Independent Authors
4: Full Moon Dreaming
5: kristal dawn harris
6: The Pen and Muse Book Reviews
7: Long and Short Reviews

January 16:
1: Books to Light Your Fire
2: Jazzy Book Reviews
3: Straight From the Library
4: Tina Donahue Books - Heat with Heart
5: Wendi zwaduk - romance to make your heart race
6: Fabulous and Brunette
7: Christine Young

January 17:
1: The Phantom Paragrapher
2: Bayou Book Junkie
3: Welcome to My World of Dreams
4: Author C.A.Milson
5: Bam Wam Tam
6: Author Deborah A Bailey
7: The Avid Reader
8: Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin'