Today we welcome author Jay Northcote with an exclusive excerpt from her latest book The Marrying Kind, sequel to The Dating Game and the continuation of Owen and Nathan’s story. Jay is also giving one reader the chance to win an e-copy of The Dating Game. Just click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.
Two years on from their first date, Owen and Nathan are living together and life is good—except they’re not on the same page about marriage.
A traditionalist at heart, Nathan wants it all: the wedding, the vows, and a pair of matching rings. Owen, on the other hand, believes marriage is old-fashioned and unnecessary. They don’t need a wedding to prove their commitment to each other. Love should be enough on its own.
All it takes is one moment of weakness on a night out to force the issue. Owen finds himself engaged after a half-drunk proposal, and Nathan’s enthusiasm sweeps him along. But as the big day approaches, the mounting tension finally combusts.
If he’s going to save their relationship, Owen will need to decide once and for all if he’s truly the marrying kind.
Excerpt: Nathan and Owen had booked into the wedding hotel for the night. Simon and Jack had picked a venue in Somerset, a few miles out of the city, and the lure of hotel sex had won out over getting a taxi back into Bristol late at night.
After they’d made a mess of sheets they wouldn’t have to wash, they lay spooned together in the hotel bed. Nathan had curled around Owen, his hand on Owen’s belly as he toyed idly with the hair there. He pressed a kiss to Owen’s shoulder, breathing in the warm, musky scent of his skin.
“I love you,” he murmured.
Owen hummed and wriggled back against Nathan. “I love you too. You do know that, right?” He sounded uncertain, and his voice was serious when he added, “I know it’s a cliché, but you’re truly the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
Nathan smiled against Owen’s shoulder. “Yeah. I know.”
Owen was silent for a moment, before asking, “Does it bother you that I don’t want to get married? I mean… not that you do either. I mean, maybe you do, but I—”
He sounded flustered and so Nathan cut him off. “It’s okay. I know how you feel about it, and I get it, even if I don’t agree.”
“So you’d want to get married… if I did?” Owen’s tone was difficult to read, but his body was tense in Nathan’s arms.
“Yeah, maybe. Okay… probably,” Nathan admitted. “I like the idea of it. That public statement of love and commitment. It would mean something to me. But I don’t need it. It’s fine. We’re fine as we are.”
Perhaps if he said those words out loud a few times, he’d be able to convince himself.
She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.
When they were at uni, Owen always had a bit of a crush on Nathan. But Nathan was apparently straight, and Owen was too busy with other guys to take his crush seriously.
When Nathan moves back to Bristol after a year away, Owen hears that Nathan has come out of the closet, and he propositions him. Nathan doesn’t want to be just another notch on Owen’s bedpost, though, so he challenges Owen to prove he can be serious: five dates before they have sex.
Owen doesn’t think that sounds too difficult. He’s expecting Nathan to find his charms irresistible anyway. But as they grow closer, Owen begins to care more about proving himself to Nathan than he does about getting him into bed.