Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Joy Lynn Fielding for stopping by today.
Title: Blowing Off Steam
Author: Joy Lynn Fielding
Cover Artist: Syneca
Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance
Two guys, a train, and lots of steam.
Sam Chancellor has been in love with the steam engine Old Bess since he was six years old. Well, maybe not literally, but even when he’s lost everything else in his life, he’s always had her. But now her place in his heart has been unexpectedly challenged. Her new driver, Ryan Saunders, is the embodiment of all Sam’s fantasies.
Ryan has written off Sam as just another geeky trainspotter—until the moment Ryan sees him without his usual shapeless hoodie and realizes that, for a nerd, Sam’s pretty built.
When Ryan overlooks Sam’s awkwardness long enough to suggest a hook-up, Sam seizes the opportunity—and Ryan—with both very eager hands. Finding common ground in their shared love of Bess, their time together is better than Sam ever dared dream.
But there’s a reason Ryan never talks about his past. And when Ryan’s job is threatened, Sam’s well-meaning intervention puts both Ryan and Bess in deadly danger.
Warning: Contains train geekery, bed-hogging, a hero with no experience and another with plenty to spare, and a spider called Mabel.
Favorite Literary Couples
Thanks for having me here today! I’ve had so much fun compiling this list of my favourite literary couples; the downside is that it’s left me with a desperate need to re-read most of the books I’ve mentioned and not enough time to do so.
Alexander and Hephaistion (Fire From Heaven by Mary Renault).
“You are the first and the last,” and his voice might have been charged with ecstasy or intolerable grief.
I’m not sure how much of my love for these two is due to Renault’s portrayal and how much is down to their enduring love for one another as recorded by history, but I adore them.
Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane (Dorothy L Sayers). They’ve both been damaged by life and are wholly aware of the vulnerability that loving someone brings, but they finally find a wonderful joy and renewal in one another. I love the way their emotional connection deepens and grows while they test and vex each another, and all the time they’re one another’s intellectual foil. And the romance—oh, the romance.
“I have been facing one fact for some time,” said Harriet, staring out with unseeing eyes into the quad, “and that is, that if I once gave way to Peter, I should go up like straw.”
“That,” said Miss de Vine, drily, “is moderately obvious. How often has he used that weapon against you?”
“Never,” said Harriet, remembering the moments when he might have used it. “Never.”
Mary Challoner and Dominic Alistair, Marquis of Vidal (Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer). She’s so sensible and he’s so dramatic, and they’re better together than apart.
Esca and Marcus Flavius Aquila (The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff). Don’t tell me they’re not a romantic couple, not with Esca coming out with lines to Marcus such as: “It would have been easy to escape on my way here…But I chose to go with him, because it was in my heart that it might be you that we went to.”
Theirs is a complex situation as they’re both striving to find out who they really are, with all that made them torn away, yet the trust and love between them is frank and—somewhat ironically—unfettered. This was hands down my favourite book as a child.
Pongo and Missis (The Hundred and One Dalmatians). Watching them meet, fall in love, and then leave the comfort and safety of home to save puppies—what’s not to love? There’s even a hint of jealousy in the relationship courtesy of Perdita.
Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet—because it’s Mr Darcy and Lizzie. And because they challenge one another and learn about themselves and manage to change, all somehow without compromising their sense of self.
Marengo and Copenhagen, Napoleon’s and Wellington’s horses. A recent BBC series of radio plays, Warhorses of Letters, and the subsequent book, chart the world’s greatest gay, equine, military, epistolary romance. It’s an absolute hoot, complete with dirty talk, jealousy, misunderstandings and a sinister tall, bay horse in a mask.
Beatrice and Benedick (Much Ado About Nothing). Their trading of barbs is wonderful fun, and watching them finally get over themselves and open up to one another is all the more rewarding because of the defensiveness and hostility that went before.
Donald Strachey and Timothy Callahan (Donald Strachey Mysteries). I prefer the movie characterisations to those in the books, perhaps because I watched them before I read any of the books. The versions Chad Allen and Sebastian Spence play are wonderfully in love, yet still beset at times by self-doubt as well as all the normal concerns of life that can get in between people even without the obligatory life-or-death situations. There’s no doubt in my mind that theirs is a relationship that will go the distance no matter what.
Venetia and Damerel (Venetia, by Georgette Heyer). I’m not sure how another Georgette Heyer couple have squeaked in, but I do love these two together. They challenge one another, and bring out the best in each other. The growth of their friendship is deeply satisfying.
So who else shares my love for any of these couples? And who did I miss? I’d love to know!
Blowing Off Steam by Joy Lynn Fielding
“You’re kind of built for a nerd, aren’t you?” Ryan said. “I guess trainspotting’s a more active hobby than I’d thought.”
Sam should have walked away because this guy was insufferable. Except there was humour gleaming in those eyes as well as something else. Something that if he wasn’t entirely losing his mind was actual, sexual interest.
In him, Sam Chancellor.
“It’s all that running alongside the engines to get the numbers down,” he blurted out before he could stop himself.
To his amazement, Ryan laughed. A true laugh that caused his eyes to crinkle at the corners. It made him even more gorgeous than he already was.
“Ryan Saunders,” he said. “I drive old Bessie.”
“Bessie?” Sam was horrified at the heresy. “She’s Bess. She’s always been Bess.”
“Given I’m the one whose hands have been over every inch of her, I guess she’s allowing me intimacies the general public doesn’t get,” Ryan said.
The low seductive voice and the thought of Ryan’s hands stroking over him the way they did over Bess meant Sam was getting hard. He clutched his satchel in front of him like some sort of shield, except that wasn’t helping at all because it was pressed against his dick and, God above, he was about to get a hard-on, here and now, right in front of Ryan Saunders.
“You haven’t told me your name,” Ryan said.
“Sam,” he choked out. “Sam Chancellor, and I have to go.”
He put his head down and fled.
About the Author
Joy Lynn Fielding lives in a small English market town, where she indulges her passions for vintage aircraft, horse-riding and gardening (though not all at the same time).
Joy has a tendency to wax lyrical about the fascinating facts she discovers during her research for books. Thankfully she has a very patient Labrador who has a gift for looking interested in what she’s saying while he waits for the food to arrive.
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