Title: Caught Inside
Series: A Boys on the Brink Novel
Author: Jamie Deacon
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Release Date: September 29, 2016
Romance Genre(s): Contemporary, Young Adult, LGBT
About the Book
Luke believes he has his life figured out…and then he meets Theo. It should have been simple—a summer spent with his girlfriend Zara at her family’s holiday cottage in Cornwall. Seventeen-year-old Luke Savage jumps at the chance, envisioning endless hours of sunbathing on the private beach and riding the waves on his beloved surfboard. He isn’t interested in love. Though his rugged good looks and lazy charm mean he can have his pick of girls, he has no intention of falling for anyone. Nothing prepares Luke for his reaction to Theo, the sensitive Oxford undergraduate who is Zara’s cousin and closest friend. All at once, he is plunged along a path of desire and discovery that has him questioning everything he thought he knew about himself. No one, especially Zara, must find out; what he and Theo have is too new, too fragile. But as the deceit spirals beyond their control, people are bound to get hurt, Luke most of all. Caught Inside was named a finalist in the 29th Annual Lambda Literary Awards for Best Gay Romance, the 5th Annual Bisexual Book Awards for Best Young Adult Novel, and the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Best LGBT Fiction.
After breakfast, we head down to the beach armed with towels and books, Theo lugging a coolbox packed with a hastily prepared lunch. Even hampered by the awkward weight of my board, I stride ahead through the woods, shorty wetsuit hugging my skin, impatient to be out on the water.
“For heaven’s sake, Luke, the sea isn’t going anywhere.” Zara pants from the effort of keeping up with me.
I take no notice, and a moment later step from the shade of the trees. Late morning sunlight sparkles off the surface of the water, turning it a dazzling blue-gray. The breeze, stronger here on the seafront, messes with my hair and whips sand into my face. Zara and Theo join me and we walk along the beach until the ground to our left begins to slope upwards, the trees thinning and giving way to rocky boulders.
Theo points to the distant cliff top, etched dark and rugged against the sky. “There’s a path that takes you all the way up. We’ll show you some time. It’s a bit of a trek, but the view’s incredible.”
We set up camp in the shelter of the cliff wall. While Zara and Theo spread out their towels, I deposit my board bag and unzip it. As I slide my prize possession onto the sand, a low whistle makes me look up.
"Wow.” Theo runs an admiring gaze over my board. “Decent bit of kit you have there."
The grin I flash him is one of pride, as if the compliment were directed at me. I stroke a hand over the board's newly-waxed surface. With its diamond tail and step-down tail rail, The Firewire Spitfire has the thrust of a much thinner board, but without compromising on speed or flotation. In short, it's six feet of utter perfection.
“Luke, would you do my back for me?” Zara, stripped down to her bikini, holds out a bottle of suncream.
Theo reads my hesitation and takes it from her. “Here, I’ll do it. Go on, Luke, I can see you’re dying to be off.”
“You sure?” I cast Zara a doubtful look. “Do you mind?”
She waves me off. “Go on. I’m sure I’ll get over it eventually.”
I don’t wait for her to change her mind. After securing the leash that connects my ankle to my board, I hoist the Spitfire over my head and race for the shore. The first slap of surf against my shins sends goosebumps prickling up my legs and sets my pulse buzzing like nothing else can. I wade out until the water is waist high, then stretch out on my board to paddle. The sea is like a living creature underneath me, its back rising and falling as it moves. I duck through an oncoming wave, and for an instant my vision becomes shimmering and opaque. Salt stings my eyes, filling my senses with the smell of the ocean.
Once I feel the swell rolling in from behind me, I stop and guide my board around. Already the beach is a long way off. I can just make out Theo, who has walked to the water’s edge to watch me. In that case, I’d better give him something worth watching.
"The hardest lesson to master as a surfer,” Dean's dad told me all those summers ago, “is learning to catch the wave. Stand too early and you lose your footing. Move too late and you risk missing it altogether."
In fact, once I found my balance, I picked it up quicker than he expected. I was a natural, or so he was fond of claiming. Certainly, from those earliest days on a board, I felt in tune with the sea, able to read the pull of the current, the eddy and flow of water beneath me.
"It's like learning a new language,” I once tried to explain to Dean, “completely indecipherable at first, but once you understand it, everything makes sense."
And now, seven years after losing my surfing virginity, here I am with the best surfboard I've ever ridden, the only one I've actually owned, and with what may as well be the entire Atlantic to myself. I crouch, every muscle tensed, awaiting the perfect moment. My timing is spot on. Just as the wave begins to break beneath me, I explode to my feet. And then I’m flying, moving with the Spitfire as though it’s an extension of my body, spray lashing my face, the wind whipping the hair back from my forehead.
Nothing else comes close to this feeling. Nothing. Only out on a board do I experience such a rush of pure exhilaration or feel so at peace. For those few seconds, it's as though the world stands still. The present wipes my mind clean of everything, every thought, every emotion. Nothing matters save for the wave and the sensation of being wholly at one with nature.
About Jamie Deacon
Jamie lives in a tranquil spot close to the River Thames in Berkshire, England, and has always been just a little out of place—the only redhead in a family of brunettes; an introvert far more at ease with dogs than with people; a connoisseur of simple pleasures in a society intent on the quest for wealth and fame. Despite an outward cynicism, Jamie is a romantic at heart, and, when not immersed in a book, can mostly be found writing emotional stories where young men from all walks of life are thrust headlong into the breathless, euphoric, often painful whirlwind called love.
Connect with Jamie
GiveawayTo celebrate the first anniversary of the release of Caught Inside, Jamie is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. For your chance to win, simply enter via the Rafflecopter below. The contest closes at midnight EST on October 13, 2017, and is open to entrants worldwide. Good luck! Enter here.
Tour StopsSeptember 25
Guest Post at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Author Interview with A.M. Leibowitz
Exclusive Excerpt at Shh, I Am Reading
Exclusive Excerpt at Outrageous Heroes of Romance
Author Interview with Drops of Ink
Guest Post at Stories that Make You Smile
Exclusive Excerpt at Abibliophobia Anonymous
Character Interview with Liz's Reading Life
Exclusive Excerpt at Loves Great Reads
Character Interview with My Fiction Nook
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Author Interview with Love Bytes Reviews
Guest Post at Boys on the Brink