Last year, I was involved in an M/M military boxed set called Unconditional Surrender. It did really well for the few months it was out, had great reviews and even won a Member’s Choice award over at Goodreads. I got involved in the boxed set because I like writing M/M, and I’m an absolute sucker for a military story. It turned out to be one of the most complex military stories I’ve written, because it was based in an active war zone. I’ve never been to one, and don’t intend to—but this, naturally, meant an awful lot of research was involved. Fortunately, I have an ex-army buddy who helped me out tons.
The result of the research was my novella, Desert Heat. I very much enjoyed writing it, and when it the boxed set went out of print, I put it out as a standalone book, and didn’t really think any more about it.
Until I started getting emails, and reviews, and social media messages. A lot of people had read the book as part of the boxed set, but I was delighted that even as a standalone title, I was still gaining more readers. As a standalone, the book had apparently made more impact—and these emails, reviews and social media messages were asking for a follow up. I couldn’t believe it—my characters and story had resonated with people to the extent that they were taking the time to send me messages asking for more.
So, always eager to please, I started planning. I’d never thought I’d write about the characters again, so I went back and re-read Desert Heat to refresh my memory and ensure consistency, then I started thinking about what should happen next. I decided a big jump forward, time-wise, was the best course of action, so I brought them over to England, where Rustam Balkhi would continue his medical degree, and Hugh Wilkes would return to his more usual army life—i.e. not currently deployed.
But then... what would actually happen? Could I write an interesting follow up, considering the first book was in a volatile environment with lots of angst, sneaking around and illicit sex? Fortunately, I found I could. I don’t want to say too much and give the game away, but let’s just say Native Tongue, though it’s got an utterly different setting to the first book, still has plenty of hurdles for the characters to leap, some angst, some drama... but of course there’s still smokin’ hot sex. Hotter, in a way, than the first book, I think.
For saying I never expected to write about these boys again, I found I really enjoyed the process—getting to know them again, expanding them, developing their relationship. It genuinely was a joy, and I was actually kind of sad to say goodbye to them at the end of Native Tongue, which is also novella-length, but about 10k longer than the first book.
I was nervous about what readers would think, given how much they’d anticipated the follow up, but thankfully, it had great feedback from my beta readers, and so far reviews have been favourable. It’s sold really well, with the standalone version and the book bundle I did with both books charting on Amazon, so a big sigh of relief and lots of happy dancing from me ;)
So, I’ll end with a word of thanks to those of you that took the time to encourage me to write a follow up story for the boys. I’m very fond of them, and am very pleased that you are too.
When the door had been closed behind them, there were a couple more seconds where they didn’t speak. Wilkes took the opportunity to put his bag down, then turned to Balkhi.
“Hi,” he said, taking a step closer.
“Thank fuck you live alone.” At that, Wilkes fully closed the gap between them, put his hands on Balkhi’s shoulders and pushed him roughly against the door.
Letting out a squeak of surprise, Balkhi’s eyes widened.
Wilkes didn’t stop to look into them. Instead, he moulded his body against his lover’s, cupped his face and moved in for a kiss. The first kiss, the first physical contact of any kind that they’d had in weeks, and it was obvious how much they both needed it. Balkhi’s mouth opened immediately to admit Wilkes’ tongue, and he wallowed in all the emotions coursing through him; lust, need, relief... Delicious sensations followed; the scratch of Balkhi’s goatee against Wilkes’ clean-shaven face, the heat of Balkhi’s mouth, the swirl and thrust of his tongue, the press of his erection against Wilkes’ own.
Fucking hell, I’ve missed this.
It occurred to him that really, he hadn’t missed it per se, because the two of them had never had it quite like this before. Always, without exception, they’d been worried about being discovered. They’d never had true privacy, never had the luxury of being together without looking over their shoulders, or at the very least, being conscious of making too much noise. God, this was almost going to be like their first time all over again. They’d be able to let go completely. Wilkes had a feeling it was going to be utterly mind-blowing.
Despite this, he was determined not to rush things. Yes, he wanted nothing more than for the two of them to get naked and horizontal, then hot and sweaty, but he also wanted for them to take their time. To tease, to torment, to explore each other’s bodies in minute detail. Technically, they’d been having sex for months, but certainly not as frequently as they’d have liked, and the vast majority of the times they’d been together had been snatched, rushed moments. This time, it would be different.
Enjoying their smouldering kiss for a little while longer, Wilkes basked in the anticipation of what was to come. His cock felt fit to burst, but he tried to put it out of his mind. They had two whole days to enjoy each other—that was lots and lots of hours, though it would never be enough. He’d brought plenty of condoms and lube with him, too.
The possibilities were endless. He grinned against Balkhi’s mouth.
Balkhi pulled away, a quizzical expression on his face. “What are you smiling at, Hugh?”
Raising his eyebrows, Wilkes replied, “You really have to ask? I’m here, you’re here. More importantly, no one else is here. We’re together, we have privacy for the first time ever, and I’ve really fucking missed you! Really really missed you.” That last part was growled more than spoken, and Wilkes was gratified when Balkhi gulped, then gave a shy smile.
“I have missed you, too. It seems like such a long time since we last saw each other.”
They may be back on British soil, but the battle isn’t over.
When Captain Hugh Wilkes fell for his Afghan interpreter, Rustam Balkhi, he always knew things would never be easy. After months of complete secrecy, their return to England should have spelt an end to the sneaking around and the insane risks. But it seems there are many obstacles for them to overcome before they can truly be happy together. Can they get past those obstacles, or is this one battle too many for their fledgling relationship?
**For those of you that haven’t yet read Desert Heat (which is recommended before picking up this book), there’s a great value two book bundle available exclusively on Amazon, and is in the Kindle Unlimited programme: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/desert-heat-native-tongue/ **
Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over 100 publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women's Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house. She owns Erotica For All, is book editor for Cliterati, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9