Romance Genre(s): Contemporary, Young Adult, LGBT
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Release Date: September 29, 2016
Add to Goodreads
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.
Warmth caresses my cheek. I sit up, blinking against the brilliant sunshine, and stretch experimentally. My headache has receded to a faint pulsing, and my stomach remains steady.
Zara glances over at me. “Feeling better?”
“Much.” Beyond the window, hills rise and fall like a pod of humpback whales against the sky, cattle dozing in the fields at their feet. “Where are we?”
“Devon. You’ve been asleep for hours.”
“Yup. Didn’t even stir when I stopped for petrol, which reminds me. I bought you something.” Zara indicates a carrier bag at my feet.
I bend to scoop it up. Inside is a bottle of water and a sandwich in a cardboard carton. It’s more than I deserve. I unscrew the cap and gulp half the water in one go. It’s lukewarm and tastes of plastic, but it’s a balm to my parched throat. Thirst quenched, I attack the sandwich. Egg and bacon. My favourite.
“Zara,” I say around a mouthful, “you’re the best.”
“You’re welcome.” She rests a hand on my thigh and gives it a gentle squeeze. “Sorry I was such a bitch.”
“You weren’t.” The corner of my mouth quirks in response to her raised eyebrow. “Well, maybe a bit, but it was my fault. I shouldn’t have drunk so much.”
“So you were out on the piss last night. I knew it.” She slaps my leg, but her eyes are amused.
We fall quiet, the earlier tension evaporated. I finish my sandwich, content to sit back and gaze at the view. Gradually, as we cross the border into Cornwall, the roads become narrower, the signs of civilization fewer and farther between. Towns give way to fishing villages surrounded by woodland and rolling fields. And then I get my first glimpse of the sea. The swell is visible even from this distance, rippling in the afternoon sun. My heart leaps in recognition.
“How long’s Theo been down here?” I ask a while later.
“A couple of months, since he finished uni for the summer.”
I try to imagine burying myself in the countryside for weeks on end, with only the waves and the occasional cow for company. The concept is too alien. Even in the holidays, when Mum’s working and I have the flat to myself, there’s a constant banging and creaking from the residents above and below me, the roar of traffic from the street outside. How might it feel to be really, truly alone?
Zara slows the car to manoeuvre a tight bend. “I think he just wanted to get away for a while. He’s been like that since the breakup, shutting himself away, refusing to talk about it. Don’t bring it up in front of him, will you?”
“What do you think I’m going to say? ‘Nice to meet you, Theo. By the way, sorry about your boyfriend.’”
“I’m serious, Luke. It really messed him up. He hasn’t even talked to me about it. Not yet.”
“Zara, I get it. It’s fine.”
All the same, with the countryside closing around us, the doubts set in. Perhaps Zara’s made a mistake bringing me. If Theo’s as cut-up as she says, he might not be in the mood for company, especially that of some guy he’s never met.
A quarter of an hour later, Zara swings through a gate set in the hedge and onto a gravel driveway. “We’re here.”
I’m allowed only a fleeting glimpse of the cottage before she veers into the garage, its entrance standing open in readiness. She parks beside the only other car, a silver Golf, its scratched body a marked contrast to the Mini’s gleaming paintwork.
Zara kills the engine. Silence descends, a silence more profound than any I’ve ever known. It presses in on my eardrums, a physical force. But for the fact that I can hear myself breathing, I would’ve sworn I’ve gone deaf.
“Well, come on.” Zara reaches for the door handle, her eyes alight. “Come and meet Theo.”
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
To 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.
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
Exclusive Excerpt at The Bookworm Lodge
Exclusive Excerpt at Books, Dreams, Life
Author Interview with Love Bytes Reviews
Guest Post at Boys on the Brink