Thursday, July 9, 2020

North Point by Thom Collins Release Blitz

Will an idyllic summer holiday lead Arnie to the love of his life, or the end of it?

It should be the start of a perfect vacation. After a period of stress, Arnie Walker takes his nine-year-old son AJ home for the holidays. Arnie grew up in Nyemouth, a picturesque fishing town on the North-East coast of England, and he wants AJ to experience the kind of carefree, endless summer he enjoyed as a boy. It’s a short-lived dream. While taking an evening walk along the North Point cliff, Arnie and AJ witness a murder attempt.

For the volunteer crew of Nyemouth Lifeboat Station, it’s a rescue mission like none before, Helmsman Dominic Melton is part of the team who rescue the victim from the deadly North Sea. When Arnie and Dominic come together in the aftermath of the attack, the attraction is instant. Arnie isn’t looking for a relationship. He’s committed to his son’s wellbeing and has no time for a distraction like Dominic, even though the handsome ex-naval officer is hard to dismiss. Is it possible for Arnie to full fill his promises to AJ while falling for Dominic?

Despite the distraction, a fledgling killer is at large. As feelings between Arnie and Dominic develop, so does the danger they are in. North Point may be a beautiful place to fall in love, but it could also be the most dangerous.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of murder, attempted murder and a father and son in peril. There is discussion of historical child neglect, scenes of stalking and some violence. There is reference to drug use and some homophobic language.

Book 1
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“The police are outside,” Dominic said. “They want statements from all of us.” He had large and very expressive brown eyes. Within them, Arnie saw flecks of amber and gold. With his dark hair and muscular build, Dominic looked every inch a hero.

No, Arnie corrected himself. This guy doesn’t look like a hero. He is a hero. The entire crew are. It was more than the way he looked. There was an aura about Dominic, an undefined energy that made him incredibly attractive. Arnie had worked with some exceptionally good-looking men in his career, bona fide Hollywood heartthrobs, and none of them had Dominic’s naturally sexy quality. Everything about him—his face, his hair, his build—appealed. He was a knockout.

Come on, Arnie thought, pulling himself up. You’ve just witnessed a horrendous crime. A woman is fighting for her life this very minute and you’ve taken a fancy to the local hot guy. Get a grip.

He dunked a biscuit into the tea and ate it. His father was right—the sugar seemed to have an instant effect and his senses became clearer.

“How rough were things out there?” Martin asked.

“The sea’s getting up,” Dominic answered. “The wind too. Another half hour and we might not have got in there. It wouldn’t have mattered if we did. The tide would have taken her by then. It doesn’t bear thinking about.”

“You’re amazing,” Arnie said, and meant it. Dominic and the crew of volunteers had risked their lives for the safety of a complete stranger. They might all have died trying to rescue her.

“I just drove the boat,” he said. “My colleagues— Joanne and Minty—they did the hard work. They transferred the woman from the rock to the boat and kept her stable the whole way back. That’s no easy job in those swells.”

“Does anyone know who she is?” Martin asked.

“Minty thought he recognized her from around town but couldn’t be sure. It’s for the police to find out now.”

“It’s hard to believe something like this could happen here in Nyemouth,” Martin said. “Something so cruel. Who do you think did it? An ex-boyfriend?” Martin and Dominic looked at Arnie expectantly.

“I’ve no idea,” he said at last, avoiding the intense scrutiny of Dominic’s eyes. “Whoever it was, they kept their face hidden. It could be anyone. And they came from behind. So, even if it was someone she knows, I doubt she’d have recognized them.”

“Bastard,” Dominic said. He had a slight accent Arnie couldn’t place. Northern. Maybe Yorkshire. Nothing definite. The accent of someone who moved around a lot, losing all but a trace of their regional twang. A bit like his own. It was hard not to look at him. He was stunning. That hair, the glossy sheen of his beard, the moody furrow between his eyebrows. Wow. Despite everything that had happened, Dominic aroused something in Arnie. It should have been the last thing on his mind, but Arnie couldn’t stop the desire he felt for him. He imagined holding him and kissing that mouth, thinking about the body beneath those clothes.

Stop it.

Arnie finished his tea. “I should speak to the police. The sooner they know who they’re looking for, the sooner they’ll find him.”

“Are you feeling better?” Martin asked.

“Much,” he assured his father. “Thanks to you.”

“Take care of yourself,” Dominic said. “I wish we’d met under better circumstances. Hopefully I’ll see you around some time.”

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Arnie is a film and TV start and has returned to his hometown with his nine-year-old son, AJ, to spend the holidays in his hometown with his extended family. Very early on in the story, Arnie and AJ witness a horrific attempted murder. The crime is so sudden and so simple I found it little confronting. In the aftermath of the crime Arnie meets Dominic, a volunteer at the local Lifeboat Station.

The attraction between Dominic and Arnie is strong right from the start but there is no rushing into things. There are glances and conversations and by the time they actually go out, the sexual tension has been ratcheted right up. I found their romance sexy and the anticipation exciting. It seems like the men met each other at exactly the right time in their lives and they are a perfect fit for each other.

The backdrop to this romance is a beautiful town but the danger is present as the perpetrator of the crime Arnie witnessed has still not been caught. I confess I briefly got caught up in the intoxicating courtship between Dominic and Arnie and I forgot about the danger, but it rears its head with a heat stopping climax.

I had an absolutely wonderful time reading North Point. My only criticism is that it wasn’t enough. I wanted more time with Arnie and Dominic being in love. I didn’t want to leave them. I’m hoping that the author gives us more of this couple in the future.

I really enjoyed this gentle story of the romance that builds between an actor and a lifeboat captain in a small seaside town.

Both Arnie and Dominic are wonderful characters. While Arnie is described as a well-known actor, the Arnie we see as readers is an introverted, devoted father. Dominic has layers to his identity that are slowly revealed as the novel plays out, but he feels like a worthy heroic lead from his first daring lifeboat rescue. The connection between the two men is instant but the relationship between them builds slowly. This is a relatively low heat, family-focused romance but I fell hard for both men and I became very invested in their relationship.

The setting is almost as special as Dominic and Arnie’s relationship. I love Arnie’s hometown, the quirky residents, and his close-knit family. The author captures the atmosphere of summer at the English seaside beautifully.

I feel like the murder mystery element of this story doesn’t quite fit the otherwise gentle small-town romance. While the characters and relationships in this book feel real and relatable, the murder mystery feels increasingly implausible and exaggerated as the story progresses. I don’t think this book actually needed the over-the-top drama this storyline offers – I was quite content with the quiet personal conflicts in Arnie and Dominic’s lives.

Thom Collins is the author of Closer by Morning, Gods of Vengeance, Silent Voices, and the Anthem Trilogy. His love of page turning thrillers began at an early age when his mother caught him reading the latest Jackie Collins book and confiscated it, sparking a life-long love of raunchy novels.

He is currently working on a new series.

Thom has lived in the North East of England his whole life. He grew up in Northumberland and now lives in County Durham with his husband and two cats. He loves all kinds of genre fiction, especially bonk-busters, thrillers, romance and horror. He is also a cookery book addict with far too many titles cluttering his shelves. When not writing he can be found in the kitchen trying out new recipes. He’s a keen traveler but with a fear of flying that gets worse with age, but in 2013 he realized cruising is the best way to see the world.

Check out his website for news updates and a free ebook The Night.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of North Point (Jagged Shores #1) by Thom Collins to read and review for this tour.

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