Thanks so much, Nell, for having me as your guest again! I’m Ellie and I write MM Historical Romance novellas. I’m popping in today to chat about my new story May Wedding, released on May 6th and currently in the 20% off new release sale at JMS Books until May 12th.
May Wedding is the sixth book in my Regency romp Twelve Letters series about a small group of men who have become established couples during the series. Book 5, The Misfit, was a spin-off introducing a new couple Luc and Harry. But in May Wedding, we’re back to the usual suspects of my ensemble cast of Jo Everett, Daniel Walters, Ben Harding, Edward Stephens, Nathan Brooks and Percy Havilland.
The main points of view are from Jo Everett and everyone’s favourite Regency himbo, Percy Havilland. I have to say that I find these two such a joy to write about. Easy-going, sweet-natured Jo seems to live in my head and is one of those characters I know instinctively inside out. I can tell how he’ll react in almost any situation.
Percy, on the other hand, simply has to be the centre of attention, and he frequently barges into my mind to take centre stage. I’m at the point where I just roll my eyes and go with the flow, and wonder where Nathan gets his reserves of patience.
In this story, Percy is micro-managing the grand society wedding of his darling sister. Percy as Bridezilla was too tempting to resist. In Regency times, participants tended to wear their best clothes for weddings rather than a specific wedding dress or suit. But that’s not good enough for Percy. Naturally, he oversees his sister’s wedding gown and has a little something made up for himself by Daniel, the ensemble’s resident tailor.
While organising the wedding, Percy is at his most Percy-esque. Much of this frantic activity is to conceal his anxiety at losing one of his sisters from under his roof and protection. It’s poor Nathan, as usual, who gets the brunt of his nerves.
Percy is always such fun to contrast with Jo. In book 1 of the series Twelve Letters, these two were briefly an unlikely couple. Jo was infatuated with Percy’s blond beauty while Percy took outrageous advantage of Jo’s good nature. Three years later, they are settled with much more suitable partners and are solidly good friends, especially as Percy has gradually learned to appreciate other people.
As a wedding guest, Jo is wistful that he can’t enjoy a similar ceremony with his beloved. With Daniel’s input, they find a way. Naturally, with all that recent wedding planning under his belt, Percy is roped in to help.
Although willing to lend a hand, neither Percy nor his partner Nathan comprehends Jo and Daniel’s need to have their special celebration. After all, even now, not every couple chooses that option. So it was lovely to put those human nuances in my wedding story.
Some of the gentlemen who meet weekly for supper at The Golden Lion in London’s St. James’ are preoccupied with the prospect of matrimony.
The Honourable Percy Havilland is at full organisational pelt for his sister’s triumphant society marriage, ably backed by his friends. His frequent stress-induced outbursts are endured by his ever-patient lover, Nathan.
Percy has mixed feelings about the upcoming nuptials, the sorrow at losing one of his precious sisters balanced by the opportunity of exhibiting his exquisite good taste to make this the wedding of the Season.
His friend Jo Everett reacts differently to the wedding, desiring an equivalent opportunity to mark his enduring love for Daniel Walters.
Will Percy manage to survive the wedding without falling out irreparably with Nathan? And might Jo and Daniel discover they have the support of their close circle to celebrate their own special day?
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Nathan, more than anyone, comprehended how much Percy agonised over relinquishing his sister. Partly because Percy no longer practiced caution with Nathan where his feelings were concerned. But also because his lover bore the brunt of Percy’s feverish exertions for the wedding.
Percy recalled when they were in Nathan’s private sitting room in his great house off Leicester Square, during a rare hour together before Percy returned to Little Chelsea to accompany his sisters to an evening’s revels. Nathan sat in his favourite Chesterfield armchair while Percy paced before him in a manner that Nathan remarked reminded him of a caged tiger.
When holding forth at great length on selecting the exact shade of soft pink for the bridesmaids’ dresses, Percy started to argue with Nathan, despite the gentleman’s indifference to whether the ladies should wear muslin or sackcloth.
Instead of justifiably losing his temper with Percy in this wildly unreasonable mood, Nathan said, “Come here,” and patted his thighs encouragingly. After a brief hesitation, while formulating a heated debate between the virtues of a bright peach hue or a subtle shade of apricot, Percy rather sulkily sat on Nathan’s lap, holding himself stiffly.
“That’s better,” Nathan said, pulling him close. All Percy’s nervous tension started to dissolve as he breathed in Nathan’s familiar Bay Rum cologne, listened to the steady rhythm of his breath, and felt the warmth and strength of his body that Percy relied on and frequently enjoyed.
“Whatever you choose,” Nathan opined, “will be perfect, not only in tribute to your excellent taste but because of your insurmountable care.”
At this disarming statement, rather than bristling, Percy found himself weeping copiously on Nathan’s broad shoulder while his paramour patiently stroked his back and kissed his neck between reassuring endearments.
Needless to say, that had not been the only circumstance when Percy had relieved his raw nerves on Nathan. The degree of toleration Nathan exhibited on account of Percy’s mental and emotional strain in the run-up to the wedding had resulted in far fewer spats than was their habit.
On the odd stolen night in Nathan’s bed during the Season, Percy lay wrapped in his strong arms, momentarily soothed and protected from all his fears, demands, and struggles. He didn’t know how he would have survived the headlong months of Araminta’s betrothal without Nathan’s support and even managed to admit that once or twice.
With a rush of affection and gratitude, Percy raised a grin and his glass in a private toast. Nathan’s frown disappeared, replaced by an answering smile as he emulated the gesture. Percy presumed that when the last slice of cake was consumed, and they all gathered on the front steps of the house to wave off the bride and bridegroom, he would feel a discreet touch on his shoulder, or a hand briefly grasping his waist, Nathan’s way of showing solidarity.
Naturally, after the splendid formality of the Seymours’ hospitality, Percy’s wider family and even a few friends might convene at Little Chelsea for a dish of tea or something stronger to discuss the joyous event. But after Simeon and Cordelia departed to collect Harriet and bestow a similar rehash of events with a new audience in Emma, Percy idly wondered if he could excuse himself for the afternoon and decamp to Leicester Square.
He had caught that brief heated flash of interest when Nathan first laid eyes on Percy in church, delectable in tight-fitting dove grey. It seemed only fair to allow Nathan to appreciate Percy’s new clothing behind closed doors and slowly remove every layer. After being such a faithful knight during the wedding campaign, tolerating the worst of Percy’s barbs and inconsistencies, Nathan deserved a leisurely reward.
Also, losing himself in the intense, deliberate, and mind-numbing loving that only Nathan could give, Percy could glory in the achievement of the nuptials without dwelling too much on the lack of Araminta at home.
Anticipating such a sweet release, Percy put his glass on the table and ran an elegant middle finger around the rim before dipping it in the fizzing liquid. As he raised the digit to his lips, he looked directly at Nathan, allowing the promise of a flash of tongue as he delicately sucked on his fingertip.
Nathan adroitly responded to a remark from his near neighbour, only a faint flush of colour on his cheekbones betraying his response to Percy’s teasing. I’ll pay for that later, Percy thought with a pleasurable squirm.
Ellie Thomas lives by the sea. She comes from a teaching background and goes for long seaside walks where she daydreams about history. She is a voracious reader especially about anything historical. She mainly writes historical gay romance.
Ellie also writes historical erotic romance as L. E. Thomas.
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