Sunday, June 4, 2023

#SeriesTour...Don't Look Back in Anger...#Contemporary #MM #Romance


Two Tribes Series by Kristian Parker 

The mean streets of Manchester are the scene for a blood thirsty gang war. But with battle lines drawn, three heroes find themselves falling in love at the worst possible time.

The war for supremacy has begun. 

Book Title: Don’t Look Back In Anger

Author: Kristian Parker

Release Date: May 30, 2023

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope: Second chance love

Themes: Gangster, action

Length: 50 123 words

Heat Rating: 4 flames    

It is not a standalone book, but does not end on a cliffhanger.


Publisher  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 


Revenge is best served cold, yet old embers can burn hot.

Lorenzo de Luca has come back to Manchester with revenge on his mind.

Supposedly killed by evil gangster Jonny Wellingham’s hitmen fifteen years ago, Lorenzo has waited a long time for this. He has to stay focused. And he does…until a past lover comes back into his life.

But old embers can spark a flame and the couple pick up where they left off—but the war has only just begun, and everyone is fair game…and Lorenzo’s distraction gives Jonny the opportunity he needs to strike a deadly blow.

Torn between his burning need for vengeance and the scorching heat of love, which will Lorenzo sacrifice?

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, murder, organised crime, sex work, and drugs trafficking. There are also instances of homophobia.

Lorenzo de Luca turned off the motorway into the suburbs of South Manchester. Back in the day, he’d had a little bedsit around here. It had been fifteen years since he’d been here. Surely they hadn’t changed the roads, though.

A building that used to house a tailor’s and now held a vape shop told him he had the right street. As he drove up, his heart sank. The little row of terraced houses that had been converted into bedsits was long gone. A soulless red-brick block sat in its place with a ton of cars outside. He supposed this was progress.

To be fair, the bedsit had been pretty ropey. One of the windows never fully shut and the neighbour used to play music at all hours of the day and night. Lorenzo hadn’t cared. He had been in his twenties and loving that he had a place to call his own. But he wouldn’t be seen dead having a coffee in a place like that these days, never mind staying the night. He had come a long way since those days.

His old home hadn’t been his main destination anyway. He parked up and walked in the footsteps of his twenty-seven-year-old self.

Many a time, he, Jonny and Harry had staggered up this street after spending some of their ill-gotten gains in the bars nearby. They’d been untouchable in those days—Lorenzo and Harry had helped Jonny take control of Manchester’s criminal underworld. Everyone cowered when Jonny Wellingham’s Boys swaggered past—their reputation for swift justice had been earned tenfold.

Lorenzo crossed the road and soon found the path he wanted. It ran up a back alley of the next street. The red brick walls of the terraces hadn’t changed. Memories flooded into his mind like a tsunami.

At the end of the alley, he came to a big car park where he and the lads would set up shop every Wednesday. A regular community operation trading out of a clapped-out Volkswagen campervan. The police had never known a thing.

At the weekends, they’d only dealt in town. However, Jonny had soon realised that a lot of people liked to have their drugs before a night out. So, he would arrange for the van to be in this out-of-the-way spot and punters would come under cover of darkness to do their shopping. One man exclaimed they could only do better if they had a reward points system.

For a moment, Jonny had actually considered it.

A number of public pathways led off the car park. They followed a network of man-made waterways that had been dug to save the area from flooding. As a by-product, they had also created a thriving nature reserve. City dwellers, starved of green space, used them for cycling, jogging and dog walking.

The area had been gentrified since Lorenzo’s day. When he had been here, these walkways were the domain of alcoholics and working girls whose customers didn’t mind a bunk up against a tree. It was hilarious to him that the middle classes now brought their kids here to study wildlife.

Lorenzo hadn’t come here to see insects or birds today. He could remember running through the car park as though the devil himself were after him. Tracing his previous footsteps, knowing what had awaited him that night, sent chills across his skin.

There had been few times in his life when he had experienced real terror. That night, fifteen years ago, still haunted his nightmares.

He’d been watching television in his little flat when they’d burst through the door. Two of them had grabbed his arms while Frank, one of Jonny’s lads, had walked up to him.

Lorenzo and Frank had always got on well. The distress at why they had come to inflict pain on him burnt as hot today as it had then. That was before Lorenzo had learnt that true loyalty was a rare diamond, to be cherished when found.

“Wellingham doesn’t like your sort,” Frank had sneered, grabbing his face. “Shirt-lifters. Problem for you is, he can’t just sack you. That leaves only one way out, Lorenzo.”

A flash of metal told him all he needed to know about Frank’s intentions. Before he could aim, Lorenzo had broken free and leapt through the downstairs window.

The scars on his calves still told that story. His legs had been burning with pain as he’d run across the tarmac, desperate to get to the darkened paths. His thinking had been that he knew this area well. He hoped his attackers didn’t.

Retracing that fateful night, he followed the twists and turns. They seemed so innocent in the cold winter sunlight. He could still remember the taste of metallic dread in his mouth. In those days, Lorenzo had been fast. Yet his pursuers had fanned out so he didn’t know which way to turn. Voices sounding from every angle sent him into a whirlpool of fear and confusion.

He rounded a hawthorn bush and stopped in his tracks. The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. The little pool where my flight came to an end. The first bullet hit him like a juggernaut smashing into his shoulder. He’d lost his balance and fallen face down into the pool. The pain had seared through his body like hot knives. Instinctively, he reached up and touched where only a scar remained.

Two more bullets had hit him after that, one puncturing a lung. The other had narrowly missed any organs and gone straight through him. Doctors in his future would tell him how lucky he had been. Lying in that ice cold water, waiting to die, luck hadn’t felt very close to him.

He’d silently prayed to God to take him quickly, yet he hadn’t lost consciousness. Instead, he’d lain there, as still as possible, while his would-be assassins discussed if they’d killed him or not. Every second, he expected an insurance bullet to blow his brains out.

Then his hopes had soared when he’d thought they might be retreating. He’d barely been able to trust his ears as the sounds of his attackers faded.

Lorenzo crouched down and ran his hands through the water. The silt made it a dirty brown. He could imagine a time it would have been deep red with his blood.

Standing up, he filled his lungs with Manchester air. “I am back,” he said out loud.

Seeing the place he’d lain, terrified to even breathe, brought a resolve to him. His body had almost frozen as he lay there, waiting to be sure they had gone. Once he could take no more, he had crawled out of the pool, the blood loss and cold making him limp and unable to get up. Instead, Lorenzo had crawled to the car park. Eventually he had got to the main road and thankfully someone driving past had seen him.

They’d saved his life, and he had no idea who they were. He wished he did. They had gone before the paramedics arrived. He supposed they’d recognised him and wanted nothing more to do with it. He could understand that. A man with three gunshot wounds screamed danger. He’d been lucky they’d even dared make the emergency call.

Today he planned to be the one to make an anonymous call. Adrenaline coursed through his veins as he got out the piece of paper with a number written on it. He’d got it from his nephew’s friend. She’d thought he intended to use it to taunt Jonny. In a way he did, although he had a much more important outcome on his mind too.

With a shaking hand, he connected the call.

“Who is this?” came the voice that he hadn’t heard in decades yet still seemed so familiar to him. “This is a private number. How did you get it?”

“It’s a blast from your past,” Lorenzo replied.

“Tell me who you are.”

“Meet me at the location I message to you,” Lorenzo continued. “And all will be revealed. Come alone if you want me to show myself.”

He terminated the call. The fish was on the hook. Now he just had to reel it in.



Book Title: Fool’s Gold

Author: Kristian Parker

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Cover Artist: Erin Dameron-Hill

Release Date: March 14, 2023

Genre Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Forbidden love, opposites attract

Themes: Gangster, action 

Heat Rating: 4 flames    

Length:  52 069 words/233 pages

It is not a standalone book, but does not end on a cliffhanger


First for Romance  |  Amazon US  |   Amazon UK 


Liam Moseley has been living a lie ever since he joined Manchester’s notorious crime boss Jonny Wellingham ten years ago. Liam is gay, and that could get him killed in the deadly world he has fallen into.

When he meets handsome Italian Marco Ponti, Liam’s whole world is turned on its head. Marco is in town looking for business opportunities for his uncle in Rome, and makes Liam see his life in a brand-new light.

But all is not as it seems, especially when Marco shows Liam the past isn’t always as it appears and the future can change in the blink of an eye. In a dangerous world where each job could be Liam’s last, he finds himself fighting for love as well as survival.

Liam will have to put everything he holds dear on the line to make his dreams come true.

“So you’re Manchester born and bred?” Marco asked.

“Can’t you tell by the accent?” Liam replied.

Marco beamed. “I love the Manc accent. It’s so…expressive.”

“That’s the first time I’ve heard it called that before,” Liam said. “I’d rather have an Italian one.”

“You find it sexy?”

Marco’s eyes dared him to answer honestly. Something about this guy gave Liam confidence. No man had ever had this effect on him. “Yeah, I do,” he replied before glancing down.

“Why do you do that?” Marco asked, leaning forward, his elbows on the table.

“Do what?” he asked.

“Break eye contact every time you say something. Are you ashamed?”

Liam shifted uncomfortably. “No, it’s not that.”

“Tell me what it is, then?” Marco asked, his voice soothing and sincere.

“I guess I don’t think I have anything to say worth listening to,” he replied, eventually.

To his astonishment, Marco’s foot connected with his leg. The pressure told him it was absolutely on purpose.

“I respectfully disagree, Liam. I think I’d listen to you. Whatever you had to say.”

He had that burning sensation on his neck again. It had made him so paranoid at school.

“Sorry, I have made you blush,” Marco continued.

“Don’t worry about it. I always bloody blush. They called me Po at school because of it.”

Marco frowned. “What?”

“The red Teletubby?” Liam expected him to burst into that laughter again. Most people did when he confided this, but instead, Marco just shook his head.

“Kids can be so cruel. But who cares? They are in your past.”

“Yeah, they’re probably sweeping up shit in the hospital now. Serves them right.”

This time Marco did seem amused. “Said with true passion. I like it. So, what do you do, Liam?”

Here it came. The inevitable question. He could hardly say he was a lackey for one of the biggest gangsters in the northwest of England, so he reverted to his stock answer. “Oh, you know, bit of this, bit of that. How about you?”

“As I said, my uncle works in shipping. I’m over here seeing if there is any potential to expand to Manchester.”

Liam nodded. “The city is booming. You could do a lot worse.”

“That’s what I thought. I like what I see more and more.”

The look which followed that statement practically oozed with intent. This time, Liam forced himself to meet Marco’s gaze. “I’ve never been to Italy, but maybe I should,” he replied. “Rome seems pretty good from where I’m sitting.”

“Ah, you definitely should,” Marco said, leaning back. “It is beautiful. I’ve been the length and breadth of it with my job. I worked in Venice recently. Bellissima.”

Liam had seen pictures of the water world on television. “Better than the canals in Manchester. They’re just full of shopping trolleys and used condoms.”

Marco laughed again. It was so loud and carefree that Liam had to stop himself from looking around to see if anyone noticed. But he forced himself to relax and ended up giggling along with him. It had been so long since he’d done something like this.

“This is better,” Marco said.

“What is?”

“You are relaxing. You seemed very tense earlier,” Marco said. “I thought perhaps you’d changed your mind about me.”

“Oh, nothing like that,” Liam said hurriedly. “It’s just that I’m not out, you see. I don’t normally do this.”

Marco’s stunning eyes widened. “Who isn’t out these days?”

Shaking his head, Liam took a swig of his drink. “Me,” he said, placing the drink down. “In my line of work, it isn’t the done thing.”

A group of lads banged through the door. Liam frantically scanned each face but didn’t recognise any of them.

“Wow. I can’t imagine being in the closet. At my eighteenth birthday party, I came out. I figured if I had to enter adulthood, people should know what they were dealing with. Although I like to make a statement now and then. It keeps them on their toes.”

The lads were being quite rowdy. Even the barman appeared nervous.

“You’re very brave,” Liam said.

“Not really. My uncle is gay too, so it was a well-beaten path. No one in our family cares as long as you’re healthy and happy.”

“Sounds perfect.”

Marco chuckled, but Liam couldn’t relax. He watched the group of lads out of the corner of his eye. He could spot trouble a mile off, and these lads were desperate for it.

“We’re a long way from perfect, believe me,” Marco said. “But we get by.”

Liam drained his glass. “You want another?”

Marco shook his head. “There are a lot of things I’d like from you, Liam…but another drink is not one of them.”

The change in tempo took Liam by surprise. Heat crept over his face and he didn’t know what to say in return. He had never been any good at the whole game-playing thing. “Just nipping to the loo,” he managed before bolting for the door.


Book Title: Everything Changes

Author: Kristian Parker

Release Date: April 11, 2023

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope: Close proximity

Themes: Gangster, action

Heat Rating: 4 flames    

Length: 50 578 words

It is not a standalone book, but does not end on a cliffhanger


First for Romance  |  Amazon US  |   Amazon UK 


Fear can open doors we never dreamt possible.

Shaun Moseley is in a trap and it's all his brother, Liam' s fault.

Living a normal life running a B&B in Blackpool, he finds himself right in the middle of a gang turf war in Manchester. Shaun is an alien in this horrifying new world of drugs, guns and violence.

Shaun rebels against everyone, isolating himself in the process. But a terrifying experience opens his eyes to gang member Enzo Ponti. Shaun may be trapped for the time being, but that doesn’t mean he can't have a little fun along the way, right?

He dismissed Enzo as just another hired killer but when he scratches the surface, he finds much more there.

But evil gangster, Jonny Wellingham, wants revenge on the gang and has set his sights on Shaun. Can he live long enough to find just how deep Enzo' s waters are?

They stood side by side, watching some birds flocking over the reservoir.

“When I was in a yoga retreat in Kathmandu, they had all sorts of gay-coloured birds,” Shaun said. “All we have are shitty brown things.”

He kicked a stone.

“I’ve seen you doing your yoga,” Enzo said. “Did you learn it on your travels? You should come and do some weights with me and Giovanni. It would be far more beneficial than getting yourself into silly poses.”

“Have you been perving over me then?”

Enzo reddened. “It’s not a big house. You can’t help it.”

Shaun regretted his big mouth. Enzo had done something kind for him and he should make an effort not to shoot him down every time he tried to speak. They wandered a little farther down the path.

“It’s weird to think that my whole childhood was spent in that place,” Shaun said, nodding to Manchester in the distance. “Where did you grow up?”

“I grew up in Rome. Well, a little village about an hour out of the city. I was very lucky in a lot of ways, but…”

Shaun glanced at him. He found him difficult to read, but there was definite pain there.

“But what?”

“Being attracted to men was not part of that world. Not until Uncle Z came. He changed everyone’s view.”

Shaun whirled around. “You’re gay?” he asked in astonishment.

Enzo raised an eyebrow. “Is it so surprising? Marco. Uncle Z.”

“Bloody hell,” Shaun said. “My gaydar is way out of sync.”

“Perhaps if you’d spoken to me once in a while, you’d have had a better chance of figuring me out,” Enzo said.

His words weren’t spiteful but simply stating a fact. A fact Shaun couldn’t even begin to deny. Embarrassment burnt over his skin. He had been behaving obstructively since coming to the farm. Now he could see himself through Enzo’s eyes and he didn’t like it. “Have I been such a bitch?” he ventured.

Enzo glanced over at him and winked. Shaun had noticed that Enzo was handsome—it was impossible not to. But he hadn’t taken the time to see his dark brown eyes or the way they crinkled at the sides when he smiled. Whether it was the fact he’d just saved his life or something deeper, Shaun imagined staring into those eyes and losing himself.

“We should get back,” he said. “I need to finish tonight’s dinner. I know my place and I don’t fancy being shouted at by Marco for not doing it.”

“And there he goes,” Enzo muttered. “Back into his shell. You would find this whole experience a damned sight easier if you were a little nicer to those around you. We are not all villains, you know.”

Once again, a flash of rage blew through Shaun’s system. He didn’t want to be schooled in how to be a gangster. Not by anyone, no matter how deep their eyes were.

“Thank you for the advice on how to survive a fucking gang war that I want nothing to do with,” he snapped. “I was terrified today, Enzo. Do you understand what that means? I can’t just toe the line and chuckle while my brother or any of you go out there time and again. If I get to know you, like you, it just adds to my fears. I can’t do it. I won’t.”

He was babbling now, but his mouth couldn’t seem to stop. To his amazement, Enzo came over and wrapped his arms around him. Shaun fitted perfectly, his head nestling in the crook of Enzo’s neck.

Enzo’s strong arms instantly calmed him and the shivers he had been battling since he got in the car simply disappeared.

“I get terrified too,” Enzo said softly.

“How do you stand it?”

“I have no idea. You’re not the only one in the whirlpool, I suppose.”

Shaun looked up just as Enzo stared down at him. Their lips were almost touching, but then reality hit Shaun like a sledgehammer. Having an affair with a gangster had put his brother in the hospital. He had no intention of spinning that particular bottle.

He broke away, trying to ignore the hurt on Enzo’s face. “They’ll be missing us now,” he said, smoothing down his jacket.

About the Author . . . 

I have written for as long as I could write. In fact, before, when I would dictate to my auntie. I love to read, and I love to create worlds and characters.

I live in the English countryside. When I’m not writing, I like to get out there and think through the next scenario I’m going to throw my characters into.

Inspiration can be found anywhere, on a train, in a restaurant or in an office. I am always in search of the next character to find love in one of my stories. In a world of apps and online dating, it is important to remember love can be found when you least expect it.

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