Publisher: Carnation Books
Cover Design: J.R. Lawrie
Length: 140,000 words approx.
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The heart of Alastair Harding's life is his duty. Becoming the first gay chief of the Metropolitan police has required certain sacrifices, but Alastair made them willingly. If his life now lacks human connections, he can't exactly complain—and it's a little too late for regrets.
Jay Fieldhouse knows all about sacrifice, too. Brought to London for his own safety by witness protection, Jay's grassroots charity works day and night to save vulnerable kids from a life of crime. But getting close to other people is tough when no one really knows who you are.
When he meets Alastair one night at a charity event, Jay is intrigued by his glimpse of a gentle soul beneath the commissioner's uniform. The two men decide to run their lonely paths side by side for a while—after all, life is short and good sex is hard to come by.
Then the shadows of the past begin to stir, and the words which go unsaid might be Jay and Alastair's undoing.
The Sheltering Tree is J.R. Lawrie's first full length novel, following her debut anthology, Let Your Heart Be Light.
5 out of 5 (exceptional)
THE SHELTERING TREE is an amazing story of two opposites who start their relationship as friends with benefits, before it moves on to become more. With danger, excitement, and plenty of steam, this was a story I didn't want to end!
I loved how they were both older. Don't get me wrong, I like reading about the "young 'uns" 🤣 but I do like a more mature man too. And Alistair was supposed to be an almost silver fox, so count me in! And they both had a history - with past loves and lives the other didn't know about. This made them getting to know each other all the more delicious.
I thought the way I was led in one direction, only to be turned completely around, made this an engrossing read, one that kept me turning the pages. There really is something for everyone here. Mystery, suspense, love, friendship, you name it.
And the best part is I can't differentiate between the main characters as to which one is my favourite! They are both outstanding in their own ways. And they are surrounded by an amazing supporting cast, including Connor and Juliet. Throw in the gorgeous setting of Cliveden and you have a romance to burn your kindle.
This is a good-sized novel, but it still ended too soon for me. I was lost in their world, and their relationship. I want more! And yet, I'm so happy with what I got. I adored them both.
The pacing was perfect and the style of writing was smooth. I find it hard to believe this is the author first full-length novel! What I do know is I will be keeping an eye out in future for more books from her. This is definitely one to keep and re-read! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by me!
** same worded review will appear elsewhere **
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
J. R. Lawrie graduated from the University of Leeds in 2011 and now lives in York, UK, writing LGBTQ fiction.
LET YOUR HEART BE LIGHT, J.R.'s debut anthology, was published by Carnation Books in 2019, followed by THE SHELTERING TREE in April 2021.
For more updates, you can follow J.R. on Twitter: @jrlawrieauthor