Title ~ Foolish Me (Light In Your Eyes #2)
Author ~ Tinnean
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 24th April 2014
The Light in your Eyes: Book Two
A Spy vs Spook Novel
Giving up a life as rent boy Sweetcheeks for his lover, William Matheson, was an easy decision for Theo Bascopolis. But years of selling his body and the lingering pain from being thrown out by his father leave Theo worried that Wills, who’s always had his family’s acceptance, can’t truly love him. Life has taught him love isn’t for rent boys, and he’s having a hard time tearing down the walls he built around his emotions and trusting that Wills sees beyond his past.
Despite Will’s reassurances, he leaves for an extended assignment with no contact, giving Theo too much time to think about the future. A message arrives, and as far as Theo is concerned, it proves him right. Maybe it’s too late to protect his heart, but he’s not going to hang around waiting for Matheson to stomp all over it. Theo runs, breaking all ties to his former lover.
When Wills returns to an empty apartment and no sign of his lover, he wonders whether Theo really wants to be found and if they are meant to be together after all. But they’ve been through too much, and Wills always gets his man.
I fell in love with Tinneans books and writing style when I was recommended her Spy Vs Spooks series by a friend, and that was when I first met rent boy 'Sweetcheeks' Bascopolis, now known as Theo after leaving the profession when he fell in love with Spook operative Wills Matheson. Both of them have pretty meaty roles in that series to start with but I've no trouble understanding why they ended up getting their own story told in a couple of spin off books because they're such interesting, likeable characters in their own right. Which I think you'll understand if, having read the original series, you're already a fan of the irrepressible hot head, Mark Vincent and his cool collected Ice Man, Quinton Mann.
I was very lucky to have read Theo and Wills story when it was a fantastic full length, free online novel called 'The Light In Your Eyes' and I remember saying in my review of it, that if Tinnean ever chose to release it as a novel for sale, I'd be more than happy to put my hand in my pocket so I could have it on my kindle permanently. Then my dream came true and 'Pick Up The Pieces' was released, all newly tightened up and shiny and I didn't hesitate to go buy it. Next came 'Foolish Me' and I was a happy bunny knowing that I now had the whole of Theo and Wills story happily tucked into my Tinnean Kindle shelf, with all my other T books, where they belonged!
Whereas Mark and Quinns story is more action packed excitement and hot sexy fun, Theo and Wills is still hot and sexy but it's really all about the emotion, romance and love that these two share. Its a surprisingly angst free read when you look back at it all, except for one biggish misunderstanding that causes a bit of a rift in their now more established relationship, but what I loved is that it wasn't drawn out into a long winded, overblown kitchen sink drama that had me wanting to chuck my kindle in exasperation. That doesn't mean to say there aren't more moments of conflict in their lives and journey together. There are still lots of instances that are emotionally charged. Theo's history and start in life for instance is full of poignancy and Will has his own background hang ups but they're such an amazing fit together that whatever friction does come their way, the love they share overcomes it and the story moves on at just the right pace.
The main premise in this part of their life together is Theo's insecurities about how Will really feels about his past life as a male prostitute and what makes it worse is the fact that because of the official secrets act Will can't tell Theo what he really does for a living. Theo thinks he's a crack, computer troubleshooter (which he actually is but its only a part of his role as an agent) and that's why he's always being sent away on these long distance jobs. Even though Theo accepts it without too much questioning (although he's still not quite sure why his boyfriend carries a gun?) it's always in the back of his mind that one day Will will suddenly see the light, get tired of him and leave. Plus he's heading towards his thirties which for an ex rent boy is like the kiss of death! How can Will still find him attractive when there's the odd grey hair on the horizon...WE know that he has no worries there—and Will tells him often enough but those little niggles still persist.
Never a truer word spoken!
These are fully fleshed out, three dimensional characters who make you want to read about them and I can't see anyone not falling hard for them both. They're just so lovely together, yet it never feels sickly sweet or tooth achingly cloying. They just simply care so much for each other that you see it in even the simplest every day things they do together. Will is an absolute sweetheart. The juxtaposition of the tough, focused, "don't mess with me because I'm dangerous" Spook and the sweet, caring, totally love struck guy who cherishes his lover is a clever contrast and its adorable how romantic he is outside of his career. Theo has a touch of the enigma about him, but then again he's one of those endearingly complex characters who gets under your skin with his odd little anxieties and uncalled for self doubts which seem slightly out of place against the side of him that's strong willed, self reliant; the little fighter who's survived a rotten start in life that would probably have floored most people. So he's a bit of a contradiction our Theo. As well as filling you with admiration for being so resilient, he still has that air of vulnerability about him that makes you want to just grab hold of him and squeeze the beejaysus out of him.
Then there's the gifts they give each other, ranging from a fireplace...yes I said fireplace, LOL...to the sweetest little ball of fluff. Tiramisu. Or Miss Su as she's more commonly called. Who doesn't love a kitten! But once again non of this is overly cute or too sugary and it's a testament to Tinneans writing skills that she manages to pull back on that aspect of the story. What she does really well are the sexual encounters between her guys. You get some pretty steamy scenes thrown in that cut through any overload of sweetness that could have been teetering and added that yummy heat level that we all love in our m/m. And I also love that its Theo who mainly dominates in the bedroom, although Wills has his moments too. There are some real sizzling scenes that are guaranteed to get your blood pressure rising and your heart pumping, but again they come at the right times and never overshadow the book.
What happens when and after Theo finds out the truth about Wills career is something you will enjoy reading yourselves when you pick up the book, but its no secret that they get their HEA. That's never in doubt, it's just a lovely journey going there with them and one I've loved each time I've read it.
If you've read the Spy V Spook series then you'll realise that the timelines in both series run concurrent so its fun recognising the key moments that happen in both but of course in this spin off series they're all seen from Theo's point of view, which just mixes it up a bit. Its a plot trick I personally enjoy and its a bit of a signature Tinnean move. You see it in a more intense way in Mark and Quinns adventures...BTW, did I say how great they are? I didn't? Well they are, so go seek them out. Start with 'Houseboat On The Nile' and watch a really sexy game of cat and mouse play out ...and get to see Theo and Will through a different pair of eyes. Honestly, these guys are like book crack...once you've read one.. ADDICTION!!! I just hope Theo and Will keep talking to Tinnean because if they do we might get treated to more of their escapades.
A word from Tinnean
How a walk-on role turned into two books.
Back in the day, I wrote a birthday story for a friend. It was just supposed to be the one story, no sex, and that’s become quite a joke between us, since that first story led to a second, a third, a… Well, you get the picture. By the time I was finished, there were nineteen stories in the Mind Fuck series.
When I decided to post Mind Fuck to a couple of online archives, I expanded it, and it morphed into Mann of My Dreams. And when I decided to try to publish it, I expanded it again and it became Spy vs. Spook. Now, the three additional books have returned once more to Mann of My Dreams, and Quinn is writing a book called Mind Fuck. ;-)
Theo Bascopolis first put in an appearance as a nameless rent boy who lived in the same building as Clark Palmer, who eventually became Mark Vincent, but that’s another story.
As frequently happens with my secondary characters, he took on a life of his own, and as his relationship with William Matheson developed, more and more of his background was revealed. He became a redheaded Greek boy who came from Tarpon Springs. (The last name comes from the movie, Mr. Lucky, which had a character named Joe Bascopolous.)
With the first nineteen stories done, the series was complete. But wait! Other secondary characters had more to say, and so a second series, called Soundbytes, (and later Sidebars) came into being. One of those stories was Goodbye To Love, Matheson’s POV of what happened when he returned home after four weeks away. Having written that, it was only fair that Theo had his say.
OMG, was the boy chatty! What was supposed to be a short, maybe 10k story, kept going and going until The Light in Your Eyes clocked in at almost 148k. He talked about his father throwing him out because Theo was gay. He described his attraction to Franky, who renamed him Sweetcheeks. That attraction gradually changed to fear as the chicken hawk’s true personality was revealed. He told of his life with the rent boys in DC, and eventually his meeting with Wills, which became so much more than he’d ever expected for himself. By the time I wrote The End, he seemed to be talked out, and so the rest of the stories were from Wills’s POV.
Except for P.S. I Love You. Yep, Theo, having been silent for so long, piped up again, bookending the story of the disaster that was Mother’s Day, Wills’s dad learning his son had taken down an undercover cop, the wedding, and its delightful aftermath. (No, not the honeymoon night! Geez!)
I’d never thought I could publish Light, in large part due to the underage sex with a man twice Sweetcheeks’s age. However, Dreamspinner was willing to take a look at it, and agreed to publish it as long as the sex wasn’t on the page. (Those first two uncensored chapters are up on my site if anyone wants to know what happened to Sweets.) So I split Light into two books and submitted them.
Did I mention how chatty Theo can be? Pick Up the Pieces, named for a line from “Light in Your Eyes” by Blessid Union of Souls, wound up at 96k, while Foolish Me, which takes its name from the song “Foolish Me” by the Harptones, came in at 118k.
Our boy went from a non-speaking role to a becoming a major player in the world of Mark Vincent.
And he’s going to be a damn fine dad.
Light in Your Eyes:
About the Author
Tinnean has been writing since the third grade, where she was inspired to try her hand at epic poetry. Fortunately, that epic poem didn’t survive the passage of time; however, her love of writing not only survived but thrived, and in high school she became a member of the magazine staff, where she contributed a number of stories.
It was with the advent of the family’s second computer—the first intimidated everyone—that her writing took off, enhanced in part by fanfiction, but mostly by the wonder that is copy and paste.
While involved in fandom, she was nominated for both Rerun and Light My Fire Awards. Now she concentrates on her original characters, and a recent novel received honorable mention in the 2013 Rainbow Awards.
A New Yorker at heart, she resides in SW Florida with her husband and two computers.
Ernest Hemingway’s words reflect Tinnean’s devotion to her craft: "Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure, only death can stop it."
Tinnean will be gifting one lucky reader an e-copy of Foolish Me, all you need to do for a chance to win is enter the Rafflecopter below.