This story was written as a part of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group's "Love’s Landscapes" event. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors of the group selected a photo and prompt that spoke to them and wrote a short story.
This is a fabulous event that gives M/M readers a chance to catch up with some of their favourite authors, experience new authors, and also gives those readers that have yet to dip their toes into the genre a chance to find out why so many of us are huge fans of Gay Romance… all for free!!! AMAZING!!!
The M/M team will be following the Love’s Landscapes releases and bringing you our take on some of these fabulous gems. We would also like to thank the Goodreads M/M Romance group who organise this yearly event and those authors that give their time freely for the fans enjoyment… Free eBooks from amazing authors is a gift we are all immensely grateful for.
Carte Blanche by Nash Summers
Title: Carte Blanche
Author: Nash Summers
Tags: disabilities, mental illness, hurt/comfort, slow burn, tearjerker, self-growth
Word Count: 20,270
I’ve never needed anyone. People are a vulnerability I don’t need or want. But then there was him. I couldn’t get him out of my head, he was a distraction I didn’t need. No matter how much I pushed him away, he kept coming back. One kiss and I know I’ll never let him go.
Close-up of two men, both in monochromatic blues and high-contrast lighting. The man on the left is showing his side profile with his eyes closed, pressing his forehead to the other man’s cheek. The man on the right is looking toward the viewer with striking, blue eyes.
I've never read anything by Nash Summers before but after reading this one from the Loves a Landscapes event, I'd love to read something else. All I can say is that was just charming! I loved it. Jude has issues and over the years those issues have resulted in him becoming severely OCD and almost agoraphobic. He spends his days working from his apartment...dreaming of the countries that he arranges others to visit, talking online to his only 'friend', another sufferer of stress and panic attacks, dealing with his his own anxieties and relieving them the only way he knows how, by constantly scrubbing his spotless white colourless apartment top,to bottom with bleach...an apartment that mirrors the colour missing from his own solitary, lonely existence.
"...I had no paints and no pigment, so that canvas of my life remained white, blank, unused, and I felt every moment of my lack of color."
Then bright, handsome Devin moves into the apartment across the way from him. Vibrant, laughing Devin, who won't give up on Jude. Slowly breaking down his carefully constructed walls, bringing colour back into his life along with feelings that both frighten and excite him. This was the beauty of this engaging, gentle and tender story. Full of emotion and not without it's touches of angst as at one point, after a kiss, it all comes crashing down until Jude comes to an understanding about himself that finally allows him to take that big step towards a life that he's always wanted, a life with Devin in it!
"I am not my disorders. I am Jude, and I'm finally ready to be happy."
Just a beautifully written little story (I highlighted a lot of passages in this...so lovely!) that considering it's length felt perfectly paced and fleshed out. This is another favourite that won't be disappearing off my Kindle any time soon. A perfect way to spend an hour, and once again, it's free! You just have to download this one for keeps.
RATING ~ 5 STARS
This book from Nash Summers, was absolutely delightful, a real Kindle clutcher, where you just want to hug your kindle at the end just to make the most of that… Aww bless moment… a total feel good short story that I just adored.
I love Jude, and he broke my heart, such a despondent character, trapped by his disorders and resigned to living his life alone inside the white walls of his apartment, with bleach and the feeling of cleanliness it brings to his sad life, his only comfort. He needs order and structure to maintain what limited life he has, that is until Devin moves in across the hall and suddenly Jude’s white world contains a rainbow.
Devin is so animated and alive in a cheeky and persistent manner, slowly coaxing Jude from the confines of his apartment, to the point where Jude is no longer existing by time schedules and a compulsive need to clean or even the fear of a panic attack. Devin’s sheer charisma and zest for life pulls on something inside Jude to finally want more than his lonely existence. What transpires between these two men is enchanting, tender, so very sweet and romantic.. their story will just melt your heart.
Reading Carte Blanche was like watching a butterfly emerging from a catalyst, it was just so beautiful. I cried at Jude’s strength and smiled at Devin’s unwavering persistence in giving Jude the courage and confidence to take those tentative baby steps at discovery, and watching the world through Jude’s eyes was like seeing it all again for the first time myself. This is a short read, fabulous writing, simply put together but excellent delivery… the author has impressed me no end… you definitely don’t want to miss this!
RATING ~ 5 STARS
These books are available as free downloads in Mobi, PDF & ePub formats from the M/M Romance Group’s Website.
Connect with Nash Summers
Check out our Love’s Landscapes Page and keep upto date with the new releases as we feature them here at SSBR.