Hiya guys, we have Anna Martin popping in today with her new release The Impossible Boy, we have a great excerpt and a fantastic giveaway so check out the post and enjoy! ❤ ~Pixie~
The Impossible Boy
This is not your average love story.
Ben Easton is not your average romantic hero. He’s a tattooed, badass, wannabe rock star, working in a perfectly horrible dive bar in Camden Town. His life is good, and he’s totally unprepared for how one man will turn it upside down.
Stan isn’t your average heroine. As a gender-fluid man, he proudly wears his blond hair long, his heels sky-high, and his make-up perfectly executed. A fashion industry prodigy, Stan is in London after stints working in Italy and New York City, and he quickly falls for Ben’s devil-may-care attitude and the warm, soft heart Ben hides behind it.
Beneath the perfect, elegant exterior, Stan has plenty of scars from teenage battles with anorexia. And it only takes the slightest slip for his demons to rush back in while Ben’s away touring with his band. With the band on the brink of a breakthrough, Ben is forced to find a way to balance the opportunity of a lifetime with caring for his beautiful boyfriend.
THERE WERE few places in the world where Stan could blend in. He’d been around the world more than once in his twenty-two years, and yet this little corner of North London seemed to be the spot for him. It felt right.
He’d taken the Northern line to Camden Town on the recommendation of a friend and spent hours wandering around the hundreds of stalls at the market there, buying a new leather jacket and a tartan scarf from a real Scottish person and some rings. He’d eaten in a vegan café that tempted him in with the most delicious smells. Then he’d gotten lost, taken a wrong turn, and ended up in a little pub tucked away out of sight of the main road.
It had just started to spit with rain, so he ducked inside.
This was his kind of pub—dim lighting, low tables, and parquet floor that must have cost a fortune. A huge statue of the Virgin Mary was behind the bar, but someone had painted an inverted pentagram on her cheek and created a tiny, perfectly fitting Mötley Crüe T-shirt for her to wear. The statue was adorned with multicoloured Christmas lights, even though it was April. Over the bar, a hammered, blackened copper sign proclaimed the place to be Buck Shot. There wasn’t a sign over the door like most bars. Just a badass one inside.
“What can I get you?” the bartender asked as Stan nimbly slid onto one of the barstools. He was tall and lanky, his hair a thick mop that fell across his forehead, the sides shaved close.
“Um….” Stan looked over the specials, which were written in chalk on a blackboard behind the bar. “Do you have a blond beer?”
“We have a few.”
“Your choice, then,” Stan said.
When the guy turned away to pull a bottle from the fridge under the bar, Stan looked a little too hard at his backside. It was clad in very, very tight black jeans; his long, lean legs poured down into a pair of black Doc Martens. Wow.
“Three eighty,” the bartender said with a smile.
“Oh.” Stan fumbled for his wallet out of his own jeans, which were tight but nothing in comparison to this guy’s. He wasn’t used to the British currency yet and handed over a ten.
The pub was fairly quiet, although there seemed to be a steady stream of people walking in and out to smoke. The smell of cigarettes followed them back inside, mingling with the earthy smell of beer and the tang of sweat.
The cute bartender handed him the change, offered a quick smile, then turned to serve the next person. Stan sipped his beer and decided this might be his favourite place in the whole world. No one was even looking at him.
On impulse, he shrugged out of his battered leather jacket and pulled off the infinity scarf from around his neck. The action caused his hair to spill out down the back of his neck, the blond strands feathering out over his shoulders and down almost to his waist.
That made the cute bartender look. Stan didn’t mind at all.
He finished the first pint, feeling warm and full and happy, then pulled his sketchpad out of his satchel so he could work a little while he had the next one. There was nowhere he needed to be anytime soon. Not until Monday morning, in fact.
Stan looked up to meet Cute Bartender’s warm brown eyes. He nodded mutely for a moment, then found his voice and said, “Please.”
While the bartender poured the beer from bottle to glass, Stan debated whether or not to try to make conversation with him. It wasn’t normally his thing, and coming on too strong, or even at all, could be dangerous.
For the most part, men didn’t like being come on to by a man who looked more like a girl. A hot girl. A really hot, slightly confusing girl. Stan knew what he looked like—he owned it.
This time he had a handful of change ready. He’d been collecting it periodically through the day, and it was weighing down his pockets.
“Can you help?” he said, fluttering his eyelashes just a tiny bit. “I don’t quite know what all the coins do yet.”
The cute bartender laughed and leaned in over the dark wood bar. “Sure. These are pound coins. I need three of them….” His fingertips brushed over Stan’s palm as he sorted through the loose change, separating tens and twenties and fifty-pence pieces. He was wearing black nail polish, chipped around the edges. “Fifty, seventy, eighty. There you go.”
“Thanks,” Stan said with a half-smile.
“You’re welcome, mate.” He turned and deposited the money in the till, then turned back. “I take it you’re new to these parts.”
Stan nodded, secretly thrilled. “I just got here on Thursday, actually.”
“Oh wow. From where?”
“Um, Russia originally,” Stan said. He lifted the pint to his lips and took a small sip. It was good beer. The Brits definitely knew how to do microbrewing. “I’ve been living in Italy for the past year, though. And America before that.”
“Probably why I couldn’t quite place that accent. I’m Ben, by the way.”
“Stan.” He slipped his hand into the one Ben offered to him, finding it warm and dry, and squeezed slightly as he shook it. “Nice to meet you.”
As more people started to file into the pub, Ben’s attention was stolen by those he was being paid to serve. Not that Stan minded all that much. He stayed perched on his stool to the side of the bar, sketching out ideas and designs while surreptitiously—he hoped—watching Ben work. By the time he finished his second pint, there was no use; he had no excuse to stay any longer, and he couldn’t risk another drink or he’d be well and truly drunk.
He debated for long moments while swirling the last of his beer in the bottom of the glass, then impulsively tore a sheet of paper out of the pad and scrawled his name and phone number on it in looping script. After folding it twice he wrote “Ben” on the top and tucked the note under his almost-empty glass.
Without looking up or over the bar, Stan shrugged into his scarf and jacket and tucked his sketchbook carefully back into his satchel. With gentle fingers, he pulled his long hair free again, left it loose down his back, and combed it away from his face.
Before leaving, he glanced over at Ben, unable to stop himself, then lifted a hand in a wave. Ben nodded and smiled, and Stan strode out in his high-heeled boots.
Anna Martin is from a picturesque seaside village in the south west of England. After spending most of her childhood making up stories, she studied English Literature at university before attempting to turn her hand as a professional writer.
Apart from being physically dependent on her laptop, she is enthusiastic about writing and producing local grassroots theatre (especially at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she can be found every summer), travelling, learning to play the ukulele, and Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk.
Although her most recent work is in the LGBT romance genre, in the past Anna has worked on a variety of different projects including short stories, drabbles, flash fiction, fan fiction, plays for both children and adults, and poetry. She has written novels in the Teen or Young Adult genre, Romance and Fantasy novels.
Anna is, by her own admission, almost unhealthily obsessed with books. The library she has amassed is both large and diverse; “My favourite books,” she says, “are ‘The Moonstone’ by Wilkie Collins, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee and ‘Oryx and Crake’ by Margaret Atwood.” She also owns multiple copies of Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park books and re-reads the Harry Potter novels with almost startling regularity.