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The One That Got Away (Shifting Perspectives 2)

Genre: Paranormal, Shape-shifter, m/m non-traditional Romance, Short Story Anthology (R-18)

RELEASE LETTER RECEIVED. BOOK OUT OF CONTRACT. PLEASE DO NOT PURCHASE THIS BOOK FROM ANY OUTLET UNTIL IT HAS A RE-RELEASE.

Every Fisherman has a story…

Billy Wilson grew up in a small community where being gay meant that you liked to skip through the fields on a sunny day. His desire to travel and his struggle to come to terms with his sexuality were the reasons he moved away, vowing never to return to the cabin by Wilson’s Lake unless it was over his father’s dead body.

Now he has to scatter his father’s ashes on the lake where his father liked to fish. Like father like son. Billy is a storyteller by trade, and his father used to tell him some whopping stories, including the one about the fish that got away. Billy’s in for a few surprises; most of all he’s going to discover the truth behind the story.

*****

A fish, a pigeon, and a swan.  Unusual creatures with unusual tales of love lost and discovered await you in this new m/m romance anthology.  Read about the biggest fish story ever and the man who had to come to grips with the stories his father told in The One That Got Away by Sharon Maria Bidwell.  Follow a racing pigeon as he tries to get back to his lover in Fiona Glass’s, Steal the Sky, and finally return to the struggling relationship between Rudy and Sandy as they come to terms with Sandy’s heritage and rank in Emily Veinglory’s heartpounding tale The Swan Prince.

Read an Excerpt…
Left with no other choice, Billy dragged himself to his feet and headed home. That meant a walk damn near a quarter of the circumference of the lake but the long trek to the cabin gave him a chance to dry out and to clear his head. It didn’t matter who or what the man was. Billy wasn’t ready for another involvement and that was even assuming the stranger swung that way. He’d felt the same kind of instant attraction for Spiros and see where that had got him.

Spiros. Billy spat in the dirt at the thought of that name. He’d not allowed the name to enter his head for so long, it came as a surprise to realize it didn’t sting him quite as much as it once had. Served him right for falling for a suntanned Adonis on a Greek isle. Eight months should count as a relationship in anyone’s book. Eight months was decidedly serious.

Then he’d caught Spiros in bed with another man. Declining the offer that he should come and join them, Billy had booked himself on to the first available plane home and to the nearest clinic with a free appointment. He’d been careful since then but having trusted someone literally with his life had made him wary.

Truth was, he believed he’d been in love. Two years on, he’d slept with no one else and had become much more friendly with what his father would have called the five-fingered widow. He’d always considered the term rather disgusting, especially after his mother died, but if his father had found some joy alone, or in the smothering embrace of Martha Price, who was he to deny his old man? He’d always wondered if Martha’s kindness extended beyond looking in on his father, cleaning some for him, cooking him a few meals. If there’d been any other perks the widow offered his father, Billy truly didn’t want to know. Whatever floated their boats was fine between two consenting adults as far as he was concerned.

Once more he hauled in his itinerant thoughts. In truth he was just trying to ignore the fact that he believed he’d seen a man change from a fish into a man. Apparently, he was more affected by his father’s death than he’d realized. Maybe he’d drunk too much lake water. Maybe he should see a doctor. Maybe….

He raised his head, dragging his gaze from the ground and up to the porch surrounding his father’s property. Billy stopped walking, aware his heart pounded wildly. He bit back his cry when his gaze met those blue-black eyes.

“You’d gone…by the time I got back. I’m sorry. It took some finding. Is this what you were looking for?”

Billy tried to concentrate on the words and not the sight of all that male nude loveliness. All that lean muscle and sculpted slim physique was undeniably beautiful. Billy averted his gaze.

Arms folded defensively across his chest, Billy took the steps up to the porch on shaky legs. He stared at the dark navy box that contained his father’s remains. With a trembling hand, he reached out to it. Waterlogged, the hard cardboard gave a little under his touch but, overall, largely retained its shape. Carefully, he lifted the lid. The bag remained sealed. The contents appeared dry.

“I don’t understand. What is this…sand?”

Those dark blue eyes stared first at the box, and then lifted to take in Billy’s face. For the first time since he’d emerged from the lake, Billy gave a passing thought to his appearance. He shouldn’t care how he looked. It wasn’t as if he was interested in this stranger. He should just dismiss his visitor, then go inside, change clothes, gather a few possessions, his father’s ashes and high-tail it back to the nearest big city where it was harder to believe in the impossible. It didn’t matter if this man found him attractive but that stare appeared to take in more than what one might perceive on the surface. That gaze brought forth a flush of excitement that made Billy shiver with longing. He wanted this stranger to like what he saw; he just didn’t want to contemplate why.

© Sharon Maria Bidwell, all rights reserved.

NB: The first copies of this book went out with some errors, which occurred at the editing stage and was not the fault of the authors. In my case, a paragraph that should have been moved was repeated. My sincere apologies to anyone who received a copy of this version, although it shouldn’t have detracted too much from the overall story.