Shelton in Love by Dianne Hartsock

Release Day Review – Shelton in Love by Dianne Hartsock

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Title:Shelton in Love

Author:Dianne Hartsock

Genre:Gay Romance, Contemporary


Publisher:Less Than Three Press


Shelton has found the man of his dreams, but keeping him is an entirely different matter.

Shelton’s falling hard for his attractive roommate, a man who would happily sleep with him, adding him to the list of men in his life. But Shelton wants more than just a fling with Nevil. How can he convince the elusive man there could be something lasting between them?

Shelton in Love is told in five stories spanning two and a half years of Shelton and Nevil’s relationship, the ups and downs, trials and celebrations, with a promise, a separation, a frantic return, temptation and a final triumph. Sometimes Shelton finds it difficult to love a beautiful man, but Nevil is worth the effort. Shelton’s eager to move their relationship to the next level, marriage, but will Nevil ever be ready to take this step with him?

shelton in love

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Shelton in Love was a fast, sweet, and at times emotional read. It’s heavy on the sexual side of the Shelton – Nevil relationship without ever ignoring everything else that goes on in their relationship. I love stories that go beyond the characters admitting their true feelings to each other and deciding to be together forever. Shelton in Love explores the relationship through the years, as they go through everything from hospitalizations, to living hundreds of miles away, to dealing with each other’s past, and each other’s thoughts and beliefs on major life issues.

In Shelton’s case, some insecurities take a long time to disappear, and he switches from seeming aloof or not caring, to overly jealous in his attempts of dealing with Nevil’s past. It’s interesting to see how a long term relationship would work between characters with such different experiences, and notice all the problems that arise early on or later in the relationship. I also enjoyed seeing these characters react on the spot to new things thrown their way, even if badly, to then think it through, compromise, and focus on making it work.

Shelton in Love is a good reminder that both people in a relationship have to put in the work, no matter how much they love each other or how compatible they are. Real life issues require maturity and level hotheadedness to be tackles successfully, and this story put those into the spotlight.

Excerpt – Shelton in Love by Dianne Hartsock

Nevil laughed at something the man said, and Percy straightened, clearly furious with him. He suddenly grabbed the front of Nevil’s shirt and pulled him close, giving him a hard kiss.

Surprised, Shelton looked quickly around, but there was no one else to see their blatant display of affection. He was hardly aware of the pain that squeezed his chest as he dropped his gaze to his hands clasped on his lap. Nerves burning, he pleaded with the universe to be invisible and that Nevil wouldn’t see him sitting on the bench. He wished the ground would swallow him up, anything, afraid to move and draw their attention.

In a moment he heard their voices drift off and he risked a glance, seeing them disappear into the trees in the opposite direction from him. He waited a few minutes then, sick with disappointment, rose and walked the short distance home.

The apartment had an empty silence to it he’d never noticed before, and he reluctantly closed the door behind him and locked himself into the quiet, lonely rooms.

“Damn,” he said, not sure what he meant by the word. Without bothering to change, he went to the kitchen, grabbed a can of soup out of the cupboard and began to heat the brownish blob over the stove instead of the microwave, not minding the extra time it took. What else did he have to do, anyway? Nevil had said he’d see him that night, but he never should have gotten his hopes up.

Unthinking, Shelton took his hot bowl of soup to the living room and bit off an oath at the sight of the couch. Body instantly on fire and aching for Nevil’s touch, he placed the soup on the coffee table and sat down, sinking into the cushions. Trembling, he surrendered to the memory of Nevil’s skillful fingers; his hot lips and tongue bringing fulfillment. Shelton could never tell Nevil, but that night had been the best in his life.

Drawing a ragged breath, he sat up and clicked on the television before letting one mindless show after the other numb his senses and nudge him toward sleep. At one in the morning, he finally dragged his aching body to bed only to sleep fitfully, listening for Nevil to come home. It was another two hours before he heard the key at the front door and Nevil’s familiar tread in the hallway.

Shelton’s pulses leapt to life as Nevil’s footfalls paused outside his door. He clutched the blankets, urging Nevil to come in and kiss away his hurt and loneliness. He didn’t even care where he’d been. After a brief moment, the footsteps receded and Nevil’s door closed firmly. Shelton rolled to his side and stared at the wall for a long while.


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About the author

DIANNE HARTSOCK is the author of m/m erotic romance, both contemporary and fantasy, the psychological thriller, and anything else that comes to mind. Oh, and a floral designer. If she can’t be writing, at least she has the chance to create through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage to bring a smile to someone’s face.

Currently, Dianne lives in the Willamette Valley of Oregon with her incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours she spends hunched over the keyboard letting her characters play.

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One Response to “Release Day Review – Shelton in Love by Dianne Hartsock”

  1. Thank you for the review and my wonderful Blitz Day!

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