Today is my stop on Gay Book Promotions blog tour celebrating the release of the second chance mm holiday romance Love In The Mediterranean by RJ Peterson!
Neil Watkins isn’t too surprised to receive an invitation to Rob Asher and Ben Rockingham’s wedding. After all, he’s been best friends with Ben’s son Kyle for several years. But he is excited to be invited to join them on the honeymoon - a party for a select group of family and friends on an all-expense paid Mediterranean cruise. He’s hesitant at first, but Kyle convinces him to go. Well, his own love life sucks at the moment. Maybe he’ll have better luck in the Med.
When he receives an invitation to their wedding and honeymoon party, Matthew Palmer balks at the idea of joining Rob and Ben on their honeymoon cruise. The master jeweler, a friend to both men, thinks the offer is way too generous, but Rob’s best friend Samantha persuades him to rethink his decision. His last relationship really knocked him for a loop, and maybe Sam was right and he should think about himself for a change
When Neil and Matthew meet, unexpected and undeniable sparks fly. Has their luck finally changed? Can this really be their second chance at love in the Mediterranean?
As he approached the hostess at the doorway to the bistro, she looked up at him and said, “Good morning, sir. Are you dining alone this morning?”
“Yes, plea—“ he paused, catching a glimpse of Matthew sitting alone at a table near the window. “Excuse me,” he said. “That gentleman is part of the group I’m traveling with. Let me ask if I can join him.”
He strode to the table, hoping he wasn’t making a fool of himself by intruding on Matthew’s breakfast.
“Good morning, Matthew. Would it be okay if I joined you. Um, that is, um, if you’re not expecting anyone.” Dammit, I sound like an idiot. Don’t be nervous. He’s just a friend.
“Oh hi, Neil” Matthew sounded genuinely pleased to see him. “No, I’m not expecting anyone and you can certainly join me if you’d like.”
“Thanks.” As Neil sat down, the hostess came over and handed him a menu.
“Enjoy your breakfast, gentlemen.”
“Did you sleep okay?” Neil asked, trying to start a conversation and not sound like he was daft.
“Yeah, I did” Matthew replied. “I love the water and find the sound of it very soothing. I left the balcony door open when I was getting ready for bed last night and that helped relax me after a very exciting day yesterday.” He paused to sip his coffee. “What about you?”
“I did, too, actually,” Neil said. “That surprised me a bit since I often have trouble sleeping in a new place. Even though the seas are quite calm, I could feel a gentle rocking once I went to bed. I think that, combined with the alcohol we consumed at dinner, helped put me to sleep quicker than usual.”
Matthew chuckled. “Yeah, I drank more than I normally do yesterday. I’m gonna need to behave myself on this trip.”
A waiter approached carrying a carafe and asked Neil if he wanted coffee.
“Yes, please,” he replied.
"Are you ready to order?” The waiter asked.
“I’d like the fresh fruit with yogurt,” Matthew said. “And some wheat toast, please. Do you have any peanut butter?”
“Yes sir, we do. I’ll bring some with your toast.”
“A man after my own heart,” Neil said with a laugh. “I love peanut butter. I’ll have the same for breakfast, please.”
“Certainly sir. I’ll be back shortly with your orders.”
“It’s so nice to find a fellow peanut butter lover,” Matthew said.
“I have a confession,” Neil said, blushing a little. “I may have packed some single-serve containers in my checked luggage. But I completely forgot to bring one with me this morning.”
“That’s hilarious,” Matthew chuckled. “And I wish I had thought of it.”
“Well, at least they have some on board. And if they happen to run out before the end of the cruise, I’ll share my stash with you.”
The waiter returned a few minutes later with their breakfast, refilled both coffee cups, and departed.
“Do you have any plans for today?” Neil asked, as he smeared peanut butter onto one of the toast slices.
“I was thinking of walking around a bit and maybe figure out where things are.” Matthew answered. “I still can’t believe we’re on a cruise ship. I mean, everything is so large. It’s nothing like I expected.”
“I know exactly what you mean. I looked at some photos on the cruise line’s website and watched a video, but it’s still so much more than I expected.”
Neil sipped his coffee and continued. “I was planning on exploring a bit, too. Maybe we could check things out together? Might keep us from getting too lost.”
“That’s a great idea,” Matthew effused. “I gotta admit, it seemed a bit overwhelming to try and discover things all on my own.”
“If you remember correctly, before we left on this trip, we cruise virgins agreed to stick together,” Neil smiled brightly. “We’ve got this.”
The thought of spending at least part of the day with Matthew made everything seem a bit brighter.
About the Author
R.J. Peterson is a retired graphic designer. He is an avid reader, preferably while sipping a vodka martini or bourbon on the rocks. He's had a long and varied career, including library page, car wash attendant, travel agent, and graphic designer in the marijuana industry. He also worked in banking for twenty-five years. He loves to travel and has been on 50+ cruises. When not on a cruise, he and his husband live in New England.
He didn’t grow up thinking he’d be a writer. That was never on his radar. Then a fateful day in January, 2021 changed it all. He woke with a story stuck in his head and started typing. The more he types, the more ideas he gets.
His debut novel, Love On The Horizon, was published in May 2021.
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