We’re off on our hollyers tomorrow so Cochrane Towers is a mass of sorting, packing and haring round doing last minute jobs.
Don’t Kiss the Vicar is now available at the BSB site, prior to its official release through Amazon and the like. You can download just about every format from the publisher site.
Vicar Dan Miller is firmly in the closet in his new parish. Could the inhabitants of a sedate Hampshire village ever accept a gay priest? Trickier than that, how can he hide his attraction for one of his flock, Steve Dexter?
Encouraged by his ex-partner to seize the day, Dan determines to tell Steve how he feels, only to discover that Steve’s been getting poison pen letters and suspicion falls on his fellow parishioners. When compassion leads to passion, they have to conceal their budding relationship, but the arrival of more letters sends Dan scuttling back into the closet.
Can they run the letter writer to ground? More importantly, can they patch up their romance and will Steve ever get to kiss the vicar again?
He should ring Jimmy, see how the bloke was doing. Ask about Stuart. Mean it when he said he hoped Stuart was well. Not actually want to say, “I hope he’s either fallen down a ditch or done a runner.” Vicars were supposed to be above such feelings, or at least putting such feelings into action.
He wouldn’t ring Jimmy just because he was feeling down and needed a friendly ear to pour his woes into. Jimmy had put up with that enough when they’d been together, and he didn’t deserve it now they’d been apart for what, two years?
As long as that? Dan had to sit back, count the Christmases off. Yeah, two years, since the “lodger” left the curate’s house, back at St. Stephen’s.
Had the St. Stephen’s equivalents of Margaret ever realised that the rent Jimmy paid wasn’t monetary but affectionate? If they had, it didn’t seem to have caused them a problem. Still, he and Jimmy had been discreet. They’d even parted as friends, terribly grown-up and sensible about things. Jimmy was still being terribly grown up and sensible about it, offering Dan advice, encouraging him to find somebody else and not end up a crotchety old bachelor priest with hair growing out of his nose.
Jimmy was right, of course. Jimmy was usually right. Dan was a better bloke—a better vicar, a better Christian—when he had somebody at his side. Yeah, he was supposed to find all the succour he needed in prayer alone, in the relationship with his Father, but a man shouldn’t be alone. He needed a helper fit for him, to provide for his earthly needs as well as his spiritual. Dan had been a bloody great curate when he had Jimmy watching his back, even if that support had been a secret from most of the parishioners. The vicar himself had known, but he was gay as well, if firmly in the closet. At least in the closet when he wasn’t on holiday abroad, where he was rumoured to be outrageous. Their parish had been on the outskirts of Brighton. How stereotypical.
Dan would ring Jimmy after lunch, before the bloke went to the theatre, ask him what he was supposed to do about his feelings for Steve, rather than put the issue off for the umpteenth time. And until then…what? Dan looked at the dirty soup bowl, the crossword with three impenetrable clues left unsolved, and the diary that was so full and yet so devoid of personal appointments.
Maybe he should start composing his Sunday sermon. And maybe he should base it on the book of Job.
And finally – where we’re headed off