Escaping Solitude

by Sara Dobie Bauer

$3.99

Rated 4.33 out of 5 based on 3 customer ratings
(3 customer reviews)

Ancient vampire Andrew escaped his tropical island exile with his beloved human sailor, Edmund. They’ve now returned to Andrew’s home in nineteenth-century New Orleans and must navigate not only their developing relationship—and equally haunted pasts—but also a hungry coven of vampires Andrew used to call friends.

Desperate to stay by Andrew’s side forever, Edmund examines the impressive coven library in search of an Elder, the only creature capable of turning Edmund. Although missing for centuries, Andrew believes an Elder must still survive somewhere; they just have to find him.

The search is put on hold when Edmund receives word that his mother is ill in London, and the lovers set off on an oceanic journey surrounded by new friends and old enemies. When things go terribly wrong, Edmund’s fragile human life hangs in the balance, and an Elder must be found or Andrew will be alone forever.

Escaping Solitude (Escape Trilogy #2)

Book Info

Author: Sara Dobie Bauer

Series: The Escape Trilogy

Release Date: October 29, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-949909-03-6

Format: ePub, Mobi

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Category: Romance

Genre: Paranormal

Word Count: 29400

Book Length: Novella

Sex Content: Explicit

Pairing: MM

Orientation: Bisexual, Gay

Identity: Cisgender

Excerpt

Escaping Solitude
Sara Dobie Bauer © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One

My sailor is getting very good at nightmares. In the bed of our rented hotel room in the New Orleans French Quarter, he thrashes against me in the dark and whimpers. When Edmund is lost in the thralls of passion, I adore that noise—but not when he’s afraid like this. I pull his naked body hard against mine and press kisses to his clammy forehead. He claws at me for but a moment before allowing himself to be enveloped in my embrace. He murmurs my name and falls back asleep.

We’ve only been on dry land for a day after an oceanic journey that felt interminable. Perhaps it’s my having been alone for so long on my island of exile, but I now abhor the presence of so many other people. Edmund said I acted like a she-wolf with her pup, my hands on him whenever anyone drew near. Yes, I’m territorial of my dearest, but he doesn’t yet know how other vampires can be.

He’ll find out soon. Michelle demanded we appear at my old vampire coven. I’m to present Edmund to my old friends, but I plan to make it clear that no other immortal will even breathe on my sailor without getting a fist to the throat. Monsters are not to be trusted with something so beautiful, and God, is Edmund ever beautiful.

He danced on the harbor as soon as he set foot on American soil. I didn’t miss the way Michelle’s eyes glittered as she watched. Although he requested to immediately explore, I refused to let him walk New Orleans barefoot in my hand-me-down, bloodstained clothes. I carried him, laughing, away from the harbor before remembering myself. The way I love my sailor isn’t appropriate to many small-minded Southerners. After so much time spent alone, we have to alter our behavior. I can’t very well grab him and kiss him in the middle of a Bourbon Street afternoon, can I?

At our hotel, Edmund marveled at the crystal chandeliers, and although we received several strange looks, my coven’s money guaranteed us a room on the top floor. First thing we did was bathe together in a tub practically the size of our island lagoon. I requested a barber and watched as the white-haired gent shaved Edmund and trimmed his hair. Skin once again soft, Edmund hurried the barber away so we could make love. He has done nothing but sleep and eat since, but in the morning, we will visit a tailor.

It’s been four years since I left. Will old man Peters still be alive?

Edmund shifts beside me. His fingertips press against my chest, and he hums. “You’re awake.”

I run my fingers through his hair. “How did you know?”

“Your breath changes.” He kisses the edge of my jaw. “I know you don’t need to breathe, but you do it anyway, as though your body won’t give up the habit.” He must notice how tightly I hold him. “Did I have another nightmare?”

“Mm. Do you ever remember what they’re about?”

“Water. I think. Lots of water.” He yawns and rubs his legs against mine.

“Don’t tell me you’re now going to be scared of the sea.”

I feel him smile against my skin. “Never. I’d just rather not be dragged under it in a sinking ship.” He sits up and stretches his arms over his head. His back makes a slight popping sound when he twists his ribs and stands, walking naked to the pitcher of water in our gilded basin. Most of the high-ceilinged room is painted gold. A huge bouquet of white magnolias sits on the table by my side, although the sweet, floral scent doesn’t cover the New Orleans odor of sweat, salt, and sewer.

Of course, if I focus, I smell only Edmund. It’s hard to not focus on his bare skin as he drinks straight from the water jug before wiping his face with the back of his hand. The long, angry scar on his back shivers in the moonlight, and the bandage on his arm glows white. I suppose it’s my fault he earned a new scar during our time on the island. His blood was a gift to me that managed to save his life.

He rubs at his shoulder as though sore. “My body is confused,” he says.

I lean up on my elbows. “How so?”

“It’s accustomed to hard work.”

“I’ll work you hard.”

He laughs, and the sight of his lean stomach contracting has me half hard already. He flops into bed on his belly. “Do you even listen when I talk?”

I run my fingers through his dark hair. It’s shorter now than when we first met. “I love listening to you talk.”

“I’ve spent years living at sea. When I wasn’t busy playing sailor on deck, I walked through wild forests and fought cannibals and pirates. Now, I’m here in this bloody posh hotel, eating pastries all day—”

I steal a kiss. “They’re called beignets.”

“And, if we’re not careful, I’m going to end up fat and lazy like all the other British dukes.” His eyes go wide in the darkness. “Jesus, Andrew, I have to write my mother! She might think me mad, but she doesn’t want me dead. And the trading company. Their ship is at the bottom of the sea!”

I tackle him and put my hand over his mouth. “Quiet. Are you trying to wake the entire hotel? It’s nowhere close to morning yet. Your letter writing will have to wait.”

He mumbles against my skin.

“What was that?” I pull my hand away.

“Are we going to see the city in the morning?”

“Yes. I have plans.” I think of my tailor, Peters…and a possible nocturnal enticement.

Edmund’s callused palms run up the sides of my biceps. “I’ll have to pretend I don’t adore you, won’t I? Out in the city. Two men together is frowned upon. I won’t be able to do this…” He cups my head in his hands and pulls me closer until his open mouth finds mine. He sucks on my tongue, and I grind against his hip.

I pull away and press my forehead to his. “Will I ever stop wanting you?”

“No.” He smiles. “Men rarely do.”

“Cocky.”

He grabs my hand and presses it to the hardness between his legs. “Very.”

3 reviews for Escaping Solitude

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Lou Cee

    *This ARC was provided by the author in return for an honest review.*

    This is the second part of the Escape Trilogy, so as expected, it is to be continued. The story is true to the blurb, so doesn’t need repeating.

    One of the things that really stands out here is the writing. It is far, far above the usual fare for m/m romance and is perfectly suited to the historical period and the subject. It allows the reader to empathize with Andrew, a vampire, who at one time enjoyed killing so much that the leader of his vampire coven exiled him.

    In this second book, the character of Edmund, the sailor of the Andrew’s affections, is explored in greater depth. To list Edmund’s character traits, he would sound like the most unlikable character. However, like Andrew’s character, the author has skillfully depicted him in a way that renders him still likeable.

    The high quality of the writing tended to interrupt the flow of the story for me at times, as every now and then I was pulled from the story amazed at how artfully a gesture or a concept was conveyed. The writing itself was part of the romance.

  2. Rated 4 out of 5

    Trio

    The first part of Escaping Solitude Sara Dobie Bauer’s sequel to Escaping Exile is full of wonderful descriptions of Andrew fully re-embracing his hedonistic and luxurious life. He’s celebrating his freedom, yeah, but mostly he’s reveling in his complete and utter love for Edmund! The way these two men come together, and what they do for each other, both frantic and restorative – it’s spectacular.

    Andrew’s return to his beloved New Orleans, is delightful. With all the sights, scents, and sounds, plus the colorful and creative characters, Ms. Bauer paints a descriptive picture of what Andrew’s city was like in the 1800’s.

    Between the debauched parties, orgies in Andrew’s coven, time spent in a favored whore house, and just enjoying what New Orleans has to offer, both vampires and humans alike partake in the decadence.

    Facing the prospect of Edmund’s mortality isn’t something either man is willing to consider, not when there’s something that can be done about it. Edmund sets his brilliant mind on finding a way to ensure they’ll be together forever.

    Once they’ve determined they need to find an Elder, an ancient vampire with the abilities to turn Edmund into an immortal vampire, they set of on an ocean voyage both to find the Elder and to visit Edmund’s sick mother in England.

    The ending of Escaping Solitude is quite thrilling (yes, it ends on a cliffhanger). Not to spoil anything here, but I can’t wait to see what the Elder is like! Plus Edmund’s mother and her reaction to the group that turns up to visit her on her sick bed is sure to be fantastic.

    Sara Dobie Bauer’s writing style is thoroughly enjoyable. Her descriptions are lush, and I love how the story is told from Andrew’s point-of-view and in the present-tense. His reactions and emotions come across clearly. It’s easy to feel his passion and desire, along with his every worry. This is an intimate look into Andrew’s character, and it’s very well done.

    This is a fast paced, exciting sequel and can’t wait for the third and final episode in this wonderful story!

    a copy of Escaping Solitude was provided by the author for the purpose of my honest review

  3. Rated 4 out of 5

    Lyss Em

    Having read and adored Escaping Exile, I was excited to read this follow-up and second novella in the Escape trilogy. Sara Dobie Bauer has become one of my favorite authors with her readable and literary writing style, and her style is consistent in this book. Exile follows in its predecessor’s footsteps with a healthy dose of eroticism and a compelling central romance and main characters. I simply adore Edmund, and I loved learning more about him. Bauer has expanded the cast and developed characters she hinted at in Exile. Felipe in particular became a favorite. If any side character were to get their own story, Felipe would be a good candidate in my opinion! He is feisty, and his relationship with Edmund brought much humor to the story. I also loved learning more about Andrew’s past and his coven leader, Michelle.

    I did have a few issues with this story, though. First, for those who are put off by main characters having sex with people who aren’t their partners, you might not want to read this one. I will note that Edmund and Andrew remain romantically monogamous and whenever one of them has sex with someone else, the other is always present. But personally, I was disinterested in these scenes. I read on because I love the characters and wanted to know what happened to them. Plus, these scenes didn’t feel out of character.

    Second, this story ends on a cliffhanger. The third act was riveting; I read through it in a flash. But the end was abrupt with no resolution to the climax. I really wish it had gone on for just a few hundred more words to wrap things up. I was doubly put off when I read the description for the final novella; it jumps ahead past the missing resolution. I’ll be curious to see how the third book starts and if there is a satisfying summary of what happened.

    Otherwise, I enjoyed this story. The romance part of it wrapped up well, and I am interested to read the next book and learn about the new character introduced at the end. I’m also excited to read more about Edmund. In Exile, we get glimpses of his murderous side, and the third novella promises to delve much deeper. I think I would read on for this plot thread alone, actually. It’s something I wish I saw more of in M/M romance!

    Overall, I recommend Escaping Solitude and can’t wait for the next installment in the series.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.