After graduating from high school early, twenty-year-old Philippe Bergeron spent the past several years lost among the stars while fishing off the New England coast. A shoulder injury ends his dream of living reclusively on the water, and he finds himself lost among the bright lights of New York City. His older brother, Henri, has asked Philippe to chaperone his seventeen-year-old niece, Sophie, on her tours of the city's legendary dance programs.
Sophie meets with professional dancer and choreographer, Dario Pereira, to prepare a routine for her college auditions. Dario’s cool perfection and immaculate style contrast with Philippe’s awkward scruffiness, but it wakes desires Philippe thought he’d left behind. When the attraction is surprisingly returned, Dario’s confidence won’t let Philippe remain invisible. Unsure but curious, Philippe relaxes his rule of isolation, and as the summer progresses, his relationship with Dario leads him to a surprising discovery of his submissive sexual tendencies and a greater sense of self-awareness.
Tragedy threatens to destroy the connections Philippe has made and forces him to retreat into the shadows of his past, far from the radiance of Dario’s love. Ultimately, he must decide if it is time to stop hiding and set himself free.
After drinking down the rest of his tea, he asked me, “So what’s your story, Philippe?”
“Yes. Tell me… I want to know.”
Dario had a commanding presence. I realized that as I started to spill out the abbreviated story of my life. “I don’t have much of a story, really. Took online and summer classes so I could graduate high school early, and as soon as I turned eighteen the winter before last, I got a job cod fishing out of Gloucester, Mass and fished for well over a year.”
“How did you end up in New York City with Sophie?”
“I ask myself that every day.” I grinned. “No, seriously, the official story is that I messed up my shoulder and I needed to take some time off fishing to heal it. The real deal is that I’m one of my brother’s ongoing projects.” Under my beard, once again, my cheeks burned. “And he’s relentless.”
“One of his projects?”
“Yeah… Sophie and me.”
“How are you two his ‘projects’?”
To buy myself some time to figure out how I was going to phrase my answer, I wiped at my beard with the paper napkin in my hand. “He thinks that if he doesn’t get all up in our business, we’ll turn into hermits.”
Up until that very moment with Dario, only Henri had ever searched my face as if what he saw there really mattered. “Is he correct in that theory?”
I had to laugh. “I’d say he’s right on the money.”
“Then how did you end up here? This is about as far from the peaceful beauty of the ocean as it gets.”
“I needed a summer job; Henri needed a New York City chaperone for Sophie. It’s that simple.”
About the Author:
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.
Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.
My themes I always write about:
Sweetness. Unconventional love, tortured/damaged heroes- only love can save them.