Whee! Time for a new novel for Novel Monday! This time I decided to go with my BDSM universe, the Debts to Recover ‘verse. Despite being a BDSM-positive universe, this is actually a very low sex book, FYI. It’s more about the romance, the recovery from abuse and growing together over time. Anyway, I hope that you enjoy it!
(And just so you know I’m in the process of updating the covers and prices on these books so the cover is being updated on all the sites currently and the print price will be dropping by $1 US over the next day to week or so, depending on how quickly the various sites get the update.)
In a world that took a different path, Kaleb Macintyre, a former Master, returned home after years away. All he wanted was a quiet life but encountering Nenne changed everything. Both of them bore scars from their pasts. As their relationship grew and they healed, Kaleb wondered if he could have more with Nenne or if his basic nature prevented him from ever finding happiness in Nenne’s arms.
The Nature of Beasts is a sweet romance focusing on consent, knowledge and growing together over time.
Warning / Themes: This novel addresses themes of abuse and recovery, BDSM and gay romance in a dystopian world. Please read with caution if you have any issues with these themes.
The Nature of Beasts
By Meyari McFarland
1. Returning Home
Kaleb hummed as he carried the last box up the stairs to his new apartment. The hallway smelled of dust and the faintest traces of urine but Kaleb didn’t care. In the next month or so the carpet would be ripped up and replaced, after the roof had been repaired. He was pretty sure that the windows would all have to be switched out as well. They were simple tempered glass with no laminated plastic or other security features if there was an attack in the area.
None of that was a surprise given how old the apartment building was. The stairwell up to the third floor showed the age of the building. Drab walls that had once been white were stained gray from time, punctuated by scuff marks and the occasional water stain under the window. It was an old building which suited Kaleb to the core. After all, he was an old man, or at least he felt like one.
The fire he’d felt in his twenties had long since burned down, leaving only embers behind. Part of that was the military contracts he’d worked on for the last fifteen years. Kaleb shuddered, one hand on the door knob as he tried to banish the memories of twisted bodies and burnt faces. Maybe he had made the world a safer place like General Reyes had shouted when Kaleb announced his retirement but Kaleb couldn’t keep doing what he was doing.
“Mostly it’s Todd,” Kaleb whispered, a wry, exhausted smile twisting his lips. That mess had been what sent him into the military’s arms nearly sixteen years ago. “Ah well, I still have a few boxes to unpack. No reason to keep woolgathering.”
After all the moving around he’d done in the last fifteen years, Kaleb had gotten used to living from boxes and keeping the absolute minimum belongs. It made for easy moving but he was looking forward to collecting things now that he was back in his home town. He’d already gotten his library out of storage. Having books around him was a joy that he’d found hard to live without.
“Have to call the contractor about getting the wiring checked,” Kaleb muttered as he let himself into his apartment.
The light outside flickered randomly, apparently in response to the wind. Inside, the walls were freshly painted in a soothing creamy white. He’d had the carpet ripped up and wood floors put down before he moved in. The kitchen was tiny, barely big enough for one, much less two, but the appliances were relatively new. His whole apartment smelled new. It was something he looked forward to fixing once he was able to do some cooking. A nice spicy chili verde and some bread would do wonders for his apartment’s scent.
Kaleb deposited his last box on the steel counter and smiled. Yeah, it was a good apartment, not the best in the city but also not in a terrible neighborhood. His neighbors on this floor looked to be reasonable, with a young family, an older man and then the mystery neighbor that he had yet to see during the two days he’d spent moving in. None of them seemed to be the type for loud parties or fighting, making them ideal as far as Kaleb was concerned.
He stretched and quietly cursed the fact that he was getting older for perhaps the millionth time. Five years ago he would have been able to carry all the boxes and still have energy to spare. Kaleb huffed a laugh, shaking his head at himself. His aching back would just have to be endured.