Worth Keeping by Susan Mac Nicol (Excerpt, Review, and Giveaway!)

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Nick Mathers pulls Owen Butler from the freezing waters off the Norfolk coast, but Owen’s love can carry Nick back from the edge of oblivion.

Abused horrifically as a boy, Nick Mathers has come to terms with his existence as a man. Mostly. Other days life seems a little much. Especially when Nick knows he’ll always be alone.

WorthKeeping_Cover FinalOn those days his thoughts turn black. He walks the Norfolk coast and considers the frigid embrace of the waves. And then, one stormy night, he finds someone who’s tasted just that. The beautiful stranger on the beach is near death, and Nick rushes him home to slowly nurse back to health. As he does, he finds a love unlike any other. Owen Butler’s body is as warm as the sea was cold, his heart as big as an ocean. And Owen is a man who swears to repay the favor. Nick can yet be saved from himself, and he will see that he is indeed a man…

Praise for Worth Keeping and Susan MacNicol

”We have to re-iterate that this Author will always be an automatic one-click for us. Her writing is flawless and her flawed characters are completely lovable. There’s always something quirky and fun in her stories as well as drama, angst and heaps of passion! We can highly recommend!!” – Gitte & Jenny – Totally Booked Blog

“The cast of supporting characters adds depth and color, and the subplot of impending danger is artfully woven into the fabric of two men learning to overcome their own limitations, to open to the possibility of love and to redefine who they are. … this is a novel… Worth Keeping.” – Beach Bum Books

“Susan has written what I found to be a truly wonderful story about two damaged men that fit together in a way that gives them a relationship that can be everything they never dared to dream of.” – T. Kurtz, Book Addict

“…it is a beautiful story of survival. It is a story of two men who fought for their lives and there are times they can trip and fall, but somehow they do manage to pick themselves up and face life. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Love it.“ – Johanna Alba Bilbao

“Susan has been hailed as a genius writer of male/male literature. Her Saving Alexander has been nominated for several awards and has been reviewed widely. Congrats on all your success, Susan. You have earned it.” – Gay Lit Authors

Review: 5 out of 5 Stars

WARNING: Although Worth Keeping is a M/M romance, it does deal with very difficult issues such as sexual abuse. The description of the abuse has been written with great sensitivity and has clearly not been written to titillate the reader, and does not diminish the suffering of abuse victims by turning their pain into voyeuristic “entertainment”.

Once again Susan Mac Nicol amazes me — yet after reading at least four of her books now, I’m not sure why I’m surprised that she’s written another intensely powerful and absorbing novel.

Mac Nicol is never afraid to tackle difficult subjects and Worth Keeping, a M/M love story, is rife with them: sexual abuse, suicide, rape. The heroes, Nick and Owen, are dogged at every turn with conflict, anguish, and love. But let’s not forget this is a love story. A steamy love story. So through all the adversity, the pain, there is a story of love, some lust, and the joy of physical connection.

Nick is a tortured soul who had suffered horrible abuse as a child whereas Owen’s pain stems from having lost his partner a few years earlier. As Worth Keeping focuses more on Nick’s story, insight into Owen is less intense but not to the novel’s detriment. Despite the unlikeliness of their meeting, the two men are clearly destined to be together but you wonder, as you journey with them, how they will ever get there. You know it’s a romance, so one logically assumes the “boy meets boy” model. I am pleased to say there are no quick fixes in Worth Keeping. The tension is palpable and emotions run high and you will be on the edge of your seat throughout.

The writing is superb. The characters are real and as reader, you feel that the author has done her research into the psychology of abuse survivors. Nothing is neatly put into place by Chapter X, Y, or Z. There is some (laugh out loud) laughter and some very real tears (my poor sinuses). How Mac Nicol manages to continually produce such complex and troubling love stories with such an array of effects on a reader is simply beyond me.

Characters are beautifully delineated. They are as real as fiction will allow: breathing, suffering, funny, loving. No stereotypes or off-the-shelf heroes and secondaries here.

And I have to pause a moment to mention Socks. That’s all I’ll say: keep an eye out for Socks! Thanks Susan, for Socks.

And your lovely writing, humour, sensitivity, research, and amazing ability to write and not “crank” so many novels out which are exceedingly excellent.

Excerpt Link:

Please click here

Tour Giveaway

Susan and her publisher, Boroughs Publishing Group, will be awarding a copy of Stripped Bare and a copy of Saving Alexander to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

There is a Rafflecopter giveaway associated with this tour!

  • Susan Mac Nicol

    Sophie once again I thank you for reading and reviewing and doing it in such style. I love the way you describe my books, the affection you have for them and I truly appreciate it. I shall try and keep the bar raised high and produce hopefully more work that you’ll enjoy. And yes, everybody loves the monkey :)

  • Shorty Chelle

    Put all the books on my wishlist.
    marsh10@netzero.com