Sun, Sea and a Contemporary Art Gallery

Men In Love and at War

by LJ Collins

No truer words can be said—life isn’t always as it seems—especially when it throws a dangerous concoction of its mind-blowing elements straight at you.

Coming from an underprivileged background in the East End of London, Berkeley sets himself the challenge to escape poverty and do well for himself. Armed with a good brain and determination, he succeeds and wants for nothing, but there’s a bitter price to pay. Now the challenge is with himself, and he escapes to the quiet of Tenerife for love, only to lose it promptly. What now? With no career or prospects in the unfamiliar country, what is Berkeley to do? He decides to set up business opening an art gallery, yet knows nothing about art. Comical disasters, veiled threats and visitors of a spiritual nature, believing that he’s to be served up to the Devil himself ensue. The whole experience pushes Berkeley to limits he’s never encountered before, and he learns the hard way that what goes around really does come around to haunt you. Only love and true friendships can bring him back to the real world.


Every night, Berkeley closed the heavy lined curtains to block out any trace of light and life outside, leaving him in complete darkness and alone with his equally dark thoughts in his self-created torture chamber—a dark place where he didn’t want to be—a place where all his worst nightmares came true. But instead of vampires haunting him it was a normal looking guy who had the capacity to hurt him in an equally painful way, by tearing his heart out, destroying his soul and draining him of any drop of hope he had left in his body.

All Berkeley wanted to do was sit down with Roberto and talk things through, but Roberto was as distant, and unreachable as the stars, and adamant there was nothing to talk about. He’d had a change of heart, and that was that, and Berkeley just had to accept it. But how could he? He’d given up his life in London for Roberto based on all his lies and false promises.


Berkeley wanted to punch the wall, but after more liquid relaxant, he buried his head in the tear stained pillow and found some momentary relief that he prayed he wouldn’t wake up from.

When he did wake up, he couldn’t face the reality of the outside world and stayed in bed as long as he could, but then the taunting voice in his head got the better of him. Reluctantly he dragged himself out of his potential place of eternal rest, opened the door and went out onto the balcony.

Even though his surroundings should have filled him with joy and happiness, the loneliness and sense of being abandoned hit him with the force of a sledgehammer. He had no friends or family there to support him and help take the pain away.

He had no man he could call his own, who was going to save his life and offer him a future. He was alone with the thought he dreaded most—being alone at a time when he most needed people around him.

Roberto’s face flashed before his eyes, and Berkeley was reminded that angels can also be the Devil in disguise.


About the Author

Born and raised in London, Lee worked as a successful senior management consultant before moving to Tenerife to pursue a more fulfilling life and to focus on his writing.

For Lee, the writing process is all about when the mind and the fingers connect. He plans stories in his head, but when the fingers take over, something else comes out...but invariably, he is happy that he let his fingers do the talking.

He works with an amazing team at eXtasy/Divine books who inspire and encourage his writing. He calls Jay Austin, the Chief Editor in Charge, Laura McNellis, his editor and Carmen Waters, his artist, THE DREAM TEAM. No further explanation required...

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