The Major and the Miner

Historical M/M Romance

by Barry Lowe

The Major and the Minor - Barry Lowe
Editions:Paperback - reissue: re-edited, new chapter, ending change.: $ 12.99 USD
ISBN: 978-1911478416
Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Pages: 268

In an era when same-sex love is a crime, what is a young doctor to do when he falls for a sexy young coalminer?

Run out of the country town because of his illicit relationship, former army major Dr. Damien Bouton flees to the relative anonymity of a poor, inner-city suburb where he deals with the loss of his lover, Josh, ministering to the needs of a startlingly eccentric mix of supportive characters. Josh, his eyes and his heart newly opened to love, chases after his lover but, in his innocence, falls prey to con men and the razor gangs that abound in Depression-era Sydney. When Damien and Josh’s paths finally cross again, they are almost strangers and their social circumstances make any sort of relationship impossible. Until fate steps in. But is it too late for them to rekindle their love?

 

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Published:
Publisher: Lydian Press
Cover Artists:
Tags:
Pairings: MM
Heat Level: 3
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Class Differences, First Time, Love Triangle, Passing as Straight, Second Chances, True Love
Word Count: 92500
Setting: Sydney, Australia, coal mine village
Languages Available: English
Excerpt:

I went to lock the surgery door to discover a young man reading an outdated magazine. What I noticed immediately was not that his lips mouthed the words he was reading, but his beauty surpassed even that of the surrounding coastal landscape: his hair was the color of the fine sand on the beach, and his eyes bluer than the waters in the bay. My breath caught in my throat. I must have given an audible gasp because the young man smiled.

 

“Hello, doc. You got a moment?” he asked.

 

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I ushered him into my office too dazzled to speak. He stood in front of my desk rather than taking the comfortable leather chair meant for patients. A few inches shorter than I, he was fit, tanned and wore the cap and rough clothes of the villagers. But I’d never seen him before. I would certainly have to remedy that even though one of the reasons for taking on this job was to avoid the temptations that the city offered. Here I expected the temptations to be much less.

 

“I won’t take up too much of your time,” he said. “My mum told me I should ask you to supper this evening.” He blushed.

 

“What?”

 

“Mum said as you being a bachelor gentleman and having no one to look after you then you probably need a proper feed every now and then ’cause gentlemen don’t know how to cook good, wholesome grub.”

 

“Don’t expect nothing fancy,” he said. “I said to mum that Dr. Button is no snob even though he’s from the big city and has probably et at all the fancy cafés, but he knows you can’t beat good home cooking.” He paused and smiled expectantly. “Please, sir, say you’ll come. It’s to show our appreciation for all what you done for us. Me.”

 

He stumbled over the word appreciation as if he’d rehearsed his little speech, but it just made him all the more endearing. However, I was at a loss. I didn’t recall him. “What exactly is it you think I’ve done for you?”

 

Disappointment clouded his face. I looked again at those eyes.

 

Suddenly, it struck me. “Joshua?”

 

“Yes, sir. Did you not recognise Joshua, sir?”

 

“I should have known you. Why, those eyes, lad. They must drive the local girls crazy.”

 

He blushed again and fidgeted with his cap.

 

“Take a seat while I lock up.”

 

I quickly set about closing the surgery for the day hoping that no one would disturb us. As I did so I remembered the awful circumstances under which we had met. At the caterwauling siren I grabbed my medical bag and ran outside, along with most of the people above ground in Seaspray Bay. I tore up the dirt road surrounded by womenfolk in dread for their sons and husbands, but they gave me space and did not jostle me because a few seconds delay on my part could mean the difference between life and death.

 

Only one man had been hurt. They carried him on a stretcher, blackened from the coal except for a red slash across his leg where his trousers had been cut open as had the leg itself. He was conscious, barely, the pain excruciating. I leaned over and whispered words of comfort to him, but his face was so covered with soot and coal he scarcely looked human. Apart from his eyes. They were astonishingly blue. I just stared into them until his groan of pain interrupted my preoccupation.

 

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Bob-O-Link on Gay Book reviews wrote:

The Major and the Miner (Bob-O-Link’s Review)
Recommended Read, Review July 9, 2019 0 COMMENTS Bob-O-Link
5 stars, Barry Lowe, Epic Erotic Saga, Lydian Press, Romance

Title: The Major and the Miner
Author: Barry Lowe
Publisher: Lydian Press
Release Date: July 5, 2019
Genre(s): Romance, Epic Erotic Saga
Page Count: 249
Reviewed by: Bob-O-Link
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Blurb:

In an era when same-sex love is a crime, what is an ex- army major to do when he falls for a sexy young coalminer?

Run out of the country town because of his illicit relationship, former army major Dr. Damien Bouton flees to the relative anonymity of a poor, inner-city suburb where he deals with the loss of his lover, Josh, ministering to the needs of a startlingly eccentric mix of supportive characters. Josh, his eyes and his heart newly opened to love, chases after his lover but, in his innocence, falls prey to con men and the razor gangs that abound in Depression-era Sydney. When Damien and Josh’s paths finally cross again, they are almost strangers and their social circumstances make any sort of relationship impossible. Until fate steps in. But is it too late for them to rekindle their love?

First – no waiting! This is a wonderful, vast book: all you can ask. It makes us familiar
with a large, diverse cast; it follows many of them over years of interactions and episodes; we are engaged with their ups and down – both in the story line and, yes sirree, in the bedroom too.

Mr Lowe’s The Major and the Miner presents a grand reissue of this finely retro novel. If its genre must be identified, it would likely be Picaresque. Not to be pedantic, but that ilk historically most often designates a type of realistic fiction dealing with the episodic adventures of a roguish protagonist, going from place to place, usually in an attempt to survive in a corrupt society. [For example, think of just a few enduring classics: Candide; History of Tom Jones; Joseph Andrews; Huckleberry Finn; also much of Dickens.]

Frequently humorous, this work can also be properly designated as in a classically erotic subset – such as were often sold under-the-counter in the earlier part of the last century.

Put another way, Mr Lowe’s The Major and the Miner might well be the kind of book a gay-curious teen could luckily find in his father’s sock draw, and then secretly read at night under his covers.

Superficially similar (only in spelling), this piquant adventure novel is wonderfully structured, continually surprising with its twists and turns, and masterfully descriptive in its explicit sexual components. Mr Lowe has found just the right voice, as he moves Dr Damien Bouton from 1932, when the story opens, back to his days in the First World War, and forward into his subsequent adventures in Sydney, Australia. Neatly, he also gives the reader an inserted aside, permitting us to “catch up” with Josh’s doings at that same time. No surprise – but the “doings” of both men frequently entail undressing (or at the least, unzipping) and are always heated, usually comically tinged, and totally without reservation. “He did so with alacrity and I guided him into my warm opening. He was a tight fit but I concentrated on my labor of love . . ..” What a joyful presentation!

Humor, too, is always at hand: “The local doctor has retired suddenly on medical grounds – death they called it . . .”

Author Lowe captures the era. The Depression setting is front and center. References to current queer sexologists and their writings are cleverly dropped. Allusions to Agatha Christie and Poirot also help fix the period. The legal and moral sexual limitations of the age are repeatedly noted: “I knew they would not have been supportive of us as soldier had they known we spent the night in bed together sharing our illegal love with our bodies caked with each other’s semen.”

He well uses what seems likely to be 1930’s Australian sounds and phrases: “ . . . in the morning . . . we must be up at sparrow’s fart for work, . . .” Also (perhaps sardonically prodding with its pretentiousness) he amuses us, using a preponderance of pseudo upper-class words, such as: prepossessing; ostensibly; opprobrium; alacrity; antipodean; vainglorious; perspicacious; abstemious.

With this approach and tools in hand, The Major and the Miner provides a period epic, full of real people with time-appropriate difficulties and emotions, and we are joyful witnesses to their experience. So, with alacrity run, do not walk, to get this novel.


M/M romance, historical, Australia, 1930s, depression, coalminers, razor gangs, murder, Sydney, slums, Pyrmont, Surry Hills, sex workers, prostitution, drugs, doctor, military, World War I, musical theatre, boarding house, con men, Macquarie Street, Sydney Hospital, violence, unionism, servants, terrace houses, the Great War, industrial injury, battlefield, AIF 5th Division, Tilly Devine, Pfahlert’s Hotel, Kate Leigh, The Academy School of Dancing, disfigurement, mine accident.

About the Author

Naughty or nice? Sugar or Spice? Whatever way you like it, Barry Lowe writes M/M Romance and Erotica that’s as addictive and satisfying as your morning cup of coffee. If you like it short and sweet with a happy ending then saucy romance is for you. But if you like a stronger brew with fetish, cuckold relationships, taboo, and all things steamy then try the Erotica – but watch out for the heat!

 


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