Heart Knot Mine Blog Tour and Review.
Title: Heart Knot Mine
Author: Lily Velden
Genre: gay romance, contemporary
Publisher: DreamSpinner Press
Despite a successful college teaching career, Noah Daniels has become depressed. He feels he’s leading a monochromatic life: love has eluded him. When he’s offered a chance to teach in London as part of an exchange program, he accepts, hoping a change of scenery will do him good. But once he’s there, his outlook on love and sexuality changes in ways he never expected.
Robert Callinan is Noah’s English counterpart in the program. The men exchange not only their jobs, but also their homes, and it is what Noah stumbles across while staying at Robert’s house that sends him on a journey of self-discovery—both mentally and physically. A journey that puts color back into his life… just not in the way he expected. When the exchange program ends, Noah has to go home, but he doesn’t know if he wants to return to the life he left behind.
THE KEY baffled me.
I’d found the soul mate, the yin to the yang, for every other key on the ring. But for three days I’d explored the house and not discovered the home of the small ornate brass mystery. Its elusiveness bothered me. I found myself wondering about it at the oddest times, like when I was exploring the city or training at the tae kwon do club I’d found less than a mile from my front doorstep. It nagged at me when I rode the Tube, and at night when I brushed my teeth. It stood out on the ring, its intricate Celtic design drawing my attention every time I handled the keys. It was impossible to ignore. It might have been small in comparison to its more utilitarian cousins, but its very uniqueness made it large in my eyes. Perhaps for that reason, I felt the need to find its home.
I rolled a sip of red wine around inside my mouth before tipping my head back and letting it slide down my throat. I wondered what I should do for the evening. Pondering my options, I carried my plate to the kitchen and quickly washed it. After drying my hands on a hand towel, I pulled aside the curtain and looked outside. Seeing the steady rain, I sighed. The foul weather made my decision for me. A night in it was. Maybe it was time to check out Robert’s DVD collection.
Sauntering up the stairs to the master bedroom with its huge king-size bed, I paused just inside the door, my gaze on the large flat-screen TV—Robert obviously liked to watch movies while lying in his mammoth bed. The state-of-the-art modernity of the unit was in direct contrast to the antique Chinese sideboard upon which it rested. The cabinet was beautiful: long and dark, with three sets of double doors decorated with delicately painted birds and blooms in creams, greens and gold.
After placing my glass of wine on the bedside table, I strode to the sideboard, and upon opening the first set of doors, one glance informed me the DVDs were arranged alphabetically. I ran my gaze over the titles and removed one or two possibilities before moving to the second set of doors and doing the same.
The final set of doors stopped me in my tracks. There, on the bottom shelf, was an old-fashioned lockable box. As soon as I saw it, I knew I’d finally found the home of my mystery key.
Considering where he kept the box, and its size and shape, I surmised it housed his porn collection. The fact he kept it under lock and key intrigued me. Was it to keep it safe from the prying eyes of his cleaning lady, who I had yet to meet? Or was it because it was one hell of a deviant collection? My curiosity got the better of me, and I quickly retrieved the keys. Surely, had it been off-limits, he’d have removed the key from the ring?
All the labels were handwritten. Labels I didn’t read. Labels I only glanced at.
With the wisdom of hindsight, that observation should have told me they were home movies.
But it didn’t.
I always enjoy reading Lily Velden’s stories. I love her writing style and admire how she writes with humour and such passion.
Noah and Robert’s relationship encapsulates what I adore about the m/m genre. Although taking over thirty years to realize he is gay, Noah embraces his sexuality and falls head-over-heels in love with Robert. There is nothing ‘girlie’ about the depth of emotion he experiences towards this man. I relished the intensity of his feelings and their passionate lovemaking. Lily writes sizzling bedroom scenes, but for Noah it is more than just sex when he spends time with Robert. Not all men want to have casual hook-ups in bathhouses and clubs. and it isn’t just women who seek something more meaningful in their love life. Noah wants this connection with his soul mate, and his need for Robert is wonderfully expressed through his thoughts and actions.
Lily superbly shows Noah’s angst and heartache when he and Robert are apart. It hurts for him and for us as readers. This is skilful and emotional writing at its best. The scene when they finally meet again is one of my favorites in the whole book. I have read it over several times with tears in my eyes. It is so beautiful. So moving.
I loved this story and the characters portrayed by Lily, and will read the book again—a definite sign of how much I enjoyed it. My only wish is that perhaps one of the earlier sex scenes had been replaced for one at the end of the story. I would have loved to have read a final lovemaking scene and heard in more detail how Robert was feeling and suffering when the two men were apart. But that’s just me being greedy because I didn’t want their story to end.
3x DSP Gift Vouchers for any Lily Velden Title – $6.99 each
Lily Velden lives on the east coast of Australia, her family having emigrated from Holland when she was a child.
She’s both a left and right brain person, holding qualifications in both Finance and Fine Arts. She tells her friends that her way with numbers will make her a profitable artist and writer… one day.
Lily has always had a love of language and a beautifully crafted sentence, and admits to having a fetish for collecting quotes, poems, and song lyrics. What she won’t admit to is how many notebooks she’s filled with those quotes… Her fascination carries on into her artworks where she often incorporates text. When a shoulder injury slowed down her art practice she decided to explore her love of the written word more fully and began writing. “I’ll paint my pictures with words.”
Not that she’s abandoned artmaking in its entirety—Lily collaborates on the designs for all her book covers.
There are many things Lily loves, here are just a few of the PG rated ones: a good laugh (all the better if caused by a naughty joke), the smell of freshly baked goods and mown grass, a smile from a stranger, rainbows after the rain, and witnessing a promise kept.
Lily Velden can be found at: