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Thursday, 13 August 2015

On Bryson by D.J. Manly

What elements go into a good romance? Well, if you ask a variety of people, you’ll get a variety of answers. If you can’t list variables, you might give a think about the romantic films or books that have stuck in your mind. Wuthering Heights (hey, I named my British kittie Bronte already!), Romancing the Stone, The English Patient, Maurice, The Road Trip, Dirty Dancing, An Officer and a Gentleman. I could go on and one. Some prefer lots of angst in their romance, others like comedy. 

I’ve written many romances in my time. In my mind, a good romance should have two likable main characters. Likable doesn’t mean perfect. Character flaws are a part of human nature. But in spite of the flaws, there should be something redeemable about these characters. You take these likable but flawed characters and you put them into a situation where they may be some conflict. What is wonderful about love is that love can win over conflict. The importance of a good love story is not the ending. Sure, we want them to end up together. But the real beauty of a well written love story is the journey, how do these two characters manage to get through the obstacles and wind up together. 

I wanted to write a “classic” love story and that’s why On Bryson ended up being. Two men, who seem to be on opposite sides of the law, drawn to each other yet doing all they can to fight that attraction. Love sometimes has a power of its own, and no matter how hard you fight, it wins. 

The two characters in On Bryson are Soren and Bryson. Soren is a man who long to escape his situation. He has never really been free to live his life. And as the story opens, we realise he is trapped again. Bryson is a rugged, homicide cop who is loyal to his family. When his cousin is shot and put in a wheelchair, Bryson is determined to find out who is behind the shooting. Soren’s association with the head of a major crime family puts him directly in Bryson’s path. Where the story goes from there is for you to find out. I’ve left a little teaser for you below. Enjoy.


Soren walked over and took the chair opposite him. “You know, you’re good looking, and clearly intelligent, too. But I should tell you that your personality leaves something to be desired.”

“Is that so?”

“And you’re a little too cocky for your own good.”

Janis came over set an open bottle of red wine in front of them with two glasses.

“The best in the house,” Soren told him.

“How nice,” Bryson replied. “To what do I owe the VIP treatment?”

“Just welcoming a new client.”

Janis poured the wine into the two glasses and gave Bryson a smile before she walked off.

“It seems you’ve made quite an impression on my waitress,” Soren said, wrapping his fingers around the stem of the wineglass.

“I didn’t notice.”

“So, tell me something about yourself.”

“I don’t have to. You seem to have me all summed up. I’m cocky and intelligent…oh and good looking, can’t forget that one, but I have a shitty personality.”

“How about something I don’t know?”

“But you know all you need to, Soren. I’m looking for Vinnie Delino. Seen him around lately?” He lifted an eyebrow.

Soren laughed. “You are stubborn.”

Bryson didn’t respond, just looked at him.

“You come right to point, don’t you? All right, I’ll bite. Who’s Vinnie Delino?”

Bryson shook his head. “Come on, Mr. Gambini, cut the bullshit.”

“Would you mind not calling me, Mr. Gambini? You made your point earlier.”

“With all the power that name wields, I would think you would like using it.”

“Well, I don’t,” he snapped.

Bryson flashed a smile.

“You happy you got to me?”

“That’s not what I came for.” He took a sip of his drink. “Forgive me. Now, back to Vinnie.”

Soren gave him an innocent look. “I’m not following.”

He sighed. “This innocent act seems to be a family trait. Vinnie is part of your family. He was your almost father-in-law’s godson. That seemed to serve him well for a while. But apparently he was quite an idiot and did something stupid. That led to my cousin getting shot. So either Vinnie is dead or Sidney is hiding him.”

“Italians have big families, Bryson. I can’t be expected to know them all by name. But then, Accurso is Italian, isn’t it?”

“Yes, it is,” he replied softly. “I’m half Italian, actually. My mother was Irish. Nice dodge.”

Soren ignored the last bit. “That accounts for it.”

“Accounts for what? Do enlighten me.”

“Those killer blue eyes.”

“Please”—Bryson put a hand to his chest in mock humility—“you’ll make me blush.”

Soren laughed. “Somehow I doubt that. You’ve heard it before.”

“So,” he said. “Now that we know my eyes are blue, have you seen Vinnie or not?”

“I haven’t seen Vinnie,” he replied. “Not that I recall.”


On Bryson by D.J. Manly is now available at Amber Allure.

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