James Callahan is the only son of Nicholas Callahan, owner of the Willow Hollow mine in West Virginia—but he’s never considered himself any better than the miners. He’s best friends with Owain Rees, one of the miners’ kids, and he’s been attracted to Cai, Owain’s older brother, for years. James gets the feeling he might not be the only one sensing the tension between them, but Cai avoids him religiously.
Cai has been working the mine since he was sixteen. He acknowledges James is cute, but he’s grown up privileged while Cai’s family has always been working class, and Cai fears that chasm is too wide to cross. When family drama pushes them together, will Cai and James see they’re more alike than they realized?
Take a leap of faith as two men from different worlds, employer and employee, rich and poor, discover that love transcends social barriers.
Buy links: Dreamspinner | Amazon
Cat gives this one 4 Meows...
James is a wealthy man. His family owns coal mines in Virginia area. He is taking more on in this mine. His best friend is one of the miners. He has crushed on Owain's oldest brother Cai for years but it was unreciprocated. James is wanting to get on with his life out of his father's thumb.
A Coal Miner's son is a good story. I loved all the characters especially James. I loved how he wasn't a stereotypical rich man. I loved his compassion and love for the community. The romance does move fast and I would have liked a longer story, but all in all it was a very good romance.If you like hardworking men, coal miners, millionaires, and sweet romance
“GREAT JOB, son.” Nicholas Callahan, James’s father and boss, slapped him on the shoulder. “I have to admit, when you first suggested making these changes, I thought you were crazy.”
“Not to mention wasting a lot of company money,” James said, hiding his wince at the force of his father’s jovial display of approval.
“Well, that’s true.” Nicholas dismissed James’s comment with a wave of his hand before he dropped into the chair behind his desk. “It was going to be a big cost and it was hard getting the board to spend it.”
James strolled over to the window. Placing his hand on the cool glass, he stared out over the city. The sun shone down on the buildings, but James didn’t see the beauty of it. All he saw was the vehicles on the streets and people on the sidewalks. Charleston was the capital of West Virginia, which wasn’t saying much. Yet James wasn’t interested in it. Just like he hadn’t really been interested in all the other major cities he’d visited and lived in throughout his thirty-four years.
“Although the initial cost was high, the changes made have ended up saving the company millions of dollars in fines.” He turned back to meet his father’s gaze. “Along with health insurance claims and work complaints. Maybe you won’t dig in your heels next time I want to make some changes.”
Nicholas snorted. “You know there will be a fight, no matter what, son. When it comes to spending money, there’s no way you’re getting it without jumping through hoops.”
That was the truth. Ever since James joined the company, he’d argued with the money people over every idea and change he wanted to make. It didn’t matter that he was the CEO’s only son. The board members hated giving up even a penny of the bottom line.
His father’s phone rang and James edged toward the door. “I’m leaving for Willow Hollow. I want to check the changes at the main mine. It’s been six months since we instituted the new safety measures. Also, the miner representative asked to meet with me.”
He dashed out of the office before his father could say anything. There was nothing his father disliked more than the miners and the people who represented them. Yet James had never had any trouble with them, even when they’d argued against the new safety measures he’d implemented earlier in the year. Their resistance had surprised him until his father reminded him that most people didn’t like change.
“James, my son, those people don’t like change. They like to do things the way they’ve always been done. I’m surprised they even agreed to it.” Nicholas shook his head.
It was a sentiment he’d heard most of his life. “Those people,” Nicholas called the miners and their families who lived in Willow Hollow. His father believed the townspeople were backward and ignorant. He’d done his best to keep James away from them, rarely allowing him to visit the main mine and keeping him close when they did go.
Yet James had figured out ways to sneak away and spend time with the miners’ children. He didn’t care that their clothes were ragged and their skin dirty. They didn’t care that James was neatly dressed and always so clean. None of that mattered. They only saw the fun they could have together. It was worth all the punishments James had suffered when he returned to his father covered in mud and leaves.
Willow Hollow had been a place of joy for James. A place where he could be a regular boy instead of Nicholas Callahan’s heir. Then he’d been sent to boarding school and college. It had been years before he’d been able to get back.
His phone buzzed as he arrived at his car. After checking the screen, he grimaced and silenced the ringing. Listening to his father rave about ignorant miners and ungrateful townsfolk wasn’t how James wanted to spend the next hour or so as he drove. God knew he’d never be able to get Nicholas off the phone until his father chose to end the call.
He unlocked the vehicle, tossed his briefcase into the backseat, then slid behind the steering wheel. Checking his watch, he saw he had more than enough time to go home, change his clothes, grab his bags, and get his truck. Some of the places he was going in the area around Willow Hollow weren’t reachable by car.
Light traffic meant he got home quickly and he parked his car in the garage. As he transferred his briefcase to his truck, the inside door leading into the house opened and his mother peeked out.
“Hey, Mom,” he said, smiling while heading toward her. Halfway there, his dog ambushed him. Pharaoh was a Rhodesian ridgeback that didn’t know his own size and strength. James braced himself and scratched Pharaoh’s ears. “Hello there, boy. You ready for our trip?”
The dog barked and his mother grimaced. She wasn’t fond of the dog hair left in Pharaoh’s wake.
“Hello, honey.” She lifted her chin and James dutifully placed a kiss on her cheek. “Are you still planning on driving out to the mine today?”
“Yes.” He eased past her into the mudroom, where he removed his shoes, then snatched them up. He knew better than to wear them through the house. Betty, their housekeeper, would beat him if he tracked in any kind of dirt.
His mother sighed. “Your father is having some business associates over tonight. We won’t be even at dinner.”
He shot her a quick glance over his shoulder. “I told you this morning at breakfast that I wouldn’t be here tonight, Mom.”
“Can’t you leave tomorrow?” She rested her hand on his arm. “There’s a nice young gentleman coming tonight that I’d love to introduce to you.”
Ah. Now her true plan came out. He patted her hand and sighed. “I appreciate your matchmaking attempts, but I can find my own dates.”
James had been afraid to come out when he realized he was gay, figuring there was no way his parents would accept him. He’d told them when he left for college, in case they didn’t take it well. Yet to his surprise, his mother never said one bad word. She simply rearranged her thinking, and instead of finding him a nice girl to marry, she was now doing her best to pick a nice boy for him.
Nicholas had seemed all right with his announcement, but to be honest, James was pretty sure his father still wasn’t comfortable that his son was a homosexual. So James had never brought any of his boyfriends home to meet his father. No point in suffering Nicholas’s silent disapproval.
Guest post with Author T.A. Chase
Hello! T.A. Chase here and I’m happy to be a guest blogger here today. Some of you might know this already, but I write gay romance. I’m supposed to be talking about my new book, A Coal Miner’s Son, available at Dreamspinner Press. I will get to that in a moment, but I want to talk about another book I’m reading right now.
I’m reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. See…earlier this year I rediscovered my love of libraries. So many books on so many topics and they don’t cost a thing to borrow and read. Sure, there are a few that I’ve read, then went out and purchased my very own copy, but for the most part, I read and return them. (saves on space in my apartment…lol) Literally, you can find a book on just about any topic. I found one on Gurkhas. They’re basically the Special Forces of Nepal. I’m working on a story featuring a Gurkha as one of the main characters.
I’ve read books about viruses, dark matter and how Lord Byron’s daughter created an algorithm used in computers today. If only she’d lived in a more enlightened time. I read a book about spelling English words and how that all came about. In this book, there was a quote from Bradbury’s 451. (I’ll admit I haven’t read a lot of the ‘classics’. Not sure why. Just most of them haven’t interested me. Might have something to do with reading Catcher in the Rye in college and not liking it at all…lol)
After reading the passage and discovering what 451 was about, I had to check it out. The only copy in my library was a large print version, which was fine with me. Easier on the eyes.
I’m only halfway through the story and the world he portrays scared me to be honest. I know that was probably Bradbury’s point. To imagine a world without books…where it’s actually illegal to read and own them is frightening.
I’ve always believed that reading helps stimulate the imagination and makes people think. Yes, even those silly romance novels women always seem to be reading. (wink. Wink) A reader never knows what she-or he-might discover when they open a book.
You can travel to exotic locales like my work-in-progress that takes place in Nepal or travel a few states over to West Virginia where A Coal Miner’s Son is set. A reader can even journey to the future or the past. Or some distant planet in a far away galaxy.
A book is so much more than a collection of words on ‘paper’. It’s the author’s dream played out on a page, but only brought to ‘life’ by the reader’s imagination. Trust me. How I see one of my characters might not be how a reader sees him. No matter how I describe him, a reader can create an image in their mind and he might have different colored hair or he speaks a little differently. I’m fine with that. If I could get away with not giving detailed descriptions of my characters, I would, simply to allow my readers a chance to create whatever kind of image they want while they read.
I seriously can’t imagine a world where people don’t read. It would be a scary place if all we did was absorb what the media tells us without thinking and that’s what books help us do. They help us use our brains…imo. Also, pure entertainment value. I love movies, but I love books more because I can visual the characters however I want.
Oh don’t get me wrong. I watch television and movies a lot as well, but to me, the best kind of relaxation and evening is spent with a book in my hand (or my Kindle). To escape the world around me for an hour (or four…lol). To find myself in a different place then where I am in my real life is a great way to recharge and get ready for the next day or week.
As readers, I think you understand what I’m talking about and might have the same feelings I do about a place where books are illegal and reading can get you sent to the insane asylum.
I hope you get a chance to check out my new book, A Coal Miner’s Son. It takes place in West Virginia and is a rich boy/poor boy love story. Yet I dare you to call Cai poor. Lol He doesn’t think he is. It’s an idea I’ve had in the back of my mind for a while now and when Dreamspinner had their call for States of Love, I knew I had to write it.
Thank you for having me today and letting me babble about books, even though it wasn’t about mine.
T.A. Chase lives in the Midwest with her neurotic but still wonderful senior cat. She believes there is beauty in every kind of love, so why not live a life without boundaries? Experiencing everything the world offers fascinates T.A., and writing about the things that make each of us unique is how she shares those insights. When not writing, she’s watching movies and reading. She’s also a part of a line-dancing group that takes over a bar on Tuesday nights and entertains at assisted living homes. It’s all about living life to the fullest.
She loves hearing from fans. But don’t be too upset if she doesn’t get back to you right away. Life has a way of making her lose track of days and hours. Don’t worry, though. You will hear back at some point.
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