OUT NOW! Held Close to My Heart by Ellie Thomas
Since their mid-teens, Luke has been deeply in love with his childhood friend and neighbour Jem, who spends most of the year at the decadent court of King Charles II in London. In the intervening years at home on Twelvetrees Farm in Oxfordshire, Luke has been occupied by helping his disabled father run their small estate, taking on the burden of work to support his family. Meanwhile, Jem has enjoyed all the worldly pleasures available to him at court.
When they are both twenty-one, Jem returns to Westlecot Manor to spend the summer, and Luke’s feelings for him reach boiling point. Luke can no longer cling to the belief he is important to Jem. He is overwhelmed by jealousy at the prospect of Jem’s dalliances with any visitors to the manor house, while aware Jem is bewildered by his outbursts of disapproval.
Will Luke allow his jealousy to get the better of him? Might he dare to speak his deepest feelings? Or would that destroy their lifelong bond forever?