“The Sheltering Tree” J.R. Lawrie


The heart of Alastair Harding’s life is his duty. Becoming the first gay chief of the Metropolitan police has required certain sacrifices, but Alastair made them willingly. If his life now lacks human connections, he can’t exactly complain—and it’s a little too late for regrets.

Jay Fieldhouse knows all about sacrifice, too. Brought to London for his own safety by witness protection, Jay’s grassroots charity works day and night to save vulnerable kids from a life of crime. But getting close to other people is tough when no one really knows who you are.

When he meets Alastair one night at a charity event, Jay is intrigued by his glimpse of a gentle soul beneath the commissioner’s uniform. The two men decide to run their lonely paths side by side for a while—after all, life is short and good sex is hard to come by.

Then the shadows of the past begin to stir, and the words which go unsaid might be Jay and Alastair’s undoing.


Have you ever felt as if you’re intruding on a private moment? You know what I mean, right? When the air is thick with raw emotions and if you’re not directly involved with them you feel like you’re stealing moments that don’t belong to you. Yeah, one of those. There’s that fierce electrical charge that pulsates all around you, begging you to close your eyes but you just can’t. That was me and this entire book. As each chapter slipped by I felt more and more like a trespasser. However, nothing could pull me away. It was breathtakingly beautiful and I was willing to risk prosecution. This love story of the most unlikely pair was intense, intimate, and intoxicating.

I’ve always been a fan of a man in a uniform and Sir Alastair does not disappoint. I’m also a sucker for a sexy silver fox. *shivers* Pair this older man of the law with a younger inked firecracker and you’ve got one spicy couple. Jay is a bit of an enigma, one that Alastair wants to unravel and indulge in. I adored his witty spark and frisky dialogue. The British slang was in full effect and I couldn’t get enough. They meet at an event honoring Jay’s charity. Al and Jay are not just from the other side of the tracks or even opposite ends of town, they are from polar worlds. They are too different. They could never last but nothing is stopping them from having some fun. Before long, their arrangement starts to shift. Neither wants to voice their desires, too afraid the chaos of reality will drown them out. Unbeknown to them, everyone around them can see and feel it. The secondary characters are strong and memorable. Al and Jay are a mismatched couple doomed for failure. Not only are they poles apart but heavy baggage weighs them down. Jay’s past haunts him. He’s been shackled to his former life and when he finally felt the taste of freedom and the whisp of clouds on his face, everything comes crashing down. I was anxiously sitting on the edge of my seat, pleading for the happily ever after they both desperately deserved. Oh, the anticipation!

This was my first jaunt with Lawrie and I was impressed with her capacity to create such an authentic atmosphere. As a LEO spouse, I tend to be overcritical of police stories. It’s difficult for me to compare tactics and procedures from across the pond but I would imagine she did well maintaining fair representational details. Lawrie’s style is distinct and her emotional pull was outstanding. Granted there were times I felt some tedious thinning would not go amiss. And honestly, I’m not sure about the cover. At first glance, I did pause and take a closer look but was not bedazzled. Let’s face it, smoking isn’t always a winning look. However, Jay is delightful and charming and quickly won me over. Life hasn’t always been kind to him but he’s determined to pay forward the lifeline that was thrown his way. The artwork on his flesh tells a story. One of triumph and survival and I hope you take a gamble to discover it firsthand. I can promise you one thing, Alastair is thanking his lucky star that he did.



Mature men falling into an unforeseen love affair. Off the charts sultry sexual chemistry and knee-wobbling romance. And the harsh reminder that the paths behind us do not define us, for actions do indeed speak louder than words.


bookisforIf you’re on the hunt for a passionate story with some drama and loads of love, why not give these two a chance? The risks are high but they prove the impossible may be possible after all.



TITLE: The Sheltering Tree
AUTHOR: J.R. Lawrie
PUBLISHER: Carnation Books
LENGTH: 507 pages 
RELEASE DATE: April 9, 2021
BUY LINKS: Amazon, AmazonUK

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