Today, I have Dr Jones in the interview chair, the hero from author VR Tennent’s latest release Loving Dr Jones, book one in the Moral Dilemmas series, contemporary fiction.
1. First off, tell us who you are and what role you play in the novel.
Answer: My name is Dr Benjamin Jones and I’m an oncology consultant in a private hospital in London. I’ve always lived in the city.
2. Share with us your hobbies and interests, and why you enjoy them.
Answer: My four children keep me so busy I don’t need hobbies. Having two teenage daughters who are determined to give me a full head of grey hair before I’m fifty. Plus two boys under thirteen means I’m always kept busy. There is always a disaster unfolding or football practice to attend.
3. Tell us how you feel about being in a novel, and if you are happy with how VR Tennent presented you to readers.
Answer: The representation of me was fair. I have made ALOT of mistakes in my life and I’m certainly not proud of my behaviour. The novel was fairly balanced and gave an all-round perspective of the story.
4. If VR Tennent was to create another novel with you in mind, give us a quick blurb of what it would be about. And be sure to give the title.
Answer: Balance – Landing myself in the position of having a blended family with two strong women is a complicated one. Juggling everyone’s needs proves tricky day to day alongside the demands of four children and a high-pressure job in oncology. Sometimes we need to put the needs of others first and you never quite know if you’re making the right decision. Throw in a job offer abroad and a terminally ill wife, you have an extremely debatable situation. Do I do what is right for me, my family or my career?
5. Which character in the novel do you like the most, and why?
Answer: Bex – she’s the love of my life.
6. Which character in the novel do you dislike the most, and why?
Answer: Max – he’s in love with Bex and is a constant thorn in my side.
7. Tell us why we should read Loving Dr Jones and what we will find most intriguing about you.
Answer: Loving Dr Jones isn’t purely about romance, it’s about relationships and life. Over a twenty-year period, the decisions primarily I made affected the lives of us all. The result was years missed with the woman I love and my son as well as many broken hearts. You’ll find out I’m human like every other man on the planet.
Title: Loving Dr Jones
Series: Moral Dilemmas, Book One
Author: VR Tennent
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Heat Level: 4 Flames (open door sex, explicit language used)
Length: 81,448 words/255 pages
Publication Date: September 2, 2022
Publisher: eXtasy Books
What happens when the woman you marry isn’t the woman you want? Your heart fights with your head and a lot of people you care about get hurt.
Blurb: Being the other woman was never my goal. But loving him made it impossible not to be. A love triangle between lifelong friends certainly complicates the issue.
From the moment I realised we couldn’t be together, I hit the self-destruct button. Life gets complicated and tragedy appears out of nowhere. Loyalty is tested. And love is denied.
Our passion is real. Our feelings strong. Our story heart-breaking. He was never mine to begin with, but every moment in his arms was precious. No one is ever promised a happy ending, but for me loving him was worth the risk.
Will he ever choose me?
My head is going to explode.
I am going to die from an explosion of the brain. Lying in bed, I curse the concoction of alcohol that flowed down my throat last night. Right now, stars—no, meteorites—are flying around my skull, crashing into and destroying any brain cells they connect with. Keeping my eyes screwed shut, terrified of the light, the sun beats through the window onto my face. Obviously, I was too drunk to even close the blinds.
Mustering enough courage to open one eye, I snap it shut. Perhaps the other one will be less agonising. No, it feels like someone is stabbing at my eye sockets with a toothpick. Eventually, both eyes open. The ceiling is swirling out of control. My stomach retches.
Another Sunday morning lost to the demon drink. Another weekend ruined.
I moved in two years ago. Nothing has changed. Creating my own home isn’t important. Nothing here reflects my personality apart from being unloved. Seventies styling from when the previous owner modernised it all those years ago decorates the walls. The retro flooring running throughout is old and worn. I tell myself this makes the apartment look lived-in, but in reality, it just looks dilapidated. This place can make you feel drunk even when you’re sober.
A familiar dread creeps through the alcohol fog. What happened last night? What did I say? More importantly, what did I do? Reaching across to retrieve my phone, I baulk waiting for the evidence of last night’s embarrassing antics. It wouldn’t be a Sunday morning without a social media tag for a humiliating moment.
Typically, my morning-after newsfeed is littered with photos and comments, evidence of my drunken shenanigans. This would be perfectly normal, even acceptable, for a student or someone in the process of finding themselves. But for a thirty-three-year-old Director of English at the prestigious Hilltop Manor Academy, not so much.
Things have become so bad that I’m using an alias on my social media accounts, unfriending and blocking anyone with a link to the school. I considered removing my internet presence, but then monitoring any negativity would be impossible. It would not be the first time I have tracked someone down, appeared at their door, and begged them to remove embarrassing footage.
I lie back on my pillow and hit the familiar blue app. Nothing. Not one photo or notification. My mind tries to recall the previous evening.
We arrived at our local tavern, The Smoking Goat―our usual Saturday night haunt. The first few drinks went down too easy. I could murder for a vodka and coke right now. But after we moved on to shots, it all went fuzzy. Nope, nothing. I shake my head to try to clear the fog. What happened? How did I get home? Why the fuck is there nothing on my socials?
I always get a group picture.
I always post it.
I click onto my best friend and long-suffering sister’s page. Amy is my rock. No matter how embarrassing I become, no matter how loud, how unbearable, she scoops me up and takes me home. Her page is empty; she was definitely there last night. I vaguely recall her shrugging her shoulders at me. No doubt I asked the same question I’ve asked her ten times before.
As Amy’s page is giving me no clues, I jump over to Kelsey’s. Saturday night is always spent with the same people. We drink, dance, fall, and ultimately, vomit together. Squinting at the screen, her page looks different. I can only see limited information and her profile picture: an old photo of her and her late mother sitting out the back door drinking tea. I smile at the sweet memory. Scanning the page, I try to make sense of it. A new button has appeared that wasn’t there before. Add friend? She must have unfriended me as a prank. I smart at the cheek of her. Bitch! Add friend, my arse. She can add me.
Half-cocked, I flick through the photos on my phone, in search of answers. I find nothing useful. There are a few from early on last night, the usual posed group photos. Nothing out of the ordinary.
At the top of my page, the message box is blinking with one notification. I perk up. I love getting messages; it massages my ego. On the other hand, if someone doesn’t respond to a message promptly, I panic. In ten seconds, I can convince myself they hate me, I’ve offended them, and I will die alone. The scenario plays out in front of me, and I recoil. Beating myself up is my favourite hobby.
The message pops up on the screen. It’s Terry. We’ve been friends for years; he would’ve been there last night. My face falls on reading the first line.
Bex, where are you?
Confused, I read on.
You disappeared with him. Please come back. Don’t do this to us. To our friends. You are being completely selfish.
My heart starts to race, and blood rushes through my ears. Screwing my eyes shut, I try to remember what the hell happened last night. Nope, nothing.
What I can’t remember, my mind makes up. Never truly knowing what is real. I remember being in the bar. We were all there. Kelsey, Amy, Ben, Terry, and myself. Singing karaoke, I think. The boys were downing pints, and the girls, apart from Kelsey, were on the wine.
Kelsey and Ben don’t get out much, having two little ones and another on the way. When they go out, Ben goes big. The shots arrived…then nothing. I race through my memories: drinks, crisps, laughing, falling over. Pulling back my sheet reveals a purple bruise on my thigh. I fell again.
Fuck, what if I was drugged?
VR Tennent emigrated from Scotland to Spain in 2020. She lives in the Spanish campo with her husband, young daughter, and ever-growing animal family.
In January 2022, she decided to put pen to paper and write a book after joining the writer’s group of her favourite author. Five months later she was offered a publishing contract on that very book.
She writes contemporary fiction filled with love, heartbreak, and spice.