Meet Team Smiley 4/5 – Luca Riley

Continuing with this week’s celebration of the World Men’s Curling Championship and the spotlight on Throwing Stones (Glasgow Lads on Ice Book 1, currently on sale through Sunday and also available in paperback).

Young smiling man with dark hair and beard. Text: "I was expecting more awkward fumbling and confusing subtext before we got round to being honest."

Ah here’s our lovable skip! Luca is the even-keeled leader that keeps everyone relaxed and reasonably sane. They call him the Comeback King, as he never loses his cool when he falls behind early in a game. As a part-time teacher of mindfulness meditation, he handles stress with deep breaths and a heavy dose of perspective.

Until he meets Oliver Doyle. The unintentionally mercurial Canadian coach leaves Luca guessing, and the fact their relationship is a bit Romeo & Juliet (with Oliver coaching Team Riley’s rivals) makes romance that much less certain.

As he moved behind the house to await Team MacDougall’s first throw, Luca pulled in a long breath, then let it out slowly as he mentally recited his mantra:

This. Here. Now.

David’s guard had given Team Riley an auspicious start, but it was only the first stone of hundreds they would throw this weekend. Luca would take them one at a time, like always. He wasn’t the most talented or clever skip in the rink, but if he stayed true to himself, he could be by far the most chill. And no tall, handsome, R-chewing coach could stop him.


Throwing Stones, Chapter 8

Fun facts about Luca:

  • He has a fear of strong aversion to clowns and balloons (which is perfectly reasonable!).
  • He’s somewhere on the ace spectrum, maybe demisexual or gray-sexual, still figuring out which if any label he wants to put on it.
  • One of the Glasgow Lads’ most popular characters, Lord Andrew Sunderland, is in his meditation class.
  • He dropped out of medical school and now edits medical textbooks as his day job, which makes him adorably/annoyingly pedantic about proper grammar and word usage.

Luca took a sip of coffee. “Christ, that’s good.” He remembered the writing on the sleeve of Oliver’s cup. “Team Boyd’s coach drinks decaf in the morning, like some sort of depraved supervillain.”

“Maybe that’s why he was chucked out of Canada.” David snickered as he counted out five pounds in small change for Ross. “He broke the Tim Hortons Act of 1938, which famously forbade antemeridian consumption of non-caffeinated beverages.”

“It’s ‘ante meridiem,’” Luca muttered into his coffee.

Throwing Stones, Chapter 5

Luca is not in the habit of falling for men he hasn’t known for ages. But once he and Oliver get together, he falls hard and fast.

Luca murmured against his shoulder, words that sounded like gibberish.

“Sorry, what?”

Without opening his eyes, Luca turned his head and spoke more clearly. “Munit haec et altera vincit.”

“Wow, you’re the first guy who ever spoke Latin to me in bed. I gotta say, it’s pretty hot.”

“It’s the motto of your own Nova Scotia.” Luca pulled the covers up another inch. “It means, ‘One defends and the other conquers.’”

“Who’s the one and the other?” Oliver asked.

“Scotland and Nova Scotia.”

Oliver didn’t get it. “Why would we conquer you? You’re the ones who came here—I mean, who went there. Not that I’m complaining, since my grandparents are Scottish.”

“Don’t be so literal.” Luca’s arm tightened around his chest. “You’ve conquered me, Oliver Doyle.”

Throwing Stones, Chapter 14

And with that, I have some news! I plan to release Luca and Oliver’s followup story (title TBD) this December, a holiday short to accompany Garen’s holiday novel in late November. Those two releases will wrap up the Glasgow Lads on Ice series.

Thanks for stopping by!

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