Volume 1 - Can't Buy Me Love

It’s the sixties, and London might be swinging, but not for our girl, Edith. Raised in a miserable home full of anger and hate, life for poor Edith seems to hold little hope. But she finds plentywhen she teams up with her older gay cousin, Ronnie, who makes her his mission with a plan to re-shape her into the fabulous young woman he knows she deserves to be.

Once free of her father and her weak, defenseless mother, her transformation is swift and dramatic. Suddenly, life is an exciting adventure, full of twists and turns, as Edith’s coming of age becomes a roller-coaster ride of glorious highs and frightening lows, including a father who comes back to haunt her. But where will it take her, and how will it end? Who will win, and who will lose?

‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ is the first of six volumes in the ‘The Cost of Loving’ Series. If you like stories of success over adversity, family dramas and sexual diversity, then you will love Martin Humphries’ bitter-sweet voyage of discovery through some of the most exciting years in living memory. Years chock full of changes of every kind, when being gay usually spelt trouble with a capital T.

 

 Volume 2 - Love for Sale  Sophia is ruthlessly determined to achieve the sort of success that she hadn’t, until now, only dared to dream of. Thanks to Ronnie, life seems ready to take a dramatic and unexpected turn that could complete the job that he alone started, and where love will not be required. But does Sophia’s coming of age reach the triumphant climax that just might be waiting for her? It’s a roller-coaster ride full of glorious highs and frightening lows, especially when history catches up with her to destroy the greatest day of her young life. Will she survive it? And, if she does, how will she deal with it? And will she seek revenge?

Volume 2 - Love for Sale

Sophia is ruthlessly determined to achieve the sort of success that she hadn’t, until now, only dared to dream of. Thanks to Ronnie, life seems ready to take a dramatic and unexpected turn that could complete the job that he alone started, and where love will not be required. But does Sophia’s coming of age reach the triumphant climax that just might be waiting for her? It’s a roller-coaster ride full of glorious highs and frightening lows, especially when history catches up with her to destroy the greatest day of her young life. Will she survive it? And, if she does, how will she deal with it? And will she seek revenge?

 Volume 3 - Free Love  Scandal, murder, blackmail and suicide are all part of life when you set out to become celebrities, especially when you have eyes for someone else and revenge on your mind.  Sophia and Toby create a whiff of self-made scandal that boosts their reputations sky high. Soon enough, Toby is becoming a ‘star’ and they are pulled headlong towards the dazzlingly bright lights of Hollywood. Sophia takes a lover under the most unlikely circumstances, as Toby finds his own pleasures elsewhere. It’s all part of the deal they’ve made with each other.  Yet, despite all the good fortune, there are dark clouds and hard truths to be dealt with, including a wicked father who has plagued Sophia’s life for far too long. Along the way, an old friend returns from the dead, and a young man enters Sophia’s life whose story distresses her to the point that she feels forced to intervene.  The consequences are so tragic they tear her apart. Was it her fault? Or would it have happened anyway? Toby and Sophia wonder if life will ever be the same again when their European vacation, to get away from so much turmoil, ends in Toby’s attempted murder. Is it all simply too much for our star-struck, but beleaguered pair?

Volume 3 - Free Love

Scandal, murder, blackmail and suicide are all part of life when you set out to become celebrities, especially when you have eyes for someone else and revenge on your mind.

Sophia and Toby create a whiff of self-made scandal that boosts their reputations sky high. Soon enough, Toby is becoming a ‘star’ and they are pulled headlong towards the dazzlingly bright lights of Hollywood. Sophia takes a lover under the most unlikely circumstances, as Toby finds his own pleasures elsewhere. It’s all part of the deal they’ve made with each other.

Yet, despite all the good fortune, there are dark clouds and hard truths to be dealt with, including a wicked father who has plagued Sophia’s life for far too long. Along the way, an old friend returns from the dead, and a young man enters Sophia’s life whose story distresses her to the point that she feels forced to intervene.

The consequences are so tragic they tear her apart. Was it her fault? Or would it have happened anyway? Toby and Sophia wonder if life will ever be the same again when their European vacation, to get away from so much turmoil, ends in Toby’s attempted murder. Is it all simply too much for our star-struck, but beleaguered pair?


Volume 4 - Love Don't Cost a Thing

Sophia’s and Toby’s stars are in ascendency as they visit America to meet with a leading Hollywood producer who has been impressed by Toby’s on-screen charisma. It’s a hugely exciting time for them both and they revel in the thrill of it all. L.A. dazzles them, a new young man catches Toby’s eye, and the fun of sunny Southern California begins to take a firm hold. Sophia has the chance to meet up with her cousin, Norma, who is still loving her Hollywood life, although it has become complicated. She enlists Sophia’s help to unravel it, but will it all end in tears – or worse? Along the way, Sophia learns far more about the victims of the Vietnam War than she would prefer to, and is forced to take action of her own to protect some of them. As if that wasn’t enough, someone from Sophia’s past comes back from the dead, while Toby has enemies of his own to destroy before they destroy him. There are so many battles to fight. Who wins? Who loses? And at what cost?

Volume 5 - The Price Of Love

The eighties have arrived. Margaret Thatcher is Prime Minister, and the gloom of the seventies makes way for the ‘can-do’ attitude of the new decade, as Toby and Sophia ride the crest of a wave that seems endless.

But Sophia opens a Pandora’s Box that simply cannot be closed, as their lives - and the lives of so many others - come crashing down. Sophia, after re-discovering her own mother’s love, is determined to find Toby’s. Along the way they make some shocking discoveries, one of which stretches their resilience to its limits.  

But there’s more when Toby’s past comes back to haunt him, as the ghosts of his childhood, and its long-buried memories, return like demons that he seems powerless to shake off. They lead him to challenge and crush some of the most powerful deviants in the country. But who will be crushed? Them or Toby? Or even Toby’s loved ones?

Volume 6 - Love Hurts

Toby is determined that his newly discovered half brother will be released from his living hell, as he and Sophia prepare to give him a new life. One of Hollywood’s greatest matinee idols has placed Sophia firmly in his sights, and Toby feels the threat of it. But what should he do? What can he do? And will she decide to become the most famous movie star wife of the 70’s, especially as the Hollywood spotlight now shines so brightly on her? What a pair they would make. But what would become of Toby? And could he survive the public’s scrutiny without her? Much is at stake for everyone, but especially Toby, as he resolves to slay the demons that have plagued him for so long, and more besides. He is on a crusade that could destroy him and the glittering life he’s created for himself and Sophia. Then along comes AIDS, and everything changes again