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    Short of Love is a novel by Martin Knox. Tom has set his heart on Vicki but she won’t commit to him at university. He figures she will want him when he has less competition and delays his pitch until he graduates and has a job. In the meantime, he goes with stop-gap Barbara. Is his plan feasible, when he frames it as a commodity short with a friend? Tom’s plan satirizes conventional arrangements between couples with amusement, including exchanges of vows and monetary obligations. Will Vicki accept him when he makes his move? The couple have met in the Beatles era. Tom is like Paul in wanting casual relationships, expecting Vicki and Jane to accept this. Tom has a glittering career engineering in Canada and waits for Vicki, but eventually marries and has children. When they grow up and leave home, he and his wife separate. Will he finally get together with Vicki? This is an exciting and action-packed story, set in the UK, Canada and Africa, portraying Tom’s career as CEO of an international oil company. His morals are held to account by activist Vicki.
Short of Love is a satire about a love relationship informed by an engineer’s economics.
The book is available on Amazon.
For reviews see


Vicki’s class is a cut above Tom’s. He is besotted and wants a relationship. They are in Britain,  where social class is determined by breeding, old money and privileged education. Tom tries to raise his class, drops his regional accent and adopts BBC English. Will his lower class breeding, lack of old money and his redbrick university, thwart their love?

When Vicki plays hard to get at university with him, Tom moves her on to a back burner, so he can concentrate on getting a first class degree. He frames his interest in her as a short transaction in the commodity love, with delivery delayed until after graduation. Vicki won’t be compromised, making out with his flat mate and breaking Tom’s deal with him. Rebuffed, Tom has another girl, until he goes to a job in Canada.

Tom returns to the UK on visits, staying in touch with Vicki and trying to rekindle their love. When she continues to reject him, he marries another girl and has children. He still wants Vicki but is faithful to his family.

 This is a story about personal ambition trying to displace social classes and family loyalties, dishonouring love. Tom rises to be CEO of an international oil company and tries to act morally and ethically against corporate greed. If he succeeds, will Vicki finally accept him?

Eventually his marriage fails and he plans to return to the UK to be with Vicki who is single. Should he have realised that her different class would inevitably come between them?  Should he have looked for a girl friend from his own class? Will Vicki want him, after all this time?

Short of Love is fast-paced biographical fiction, a true love story, interwoven between the  stylised lives of an ambitious engineer and an idealistic activist.

Available on Amazon. For reviews see


Saving of oil resources is required to supply future aviation, road vehicle and maritime fuel demands. The novel Short of Love is set in the international oil supply industry, with dramatic events from the Beatles Era to the Global Financial Crash. When oil is produced by flushing it out with water, about 70% remains in rock pores. Tom Archer is a petroleum engineer concerned about this waste and champions a new technology which could make better use of depleting petroleum resources in Canada, Australia’s Bass Strait and the UK’s North Sea. Tom’s sights are set on becoming CEO of his large oil company. His partner Vicki campaigns for his company to be more responsible. Will they succeed? The story is an epic tale of love conflicted by career aspirations based on true events.

Available Amazon. Reviews


Martin Knox’s novel Short of Love traces Tom’s and Patti’s relationship from a UK university in the Beatles era to recent times.

Tom’s priority is his career and when he meets Vicki he is distracted. 

When a relationship with her would be too demanding, he places her in a holding relationship with his flat mate, until later when she should become available on better terms, like in a commodity short? It is a solution that reveals his nerdy philosophical imagination.

He goes to work as an engineer in Canada and waits for terms with her to improve. He achieves a top management position and strives to connect with her, despite several accidents which keep them apart.

This is a fictional rendition based on a true story which reveals how love can have conditions that create difficult choices and unexpected consequences, revealing controversial ethics in the international petroleum industry.

Available on Amazon. Reviews:  

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