Believe in the Wish by Christi Snow: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post, Review and Giveaway

TitleBelieve in the Wish

Author: Christi Snow

Publisher:  Self-Published

Release Date: May 11, 2017

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: ~55,000 words

Genre: New Adult, enemies to lovers, forbidden love, twins, contemporary romance, mourning death

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I buried my twin sister six months after she found out she had cancer. Her funeral was three months ago. Today is our birthday and it started with delivery of letters from her.

It seems she didn’t trust me to move on after her death. She knows me too well. But how can I go on when my other half is just…gone? That’s not something I can recover from with a snap of my fingers. But I also can’t ignore her instructions even though I’d be perfectly content to cuddle up with my buddy, Johnnie Walker, and call it a year.

She has a list of things for me to do and there are rules attached.

There’s one major problem besides the fact it’s been three months since I left the house. I have to do all these things with her jerk of an ex, Hawk Simmons. He abandoned her shortly after she found out she was sick. If that wasn’t enough to make this a really bad idea, the fact that he makes an appearance in all my nighttime fantasies probably does.

I don’t think I can do this, but I owe it to my sister’s memory to try.

This is a stand-alone male/male contemporary romance novel.

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Building suspense without danger

The very nature of the style means that the reader is always wondering what’s going to happen around the next corner.

But when it came to this book I wanted to try my hand at suspense of a different sort.

No, there’s no danger or hidden attacker in this book.

What there is instead…*author cocks an eyebrow*…are some unanswered mysteries about how these two characters ended up in this situation.

Emma loved her twin brother Ethan.

That was never in question, so he just assumed that when she died he would inherit her half of their home and business.

That wasn’t the case.

Why would she require him to jump through all these hoops?

Impossible hoops.

Hoops like having to play nice with her asshole of an ex, Hawk.

Hawk is another mystery in this story.

The book is told from both Hawk and Ethan’s point of view, but it takes a while for the reader to see things from Hawk’s side of things. That was done on purpose.

I want the reader to question what exactly Emma was thinking here.

Emma knew she was dying.

She knew Ethan wouldn’t handle that well.

In the months leading up to her death, she made a plan.

A plan to make sure Ethan lived even when she didn’t.

 

 

And that’s all I’m going to say…

Happy reading.

Beware! The review ahead may just sound like a commercial for Believe in the Wish or for Christi Snow or for both. And I don’t care.

Let’s start with Christi. She is an author that definitely writes from her heart. She is an avid reader (one of the two or three blogs I watch religiously), and writes her characters with heart. AND, she doesn’t write the same character, just in a slightly different situation. She writes complex characters, that you have to invest time, and emotions into figuring out their motivations, their wants and needs, and where they will be going next. I love the depth of her writing, and I soak it up every single time one of her books hits my e-reader. (Example, she sent me this arc…I forced myself to finish what I was reading, then dropped everything to read this next). Read anything and everything from Christi and you will have a happy ending, and enjoy yourself along the way.

Now, the book. I read the blurb, and knew immediately that my heart was going to be ripped out. How could you not? And right from the first paragraph you see what a mess Ethan’s life has become since Emma died. They were everything to each other, and when she died, well Ethan felt he should have died instead. Watching his struggle, even in the first chapter, was difficult. He had taken grief to a level that is difficult to fathom, and the reader couldn’t help but bleed along with him. Then to find out that his sister had “betrayed” him and hadn’t really left him the house and business without stipulations. That’s a pain that can’t be measured.

As we move through the book, we find, of course, that Emma has a plan, and if Ethan and Hawk go along with her plan, Ethan will get what he had expected at the end. However, first Ethan has to walk through the fires with Hawk, and learn that maybe not everything with Emma was as open as Ethan had thought. The bitterness Ethan experiences with Hawk is what one would expect in that situation, and even when they have fun times, Ethan feels guilty because he has always wanted the man than Emma loved.

There was so much guilt tied up in Ethan’s feelings, and the author portrays is so beautifully. Guilt is a complicated emotion, and when Ethan enjoys himself with Hawk, he feels guilty. When he realizes that Emma is dead, and he is alive, he feels guilty. All these emotions that are wrapped up in how he feels about the two people he cared about the most, and getting past that isn’t easy. It takes time and patience, and maybe some smoldering hot kisses from a sexy man. 😉

The rawness of all the emotions Ethan portrays was difficult to read sometimes. You will cry. Grab tissues, and keep them handy. Christi does an amazing job of giving the reader just enough information and emotion to catch you and drag you in, while forcing you to hold on to all that, and wait to see what comes next in Emma’s plan.

I absolutely loved this book. If a book can make me cry, smile, laugh, and give me a happy ending, it is going to be a thumbs up. But when the author can make me believe that all these emotions are coming from a living, breathing human being, that’s a keeper and a re-read. Without question, one of the best reads I’ve had this year. The book hangover was worth every precious second. (And there was a bonus happy little note in there about Found At the Library, another Christi Snow fave of mine, that made me giddy!)

5 pieces of eye candy

Katya ended her call and promptly pushed the ‘away’ button for receiving phone calls. “I’m sorry. No more calls. They may not think so, but they can survive without me for an hour or so while we have our chat.”

Ethan’s stomach rolled over. That brought them to the question of the hour…chat about what? But he was almost afraid to ask at this point. Instead, he redirected. “Do you have your own firm, or do you work for someone else?”

She raised an eyebrow at him, but with a slight tilt of her head she must have seen something in his expression because she answered, “I own my own firm. When I graduated from law school, I went into a partnership that was later dissolved when I bought my partner out. It’s all mine now, which keeps me very busy.”

He grimaced. “And that’s further complicated by hermits like me who refuse to answer phone calls or mail deliveries. Sorry about that.”

“No.” She shook her head. “It’s time for you to stop apologizing. This is a hard time for you and that’s okay. To a certain extent, that’s the way it should be…”

She hesitated for a moment. “At least for a little while. You’re allowed to grieve. But Emma knew this would be an issue for you, so she made plans.”

“What kind of plans?”

Katya reached into her briefcase and pulled out a file. She reached inside and pulled out an envelope that she handed to him. On the front was his name, written in Emma’s handwriting. Suddenly it was hard to breathe.

“What is this?” he whispered.

“The first of your instructions. You need to open and read it.”

He didn’t want to. He didn’t know why, but he really didn’t want to. “I’d rather wait until I’m at home.” At his house, if he fell apart, he could do it without witnesses.

She shook her head kindly. “No, that won’t work. She was very specific in how she wanted this all to go. I need you to open it now.”

Ethan swallowed against the huge lump in his throat as he tried to find air to breathe. His heart pounded in his chest. Surely, everyone around them could hear that.

“It’s okay,” she said softly. “I promise.”

“That’s where you’re wrong.” He glanced up at her. “It’s never going to be okay again.” His voice cracked.

She lowered her lids, and her lips compressed into a tight line as if his grief was too much for her.

His hands shook as he turned the envelope over, lifting the sealed flap. It had to be his imagination, but he could have sworn that he smelled a faint whiff of the strawberry lotion Emma always liked to wear.

For just a moment, he shut his eyes and tried to calm down his emotions going haywire. He didn’t know whether to be angry that she’d done this to him, sad that she wasn’t here to tell him whatever information this letter held, or scared at whatever Emma had cooked up for him.

Throughout her life, she’d kept him hopping. As the exuberant, outgoing twin, she’d always dragged him into trouble when all he’d wanted to do was stay home. In that regard, this whole scheme of hers was very apropos.

He took a deep breath and pulled out the single sheet of paper and unfolded it. At the very first words on the paper, his eyes filled with tears.

Happy Birthday, baby brother.

He glanced up in disbelief at Katya. “It’s May fifteenth?”

At her silent nod, he gazed down at the paper in his hands, his eyes filling with tears. It was their twenty-fifth birthday. The first birthday he’d ever celebrated without her. She’d only been twenty-four when she’d died. How unfair was that? To her. To him. To the world that missed out on everything she had to offer it.
Emma’s handwriting wavered in front of his eyes, but he continued to read, not knowing what else to do. His other option—sobbing in the middle of the restaurant—would be mortifying.

I’m sorry I’m not there to go out partying with you. Remember when we were little and you didn’t want to share your birthday with me? Now you get your wish.

He’d been a horrible person. The tears overflowed his eyes. He’d made that wish more years than he even wanted to remember. How selfish was that? How could he have wished for a life without her in any way? She’d been his light.

Katya shoved a tissue into his hand.

Right. He was in public. Time to get it together.

My bad. It was probably too soon for a joke like that.

I love you, Ethan.

I know I didn’t say that enough—you know emotional displays and I didn’t mix—but beyond anything else that happens over the next few weeks, KNOW THAT. I love you, and if I could have figured out a way to stay, I would have…for you.

But God obviously had different plans for me, so now I’ll just have to content myself with being your guardian angel for the next seventy-five years. I’ll have your back, bro. I promise.

And in the interest of having your back, that’s why Katya is here.

I know you. You’re stubborn, and right now, I imagine that you’re more than a little sad. I get that, but that doesn’t mean you stop living. My death means you have to live twice as much because you have to do it enough for both of us. I’m counting on you.

But, again, I know you, so I’ve enlisted some help from my friends just to get you going.

Make a Wish, Ethan. Believe in it. It’s time to live.

~Emma

When Ethan finished reading, he took several deep breaths. The sobs had welled in his throat, and it was all he could just to hold them inside.

“You okay?” Katya asked.

“Yeah.” His voice sounded husky, but he’d managed to say the word, so he figured that for a win.

“Then it’s time for step two.”

He looked up just as she held a flaming lighter to the candle on top of a cupcake. She pushed it in front of him. “Make a wish and blow. All you have to do is believe.”

As he sat there, looking at the flickering candle, it occurred to him at just how sad this was. His twin was dead, and he was at some bizarre birthday celebration with someone he’d never even met before. Even from the grave, Emma was working to pull him out of his shell.

So he closed his eyes and blew as he made his wish.

I wish I wasn’t so alone.

But when he opened them, nothing had changed. He was still sitting in a restaurant with a woman he didn’t know, mourning the twin sister who’d died. Not that he expected a miracle, but Emma wanted him to believe.

Believe.

How was that even possible? She’d been the one who believed in the magic of things like wishes and fairy tales. What had that gotten her? She’d died before she’d even had the chance to live. What kind of magic could he possibly believe in with that kind of reality?


As an avid reader her entire life, Christi Snow always dreamed of writing books that brought to others the kind of joy she felt when she read. But…she never did anything about it besides jot down a few ideas and sparse scenes.

When she turned 41, she decided it was time to go after her dream and started writing. Within four months, she’d written over 150,000 words and hasn’t stopped since.

She’s found her calling by writing about sexy, alpha heroes and smart, tough heroines falling in love and finding their passion. She’s truly living the dream and loving every minute of it.

Her tagline is… Passion and adventure on the road to Happily Ever After. She’s loving this adventure!

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Tour Schedule

5/11 ~ Hearts on Fire Reviews

5/11 ~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

5/12 ~ MM Good Book Reviews

5/13 ~ Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

5/14 ~ Dog-Eared Daydreams

5/15 ~ Happily Ever Chapter

5/16 ~ Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy

5/16 ~ MM Book Escape

5/17 ~ Book Reviews Janisf & Leisha

5/17 ~ BFD Book Blog

5/18 ~ Dirty Books Obsession

5/19 ~ Reviews for Book Lovers

5/19 ~ Love Bytes Reviews

5/20 ~ Bayou Book Junkie

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This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Broken Wings by Houston Michaels: Release Day Review

Proud to have served his country, Gabriel O’Roarke returned from war unable to recognize the man he had become. While war was hell, it was the aftereffects that were slowly eating away at his soul. Returning to civilian life after surviving events that should have killed him, he struggles to adjust and find himself again. Suffering from PTSD, he is without hope, until a chance encounter with one of the men who saved his life changes things.

Gabriel never imagined Nickolas Tanner would be into the lifestyle, so running into him at a BDSM club is a surprise. The patient and caring Dom is exactly what Gabriel needs, but everything he fears. After suffering captivity, Gabriel struggles to let himself go, to submit to another man. He craves regaining that part of himself, but worries it is forever lost. Nickolas’ steady domination gives him something he has thought lost long ago – hope.

Can a broken submissive, damaged by captivity and torture, learn to fly again?

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I was really looking forward to this one. I hadn’t read a BDSM book in a while, and to add the effects of PTSD on top of it, I was very intrigued. I really wanted to see how a relationship with a man that had saved his life would be able to develop.

The relationship between these men, I thought, was very realistic for the situation they were in. Gabriel had unimaginable horrors inflicted on him, and watched his team die around him. To be able to come back and even begin to live again, much less get back into the lifestyle would have been awful. And Nickolas was adamant about the things that Gabriel needed to do, in order to allow their relationship to work, as well as for him to heal.

However, I kept getting thrown out of the story by what to me was a “how-to” on BDSM. There were explanations in the book that, as a reader, I felt were either unnecessary, or “fluff”. I may not be in the lifestyle, but you can bet that anyone that picks this book up, knowing it is BDSM, has also likely read a previous BDSM book, and likely knows what a St. Andrews Cross is, and doesn’t need an explanation of the alternate name that no one knows it by. It gave the impression that knowledge was trying to be imparted onto the reader, which is not what the reader is necessarily looking for. It drew me out of the story, and made it difficult to focus on the relationship of these men.

It also ended a little faster than I wanted (which I thought was a good thing), because I felt like it was beginning to catch its groove. Maybe there is a second story ahead for these men. I’d consider reading it.

2.5 pieces of eye candy

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Two for Trust by Elle Brownlee: Release Day Review and Giveaway

A fairy-tale vacation—if he can get the ending right.

American nurse Finch Mason steps beyond the comfort of his orderly life and takes a dream trip to England, complete with a National Trust Pass so he can visit numerous historical sites. At the first one on his list, he’s warmly welcomed—and told he bought a pass good for two.

Finch doesn’t hesitate to offer the pass to Benedict, a handsome Brit also there on an outing. They spend a magical week touring the countryside, and while it’s too soon to get attached, Finch wishes their time together would never end.

Then Finch finds himself stuck abroad with no money, and he has no one to turn to but Benedict. Benedict is happy to help, but he also owes Finch some answers—such as who he really is and why he was at the estate where they first met.

Title: Two for Trust
Author: Elle Brownlee
Release Date: May 15, 2017
Category: Contemporary, Dreamspun Desires
Pages: 252

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I do love the Dreamspun Desires series. I’ve said it before…I love it because it reminds me of reading Harlequin’s as a teenager.

I really enjoyed the premise of Two For Trust. That Finch decided, after being turned aside by the evil doctor at his work, to take himself on the adventure of a lifetime by taking the trip to England that he’d been dreaming about. This all despite the fact that he had to quit his job in order to do it, he was brave enough to jump on a plane and not look back. Meanwhile, serious, but sweet, Benedict found excuse after excuse to keep Finch near him, and not let him leave the country. Not really know what it was he wanted, he at least knew he didn’t want Finch to leave.

Finch was nerdy, and dorky about history, and it was adorable as could be. He didn’t care that he was seen as a geek for knowing all the little things he did. He loved everything about where he was going, and what he was seeing, and wasn’t afraid to show it. Still presenting that courageous front, of being willing to step forward and try something new. The two men certainly made “opposites attract” a perfect phrase.

One thing I really liked about the book that was original was the setup in the chapters. For about 3/4 of each chapter it was told from Finch’s POV completely. Then at the end, the last 3-7 paragraphs or so, it was from Benedict’s POV. It moved the story forward in a different way, gave the reader a little mystery that would unravel in the next chapter, and was nice to see how Benedict was moving forward. I really enjoyed the originality of this idea.

This one was probably a little two sweet for my normal tastes…(small spoiler ahead), as the two don’t really kiss until about 85% into the book. It doesn’t have to have sex, but the back and forth was a touch more than I normally like. I never was sure that Benedict actually wanted Finch, until the very end. He was truly the stoic Britishman. It left me feeling a little frustrated at times in the book.

All in all, a book I enjoyed…and all the English historical and geographical information was amazing! I now want to go have high tea in England, and explore every little thing (which I do any way during travel).

3.5 pieces of eye candy

 


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This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

The Master Will Appear by L.A. Witt: Pre-Release Review

Dr. Mikhail “Misha” Budnikov takes one look at fellow fencer Ryan O’Connor and instantly knows his type. The undisciplined hothead is all ego with no finesse and even less control. In short, Misha’s pet peeves personified. To put the arrogant kid in check, Misha challenges him to a sparring match, which he predictably wins.

Not so predictably, Ryan asks him to be a mentor and show him how to fence. Startled by the moment of humility, Misha agrees.

What begins as fencing lessons becomes something much hotter, and before they know it, Misha is giving Ryan an entirely different kind of education. Dominance, submission, pain, pleasure—at the hands of an older, experienced man, a whole new world is opening up for Ryan.

As the trust deepens and their bond strengthens, though, Ryan retreats because that sham called love left him jaded long ago. Cynical beyond his years, he’s not letting his guard down, least of all for a thrice-divorced man twice his age.

Now Misha has to find a way to crack through those defenses…or accept defeat and walk away from the submissive who might just be the love of his life.

This novel is approximately 120,000 words.

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It’s safe to say The Master Will Appear is the first book I’ve read that combines fencing and BDSM. Okay, so it was my first fencing book, but the tie in to BDSM was definitely interesting.

The book started a bit slower than I’d have cared for. Honestly, had it been anyone other that someone like LA Witt, who I know writes her words for a reason, I may have given up. Sure, the banter was great, but much like Ryan, I was tired of the beginner level fencing.

But just as Ryan came to understand Misha’s motivations, I understood LA Witt’s, and the book came together nicely. I will admit I’ve cut way back on my BDSM reads because they tend to fall either to the cliche “OMG, that’s so hot” kinky sex side or they read like a how-to guide so the author can prove how knowledgable they are and how much they respect the lifestyle. I’m happy to say this book worked perfectly as far as the BDSM.

And despite my early frustration, as I read the last page of the book, I was ready for more.

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Their Life As They Live It (Persepctives #4) by A.M. Arthur: Exclusive Excerpt and New Release Review

Bernard “Bear” Henson is a blessed man. He is happily married to the love of his life, he co-owns a successful business, and his grown son is desperately in love with a wonderful partner. But Bear knows all too well how precarious that happiness is, so he lives every day with love in his heart and gratitude for everything he has—especially his husband Richard Brightman. Richard has been HIV-positive for thirty years and every new day is a gift.

When Richard becomes unexpectedly ill and is rushed to the hospital, Bear braces for his beautifully constructed life to come crashing down. A hard-won life full of ups and downs, illnesses and setbacks, love and anger, and a lot of regret for how certain things went down. Certain things involving Bear’s alcoholic ex-wife Debbie and the start of Bear’s relationship with Richard. But the past can’t be changed, only remembered and studied.

As Richard fights for his life, Bear reflects on the last thirty years of their entwined lives. College days, his shotgun wedding to Debbie, his unexpected feelings for Richard, and the proudest moment of Bear’s life: the birth of his son Gabriel. Bear’s life with Richard is woven with love, heartache, regret, joy, and everything else in between. They’ve overcome every obstacle that’s come their way, and they’ll overcome this new illness, too. Period. Bear simply isn’t ready to live his life without Richard in it.

Note: This is the fourth book in my Perspectives series, and while it can be read as a standalone, readers will have a much richer concept of these characters if you’ve at least read book two, The World As He Sees It. Warnings for spousal abuse (not between the two heroes) and cheating.

 

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….1990

Certain things were impossible to forget: the way it felt when you broke your leg falling out of a tree at age eight; your first real, meaningful kiss; a spanking so harsh you really could not sit comfortably for the rest of the night. Along with those things, Bear could now file the sight and sounds of a woman giving birth.

Eighteen hours in labor, six of which Bear had tried to sleep away in an uncomfortable chair, so he could be there for everything. He was eager to meet his daughter or son. They’d both agreed to wait and be surprised—one of the few things they’d agreed on in the last nine months. Ever since she verified yes, she was pregnant for real, and then yes, he was the father, their lives had been a series of dramatic compromises.

“You can keep sucking your boyfriend’s dick if I get to name the baby.”

“Go see your boyfriend whenever, but you come home to our bed every night.”

“Miss this appointment because you’re with him, and I’ll disappear with your kid.”

Mostly Bear was compromising and it kept him trapped between two worlds: the world of raising his child with Debbie and the world of loving Richard. It stressed him out, and even while Richard had adjusted to his meds and started gaining weight, Bear was losing weight. Not sleeping. Working himself to death to provide for his family—and according to Debbie, he never, ever did enough.

But then she was finally in labor, and she was pushing. Bear let her squeeze the shit out of his hand, while he watched a head of dark hair emerge, sticky and wet, followed by a perfect little face. Shoulders and arms. And then the baby was out, nether parts hidden by scrunched up legs.

“It’s a boy,” the doctor announced. “A very healthy looking baby boy.”

Bear’s heart surged with more love than he thought possible at the sight of his perfect son’s squirming body, the sound of his cries. The nurse let him cut the cord, and then the boy was taken away to be cleaned up. Bear watched every single movement, every action, desperate to hold his son in his arms.

He looked down at Debbie, who was quietly crying. And not happy tears. He knew her well enough. Those were…unhappy tears? She’d been hoping for a girl, but their son was perfect. No need to cry.

“All right,” said the nurse holding the baby. “Mom?”

Debbie shook her head no. Undaunted by her odd reaction, Bear held out his arms. The nurse gently deposited the most perfect human being on the planet into his arms. The baby’s eyes were shut, but he emitted soft, smacking sounds. Tiny fingers grasped for something. Bear took in every single detail of the bundle in his arms.

“He’s beautiful,” Bear said. “My God, he’s perfect. Debbie, you did good.” He couldn’t look away from his son, while the doctor dealt with the afterbirth and a few stitches for tearing. That had to suck balls.

“Have you discussed names?” the nurse asked.

“A little,” Bear replied. He was so happy to have this precious baby in his arms, he didn’t care what name Debbie came up with. “It’s Debs’s choice.”

Still a little teary, Debbie said, “Gabriel. His name is Gabriel Aaron.”

“Gabriel Aaron,” Bear repeated. “It’s just about perfect, Debs. You wanna meet him?”

She wiped her cheeks, then nodded. As gently as he could, Bear eased his precious burden into Debbie’s arms. She still looked troubled, but who couldn’t smile at that pretty baby? “He looks like you,” she said.

“You think?”

“I do. He’s our son, Bernard. Our son.”

“Yeah.”

“Ours.” Her sharp tone caught his attention, and then it pissed him off.

He’d left her room twice since they arrived, both times to call Richard and give him an update. Gabriel was biologically Bear’s, but Bear was in love with Richard, and he wanted to share as much of this experience as possible with the man. He wanted Richard to meet his boy as soon as he could, and Debbie knew it. No matter what compromises Debbie demanded from Bear, Richard would be a part of his son’s life.

“You okay for a while so I can make some calls?” Bear asked. “Little Gabriel’s got two sets of grandparents who want to know he’s here.”

“Yeah, we’re fine.”

Bear pressed a supportive kiss to her sweaty forehead, and a loving one to Gabriel’s, then went in search of the nearest pay phone. He had plenty of change in his pocket in anticipation of today’s announcement. And he did exactly what he said he’d do: called her folks first, with all the vital information. They weren’t the nicest or most supportive people in the world, and he understood why Debbie had wanted to get away. But they mostly liked him, because he took care of Debbie, and they took the news well.

The official story they’d given the family was her first “pregnancy” had miscarried, but she’d “miraculously” gotten pregnant again a few months later. Everyone bought it, and it kept the complicated reason private. Waiting on Debbie hand and foot had also kept the particulars of their relationship—and likewise, his relationship with Richard—a secret from Bear’s family. They’d been proud of him for stepping up and marrying her, like any good Catholic would, but they’d breathe fire and brimstone if they ever found out about Richard. His parents and brother Pete would turn on him, and Debbie knew it.

She knew it, and she manipulated the hell out of him.

Bear’s parents were thrilled with the news. His father, especially, loved that there would be another Henson to carry the family name. They promised to pass the news to his brother. Then Bear made the third, but most important phone call.

“I have a son,” he said the moment Richard picked up the phone.

“Oh, baby, I’m so happy for you.” Richard whooped over the line. “How long have you been at the hospital? You must be exhausted.”

“I am but it’s okay. It was worth it to see Gabriel born.”

“Gabriel. It’s a lovely name.”

“It’s perfect. He’s an angel. I can’t wait for you to meet him.”

“I can’t either, as long as his mother allows it.”

Bear growled. “She doesn’t get a say in this. You are going to meet my son.”

“I look forward to it. You sound completely worn out.”

“I’ll get some sleep soon, I promise. I needed to hear your voice, tell you the good news.”

“It’s amazing news. You’re going to be a great father, Bear, I know it. You have so much love inside of you.”

“You’d be a great dad, too.” Bear didn’t dare voice the nebulous future he’d entertained more than once: him and Richard together, raising Bear’s child as a couple. Happy, the three of them.

Richard coughed softly. “Even I wasn’t gay, that wouldn’t be possible anymore.”

“Hey, medicine is advancing every day. Someday they’ll find a cure, I know it.”

“I hope so. For now, love your son. Support your wife. I love you.”

“Love you back.”

Bear reluctantly hung up, and his quarter clunked down with all the others. He could probably waste time making a few more calls, but the most important people knew. The gossip grapevine would take care of the rest. His boss said to take all the time he needed, but as soon as he got Debbie and the baby home and settled, he had to go back to work at the gym.

For now, he returned to the delivery room to bask in the amazing thing that was his perfect, beautiful son, Gabriel Aaron Henson.

Oh how I loved this book.

First, I have pretty much loved ALL of AM Arthur’s books. She has several different series but they all live in the same world and there is always a bit of cross over. Which I just think it so fun. Second, I have wanted Richard and Bear’s story for a long time. As the dad’s to the main character in a previous book AND the owners of a gay club frequented across series- I wanted their story. And we got it.

Richard and Bear’s story is told in a series of flashbacks while Richard is in the hospital recovering from an illness. This could have felt abrupt and forced, yet it is seamless. We go all the way back to the beginning- when they first met and became college roommates. Some of the flashback stories are long, some not so long. But all of them perfect.

And those flashback stories gave *me* some serious 80’s flashbacks.

Their romance that began as a friendship was so beautiful. I am kind of a sucker for older characters who have been together for a long time and have been through a lot. And boy did they go through a lot. Nothing was overly dramatic or for shock value. It was swoony without being saccharine, and sexy without being raunchy.

When you know that there is a happily ever after because you’ve seen it in other books in the series, but can’t wait to read it and see what happens- that is a good book and a great story.

 

Pieces of Candy: 4.5

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Setting the Hook by Andrew Grey: Release Day Review and Giveaway

It could be the catch of a lifetime.

William Westmoreland escapes his unfulfilling Rhode Island existence by traveling to Florida twice a year and chartering Mike Jansen’s fishing boat to take him out on the Gulf. The crystal-blue water and tropical scenery isn’t the only view William enjoys, but he’s never made his move. A vacation romance just isn’t on his horizon.

Mike started his Apalachicola charter fishing service as a way to care for his daughter and mother, putting their safety and security ahead of the needs of his own heart. Denying his attraction becomes harder with each of William’s visits.

William and Mike’s latest fishing excursion starts with a beautiful day, but a hurricane’s erratic course changes everything, stranding William. As the wind and rain rage outside, the passion the two men have been trying to resist for years crashes over them. In the storm’s wake, it leaves both men yearning to prolong what they have found. But real life pulls William back to his obligations. Can they find a way to reduce the distance between them and discover a place where their souls can meet? The journey will require rough sailing, but the bright future at the end might be worth the choppy seas.

Title: Setting the Hook
Author: Andrew Grey
Release Date: May 12, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

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Andrew Grey‘s books are a must-read in the m/m romance genre. He simply knows how to write, and gives the reader stories about everyday people living everyday lives. These aren’t necessarily model beautiful men, rich billionaires whose only problems are which company to buy up. No, these are real men with problems that every person who reads will be able to empathize with.

I loved that William and Mike were attracted to each other from the start, but for five years, only saw each other twice a year for a day outing of fishing. A long distance romance of wishes and dreams. Neither acknowledged the attraction, until Mother Nature decided to give them a little shove together. Once they had the push, they jumped in with both feet, willing to see what would come of a few days together, then later two weeks together.

I do love when Andrew sets up a ready-made family. The loner William, who felt as if no one understood him, felt comfortable with all of Mike’s family, not just the man he’d been waiting for. And Andrew always gives us sassy kids, and moms with attitude. (Both Mike and William’s moms showed they weren’t just grandmothers, but women too!)

There were a couple things that played out a little neater than I expected, but it didn’t detract from the story at all. It simply would have given it a little more tension, in my eyes. And Andrew always gives us the happy ending we waited for. 🙂

4 pieces of eye candy


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Passion’s Pride by Piper Kay: Release Day Blitz, Excerpt and Giveaway

Passion's-Pride-by-Piper-Kay-Release-Blitz-Banner

Let the Sparks fly” “Sometimes we need to lose ourselves and become invisible to the outside world. It’s the only way I know to find me again and drown out all the negatives.

[Read more…]

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A Worthy Man by Jaime Reese: Blog Tour, Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

Author: Jaime Reese
Genre: M/M Romance
Release: May 2, 2017
Photographer: Eric McKinney of 6:12 Photography

A story of two men and the boundless love that forever changed them. 


Vannguard Shaw has spent the last ten years serving a life sentence and adjusting to the ache of solitude. He accepts his fate, a sacrifice for the only man he ever loved and the one person who saw beyond his rough edges.

Drayton grew up with a trust fund and pre-planned future, but an unexpected encounter one night forces him to abandon everything and start from scratch. He is now a self-made man and developer of one of the most sought after electric exotic automobiles in the world with a fortune greater than that of his birthright. Yet, he’d surrender it all—again—for the only man who’s still ever-present in his heart.

After a decade and entirely too much distance between them, Vann is suddenly released back into a world that has been nothing but cruel. Drayton never lost hope they would once again reunite and pick up where they left off, but Vann’s stubborn nature and repeated encounters with a heartbreaking world prove to be a challenge.

Vann needs to tap into his fighting spirit’s reservoir of strength and hope life doesn’t punish him for taking a chance. Only then will he realize his own value and feel worthy enough to finally have Drayton’s heart. And their chance at forever.

* Although part of a series, this full-length novel can be read as a stand-alone. *Word count: 124K


“Emotionally, beautiful and inspiring” – Amanda L Amazon Reviewer

“A great addition to this series. One of the most romantic books I’ve read this year.” – Bayou Book Junkie

“Overall…Their story is beautiful, heartbreaking, inspiring, sexy, and moving.” – Two Book Pushers

There are a lot of second chance love stories out there in the world. But I really don’t know that I’ve read one like this. One of them knowing where the other is (prison) and working to get him out. And the other having no idea what is going on- until he is released. Right into the arms of his first love and the man he went to prison for.

Oftentimes with this trope there is a lot of push and pull. One character pushing the other toward reconciliation and the other fighting it tooth and nail. Instead, we found two men who were separated by a decade and a lifetime of experience,getting to know each other all over again, falling in love all over again.

Both of them are so SO damaged- but they don’t use that against each other. Vann tries to use his damage- quite often- as a reason that Dray should walk away. Vann has accepted his lot in life- forever the ex con who will never be as good as Dray. But he doesn’t feel sorry for himself. It is more of a realist attitude. And while it could have gone overboard with the platitudes of Dray reassuring Vann- it never happens. He reassures him, he loves him, he is THERE for him. Which is exactly what Vann needs.

There was also a whole story line about what Drayton had been doing with his life for the past ten years and how he was trying to draw Vann into that life. Some of it was a bit of a stretch for me- but it also reinforced what kind of men they were, Vann refused to have anything handed to him and Dray wasn’t going to buy his love or trust.

Matt and Julian feature fairly prominently (as they should since Vann is staying at their halfway house) and we got some great cameos from previous characters.

There is a slow build of sexual tension since they don’t get much alone time at all in the beginning. What they do get is seriously hot. When they get alone time- whew! Have a fire extinguisher handy.

This is a must read that can be a stand alone- but you should really read them all. Excellent writing, great characters and a moving story.

Favorite Line: “The only positive of being away from you for so long is that now I get to enjoy falling for you all over”

4.5 pieces of eye candy

 

“C’mon,” Drayton said, tugging Vann by the hand. After breakfast and a countertop quickie, they had immediately returned to the bedroom and had been hibernating there since. He had no objection to spending all day in bed, but he had a surprise for Vann and couldn’t stand waiting any longer. “I want to show you the rest of the house.”
“But I like the bedroom.”
Drayton chuckled, pulling him up with more force. “We can come back after.”

“Fine,” Vann grumbled, finally sitting up on the bed with a dramatic pout.


“You’re cute when you don’t get your way.”

“Cute enough to stay in bed?” He waggled his eyebrows and petted the bed. “It’s really soft.”
Drayton leaned in and gave Vann a chaste kiss, jerking back quickly to avoid his grasp.

 

Vann’s laughter filled the room. “Damn. You’re still super-fast.” He reluctantly stood and stretched his arms over his head.

 

Drayton’s lips parted, enjoying the flex of muscles.

 

“Like what you see?” Vann asked, delivering a cocky grin as he seductively licked his lower lip. “Let’s get back in bed—”
Drayton threw his head back and laughed. “You’re still persistent as hell. C’mon. I want to show you something.”

 

“I want to show you something too.”

 

“This is important.” Drayton crossed his arms. “We can skim the other rooms but there’s one that’s special. It’s…yours.”

 

Vann sobered. “You’ve given me enough to cover every event for the rest of my life and then some. I don’t want—”
“It’s also for me. I’ll watch you while you use the room.”

 

“Hmm.” Vann pursed his lips. “Okay, you’ve got my attention.”
After a little more bargaining, Drayton finally lured Vann out of the bedroom and down the hallway. He opened the door to his office and stepped inside. “This is the room I’m usually in when I’m here.”
“Not anymore.”
He chuckled as they exited the office. They walked down the hall to the room he’d had converted into a gym.
“Damn, this is nice.” Vann checked the different weight options and looked at each of the machines.
“You’ve got everything here for all types of routines. And if you don’t like the view, you’ve got a TV.”
“The view’s beautiful.”

 

“Whatever we need to change out or add, we’ve still got space. I do a lot of thinking while I’m on the treadmill, so we’re not getting rid of that.”

 

Vann chuckled. “Okay.” He walked over to Drayton and leaned in for a slow kiss.
“Mmm. What was that for?”
“Is this the room I’ll use while you watch me? I promise I’ll make you sweat too.” 
 Jaime Reese is the alter ego of an artist who loves the creative process of writing, just not about herself. Fiction is far more interesting. She has a weakness for broken, misunderstood heroes and feels everyone deserves a chance at love and life. An avid fan of a happy ending, she believes those endings acquired with a little difficulty are more cherished.

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Every Breath You Take by Robert Winter: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post and Giveaway

 


When Zachary Hall leaves Utah for a job in Washington, it’s finally his chance to live as a gay man and maybe find someone special. In a bar he meets Thomas Scarborough, a man who seems perfect in and out of the bedroom. But Thomas never dates. He never even sleeps with the same man twice. Despite their instant connection, he can offer Zachary only his friendship, and Zachary is looking for more.
Thomas is tempted to break his own rules, but years before, he became the victim of a stalker who nearly destroyed his life. Even though his stalker died, Thomas obsessively keeps others at a distance. Despite his fascination with Zachary, he is unable to lower his barriers. Frustrated, Zachary accepts he will never have what he wants with Thomas and soon finds it with another man.
But young gay men in Washington, DC are being murdered, and the victims all have a connection to Thomas. Once again someone is watching Thomas’s every move. Can it be a coincidence? When the depraved killer turns his attention toward Zachary, Thomas must face the demons of his past—or lose his chance to open his heart to Zachary forever.

 

Title: Every Breath You Take
Author: Robert Winter
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 5, 2017
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 221 pages
Genre: Romance, Thriller/Suspense
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Zachary Before Mata Hari

 

In Every Breath You Take, we meet Zachary Hall for the first time when he is about to enter the bar Mata Hari. He mentions that his friend Fred dared him to go to a gay bar once he reached Washington, DC, because Zachary was afraid to visit one in his home town of Ogden, Utah. Here is an exclusive scene from Zachary’s last evening in Ogden.

Chapter 0.5

Zachary pulled into the driveway of his buddy Fred’s house. He debated whether to go to the front door – which would require talking to Fred’s mother – or just wait for his friend to come outside. His manners got the better of him so he switched off the ignition.

Sure enough, Fred’s mother answered the door. Her unnaturally red hair was on the frizzy side, a cigarette dangled from one hand, and her housecoat was missing a button. He gave her a big grin.

“Hi, Mrs. Hansen. I’m picking up Fred for some pizza.”

“Well of course you are,” Mrs. Hansen gushed, and Zachary could hear slurred edges to her words. As she pulled him into a hug Zachary coughed when the smell of her cigarette went up his nose. “I can’t believe it,” she sighed. “Leaving Ogden, heading to Washington. It seems like it was just yesterday when you and Freddy were running around the back yard like you were Power Rangers.”

Zachary pulled back from the hug to escape the odor of smoke and sour wine rising from her housecoat, but not the hug. Mrs. Hansen had always been free with the affection and snacks when he was young, and had never minded sharing a few beers with Zachary and Fred when they were in high school. “Don’t tell Martha,” she’d always say. Like Zachary ever would have told his strict parents that he had a drink with his best friend’s mother.

A surge of affection and nostalgia washed over him. “Remember that Halloween when you tried to make a Red Power Ranger costume for Fred and it split right down the seat?” he asked.

Mrs. Hansen guffawed as she tugged him through the front door and closed it behind him. “Lord but he pitched a fit that night that he was going to miss trick or treating. I had to use safety pins to keep him from mooning the neighborhood because he was going back out no matter what!”

Fred came down the stairs in time to hear his mother’s comment. “Sure, yuk it up,” he called. “I nearly caught pneumonia from the updraft.”

Zachary shook his head fondly at his friend. Fred was shorter than him by several inches, and stocky where Zachary was lean. His thick glasses flashed his mock-indignation at his mother. His hair always seemed to need a cut and he tended to wear baggy button-down shirts because he thought they hid his slight belly better.

Mrs. Hansen ignored her son. To Zachary, she said, “Well, I know you don’t want to spend your last night reminiscing with me. If I don’t see you again before you leave, you be safe. Hear?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Zachary answered. “I’ll be back to visit my folks anyway, I’m sure, and I’ll fill you in then.” She gave another warm hug goodbye as she returned to the living room and her TV program.

Fred tugged Zachary’s arm. “Come upstairs for a minute before we head out.” Zachary followed him up the carpeted staircase and down the hall to the bedroom where he had spent countless hours in over the years. Nostalgia hit him again as he remembered playing Dungeons and Dragons in Fred’s room, along with their other good friend Frank. Weekend marathon viewings of Doctor Who when he slept over. Then later, furtive glances at gay porn websites while keeping one eye on the door in case Mrs. Hansen popped in without warning, as she often did.

Fred had a browser open on his computer and he pushed Zachary down into his desk chair before leaning over his shoulder to work the keyboard. “Look, this is a list of the gay bars I can find in DC. I figured you wouldn’t want to risk searching your computer at home.”

Zachary felt himself blushing. “I know. I should just get over it and come out already.”

“Hey, I’m not giving you shit. I know what your parents can be like.” He bussed a kiss on Zachary’s cheek. “Anyway, look. JR’s seems to be a popular one. And this one…” he pointed with his mouse, “Town Danceboutique. It’s got something on Fridays called Bear Happy Hour.”

Fred was practically bouncing on his feet, he was so excited. Zachary just felt trepidation. “You’d fit in better with the bears than I would,” he mumbled.

“It’s not like they’re going to eat you,” Fred said with an edge of exasperation. Then he grinned wickedly. “Well, unless you want them to eat you.”

“What’s this one?” Zachary asked as he pointed at the screen. “‘Mata Hari.’ That’s an interesting name for a bar.” They read the short description together. “Upscale piano bar. Now that sounds more like my speed.”

“Do you want me to print this list out for you?” Fred asked, but Zachary shook his head.

“My parents might find it. I’ll just look up the bars again on my phone when I get settled in Washington.”

Fred sat on the edge of his bed and sighed as Zachary rotated in the desk chair to face him. “I can’t believe you’re finally getting out of here. I wish I were coming with you.”

“I know, buddy. You can come for a visit whenever you want.” Truth was, he was really going to miss Fred, the friend his parents barely tolerated because of his free-spirited mother and his tendency to draw Zachary into trouble. If his parents only knew the kinds of things he did with Fred and sometimes with Frank, too, on weekends when the house was otherwise empty.

The three of them had been friends all through junior high and high school and had gone to college together. Having two friends who were gay – well, Frank was probably bi but he was too shy to approach a boy or a girl so it was all theoretical – meant Zachary had begun experimenting with them while they were still in school. When all three of them moved back in with their parents in Ogden after college, and with no other outlets, they kept up the casual sexing. Luckily none of the three ever seemed to get their feelings involved. What they had was friendship with the rare benefits those few times they were able to find a quiet place to scratch an itch.

Still, there was a comfort to their arrangement. Fred was really good in bed, though that might have been Zachary’s limited experience. He could suck dick for what seemed like hours, just getting Zachary or Frank worked up and close to coming then backing off, over and over. And he loved to eat ass, which was something Zachary had been squeamish about right up to the point that Fred swiped his tongue from taint to hole.

“I know that look,” Fred said.

Zachary grinned at him. “I wish we had time for one more go. You know, one for the road.”

Fred came over and ran his knuckles roughly over Zachary’s hair, just to piss him off. “Me too, bud. Well, maybe I can swing vacation time from the store and come visit you in DC soon.”

“I’d like that.”

“But look, Zachary. You’ve got to take the lead now.”

“What do you mean?”

“When I come out east, I’m going to expect you to be an expert on all the gay bars. And the bath houses. And the strip clubs. Whatever there is, I want you to be ready to show them to me!”

Zachary looked at his feet. “I’ll try, but …”

“No excuses,” Fred said sternly. “You get out there as soon as you can, get a drink at a real gay bar, find yourself a stranger and have some loud, raunchy sex you can tell me all about the next day!” When Zachary laughed awkwardly, Fred put a hand on his shoulder. “I double-dog dare you. Twenty bucks says you won’t make it to a gay bar your first month in DC.”

Zachary stood and folded his friend into a hug. “Okay, you’re on. I can’t say I’ll go home with a hot guy, but I’ll make myself go to one of the bars at least. Probably this Mata Hari place. So keep your twenty bucks safe because you’ll be sending it to me soon.”

“Excellent. Have a big adventure and tell me all about it. Now let’s go get some pizza.”

Check out Every Breath You Take to see Zachary find not only a hot man at Mata Hari, but unexpected danger.

 

Robert Winter is a recovering lawyer who likes writing about hot men in love much more than drafting a legal brief. He left behind the (allegedly) glamorous world of an international law firm to sit in his home office and dream up ways to torment his characters until they realize they are perfect for each other. When he isn’t writing, Robert likes to cook Indian food and explore new restaurants.
Robert divides his time between Washington, DC, and Provincetown, MA. He splits his attention between Andy, his partner of sixteen years, and Ling the Adventure Cat, who likes to fly in airplanes and explore the backyard jungle as long as the temperature and humidity are just right.
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Blog Tour Schedule
May 8 – Stories That Make You Smile | Books, Dreams, Life
May 9 – two chicks obsessed Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
May 10 – Oh My Shelves | Butterfly-o-Meter Books
May 11 – Bayou Book Junkie | Boy Meets Boy Reviews
May 12 – Urban Smoothie Read | Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Somewhere on Mackinac by Jeff Adams: Exclusive Guest Post, Quick Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

How far would you go for the man of your dreams?

Now that he’s single, Chicago businessman Jordan Monroe can finally take his long-desired trip to Mackinac Island for the Somewhere In Time fan celebration weekend. On the first day, Jordan finds himself attracted to Miles Colter, a handsome local stable owner who is giving horseback tours of film locations.

Jordan is surprised and charmed that Miles pursues him. When Jordan learns the stable is in trouble, he wants to help despite Miles’s resistance. As their relationship grows personally and professionally, Jordan dreads the issues that face them—an ex who won’t let him go, the complications of a long-distance relationship, and a secret he knows he shouldn’t be keeping.

Can Jordan and Miles find a way to forge a love as timeless as the romance in their favorite film?

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Title: Somewhere on Mackinac
Author: Jeff Adams
Release Date: Mary 3, 2017
Category: Contemporary, States of Love
Pages: 113

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I’m happy to close out the blog tour for “Somewhere on Mackinac” here at Two Chick Obsessed.

Somewhere on Mackinac is part of Dremspinner’s States of Love series, which sets romances in each of the fifty U.S. States. The book is set on Mackinac Island, Michigan and is the story of Jordan, a visitor from Chicago, a Miles, an Island native who runs his family’s horse stable. They meet because of the Somewhere in Time fan celebration weekend taking place at the Grand Hotel. They both love the 1980 film starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour and it’s what initially draws them together.

Of course, even in the early stages of love there are obstacles to overcome. As you might have guessed, the fact these two live apart will be an issue. Chicago isn’t all that far from Mackinac, but it takes some effort to get there. It’s about seven hours with a car/ferry trip or three by plane. It’s not exactly a trip you’d make on a whim. For both guys, the distance factor is a significant one for a number of reasons.

As if distance weren’t enough, each of them at least one other thing going on that makes starting a relationship more difficult.

For Jordan, he’s also got ex-boyfriend baggage. Drake is suddenly makes moves about wanting him back and he’s going to some extraordinary lengths to try to get Jordan back. It’s the last thing Jordan needs as he’s thinking about starting something new. Plus, the reasons he broke it off with Drake haven’t gone away.

There’s also trouble with Miles’s business. The family stable is in trouble and while Miles doesn’t know what to do about it he’s also one of those men who doesn’t want to ask for help. Jordan, however, has the skills to help but getting Miles to accept assistance might be more difficult than actually saving the business.

Love can be a minefield of so many different issues, and yet it can be so worth it in the end. I hope you’ll pick up Somewhere on Mackinac and see how the magical place, combined with the guys’ favorite movie, work to help them see past the problems they run into.

The excerpt below gives you a glimpse of how Jordan discovers Miles needs help.

There’s also a Rafflecopter below where you can enter for the chance to win a free copy of the book. Feel free to leave question and comments as well. I’ll stop back over the coming days to leave responses. Thanks for stopping to check out Somewhere on Mackinac!

Suddenly, Miles’s voice was in the distance, and he didn’t sound happy. I couldn’t make out everything he was saying, but it was a heated discussion. Hopefully I could sit here, since I was off the road, and he’d ride by so there wouldn’t need to be an awkward moment.

“You realize this could be the end of our family business, right?” he asked.

The soft clip-clop of his horse was all I heard for a few moments.

“I bought you out because it was the right thing to do. Can’t you reinvest some of that money to help clean up your mistakes?”

He was right behind me.

“You may have left, but I still live here. It’s not my fault you got bored. I would’ve taken over everything and you know it.”

I willed myself to become one with the bench as the horse stopped.

“I gotta go.”

I held my breath, hoping he’d nudge the horse into moving. Silence prevailed. Maybe Miles was considering the conversation. Maybe he had a way to make horses go stealth. Maybe he was staring at the back of my head.

“How much did you hear?”

Option three was right.

I pivoted on the bench to look at him atop Wildfire. Of course, Miles looked great in a red plaid shirt and blue jeans along with the denim jacket I’d first seen him in. What I didn’t like were the worry lines around his eyes, or the way his forehead was deeply furrowed.

“Enough.” There was no reason for me to lie. “Anything I can do to help?”

“Not unless you’ve got a way to make my brother stop being a self-obsessed ass.”

I shrugged. “’Fraid I don’t have a fix for that.”

“Well, I’m sorry I disturbed you. I should get going, but hopefully I’ll see you later.”

Before Wildfire could even get a couple of steps, I got up and approached. He pulled back on Wildfire’s reins and the animal obediently stopped.

“Sounded like you’re having business problems.” I approached Wildfire so I could rub his nose. “Maybe I could help with that?”

“I’m not sure anyone can.” Miles tensed in the saddle.

“Business strategy is what I do.” I looked up at him. “I’ve never worked with a stable, but I’m happy to offer any guidance if I can.”

His sigh sounded like a breath he’d held for years.

“Honestly, it’d be good to talk to someone who doesn’t live here. Trying to keep it under wraps to keep the gossip down isn’t easy. Luckily, Mr. Walker at the bank maintains discretion.”

“Tight cash flow?”

“That’s part of it.” The tension in his voice implied there was a lot more to the story. “You really think you could help?”

“Maybe. Whether I can or can’t, I’ll certainly keep your confidence.”

Miles dismounted, and the horse gave a sound of protest while cocking his head to look at his rider.

“It’s okay, boy. I got something for you.” He pulled an apple from his jacket pocket, which the horse eagerly snatched. “See, it’s all good.”

The smile Miles had for the horse was unburdened and reminded me of the one I’d received from him just yesterday. He talked quietly to the animal as he led him to a tree to tie him up.

“You sure you want to hear this? You’re on vacation after all.”

“Tell me.” I gestured back to the bench.

 

As a teenager, I remember watching Somewhere in Time over and over. (It’s been many years since I’ve watched it, but I have it on order now! 🙂 ) I loved the tragic, but happily ever after story. So getting the chance to be reminded of that with Somewhere on Mackinac was not something I was going to pass up, and Jeff did a fantastic job interweaving Richard and Elise’s story gently throughout. He didn’t retell the story, he simply impressed upon the reader how important this movie was to both the MC’s.

I’ve been enjoying the States of Love series with Dreamspinner Press, because it is low angst, with the inevitable HEA, but also stretches out to find the little known pieces of the states we know and love. With this story, Jeff shows us all the little things about Mackinac Island, Michigan that most readers weren’t aware of: cars still not allowed, the Grand Hotel, even the tree from the movie.

Jordan and Miles are sweet together, as they venture into a short term relationship. As Jordan hides a secret, they find they are becoming more, and that adds stress to that new relationship. Finding a way through the secrets, and into a life together is a bit of a challenge for them, but all good relationships come with time, compromise and a willingness to try.

Of course there is an HEA, because all love stories must have one (even Richard and Elise’s), but my absolute favorite part of this was just reliving the joy from the movie from an entirely new angle. What a joy to bring these two things together.

4 pieces of eye candy

Jeff’s written stories since he was in middle school and became a gay romance writer in 2009 when his first short stories were published.

Jeff lives in rural Northern California with his husband of twenty years, Will. Some of his favorite things include the musicals Rent and [title of show], the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins hockey teams, and the reality TV competition So You Think You Can Dance. If forced to pick his favorite book it would be a tie between Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and David Levithan’s Every Day.

 

He also co-hosts the weekly show Jeff & Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast with his husband. You can learn more at BigGayFictionPodcast.com.

Links:

Website: http://jeffadamswrites.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JeffAndWill/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriterJeffAdams

 

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This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.