The Boy Next Door by Kate McMurray: Release Day Review

boy next doorsynopsis

Life is full of surprises and, with luck, second chances.

After his father’s death, Lowell leaves the big city to help his sick mother in the conservative small town where he grew up. He’s shocked to find himself living next to none other than his childhood friend Jase. Lowell always had a crush on Jase, and the man has only gotten more attractive with age. Unfortunately Jase is straight, now divorced, and raising his six-year-old daughter. It’s nice to reconnect, but Lowell doesn’t see a chance for anything beyond friendship.

Until a night out together changes everything.

Jase can’t fight his growing feelings for Lowell, and he doesn’t want to give up the happy future they could have. But his ex-wife issues an ultimatum: he must keep his homosexuality secret or she’ll revoke his custody of their daughter, Layla. Now Jase faces an impossible choice: Lowell and the love he’s always wanted, or his daughter.

First Edition published by Loose Id LLC, 2011.

Title: The Boy Next Door
Author: Kate McMurray
Release Date: July 22, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

deanna review

This is only the second book I’ve read by Kate McMurray. I was really hoping to enjoy this one as much as I did Put in the Field, I wasn’t disappointed. This is a great story.

Lowell return to town after the death of his abusive father so he can help take care of his aging mother. He buys a house right next door to his elementary school friend Jase.

Jase is recently divorced, raising his daughter on his own because his ex-wife is a flake. Their marriage ended because Jase couldn’t hide the fact he was gay any longer. Now he’s drowning in guilt over a failed marriage wondering if he even deserves happiness.

As soon as Jase and Lowell reconnect the sparks fly. The two embark on something they haven’t defined, whether it’s friends with benefits or a full fledged relationship.

Jase’s ex-wife puts serious pressure on him to stop seeing Lowell stating she doesn’t want it to corrupt her impressionable daughter. Jase is torn between doing what his ex wants and doing what he wants.

As a last ditch effort to hurt Jase, his ex kidnaps their daughter. Emotions are running high and Jase gets into an argument with Lowell and says some things he doesn’t mean.

Jase needs to get his daughter back and fix his relationship with Lowell, only then will he be truly happy.

The storyline was great! It loved at a fast pace and I couldn’t put it down. Once Jase’s daughter was kidnapped nothing else matter, we ordered take out. I couldn’t put the kindle down long enough to cook dinner.

I love that Kate didn’t gloss over the glamorous life of a single parent. The scheduling conflicts, last minute sitters, and stolen moments between Lowell and Jase were true to form.

There were a lot of great characters in this book. I hope this is the start of a new series because I need to see what is going on with Neal and Russ. Also, a story about Detective Brown and his firefighter would be interesting.

4 pieces of eye candy

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ARe

Dreamspinner Press

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 Greek Tycoon’s Green Card Groom by Kate McMurray: New Release Blast and Guest post

greek

synopsis

Marriage gets less convenient when love is involved.

It started simple: Ondrej Kovac marries Archie Katsaros so Ondrej can stay in the US, away from his judgmental family in eastern Europe. Archie marries Ondrej in exchange for the money to bail out his failing company. It’s a fraud neither man is convinced he can pull off.

But as Archie introduces Ondrej to New York society and Ondrej proves his skill in the office, they start to discover a connection between them. Can they overcome the rocky foundation their relationship was built on, meddling immigration agents, gossip columnists determined to out their deception, and an aggressive executive set on selling Archie’s company out from under him? Only if they can prove to each other their love is worth fighting for.

Title: The Greek Tycoon’s Green Card Groom
Author: Kate McMurray
Release Date: July 15, 2016
Category: Dreamspun Desires, Contemporary
Pages: 218

Guest Post

 

My high school best friend lived overseas for three years between undergrad and law school. He’d done a summer program in Europe between junior and senior year and fell in love with the city he’d lived in. When he went back for his three-year stint as an ex-pat, he fell in love with a man.

Shortly after he moved to New York for law school, we had coffee and he explained that his boyfriend was having trouble getting a visa to stay in the U.S., so they were rendezvousing in England, somewhere they could both meet without risk of deportation, every other month. My friend had gotten a job against the rules of his program, which forbid first-year law students from working because it distracted from studying, so that he could afford to fly to England a few times a semester.

That was unsustainable; my friend wound up finishing law school in London. He and his now husband set up a life there. It sounds grand and romantic, but it’s complicated by the fact that my friend had been accepted at one of the best law schools in the country, located close to his family and friends, but the love of his life was on the other side of the ocean. If the Defense of Marriage Act had not still been the law of the land, the story might have played out differently. When the U.S. Supreme Court finally did make marriage equality a reality for every American, my friend already had a life and a home in Europe.

But he was very much on my mind when the law changed. And he was on my mind when I started writing a book about a gay green card marriage.

Because that’s a thing you can have now.

It’s one of those tropes you see on TV or in books that plays out in predictable ways: two people enter into a marriage of convenience so that one of them can stay in the U.S., despite risking getting caught by Immigration. And there’s always a scene where Immigration does a home visit and nearly catches the lie.

I researched it, and it turns out that there are too many green card marriages for Immigration to actually check up on all of them, so the reality is that, although marriage fraud is illegal, a lot of people who enter into such arrangements are probably not caught. But large sums of money being exchanged do tend to catch the attention of Immigration.

Anyway, there’s some reality in those old silly tropes, and I tried to be conscious of it as I wrote. Hopefully the book is mostly just fun, though.

buy now

 

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Dreamspinner Press

 

meet the author

Kate McMurray is an award-winning romance author and an unabashed romance fan. When she’s not writing, she works as a nonfiction editor, dabbles in various crafts, and is maybe a tiny bit obsessed with base­ball. She has served as President of Rainbow Romance Writers and is currently the president of the New York City chapter of RWA. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Website: http://www.katemcmurray.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/katemcmwriter

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

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

Out in the Field by Kate McMurray : Release Day Review

outsynopsisMatt Blanco is a legend on the Brooklyn Eagles, but time and injuries have taken their toll. With his career nearing its end, he’s almost made it to retirement without anyone learning his biggest secret: he’s gay in a profession not particularly known for its tolerance.

Iggy Rodriquez is the hot new rookie in town, landing a position in the starting lineup of the team of his dreams and playing alongside his idol, Matt Blanco. Iggy doesn’t think it can get any better, until an unexpected encounter in the locker room with Matt proves him wrong.

A relationship—and everything it could reveal—has never been in the cards for Matt, but Iggy has him rethinking his priorities. They fall hard for each other, struggling to make it through trades, endorsement deals, and the threat of retirement. Ultimately they will be faced with a choice: love or baseball?

deanna review

This may be the most perfect story I have ever read! I am a huge lover of a complete story, I want every question answered and I got that with this one. Wow!

Iggy Rodriguez is a rookie on the Brooklyn Eagles, a Major League Baseball team. He has wanted to play ball his whole life, a dream only second to getting to play ball with his childhood idol Matt Blanco.

Matt Blanco is fighting injuries and age to stay on top. The last thing he needs is a hot new rookie to distract him. A late night encounter has sparks flying and sets them on a course that could either make or break them.

Neither player is ready to “out” themselves or their budding relationship, but the stress of hiding takes a toll. Battling trades, injuries, and post retirement career have each man wondering is baseball is really all they need.

This story takes place over 4 years. I’m a greedy reader, I love when you can see a relationship progress over time. You really feel the connection and the love and the story stays with you so much longer.

I started reading this book this morning and couldn’t stop until it was finished, it was that good. I’m not a huge baseball fan and I still immensely enjoyed it.

I enjoyed watching the relationship unfold without the usual pressure to “make it official,” or declare undying love. It just progressed naturally, and felt genuine and so real. I love that when Matt came out he didn’t force Iggy to do the same. The mutual respect and admiration was evident on every page.

The plot moved along at a steady pace and the characters were well rounded and engaging. All of the normal plot points and some questions I had that would normally be left unanswered were all addressed. I wasn’t left wondering on anything and that makes me so happy and doesn’t happen often enough.

And the ending, could it have been more perfect? I don’t think so! It so perfectly matched the story and the couple.

I haven’t read anything by Kate McMurray before but I am definitely running out to read more.

5 pieces of eye candy

5-pieces-eye-candy3

buy now

Amazon

ARe

Dreamspinner Press

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

Hidden Gems List: Books you might not have read

hidden gems

We here at Two Chicks Obsessed want to take some time to spotlight Hidden Gems, as we call them. These are books (in the case of this week’s post) or authors (next week’s post) that people have recommended that are not on the “most often recommended” list. We are all aware of the authors that are recommended when you want a paranormal, or a contemporary m/m, or even historical, and we love them, too. However, these Hidden Gems are books and authors you may not have heard of before…I know many of these, I have not! We will also spotlight, with a review, or an interview, one book or author during each post, so you can have a more in depth look at it.

So take a look at all the books, give us your thoughts, let us know if you have Hidden Gems, and they may be in a future edition of Hidden Gems.

Hidden Gem Spotlight:

Saving Kane by Michele M. Rakes (AKA Mikey Rakes)

Synop11354947_772791496170499_1591351830_nsis:
A twenty-something paramedic suffering from PTSD and a failing relationship with his high school sweetheart becomes embroiled in the tragic life of a young, gay man brutally beaten, raped, and left for dead.Kane Abel can’t help falling for his caregiver, the handsome paramedic who saves his life, but he’s resistant. The one time Kane threw caution to the wind, he was left with a wired jaw and a tracheostomy. He can’t take much more hurt. But with his attacker’s promise to return, Kane lives in a constant state of fear, and with the ever-present paramedic, arousal.Garrett Young struggles with the question of his sexuality, unable to get Kane out of his mind even as he fights against the demise of his long-time engagement with his girlfriend Amanda. Every day is complicated by his ongoing battle with PTSD and alcoholism, compounded by his fear for Kane’s life.

 

denise review

I won’t lie. I was afraid to read this book. Like, big spider holding you hostage in the corner of your bedroom, scared. (Yes, that was a recurring dream for me as a kid…don’t ask…) I read Fourth and Long in March, but hadn’t read Saving Kane. I heard it was a not a light read. And although not all the books I read need to be light (Fourth and Long certainly isn’t), I just kept thinking I needed to mental prepare myself to read this book. I finally did, and I’m sorry I waited so long to read it! It wasn’t a light read, that is true, very heavy subject matter, but these men grab your hearts from the word go. I definitely had built up the fear in my mind, but found it was not as frightening as I had initially thought it would be! I mean let’s face it…it has an HEA, so what was I afraid of? 🙂

I don’t know how to describe the feelings throughout this book. Anguish immediately, as you see what Kane is going through. Hope, as he recovers physically, and Garrett is by his hospital bed every night, talking to him, despite Garrett believing Kane was asleep. Love, as they try to find a way to connect with each other, despite Garrett being straight. Heartbreak as Kane is a victim once again. And pure joy as they are able to connect with their families, after they have vanquished the evil that had lain before them.

In the end, their love began as a questioned emotion by these men, neither quite sure where they stood with the other. However, where they never failed to stand, was right by each others side. They were, without a doubt, loyal to ensuring that the other was safe and healthy, as much as they could be for not being in a relationship.

As a reviewer, I feel that something being an actual re-read, not just an “I hope to re-read this again someday”, but one that will be re-read with certainty is the highest compliment I can pay an author, and deserves a five pieces of eye candy rating. Their work is such a joy, or so emotion evoking, or whatever it is that catches each reader, that you are planning into your time to re-read a book that you don’t have to read, but that you are looking forward to re-reading. This book (as well as Fourth and Long) are both “must re-reads”, without question. Five pieces of eye candy.

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Other Hidden Gems Recommendations:

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