Everything is finally falling into place for Trey Cooper: his band has been accepted into one of the biggest music competitions in the country…too bad their drummer just quit to play with XYZ, their biggest rival. When Trey has a mind-blowingly hot hookup with a mysterious violinist, Trey definitely plans to see him again – just not on stage as a member XYZ.
Dominic Bounds’ time to make his musical dreams come true is running out. If something doesn’t happen fast, he has to head home to find a real job. This competition is his last chance, and Dom needs to come out on top – but he never expected to fall for his rival. As Dom and Trey risk everything to begin a secret affair, there’s no denying their chemistry is off the charts – but could their band rivalry turn their romance into a one-hit wonder?
I’m not sure how I feel about this story. The idea of two members from rival bands falling in love has so much potential and appeal. I picture clandestine meetings and choosing between their heart or their music. Instead, the getting together part seemed easy. Even meeting up was easy. Heck they even had a confidant from the band that knew of their relationship!
What I wasn’t expecting was the angst coming from petty standards! When a guy totally lies about who he is and then gets self-righteous when the in the closet lover refuses to acknowledge him, I had issue with that. It wasn’t a deal breaker, it just seemed like a double standard.
I enjoyed the complexity of Dom’s family. He was loved and supported, Trey didn’t have any of that. However, it felt like too many problems were introduced to keep the story going longer when it could have been a shorter story about them getting together, playing music, and overcoming the odds. I could have done without the car accident, attack, and short break up.
This novel felt more new adult and if you go into it with that thought process, the immaturity and angst is totally fitting. It was a very different type of story from AM Arthur so I’m glad to experience something new and look forward to what else the new series has to offer.
John loves his job as head rigger for Cirque Brilliance. The heavy scarring over half his face makes it a little hard to meet new people, but John’s got a good crew and a nice found family, and he’s content with his lot in life.
When Cirque hires talent for a new show, John meets Bao, a bright, ever-cheerful acrobat. Bao seems drawn to John and becomes a constant presence at his side—talking to him during downtime, spending time with him at lunch, and generally seeking out his company.
John doesn’t know what to make of this. Sure, he likes Bao—maybe a little too much, honestly—but he’s had enough experience to know that Bao couldn’t possibly like him back. Or so he thinks, anyway. Fortunately, Bao seems determined to prove him wrong.
Counterbalance is one of those stories that I ate up as I was reading. Just enough drama, romance, sweetness, and humanity to keep the pages turning. John is disfigured by a relative as a teen. It’s not easy being different and people aren’t always tolerant of his difference. He’s been called names and watches as people shrink away from him. His job as a rigger for a Cirque show is perfect. The talent in this type of show is a bit quirky too, so he feels at home behind the Cirque sets.
Then Bao enters John’s life. Bao is from China and new to the Cirque Brilliance show as a balancing talent. He’s super friendly and outgoing, meeting everyone. He approaches John and treats him exactly the same as everyone else. As if he doesn’t even see John’s disfigurement. Bao was sweet and innocent. He is almost childlike in his mannerisms but he grew on me quickly because it’s apparent he doesn’t have a mean bone in his body!
The attraction builds but John isn’t about to make the first move. The question is, will Bao be able to maneuver through cultural and language differences to get John to see what they could share together, or will this romance never see the light of day.
If you’re looking for the perfect afternoon getaway, Counterbalance would be a great choice!
Welcome to our stop on Sarah Madison’s review tour for her latest book, Fool’s Gold. This is one sweet romance you won’t want to miss!
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Eight years ago, Jake Stanford had it all: a spot on the U.S. Olympic Equestrian Team and the love of his life, Rich Evans. A tragic accident wipes out everything in the blink of an eye. Hard work and sacrifice get him another shot at Olympic Gold, but only if he puts his past behind him and agrees to work with Rich again.
Bound by secrets he cannot share, Rich was forced to give up Jake eight years ago. Now he has a second chance to help Jake realize his dreams. But the secrets that drove them apart haven’t changed, and Rich must face them or risk losing Jake forever.
There is something compelling about the outstanding style and delivery of Sarah Madison. Her characters are complex and well developed, and they demand your attention. In this heartbreaking tale of young love and the struggle to find acceptance, even Jake’s overbearing, wealthy father grabs the reader’s attention with his misplaced overprotectiveness and homophobia. At the basis of it all is love and the confusion that surrounds navigating life. As many readers know, life’s never easy and it’s often messy. The same is true for Jake and Rich.
Jake and Rich are two guys who are young and in love until a tragic accident forces Rich to make a tough decision. Fast forward eight years – they’re thrown together again in their beloved world of horseback riding. What starts out awkward soon begins to seem like old times. Or does it? In this sweet, smoldering romance Sarah Madison reminds us that you cannot change the past but you can overcome it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sarah Madison is a writer with a little dog, a large dog, an even bigger horse, too many cats, and a very patient boyfriend. An amateur photographer and a former competitor in the horse sport known as eventing, when she’s not out hiking with the dogs or down at the stables, she’s at the laptop working on her next story. When she’s in the middle of a chapter, she relies on the smoke detector to tell her dinner is ready. She writes because it’s cheaper than therapy.
Sarah Madison was a finalist in the 2013 and 2015 Rainbow Awards. The Boys of Summer won Best M/M Romance in the 2013 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards. The Sixth Sense series was voted 2 nd place in the 2014 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards for Best M/M Mystery series, and 3 rd place in the 2105 PGR Reviewer’s Choice Awards for Best M/M Paranormal/Urban Fantasy series.
If you want to make her day, e-mail her and tell you how much you like her stories.
Today I’m thrilled to be interviewing Lilah Suzanne author of Burning Tracks. Hi, Lilah, thank you for agreeing to this interview. We hope you’ll tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Do you buy a book because of the cover, the blurb, or something else?
I’m a browser; I like to take my time and peruse the shelves. Usually the title or cover will catch my eye, then I’ll read the blurb and a few pages inside. I don’t need popularity or a lot of reviews to be interested in a book and I really love discovering new-to-me authors.
What does ‘romance’ mean to you?
Wanting to give the person you love the best of yourself, and wanting to encourage and support them to be the best of themselves, too. For me, romance isn’t those very first swooning, heart-racing moments, but loving someone through the ups and downs. I really tried to exemplify in this book the idea that love is a verb, and that romance requires actions and not just feelings.
What are your current projects?
I’m working on the third and final novel in my Spotlight seriesright now, titled Blended Notes. And after that I plan to write a spin-off novella for Clementine, one of the minor characters in the series. She needs her own happy ending! After that: Something new!
What is the most difficult part of writing for you?
Editing is tough for me, particularly the last very tight edits for typos and tiny mistakes. It’s difficult for me to stay focused and positive, even though that stage is of course essential and very important! My ADD brain just doesn’t like it at all.
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise people.
Gwen is the person I often wish I could be, she’s just totally uninhibited by what or who other people think she should do or be, and fierce and raunchy and kick-ass. In reality I’m very quiet and sensitive and, unlike Gwen, I generally think way too much about what I do and say and what people think of me!
ABOUT THE BOOK:
In the sequel to Broken Records, Gwen Pasternak has it all: a job she loves as a celebrity stylist and a beautiful wife, Flora. But as her excitement in working with country music superstar Clementine Campbell grows, Gwen second-guesses her quiet domestic bliss. Meanwhile, her business partner, Nico Takahashi and his partner, reformed bad-boy musician Grady Dawson, face uncertainties of their own.
Publisher: Interlude Press
Book Length: 224 pages, 62,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Lesbian Romance, Romance Rom-Com
“There’s a reason you two aren’t allowed to hang out alone.” Arms crossed, one impeccable eyebrow raised, lips twisted, hair artfully tousled, and dressed to the nines: Alexander Wang black-on-black tropical-printed board shorts, a slim fit black-and-white chino and matching black lapel jacket, black boots, and a black and white scarf to tie it all together. “Nico,” Gwen says.
“Nico?” Grady is up in a flash. “You came?”
Nico’s face softens into his Grady look. “Of course I came. Did you really think you were getting rid of me that easily?” Grady comes closer, and Nico brushes a spiraled lock of hair from his face. “I’m sorry it took me so long. There were storms over Dallas, and I got stuck on the tarmac with a dead phone. I barely made my connection, and the clusterfuck of morons known as the United gate at JFK could not get its shit together, and I may be banned outright from Charlotte-Douglas International, can you believe they flag you as a security risk and hold you in a room with no phone signal or Wi-Fi just for threatening one person with shoving that goddam intercom up their—” He opens his arms for Grady; his look of annoyance slips away the moment they touch. “Anyway, I’m here.”
Grady sighs, crowds into Nico’s space, and tucks himself into Nico’s body. Much better, a perfect fit. “God, I love you.”
“I love you, too.” Nico sinks one hand into his hair, strokes the nape of his neck with other, breathes him in, and closes his eyes. “I’m so sorry. About the apartment and taking off and not being here yesterday, I tried to so hard to make it because I know how difficult it is for you. You shouldn’t have been alone.”
Grady sniffs and holds him tighter. “It’s okay. We’re okay. I’m sorry, too.”
Still ensnared in the sheets and duvet and barely awake, Gwen presses her hands to her cheeks and awws. “You guys,” she coos.
Grady lifts his head from Nico’s neck to smile at Gwen. “I wasn’t alone, though.”
“Mmm” Nico says. “And how much trouble did she get you into?”
“None,” Gwen says, defensive. Here she kept Grady safe and sound, searched all over Nashville and Las Vegas while he was off burying himself in work and what thanks does she get? None.
But then Grady smirks and says, “Kind of a lot.”
“Grady.” Gwen throws a pillow at him. “You’re such a tattletale, gosh.”
He bends to whisper something in Nico’s ear, and Gwen doesn’t miss the way his lips drag and linger on the shell of it, or the way Nico’s breath catches and his eyes roll back. When Nico lifts Grady’s shirt and traces around the tattoos with reverent fingers, Gwen takes that as her cue to extricate herself from the bed, put on some pants and a bra, and go fetch her luggage.
“‘Kay you guys have fun and make sure to change the sheets when you’re finished.”
“Wait.” Nico tugs Grady’s shirt down. Then he goes to the case he always has nearby. “You have trouble of your own, Gwen. Thought you might want to know about this.”
Gwen catches the magazine and folded-up papers he tosses her way: screen grabs from a few entertainment websites printed out in black and white.
Is This Clementine Campbell’s Girlfriend? Our source says, “It wouldn’t surprise me.”
Clementine and Gal Pal Definitely More Than Pals Sunning On Vegas Pool Deck.
Our exclusive source and close confidant of both says: Clementine’s married girlfriend “would cheat for sure. She was always touching her. There’s been an energy between them from the very beginning.”
There are pictures: her rubbing sunscreen on Clementine’s bare back, which looks far steamier in a fuzzy long-range picture than it actually was; a picture of them from the back at the store in the Venetian with their hands clasped and Clementine curled in close and her lips on Gwen’s cheek; and most damning of all, grinding together at the VIP club at the Bellagio just last night.
“I don’t—” Frantic and confused, she flaps the magazine and printouts in the air. “What is this? This isn’t— Nico, I didn’t, I swear.”
Nico holds both hands up. “Hey, I am well aware of the slander of tabloids. I get it.” He gives her a sympathetic look. “I’m just not sure Flora is going to.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lilah Suzanne has been writing actively since the sixth grade, when a literary magazine published her essay about an uncle who lost his life to AIDS. A freelance writer, she has also authored a children’s book and has a devoted following in the fan fiction community. She is also the author of the Interlude Press books Spice, Pivot and Slip, and Broken Records, which was named a Top Pick by RT Book Reviews Magazine.
11-Aug: Havan Fellows, Jessie G. Books, Divine Magazine, 3 Chicks After Dark
12-Aug: BFD Book Blog, Unquietly Me, The Novel Approach
15-Aug: Molly Lolly, Inked Rainbow Reads, Oh My Shelves
16-Aug: Book Reviews and More by Kathy, Alpha Book Club, Bayou Book Junkie
17-Aug: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Velvet Panic, Prism Book Alliance
18-Aug: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Kirsty Loves Books, Bonkers About Books
19-Aug: V’s Reads, My Fiction Nook, Happily Ever Chapter
22-Aug: Love Bytes, Foxylutely Book Reviews
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24-Aug: A.M. Leibowitz, Open Skye Book Reviews, Book Lovers 4Ever