Tag Archives: self-harm

SPOTLIGHT AND REVIEW: Broken by Nicola Haken

Title: Broken
Author: Nicola Haken
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 29, 2016

When Theodore Davenport decides to switch his mundane job for a career, he walks into Holden House Publishing with enthusiasm and determination to succeed. As he settles into his new role, makes new friends, and dreams of making it to the top, everything is going to plan.

Until he meets James Holden, CEO of Holden House.

James Holden hasn’t been able to stop thinking about his encounter with the timid man he met in a club bathroom last week, and when he discovers the one haunting his dreams is an employee, he can’t seem to stop himself from pursuing him.

Just a little fun – that’s what James tells himself. He can’t afford to care for someone who can never reciprocate, not once they find out who he really is. James believes nobody deserves the burden of being attached to him. He’s a complicated man. Damaged. Difficult. Demanding.

Broken.

Is Theodore strong enough to confront James’ demons? More importantly, is James?

(M/M romance. Not suitable for readers under 18 years of age due to language and sexual content. ***Please note*** This book contains scenes of self harm, mental illness and suicidal ideation which may pose as a trigger, or be uncomfortable for some readers.)


 

“Broken is truly a remarkable book. I was blown away by it, by the raw and sincere way Ms. Haken took these men through the roller coaster of living with unrelenting demons. And now, as I sit here wondering if I have to courage to post this review, all I can think about is how far into my heart Theo and James have embedded themselves–and how I hope they never leave. I think it might be too hard to say goodbye…although maybe not as hard as it was find the words that I hope compel you to read this breathtaking book.” ~ Beth, Give Me Books 


“A stunning but achingly painful read” ~ Author Sloane Kennedy 


“This is an amazing book full of so much raw emotion that it gripped me and wouldn’t let up. I felt like I was watching a movie in my head and I wanted to just jump in the book and give James a huge hug. Lots of FEELz in this book.. both good and bad.” ~ Alpha Book Club



Nicola lives in Rochdale, England with her husband and four children (six if you include the dog and cat!) She is the author the author of the m/m romance Souls of the Knight series, and is currently working on a standalone with new boys, James and Theo, due for release early 2016. When she is not busy playing with her imaginary book friends (or talking about them with real life friends!) she can usually be found carrying out her ordinary mum/housewife/all round slave duties. Oh, and if the kids ever ask, she moonlights as the Pink Power Ranger while they’re sleeping…

review

Absolutely amazing. An emotional journey I didn’t want to end.

I have a thing for emotionally grueling books. The harder the story, the more the men suffer, the more I enjoy.  Life is messy and a story like I mentioned, to me, is real life. The struggles, hardships, stressors, they’re what make life difficult but help us know we’re alive and kicking trying to fight through.

Fighting through is exactly what James David Holden is doing. From the moment we meet him, James is trying to keep it together. From his job to his personal life, he’s treading water. He’s a bit of an arrogant bastard but not to the point of hating him. No, that feeling is strictly for his mother. She is another level of selfish that James in nowhere near.

Take-charge-James meets Theodore one night in a bar and that sets the stage for their volatile relationship to emerge. Volatile because James is a jerk at first but Theodore can’t stop gravitating towards him anyway. Doing as James asks and going against everything Theo knows he should be doing with regards to James. It’s quite comical to see Theo struggle. He’s powerless when it comes to James.

As we get to know both men through their job (Theo works for Holden) and their dating we discover a bigger secret. James suffers from mental illness. He’s sure this will push Theo away, he almost hopes it will. That would support what he’s felt all along, he’s not loveable. Not worth having to deal with manic depression and suicidal tendencies. Not worth love and effort. However, James greatly underestimates Theo’s love and devotion. Theo has a huge heart and he’s willing to pull James closer, not push him away.

Broken is a beautiful story of hope. Hope in love. Hope in healing. Hope in tragedy. Hope in a new day. Hope in therapy. James is so shattered. He must totally break and smash into pieces before he can become new. To put the pieces together again and grow. The pieces might be permanently damaged and worse for wear, but they’re there.  With Theo by his side, James just might be able to overcome. Theo, his rock, his anchor. Theo, a beacon of light, hope and love.

Yes the story is emotional, but it’s not overwhelmingly so. I recommend Broken, it’s a must read. It’s raw, it’s truth, it’s beauty.

RATING: STILETTOS!!



HOSTED BY:

BLOG TOUR and REVIEW: Stealing Innocents by Cari Waites

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We’re thrilled to host Cari Waites on her blog tour, Stealing Innocents. She explains why she chose to write under a pseudonym and why the content is on the darker side for the collection. Thanks for being here, Cari….I mean Lisa! :)

From Cari Waites:

Hi! Welcome to the blog tour for Stealing Innocents by Cari Waites. Who is not-so-secretly Lisa Henry. I’m visiting some of my favourite blogs around the place to talk a bit about writing Stealing Innocents, and sharing some of my influences, ideas, and even an excerpt or two! Don’t forget to leave a comment, for your chance to win prizes!

A few people have asked me why I chose to write Stealing Innocents under a pseudonym. Two reasons, really. Firstly, I wanted to experiment in self-publishing. Secondly, I wasn’t sure that these stories would sit well with the Lisa Henry brand.

The Cari Waites stories were going to be an experiment in absolute bare bones self-publishing. No promo, no advertising, no hitching them to the Lisa Henry wagon. I was just going to put the stories out there and see how they did on their own. And surprisingly, they did okay. Thanks to a few enthusiastic reviews on Goodreads, word actually did get out about my Cari Waites stuff. Mostly words like, “Holy shit, have you seen this?” And eventually that reader-generated interest ended with a contract to publish the stories with Riptide. (I am the worst. Self-publisher. Ever.) So much for the great experiment!

Seriously though, these stories are so much better for having been through the Riptide editorial wringer! So that’s one thing I learned from the experiment: Riptide editors are the greatest. Okay, no, I already knew that.

When it came to putting the stories out through Riptide, we decided that it was time to come clean and admit that Cari Waites was also Lisa Henry. Because most people know that I skew dark whenever I’m given the chance anyway. If I have a brand, that’s probably it. I mean, anyone who’s read Another Man’s Treasure can testify to that. And the way we’ve done it, Lisa Henry writing as Cari Waites, is to at least keep a thin line between the stuff that can be classified as romance, and the stuff that really, really can’t.

I’m not sure yet if Cari Waites has any more stories left in her. She probably does. For every sweet story I’m working on in my WIPs, there’s a darker one. And for every darker story, there’s a “Holy crap, even I can’t believe I went there” one.

Basically, I like to mix things up a bit. If there’s a formula to writing stories, I haven’t found it yet. I like to keep surprising readers, if I can. Which probably means my next release will be tooth-rottingly sweet and as fluffy as a bunny. Ha! And nobody will ever see that coming!

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About Stealing Innocents:

Those who dare to scratch the surface of ordinary, everyday life may be horrified to find a sick underbelly beneath—a nightmare world populated by villains and victims, predators and prey, where the rules of society no longer apply.

Where you’ll find people like Danny, the boy who sells himself to pay for his father’s gambling debts and ends up in a situation more twisted than he ever imagined. Or Troy, the cop whose obsession with saving a brutalized human trafficking victim turns deadly. Or Drew, the mental patient who begins to suspect his nightly delusions of abuse by his doctor are actually real. Or David, the cuckolded husband who decides the best way to get revenge is to seduce his wife’s barely legal son.

Stealing Innocents is an exploration of our darkest human impulses, where sex is power, love is horror, and there’s no such thing as a happy ending.

This collection contains three edited second editions stories that were previously individually published, plus one all-new story, by Lisa Henry writing as Cari Waites.

http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/stealing-innocents

Meet Lisa Henry:

Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

Cari Waites is her much darker alter ego.

Connect with Lisa:

Blog: lisahenryonline.blogspot.com
Twitter: @lisahenryonline
Goodreads: goodreads.com/LisaHenry

Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of Stealing Innocents, Lisa is giving away a $20 Riptide credit and an ebook of your choice of title from Lisa’s backlist. Your first comment at each stop on this tour enters you in the drawing. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 16, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Follow the tour for more opportunities to enter the giveaway! Don’t forget to leave your email or method of contact so Lisa can reach you if you win!

Our Thoughts:

Please consult the long list of triggers for this collection if you are sensitive to particular situations: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/stealing-innocents

Gamble Everything 

Gamble Everything is an intense telling of how a boy is stripped from his existing life and thrust into one he will not be able to leave.

Danny’s father sells him off to be used for a $12K gambling debt. Clyde knows full well what is about to happen. For some crazy reason, the things Danny has dealt with from his gambling, loser father hasn’t yet broken him. He still feels allegiance and wants to do this to help him. It’s a few months to pay off the debt. He can handle it, right?

From the moment Danny is taken to Archer, his life will never be the same. Archer’s goal is to break him mentally and physically. To rip his layers off one by one and build him back up into who he wants Danny to be. Danny is Daniel and Archer will be his Daddy. All Daniel has to do is release all his fight and give in to what Archer wants. Full trust, full compliance, fully owned.

Gamble Everything is one of those stories that has you turning pages to see what will happen. Will Daniel fully comply? Will he escape. Is this exactly what he wants in life? A pawn in a game he has no idea the rules of, he’s surely not going to be the winner. Even with the non-con and dub-con, this book is intriguing and just enough sadistic to make the heart race and leave you a bit stunned. Great writing in a small package.

Crazy

Drew’s in a mental facility for depression. He doesn’t think he’s crazy, just tired. Then the nightmares start. Being taken from his room into a tiled space. Pushed down, forced to perform and then back in his room by morning. Is it a dream? A nightmare? Why isn’t it a normal nightmare with real fears like drowning or sharks? Why is he having nightmares of something his mind, his imaginations have never conjured up before.

The second time Drew realizes that it’s real, what he thinks is a nightmare is real. He’s determined to make himself remember. To know that it’s real and he’s not crazy. This short is just sad to read. This poor guy is struggling against what he knows is reality and what isn’t. When in a mental facility, one’s going to question their sanity and reality over and over again. Drew desperately wants to believe he’s not crazy, that the events he fears are real. But, is it worse that they’re fake and just a nightmare and Drew is crazy? Or, is it worse that he’s right, it’s real and he’s a victim, stuck in a place to be repeatedly abused? Either way, he’s outvoted.

First And Only

Wow. This short story was one of tragedy from start to finish. David was always being dumped by his wife or lover. His current wife is cheating on him so he decides the best revenge is to seduce her almost 19-year-old son, Sage.

David’s a lawyer so he knows in order to be lawful, Sage must come to him. Set a trap and wait for the prey. That’s exactly what he does. He seduces Sage and takes what he wants from him. Like all his prior escapades, David is traded for another. So quickly too. But, he’s done being the loser. Done being the one taken advantage of and he will get his revenge after all. It just might cost him more than he was willing to give.

First and Only takes revenge into a completely different level of messed up! However, like the rest of the stories in this set, it’s another page turning ball of dub-con.

Falling Angels

Sometime a story comes along that literally leaves you stunned and scrambling for words. Falling Angels is every bit that situation for me. A tough topic and story from beginning to end. Human trafficking and the horror it brings to the innocent victims is told in a dramatic and heartbreaking story of Dima, or Arkady as he was later named by his first tormentor.

Never the recipient of kindness, Arkady would never dream that the hell he first endured was the kindest he would have it. When he is finally given a reprieve, tragedy strikes again.  Arkady’s story was haunting. Many ‘if only’ moments followed the final words. This one made me shed a few tears and was the perfect ending for the appropriately named Stealing Innocents collection.

I like to delve into the dark reads and this collection was exasperating, wicked and decadent all at the same time. Waites is a genius!

RATING: STILETTOS!!!

Guest Post: Susan Mac Nicol for Love You Senseless (Men of London #1)

Today we are pleased to host Susan Mac Nicol. Her newest release is Love You Senseless and it’s part of the new series, Men of London. Welcome to 3 Chicks After Dark, Susan!

SUSAN MAC NICOL on writing between genres:

I tried this once and for me, it wasn’t particularly successful, not in terms of sales, anyway. However as far as I’m concerned it was a great idea because I had an idea for a book that wouldn’t let go, and I wrote the story. Simples, as a certain little Russian meerkat would say…

Double Alchemy crossed the genre between what I’d written before, which was angsty, emotional romance (Saving Alexander, Worth Keeping) and into the realms of the paranormal with Warlocks and Withinners – the common denominator was that it had sexy men falling in love, and all the hallmarks of a Susan Mac Nicol book if you believe my readers- Susan has a way of building a world with her words that make it so easy to see in my head the scenes and locations that this book takes us.

I didn’t find it difficult at all to make the change. It was simply another story I wrote, albeit different. The challenge is in changing genres from what your readers expect. Not everyone reads paranormal even if it M/M romance still. So instead what you get is a different set of readers, a new audience, and to me, that’s cool. It opens the field a little to new wide eyes reading my work and thinking, ‘Hell, I might just give her other books a try, paranormal or not.”

I guess sticking to one genre is the sensible thing to do but for me, the story will out and I’ll write it anyway, because I have to…..those sexy men will out….

Love You Senseless
Love You Senseless (Men of London, Book 1) by Susan Mac Nicol

Released 9 October 2014

Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group

Cover Artist: Boroughs Publishing Group

Blurb:

One of London’s up-and-coming chefs, Eddie Tripp has just the right recipe to drive tragedy from the mind of Gideon Kent—and leave him senseless with desire.

THE MEN OF LONDON
From Soho to Norwich, there’s no escaping love.

A TASTE OF FOREVER
An award-winning chef with his own restaurant and an inexhaustible passion, Gideon Kent once had everything. Then came tragedy. It stole more than Gideon’s home. He hasn’t cooked since.

Until Eddie Tripp. Fun-loving and vivacious, the Norfolk redhead’s a real up-and-comer in Gideon’s kitchen—and other places. Slim where Gideon’s broad, easy-going where Gideon is growly, he and Gideon seem polar opposites, and yet Eddie conjures flavors that would tempt anyone with a taste for perfection. The sauce of love is already simmering, and this pair is about to dine on the most delicious dish they’ve ever prepared. Because Eddie’s been Gideon’s missing ingredient all along.

Excerpt:

Eddie kissed back, wanting nothing more than this moment, this man in his body and his lips on his. Somewhere a bell rang and for a minute Eddie thought it might be the sound of his own passion translated to tinkling sleigh bells and fireworks like in the cartoon movies when two people kissed. He smiled at that thought then as the bell got more insistent and irritating, he turned to Gideon only to find he was no longer there. Eddie scowled and reached across to where the annoying bell sound was….

He woke from his dream upright, sweating, sticky with come and tangled in musty smelling sheets that had seen their fair share of jack off action lately and needed washing. His hand rested on his mobile phone as it trilled incessantly with his Big Ben alarm. He blinked owlishly for a minute, wondering where he was, then as the dream faded, he fell back in a loose heap with a sense of loss.

Meet the author:

Susan Mac Nicol

Susan Mac Nicol is a self confessed bookaholic, an avid watcher of videos of sexy pole dancing men, self confessed geek and nerd and in love with her Smartphone. This little treasure is called ‘the boyfriend’ by her long suffering husband, who says if it vibrated, there’d be no need for him. Susan hasn’t had the heart to tell him there’s an app for that…

She is never happier than when sitting in the confines of her living room/study/on a cold station platform scribbling down words and making two men fall in love. She is a romantic at heart and believes that everything happens (for the most part) for a reason. She likes to think of herself as a ‘half full’ kinda gal, although sometimes that philosophy is sorely tested.

Lover of walks in the forest, theatre productions, dabbling her toes in the cold North Sea and the vibrant city of London where you can experience all four seasons in a day , she is a hater of pantomime (so please don’t tar and feather her), duplicitous people, bigotry and self righteous idiots.

In an ideal world, Susan Mac Nicol would be Queen of England and banish all the bad people to the Never Never Lands of Wherever -Who Cares. As that’s never going to happen, she contents herself with writing her HEA stories and pretending, that just for a little while, good things happen to good people.

All About Susan:

Rather than wax lyrical about myself and bore you all to death, let me simply highlight the top 20 choice words, phrases and observations people have made about me over the years; perhaps then you’ll get the picture of what it’s like to be me. More importantly perhaps, you’ll wonder how my poor family, friends, and colleagues ever managed to put up with me. I put my hands on my heart and promise the things below have all been said by someone close to me at one time or another..
1.   I apparently have the ability to tell someone to go to hell in a way that they enjoy the journey
2.   Complete nutter.
3.   Pig headed and stubborn
4.   Little Miss Know it All
5.   The best friend a person could have
6.   A walking, talking dictionary
7.   Extremely intelligent (I like this one the best obviously even if it is my mother who keeps telling me this)
8.   I am ‘leg’ (pronounced ‘ledge’) – according to my daughter this means I am ‘legend’ and her friends like me.  She is 19.  PS I only have her word for that one and it could mean something extremely rude or offensive.
9.  Total control freak
10. Someone you can trust with anything
11. A no nonsense woman
12. A delight to work with
13. One of the best bosses I have ever had the privilege to work with
14. Innovative and driven
15. Too bloody awkward for words
16. Little Miss Perfect (said in a voice that wasn’t being complimentary but casting negative aspersions on my character)
17. Great sense of humour
18. Total freak
19.  Best mum in the world (this one actually is the one I like the best disregard 7.)
20.  Most unusual person I have ever known (this can be taken a number of ways – I prefer to see it as a compliment because it is something I absolutely aspire to -i.e. Not being like everyone else.)

Author Contact:
website • blog • facebook • twitter • pinterest • linkedin • tumblr

Sales Links:
Boroughs Publishing Group • Smashwords • All Romance eBooks •  Amazon  • Amazon UK

Review:

Eddie is a sous chef in the trendy restaurant Galileo. A restaurant owned by former renowned chef, Gideon. Tragically, Gideon lost his ability to cook when he was in a house fire. The trauma of that event seared into his brain and left him with a loss of smell and taste. His brain’s way of protecting Gideon from the awful moments before he was saved from the fire. Burning flesh, smoke, flames, friend taken, screaming for help. Such trauma and yet Gideon refuses to seek help and talk about what happened to him and how it made him feel.

Eddie is so talented in the kitchen. Gideon knows he will one day run his own kitchen. He is destined for greatness. He’s also hot as hades and turns Gideon on! That red hair, the freckles, the cute slightly big ears all turn Gideon on. The interest doesn’t seem one-sided either. The problem, Gideon is an arse!

Nightmares keep him from sleeping, he’s grumpy and crass and always quick with his tongue and the insults. A few times Gideon really steps on Eddie. I’m not sure why Eddie kept coming back for more abuse but he did, I guess that shows the pureness of his heart. Gideon was the luckiest arse! Eddie didn’t give up on him and eventually he was able to break down Gideon’s walls.

Eddie had a very dominant sexual side that Gideon was mercilessly a victim of. He loved when Eddie would get all hot and bothered and start-up the sex talk and really push Gideon. It was an interesting dynamic to their relationship. Once Eddie started the dominance, he quickly switched gears and totally let Gideon have his way, it was very sexy!

Their relationship was a bit rocky but it stayed on course. The secondary story was that of Taylor, Eddie’s roommate. Taylor has psychic abilities and he sees things that happen to people close to him and those close to them. He’s saved Eddie, Leslie (their other roommate) and many others from harm. I found Taylor very interesting and I’m hoping that maybe he will have his own story. Leslie was a fiery thing and very entertaining. I don’t know if he and Taylor have something going, but if they don’t, they should! I think they’d catch the bedroom on fire!

Overall, this was an interesting story and as it’s the first in a series, I’m hoping the secondary players we met will be those we meet again in the Men of London series. A bit of intrigue, drama, and love make for a nice escape.

RATING: SNEAKERS! 

Tour Stops:

11/3: Rainbow Gold Reviews
11/4: Amanda C. Stone, Joyfully Jay
11/5: Rebecca Cohen Writes
11/6: Inked Rainbow Reads, Molly Lolly
11/7: Nic Starr
11/10: The Novel Approach, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
11/11: Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Hearts on Fire
11/12: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
11/13: Love Bytes, Twinsie Talk
11/14: Prism Book Alliance, Dawn’s Reading Nook
11/17: The Blogger Girls, Kristy’s Brain Food
11/18: MM Good Book Reviews, Regular Guys, Hot Romance
11/19: 3 Chicks After Dark
11/20: Smoocher’s Voice
11/21: Multitasking Mommas
11/24: Kimi-Chan, Cathy Brockman Romances
11/25: Iyana Jenna, The Hat Party
11/26: Queer Town Abbey, Andrew Q. Gordon
11/27: Crystal’s Many Reviewers, BFD Book Blog, Michael Mandrake
11/28: EE Montgomery, My Fiction Nook, It’s Raining Men

Giveaway: A copy of Saving Alexander & Stripped Bare
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BLOG TOUR: Taming Ryder by Nicola Haken

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3 Chicks After Dark is thrilled to be able to join the blog tour for Taming Ryder, the newest Souls of the Knight book by Nicola Haken! Be sure to check out our excerpt, review and enter the giveaway. 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

You met Ryder Richardson in Being Sawyer Knight. Now, this is his story.

I’ve done it. I’ve stuck a whopping two fingers up at my parents, I’ve made a name for myself as one of the world’s biggest porn stars and I’ve finally found a family I belong in.

Life is amazing. I get paid to do all my favourite things. Fuck. Party. Travel the world. What’s not to love?

And then he comes along. Mason George – Back Door Studio’s newest exclusive model and the guy who has the potential to either fuck it all up, or take me on the best ride of my life.

~ Ryder

I’m desperate. I’ve got nothing and nobody left. Entering the daunting world of adult entertainment is less of a dream and more of a necessity. Signing as Back Door Studio’s latest model has the ability to either ruin or make me, but I made a vow at my first audition never to let myself regret it.

I continue to question myself each day, but no amount of what’s, why’s or what ifs will change where I am or where I’m heading. Am I strong enough to do this? To embrace it? To enjoy it? I have no idea.

The only thing I’m certain of, is that if anyone can teach me who I’m supposed to be, it’s Ryder Richardson.

~ Mason

“Because the most exciting things in life always happen via the back door”

EXCERPT:

This is one of my favorite scenes between these guys. :)

“You know when I first met you at your audition, I wondered what the hell you were doing there. You were so mellow, so uneasy. A strong part of me wanted to fuck you senseless. Show you what this business was all about. Show you what I was about. I thought if anyone could bring you out of yourself it would be me. But then when you started talking I saw you had a reason. I can’t explain it properly. The way you looked at Ivan, like you needed it. I knew then there was more to you than a horny guy looking to make a quick buck and I instantly craved to know more.”

“Is that why you offered your place to me?” I asked curiously.

“Partly, I guess,” Ryder shrugged. “But also because I’m not a complete heartless bastard and it was obvious to a freaking blind man you had no place to go.”

“I was so embarrassed when you asked me. I’ve never wanted pity from anyone.”

“I didn’t pity you. If I’m honest, I was kinda hoping I’d still get to fuck you.”

“Ha!” I laughed, tipping my head back. “So that was your sneaky little plan all along, huh?”

“It worked didn’t it?” Ryder winked at me and patted my knee. His touch immediately stopped me in my tracks as it reverberated throughout my body, straight into my soul.

“I really care about you, Ryder,” I blurted out involuntarily. His eyes widened just a little before he let out a long, loud sigh.

“I care about you too, tiger,” he said with a soft, genuine smile.

“You know I don’t know anything about love, that the whole concept scares the absolute shit out of me, but I do know that if I was capable of love, I would love you.”

TAMING RYDER 2

PURCHASE A COPY:

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OUR REVIEW:

Talk about your heavy hitting topics. WOW. This book isn’t for the faint of heart – Nicola Haken tackles homophobia, suicide, rape and self-harm all in the course of Ryder and Mason’s story. If the pain and angst these guys endure doesn’t manage to tug at your heartstrings, you may want to check for a heart beat.  She approaches these issues with the kind of sensitivity, delicacy and humility they deserve. Nothing is sensationalized or unnecessarily brutalized in order to embellish the story; these are serious issues that help shape the characters.

Let’s start with Ryder. I had no earthly idea this guy would end up being quite so deep. When we met him in Being Sawyer Knight, he’s Elle’s assistant turned porn star who’s charming and funny with a hint of more. Never did I anticipate the emotional load this guy’s carrying around inside and exactly how isolated he feels. You naturally assume a guy like this has it all – friends, looks and a budding career, but it’s really just a facade. Oh, Ryder, how I feel for you, especially after that bomb with your parents. HOLY COW.

Mason isn’t quite so different from Ryder in that he’s fighting  his own demons.  He is different in personality and how he approaches his own battles. It’s obvious from the moment he appears to audition that porn isn’t really for him, but his determination is fierce and nothing will stand in his way. I can’t say I know many people who would really be willing to go quite so far to make it, but then again, struggling to survive changes a person.

The love story between Ryder and Mason has some of the typical romance woes, especially given the porn industry setting: commitment, avoidance, jealousy, intimacy. However there are so many experiences – past and present – that ultimately tie these guys together. When they connect there’s just something different about it. I don’t mean in that cheesy, television, stars-in-their-eyes kind of way, but in the sense that they just seem more relaxed and comfortable being themselves. Ryder has some of the very best friends in Sawyer, Jake, Elle and the crew from the studio, but even with them he seems to have an expectation to be a certain person. He keeps his guard up, but with Mason he lets it down. I can see why that kind of naked honesty is terrifying for someone like Ryder – he’s suffered a lot at the hands of people who were supposed to love him.  Mason has had tough times but a wealth of love and support to draw from, so his willingness to sacrifice and be what Ryder needs is a large part in making things work.

So, really I just have one more thing to say, and this is a message for Ms. Haken directly:

MATT & ALEX. WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON? PLEASE TELL ME THIS IS BOOK 3. PLEASE. I’M DYING. 

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nicola HakenAuthor of the New Adult/Contemporary novels Missing Pieces, Saving Amy and the Take My Hand series, and m/m erotic romance Souls of the Knight series.

I live in Rochdale, England with my wonderful family and when I’m not playing with my imaginary friends I can usually be found looking after my four adorable (sometimes!) children (six if you include the dogs, seven if you include the hubby!) or stalking gay porn stars!

All in all I’m just an ordinary mum with an addiction to reading about hot book guys, writing about hot book guys, tattoos and Pepsi Max! Oh, and if my kids ever ask… I moonlight as the Pink Power Ranger ;-)

CONNECT WITH NICOLA:

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FOLLOW THE TOUR:

October 13

Beautifully Broken Book Blog | Foxylutely Books | Bloggers From Down Under | Bookworm Betties | Cajun Book Lover | jeannie zelos book reviews | LBM Book Blog | Mad Love Book Blog | Missydevoursdelishreads | Rumpled Sheets Blog | Twin Opinions | White Zin Bookends | Undercover Book Reviews | Country Gals Sexy Reads | Undercover Book Reviews

October 14

books are love | Carly’s Book Reviews | Coffee Talk Writers | Crazy Cajun Book Addicts | Imaginative Dreams | Kelsey’s Korner Blog | Kindle Crack Book Reviews | Love Between the Sheets | Lustful Literature | Man2ManTastic | Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock | The Fairest of All Book Reviews | Two Chicks and Their Lit | Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye CAndy | The Book Enthusiast | Give Me Books

October 15

Blimey! I Fancy Reading | Booklover Sue | Emthebookbabe’s book blog | Gay Media Reviews | Jackie’s Book Reviews | Liv Rancourt | Meleth Bookaddicted | Nic Starr | Oh My Growing TBR | Reading Is My Superpower | SiK Reviews | The book obsessed momma | This Redhead LOVES Books | Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

October 16

Book Nook Nuts | Cheekypee reads and reviews | Deal Sharing Aunt | Eskimo Princess Review Blog | Four Brits and a Book | Jodie’s W.I.N.E. List | Naughty and Nice Book Blog | Niccis book blog | Prism Book Alliance | Sexyways of Reading | Steamy book momma | The Book Bellas | Whirlwindbooks

October 17

3 Chicks After Dark | Becca the Bibliophile | Crystal’s Many Reviewers | Falling In Fall Book Blog | Kelly’s kindle Konfessions | Kris & Vik Book Therapy Cafe | Novels In Heels | RAMBLINGS FROM BENEATH THE SHEETS | Sassy Girl Books | Swoon Worthy Books | We Love Kink | We Stole Your Book Boyfriend

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