Sigh…Looks Like I’m Growing Up

I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying that forgiveness isn’t for the other person, it’s for yourself. I know I’ve heard it for years, but for whatever reason it really hit me last night, how true that is. There have been several situations lately where I’ve felt like an apology was owed but wasn’t offered. I’ve held on to those insults, stewed over them to the point that it’s becoming a hatred and I’m not okay with that. I’m not okay with giving someone else that kind of power over my emotions. If you know me at all , you know that I like being in control of a situation, and by holding these grudges I was giving that control to someone else.

So…I’ve let go. I haven’t  forgotten, but I have forgiven and I’m moving on. What’s up ahead looks much better than what’s behind anyway.

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beach-1I’ll be on vacation pretty much all of next week, and as such I’ve lined up two guest posts…Les Joseph and AJ Rose. So be looking forward to that. I’ll see all your beautiful faces when I return!

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Cross and Crown: DISCUSSION

As the title of this post suggests, this will be heavy on the spoilers, so if you haven’t read Cross and Crown yet…#BYEFELICIA

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I was a little…nervous to start this book. I’d heard from friends that it wasn’t as good as they expected, they didn’t like the ‘mystery’ part of it, etc. So to say I was a little biased when I started would be an understatement. I went in thinking I wouldn’t like it, but Abi proved me wrong. This is not a book review, but rather a discussion of some of my favorite aspects.

First, let’s start off with the National Treasure vibe this book has. I was fully expecting Nicholas Cage and Justin Bartha to pop around the corner at any moment. This was a problem for some people, but I loved it. I’m a huge history nerd, so Knights Templar and Masonic lure was perfect for me. I loved the new side of Nick that this adventure brought out; intelligence is sexy. And of course it wouldn’t be a Sidewinder story if there wasn’t some form of adventure or conflict.

Secondly, let’s all take a moment to discuss Julian Cross. He is arguably my favorite character in this series. Don’t get me wrong, I love Nick and Kelly, but the mysteriousness of Cross just does it for me. He’s a little less put together in C&C, but considering he’s hunting for Cameron, that’s understandable. Seeing his interactions with Nick and Kelly was great…watching his respect for Nick grow was even better. Especially during the scene where it’s revealed that Nick has not one, but two favors owed him by the head of the Irish mob in Boston. Which brings me to my next point…

Nick dealing with the mob was my favorite part of this book. I hope that’s something that Abi chooses to expound on in the future. There’s a history there that I think would make an excellent backdrop for a book. Now for my opinion that will probably get me burned at the stake by the Ty fangirls…This scene to me highlights the differences between Nick and Ty. Ty is shady and you don’t quite know where he falls most of the time. I don’t really trust what he says at this point. Nick however is clearly a stand up guy. He made a promise to Julian that he would find Cam and he’s not stopping until he does…no matter what it costs him. I can’t imagine that it was easy for Nick to walk into that hotel, knowing what the others would find out about him, but he did it anyway. And really, Nick made the right choice…he left the mob. I think that’s a huge indicator of his integrity. I feel like Ty would have played both sides, kept his ties to the mob, while also working with the PD. That’s just my opinion and I’m well aware that it’s not a popular one.

While we’re on the topic of Ty, let’s hang our hat here for a moment. The one scene that we ‘see’ Ty was handled perfectly. Nick hasn’t forgiven him and I’m glad about that. Ty doesn’t deserve forgiveness at this point and it would be unrealistic if Nick had moved on already. Ty’s phone call serves as a reminder about what a manipulative ass he is. He knows that Nick isn’t ready to forgive him for his huge indiscretions, yet he tries to act indignant anyway. I’m over their friendship quite honestly. Nick and Kelly are beyond strong enough to carry this series without Ty, or Zane, popping up all the time. It’s past time for them (Ty/Zane) to ride off into the sunset. I do think there will be some resolution between Nick and Ty, but I’m hoping it’s towards the end of the Sidewinder series and even then it’ll never be the way it was before. There’s too much damage there for them to return to that place.

Where does that leave us?

I’m not really sure. There are a lot of interconnecting plot lines that have to be tied up in the final Cut and Run book. Richard Burns, the mole, and the cartel are all interconnected so once one unravels it should create a domino effect for the other two. Ty and Zane obviously should be tying the knot in their final book. Maybe they’ll get their HEA after all. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Julian Cross. I’m of the opinion that he’ll be called into play when Liam Bell makes his re-appearance. I’m interested to see how that whole thing plays out. I’m looking forward to reading more of the Sidewinder books once Nick and Kelly are hooked up with Emma. That should make for some interesting stories!

A Discussion on Bias

There’s been a lot of rumbling in the M/M community about bias when it comes to review sites. Bias is defined as: prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair. Always one to have an opinion I wanted to explore this topic a little deeper so I asked M/M author Kate Aaron and the owner/operator of The Novel Approach Lisa to sit down with me and discuss this topic. This post is designed to give you a peek into the mindset of all three sides in this debate: reader (me), author (Kate), and blogger (Lisa). Obviously, due to my recent announcement that I’ve joined the team at The Novel Approach my opinion is a little mixed between being a reader and being a reviewer. Hopefully the following discussion is helpful.

 

PSA: No specific blog or site was targeted by this article. No recent situation spurred this on.

So, without further ado…enjoy.

 

Question: There’s been a lot of grumblings within the community lately about bias and the need for reviewers to keep their relationships professional with the authors they’re reviewing. How do you feel about that? Do you agree, and if so, why?

 

Jordan: I agree with that statement. I definitely think that reviewers need to keep their relationships professional, it’s a conflict of interest otherwise. You might be able to honestly review your friend’s book, but as a reader there’s no way for me to know that. Right or wrong you have to concern yourself with how your interactions look to other people. If I, as a reader, see that you’re close to one specific author and are reviewing their book, that screams bias to me, but that’s just my opinion. Am I saying that you can’t be friends with an author? NO, I’m not. I’m saying you shouldn’t review their book if that is the case. Some may know, others may not, that AJ Rose and I are good friends, and as such you’ll never see me review any of his books in any kind of official capacity.

 

Kate: I totally get that from a reader’s standpoint, if they see an author and reviewer are pally on Facebook or Twitter or wherever, and then they see that author’s books reviewed in glowing terms on that person’s blog, it stinks. It looks biased, whether the reviewer intended it to be or not. That being said, authors and reviewers have to work together all the time (the authors want the publicity of being reviewed, the reviewers want to have the best books featured on their blogs). So there’s a line that needs to be drawn, because m/m in particular is a small pond and the fish are bound to bump into each other. It makes the business side of m/m flow much more smoothly if you can be friendly with the people who can help you out.

 

Jordan: I agree with that. There’s a difference between a professional, working relationship and becoming personal friends. THAT’S the line to me. If I see a review site or one reviewer using their following to promote one author over all others, then that becomes a problem for me. For instance, if there’s a contest hosted on a site not belonging to the reviewer and several authors that they’ve reviewed are involved with the contest, for them to promote one over all the others calls their integrity into question in my mind. It’s an abuse of their power in my opinion and looks incredibly tacky.

 

Kate: I’d agree that particular situation shouldn’t happen if it’s supposed to be an equal contest (assuming all the authors are of equal standing/reputation and there isn’t supposed to be one main author dominating the competition from the outset).

 

Lisa: The keyword here is “the authors we’re reviewing”. I would never, for instance, review a book I’ve beta read because it’s a conflict of interest, just like I won’t review Rhys Ford because she’s more like a sister than a friend to me. I’m not sure if disclaimers should be offered on reviews for author friends, but I don’t think it could hurt and could perhaps add some legitimacy to the review. But either way, I will try and avoid it at all costs. I can tell you that, as a blog owner, my relationship with authors is somewhat different than that of many of my reviewers. I have day-to-day contact with these people because I’m coordinating reviews as well as blog tours for them. In some ways I’m a marketing facilitator, of sorts, so to keep that relationship professional, it means I don’t review a lot of the books we’re offered. In fact, I buy many of the books I review. But, as a reader, I do feel like I should be allowed to be a fan, and to immediately assume that my position as a blogger supersedes my ability to review a book honestly is a conclusion that shouldn’t automatically be jumped to. If I were doling out 5 star reviews to books that were universally receiving much lower marks elsewhere, I can see where skepticism would come into play, but I think each book, each review needs to be taken with a measure of consideration for the book itself and not for who’s offering the opinion.

 

Kate: I agree with that point in principle, but do you think readers really want to take the time checking over each review for partiality? From what I’ve seen, there’s a general consensus that a blog is either trusted or it isn’t, and people have pretty strong opinions on who can/can’t review what person’s work. I know as an author, there are plenty of people who think I shouldn’t rate or review books at all. Which I think is ludicrous, I can read hundreds of books in a year and I’m entitled to my opinion of them, although I don’t offer it in any professional way, and I do defer to the ‘if you can’t say something nice, say nothing’ rule. If I can’t give at least a 3* rating I don’t rate it at all.

 

Lisa: Honestly, I do think some of that responsibility falls upon the reader. I have eleven reviewers on my team. One could read a book and give it a 5 star rating, another could read the same book and give it 2 stars. If any reader is relying upon one source to decide whether they should or shouldn’t purchase a book, then caveat emptor. To address whether authors should do peer reviews, I don’t think I have an opinion on that because you’re allowed to be readers/fans too. That goes without saying. I think the difficulty comes in whether you only review the books you love, or whether you are also willing to say you didn’t like a book, why you didn’t like it, and risk it looking like sour grapes. It’s hard.

 

 

Jordan: I think authors rating other author’s books is a slippery slope. While I agree that they have that right to their opinion, it doesn’t always look the best when an author rates a colleague’s book poorly, whether it’s deserved or not. I know several authors who have said they only recommend the books they like/loved.

 

Question: So, it sounds like there needs to be a line drawn between personal friendships and professional relationships. How do you propose that happen, and what effect do you think that will have on authors and reviewers (and their readership)?

 

Kate: I don’t think anyone should have to curtail a genuine friendship for the sake of a professional relationship, but I think both parties should have an eye towards how it might appear to onlookers who are trusting the reviewer, in particular, to give them impartial opinions. I’d say if the reviewer works for/owns a blog that has more than one person doing the reviews, give that author’s books to someone else from the site. If it’s only them, then full disclosure. I’ve seen people who mix the author/reviewer line, saying they use different names for each so as to appear impartial, but I’d argue from a reader standpoint that appears duplicitous. I’d rather be given the information upfront and I can make an informed opinion how much weight to give a particular review.

 

Jordan: I’d agree with that. I would rather know up front. I’m very present on social media, so I see a lot of the interactions, which I suppose is the root of my issue. To someone not as connected it may not be that big of a deal. Like I mentioned earlier, you’ll never see me review any of AJ Rose’s books, because I consider him a personal friend. You might see an interview of him or his cast of characters, but never a review. Now that I’ve joined TNA I would pass that on to one of the other ten reviewers on the site. I couldn’t be unbiased in that instance.

 

Kate: I think ultimately what it comes down to is how much the readers trust the reviewer. If that trust gets damaged, they won’t visit the blog and it will be game over.

 

Jordan: Which also damages the author in that they lose a venue to promote their books. The bias argument affects the reviewer/site a bit more than it does the author, at least to me it does. We’ve had several well known sites that have shut down recently. Not saying they were biased in any way, but starting and maintaining a site or review blog is a big undertaking. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that no one really sees. I think it’s a shame that all that hard work is erased by being careless with your public appearance.

 

Kate: I do think the reviewers’ position is a little more precarious, because they’re trying to be an intermediary between the author (or, rather, the book) and the reader, when people’s tastes are so subjective that no two are going to agree on everything all the time. Ultimately, whether every reviewer hates or loves a book isn’t going to affect how one individual responds to it. That being said, there are plenty of readers who will trust a reviewer’s recommendation, or choose not to buy a book a reviewer didn’t like.

 

Lisa: I’m trying to decide how I want to respond to this. When I first started reviewing M/M 5 years ago, there were maybe a handful of review sites that catered exclusively to M/M romance. Now you can’t boot up your PC without finding another start-up M/M review site. Part of the problem is over-saturation. We’re forced to use social media now as a way to remain visible. I use Facebook as both a personal and profession place to promote the blog, and yes, I have a lot of authors on my friends list, and we interact quite a bit. There’s a fine line we’re forced to tow, but how are we supposed to promote our blogs if we don’t get out there and mix with the people who’re our reason for existing?

 

Kate: From the author’s perspective, I can say the same thing: you need to engage with readers in order to get your names out there (and m/m as a genre has exploded since I first published three years ago), but then you run the risk of being seen too often and being dismissed as spammy. It’s a thin line, and it sometimes seems everyone has an opinion where you are (and where you should be) on it.

 

Lisa: And that’s the crux of the problem. I try not to be spammy. I don’t want to be “that blogger” who self-promotes in every LGBT Facebook group, yet self-promo is a necessary evil. It seems as though we can’t win, either way.

 

Jordan: People respond better when they feel they’ve made a personal connection to someone, whether that be an author or a reviewer. So, either’s presence on social media platforms is a necessity. I do think there is a line between promo and spam, but I think few ever really cross it. I saw an author the other day post on Facebook to buy their book. That was it. No blurb, no promo, no anything, just buy my book. That sat wrong with me, because it comes across as demanding and unappreciative of the people who HAVE bought the book. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t stand seeing an author get disgruntled over their sales numbers publicly. It screams tacky to me.

 

Question: Given how easy it is to set up a review site, or to create a Goodreads profile, there are so many people reviewing books at the moment some say there’s no point going to one particular blog anymore to get an opinion when you can go to Amazon or Goodreads and see tens, if not hundreds. Does the review site still have a place in modern publishing?

 

Jordan: I think they do. Personally, I pay attention to the larger review sites with multiple reviewers, because it’s easier for me to pick a reviewer that matches my reading taste best. These review sites, often times, get the books free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Not every review on Amazon or especially Goodreads can say that. It’s harder to be objective about a book when you’ve invested your hard earned money in it. Not to mention, if you look on GR most books have over 100 reviews and who has time to sift through all those to see if they like the book? Not to mention that not everyone is capable of reviewing. Rating a book two stars because the characters didn’t do what you wanted isn’t helpful. If I’m rating a book I look at a multitude of things ranging from plot and character development to grammar. Even if I personally don’t care for a book, if it’s well written, I’ll rate it higher and express that it wasn’t my style of book, but if you like *insert certain genre here* then you’ll probably like this book. That makes a good reviewer in my opinion and that’s why I think the review blogs are still an asset. Even outside of reviews, it gives authors, especially self published authors, a place to promote their book via interviews and blog tours. That’s essentially free promo, which I would think is invaluable to authors.

 

Kate: Absolutely, I think a good review site is still a valuable asset to readers and authors alike. Yes, everyone can go on Goodreads and see hundreds of reviews of a book ranging across the spectrum, and often that is useful if you take it as a whole, but there’s no way of knowing how many of those reviewers approached the book with bias of their own (the latest Mortal Instruments title, for example, had hundreds of ratings before it was published just because people were looking forward to it). I think what distinguishes a professional review blog from yet-another-person-with-Wordpress is a clear agenda. Everyone has their likes and dislikes, but the best blogs are upfront about them and don’t let themselves get embroiled in anything outside of the specific book they’re reviewing. Everything else — whether an author has been irritating, or they’re your best friend, or you think the cover sucks, or whatever — it’s all ultimately irrelevant to whether or not the book is any good.

 

Jordan: I agree with that. I hate seeing review blogs using their platform and voice to get involved in whatever drama happens to be occurring in the genre. It’s arbitrary to their purpose.

 

Lisa: I think the review site serves a purpose for the readers who’ve found a site (or two) they have come to discover matches their tastes and reading preferences. Review sites also serve as an extra platform for authors to reach out to readers, something that Goodreads and Amazon can’t do. Believe it or not, authors and readers interacting can still be a positive experience regardless of how many instances on GR and Amazon there have been that might prove otherwise. So, yes, I think review sites serve a two-fold purpose as a resource for readers and authors.

 

 

Question: Is the star (or equivalent symbol) rating system antiquated or is it useful? Do readers look to a book’s rating as a recommendation, or do readers look at the review itself to determine whether to purchase and read a book?

 

Jordan: As a reader, I look to both. The star rating to me, is like a snapshot of the review. It’s the first thing you see and in many ways it’s the summary of all the words that follow. I still read the reviews because I like to know why a book earned that 1 (or 5) star review.

 

Kate: Speaking as an author, when I put a new book out it’s the stars I care about. The reviews are interesting, getting someone else’s perspective, but the fact is that with the huge increase in books being published (in all genres), to get noticed you need as many five-stars as you can get. I don’t think it’s helpful that advertising sites like Bookbub have bought into the star rating system and now demand minimum ratings in order to list books, because as we have seen time and again with Goodreads and Amazon, ratings can be manipulated.

Speaking as a reader, I tend to look at average ratings and read the lower reviews, mainly to see if there’s anything in a book that makes it a write-off for me. I prefer, however, to formulate my own opinion, and I find often the books that stuck with me most aren’t the ones where I loved them and could give five gushing stars (or indeed the ones I could hardly stand to finish) but the ones in the middle that maybe upset me, maybe challenged me and made me think, but left me with a new experience afterwards. Sometimes the best books vacillate so wildly between the ends of the rating spectrum it’s simply reductive and unhelpful to sum them up on a point scale of 1-5.

 

Lisa: I have a love/hate relationship with the rating system. First of all, it’s not used consistently across review sites, so what may be a 3 star rating on one blog could be a 2 on another. I also think it’s easy to lean on that star rating (as a reviewer), especially if a book is bad, to avoid outright stating what was wrong with the book. I think doing away with the rating system would force a more consistent written method of critiquing, but I also know it’s an unreasonable expectation because we’re all conditioned to look for the star rating to determine whether or not to bother reading a review. I’ll be the first to admit when I see a book that’s been rated 1 star, I’m more likely to read that review first to see if what that reviewer disliked about the book will be what I’d be most likely to dislike about it too.

 

Jordan: If I rate something low, or high, I feel I owe it to my audience to explain why. That’s the overall purpose of reviewers in the first place.

 

Question: Why are books that reviewers rate 5 stars open to immediate skepticism from readers?

 

Jordan: To me, it’s all about the reviewer. If the reviewer is all sunshine and rainbows all the time then I’m more likely to be skeptical of their take on things. I like explanations as to why they liked it, not just flailing over the hot character or a certain sex scene, etc. That said, if they consistently rate books 5 stars and intelligently explain themselves in the review (RE: not just copy/paste their favorite parts), I don’t immediately write them off.

 

Kate: I think 5* reviews are boring (there, I said it!). We might read books and love them and think they’re utterly perfect in every way, but those reviews don’t make for entertaining reading. Without snarky 1* reviews — however cruel, however unfair — GR and platforms like it would have died a long time ago. The internet feeds the human desire for conflict, and reviews are no different. Plus, we all find it easier to believe in the bad than the good, hence 5*s are met with skepticism, and 1*s are met with delight.

As an aside, however, Elisa Rolle’s blog comes to mind as a shining example of how someone can focus on the positives of the titles they review without being accused of partiality.

 

Lisa:  To me, this all goes back to the arbitrariness of the star rating system. A 5 star rating for me doesn’t necessarily have to mean that particular book is the greatest story ever told, written in an impeccable, stylistic prose, as if the author has chewed up all the words in the dictionary and spit them out in a miracle of literary composition.

For me, a five star book can be as simple as one that made me not want to feed my family for a few days because I didn’t want to put it down. It can mean everything from I’ve fallen in love with the characters to the author has written a book so rich in layer and undercurrent that wading through it becomes like a treasure hunt of meaning. This is why the number means little to me, it’s what the reviewer says about the book that matters to me.

 

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If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. I’d like to thank Kate and Lisa for participating.  I hope this will further discussions on this topic and maybe shed a little light on the reasons behind why authors/reviewers behave the way they do. Leave your thoughts in the comments below if you agree or disagree with what was said.

 

The Fault in Our Stars (Movie) Review

shailene-woodley-ansel-elgort-respond-to-tfios-taglineAs I mentioned last night on my social media accounts, I went to see TFiOS. I was a little nervous, because I LOVED the book in a way that I’ve never loved an inanimate object before. And typically I’m disappointed with book to movie affairs. I remember when I first heard the whispers that it would be made into a movie. To say I was skeptical would be a vast understatement. Like I said, I loved the book and felt that making it into a movie would completely ruin the feeling of it. No actor or actress would be able to accurately capture the essence of Hazel Grace or more importantly Augustus Waters. Boy was I proven wrong!

 

anselAnsel Elgort IS Augustus Waters. I had never heard of him prior to this movie, but was very pleasantly surprised. I was a little weirded out by the fact that he’d be playing opposite of Woodely in two films, one as her brother (Divergent) and the other as her love interest (TFiOS).  I’m glad they didn’t go with an A list Hollywood d-bag to play this role. Elgort nailed his performance in every scene. His performance was very believable; his sincerity shining through in every scene. He’s definitely someone whose career I’ll be paying more attention to moving forward.

 

hazelThe big surprise for me in this movie was Shailene Woodley’s performance. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a huge fan of hers. Her performance in Divergent was so so in my opinion and her interviews make me wish she’d just stop talking. That said, she nailed her performance as Hazel Grace. I realize Hazel Grace Lancaster is the main character in this book turned movie, but for me it was always about Gus. The chemistry between Woodley and Elgort was great; it was very believable and not at all put on.

 

The screenwriters and producers did themselves a HUGE favor by sticking to the book as closely as they did. There was only one situation/scene that was different in the movie than it was in the book. I can honestly say that this was one of, if not THE best adaptations of book to film that I’ve ever seen. There were very few dry eyes when we all left the theater last night. It was obvious to me who had read the book and who had not.

It’s been almost two years since I’ve read The Fault in Our Stars, but after seeing the movie I’m itching to do a re-read. This is something that all involved, including the book’s author John Green, should be proud to have been a part of. In a society where cancer is becoming common, this story was sorely needed. It adds depth to these peoples fight for their lives. It’s a glimpse inside this special hell, that some of us may not witness if we’ve gus quotenever had a family member or friend who’s been touched by this horrible sickness. My aunt is battling Stage 4 terminal melanoma cancer right now, so this is a topic dear to my heart. I highly recommend that everyone go see this movie. You won’t leave with warm and fuzzy feelings, but like Gus says “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.” Just like Augustus Waters, I too like my choices. I consider it an honor to be hurt by this book/movie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let it Ride by LC Chase ( 5 Stars)

Let me start out by saying that I was waiting on pins and needles for this book to be released. I read the first book in the Pickup Men series (titled Pickup Men) and absolutely fell in love with the world that LC Chase created for these characters. Pickup Men (book 1) deals with Marty, a pickup man on the rodeo circuit, and his closeted lover Tripp, a champion bull rider. It details their road to love and acceptance. If you haven’t read it click here to buy it from Riptide Publishing.

Let It Ride is set in the same place as the previous book, but this time around we get a glimpse into the lives of Marty’s best friend Bridge Sullivan and the new comer to their circle of friends, Eric Palmer. Bridge works the rodeo circuit with Marty and Kent, his best friends. Eric is introduced to the group in when he becomes the paramedic that travels with the rodeo to tend to any injuries that will inevitably occur on the circuit. The sexual tension between Bridge and Eric is enough to power NYC for a month. This is a problem because up to this point everyone thinks Bridge is 100% heterosexual.  When they finally cave to their desire for one another, there’s no turning back:

“The lips on his were firm, demanding, and sent a blazing fire raging to every corner of his body. Calling it a kiss was too simple for something so packed with such intensity, something so far beyond Bridge’s imagination, but also everything he’d always wanted.”

That kiss pretty much answers any questions we have about Bridge’s sexuality: “Shit. I’m Eric-sexual.” That’s such a small line in the book, but it was one of my absolute favorites. I love LC’s writing style. She doesn’t wax poetic about the moon or stars, because these characters wouldn’t do that. Her style is very real and it makes it feel like these characters are real people.

As you can tell from the excerpt above, Bridge is all for exploring these feelings for the paramedic. Eric, however is a bit more reticent to start anything with Bridge, not because he isn’t attracted to him, but rather because of his own issues. The more you read of Eric, the more you’ll want to hug him and never let him go. Situations from his past have ingrained in him that no one will ever want him long term. When he finally does cave to his attraction, he approaches it from a ‘friends with benefits’ angle. Bridge rolls with it, but lets it be known that it’s not at all what he wants.

“Okay. I’ll play your way for now, but you’d better start thinking about how you want the crow you’re going to be eating prepared when you realize we’re going to be more than friends with bennies. You’ll see. We’re going to be boyfriends.”

And it’s lines like that that will make you fall for Bridge. He plays things Eric’s way, but continually pushes for more. The chemistry between these two was even hotter than the sexual tension. The love scenes in Let It Ride are handled spectacularly. I know a lot of authors are nervous about their sex scenes, but LC has no reason to feel anything but pride. I call on Exhibit A as proof: “He (Bridge) glanced over his shoulder, reached for his cowboy hat that hung on the bedpost, and plopped it on Eric’s head. ‘There, now you’re a real cowboy.’ Eric grinned. He tossed the shirt back on the floor and adjusted the hat to sit lower on his brow. ‘Told you I knew how to ride.’”

I’ll give you all a moment to recover….

Welcome back. Now, like any good book, there needs to be some conflict in order to make things more interesting and to cause character development. I won’t spoil the book for you guys, but I will say that the conflict followed a very natural path. I never once felt that it was forced or contrived. To sum up all my wordiness, Let It Ride is a story of love, loss, and happiness. It’s the story of Bridge finding his forever and Eric learning to let it ride. I’m giving it five stars, only because I can’t give it more than that.

 

LetItRide_500x750        Buy it on Amazon and stop in for a visit at LC’s website.