A Melanie M Review :Made In Lisbon (Made In #5) by Ana Newfolk

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Can you get more than one true love in a lifetime?

Three years after his husband’s death, Vitor is still grieving. Too young to be alone and too old to start again, he feels stuck. Accepting a new job in Lisbon is just what he needs, but it also means going back to the city that sealed his fate nearly thirty years ago.

Between looking for his missing brother and running an LGBTQ Youth Center, Tiago doesn’t have time for dating or commitment. When his best friend asks him to find a family member that ran away years ago, Tiago welcomes the distraction.

A past full of secrets.

An anonymous kiss that turns their world upside down.

When past and present clash, will the two men put everything aside and give themselves a chance at happiness? Or are the things keeping them apart stronger than the feelings keeping them together?

I have been a huge fan of Ana Newfolk’s Made In stories from the first novel in the series.  That  would be Made In New York which launched the series and introduced us to this amazing cast of characters that exist in Lisbon and NYC, intimately connected by families and two LGBTQIA youth centers.  While each story has at its center one couple, other of the characters appear, adding their support and pieces of their history to this rich tapestry of this series universe.  One that only grows more culturally vivid and heartwarming with each new addition and romance.

There have been many unifying storylines running through this series but none that has been no mystifying or has potentially heartbreaking as the mystery of what happened to Uncle Mario’s  younger brother,Vítor who disappeared after a beating and was never seen again.  Vitor had been so young and gay back in Lisbon at a time when it was not readily accepted.  Now  Tiago has been asked to look for him by his family, to see if anyone could find out what happened to him.

Family beatings, especially of gay young men is a recurring element here and it echoes through character after character.  Family issues, acceptance, rejection, a huge emotional bundle that gets examined through character after character realistically and often with great pain.

A mirror action to looking to Vitor is Tiago looking for his younger brother, who is also missing due to parental abuse.  Tiago is loaded down with issues with he meets a man he’s immediately attracted to.  The man is older but gorgeous, kind,  and compelling.  Everything Tiago needs in his life at the moment to help ground him.

While Tiago is dealing with his memories of his brother and the responsibilities to the youth center in Lisbon, this “man” has his own issues as well to work through.

A widower who has been dealt  a shock by a recent revelation about his husband, he is trying to move forward with his life, a wounded and bereaved son who’s redrawn from hin and now a new attraction to a young  man he’s just met.

Between a complicated romance that starts to unfold, we have a wealth of storylines about fathers and sons (good and bad), family dynamics that change over the decades, and just layers of hurt/comfort and forgiveness that not only feels real but will have you in tears.

If anything there is an embarrassment of riches here in what stories the author wants to tell.  Tiango”s brother needs his own story its that compelling and haunting.

There is at the end, a marvelous resolution to make you want to sing.

All of it beautifully located once more in Lisbon and surrounding areas.  As much as I love the NYC books, my heart lies here in Lisboa.  Yours will too.

The Made In stories are beautifully written, full of heart, and great romances.  I recommend them all highly.  But I disagree that they are standalones and feel they should be read in the order they were written to get the full experience and understand all the character relationships and connected histories.

Cover Artist: Rhys Athanasiadis-Lawrence, Ethereal Ealain  Love that cover.  Vitor all over.

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 227 pages
Published July 6th 2019
ASIN B07T8PN73B
Edition Language English
Series Made In #5

 

 

 

 

 

Made In Lisbon is May-December MM romance with hurt/comfort themes, lots of steam and a HEA.

Made In Lisbon can be read as a standalone but will be better enjoyed as part of the Made In Series as characters and stories from previous books appear in this story.

Series reading order:

Made In New York – Book 1 (Max and Isaac)
Made In Portugal – Book 2 (Joel and David)
Made In Paris – Book 3 (Dorian and Jean-Paul)
Made In Manhattan – Book 4 (Max and Isaac)
Made In Lisbon – Book 5 (Vítor and Tiago)
Made In Love – Coming Autumn 2019

Join In the Blog Tour for Made In Lisbon (Made In #5) by Ana Newfolk (excerpt and giveaway)

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BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Made in Lisbon (Made In Series Book 5)

Author: Ana Newfolk

Publisher: Self Published

Cover Artist: Rhys Athanasiadis-Lawrence, Ethereal Ealain

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s:  May-December

Themes:  Hurt/comfort

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Length: 60 000 words

Add on Goodreads 

 

Blurb

Three years after his husband’s death, Vitor is still grieving. Too young to be alone and too old to start again, he feels stuck. Accepting a new job in Lisbon is just what he needs, but it also means going back to the city that sealed his fate nearly thirty years ago.

Between looking for his missing brother and running an LGBTQ Youth Center, Tiago doesn’t have  time for dating or commitment. When his best friend asks him to find a family member that ran away years ago, Tiago welcomes the distraction.

A past full of secrets.

An anonymous kiss that turns their world upside down.

When past and present clash, will the two men put everything aside and give themselves a chance at happiness? Or are the things keeping them apart stronger than their feelings?

Made In Lisbon is a 60k word May-December MM romance with hurt/comfort themes, lots of steam and a HEA.

 

Made In Lisbon can be read as a standalone but will be better enjoyed as part of the Made In Series as characters and stories from previous books appear in this story.

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link 

 

 

Excerpt

Excerpt from Vítor’s POV

The doorbell rang right on time.

“Hey, sweets, how are you doing?” Luís asked before enveloping me in one of his big bear hugs. I allowed myself to melt into it before I answered.

“I’m okay.”

I’d met Luís on the same night I’d met Rodrigo at a student party. I’d been talking to Luís and had thought he was cute, but Rodrigo stole my heart from the first moment our eyes met. When Dri had stolen me away at the party I’d thought I’d never see Luís again, but when we’d bumped into each other at the university campus a few days later, we went out for coffee and ended up becoming good friends.

“Are you really okay?” He put a hand on my chin to tilt my head up so I could look him in the eye.

“I was going through Dri’s shirts earlier and it brought back some memories. Hey, I don’t suppose you want his shirts? You’re the same size.” Despite asking the question I was relieved when Luís said he didn’t feel right taking the shirts, and besides, he didn’t have any use for them since he was an artist and spent more time covered in paint than in nice clothes.

“So, where’s this dinner then? I’ve not eaten since breakfast in anticipation. And since the others aren’t here, I expect a mega portion.”

I smiled and guided him to the kitchen.

This house was Rodrigo’s indulgence. When he’d asked me to marry him, even before it was legal for two men to marry in Portugal, he’d promised he’d design the best house in the country. I never needed something so big, but the kitchen was the one part of the house I was grateful I’d allowed him to indulge in the design.

The food was perfect as always, then again, cooking this meal most Sundays for nearly thirty years, I could almost do it wearing a blindfold.

We ate mostly in silence, which was welcome because I was feeling out of sorts. I also wondered what was in Luís’ mind. In the nearly thirty years I’d known him I’d never seen him go longer than a few minutes without talking. Even when we were younger, he’d always been the one who would bring someone into the conversation by asking the right questions and making them feel like they were the only person in the room.

That was how he’d got me talking that night in the bar, until a single look from Rodrigo had made me feel like he and I were the only people on the planet.

The thought made me shiver. Luís looked at me but didn’t say anything.

Since it was just the two of us, I hadn’t bothered making dessert, but I had made an effort to get Luís’ favorite pastries.

“Have I ever told you how much I love you?” Luís said before stealing one of the mini palmiers part dipped in chocolate with a sprinkle of coconut.

“Several times.”

We took our coffees and a plate with the tiny pastries and sat in the living room facing the garden.

“What’s going on?” Luís asked before I had a chance to take a sip from my coffee.

“What do you mean?”

“Something’s not right.”

I took a deep sigh. What could I tell him? That I felt like part of me had died with my husband and the other part was slowly dying because my son wouldn’t talk to me? That I hated going to work because the desk next to mine was empty? Was three years too long to still be missing him? Or not long enough?

“Talk to me, sweets,” Luís said, putting his hand on my cheek and rubbing his thumb gently over my skin. I always loved how tactile Luís was, almost like touching people was part of his language.

“I don’t know what to say. I feel lost without Dri and Mateus won’t talk to me. I don’t know how to handle it all on my own.”

 

 

About the Author

Ana Newfolk was born in Portugal but has lived in the United Kingdom for so long, even her friends sometimes doubt if she really is Portuguese.

After getting hooked on reading gay romance, Ana decided to follow her lifelong dream of becoming an author.

These days you can find her in front of her laptop bringing her stories to life, or in the kitchen perfecting her recipe for the famous Portuguese custard tarts.

 

Author Links

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Giveaway 

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A MelanieM Review: Made in Manhattan (Made In #2) by Ana Newfolk

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Will they get a second chance to rekindle their love?

Isaac was kicked out by his family at a young age.
It took him years of hard work to become his own man. Now he’s helping the LGBTQ youth of Lisbon so they don’t have to go through the same.

Max has a long and troubled past.
An ER nurse in New York City who volunteers at the local Liberty center, he knows first hand what it’s like to lose your family and having to make it on your own.

A chance encounter between the two a year ago has them hoping for a happy ever after, if not for the distance between them, but when Isaac takes a temporary work placement in Manhattan, the two men have an opportunity to find what their love is made of.

Will they make it, or will life’s tests tear them apart for good?

Made In Manhattan is the second instalment in the Made In series by Ana Newfolk. It is a standalone gay romance novel with a HEA ending and no cliffhanger. Fair warning, there will be naked man-parts touching, a touch of angst, and the claws of an overprotective cat.

Made in Manhattan is 62k words and features the same main characters from Made In New York – A Christmas Short Story.
You don’t have to read it, but you may want to find out how Max and Isaac first met.

I first fell in love with this universe and characters with the first story in the series Made in Portugal.  And while the blurb and tours may indicate that this is a standalone story, imo, I don’t feel that is entirely true.  So many of the characters and foundation for this novel rests in the first story. You need that knowledge of who these people referenced here are, well as all the events,locations, and even youth centers visited.  These two stories are intimately connected as both couples and casts travel back and forth from Manhattan to Portugal repeatedly, mixing past storylines with this one, and even future ones in novels to come.  So yes, not a standalone.

However,Made in Manhattan (Made In #2) continues to enrich and layer this series universe being created by Ana Newfolk.  This time the couple is  Isaac and Max, two people we met in Made in Portugal.  Both are men who were tossed out of their families for being gay but with different results immediately afterward, the revelations of which will unfold here in this story.  We know Isaac’s having seen it happen in Made in Portugal.  That leaves Made In Manhattan to be Max’s story. His past history that returns, his turbulent romance with Isaac, and many other serious themes that run through this story.

In addition to a complicated romance, Ana Newfolk deals with issues of feelings of abandonment, domestic violence, homelessness, shelter living, even family court.  And the author does so with a realistic eye towards a system that doesn’t always work with the best interests of the child.  While that seems like a lot to fold into a story, it all works.  Especially when using two separate countries, as Portugal and the US, specifically Manhattan where the other “sister” LGBT youth center is located are linked, not just by the two operations but by families and couples.

While I was missing the lushness of the Portuguese countryside and culture that I got in the first story, the complexity and suspense built into Max’s story made up for that.  However it sounds like a return to Portugal is coming in the next novel.  And I can’t wait.

All of these people are slowly feeling like family and a return to the series means seeing them all once more as they all make appearances in each novel. Made in Manhattan (Made In #2) by Ana Newfolk is a warm hearted, sweet, layered contemporary romance, much like the one before.  I highly recommend them both.

 

Cover Artist: Rhys Athanasiadis-Lawrence, Ethereal Elaine.  love that cover.  Its exactly as I picture the characters and its eye catching to boot.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 221 pages
Published January 15th 2019
ASINB07MT34MSG
Edition Language English
Series Made In :

Made in Portugal

Made in Paris: A Christmas Short Story

Made in Manhattan

Retro Review Tour for Made In Manhattan by Ana Newfolk (excerpt and giveaway)

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RETRO REVIEW TOUR

Book Title: Made In Manhattan

Author: Ana Newfolk

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Rhys Athanasiadis-Lawrence, Ethereal Elain

Release Date: January 15, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Second chance

Heat Rating: 5 flames   

Length:  62 000 words

Add on Goodreads

Tagline: Lisbon and Manhattan are only a heartbeat apart

 

Blurb

Will they get a second chance to rekindle their love?

Isaac was kicked out by his family at a young age.

It took him years of hard work to become his own man. Now he’s helping the LGBTQ youth of Lisbon so they don’t have to go through the same.

Max has a long and troubled past.

An ER nurse in New York City who volunteers at the local Liberty center, he knows first hand what it’s like to lose your family and having to make it on your own.

A chance encounter between the two a year ago has them hoping for a happy ever after, if not for the distance between them, but when Isaac takes a temporary work placement in Manhattan, the two men have an opportunity to find what their love is made of.

Will they make it, or will life’s tests tear them apart for good?

Made In Manhattan is the fourth instalment in the Made In series by Ana Newfolk. It is a standalone gay romance novel with a HEA ending and no cliffhanger. Fair warning, there will be naked man-parts touching, a touch of angst, and the claws of an overprotective cat.

Made in Manhattan is 62k words and features the same main characters from Made In New York – A Christmas Short Story.

You don’t have to read it, but you may want to find out how Max and Isaac first met.

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

Excerpt

Max

Lisbon, June

“I missed you so much.”

Isaac pushed me away, his eyes tight and piercing.

“What do you mean, you missed me so much? If you’d missed me so much then why didn’t you—”

“Isaac.” I put my hands on either side of his face so he would have no choice but to hear me out. “Can we talk, please?”

Fate really was a bitch.

I didn’t dare break eye contact for fear this was all a dream.

The club was packed so when someone elbowed me as they were trying to get past the motion jolted me into action, and with one step forward I wrapped Isaac in my arms, my face burrowing in the space between his neck and shoulder, his mass of dark curls soft against my skin.

He froze for a moment but then his arms came around me. As his body relaxed into the embrace, I swear a sob came from his chest.

He smelled of fresh pine; manly, woody, and so familiar it was making me dizzy.

I wanted to stay with Isaac like this for as long as I possibly could, which turned out to be not long at all because I had to ruin the moment with those five words.

He let out a long breath as if he was reminding himself we were in a club surrounded by people, and sat down at the table. I wanted to sit next to him, but it would be easier to keep eye contact if we were facing each other.

It had taken two days last Christmas for Isaac to do what many had tried and failed. He’d unpeeled the many layers of protection I’d built around my heart before hopping on a plane to return to his home in Portugal.

Six months later and three thousand miles away from my home in New York, I found myself right back where I’d been on the night I’d saved him from a fire, feeling like I’d been punched in the gut.

Except this time it was worse because I already knew what those eyes looked like when he smiled, what those lips looked like when they were all plump from kissing, and what his mere presence could do to my heart.

I should have known this would happen. There hadn’t been a day since I’d booked my flight to Portugal that I hadn’t thought of him. If I was honest, there hadn’t been a single day since I last saw him that he hadn’t teased my thoughts.

The first time I’d looked into his eyes, after I’d saved him from the fire, he’d been barely conscious, sitting against me on the pavement outside the LGBT Youth Center. All I’d seen was his wild curly hair, but when I’d pushed it away from his face and seen him open his eyes, he’d literally taken my breath away.

The second time I’d had the chance to look into his eyes from a close distance I’d seen it all, and it had been just before he’d pulled me into a kiss on top of the Empire State Building.

 

 

About the Author

Ana Newfolk was born in Portugal where she grew up surrounded by sunshine and countryside.  She has always had a deep love of reading, and ever since she can remember her favorite presents and treats have always been books. She would often be found in her not-so-secret spot reading her favorite adventure books (when she was younger) and romance novels (when she discovered boys). At 20 years old she moved to the UK where she has lived since.

In 2015 Ana stumbled across her first MM romance novel by chance, and she was hooked. She loves reading about men falling in love, hard, fast and ever so sweetly. This new found love for LGBTQ+ romance has opened a new world for Ana, and in 2017 she decided to finally listen to the voices in her head and write them down.

In addition to the time she spends reading and writing Ana has a full-time job that involves meeting lots of people with interesting stories to tell. She also loves baking as much as she loves watching people eat what she creates, much to the delight of family, friends and work colleagues alike.

You can follow Ana on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or through her blog for up to date news of her book releases.

 

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

 

 

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win A paperback of Made In Portugal, plus some swag.

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Review Tour and Giveaway – Made In Portugal by Ana Newfolk

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 68,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Jay Aheer
 
Blurb
 

At 10 years old Joel was uprooted from his home and everything he knew in Portugal to start a new life in the States. At 26 he finds himself returning for the first time in thirteen years. So what if looking into the eyes of his childhood best friend again still makes his heart race out of his chest?

Living in sunny, laid-back Portugal isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. For David, dreams of being a pastry chef come second to working in his family’s café where his renowned custard tarts draw in the crowds. Seeing Joel brings old feelings back. Feelings he’s not sure he’s brave enough to acknowledge to anyone other than himself.

With the inspiration of an old travel journal, the two friends embark on a real journey through memories in a country where looking back into the past runs as deep as the blood that courses through their veins.

Falling in love was never meant to be a stop along the way, but maybe inevitable when you have the adventurous spirit and courage to pursue what you want, make love under the stars, and even figure out how to jumpstart an old Citroen 2CV in the middle of the Alentejo countryside.




Ana Newfolk was born in Portugal where she grew up surrounded by sunshine and countryside. She has always had a deep love of reading, and ever since she can remember her favorite presents and treats have always been books. She would often be found in her not-so-secret spot reading her favorite adventure books (when she was younger) and romance novels (when she discovered boys). At 20 years old she moved to the UK where she has lived since.

In 2015 Ana stumbled across her first MM romance novel by chance, and she was hooked. She loves reading about men falling in love, hard, fast and ever so sweetly. This new found love for LGBTQ+ romance has opened a new world for Ana, and in 2017 she decided to finally listen to the voices in her head and write them down.

In addition to the time she spends reading and writing Ana has a full-time job that involves meeting lots of people with interesting stories to tell. She also loves baking as much as she loves watching people eat what she creates, much to the delight of family, friends and work colleagues alike.

You can follow Ana on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or through her blog for up to date news of her book releases.


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