A Kai Audiobook Review: One Call Away by Felice Stevens and Seth Clayton (Narrator)

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

 
When a brutal attack from a jealous competitor leaves Noah Strauss, darling of the modeling world, physically scarred and emotionally damaged, he quits the runway to become a psychologist. Using his contacts from his time in the spotlight, he creates One Call Away, a radio show dedicated to gay men looking for love, advice or someone to talk to. But with secrets of his own and a mother who refuses to understand the career path he’s chosen, the one person Noah can’t seem to help is himself.

On a drunken dare from the senior partner’s grandson, Oren Leavitt calls Noah’s radio show, pretending to be gay. Only Oren isn’t certain if he’s pretending. He’s left his strict Orthodox Jewish upbringing behind, but the guilt remains. Guilt that his actions have prevented his sister from finding a husband and guilt that he’s failed his parents. Talking to “Dr. Noah” helps, and as he finds himself calling the man again and again, he knows he must be honest. But Oren is unsure if he’s lying to Noah or himself.

For Noah, trust is paramount; he’s been deceived in his personal and professional life and while he desperately wants to help Oren, he also finds himself falling for the sweet and tortured man. Oren is trapped: he risks losing his job and more importantly the love and security of his family but knows he can’t hide if he wants to be with Noah. When unresolved heartaches from the past rise up to control the present, Noah and Oren discover that love often comes from the most unexpected places, and sometimes a call for help not only saves a life, it can be a new and beautiful beginning.
 
 

OMG! this is such an emotional and amazing story!

Say that I loved this novel is an understatement. Really, guys, I can’t recommend this audiobook enough. So go there and listen to it. Like now!

 

The story wasn’t only about two men falling in love. No, it was so much more. It was also about struggle and fear of coming out. About acceptance. About being real and true to himself. About take help and help others. About family. And yes, about love.

Felice Stevens did an exceptional work in this book. And here’s a revelation: I had never read or listened to anything by this author before. Can you imagine how I am mad at myself now? I can’t believe I waited so long to get to know the work of this amazing author. Of course, now my TBR is even more crowded. Lol

In one call away we are introduced to Noah and Oren. Two great and well-developed characters. They both have been struggling with life. Noah was deeply emotionally affected by the brutal attack he suffered in the past. Oren lives a life where he doesn’t know who he is and when he finally face some trues, his love for his family and fear about their reaction hold him back. Together, the two men will help each other to overcome their fears and stand up for themselves.

 

 Noah and Oren’s journey is touching and gave me a lot of feels. I loved the friendship they developed along the story. The attraction they had was palpable and I was so cheering for them. They felt real and their story was so interesting that I couldn’t stop. Really couldn’t.

The narration by Seth Clayton was incredibly well done. He actually brought life to each character and made the story even more exciting. I loved especially his interpretation of Noah. The deep and sexy tone was just perfect for the character. I actually could identify each one of the characters by the voice, so you see how incredible Seth was in this narrative.

And look how sexy and emotional is the cover art by Reese Dante. I really liked it. And it fits the story perfectly.

Guys, I couldn’t love this story more. I highly recommend it!

 
Sales Links

Audible

Audiobook Details:

  • Written by: Felice Stevens
  • Narrated by: Seth Clayton
  • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins 
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release Date:08-31-17

One Call Away by Felice Stevens Audiobook Tour (excerpt)

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 One Call Away Audio Banner

ONE CALL AWAY

FELICE STEVENS

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: April 28, 2017

AUDIO RELEASE: August 31, 2017

NARRATOR: Seth Clayton

Audible:  http://adbl.co/2hmQ8Tk

 

One Call Away Cover 

BLURB

When a brutal attack from a jealous competitor leaves Noah Strauss, darling of the modeling world, physically scarred and emotionally damaged, he quits the runway to become a psychologist. Using his contacts from his time in the spotlight, he creates One Call Away, a radio show dedicated to gay men looking for love, advice or someone to talk to. But with secrets of his own and a mother who refuses to understand the career path he’s chosen, the one person Noah can’t seem to help is himself.

On a drunken dare from the senior partner’s grandson, Oren Leavitt calls Noah’s radio show, pretending to be gay. Only Oren isn’t certain if he’s pretending. He’s left his strict Orthodox Jewish upbringing behind, but the guilt remains. Guilt that his actions have prevented his sister from finding a husband and guilt that he’s failed his parents. Talking to “Dr. Noah” helps, and as he finds himself calling the man again and again, he knows he must be honest. But Oren is unsure if he’s lying to Noah or himself.

For Noah, trust is paramount; he’s been deceived in his personal and professional life and while he desperately wants to help Oren, he also finds himself falling for the sweet and tortured man. Oren is trapped: he risks losing his job and more importantly the love and security of his family but knows he can’t hide if if wants to be with Noah. When unresolved heartaches from the past rise up to control the present, Noah and Oren discover that love often comes from the most unexpected places, and sometimes a call for help not only saves a life, it can be a new and beautiful beginning.

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One Call Away Teaser 1

One Call Away Teaser 3

EXCERPT

“I told you already, I’m their charity case, their token Jew.” When he took the job, Oren thought he could brush it off, but lately the sense of ostracism was proving harder to handle than he’d imagined. Isolated by his religion and his sexuality, the only time lately Oren found himself able to be free was when talking to Noah.

“Every year they make a show of how diverse they are with their one black first-year hire, and their Asian and Latino associates. We’re paraded around to the legal community as DeWitt and Wynters’ ‘new generation’ of lawyers who are breaking the mold of the white, Christian elite, upper echelon when in reality they give us the grunt work or the impossible-to-win cases. The special outings are at golf courses, which have no members like us, and we don’t know how to play, so we sit around doing nothing, while the others have a great time bonding. Either that or they schedule firm parties on Jewish holidays when they know I can’t attend. They put on a good show, but we know we don’t belong, and we’re too afraid to complain or say anything because jobs are so hard to come by, and the firm’s name still opens so many doors.”

Stunned at his bitter outburst, Oren smiled faintly at Noah. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to let it out on you.”

“I’m glad you did.” A twinkle lit Noah’s eyes. “Sounds like something you’ve been holding back for a while now.” He sobered up. “I’m sorry you have to go through that. Isn’t there another place you can work where you’ll feel safe?”

“Safe?”

“I’m sure if they are as bigoted as they sound against people of color and other religions, they are also intolerant of gays.”

Not in a million years would Oren ever speak of his sexuality to Harlan or Toby. Even the fact that Harlan had spoken to Noah freaked him out a bit.

“It isn’t something I plan to discuss with them. It’s none of their business.” Agitated, Oren turned away from Noah and fumbled in the drawer for a corkscrew. With quick, angry turns, he opened the wine.

“It was only a thought. I’m not saying you should.” Noah’s soothing voice steadied the rapid thump of Oren’s heart. “What was his name again, the guy I spoke to on the phone?”

“Harlan.” The sound of that name sent a sinking feeling into the pit of Oren’s stomach. “He’s not only in charge of my group; he’s the great-grandson of one of the firm’s founders and can do whatever he wants. And he does.”

“See, that’s what I thought. His voice…it sounded cunning. Like he was trying to figure something out and use it against you. I got worried and thought of how upset you might be. I’m so sorry you have to put up with someone like him. You deserve so much better.” Noah’s eyes searched his, and Oren couldn’t break away from the pull of their blue depths.

An unfamiliar ache of longing built up inside him, painful yet sweet. A need to touch and be touched with meaning. He found himself drawn to Noah, much more so than to any person he’d ever met. Was it wrong of him to want Noah? He considered him his doctor, his therapist. Most importantly, Noah was his friend. In these past few weeks something between them changed, and Oren found himself thinking of Noah as a man and not merely a risk. And staring into Noah’s eyes, Oren knew that wanting Noah might be worth the risk he was finally willing to take.

Felice Logo

I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending just around the corner. I started reading traditional historical romances when I was a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until I picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that my interest in romance novels became renewed.

But somewhere along the way, my tastes shifted. While I still enjoys a juicy Historical romance, I began experimenting with newer, more cutting edge genres and discovered the world of Male/Male romance. Once I picked up her first, I became so enamored of the authors, the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion of the books, I knew I wanted to write my own.

I live in New York City with my husband and two children and hopefully soon a cat of my own. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

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Sale Alert! Beyond the Surface by Felice Stevens!

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★★★★99 SALE ALERT★★★★

Beyond the Surface by Felice Stevens is only 99¢ for a Limited Time!!
Read Today for ONLY 99¢!!
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2x1NedS

On 9/11, firefighter Nick Fletcher’s world changed forever. He’s unable to rid himself of survivor’s guilt, made worse by the secret he hides from his family and co-workers. Nick’s life is centered around helping burn victims, until he is reunited with the man he’d once loved but pushed away. Now he has a second chance at a love he thought lost forever.

For fashion designer Julian Cornell, appearances mean everything. His love affairs are strictly casual, and the only thing he cares about is making his clothing line a success. A chance encounter with the man he loved long ago has Julian thinking for the first time in years there may be more to life than being seen at the best parties and what designer labels to wear.

When Julian’s world takes an unexpected turn, it’s Nick who helps him regain perspective on what matters most in life. Julian, in turn, helps Nick accept who he is and understand he isn’t responsible for tragedies he couldn’t prevent. Lost love found can be even sweeter the second time around and after all the years apart, both men learn to look beyond the surface to find the men they are inside.

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Learning to Love by Felice Stevens and Derrick McClain (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

A very definite love story, this is the story of chef and caterer, Gideon Marks, owner of Garden of Eatin’.  Gideon lands the job he’s been looking forward to when he secures the catering of the function sponsored by the synagogue where he grew up.  He’s been away ten years and is back to prove he’s much more than anyone ever gave him credit for. 

Growing up poor and being called stupid by teachers and classmates did nothing to help his self-esteem, but now that he’s a business owner with his best friend, Rico, and has secured this job, he’ll prove he’s more than anyone ever thought.  The thing he doesn’t realize is that the  dyslexia that earned him the “stupid” label as a kid is something that can be treated now and his hurt and resentment, in large part, was more about what he thought people thought of him than what they actually did think.

Case in point, Rabbi Jonah Fine, former classmate and gorgeous man who now seems to be pursuing Gideon for more than just his food.  Apparently Jonah harbored a secret crush on Gideon and never acted on it since he wasn’t out in high school.  But he pursues him strongly now, and together with Jonah, Gideon learns how to love—not just Jonah, but himself, with a dawning self-esteem and a pursuit of therapy for his learning disorder and with communication with his father who had abandoned him in childhood and has come back now to beg forgiveness.  Gideon is the only one on the receiving end of help though.  Not even realizing it, he helps Jonah overcome his own personal hurdles as his father retires and he takes over the role of rabbi at their synagogue.   

A very well narrated audiobook, Derrick McClain brings these characters to life with fantastic vocalizations and a well-paced narrative.  The story is sweet and sexy and just what I needed to bring a smile to my face on a gloomy day.   

~~~~~

Cover art by Reese Dante. The attractive cover features a very handsome man, no doubt representing Gideon. 

Sales Links:

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2weRJAQ

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/2wevxad

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook
Published July 14th 2017 by Felice Stevens (first published April 30th 2016)
ASINB073VV9ZBK
Edition Language English

Audiobook Tour for Learning to Love by Felice Stevens and Derrick McClain (Narrator) ~ Excerpt and Giveaway

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LEARNING TO LOVE

FELICE STEVENS

M/M ROMANCE

AUDIO RELEASE: 07.14.17

Learning To Love Cover 

COVER DESIGN: Reese Dante

NARRATOR: Derrick McClain

 

 

 

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After 10 years away from home, bad boy caterer Gideon Marks has a lot to prove. Getting the holiday catering job at his childhood synagogue is the first step in demonstrating to everyone he didn’t turn out to be the failure they predicted. What he doesn’t count on is Rabbi Jonah Fine, his high school nemesis and secret crush, stirring up old feelings Gideon thought long gone and secrets he’s buried deep for years.

An unexpectedly passionate encounter shocks Gideon, but he pushes Jonah away, convinced he isn’t good enough to be in a relationship and would never be accepted by Jonah’s father. But Jonah hangs tough – he won’t allow Gideon to hide or run away from life again. And when it comes to love, Gideon learns the most important lessons aren’t always taught in school.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/bo…/show/29632344-learning-to-love

 

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2weRJAQ

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/2wevxad

 

 

Learning to Love Teas 1 final Learning to Love Teas 2

EXCERPT

“How did you know where to find me?”

“I didn’t. But when I went to your apartment and discovered you weren’t home, I thought to myself, ‘Where would a chef be early on Saturday morning?’”

Pleased he’d thought so carefully about me, I bit my lip to keep from smiling, then muttered with my head down, “Lucky guess on your part.”

“I’d like to think so,” said Jonah, his voice as soft as the breeze. My eyes met his, the hurt from our last conversation shimmering bright in their depths, causing a throb within me of a longing I’d never known existed. “Or maybe it was fate.”

He smiled then plucked the paper bag of rugelach out of my clutches, rummaged through it until he found an apricot one, and bit off half.

“Well, if you’re that hungry, I guess you can come home with me, and I’ll make you an omelet,” I grumbled but couldn’t stop the small grin tugging at my lips. “But I planned on browsing a bit more through the market first.”

“I’d like that.” Jonah walked beside me, and we meandered past the stands piled high with colorful peppers and squash. We strolled in silence, but every few steps I’d sneak a glance at him, expecting Jonah to speak. Instead he remained irritatingly, cheerfully silent.

I sampled some hot mulled cider and licked my lips. Spending so much time with Jonah gave me new insight. I’d always thought him superior and judgmental; perhaps I had been wrong in my assessment. He captivated me with the humor in his speech, warmth in his smile, and that unmistakable flare of desire in his eyes. Goddamn it, I wanted him.

I extended the paper cup. “Do you want a sip?” Its heady cinnamon scent remained one of my most favorite things about the fall season. To my shock, instead of answering me, he bent down and kissed me on my lips, lapping at their sticky sweetness. He stepped back, but I put a restraining hand on his wrist.

“What’s going on? Why are you really here?”

The honesty in Jonah’s face took my breath away.

“Do you really have to ask, after the last time?”

My body refused to listen to the war inside my head, kindling a deep need I couldn’t understand. I took a step forward, but unlike me, Jonah didn’t retreat. He stood firm, and I stood close enough to almost touch. Close enough to smell him.

“I’m not who you want; can’t you see that?”

“You don’t have any idea what I see when I look at you, Gideon.”

I wanted to yell back at him, No, you have no idea who I am, but I couldn’t bring myself to ruin the moment. I had no clue who Jonah thought I was, but I wanted to be that man if only to be able to have him always look at me like this. Like I was special. Like I was his. The sun beat hot upon my shoulders, and I held his gaze while contentment poured over me like a warm summer rain.

Felice Logo

 

Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.

But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

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A Ali Audiobook Review: After the Fire (Through Hell and Back #2) by Felice Stevens and Kale Williams (Narrator)

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 Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
A single bullet destroyed the dreams of Dr. Jordan Peterson. With his lover dead, Jordan descends into an endless spiral of self-destruction that nearly costs him his friends, his career and his life. When Jordan finds himself working closely with the aloof Lucas Conover, the investment banker’s mysterious past and unexpected kindness shocks him back into a life and emotions he’d thought lost forever.

The betrayal by the foster brother he’d worshiped, taught Lucas Conover never to trust or believe in anyone. Living a solitary life doesn’t free him of the nightmare of his youth; it reinforces his belief that he would never fall in love. When the death of one of his clients forces him to work closely with Dr. Jordan Peterson, he meets a person whose suffering exceeds his own. Though Jordan rejects his effort to help, something within Luke pushes him discover more about the first man to ever get under his skin.

As Luke lets down his guard and Jordan lets go of his pain, desire takes control. Each man must come to terms with past struggles if they are to create a future together. And learning to trust in themselves and love again after tragedy and a lifetime of pain, may be the only thing that saves them in the end.
This book begins 9 months down the road from the end of book one.  I will start this by saying that I had not read book one and while I was able to follow this perfectly, I probably missed out on some of the emotional connections by doing so.  As a result I would recommend that you read this series in order.
Jordan is a mess at the start of the story.  His partner was killed and he’s not dealing with the grief well at all.  He has isolated himself from his friends and he’s drinking excessively and abusing prescription medication.  He ends up working with a project with Lucas who manages Jordan’s ex’s money.  The two men don’t get off to a great start;  Jordan is angry and rude and Lucas is cold and aloof.  Over the course of them working together though they begin to have feelings for each other.  It’s a struggle for them both though.  Jordan isn’t ready to let go of his ex and Lucas has a bunch of issues from his childhood.
The story overall was just average for me.  I liked the idea of it but the execution style was not my thing.  It was very drama filled and over the top in places in my opinion.  Jordan in particular gave me emotional whiplash.  He would go from anger to lust to guilt to love all in the matter of the same conversation/moment in time.  I had a hard time relating to either MC and I didn’t actually like Jordan all that much.  I should have felt sorry for him but he just annoyed me too much for me to really warm up to him.
I think if you were a fan of the first book though that you would probably enjoy this.  The couple from book one plays an important role here.
This book was narrated by Kale Williams who I had never listened to before.  I thought he did a good job.  He has a nice narrating voice and I will check out some of his other work in the future.
Cover by Reese Dante:  I liked this cover a lot.  It’s very eye catching and draws you to the book.  It also compliments the cover from book one really well.

Sales Links:  Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2v0Nwx2Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2wmDXZ0

 

Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 264 pages
Published February 24th 2017 (first published February 23rd 2015)
Original TitleAfter the Fire
ASINB06WP9TNF9
SeriesThrough Hell and Back #2

Audiobook Tour and Review for After the Fire (Through Hell and Back #2) by Felice Stevens (excerpt and review)

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After the Fire

Through Hell and Back Series, Book 2

Felice Stevens

M/M Romance

Release: 02.24.17

Audio Release: 07.11.17

after-the-fire-cover

Narrator: Kale Williams

Cover Design: Reese Dante

Cover Photo: Alejandro Caspe

BUY LINK

 Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2v0Nwx2

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2wmDXZ0

 

BLURB

A single bullet destroyed the dreams of Dr. Jordan Peterson. With his lover dead, Jordan descends into an endless spiral of self-destruction that nearly costs him his friends, his career and his life. When Jordan finds himself working closely with the aloof Lucas Conover, the investment banker’s mysterious past and unexpected kindness shocks him back into a life and emotions he’d thought lost forever.

The betrayal by the foster brother he’d worshiped, taught Lucas Conover never to trust or believe in anyone. Living a solitary life doesn’t free him of the nightmare of his youth; it reinforces his belief that he would never fall in love. When the death of one of his clients forces him to work closely with Dr. Jordan Peterson, he meets a person whose suffering exceeds his own. Though Jordan rejects his effort to help, something within Luke pushes him discover more about the first man to ever get under his skin.

As Luke lets down his guard and Jordan lets go of his pain, desire takes control. Each man must come to terms with past struggles if they are to create a future together. And learning to trust in themselves and love again after tragedy and a lifetime of pain, may be the only thing that saves them in the end.

This is a re-release of the original version published in 2015. It has been re-edited with over 4000 words of additional content added.

after-the-fire-teaser-1

EXCERPT

“We have a board meeting next week to decide if we want to accept sponsorships or not. I’m all for getting companies to donate as much as they want.”

Pushing his artichoke around the plate, Jordan chewed his bottom lip in thought. “I understand, but I don’t want this to become something they crow about and take credit for. It isn’t about them or us. It’s about what Keith wanted and helping the kids of the community so they have a safe place to come to every day if they choose. We have to make them want to come. So for sure we’ll try and get the computer companies to donate their computers and the libraries to donate children’s books. But this is always going to be The Keith Hart Center for Youth. Not XYZ Corp Center. I’m doing this to help Keith’s dream become a reality.”

Noting Lucas’s silence, Jordan quirked a brow. “Did I surprise you? You’re awfully quiet.”

The chatter from the cavernous dining room filled the silence, while he awaited Lucas’s response.

“I agree. For the record, I never intended to acknowledge the corporate sponsors any more than having maybe a plaque in, say the computer area, stating, Computers Generously Donated by…whomever we choose. As you put it so very well, it isn’t about them.” Once again, he flashed that charming grin that lit up his normally austere face.

A tug of desire hit Jordan low in his belly and the breadstick crumbled in his hand. For almost a year he’d barely thought about sex. In the cold hours of the dark, he’d awaken from dreams where he’d been making love with Keith, and his body’s natural urge had led him to finish off with his hand. But not until this moment had he felt a pull toward another man. Disturbed, Jordan studied Lucas from beneath lowered lashes, pretending to concentrate on his food.

For God’s sake, what was he even thinking? Shaking his head, angry with himself for having those traitorous urges, Jordan drank down half his sparkling water, his hands shaking so badly he feared Lucas might comment. Lucky for him, the waiter approached to take away their dishes, engaging Lucas in conversation so he saw nothing.

Lucas wasn’t even his type. Jordan ran a critical gaze over the enigmatic man sitting across from him. Sure, he had the broad, muscular build similar to Keith but personality-wise, the two men were nothing alike. Keith’s friendly, joyful personality drew people to him; they couldn’t help but want to be his friend. Totally unlike the quietly serious Lucas Conover whose lone-wolf persona and hands-off attitude screamed, Don’t ask, don’t touch. Jordan excused this inexplicable physical reaction as his first time in months being in close proximity to a man.

“You okay, Jordan? You looked kind of sick for a moment.”

As far as he knew, there wasn’t yet a cure for being heartsick and heartbroken.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.

But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Twitter:https://twitter.com/FeliceStevens1

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/felicestevens/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8432880.Felice_Stevens

Instagram: https://instagram.com/FeliceStevens

Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/felicestevensauthor?ref=hl

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A Jeri Review: The Shape of You by Felice Stevens

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

What a refreshing surprise! I’ve always enjoyed Felice Steven’s books. Her stories seem very real to me and I always love stories set in NYC. But this book was just different enough for me to make it really enjoyable.

I’d like to say it is an opposites attract story, and in a way it is, but only on the surface. One man needs to gain weight, the other needs to lose weight. But underneath it all they are more similar than they realize.
I think this is the first book I have read with an overweight main character who ISN’T killing himself at the gym. Instead he is going about it through a nutrition class and walking. It is at that nutrition class that he meets Corey, who is underweight. Another thing you don’t hear of often- definitely not in gay romance books.
There is quite a bit about WHY they each have their weight problems, the discrimination they endure- mostly Eric and a lot of encouragement to each other. The story highlights the seemingly acceptable act of weight discrimination. So many people think that they can comment on someone’s weight when it is none of their business and it hurts the person more than they know.
The romance between Eric and Corey is very sweet. The way Eric doubts his desirability is spot on, but on the flip side, Corey also doubts his desirability.
My only critiques are that there was a lot of repetition in the story and I would have liked more story after they were officially together as a couple.
Cover art is beautiful.

Sales Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2s1tFf1

Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/Bav4jo

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)

Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 192 pages
Published June 27th 2017
ASINB073FKRXH7

Review Tour for THE SHAPE OF YOU by Felice Stevens (excerpt)

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The Shape of You, a sexy, heart-warming MM romance by Felice Stevens is available now!

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The Shape of You
by Felice Stevens
Publication Date: June 29th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance

Too big. Too fat.

All his life Eric Sontag has judged himself on his size, believing love and friendship aren’t in the cards for someone like him. Tired of being alone and scared of his doctor’s warnings, he enrolls in a nutrition support group, determined to change his life. When a beautiful thin man sits next to him, he can’t believe they have anything in common, but conversation between the two soon proves first impressions aren’t always what they seem.

Drifter. Loner.

Corey DeSantis has always been the scrawny waif; he’s tired of struggling with his art and with life. Scarred by the disappearance and death of his drug-addicted mother, he doesn’t wish for love, believing it will bring him nothing but pain in the end. Now his only hunger in life is his desire to paint…until a health scare and his mentor force him to attend a nutrition class where he meets a man who piques his interest. One drunken kiss later, Eric is all Corey can think about.

The same, yet different.

An unlikely friendship is born with both men wanting more but afraid to listen to their well-guarded hearts. When Corey receives shocking news leaving him angry and helpless, it’s Eric he leans on, to help see him through, while a surprising career opportunity finds Eric leaning on Corey for advice. One night of explosive passion leads to a second and soon neither man can imagine a life without the other. Life is shaped by the challenges accepted and roads not taken but as Corey and Eric walk the path together, they’ll discover the most beautiful destination of all. Love.

Excerpt:

“I know you’re awake.”

Feeling Corey’s lips smile against his back, Eric rolled over to face him. Damn, he was so beautiful. Eric had no idea how he’d gotten so lucky to have Corey want him, but as long as he did, Eric would make the most of it, even though he knew how much it would hurt to say good-bye. Because Eric didn’t expect a future or even a tomorrow, he’d take these moments and tuck them away for later.

“How’d you sleep?”

Yawning and scratching his head, Corey shook the hair from his eyes. “Like the dead. Man, you wore me out.”

They gazed at each other, Eric feeling the heat rise to his face. He’d never been intimate with someone he wasn’t emotionally invested in, but something about Corey mesmerized him. Eric was the helpless moth, and Corey possessed that incandescent glow that drew him so close, he could feel the singe of fire.

“Um, well, after we shower, I think I should make breakfast for us. We never had a chance to write down our dinner last night or anything, and I think that’s important.”

Corey unwound himself from Eric and sat up cross-legged on the bed. Fully dressed, the man was a distraction. Naked and disheveled from sleep? Impossible to resist. Eric wanted to pull Corey close and do all the dirty things he’d only seen in porno movies. But showing restraint, Eric rose from the bed to go to the bathroom.

“We kinda got busy with other stuff.”

His heart jumped at Corey’s infectious grin, and he knew from the sensuous glow in Corey’s eyes, he too wanted a repeat of the night before. But pushing aside thoughts of kissing Corey and sucking his cock, Eric focused on the practical.

“Uh, yeah. What do you want for breakfast? I have eggs or oatmeal and fruit. Think about it.”

He closed the bathroom door behind him and rested against it for a moment, overwhelmed by the previous night, then waking up to find Corey hadn’t changed his mind and remained attracted to him. He wondered what would happen if he did lose all his weight. Would Corey want him then?

TSOY-AN

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About Felice:

I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, My characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love, but getting there is oh so fun and oh so sexy.

I live in New York City with my husband and two children. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass (or two of red wine). I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there are bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

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Connect with Felice:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FeliceStevens1

Blog: http://caferisque.blogspot.com/?zx=e071df0101ec6c96

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A Jeri Review: Embrace the Fire (Through Hell and Back #3) by Felice Stevens

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Book 3 in the Through Hell and Back trilogy probably can be read as a stand alone, but you are really going to want to read the first two. There is a story arc separate from the romance that comes to a conclusion here.

Brandon has been hiding his real identity for years. Living a quiet life as a school teacher in Brooklyn. He loves the kids and he loves his job. So when a friend of a friend asks him if he wants to be a mentor to bullied children, he can’t help but say yes.

Tash is a psychiatrist who buries himself in work. Not only his private practice, but volunteering as much as he can. Filling his days and nights with work helps keep some of his loneliness at bay- but it is there. He has no desire to get into another relationship- but he is so drawn to Brandon.

Brandon is the third foster brother who spent many formative years with an abusive foster father. And he didn’t even get the brunt of it. His oldest foster brother leaves first without a word. Then his second foster brother is put into the hospital after a beating and the family takes off without him. Everyone he has ever had leaves.

Tash also holds secrets. He was obviously hurt in the past; so badly that he doesn’t ever want a boyfriend again. These two men are so broken, but they help each other heal.

I have to say that neither “secret” was all that earth shattering. In fact, Brandon’s secret could have been put to rest years ago with a little research. And while Tash’s secret was heartbreaking, I’ve seen similar in other books. If they had opened up to each other sooner, a lot of heartbreak could have been avoided.

That being said, I still really enjoyed this book. I love the world that Ms Stevens builds for her characters. Strong men who aren’t afraid to love their friends and family. They all help each other through whatever they can. We should be so lucky to have friends like that.

Brandon and Tash are a really good couple together. They both just want to help kids however they can. And once the walls come down, they are also a great support to each other. Learning to trust again is hard.

As I said, there is a story arc involving the foster parents. It comes to a pretty satisfying conclusion in this book. I was glad to see it wrapped up and not just left without closure.

Very satisfying read- but definitely read the first 2 before this one.

Cover art works for the story.

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Book Details:

Published April 2017 (first published May 25th 2015)
Original TitleEmbrace the Fire
SeriesThrough Hell and Back #3