A Jeri Recent Release Review: Living Out Loud by Nyrae Dawn & Christina Lee

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Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

After being raised in a super religious family and town, Ben finally strikes out on his own in San Francisco. Even though he is finally free to be himself, the conditioning he received to “turn him straight” makes it so that he cannot really be free. After garnering the courage to reach out to his childhood friend, Xavier, they meet up. Ben is in awe of how Xavier is his authentic self, unafraid of what anyone thinks of him. So he hatches a plan…..
So, wow. This book is a co-written work between Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn. Nyrae Dawn is the young adult author name of Riley Hart. So being a half written Nyrae work, I did not expect it to be as hot as it was. HOT.
I pretty much adored Xavier. People who don’t care what anyone else thinks about them, living however they want, I just think is amazing. And even though he lived that way, he still was afraid of falling in love. If anyone should have been open to love, it was Xavier. But he is open to sex.
Ben was cute. His shyness, not only with Xavier, but in life, is a bit heartbreaking but also understandable with his upbringing.
Xavier and Ben together were swoony. They really challenged each other. Xavier challenging Ben to grow sexually and Ben challenging Xavier to grow emotionally. Throughout the book you can see why they were so easily best friends as children. They just come together so easily in all ways. They constantly lift each other up, make each other laugh and are just generally comfortable with each other. And they seem more comfortable with themselves when they are together.
Friends to lovers, second chances, a quirky older woman (another fave of mine. because I may or may not be a quirky 40 something woman), two authors I adore. Recipe for a delicious book.
Cover Design by X-Potion Designs. I seriously wanted to lick the cover.
Sales Links:  Amazon
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 250 pages
Published September 6th 2017 by Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn
ASINB075FRXF2Z

A Jeri Review: Paint the Stars (Free Fall #3) by Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn

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Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

paint-the-stars-by-nyrae-dawn-and-christina-leeI’ve had a soft spot for Ezra since book 1 of this series and I was so happy he got his own book. He was featured pretty heavily in book 2 which just whetted my appetite for more of him.

Ezra is an introverted artist who doesn’t let a lot of people see who he really is. He’d much prefer to binge on Netflix than go to a club with his friends. While Conner (book 2) came the closest to really getting to know Ezra as his roommate, Ezra still kept him at arm’s length. Until Daevonte starts to wiggle his way into Ezra’s life.

Daevonte is a yoga instructor at a studio where Ezra has been commissioned to paint another mural. A lover of life and sex, he wants to hook up with the quiet painter. But Ezra doesn’t do the hook up thing. So after some false starts, they become unlikely friends.

As you can imagine the friends part of the book evolves. It is a nice slow burn which really fits with Ezra’s character. He is demisexual- meaning he has to really connect with someone as a person before he feels any attraction to him. So as the book progresses, as does the connection between Ezra and Daevonte.

I really love that books are starting to have main characters on different  colors of the rainbow. Of course gay (this is the genre we are reading) and bisexual (which opens a lot of past story lines), but now we are seeing a lot more asexual, demisexual, and pansexual. I love seeing these people represented and their stories told in such a manner that makes you truly understand what it is they are about.

Because Ezra is demisexual, this book actually inadvertently gives us my favorite trope- friends to lovers.  Daevonte is so confident in who he is and has a unique way of starting to bring Ezra out of his shell- without trying to change who he is. He has utter respect for Ezra and it shows.

We, of course, get glimpses of the guys from past books. In fact, I really love that they have a once a week dinner together.  AND that one of the secondary characters develops a het relationship. Real life.

Book one, Touch the Sky, is my favorite of the three but this is definitely a very close second.

The cover illustration is gorgeous and seeing all three covers together is perfectly cohesive.

Sales Link

7104e-waxcreative-amazon-kindle

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: February 20th 2017 by Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn
ASINB06WRQ4LVH
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesFree Fall #3

A Jeri Review: Touch the Sky (Free Fall #1) by Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Touch the SkyLucas Barnett and Gabriel Stewart didn’t have it easy as kids. They were only trying to deal with bad situations at home when they became lifelines for each other. Their pipe dream was to someday meet in LA, where Lucas would design skyscrapers, and Gabriel would learn to fly. But then Gabriel disappeared without so much as a goodbye, and Lucas got himself in trouble with the law.

Five years later, both men are at a loss when they run into each other at a Hollywood bar. Lucas is still angry, but it’s not as if Gabriel could control how his mind and body had betrayed him. Being found on the ledge of that bridge had changed everything.

The attraction is immediate, but it’s more than their inability to keep their hands off each other. Neither man expects the fierce connection pulling them together. Unfortunately, ignoring their problems doesn’t make them disappear. Gabriel’s internal struggles are serious…dangerous. And no matter how much Lucas wants it to be true, saving Gabriel won’t make up for not being able to save his mom. If they don’t find the strength to face their own demons before the darkness takes hold, they risk more than just losing each other forever.

Wow. Just wow. I have been a fan of both authors (and Nyrae Dawn’s alter ego, Riley Hart) so when it was revealed that they were writing a book together, I was definitely intrigued. They did not disappoint at all.

Gabriel and Lucas were best friends as teens. They both had troubled lives but for different reasons. And then one day Gabriel was gone.

Five years goes by and we meet Gabriel again bartending in LA. And then Lucas walks into his bar. When they discover each other, Gabriel is thrilled to see his friend again. But Lucas is pissed. REALLY pissed. His one friend walked out on him without an explanation and he had to deal with life on his own.

Gabriel is desperate to have Lucas back in his life and explain what happened. But Lucas doesn’t want to hear it. As much as he craves to have Gabriel back also.

This journey of friends rediscovering each other and learning about each other was so real. Another book that deals so incredibly well with depression and the toll it takes, not only on the sufferer, but on those who love them. When Lucas is finally ready to accept Gabriel back into his life, Gabriel falls into a seriously depressive episode. To me, that shows that readers how depression can take over your life, your thoughts and your feelings no matter the outside circumstances.

Watching Lucas help Gabriel through his depression, Gabriel finally accepting that he needs help and that he is not lonely loveable but loved, was a testament to the bond they share that wasn’t broken through the five years of silence.

Lucas has his own demons to deal with in life. As closed off as he was since Gabriel left, he finds it difficult to let anyone in completely. But knowing how much Gabriel needs him allows Lucas to open that door.

Whenever a book is co-written I always try to figure out which author wrote which character (this book alternates characters per chapter). I thought I had it all figured out, but I was wrong. That, to me, shows how well they write together that they meshed so seamlessly.

Cover art is gorgeous and in tune with the novel.

Sales Links:  AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/1MHjbEX | AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/25oGoY7 | AMAZON AU: http://bit.ly/1SbDVGP | B&N: http://bit.ly/1ZBf8S5 | iBook: http://apple.co/22rX0iC

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 226 pages
Published March 28th 2016 by Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn
ASIN B01D3JJN7K
Edition Language English
Series Free Fall #1

Can There Be A Future for Them? Read Touch the Sky ( Free Fall, Book 1) by Christina Lee & Nyrae Dawn (excerpt and author interview)

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Touch The Sky Tour Banner

Touch the Sky

Free Fall, Book 1

Christina Lee & Nyrae Dawn

New Adult M/M Romance

Touch The Sky Cover

COVER DESIGN: Natasha Snow

PHOTOGRAPHY: Giovanni Dall’Orto

RELEASE DATE: 03.28.16

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/1MHjbEX

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/25oGoY7

AMAZON AU: http://bit.ly/1SbDVGP

B&N: http://bit.ly/1ZBf8S5

iBook: http://apple.co/22rX0iC

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words was lucky to have the authors in for a chat and to answer a few questions for our readers.  Welcome, Nyrae and Christina.

********

  • What made you decide to collaborate? Who approached whom?

Nyrae: It just sort of came up. We’re friends and we were talking. I’ve written two collaborations before. I wanted to do another. She wanted to write one. We enjoy each other’s work so it just sort of fell together perfectly for us.

Christina: Right. We had grown closer over the past year due to a few author groups we belonged to and we also began beta reading for each other. I have always wanted to co-write a book with somebody and it just naturally went from there.

  • Did you each write a character?

Nyrae: Technically, yes. We each created the backstory for the character and what they looked like. We alternated chapters and primarily worked on one character each, but we definitely were very involved in the whole book. We wrote in each other’s POV and changed and tweaked dialogue in each other’s chapters.

Christina: We talked extensively on the phone about each of our characters and how we were going to write them. Once we got going though, we found our voices blended pretty well, so it was natural to go into each other’s chapters during edits and add voice, tone, or characteristics. 

  • How did you go about deciding the plot?

Nyrae: We knew we wanted to write NA and LGBTQ+ so we headed in that direction. We had some phone conversations. We discovered that mental health plays a strong role in both our lives for various reasons so we took it from there.

Christina: We are both pretty angsty writers especially in our New Adults books and so even though we didn’t set out to write such a weighty topic, it happened naturally, even during plotting. We came up with several scenarios and as soon as we landed on Lucas and Gabriel, we were off and running.

  • Did each chapter come organically or was it all mapped out?

Nyrae: It was a combination of both. The initial letter is a revision from a letter in a book I had on my computer from a couple years ago, that I never finished. We’d talk out a few chapters at a time and make loose plans but they sometimes changed when one of us sat down to start writing.

Christina: The good thing is that neither one of us are huge plotters. We knew the general place we were heading but then what commonly happens is your characters veers off in some random direction that ends up being perfect for the plot. When I saw that letter that Nyrae had written and kept stored in a file, I knew that was it. That was our story.

  • How was writing a collaboration different for you than writing alone?

Nyrae: You have someone else counting on you. Someone else’s thoughts and opinions to consider. Sometimes writing styles change or writing processes.

Christina: Yep. Once you get over the initial fears and pretenses, then all you have is the work in front of you. You also have somebody cheering you on. We would leave each other comments in the sidebar and I’d smile after seeing a note like SWOON, that’s so HOT, or damn I LOVE these boys. It really fueled me on which is probably why we wrote the book so quickly.

  • Was it a good experience? You called this book 1, so…?

Nyrae: Yes! I can’t speak for Christina but I loved working with her. We definitely plan to do it again. We’ll write one of the characters from Touch the Sky.

Christina: I loved it and cannot wait to start the next book.

BLURB

Lucas Barnett and Gabriel Stewart didn’t have it easy as kids. They were only trying to deal with bad situations at home when they became lifelines for each other. Their pipe dream was to someday meet in LA, where Lucas would design skyscrapers, and Gabriel would learn to fly. But then Gabriel disappeared without so much as a goodbye, and Lucas got himself in trouble with the law.

Five years later, both men are at a loss when they run into each other at a Hollywood bar. Lucas is still angry, but it’s not as if Gabriel could control how his mind and body had betrayed him. Being found on the ledge of that bridge had changed everything.

The attraction is immediate, but it’s more than their inability to keep their hands off each other. Neither man expects the fierce connection pulling them together. Unfortunately, ignoring their problems doesn’t make them disappear. Gabriel’s internal struggles are serious…dangerous. And no matter how much Lucas wants it to be true, saving Gabriel won’t make up for not being able to save his mom. If they don’t find the strength to face their own demons before the darkness takes hold, they risk more than just losing each other forever.

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29145268-touch-the-sky

lucas

touch the sky teaser 4

 

EXCERPT

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to speak for you. If you want to—”

“I don’t,” I say, finally meeting his gaze. “I only want you too.”

His eyes soften and he exhales a hard breath as if we’re finally on level ground. I feel giddy with relief and contentment as I clutch at his hand and drag him to the dance floor. At first he protests about his drink but then he places it in an empty spot on a ledge.

It’s a pulsing rap beat and my body feels like a live wire. My hips start swaying, my hands rise in the air, and the vibration of the music takes over. Lucas has no trouble keeping up with me, though not with as much enthusiasm.

“Fuck, you’re sexy,” he rumbles in my ear. I feel his hips gyrating as he grasps my waist and slides up behind me. His hard length is digging into my ass and that only spurs me on more.

After a few numbers, I follow Lucas to the back wall where we find a spot to rest between other couples swaying to the music. He pins my shoulders against the column, his breath heavy, eyes glazed over with lust, as his lips crash against mine.

My fingers reach for his waist but he grabs hold of them and raises my hands above my head as he bites my lips, licks into my mouth and then sucks on my tongue. Holy fuck, if we weren’t in a public place I’d ask him to pound me straight into oblivion.

“I didn’t know you could dance like that,” he rasps against my cheek as he releases his grip on my hands.

His fingers connect with my neck and he hauls my lips to his again. His tongue digs deep in my mouth and I groan shamelessly as I grab on to his hair and pull him flush against me. I’m so thoroughly turned on that my eyes practically roll to the back of my head.

He drags his mouth away and licks along my jawline up to my ear as he arches his hips into my groin. “You’ve got me so goddamn hard.”

“Yeah?” I ask, gasping against his neck. “Well, I know how to take care of that. Remember, you’ll need to beg.”

He laughs and kisses the side of my head. “Not here. I’d rather have you in my bed tonight.”

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Nyrae Dawn

Nyrae Dawn pic

Nyrae Dawn can almost always be found with a book in her hand or an open document on her laptop. She couldn’t live without books—reading or writing them. Oh, and chocolate. She’s slightly addicted.

She gravitates toward character-driven stories. Whether reading or writing, she loves emotional journeys. It’s icing on the cake when she really feels something, but is able to laugh too. She’s a proud romantic, who has a soft spot for flawed characters, who make mistakes, but also have big hearts.

Whether she’s writing young adult, new adult, or adult you can always count on a healthy dose of romance from her books. She likes to tackle tough subjects, and believes everyone needs to see themselves in the stories they read.

Nyrae is living her very own happily ever after in California with her gorgeous husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two incredibly awesome kids.

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/nyraedawnwrites/?fref=ts

Website:

http://www.rileyhartwrites.com/p/home.html?zx=48696725e5833865

Blog

http://www.rileyhartwrites.com/index.html

Twitter: @NyraeDawn

 

 

Christina Lee

Christina Lee pic

Once upon a time, I lived in New York City and was a wardrobe stylist. I spent my days shopping for photo shoots, getting into cabs, eating amazing food, and drinking coffee at my favorite hangouts.

Now I live in the Midwest with my husband and son—my two favorite guys. I’ve been a clinical social worker and a special education teacher. But it wasn’t until I wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper that I realized I could turn the fairytales inside my head into the reality of writing fiction.

I write Adult, New Adult, and M/M Contemporary Romance. I’m addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. I believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorChristinaLee

Twitter:

http://twitter.com/Christina_Lee04