A Lucy Review: Curl Around My Heart by Londra Laine

Standard

Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5

Tate Robinson is the owner of a salon who is unapologetic about who he is and what he likes.  Mostly, anyway.  He’s a successful business owner who has won competitions for his hair design but feels less than when he visits his family.  But he’s an awesome boss and a kind person.  So when a man walks into the salon at closing time with a young girl in a football uniform desperately needing help with her helmet head braids because tomorrow is picture day he is really unable to turn them down.  That’s how he meets Reece and his daughter, LJ.  When he finally, finally gets home after an incredibly long busy day at work all he wants to do is lay on the couch and veg.  Unfortunately, a new neighbor upstairs is causing a ruckus moving furniture and Tate can’t stand it.  He runs upstairs, pounds on the door only to find…LJ.  His new neighbors are Reece and LJ. Uh oh.

What ends up happening is Reece needs help with the hair department and is willing to trade cooking for Tate.  It’s a win-win situation. He works a lot and he cares for his clients – he is also very honest with them when they ask.  “He held a strict policy that he never commented on his clients’ lives, never passed judgement to their faces anyway, or gave them unsolicited advice.  Now, solicited advice he had no problem doling out in spades.”  And it’s good advice.  Sometimes I wanted someone to give him some advice about his family, especially when the closeness of Reece and LJ get him sad.  “That closeness jogged long ago memories from when he was a kid, before his own father stopped talking to him…”

Reece can understand family issues because even though his mama talks to him and helps with LJ, she is a nonstop criticizer who is just waiting for Reece to fail.  “But he wondered why his mama had not gotten that gene that other parents had – the one where they believed in their kids, even when their kids didn’t believe in themselves.”  What her actions do is lead him to believe that he isn’t good enough, as a man, as a parent, as a son.  He and LJ have gone through a lot, particularly because of LJ’s mom, Jenna, and he’s handled it so well but he can only see the negative.  He’s bisexual, a fact that Jenna threw in her parent’s faces as an act of rebellion and now they make comments to LJ about it.

Doing LJ’s hair and sharing meals ends up leading to them being friends and then more.  But it isn’t easy for either of them.  Tate is waiting for Reece to leave him and Reece is sure he will mess it all up. Reece is so supportive of Tate while he deals with family , getting bothered because Tate gives up the heels, the makeup, the colorful clothes for dull when he visits his family. Reece lets his daughter be who she is – football and princesses?  Of course!  He thinks Tate should have that too. 

So the story is focused on Tate and Reece (and LJ) for the majority until Jenna throws them a curveball, one that Reece doesn’t handle in the best way. I felt so awful for Tate and for Reece, even though I felt he was to blame for it.  It gives him the courage to finally stand up to his mother but at what price?   Everything isn’t totally on Reece, it’s a two way street, but it was heartbreaking.

This is where the story lost some for me, because we started getting a couple of time hops that were aggravating.  “He just hoped Tate would be open to hearing him when Reece was ready to talk.”  The next chapter is “A month later”.  I thought WHAT?  At least Tate had an ally in his brother’s new girlfriend, Keilani, and it is her that makes Tate able to stand up to his father. 

Overall, I enjoyed the book and I was pulling for everything to work out with these guys.  The writing was fine – no over the top dialogue or awkwardness I had to figure out.  Okay, I have to admit there were phrases here that made me cringe.  I’m sure it’s just a personal preference but I can’t stand to read things like “…fully exposed, grasping empty hole” or “…red, wet grasping orifice…”  Just ugh. But those were few.  I felt the connection between Tate and Reece and that was important.

The cover art by Resplendent Media is a grayscale photo of two men, Reece and Tate.  It’s a little sedate, although very fitting for the book, so I wish there had been a glimpse of Tate’s sparkle and shine because that’s what made him Tate.

I do have to take a second to address the dedication of this book.  Dedicated to the uncle of the author, it was so bittersweet that it made me want to cry.  We don’t know the story of the uncle but the sadness comes through. 

Sales Links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Blurb

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 210 pages
Expected publication: July 24th 2018
ASINB07DTNBSNV
Edition Language English

Release Blitz – Curl Around My Heart by Londra Laine (excerpt)

Standard

RELEASE BLITZ

Title: Curl Around My Heart

Author: Londra Laine

Editor: Jae Ashley

Cover Art: Aria Tan

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: July 24, 2018

Rating: 18+

Page Count: 168

Word Count: 61,923

Themes: California, single dad, beauty shop, contemporary, neighbor romance, African-American, drug addiction

Add on Goodreads 

BUY LINKS – AVAILABLE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Blurb

At Pearl’s Hair and Nails, no one questions Tate Robinson about his high heels, crop tops, and lipstick, because he’s the boss and he can wear what he damn well pleases. The shop is his life, and he doesn’t need anything more. Until a man walks in with his adorable daughter, and Tate has to untangle her helmet-hair…and his growing feelings for the single dad.

Reece Evans has been on his job for years, has his own place, and now has custody of his eight-year-old daughter. But he doesn’t trust himself to avoid screwing up. Adulting is not his strong suit—or so he’s been told.And now a sexy beautician, who also happens to be his new downstairs neighbor, has Reece wanting and reaching for more than he thinks he’s capable of.

As Tate and Reece move past their own fears about relationships, Reece’s ex issues a threat that could destroy everything. Will Reece’s worries about other people judging him undermine his budding romance? And will Tate’s fear of rejection make him push Reece away? Or have the sweet single dad and his precocious daughter curled too tightly around his heart to give them up?

***Please be aware that this book contains references to drug addiction.***

Excerpt 

Eventually they eased away from each other, their lips pressing briefly against a cheek, an eyelid, the corner of a mouth, until their foreheads were touching as they shared slightly labored breaths.

“I like you, Tate.” The words spilled from Reece as though Tate had wrung them from him. Tate pulled back, forcing Reece to disentangle their legs. Tate was in profile to Reece now, his head dropped against the back of the couch. His stomach seized and his confidence drained, waiting to hear Tate’s response.

“I like you too, Reece,” the other man mumbled.

Oh, thank fuck.

Reece sighed in relief as Tate shifted to meet his gaze.

“I’m crazy attracted to you. Obviously. But, I’m just nervous because guys like you⎯”

Reece’s hackles rose. “Guys like me?”

Tate closed his eyes briefly then opened them. “Yeah. Guys like you. Stereotypically male. Not so obviously queer. Well, they’ve been attracted to me, dated me. But inevitably break things off, because they think I’m too femme. Too flamboyant.” Tate’s shine flickered, and a well of heat raced up Reece’s chest.

“Well, fuck those dudes,” Reece said, throwing himself back on the couch. “And don’t ever compare me to them. I see you, Tate.” He turned his head and waited until Tate met his gaze. “I like what I see. All of it. All of you. You look good to me in heels,kicks, tight-ass ladies’ jeans, and sweats too. I just like you, man.” He ended his little tirade on a shaky breath and then leaned over to brush his lips against Tate’s.

As he went to pull back, Tate trapped Reece against him, gliding his tongue across the seam of Reece’s lips, coaxing Reece to open then luring him into an urgent kiss. Their lips and noses smashed, teeth bit and clacked as they clutched at each other before Tate pulled back abruptly.

“What am I doing?” Tate whispered, resting his head against Reece’s. “You have a kid. You’re my client. My neighbor.” He pulled back, his face serious, eyes searching Reece’s. “And I like to top. Mostly. Like seventy-thirty.” Tate lifted his chin as though waiting for Reece to object.

Reece just smiled, his dick twitching at the thought of Tate topping him, bending him over the couch and making him wail. He brushed his lips against Tate’s. “Well, lucky for both of us then that I like to bottom, mostly. I’d say about sixty-forty. I figure we can meet somewhere in the middle. As far as the other stuff goes… What? You discriminating against me?”

Tate shook his head. “No, it’s just that I’ve been here before, okay. With the straight guys, the bi guys, even the gay ones, and most of them just wanted to fuck and didn’t even want to take me out on a date because I was too effeminate for them.” Tate waved his hand. “Too whatever, too…me, and I just…” He trailed off.

“You expect me to be like them,” Reece finished.

Tate groaned then covered his face briefly. “No, okay? Maybe. Ugh. It’s hard not to expect this to be the same, you know?” Tate grimaced.

Disappointment surged through Reece but then quickly dissipated. Tate didn’tthink Reece would personally fuckup whatever this was that was starting between them. No, this had nothing to do with Reece. Tate had been burned, and Reece could relate.He couldn’t make any promises about the outcome of their budding whatever it was, but he damn sure wanted to try. He didn’t want to be to Tate what all the other men who’d come before had been.

Reece grabbed Tate’s hand, turning to face the man. “Well, how about we do the unexpected? Can I take you out next Friday after work?” Reece held his breath.

About the Author 

Londra Laine

A forever-man for every man

Londra has loved to read since she discovered The Baby-Sitters Club. As a child, her parents would ground her by taking all the books out of her room for several days. Londra began reading romance in 2008 and fell in love with the M/M romance genre after purchasing a book by accident several years later.

After decades of daydreaming, and jotting down story ideas, Londra decided to give life to the characters in her head. She writes to give her guys the happy ending she wishes everyone––no matter their race, religion, gender, or orientation––could experience in real life.

During the day, Londra is a communications manager for a consulting firm. She is a recovering journalist. Londra loves the New York Yankees, Seinfeld reruns, tacos, and Friday nights on the couch with wine and a new book.

In 2010, she moved from her native California to New York City where she lived in Harlem for nearly eight years. In early 2018 she relocated to Seattle with her husband

Social Media Links

Londra on Twitter

Londra on Amazon

Londra on QueeRomance Ink

Londra on Goodreads

Londra on Facebook

Amazon 

Goodreads

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Cover Reveal for Curl Around My Heart by Londra Laine (excerpt)

Standard

 

COVER REVEAL

 

 

Title: Curl Around My Heart
Author: Londra Laine
Editor: Jae Ashley
Cover Art: Aria Tan
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: July 24, 2018
Rating: 18+
Page Count: 168
Word Count: 61,923
Themes: California, single dad, beauty shop, contemporary, neighbor romance, African-American, drug addiction
 
 

Blurb

At Pearl’s Hair and Nails, no one questions Tate Robinson about his high heels, crop tops, and lipstick,because he’s the boss and he can wear what he damn well pleases. The shop is his life, and he doesn’t need anything more. Until a man walks in with his adorable daughter, and Tate has to untangle her helmet-hair…and his growing feelings for the single dad.

Reece Evans has been on his job for years, has his own place, and now has custody of his eight-year-old daughter. But he doesn’t trust himself to avoid screwing up. Adulting is not his strong suit—or so he’s been told.And now a sexy beautician, who also happens to be his new downstairs neighbor, has Reece wanting and reaching for more than he thinks he’s capable of.

As Tate and Reece move past their own fears about relationships, Reece’s ex issues a threat that could destroy everything. Will Reece’s worries about other people judging him undermine his budding romance? And will Tate’s fear of rejection make him push Reece away? Or have the sweet single dad and his precocious daughter curled too tightly around his heart to give them up?

***Please be aware that this book contains references to drug addiction.***

ExcerptThe little knucklehead gave him a sly grin. “Maybe if you ask Mr. Tate on a date, he won’t be so cranky and he’ll do my hair?”

Reece snapped, “And what makes you think he’d even want a date with me anyway?”

“’Cause he looked at you the same way you looked at him,” LJ said matter-of- factly.

“And how is that exactly?”

LJ did what he assumed was an impression of the way he and Tate had allegedly checked each other out. She pursed her lips, looked at Reece, then turned her head away quickly, then snapped her head back toward Reece again from head to toe.

“That’s how you both looked at each other,” she said, shrugging, stuffing her mouth with the last of her roast.

Well. Damn.

He pushed away from the table, rising to his feet. “Well, I’m not doing this alone. Put your shoes on. We’re going downstairs.”

About the Author 
Londra Laine
A forever-man for every man

Londra has loved to read since she discovered The Baby-Sitters Club. As a child, her parents would ground her by taking all the books out of her room for several days. Londra began reading romance in 2008 and fell in love with the M/M romance genre after purchasing a book by accident several years later.

After decades of daydreaming, and jotting down story ideas, Londra decided to give life to the characters in her head. She writes to give her guys the happy ending she wishes everyone––no matter their race, religion, gender, or orientation––could experience in real life.

During the day, Londra is a communications manager for a consulting firm. She is a recovering journalist. Londra loves the New York Yankees, Seinfeld reruns, tacos, and Friday nights on the couch with wine and a new book.

In 2010, she moved from her native California to New York City where she lived in Harlem for nearly eight years. In early 2018 she relocated to Seattle with her husband

Social Media Links