A Lucy Release Day Review: The Kinsey Scale (Campus Connections #1) by CJane Elliott

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Life is good for Eric Brown. He’s a senior theater major, an RA for a freshman dorm, and has a great circle of friends. Single since sophomore year, Eric isn’t looking for love. But then Will Butler—fellow senior, co-RA, and the cutest guy Eric’s ever seen—walks into his dorm. Will has a girlfriend he sees off campus—a minor disappointment that becomes a major problem when a housing shortage causes Will and Eric to become roommates, and Eric is forced to witness Will’s hotness day in and day out. For protection, Eric asks Jerry, his ex-boyfriend, to pretend they’re still together. Jerry warns him it’s a stupid idea, but he reluctantly agrees.

Too bad it won’t save Eric from losing his heart.

Will Butler has never believed in himself. His dysfunctional family saw to that. Although Will has loved music since childhood, he’s never seriously considered pursuing it, and the person he’s dating doesn’t encourage him. Then he and Eric Brown become roommates, and everything changes. Eric believes in Will and his talent. He’s also gorgeous and playful and fast becoming Will’s best friend. And that’s not good, because Will is hiding some big things, not only from Eric, but from himself.

This novella (89 pages) does a good job of making me like both Eric and Will.  They are co-RA in a freshman dorm who, by some overcrowding of the college, end up having to room together.  The fact that Eric initially takes Will for a freshman and then has a little meltdown about it, “Uh, don’t take it personally.  I’m a drama queen on my best days” show how laid back Will is.  So it shouldn’t be a hardship for them to share a room, right? 

Together, they make a great RA team and they take it seriously.  They also get to be friends, even as Eric has a crush he hides due to Will having a girlfriend, Jesse, that he visits every weekend.  Will’s Texas drawl, his musical talent and his sense of humor all work together to make Eric fall even more.  In desperation, he calls on his friend and former boyfriend, Jerry, to act as his current boyfriend.  Jerry is a doll and with some bribery, agrees.  I have to say I loved both Jerry and Tyrone and hopefully they will be getting stories as well but I didn’t really see the point of the fake boyfriend being thrown in there.

“Only you could get three flaming queens like me, Jerry and Tyrone to have brunch in a sports bar.”  That’s the power of the likeability of Will.  As they get to know each other more, Eric is fighting his attraction, Will is spending less time with Jesse and more time with Eric, and we have the lovely Jerry there being awesome. Jerry is actually the one who tries to tell Eric that straight or not, Will has a thing for Eric. Which of course Eric doesn’t believe. A discussion about the Kinsey scale turns Eric’s preconceptions around a bit.

Since it is just a novella, there are things I wish had been fleshed out more.  Will’s right-wing, Trump supporting, homophobic, alcohol loving family is mentioned but no real background is given.  I’d loved to have known the why’s of the music vs economics in more detail.  This isn’t insta-love because they take their time becoming friends but I’d loved to have had more.  Just more.  That aside, I liked this one very much and I hope the series continues.

Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas. The cover was a little off for me.  It shows a shirtless man (Eric?) peeking out what appears to be a shower door as another man (Will?) is studying.  I didn’t get it – Will isn’t overly studious in the book, at least no more than Eric is – and Eric doesn’t flaunt himself throughout.  So was kind of a miss.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 89 pages
Expected publication: November 9th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB07HPD6Z82

Series Campus Connections #1

A Jeri Review: A Good Enough Reason by C.M. Lievens

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Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

A Good Enough ReasonComing of age/teenage romance stories can be tough. Too much can be….icky, but not enough leaves you wanting so much more. Just as teenagers skate a fine line between being children and adults, stories based on them can skate that line as well. But this book did that really well.

Ellis is your typical nerdy loner with one friend. Well, he had two but one of them moved away.  Dale is Mr. Jock Popularity in school. We all knew him, that guy that everyone loved and he loved everyone back. So when Ellis and Dale are paired together for an English topic to debate for and against a topic, Dale thinks he is being cool by suggesting they debate if gay teens should get the same perks as straight teens as far as prom goes. Ellis assumes Dale is mocking him and it takes a while to convince Ellis that even though he is popular, Dale is a good guy. He even wants to find him a prom date.

Dale and Ellis grow closer, with Dale pushing the boundaries of friendship. And while this could have come off as supremely cocky of him, it didn’t. He genuinely seemed like a kid who wanted to explore his bisexuality with someone he not only considered a friend, but someone he was really attracted to.

Ellis is wary, but doesn’t throw up walls of “stay away seemingly straight dude”! He has a sounding board in his friend who moved away and best friend who is witnessing it all.

The author also does an amazing job of dealing with bullying. Not only how easily and often it happens, but how it is so overlooked by teachers. They just don’t take it seriously until it goes too far. And usually the person being bullied doesn’t want to come out and say anything because ultimately that makes the bullying worse. One scene, which I will call “the locker incident”, when Ellis is just dumbfounded that he is getting in trouble for something that happened TO him, I was heartbroken. Because it happens every.single.day.

This was a really great young adult romance story with a lot of meat to it. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would actually love to read more about Dale and Ellis.

Cover art by Bree Archer is lovely and works for the story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 220 pages
Published May 23rd 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634772520 (ISBN13: 9781634772525)
Edition LanguageEnglish

In our Spotlight: John Wiley’s Rooftops! (author guest post and giveaway)

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rooftops-640

Title: Rooftops
Author: John Wiley
Publisher: Wayward ink Publishing

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have John Wiley here today to talk about his latest release Rooftops and his sequel, Wake Me Up. Welcome, John. Can you tell us what inspired the story?

When I set out to write Rooftops, I never intended on making it into a series. However, after self-publishing it, I had several questions about when a sequel would be available, that people wanted to know what happened next. Revisiting these characters was hard for me to do. I don’t have a definite reason why this was, and I hope that when I revisit them in the third book I’ll find it easier to find their voices again than I did in the sequel, which will be called Wake Me Up.

The intent of this blog post is to tell you as much about the sequel as I can, without giving away anything that happens in Rooftops. Where Rooftops takes place between Ohio (I know the exact city, but for some reason have never come out and said exactly where in Ohio it takes place) and Los Angeles, Wake Me Up takes place between Los Angeles and New York City. The characters in Los Angeles deal with picking up the pieces of his/her/their lives after the events of Rooftops have occurred. There are issues of depression that are touched on, and I hope that I made those feelings of hopelessness come through in the story.

One of my favorite parts of the LA storyline in Wake Me Up is that it works to redeem a character from Rooftops that came off as a sort of villain. Personally, I like to believe that there is good to everyone, and that there are two sides to every story. I really hope that I have accomplished making this character feel human and that even though s/he made a mistake in Rooftops, s/he isn’t a bad person.

The NYC portion of the story follows two couples, and how the two relationships go in two different directions. Just because you think something is happily ever after doesn’t mean there won’t be a few hiccups along the way. Or maybe some happily ever after’s don’t last as long as others.

I know this is vague, I’m just trying my best to explain the story without giving anything away

Rooftops is more about finding out what your goals in life really are. Erick wanted money, Rhys wanted fame, and Joey wanted love. Wake Me Up is about what these characters do to achieve their dreams. And just because they think those are their goals in life, life could have other plans for them.

One of the things that I like in Wake Me Up, is that there is a twist that you (hopefully) don’t see coming, and that it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, setting up the third book.

Synopsis

Its summer and three friends from Ohio graduate college, ready to start making their way in the real world.

Rhys; the eternal optimist who wants to be an actor and moves to Los Angeles.

Erick; the career man, seeking money and position who moves with him.

And Joey; the aspiring artist, who for the love of his girlfriend, Cheryl, stays behind in Ohio.

While attempting to follow their dreams each must face their share of personal and professional obstacles. Each is tested. Will they lose sight of themselves?

Will old friendships fall apart and new friendships form?

Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance, New Adult
Length: Novel

rooftops cover

 

Buy Now

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/rooftops-by-john-wiley-2/
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017WTSERW/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017WTSERW/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B017WTSERW/
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B017WTSERW/
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-rooftops-1925759-149.html
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rooftops-john-wiley/1116239529?ean=9781925222715

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Giveaway

Prize: $6.99 WIP Gift Card, must be 18 years of age or older to enter. link and prize provided by the author and Eyes on Books Promotions.

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About the author

JOHN WILEY is currently a barista that hates coffee, but is really good at making it. When not writing, he likes to expose his cat to as many Christmas movies as possible. Just like his life, his biography is a work in progress.

Website: https://heckyesitsjohn.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeckYesItsJohn
Tumblr: http://heckyesitsjohn.tumblr.com/