A MelanieM Review:That Feeling When (#lovehim #1) by S.M. James

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Dance Academy reject, Archie Corrigan, resents the stereotype guy ballet dancers are gay. Because he isn’t. At all. Forced to reassess his life goal at Camp Crystal Cove, it’s by sheer dumb luck he meets Landon Summers, who turns everything Archie was sure of into chaos.

Poor boy turned teen heartthrob, Landon Summers, is the name on everyone’s lips. With his unexpected leap to fame, his agent advises him to keep his bi status on the down low. Not a problem! Until Landon meets Archie.

Their unexpected friendship leads to an inevitable kiss, but their moment is caught in high definition and used as fuel for blackmail. If the truth gets out, Landon’s career could be over, and Archie will be forced to acknowledge the one thing he’s fought to deny.

But how do you go back to your average life once you’ve experienced That Feeling When … you’re finally happy?

I discovered S.M. James and her incredible series when I picked up and read the moving, 5 star story In Case You Missed It, the third novel in this #lovehim series.  That one story just did it for me on so many levels that I had to seek out the rest of the series and, well, start from the beginning.

Why, oh why, have I not found S.M. James before?  What a treasure!  And this series!  I’m running through them far too fast for my own liking because they should be enjoyed far more slowly for the precious caches of revelation, joy, romance, and love each represents.  And what a better way to start a journey with a loosely connected group of people than with That Feeling When (#lovehim #1) by S.M. James.

A coming out and coming of age story set in a summer camp for privileged youth, it delves far below surface exteriors and expectations to get at the truths that lie below.  The story is told from two points of view.  That of Archie Corrigan, scion of one of America’s wealthiest, most influential men (and power couple, his mother is famous in her own right).  His sister and twin is with him as well.  That he is there is due to a lost bet with his father, one that he sees has altered his future permanently  in an awful way. To say he’s unhappy is putting it mildly.  Then he meets Landon and everything goes crashingly off course.

The other perspective?  That of Landon Summers, famous actor, finishing a role in a movie on location at the camp.  That white sounding name is everything he is not.  He’s a bi aboriginal from Australian, homesick, his part in the movie isn’t going well, and he’s feeling lost.  Until he meets Archie.

The relationship between Archie and Landon will make Archie reevaluate not only his sexuality, but his lack of action in making his own path, his being courageous and passionate towards those things that mean the most to him.  After figuring out what they are, if he didn’t already know, and even eventually coming to a greater understanding of his parents and their love and role in his life.  Austen doesn’t let any stereotype go unflipped or unshattered with her characters.  Relationships were by turn subtle,funny, wry, and real at every turn/ It didn’t matter if it was a cringe inducing conversation with a girl over a phone or one you never expected to have with your mother.  I could see each happening in real life as clear as could be.  They each felt that authentic.

And while Archie is painfully trying to work his way through his thoughts about his sexuality, his parents, and, well, everything.  Landon too is feeling lost in his own way.  The author is so good at letting the reader into the heart and soul of this young man so far from his mum and home.  In a place where the night sky’s are so foreign and no one sounds like him.  His need for home becomes almost palpable and will bring you to tears….

The relationship dynamics between Archie and Landon?  Oh, how special.  It just clicks right off the page.  You get it, because it’s magic, you feel the chemistry as though these two were real.  The angst as Archie tries to figure out if he’s brave enough to be gay, Landon as he knows it has to be Archie to work it all out for himself…that’s real too.

There is still plenty of drama here and angst.  But I love the ending.  It’s HFN but these two get another book later on.  Plus you will see them again in book two.

Well, as I said this author and series has me well and truly hooked.  The writing is superb, the characters wonderful and the stories one to take into your heart.  Over and over again.

I didn’t start here but I wish I did.  Yes, I highly recommend That Feeling When (#lovehim #1) by S.M. James.  I also recommend the author and series.  Grab them all up and have a binge fest!

They are all on my must rec list!

Cover art is wonderful.  Light, bright, yet contains elements from the story.  Perfect.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 343 pages
Published September 16th 2018 by May Books
ASINB07DTB7MJ4
Series#lovehim #1

Series #lovehim

That Feeling When

No Big Deal

Release Blitz for In Case You Missed It (#lovehim #3) by S.M. James (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: In Case You Missed It

Author: S. M. James

Publisher: May Books

Cover Artist: Story Styling Cover Designs

Genre/s: YA LGBT romance

Heat Rating: 1-2 flames

Length: 98 000 words/400 pages

It is a standalone story.

Release Date: February 12, 2019

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

 

 

Blurb

Brooks is convinced his life is totally, one hundred percent happy. 

Until Darien tracks him down.

Darien was supposed to be the guy he kissed once and remembered forever, but now he’s back in Brooks’s life, with easy smiles and big ideas.

The first of which … show the homeschooled Brooks everything he’s missed out on. But as the pair work through a spring of playing catch up on life, it becomes obvious to Darien that Brooks has a secret. 

And as things heat up between them, Brooks’s secret might just be Darien’s worst fear.

Because Darien has always lived in the moment. 

But Brooks has always lived for the future he knows is inevitable. 

When life is set to tear them apart, will love be enough to keep them together?



All books in the #lovehim series are stand alones. The series number is the recommended reading order.

 

Excerpt

We cross the front of the school, head past the football field, and into the courtyard. It’s eerily quiet, with filtered sunlight and a soft breeze breaching the concrete quad.

Darien heads for a bench that runs along the base of an enormous tree and flops down onto it. I sit next to him and silence settles gently over my shoulders. The courtyard is surrounded by buildings on three sides, and I vaguely remember one of them as the science wing.

“So this is where you’d eat at breaks on a nice day. Cameron and Chels sit there, and some of the others here, and over there.” He points to an opposite bench. “We’d sit right here, of course. Since you’d be in all the nerd classes, we’d be inseparable over break.” He grips the back of the bench and leans into his hands, grinning over at me.

I swing a leg over the back of the bench so I’m facing him. “And you’d be such a shameless flirt, I’d have to find new friends to save you the embarrassment.”

“No point.” He shrugs. “I’d just follow you there too.”

The thing is, I believe him. I don’t know how anyone can be so effortless about how they feel. He doesn’t try to hide it, but he doesn’t push me either, and the fact he can be so unashamedly into me, makes me want to give him more.

But he’ll get over it. And I have to help him.

I lean away from him a little. “So, is there anyone here who’s caught your eye?”

“There’s this one guy …”

His tone makes me arch my eyebrow. “He wouldn’t be me, would he?”

“See? You’re too damn smart.”

I duck my head as I hold back a laugh. “Seriously though. Nothing is going to happen between us, so it’s okay if you find someone else.”

“Yeah, we’re not doing this.”

I frown. “What do you mean?”

“We’ve been over this, like, a thousand times. Jesus, Brooks, I get it. I just want to spend time with you, as friends, and I don’t need you trying to push me onto someone else.”

“Darien …” I reach for his arm and he shrugs me away. “I’m sorry.”

“Good. Now no more mentioning that shit, okay? My memory is fine, I can make my own damn decisions.”

“You’re right.” But how does he make the right decision when I’m keeping a huge part of myself from him? I take a couple of short breaths, the very real possibility of telling him, looming at the front of my thoughts.

“Here.” Darien finally takes off his backpack and unzips it. He’s packed a heap of food, some I haven’t seen before, and he slides away from me on the bench to set it out between us. “Dig in.”

Lunch is delicious, and I try some of everything. Darien talks me through some of the foods his mom made, like zelnik and tulumba, and it’s so damn good, I’d hang out with him just for the food. After a week of barely eating I don’t hold back, but I didn’t bring my enzyme tablets with me, so it’s close to pointless.

Darien takes some more photos after lunch as we explore the school. He fills me in on little bits and pieces about his first two weeks, and we wind up under the bleachers. He dives into his bag again and pulls out two cigarettes.

I give him a flat look. “Fuck no.”

He smirks. “Goodie two shoes.”

“Nope.” I shake my head, trying to think of how I can get him to put those freaking things away. “I just don’t see the point in sucking on something that can fucking kill you.” My words come out way harsher than I mean, but if he starts on one of those things, I’m leaving him here.

His dark eyebrows furrow, and something goes on behind his eyes that I can’t quite make out, but he just shrugs and grinds the smokes into the ground. “Thank the lord. Don’t think I could have stomached it, even for you.”

I relax a little, though I’m not sure I really believe the words.

He steps closer. “You know, there are other things people do under the bleachers …”

It takes me a second to catch up, and my focus automatically drops to his lips. My stomach is a riot as I try not to focus on how good our first kiss was, all those months ago.

Darien smirks and steps back, breaking my runaway thoughts. He pulls a marker from his bag. “We have to mark we were here, otherwise it doesn’t count.”

“That, I can do.” I take the marker from him and uncap it with a click. Reaching above my head, I hesitate a second, trying to figure out what to write. In the end, I go simple.

BL + DM.

“Those letters look good together,” Darien says. His voice is low and warm and reminds me of summer. His fingers slide down mine as he takes the marker from me.

He reaches up and his shirt pulls higher on his back, leaving this smooth strip of brown skin exposed. The pull to touch him is so strong. I need to feel his skin under my fingertips. It’s a physical battle to hold back, and just as I’m about to fold,

To reach,

To touch,

To give in to him, Darien finishes up, and steps back to survey his work. I blink a few times to try and lessen the fog in my head, then turn my focus up.

He’s drawn a heart around our initials.

 

 

 

About the Author 

S. M. James writes books for teens about squishy sweet characters.

While not writing, SM is a readaholic and Netflix addict who regularly lives on a sustainable diet of chocolate and coffee.

​​Unapologetically dishing out HEAs for LGBTQ characters.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Instagram

Bookbub

Goodreads

 

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of the following:

$30 Amazon gift card (AU or US only)

2 x paperbacks (That Feeling When or To Be Honest) (International)

3 x eBooks (That Feeling When or To Be Honest) (International)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Release Blitz To Be Honest (#lovehim #3) by S. M. James (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: To Be Honest (#lovehim series book 3

Author: S. M. James

Publisher: May Books

Cover Artist: Story Styling Cover Designs

Genre/s: YA LGBT romance

Length: 81,000 words/380 pages

Heat Rating: 1 – 2 flames

It is a standalone story.

Release Date: November 15, 2018

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

Paperback US 

Paperback UK

Paperback AU 

Blurb

2400 miles. Four friends. One big secret.

Angus Reid is pretty sure he’s being catfished. 

After spending the last half of junior year talking online to the guy of his dreams, Angus wants to meet. In person. So when Scotty brushes it off with excuses of not being ready, red flags go up.

Determined to either catch Scotty out, or take a shot at real love, Angus embarks on a summer road trip with his adorkable roommate, Tyler. But as summer stretches on, and mixed messages fly between them, Angus finds his heart torn.

His potential catfisher?

Or his straight best friend?

And while their road trip takes them across the country, Angus is headed for one destination.

Either a happily ever after … or a broken heart.

All books in the #lovehim series are stand alones. The series number is recommended reading order.

Excerpt

I pull out of the parking lot and Tyler directs me to the campsite. The ground is rough as anything, and it’s lucky it’s summer, because I can just imagine that in winter we would be driving on ice.

“Just here,” Tyler points to a space ahead, confirming it on the map the campsite admin handed us.

It’s reasonably busy and we’ve had to drive a bit further down. There’s forest pushing in all around us and I can only spot two other tents. Not that those monstrous things could be called tents.

“Just do you know,” I say as I put the car in park and follow Tyler out. “If I get killed, I’ll hold you personally responsible.”

“If you get killed, I promise I’ll make it up to you.”

“I’ve got to tell you though, I’m not planning on dying a virgin.”

He throws a smirk at me over the roof. “Don’t worry, neither am I.”

I open the trunk and start shifting some of our stuff into the front while Tyler lays down the back seats. When I climb in, a thrum of electricity passes over my skin and I have to remind myself to cool it. We’re just friends. Tyler slides in after me.

“Here.” He hands me some blankets and we set to work making it comfortable before lying back, heads rested at the opening.

It’s so peaceful. The night is still and quiet, holding the warmth of the day, and the stars stretch out above us endlessly, smudges of silver blurring them together. I fold my hands behind my head as Tyler takes off his glasses and tosses them in the front.

“And that right there,” Tyler says in a nasally voice, pointing through the back windshield of the open trunk. “Is the ubulla majorious.”

I give him the side eye, not sure if he’s joking or not. “Oh yeah, and what’s that?” I point to another cluster.

“The fibrosious enema.

“And that?”

Ursulla’s Uranus.

I snort, rolling onto my side to look at him. “You are so full of shit.”

“I swear.” He lays a hand over his heart. “See? There’s Angusius’s Titianus.”

He finally gets a laugh out of me and I shove his shoulder a little. “I think your brain’s broken.”

“Nope. It remembers everything, remember, Angus?”

“I do remember. Which is why I wouldn’t be surprised if you knew all the actual names of the constellations and were just goofing around.”

He tries to hold back a guilty smile.

We lapse into a comfortable silence, him staring up at the stars, and me staring at everything but him.

I hesitate. “Thanks for not bailing on me.”

“Are you kidding? It was a choice between this and going home. Trust me, it was a no brainer.”

“I’m honored.” I roll my eyes.

He chuckles softly and pokes me in the bicep. Two fingers. Just like the first day we met. “You should be. You’re always my first choice.”

My cheeks heat and my stomach twists painfully. I’m well aware of his teasing tone but somehow my body completely misses it. “I mean, I wouldn’t say you’re my first choice. At least second or third, though.”

“Ho-oh!” He hangs his head back, showing off his long neck. “You’ve wounded me.”

“Need mouth to mouth?”

He cracks up. “I’d probably enjoy it too much.”

He’s teasing. Teasing. But damn it, if I don’t get this flirting under control it’s only a matter of when not if our friendship implodes.

I’m dying to trace my lips over that long, smooth stretch of skin just below his ear.

He rests his head to the side, looking at me, and a chunk of hair flops down in his eyes. “Have you heard from Scotty yet?”

The lust dries up as worry kicks in. “No, actually. I’m trying not to think about it.”

“I’m sure he’s fine.”

“If he’s done something—”

“No. He wouldn’t have. From what you’ve told me it was his choice, you can’t think like that.”

I scrub a hand over my face. “I basically forced it on him though.”

“Hey.” Tyler’s fingers circle my wrist and he tugs my hand away. “Nope. We’re not doing this. You don’t control other people’s choices. Not today, not tomorrow, just don’t.”

“If only it was that simple.” I sigh.

“It is.” He’s so certain I almost believe him. Instead I reach out and pull the back door closed.

“I’m tired,” I say, tucking up my legs. And if my legs are too long for the space, Tyler’s definitely will be.

With the door closed the outside world is cut off. Tyler turns back to the window, looking up at the sky, and for the thousandth time this year, I wish I had someone to share my feelings with. It sounds lame as hell but I could really use a hug. I just want somebody to be my somebody.

And with Scotty gone, I’m further from that than ever.

About the Author

S.M. James writes books for teens about squishy sweet characters.

While not writing, SM is a readaholic and Netflix addict who regularly lives on a sustainable diet of chocolate and coffee.

​​Unapologetically dishing out HEAs for LGBTQ characters.

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Instagram

BookBub

Goodreads

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of the following:

$30 Amazon gift card (AU or US only)

2 x paperbacks international (That Feeling When or To Be Honest)

3 x eBooks international (That Feeling When or To Be Honest)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Blog Tour for That Feeling When by S. M. James (author interview, excerpt and giveaway)

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BLOG TOUR

Book Title: That Feeling When

Author: S. M. James

Publisher: May Books

Cover Artist: Story Styling

Genre/s: YA, LGBT, contemporary romance

Length: 77,000 Words/343 pages

Release Date: September 16, 2018 (Available now in paperback)

Add on Goodreads

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue  Words is happy to host S. M. James today. Thank you for stopping by! Tell us a little about yourself and your writing goals.

Congratulations on your new release. Please tell us a little bit about it. What’s your favorite aspect or part of the story? Do you have a favorite character? Who/Why?

Yikes, yeah. It’s nerve-wracking stuff, especially as this book kicks off a 6-book series of stand alones PLUS their short stories. So we’ll see how that goes.

That Feeling When is a dual POV YA, which alternates chapters between Landon and Archie as they figure out who they are, and how far they’ll go for love. As for a favourite character, I don’t think there’s any way to pick. I finished writing this book and actually missed these guys, which is one of the totally weird and wonderful things about being a writer. And now I’ve finished writing To Be Honest, I feel the same way about those guys.

As for my favourite part, there’s a certain scene involving a camera, an audition, and a whole lot of trust, that really builds Archie and Landon’s relationship up to another level and was a lot of fun to write. It was great to see Archie finally let go of his insecurities.

  • What is your favorite underappreciated novel?

Noah Can’t Even by Simon James Green. Holy moly that book was hilarious and I seriously rec it everywhere I go. I can’t remember a book actually making me laugh out loud before—the situations Noah kept getting himself into just got more and more ridiculous. And the sequel lived up to it, which is always a great surprise. I need to reread this one soon.

  • Does your research lead to bizarre internet searches? If so, tell us about some of your wackier searches, or ones that would make you nervous if your computer were ever confiscated by law enforcement.

Heh, umm. You could say that. There have been bombs, automatic weapons, and disposing of bodies, because what else do characters in a fantasy novel need to know? For one of my genre novels I had to look up how long it took for a dead body to decompose, and there was this post about ‘Coffin births’ and DON’T LOOK IT UP because gross! So gross! (And if you did look it up, sorry to scar you for life but you were warned.) As you can tell, I’m still not past it.

The most interesting thing I’ve researched for contemporary is anterograde amnesia. Some of the stories from people living with it were almost beyond comprehension. For my next novel, I’m continuing my research into Cystic Fibrosis and the impact it has on day to day life.

  • Who would play the main characters in a movie about your book?

Haha there’s a reason I don’t cast movies.

I feel like I should have a Pinterest board for this kind of question but it is appallingly hard to find Aboriginal actors. I did watch an interview with Mark Coles Smith once, who may not look exactly like Landon, but had the same kind of boyish charm.

For Archie, man, take your pick. Brenton Thwaites, Billy Unger, Nick Robertson. If they can manage surly and vulnerable, we’re good.

  • What is your favorite quote?

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry. But why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

(Five guesses what this is from).

 

 

Blurb

Dance Academy reject, Archie Corrigan, resents the stereotype guy ballet dancers are gay. Because he isn’t. At all. Forced to reassess his life goal at Camp Crystal Cove, it’s by sheer dumb luck he meets Landon Summers, who turns everything Archie was sure of into chaos.

Poor boy turned teen heartthrob, Landon Summers, is the name on everyone’s lips. With his unexpected leap to fame, his agent advises him to keep his bi status on the down low. Not a problem! Until Landon meets Archie.

Their unexpected friendship leads to an inevitable kiss, but their moment is caught in high definition and used as fuel for blackmail. If the truth gets out, Landon’s career could be over, and Archie will be forced to acknowledge the one thing he’s fought to deny.

But how do you go back to your average life once you’ve experienced That Feeling When … you’re finally happy?

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited 

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Excerpt

Landon Summers is into guys. I think he likes you.

And while Meredith didn’t say anything about me, there was something way too

knowing in her look. Everyone else seems too into their own lives to be paying us any

attention, and even when we’re announced winners of the trivia, my celebration doesn’t

crack the surface chill that’s taken over me.

Meredith’s wrapped her arm through mine, and she’s cheering with the others, one hand

in the air.

I’m a week in the past. Watching Landon pull on that stupid costume in the dark. The

spark in his eyes as he thanked me. The brush of his skin on mine.

How was that only a week ago?

Why can’t I go back and enjoy that moment more? Savor my time with him?

Really take it all in, before he went and messed it all up.

About the Author

SM James in an Australian author who writes books for teens about squishy sweet characters. While not writing, SM is a readaholic and netflix addict who regularly lives on a sustainable diet of chocolate and coffee. Member of SCBWI. Unapologetically dishing out HEAs for LGBT+ characters.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Instagram

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of the following prizes:

1 x Paperback copy of That Feeling When (US only)

2 x $15 Amazon gift card (international)

3 x eBook copy of That Feeling When (international)

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 Hosted by Gay Book Promotions