Tag Archives: Vanessa North

New Release! Blueberry Boys by Vanessa North *Review, Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Blueberry Boys
by Vanessa North

An M/M Contemporary Romance
From Riptide Publishing
Released November 30th 2015

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Connor Graham is a city boy—a celebrated fashion photographer in New York. When his uncle’s death drags him back to the family blueberry farm, all he wants to do is sell it as quickly as he can. Until he meets his uncle’s tenant farmer.

Jed Jones, shy and stammering, devout and dedicated, has always yearned for land of his own and a man to share it with. Kept in the closet by his church, family, and disastrous first love, he longs to be accepted for who he is. But now, with his farm and his future in Connor’s careless hands, he stands to lose even the little he has.

Neither man expects the connection between them. Jed sees Connor—appreciates his art and passion like no one else in this godforsaken town ever has. Connor hears Jed—looks past his stutter to listen to the man inside. The time they share is idyllic, but with the farm sale pending, even their sanctuary is a source of tension. As work, family, and their town’s old-fashioned attitudes pull them apart, they must find a way to reconcile commitments to their careers and to each other.

 

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Review

3-stars

Jed’s life revolves around his family and tending the land he rents. His dream of owning his own farm is put at risk now that the owner has dies and his out of town nephew is thinking of selling. When Connor returns to the town he left behind after high school graduation he’s not ready to deal with all the emotions his return brings forth. Inheriting his uncle’s farm is not helping matters neither is meeting the handsome man that rents it.

I liked this story very much, but I felt that there were some things missing within that took away from my overall enjoyment of it.

Jed and Connor were great characters to get to know and although I enjoyed them together, I couldn’t help but think that their connection lacked in dept and strength. However, I appreciated the fact that the author allowed me the opportunity to get to know Jed and Connor, especially in regards to what drove them. Especially since it provided insight into what issues Jed and Connor had to work through to make something work between them.

Connor had issues with being back in the town that ostracized him for being gay back in high school. He especially had issues with his brother and his treatment towards Connor. Although the author made the effort to show how Connor came to accept that the town had changed some, I still felt that his issues with his brothers were too easily wrapped up with a simple conversation.

I liked that Vanessa North touched upon the importance of Jed’s religious beliefs in his life and how it related to his sexuality. Although I appreciated that Jed showed some growth in that regard, I think it was glossed over too quickly, especially when it came to his coming out. It was great to see how Jed ultimately allowed himself the chance for something more with Connor while still at peace with his beliefs, but it was resolved too easily considering Jed’s initial statements.

I think that the length of the story got in the way of the author resolving these issues completely. A couple more pages/passages focused on these issues would have helped the story to feel complete for me. Alas, it didn’t work that way.

Having said that, I do think that Blueberry Boys was a sweet romantic story that brought together too individuals that weren’t looking for love but took the chance to work for it when it appeared it came their way.

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Excerpt

Oh fuck.

Connor didn’t remember standing up and leaving the table, or the screen porch door slamming behind him. He just felt an overwhelming urge to get the hell away from all those people, their happy game, the cloying familiarity that wasn’t, and the next thing he knew, he was pacing in the front yard.

“Hey,” Jed called from behind Connor. “You okay?”

Connor nodded, but the nod changed into a shake as he sat on the front steps. “Yes. No. I don’t know, actually.”

“You want t-to talk?” Jed sat beside him, brushing their thighs together as if by accident. He didn’t move away, just let his leg touch Connor’s. It was a nice, comforting touch. Connor wanted to turn into Jed’s body, bury his face in that slim shoulder, and howl out his pain. Of course he couldn’t do that, because that’s the kind of intimacy grown men didn’t share unless they were lovers, and sometimes, not even then.

How was it that the death of Kyle Bauer hit so much harder than that of Connor’s own uncle? Because Kyle’s was suicide and Bruce’s was a heart attack? Because Kyle’s happened two years ago and he never knew? Or because Kyle left a wife and kids behind and Connor’s family was so broken? Wife and kids.

“Did he leave a note?” Connor’s voice was tight and raspy, even to his own ears.

“Nah.” Jed shook his head. “Big m-mystery.”

“Did you know him?” Connor searched Jed’s face.

“Knew him well enough to know he was qu-queer.” He shrugged, jutting his chin. “Not many people in town knew that.”

“That doesn’t make his life less valuable,” Connor hissed.

“Didn’t say it did.” Jed shrugged again. “M-might make it m-more so. To s-some people.”

Connor closed his eyes. “He wasn’t my lover.”

“Nope.”

“We were friends. I guess I always hoped he’d come out too.”

Jed snorted. “Not here. You th-think he could come out, sit in his family pew at the big white church, and face judgment from the closed-minded people in this town? You think K-Kyle fuckin’ Bauer was strong enough for that?”

“You have strong feelings about what it takes to be gay in Blandford? Or maybe about who deserves to sit in that church? Christ, and people act like they don’t understand why I left.”

“Please, d-don’t take the Lord’s name in v-vain,” Jed whispered. “I have a lot of st-strong feelings about that too.”

“Of course you do.” Connor stood and paced into the front yard again. “You drop the f-bomb like it was Kyle’s middle name, and you’re offended I said ‘Christ.’ I fucking hate this town.”

“I’m not this town— Hell, half the t-time I hate it too. If you hate me, j-just say it.”

Connor stopped short. “I don’t hate you.”

“D-didn’t think you did.”

“You confuse the hell out of me.”

Jed cocked his head to the side and stared. “Why?”

“Are you gay?”

Jed wouldn’t meet his eyes. “That’s a c-complicated question.”

– See more at: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/blueberry-boys#sthash.JtNcLmib.dpuf

 

About the Author

Author of over a dozen novels, novellas, and short stories, Vanessa North delights in giving happy-ever-afters to characters who don’t think they deserve them. Relentless curiosity led her to take up knitting and run a few marathons “just to see if she could.” She started writing for the same reason. Her very patient husband pretends not to notice when her hobbies take over the house. Living and writing in Northwest Georgia, she finds her attempts to keep a quiet home are frequently thwarted by twin boy-children and a very, very large dog.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Blueberry Boys, Vanessa North is giving away a $30 Amazon gift card! Your first comment at each stop on this tour enters you in the drawing. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 5, 2015. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries.

Follow the tour for more opportunities to enter the giveaway! Don’t forget to leave your email or method of contact so Riptide can reach you if you win!

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Tour: Rough Road (Lake Lovelace #2) by Vanessa North *Review and Giveaway*

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Rough Road (Lake Lovelace #2)
by Vanessa North

An M/M Contemporary Romance
From Riptide Publishing
Released September 28th 2015

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Eddie Russell is many things: A wealthy pillar of the community. An outrageous flirt. A doting best friend. A masochist with a kink for brawling with his bedmates. But he is definitely not a man who invites intimacy. His friends are close but few, his lovers rarer still.

When Eddie runs his Mercedes off the road on a hot July afternoon, Wish Carver comes to his aid—and leaves his number in Eddie’s phone. Wish, a road crew worker half Eddie’s age and sexy as sin, seems fascinated by Eddie’s different sides. Mutual attraction and compatible kinks ignite the sheets, but it’s their connection outside the bedroom that Eddie begins to crave.

When the two come down on opposite sides of a local issue, Eddie finds his growing feelings for Wish at odds with his business interests and his devotion to his best friend, local wakeboarding legend Ben Warren. Torn between old loyalties and his new love, Eddie is reluctant to make a choice. But he knows he can’t make Wish wait too long to make up his mind.

 

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Review

5-stars

Phew! I loved Double Up and although I expected the book that would follow to be great, I wasn’t expecting it to be this awesome. Boy was I wrong. Not only was this better in the way the characters related to each other, but it was also hella hotter!

We met Eddie Russell on Double Up as Ben’s flamboyant, in-your-face best friend. He left quite an impression on me then, but it was by reading his story that I ultimately fell in love with his every facet.

At first sight, you wouldn’t put much stock in who he is. He’s honest to a fault, loyal and unapologetic about who he is and what he wants. All this I learned in the previous story, but after finishing his story I have to say that he is so much more than meets the eye. Here’s a man who loves deeply, who yearns for something more and hasn’t allowed himself the chance to pursue it.

Then Wish Carver crosses his path and turns his life upside down–in a good way. Wish is a 24-year old road worker. He’s easy going, charming and kinky as can get. A dirty talker with a heart of gold, he sees something in Eddie that he would like to explore further and he will not be deterred. He’s determined to make Eddie see him for who he is and not the idea Eddie has of him. He may be young, but he’s the ideal man to make Eddie soar.

I loved this story! (I think I said that before, but it bears repeating.)

What I most enjoyed about this story was the way Vanessa North brought Wish and Eddie together. On the surface, Wish and Eddie appear to be complete opposites. Wish is young, Eddie is older. Wish is working class, Eddie is well off financially. Two different individuals, two different upbringings and social classes. The only thing in common–complementary needs of the kinky kind.

But how to build a story around this one shared element and still make it appear believable? Beats me, I just enjoy the end product! But I admire the hell of any author who could bring together two complete opposites while still making it look effortless. Vanessa North did that and so much more. (Fan-girl moment over. Moving on.)

I enjoyed the character development both MCs endured throughout the story. While Eddie hesitated in getting involved in any type of relationship with Wish, he was ultimately helpless in resisting what Wish could provide. He doubted his decision to give in every step of the way until he found himself fully immerse in the very relationship he tried so hard to keep at bay. (Go Eddie!) His journey was a treat to read and I admired the hell out of him simply because he allowed himself the chance to explore something more. Likewise, I admired Wish’s strength of character and ability to look beyond the significant age difference that existed between him and Eddie. Wish was mature beyond his years, something that came in handy when paired up with Eddie, but he still had room for growth and I appreciated the author’s effort of bringing that to the page.

Of course, Eddie and Wish shared an amazing kind of chemistry. You know the one. Intense. Relentless. Overwhelming. I loved it! That very fist encounter alone set the mood for the rest that was to come (pun intended!). I loved the sense of urgency–that desire to have your needs met and f*ck the consequences. It was epic, as evidenced by the amount of highlighted text on my tablet. 😉

With a diverse set of fully developed elements, Vanessa North brought about an unusual kind of romance, but a romance nonetheless. There was the shared need for something ‘more’, the intensity of emotions felt by the characters, the underlying conflict their differences brought about and the political issue that affected them both.

All in all, a fantastic addition to the series. Hot, kinky yet with an undercurrent of sweetness throughout. I couldn’t help but love Wish and Eddie together. I just wished the story would have been longer so I could have enjoyed them a little bit more. Oh well, that’s what re-reads are for.

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Excerpt

I can see why he’s a little touchy about my pretentious car; he drives a beat-up old F-150. I give him directions to my house—it’s a god-awful monstrosity of a thing on the lake. I bought it because the price was right, but never got around to remodeling it to something less gaudy and ostentatious. Unlike Ben and Dave’s house, which exudes class and charm, mine screams, Look how much money I have!

I’m not ashamed of the money.

I am a little ashamed of the house. He’s going to think I’m an epic douche.

“So, where are you from, Wish?”

“Minnesota.”

“And now you’re in Florida. Did you get tired of the snow?”

“Mom got sick last winter. My brother was living here already, and he talked her into coming down so he and his wife could take care of her during chemo. She loved it here, so I moved too. No point staying in Minnesota all alone.”

“How’s your mama now?” I hold my breath.

“She’s good. In remission.”

I let out the breath. “I’m glad to hear that. When you said ‘loved’ instead of ‘loves,’ well, I worried.”

“Ha. Well, she doesn’t much care for Florida in July.”

“The heat has a way of making people ornery.” It’s part of what I love about living here: the tension bubbling under the surface is sensual in a primal, earthy way. It gets me so fucking hard.

“What about your dad?”

He grimaces. “Remember what I said about being very Catholic?”

I nod.

“Divorce in a Catholic home is not pretty. We aren’t on speaking terms.”

“I’m sorry.”

He shrugs. “He made his choices. What about you? You from here?”

“Indeed. Born and raised. That’s my house.” I blush as I point to the great big stucco thing with the tiled roof. “You can park in the garage if you want, but I need to enter the code to open it.”

“Okay.” The truck idles in the driveway as I type my password on the touch pad. He pulls into the spot where my Benz usually sits and turns off the engine.

When he gets out of the car, we stare at each other for a long moment. I want to invite him in. I want to climb him like a tree. I want. But he’s so damned young.

“You don’t know me.” He gestures toward the door. “And I can see you have a nice place and maybe you’re second-guessing bringing a virtual stranger here. I get it. Why don’t I go, and then I’ll call you later in the week. Fair warning, I’d like to ask you out on a real date.”

“No.” I shake my head. “It’s not about you being a stranger. I’m trying not to think of you as a corruptible young thing.”

“Here I thought we were going to finish our sandwiches, and all this time you were planning to corrupt me? Eddie S-Class, I do believe you have a dirty mind.”

Oh boy, did I read that wrong. “Oh my gawd.” I cover my face with my hands, peeking at him between my fingers. “I’m so embarrassed.”

“Mmm. I like it. How would you corrupt me? I mean, I know I’m younger than you, but this ain’t my first rodeo. I’m curious. How would you do it?” Okay, maybe not so wrong at all.

“You want me to . . .”

“I want you to tell me, in great detail, the story of my own corruption.” He crosses his arms over his chest, leans back against his truck, and watches me expectantly.

God in heaven, he really means it.

“Let’s go inside.” I reach for the button to close the garage door.

“No.”

“No?”

“No. I want you to tell me out here, in your garage, with the door open, where anyone in the neighborhood who happens to be going for a walk can hear you talking dirty. And, S-Class? Make it dirty.”

I don’t know what it is about him that makes me go for it. Maybe it’s because he came to the hospital to save me from my own boredom. Maybe because of the teasing nickname. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had truly awesome sex in long enough that I’m starting to forget what it’s like.

Temporary insanity.

I take off my suit jacket, and hang it on the never-used coat hook by the door. My tie is next—I toss it to him as I reach for my cufflinks, which go in the pocket of my pants. I unbutton my shirt slowly, never breaking eye contact. Any minute I’m going to take it too far, and he’s going to look out that open garage door and stop me.

But he doesn’t. When I hang the shirt with my jacket and turn back toward him, his gaze drops to my shoulder and chest, which are turning purple and black and a dull red. His eyes widen, and he swallows.

I clear my throat. “I’d start by stripping us both naked. Me first, so you can watch.”

Reaching for the button at the top of my trousers, I spare a moment to press the heel of my hand against my dick and close my eyes against the rush of pleasure.

“Take it out. Show it to me.”

I unzip, pull my cock out, and hold it in one hand like an offering. He examines it for a long time, long enough to make me uneasy, but my semi hardens under his gaze. Finally, he meets my eyes again.

“A dick piercing? I’m feeling a little corrupted already,” he teases. “What would you do next?”

I kick off my shoes, push my pants and briefs down my legs, step out of them, and fold them carefully before setting them aside. I turn around as I take off my socks, and wiggle my ass a little for his viewing pleasure. When I straighten up and face him again, he’s got one hand pressed against his own zipper. If I cross the garage to him, I’ll be naked in plain view of anyone walking by, practically on display. It really turns me on. Who knew my exhibitionist streak ran that deep?

The first step is the hardest—moving from the idea of exhibitionism to the reality of it—but then I find myself smirking as I amble toward him. I hurt from the accident, and I’m a little freaked out, but the captivated expression on his face is like a drug.

I reach for his T-shirt, tugging it up to expose that flat twenty-four-year-old stomach.

When his hand claps down on my bruised shoulder, I hiss sharply, meeting the challenge in his gaze. He squeezes—he didn’t grab it by mistake. I let my eyes roll back in my head as I exhale, waiting for the pain to cede to pleasure.

“You . . . like that, don’t you?” The squeeze becomes a caress as he explores the edges of the still-forming bruise. He digs his fingers in a little under my clavicle and the frisson of delicious agony draws a whimper from my lips.

“Okay, Eddie. This is the point where we go inside and have a talk.”

– See more at: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/rough-road#sthash.ZPeZ2ZVU.dpuf

 

About the Author

Author of over a dozen novels, novellas, and short stories, Vanessa North delights in giving happy-ever-afters to characters who don’t think they deserve them. Relentless curiosity led her to take up knitting and run a few marathons “just to see if she could.” She started writing for the same reason. Her very patient husband pretends not to notice when her hobbies take over the house. Living and writing in Northwest Georgia, she finds her attempts to keep a quiet home are frequently thwarted by twin boy-children and a very, very large dog.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

Contest!

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for $25 in Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 3rd. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Don’t forget to leave your email so we can contact you if you win!

 

Follow the Tour!

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September 28, 2015
Joyfully Jay
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Up All Night Read All Day
Love Bytes Reviews

September 29, 2015
Cup o’ Porn
All I Want and More
Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

September 30, 2015
The Jeep Diva
My Fiction Nook
The Day Before You Came

October 1, 2015
Booklover Sue
LeAnn’s Book Reviews
Sinfully Sexy Books

October 2, 2015
Prism Book Alliance
MM Good Book Reviews

 

 

Related Article:

Tour: Double Up by Vanessa North *Review*

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Hi everyone! I’m Vanessa North, and I’m touring this week to talk about my new release, Double Up: how it got started, a scene that
almost happened, and the sport of wakeboarding–how it influenced me, why I love it so much, and how it shaped the characters in the story.

Join me on the tour and leave a comment on this post to enter the giveaway for a $15 Riptide Gift Card! Be sure to include your email address in the comment so that I can contact you if you win! I’ll be drawing the winner at the end of the blog tour.

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Double Up
by Vanessa North

An M/M Contemporary Romance
From Riptide Publishing
Released August 25th 2014

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Knowing he’s loved can make any man fly.

Fifteen years ago, Ben Warren was a wakeboarding champion: king of big air, ballsy tricks, and boned grabs. Until a career-ending injury left him broken in ways he still has no hope of fixing. Now he takes his thrills where he can get them, and tries not to let life hurt too much.

Then Davis Fox arrives in Ben’s sporting goods store with a plan to get in touch with his estranged brother by competing in the annual wakeboarding double-up contest. The catch? He’s never ridden before. It’s crazy, but Ben’s a sucker for the guy’s sob story—and for his dimples, too—so he agrees to coach Davis.

Davis is everything Ben isn’t: successful, confident, and in love with life. And he wants Ben to love life—and him—too. But before Ben can embrace a future with Davis, he needs to remember how to hope.

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Review

5-stars

I admit that I came into this book blind in regards to wakeboarding. Thankfully, it wasn’t anything a couple of minutes in YouTube couldn’t solve. It also helped tremendously the way Vanessa North went about portraying it. Although there were detailed descriptions to various tricks and a few definitions, Vanessa did a wonderful job in bringing all the elements together so as not to weight down the story.

I loved Ben. His struggle was very real–both in allowing himself to get close to Davis and with dealing with his injuries. I loved his sense of humor just as much as I admired his tenacity to work through his problems for a chance to be with Davis.

In his own way, Davis brought out the best in Ben. There were honest emotional moments that Davis managed to draw out of Ben and as many lustful and sexy ones too. Davis had a great heart and an amazing amount of patience. He understood where Ben was coming from, but he never wavered in his will to have all of Ben and not just bits and pieces of him. He never settled for less, which gave Ben the courage to move forward in his life and get his issues sorted out.

I laughed. I melted. And I loved it! There were moments that ranged from the humorous to the thrilling, which only served to keep my
interest throughout. Although short in length, with only 100+ pages of content, Double Up packed a great deal of emotion and sizzling scenes to make it a worthwhile read.

All in all, a wonderful read.

*I received this title from the publisher in exchange of my honest opinion.

About the Author

Author of over a dozen novels, novellas, and short stories, Vanessa North delights in giving happy-ever-afters to characters who don’t think they deserve them. Relentless curiosity led her to take up knitting and run a few marathons “just to see if she could.” She started writing for the same reason. Her very patient husband pretends not to notice when her hobbies take over the house. Living and writing in Northwest Georgia, she finds her attempts to keep a quiet home are frequently thwarted by twin boy-children and a very, very large dog.

Connect with Vanessa:

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Stops for this tour

August 25, 2014
 Boys in our Books
Delighted Reader
Prism Book Alliance – Spotlight Stop

August 25, 2014
Up All Night, Read All Day- Spotlight Stop

August 26, 2014
LeAnn’s Book Reviews – Spotlight Stop
Romance Junkies – Spotlight Stop
Joyfully Jay

August 27, 2014
Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews
Book Reviews & More by Kathy – Spotlight Stop
TTC Books and More – Spotlight Stop
Smoocher’s Voice – Spotlight Stop

August 28, 2014
All I Want and More Books – Spotlight Stop
Cup O’ Porn – Spotlight Stop
MM Good Book Reviews

August 29, 2014
Love Bytes Reviews
The Pen & Muse
The Romance Review – Spotlight Stop
Words of Wisdom from the Scarf Princess – Spotlight Stop
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words – Spotlight Stop