A Guest Review:Back to You by Chris Sully

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Back to You: by Chris Sully
Release Date: June 12th, 2017
Pages: 266 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide Publishling
Purchase Links:
Riptide

Journalist Alex Buchanan has come home to the remote British Columbia town he grew up in, but only because his estranged father is dying. For Alex, the homecoming holds a mix of memories, mostly bad. The only bright spot is reconnecting with Benji Morning, the childhood friend he never truly forgot. As boys, the strength of their bond had frightened Alex. But now that he’s confident in his bisexuality, he’s drawn back to quiet, soft-spoken Ben.

Ben isn’t the same boy Alex left behind, though. His life has been overshadowed by the disappearance of his sister two decades earlier, and now a new break in the case threatens to undo the peace he’s worked so hard to attain.

As Alex struggles to repair the relationship with his father before it’s too late, he finds himself caught up in a twenty-year-old mystery, a story he never expected, and a shocking truth that could affect his and Ben’s future together.

 

four-half-stars

 

I loved everything about this book. The story itself is fiction but the back drop is set in a real life story. Since the 1970’s a series of young women have gone missing along an isolated stretch of highway in British Columbia, Canada. This is referred to as the Highway of Tears and as of this time they still do not know who is responsible for the disappearances.

Alex Buchanan and Ben Morning had been best friends since they were little boys. When they were teens a crisis had hit both of their families at the same time. Ben’s sister turns up missing and Alex’s parents get divorced and move away. The boys promise to keep in touch but they don’t.

Twenty years later, Alex goes back to see his dying father. He has a bunch of unresolved issues with the man and he’s writing a series of articles about their tumultuous relationship. Also, Alex has never forgotten Ben. In retrospect he knows Ben was his first love but his lack of acceptance about being bisexual prevented him from every admitting that.

Ben still lives in town and is weighted down caring for a mother who never accepted her daughter’s disappearance. She’s spent the last twenty years being obsessed with what happened. The police find the girl’s car right as Alex is getting to town and breaks the case open and causes Ben and Alex to get caught up in it all over again.

The writing was so good. It was atmospheric and had an almost dreamlike feel to it. The world building was so well done that I felt like I was right there with them in this isolated, gloomy, little town.

I really enjoyed the mystery part even though I figured out who did it early on. I think the real life facts weaved into the fiction story added a unique level to the storytelling. I also enjoyed the romance. It was very romantic in parts and I found myself rooting for these two from their first one page together scene.

I enjoyed every aspect of this story and I highly recommend it. I have only read one other book by this author (which I also enjoyed) but after this I am a big fan. I can’t wait to go back and read her back catalogue.

 

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About Chris Scully

CHRIS SCULLY lives in Toronto, Canada where she grew up spinning romantic stories in her head. When the tedium of a corporate day job grew too much, she took a chance and found her creative escape in writing. Always searching for something different, she has discovered a home in M/M romance and strives to give her characters the happy endings they deserve.

Chris would love to hear from readers at: cscully@bell.net.

The Swap by Devon Rhodes

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

drThe Swap: by Devon Rhodes
Release Date: October 26, 2016
Pages:64 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

2nd Edition

When layoffs hit Jim LaRue’s company, his first concern isn’t for his own job, it’s for his friend and coworker, Tommy Graves. Tommy’s going through a bitter divorce, and he’s closing on a new home. Losing his job would mean losing the house—and the fresh start he desperately needs. Jim can’t let that happen to the man he’s secretly in love with, so he proposes a swap: his job for Tommy’s.

Now out of work, Jim reluctantly agrees to help Tommy remodel. He needs the income, but he can’t stand being a charity case—especially not when things between them start heading in a direction he hardly dared hope for. The strain drives a wedge between them, and a confrontation might spell the end of their relationship.

First Edition published by Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure, 2010.

three-stars

Can I first just say how much I dislike the cover models. Eww they don’t really match the two guys that are in my head. I don’t really like them. As far as the story goes, I think it had alot more potential then this. I think the author could have explored more on Tommy’s divorce. What happened? I really would have liked some backstory on Jim and his shenanigans. For a friends to lovers trope I thought it was okay. I would have liked to see them talk more about what they each want. I mean, once Tommy found out certain things, he kinda just let it all go because of Jim and his swooning. I did appreciate the history between the two, and maybe I’m more of a let’s talk a couple of things out kinda girl, but Jim just went in with the kill time and time again. The blurb is pretty much self explanatory. I did like it well enough and look forward to more from this author.

About Devon Rhodes

At 39 and holding, Devon finally figured out the best way to channel her midlife crisis was to morph from mild-mannered stay-at-home mom to erotic romance writer.

She lives in Oregon with her family, who are (mostly) understanding of all the time she spends on her laptop, aka the black hole.