Posts Tagged With: Rhys Ford

Honorary Blogger Rhys Ford: Tutus and Tinsel + Giveaway!

Ah the holidays.

The time for family and loved ones.

Since I’m rolling out Tutus and Tinsel (a holiday short story where I take you back to Half Moon Bay and see what Deacon, Lang and Zig are up to), I wanted to also stop in on a few of my favourite couples on this tour. So, I invite you to join me as we catch up with Rook and Dante, Miki and Kane, Kai and Ryder as well as Cole and Jae over the next few days.

AND because it wouldn’t be the holiday season without a gift, I’m giving away a $25 gift certificate to the online store of the winner’s choice at EACH stop.

So sit back, grab some hot chocolate, tea or coffee and let’s catch up with some of our guys.

Much love and I hope you all have a great holiday…and be sure to stop by and see how Zig learns what family really means in Tutus and Tinsel. Release Day is December 21st and brought to you by Dreamspinner Press!

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Everything had to be perfect.

Rook knew life, as a whole, was rarely adequate much less perfect but within its thread of events lay minute sparkling moments where perfection occurred in a blink of an eye. A glance the wrong way and that moment was lost. The key to life was to string more than a few of those diamond pristine nano seconds until a longer, Nirvana-inspired experience was wrought.

That’s what he was hoping for.

If only he could get the damned Christmas tree to stand up.

“It doesn’t have to be perfect, cuervo. Sometimes—” Dante must have felt the heat in Rook’s withering, baleful look because he closed his mouth before finishing his sentence.

“It’s got to be perfect. It’s our first Christmas, right? You know that, yeah?” He paced, dropping back a few feet to glare at the tree, willing it to straighten itself. “What the hell was I thinking getting an eight foot tree? What the fuck do I know about Christmas?”

“Rook…” Dante drawled, catching his attention.

What?

“Breathe.” He walked over to the tree to grab its — Rook didn’t even know what to call that part of the tree; possibly its neck — and shook it a few times before tapping it back down on the floor. The tree literally sighed and gave up its tilt, anchoring itself into the stand Rook battled with a few minutes before. “There. And listen to me, nothing has to be perfect. So long as you and I are together, everything can go to Hell and we’ll be fine.”

They were as opposite as any two people could be; a badge-to-the-bone LAPD detective and a former cat burglar who’d figured he’d pushed his luck as far as it could go and had gone straight because he known it was only a matter of time before he’d be caught. Despite Dante’s parents kicking him off the family tree when he came out to them, he’d experienced a happy childhood and forged a strong relationship with his maternal uncle, Manny, a former drag queen and Rook’s current shop manager. Rook’s childhood was much different. He’d been dragged up in the middle of a rotating cycle of carnies and conmen while his mother worked her way through the circuit. Beanie had been a woman of loose morals and even looser ethics but she’d at least left Rook alone for the most part.

Although why she’d left her richer-than-God family to slum under the Big Top was a mystery no one seemed to have an answer for. Yes, her father Archibald was an asshole and Rook butted heads with the old man plenty of times since Archie reached out to him but they had their own rhythm… and if Rook didn’t look too hard at the old man, he didn’t see his own faults mirrored right back at him.

Dante was a different story. So far the detective had tried to pin him for burglary, fucked him, arrest him for murder, help prove Rook was innocent and eventually fall in love with him.

Rook in return did the only sensible thing any man could do; he fell in love with the serious-minded, handsome Hispanic detective right back.

It was just that Christmas was turning into a bitch and a half and Rook didn’t have a clue on how to stop it from getting worse.

“Come help me get the ornaments up on the tree.” Dante began opening the boxes they’d brought out from Rook’s storage area from his inventory warehouse. “And where’d you get all this stuff? Thought you said this was your first tree.”

“Kind of, yeah.” He sat down on the couch, reaching to drag one of the boxes closer. “Mostly this is from estate sales. Anything I found that was December holiday related, I stuck into storage. Figured eventually I’d want to do this whole Christmas thing some day so I saved shit.”

The look Dante gave him was one Rook couldn’t decipher. He’d seen it before and despite its infrequent appearance, he hadn’t quite figured it out. On some level, it disturbed him that Dante had a secret expression Rook couldn’t crack, especially since he’d pretty much lived on his wits and ability to read people for years before he’d hooked up with a law-abiding lifestyle but asking seemed… treacherous so he kept silent, hoping one day to get a clue.

It wasn’t forthcoming any more now than it was the last twenty or so times Dante’s face looked that way.

“So let me get this straight,” Dante murmured, leaving the boxes alone to crouch down in front of Rook. While it was nice not to crane his head back to look at his lover, Dante’s gentle voice set off a wave of alarms in Rook’s brain. “You’ve been saving dead people’s holiday stuff for years now? Just in case you might get a tree?”

“Well, yeah. I mean, there’s memories there in those things. I don’t have memories. Well, not good ones. Not of Christmas. Or kind of anything Beanie wasn’t exactly the cookies waiting for me after school kind of mom.” Having Dante so close was distracting. Much more distracting than simply having a hot guy practically kneeling in front of him. “It’s hard to explain.”

“I know. And I’m trying to understand,” Dante murmured, resting his hand on Rook’s knee. “And this isn’t going to sound good but I don’t know how else to put it. It’s kind of like you’re gathering up leftover memories.”

“Babe, that’s what I do for a living. That’s all I ever do. There’s threads that we can’t see connecting us to stuff in the past and I collect those things so other people can have them again.” Rook leaned his head back, staring up at the ceiling because he didn’t trust himself to speak while staring into Dante’s soulful honey-brown eyes. “Sometimes it’s the little things like a toy they got in a cereal box because they don’t make that kind of cereal anymore and it was a treat their mom would only buy once in a while. And maybe their mom’s dead now that’s something that brings her back. Or it’s a baseball signed by some player a little girl had a crush on when she was nine but see, he really wasn’t famous but she met him once and he was nice to her. And it could’ve been a day she really needed somebody to be nice to her.

“That’s kind of why I keep all of this stuff because a lot of it old and someone had enough of their lives wrapped into this shit that it meant something. And I’m never going to know what those stories are but I can imagine,” he said, his voice growing hoarse for some reason. “Everything with Beanie was never real, never permanent. There wasn’t anything we did every year to hold us together. Fuck, sometimes we have to ditch everything we owned because we were either one step ahead of the law or running from someone she stole from. And I guess I feel like if I toss any of this away, I’m throwing away these people who see the plate on Christmas Eve to wrap things for their kids or lit a candle for over a week to commemorate them not running out of oil long ago. I don’t know. I just feel like whenever I find this stuff in what I buy, I should hold onto it. And maybe pick through all the boxes and find stuff I like so I can continue their memories.”

“But you could have had trees before this,” Dante reminded him gently. “You didn’t have to keep this stuff in storage. You could have —”

“I never wanted to build something with someone before you,” Rook whispered, dropping his head down and cupping Dante’s strong jaw in his hands. “I probably will donate or do something with a lot of it but I wanted to have someone with me when I started looking at other people’s stories. Or at least began imagining where something had been or why it was important. Everything I’ve had in my life has been leftovers. Or at least when I was growing up they were. There was never anything new and it was always a struggle but I knew one day I would find someone I loved and they would give me their childhood to share, their heart to hold onto. So I guess, you’re that guy. You’re the one I want to dig through boxes with and make up stories about why there’s a one eyed reindeer made out of pipe cleaner tucked in with expensive crystal ornaments.”

“Let me guess, you’ll be keeping the reindeer,” Dante said, chuckling.

“Yeah, probably.” Rook grinned at Dante’s deep rolling laugh then stole a kiss the smile could leave Dante’s lips. “No matter what’s in those boxes or whatever we end up putting on the tree, you are always going to be the one who lights up my Christmas and warms my heart. I don’t give a shit about the crystal or even if we found stacks of gold coins in those boxes. Nothing’s going to be as important to me as you. So, let’s dig through this crap and maybe go out and buy some pipe cleaners. I think it’s time we make our own one eyed reindeer so we have something to hang on our tree every year.”

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , | 54 Comments

Book Review: Tutus and Tinsel by Rhys Ford

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Tutus and Tinsel
Author: Rhys Ford
Series: Half Moon Bay #2.5
Heroes: Deacon & Lang
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 79 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 21, 2018
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Zig Reid-Harris has everything an eleven-year-old girl could ever want: a great home, two fantastic fathers named Deacon Reid and Lang Harris, and all the books she could possibly read.

When a school assignment about holiday traditions unexpectedly broadsides her, she discovers burying the past isn’t as easy as it looks, and the stark reality of her life before her adoption sinks in. Ashamed of the bleakness and poverty she came from, Zig struggles with the assignment until an epiphany strikes the whole family—it’s time to start their own traditions.

Zig and her fathers plunge into the insanity of holiday joy, exploring everything the season has to offer and learning how precious family truly is along the way.

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Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Cops and Comix by Rhys Ford

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Cops and Comix
Author: Rhys Ford
Series: Murder and Mayhem 0.5
Heroes: Alex & James
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 38 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 16, 2018
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: It’s all fun and games until someone leaves a dead body on the floor.

Life for comic book store owner Alex Martin usually runs to the mundane. Sure, he has a regular influx of geeks and freaks, but for the most part, it’s a familiar weird. That all changes when he opens up Planet X Comics one morning and finds a corpse in the middle of his shop.

When Detective James Castillo is called in to investigate, Alex is torn between wanting to climb the man like a tree and giving him a wide berth. Luckily for Alex, the handsome detective is just as interested in him—as a suspect in the murder. Continue reading

Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Honorary Blogger Rhys Ford: Tattoo Symbolism + Giveaway!

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Tattoo Symbolism

by Rhys Ford

Well, I want to thank everyone for following the blog tour for 415 Ink: Savior! I’m going to use the same intro for every piece in case someone jumps in midway because that way everyone starts off on the same page. So if you’re joining midway, be sure to backtrack and catch the other posts because we’ll be exploring tattoos. Be sure to catch Savior, a second book in the 415 Ink series, on its release date of September 18!

This has been a crazy series to write and as much as I enjoyed it, it’s always a challenge to bring a fully fleshed character with very real problems to the page. I hope that when you read Savior you will fall in love with Mace and be with him on his journey as he in turn falls in love with Rob.

Since the tattoo shop, 415 Ink, is such a central heart of the series, I wanted to talk about tattoo symbolism very briefly because there’s a lot of opinions and cultural attachments to certain tattoos. What could be presented on this tour is just a small sampling of what people believe certain images mean and how they connect to the people who choose to wear them on their skin.

I’m going to say that tattoos are not for everyone but I do have a hard-core cultural association with them so I’m very fond of tattoos. I feel it is a very personal thing and should be taken seriously because you are going to wear it for the rest of your life. But, I also do believe even the tiniest flash tattoo means something to someone and everyone getting ink should be respected for their choices. Someone’s little flower on an ankle could mean their experiment into pushing themselves to fearlessness or capture memory of something they shared with someone. Not every tattoo needs to be huge or an artistic rendering of the Sistine Chapel. But they should have meaning.

I believe a tattoo should be a piece of yourself the inker draws out of your soul and embellishes on your skin. It should rise up from some part of you to realize its existence.

Much like love. And very much like falling in love.

So let’s talk about ink.

Traditional – Sailor Tattoos

Inspired by the ink they saw on the skin of the people they met on their travels around the Pacific, sailors began to mark their own bodies for luck and as badges of honor for milestones they’d passed in their journeys. The life of a sailor was dangerous, and the accomplishments they made had a great deal of meaning for them. Their tattoos were proof they’d sailed thousands of miles, crossed the equator, and survived storms and other dangers of the deep.

Norman Keith Collins aka Sailor Jerry had one of the first tattoo shops in the Western world, established many of the customary designs we see today’s flash art including: anchors, daggers, serpents, mermaids, and more. Collins has since passed away but his family and friends continue his Old School Traditional tattoo styles at Old Ironside, a tattoo shop that stands in the original spot of Sailor Jerry’s O’ahu shop.

Each had its own meaning. Some of the most common sailor tattoos are:

Anchor: An anchor placed anywhere on the body represented that a sailor had completed a voyage that crossed the Atlantic. It also was thought to bring steadiness.

Compass: A compass was so a sailor would always be able to find his way home.

Dice: A set of dice was often chosen by a sailor to show that he was a fearless risk taker. It was also chosen by sailors that enjoyed gambling.

Dragon: A dragon symbolized that a sailor had been to China.

Harpoon: A harpoon was a mark of having belonged to a fishing or whaling fleet.

Hula Girl: A symbol that signified that a sailor had been to Hawaii.

Lighthouse: A symbol of guiding light and protection against a ship crashing against the rocks. It was also known to represent home and shelter.

Mermaid/Siren: The call of the siren was a superstition. It was thought that the beautiful lure of a siren’s voice would misguide a ship, and cause it to wreck, or pull a sailor into the sea to find her where he would drown. Having a mermaid tattoo protected against the dangers of the sea.

Nautical Star: A nautical star was a popular emblem sailors would get to be sure they would be guided home safely.

Pig & Rooster: Both pigs and roosters were kept on board in crates that floated, so a pig on one foot and a rooster on the other was thought to protect a sailor from drowning.

Rope: A rope around the wrist meant that the sailor had served as a deckhand.

Rose & Dagger: Showing bravery and a willingness to fight, a dagger through a rose symbolized a fearlessness of conflict or confrontation.

Ship: A ship with full sails marked a sailor’s voyage around Cape Horn, which is where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet.

Swallow: One of the most well-known of nautical tattoos, a swallow represented every 5000 miles a sailor voyaged. A swallow will always find their way home, and it was thought that the swallow would bring luck and mean that the sailor would return safely home.

Turtle: A hardback turtle was a symbol of passing the equator.

So there’s also giveaway! Enter to win a $20 USD gift certificate to an e-tailer of your choice which can include Dreamspinner, Amazon, Starbucks or any place I can send a gift certificate without having to sacrifice a chicken. Just follow the blog’s contest rules to enter!

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , | 50 Comments

Book Review: Savior by Rhys Ford

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Savior
Author: Rhys Ford
Series: 415 Ink #2
Heroes: Mace & Rob
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 220 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: A savior lies in the heart of every good man, but sometimes only love can awaken the man inside the savior.

The world’s had it out for San Francisco firefighter Mace Crawford from the moment he was born. Rescued from a horrific home life and dragged through an uncaring foster system, he’s dedicated his life to saving people, including the men he calls his brothers. As second-in-command of their knitted-together clan, Mace guides his younger siblings, helps out at 415 Ink, the family tattoo shop, and most of all, makes sure the brothers don’t discover his darkest secrets.

It’s a lonely life with one big problem—he’s sworn off love, and Rob Claussen, one of 415 Ink’s tattoo artists, has gotten under his skin in the worst way possible.

Mace’s world is too tight, too controlled to let Rob into his life, much less his heart, but the brash Filipino inker is there every time Mace turns around. He can’t let Rob in without shaking the foundations of the life he’s built, but when an evil from his past resurfaces, Mace is forced to choose between protecting his lies and saving the man he’s too scared to love.

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Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Giveaway Winner!

It’s time to pick a giveaway winner! Yay!!!

 

So, the winner of a print copy of Serpentine isContinue reading

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Giveaway Winner!

It’s time to pick a giveaway winner! Yay!!!

 

So, the winner of a $25 e-tailer gift certificate from Rhys Ford is… Continue reading

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Book Review: Once Upon A Wolf by Rhys Ford

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Once Upon A Wolf
Author: Rhys Ford
Series: Wayward Wolves #1
Heroes: Gibson & Zach
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 96 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 16, 2018
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Gibson Keller’s days are fairly routine: wake up early, get some work done, drink lots of coffee, and take care of Ellis, his older brother, stuck in wolf form after coming home from the war. It’s a simple life made up of long runs on two legs—or four—and quiet evenings…. Until Ellis chases a handsome man off a cliff and into the frozen waters beside their cabin, changing Gibson’s life forever.

For Zach Thomas, buying an old B&B is a new start. Leaving behind his city life, he longs to find peace and quiet, and hiking the trails behind his property seems safe enough—right up to the moment an enormous black wolf chases him into a lake, nearly drowning him. Discovering werewolves are real astounds him, but not as much as the man who rescues him from the icy water, then walks into Zach’s heart as if he owns it.

Loving a werewolf—loving Gibson with all his secrets—has its challenges, but Zach believes their love is worth fighting for, especially since his heart knows the big bad wolf is really a prince in disguise. Continue reading

Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2018 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Honorary Blogger Rhys Ford: Kane & Miki + Giveaway!

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415 Ink: Rebel

by Rhys Ford

Hello and welcome to the 415 Ink: Rebel Blog Tour. I’d like to say I’m Rhys Ford, your host but the truth is, I am merely a stealer of space and time. Their space, your time. BUT I hope I can make it worth your while.

Because dudes, I’ve got a book I want to tell you about.

If you know me at all, you know I have a few tattoos and well, have a hardcore love for art. Skin art to be exact. It’s a difficult medium and well, there’s a culture surrounding it as well. Being a tattoo artist is more than a profession, it truly is a calling, or it is for the great artists, the ones who push at the boundaries of skin and ink and do fantastical things on a living canvas.

The 415 Ink series hopefully will capture a part of that culture and also showcase five foster brothers who have made their own family. Set in San Francisco, I will introduce you to each of the five in a series of books where they find love and in some cases, their true path in life. The first, Rebel, is about Gus, the true middle kid in the bunch, and the man whose love he’d won, lost and hopefully will love again.

As all of my blog tours, I want to present you with something unique at each stop as well as a giveaway. So, for each blog, I will give you a story (or part of a story as I’ve split most into two pieces) about a tattoo… involving a character from one of my series. Check out the blog stop list to get a sneak peek at the characters!

The giveaway? You’ll be entering to win a $20 USD gift certificate to the online retailer of your choice!

Now, onto the tales of tattoos and where you can find Rebel, on sale December 29th through Dreamspinner, Amazon and other fine bookstores.

*****

San Francisco — Kane Morgan and Miki St. John

There were very few times in his life when Miki was by his side as he strolled past the Fisherman’s Wharf sign. That path was usually reserved for Rafe, Sionn and Connor, especially when they were on a run or hitting up the old crab shack for lunch. It seemed odd to have his rangy, too-pretty rock star of a lover walking next to him in bright daylight and not be headed to Finnegan’s.

Even stranger were the stares Miki pulled in as he walked by small crowds of people. He knew Miki was famous. He couldn’t turn on a radio without hearing Miki’s voice rotating through a song list, and there’d been more than a few times when they were out and someone approached cautiously, eager to get Miki’s attention but reluctant to interrupt.

That was when Kane remembered he shared Miki with the world. It wasn’t a bad thing, especially when he watched his prickly lover turn bashful and shy. He could talk music for hours — and had, blowing their reservations at a dinner once — but just like the star Kane wore, Miki had a calling and enthusiastic fans were simply part of it.

Even if Miki hated the attention, he always stopped and listened, smiling when Kane knew he wanted to die a little bit inside when all eyes were on him, and he could see their faces. It’d taken a long time for Kane to understand the difference. Up close and personal was hard but on stage, Miki saw nothing but heard their voices, a chorus chanting back the band’s words, filling in the silence Miki often nursed inside of himself. Performing was a way for Miki to bathe in the music and touch the stars.

“You always stop. You have to stop.” Miki snorted with disgust when Connor innocently suggested the band excused themselves from fan encounters. “They’re the reason we’re up there. Somebody worked at a shitty job so they could see us up on stage. They might have eaten ramen for month for those tickets or even that album. Yeah, they don’t own us but they’ve invested in us. And all I’ve got to invest in them is time so I’m always gonna stop.”

While Kane agreed with the sentiment, today he hoped no one reached out to touch his rock star. Today was a long day coming, a gift he’d promised himself years before. Today was the day he would finally become a Morgan cop.

“It’s shitty the parking structure so far away.” Miki shivered a bit, ducking his head down when the light turned green, and they had to dash across the street through the chilly rain. “’Course I guess I should just be fucking glad there’s a parking structure. Remember when you had to circle around a lot? And we used to have this beat-up old van that was bigger than a Cadillac so we’d have gigs down here at eight but came down to park in the afternoon and feed the meter just so we had a spot.”

“You know, that’s one of my biggest regrets… not seeing you guys play before.” Kane snuck a look at Miki’s pale face, worried that he was setting too hard of a pace for Miki’s blown out knee. “You must have had some really kick ass shows.”

Miki wrinkled his nose as if he’d just been served a large helping of bitter melon stew. “Not back then. I mean there are a lot of places down here that have good music but the ones that hired us were just looking for some background noise while everybody drank. We played covers mostly and there were some nights we drank more than what we were paid but it was fun. Mostly. Sometimes, not so much but that’s what happens when you’re in a band. This is the same place that we went to for Ichi, right? They’ve got a dog named… Earl.” Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , | 66 Comments

Book Review: Rebel by Rhys Ford

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Rebel
Author: Rhys Ford
Series: 415 Ink #1
Heroes: Gus & Rey
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 220 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 29, 2017
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: The hardest thing a rebel can do isn’t standing up for something—it’s standing up for himself.

Life takes delight in stabbing Gus Scott in the back when he least expects it. After Gus spends years running from his past, present, and the dismal future every social worker predicted for him, karma delivers the one thing Gus could never—would never—turn his back on: a son from a one-night stand he’d had after a devastating breakup a few years ago.

Returning to San Francisco and to 415 Ink, his family’s tattoo shop, gave him the perfect shelter to battle his personal demons and get himself together… until the firefighter who’d broken him walked back into Gus’s life.

For Rey Montenegro, tattoo artist Gus Scott was an elusive brass ring, a glittering prize he hadn’t the strength or flexibility to hold on to. Severing his relationship with the mercurial tattoo artist hurt, but Gus hadn’t wanted the kind of domestic life Rey craved, leaving Rey with an aching chasm in his soul.

When Gus’s life and world starts to unravel, Rey helps him pick up the pieces, and Gus wonders if that forever Rey wants is more than just a dream. Continue reading

Categories: 4.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment