Blog Tour ~ Strike A Chord (Replay Series #4) by K.M. Neuhold (Review + Excerpt + Giveaway)

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Strike a Chord

Replay Series, Book 4

K.M. Neuhold

M/M Romance

Release Date: 05.14.19

Strike a Chord FINAL
Blurb

“You want to fake date me?”

Music is my life, my band is my heart and soul, and it’s all falling apart before my eyes.

A plan hatched from desperation as we both watch our careers burn down around us. Dating my best friend’s twin brother, Paris, who just so happens to be a gay icon at the moment seems like the perfect plan. And if we have a little fun along the way, where’s the harm in that? The band is spiraling, his football career is going up in flames, and the more the world falls down around us, the easier it is to get lost in each other.

But are stolen moments during our own busy schedules and hurried kisses hidden behind social media posts the basis for a real relationship, or is this just another thing that’s going to turn to dust in our hands?

**Strike a Chord is the fourth and final book in the Replay series. This series can be read in any order.

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Excerpt

“Sure they do,” he argues, taking the bottle from me again and taking another sip. “‘Ris, the only person standing in your way right now is you. This is the one life you have; don’t you owe it to yourself to make it fucking incredible?”

“Yes,” I agree, my voice sounding husky to my own ears as my pulse thunders.

“So, what do you want more than anything?” he asks, rolling onto his side to face me.

Not a single thought passes through my mind before I do it. I’m all instinct and want, the gulps of tequila silencing the voice in the back of my mind that should surely be telling me it’s wrong.

Benji gasps when my mouth meets his. His lips are soft and yielding under mine, parted easily by the sweep of my tongue. His hands find my pecs while I grab onto his hips, just above the low-slung waist of his swimsuit.

Our numb lips and tequila-soaked tongues slide against each other artlessly. A bead of sweat trickles down my back, the heat of the island suffocating enough without the raging inferno between the two of us. It’s a wonder we don’t burst into flames.

Benji moans into my mouth, climbing onto my lap without breaking the kiss, his slight body covering mine as our tongues tangle. My heart is going wild as my fingers dig into Benji’s hips, feeling his cock as it hardens against my stomach.

I’ve replayed our one and only kiss over and over again throughout the years, the kiss that was never for me, and I was so sure I’d built it up to be better than it was. God was I wrong. Kissing Benji is like skydiving, exciting and terrifying all at once. It’s like the first day of summer vacation, full of possibility and promise. It’s so much better than I remembered.

4 Stars

Strike A Chord is the final book in KM Neuhold’s Replay series. We finally get Benji’s story in this one. Benji is the one member of Downward Spiral that is not seemingly flawed and troubled. He’s the “good one”. First, we were introduced to lead singer, Lincoln, who suffers from bipolar disorder and had several near-death situations. The second book featured Lando who had lost his muse. The third book is all about their super nurturing manager Archie, drummer and drug addict Jude, and protective and domineering Bennett’s relationship.
In this book, we get to see the real Benji who is unfulfilled by his superstar status but simultaneously terrified of his band falling apart because that’s his whole world.
He heads home to Ohio as a distraction to visit his family and his best friend since high school, London. He doesn’t know his life-long crush, London’s twin brother Paris is also in town.
Paris and Benji start the book off in similar situations – lost and struggling after their hard-fought careers are on the verge of ending (Paris is a star Pro quarterback, but has recently suffered what may be a career-ending injury). Always attracted to the other, they start a fake dating situation to keep themselves in the spotlight as their careers are on hiatus.
This is the typical fake dating turns into love trope. But, it’s fresh in that they’ve known each other essentially all their lives and their love seems destined (or so London believes). I found the first half of this book engaging, easy to read and I fell in love with the relationship between these two. Then, a little half-way in, the story became quite blah – not taking advantage of opportunities for drama and excitement. There were a lot of inner monologues and fretting and pining about how the other feels or whether the fake relationship is now a real relationship. These complex and intriguing characters slowly turned one-dimensional and lost my interest.
What redeems this book for me is the opportunity to truly revisit the other couples from this series. I felt like the author tied this series up nicely and where everyone landed felt right and hopeful.
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***
5 Stars
Benji and Paris have to be my favorite couple in this series with Lando and Dawson coming in second. K.M never disappoints with her writing and this is no exception.
I have been curious about Benji since book one and now that we see things from his POV, it makes me feel for him even more. Before, I felt like he WAS the normal one. The one with all his sh*t together but having everything laid out like a finished puzzle with all the pieces put together, it makes me happy that he has finally gotten his HEA.
Paris was a mystery to me having had a different vision in my head from the teasers and all. But I have to say I really liked what I saw with him. He was strong yet vulnerable, yet he didn’t want help from others when he felt like he should be able to bounce back stronger than before.
With each of K.M’s books, you get so many thoughts and feelings that stick with you for a long time. I would definitely recommend not just this book but the whole series and not just for the hot guys but for the different reps you get, the mental illness rep as well as the physical disability one. The way K.M brings her characters together is brilliant and I can not wait to get her next release!
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***
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Author K.M. Neuhold is a complete romance junkie, a total sap in every way. She started her journey as an author in new adult, MF romance, but after a chance reading of an MM book she was completely hooked on everything about lovely- and sometimes damaged- men finding their Happily Ever After together. She has a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well. And she fully admits that her OCD tendencies of making sure every side character has a full backstory will likely always lead to every book having a spin-off or series. When she’s not writing she’s a lion tamer, an astronaut, and a superhero…just kidding, she’s likely watching Netflix and snuggling with her husky while her amazing husband brings her coffee.

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