Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway:
Fake Friends by Saxon James
A Never Just Friends Novel, Book 2
Five years ago, I did something horrible and ran.
I ruined the best thing I had in my life, and now, I’m finally back to make things right.
I need Circus’s forgiveness, and then maybe I can finally move on.
I’ll leave Sunbury for good this time and never look back. I can escape disapproving family members and hiding who I am.
I’ll be able to live my truth.
But earning his forgiveness isn’t as simple as I hoped it was going to be.
He’s going to make me fight for it, and I don’t blame him at all.
Rowan Harvey coming back into my life is something I never thought would happen.
But now he’s here, begging for forgiveness, and I’m tempted to give it to him just so he’ll disappear again.
We make a deal.
I’ll forgive him if he helps me with a social media campaign I’ve landed.
I need an extra model for a swimwear shoot, and none of my friends are available or fit the brief. In exchange, he promises to leave again as soon as it’s over.
I don’t need or want him back in Sunbury.
His request of anonymity during the shoot proves he’s still living in his dark closet, and I’m not going to make the same mistakes I did when I was a teenager.
I won’t let myself fall for him again.
Release Blitz Excerpt:
This. Is. Bad.
I flick through photo after photo of perfection.
And I hate to say it, but Rowan makes me look good. The tats, the unruly hair, the confidence in how he holds himself.
He’s come a long way since high school.
Back then he was guarded and scared, and the only place he looked like he owned his skin was on the football field. Still, he always caught my eye. Always drew out that curious side of me that was attracted to what I didn’t know.
The first time I went to his house after school, I remember overhearing his dad asking who the little pretty boy was. And I knew by his tone what he was really asking.
First: is that kid gay?
Second: what the fuck is he doing with my son?
I was never a favorite around his place, especially when his grandparents were there, so we spent as much time at my house, or wandering Crown Trails, as we could.
And as I pause over the photo of Rowan kissing my nose, an irrational surge of anger passes through me.
I was there, for years, in the secret, stolen moments of his life. I was the only one who knew his secret, and the only one who didn’t push for him to figure himself out.
All I did was wait.
Show him it was okay.
And that night, five years ago, when he finally kissed me and we gave into a year of sexual tension, I kissed him like we meant forever.
I had no idea forever would last all of five minutes.
~ * ~ Jo‘s Review ~ * ~
I’m really stupid. I mean it; I am. You see, I read a couple of books that are written by Eden Finley (whom I love) and Saxon James. I’m so embarrassed as I never bothered looking up James’ catalogue of books. See I told you…stupid! The only upside is, that I’ve got a whole back catalogue of hers to enjoy, now.
You might have worked out that I really liked this book. While this is an ex friend to lovers, fake boyfriends, it is also so much more than that. Rowan Harvey grew up in a homophobic family, in love with a boy, and fled from town when he ends up breaking the boy’s nose. Circus is that boy, and he’s moved on, hating Roman for it, and losing his parents since. The book starts very much from the point of view of Circus, seeing Rowan as a bit of an arsehole. Circus is an influencer, but we quickly see that this is driven by his insecurity and a need for love. He is torn by his dislike for the closeted Rowan and the need for likes.
I really wasn’t sure about Rowan, at first, but I think the author does such a great job of writing a character that slowly opens up and breaks your heart. The pain he feels, the conflict between who he knows he is on the inside, and the fear he has of that fact, is so emotional that it made me cry. I haven’t read a better portrayal of what it must be like to be so torn by your family and who you are. To struggle to be what you have been told is a mortal sin your whole life must be impossible to live with, and by halfway through the book I had totally forgiven him, and was rooting for his and Circus’s HEA. Add to this Circus’s own journey, and what you have is an absolutely wonderful book that drew me in, and left me feeling emotionally fulfilled (and happy) at the end.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Please read it. It was perfect. I will be spending the holidays catching up with this author’s back catalogue. At least that makes up for my earlier stupidity.
Sorry, Saxon James.
***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement.***
~ * ~ Annie‘s Review ~ * ~
I always enjoy a good second chance romance, and I appreciated that Fake Friends had a little bit of angst and conflict, to fuel the plot, without feeling mired down with a lot of will-they-won’t-they between the leads. I really loved the influencer angle as well. It was different and interesting, bringing up pertinent concerns with social media as well as its benefits.
Fake Friends had a nice balance of individual character development alongside the relationship development. I really liked both Circus and Rowan, and they made a great couple. I loved their natural chemistry and the way Circus was playful, but understanding, as Rowan faced his fears about how coming out would impact his relationship with his family. There was a satisfying level of heat without it feeling insincere, given Rowan’s inexperience. All in all, I was definitely impressed by Fake Friends. With its likable characters, easy rhythm, great banter, and palpable chemistry, I can’t help but be excited for what will come next from this author and series.
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***
Enter the Giveaway:
To celebrate Saxon’s new release, we are giving away 2 e-sets of the Never Just Friends Series so far!
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!
Direct Link: hhttp://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cc0f2a57116/?
Saxon James is an author from Australia who’s obsessed with writing queer characters. She has a range of books from YA to adult and they all have one thing in common: swoony, sweet love.
When not writing, Saxon exists on a diet of coffee and chocolate while putting her KU subscription to the test.
Connect with Saxon:
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pg/thesaxonjames/
Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/saxonssweethearts/