Blog Tour ~ Fake Friends by Saxon James (Review + Excerpt + Giveaway)

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Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway:
Fake Friends by Saxon James

Fake Friends book 2 EBOOK just friends series

A Never Just Friends Novel, Book 2

ROWAN
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.

CIRCUS
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.
I won’t.

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Teaser 3

Excerpt:

Only once I dump the drinks on the table and head back for the bar, I’m suddenly rethinking that choice. Because Rowan Harvey is standing there, clearly waiting for me.

He’s leaning his elbows back on the counter, tattooed fingers linked over his stomach, and blue eyes watching me steadily.

My heart does the familiar squeeze it’s so well practiced at, and any other night, I might have been able to ignore his presence but tonight, I’m already too raw.

So I turn on my heel and flee.

I’m out the doors and into the cool spring air before I’m pretty sure anyone has noticed I’ve left. My bike is propped up against the brick wall of the building, exactly where I left it, because in a town like Sunbury, no one is going to steal your shit.

I stagger as I throw a leg over, and then it takes two attempts before my foot finds the pedal. Huh. So apparently I’m a tad bit drunk.

I start to laugh as I push the bike forward and struggle to hold the handlebars straight.

“You didn’t have to run out on my account.”

My head jerks up.

If hearing his name is enough to make my back tense, hearing his voice is enough to put every muscle in my body on guard.

“I haven’t seen you around,” he continues.

“No shit? Well, I’m sure that was really painful for you.” Not as painful as, say, seeing the man who betrayed you five years ago and ran off before you could get the taste of his come out of your mouth.

“Circus, come on, I just want to talk.”

“Sorry, I don’t do that anymore.”

Talk?”

“Give you my time.” I push off and finally get my bike moving in the forward direction, but when Rowan falls into step beside me, I realize I’m possibly going slower on this thing than if I were walking.

“Can you just hear me out?”

“Hard no.” My bike gives a solid wobble but I correct it in time.

“Is it safe for you to be riding that thing right now?”

“Is it safe for me to be alone with you right now?”

“Circus, I—”

I ring my bell, obnoxiously loud in the quiet street, and cut off his words.

“Circus—”

I ring it again.

Then before I even see him move, Rowan steps into the street, and his hand closes over mine.

I jolt back like I’ve been shocked, and in all fairness, I think that’s what happened. I am in shock. Shock over his closeness, his warmth, his presence.

And oh hell fucking no, motherfucker. My dick has apparently gone batshit crazy because it starts to perk up.

Doesn’t it remember the last time it got all excited over him?

I stumble as I climb off my bike and Rowan’s left standing there holding it.

“All I want is for you to accept my apology,” he begs. “Then I’ll be gone again. I swear it.”

“Aww.” I cock my head in fake sympathy. “I guess you’ll be here a while then.”

I make the mistake of meeting his eyes and all those years we spent together hurl back through my memories. He steps forward. There’s barely room for my bike between us. This close, it’s easy to see all the ways he’s grown up.

And the torn look on his face tells me all the ways he hasn’t.

I’d put money down that his closet door is still locked tight.

“Please, Kelly …”

My real name snaps me out of whatever that was, and sets my anger to red hot. “Don’t you fucking dare.”

“But—”

I yank my bike from his grip and this time I get on it first go. The rage is burning through my drunkenness and all I need is to put as much distance as possible between us. “You have no right to that name. You have no right to my forgiveness. Now get the fuck out of my life.” I push off and have enough coordination to get the bike moving a bit faster. “And this time, stay there.”

Teaser 2

Teaser 4

~ * ~ Amys Review ~ * ~

5 Stars

Have you ever read a book that left you speechless, but in a good way? This book touched my heart in more ways than I expected it to, and I wasn’t really prepared for that. I needed a minute. I loved book one and enjoyed meeting Circus in that book. I was thrilled he was getting the next book, and my mind hasn’t changed since I’ve finished it. This book touched on some heavy topics, but did so in a way that it didn’t weigh the book down. I found myself grinning throughout the book.

Before I get into the meat of my review, I want to address something that’s been brought up in reviews. I understand differing views and how subjective things are when it comes to books. Not every book is going to be everyone’s cup of tea. However, unless we’ve walked a mile in the shoes of a gay man (or anyone in the LGBTQIA+ community) who was brought up by a homophobic family, and is currently living with and working for them, we cannot just dismiss this journey as unrealistic. For one, how would we know…unless we have? Also, add mental illness into that mixture, and your mind is a battlefield of fear, self-loathing, and many more things I wouldn’t wish on anyone. It is very possible to become trapped in a toxic environment. Thank God some people finally get out; not everyone does.

As for my opinion of this book: I loved it. Circus and Rowan are two very flawed characters, but they are also likable and easy to root for. They had things to work on, but don’t we all? I enjoy imperfections, and stories showing us the characters’ journey of personal growth between the beginning and end of the book. On top of that, we get to enjoy Saxon’s wit and charm. We get to spend more time with Tanner and Roo, and Leon as well. I even think there was a hint of what’s coming next, towards the end of the book. If I’m right, I’m really going to enjoy book three. Heck, I’m going to enjoy it, even if I’m wrong.

Overall, this is a well written and wonderfully crafted story with delightful characters. It does include some angst (low to medium). Even though it is book two in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. The characters are the only thing that overlaps, thus far.

***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement. ***


Enter the Giveaway:

To celebrate the Tour of Fake Friends, Saxon is giving away a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cc0f2a57120/?

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About Saxon:

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/
Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/profile/saxon-james
Amazon: www.amazon.com/Saxon-James/e/B082TP7BR7
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/19404191.Saxon_James
Instagram: www.instagram.com/saxonjameswrites/


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