Release Blitz ~ Truth or Darren by DJ Jamison (Reviews + Excerpt + Giveaway)

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Truth or Darren (Games We Play, Book 2)

Author: DJ Jamison

Publisher: Must Love Books LLC

Cover Artist: Cate Artist

Release Date: August 11, 2022

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Enemies to lovers, sister’s ex-boyfriend, small town

Themes: Finding love, finding your self-confidence and figuring out where you belong in the world. Community as family.

Heat Rating: 4 flames

It is a standalone story but book 2 in a series. It does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link | Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

Truth or…whoa, that’s not how this dare works!

 

Blurb

What happens when my big mouth writes a check it can’t cash while taunting my ex’s brother in a game of Truth or Dare? I end up with his tongue in my mouth. In my very straight, totally uninterested mouth.

While I don’t feel anything.

Nothing at all.

In fact, I barely noticed.

So, why can’t I stop thinking about it?

Truth or Darren features a troublemaker with good intentions, a guy who’s none too impressed with his sister’s ex, and an animosity that flares hotter than either of them could ever imagine–but which the townspeople of Granville, Nebraska, are all too happy to speculate about.

Excerpt

Darren caught my uneasy expression and smirked. “Oh, I’ve got the perfect dare.”

“Yeah?”

“I dare you to kiss a guy. And not just some peck. You have to mean it. Emulate Dawson over there and give it a hundred precent.”

“That’s the dare?”

“That’s it.”

I glanced around the group. “Any guy?”

His wide mouth quirked, eyes sparking with challenge and amusement. He thought he’d cornered me. Clearly, he didn’t know I was bi. I hadn’t come out until last year at Hayworth, and I hadn’t seen Darren in two years at least. “Yep. Any guy.”

“Even you?”

His grin slipped. “What?”

“I mean, you said any guy. You said you’re not scared of anything. And I know you’re not homophobic, right? You wouldn’t give me a dare like that because you think it’s a big deal to kiss a guy, right?”

Darren scoffed. “Pfft. What? No. I mean, I don’t think it’s a big deal. I can’t speak for what you might think of it.”

“Okay, then. I’ll take the dare and kiss you. Unless you’re gonna run scared when you’re in the hot seat?”

“Oh boy,” someone muttered behind me.

“This should be good,” someone else said with a small snicker.

Their comments washed over me as I stared down Darren. I’d come over here reluctantly, but his antagonism was exactly what I needed. I’d been brimming with rage for days, frustrated as my future plans were vaporized without warning, and Darren Rafferty made the perfect target.

He glared. “I don’t run from anything. Besides, it’s not like you’ve got the guts to kiss me.”

I barked a laugh. “You picked the wrong day to fuck with me.”

“Like I said, you don’t have the—”

I grabbed a fistful of his shirt and jerked him close, then slammed my mouth onto his. Darren stumbled into me, his hands clutching my waist as he caught his balance. His hard body pressed against mine, and heat lanced through me. Jesus, he was hot. I hated him, but he was so fucking gorgeous I couldn’t help but enjoy the kiss.

He gasped, startled, and I swept my tongue into his mouth. Darren had goaded me into this—and I was going to make the most of it. He tasted like Jack Daniel’s, which sent a flicker of guilt through me. He’d clearly been drinking. But he’d been clear-eyed when he’d challenged me, and I couldn’t seem to detach from his delectable mouth.

His tongue curled around mine, and my eyes rolled back in my head. I gripped his hair tighter, having no idea when I’d lifted my hands to touch him, and tried to maintain control of the kiss—but it was too late. Darren was in the driver’s seat now, and he relentlessly devoured my mouth, making me take everything he wanted to give as he kissed me back.

Wait a second. He was kissing me back.

What the fuck?

Shocked out of my lusty stupor, I jerked back. Darren’s eyes were wide and dark, a little intense as he stared at me. We were both breathing hard.

I was aware of the crowd of people watching us, all of them silent, as if waiting for all hell to break loose.

“Well,” he said, sounding surprisingly calm, “I guess I underestimated how far you’d go to prove me wrong.”

“No,” I said with a shit-eating grin. “You just failed to realize that daring me to kiss a guy is no dare at all.” I leaned in close and whispered. “I like men, Darren.”

He gaped. “Wh-what?”

“I’m bi, and you’re a dumbass,” I said. “I guess you didn’t get the memo.”

 

~ * ~ Jos Review ~ * ~

5 Stars
This is book 2 in the Games We Play series and I have to say I’m loving the series. They both have themes of bi-awakening and are sweeter and more romantic than the title may lead you to think. As the title does suggest this starts with a dare—a kiss—made by Darren to Linc. What Darren doesn’t know is that Linc is bi; what Darren doesn’t expect is that he likes kissing Linc.
These are really great MCs. Both are struggling with who they are which gives the story more depth than just the oh we like each other scenario. Linc’s family has lost their money but also has kept him in the dark. He’s struggling with fitting into a town that has always seen him as the rich outsider. Darren sees himself as the screw-up; his ADHD has led to some stupid decisions so he doesn’t trust himself. They really worked together and I loved Darren, he really was not what you expect at the start. Caring, considerate, and really swoon-worthy in my opinion.
This is a great story that was a perfect summer holiday read for me. Engaging characters, an interesting plot, light and easy to read but with an emotional centre and a really sweet love story. I read it in one sitting and it did everything I wanted, made me laugh, made me smile, made me sigh, made me feel warm on the inside, and left me feeling happy and content at the end that another great couple had got the HEA they deserved.
A very definite recommendation from me and I can’t wait for Kevin’s book.
***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement.***

 

~ * ~ Jens Review ~ * ~

4.5 Stars!
I really enjoyed this book. When I first started reading it, I thought it might be more angsty and enemies to lovers than I was ready for, but I ended up loving it as well as the changes in both Darren and Linc as the story progressed.
I loved how Darren opened himself up to Linc and showed Linc the side of himself that only his close friends and family see. I loved that Linc saw beyond the image Darren projected as well as the town’s perception of Darren. I enjoyed watching them grow and find confidence in themselves and each other. It was wonderful to see their trust and relationship build. The support they gave each other and those around them was fantastic. The rest of the town was entertaining as always; I loved how they all pitched in to help when needed.
I think you could read this one as a standalone, but honestly, the whole series has been fun to read. I  can’t wait for the next book!
*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement.*

 

About the Author

DJ Jamison writes romances about everyday life and extraordinary love featuring a variety of queer characters, from gay to bisexual to asexual. DJ grew up in the Midwest in a working-class family, and those influences can be found in her writing through characters coping with real-life problems: money troubles, workplace drama, family conflicts and, of course, falling in love. DJ spent more than a decade in the newspaper industry before chasing her first dream to write fiction. She spent a lifetime reading before that and continues to avidly devour her fellow authors’ books each night. She lives in Kansas with her husband, two sons, one snake, and a sadistic cat named Birdie.

 

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