Release Blitz ~ The Glow Up by A.M. Johnson (Review + Excerpt + Giveaway)

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Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway:
The Glow Up
By A.M. Johnson

The Glow Up Cover

Franklin University Series, Book 5

Chris Delaney

I’ve promised myself that this was going to be the year to finally buckle down. I’m a junior, and I’ve settled on a major. I’ve got focus and determination. The one thing I haven’t figured out yet? How to deal with the massive crush I’ve been harboring on the guy in study carrel six.

I don’t know his name and some of my friends think it’s time for me to move on, but he has this whole sexy, broody, dark eyes and messy hair thing going for him. And yeah, he seems like he could be my polar opposite. The kind of unapproachable, serious type who doesn’t smile much, but I’d like to think he’s all rays of sunshine underneath his stormy expressions and disheveled demeanor. All that intense energy… I dig it.

I want to know him.

The rub?

I’ll have to find the courage to actually introduce myself.

Aiden Russo

The college experience is supposed to be parties, drinking, and fun with a few classes mixed in. It sounds pretty amazing, right? For me, it turned out to be endless lectures, avalanches of homework, and copious amounts of caffeine. The study carrel might as well be my dorm room. And that guitar under my bed? It’s got two years of dust growing on it. But this is the life I have to lead if I’m ever going to help my dad.

Pre-med isn’t for the weak.

The problem? Loneliness holds me hostage.

If only I could find someone willing to break through my ever-present cloud bank, and remind me what it’s like to have fun again.

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Thick smoke curled from the joint’s tip as I held it to my lips. The cloudless sky overhead bore down on my exposed shoulders, baking my skin in the California sun. I frowned and stared at the sidewalk for the hundredth time in the last ten minutes from my perch on the rooftop of the science building.

“Shit…” I wheezed and sputtered, choking and waving away the exhaled smoke.

“Such a novice. Are we feeling dramatic today?” Tommy asked, and I decided he wasn’t the most supportive friend I’d ever had.

Tommy was the Tommiest of all the Toms with his perfectly styled deep side part, polo t-shirts, and his love for being the life of the party.

“I don’t usually smoke this shit. You know that.”

He rolled his eyes and took a smooth drag like it wasn’t dragon fire. “Edibles are for the weak.”

“Edibles are for people who’d rather not pollute their lungs. But thank you for sharing,” I said without much conviction as my eyes snagged on a guy coming up the path.

I sighed. It wasn’t him.

“He isn’t coming.” My shoulders slumped as I leaned back onto my elbows. “My life is over.”

“Yup, definitely fucking dramatic.” He held his hand to my forehead, and I swatted it away. “Your obsession is starting to worry me, my friend.” Tommy licked his fingers and dashed out the joint. “This guy doesn’t even know you exist.”


He laughed, his bloodshot eyes squinting in the sunlight as he stared at me. “Your optimism will be your downfall.”

“Thanks.” I sat up and pulled my legs from over the roof’s ledge. Standing, I wiped my hands on my jeans. “I better get back to work.”

“Don’t get mad at me, dude. I’m only speaking the truth. You’ve been salivating over this guy since freshman year, and you don’t even know his name. That’s kind of… weird.”

“One… I’m not mad.” I held up my fingers. “Two… in my opinion, names are overrated. And three… fuck you, I am not weird.”

TGU Teaser 1

~ * ~ Kathys Review ~ * ~

5 Stars
Ms. Johnson is a stellar writer and this book of first love is no exception. The story chronicles two young men in college and their adorable yet at times bumpy experiences finding each other.
Chris was my favorite hands down. He had a hippie, beach-kissed persona but he really did have a great deal of depth. Chris has a holistic approach to life and appears easygoing. The guy he has secretly crushed on for a while is pretty much the opposite.
Aiden is struggling with school and has the noblest of intentions. He puts himself last and focuses all of his energy on helping his father. He is strung so tight it was a delight to see the two men connect over a very cute scene which you need to discover on your own.
Aidan is steadfast in his resolve to muddle through a degree that’s stripping the joy from his soul. Chris slowly sneaks into the cracks of his armor and it was wonderful to see a slow and beautiful transformation of both the students. Aiden really tugged at my heart but Chris brought light and joy to this novel.
Another hit from the Franklin U series and I so highly recommend this book. Happy reading!

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

~ * ~ Annies Review ~ * ~

4.5 Stars

The Glow Up marks the fifth book in the Franklin U series. While there is a shared world and minimal character overlap, this collection of collegiate romances by various authors can be read as standalones or out of order. A.M. Johnson is an auto-read author for me, so I was really excited to see she was part of this series. I loved how this was fun and flirty but still had that great story and characters I’ve come to expect from the author.

Stories that surprise me always earn extra kudos, and The Glow Up did just that. At first, I expected a somewhat simple college-aged romance. While I got some of that lighter tone that fits well with the characters’ age, this story proved to be so much more than a simple romance. Chris and Aiden were likable characters with wonderful hearts and love for their families.

I really liked the way Chris’s light, breezy attitude captured Aiden’s heart and encouraged him to embrace his college experience. Beyond the initial meet-cute and plotline, I loved how much depth both young men had in their characters. Chris and Aiden had starkly different life experiences that shaped them, and it made for a really interesting story seeing these two come together, learn from, and fall for each other. The character and relationship progression throughout the book was done very well, allowing Aiden and Chris’s feelings for one another to develop and solidify with time. However, I think it was the way the story culminated in both young men’s decisions about life, love, and family bonds that really stuck with me. If you enjoy college-aged romances with plenty of depth to go along with great physical and emotional chemistry, I definitely recommend The Glow Up.

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

Enter the Giveaway:

To celebrate this exciting release, Amanda is giving away an eBook and a Paperback of the winner’s choice from A.M. Johnson’s backlist!

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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AM Johnson

About the Author:

Amanda is an award-winning and best selling author of LGBTQIA and contemporary romance and fiction. She lives in Utah with her family where she moonlights as a nurse on the weekends and hikes in the mountains as much as possible.

If she’s not busy with her three munchkins, you’ll find her buried in a book or behind the keyboard where she explores the human experience through the written word, exploring all spectrums and genres.

She’s obsessed with all things Hockey, Austen, and Oreos, and loves to connect with readers!

Stay up to date by signing up for her newsletter here:

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IG @am_johnson_author


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