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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Living Out Loud by Christina Lee & Nyrae Dawn

Beautiful and heart breaking at the same time, but also SEXY as hell! I loved both Ben and Xavier. They had a difficult childhood that made them into who they are today, but while Xavier is mostly content with his life, Ben has a lot of exploring to do - in the sexual sense, but also personally, learning to not only accept who he is, but to look for the things he loves and enjoys in the new life he is building himself now that he is free from his past' shackles.

Though this book is not a part of the "Free Fall" series, it's still connected. First because we've met Ben in the last installment "Paint the Stars" (he and Ezra were a couple in college), but also because there are mentions of other characters from the series. 

It can be read as a stand alone no worries. 

I'm going to start with a sort of a warning, but it's not a complaint it's just a heads up. This book contains A LOT of sex in it. I usually prefer my books to have less of it, but frankly it worked for me this time (and not only because it was HOT as F) because it made sense and showed not only the relationship buildup but also the change each of them went though as they got closer together. 

So let's start at the beginning.. Ben Emerson and Xavier Ramos were best friends growing up in a small religious town. Ben's father was the pastor and while Xavier's parents donated to the church they hardly ever attended.. Their friendship exploded when Xavier decided to kiss Ben in their favorite spot in the woods behind the church. Ben not knowing how to deal with what happened between them pulls back and a year later Xavier's family leaves town which totally severs their connection.

The years went by, Xavier made a life for himself in San Francisco. His parents didn't love him or want him around so when he was old enough to leave he did just that. He works in a record shop run by an old lady (Penny) who is practically his only family though he does have friends and enjoy a very active sexual life. He's good at it, he loves the sex and the fact that the day after they are gone from his life. No strings attached. Ben on the other hand had a bumpier road.. A truly heart crashing one. His parents didn't accept the fact he is gay and made their best efforts to convert him. It not only didn't work, it ruined him for many years (including the time he tried to have a relationship with Ezra). Hearing what he went through was horrific. But he is out of there for good, and he plans on building a life of his own, one he can be who he is without shame. Trouble is, sex is still confusing for him.. So when he reconnects with Xavier, now that they live in the same city, and learns about Xavier's ways, he asks him for help in the sex department.. 

Xavier has no problem accepting Ben's offer. After all the guy is sexy, what's to think about? But while they experiment with each other things start to change for both of them. For Ben the tension, fear and even aversion he used to feel slowly disappears as he learns to trust Xavier and enjoy their time together, taking it to the next level with each encounter. For Xavier it's a revelation that he wants more from Ben than just the sex. He enjoys their time together and the trust they share and slowly it becomes to both of them a lot more than they expected. 

Ben and Xavier were beautiful together. The past they shared made it easier for both of them to trust, to try something different, to experiment, not only in sex but in emotions and commitment. It takes them both time but they are building a relationship before they even realize they are doing it. I loved Penny's role in Xavier's life. On one of their last talks I was in tears. They care so much for one another, they mean so much to one another. It was simply beautiful. Though they are fictional characters I feel like wishing them all as many years together as possible. I was sad for Ben for what he has been through, for everything he had to endure, for the heart ache and sorrow he felt for Ezra and what happened between them, his need for love and appreciation from his family which came with such harsh conditions. It was truly heart breaking which is why seeing Ben and Xavier together at the end made me deliriously happy. Life isn't perfect, some don't get the happy family they deserve but they sure can make their own family, one that accepts them and loved them for who they are. 

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (prepare the Kleenex.. ;) )


Nyrae Dawn 

Nyrae Dawn can almost always be found with a book in her hand or an open document on her laptop. She couldn’t live without books—reading or writing them. Oh, and chocolate. She’s slightly addicted.

She gravitates toward character-driven stories. Whether reading or writing, she loves emotional journeys. It’s icing on the cake when she really feels something, but is able to laugh too. She’s a proud romantic, who has a soft spot for flawed characters, who make mistakes, but also have big hearts.

Whether she’s writing young adult, new adult, or adult you can always count on a healthy dose of romance from her books. She likes to tackle tough subjects, and believes everyone needs to see themselves in the stories they read.

Nyrae is living her very own happily ever after in California with her gorgeous husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two incredibly awesome kids.

Facebook / Website / Twitter

Christina Lee

Once upon a time, I lived in New York City and was a wardrobe stylist. I spent my days shopping for photo shoots, getting into cabs, eating amazing food, and drinking coffee at my favorite hangouts.

Now I live in the Midwest with my husband and son—my two favorite guys. I've been a clinical social worker and a special education teacher. But it wasn't until I wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper that I realized I could turn the fairytales inside my head into the reality of writing fiction.

I write Adult, New Adult, and M/M Contemporary Romance. I'm addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. I believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.

Facebook / Website / Twitter

I kindly received this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

This book is out TODAY [7 September 2017] go ahead and grab your copy! (Link bellow)

Read on:
1-2 September 2017

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