Thursday 3 August 2017

Blog Tour, Review & Excerpt ~ A Little Bit Like Love (South Haven #1) by Brooke Blaine


A Little Bit Like Love, an all-new sexy STANDALONE MM romance from Brooke Blaine is available NOW!


A Little Bit Like Love by Brooke Blaine
Publication Date: July 27th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance/MM Romance

Book Description:

What if you had everything in the world you wanted…except the man you’d left behind?

Jackson Davenport, the charismatic, strait-laced heir to the Davenport fortune, has a secret. One he’s been hiding since he graduated from South Haven all-boys academy—and that secret’s name is Lucas.

When a work trip takes Jackson back to his old stomping grounds, memories of the year he shared with Lucas come crashing to the surface. With growing pressure from his father to settle down and take over the family business, Jackson knows he’s on borrowed time, and sets out to find the free-spirited daredevil he once knew.

But Lucas isn’t the same man he was eight years ago.

One night. A shattered heart. And an endless parade of nameless faces. Lucas Sullivan is South Haven’s ultimate playboy, a reputation he’s honed since the only boy he ever loved left without a trace. To the world, he’s brash and confident, an in-demand artist who spends his days designing one-of-a-kind pieces and his nights as king of the downtown scene.

Many have tried and failed to get past the barrier he’s carefully constructed, but it’s the shy, studious boy he once coaxed out of his shell who still haunts him.

Maybe it was a mistake. Maybe it was lust. Or maybe…it was a little bit like love.


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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4.5 stars

“ Lucas had once been so much a part of me that I’d felt like half of myself when he wasn’t around, and as we reconnected with each other, it was like finding a part of myself I’d forgotten I’d lost.”

For Brooke Blaine’s first foray into M/M she has got this down pat. This book was seriously HOT, I mean flaming, scorching, kindle combusting hot. I love my M/M, I love second chance romance, so when you blend the two together…you get a winner and this won on so many levels. I crave emotion in my reads and for some reason it is always a little harder to achieve in M/M. For some authors, it comes naturally and that is what Brooke Blaine achieved with A Little Bit Like Love, I lived this book, I breathed this book, I felt EVERYTHING and I loved seriously hard.

Eight years ago, Jackson and Lucas meant the world to one and other, they were each other’s only friend, confidante and eventually a whole lot more. This was a relationship born at an all-boys academy, where neither fitted in until they found each other. Hormones were flying, emotions running high but what they had together only comes around once and it seems that their time was going to be short-lived.

“And there was nothing I wanted more in that moment than to hate him.”

Jackson’s father was a homophobe and when he got wind of Jackson’s intimate relationship with Lucas he pulled his son out of there before Jackson could even muster the courage to say goodbye. The fall-out was tremendous to both men. Lucas was distraught, mentally and emotionally and the scars from his relationship with Jackson are still worn in the present. Lucas has never been able to love since, his attitude to love severely jaded and he was reticent to put himself out there because he couldn’t stand the heart ache a second time around, he wouldn’t survive it. Instead he is the king of one-night stands and his reputation precedes him.

“Even after all this time. I thought I’d gotten over it. Accepted it, moved past it. But seeing him again brought back every ounce of hurt and shame I’d felt back then, which pissed me off because it meant I was still broken. And it was all his fucking fault.”

Jackson is still being groomed to take over the family business and to participate in an arranged marriage. When a new client takes him to the town he once shared with Lucas all the old memories flood back and when he hears Lucas’s name mentioned in passing he cannot stop himself from seeking his ex-lover out.

“I wish we had more time,”
“We have all the time in the world, Jackson. You and me.”

This was a book of misunderstandings, lies, betrayal and omissions. A father who was selfish and would stoop to any level to get what he wanted even to the detriment of his own son’s happiness. At times, this was heart breaking and tears were spilled but also this was incredibly uplifting too. Old feelings come back in a tsunami for both men, but trusts have been broken and need time to heal.

“But I knew. I’d always known. Jackson Davenport had burrowed his way into my soul a long time ago, and damn if he hadn’t ever let go.”

Both men had alienated themselves from, both living in their own little bubble that they were too afraid to pop for fear of the truths becoming exposed. Both men had pined for the other and both men had never been able to move on. As I said above, the emotional side was on point and their personal journey was one I took with them every step of the way. Absolutely adored this book and I cannot wait to see what else comes from this series.


WITH THE NOTE from Principal Stewart crumpled in my fist, I stalked away from his office, away from the words I knew would haunt me forever.
“I’m sorry, Jackson. Your father is quite…insistent you return to Connecticut immediately.”
Immediately…immediately… With every echo of that word through my mind, my heart battered my chest, the ache to rip itself free of my body a plea I was helpless to honor.
There was only one reason he would’ve demanded I leave South Haven before the end of classes next week. My father had been adamant I receive the best education his money afforded, choosing to ship me down to south Georgia to attend the most prestigious all-boys academy in the country. I’d done him proud, rising to the top of my class, and I’d been practicing my salutatorian speech for days. Skipping out on graduation and the pomp and circumstance and recognition that came with it? Out of the question. Which could only mean one thing.
He knew. Somehow he knew.
That was the only explanation for the letter in my hand, for the abrupt dismissal this late in the evening and this close to the end of the school year. My father hadn’t gotten to where he was by being stupid or blind, and I’d seriously underestimated how many eyes and ears had been watching me during my four years. Although it would’ve only been the whispers over the last few months that piqued his interest, only the last eight that he would’ve had any reason to give me a second thought.
And that reason wasn’t a what—it was a who.
The halls of the St. John’s dormitory were silent when I entered, all the students down at the mess hall for dinner, followed by the final bonfire of the year. So there wouldn’t be anyone around to see me sneak down the hall to where I knew I shouldn’t be going but couldn’t help myself. My feet seemed to move of their own accord, the countdown to my utter devastation causing me to pick up the pace. The private plane would arrive in a handful of hours, giving me just enough time to pack my things, but there was no way I could leave without a goodbye. Not going to happen.
I wasn’t ready. I was supposed to have more time. As a cold sweat of panic seized me, I balled the letter tighter in my fist and chucked it into one of the trash bins as I passed.
Screw my father. Screw the life he’d set out for me, the one I was destined to live and hate with every fiber of my being. I wanted to bottle up every one of his expectations and throw the blasted thing out at an angry sea to swallow up and tear apart instead.
I wished it could be as easy as that. I’d been able to fool myself into a sense of freedom, but the cell door was about to smash shut on every dream I’d let myself have these past few months.
His private dorm was at the end of the long hall, last one on the right, and I rapped on it twice fast, waited a moment, and then repeated the pattern that we used for each other. A few seconds later, the door swung open, and seeing the sole object of my daily and nightly thoughts standing there in front of me with a mixture of surprise and delight in his eyes made me think that coming here had been a mistake. It was only going to sink the dagger in farther.
“Hey…I thought we were meeting la—” Lucas’s words cut off and the smile curling his lips fell as he got a good look at my face. “What’s wrong?”
You should tell him. Tell him what’s going on and that it isn’t your fault. Look him in the eye when you tell him you can never see him again.
A shooting pain tore through my chest as I realized what this goodbye actually meant. I wasn’t saying I wouldn’t be seeing him for the next couple of days or weeks. When I left South Haven’s campus in the early hours of the morning, I wouldn’t be seeing him again…ever.
God, can I do this? Break his heart as well as mine?
No…no, I couldn’t tell him. He’d look for me, find me, and there was no telling what my father would do if that happened. The letter had been my old man’s warning. Disobeying his orders would mean consequences neither of us were prepared for.
“Jackson?” Lucas’s voice dropped low, and then he looked past me out into the deserted hall. When he didn’t see anyone to blame on my current state, he frowned and waited for an answer.
The words didn’t come, though, so I stood there staring at him, taking a mental snapshot that I’d store away in a place no one could find and destroy. His black hair was casually tousled, and I knew him well enough to know he’d worried his hands through it, maybe wondering if I wouldn’t follow through on our plans tonight. He wore a simple grey t-shirt and low-slung jeans on his long and lean frame, and the swirl of black tattoos he’d recently inked on his tanned skin could be seen peeking around his right bicep before disappearing from view behind the thin material of his shirt. He was striking, both in looks and personality, and to say I hadn’t been expecting the force that was Lucas Sullivan when he’d transferred to the academy eight months ago was an understatement.
Quite simply, I’d been lost to him the first time I laid eyes on him.
Forcing myself to shake off my dread, I said, “I’m okay,” and tried to believe it for his sake.
“Well, you look like hell.” He leaned against the doorway, one of those charming half-grins cocking up one side of his lips. “Hell on wheels, anyway. What’d you do, run all the way here?”
Not too far off there. I didn’t even remember crossing campus to get to his dorm until I was in front of the building.
When I didn’t laugh at his teasing, Lucas’s expression fell again and his brows pulled down, a crease forming between them as his eyes, the color of a stormy sky, gave me a thorough once-over, looking for the source of my pain. He was silent for a long moment, but he must’ve seen something he didn’t like, because he stiffened and his jaw clenched. Then he took a deep breath and let it out in a rush.
“Tell me.”
“Tell you what?” I asked.
Lucas shook his head, his arms going over his chest. “I’m not helping you out here. If you came here for a reason, get out with it.”
Did he know? He couldn’t. I’d only just found out myself, and… No. There was no way. “It’s…complicated.”
Lucas gave a humorless chuckle. “Jackson Davenport, I knew you were scared, but I never took you for a coward. If you don’t want to do this, you can man the hell up and tell me to my face.”
“What are you… I’m not…” I ran my hand over my face, struggling to understand the conclusion he’d come to for why I was standing at his door. My lack of a poker face had put him on the defensive. He thought I was here to reject him. An idea so completely unfathomable to me that it made my stomach turn thinking about it. “Lucas…you’ve got this all wrong.”
“Do I?”
“Yes. I’m not here to—“ I almost said “end things with you,” but I didn’t want to lie to him. I never had and I never would. Instead, I said, “Fight with you. I don’t want to fight.”
“Then why are you here, Jackson?” he asked, and my gaze fell to his lips. I’d tasted those lips only a few times, not nearly enough to quench a starving man’s hunger. All these months I’d wasted, warring with myself in my head, never letting myself have the thing I wanted most. And now I was down to a matter of hours. It wasn’t enough, not nearly enough. But it was all I had, and I wasn’t wasting another second.
If I couldn’t tell Lucas how I felt about him, then I’d show him.

And starting now.

About the Author: 

You could say Brooke Blaine was a book-a-holic from the time she knew how to read; she used to tell her mother that curling up with one at 4 a.m. before elementary school was her ‘quiet time.’ Not much has changed except for the espresso I.V. pump she now carries around and the size of her onesie pajamas. She is the author of Flash Point, a romantic suspense standalone, as well as the co-author of the erotic series, A Desperate Man, with Ella Frank. The latter has scarred her conservative southern family for life, bless their hearts. Licked, a romantic comedy, will be released November 11th, 2015 and is the first in the L.A. Liaisons series. If you’d like to get in touch with her, she’s easy to find - just keep an ear out for the Rick Astley ringtone that’s dominated her cell phone for ten years.

Connect with Brooke: 

Twitter- @BrookeBlaine1

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