Review: Homecoming

HomecomingHomecoming by Rick R. Reed
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is absolutely my favorite kind of story. The kind that takes me on a roller coaster ride and can make me cry, turn me on, and cause me to grip my e-reader more tightly before the uncertainty passes and I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. And it’s a hard combo to come by, because not many books actually make me cry. Get emotional? A little misty? Sure. But out and out sobbing like a child? Not likely, but this book did.

In a way I felt like Homecoming was not one love story but two. The romance that is beginning and the one that ended tragically are woven together beautifully. One flows into the other but not, to my mind, in such a way that it feels contrived or forced. I LOVED the juxtaposition of a man’s struggle to grieve for his lost love against the raunchiness and no-holds-barred sexuality of International Mr. Leather. Sock you in the gut emotion and fisting all in one book? I’m not sure it gets any better. 😉 I always want a story like this to be longer – I’ve gotten attached to the characters and invested in their story, and I hate to leave them so soon. At first I wanted to see more development at the end – more of the HEA. After a second read though, I actually felt that it really was done pretty perfectly.

And yes, I cried both times.

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Today’s Quickie: Win a Free Book by Rick R. Reed

Frankly, I don’t know why I keep posting these things. I have yet to win one of these contests and I haven’t been so irritated since the time I couldn’t get service to buy a soft pretzel at an Eagles concert. If I stopped announcing the contests, perhaps I’d have a better shot.

Nevertheless, I feel honor-bound (or something like that) to share the love. So – Rick R. Reed is giving away a copy of his new romance, HOMECOMING, and it looks to be a really good one. I’m pretty sure this is for today only, so act fast. For more info, contest details, blurb, excerpt, et-cetera, please go here.

Win a Free Book from Rick R. Reed

Just a short post for today…

So I recently discovered the mad genius of the man who had earned the title of “The Stephen King of Gay Horror” (which is the best catch-phrase EVER, if you ask me).

I stumbled upon Rick R. Reed’s website eons ago, and while I was intrigued by some of his book titles, I abstained because…I don’t like to read Stephen King (He’s a genius writer; I just don’t like horror much. Don’t throw tomatoes at me!). So the comparison, while brilliant from a marketing perspective, made me squeamish as a reader. Anyhoo, I was finally encouraged to take the plunge, and I’m so glad I did.

Reed’s latest, TRICKS, is not horror. It’s a love story. But like all horror writers, Reed writes with the goal of freaking the reader out and TRICKS is no exception. And it’s awesome!

It’s a gripping story of two young men who appear, at first blush, to have absolutely no common ground on which to build a workable relationship. But when Arliss, a poorly-educated male stripper from the wrong side of the tracks, meets Sean who is an older yuppie type and just happened to wander into Tricks one night when he was nursing a broken heart — an unlikely attraction happens.

And here’s the best part: about a third of the way into the book, things age going well for the couple. A little TOO well. Which tells me I’m either reading a shitty author that doesn’t know how to use conflict, or a wicked-nasty shoe is about to drop. I wasn’t reading a shitty author.

So things go south when Arliss gets approached by a porn producer, and *gasp* Sean has a problem with it. Not only that, turns out the porn producers have shady intentions. So will Arliss and Sean be able to work our their difference of opinion? What will Arliss do when he figures out what he’s gotten himself into? Can Sean help Arliss? Will he even want to?

I gotta say, this book has scored squarely in my top five favorite stories of all time thanks to the “holy shit” factor of the ending. It socked me in the gut and kept me reading, because even when I was pretty sure I had figured out the punch-line I was naive enough to think “Nah, that wouldn’t be it.” And despite the fact that it was a ROMANCE so I knew a happy ending was supposed to be coming, I honestly had my doubts about whether or not those two crazy kids were gonna be able to get their shit together. I couldn’t begin to see how. I mean, we’re talking a stripper and a white-collar nerd, not two burly police detectives who know their way around a sparring mat and a Glock.

So how does it all shake out? I encourage you to find out. The book is available on Amazon in both kindle and paperback, and if you ACT NOW, Reed is giving away a free signed copy on his blog. The winner will be announced tomorrow morning, so strike while the iron is hot!