Welcome to my little corner of the COLOR of LOVE 2016 blog hop!
There's a massive giveaway associated with the hop, so make sure you scroll all of the way to the end once you read about my featured author!
We are celebrating multicultural and interracial love, so if you enjoy romance novels featuring people of color, then keep reading.
It is my pleasure to share a couple of Tara Lain's m/m titles that I have enjoyed. I admit, it took me a little while to remember that there were persons of color in several of Tara's stories, as that aspect is nicely melded in with the storyline and provides richness to the story as one partner learns more about another's culture (even though sometimes that is shapeshifting mores or other paranormal societal aspects, lol). Please make sure to visit Reviews by Crystal to see a couple of Tara's other stories, and leave a comment at the bottom to be in the giveaway for an e-book from Tara's backlist (does NOT include the two recent releases, Cowboys Don't Come Out and Death Dancer)
These are ADULT titles
Cowboys Don't Come Out
by Tara Lain
Blurb: Rand McIntyre settles for good enough. He loves his small California ranch, raising horses, and teaching riding to the kids he adores—but having kids of his own and someone to love means coming out, and that would jeopardize everything he’s built. Then, despite his terror of flying, he goes on a holiday to Hana, Hawaii, with his parents and meets the dark and mysterious Kai Kealoha, a genuine Hawaiian cowboy. Rand takes to Kai’s kid brother and sister as much as he drools over Kai, but the guy sports more prickles than a horned toad and more secrets than the exotic land he comes from.
Kai’s earned his privacy and lives to protect his “kids.” He ought to stay away from the big, handsome cowboy for everyone’s sake—but since the guy’s just a haole on a short vacation, how much damage can he do? When all of Kai’s worst fears and Rand’s darkest nightmares come true at once, there’s not much chance for two cowboys who can’t—or won’t—come out.
What did I expect? Whatever he thought, this wasn’t it. The small living room/dining area/kitchen combo shone so clean and bright, it defied the shabbiness. An old couch had been decorated with a bright throw covered with Hawaiian flower prints, while a couple of chairs stood opposite it, looking comfy if worn. At the center of things, a large table was set for three with mismatched but colorful ceramic dinnerware, and at the stove, wearing shorts, flip-flops, and an apron, stood Kai.
He frowned stormily. “What the hell are you doing here?”
“I brought the kids.” Rand crossed his arms. Not moving.
Kai’s dark eyes flashed at his sister. “Damn it, Lani.”
Rand took a step forward. “Don’t you yell at her because you’re too chicken to face me.”
“Chicken?” He glanced at Lani and Aliki, and his chest expanded with a big breath. “It’s complicated.”
Rand walked to the couch and sat. “I’ve got time to hear all about it.”
Kai huffed and turned back to the great-smelling onions frying in his pan. “Go back to your girlfriend and leave us alone.”
Rand glanced at Lani, who gazed at him like he should do something. “I already explained to Lani and Aliki how sorry I am about breaking up our party unexpectedly. My mom invited Julie, and I was so surprised, I didn’t act appropriately. I apologize.”
Aliki walked over and wrapped his arms around Kai’s waist. “Hey, brah, give the cowboy a break. He’s our friend, right?”
Kai looked down at his brother. Rand tilted his head to see Kai’s expression, and it was—soft. “Yeah, kaikaina, he’s our friend.” Kai looked over Aliki’s head, his face neutral. His chest expanded, contracted, and he said, “You want to stay for lunch, brah?”
Rand nodded. “Yeah. I’d like that. What can I do to help?”
“Maybe Aliki can be persuaded to eat salad if he knows his riding teacher made it?” He held Aliki’s chin and stared into his face. The kid wrinkled his nose and ran to the back of the house. Kai yelled, “Change your clothes and then come back and help.”
Lani had removed her boots and was wiping them with a cloth. “I’ll change too and be right back.” She grinned at Rand and walked out.
Alone—at last. “I really am sorry about yesterday.”
“Nothing to be sorry for. Hell, what you and your folks did for my kids—I can’t even say.” He shook his head, but his eyes never left the pan to which he’d added tomatoes, ground beef, and a bunch of spices that made the whole room fragrant and Rand’s belly rumble.
“I’m talking about you. You and me. I’m sorry for putting you in such a weird position.”
He glanced at Rand, frowned, and lowered his voice. “There’s no ‘you and me.’ You’re a haole tourist, brah, who goes back to his life tomorrow. I’m a brown-skinned dropout with mouths to feed.”
As kicks in the teeth went, that one qualified as pure, fourteen-carat-gold truth.
And at iBooks
4 out of 5 stars
Cowboys Don't Come Out by Tara Lain is a contemporary m/m romance story featuring Rand McIntyre, whose forced vacation to Maui with his parents has unexpectedly pleasant consequences. Unwillingly driven to pursue his attraction to Kai Kealoha, Rand discovers the complex Hawaiian cowboy has plenty of secrets of his own, and their relationship may end before it can even begin, especially since they are both in the closet.
There are certain things I can depend on when I read one of this author’s stories, including sexy caring males with plenty of baggage, and a learning curve as each has to learn about the other’s lifestyle. I am always amazed that she is able to adeptly address poignant and serious issues in a way that acknowledges the pain and angst that accompanies them without making the reader feel overwhelmed and weighted down. Her main characters all share determination and tenacity, and I was particularly enchanted by the humility and loving nature displayed by these guys, even as I regretted the pressures that made them afraid to admit their attraction. There are a couple of awkward scenes that seemed a bit forced, but the overall story gave me a warm fuzzy feeling even as it reminded me of the beauty and history present in the Hawaiian Islands, not to mention the fascination that horses seem to engender in people of all ages. This was a wonderful way to armchair travel while enjoying a sensual and heartwarming story that required a tissue or two, but had such charismatic secondary characters that I hope to see them all again at some point.
A copy of this title was provided to me for review
Tackling the Tight End
by Tara Lain
A Novel in the Long Pass Chronicles
Everyone wants the best for SCU student and tight end Raven Nez—and they know exactly what that is. Enter the NFL draft, become a big football hero, promote his tribe’s casino, and make a lot of money to help people on the reservation. Just one problem. Raven’s gay and he really wants to work with gay kids. Plus he figures a gay Native tight end will get flattened in the NFL. Then the casino board hires a talented student filmmaker to create ads for the tribal business and asks Raven to work with him. But the filmmaker is Dennis Hascomb, a guy with so much to hide and a life so ugly it’s beyond Raven’s understanding. Still, he’s drawn to Dennis's pain and incredible ability to survive. Captivated by Raven’s stories of the two-spirited and by the amazing joy of finally having a friend, Dennis knows he has to break free from everything he’s ever been taught was good—but that’s a struggle that could kill him and Raven too. Is there a chance for “the great red hope” and the “whitest guy on earth”? A future for the serpent and the raven?
Dennis’s heart kept pounding in his throat as he crawled out of Walt’s car in the parking lot of the burger place and watched Raven’s long legs emerge from the front seat onto the pavement beside him. Jesus, he was about to go eat with this guy who looked like a god. Man, that was some kind of new milestone. He leaned over and peered in the front seat. “Thanks for driving, Walt. And for including me. Good to meet you.”
“Yeah. Same here.” Walt gave a wave to Raven. “See you later, lover.” After Raven slammed the door, Walt drove off.
“He seems like a great guy.”
Raven nodded as he walked toward the door of the diner. “Yeah, he’s the best. Been my friend since we were kids.” All those strong planes in his face seemed to soften. “Sometimes I’m not sure how I’d get through a day without Walt.” He pulled his jacket tighter and seemed to shudder against the breeze. Weird that Dennis wanted to wrap his arms around Raven to keep him warm. Weirder since he probably couldn’t get his arms halfway around the guy’s chest.
“But Walt’s not your boyfriend?” He swallowed hard.”
Raven seemed to take a breath. “Uh, no. Just friends.”
“I heard he was your guy.”
He shrugged. “We exaggerate our friendship a little to keep our families from trying to hook us up. I’d appreciate it if you kept it to yourself.”
“Sure. No big.” Why did he want to laugh? Maybe just because Raven Nez trusted him with a secret.
They got inside and were given a booth in the back. Walking behind Raven, Dennis got to watch people stare. Women’s lips parted and stayed open like they couldn’t catch their breath. A few people nudged each other, probably recognizing him from TV or the newspapers. The height, the hair, the overall gorgeousness. Hell, who wouldn’t stare? They slid onto the bench seats opposite each other and ordered burgers with fries and Cokes.
Raven smiled. “I really enjoyed getting to see that film in a new light. You were right. I’d never noticed the complete lack of law in the film—except for the law of the crooks. But the nihilism thing. I don’t know. The film is so exuberant and full of fun. I don’t think it says that God or meaning is dead, you know?”
Dennis grinned. Wow, Raven got it. The waitress brought their food, and Dennis dug in. So great getting to eat something his mother hadn’t cooked, and with another person—kind of like a friend. Of course, Raven wouldn’t be anything like a friend if he knew who Dennis was and what he did. He fought a shudder.
Raven took a huge bite, chewed, then tried to talk around his swallow which was kind of cute. “Butch and Jules get away, don’t they? I mean, it seemed like they both found something.”
“Yeah, interesting observation. I mean, it’s like one found God.”
Raven nodded. “And the other found love.”
Together they said, “Same thing.” Raven laughed and spit some bread on the table. It was fun to see him a little less than cool.
Dennis wiped his mouth with his napkin. “You ever been in love?”
“Is, uh, falling in love with a guy the same as falling in love with a girl?” He snorted. “Sorry. Dumb question. You just said you’ve never been in love.”
“And I’ve never been with a girl.”
“No kidding? Not even in high school or anything?”
“No. I knew I was gay when I was little. My grandfather raised me to accept the idea that some people are two-spirited, so I was actually excited when I realized I was. I rushed to tell my folks.” He shook his head. “As you can imagine, they weren’t quite so thrilled.”
“That must have been tough.”
He shrugged, but he didn’t look casual. “My grandfather intervened and told them stories of the old ways.” He shoved a couple of fries in his mouth.
“So your grandfather brought your parents around?”
“Not really. They accept my being gay, but they don’t like it.”
“Hell. Accepting is huge compared to some people I know.” Dennis shuddered. “So Indians, I mean, Native Americans accepted, uh, homosexuality?”
“Some tribes. It’s not the Native way to deny something out of existence or make laws against stuff that happens in nature. In some communities the two-spirited were actually revered and considered closer to spirit. Of course, often they were more like what we might call transgender. Not just guys who love guys.”
“Hell, that seems a lot better than being told you’re bad by your church for something you can’t change.” Jesus, he should change the subject. This one made him want to cry.
Raven shoved back his empty plate and sipped his Coke. “Yeah. I volunteer at the Gay Youth Shelter and, man, between their parents throwing them out and their churches calling them perverts, a lot of those kids barely escape suicide.” He stared at the dark liquid in his glass. “Some of them don’t escape.”
“That’s crazy.” So crazy he totally got it.
Also at iBooks
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 34. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!
- 1st prize $75 GC + 7 ebooks
- 2nd prize $50 GC + 7 ebooks
- 3rd prize $30 GC + 7 ebooks
- 4th prize $15 GC + 7 ebooks
- 5th prize $10 GC + 7 ebooks
- 6th prize $5 GC + 7 ebooks
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Reviews by Crystal and I also have a giveaway!
One person who comments on either of our posts for the Color of Love Tour about one of the must-read titles or authors found on this tour will win an e-book from Tara's backlist (does NOT include the two recent releases, Cowboys Don't Come Out and Death Dancer). Please leave a valid e-mail address. A winner will be chosen from those who have left a relevant comment after December 5, 2016.
Follow the hop to discover more great books and authors, and maybe even a giveaway or two!
|Kiru Taye||16.||Sharon C. Cooper||31.||Synithia Williams|
|2.||Nana Prah||17.||Candace Shaw||32.||L. Loren|
|3.||Empi Baryeh||18.||Natasha Blackthorne||33.||LaQuette|
|4.||RWOWA||19.||Sydney Aaliyah Michelle||34.||Jamie Wesley|
|5.||Sexy Romance Novels||20.||Kenya Wright||35.||A.J. Locke|
|6.||Kai Tyler||21.||Delaney Diamond||36.||A.C. Melody|
|7.||Love Bites and Silk||22.||LaVerne Thompson||37.||Kay Blake|
|8.||Felicia Denise||23.||Tia Kelly||38.||Sheena Binkley|
|9.||Guinevere & Libertad||24.||Patience Saduwa||39.||M.J. Kane|
|10.||G.L. Tomas||25.||Paulette Harper|
|11.||Georgia Lyn Hunter||26.||LENA HART||41.||Reviews by Crystal|
|12.||Lea's Crazy Nights||27.||S.W.Frank||42.||Dionne Grace|
|13.||Lily Harlem||28.||Reana Malori||43.||Nana Malone|
|14.||Kim Golden||29.||Rina Gray||44.||https://www.ingeriversen.com/blog/coloroflove|
|15.||Ines Johnson||30.||Joyfully Reviewed||45.||Inger Iversen|