Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Book Tour for Pivot and Slip by Lilah Suzanne (Review & GIVEAWAY)


As a fan of the m/m genre I love discovering new-to-me authors. Today I'm bringing you a new-to-me author with her sweet yet sexy story revolving around sports and lost dreams.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of Pivot and Slip by Lilah Suzanne along with her thoughts on why readers love athletic characters.  You'll also get my impressions of this story and you can learn even more by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour.  Lilah will be awarding a $25 Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner during the tour as well as a free download of an Interlude Press eBook title or an author/book swag pack to one randomly drawn winner at each stop during the tour.

I think in part it’s on the radar of the public consciousness right now: openly gay athletes and how it’s still a difficult place to be out, why that is and how things may be slowly changing for the better.
For my own purposes, I was exploring the idea of the sports that are in my book—boxing, swimming, and even yoga to an extent—as these intense individual pursuits. If an athlete isn’t part of a team, then they sink or swim on their own merits and what is that like? How do they deal with the pressure? How do they deal with failures? And what happens when this thing that they’ve spent so much of their lives in pursuit of is gone one day? Because that is the reality for any athlete. And for me as a writer, it often feels similar. I am the person who has to sit down and pursue my dream, no one can do it for me. I am the one who has to keep going despite getting rejections or even no response at all.
So beyond of course the physique of an athlete being attractive and someone at their peak form being an enticing image, I do think there’s a sense of identifying with athletes. Their wins are our wins and their losses are our losses. So having that instant connection to a character, and that anyone understands working so hard for something and what it’s like to fail sometimes anyway, is really what draws people in and makes them root for these types of characters.

Former Olympic hopeful Jack Douglas traded competitive swimming for professional yoga and never looked back. When handsome pro boxer Felix Montero mistakenly registers for his Yoga for Seniors class, Jack takes an active interest both in Felix’s struggles to manage stress and in his heart, and discovers along the way that he may have healing of his own to do.
Faced with the ghosts of his athletic aspirations, can Jack return to his old dream or carve out a new path, and will their budding romance survive the test of Felix’s next bout in the ring?

EXCERPT:

Jack got down on all fours, shifted back with his arms out in front of him and popped his hips up high, stretching his legs out straight. So maybe it was a little difficult to hold his head up high when it was hanging upside down between his arms, and he could possibly have picked a better position than one that had him sticking his—
Felix made a choked-off noise next to him and Jack angled his head slightly to see what was wrong, worried that Felix had hurt his back by not doing the pose correctly. But he was still hunched on the mat watching Jack demonstrate the position, hands clenched, eyes wide and fixed unmistakably on Jack’s ass where it pushed up into the air and—oh.
Oh.
Jack wanted to preen a little, but that was unprofessional, of course. Not to mention a little tacky and vain. But if he swayed his hips just a bit more than was necessary while walking up to the front to dismiss everyone, well, he was just energized after a good session, was all.
He stood by the door, a constant stream of Goodbye and See you Tuesday and Murray stepping in close to say out of the corner of his mouth, “I may be losing my hearing but I sure ain’t blind,” with another wink as he passed by. And while Jack gaped after him, trying to figure out exactly what that was supposed to mean, Felix stopped in the doorway, nervously rubbing the back of his neck.
“Sorry I’m so hopeless,” he sighed.
“You are not hopeless, Felix.” Jack’s fingertips settled on Felix’s forearm before he caught himself and pulled back. Felix was obviously not what Jack had assumed, but still. There were lines. He was a student. “You just need to relax.”
“Yeah, I… struggle with that. A bit.” Felix scrunched his nose up and Jack just barely resisted the urge to bop it with his index finger.
“Well, I’m sure I can find a way to loosen you up,” Jack replied, then cringed at Felix’s startled expression. Way to not the cross the line there. “I—I mean. You’re so tense and I can help you out. Not help you out. Relieve the tension. Not like that! Oh, God. I’m shutting up now.”

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

It's said that when life gives you lemons make lemonade, but in this story it's more about making love and finding new dreams when old ones are lost.  It's a charming story with likable characters that left me with a smile on my face.  As her debut book, it's a promising start for Ms. Suzanne.

Jack was on track to become an Olympic swimmer when the pressures had him walking away from the sport.  He buried all the physical remains of his sport and let go of his past....or so he thought.  The day he encounters Felix, another lost soul, he realizes that he's been lying to himself and to help Felix he must once and for all make amends with his past.  To truly be happy is not to ignore past dreams but to blend them with the present.  Jack was immensely likable, charming with a sparkling personality.  He was a bundle of positivity and was supportive of everyone.  His interactions with his friend and roommate Lydia were reminiscent of siblings, playful and humorously chiding as she overtly played matchmaker between him and Felix.  His Seniors yoga class made for hilarious fodder too as his interactions with the older students were laugh out loud and showed some very spry elderly people.

They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul and with Felix that's very true as there's a world of hurt and loneliness radiating off him.  He loved boxing, it defined him and gave him friends that deserted him the day he was told to give up boxing or risk death.  He realized that there was no one to care for him until the day Jack touched him to offer comfort.  In that moment his life changed completely.  Jack brought him peace and support long thought lost.  Felix was a ball of anger, energy, and sex appeal.  Being with Jack stabilized him and took the weight of the world off him and you could sense a carefree attitude overtaking him as the story, and his relationship with Jack, progressed.  

Jack and Felix's pairing was delightful to see evolve as there were moments of awkwardness and unrelenting sexual tension.  Their interactions were sweet yet sexy with verbal banter loaded with sexual innuendos that made me smile.  Their sexual encounters were hot and were blended with some erotic yoga moves too.  They're an immensely likable couple with a relationship that had virtually no conflict which made for a pleasant, though slightly unchallenging, read.  From start to finish the story had a nice pace, heartwarming and thoughtful moments, sexy interludes, delightfully entertaining interactions with secondary characters, and gave me a few hours of fun.  This book shows great promise for Ms. Suzanne and I look forward to what she has planned next.

My rating for this is a B+

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

AUTHOR INFO:

Lilah Suzanne has been writing actively since the sixth grade, when a literary magazine published her essay about an uncle who lost his life to AIDS. A freelance writer, she has also authored a children’s book and has a devoted following in the fan fiction community.

WEBSITE:  www.lilahsuzanne.com
TWITTER:  @lilahsuzanne
PINTEREST:  www.pinterest.com/lilahsuzanne
FACEBOOK:  www.facebook.com/pages/Lilah-Suzanne/653282624749516
GOODREADS:  www.goodreads.com/author/show/8281044.Lilah_Suzanne
INTERLUDE PRESS AUTHOR PAGE:  http://store.interludepress.com/collections/frontpage/products/pivot-and-slip-by-lilah-suzanne

**********GIVEAWAY**********

a Rafflecopter giveaway

14 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for the review and question!

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  2. What was the hardest part of the story for you to write?

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    1. Probably the sports and yoga related stuff, just because I wanted to make sure I was using the correct terminology for everything. (Not so hard to watch videos of swimmers or yoga positions though!)

      Thanks for the question!

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  3. This sounds interesting

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  4. What a wonderful review for your book and makes me want to read it more and more and then once I have read it, as the reviewer says I will also look forward to what you write next :)

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  5. Thanks for the post, very interesting. =)

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  6. Thank you so much for the review. The bit about the yoga positions sounds interesting. :-)

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  7. I thought the mixing of the different types of athletes with yoga was interesting in your premise.

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  8. Sounds like a great read!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

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  9. I enjoyed the both the excerpt and your thoughts on this book.

    jmesparza821 at gmail dot com

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  10. I liked the EXCERPT!

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

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