As a fan of LB Gregg I'm honored to introduce you to her latest m/m read, There's Something About Ari, the second installment in A Bluewater Bay Story featuring the colorful denizens of this idyllic small town. Keep reading to get a taste of this book, and the series itself, along with the chance to win a $10 Riptide Publishing GC just for leaving a meaningful comment. Learn even more about this book and earn more entries into the giveaway by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour. You'll also get to see my thoughts on this installment, and see what I thought about the previous book, before adding both of them to your bookshelf........
Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.
Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.
This collaborative story world is brought to you by ten award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors: L.A. Witt, L.B. Gregg, Z.A. Maxfield, Aleksandr Voinov, Heidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz, Anne Tenino, Amy Lane, SE Jakes, and G.B. Gordon. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.
Join L.A. Witt and L.B. Gregg for the Welcome to Bluewater Bay Tour, and check out Starstruck and There's Something About Ari to meet the cast, crew, and locals!
Buck Ellis’s future seems pretty damn bright. With a full college scholarship in hand, he’s going to ditch Bluewater Bay and pave the way for his kid brother Charlie to do the same. The only fly in Buck’s ointment is his ten-year addiction to his best friend since second grade, his true love, and his Achilles heel: Ari Valentine, Mr. Least Likely to Succeed.
But then Buck’s mother dies, changing everything, and five years later, his future is still on hold. It’s a struggle to keep food on the table, a roof over their heads, and Charlie on the straight and narrow. Buck can’t afford any temptation, especially in the form of the newly returned, super hot, super confident, super successful television star Ari Valentine.
ADHD poster-child Ari Valentine left for Hollywood and lost everything, including his bad reputation. Then the breakthrough role of his skyrocketing career lands him back in Bluewater Bay, to the stunned disbelief of, well, everyone. But there’s only one person Ari longs to impress—the only person who ever really mattered to him, the person he left behind: Buck Ellis.
*****DISCOVER EVEN MORE ABOUT THIS BOOK HERE*****
MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
Friends to lovers stories are one of my favorite themes and it's on full display here as readers witness the heartwarming yet heartbreaking journey to HEA between Ari and Buck. The quiet town of Bluewater Bay is getting noisier as Hollywood continues to invade in this second installment in the series that put a smile on my face and charmed me from the very first page to the last. It's not a perfect story though it kept me completely enthralled with its delightful main characters, a cast of colorful and memorable secondary characters, and unrelenting sexual tension.
Buck was always thought of as the good boy and Ari the bad one with his hyperactivity and chaotic home life but they were a perfect match. From the moment he laid eyes on Ari, Buck sensed their connection and knew their friendship would be life-changing. From an early age Buck knew he was different and it isolated him but Ari never shied away from him and it drew Buck even closer to him. They shared many things but Buck's sexuality, and his unspoken feelings for Ari, along with Ari's unsafe home life wasn't among them and ultimately drove them apart. Five years later has them living lives they never expected with feelings just as complicated as before. The death of his mother kept Buck from going to college and put his writing career on the back burner as he stayed home to care for his brother. He's still a good boy but the grief at first led him to partying and sex with nameless men that he's now embarassed by. He's now completely reformed but his life is now lonely and boring with each day the same as the next. He seems lost and Ari's return gives him the jolt he needs to start living again. The time for what-ifs is over! I adored Buck and his unabashed opinions of himself. He's sweet and loyal and truly cares for his brother Charlie with interactions that are playful and sweet, realistic of brothers. I felt sympathetic for all the emotional burdens he's carried since his mother's death and happy he finally has someone to support him.
Ari went through a lot of turmoil growing up as his mother had mental problems and his hyperactivity led to drug addiction. He was spiraling downward after becoming homeless and betrayed Buck horribly when he left with nothing but a hasty note, but he's come back stronger and ready to admit his own feelings that he always kept well-hidden. Living next door to Buck provides lots of temptation and the sexual tension between them leaps off the page. Ari is utterly charming and sexy. I liked seeing him take charge and push Buck into moving forward with his dreams. He's a survivor and I wish we'd gotten a bigger picture into his life as he played a big part in Buck's life from the beginning.
The connection between Buck and Ari is intense as it teemed with sexual tension and all the pent-up feelings related to that. Their banter is realistic and heart-rending at times and helped immerse me in their verbal foreplay. Though their sexual encounters are few they're powerful for all the joy and promise of forever that they represent. They're a strong couple who got put through the emotional wringer with us along for the ride. The secondary characters were just as entertaining and memorable, particularly Charlie who was funny in an outspoken way and very loyal and caring like his brother. I'd definitely love to see more of him! This story kept me charmed from the first page but frustrated by a quickly wrapped-up conclusion that felt incomplete. This was another immensely satisfying addition to the Bluewater Bay series that has me excited to see what befalls the town next and reiterates Ms. Gregg's storytelling talent!
My rating for this is a B+
*I got this book from the publisher for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
When not working from her home in the rolling hills of Northwestern Connecticut, author L.B. Gregg can be spotted in coffee shops from Berlin to Singapore to Panama--sipping lattes and writing sweet, hot, often funny, stories about men who love men.
For more info on L.B., because surely one can never get too much of a good thing, you can follow her on her preferred social media, Facebook. You can also e-mail L.B. at lbgregg at lbgregg dot com, visit her website www.lbgregg.com, be her GoodReads pal or follow her sporadic appearances on Twitter.
Prize is a $10 Riptide Publishing GC!