Friday, May 8, 2015

Book Tour for Moment of Clarity and the Moments In Time Series by Karen Stivali (REVIEW)

As a fan of the previous books in this series I was thrilled to get my hands on this final installment to see how the rocky romance of Tanner and Collin culminated.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of the m/m-themed Moment of Clarity by Karen Stivali and then add it to your bookshelf....

The last installment of Karen Stivali’s Moments in Time series, Moment of Clarity, has just been released. At the same time, the paperback Moments in Time that contains all three novellas in the series has also been published!

Spending the summer together on Fire Island brought Collin and Tanner closer than ever, but back in their conservative college town, challenges confront them at every turn.
As they search for their new normal in their old environment, Collin's brother Sean surprises them with help when they need it most. But when word about their relationship gets out, trouble erupts with friends and family. When Collin's relationship with Tanner becomes an issue in his brother's custody battle and Tanner struggles with his feelings for a heartbroken Wendy, Collin wonders if everyone he cares about would be better off without him in the picture.
In order to save them both, Tanner must make it clear to Collin that their love for each other is all that matters.


It took me four hours to finish writing my paper, probably in part because I kept stopping to check my phone. I’d been hoping for an update from Sean even though I knew that wasn’t likely. It was the weekend, and any more info from his lawyer probably wouldn’t arrive until Monday. I also kept thinking maybe we’d hear something from Housing, but so far, silence.
After I’d saved my document, I went in search of Tanner. He’d finished his work an hour earlier and said he’d be reading in one of the lounges. I found him in one of the alcoves, sprawled on a big couch under one of the heavily leaded windows. An open book lay tented on his chest—Dostoevsky’s short stories. His eyes were closed, those thick black lashes casting shadows on his cheekbones.
I approached slowly, wanting the time to keep looking. Tanner hadn’t had a haircut in weeks. Silky dark bangs fell across his forehead, begging for my fingers to sweep them off his face. Perfect lips, ever so slightly parted, looking desperately in need of a kiss. My gaze passed lower, taking in his long strong fingers as they rested on the book, his narrow waist, slim hips. I struggled to swallow. My cock enjoyed the show with me, not so silently encouraging me to climb on top of Tanner, toss that book aside, grind against him….
Tanner’s eyelids fluttered open, and he shook his head, craning his neck to look around. He yawned and stretched as he sat up. “What time is it?”
“Little after ten.” I sat next to him, needing to be close to him. He smelled warm and sweet. I breathed in, taking in as much of his scent as possible. God, I missed that. Sleeping apart for two weeks had me waking in the middle of the night craving him—his touch, his smell, his taste—all of him.
My thigh knocked into his, and he pressed back against me. “You wanna get out of here?”
I nodded, wanting to be anywhere as long as he was there too.
A light rain had started to fall, so we half jogged to the Towers.
“What do you suppose is going on in Wendy’s room?” I asked as we rode the elevator.
Tanner brushed rain droplets off his backpack. The elevator dinged and opened. “Guess we’re about to find out.”
Wendy’s door was open. Music and voices filled the hallway, and as we approached the room, a purple bra came flying out, followed by the sound of drunken laughter and cheering.
Tanner caught the elevator door just before it closed. “What do you say we go for a drive instead?”
“I say that’s the best offer I’ve had in weeks.”



With Moment of Clarity the rocky romance of Tanner and Collin comes to a tumultuous conclusion full of emotional ups and downs that kept me engaged from the first page to the last.  Touching on internal doubts as well as pressures from a not always understanding society, the boy's future was far from certain and kept me on the edge of my seat rooting for them to overcome everything.

After spending a whole summer together, with their relationship put to the test, Tanner and Collin seem more committed than ever.  They're both comfortable with their being a couple and they're slowly revealing their sexuality to others.  In an instant though their happiness comes crashing down as bigotry from those in their dorm and from relatives have both of them feeling doubts.  This leads to some heartbreaking moments full of tension and sacrifice that was a bit over the top at times but ultimately made a big emotional and thought-provoking impact.

Since the first book in this series Collin has been the heart of each story for me as he's struggled to come out in a very religious family.  He's a truly good young man, smart and respectful, and you can't help but want him to be happy.  After being disowned and abandoned by his family he made his own little family with Tanner, the people at Gino's restaurant, and those he met during the summer.  He's a survivor with a big heart who, after all the recent anger and upheaval directed at him and Tanner, has finally broken.  He's tired of hurting people because of his sexuality, and in his usual way of putting everyone else first, he makes some decisions that frustrated me but proved once again how caring he is.

Tanner's always been the cool guy, popular and going through life with ease.  The ladies are drawn to him and the guys want to be him.  His relationship with Collin though, and the recent discovery of their pairing, has changed all that and he finally understands Collin's early fears of being discovered.  Tanner's never been judged before and found to be lacking and it's thrown him for a loop, bringing out feelings of uncertainty and fear which saddened me as he's usually so self-assured.  These newfound feelings lead to some poor choices that put even more dents in his and Collin's suddenly fragile relationship that disappointed me and kept me on edge hoping love would prevail.  Ultimately Tanner renewed my faith and proved himself a young man to admire in a sweet, sexy, and sentimental reminder of what's truly important.

From beginning to end this book kept me on an emotional rollercoaster through its vividly depicted feelings of doubt and uncertainty perpetuated by society's judgements.  At times the emotions and actions revolving around their relationship became a bit melodramatic, but the immense likability of Collin and Tanner kept me fully immersed and invested in their compelling relationship.  Along with intense emotions were numerous steamy scenes, almost too many, that showed a maturing relationship becoming more serious.  The secondary characters were a colorful assortment too with some friend and some clearly foe.  Some left a lasting mark as they had a big impact on the story/series and I'd ultimately love to see more of Bryan, Wendy, and even kindhearted restauranteur Gino.  Fans of the m/m genre will be drawn to this tale that's realistic in its tone and speech as well as charmed by the sweet and endearing main characters.  With its emotional highs and lows and thought-provoking issues surrounding society and sexuality this is a story that will stay with you after the final page is turned and I look forward to more of Ms. Stivali's works.

My rating for this is a B+

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

Haven’t read books 1 and 2? Then hurry up as Moment of Impact and Moment of Truth will be on sale for 99 cents for a limited time (May 5 -18)!

Outside Collin Fitzpatrick’s dorm room is a dangerous place. Beyond his door the students of his small, conservative college think he’s straight, as does his Catholic family who'd disown him if they learned the truth. Inside, he’s safe with his incredibly sexy roommate Tanner D’Amico. Their room makes a perfect place to hide away and fall in love. The moment they cross the line from roommates to lovers, Collin becomes caught between their heavenly passionate encounters and the hellish reality that someone might find out and destroy everything. Tanner's not used to being so confined, and wants to show the world how much he loves Collin. But Collin’s not sure he’s ready for the impact stepping outside will make.


Collin expected to spend another summer fixing cars and working at the college pizzeria. Instead, he's living in a beach house on Fire Island, waiting tables at a hip seaside restaurant and, for the first time since he and Tanner got together, they can publicly be known as boyfriends. Being "out" takes some getting used to, but with the help of new and old friends, Collin is happier than he ever imagined. And more in love. But newfound freedom brings unexpected challenges, and when friends get flirty, old insecurities arise. Moments of doubt and jealousy threaten their happiness, and Collin and Tanner must confront the truth or risk losing it all.



Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. She's also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romances. Her lifelong fascination with people has led her to careers ranging from hand-drawn animator, to party planner, to marriage and family counselor, but writing has always been her passion. Karen enjoys nothing more than following her characters on their journey toward love. Whether the couples are m/f or m/m, it’s guaranteed that Karen's novels are filled with food, friendship, love, and smoking hot sex—all the best things in life. 
When Karen isn’t writing (and often when she is), she can be found on Twitter attempting witty banter and detailing the antics of her fruit-loving cat, BadKitteh. She loves to hear from readers (and other writers), so don't hesitate to contact/follow/like her at:

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