Thursday, September 10, 2015

Book Tour for Cotton Candy by Mae Hancock (Review & GIVEAWAY)


As a fan of the m/m genre I'm excited to read a new-to-me author and found this second installment in the Wyoming Lovers series a steamy one with a lot of angst for the main characters.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Cotton Candy by Mae Hancock, along with my impressions of it, and learn even more about this book by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  In honor of this book release make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $10 bookstore GC too!

Cowboy, Cotton Reid is the laid back type of guy who accepts people as they are, no matter how flawed. People think he’s fun, honest and crazy about his boss and friend the sexy rancher Bay Redman.
Living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is something that family man, Bay, has done his whole life. Bay can be like a bear with a sore head if the hay isn’t stored symmetrically or his fridge contains an odd number of jars.
When the two men begin a hot affair, Cotton keeps a secret from Bay, but will Cotton find the courage to tell Bay the truth before someone else does?

EXCERPT:

The sincerity, pain, and honesty in Cotton’s eyes moved Bay so much he almost folded, wanting to hold Cotton and tell him there was nothing they couldn’t sort out. Nevertheless, Bay was in the danger zone. Even if every word and sentiment was true, Cotton had still deceived him. Bay couldn’t see a future for them. What if they pursued a relationship, and Cotton kept another secret for whatever reason? Bay needed a partner who shared everything so they could face their troubles together, no matter what, and Cotton wasn’t that man.
Vanessa had caused so much suffering. Cotton hadn’t even had the chance to be a father to his own child. He’d have been a good dad whether he’d had money or not. Good parenting isn’t born out of wealth, but love. Bay couldn’t visualize Kristen growing up and being any worse off with her natural father. And Bay couldn’t punish Cotton for simply wanting to get to know his only child. He wasn’t a bad man, and both he and his daughter should be allowed to build a relationship. Bay had no deep insecurities about Kristen; the notion that she might reject Bay and replace him with a virtual stranger was ridiculous. Cotton and Kristen’s relationship paled into insignificance against his own silly worries. The second part of the dilemma, his relationship with Cotton wasn’t so easy, but Bay couldn’t continue their relationship any longer.
“You finished?” Bay asked as tears filled Cotton’s blue eyes, scratching at Bay’s conscience and the part of him that loved and forgave.
“Yes, except— I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. Nothing will change that.” Cotton took in a sharp breath. “Can you forgive me?” His eyes took on a silvery hue that begged Bay to reconsider. It meant risk, and Bay didn’t take risks, especially bad ones. Unable to articulate an adequate response, he didn’t answer.

BUY AT LOOSE-ID here.

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

As someone who's read lots of m/m-themed romances I applaud Ms. Hancock for the unique hero of Bay and his vividly depicted struggles with OCD.  It set her story apart and added an intriguing layer to his already complicated connection to Cotton. Add in melodrama from a daughter who's out of control and a vindictive ex out for herself and you end up with a story teeming with angst.

Bay's experienced a lot of loss in his life and with each event his OCD has gotten worse as he's struggled to get control in a life clearly out of his control.  It's become so bad that it's driving people away.  There's one person who's not afraid though and soon becomes the calmness in his chaotic storm...farmhand Cotton, who has a big secret of his own.  Bay can't believe there's someone who cares about him enough to overlook his issues which leads to a drawn-out dance before Cotton finally makes his bold move.  What follows is a steamy and erotic relationship that gives Bay the emotional support he's longed for but left Cotton seeped in guilt over his reason for coming to the ranch.  This leads to lots of angst and a bit of frustration as the truth takes forever to come out.  Throughout these emotional ups and downs their connection never dies as Cotton brings peace and love to Bay's chaotic and lonely life.  Cotton's a man who feels he doesn't have much to offer beyond his love but love is exactly what Bay needs.  He enjoys and is drawn to Bay's commanding nature and relishes those rare moments of caretaking he lavishes on Bay.  While Cotton tends to be submissive around Bay it leads to Bay often taking control in their erotic encounters which makes you forget about his OCD as he takes on a masterful persona in the bedroom.  Even though Cotton's truth makes Bay feel betrayed he can't let go of the power of Cotton's emotional support at one of the most emotionally intense points in his life.  Once he realizes his OCD is no longer a crutch but a poison to his life, he'll need the loving constant that is Cotton. Though their road to HEA was rocky and dragged on too long it was richly rewarding as these two men who saw themselves as inferior soon found themselves powerful in each other's eyes.

While these main characters were enjoyable I felt frustrated by some of the secondary ones.  I found teenage daughter Kristen very annoying, immature, and ungrateful.  She was also spoiled by Bay, who was overcompensating for his ex walking out of their lives after her birth, and tended to blame him for every bad thing that befell her.  Another irritating character was that of Bay's ex Vanessa who came on the scene to cause trouble, make threats, and demands only to never be seen again.  As there are so few women in this story already, the fact that these two had me pulling out my hair left me especially annoyed. Thank heavens for the witty, funny, and sage sounding Grandma!  For the most part this was an engaging read as Ms. Hancock nicely balanced steamy encounters with intense emotions.  Though this book is part of a series it can definitely stand on its own as you root for these unique heroes to find their HEA and wait for the next unlikely pair of sexy farmhands to find their own steamy stud!

My rating for this is a C+

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

AUTHOR INFO:

I enjoy writing both academic and fiction material. My research interests include focus on people who experience marginalization, both in historical societies and modern. Themes include disability, neurosis, homosexuality, addiction, mental illness, slavery and prostitution. The most important part of my work is creating multi-dimensional, believable characters that are able to build lasting romantic relationships against the odds. I want all my readers to laugh, cry and enjoy the erotic journey towards a happy ending.

TWITTER:  @Hancockfiction

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

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