Friday, October 21, 2016

Book Tour for Tempting Tristan by Melissa Foster (REVIEW)

The colorful and supportive denizens of a small town are on display in this m/m romance about healing and acceptance.  Keep reading to get a tempting glimpse of Tempting Tristan by Melissa Foster and its emotionally intense connection between a man battling the scars of war and the kindhearted man who pushes him to move on then add it to your bookshelf.  You'll also get my impressions of this third installment in the Harborside Nights series that will tempt you even more!

Fresh off the heels of yet another bad relationship, Tristan Brewer is taking a break from men to try to figure out where he keeps going wrong. He knows his biggest fault—he leads with his heart, not his head—and that's never going to change. But after several introspective weeks, he's beginning to get a handle on things. That is, until badass heartthrob Alex Wells walks into his bar...
Alex has spent eight years in the army, months in a hospital bed, and far too long hiding his sexual identity. He's guilt-ridden, damaged, pissed off, and up for a Silver Star for the incident that nearly cost him his life—and kept him from his grandmother's funeral. But all he wants to do is live the life he's always dreamed of and forget his stint with the institution that allows but doesn't necessarily accept.
The chemistry between Tristan and Alex ignites from the moment they meet, and the more time they spend together, the hotter the flames burn. But the closer they become, the more Alex's walls go up, and when the two walk onto a military base, Tristan finds out Alex's physical scars aren't the ones that run the deepest.




Returning home from war can be a painful process leaving scars inside and out, and in the case of wounded warrior Alex Wells, the scars he carries on his body are ones he doesn't want to show others while the scars he carries inside regarding DADT still weigh on him heavily.  His fears over living his life to the fullest, embracing his sexuality, have him a bit untrusting and ultimately put his burgeoning relationship with Tristan Brewer in jeopardy.  With the kindhearted Tristan there to support him though, as well as the close-knit group of friends who soon become like family, he'll no longer be fighting the memories of war alone in this emotionally intense yet steamy story that had me cheering their hard-fought journey to HEA.

Alex grew up moving from place to place as the child of a woman who lived a very carefree life, never letting others sway her, but to live her life to the fullest. He was never able to put down roots or create a group of friends who'd support him unconditionally.  His childhood felt like it was out of control and he longed for stability.  Going into the military gave him that stability and a strong guiding hand, as well as a group of men who'd always have his long as he didn't acknowledge is sexuality.  Sacrificing his body and soul to people who forced him into the shadows has left its mark with bitterness, grief over not being there for the woman who's supported him his whole life and the continuing suppression of who he truly is and has him wanting to turn his back on receiving the military's highest honor.  Along with his heavy load of emotional baggage he's come to Harborside to make a life for himself, one his aunt pushed him towards.  Meeting the sweet, kindhearted, and sexy Tristan Brewer was also orchestrated by his aunt and is the best decision he ever made as Tristan gives him unconditional support to be himself and helps him put his past where it belongs.  Alex's wounds were severe and stood for the hypocrisy of DADT as he put his life on the line for people who forced him into hiding. That silence tainted everything about the military for him and has him still fearing showing affection for Tristan, keeping him on edge of other's reactions, and puts a wedge between his and Tristan's sweet and sexy burgeoning relationship.  I felt empathetic for all Alex had gone through and the betrayal that affects his choices still.  He was a confident man, knew what he wanted, and that now's the time for him to go after his heart's desire which had me cheering for him every step of the way.

Tristan loves his life in Harborside and the loving and supportive group of friends who've become an eclectic family to him.  He's secure in his own skin, open about his sexuality, and is very kindhearted which has left him heartbroken quite often.  He's heard much about Alex through the years and is drawn to him the moment he sees him.  He senses the pain and fear lurking behind the sexy body and sets out to help him heal, putting his heart on the line once again.  Tristan's a man who values honesty, pushing Alex to open up about his past and embracing who he is wholeheartedly.  Tristan gives him a reason to be a better man, a reason to put the past behind him, and together they make a swoon-worthy couple.  Tristan's an endearing hero who wears his heart on his sleeve and never lets fear hold him back as he once again opens his heart to Alex though he fears how quickly their connection grows.  He stands beside Alex though Alex's fears sometimes bruise his feelings.  Through it all Tristan's a sounding board for Alex's evolution in dealing with his grief and anger.  He never makes Alex feel weak or unmanly for showing his feelings, he's unwaveringly supportive, and their coupling brought a smile to my face.

This was a story that dealt with heavy issues regarding the military and the aftermath of serving.  It pulled me in from the very first page as readers saw the scars Alex carried home.  The physical scars and fear over expressing his sexuality had me aching for all he sacrificed at war and upon returning home and the unquestionable support he got from Tristan endeared them as a couple. The issues explored here are ones of great importance and were handled in a thought-provoking way that was nicely balanced with a romance that was sweet and sexy.  Heartfelt talks morphed into scorching encounters (almost too many) that showed Alex's commanding nature and Tristan's sweet nature.  They're a formidable couple whose relationship was based on openness, honesty, and unconditional support that utterly charmed me and had me rooting for their powerful HEA.  Surrounding this compelling couple was a colorful and supportive cast of secondary characters.  From returning couples to those looking for their own HEA, they're a group of friends who are easy to relate to and have me wanting to revisit them soon.  The one who who left the biggest impression was the sexy and snarky bi-sexual Brandon who appears strong-willed and secure in his player status but who longingly looks at the immensely happy Alex and Tristan.  It's clear he wants that for himself and I look forward to seeing the kind of person (or persons) who can capture his attention.  From start to finish this story pulled me in completely, captivating me, and putting me through the same emotional wringer as Alex put himself through.  It was ultimately uplifting though in its journey to HEA and I commend Ms. Foster for tackling these issues and look forward to revisiting these unforgettable characters again soon.

My rating for this is a B+

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


Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance, contemporary women's fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary Café and Fostering Success. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary's Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.
Melissa hosts an Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.
Visit Melissa on social media. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.


  1. Yay! So happy they were unforgettable to you. I'm so happy you enjoyed the storyline. What a wonderful review! Thank you XOXO

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by & for commenting! I LOVE wounded warrior romances & the softer side it brings out in these individuals. I'm looking forward to hosting you again/reviewing Tru Blue in a few weeks too.

      In the meantime, anything you can share with us about the delicious Brandon?

      The Scarf Princess