Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Re-Release Blitz ~ A Walk Through Fire by Felice Stevens ~ (Excerpt, Reviews + Giveaway)

Re-Release Blitz ~ A Walk Through Fire by Felice Stevens ~ (Excerpt + Giveaway)

Title: A Walk Through Fire
Series: Through Hell and Back #1
Author: Felice Stevens
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: November 8, 2016


Years after running away from an abusive foster family, Asher Davis still struggles with the guilt of leaving his foster brothers behind. He’s climbed to unimaginable heights as a ruthless, high-powered attorney, creating a life of power and control and takes whatever and whomever he wants.

Blaming himself for the death of his parents, Dr. Drew Klein retreats into a shell of loneliness, merely going through the motions of life. After a disastrous, short-lived marriage, Drew leaves his lucrative medical practice to set up a clinic for abused young men and women. The decision has more repercussions than Drew could ever imagine when the dark and sensual Ash Davis volunteers to help.

Although Drew isn’t gay, Ash is inexplicably drawn to him. He vows to simply bed him and forget him like he's done with every other man. However, Drew's sweet and caring nature and unexpected passion both stun and frighten Ash, who questions his right to any happiness at all. And when Ash befriends an abused young man who unwittingly draws the clinic into danger, threatening Drew’s safety and that of his beloved grandmother, Ash discovers that there is nothing he won’t sacrifice to protect the love he never thought he’d find.

Author Note: This is a re-release of a previously released edition from November, 2014. It has been completely re-edited with over 15k added.

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“Have a drink, Drew, and tell me why you’re here.” Ash sipped his vodka and stared at Drew over the rim of his glass.

“No, thanks, I’m driving. But I do want to talk to you.” The man was a study in contrasts. Drew couldn’t think of a time he hadn’t seen Ash perfectly dressed, every hair in place, looking like he’d stepped out of a men’s fashion magazine.

Tonight, however…well, he looked off-kilter. Though he still had on his clothes from earlier, his white shirt was uncharacteristically wrinkled and unbuttoned lower than he’d ever seen. Dark stubble shadowed along his jaw, and his hair lay unkempt and disheveled. Drew shifted on the sofa. “Look, I know this may sound stupid, but my grandmother was concerned about you, so she asked me to stop by and check up on you.”

“And of course you do everything your nana says.”

Drew’s face flamed. “Fuck you, Davis.”

A tiny smirk hit the corner of Ash’s lips. “What’s the matter, Doc? The truth hurts?”

The bastard. After all the nice things his grandmother had said about him, how she’d worried about him, this was his response? To act like the snide sarcastic son of a bitch he’d been at their first meeting? How dare he treat her concern as if it were nothing. And to think he’d actually thought they were friends. “What the hell do you know about the truth, huh? No one knows anything about you; you have no friends, no lover.” He stood, ready to leave. “No wonder you’re all alone. No one cares about you. You aren’t worth it.” Even as he spoke, Drew regretted his harsh words—he’d never spoken so cruelly to anyone. But no one had ever gotten under his skin like Ash Davis.

Like a snake uncoiled, Ash jumped off the sofa and grabbed him by the shoulder. “Take that back.”

“What’s the matter, Davis? The truth hurts?” He mimicked Ash’s earlier words and watched the anger flare in those colorless, glittering eyes.

“You fucking bastard. Who are you to say I’m not worth it, that no one cares about me? I have friends. People like me. Don’t you ever say I’m not worth it. I matter, goddamn you. I fucking matter.”

Ash tried to grab on to him, but Drew wrenched away and took off for the door, speaking over his shoulder.

“People don’t like you, Ash; they want to fuck you because you’re beautiful. That’s not liking. That’s not a friendship. How many relationships have you ever had with another man? You’ve never even had a boyfriend or a permanent relationship, have you? Because you have to have a heart. You have to care about someone. How can you value someone else in your life when you don’t even value yourself?”

Ash grabbed him. “Don’t think you can say that and then fucking walk away from me.” He shoved Drew against the wall. “Who the hell do you think you are?”

Ash’s hand tightened on his bicep. It hurt, and Drew pulled away. He didn’t get into physical fights with people; violence never solved any problem. “I thought I was your friend. But now I see I’m not. You don’t know how to be a true friend. You run at the first sign of closeness and make fun of relationships. Relationships require effort, a give-and-take. You don’t know how to give because you’re always the taker.”

Ash slammed him back into the wall. For the first time, unease rippled through Drew as Ash’s hard body pressed against his. Unease and something dark and sinuous uncoiled in his stomach, but he ignored it and tried to wriggle out of Ash’s unrelenting grip.

“Let go of me. I want to leave.”

Instead of moving away, Ash pushed harder against him. There was no mistaking that thick ridge between the two of them. Drew’s heart raced until he could barely hear Ash through the pounding in his head.

“You said people don’t like me; they only want to fuck me. Then you said I’m a taker.” Before Drew could breathe, Ash grabbed his hands and pinned them above his head, forcing their bodies to press against one another. “But you need to know, Doc, that nobody fucks me. So tell me. You want me to take you?”

***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.***

This is the second time I read this book, and even with the additions, it was just as amazing as it was the first time. 

I think I have a thing for broken characters, perhaps because there's more room for growth and Asher was so broken it just tugged at my heartstrings. Yes, he could be ruthless and a bit (okay, okay, a lot) of a jerk, yet, he had gone through so much and he felt so much, even if he tried not to show it, that I just wanted to cuddle him and make it all better for him. His need to atone for leaving his foster brothers and his guilt over it all, his ongoing search for them, the way he tried to help Stevie and how he connected with the kids at the clinic were just heartbreaking. And even if he was a player before, I loved that he could move past that and be the kind of man that Drew needed. It was awesome to see Ash heal, and actually trust Drew and Esther enough to share most of what he had to endure growing up in a foster home, with an abusive bastard that ruined his life.  

I was on the fence with Drew the first time, and again the second time around. For as much as I was told he was a good guy and all, the fact that he told Ash that he was worthless (even if it was in the heat of a fight and all) it just didn't sit right by me. However, he won me over once he stood up for himself and for Ash, fighting for him and what he knew was right. 

The chemistry between Drew and Ash was undeniable from the getgo and I really liked the progression once Drew realized that he wanted Ash, the fact that he'd been straight up until that point wasn't that much of a problem, but it wasn't as if it was immediate. He took his time to come to terms with it and decide that it was what he wanted. I also adored that they could be what the other needed, that they just were so perfect for each other even when they were so different.

I loved the secondary characters, especially Esther, Drew's grandmother, who was just about as amazing as she could be. Compassionate, giving and non-judgmental, she was always on Asher's corner, even when the others *cough Jordan cough* were being difficult.

I hated Jordan with the fire of a thousand suns. I couldn't stand him, wanted to slap him, strangle him or punch him so many times during the book. Grrrr! However, I have to admit that after a soul-shattering scene almost at the end (don't forget to stock up in Kleenex, because you'll need them), Felice redeemed him in my eyes, sort of. At least enough that I'm interested in reading his book, which comes next.

There were a few loose ends that I imagine would be acknowledged in the other books in the series, which I haven't read yet, but after this re-read I'll try to make the time to get all caught up with the series. 

All in all, a fantastic, heart-wrenching, emotional rollercoaster kind of book that I just couldn't put down until the very last page. Highly recommendable!!!

Rating: 5 Stars!!!

Dr. Drew Klein and Asher Davis don't meet under the most auspicious of terms. Asher is representing Drew's philandering wife in their divorce, but from the very first moment Asher lays eyes on Drew he can't deny the attraction he feels towards him. Knowing that nothing could ever happen between them, since Drew happens to be straight, Asher proceeds to live his life the way he has been for years. Sleeping with whoever, wherever and whenever he wants. He won't be made to feel bad about his promiscuous, no emotions allowed view on sex. However, when his connection to Drew goes from business to personal, he can't help but want to pursue the man in hopes that he might not be as straight as he thinks he is. Soon though, they become friends. Ash doesn't want to jeopardize that friendship he's come to love but resisting Drew is not easy. ********************************
I remember the first time I read this book I found myself so angry with Ash. He was an infuriating, closed off, egotistical ass and while I knew he'd change, his player ways I hated what he was doing. This time around, I saw Ash quite differently. I know it's because I now know his history and his backstory but it definitely changed the story for me. I was able to brush of some of the jerk things he spouted at Drew and remember it's because he has so many past hurts. I loved the chemistry between Asher and Drew and thought they were really great together. They were able to balance each other out. Drew is sensitive, loyal and caring while Ash is stern and a protector and a bit closed off. They both are there for each other to help keep the demons away. And you can tell they love each other. The writing as always is great and the story flows very well. I was highly entertained and there were moments that the author had me in tears as well as laughing. I definitely recommend A Walk Through Fire. 4.5 Stars! *Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

 Author Bio

I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, my characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love.

I live in New York City with my husband and two children and hopefully soon a cat of my own. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

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