Thursday, January 19, 2017

Blog Tour: Pieces of Me by Melanie Hansen (Reviews + Giveaway)

Blog Tour: Pieces of Me by Melanie Hansen (Reviews, Excerpt + Giveaway)

Title:  Pieces of Me
Series: Spectrum Nights, Book 1
Author: Melanie Hansen
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: January 16th
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 89800
Genre: Romance, Photographer/photojournalist, hurt/comfort, step brothers, friends to lovers, model (ish), reunited, family drama, angst

Add to Goodreads


Deep in the heart of the Florida Panhandle, Scott Ashworth’s bleak life stretches out before him with not much hope for the future. His hardscrabble days are brightened by the arrival of a new stepbrother, Rylan Mahoney, who quickly becomes the friend Scott so desperately needs. Their relationship has just started to deepen into more, when during the course of one terrible night, what Scott overhears sends him fleeing from his home, never to return.

Flash forward six years, and Scott is now the hottest club host on the Phoenix gay scene. He takes what he wants, does what he wants, and does whom he wants. It’s a good life, but the journey to local popularity and fame wasn’t an easy one. For all that Scott’s looks are a blessing, at the same time they’re a curse—the source of his alcoholic mother’s inexplicable hatred.

Rylan dreams of photojournalistic glory. He’s in Phoenix looking for the story of a lifetime, but the project isn’t coming to fruition. Needing rent money, he accepts a gig at Phoenix Pride hawking lewd lollipops and edible condoms…all while wearing gold lamé hot pants and a matching bow tie. When Rylan’s house keys and street clothes go missing after his shift, he’s desperate, until a stranger in a convertible stops to help.

The man is absolute sex on legs, and Rylan is jolted when he recognizes him—his stepbrother Scott Ashworth, long missing but suddenly larger than life. Reunited after six years apart, Scott and Rylan are determined to put their past behind them, but fate intervenes and leaves their future in jeopardy once again.


“I hate you, Ashworth!”

Rylan was gasping for breath, feeling like knives were stabbing into his side. His legs were rubbery from exertion, and sweat was pouring from him.

Scott was dripping wet too, his body glistening with an all-over sheen, but he wasn’t even breathing hard…damn him. He’d run—run—up to the summit and back down…twice…while Rylan was still struggling to reach the halfway point.

“Channel that hate, Mahoney,” Scott called out to him, laughter in his voice, “and use it to climb! Deep breaths in, blow it out. Keep that oxygen flowing!”

Rylan wanted to snarl at him, tell him to shut the fuck up, but he couldn’t spare the breath. The heat was making black spots dance in front of his eyes, and he stopped to drink some of the water Scott gave him at the trailhead. His camera felt like a deadweight hanging around his neck, and more than once Rylan was tempted to fling the fucking thing over the side of the mountain. Why had he agreed to this?

“It’ll be worth it at the top, Ry,” Scott coaxed, jogging lightly in place while he waited for Rylan to finish drinking. “Stunning panoramic views of the Valley. It’s gorgeous.”

Rylan capped his water and put it on the ground, bending over at the waist to prop his hands on his knees, letting his head hang while he caught his breath. “It better be worth it, or I’ll push you off,” he threatened, biting his lip to hide a smile when Scott laughed. He looked up just in time to see Scott snap a picture of him with his phone, and Rylan straightened indignantly.

“What the hell? Delete that!” he demanded, only imagining how wrecked and disgusting he was right now. In contrast, Scott was absolutely mouthwatering, all golden brown skin and ridged muscle, his tank top long since shed and tucked into the waistband of his shorts, which rode low on lean hips. All Rylan could think about was kneeling at his feet to lick up every drop of sweat coursing over his incredible body.

Shit. Hiking with a boner would make things even more difficult.

“I’ll delete it if you keep walking,” Scott taunted. “Otherwise, it goes straight to my Instagram for everyone to see. And what a sight you are,” he teased. “Red-faced and drenched, like a little drowned rat.”

“I’ll get you for this—” Rylan growled, lunging at Scott, who danced easily out of reach.

“So many awesome filters I can use,” Scott called back over his shoulder as he moved on ahead. “So many captions begging to be written. Come get me, Ry!”

Rylan lurched after him, focusing on Scott’s voice, on his mock threats, his gentle encouragement, until at last…at last…they emerged from the shadow of the trail onto the summit. Rylan didn’t even bother to look at the views, just staggered to a small outcropping of rock and collapsed down onto it, his legs shaking.

Several people milled around at the top, taking pictures, drinking water, laughing, and high-fiving. Scott headed toward a small group to fist-bump a guy whom Rylan recognized as one of the go-go boys at the club, a skilled pole dancer whose flexibility while wearing a miniscule Speedo had drawn quite a crowd.

After a few minutes, though, Scott left them and flopped down on the ground next to Rylan’s feet, reclining back on his elbow in the dirt, one knee drawn up. “You made it. I’m proud of you,” he said sincerely. “It’s not an easy climb for a beginner.”

Rylan pouted. “Tell me about it,” he groused. “My legs feel like spaghetti, and I’ll probably have to slide back down on my ass.”

“Now that would be a waste of a mighty fine ass,” Scott drawled, craning his neck back as if he was trying to get a glimpse of it.

Rylan was enjoying the harmless flirting, and he playfully flicked some of his water in Scott’s face. They shared a smile, and Rylan reached down to put his hand on Scott’s shoulder, giving it a squeeze.

“Thanks for helping me,” he said softly. “I would have quit long ago, but you challenged me to make it.”

“I’ll have to remember that threats to your vanity work on you,” Scott said, grinning. “Makes you putty in my hands. But you’re welcome.”


NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords

5 + Stars!! 

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ****

Scott Ashworth lives in a small town on the Florida Panhandle with his half siblings and their alcoholic mother, who is also the town whore. Scott is beautiful and discovered at a young age that his beauty could work to his advantage, except for where his mother is concerned. Scott is the spitting image of his father, who abandoned them before he was ever born. All his mother sees when she looks at Scott is his father and for this reason alone she hates Scott, and she doesn't keep her feelings a secret from anyone, including Scott. Scott comes home from school one day to discover he suddenly has not only new stepfather, but a stepbrother, as well.
Rylan Mahoney grew up in a completely different environment than Scott. He had two parents who loved and supported him, until his mother suddenly disappeared from their lives. Rylan and his father are both devastated by his mother leaving, but his father feels he's finally found happiness again with Scott's mother. As time passes Scott and Rylan become closer, eventually becoming friends as well as confidants. Slowly, their feelings begin to deepen and turn into much more than friendship. But when secrets are revealed, Scott runs away, leaving Rylan on his own. Six years later they are shocked to stumble into one another, both of them now living on the other side of the country.

I wish I could give this book more than 5 Stars, because I think it deserves so much more. There are moments when you close a book after reading it, and you know the words you put in your review will never do justice to the words you just read. Closing Pieces of Me was one of those moments, but I'll give this review my best shot.

I'm always astonished when I read something by Melanie Hansen, and realize she's only been writing for a few short years. She is such a gifted storyteller and always manages to pull me into her characters' lives and make me feel. I felt the hurt, sadness, frustration, anguish, anger and love that Scott and Rylan felt.

This book is so well-written and I loved that I got to know Scott and Rylan as teenagers and witness what they experienced. Most authors give you a prologue, some flashbacks or maybe just tell you what happened in the past, but there is nothing like getting to see it first hand. The first half of this book is written during Scott and Rylan's teenage years, before we move to the present. I loved watching Scott and Rylan's relationship grow and change. As teenagers and as adults, when they finally meet up again and get reacquainted with one another, the chemistry between them is undeniable. They had a bond and trust with each other that they shared with no one else. These two young men were damaged in different, yet similar ways. Scott and Rylan find comfort in each other's arms and it's a beautiful, yet heartbreaking thing to watch.

I loved the storyline and the book flowed well. The characters are both likable, even though Scott came off as a twat, you know it's out of hurt and fear of being hurt further. We are told that the book ends in a cliffhanger, so that was no surprise, I just really hope Ms. Hansen is typing fast, because I need to see where Scott and Rylan's journey will lead them. Hopefully to a HEA. I can't recommend this book enough. Go one-click it. You won't regret it!!

5 Stars!!!

A bit of a departure for this author, as this is a tale of two halves...the first of which is a mix of sadness, fleeting happiness, betrayal and loss, with hints of a brighter future. Luckily, book 2 is only a month away!

I was lucky enough to be able to beta this book for MH in its infancy, and in fact have already read part two, which ends in the leads getting to their very deserved HEA.

This book, as with the overall tale, pulls no punches. This one isn't for the most part, a happy tale, as it starts off in what was for me, as a mother, a mix of sadness, disbelief, shock and incomprehension, all in the opening pages. But, it had two standout characters in Ryland and Scott, for very differing reasons.

Even as a young kid, Scott's had the kind of life that no child should have - neglect, poverty, unhappiness and was always the one standing on the outside of life, looking in and wishing for something better - I think this created his strength of character and made him see a different future. One day, far, far away. He's unloved, but from a very early age has learned that his stunning looks are his stock in trade, and he becomes hardened and bitter, and frankly, selfish and a bit of a user. On the face of it, at least, that is. In contrast, Ryland was brought up by decent parents and since his mum left, he and his dad are a strong unit of two. He's happy, loved, talented and is prepared to love Scott and his step-siblings, to make his dad's happiness - he and Scott become stepbrothers when their parents marry...

There's a brief period of happiness for them as they become friends and allies and then young lovers, but things go wrong for Scott and he takes off, without anyone knowing where he's gone or if he's still alive, until six years later, at the end of a Pride festival, they end up reconnecting. Scott's achieved a version of fleeting and incredibly superficial fame and some fortune, living a life that relies on his sexiness and looks, but he's become even more hardened, even more determined, ruled by his new life and is all about himself and self-preservation, or so it seems. Ry's become a budding photographer who has big dreams, but he's never forgotten his first love...though he didn't sit and wallow, and has matured into a decent guy, but by now, one whose life has also changed in incredibly impacting ways. Still, he's open, honest, optimistic and still the giving, generous guy he was.

This tale tells of the guys' first meeting, their growing friendship and growing first love affair - which I felt was the case on both guys' side, though perhaps not equally, their parting, Scott's betrayal of Ry, Ry's decency and moral stance, and Scott's superficiality and life lived in the bright lights, and it takes a while for their relationship to get up and running, as they re-learn about each other and share pasts and dreams. Scott is hard work - there's no two ways of saying it, and for a while, he became someone I almost didn't like, though both I and Ry could see deep down to the damaged, neglected, let-down kid that still lived inside him and the person he hardly allowed anyone to see. Ry was an amazing person - forgiving, still incredibly generous and giving, hurt by life in some ways, but not hardened or cynical, with big dreams of doing something he loved, achieving satisfaction in his chosen field, and of wanting to make changes and make his mark on life. I don't think I've come across two so very, very different characters, and at times, I did wonder if one would end up giving, giving, giving and the other would simply take until it suited him before moving on. But, this is a MH tale, and she doesn't do easy, she doesn't do instalove or quick fixes, and she makes her guys work for their HEA.

The tale ends just as things start to change for Scott for the better, when both the reader and Ry are starting to see the real, hidden him who cares, when an event that ends up being life-changing occurs. I can't tell you more, or that'd spoiler the tale, but I can tell you that out of adversity, by digging deep and finding your strength of spirit, determination, resilience and in knowing and feeling you're loved, there is a future. A bright one.

I'm lucky enough not to have to wait to read the rest of the book, so I can tell you that it's well worth the short-ish wait. This isn't one that I can see myself pulling out and re-reading for a quick romance hit, as it took a lot out of me, but it is another Keeper from this talented author.

ARC courtesy of Ninestar Press and Bayou Book Junkie, for my reading pleasure.

Meet the Author

Melanie Hansen has spent time in Texas and Florida prisons…for work. She’s been in a room with a 17-year-old mass murderer who was also one of the most soft-spoken and polite teenagers she’s ever met. After a 13-year career as a court reporter, she can tell many stories both hilarious and heartbreaking. She grew up with an Air Force dad, and ended up marrying a Navy man. After living and working all over the country, she hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles. Melanie left the stressful world of the courtroom behind and now enjoys a rewarding career transcribing for a deaf student. She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail

Tour Schedule

1/16     Boy Meets Boy Reviews
1/16     Gay Book Reviews
1/17     My Fiction Nook
1/17     Outrageous Heroes
1/18     MM Book Escape
1/18     Happily Ever Chapter
1/18     Dog-Eared Daydreams
1/19     Bayou Book Junkie
1/20     Urban Smoothie Read
1/20     Alpha Book Club


One lucky winner will receive a $50.00 Amazon Gift Card!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway                                                                     SaveSaveSave


  1. I havent read any of melanie's books yet but play on it

  2. Awwww. *palms chest* My favorite excerpt that's dripping with sexiness of Scott & "frustrations" of Rylan. IYKWIM. ;)

    Thanks for coming by to Bayou Book JUnkie, Miss Hansen! <3

  3. I haven't read a book from this author yet so I don't have a favorite at the moment.

  4. I have not yet read any of Melanie's book however this one sounds like it is centered around a character with some depth, interesting!