Friday, March 24, 2017

Blog Tour ~ No Regrets by Nicky James ~ (Review + Giveaway)

Title: No Regrets
Author: Nicky James
Publisher: Encompass Ink
Word Length: 91k
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance 18+
Release: March 15, 2017

“This. Book. Broke my heart. Healed my soul. Made me cry. Laugh. Made me Hug my daughter and kiss my husband. No regrets.” - Alpha Book Club
“My heart hurts, my eyes are red and puffy and I am in the biggest slump I have been in for awhile. This book destroyed me, it's a story that will forever have a place in my heart, I have No Regrets <3” - Saucy Reviews on Kinky Korner
“No Regrets is a heart wrenchingly, ugly cry worthy ( and oh boy I cried) wonderful love story.I loved the characters. I loved the words. I could feel the characters emotions in every single one.” - Goodreads Review
Life makes no promises, and sometimes, you draw the short straw. Landon Johnston’s life came to a grinding halt seven months ago, when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. With the encouragement of his grandmother, Landon works his way out of his slump and tries to live life while he still can. Deciding he doesn’t want to drag anyone else down his morbid path, Landon gives up all friendships and denies himself love. It’s better this way, because all he has to offer is eventual heartache and sadness. While traveling the world, Landon meets Abel Matheson, a free-spirited, unedited, and nerve-grating man who was supposed to only be a one-night-stand. Despite Landon’s insistence that he can’t form a relationship with his current diagnoses, Abel is persistent and will not be ignored. Fighting against all his ingrained urges to run, Landon finds himself drawn down the road he swore he’d never take. Intimacy grows and bonds form… Only… Abel doesn’t know Landon is sick. How can anyone love a man with no future? Telling him might cause him to run, but staying silent means living a lie. A lie which will only reveal itself in time.

The silence returned as we continued with our drinks. Abel was the one to break first when he slid his empty cup aside and leaned in, talking in a hushed voice. “So, Landon from Canada, computer nerd and Spiderman wannabe. I’m gonna cut the shit and be blunt.”
“You mean, more blunt?”
“Yeah, more blunt, so brace yourself. You’re incredibly hot and I wanna find a room somewhere and fuck you senseless.”
“Oh. Umm…”
Who the hell says shit like that?
“There is a pub a block down. Let me buy you a couple of drinks and help you relax, because you’re all stiff and uptight. Then, what do you say we find somewhere private after that?”
I had to search for my words because they’d fallen into a gaping chasm of disbelief. “You’re awfully presumptuous.”
“I can be. But, you haven’t told me to fuck off yet, so I’m guessing you’ve been considering it too.”
Yeah, I’d been considering it since he stood in line for drinks twenty minutes ago. Is that how these things worked? Hey, wanna fuck? Sure, let’s go.
Swallowing the dry lump from my throat, I pinned him with a glare, doing my best to show confidence even though I trembled on the inside. “Maybe I am. Only, I don’t drink.”
More like I couldn’t drink, at least not with the massive array of medications I took. It was something I had to give up long ago. What I wouldn’t have given for a beer to calm me down. He was right, I was wound tighter than a spring.
“A twenty-six-year-old, non-drinker. You just get more and more interesting. I’ll have to find other ways to get you to relax then. I can be creative. Are you here with anyone?”
“No. I umm… I came alone.”
“Do you have a room nearby?”
“What about your friends? Won’t they be looking for you?”
He chuckled. “Nah, they’ll be drinking themselves stupid half the night and won’t even know I’m not there.”
“Oh… umm…”
“A room?”
My gaze dropped to the table once again. My blood pressure rose with each slam of my heart against my ribcage. Why the hell was I so nervous? It wasn’t like I was some virgin or anything. I took a deep breath and tried to rein in the suffocating emotion before it got out of hand.
Shifting my gaze to my notebook, I saw my list in my head again and heard my grandmother’s words.
If I died tomorrow, I’d have no regrets. Can you say the same thing? 
I was sure this wasn’t what she meant. Sorry, grandma.
Time to tick off another one.
“Fuck it. Yes, I have a room a block down the road.” With another shaky breath, I pushed my half-empty mug aside and grabbed my notebook. “What happens in China stays in China, right?” Standing, I glanced back at him.
His grin was facetious as he sucked the corner of his bottom lip into his teeth. “It’s not Vegas, but I think it applies.”

5 Stars!

I was completely aware of what I was signing up for from the moment I decided to review this book for the blog, so much so that this exchange happened in Nicky James’ FB:

Mari Cárdenas I just signed up to review this book for my blog, even though I have the inkling that it's going to crush me. It sounds really good, though.

Nicky James Awww....that's so exciting. Thank you! Like I've told many people. I promise lots of laughs to balance those tears. Have a surplus of wine, chocolate and kleenex handy however, you'll need it.

And what do you know, she was right. So mind that warning and keep the tissues ready, because I promise you’ll need them. ;) 

Landon has been going through his bucket list, doing all the things big and small he’d ever wanted to do, when he meets Abel in China. While Landon is not interested in being Abel or anybody’s friend, since it wouldn’t be fair for them when he’s dying anyway, Landon decides he can cross off another item on his list by hooking up with the vibrant man that doesn’t seem able to accept no for an answer. Abel convinces him to travel together to Scotland and cross off some more items on the list. And even when Landon tries to push him away, Abel turns up at Landon’s home and slowly worms his way into Landon’s heart. Abel doesn’t know Landon has terminal brain cancer, though, and Landon fears what his reaction will be when he finds out.

“I will not sit by and watch him die. There is where you’re wrong. I came here, because I love him. I don’t want to watch him die, I want to help him live. Every day, every minute, every hour he has left will be precious and he will know just what he means to me.”

While this wasn’t by any means an easy read, it wasn’t as angsty as it could’ve been. Yes, Landon has terminal cancer; however, the book deals more with Abel helping Landon live his life fully despite his impending death. Even if I’ve never had to go through something like this, everything that happened, especially Abel and Landon’s reactions, seemed perfectly believable and realistic to me. And while the attraction was there from the start and Abel seemed to get attached to Landon very fast, it never felt rushed.

I fell for Abel right from the start. He was like a hyper puppy trying to get its master’s attention, it didn’t matter if Landon tried to put distance between them, he kept following Landon and trying to get him to acknowledge their growing feelings. He was simply adorable and showed that he was much more than what he appeared at first.

“I’m not going to watch you die. I’m going to help you live. You’ve made a list and I plan to use every day you are capable to help you fulfill all those things on it. We will tick off as many as we can. I want to love you, and hold your hand, and kiss you, and make love to you. When we can’t do those things anymore, then I just want to hold you in my arms until you have to say goodbye. Every minute you have left on this Earth, I will love you. Let me love you.”

I loved Landon, too, even when he was being stubborn. His reasons to try to keep Abel at arms’ length were perfectly understandable, even if at the same time it hurt to see Abel’s pain when he was being pushed away and he didn’t know why. My heart broke for the two of them because they were so perfect for each other and their love for one another transcended the pages.

No Regrets is definitely one of the books that will remain with me for years to come and I don’t regret picking it up, it was what I expected but more, so much more at the same time. If you’re afraid of reading it because of the theme, just know that this book is more about learning to live to the fullest, than focusing on Landon’s illness. I just adored that while there were things on the list that were bigger, like going to China or Scotland, there were also small, everyday things that Landon hadn’t gotten around doing in his 26 years, and that Abel was able to give to him, creating memories that would last them a lifetime, however short or long it might be.

He was the one rare snowflake amongst billions, one day, he would melt and be gone, all I would have left would be a puddle of memories and his unique perfection to remember him by.

Highly recommendable! (Only don’t forget those Kleenexes, you'll need them.) I’ll definitely be waiting for Abel’s book!

PS: I should add that while my co-bloggers didn’t read the book, I did make them cry with the review, so my job here is done. Mwhahahahaha! 

Nicky James lives in the small town of Petrolia, Ontario, Canada. She is mother to a wonderful teenage boy and wife to a truly supportive and understanding husband who, thankfully, doesn’t think her crazy.
Nicky has always had two profound dreams in life; to fall back hundreds of years in time and live in a simpler world and to write novels. Since only one of those dreams was a possibility, she decided to make the other come alive on paper.
Nicky writes MM romance books in a variety of styles including contemporary, medieval, fantasy, and historical.

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