Sunday, April 22, 2018

Release Blitz: Rhoades: Undeniable by Felice Stevens (Review + Excerpt)

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RELEASE DATE: 04.17.18
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Loneliness. The pain doesn’t simply go away with time. It’s been years, and they tell me I need to move on. But I can’t.
Blame and regret are my constant companions. Until I see him in the spotlight and everything changes. Night after night, I watch him dance. Thinking about him.
What he’d feel like.
What he’d taste like.
And now that I know, I want him even more.
And maybe…just maybe, he might want me too.
But not yet.
Not before he knows he’s more than a pretty face. Not before he knows what he means to me. I need him by my side.
The two of us.

Why can’t I forget him? His hands touching me. His mouth on mine. Kissing me. Rendering me mindless.
Every night I lay awake burning for him. Dreaming. Thinking. Needing him.
No—I don’t. I don’t need anyone.
I lie.
I want him.
I want more. I am more. He’s seen that, and now here I stand with my dream on the horizon. All I need to do is take that first step. Trust him.
Trust myself.

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Fuck. I could kill Marcus. But I couldn’t refuse, and he knew it. Rhoades held me, but not too close, and after some initial hesitancy, I allowed myself to feel the music.

Rhoades’s breath touched my cheek, and I smelled the heat of the scotch he drank. It was like the night we kissed all over again, and I swayed, desire clawing at my insides. Why did being in close proximity to this man make me light-headed and restless?

“How are you?”

“Fine,” I managed to speak. The club had taken on a sensuous glow, and the people beside us faded to black. All I could see was Rhoades.

“So you work in a dance studio? I should’ve guessed by your dancing at Man Up that you had formal training. You move beautifully.”

“I’ve worked there for a while. We teach kids four-to-nine years old. I love it.”

“And is that what you’d like to do? Teach dance? I know you can’t want to dance at Man Up for long.”

“All these questions.” I shifted nervously. I wasn’t about to reveal my dream to him. He’d no doubt find it foolish—maybe even as stupid as my father had. “I thought we were just going to dance.”

“Very well.” He said nothing more, and we danced, our bodies brushing. His effect on me was magnetic, his touch a force pulling me in close. I concentrated on his face: the small lines fanning out from his eyes, the dark brows like wings, his firm mouth. The taste of his lips lingered on my tongue, as bright and pure as if we were kissing now. I found it impossible to be near Rhoades and not crave his touch. Somehow I’d moved closer to him, and our cheeks touched.

“I wondered if I’d see you again after you didn’t show up this past week. I didn’t think you came to these types of clubs.”

“Do you think of me, then?” His hand slid up my back and splayed between my shoulder blades. I didn’t mind that possessive touch.…I wanted it.


“I think of you.” His whispered voice filled my ear with a roar. “After I left you last week, I stayed away like you asked, but I couldn’t sleep at night. Do you want to know why?”

I found myself nodding. We’d stopped dancing, though he continued to hold me, and we swayed together, caught up in our own world.

“I don’t know. Isn’t that crazy? You know I’ve watched you at James’s club. From the first, you caught me with your confidence—you owned the stage—but I also saw something yearning in you. That it wasn’t enough. You want more.”

His hands rested on my hips, and we stood chest-to-chest. The music played on, its sensuous beat rolling through me. I could smell desire in the air.


The tips of his fingers trailed over my cheek and jaw in a gesture so achingly intimate, I fought to keep standing. Finally he put his mouth on mine, and we kissed. No thrusting tongues and panting breaths. Only a gentle press of lips…and it shocked me that a man who radiated such strength could carry this tenderness inside him.

“Keep true to yourself. Follow your dreams. Only you can make them real.”

And with one last kiss, he walked away and disappeared into the crowd before I found time to take a breath. I thought about going after him but stopped myself. He was doing what I asked. Giving me the space I’d demanded. I had already told him I wouldn’t fuck him in a club, and he remembered and respected that. Another man might’ve tried to persuade me with drinks or force. Rhoades wasn’t the man I thought.

4.5 Stars!!!

First of all, I've gotta say, this book has the most gorgeous cover and I'm so in love with it, it isn't even funny. LOL Anyway, Rhoades: Undeniable is book 2 in the Man Up series by Felice Stevens and it is the continuation of the story started in Austin, so they need to be read in order.

I seem to have a pattern when falling for Ms. Stevens MCs, I love the tall, brooding, apparently arrogant men that hide a vulnerability that just tugs at my heartstrings, like Asher and Marcus, Rhoades has that something that just drew me in and didn't let go, not even after finishing the book. Even when his past story was just hinted at, at first, I just couldn't stop myself from loving him and feeling for him. Because of that, probably, and Austin's own stubbornness, it took me longer to warm up to Austin. I get that he'd been burned before, both by his ex and his horrible father, yet I can't tell you how many times I just wanted to grab him and give him a good shake so he would stop being so damned judgmental and see what was in front of his eyes. I had almost given up hope when he finally did, too. It was almost too little, too late for me, and frankly, only the fact that Austin and Rhoades seem to work so well together when Austin wasn't being an ass, and their undeniable chemistry, that made me give Austin another chance. I was very glad I did, though. I loved the progression of their relationship and seeing Rhoades finally forgive himself for his past and move forward, embracing his future was beautiful. Seeing Austin finally give Rhoades the chance he more than deserved was pretty good, too, even if I wished Austin had been the one to make amends.

Still, this was a lovely read and I'm looking forward to seeing more of them in the next books in the series, what with Austin being Frankie's BFF and James being Rhoades younger brother. It was great catching up with Tyler and Marcus and seeing them doing so well, too.

Overall, while I was more than a bit frustrated with Austin, I really enjoyed this book. It's well-written, angsty and intriguing, and I was thoroughly invested in Rhoades getting his HEA after all he'd gone through, both in his past and with Austin. The man had the patience of a saint and certainly deserved it. LOL.

Highly recommendable!

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

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Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn't until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth's court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.

But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.


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