Friday, November 16, 2018

Blog Tour: The Kinsey Scale by CJane Elliott (Review, Excerpt + Giveaway)

Title: The Kinsey Scale
Series: Campus Connections Book 1
Author: CJane Elliott
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 11/9/18
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 89 pages
Genre: Romance, New Adult, contemporary, friends to lovers, college

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Life is good for Eric Brown. He’s a senior theater major, an RA for a freshman dorm, and has a great circle of friends. Single since sophomore year, Eric isn’t looking for love. But then Will Butler—fellow senior, co-RA, and the cutest guy Eric’s ever seen—walks into his dorm. Will has a girlfriend he sees off campus—a minor disappointment that becomes a major problem when a housing shortage causes Will and Eric to become roommates, and Eric is forced to witness Will’s hotness day in and day out. For protection, Eric asks Jerry, his ex-boyfriend, to pretend they’re still together. Jerry warns him it’s a stupid idea, but he reluctantly agrees.

Too bad it won’t save Eric from losing his heart.

Will Butler has never believed in himself. His dysfunctional family saw to that. Although Will has loved music since childhood, he’s never seriously considered pursuing it, and the person he’s dating doesn’t encourage him. Then he and Eric Brown become roommates, and everything changes. Eric believes in Will and his talent. He’s also gorgeous and playful and fast becoming Will’s best friend. And that’s not good, because Will is hiding some big things, not only from Eric, but from himself.


“So how’s it going with Hottie the Roommate?” Jerry asked. He lounged in the armchair at the coffee shop and took a languid sip of his latte.

“Fine.” Eric made a face. “We stay out of each other’s way. It sucks, but nothing we can do about it now.”

“I’m surprised you haven’t taken advantage of the situation.” Jerry arched his eyebrow.

“He’s straight. He has a girlfriend who doesn’t go here. I guess he sees her on the weekends. I don’t know. We don’t talk about that.”

“Don’t talk? Oh honey, that doesn’t sound like you at all. What’s up with that?”

“I don’t know. Shut up.”

“Touchy, touchy. God. You’re not usually this grumpy. Maybe you should look at changing this RA thing, because it sounds like it’s causing you stress.”

Eric shifted in his chair and sipped his latte. Jerry knew him too well. He was grumpy lately, but it wasn’t the RA thing. He enjoyed being an RA and counseling the kids. He and Will functioned well as an RA team, seeming to know instinctively when one of them would do better than the other in handling a situation, and then debriefing about it later. They talked about stuff really easily, and laughed a lot, having discovered they shared the same kind of crazy humor. And Will composed his own songs, which Eric thought was totally cool. He loved lying on his bed listening to Will play his guitar and sing.

“Yeah, it’s not that bad. We get along great, actually.”

And it wasn’t true that they never talked about Will’s girlfriend. Her name was Jessie, and Will sometimes mentioned her in passing, but Eric never pressed for details. In fact he had a strange reluctance to regale Will with his own sexual escapades, the way he always had in the past with friends or roommates. It was a weird thing, almost like a force field or something. They both shut up whenever the conversation veered too close to sex or relationships.

And then having to look at Will every day, with his bedhead when he woke up and his naked chest when he came out of the bathroom in his sleep pants, or when his face was animated and he threw back his head and laughed at something Eric said and…. God. No wonder he was grumpy.

“Let’s go out tonight. You need to dance and get laid.” Jerry’s voice brought him back.

“Okay.” It was Friday, so Will would be out of the room, thank God. Maybe Eric would even get lucky and bring someone back with him tonight… or go to their place, given the shitty dorm beds. He yawned, all of a sudden weary.

“Oh yes.” Jerry peered at him critically. “We’ve got to get you back to your perky self, my dear. I’m getting you another latte, for starters.”


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3.5-4 Stars

This book was cute, but on the shorter novella side. I think the page count for this storyline was pretty spot-on and the premise, plot and story for these two guys was good and flowed well. I enjoyed reading this book since it was so quick, you can get through it easily start to finish.

Eric and Will are in college and end up being roommates and co-RA’s for their dorm. Eric is kind of oblivious when it comes to Will and everyone around him. He thinks he has Will pegged from day one as completely and totally straight, but of course, what happens when you “ass-u-me” things about people and situations? After things cleared up, it’s a pretty instant love connection for the two since they already had some awkward chemistry flowing together. 

Eric and Will were both cute characters, Eric being a theater major who is totally outgoing and fun, and Will being a quieter opposite to him. The one thing I really didn’t understand and didn’t seem quite cleared up to me was Will’s hesitation about his music and why he didn’t want to put himself out there. I think a little more on that subject would have been nice. But, overall, this book was cute and well written and a good way to spend a few hours of my day.

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

Hello, all! You’ve made it to the last stop on The Kinsey Scale blog tour – congratulations! Thanks to Bayou Book Junkie for hosting me.

By now, Eric and Will have arrived at their happy ending, but the stories don’t end there. The Kinsey Scale is the first book in the Campus Connections series. The three stories in Campus Connections feature three guys who have been friends since freshman year: Eric Brown, Jerry Helstrom, and Tyrone Johnson. Each story stars one of the guys and gives him his HEA, with a little help from his friends.

Although The Kinsey Scale is Eric’s story, Tyrone and especially Jerry play a key role in helping Eric overcome his fears about getting involved with Will.

I thought it would be fun to interview our three friends today on what romance means to them. Let’s start with a thumbnail description:

Eric: actor/singer, enthusiastic, encouraging, never gets when someone is into him.
Jerry: costume/set designer, acerbic, smart, thinks he has no heart.
Tyrone: dancer, easy-going, friendly, but resigned about ever finding the one.

Note for those who may not know: Jerry and Eric are ex-boyfriends who got together as freshmen and broke up as sophomores. They remain close.


Hi, guys. Thanks for being here with me on Bayou Book Junkie to answer the profound question: What does romance mean to you?

ERIC: Thanks for having us. Romance is a wonderful thing!

JERRY: You would say that.

TYRONE: Yeah, he would. But I’m all for romance myself. Though I’m having no luck in the area.

JERRY: And whose fault is that?

ERIC: I don’t think we’re answering CJane’s question, though. What does romance mean to us? For me, it’s always been confusing. Like, I never think anyone is interested and I’m always surprised when romance happens.

JERRY: I can attest to that.

ERIC: But when it happens, it’s the greatest thing ever. I love it! It’s all about doing sweet things for someone, showing them how much you care and how thankful you are that they’re in your life.

TYRONE: And Will loves what a mush-ball you are. See, that’s romance to me, too – getting all into someone and doing special things for them. Stop rolling your eyes, Jerry.


TYRONE: Yes. And you’ll roll them again when I say I’ve never had that kind of romance and I’m never gonna.

JERRY: Now, that is a truly ridiculous statement. The “never gonna” part. Not that I believe in that kind of romance, certainly not for me. But you, Tyrone, you’re going to get your happy ending.

TYRONE: You think so?

JERRY: I know so.

ERIC: And remember, Jerry is always right. But Jerry, why do you say you don’t believe in romance?

JERRY: I said “that kind of romance” – the being all gooey. Can you see me being gooey? Right. I guess romance to me (if I was interested, which I’m not) has to do with standing by and for another person. It would be having a person who brings out the best in me. And since that’s clearly not going to happen, why am I even answering this question?

ERIC: You see our problem, CJane. Good luck with ever getting Jerry to a happily ever after. But thank you for mine!

TYRONE: And don’t forget me, okay?

JERRY: (grumbles)

Thank you, guys. I wouldn’t worry about those HEAs, Jerry and Tyrone. Jerry’s story, The Player’s Protégé, will be coming out from Dreamspinner in June/July 2019 and Tyrone’s will follow by the end of the year.


Leave a comment at each stop for a chance to win one of my backlist ebooks!

Thanks for coming on The Kinsey Scale blog tour.

Comment below and tell us what romance means to you.

Meet the Author


After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.

CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming-out stories. In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her family supports her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.

CJane is the author of the award-winning Serpentine Series, New Adult contemporary novels set at the University of Virginia. Serpentine Walls was a 2014 Rainbow Awards finalist, Aidan’s Journey was a 2015 EPIC Awards finalist, and Sex, Love, and Videogames won first place in the New Adult category in the 2016 Swirl Awards and first place in Contemporary Fiction in the 2017 EPIC eBook Awards

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