Buy Links: Pride| Amazon US | Amazon UK
Length: 102,822 words
Cover: Emmy Ellis
Wake (Book #1) - Pride| Amazon US | Amazon UK
A love worth the wait.
When Riley Porter-Wright comes out as bisexual and confesses his feelings for Carter Hamilton, it severs their friendship. Carter’s rejection forces Riley to move on and he’s shocked to learn Carter’s marriage has fallen apart.
Overwhelmed by his failure as a husband and father, Carter misses Riley, but feels guilty for disappearing after Riley's coming out. After Riley extends an olive branch, the former friends agree to repair their relationship.
Slowly, Carter pieces together a new life. He admits his attraction to men, and confesses his feelings for Riley. Leery of Carter's initial rejection, Riley turns his focus on a new man, Will Martin.
Riley and Carter’s renewed rapport intensifies, and Will becomes insecure. Will's resentment increases until he issues an ultimatum, forcing Riley to refocus his energies away from Carter.
Disappointed, Carter fosters new friendships with men like Jesse Murtagh. Aware of the changes in Carter’s life, Riley is uncomfortable knowing Carter has moved on.
Carter and his ex-wife, Kate, navigate new waters as their children learn their parents are dating other people. Will can’t deal with his jealousy and ends his relationship with Riley.
Unattached for the first time in years, Riley and Carter slowly transition their friendship into a relationship. Carter comes out and leaves his job, accepting the reality of being disowned.
Riley and Carter go public with their relationship, but worry the fallout will affect their families. Drawing strength from each other, they meet the challenges of being an out couple head on.
Reader Advisory: This book contains polyamory and infidelity.
Publisher's Note: Wake, the prequel to Calm, is available to order and download now.
5 + Stars
We start this journey with Riley and Carter when they meet on the first day of their freshman year of college, at Harvard University. These young men both come from very similar backgrounds. They are both the sons of wealthy, New York business men, who expect them to graduate college, join the family business, find a nice girl from the same elite circle to marry and produce an heir to carry on the family name. Throughout this journey over the first six years of their friendship, the roommates grow closer and the bond of friendship strengthens, yet the lines start to blur as well, when they begin joining one another in bed with women. They make sure it's always with a woman between them, so the lines are never fully crossed. After graduation and over the next decade, the two revert back to just being friends, until Carter decides he'd like more, but what happens when Riley decides he isn't satisfied with having Carter just once a month and he definitely doesn't want a woman between them?
I. Couldn't. Put. This. Book. Down!!! My stomach remained knotted up with anxiety, frustration and heartache throughout the entire story, but still I couldn't stop reading.
The struggle these men face is heartbreaking, especially Riley, yet Riley is so brave and I was beyond proud of him for standing up to everyone in his life, including Carter and declaring that he would no longer live a lie. He knows he could lose everything, but finding true love and happiness, whether with Carter, or with someone else, is more important than anything else. More important than his career, family or even the man he loves, Carter.
Now let's talk about Carter. I'm torn, because while I know he loves his wife and I understand he doesn't want to lose his family and career, it makes me angry that he abandoned his best friend in his time of need to save his own skin.
I'd normally say I want to see the MC's to end up together, but truthfully, all I really want to see in the next leg of their journey is for Riley to be happy. To find that special someone that makes him all warm inside and who will love him like he deserves to be loved.
This was an enjoyable if angsty read that is well-written and paced well. The collaboration between the authors is seamless and I'll be sitting impatiently on the edge of my seat, perhaps tapping my foot, waiting for the next book. Highly recommended!!
*copy provided by the authors/publisher in exchange for an honest review*
5 + Stars
This story starts us off with Riley moving on after his divorce and dating Will, while Carter, who has moved out of his home and is getting a divorce from his wife, is trying to navigate and explore his attraction to men.
Let's start with Riley and Will. Will had the personality of a wet mop and I cringed at every scene between the two of them. They just did not work together. They had absolutely no chemistry whatsoever and, well, I sometimes cheat when I read, so I peeked and knew ahead of time around the point when things would end between Riley and Will and I kept a close eye on the location of the book in anticipation of them breaking up. I'm such a horrible person. haha I couldn't even bring myself to feel bad for Will. Will was an idiot to enter into a relationship with a Riley, a man who has clearly informed him that he is in love with another man. What did he expect to happen?!
I wanted to smack Riley upside the head. He was brave enough to finally come out and after learning that Carter, the one person he's always wanted, is now available and reciprocates his feelings, he puts him firmly in the friends-zone!! Argh!! I wanted to scream at him and shake him a bit. Hello, would you just open your eyes already, Riley?! Riley totally played it safe instead of going after what his heart truly wanted. But I guess I have to commend him for at least giving it the old college try with Will, or maybe not. Can y'all tell I didn't like Will?
Now on to Carter, as much as I wanted to strangle Carter throughout book one, he stole my heart in this portion of their story. My heart broke for him, but he was so supportive of Riley, stepping aside and letting him make Will his top priority, and when Will and Riley FINALLY split up, he was there by Riley's side to console and support him.
Carter does his best to put his fellings for Riley aside and throws himself into the dating scene. Then he meets Jesse who he really likes, but Jesse is not one for monogamy, so they have fun together and become great friends, who are sometimes friends with benefits. I LOVED Jesse. He is a carefree and snarky. He does what he wants and says what he feels with no apologies. He not only helps Carter explore his sexuality, but becomes one of his closest friends and introduces Carter to a group of friends that turn out to be an amazing support system for Carter, and eventually for Riley. As much as I wanted Carter to be with Riley, I can't deny the chemistry between Carter and Jesse. They were smoking hot together.
Now, Carter and Riley. When Riley finally pulls his head out of his ass, Riley and Carter become the amazing couple I always knew they could be. They had amazing chemistry and I loved that even though they'd known one another for half their lives, they took their time with the progression of their relationship. And once they finally fell into bed they were explosive together.
They worked hard together to build a solid foundation for their relationship. The road was long and bumpy but so worth it in the end. The story was amazing, it's extremely well written, the collaboration is seamless and it kept me enthralled. I couldn't put it down and as much as I wanted to get Riley and Carter to that happy ending, I'm not ready to say goodbye to them. I absolutely loved them and I'm hoping to catch glimpses of them in Jesse's story, which I'm desperately hoping is next and will be waiting impatiently for!! Very enjoyable and highly recommended!!
*copy provided by the authors/publisher in exchange for an honest review*
K. lives in the northeast United States, where she complains bitterly about the winters, but truly loves the region and its diverse, tenacious and deceptively compassionate people. You’ll usually find K. nerding out over books, movies and television with friends and family. She’s especially proud to be raising her son as part of a new generation of unabashed geeks.
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