Book Name: True Brit
Author Name: Con Riley
Release Date: Mid-Late February
Publisher: Figment Ink Ltd
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Pages or Words: 62,000 words
Winning the United Kingdom’s favorite singing contest is a challenge for half-Afghani Pasha Trueman. He doesn’t have the best voice, but success would be life-changing. His strategy is simple—he’ll make the British public love him.
Ex-soldier Ed Britten has a different agenda. Winning means he’ll keep a promise made after a deadly Afghan ambush. His voice is his weapon, but he leaves his heart unguarded.
Ed and Pasha’s discovery that the contest isn’t a fair fight calls for creative tactics. Staging a fake love story could bring victory, only there’s more at stake than the prestigious first prize. If winning means surrendering each other, they could both end up losing.
Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
Excerpt:Ed and Pahsa discover that winning the Brit Pop! contest will take more than singing their hearts out. In this excerpt, Ed discusses a new plan of attack with Pasha:
Ed put down his mug and stepped much closer. The toes of his boots touched the tips of Pasha’s scruffy knock-off Converse trainers. “Is that really what you think we need to do all of the time from now on? Be affectionate whenever there might be a camera or people around? Verbally, I mean. And act like we’re….”
Did Pasha usually sound so breathless? Ed tilted his head to one side and tracked the quick flick of Pasha’s tongue wetting his lower lip.
“That’s…” Pasha hesitated, “that’s exactly what I think we should do. And I don’t think verbal affection on its own will cut it either. We should… we should probably touch. A lot. But naturally, you know? As if we have a hard time keeping our hands off each other.”
“Like this?” Ed reached for the half-full mug Pasha clutched to his chest and made sure both his hands covered Pasha’s for an extended moment as he slowly took it from him.
“And like this?” Ed pushed the strands of hair covering Pasha’s eyes to one side. “Hi.”
This time Pasha slowly smiled instead of answering.
“And what about if we hold hands?” Ed awkwardly threaded his fingers through Pasha’s. “Is that too much, do you think?”
Pasha shook his head. “No.” He cleared his throat. “No, that’s exactly what I meant by natural.” He tugged his fingers away and wiped his palms on his trousers as if they were sweaty. “You’re taking to this much faster than I thought you would.”
There wasn’t much Ed wouldn’t do to get to the finals.
* ARC provided to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for an honest and fair review. *
First of all, I’ve gotta say I hadn’t devoured a book quite like I did this one in a bit. I finished in an afternoon/night and I just couldn’t put it down, because I had to know how it would end up and I wasn’t disappointed.
Pasha and Ed met at the BritPop! talent competition and while they didn’t hit it off all that well at first, they strike a deal after finding out the producers are trying to get rid of them on the show. They create a fake relationship, complete with its own hashtag: #TrueBrit (a combination of both their surnames, Trueman and Britten) and the public just eats it up, making it impossible for management to ruin their plans of getting as far as the final.
Pasha is outgoing and funny and everyone loves him and, even if I didn’t know at first, he’s also straight. Not that being straight is much of an issue in the story, really. However, it’s him that comes with the idea of faking a love story first when he and Ed learn of management’s plans.
Ed is reserved, loyal, gay and he truly was my favorite of the two. He was all in from the start, slowly falling for Pasha the more they played the part of the lovebirds.
Their path to HEA was plagued by misunderstandings, lies, omissions, and a show creator that I wish would have been put in his place after all he did to try to break Pash and Ed up.
I really enjoyed this story and thoroughly recommend it. The chemistry between both Pasha and Ed was awesome and I loved how it evolved from a tentative friendship into something way deeper until the two of them realized there was more true to #TrueBrit than they anticipated. This is my first story by this author, but it certainly won’t be the last, if the others are as well written and awesome as this one was.
About the author:Con Riley lives on the wild and rugged Devonshire coast, with her head in the clouds, and her feet in the Atlantic Ocean.
Injury curtailed her enjoyment of outdoor pursuits, so writing fiction now fills her free time. Love, loss, and redemption shape her romance stories, and her characters are flawed in ways that makes them live and breathe.
When not people watching, or wrangling her own boy band of teen sons, she spends time staring at the sea from her kitchen window. If you see her, don't disturb her—she’s probably
Finding Con Around the web:
Con was kind enough to take the time to talk to us today!
Do you pay attention to literary criticism?
My new book, TRUE BRIT, is my sixth published novel. I learned very quickly after my first book came out that criticism is part of the deal. I didn’t train to write fiction. I hadn’t written more than a shopping list for 20 years before I discovered MM romance. The fact is that I left home when I was very young, and I didn’t return to education until I was much older, so anything I learned at school about story structure and grammar had been long forgotten.
After publishing my first book, I learned pretty quickly that complete strangers would express their opinions, and they’d do it in public. I was lucky — After Ben was a best seller, but that meant reviews were overwhelming. It took a while before I could tell the difference between literary criticism and pure opinion. Now I know the difference, and it’s made my writing better.
This is what I think about readers having their say about how I write:
Their personal opinion is absolutely none of my business.
If a reader addresses me personally via email, Facebook, or Twitter to say they love or hate my work, I’ll almost always reply, “Thanks so much for purchasing my book. I’m sincerely very grateful.” Their opinion being positive or negative doesn’t stop me from being thankful.
But literary criticism is different to personal opinion.
If it’s offered, I‘m all over it now, as quick as a flash.
I’ve learned to tell literary criticism apart from opinion because it’s like hearing your own secret worries whispered by a stranger — it resonates and lingers. For example, reading that a faster start to a book would be better could have stung in 2012. If a similar ‘start the story from the first page’ opinion resonated today I’d do something about it.
I’d research, and I’d practice, and that’s why literary criticism is a gift rather than a smack down.
Funny thing: That ‘start it faster’ criticism isn’t far from the truth. Books aren’t like watching a movie. It turns out that a wide-angled, slow pan of my imaginary camera to describe every single detail of a landscape is little use to a reader if they don’t know why that landscape matters. There’s a very good reason why the opening of my new book TRUE BRIT puts the reader in the action from the very first line.
“You see him yet?” The tinny voice in Pasha Trueman’s ear crackled with a sharp hiss. “He should be in your sights by now.”
“I’m looking.” Pasha rubbed his damp palms dry on his jeans. Tracking a soldier who hid in shadow was a whole lot harder in real life than it was in Call of Duty. Maybe he should give up on these contact lenses. It was difficult to pick out anyone from this distance, let alone someone dressed head to foot in camo. His headset picked up another burst of static. It was worse than useless as well. “Give me another minute.”
“You haven’t got a minute, Pasha,” the faint voice warned. “You haven’t got thirty seconds to waste in this game. You’ll have to start without him. Get ready to go on my signal.”
“Wait!” Fleeting movement caught Pasha’s attention. “I’ve got a visual on him.”
“Talk about cutting it fine. On my count, remember?”
“On your count.”
This was it—a clear shot. The whole of Britain would have to focus on him. Not bad for a shortsighted half-Afghani who, if you listened to his critics, had no right to be here.
Of course, there’s a place in my books for the vividly descriptive passages that I love writing so much, but now I hold off until readers know the characters, and I think the emotional payoff is worth the wait.
So yes, literary criticism is something I love and value. I’m grateful when readers take the time to contact me when they have thoughts to share. It’s not my job to let opinion sway me, and I don’t scour the ‘net looking for reviews that weren’t intended for me, but if criticism strikes a chord somewhere inside, I’ll put it to good use.
Thank you so much for hosting me. ☺Tour Dates/Tour Stops: