Friday, March 6, 2015

Spotlight Post + ARC Review: Nothing Like Paris by Amy Jo Cousins

Book Name: Nothing Like Paris
Book Length: 83,000 words
Book Genre: NA M/M
Book Tags: #newadult #mm #smalltown #reunionromance
Book Teaser for a Tweet: Humble pie wasn’t supposed to taste this sweet.

Jack Tarkington’s life is in the toilet. He was supposed to be spending his junior year studying someplace cool like Paris or Rome. Instead, after taking out his anger on the campus “golden boy”, whose dad ripped off his parents, Jack is facing possible expulsion.
Sure, it’s all his own fault, but coming back to the small Iowa town he thought he’d escaped, after crowing about his admission to a prestigious school, has been a humbling experience.
When he runs into Miguel, Jack braces for backlash over the way he lorded it over his old friend and flame. Instead, Miguel offers him friendship—and a job at his growing farm-to-table store and café.
Against the odds, both guys bond over broken dreams and find common ground in music. But when Jack’s college gives him a second chance, he’s torn between achieving a dream that will take him far from home, and a love that strikes a chord he’ll never find anywhere else.
Warning: This book contains a humbled guy who’s on the brink of losing it all, a determined entrepreneur who seems to have it all together, apologies issued through banjo-picking duets, and two lovers who can play each other’s bodies like virtuosos.


“Are we really doing this?” He had to clear his throat to get the words out. Something was stuck there.
Jack’s dick could be stuck there, his traitorous brain whispered.
“Shut up,” he snapped, and he flushed when he realized he’d said it out loud. Before Jack could protest, he tried to cover. “Sorry. Talking to myself.”
“Right. Sure.” Jack might was well have put his hand on Mike’s cheek, the back of his neck, and stroked, so sharp and physical was his stare from across the cab. Tiny little hairs all over Mike’s body stood on end and tingled, waiting for a hard hand to smooth them flat again. “And, yes. We’re doing this.”
“I’m not breaking in.”
“I know. That’s why I brought this.” Jack pulled his right hand up from where he’d kept it low and hidden by his hip. Mike glanced over. A black claw was wrapped about Jack’s fist. It took Mike a moment to recognize the item.
“Don’t tell me you’ve been hanging onto that since high school.” He couldn’t believe it.
“Stuck it in a pair of cowboy boots I left in my closet.” Jack turned his hand, staring at his fist. The grappling hook looked like a spider perched on his knuckles.
“God, I can’t believe you kept it.”
“Never know when a ninja grappling hook is going to come in handy,” Jack teased and bumped elbows with Mike across the bench seat.



About Amy Jo Cousins…

Amy Jo Cousins writes contemporary romance and erotica about smart people finding their own best kind of smexy. She lives in Chicago with her son, where she tweets too much, sometimes runs really far, and waits for the Cubs to win the World Series.

Fun facts: Amy Jo can get back into a kayak in the open water if she falls out of it, taught herself and her son how to say I love you in seventeen languages, and once ran the table in a game of eight ball.

Find Amy Jo on the Web!


Tracy and Mari’s ARC Review:

***This book was provided to us by the author in exchange for an honest review.***

Tracy: Jack is the boy we all hated on Off Campus. The one who tortured Tom all year long, until eventually he is suspended and threatened with expulsion. With no place else to go, Jack heads back to the small minded, small town in Iowa. To the cornfields he thought he left behind. Jack heads back to the one person he regrets leaving behind. Back to the only person he has ever loved, Mike or as Jack insists on calling him, Miguel.

Mike still lives in the small town where Jack left him. He runs a cafe that uses the products grown on the farm he was raised on.

Jack and Miguel have been attached at the hip since 7th grade. First as friends, then best friends and eventually boyfriends/lovers. They had plans. Plans to leave Iowa and escape to college. To a place where they could be together without prejudice or ridicule, for doing nothing more than loving each other. A place where maybe they could walk down the street and hold hands without fear.  After his father’s 2nd heart attack, Miguel decides to stay home, to help with the family farm. Jack leaves without him. Now that Jack is back, can they get past the hurt and rekindle the love they still have for one another?

Well!!! Amy has performed a miracle!! I HATED Jack in Off Campus. Amy not only made me like and root for Jack, she made me fall in love with him. This is my third book by Amy, and it amazes me that the chemistry and connection she manages to capture between her characters. It's electric. Jack and Miguel are no different. Amy's writing makes you feel. First you feel the anger, betrayal and hurt, with an underlying longing for one another. Then comes the love, the love that's always been sitting on the back burner just waiting to be re-lit, and boy does it light up!! The sexual tension is enough to burn up the pages of the book.

Mari: I agree wholeheartedly, Tracy! I hated Jack with the passion of a thousand suns on Off Campus and by page 5 of Nothing Like Paris, I had already fallen for him! This is a book of second chances, and Amy explored this masterfully. We got the friendship, the chemistry, the love between both Jack and Miguel as they reconnected once again. Loved that their road into their HEA wasn’t instant, but gradual, as they made their way through the mistakes they’ve both made in the past and resurfaced stronger than ever from them.

Tracy: I loved Jack and Miguel. The secondary characters in this book, Miguel's parents, Andie, Willis, Ian, and Jenny made a huge impact as well.

I loved the story. My problem with the book, was it needed more meat. It needed more Jack and Miguel scenes together. It had too much background and history about the secondary characters. I was left craving more of Jack and Miguel. I didn't want this book to end. I wanted to see what the future holds for them. I wanted to see them in an atmosphere where they are comfortable being themselves, together. Maybe Amy will give us a novella or a book 3... Won't Willis be going off to school soon, Amy?

Mari: I loved the secondary characters as well and while I didn’t mind the background story, especially in Jack’s parents case since it explained so much about him, I wouldn’t have minded more Jack and Miguel, but that’s just because I’m greedy and I couldn’t get enough of them together.

Funny how I thought it would take a miracle to make me like Jack, and it turned out, that I love him just about as much as I loved Tom in the first book, and let me tell you, that’s a lot. It was lovely seeing him realize his mistakes and do something to right all the wrongs he’d made. How he grew up in the course of the book was also amazing to read.

I’m a bit more ambivalent regarding Miguel, probably because he felt he’d been right all along until he was forced to see that he’d played a huge part in why Jack had left like he did all those years ago.

Amy made me cry at several parts, made me feel so much for these guys, I just couldn’t not hurt when they were hurting. Thank God it wasn’t all angst, since we got an equilibrated book in terms of romance, friendship, love and angst. A definite must read!

Tracy’s rating: 4.5 Stars
Mari’s rating: 5 Stars

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