Virtual Tour: M/M ~ The Luckiest by Mila McWarren ~ (ARC Review, Author Interview, Excerpt + Giveaway)
Author Name: Mila McWarren
Book Name: The Luckiest
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: C.B. Messer
Buy The Book:
When New York-based memoirist Aaron Wilkinson gathers with his high school friends to marry off two of their own, he is forced to spend a week with Nik, the boy who broke his heart.
As they settle into the Texas beach house where the nuptials will be performed, Nik quickly makes his intentions clear: he wants Aaron back. "He's coming hard, baby," a friend warns, setting the tone for a week of transition where Aaron and Nik must decide if they are playing for keeps.
Pages or Words: 256 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Gay fiction, M/M Romance, New Adult, Romance
Aaron finishes the song and Stephanie snatches the mic out of his hand, crooks her finger at Nik and launches them into a reprise of their performance of "Dancing on My Own" from the homecoming weekend they all spent here at the house back in senior year. Stephanie still has questionable rhythm and tragic pitch—she loves to sing, which is why they have a karaoke machine in this house, but it's one thing she will admit she doesn't have much of a gift for—but there's a reason Nik majored in music at The University of Texas, and his voice has come a long way.
Somehow, this deliberate throwback to a memory that was never anything but happy seems different than what Aaron has just done. He sits on the sofa, flanked by Alex and Jasmine, hating them both a little for participating in it even while he smiles. Nik dances—how can you not, with this song—but he still watches Aaron, gives him a little head-tilt during the chorus, and it's charming and devastating and infuriating.
Jasmine leans to murmur, "Oh, I see how it is."
"Oh, shut up."
"You might not be desperate, but I'm not sure about him. He's coming hard, baby."
We are lucky to have Mila McWarren author of The Luckiest here at Bayou Book Junkie today to talk with us!
What inspired you to write this story?
The Big Chill. ☺ And also: I started the story when was in London with some friends for a theatre trip, and we were sharing two flats next door to each other. It was such a great week away, and we were having so much fun, and in between shows every night there was plenty of down time for writing. Each flat had a kitchen, but we kept ending up in the kitchen of the one I was staying in, eating piles of crappy-but-delicious grocery store crumpets and pot after pot of builder's tea – it was a week that could have gone pretty classy by American standards if we were different people but was instead just a whole heap of silly fun with good friends. I loved that feeling of having a time away in a different place, and that feeling of warmth and reunion and reconnection was part of what drove the story.
What are your favorite qualities about each of these two main characters?
I love Aaron's commitment to himself – he is a giving person because he loves people, but ultimately a lot of what drives him is a sense that he is meant for something else and he's going to get it, come hell or high water. And it's beautifully complemented by Nik's kindness, which is very different from Aaron's version of the same quality – he doesn't have the same kind of desperation that Aaron does. Each of them has learned a few things about himself, and I love how seriously they take each other.
Do any of your friends or family members ever end up between the pages of your books?
Of course! I tend to think of myself as being in each of these characters, at least a little bit, but probably a less self-centered way to look at it is that each of these characters (and there's a pretty big ensemble in this book) has characteristics that I have valued in friends. But definitely, Aaron's mom and my mom would be best friends.
Besides writing what else do you enjoy doing?
I work a lot, and I really love my work. When I'm not writing or working, I'm usually just trying to slow my brain down a little; it likes to race. Knitting has been really, really good for that – it's meditative, and there's no way to get it done any faster than one stitch at a time, and I like that a lot. When it's not midsummer, I also like to hike a lot; as far as I'm concerned, this season is for air-conditioning.
A night out on the town or a night cuddling in front of the T.V.?
Oh, cuddling in front of the TV, absolutely. There is no question here. Aaron and Nik may be the luckiest, but I am definitely the laziest, and probably also the most anti-social.
*ARC provided to Bayou Book Junkie by author/publisher via Pride Promotions in exchange for an honest review*
This was such a fantastic, detailed read! I absolutely adored the setting, the flashbacks, the main story, the sub-plot and the characters. This is not an overly angsty story, it's a story of love but not just romantic love, it's also about the kind of love only true friends can share, the kind of love that will help and support you through the best and darkest times of your lives and that will help you grow and nourish your soul to live up to become the best version of yourself that you can possibly be.
Aaron goes back home to help one of his best friends, Alex get married. He's not all that eager to go because his ex-boyfriend, Nik, the boy who broke his heart, is also David's (the groom-to-be) best friend. But at the same time, he can't not be there for this momentous occasion.
Turns out the things that broke them apart years ago weren't what they seem and Nik and Aaron have to decide if the love they still feel for each other is enough to try being together all over again.
I loved the detail poured into this story, even something that might sound simple as a hand-holding scene takes a different connotation when done in such detail, that you can feel the hope, the expectation, the love pouring through each touch, each caress.
Aaron and Nik are amazing and realistic, as tridimensional as their friends and all of them together give this story so much more depth. I was truly invested in all the preparations for the wedding, in every interaction between Nik and Aaron and between Aaron and everyone else.
Definitely a story that I could read again and that I'm sure anyone can enjoy!
Rating: 5 Stars
About the author:
Mila McWarren grew up in Texas, but has happily made her home on the East Coast for the last decade. In her day job she works as a social scientist and has spent the last 10 years developing her fiction writing online. She lives with her husband and their two kids. When she isn't using working, writing, or hanging out with her family, she likes knitting and watching television, because they go together like peanut butter and chocolate, two of her other great loves.
Where to find the author:
Tour Dates & Stops: July 7 – July 20, 2015
Rafflecopter Prize: One $25 Interlude Press gift card. Five e-book copies of ‘The Luckiest’