Blog Tour ~ When I'm Weak by Aria Grace ~ (Reviews, Excerpt + Giveaway)
Title: When I'm Weak
Series: Mile High Romance #2
Author: Aria Grace
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: December 19, 2015
Jamie presents a flamboyant and slutty attitude to the world because he's been hurt before. Even though it's mostly an act, he hides behind his persona to keep people at arm's length. With only a small group of trusted friends, he's vowed to never allow a man to have power over him again. Power to hurt him. Power to take away his freedom. Power to label him as a predator for the rest of his life.
Reed and his sister run a home preschool for toddlers. His focus is on getting credentialed so he can take some of the burden from Abby. He doesn't have time for friends, much less a lover, but when he meets Jamie, he recognizes something in the man that makes him want to get closer.
Unfortunately, Jamie's past prevents him from truly integrating into Reed's future. It's not just a matter of the heart. It's a matter of the law.
**copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review**
After an unfortunate event Jamie's future is derailed. A server at a gay bar, Jamie is forced to flirt with some of the lowest of low life's for tips. He meets Reed there and they are attracted to one another, but Jamie pushes him away. Jamie has a secret that could destroy everything Reed has worked so hard to build.
I liked this book, but I didn't love it. I thought it needed more. The story flowed well and I loved revisiting Alex, Shane and Jacob. I adored Reed's sister Lucy. She was funny and a well developed secondary character. The main characters had a really good chemistry and the sex was steamy.
My major problem with this book. was that Jamie and Reed both had huge parts of their individual stories that I felt were left unresolved. The "Ross" situation should have definitely been resolved and/or addressed. For Reed, it was the "Abby" situation. It was such a huge part of the story and it just felt unfinished to me.
This is book two in the series, but it can be read as a standalone even though the MC's from book one appear in this book. I think you will definitely need to read this book to understand book three, which I'm really looking forward to. While I really wanted more, and hope to get more from book three, the story was still enjoyable and recommended!
I do have a couple of questions about the authenticity of Jamie's situation. If you don't want any spoilers, please skip this portion. Michael is only 15, and in a casino. I could understand if they were just in the eating area, but he was at a slot machine! Not to mention Jamie is only 18, I'm pretty it's illegal to be in the casino gambling at 18. All the research I could find says the legal age is 21. I'm not deducting any stars for this. It is just fiction. I'm also not a nit picky reviewer, but it's also not a little part of the story. It's a huge catalyst that sets forward and changes the course of Jamie's future and I just feel it should have been fact checked and correct.
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest review. ***
Jamie has had a hard life after a 10-minute mistake, which ended up with him in jail for two days and on the Megan list for sex offenders. His parents washed their hands of him and unable to continue his studies, he resorts to working at a gay bar, where his slutty ways gain him enough tips to get by. He's not been close to anyone since that day, and while he's attracted to Reed, he can't let him in, especially once he discovers what Reed does for a living.
Reed and his sister run a pre-school for toddlers out of their house and Reed has been working to get the certifications he needs to help his sister with teaching. He and Jamie start getting closer, but then suddenly Jamie runs away from him with no explanation.
While the story was enjoyable for the most part, there were a few things that made it a bit less so. While I can overlook the fact that Jamie was gambling when he was 18 years old, for the sake of the plot, the dubious consent during a scene with Ross, one of the bar's patrons, and the fact that there was no resolution about that really bothered me. Also the cliffhanger at the end, I'm really not too fond of those, especially when it's something I really didn't see coming.
So all in all, it was a good read, the characters were mostly likable, even if I wanted to slap Jamie a couple of times. The ending was a bit rushed and as I said it ended with a cliffhanger, so if you don't like those, it might be best to wait until the next book is out to read this one.
Rating: 3.5 Stars.
Born and raised in beautiful California, Aria enjoys the year round sunshine and laid back environment of the west coast. Her career started out in tech writing and web development and has evolved into all things marketing with fingers in everything related to book publishing. She lives with her husband and two children and more pets than she can keep track of. Despite her crazy schedule, she loves the time she carves out to read and write. Whether it's on the beach or on the couch at 2am, she is a woman obsessed! She loves to hear from readers so please feel free to drop her a note or visit her at www.ariagracebooks.com. If you'd like to know when Aria's next book is coming out or where she'll be signing, join her mailing list at: http://bit.ly/AriaGraceFanList