Release Day Party ~ Balancing Act by K. Vale ~ (Review, Excerpt + Giveaway)
TITLE: Balancing Act
AUTHOR: K. Vale
PUBLISHER: Liquid Silver Books
SERIES: Shooting Stars #4
GENRE: M/M Interracial
PRICE: $ 6.00
LENGHT: 40.000 words
RELEASE DATE: June 27, 2016
Greg Dwyer and Kyrie Li are living the glorious couple life in New York City. Or are they? When struggling actor Kyrie lands a modeling job, he’s ecstatic to have extra cash to spend on his best-friend-turned-boyfriend.
Of course, Greg is suspicious Anders Berglund, the gorgeous and androgynous Swedish cover model the designers love to pair with Kyrie, is after his man. And maybe Kyrie encourages a growing closeness with the guy?
Greg is probably to blame if Kyrie is drawn to the openly gay and seriously beautiful Andy. With Andy, Kyrie can be himself, as loud and proud as he’s always been. But Greg’s sexuality stays firmly locked in the closest except when he’s with Kyrie’s supportive family or alone with the man he loves.
To make matters worse, Greg’s out-of-touch mom meets with financial ruin and moves in with the couple, forcing him into the closet in his own home.
Can Greg find a way to stand up to Mommy Dearest and win back a love he fought so hard to reach? He discovers the road to pride begins at home and with accepting oneself first. Otherwise, it’s just a dead-end street.
Kyrie’s amazing day was about to get a cherry on top. He opened the apartment door to the rattle of keys on the other side.
Greg’s mouth dropped open, eyes widening comically, but he spared a nervous glance for the empty hallway behind him before stepping swiftly over the threshold.
He shut the door and locked it with a snap of the deadbolt.
“Is it my birthday already?” Easing his work computer to the floor, Greg allowed the suit jacket draped over one arm to follow unceremoniously. As he loosened his tie, yanking the knot from side to side, his mahogany gaze did a similar zigzag down Kyrie’s exposed body.
“This, my love, is just one of the outfits I was given today when I went for my Spectrum Spectacular callback.”
Greg took in the full extent of Kyrie’s ensemble, what little there was of it, and his auburn brows lowered. Kyrie spun around to give him the complete picture, peeking back over his shoulder with a salacious lick of the lips. The white micro trunks and matching fishnet tank were his favorite parts of the ample cache he’d received. He’d been beyond excited for Greg to get home and see them.
“Why would they...? You got the job?” A grin broke across Greg’s face, but the disapproval was still evident as he continued to eye Kyrie’s appearance.
“I got the job! I got the job!” He grabbed Greg’s hands and pumped them up and down. “I’m modeling with Anders Berglund! Anders. Berglund! The Swedish supermodel! We’re partners for the No Black, No White shoot!”
He clasped his hands together while the rest of his body vibrated with pent-up energy. Anders Berglund was gargantuan, his gorgeous face on nearly every magazine cover in the grocery store checkout aisle. Kyrie’s fairy godmother had waved a magic wand over him, and Greg just stood there with his forehead puckered.
Greg slid his arms around Kyrie, rubbing his back as if he were cold. “So…this is what you’re gonna be wearing?”
“Maybe. Who knows? They gave us a few outfits to try on for size.”
“This is not an outfit.” Greg rubbed the holey fabric between his fingers.
Kyrie canted his head, eyebrows lifting as he delivered his best You’re kidding, right? stare. “This is only a sample. There will be all kinds of clothes at the shoot. I’m sure they’ll pick the best of the best after we’re done.”
“Won’t posing half-naked hurt your acting career?”
Kyrie scoffed, rolling his eyes. “No! Watch how many doors this opens. Just you wait.”
“And this is for what? Gay rights or…something?”
Kyrie ramped up the baleful expression. “Have you been listening to anything I’ve said for the past month? It’s not just gay. It’s everything. A campaign to call attention to all shades of the sexual identity spectrum. We gays are pretty widely accepted these days, you might be surprised to know.”
Greg’s arms stiffened around him, and Kyrie bit down on a sigh. Yes, we gays. Including you. Or maybe bi sits better, but you’ve been sticking it to a dude for almost a year and a half now. Time to officially join the not-so-straight club.
Kyrie expelled a frustrated breath after all. “It’s a phenomenal thing to be part of, never mind the sweet paycheck I’ll be pullin’ in. Never mind that I’ll be working with Anders Fucking Berglund and how much visibility I’ll get out of it.” He squeaked, elation bubbling from him despite Greg’s muted response.
“And I thought his first name was bad,” Greg groused, even as his fingers tested the thin mesh over Kyrie’s back and traveled lower.
Kyrie freely admitted he was damned stunning in the getup. All the white clothing they’d given him popped against the brown skin he’d inherited from his mother. Conversely, Anders was the fairest lad in all the land. He had pale blond hair and porcelain skin, fractured only by startlingly dark eyebrows and a couple of highly fortuitous moles rumored to have launched his career. He’d be dressed in black and guaranteed to look amazing. Together…this was going to be fucking epic.
“I thought you’d be proud of me.” Kyrie pouted, simultaneously arching his ass into Greg’s touch like a cat begging for attention.
“Of course I’m proud of you. I just worry about…well—”
“Everything?” Kyrie reached up to stroke Greg’s cheek, loving the feel of his trimmed beard and mustache combo. It could be soft, skimming over Kyrie’s nipples while Greg flicked a tongue and lit them on fire, or it could be coarse, bordering on harsh, as Greg went savage licking Kyrie’s ass and balls. Sure, that sort of thing was usually reserved for the times Greg had a few drinks on board and abandoned his inhibitions fully. But, oh God, when it happened…
Kyrie’s dick swelled thinking about Greg’s tongue swirling over his asshole. “Want me to pour you a little whiskey to help you wind down after your hard—” he squeezed Greg’s cock through his suit pants, “—day, sexy?”
Greg grunted and rocked his hips into Kyrie’s hand. “I can always use a little tension release.” His eyes, hooded, stared at Kyrie’s lips.
He parted them slowly and dragged his tongue tip across his top teeth. “I think I have one of those stress balls around here somewhere.”
Firm and fast, Greg hauled him flush against his chest and stole Kyrie’s breath. His fingers explored Kyrie’s ass crack—crude, demanding, bunching the satiny material between his cheeks before dragging lower to feather behind his nuts.
“Think I found my two favorite stress balls right here.” Greg wore a wicked grin. “Trying to hide ’em on me?”
He gathered the back of Kyrie’s tiny tight boxers, taking the wedgie to another level. He gasped and lifted on his toes. His sac was trapped, kinked up on one side of the seam almost painfully tight. Greg cupped Kyrie’s slung nuts, the touch so gentle it reminded him of ice over fire. Cool, crisp sheets after a day from hell.
Kyrie loved being the seductive bottom, igniting Greg with his teasing and flirting, backing off while he simmered. Then Kyrie would stoke him higher, feeding the inferno until Greg eventually crumbled and became the domineering top. Usually they made the game last, pushing each other’s buttons in their own drawn-out version of foreplay.
The sliver of pain slicing down Kyrie’s crack paired succulently with the throbbing wood pressed against his lower belly. All signs told him they were going straight to sudden death—no warm-up, no scrimmage, just hot, fast action. Game on.
***A copy of this book was provided to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest review***
Greg and Kyrie have found their happily ever after. Living together in New York with the support of Kyrie's family, they are more in love than ever. Kyrie has landed a job in modeling and it is getting him the exposure he's always wanted. He's finally making a real name for himself even if it isn't on the stage. Greg is happy at his job at his new firm and things are going great.However, when Kyrie starts to get close to Anders Berglund, the gorgeous and androgynous Swedish cover model the designers love to pair with Kyrie, Greg starts to get concerned about how long Kyrie will want to be in a relationship with him. Greg doesn't seem to realize his aversion to stepping out of the closet with Kyrie in public is starting to put a wall up between himself and Kyrie.
Kyrie has never hidden who he was. He's loud and proud and completely open about his sexuality. Greg, however, hides his sexuality away from everyone other than Kyrie’s supportive family and friends or alone with Kyrie in their home.
When Greg’s mom unexpectedly shows up on the couple's doorstep, in financial ruin and in need of a place to stay, Greg quickly shoves himself and the relationship he's shared with Kyrie back in the closet in their own home. His continual claim that he and Kyrie are merely friends and roommates continues to push Kyrie even further away. Now he will have to decide what is more important? Maintaining his straight status or being truthful and open and admitting to himself and the world that the most important thing to him is the man he loves?
I am on the fence about whether or not I enjoy reading about couples after they've already gotten their happy ending in a previous book. Generally, if I enjoyed the first book and was taken on a rollercoaster of emotions while they struggled to get together for whatever reason, then I do not like reading a book in which their relationship faces challenges and hardship. I want them to be happy and that to be the end of it. So with that being said, I found myself getting extremely frustrated and angry with Greg.
He and Kyrie were living together, they had already had to deal with living without each other in book three. So the fact that he still hides his relationship with Kyrie outside of their close group of friends and family made me mad. Here is a successful man who is in love with his best friend, they share a home, they live in New York and yet he still introduces Kyrie to people as his friend and/or brother of his ex-wife. No way would I put up with this after a year and a half together.
All in all, I enjoyed the book, the writing was good and the story kept me entertained. I liked that there was a good amount of humor along with the angst and drama and of course quite a bit of sex. The one place Kyrie and Greg did not seem to have any problems was between the sheets. I definitely would recommend reading Hard Act to Follow before reading this one. It gives a better look into the history of Greg and Kyrie and how much they've had to go through to be together.
K. Vale writes erotic romance of all stripes, from hot hetero to mouthwatering manlove. Find her M/F work published under Kimber Vale. Stalk Kimber on Facebook and Twitter, check http://authorkimbervale.com for updates, new releases, and freebies, and sign up for her newsletter to receive an exclusive free story. Come for the sex. Stay for the story.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5343495.Kimber_Vale
***A copy of these books was provided to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest review.***
Forever Is Now (Shooting Stars Book 1)
At 18, Alex Bremen and Chance Ralan loved each other. Excited at the opportunity to spend an entire night together without fear of parents and consequences they take advantage of Alex's family being away. However, when they are discovered by Alex's father the next morning, their relationship comes to an abrupt and violent end.
Nine years later, Chance is a famous Rock Star and neither man has spoken to one another since they were teenagers. Alex has reluctantly followed Chance’s career even though he denies it's out of more than mere curiosity. But when he hears a song he'd written for Chance being played on the radio he's beyond angry. He vows then and there to get his song back.
Nine years ago Chance left his home to become a musician without a backwards glance, running from Alex and their relationship. Chance never meant for the song Alex had written him to be played for everyone to hear. He'd just been unable to get the song out of his head. But having his band mates hear it and immediately want to record it, had pressured him into allowing it to become their next big hit.
When Alex is hired to film a documentary of Armageddon's Showdown, Chance's band, he believes it will give him the perfect opportunity to confront Chance once and for all about the song. What he didn't plan for was to still feel that connection they had shared so long ago. Chance and Alex can't deny how they feel when they are thrown together once again. Will Chance ever be able to admit to himself and his fans that he is attracted to men or will the past repeat itself and will Alex once again be left alone?
I enjoyed this story for the simple fact that the drama and angst are kept to a bare minimum. Now don't get me wrong, I love drama and angst, sometimes the more the better. However with a story like this, it was too fast paced to draw out the angst. It's a story more about reconnecting to an old love, a first love and coming to terms with who you are and what you want.
Alex and Chance are great together. Good chemistry and hot sex. I would recommend this book for those who enjoy OFY and second chance love stories. It's a quick, easy and fun read.
Double Takes (Shooting Stars Book 2)
Giovanni Savale lead singer of Three Deaf Mice is in the middle of an ugly divorce and custody battle. Now that he’s facing money troubles, it looks as if starring in a reality television show is his best option. Only he's not happy when the show's producer decides that they are going to pair Gio with a boyfriend in order to gain ratings. Years ago in an interview Gio admitted to being bisexual. Now that he's sober, though, Gio believes it was just a consequence of his party lifestyle. Unfortunately, Gio is bound by contract to do as the show wants and he can't get out of it without legal ramifications.
Auctioneer Lance Garrett owns a local antique shop Double Takes. Gio meets the fascinating man when he decides to sell his soon to be ex wife's things. However, the more time Gio spends with him the more he finds it hard to fight the attraction he feels for him.
Now in the midst of possibly losing custody of his ten-year-old son, Gio's life seems to be out of control. A messy divorce, cameras taking over his life and someone from Lance's past hell bent on revenge. Will Gio be able to get what he wants, his son and a future with Lance?
I really liked Double Takes although it was definitely a different read than the first book. More angst and drama. I liked Gio and Lance, they had good chemistry and just seemed to fit together.
I would recommend this book to those who enjoy quick and easy reads with just the right amount of angst thrown in. I'm definitely excited to read the next book in the series.
Hard Act To Follow (Shooting Stars Book 3)
***Note: I originally read this book in October of 2014 giving it 3 Stars***
We met Kyrie and Greg in the second book of this series when Gio was "dating Kyrie". Now it's their turn to find their happily ever after, however, it's not as easy as one would think. First of all, Greg and Kyrie may be best friends, but it doesn't change the fact that Greg was once married to Kyrie's sister or the little fact that Greg is straight. It also doesn't help that Kyrie has made it his mission to get his sister Jasmine and Greg back together, while Greg is trying to hide the fact that he wants to be with Kyrie, not Jasmine.
One crazy night leads to Kyrie and Greg sleeping together, but the next morning brings about a series of misunderstandings and lies. Greg doesn't want to lose Kyrie's family who has taken him in as one of their own. Kyrie doesn't want to lose his friendship with Greg. Kyrie is out and proud, flamboyant and outgoing, he's not one to hide in the closet. Greg doesn't consider himself gay, he just happens to have the hots for his ex-brother-in-law. He's not ready to admit that to anyone. However, the more they try to act as if it didn't happen the bigger wedge it drives between them.
Will Greg and Kyrie be able to figure out what they want without losing everything else in the process?
I enjoyed Hard Act To Follow, GFY is one of my favorite tropes and I liked Kyrie and Greg. I thought they were suited for each other and made a great couple. I got a little frustrated with their lack of communication and the morning after misunderstanding. Kyrie I felt made his situation a lot more complicated than it needed to be. If he and Greg could have just sat down and talked, hash things out, they would have found their happily ever after a lot sooner.
To celebrate the release of Balancing Act, Kimber is giving away a beautiful silver choker necklace with abalone pendant!
a Rafflecopter giveaway