Friday, December 2, 2016

Blog Tour ~ Serendipity Series by Liam Livings ~ (Reviews + Giveaway)

Blog Tour ~ Serendipity Series by Liam Livings ~ (Review + Giveaway)

Buy Links

Christmas Serendipity: Amazon US | Amazon UK | AllRomance

Serendipity Develops: Amazon US | Amazon UK | AllRomance

The Next Christmas: Amazon US | Amazon UK | AllRomance

Serendipity Box Set: Amazon US | Amazon UK | AllRomance


Christmas Serendipity: In a snowy small town in England just before the festive season, refugees of bad luck Christian and David find themselves thrown together at a friend’s non-family Christmas. Both men realize this may be just what they need, when they need it.

Serendipity Develops: David and Christian met a few weeks ago, and were thrown together last Christmas through a mixture of luck and fate. They felt an instant spark for one another, but now neither want to rush into bed until they're ready. David thinks he is, but Christian's emotions are all over the place. A stay in hospital makes David wonder if their relationship too much for him to cope with.

The Next Christmas: In a snowy small town in England, just before Christmas, garage mechanic David and office worker Christian are preparing to spend the festive period with Christian's parents. The parents who told Christian last year he wasn't welcome to their family festive celebrations since he told them he was gay. The parents welcome show the men to separate bedrooms. Will their love overcome prejudice?

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

The Serendipity series is three novellas and must all be read in the appropriate order. Each novella starts where the last one left off and follows the development of a relationship between Christian and David.

In Christmas Serendipity, Christian and David join mutual friends to have Christmas together after break-ups, job losses, and family disappointment. This novella takes place over the holiday weekend and focuses on how the four friends pull together to create a holiday gathering taking parts of everyone's family traditions. Christian and David are interested in the other, but they've both just come out of a relationship and don't want to rush into anything. It is necessary to read the next book.

Book 2, Serendipity Develops focuses on the development of Christian and David's relationship after the holidays. It really shows a new relationship and how two people have to work through differences, different expectations and interactions with family. It is necessary to read the next book in the series to get the ending.

Book 3, The Next Christmas is a year after Book 1, where they both spend their first Christmas together as a couple and has the two men celebrating in a completely different way than the year before. This novella wraps up the entire relationship and gives the reader the HEA for Christian and David.

Each of these stories was a short read and flowed nicely. If I had had to read one book and wait for another one, I would have hated this series, but because you can just go from one to next, it doesn't interrupt the flow at all. Overall, a sweet short series.

Rating: 4 stars overall!

4 Stars!

A very English tale of 'let's just get on with it', followed by a lovely start of a HEA.

As a British reader getting and intro to this author, I ended up rather satisfied. This is a tale set in good old England, with people who felt real, a situation that felt real and kind of sadly a little expected/'reasonable in their eyes' for that generation (I'll expand shortly), with the special bond that a mum and son have and which ultimately ends in the leads starting their HEA.

Did I want more? YES, hence the 4* rating rather than a 5* one, as this tale glossed a little over one issue that raised a fairly big head and for me, some alarm bells, and also, it needed that little bit of icing on the cake that was no doubt going to be brought out at some point. Hint. Hint.

So, it's a tale set around Xmas, starting 12 months previously, with our guys both in a bad place for very different reasons, and which ends the following Xmas with all on the way to being sweetness and light for them. In between, there's a bit of a 'family trial', one which unfortunately I could see happening because of the mindset of many people of my mum's generation, even in 2016, but which eventually got talked about, got reasoned out and ended up being accepted for what it was, what it meant to those who counted. Human decency and love prevailed. The tale had a lot of real life and a lot of realism in it, but nothing too heavy was made out of it - it made me wonder if LL had perhaps witnessed something similar that had provided the inspiration for this tale.

There was brief mention of one character's 'fantasies/daydreams'? getting a little out of hand, which resulted in tons of tall tales being told, and a situation that should perhaps have warranted a more serious discussion than there ended up being. I am pretty certain that it was a mental health issue that came up, perhaps caused by stress/want/sadness/desperation, and yes, the character in question got some help for it, but this was seemingly done off-page and rather too quickly. I happen to be married to a mental health nurse in the UK and this portrayal didn't quite seem right - because of the severity of mental illness and the stigma that we're trying to disassociate from it, I kind of feel that, 'if you're going to go there with it, you need to go there properly'. But, in the overall series, that's a small-ish niggle, and it didn't stop me from enjoying the tale.

As I mentioned, the tale ends with the leads about to embark on the rest of their lives together, and I couldn't help but hope for another little scene showing a certain even happier event - perhaps the author might consider offering that as a short some day?

ARC courtesy of the author and Bayou Book Junkie, for my reading pleasure.

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Author Bio

Liam Livings lives where east London ends and becomes Essex. He shares his house with his boyfriend and cat. He enjoys baking, cooking, classic cars and socialising with friends. He escapes from real life with a guilty pleasure book, cries at a sad, funny and camp film – and he’s been known to watch an awful lot of Gilmore Girls in the name of writing ‘research’. 

One evening, flicking through the channels, he stumbled across the film, Saving Private Ryan, and it took twenty minutes of not seeing Goldie Hawn in an army uniform, before he realised it wasn’t actually the film, Private Benjamin. 

He has written since he was a teenager, started writing with the hope of publication in 2011. His writing focuses on friendships, British humour, romance with plenty of sparkle. 

When he’s not writing fiction he runs a manuscript appraisal service, provides marketing support to authors & publishers and ghostwrites other people’s books. 

You can connect with Liam
Twitter @LiamLivings

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