Sunday, December 4, 2016

Excerpt Tour ~ The Bucket List by Tricia Owens ~ (Review)

Excerpt Tour ~ The Bucket List by Tricia Owens ~ (Review)

The Bucket Info:

M/M Contemporary Romance
Book one of LoLLA series, but each are standalones
High heat level
33k words
Release date November 10th


When Quinn nearly dies in a skydiving incident, his life flashes before his eyes...and it's pretty boring. Though he's moved to Las Vegas to rebel against his strict Mormon upbringing, he still hasn't done much to liven up his life. He's far too comfortable with his boring routine. After the accident, however, he vows to change this. He draws up a bucket list with all the best intentions, yet somehow nothing changes. Quinn worries that he really is a dud, until a gorgeous man walks up to him and suggests an indecent proposal.

Gabriel has had a lot of sex. He's fantastic at it and he's good-looking, so he never lacks for people willing to jump into bed with him. But after a rough break-up, he's determined to make hooking up a secondary priority. It's too bad that when he first sees Quinn and his heart goes pitter-patter, Gabriel's first instinct is to make a bet with Quinn involving sex.

With one spin of the roulette wheel, Gabriel and Quinn embark on a series of sexually adventurous dares, each more exciting than the last. But what happens when one of them pushes for something more? LoLLA books are standalone novellas with lots of love/sex, low angst, and a Happily Ever After ending for a quick dose of happiness.


“What’s the big deal, Quinn?” Gabriel was watching him intently, in a way no one had ever watched him. Like a wolf would, maybe. “There are thirty-eight numbers. What’s the chance you’ll hit mine? Live a little.”
Quinn didn’t like that Gabriel had automatically assumed he was gay. Quinn played it pretty straight out of a lifelong habit of concealing himself. It bothered him that this stranger had read him with ease.
But that’s just smoke and mirrors. What you’re really afraid of is finally doing something to spice up your life. When did you become such a chickenshit? When did you decide that this was the best your life could be?
“It wouldn’t be so bad to lose,” Gabriel continued. The corner of his mouth curled. “You’ve been staring at me since I walked up. I know it’s not me you have a problem with.”
Quinn felt heat in his cheeks, but told himself he was flushed from anger. Gabriel might be the most attractive man that Quinn had ever seen, but that didn't mean he would automatically fall all over the guy. Quinn had too much practice controlling and suppressing his urges.
And that's the problem, genius.
“You’re not afraid you’ll lose, are you?” Gabriel pressed, as insistent as a terrier. Quinn recognized that under different circumstances his persistence would have been sexy, but at the moment, Quinn only found Gabriel annoying.
He thought furiously. Thirty-eight to one were bad odds, especially when Quinn had the ability to pick and choose which number he did—or didn’t—hit. He relaxed slightly as he realized he could choose how this story ended.
But isn't this about living a little? Isn't this about having a story to recall the next time you’re falling out of the sky?
He reached into the wheel well for the ball.
“Agree to the bet before you spin it.”
Quinn didn’t bother hiding his glare at the order. Gabriel merely continued smiling. “Be a good sport, Quinn. You’ve got nothing to lose.”
Nothing to lose but the status quo which was safe. Which would have kept him away from a failing parachute.
After another glance at his supervisor, Quinn finally said, “Fine. It’s a bet.”

*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 Bucket List is Book 1 of Tricia Owens' new series that is series of standalone novellas featuring Lots of Love, Low Angst.  The book opens with one of the MC's, Quinn, in a crisis involving a skydiving incident.  He vows that if he survives, he will live his life to the fullest. Raised in a strict Mormon home, Quinn breaks free from his family and runs to Vegas to live a life of adventure.  But, once he gets there he gets comfortable, thus the reason he's skydiving.  But that promise is forgotten and he gets back to his comfortable life.  Quinn works at a casino and one boring day he meets Gabriel.  Gabriel tries to get the dealer's attention and when it doesn't work, he offers an indecent bet.  Quinn is shocked and doesn't want to follow through with it but does.  And so begins the pattern of their interactions over the next few days.  For Gabriel, this follows his old pattern with his ex-boyfriend and though he wants something different, he can't escape.  Once both men are honest about what they want, they are able to walk away from the risky behavior.

Because this is a novella, we don't get to know the characters as well as we would (hopefully) in a longer book, but we did learn a lot.  Quinn was strong enough to break free from his family's religion but isn't comfortable living life to the fullest.  He finds his comfort zone and sticks with it until he's pushed out.  Gabriel had to make hard decisions as a teenager and despite that, has made a success of his life.  But, because of those choices as a teenager, he doesn't recognize that he's a catch and lets men take advantage of him.  He makes himself something he's not comfortable with to get and keep the attention of men.  Both of them need the other to move on with their lives.

This series is about low-angst, finding love and lots of sex.  I think this book captures all of those goals and makes for a quick, enjoyable read.

Rating:  4 stars

4 Stars

The opening of the story painted a pretty vivid picture. I almost felt as if I, too, was free falling from a plane and watching as the Earth was approaching faster than I'd have preferred with a faulty parachute. I felt a connection to Quinn instantly in that moment and as the story progressed. 

Gabriel, however, was quite a different story and instead of that instant connection, I felt instant annoyance. Cocksure men sometimes turn me off when I first begin a book. I need to warm up to them and start to see their cockiness morph into something more endearing. Did that happen? Yes. About halfway through the story I realized that the Gabriel we see at the roulette table and the Gabriel we see with his BFF Serena, are completely different people. We learn how his background and his last relationship formed how he felt about himself presently. While he craves for something different than his last relationship, he's afraid that's all he's good at or all anyone will want him for. Knowing this changed how I saw him and how I felt about the romance brewing between him and Quinn. 

Overall, I enjoyed The Bucket List. It was fun and sexy and there were sweet moments that I loved. There is a happy ending that's perfect for these two men, of course. Just a feel good story without the overly dramatic subplots. 

*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.*

Tricia Owens Bio:

Tricia writes m/m romance, ménage, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. An avid traveler, she has visited over 80 countries and now makes her home in Las Vegas.


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