Happy Release Day!
Unsteady by Melissa Collins A stand alone, M/M romance IS NOW LIVE! Free to read with Kindle Unlimited
Grab your copy here --> AMAZON
Cover design: Sommer Stein at Perfect Pair Creative Covers
Photography: Wander Aguiar at WANDER AGUIAR :: PHOTOGRAPHY
Models: Jacob Cooley and Ryan Dick
Micah Hudson and Jude MacMillian were both lonely teenagers. One the new kid and one the target of relentless bullying, they quickly became friends. But when friendship grew into more, the relationship was too much for either to handle. As their tenuous bond was tested, everything tumbled down, leaving them lonely once again.
A decade later, Micah is on the brink of losing his will to live. Beyond exhausted from lying to everyone, including himself, Micah thinks of the one person who knows his deepest secret. Desperate and alone, Micah makes the only decision he feels he has: he must leave. But his need for closure depends on one thing.
Can Jude make room in his Unsteady life for Micah once again?
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I love second chance romances. It's my absolute favorite trope. I love that two people who have loved one another so deeply and lost that love can get another chance at a happy ending. Micah and Jude are both hurting when they meet in high school. Micah, whose father is military, is always the new kid and Jude is the fat kid who is continually bullied by the football players at school. When Micah comes to Jude's defense against said football players these two loners quickly form a friendship. Over time, that friendship grows into so much more. They become lovers, but in a small conservative Texas town where bigotry runs rampant, they'll have to keep their love a secret. After a misunderstanding, Micah leaves for good. Now, ten years later, even more broken and alone Micah runs back to the only person he's ever loved, Jude.
I really enjoyed this story. I'm gonna go ahead and tell you what I didn't like and get it over with. I didn't like the back and forth from past to present. I really wish the past and present had been told in separate sections rather than swinging back and forth between the two. I found this to be not only disruptive, but also confusing at times. It made the flow of the book choppy by jumping back and forth. Now, I'll tell you what I absolutely loved. Everything else! lol
I loved seeing how Micah and Jude fell in love for the first time. The progression of their relationship was realistic and smooth. It wasn't rushed. They truly took their time becoming best friends and confidants before they moved on to lovers. The chemistry both in the past and the present was off the charts and electric. When they finally fell into bed, it was sweet, passionate and beyond hot.
Although I didn't like the choppiness of the back and forth, I do love Melissa's writing. She draws you into Jude and Micah's world and makes it hard to put them down. I wanted them to get their HEA, but I wasn't ready for their story to be over. These are well developed and likable characters you can root for, although I wanted to shake some sense into Micah. I knew without him being honest things would blowup in his face eventually, and it did, but I absolutely loved the resolution and their HEA. This book is filled with passion, love, hurt, healing and so much more. I can't tell you enough to go one-click this story and if you haven't met Beck and Dax, you definitely need to get On Solid Ground and On Higher Ground. While we meet Micah in On Higher Ground, and Unsteady can technically be read as a standalone, I don't recommend it. A big part of his character development and his dealing with his PSTD comes from that book and I think you'd be missing out on pertinent information if you didn't read the previous two books in the series. Besides Beck and Dax have an amazing story to tell and you won't want to miss out. The whole series is highly recommendable!!
*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement.*
Returning home from the war with his arm amputated after a roadside bomb, Micah is struggling to breathe in the life he's created. He loves his young son with his whole heart but he has no idea how to make things work when his life has been a lie. The one time he was truly happy was when he was with his high school best friend and boyfriend Jude. But a decade ago, Micah left Jude behind, escaping from the harsh words which broke his heart. Now with nothing left to lose and on the verge of giving up, Micah goes back home to Texas to find the only person he has ever been in love with.
Jude has spent the time after high school hiding his true self, teaching and taking care of his alcoholic father. His one true regret was losing Micah but when the man shows up after nearly a decade apart, Jude finds that his heart still belongs to Micah. Things haven't changed that much though, they're still in Texas and being openly gay isn't really an option.
“And then one day he came back into my life, without warning really. And I could tell he was hiding something, but I didn’t want to push him away. I wanted him right here with me. So I was greedy. I kept him all to myself when I knew, I just knew, that there was something he was running away from.”
When it comes to emotionally charged stories, Melissa Collins is a master. Unsteady was full of moments that had me reaching for the Kleenex and I absolutely loved it. I'm not always a fan of second chance love stories, I'm not sure why, however, this one had me wanting that HEA so very much.
Micah is one of those characters who I hurt for at times and then I would get so mad at him because he handles things so poorly. Jude really had me feeling the same way, especially towards the end. I wanted these men to communicate with one another, have complete honesty and trust. From the moment they first met as teenagers, these two were perfect together as friends and as partners and that relationship just radiates off the page.
One of the things I really loved also was Micah's wife because so many times authors portray the women to be villains. She was very real, angry because, honestly, she had a right to be but also resigned. Delilah was not the evil ex trying to destroy him. It was a relief so that these two men could truly have that happy life together in the end.
Overall, I really loved Unsteady. The story, the emotions and the writing. It's hard not to find a connection to Micah or Jude and the struggles they endured to find true happiness. I highly recommend it, not to mention Melissa Collins previous books.
***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.***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream. Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.