Thursday, July 6, 2017

Review Tour ~ Racing The Sky by Layla Dorine ~ (Review, GP and Excerpt)

Racing the Sky by Layla Dorine
When you race the sky, gravity always wins
Nicky dreamed of Cliffhangers, Suicide Cams and the Kiss of Death, wanting more than anything to make it to the professional motocross circuit and dazzle fans beneath the bright arena lights. His bike was his life, his world, especially after his boyfriend, Terry, dumped him for earning a sponsor when Terry couldn't. It's still devastating, being cheated on and cast aside by the only man he’s ever loved, but there’s little he can do about it now but go out there and win, if only to spite Terry.
Enter Gray, and a chance meeting at a roadside diner that leaves Nicky with something more to focus on than the Coffin and Lazy Boy and how impressive a backflip he can pull off at the end of the next event. As the sting of Terry’s betrayal begins to fade, Nicky finds himself drawn to the older man, returning to the diner, and Gray, in every free moment he can spare. It’s almost perfect, but nothing ever lasts, not in Nicky’s world and Terry isn’t quite done making him pay for his success.
In the aftermath, Gray is left helping Nicky pick up the pieces once again, only this time, nothing will ever be the same. Will Nicky be able to see beyond his dreams of twisting in the air and dangling from beneath his bike.... to learn that when you Race the Sky…gravity always wins?  

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The drive back to the track was silent except for the radio. Every now and then Vic would look over and watch River drive with a white-knuckled grip and tense jaw. All he could do was hope that River calmed down before work on Monday, or all hell was likely to break loose at the shop.
When River pulled up beside Nicky’s truck, he finally looked over at Vic. “I’m gonna make him pay.”
We’re gonna make him pay,” Vic said. “But the best way to do that is to focus on getting him banned; okay?”
“Yeah, fine.”
“Seriously. Nicky wouldn’t want you to lose your job or go to jail defending him. You know how he is; he’d feel guilty until he found a way to make it up to you.”
River groaned, but finally nodded his head in agreement. “Yeah, I know.”
Vic got out the car and shut the door, then pulled the keys to Nicky’s truck from his pocket as River drove away. In the glove box, he found Nicky’s phone, scrolled through the sparse collection of numbers to find Gray’s, and dialed it.
“Hey Nicky. I was wondering.”
“Umm, this isn’t Nicky,” Vic said. “My name’s Vic. I’m a friend of Nicky’s. He asked me to call you.”
Gray’s voice came back a bit guarded. “Oh?”
“He had an accident in his race. He’s in the hospital.”
“Shit, how bad? Which hospital?”
Vic could hear the worry in Gray’s voice, and it pissed him off a little that this guy he didn’t know was already so in to Nicky. “It’s pretty bad. He’s down here at Valley Central.”
“What happened?”
“A bike clipped his, and he was thrown. He landed on the track and got hit by another bike.”
“Christ,” Gray cursed. “I’m coming down.”
“He’s in ICU,” Vic informed him. “They only let visitors in for ten minutes.”
“I don’t care how short a time they let me in for as long as they let me in,” Gray responded. “Thanks for calling.”
“No problem.”
Vic hung up. It was a problem, but what more was he going to say about it? He drove the truck home and made it as far as the couch before he realized how bad he was shaking. For the longest time he sat with his head in his hands and the accident replaying in his mind. Nicky’s screams echoed in his head, and he doubted that he’d get any sleep. Turning on the TV, Vic stared at a cartoon, barely seeing it. Nicky must have been watching the damned thing last. Looking around, Vic couldn’t help but wonder if anything would ever be the same after this. Time passed slowly while he just lay there, staring absently at the screen until, mercifully, he drifted off to sleep.

Greetings and thank you for the opportunity to come on your blog today. I’m so thrilled to be celebrating the release of Racing the Sky, my supermoto themed romance. One of the things that has always fascinated me was the skill and fearlessness it must take for someone to get on a dirtbike and pull of some of those tricks. I love watching them. I find myself glued to the screen, cringing whenever they crash, and while I ride, I certainly never attempt anything so trilling.
Still, it’s the things I love that find their way into my work, more often than not, anyway, though sometimes, it’s the things I hate that find a home in them too. In this case, jealousy and the need that some people have to just be better at everything than others. Now please don’t get me wrong, I love competition. I love sports and I loved taking part in them and other forms of competitions when I was younger, but there is a line between being competitive and being the kind of snake in the grass that Terry proves to be.
His need to be the best drives him past reason and one of the hardest parts about writing him was having to look back on some of the people I’ve known in life to draw such negative qualities. It sucks that there are those who don’t think they can get ahead unless they cheat, sidestep the rules, take shortcuts, and do everything in their power to undermine the person they are trying to beat out. And what is winning anyway?
Is it still a victory if it doesn’t come honestly?
What is a winner and how do we define winning in a landscape of often times malicious individuals?
I felt like those questions and more kept coming up over the course of writing Racing the Sky.  I guess I was trying to understand what is lacking in an individual that they feel the need to do such things, because I’m not sure it’s all about feeling a sense of entitlement. I think it’s about there being a hole they are trying to fill and going about it all wrong. I think it’s about being empty and selfishly trying to fill a need while leaving oneself blind to the world around them.
I’m sure it’s a mix of things, really, it was in Terry, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what others end up feeling about him.

4.5 Stars!

Nicky thought he finally had all he ever wanted when he got a sponsor for his dirt bike racing, unfortunately, his boyfriend Terry thought he deserved that sponsor more than him and not only cheated on Nicky and broke up with him because of it, but spread lies about Nicky with their friends. A chance meeting with Gray, an older man who finally starts replacing Terry in Nicky's thoughts, helps Nicky start to rebuild his life, but a devastating event might put any plans Nicky had for his future on hold, perhaps indefinitely. 

I'm not a huge fan of books with multiple POVs, I find them confusing, especially when we get them before both MCs have been introduced, which is what happened here with Vic, who was Nicky and Terry's friend and roommate and who at first, I thought would be the other MC because we were getting his point of view along with Nicky's. Once Gray entered the picture, I was a bit befuddled, but I went back to re-read the blurb and it got cleared up for me. I will say, that even if it's not something I love, it was really nice having all the different perspectives from the players in the book. It enriched the experience for me.

I really liked Nicky, although there were times in which I wondered why he was so difficult with Gray and Vic, when he'd practically been Terry's doormat beforehand. Yes, I suppose what happened to him would change anyone, but really, I just wanted him to be a bit more grateful with the persons that actually were there for him when he needed them. I loved both Vic and Gray, there were amazing and very supporting. I feel Gray and Nicky's relationship was a bit too fast for me, mostly Gray's feelings for Nicky. It hadn't been that long since they'd met when it all changed, and while there was a lot of chemistry between them both and they were really hot together, to go from hooking up to Gray saying he loved Nicky so quickly felt rushed to me. 

I hated Terry at first, and I ended up liking him after all was said and done. I loved seeing what made him how he was and seeing him actually take the steps needed to make it better after what he did.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable read, angsty, heartbreaking, hot, sweet and very well-written, with a great cast of characters you'll want more of when you finish reading. 

Very recommendable!

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

About the Author
LAYLA DORINE lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, cooking, and dabbling with several artistic mediums. In addition, she loves to travel and visit museums, historic, and haunted places.
Layla got hooked on writing as a child, starting with poetry and then branching out, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls. She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found curled up with a good book and a kitty on her lap.
Layla Dorine can be found at:
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