Sunday, May 3, 2015

ARC Reviews: Never Too Early Books One and Two by Chris Owens and Toy Temple ~ (ARC Reviews + Excerpts)

ARC Reviews: Never Too Early Books One and Two by Chris Owens and Toy Temple ~ (ARC Reviews + Excerpts)

Book One:
Book Information:
Author Name: Chris Owen and Tory Temple
Book Name: Never Too Early: The Beginning 
Series: Book One Never Too Early


Firefighters Chancellor Shanahan and Tucker McBride have been together for years. They've been through the rough patches and come out the other side, although shift work, misunderstandings, and stubborn personalities can make things interesting. Chance knows that he and Tucker love each other, however, and neither of them have any interest in other people. So what happens when they meet another couple with a similar relationship? An unlikely friendship could take a possible turn. 

Jake and Tor are a pair of cowboys who have weathered the storms of a decade together and have finally settled into their lives. They have a ranch, they have family, and they have each other. A rare vacation leads to a friendship, which leads to questions and a revival of long finished conversations. Is moving forward also a step back in time to issues they’ve already put to rest?


When his phone rang after dinner on Sunday night, Chance expected it to be Bonnie. They’d been playing phone tag for a week and he’d left her a voicemail several hours ago. He picked the phone up from the coffee table and answered without looking at the display.

"Remind me to tell Matt that there are other people who’d like to see you."

"Uh, okay. Matt who? And does he want to see me?" The male voice was definitely not Bonnie.

Whoops. Chance took the phone away from his ear and looked at the screen. Jake’s name and number were prominently displayed. Well, that was weird. Jake had never called him before.

 "Hey," Chance said with surprise. "You’re not Bonnie. What’s up, man?" He half expected Jake to apologize for a pocket dial.

"I’m not Bonnie," Jake agreed. "And there’s not a whole lot up, ‘cept me and Tor need to be in California in a week, and thought maybe we’d be near enough to see you guys for dinner or something. I’m not sure of the distances, but Tor says he looked it up on the internet and it might be doable, if your schedules work."

The TV show he and Tucker had been watching moved to an overly-loud commercial. Chance snapped his fingers at Tucker to turn the volume down. "Oh, yeah? California’s pretty big. Where are you going to be?" Chance caught Tucker’s eye and motioned at the phone.

Tucker motioned back and then made a ‘no idea who you’re talking to’ face.

"Uh, San Diego." Jake cleared his throat. "My sister is getting some huge award thing and we’re going out to see her. Then maybe we’ll stay a couple of days, if it makes sense."

"Okay, hold on." Chance went to the kitchen and stood in front of the shift calendar on the front of the refrigerator. "I’m off from Tuesday through Friday. Tucker works some of those days, but he can do a sick day if necessary. Does that work out?"

 He could hear paper rustling on Jake’s end. "The award thing is on Saturday night, and then we’re spending Sunday with her. Monday we can find something, I’m sure, and we don’t need to be back, really, until Thursday or Friday. Elias says if we don’t take a few days off this summer he’s going to quit, and no one wants that. Trust me."

Chance grabbed the dry-erase marker that he and Tucker kept for the kitchen message board and scrawled Jake/Tor Mon Tues Weds. "Yeah, I hear you. Tucker’s off on Monday, so he can probably entertain you. Then Tuesday after I get home, we can meet up or something. Sound good?"

"Yeah, that’d be great." Jake sounded like he was smiling. "You’re sure? We’re not messing up your week?"

"No way. Having visitors is cool." A thought occurred to Chance. "Have you ever been here before?"

"Nope. Tor’s been in parts of California when he was younger, but I’ve never been that far west. I’ve never been that far away from home."

Something about Jake’s statement was touching. Chance smiled as he answered. "Well, hey. There’s a lot to see away from home. Tuck and I can show you guys a good time."

"I think Tor’s counting on it." Jake laughed. "I think he’s hoping to go on roller coasters."

"Oh, sure. They all want to go to Disneyland." Chance chuckled. "Sure, why not? We can take a day and do that. I’ll think about the other two days. I mean, if you want to spend it with us. We’re fine just to point you in the direction of where you want to go."

"Please don’t let Tor loose on the freeway." Jake sounded serious. "I’m kind of counting on you to keep me safe, alive, and unlost. Also, I think Tor’d kill me if he didn’t get to hang out with Tucker. Uh, not that I don’t want to see you. I mean. Oh, God."

Chance couldn’t help laughing. "It’s okay. Best to keep the peace and let Tor and Tucker have a play date. You and I can watch fondly as they climb on the monkey bars."

"As long as I don’t have to push the swing, we’re cool." Jake sounded a little calmer. "So, it’s good? We’ll text or call on the Sunday night so Tucker and Tor can make a plan for Monday."

 "Yeah, it’s good. Looking forward to it." Chance realized it was true. "We’ll talk to you next week, Jake. See ya."

"Bye, Chance. See you soon."

The connection was broken and Chance stood for a moment in the kitchen, looking at the words he’d written on the white board. Looked like they were having company.

"Can I turn the volume back up?" Tucker wandered in and opened the freezer, most likely looking for the box of Fudgsicles he’d thrown into the grocery cart yesterday.

"Yeah, sorry. Hey, Jake and Tor are coming out here next week."

"No shit?" Tucker found what he was looking for and tore the wrapper off his treat. "Stayin’ here?"

"Not here, here. Down in San Diego. But they have a few free days and Jake said Tor wants to ride roller coasters." Chance leaned back on the counter and started entering dates into his phone calendar.

"Shoot. Course he does. That kid’s a thrill seeker." Tucker grinned and offered Chance a bite of his Popsicle. "Guess I better wash my truck."

"Start with washing your shirt."

 Tucker glanced down and frowned at the bit of chocolate that had dropped onto the front of his tee. "Well, dang."

Tracy's Review:
5 Stars

I loved both of these series. I loved both of these couples. But my question was, would I love them together? My answer, YES!! This book was so good. It's told mainly from Jake and Chances POV's. The two couples meet while attending the Kentucky Derby, and well to say Tucker and Tor become fast friends is an understatement. After the race they run into each other at a restaurant, and Chance invites them to join them for dinner.

Before dinner is over the two new besties, Tor and Tucker have exchanged phone numbers so they can text each other. (Dirty jokes of course) After they head off to their respective homes, life returns to normal for both couples. Chance and Tucker return back to their jobs in California as firefighters, and Jake and Tor return back to the ranch, in Arkansas. Tucker and Tor spend a few months exchanging hilarious texts back and forth.

Eventually Jake and Chance exchange numbers and begin texting as well. Can they all just stay friends or will the blooming affection they have for one another cause them to consider taking the friendship to a whole new level?

I absolutely loved this book. It was so funny. I laughed throughout most of it. Tucker and Tor's antics are hilarious. They are definitely a couple of overgrown kids. Chance and Jake remain more quiet and closed off and take longer to open up to one another. The four forge a strong friendship.

I loved that the chemistry was still there between both couples, but I find Jakes character has changed. I got a different vibe from him than I did in the Bareback series. He seems much more vulnerable. It's not a bad thing just different. I loved Jake and Tor, but something about Chance and Tucker just connects with me. I actually enjoyed their interactions more.

I loved this book, but I am not sure I will read the next one. I am not sure I want the dynamic of the relationship to change. I am torn. I think the sex would probably be hot, but I don't share well with others, so I am not sure I want to see them entering into a poly relationship, and that definitely seems to be the route the authors are working towards. I have a lot invested in these characters, and well really, I just don't know.

I do however highly recommend this book, and if you have no problem with sharing like me, well I am sure you will love the next book in this series, which will release March 25th!
Book Two:
Book Information:
Author Name: Chris Owen and Tory Temple
Book Name: Never Too Early: Finding Their Way 
Series: Book Two Never Too Early 
Should not be read as a standalone
Release Date: April 15, 2015
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: BSClay


When Jake Taggart fell from the roof of his barn, Tor had only one thought -- to reach out to Chance Shanahan and Tucker McBride for support. In this follow-up to Never Too Early: The Beginning, the first book in the Cowboy/Firefighter series, the two couples are reunited in their mutual concern for Jake. But how far will that concern go?

A strong friendship begins to explore the boundaries of something else; something all four men never looked for or expected. Emotions and attraction are difficult to deny, try as they might, but giving in has the potential to destroy everything both couples have worked so hard for. How will they handle something that none of them set out to find?

Categories: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Menage/Poly, Cowboy, Romance


Jake reached out and touched the back of Chance's hand. "Thank you for coming all this way to be with me. Thank you for coming to sit next to me, and for helping Tor. Thank you for everything you and Tucker have done around here, but mostly thank you for being someone I can count on." Jake nodded firmly and looked up into Chance's face, studying his eyes. "Thanks for caring so much."

Chance's gaze was steady and direct. "I didn't mean to," he said quietly. "I thought you were a good guy, that's all. I thought you were nice and funny and smart and easy to talk to. I didn't mean for there to be more than that."

Jake nodded. "I know. We all know. But there is, and I'm okay with that. Thankful for it, really. And so is Tor. And Tucker sent me upstairs to talk to you, and said not to let you overthink it." He smiled, trying not to shake with nerves. "So sit down here next to me and stop thinking." 

 Pages or Words: 54,000 words

Tracy's review:

4.5 Stars

*copy provided by the authors/publisher via Pride Promotions in exchange for an honest review*

**Warning if you haven't read BOOK ONE this review will contain SPOILERS*

This installment picks up where book one ended. Jake is about to be discharged from the hospital, after being injured, falling off the roof. Chance and Tucker have rushed to Arkansas to be there and agreed to stay a few days, to help Tor and to help get Jake back on his feet.

First of all, let's be honest we all knew where this book was headed. We all knew Jake and Chance are attracted to one another, as are Tuck and Tor. First I am going to give you my review, then I'll tell you how I felt about the story.

I gave it 4.5 stars, because that's what I think it deserves. It's a well written story. It flows well. The characters all have good chemistry. I love that Chris and Tory made the reactions to the situation very realistic. Not everything in this story is smooth sailing and the characters do fight and have trouble with the situation. Feelings are hurt and things need to be smoothed over.

Tucker and Tor are hilarious together. The "twins" had me in stitches with their antics! This book was funny, sweet, sexy, steamy and heartbreaking at times. It took me on a little bit of an emotional rollercoaster.
I couldn't tell this was written by two different authors. It all blends together very well.

My problem with the book, and the reason for it not getting 5 stars is that it's told in Jake and Chances POV's, and it feels very much like their story and that makes Tucker and Tor feel like secondary characters. I'm not sure if this was the authors intentions or not, but I wish they felt more like the main characters in the story as well. Chance and Tucker don't interact much and I missed that. We get to see Tucker, but only through other people's eyes really. Jake and Tor did interact, so Tor doesn't feel as much like a secondly character as Tucker does.

*These are just my opinions and have no actual bearing on my rating of the story*
Now I am going to give you my personal opinion. I DON'T like it! I don't like seeing Jake and Chance together. I liked Jake and Tor, but Chance and Tucker hold a very special place in my heart and it hurts to see them with other people. :( I was upset that we didn't see more interactions between Tucker and Chance. Will I read the last book? Yes, because I can't stop now, I have to finish. I may not be happy about, but I'll finish. I don't like that the dynamic of the relationships are changing. Chance and Tucker don't express their love, and so that makes me feel even MORE insecure and anxious about the situation. Maybe if they actually said I love you, I would be okay with it, or at least feel better about it. I think I need to be reassured by the authors that Tucker and Chance are still okay, and in a loving committed relationship.

I said it in my last review, and I stand by it, if you don't mind sharing, and don't have a problem with or you like a poly relationship, actually it's not really a poly, I would categorize it as a swinger type situation from what I've seen so far, this is a great book. I'm just not a person who shares well with others. I have too jealous of a personality and am too insecure for that.

About the authors:
Chris Owen: I live and write in eastern Canada. I went to a bunch of schools, learned a lot of things, and now make stuff up because not to do so is unthinkable. I'm fond of fountain pens, Levenger's Circa system, and Steampunk fashions. Lately I've been watching a lot of Discovery channel. I've seen every episode of CSI Las Vegas and New York, but I'm not terribly keen on CSI Miami. It might be due to weather envy. I have a crush on the whole cast of Criminal Minds, and fondness for wool. The two are not related. Hoarders keeps me honest. I'm inspired by the day to day minutia of life, and find beauty in the way words go together. I like texture and richness of experience. I'm not shy. I'm happy, I'm learning, I'm living.
Website Facebook Twitter

Tory Temple: Tory lives and works in southern California, where she spends a lot of time around firemen. She visits the beach frequently and wears flip flops even in the winter. Tory likes television, salted pistachios in the shell, and chenille socks. She dislikes cauliflower, not being able to find the right shoes in the morning, and not having enough free time. She shares her space with numerous pets, including but not limited to cats, dogs, and tortoises.

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