Monday, August 24, 2015

Blog Tour: M/M ~ Andrew's Promise by Nic Starr ~ (5 + Star ARC Review, Excerpt, Exclusive Excerpt + Giveaway)

Blog Tour: M/M ~ Andrew's Promise by Nic Starr ~ (5 + Star ARC Review, Excerpt, Exclusive Excerpt + Giveaway)

Title: Andrew’s Promise

Series: Heroes #2

Author: Nic Starr

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Bree Archer

Length: 200 pages

Release Date: August 12, 2015


Young mechanic Andrew Campbell’s life couldn’t be better. He is about to restore a Ford Mustang with his dad before heading off on the ultimate cross-country road trip with his best friend, Tanner McKenzie.

But tragedy strikes, and Andrew’s life is shattered.  Worried his family will be torn apart if he doesn’t step in, Andrew makes a tough choice between following his heart and doing what he needs to do to protect his little brother.

When Andrew pushes Tanner away, Tanner heads off on the planned trip alone. Once Tanner leaves town, his life takes a different path and it’s ten years before he returns. Now a firefighter, he’s never forgotten his first love, and no one has ever taken Andrew’s place in his heart. He’s determined to see if Andrew feels the same way. He just hopes Andrew’s excited to see him, hopes that he’s available—and finally out—after all this time.

They might not have been ready to deal with emerging feelings years ago, but now might be the time for their second chance at love.

THE SWEET pungency of garlic wafting through the air combined with the aroma of hot and spicy pepperoni with mushrooms—heaven. Andrew tried to watch his diet, conscious of his carbs and fat intake, but a weekly pizza was his one weakness. Meeting Tanner at the Pizza Place gave him an excuse to indulge while catching up with his best friend.

“Are you going to eat that?” Tanner indicated the remaining slice on the plate in the middle of the table. “Because if you don’t take it in the next ten seconds, it’s mine.”

“Hey, hands off,” Andrew said as he snatched the piece of pizza and placed it on the empty plate in front of him.

Tanner held his hands up, palms facing Andrew, in mock surrender. “All right. It’s all yours. I wouldn’t want to come between you and your pizza.” Andrew warmed at the familiarity of the words. They’d been coming here on Thursday nights for years and the routine never changed. Tanner always gave Andrew more than his fair share of the pizza, and Andrew took it, but not without a bit of lighthearted banter.

“You know, you could do with a bit of fattening up,” Andrew said, taking in his friend’s lean frame.

Tanner just raised his eyebrows and kept on eating. It was another routine with them—Andrew’s friendly teasing about Tanner’s looks—but in reality, Tanner’s frame had started to fill out over the last year, something Andrew had begun to notice. He’d also noticed other people looking and assumed Tanner wouldn’t have any trouble attracting a guy, if that’s what he was looking for. Although Andrew knew Tanner’s preferences, he was relieved Tanner didn’t share any other details.
Andrew gave Tanner a once-over as he filled his mouth and chewed thoughtfully. At six feet, Tanner had the body of a swimmer, tall and lean with sleek muscles. Andrew thought he moved like a swimmer too. He was smooth and graceful, and purposeful in his movements. Even now, as he brought the pizza to his mouth, he did so with slender hands and delicate fingers—fingers Andrew found himself staring at while Tanner sucked the grease from them. Tanner pulled the last digit from his mouth with a soft popping sound and smacked his lips. “Yum.” He looked at Andrew. “What?”

Andrew tore his gaze away from Tanner’s shining lips, cleared his throat, and turned the conversation to the trip they’d been discussing before the meal arrived.

“Dad brought home some more brochures last night. I think he’s more excited about the trip than we are.”

“Nah. Not possible.” Tanner grinned. “I can hardly wait. Beginning of summer and we’re outta here, man. Six months. I’m counting the days. Six months till freedom. Bring it on.”

Tanner’s enthusiasm was as infectious as always, and Andrew couldn’t help but smile at him. The background music in the restaurant switched over from a slow track to some Italian mambo track, the upbeat tempo matching his mood. Andrew stacked the plates on the table and moved them to the side, making room for the folder he placed in front of Tanner. He then took the map tucked into the back cover, unfolded it, and spread it across the red-and-white tablecloth.

“Dad got another brochure on the Grand Canyon, but we’ve already covered that.” He used his finger to point to Arizona. It was going to be the destination for an overnight hike that would test their skills. They were used to hiking around Halls Ridge but not to the extremes of temperature and lack of water in the canyon. “We haven’t really spoken about Florida yet.” As he spoke, Andrew took a glossy foldout from his pocket and flattened it to the table. “See here—”

“Hold up, Drew.” Tanner reached across and stilled Andrew’s hand as it hovered over the map. “I have a wild idea. Radical, yes? But how ’bout we don’t plan everything to the nth degree and just play it by ear.”

Tanner’s hand was surprisingly soft where he held Andrew’s hand. Andrew expected roughened skin from Tanner’s work as a mechanic. He blushed as he became aware of Tanner waiting for him. “Huh?”

“You know. Just arrive and go with the flow. Stop when something’s interesting, and move on when it’s not.”

Andrew dragged his thoughts back to the conversation as Tanner released his hand. “But how will we know how long we should plan for? Or what we need to take? What if we’d be best to book something in advance or we miss it? I’d hate to get all the way home and realize we should have stopped somewhere.”

“Don’t you ever want to take a chance? Throw caution to the wind?” Tanner tilted his head and looked at him, but Andrew knew he’d never feel relaxed or comfortable without some sort of road map and plan.

“I… ahh….”

Tanner laughed. “It’s okay, Drew, we can have a plan. I’m lucky I’ve got you to do all the preparation and make sure this trip is everything we want it to be. But maybe, just maybe, I’m not saying you have to, but just think about relaxing a bit? We don’t have a deadline and can take as long as we like to see the country.”

“We can. Take as long as we like, that is. But the money’s going to run out sometime. I know we’ve both put away a bit, but it’ll only go so far.”

“And then we’ll be on even more of an adventure.” Tanner’s eyes gleamed as he winked at Andrew. “Just imagine, we can camp by the roadside and get laboring jobs. We can pick fruit, sow grain, shovel horseshit.” He threw his head back in laughter, his full belly laugh giving Andrew no option but to join in.

“Idiot,” Andrew said as he tossed a sugar packet from the container on the table at Tanner.

Although he knew Tanner was only joking, the idea of being stranded in the unknown without any money gave Andrew the chills.

Tanner eventually stopped laughing and sat back upright in his seat before taking a long swallow of his Coke and pulling the Florida brochure toward him.

“Okay. Show me where you suggest we visit. I assume we need to decide so Josh can put it in the book?”

Andrew nodded. “Yeah. I said he could do it on the weekend, once we’d discussed it.”

“Cool. He’s a great kid. I love what he’s done with the book already.”

Andrew watched Tanner flip through a few pages that were a mix of neat handwritten notes and immaculate cutouts from the various brochures—places to visit, things to see, costs, durations for each destination, what to pack, and all manner of other information. Information Andrew had painstakingly researched and written into the book, but Tanner didn’t need to know that. He didn’t need to know the countless hours Andrew spent on that notebook, on their dream. Andrew had taken note of every place Tanner had mentioned when they discussed the trip and made sure he’d included activities he knew Tanner would enjoy. The notebook had become a labor of love.

And soon the already full itinerary expanded yet again as they discussed alligators, beaches, theme parks, and fishing.

Exclusive Excerpt:

Tanner placed his palm on Andrew’s chest to hold him in place. “You tell me we don’t have anything. You tell me you don’t feel something for me. You tell me you don’t feel like I do. Then, and only then, I’ll walk away.”

Tanner’s gray eyes pierced Andrew’s soul, and his heart sped up. He was aware only of the pressure of the hand over his heart and the look of longing in Tanner’s gaze. He swallowed hard and tried to force the lies from his lips. “I—ah—”

Tanner leaned forward and whispered in his ear. “Go on. Tell me.”
Tanner’s hot breath and his nearness short-circuited Andrew’s thought processes. All he could think of was the intense desire to turn his head. Just an inch and he’d be able to put his lips to Tanner’s. The urge was overwhelming. But as it happened, he didn’t need to think; he just needed to feel. Tanner closed the gap between them, bringing their bodies in contact from thigh to chest. Oh, fuck! He enclosed Andrew in the circle of his arms and nuzzled into his neck, and Andrew melted into Tanner’s hold. Heat flushed through his body as he inhaled the scent of Tanner—shampoo, soap, whatever. Being so close was overpowering. He groaned and enfolded Tanner in his arms. He hauled him even closer, if that was possible, and never wanted to let him go. Tanner responded by moaning into his neck, the sound going straight to Andrew’s dick.

In an instant he was hard and aching and wanting. He had Tanner in his arms, something he’d only dreamed of, too scared to act, afraid of losing his best friend. But all those fears washed away to be replaced by a feeling of rightness, a fluttering in his chest and a fire in his groin. Oh God. They hadn’t even kissed yet, and he didn’t know if he could take any more without exploding.

Tanner moaned again and scraped his cheek along Andrew’s jaw, the rasp of his stubble setting Andrew on fire. Tanner traced a path from Andrew’s ear to his mouth until they were so close they shared the very same air. Andrew turned his head, just an inch, but that inch brought his mouth in contact with Tanner’s. His lips scraped scruff and then the softness of Tanner’s full lips. Tanner’s tongue darted out and made a fleeting pass over the seam of Andrew’s mouth, and he had no choice but to open himself to Tanner. In that moment he belonged to Tanner, body and soul.

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Tracy's Review:

5 + Stars!
*copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by author/publisher via Creative Minds in exchange for an honest review*

When I read Charlie's Hero, it was the first book I'd read by Nic Starr. I liked it. It was good and well written. I liked the characters, but when I got to the end, I knew I needed to read Andrew's story. I connected with him immediately. I LOVED this book. The first half of the book is told 10 years in the past. We get to see the friendship Drew and Tanner share. We hear all about the six month trip across the country Drew and Tanner have planned.  We witness the love that is shared between the close knit family of Drew, Josh and their father. Nic let's us witness the heartbreaking tragedy these young men faced with loosing their father. Tanner is there for not only Drew, but Josh as well. Until Drew can't hide his feelings anymore, and pushes Tanner away.

We then fast forward 10 years ahead to the present. To Tanner's return to their small town. Can they pick up where the left off and right the wrongs they have both made in the past?

I'm going to say it again. I LOVED this book. I picked it up and I was hooked from the first sentence. I. Couldn't. Put. It. Down!! It was filled with heartbreak, sweetness, laughter, passion, tenderness, and above all else, love. I loved that the first half of that the book was in the past. I didn't feel like I missed anything, like I would have, had it had been told through flashbacks or conversations between the MC's. I usually don't care for this, but I loved watching Drew and Tanner fall in love, even if they didn't admit it.

The chemistry between them was astronomical. The love they shared came up off the pages like steam. You could feel it in the air, it was so strong. I felt I knew them. I can't say it enough. I just connected so strongly with these characters. I love Nic's writing. It flows well and she kept me hanging on to every word. Friends to Lovers in my favorite storyline, and this was done beautifully.

The characters were extremely likable and well developed. I loved seeing Josh and Charlie again.

I'm waiting for Patrick's story next!

Nic Starr lives in Australia where she tries to squeeze as much into her busy life as possible. Balancing the demands of a corporate career with raising a family and writing can be challenging but she wouldn't give it up for the world.

Always a reader, the lure of m/m romance was strong and she devoured hundreds of wonderful m/m romance books before eventually realising she had some stories of her own that needed to be told!

When not writing or reading, she loves to spend time with her family-an understanding husband and two beautiful daughters-and is often found indulging in her love of cooking and planning her dream home in the country.

You can find Nic on Facebook, Twitter and her blog. She'd love it if you stopped by to say hi.
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Winner’s Prize: $20 Amazon/ARe Gift Card


  1. OMG really love this blurb!! Can't wait to read this! Thank you