Monday, April 18, 2016

Release Day Reviews: Out on a Limb by A.J. Truman

Series: Browerton University #2
Author: A.J. Truman
Publisher: self-published
Publication date: 4/18/2016
Word Count: 80,000
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No looking back. That’s the motto of college senior Cameron Buckley, whether he’s kicking his latest hookup out of bed or plotting out his future as a hit screenwriter. With only a few weeks until graduation, he’s ready to put Browerton University in his rearview mirror and start the life he’s been dreaming of ever since he was a kid. But a chance meeting with a sexy stranger in a bar throws a wrench into his Hollywood plans.

For Walker Reed, no looking back is hard to do when you work minutes away from your alma mater and share child custody with your college sweetheart. Almost fifteen years after graduating from Browerton, he can’t stop wondering how he got here. He has an ex who can’t stand him, a five-year-old son he can’t connect with, and a dead-end job he can’t escape.

When Cameron and Walker first meet, they know the rules. They know their friendship has an expiration date, yet it begins changing them in ways they never expected. As graduation looms, they both know things can’t go anywhere, but they can’t keep denying the feelings pulling them closer, even as an offer from Hollywood threatens to tear them apart forever.

OUT ON A LIMB is a gay new adult romance filled with humor, heart, and hot guys. It’s the second full-length book in the Browerton University series, but can be read as a standalone. The book is intended for readers 18+ as it contains sexual situations and explicit language.

Excerpt (625 words)

Cameron Buckley woke up in an empty bed. A very comfortable bed, with a thick, billowing comforter, smooth sheets that caressed his skin, and pillows his head sunk into like marshmallows. But an empty bed nonetheless.
And he was naked. He looked under the sheets to double check. Yep, naked.
He squinted at the sharp rays of sunlight streaming through the bedroom windows. Cameron surveyed his surroundings. He died and went to Crate & Barrel. He marveled at the details of this well-decorated room. The off-white walls and curved floor lamp in the corner. He ran his fingers across the mahogany night table. He stared at himself in the mirrored sliding closet door at the opposite end. His hair stuck up at all angles, and he was still naked.
“Good morning.” Walker charged back into the bedroom wearing nothing but a towel. He had given Cameron such a hard time last night about being older, but the guy was in better shape than many of the unkempt slobs that roamed Browerton’s campus.
“Did you sleep okay?” Walker asked.
“I think so?” Cameron rubbed at his temples and realized that he was hungover.
“I have Advil if you need it. My head is pounding.”
“I’ll be fine.” Cameron had had worse hangovers. It was a good thing he worked at a coffee shop. Did they really drink that much last night?
Walker scrolled through emails on his phone. While Cameron’s inbox was usually filled with Gap coupons and random newsletters, Walker’s emails looked serious.
Cameron eyed the floor and the dresser, but he didn’t see his clothes anywhere. He also didn’t see any discarded condom wrappers.
“I have to ask you something,” he said, his stomach swirling with something other than alcohol. “I can’t believe I’m asking this question. I’ve never had to ask this question, but I really need to know the answer.”
Walker put a hand on his shoulder. “Nothing happened last night.”
“Oh thank goodness.” Cameron fell back into the mountain of pillows. He only had two pillows on his own bed; this guy had six! “Not that I wouldn’t want to, but I’d want to be able to remember it.”
“I’m not in the habit of sleeping with unconscious men.”
“That’s a wonderful quality to have.” Cameron breathed a sigh of relief, then bolted back up. “Wait. Then why am I naked?”
“Because you wanted to play Naked Twister.” Walker removed a pair of boxer briefs and socks from his slick dresser, which matched both nightstands.
“What’s Naked Twister?”
“You don’t know? You seemed like an expert last night.”
“We played Naked Twister?”
“I don’t know. We were walking back to my place, and you kept saying that you wanted to play Naked Twister. You ran inside, tore off all your clothes, jumped onto my bed, and yelled ‘Naked Twister!’ at the top of your lungs.”  
Cameron clamped a hand over his mouth. He was going to melt into the floor.
“I did not do that.”
“Oh, you did. I have it on video.”
“Kidding.” Walker put on his boxer briefs under his towel. There’s a naked guy in his bed and he’s being modest?
Cameron took a deep breath. “And what happened next? After I yelled…” He gulped down hard. “’Naked Twister.’”
“Then you passed out.”
“And I put you under the covers, turned off the light, and stayed on my side of the bed.”
Warmth spread through Cameron. He got lucky, and not in the way he originally thought. He had fallen into bed with a total gentleman. Thanks to the gentleman’s tight black boxers, he got to see what he almost had. Cameron smiled to himself.
“So why are you naked?” He asked Walker.

5 Stars

*copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Walker stops in every morning for his coffee at Starbucks. He likes his caffeine, and the eye candy behind the counter, Cameron isn't too shabby either. When Cameron and Walker have a chance meeting again at a bar they get to talking, but Cameron doesn't do relationships. He's a don't look back, no regrets kind of guy, always moving forward, but something is different about Walker. Something pulls him towards the older, divorced father, even as he tries to continue running. But there's no way this will work. Cameron graduates and will be moving to LA in a few months, and his plans are solid. 

I LOVED this book!!! I'm not normally a fan of big age gaps, but this one didn't bother me. While It was a factor in the story, the author didn't continuously harp on it. These characters, even if I did want to knock their heads together at times, were extremely likable. My favorite character in the story was Hobie, Walker's son. He was so adorable and stole most of scenes he was in. I loved watching the interactions between the three of them. This book was an emotional rollercoaster. It was up and down and push and pull, chalk full of angst, sadness, heartbreak, sweetness, laughter and love. Walker and Cameron had an amazing chemistry. I loved Cameron's friends. They were a nice addition to the story. Now Walker's ex, Doug and Cameron's mom, ugh... I wanted to punch Doug in the face and put some tape over Cameron's mom's mouth, so she would just STFU!! 

This story was highly enjoyable, only an epilogue could have made it better. It was well written and moved at a believable pace. It had plot a twist I never saw coming. I definitely recommend you pick this one up and read it! 

*** Copy provided by the author to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest review. ***

Cameron has been shying away from relationships his whole life, so he was sort of blindsided when he not only gets closer to his new-much-older-than-him friend Walker, but to his son Hobie, and it only gets worse when his plans get bumped up a few months. 

I loved Cameron, despite him being the typical college student, he was very mature in some senses. And while it wasn't easy for him, he opened up to Walker and Hobie in ways he hadn't with anyone else. I loved Walker, too, even if I did want to slap him a couple of times. He really came through in the end, though. Cameron and Walker worked great together, even with the age gap and dealing with Hobie, who was absolutely adorable. They had great chemistry and I just loved them together. 

I hated Doug, but above him I hated Cameron's mom, who just kept pushing him towards something not even Cameron was sure of wanting. 

All in all, a fantastic addition to this series! I really hope we get more books in it, because I loved seeing Ethan and Greg and would love to see more of Cameron, Walker and Hobie in the future.

Rating: 5 Stars!!!


A.J. Truman remembers his college days like it was yesterday, even though it was definitely not yesterday. He writes books with humor, heart, and hot guys. What else does a story need? He loves spending time with his pets and his partner and writing on his sun porch. You can find him on Facebook or email him at ajtruman.writer [at] gmail [dot] com.

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