Monday, May 1, 2017

Release Day Review ~ Stage Two by Ariel Tachna (Giveaway)

Release Day Review ~ Stage Two by Ariel Tachna

Title: Stage Two
Series: Lexington Lovers: Book Three
Author: Ariel Tachna
Release Date: May 1, 2017
Category: Contemporary, Dreamspun Desires
Pages: 224
Assistant high school principal Blake Barnes has everything he wants—a chance to help troubled students and an outlet for his passion for theater. Well, almost everything—he still goes home to an empty apartment. Then his high school crush explodes back into his life, the unexpected guardian of two boys in Blake’s care.
Thane Dalton has always been a bad boy through and through. Not much has changed, including his mistrust of authority figures, and no amount of institutional bureaucracy will keep him from protecting his nephews from the bullies terrorizing them. If that means butting heads with Blake, so be it.
Blake and Thane have lessons to learn: that they both have the boys’ best interests at heart, that the tension between them isn’t just confrontational, and that sparks can fly when opposites come together.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

Stage Two is Book 3 in Ariel Tachna's Lexington Lovers series. Each of these books could be read as a standalone without too much issue, but it's a really good series, so why not just read all of them?

Blake Barnes is an assistant high school principal and he loves his job. He graduated from the same high school he works at and still has the same best friend from high school. He lives a pretty structured, solitary, routine life. He has his job, and he hangs out with his best friend every Friday night, but he's single and hasn't made the time to meet someone. All that changes when Blake has to call the guardian of the two boys who he pulled into his office for fighting. He knows more is going on with the boys but they won't trust him enough to let him help them. Blake is shocked when the guardian of the boys comes in and it turns out to be his high school crush, Thane. Thane is not happy that his nephews aren't being protected in the school, and from his experience as a student at the school, he's prepared to do what's needed to keep them safe.

I really liked Blake in this story. He had a good heart and wanted to take care of the students in the school. He had a good group of friends and was just a really nice guy. He worked hard and was dedicated to the students. I did question his judgement in his crush on Thane. Thane was a jerk in most interactions with Blake. Thane was cocky, loud, judgmental, and confrontational. He did not hide his feelings about Blake and how inept, weak and lazy he thought Blake was. Some of his characteristics I could overlook because he was doing everything he could to protect his nephews, but other times, I just really didn't like him. Thane did grow throughout the story, and his devotion and love to his nephews helped me come around to not completely writing him off. And the boys were great characters, who flourished under the guidance of their uncle and Blake.

This is definitely an opposites attract story, so if you love that trope, you need to make sure to grab this one! I thought this was a great addition to the Lexington Lovers series and can't wait to read what comes next!

Rating: 4.5 stars!

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  1. My favorite trope is May/December, friends to lovers and GFY/OFY.

  2. My favorite trope is hurt/comfort. I love to read about someone overcoming or recovering from something painful and finding their happiness.

  3. My favorite trope is friends to Lovers I just love the moment when the MC's realise they both feel the same way about each other.

  4. I always love enemies to the fighting then watching their chemistry explode

  5. Friends to lover esp. childhood friends to lover stories. i love that moment when the character realizes that the one for them has always been the one beside them.

  6. Congrats and thanks for the post. I like so many different tropes if they are done well. I guess one I'm partial to is the tough childhood (whether it be sexual abuse, bullied, etc.) and overcoming that in adulthood, including embracing love. - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  7. I like age-gap books, age doesn't matter if people are in love.

  8. Love enemies to lovers.

  9. I love reunion/second-chance romance. It diminish the instant-love factor that I dislike. Plus it has a great chance for tension :)