Friday, September 28, 2018

Release Day Blitz: Love You So Special by Tara Lain (Series Review+Excerpt+Giveaway)

Can a man’s secret yearnings be revealed in a tank full of fish?

Love You So Special
(Love You So Series, bk 3)
by Tara Lain


Artie Haynes knows he’s nothing special, with just-your-regular-brown hair, a solid plumber’s job, not much education, and a family that can barely get off the couch. But Artie has quirks—like his love of tropical fish, a landlord who’s a professor of existentialism, a passion for the amazing piano music he hears at a concert hall while he’s fixing the bathrooms—and the fact that he’s never come out as gay and probably never will. But when he’s hired to build a guesthouse for the pianist whose music enchanted him, Artie is swept up into an unimaginable world.

Francois Desmarais may be famous, rich, and revered as one of the world’s great classical composers and pianists, but he’s soothed and challenged by the inquisitive, stalwart, protective man in his back yard. When Francois’s terrible fear of crowds turns into a dangerous plot, Artie can stay in the closet or prove just how special he is.

Available for purchase at


Artie peered in the open front door of the Desmarais’s house. No way he’d pass that opportunity up. He stepped inside and followed the sound of voices. Man, what a house. All fancy and traditional and shit, with paintings on the walls of scary-looking people. Funny. He wouldn’t exactly expect that messy, casual, snarky guy to live in a house like this.
He walked quietly down the hall the woman had run down. Voices came from ahead of him.
“The man said you were hurt, Senor Desmarais.”
“I’m okay. I’m fine. Just go back to—whatever. Honest, I’m fine.”
“But he said—”
“Where is this man?” He sounded pissed and upset.
Artie stepped into the doorway. He might get a vase in the face, but—he just needed to be sure Francois was okay. “I’m here. Sorry. I was just worried that you were hurt.”
“Why? Because you scared the bloody hell out of me and made me fall on my butt?”
Artie fought a smile. Francois must be feeling better if he could be a wiseass. “Yeah. Sorry about that.”
The woman looked back and forth between them like she was watching tennis.
Francois crossed his arms. “It’s okay, Maria. I want to talk to Artie here for a minute. Thanks so much for looking out for me.”
“But—” She looked seriously uncertain.
He waved a hand. “It’s okay. Honest.”
“Your mama—”
He turned a full frown on her. “What does my mother have to do with this?”
“Nothing.” She shook her head. “Can I get you anything?”
“No thanks. I’ll get it.” He walked to the door of the room, herding her toward it. When they got there, he smiled, thanked her again, and closed the door; then he turned to Artie with a crease between his eyebrows—barely visible under his pale, shaggy bangs. “So why are you messing in my life? What business is it of yours?”
Good question. Artie gave Francois a look. The gorgeous face was still blotchy from crying, and he vibrated with stress. “Look, crying’s one thing. Everybody needs a good cry sometimes.” Francois looked shocked at that statement, but Artie pushed on. “But when I hear your music going all to shit, I figure something’s really wrong, and I don’t see anybody doing fuck about it, so—” He shrugged and took a breath. “—I did. Sorry I scared you, but I couldn’t think of what else to do.” He let his eyes meet Francois’s.
Francois stared at him like maybe he’d lost his mind—or maybe he’d found it. Somewhere in between. “What do you mean, my music went to shit?”
Artie gave him a duh look. “You were all over the place. All angry and making no sense. It sounded like you were pissed at the piano. I mean, when you write, you stop and start, but it has a flow. You know? This didn’t. It was just like a bunch of notes, like—” Artie stopped because Francois’s lips were parted and he looked like he might pass out. Well, hell. “Look, I don’t mean anything by it. I never heard better music than you play, but what the fuck do I know? I’m just a plumber. So don’t pay any attention to—”
“How do you even know that?”
“What my music sounds like. How I was all over the place?”
Artie pointed toward the window. “I listen.” He held up his hands. “Don’t get me wrong, I don’t eavesdrop. But I work right out there. How could I not hear?”
“You listen.” He said the word like he was sleepwalking, and his eyes got all shiny. “People pay huge prices for tickets to my concerts and don’t listen!” Shit, is he going to cry again?
Artie didn’t say anything. Hell, he didn’t know what else to say. But crying men weren’t really an everyday thing for him. He’d never seen his father cry. His brother, a little, but never any guy he worked with, even when they got hurt bad.
I cry. Alone, under a pillow. Sometimes to the fish. I know what that feels like. He’d stick his fingers in the water and let them nibble just to have something touch him that wasn’t cold or hurting. Tentatively, he reached out and put a hand on Francois’s arm. “It’s okay.”
The crease flashed between his brows as he stared at Artie’s hand. “What’s okay?”
“Whatever.” Artie smiled. “All of it. Sometimes being a particular way is just a pile of shit.” Jesus, he didn’t even know why he’d said that.
Francois gasped—and suddenly Artie had an armload of guy. Francois threw his arms around Artie’s neck and just squeezed.

~ Love You So Hard: 4.5 stars ~

This book was truly just a delight. It was adorably sweet and sexy and a perfect short read. I felt so much for Craig after everything with his job and loved how confident and sweet Jesse was. Their dynamic was just easy to read and completely enjoyable.

The plot of this story was the perfect amount of happy, cheesy, and sweet. This story has pretty much no angst and is just a nice short story. In novellas or short stories, I usually find the insta love to be a little much but this story just worked for me. Definitely going to be a reread when I am in the mood for something light!

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

~ Love You So Madly: 4.25 stars ~

I loved getting both MCs POV in this story! Dusty and Ben were both good characters and I wanted to know more about both of them. My only hiccup with this story was that I wished that Ben and his previous fiancé would have broken things off sooner in the book. I loved all of the interactions between Ben and Dusty and wanted to see more of those without the stain of Ben still being with someone else. Ben and Dusty's dynamic was adorable since they both were sort of walking on eggshells around each other because of their mutual attraction. Once everything was concluded with Ben's former fiancé, I wanted to see more Ben and Dusty time. Once everything is finished and they can finally be free and open with one another, there is not much time left in the book to explore that.

I enjoyed the aspect of Dusty’s epilepsy, it made the story unique and gave it a different type of obstacle that we do not usually see in romances. I also loved the way the author handled it and how strong and capable she showed Dusty to be. It was nice to see him as not someone in distress concerning his condition, but someone who was on top of things and handling it. This was another great addition to this series.

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

~ Love You So Special: 4.5 stars ~

Artie and Francois have my heart! I adored this story and these MCs. I knew I wanted Artie's story after he gave Dusty a wink and asked him out in the last book and I am so happy that the author put him with Francois. In each book of this series, the author does an amazing job of really assigning characteristics to characters who you may not think would have them. Artie was precisely one of those characters. He was a plumber, and while you could tell he was intelligent, he clearly did not think so but he was also completely moved by classical music. He was kind and a hard worker and had a big fish tank and treated his fish like I treat my dog. But these things made his character just seem so real.

Francois was a bit quirky, crazy talented, and saw in Artie was he did not see in himself. They were actually perfect for one another and I just felt so fondly for both of them. There was a little bit of outside conflict in this story that I appreciated because it fit in with the storyline and kept things interesting. There were a few cheesy times but they were all sweet and it worked for me!

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

Love You So Series

Bk 1

Available for purchase a
Kindle |  Audible | Kobo | iTunes | Nook | Dreamspinner Press

Bk 2

Available for purchase at at 

About the Author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Erotic Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance,  Best Gay Characters, and more. Readers often call her books “sweet,” even with all that hawt sex, because Tara believes in love and her books deliver on happily-ever-after. In addition to writing dozens and dozens of romance novels,  Tara also owns an advertising and public relations firm. Her love of creating book titles comes from years of manifesting ad headlines for everything from analytical instruments to semiconductors. She does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. Together with her soulmate husband and her soulmate Dog, she recently realized a vision to live where there were a lot more trees and a lot fewer cars by moving to Ashland, Oregon. She hasn’t stopped smiling since. 

You can find Tara at Lain


  1. I haven't read these yet, but I have the first two!

  2. Congrats on the release! It sounds good - like the music angle.

    1. I come from a family of music lovers, Jen, so it was fun to write. : )

  3. Congrats on the new book in the series! Thank you for the review =)

  4. Ayla, thank you so much for reading my books! I'm honored and happy dancing all over the place. : )