We are excited to be a part of the release blitz for Living Out Loud by Nyrae Dawn and Christina Lee! This was a great read with wonderful characters – Ben and Xavier are so loveable! I hope you’ll check out my review, some fun teasers and the great excerpt!
LIVING OUT LOUD
NYRAE DAWN & CHRISTINA LEE
RELEASE DATE: 09.08.17
Wander Aguiar Photography
COVER MODEL: Brook
Ben Emerson has lived by his minister father’s rules most of his life. Born into an ultra-conservative church community, he’s finally brave enough to break free and move to San Francisco. Distancing himself certainly helps create a new mindset, but living as an openly gay man takes some getting used to. When he reaches out to Xavier, a childhood friend who lives in the city, Ben isn’t sure how he’ll respond given their thorny history. Ben hopes the familiar connection will help him right some wrongs as well as provide the solace he’s been craving.
Xavier Ramos is who he is, and he doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks. Whether it’s eyeliner, nail polish, tattoos or his love of hooking up, he uses his body as a form of self-expression but doesn’t let anyone get too close. When Ben reenters his life, Xavier helps him experience the city and feel comfortable in his own skin. Seeing the world through Ben’s eyes, he begins to wonder if he’s also not living as freely as he thought.
When Xavier challenges Ben’s beliefs about sex, it becomes explosive—for both of them. Xavier breaks apart Ben’s sheltered world and shows him what it’s like to live out loud. The more time they spend together, the more Xavier begins to long for Ben in a different way—one that both surprises and scares him. But real life doesn’t fade into the background, so when Ben’s past comes knocking, old habits are hard to break. Testing the foundation of their deepening connection will take a trust that will either bind them…or tear them apart.
**Riley Hart writing as Nyrae Dawn
**Ben is from PAINT THE STARS and Xavier is from A HUNDRED THOUSAND WORDS, but LIVING OUT LOUD can be read as a complete standalone.
I’m a huge fan of second chance romances and Living Out Loud is the perfect example of why! This is a story of two childhood friends who lost touch as teenagers and after many years have the chance to reconnect. I loved Ben and Xavier, they are both such sweet, wonderful guys who definitely deserve happiness.
Ben comes from a very religious family, his father is a minister in a very conservative small town church. They have a strict set of beliefs that they force on Ben, making him think he is wrong and sinful to be attracted to men. Xavier’s dad and step mother don’t really care what he does, they throw money at him but not love. Ben and Xavier are friends as kids, that kind of friendship where you really know that other person, like know one else does. But one day when Xavier acts on his attraction to his friend and kisses him Ben rejects him and in that moment everything changes.
Years later, Ben has moved to San Francisco to finally try to live the live he wants, out and proud. He knows Xavier lives in the city and reaches out to him, hoping to re-connect with his friend. Xavier is shocked to hear from Ben for sure, his rejection still stings but the two start talking and their friendship comes back naturally. Ben is naive and inexperienced, still trying to let go of the awful things his father and his church did to him, and when he finds out that Xavier is all about the pleasures of life, he asks for his help. The two start out with the intention of keeping it all physical but both men quickly find themselves feeling more than they ever expected.
I loved these two together, even with their issues Ben and Xavier seem to bring out the best in each other! Xavier gives Ben the confidence to be who he really is and express himself, while Ben softens Xavier and brings love into his life. These guys definitely have smoking hot chemistry, but they have a gentleness and sweetness together too. I loved seeing these two heal and grow together, embracing all the good together. I really enjoyed their journey, Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn have delivered a wonderful, touching story with so many FEELS! Great characters that I fell in love with and story of healing and love and acceptance that definitely is a must-read!
“Get your ass down here.” He frowns and I pat the floor beside me. “I’m serious, B. Get your ass down here. You can take it off when I’m done if you don’t like it. How do you know if something’s your style if you’ve never done it?”
I blow on my fingernails trying to get them to dry. Ben doesn’t move right away, but then he slides down to the floor beside me.
My pulse kicks up a notch. I don’t know why I want this so much for him.
He puts his hand on the table and I paint the first nail.
“I feel stupid,” he tells me.
“Do you think I look stupid with it?”
“Hell no. You look hot but—”
“But nothing. Be quiet and let me work.”
He chuckles. “You’re bossy.”
“You ain’t seen nothing yet,” I reply before getting back to work on his nails. His fingers are long, thicker than mine. His hands are beat up from his work, rough and abused with little scratches on them. “I can’t wait till you can touch me. I love rough hands.”
“Oh shit,” he says with a thickness to his voice that tells me he’s getting turned on again.
I finish the first hand before saying, “Now, the other.” He sets that hand on the table, but I grab it, suck one of his fingers into my mouth, even though I hadn’t planned to touch him again tonight.
“Fuck, Xavier,” he says and his eyes roll back in a way that really gets me hard.
“You’re trembling,” I tell him as his hand gently shakes.
“That’s because I’m really turned on right now.”
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Nyrae Dawn can almost always be found with a book in her hand or an open document on her laptop. She couldn’t live without books—reading or writing them. Oh, and chocolate. She’s slightly addicted.
She gravitates toward character-driven stories. Whether reading or writing, she loves emotional journeys. It’s icing on the cake when she really feels something, but is able to laugh too. She’s a proud romantic, who has a soft spot for flawed characters, who make mistakes, but also have big hearts.
Whether she’s writing young adult, new adult, or adult you can always count on a healthy dose of romance from her books. She likes to tackle tough subjects, and believes everyone needs to see themselves in the stories they read.
Nyrae is living her very own happily ever after in California with her gorgeous husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two incredibly awesome kids.
Once upon a time, I lived in New York City and was a wardrobe stylist. I spent my days shopping for photo shoots, getting into cabs, eating amazing food, and drinking coffee at my favorite hangouts.
Now I live in the Midwest with my husband and son—my two favorite guys. I’ve been a clinical social worker and a special education teacher. But it wasn’t until I wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper that I realized I could turn the fairytales inside my head into the reality of writing fiction.
I write Adult, New Adult, and M/M Contemporary Romance. I’m addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. I believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.