Friday, August 21, 2015

Blog Tour: Beyond the Surface by Felice Stevens #Excerpt #Giveaway #Review

Title: Beyond the Surface
Series: The Breakfast Club #1
Author: Felice Stevens
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: August 17, 2015
On 9/11, firefighter Nick Fletcher’s world changed forever. He's unable to rid himself of survivor’s guilt, made worse by the secret he hides from his family and co-workers. Nick's life is centered around helping burn victims, until he is reunited with the man he’d once loved but pushed away. Now he has a second chance at a love he thought lost forever.
For fashion designer Julian Cornell, appearances mean everything. His love affairs are strictly casual, and the only thing he cares about is making his clothing line a success. A chance encounter with the man he loved long ago has Julian thinking for the first time in years there may be more to life than being seen at the best parties and what designer labels to wear.
When Julian’s world takes an unexpected turn, it's Nick who helps him regain perspective on what matters most in life. Julian, in turn, helps Nick accept who he is and understand he isn’t responsible for tragedies he couldn't prevent. Lost love found can be even sweeter the second time around and after all the years apart, both men learn to look beyond the surface to find the men they are inside.


It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of Felice Stevens. I’ve read all her books from the first to the most recent and have been blown away every time. Her words, her stories, they hurt, and you cry and then inevitably she wraps you in a blanket of warmth and love. It’s not predictable it’s hopeful. You know you’ll be okay, that there will be a HEA. But first she’ll put you through the ringer. Beyond the Surface is no different. It’s book one of a new series she’s doing The Breakfast Club and it’s clear who the main 3 men of these books will be pretty quick. This one follows Julien (breakfast Club man numero uno) and his long time heartbreaking love, Nick. Nick’s past surrounds him, suffocates him, owns him. A survivor of 9/11 he’s been chasing demons for years. Until the love of his past comes to the surface and rescues him. They rescue each other really. But there’s a journey they need to take first. For me this book is the essence of beauty. Beauty isn’t skin, it’s heart. It’s unconditional love. It’s find what completes you. It’s your purpose and Felice really pulls through with that understanding. Beyond the Surface will touch your heart, make you cry but it will be worth every tear drop and hiccup. This is a brilliant book and I can’t wait for more of this series.
Julian was in the kitchen, sitting on one of the stools by the counter. He had a glass in front of him filled with what Nick presumed was vodka, having spied the Grey Goose bottle.

“Would you like a drink? I have beer, wine…anything you’d like.”

Nick shook his head, regret piercing his heart as he watched the hope drain from Julian’s eyes.

“I don’t think so. I’m going to head home. I want you to know how much I appreciate what you did for Jamal tonight.”

Julian stood abruptly, kicking the stool away from his feet.

“Don’t treat me like I’m some fucking stranger, Nicky. You owe me. It’s been eighteen years; you think I’m going to let you walk out on me again like you did before? After what just happened between us? After you fell apart? No fucking way. I’m not that same person and neither are you, obviously.”

Taken aback by Julian’s anger, Nick remained mute.

“What the hell is going on with you? One minute you’re tongue fucking me into the next century and the next you’re freaking out. I know I’m a damn good kisser, but this isn’t about us, is it? It has nothing to do with our past and everything to do with you and the shit that’s floating around in your head.”

Julian stepped closer to him and Nick, who normally couldn’t stand people near him, was rooted to the floor, unable to move.

“Talk to me, Nicky. Tell me what happened to you.”

He was so tired of holding himself together, feeling like at any moment he’d shatter into a million tiny pieces, leaving nothing behind but a pile of dust.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

The words poured out of him, flowing unchecked this time. “It should’ve been me. We all went to the Towers to save them. It was my day off, but I went anyway. I heard and couldn’t stay home; I had a duty to help, you know? But I lived and they all died. Why, Julian? Why did I live and they didn’t?”

“Oh, Nick.” Julian held him close. “I don’t have the answers for you. No one does. But I’m going to be completely selfish and say I’m so thankful you did make it and we’re here together after all these years.”

Unflinching green eyes gazed back at him. Clever, beautiful eyes that Nick could never stop dreaming of. Eyes that at one time had held the promise of forever, until Nick ruined everything with his cowardice and shame. Unable to maintain Julian’s scrutiny, Nick broke away and ran to the elevator, his chest heaving, eyes stinging with tears.

“Let me out. I need to leave here. NOW.”

I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending just around the corner. I started reading traditional historical romances when I was a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn’t until I picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth’s court that my interest in romance novels became renewed.
But somewhere along the way, my tastes shifted. While I still enjoys a juicy Historical romance, I began experimenting with newer, more cutting edge genres and discovered the world of Male/Male romance. Once I picked up her first, I became so enamored of the authors, the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion of the books, I knew I wanted to write my own.
I live in New York City with my husband and two children and hopefully soon a cat of my own. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

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