Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publication date: December 3, 2016
Length: 264 pages
Reviewed by Morningstar
Hi everyone, this is E.J. Russell! Thank you so much for joining me as I celebrate the release of Clickbait, my first contemporary novel with Riptide Publishing!
After the disastrous ending of his first serious relationship, Gideon Wallace cultivated a protective—but fabulously shiny—outer shell to shield himself from Heartbreak 2.0. Besides, romance is so not a priority for him right now. All his web design prospects have inexplicably evaporated, and to save his fledgling business, he’s been compelled to take a hands-on hardware project—as in, hands on screwdrivers, soldering irons, and needle-nosed pliers. . Failure could actually be an option.
Journeyman electrician Alex Henning is ready to leave Gideon twisting in the wind after their run-ins both on and off the construction site. Except, like a fool, he takes pity on the guy and offers to help. Never mind that between coping with his dad’s dementia and clocking all the overtime he can finagle, he has zero room in his life for more complications.
Apparently, an office build-out can lay the foundation for a new relationship. Who knew? But before Alex can trust Gideon with the truth about his fragile family, he has to believe that Gideon’s capable of caring about more than appearances. And Gideon must learn that when it comes to the heart, it’s content—not presentation—that matters.
What drew me into this story was the characters themselves. The author was able to create characters with depth and had given them a voice that allowed me to connect with them and the why’s of who they were.
The emotion poor Alex goes through in his life is heartbreaking to watch. He feels responsible for what is happening to his Dad, because of a past incident, no matter what anyone tells him. Plus taking care of his mom and sister by being home for his Dad as much as possible and working every hour his job will give him puts a toll on this guy.
You can feel the heartbreak every time his Dad doesn’t know who he is, when he is the pain on his mom’s face, or the lack of acceptance from his sister. I cannot imagine living the life this wonderful family does due to the illness that is wreaking havoc on what they once knew.
Gideon is the roommate and best friend of Alex’s sister Lindsey. He’s also Alex’s long time crush and the guy who doesn’t seem to know he even exists. Gideon has been hurt, badly, in the past so he created rules that keep the men in his life at a distance. Trust does not come easy for him with good reason. The way these two dance around each other is hot and cute at the same time. Neither trust what is going on between them but both need to open their hearts to more in order to see what the other is offering but this is easier said than done.
The steam level between these two is off the charts but there was not many sexy scenes in the story. Every secondary character was well developed and really helped push this story along. From Gideon’s other best friend Charlie, to Toshiko who really helps the family, Landon the restaurant owner and best friend to Alex, but most especially Alex’s mom, Ruth and sister, Lindsey.
Awesome story with some steam and lots of heart!
About E.J. Russell
E.J. Russell holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer, and business-intelligence consultant. After her twin sons left for college and she no longer spent half her waking hours ferrying them to dance class, she returned to her childhood love of writing fiction. Now she wonders why she ever thought an empty nest meant leisure.
E.J. lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband, the only man on the planet who cares less about sports than she does. She enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.
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To celebrate the release of Clickbait, one lucky winner will receive $25 in Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 10, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!