Friday, November 20, 2015

Blog Tour ARC Review + Giveaway: Betting on Forever by Felice Stevens

Betting on Forever
The Breakfast Club, Book 2
by Felice Stevens
Release Date:  11.17.15

A weekend fling in Atlantic City couldn’t be more out of socially shy Zach Cohen’s comfort zone, but a bet with his best friends forces him to put aside the humiliation he’s hidden for years, stepping away from behind his computer screens and on line world. When he meets Sam Stein, despite their spark, Zach expects nothing more than a night of passion and a kiss goodbye. Yet weeks later, he can’t keep the man out of his head.

After a split second decision with tragic results ends his twenty year police career at the same time his relationship falls apart, Sam Stein is drifting through life. At his best friend’s urging he agrees to a trip to Atlantic City to clear his head. What Sam doesn’t plan on is meeting Zach Cohen, whose sweet nature and honesty has him thinking maybe he could move forward, until Zach leaves him without explanation, reinforcing Sam’s belief that people can’t be trusted.

Well-meaning friends refuse to let Zach and Sam hide from each other, forcing them to realize their weekend is much more than a one night stand. Before that can happen, Zach must come to terms with his past and stand up for his own independence, while Sam has to learn to take a chance and believe in himself and people again. All bets are off when dreams become reality and forever doesn’t seem to be long enough.

Is Zach Cohen's story. He is the shy, introvert geek. The one who still live with his mum and hiding in the basement with his computers. Rather watched Netflix and eating Phad Thai than hanging out with his fabulous friends, Julian, the fashion designeror Marcus, the night club owner. Okay, it actually sounds as bad as it is. But everyone deserve their HEA, even the nerdy ones and Zach is such a sweetheart! Just give him a chance and he will definitely melt your heart with his shy glances and blushing. 


Sam Stein is an ex-cop on an early retirement and now working as a private investigator with his best pal, Henry. Sam just got off a long term relationship with his cheating boyfriend and still mopping around generally until Henry can't stand his sorry ass and drag him to Atlantic City for an IT conference where he met Zach.

The last thing Zach will do is to hook up with a stranger, but Zach was feeling confident for the first time and decided to be fun and reckless for once. Meeting Sam and spending the night together is one of the best thing that he ever remember doing. Too bad that he is too shy to ask for more before he had to hightail back to NYC.

Both Zach and Sam have such nossy friends that keep pushing them together and they can't stay in denial with their attraction anymore. For once, Zach is having the courage to fight for the man he wants. 

In meeting Sam, Zach's bland, colorless world had been upset: spun upside down off its monotonous axis and invigorated with color, light, and sound. For once, someone wanted him - just Zach.


Both of these men have their own unresolved past. Sam still live with regrets with the way his career in the force ended, while Zach's lack of confidence stem from a past abusive relationship. But together they make each other stronger and heal each other heart. I sound totally sappy, I agree.

This is my second Felice's books and I can say that she write some really feel good romance that will guarantee to make you swoon at some point. Unless you are too cynical to feel that. The reason I can't rate this higher is because the pacing of this book is on the rather slow side and there is a lack of a subplot to make things more interesting. The whole story centered around Zach and Sam and nothing else, beside of seeing them hanging out with the bff, Julian and Marcus. In the previous book, Beyond the Surface, there is a side story on Julian's working with the burn victim to bring an extra dimension to the story. 

Nevertheless, Zach and Sam's journey is a touching and emotional one that left me feeling absolutely contended. I'm glad to catch up with the lovebirds, Julian and Nick. I'm sure Marcus is all green with envy now that both his bff are settled down. Looking forward to see how Marcus, the biggest manwhore in NYC fall in love. 

"Let's fly together."

I could be a totally new Zach. Someone who wasn’t afraid to take risks; someone willing to have fun and be daring.” He looked down at his lap. “Someone people would notice.”

None of this made sense to Sam. “But why? You’re a young, incredibly rich, good-looking guy. Why do you think you need to pretend? Any guy would be lucky to be with you.”

The compliment didn’t bring a smile of thanks or even a blush of self-awareness. Zach’s expression grew gloomier, and he stood, then walked to the windows.

“Perceptions rarely mirror truths. What you see isn’t how I see it, and it isn’t how most people have seen me all my life. I’ve never been confident about anything, except my abilities in school. And when you’re ten and never picked for sports or thirteen and never invited to any parties, a pattern is set for the adult you’ll be. The one on the sidelines; always there but never seen. When you’re an invisible kid, you tend to grow up to be an invisible adult.”

How wrong he’d been about Zach from the beginning. And knowing how sweet and kind a soul he was, Sam hurt for the young boy Zach had been and the sad and lonely man who stood before him.

“Is that how you see yourself—invisible?” Sam followed him to the window and placed a hand on his shoulder but made no other move.

“It’s how I’ve always been. Marcus always tried to include me, but—”

“You know what?” Sam slid his arm around Zach, turning him so that they faced each other. “You think too much about Marcus.” Sam took Zach’s glasses off and placed them carefully on the table.

“You talk too much about him too. Want to know what I see?”
Zach blinked and nodded.

“I see a guy who’s kind, smart, and tenacious. A man who isn’t afraid to search out what he wants and go after it.” Sam leaned down and brushed Zach’s lips with his own, smiling at the sigh of pleasure from Zach. He pulled off his tee shirt and unbuttoned Zach’s shirt so their bare chests pressed against each other. Sam pushed Zach’s shirt off his shoulders so it fell to the floor, then slid his hand up Zach’s back, as warm and soft as he remembered. His fingers splayed out against skin, muscles, and bones, and he held Zach close. It was as if his hands were made to touch Zach. The feel of his skin was everything right and perfect.

“Don’t ever pretend with me; there’s no reason to. I’m not interested in someone who hangs out at the clubs and parties all night.” He buried his lips in Zach’s hair, his hands smoothing down the curvature of Zach’s spine until he dipped his fingers to gently touch below the waistband of Zach’s jeans.

Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn't until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth's court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.

But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway