Monday, February 2, 2015

Blake’s Home by Cheryl Dragon Blog Tour

Plenty of men have tried to get ranch hand Blake Louis to The Love Shack but none succeed. At the White family ranch, Blake has found friends and a home. He desperately wants to stay. Yet he must keep his shifter secret and avoid his feelings for Jared White. This job has to work out. No one ever wanted him forever--none of his family did--so why would a rich successful rancher want more than a roll in the hay with a dirt poor ranch hand?

Screwing the staff is a bad idea but Jared White needs more than sex from Blake. The men are friends but he’ll risk it for a chance at more. Love has never worked for Jared and a childhood rival delights in sabotaging him. Jared can’t give up hope. He believes that Blake is the one.

The only smart place to start is The Love Shack, a neutral place where Jared isn’t the boss and Blake isn’t the hand. Determined to win Blake’s heart, Jared delves into Blake’s past. As amazing as the sex is, Blake resists sweet promises. Love, trust, and happiness are as crazy to Blake as the bobcat he can shift into.

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This book had potential but I just couldn’t connect with any of the characters and it just seemed like some things went to fast and others didn’t go fast enough. Blake is a shifter and in love with his boss. Jared has always failed in the love department. He has been friends with Blake for months and wants to take things farther. The Love Shack is a little old place where gay men get together for no strings attached sex. Blake finally goes to the shack and Jared finally gets his man. But Blake has a secret (he shifts into a bobcat) and he is worried about how Jared would feel about that. There is a little drama and a little angst in this book and lots of sex, I just couldn’t connect with the characters and fall in love with them.

Characters: I couldn’t connect with the characters.
Sex: Yes
Religious: No
Would I recommend to others: Yes
More than one book in the series: Yes
Genre: M/M/Romance/Shifter
Would I read more by this author: Yes

This book successfully combines cowboys, shifters and gay romance – a sure fire win from my point of view! The writing is strong, the back story holds true, there is enough angst, but nothing too implausible. It is a quick, sweet and entertaining read and I look forward to Hank getting his HEA in the next book (please Ms. Dragon!)

I have been looking forward to reading Blake’s Home for a couple of months now. Needless to say, I was excited when it got to queue it up on my Kindle today – enough so that I didn’t bother to re-read the blurb. Because of this, I was a bit surprised at the nonchalant way the shifter aspect was introduced to the storyline. Yep, I forgot all about that part of the book. But that wasn’t nearly as surprising as it was to learn that the shifters in the area live “out” amongst the humans and even marry and have children with the locals. To top it off, the area is also accepting of gay men living openly and even has a gay bar of sorts. With all this going for it, how could it not be a good read? I’m pleased to report that it was a really good novella.

Blake is not only gay, he’s also a shifter, but he’s a shifter who doesn’t understand that side of himself because he never knew his father, his mother was so high on drugs that she thought his shifting as a child was a hallucination, and his aunt and uncle thought he was possessed. Despite this less than promising start, Blake is a nice guy, he’s quiet and aloof because he learned a long time ago that most ranch hands aren’t accepting of working with a gay man, but he’s a hard worker and happy to have found a stable job at the White’s ranch in Montana. That his job means he often gets to work close with the sexy youngest White sibling, Jared, is both a bonus and a temptation he can’t afford to give in to. Or is it? It just so happens that Jared is also gay, but just a boring old human according to Randy. When Jared manages to convince Blake to meet him at the Love Shack, we find out just how much heat these two guys can produce. Whew!

The thing that made Blake’s Home difficult to read at times was also the thing that added the most realism to the book. Several times I found myself having to reread a conversation between Jared and Blake because I suddenly found myself lost as to what they were talking about. After the third or fourth time of this happening I realized that the disjointed conversations were not an editing oversight, but rather an abrupt change of topics as Blake would clam up about certain topics and would either ignore them by changing the conversation or Jared would pick up on Blake’s discomfort and move on to another topic. While this did interfere with my reading flow from time to time, it is a coping mechanism some people use in real life and thus made the characters feel more realistic. Even though Blake’s mother was a total waste of space, Jared’s parents were awesome. I loved how accepting they were of Jared’s homosexuality and extended the invitation for Blake to move in once the relationship progressed to that point. As this is the first book in the Love Shack series, I am looking forward to reading more about the White family and the rather large cast of characters we met in Blake’s Home. Of course, I hope that Ms. Dragon gives us Hank and Frankie’s stories sooner rather than later, preferably combined.

A lover of unusual things, Cheryl Dragon enjoys writing unique stories with sinfully hot erotic romance. Her two favorite settings are Las Vegas and New Orleans...where anything can happen! Cheryl lives in the Chicagoland area with her deaf albino cat. By day she analyzes numbers for a division of a large international conglomerate, which leaves the creative juices free for her erotic romance novels.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Blake’s Home (The Love Shack #1) by Cheryl Dragon to read and review for this tour.

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