Friday, April 2, 2021

Emerett Has Never Been in Love by Anyta Sunday Blog Tour

Emerett Has Never Been in Love by Anyta Sunday Blog Tour

A man who acts before he thinks, a man who thinks before he acts, and the ensuing mishaps on the path to the ultimate love match.

~ ~ ~

Emerett “Lake” Lakewood has a healthy ego and a flair for the dramatic. After losing his best friend to marriage—completely crushing his heart—he deems it prudent to distract himself, and what better way than playing cupid?

He’s already got his eye on two young men desperately seeking romance, and he has a plan to hook them up.

Reciting Shakespearean love declarations.

Lake is killing it. Love is positively pulsing in the air. Anyone could see it.

Well, anyone other than Knight, his best friend’s dad, who cautions Lake to stop meddling. To leave love to its natural course.

Lake has always valued Knight’s frankness, but this time he’s wrong. Without him, two hearts might be doomed never to find love.

Besides, what does Knight know about romance? He’s barely dated in all the seven years Lake’s known him. He’s clueless.

Though, there’s a thought. Knight has everything going for him. Sensibility. Kindness. Generosity. And for a forty-four-year-old, he’s—objectively—freaking hot.

Why is he single?

~ ~ ~

“… [T]here may be a hundred different ways of being in love.”
~ Jane Austen

And a hundred different ways not to recognize it.

~ ~ ~

Emerett Has Never Been In Love is a fun, fast-paced gay romance retelling of Jane Austen's Emma.


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Emerett Has Never Been in Love by Anyta Sunday

Book 1
Buy Links

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Paperback (US)
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~




Knight stood at the fireplace, head bowed, brows sloped into a frown. Sunlight from the windows printed a large square of light over his T-shirt, jeans, and the heels of his naked feet. Lost in thought, Knight pinched the lily he’d left on the mantelpiece by the stem, shutting his eyes as he breathed in that creamy-clove scent. A weary sigh sagged his shoulders.

Tenderness thumped in Lake’s chest. At Knight’s fond smile, he pushed into the room.

Knight’s head shot up and he clasped his hands behind his back. “Lake.”

Lake smiled softly. “You miss your son.”

“My son?” Surprise—confusion?—flickered over Knight’s face.

Lake gestured to the lily behind him. “You don’t have to hide it from me. I like the reminder that you’re human.”

Knight paused, and returned the lily to the mantelpiece. “All too human, I’m afraid.”

“Don’t worry. You hide it well.”

“That seems the right thing to do.” After a beat, Knight looked over at Lake with practiced tolerance. “The barbecue is not until next Sunday. Why are you back?”

“Why do you think I left?” Lake dropped his satchel onto the armchair and draped himself on his favorite couch. “I promised to help at the food bank. I’d have been here an hour ago, but Philip needed a ride home. He hates being in his big empty apartment. He was reluctant to get out of the car.”

“And you think the apartment is the reason?”

“I invited him to the barbecue—you should have seen how fast he lit up.”

Knight’s lips rolled into a half-grin, yet his voice resonated boredom. “I can imagine. Why are you back?”

A yawn pulled at Lake, deep in his chest. It had been a long day on little sleep. “You have two guestrooms.”

“You have an entire cottage and your father’s old distillery.”

True. However... “Neither feel the same since he passed away.”

Knight spoke tentatively, “It’s been years...”

“Years practically living with you and your son.”

Knight narrowed worried eyes on him. “Or years avoiding the past?”

Lake waggled a finger at him, grinning over the lingering pain of losing his dad on the heels of losing his mum. “Shrewd man.”

“My son doesn’t live here.”

“Shrewder still.” Lake sighed. “His and Amy’s new house isn’t the same. I feel like a third wheel.”

“That would be an accurate assessment.” A pause. “You were a third wheel here, too.”

“Yes, but it was easier with you.” More comfortable. He could always be completely himself.

Lake fished for the remote on the coffee table, not quite reaching it, but not quite willing to work for it either. He threw Knight a cheeky wink. “I’ve taken your guest room upstairs. We’re sharing a bathroom.”

Knight moved to the coffee table and offered him the remote. “Have you considered finding a more permanent living arrangement? Selling your inherited properties?”

Lake took the other end, but Knight didn’t let go. Awaiting an answer, of course. “The cottage maybe,” Lake admitted, “but the distillery has been in the Lakewood family for generations. Even though it’s sitting there unused, it feels wrong to give it up.”

Knight released his hold on the remote. “Start with the cottage, then.”

“It’s an awful lot of organizing—” At Knight’s flattening lips, Lake started nodding “—which I will get on to, very, very soon.”

If Knight were inanimate, he’d be an actionable item list. Procrastination was uncharted territory to him. He screamed checkbox, and a smarter person would grab the nearest pencil and start checking.

Lake offered up his most charming smile. “And until I get around to it?”

Knight sighed. “The guestroom downstairs has its own bathroom.”

“So actually, about that room. I had a thought.”

“Why do I suddenly feel anxious?”

Knight plucked up the remarkably preserved lily—all that hairspray, perhaps?—and hiked toward the archway that led to the dining room.

Lake rolled off the couch and skedaddled after him to the open kitchen. Door knobs, light fixtures, faucets, and hinges were all wrought-iron. Everything so charmingly rustic, a horse braying in the background wouldn’t have felt out of place.

“Amy’s cousin Harry. Early twenties, cute face. Auburn hair and freckles.”

“I recall. Very polite, very happy. Danced with his grandmother and his cousin most of the night. Seemed impressed with the wedding ceremony and reception.”

“He did love the crostini.”

Knight slipped the lily into a miniature vase and side-eyed him. “He wasn’t the only one.”

“Are there any left?”

Knight set the vase by the vintage water pitcher Lake had encouraged Taylor to buy his dad for Christmas, and opened the pantry. He brought out a crostini platter. “Picked them up this afternoon. If you hadn’t turned up uninvited, I’d have tracked you down.”

Lake grabbed a baked artichoke and parmesan crostini and moaned into a crunchy bite. “You’re the best, Knightly.”

“I do try, Emerett.”

Lake swallowed at his first name. It wasn’t something anyone else used, just Knight, and only on occasion. But when he did... it always jolted him.



Lake laughed, then swore. “Will this get awkward? I don’t want awkward with you.” “It won’t get awkward.” “Are you sure?” Lake pitched his voice to a whisper, “Because I don’t want to look away.”



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

3.5 stars of silliness and romantic dalliance

This is the first in a new series which unashamedly acknowledges that it is based on the novels of Austen – undoubtedly with a modern twist. I am a big Austen fan. and have enjoyed Anyta Sunday books before, so was happy to give it a go. It took a little time to get into, because people moving in with relatives in normal modern houses doesn't really ring true as much as it did in a country estate of old, but once I allowed myself to not consider these things too closely, then I found it to be an amusing read.

Emerett, mostly called Lake by his friends, is a meddler in others' relationships and sees love and interest everywhere. From the very beginning we are introduced to a host of characters at a wedding and one's mind whirls at the number, their relationship to each other, and what they are like, do. etc. Add in Lake's meddling plans and it can be a mite confusing. That said, it added to the feeling of silliness and chatter that an Austen novel can provide.

We, the readers, know pretty quickly all that is transpiring, but the hapless, naive Lake is on a voyage of discovery from the very beginning. Thankfully, he does finally wake up to the obvious and get his first experience of love, and quite hopefully his last!

Emerett Has Never Been in Love is the first installment in the Love, Austen series, Anyta Sunday's retelling of Jane Austen classics.

I believe I've read all of Sunday's novels, maybe missing one or two. Obviously, I'm well-acquainted with the author's writing style. I highly anticipated this novel, wishing to escape the real world for a few hours. I also need to note, I am not a fan of retellings.

From the start, it was a struggle to fall into the story. I wasn't sure if it was my mood or ability to concentrate. While third-person narration via Lake (Emerett), there were several moments of pronoun confusion, to where I had no idea who was speaking or doing the action, where I had to backtrack or read forward to get a clue.

Lake said/Knight said/He said/He said. I have no idea why, but I was having a hard time keeping track of which was the "narrator" and which was the best friend's father. In the first chapter, I was reading their back and forth banter, which might have been cute if I didn't have to keep figuring out which character was which and who was saying what, asking myself if it was the dad or the friend. A few times, I actually wondered if Lake wasn't the narrator at all, an overview narrator, or if suddenly the point of view switched to Knight, but that wasn't the case.

Obviously this is a "me" issue but it set the tone for my enjoyment, so take my review with a grain of salt.

Another issue for me, it just felt like I was dropped into the middle of the story, where I'm to know who these characters are (and I don't mean in reference to the Austen novel). A name would pop up as if I knew who the character was and the background involved, so I'd just roll with it, but after like the tenth time, I was getting frustrated. There are many side characters, and most didn't stick around long, and a few seemed forgettable.

Lake is obsessed with matchmaking, loving the idea of love but not believing himself able to fall in love, because he is ridiculously good looking. While I love me an oblivious main character, I do not like a vain one, nor a mean one. What was cute and oblivious shifted to something more dark for me, into jealousy and envy and being judgmental, which turned me off from the character. I'm not entirely sure I saw Lake as redeemable because he was easily forgiven without feeling any true contrition.

Knight is the opposite of Lake. Patient, calm, understanding, but since we don't "hear" his point of view, he comes off as too perfect, perfectly one-note. Knight was swoon-worthy in the fact that he said all the right things, did all the right things, forgave instantly, but since he did not challenge Lake, it came off as if Knight didn't have a personality other than being Lake's polar opposite.

No matter how obvious Knight made his intentions toward Lake, Lake remained purposefully oblivious to fuel the plot and drama. I should have been sucking this angst like candy, the age-gap, slow-burn romance with your best friend's dad, but it just left a bitter taste in my mouth.

There was just too much going on for me, with a main character that rubbed me wrong. Too many romances between the side characters, romances that will surely grace the pages of the next installments. The focus wasn't on the main couple enough for me to develop a connection while reading, because my interests were more engaged with the side romances.

As a fan of Anyta Sunday, but not a fan of retellings, I think I'll pass on the rest of the series.



Author Bio

Anyta Sunday

I'm a big, BIG fan of slow-burn romances. I love to read and write stories with characters who slowly fall in love.

Some of my favorite tropes to read and write are: Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers, Clueless Guys, Bisexual, Pansexual, Demisexual, Oblivious MCs, Everyone (Else) Can See It, Slow Burn, Love Has No Boundaries.

I write a variety of stories, Contemporary MM Romances with a good dollop of emotion, Contemporary lighthearted MM Romances, and even a splash of fantasy.

My books have been translated into German, Italian, French, Spanish, and Thai.

Connect with Anyta

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Slow Burn Sunday





“What books?” “The old ones.” “Classics,” Knight murmured. “Exactly, those. I’m most of the way through Moby Dick.” Brows shot up. “What do you think?” “The title is misleading.”


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Gay Romanc Reviews Tours & Promo

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Emerett Has Never Been in Love (Love, Austen #1) by Anyta Sunday to read and review for this tour.

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