Author: Felice Stevens
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 08/17/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance
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.
Hot Fireman paired with a superficial, twinkish fashion designer? How will they ever make it work? Well, Felice Stevens answers that question in Beyond the Surface. In Surface, she paints us a picture of two broken men who have loved each other in secret for over half their lives. One is out and proud; one is so far in the closet, he almost doesn’t know he is gay.
Though the setup is a little on the trite side, it is what Stevens does with the setup that hooked me from the first page. Nick is dealing with so much guilt and fear that his life can barely be classified as an existence. On the flip side, Julian is at the top of his industry… until he isn’t. On the worst day of Julian’s professional life, Nick walks back into his life (after 18 years away). Together they take the tentative steps toward a renewed friendship. Of course, this is a romance novel, so things escalate as they find out the other person is more than their surface displays.
Beyond the Surface tackles the aftermath of 9/11, homophobia, the closet, appearances, and so much more in its pages. Nick and Julian both come a long way in a short time to find their happily ever after. There aren’t any loose ends left at the end. Some of them are a little too nicely tied up. Life is messy, maybe we could have left a few messes to be cleaned up.
I am very interested in Zach’s story. Marcus as well, but right now Zach is the one I would love to hear from next.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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