Friday, June 3, 2016

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: BOY BANNED by RJ Scott

Boy Banned 

When the only way to win is to hide who you are, how far are you prepared to go?

Reuben “Angel” Jacobs is one step away from giving it all up. Losing a place in the live finals of Sing UK almost kills him. He has no choice but to go home and work for the family business, even though it means giving up his dreams and proving his old bullies right.

Corey Dixon is a rocker at heart. Being on the spectrum means that making sense of other people’s ‘normal’ is hard in itself, let alone in the chaos of a high-powered competition. Singing is his safe space, the only way he can think through the noise in his head. Messing up his audition for the live shows means his journey is over, and it’s the worst day of his life.

The judges throw them a lifeline and create a boy band from the near-miss hopefuls. Angel, Corey, and three others are put together in a room and offered the chance to sing as a group. Agreeing to become part of the new band means Corey has to hide who he is and what Angel has come to mean to him.

Is winning worth the price Corey and Angel have to pay?

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“I know you are. You look gay. But I can’t be,” Corey forged ahead, with as much honesty as he could muster. “I mean, we can’t. A band can only have one gay member. It’s a rule.”

Angel frowned; his smile dropped a little. There was uncertainty there, as if he couldn’t believe the sh*t Corey was coming out with. “I’ve, um, never seen that rule.”

Oh God, Angel wanted to talk about this? At least he didn’t pick Corey up on the fact that Corey had pointed out he looked gay. Corey should just nod and agree because seriously, two gay guys in a band just wasn’t a thing that should happen. Was he f*cking up by explaining this? He began to panic again, his breath coming faster. “We need to fit the group dynamic, Angel. You can be gay, and you are gay, you look gay.”

He couldn’t believe he’d mentioned it again. But Angel, with his eyeliner—guy-liner—and his hair, and the way he flirted, and his softness and caring….

Corey was a gay man who actually owned himself, who knew himself.

“Um, thank you?”

Corey knew he really wasn’t getting this over right. “You can’t be as gay as you are, not in the band, I mean.”

Angel stepped back and away.

Corey knew he’d said something wrong. He needed to explain more, had to find his words. But Angel was picking up his white jeans and heading for the door. Was he angry?

“Are you angry I said that?” Corey had learned long ago that asking a direct question was better than trying to work out the complicated social cues that bypassed him. He waited for an answer.

Angel’s retreating form stopped just in front of the door, but Corey heard his words clearly.

“Angry at being told not to be so gay? Nah.” Angel turned to face Corey. “I’m used to that.”

Something dark curled inside Corey, sadness and probably empathy that Angel was so matter-of-fact about what he was saying. “Did I hurt you?” Corey pressed a finger against his lip bar.

Carra's Review

While at the start of Boy Banned, it is hard to see how things could develop between Corey and...well, anyone really...but by the time I was done, I couldn't imagine him ending up with anyone but Angel.

Confession-I've never read any book with a character on the autism spectrum, and as far as I'm aware, I don't personally know anyone on it either.  So, everything I know I've learned from the news and internet.  Here in Boy Banned, Corey makes things very real, and his character gives unique insight that will have you becoming invested in him and his happiness.  The way he is so matter-of-fact and literal about things is actually pretty refreshing.  Angel exhibits a lot of patience and understanding, and his personality makes him a perfect fit for Corey-both personally and professionally.  The other three members of their impromptu band-Toby, Scott and DK-are wonderfully supportive, and I truly enjoyed seeing their ensemble evolve from a slapped-together mashup into a cohesive, dynamic group who really kick ass!

The politics of the show made me want to scream, and Brianna...I don't even want to go there as I may say things I might regret later.  Well, no...I wouldn't regret them at all.  You'll see when you read it what I mean (GRRRR...).  

It is so hard for me to really say much about the story without spoilers.  There's plenty of tension both from the competition itself as well as from Angel and Corey's blossoming relationship, and once the drama with Brianna starts, the tension ramps up even more.  Thank goodness Angel knows the true score and Corey is so clinical in his approach to the situation--this mostly assured me of how things we turn out...mostly.

I was very happy with how things turned out, and the epilogue really gave me a warm feeling inside.  Boy Banned wound up with a 4.5-star rating from me, and M/M romance fans who can handle a lot of seriousness and tension will really enjoy this story.  Recommended for those 18+ due to adult language and some M/M sexual content.  Oh, and don't be surprised if you become a little emotional while reading-this book will definitely do that to you!

About the Author

My goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

I've has been writing since age six, when I was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies and the mixing bowl. You can't tell a six year old not to lick the bowl! 

I was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader myself, I can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, my first real true love will always be the world of romance. I love my cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and love to write dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men. (Yum)

With over 90 titles to my name and counting, I am the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway, which was All Romance Ebooks best selling title of 2010.

I'm also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

I'm always so thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the following links below:

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Prizes: $20 Giftcard for Amazon or All Romance eBooks, 3 x Texas books, 3 x Bodyguard books.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I have voted on a TV talent show. I have voted and currently vote for talent shows such as So You Think You Can Dance, American Idol, the Voice, and Dancing with the Stars.