Thursday, February 23, 2017

New Release-Review & Excerpt: TROY-OUT OF THE DARK by JJ Harper

Troy Out of the Dark
Release date 23rd February 2017
The second book in the Troy Duology

Rafferty ‘Raff’ McMahon—beaten, broken and cast out of his home at eighteen—turns to his aged aunt who helps him become a new man with a new name. Ten years later, a successful photographer with an edge to his work everyone seems to want, a call that will set his life on a roller coaster ride comes through. Troy Ballantyne, CEO of De’ath of You Enterprises, wants to meet him. Mesmerized by the voice coming down the line, Raff immediately agrees to the meeting.

“Hi, can I speak to Rafferty McMahon?” A deep and seductive voice asks.
“You are.” My reply is short, who the f*ck is this? I’m having a horrendous day and, however hot this guy sounds, I want off my phone.

He sets about researching, not the company but the man himself; captivated by Troy’s images, Raff is excited to meet the man behind the sexy drawl.
When Troy sets up a meeting with up-and-coming photographer Rafferty McMahon the last thing he expects is to be drawn to him. A connection he has already experienced once before, his heart beats a little faster. Is this for real?

“What do you want, Troy?” His voice, low and gravelly, sends shivers over my body.
“I don’t know. We have only just met but from the first moment I heard your voice I haven’t been able to stop thinking of you.”

The feeling of ownership overwhelms Troy and as much as he wants to stay locked away with only the memories of Franco, he can’t fight his feelings for this handsome man.
Is this the man Franco told Troy was waiting for him? Is he going to be the great love of his life? Will both Raff and Troy be allowed to be with their one true love, or is there someone out there ready to tear them apart?

This book is a gay M/M romance and include sex between two men, and is recommended for over 18’s. It is book two in a duology and follows on from Troy – Into the Light available now
Troy’s story hits on a hard subject that may act as a trigger for some.

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“Don’t give me that sh*t, Troy, I’m still pissed at you.” His voice is still low but it doesn’t have the sexy rasp it had last night.

“So, a ‘no’ to the coffee then?” I raise one eyebrow as he shakes his head in exasperation. His response makes me smirk at him and I hand him the mug. Pointing to the sugar on the side, I offer, “there’s creamer in the fridge if you want it and some flavored sh*t, too, that Nico sometimes has, caramel or hazelnut or sh*t!” I fake a shudder which, at last, has him smiling properly at me.

“Yeah, I’m a black coffee man, no crap. I don’t even have sugar.” He replies.

“Sweet enough already?” I quip.

“Yeah, something like that.” He laughs again, then cuts it short. Sh*t, this is where he tells me it was a mistake.

“Raff…” We speak at the same time but clam up together, too.

“You go first, Raff, please.” My heart beats like a jackhammer, dreading what he might say.

Letting out a huge puff of air, Raff looks at me and his eyes soften as he smiles: all good, so far. “I can’t believe I’m going to say this, Troy; I like you, but I don’t know you. I want to get to know you. I think, if we rush this, we could end up wrecking something really good.” He sighs again, “I said last night I’ve just come out of a relationship and I’m worried you could think I’m using you as a rebound f*ck. I want to spend time with you, sh*t loads of time, I want to kiss you again and again.” Raff’s little chuckle sends shivers over my body. “But I don’t want f*ck this up. If there is anything here to make a mess of. You may have been going to tell me you’re not interested, I hope not. When you weren’t here this morning, I thought I’d got my answer.”

I’m grinning hard by the time he lifts his head up after dropping it in embarrassment. He sees it and tentatively returns the gesture.

“Come here, Raff.” I reach out to grab his hand and haul him closer. “I was going to say exactly the same thing. I have never been prepared to try something as much as I want to try, to see what we have going on here. I’ve just been dumped by a wonderful man because I wasn’t able to commit to him; I never felt the same way he did.” I see Raff frown, trying to work out how this affects him. “The reason I’m saying this is, because, as soon as I saw you, I knew I wanted more. Don’t panic, I’m not ready to rush either. I just wanted you to know that, for the first time in three years, I’m ready to have more. And that’s because it’s you, Raff McMahon.” 

I take a small step closer and look straight into his grass green eyes, “as for the kissing, I’m well up for that. As for the rest, I’m sure we’ll get there. But it’s the journey I want, as well as the destination.” I brush my lips over his once, twice before pressing harder, pulling away before it turns into a make-out session. “So, are we good?”

“F*ck, Troy; yes, we are good.” Raff focusses on my hand, which has migrated to his hip, and chuckles. “You’re very handsy, aren’t you.” A statement, not a question, but he doesn’t step out of my grasp.

“Is it something that bothers you?” I unhook my thumb from his belt loop and lift my hand but Raff catches hold of it and shakes his head.

“No, it doesn’t bother me. Well, not in a bad way.” I watch as he squirms, trying to rearrange his shorts, and I burst out laughing.

Carra's Review

In the first book of this duology, we were smacked good and hard with Troy and Franco’s instant connection and the incredibly intense relationship they shared—something that made it so our hearts were ripped apart in that story.  The events in the first book brought Troy to a point where he thinks he’s had his one true love, and doubts he’ll ever find anything to match what he found with Franco.  Here in book two, we get to see Troy find what he thought was lost to him…though you may need to read with a grain of salt standing by.

I don’t say that because the story isn’t good—Out of the Dark gives us strong emotions, exceptional characters, and a Troy who has matured and grown into a powerful, yet guarded man.  I say that because when Raff enters the picture, the instalove we got in the first book strikes again here in book two.  Can lightning strike twice so abruptly and fiercely as it does for Troy?  While this aspect did stretch my belief a bit, the author does make up for it with Raff’s emotional backstory and the drama it triggers when his past collides with his present.  It does help too that the chemistry between Raff and Troy is even more intense than it was with Troy and Franco.

Even with the abundant physical scenes (insert your favorite “highly flammable” warning here, those scenes deserve it), there is still plenty of story to balance things out.  The turmoil that erupts when Raff’s past comes roaring back may seem a bit much at a couple of points, but all in all it still makes for an addicting read.  The presence of Nico and Ryan is quite welcome, and they contribute a lot to the story as they support both Troy and Raff throughout the book.  For me, it’s Troy and Raff’s characters that make the story everything it is; they both have pasts to come to terms with and overcome, and it’s obvious there’s no other outcome possible than them ending up together (at least not without a reader riot).

In order to truly enjoy and appreciate Troy—Out of the Dark, you need to read Troy—Into the Light first.  Fans of the first book will definitely want to read this one to find out how it all works out, and I think you’ll be pretty happy with how things end up.  This book is meant strictly for readers 18+ for adult language and explicit M/M sexual content, and there is an attack scene that may be upsetting for some readers.

About JJ Harper
I’m J J Harper or Jess to my friends and family. I have a love for hot steamy love stories and write m/m and m/f romances.
I write from my heart more than my head, I sit in my living room typing away, with my dog and a warm fire in the winter, and in the summer, I sit in the garden soaking up the sunshine tapping away on my laptop, still with my dog.
I’m a mother and a wife but tend not to live by those definitions, I have still yet to work out how to act my age!! Lol. And I have no intentions of growing up or growing old gracefully, I am a fiercely loyal friend and love my family and friends hard.
I live in the UK in the quiet Lincolnshire countryside along with my husband and my dog, it’s a peaceful existence which balances out all the crazy that goes on in my head. What would the neighbours think of me???  

Troy – Into the Light Book One

Troy grabs his bags and, shoving in as much of his belongings as he can, he clambers out of his bedroom window. He can hear the shouts and arguments starting up and his name being called. Not able to face his parents, Troy runs away.
How can one chance sighting turn into a love affair you never thought existed outside of a book? That one glance that altered my whole life?.
Leaning against the wall of the club, Troy’s eyes are drawn to the dark-haired man dancing fluidly with another man. Their eyes meet and Troy’s life changes in the blink of an eye. Inexplicably drawn to each other, they meet on the dance floor. Tremors course over Troy’s body as the handsome stranger touches him.
“I’ve been waiting for you. I don’t know how or why, but I know that you are mine.” As he leans in, he whispers in my ear, “I’m Franco; I am the man you’ve been waiting for, too.” Troy’s life alters irrevocably in that instant as he falls for the handsome, Italian man.
As they build their life together Troy and Franco discover true love, a love so deep they can’t be apart.
I hold his head against my body and, no longer able to hold back my emotions or my words, I stutter, “I love you,” into his hair as my lips cover his head with kisses. “I love you also, Troy. I never knew such a feeling was possible.” Franco whispers against my chest as I hold him.
When illness strikes, Troy has to discover a new part of himself as he struggles past the pain. A new, stronger, braver man emerges, taking his life in his own hands.
This book is a gay M/M romance and include sex between two men, and is recommended for over 18’s. It is book one in a duology and ends with a lead up for book 2 Troy – Out of the Dark
Troy’s story hits on a hard subject that may act a trigger for some.

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