Sunday, August 4, 2019

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: BEAUTIFUL TRAUMA by Aimee Nicole Walker (Queen City Rogues #3)

Beautiful Trauma
Queen City Rogues Series, Book 3
Aimee Nicole Walker
M/M Romance
Release Date: 07.18.19

Cover model: Joel Leslie
Photographer: Christopher John
Cover artist: Jay Aheer

Does trauma define or motivate a person?
Homeless and rejected, Henry Sullivan arrived on the doorstep of Ryan’s Place with nothing but the clothes on his back. Life as he knew it was over. Within those walls, Henry found the encouragement and love needed to turn hopeless into hopeful. Enrolling for summer classes at his community college was the first step toward achieving the dreams he thought were lost to him. There was just one little snag: the professor standing in the front of the room taught Henry the true meaning of human sexuality.
After a crushing breakup, Professor Ezra Meyer moved to the Queen City for a fresh start where everything was new—job, home, and friends. His first challenge: prove the benefits of his biology of human sexuality course outweighed the controversy. Ezra agreed to teach the class during the summer semester at a community college associated with his university to gauge interest. There was just one little problem: Ezra had personally demonstrated the unit on Sexual Technique and Behaviors with one of his students.
Random or Fate?
It was supposed to be a harmless hookup on a night when Henry was celebrating his birthday and Ezra was trying to ease his loneliness. Fast forward six months later, the attraction blazed hotter than ever, but acting on it could have dire consequences neither man was willing to risk. Or were they? Could true love be Henry and Ezra’s ultimate reward, or were they destined to become just another sad lesson learned?
Beautiful Trauma is a story about triumph over tragedy, embracing the unexpected, and a reminder that family is more than biology. Are you looking for a feel-good romance with witty banter, toe-curling passion, and a story that stays with you long after the final page? Look no further. Beautiful Trauma is the third book in the Queen City Rogues series but reads as a standalone book. It contains sexually explicit material and colorful language and is intended for adults 18 and over.

Ezra lifted his head and smiled down at me. “I like the way you think.” He started to lower his head to kiss me but jerked back. “F*ck!”
“What is it? A muscle spasm?”
“Hey now,” Ezra said, sounding offended. “I’m not that old.”
“There’s no age requirement for a muscle spasm. Remember my limp earlier tonight?”
Ezra nodded to acknowledge my point. “It wasn’t a spasm; a mosquito bit me on the ass.”
He looked so outraged that a mosquito would dare take a bite of his ass. I couldn’t stop the laughter building inside me. “I-I’m sorry,” I managed to say before the dam broke and it burst from my chest. “I’d bite your ass too if I were her.”
Ezra tried not to laugh, but he joined me until he got bit a second time. “That’s it,” he said firmly, leaping to his feet. “It’s time for a bath, then you need to get some sleep.” He blew out the candles and crooked his fingers for me to follow.
On our way to the bathroom, I watched in puzzlement as Ezra stopped by his bedside table and picked up his phone.
“Checking your messages?” I asked.
“Adding citronella candles to my shopping list before I forget,” he quipped. He looked at me with a raised brow. “Not a single smartass joke out of you about faulty memories at my age.”

I held up my hands in surrender. “I wouldn’t dream of it.” My lips quivered and threatened to give way to laughter yet again.
“Get in the bathroom,” Ezra said, pointing to the doorway.
“Yes, sir,” I said cheekily then gasped when Ezra’s hand landed soundly against my bare ass. I spun around to face him. “Spanking wasn’t in the lesson tonight.”
“Keep it up, and you’re going to get a firsthand lesson in spankings, Henry.”
The idea thrilled me to the core, and I suddenly wanted to be naughty—very, very naughty.

Carra's Review

It’s been a long while since I’ve read a good teacher-student romance, and here in Beautiful Trauma, Aimee Nicole Walker nails it while also throwing in some extra complications for the characters.  Those extras include an age gap between the two main characters (18 years), a prior scandal for Ezra (our professor here), Henry’s painful not-so-distant past plus his unfortunate health situation.  Though the matchup here is between two adults in a college setting, there is still the issue of Ezra being in a position to influence Henry’s grade so that right there is a big no-no as well—even if they’d first become involved prior to school starting.  So right from the start there’s several factors in play.

I love how determined Henry is to make it on his own, and his resilience and focus are admirable.  He’s making the best of some difficult circumstances, trying to make things better for himself.  I was a bit bummed that we didn’t get to see the full extent of Henry and Ezra’s first encounter together before they met again at the university, it was kind of a tease to tell us about this amazing, sensual, mind-blowing hookup but not elaborate on the details—and no, that’s not a plea for a gratuitous sex scene…that night and following morning were the true start of their deep connection, so I’m looking more for the emotional connection.

I thought the two of them together were wonderful.  The age gap was really only a concern to Henry, when in most stories I’ve read it’s usually the older guy who harps on the difference in years.  That made it seem like Henry felt undeserving of Ezra’s attentions, while at other times Henry acted bold and possessive—so there was a bit of internal conflict for him, which lended just the right touch of angst to the story.

This story wound up being a solid 4-star read for me, and I’d definitely recommend it, particularly if you’re a fan of any of the factors I mentioned previously.  Though this is the third book in the series, it can be read as a standalone and it’s meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.

About the Author
Aimee Nicole Walker LogoEver since she was a little girl, Aimee Nicole Walker entertained herself with stories that popped into her head. Now she gets paid to tell those stories to other people. She wears many titles—wife, mom, and animal lover are just a few of them. Her absolute favorite title is champion of the happily ever after. Love inspires everything she does, music keeps her sane, and coffee is the magic elixir that fuels her day. I’d love to hear from you


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