Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review and giveaway for a new contemporary M/M romance fairytale from Tara Lain. NEVER is the fourth book in her Pennymaker Tales series and features a love story for a modern Peter Pan, and his darling Wendell. I’ve really enjoyed her romantic revisions in SINDERS AND ASH, DRIVEN SNOW and BEAUTY INC., so I wanted to get my HEA on.
Catch the excerpt and review below and scroll down to enter the $15 GC giveaway.
About the book:
Wendell “Wen” Darling lives in a world of shoulds and musts. Left to care for his brother and sister by his dull drudge of a father and wacko irresponsible mother, he suppresses his creativity, slaving in an ad agency seventy hours a week, letting his no-talent supervisor take the credit.
Then his bosses blow the campaign for their biggest client and Wen gets a chance to shine—but only if he can find the artist who painted a wild, glorious wall of graffiti in the subway. Hiding behind a pillar at 2:00 a.m., Wen comes face-to-face with the scarlet-haired, elven-faced embodiment of his divergent opposite—Peter Panachek, the flighty, live-for-today painter, singer, and leader of the rock group the Lost Boys. Everything Wen takes seriously, Peter laughs off, but opposites attract, even if their kisses always lead to battles. Peter’s devil-may-care persona hides a world of secrets, self-protection, and hidden fears, until the day a drug dealer, Vadon Hooker, threatens everything Wen holds dear. Guided by the mysterious Mr. Pennymaker, Peter has to choose between facing responsibility or burrowing even deeper into Neverland.
How about a little taste?
He sighed loudly as he pulled a green T-shirt over his head with his back turned to Tink. The T-shirt was just like the others except it proclaimed in brilliant sparkles Underthrow the Overground. He stared in the wavy mirror on the back of the closet door. She’s right. Wen upsets me. Why the fuck can’t I stay away from him? “Let’s just go play music, okay?”
He retraced his steps out the dressing room door and went to drown himself in lyrics.
Two hours later he knew it wasn’t working. All he could see was Wen’s face. John’s face. I don’t want to see them. He snorted. I don’t want to want to see them. That’s different.
When they took their break, Wen walked off the stage straight into Mr. Pennymaker. Somehow he’d changed to a black jacket with floral collar and cuffs. Seriously? And somehow he’d gotten past the guards to hang out backstage. He pressed his hands together. “Splendid, Peter.”
“You kidding?” Peter frowned. “I can barely get my head out of my ass.”
“Yes, but sometimes that’s precisely the view we need.”
Peter spewed a laugh. “What do you want with me, really?”
“Why must I want something?”
“Because people don’t usually bother with people unless they want things.”
He rubbed his chin with two fingers. “All right. I want you to be happy.”
“Why me, for God’s sake? You don’t even know me.”
He smiled softly. “I want everyone to be happy, Peter. I just happen to be speaking with you.”
“Jesus!” Peter wiped a hand over the back of his neck. “You’re too smart for me, old man.”
“Not at all. I simply want you to be smart for you.”
“What does that look like?”
“Getting your head out of your ass and paying attention to what you want instead of what you think you should want.” He yawned behind his hand. “I’m a bit tired, so I’ll say good night. Thank all the Lost Boys for such a splendid show.”
Mr. Pennymaker turned, walked out through the stage door, and was gone.
Peter’s mouth hung open. Hit by a five-foot-one-inch truck.
Wendell Darling is a young creative at an ad agency looking for a unique spin for an organic peanut butter campaign. His bosses aren’t fantastic and he works long hours to support his younger sister Michaela and young brother John. Their father died years ago and he’s pretty-sure his fly-by-night mother is dead too. Even if she wasn’t, she was no help while she was alive anyway.
One night while heading home late, Wen sees a bit of wall tagging in the subway that blows his mind. He’s sure that whomever the artist is, it’s the new outre look his campaign needs. Encouraged by Michaela and John, Wen stakes out the subway station and waits to find the artist–if possible. The merry band of folks he meets takes his breath away–particularly the red-haired leader of the pack: Peter Panacheck.
Peter doesn’t want any spotlights on him; he does art because it needs doing. Not that his wealthy father would ever indulge him in such foolishness. But if Daddy Megabucks can’t find him, then Peter can continue doing what fills his soul, if not his belly. He hangs with The Lost Boys, a band that plays the Club Neverland, and sometimes sings with them too. He’s not interested in Wen’s proposal for commissioned art. A peanut butter ad? Get real! But the Lost Boys are in need of funds, and he’s hopeful that getting some scratch together will help keep Vadon Hooker, slimy drug lord extraordinaire, at bay.
I really enjoy the twists these fairytales endure when this author bends them into m/m romances. It’s a fun progression of meeting, attraction and intrigue as the love story builds. Wen struggles with his attraction to Peter, who seems a new incarnation of his flighty mother. He’s got serious abandonment issues. Peter sees Wen as a father analogue, and that’s not cool, either, as his father was autocratic and wanted to force Peter into a job he was bound to hate. I liked the missing persons theme, and how it played out here. Peter’s band of lost boys were intriguing, too. Tink was a better character than I expected, and I liked how she was both problem and solution for Peter. The Peter Pan mythos is a fun one to play around with and the story really did it justice, while making an enjoyable romance, too.
Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $15 Amazon GC.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!
About the Author:
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 23. Her bestselling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.
She lives with her soulmate husband and her soulmate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!
You can find Tara at: