Happy Release Day
Today we’re celebrating the release of Cardeno C.’s latest book, Not A Game. We have an exclusive excerpt, Karla’s review, and a giveaway! One lucky winner will get an ebook of Not A Game and from what Karla says in her review, they are going to love it! Along with filling out the Rafflecopter make sure you leave a comment, it’s mandatory. Enjoy and good luck!
Not A Game by Cardeno C.
on July 15, 2016
Genres: Gay, Romance
Source: Provided by author
An accidental meeting and a misunderstanding lead to a life-altering connection.
A new job, a new city, and hopefully a new life. When chubby gamer Oliver Barnaby receives a job offer from the best boutique game developer in the country, he leaves his family and his less than spectacular existence in Oklahoma without a second’s hesitation. Determined to change more than his career and his geography, Oliver implements a plan to finally land a boyfriend. Step one is improving his skills in the bedroom.
A life that looks perfect on paper, but feels empty in reality. Attractive, successful, charismatic Jaime Snow has a life other people envy. His already booming business is growing. He isn’t lacking in friends. And he has no trouble finding a date. But there’s an emptiness in Jaime’s heart and a hole in his life that only the right man can fill.
An accidental meeting, a misunderstanding, and falling in love. When Oliver and Jaime end up at the same bar at the same time, they each see something they want in the other. Going to bed together that first night is easy. Building the lifetime relationship they both desperately crave will require trust, time, and a little misunderstanding.
Heartwarming Stories. Strong Relationships. Forever Love.
Oh my God. This is him. Oliver kept his head down but couldn’t stop himself from flicking his gaze back and forth between his still empty glass and the approaching man.
Older than Oliver, but not too old, broad shoulders, light eyes, short dark hair, and a sculpted face. The man stopped right next to the table, waited for Oliver to look up, and then said, “Interesting reading choice.” He tapped the top of the cover and tried to meet Oliver’s gaze.
Even though this was one situation where Oliver couldn’t be rejected or laughed at, he still struggled to speak to such a handsome man, and he definitely couldn’t make eye contact with him. And now that he was close enough for Oliver to see him clearly, he definitely knew that was true. He set his gaze on the man’s chin and took in his features.
The dark hair was brown but it had strands of chestnut at the top and flecks of silver in the sideburns, which extended to the bottom of his earlobe. The light eyes were green, a pale shade that still managed to look warm. And the broad shoulders topped a chest so muscular that it stretched the black T-shirt he wore underneath a well-fitted jacket. This guy was fantasy material, and Oliver couldn’t believe he had gotten so lucky.
“Is this book yours?”
“Yes,” Oliver said hoarsely and then cleared his throat. “It’s mine.”
The man’s forehead crinkled. He tilted his head to the side and stared at Oliver.
At first, the odd look discomforted him, but then Oliver remembered the social etiquette classes he had been forced to attend in middle school, and he realized where he had gone wrong.
“Please have a seat,” he said, raising his hand toward the empty chair across from him. Though his voice still shook more than he would have liked, it was a bolder invitation than he usually gave. Of course, usually men didn’t approach him, especially incredibly handsome men, and usually people didn’t want to hang out with him, and usually he didn’t look up escort services and set up a meeting. So today was anything but Oliver’s usual.
“Thanks.” The man pulled back the empty chair, sat, and then scooted it forward. “I’m Jaime.” He reached his hand out.
Oliver glanced down at the hand, blinked, and then remembered his manners. “I’m Oliver.” He wiped his sweaty palm on his jeans, took Jaime’s hand, and shook it. “Oliver Barnaby.”
Oh crap. Was giving his last name in this situation a bad idea? Oh well. If everything went as expected, Oliver would be spending time alone with this man, which would put him at more risk than sharing his name. He had made reservations at the hotel upstairs, which was expensive and not completely secure, but it had to be safer than bringing a stranger to his apartment.
“So, Oliver Barnaby.” Grinning, Jaime glanced at the book and arched his eyebrows. “What are you doing here with this?”
4.5 Stars! Another engaging and satisfying read by this gifted author.
I will admit when I first started reading I wasn’t sure if this story would work for me, but as the layers of the story are peeled back and the true nature of the characters and their intentions are revealed, I found myself murmuring an “awww”, something this author is known to inspire in readers when they are immersed in his emotional and touching stories.
While the story starts out with sex as the basis for Oliver and Jamie being together, it quickly turns into a desire for more, mostly on Jamie’s part. Oliver wouldn’t dare dream about a man like the gorgeous, confident Jaime being his forever. He doesn’t see his true worth and inner beauty but Jamie doesn’t care about his few extra pounds, Oliver is everything he wants and needs, a man he could love forever.
There are so many great secondary characters including the sassy, outspoken Tamra, Oliver’s co-worker, who quickly turns into a good friend. She brings a humorous element to the read and I loved their coffee break chats, they seemed to instill confidence in each other.
Jack was another character I adored, he was so thoughtful and compassionate to Oliver and when he sets his mind at ease I knew that Oliver was going to be okay.
While there might be an anxious moment or two in Not A Game it’s not an angst-riddled read. It’s a lovely May/December romance that builds slowly as Oliver and Jamie connect on the most intimate level and find everlasting love. There is a satisfying ending but I would have enjoyed an epilog for these two, it would have made the read feel more complete. Also, I enjoyed Jack’s character so much that I would love to see the author explore the possibility of writing a book for him too.