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Blog Tour & Giveaway : Freeing: EK Blair



Freeing(Fading #1.5)
a companion novel to the USA Today bestseller, Fading.
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Knowing who you are and accepting who you are come at different prices. 

Jase Kinrick grew up in your typical, all-American household. But after the death of his sister, his parents shut down, forcing him to deal with everything life throws his way alone. Terrified of the person he’s discovering himself to be, Jase has his way with every willing girl to try and rid himself of what he fears he is—gay. 

Escaping California and moving to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, Jase frees himself to the reality that he likes men. Never staying with any guy long enough to get to know them, he doesn’t realize that he’s still hiding from who he is until he meets Mark. Scared of having real feelings for another guy stirs up the questions and fears he’s fought hard to bury. 

To strip away the barriers to the heart of what is real, and to be okay with what lies underneath, will be Jase’s moment of truth. But he’ll need Mark to lead him there.

Fading(Book 1: Candace's POV):Goodreads/Amazon/B&N/Kim's 4 star review

Falling(Book 2: Ryan's POV): Goodreads expected December 2013
Video trailer



(Mark Catches Jase and Kyle)

Picking up my cell, I quickly call Kyle.

“Hey, man,” he answers.

“Hey. Jase is on his way over. I’m running late, but heading home now. I should be there in fifteen or so,” I tell him.

“No problem.”

“Thanks.”

“Yeah,” he says before hanging up.

Traffic is backed up as I make my way home. Something about knowing that Jase is at my place waiting on me causes my heart beat a little quicker, but that’s nothing new. I really like this guy. I could tell he was hesitant with me the other night, but the fact that he didn’t skip a beat when I asked him to hit the gym with me today reassures me that maybe I was just being paranoid.

Pulling next to his car in my drive, I park and hop out. When I walk in and toss my keys onto the bar, I turn around. My beating heart wanes.

“What the fuck are you doing?”

Jase is on top of Kyle, tongue shoved in his mouth, before Kyle jumps off the couch from underneath him.

“Shit, man,” Kyle pants out, and I can’t even focus on him as I’m watching Jase, disengaged from the scene playing out in my living room. Completely void of emotion, he walks to grab his keys, and his demeanor is so irritating.

“You’re not gonna say anything?” I snap, and he doesn’t as much as look my way.

Asshole.

“Jase! What the hell, man?”

Nothing.

He walks past me and out the door. I should have trusted my gut when I first saw him. I knew about him. How he hops from bed to bed. But something about him, something I should have been more cautious of, told me that he felt differently with me. Who the hell am I kidding? I barely know him at all.

“Dude, I’m sorry,” Kyle says and when I turn around, I let my frustration play out on him.

“What’s your problem, man?”

“He said you guys weren’t anything, so I . . .”

“So you what? Forget it. You know what? I don’t give a shit. You’re just like him, always dragging ass in and out of here,” I sling at him as I start making my way to my room.

“Don’t be a fucking bitch, Mark.”

Turning around, I throw back at him, “Fuck you, Kyle. Just get your shit and get the fuck out.”

He laughs, as if I’m kidding.

“Serious. I want you out.”

Slamming my door, I’m beyond pissed. I don’t even know how this guy, in a brief period of time was able to get underneath my skin the way he had. Foolish of me to think that I could have had feelings for him, but I do. Shit.
4 to 4.5 stars

I've spent the last few years praying that this is just a phase. Fighting the thoughts that skate around in my head. Pretending to be someone I'm not in an attempt to escape this sick person who lives inside of me. 

This is a companion novel to Fading so it takes place during the same time period, but it is Jase's story and told in his point of view.

Jase struggled with his sexuality and has used both women and men along the way while trying to come to terms with it. He has lost a sister and has a strained relationship with his parents. Fortunately, he has made a soulful connection with his friend Candace and a fun friendship with her room mate Kimber while in college. He has issues from his past that have hurt him and left a void in his life. 

Jase begins to form a bond with Mark. He is a charismatic, guitarist who challenges him and makes him anxious. He is caring, thoughtful, and not into casual affairs. Jase has never been able to handle anything but casual, no feelings sex. He feels ashamed of his homosexuality and judged by most around him. He is fearful, guarded, insecure, and feels unworthy. 

Here I believed, for the past three years, that I've been an openly gay man, but truth is, I'm still hiding. I didn't really see it until Mark came along. he made me realize just how scared of these feelings I actually am. I don't want a relationship with him because I'm afraid that will make it too real for me. Define me. 

But once Candace really needed them to help her cope with a tragic situation,  Jase and Mark band together to help her.  Jase begins to realize just how special Mark is. They really do make a good couple and try to find their way together. Jase does mess up at times, but Mark is pretty understanding and supportive. I totally adored Mark. He was so loving, accepting, and not afraid of commitment. And he tried to provide Jase with the love and support that his family did not provide. 

He's freed me in a way I didn't think was possible. I didn't know I could open myself up to this way to another man and be so exposed. But he doesn't judge. He has only ever given me the benefit of the doubt, letting me stumble at my own pace. 

This book is not just a M/M romance, although their romance was as sweet, emotional, and steamy. It is also about true friendship and about Jase's journey towards self forgiveness, acceptance, feeling worthy and opening up to love. I loved Jase and Mark in Fading and I continued to do so in this book. Even though most of the events coincided, it did not seem like a rehash of Fading in another point of view. We got more behind the scenes with Jase and Mark, as well as more of Jase's family history and personal demons. Jase had problems and insecurities, but Mark was confidant and secure. It was not an easy path for Jase...it was painful, emotional, and induced fear. But he had good friends and Mark to help him. But before he could be free to truly love, he had to love himself. 

For years I've been trying to free myself of these fears, free myself from my tormenting thoughts, free myself from the walls that have kept me trapped in a hole of self-loathing. Since I met Mark, I've been fighting. Fighting to be free. But now I realize, it isn't about fighting. It's letting go of the fight to see what what I've been searching for is within him. Mark is my freeing. 

Thanks to E.K. Blair for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review

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