Release Blitz and Reviews: The Deepest Blue: Christina Lee

The Deepest Blue
(Roadmap to Your Heart #2)
Christina Lee
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Expected December 4, 2015

Lee exchanges skyline for swampland in the next book of her male/male romance series, Roadmap to Your Heart.

Rugged and conventional Callum Montgomery enjoys running Shady Pines hunting preserve, except for the secret that’s eating him alive. When his sister brings a date for a family wedding, he can’t stand the arrogant city slicker with the stick up his perfectly fine ass. He doesn’t understand his draw to Dean, who pushes his buttons at every turn, but he’d never dream of betraying his sibling over some lust fueled fantasy. 

Handsome and conscientious Dean Abbott is a research assistant in his university’s biology lab. When his roommate, Cassie, begs him to be her pretend date in front of her meddling family, he begrudgingly agrees to help. He doesn’t anticipate being enchanted by the countryside, the colorful cast of characters, or her sexy and brooding straight brother. 

When contempt turns to passion and leads to stolen moments in a sugar cane field, Callum can’t help longing for the kind of connection he believes he can never have. But not even the world’s most heart-melting kiss can bridge the vast philosophical differences between the men.

Dean’s return to his urban lifestyle leaves him restless, his mind continually wandering to the charming setting that spoke to something missing deep inside him. Because you can take the city boy out of the country but you can’t make him forget the intriguing man he left behind.
“Isn’t there some law about killing snakes in this state?” I heard our company say. Even out of the corner of my eye I could see that the guy was one of them pretty city boys. He was walking beside my sister, Cassie, who was busy filling him in on rattler containment on personal property. He must’ve been the guest she’d mentioned bringing.

Did he need to be that handsome? Too bad he had to go and open his mouth.

“We can always walk away,” I said. I didn’t dare take my eye off the rattlesnake for a second time. “But that leaves you out here with no protection.”

I heard him gulp at the same time Grammy snickered. “Sounds like our Cassie might’ve brought home some tree hugger.”

Grammy gripped the heavy rock in her fingers, ready to bash the rattler’s skull at a moment’s notice.

“They say when a rattler strikes, your blood turns to fire. Like the venom is boiling away in your veins,” I said and I could hear whatshisname’s breathing change. “You’ve got about a ninety-minute window of time before the poison spreads.”

“And then what happens?” he asked, and I could just imagine his pulse throbbing in his neck. I heard his one foot scrape across the other as if rubbing some imaginary dirt from his spotless shoes. Either that or it was some nervous tick.

I shrugged. “Then you’re dead.”

“Callum. Knock it off,” Cassie said and I could hear the tightness in her voice. It pained me that we hadn’t been in touch for a long while and I certainly didn’t want to piss her off even further.

The snake retreated toward its hiding spot and disappeared without a second glance at the mouse. Damn.

Now I looked our new guest square in the face while my irritation bubbled over. Grammy had banked on making a fresh batch today. Lately I left the hunting to my brother, Braden, but he had a full plate, so I agreed to be a stand-in. “You Cassie’s date for the wedding?”

“That’s right. I, uh, attend the same college,” he said and I couldn’t help my gaze from snagging on the deepest set of blue eyes. Not quite as dark as that tangle of hair that swept in a high arc away from his forehead. Wearing a pair of fancy designer jeans that showed off his trim form, he was smaller than me, but most guys were. And now I felt shitty for checking out my sister’s guest. “The name’s Dean Abbott.” 

Being attracted to your little sister's new "boyfriend" is not acceptable...especially when he is a city boy scientist and you are a rough, rural man who runs your family's game preserve. But that is just what Callum is facing when his sister brings Dean home from college for a family event.

A city boy and a country boy...one "out" and one "in the closet"...an attraction they both try to resist but find it hard to.

Callum has lived in his community all his life, runs his family reserve, and is living a lie. He's strong, rugged, and built like a tree. He's devoted to his family and their business. He knows that public perception might not be positive if he shared his secret, so he's also  isolated, moody, intense, and proud.

Dean lives in the city with Callum's sister Cassie, and he is "out". He's comfortable in his own skin and has his friends' support, even if his family dynamics are tenuous. He's more scholarly and geeky, healthy-minded, athletic, sharp witted, and intuitive. But he can also be a bit pushy and challenging.

They find themselves thriving on pushing each other's buttons. They are both confused as to where each other's preferences truly lie. The situation is complicated and difficult to figure out what is starting to happen between them.  Dean especially makes Callum see what he is missing by hiding who he really is. They are bound by facades and lies previously set in place. They have conflicting views and lives. But there are also a slow burning attraction and hidden feelings starting to develop that neither are prepared for. 

I liked the differences in the characters and how they both challenged an complemented each other. They were both likable and appealing, but had very different physical characteristics, personality traits, backgrounds and lives. I could fear their desperation, need, and longing. Their intense connection, their need to feel more, and hope for more than they thought possible was so heartfelt. I enjoyed getting both of their points of view and understanding their conflicts, fears, guilt, and needs. I found myself wanting them so badly to be able to find a way around their obstacles.

I enjoyed the side characters of Callum's family: Cassie, Braden, Billie, Dad, and Grandma.  All of them had depth and flaws and unique personalities. The setting of the game preserve was an interesting background. I could see more stories centered around this rural setting and characters. Even though there is a small tie in mentioned to the first book in this series, it can be read as a complete stand alone.

ARC Provided by author in exchange for an honest review. 

Dean Abbott would do anything for his best friend, Cassie, even if it meant venturing into the country, staying on a hunting lodge, and pretending to be her boyfriend. Out of his element, he discovers an attraction to Cassie's brother that throws him for a loop, especially because her brother is not gay.

Or at least, he isn't open about his sexuality. Callum Montgomery isn’t sure what to make of the man his sister has brought home for their cousin’s wedding. Callum is protective of his only sister, and isn’t sure he likes what he sees from Dean. But Callum does like what he sees in Dean, if he wasn’t dating his sister. 

The tension building between these two was fantastic. As they find themselves drawn together Dean has a harder time hiding his reactions, as does Callum. Though Dean is pretending to date Cassie, he isn’t the only one hiding something at Shady Pines. Because though Callum has long known he was gay, he hasn’t told anyone in his family, fearing the backlash on the family business in the small town.

This stands alone completely from the first book in the series. With the exception of a loose connection between Dean and the guys from The Darkest Flame, there is a new set of characters, new setting, and new drama in this book. I loved Callum's family, right down to his perceptive Grandma and old soul little brother.

I enjoyed this story, from the opposite experiences of Dean and Callum, to their struggle to figure out if they could make something work between them. I missed some of the more dangerous aspects of The Darkest Flame, but what is contained in The Deepest Blue grew on me as I got to know these new characters and the worlds in which they moved.

ARC Provided by author in exchange for an honest review.
The Darkest Flame (Roadmap to Your Heart #1)
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Our 4.5 star reviews
On sale for 99 cents!

From the author of There You Stand, a new male/male romance about an errant motorcycle recruit and the captivating bartender who sends his wheels spinning down an all too tempting road.

Vaughn O’Keefe has been part owner of the Hog’s Den for years. Privy to plenty of Disciples of the Road business, he’s never been more ruffled as when a new recruit named “Smoke” walks through the door. Something about the man gets his blood pumping, but he knows to keep his preferences under wraps around the club.

“Smoke” Callahan has done a couple of rehab stints and is finally clean, thanks to help from the Disciples. He’s on the right path and isn’t about to get sidetracked, no matter how much the guy who manages the bar gets beneath his skin. Besides, his last relationship with a man left him scared, alone, and with a nightmare of an addiction.

When the Hog’s Den becomes shorthanded, and Smoke is ordered to help out the one man he can’t have, his longing for the bartender reaches blistering proportions. Vaughn figures a night together should be enough to satisfy their mutual attraction. But neither banks on just how scorching hot it might be.

As Smoke’s past unravels and the one person he hopes never to lay eyes on again messes with all he holds sacred, it’s time to involve the Disciples. Problem is, he’ll have to risk his membership, his heart, and his own hide to keep everyone he cares about safe.
Christina Lee 
Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son--her two favorite guys. She's addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything.

She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.

She also owns her own jewelry business, where she hand-stamps meaningful words or letters onto silver for her customers. 

She loves to hear from her readers.

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