Blog Tour: Touch The Sky: Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn

Touch The Sky(Free Fall #1)
Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn
RELEASE DATE: March 28th, 2016
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Lucas Barnett and Gabriel Stewart didn’t have it easy as kids. They were only trying to deal with bad situations at home when they became lifelines for each other. Their pipe dream was to someday meet in LA, where Lucas would design skyscrapers, and Gabriel would learn to fly. But then Gabriel disappeared without so much as a goodbye, and Lucas got himself in trouble with the law.

Five years later, both men are at a loss when they run into each other at a Hollywood bar. Lucas is still angry, but it’s not as if Gabriel could control how his mind and body had betrayed him. Being found on the ledge of that bridge had changed everything. 

The attraction is immediate, but it’s more than their inability to keep their hands off each other. Neither man expects the fierce connection pulling them together. Unfortunately, ignoring their problems doesn’t make them disappear. Gabriel’s internal struggles are serious…dangerous. And no matter how much Lucas wants it to be true, saving Gabriel won’t make up for not being able to save his mom. If they don’t find the strength to face their own demons before the darkness takes hold, they risk more than just losing each other forever.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to speak for you. If you want to—”

“I don’t,” I say, finally meeting his gaze. “I only want you too.”

His eyes soften and he exhales a hard breath as if we’re finally on level ground. I feel giddy with relief and contentment as I clutch at his hand and drag him to the dance floor. At first he protests about his drink but then he places it in an empty spot on a ledge.

It’s a pulsing rap beat and my body feels like a live wire. My hips start swaying, my hands rise in the air, and the vibration of the music takes over. Lucas has no trouble keeping up with me, though not with as much enthusiasm. 

“Fuck, you’re sexy,” he rumbles in my ear. I feel his hips gyrating as he grasps my waist and slides up behind me. His hard length is digging into my ass and that only spurs me on more.

After a few numbers, I follow Lucas to the back wall where we find a spot to rest between other couples swaying to the music. He pins my shoulders against the column, his breath heavy, eyes glazed over with lust, as his lips crash against mine. 

My fingers reach for his waist but he grabs hold of them and raises my hands above my head as he bites my lips, licks into my mouth and then sucks on my tongue. Holy fuck, if we weren’t in a public place I’d ask him to pound me straight into oblivion. 

“I didn’t know you could dance like that,” he rasps against my cheek as he releases his grip on my hands. 

His fingers connect with my neck and he hauls my lips to his again. His tongue digs deep in my mouth and I groan shamelessly as I grab on to his hair and pull him flush against me. I’m so thoroughly turned on that my eyes practically roll to the back of my head. 

He drags his mouth away and licks along my jawline up to my ear as he arches his hips into my groin. “You’ve got me so goddamn hard.”

“Yeah?” I ask, gasping against his neck. “Well, I know how to take care of that. Remember, you’ll need to beg.”

He laughs and kisses the side of my head. “Not here. I’d rather have you in my bed tonight.”

I have enjoyed M/M books by both Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn (Riley Hart) so I was excited to hear that they were collaborating on a story.

This is a poignant coming of age love story of two young men, Gabriel and Lucas. They became online friends at age fourteen when both were young, scared, in the closet, and dealing with their own family issues and emotional turmoil. They were each other's life lines and only true friend who knew many of their secrets. But both of their lives took unexpected twists and they lost contact. One was left ashamed and one was left angry, but they both were left with a void in their lives. 

Five years later, Gabriel and Lucas unexpectedly meet in Hollywood where they always hoped to run away together. There are hurt feelings, guilt, anger, fear, insecurities, and years of missing each other between them. They are now two lonely young men with their own secrets and demons just trying to figure out where they fit in the world and what they are going to do with their lives. They usually keep people at arm's length and are emotionally distant. But theirs is a connection and understanding that did not just disappear due to no contact. But each has their secrets and reasons for holding back.

Gabriel is a sensitive, troubled guy who knows he is taking a risk by not facing his problems. He is emotional, antsy, and somewhat unstable. He craves their connection, touch, and feeling wanted. But he also has significant insecurities and feelings of shame.

Lucas' past has marked him significantly. His impulsivity, anger, and poor choices had consequences that he cannot change and still feels guilt over. He does not get close to people and keeps things bottled up. He is always waiting for something bad to happen. He is stuck in a rut and afraid of making any real choices about his future and afraid of failure. He is passionate, intense, and caring.

I loved these guys together. Their connection is so deep, honest, and real both from their shared feelings in the past and their true chemistry and understanding. They both just want to be accepted and loved. They both have big dreams, but they feel so out of reach and they are struggling on how to even begin to accomplish them.

Their lives are complicated. They were both kind of lost, but finding each other is the beginning of the process of rediscovering parts of themselves. But they both have demons they have to share with each other and truly face in order to move on. They have to figure out what they have to offer the other and if they can deal with the other's issues. Their problems are not easily resolved and will require strength and commitment. It is real, raw, and painful at times. They have to find their own way before they can make any headway towards a future together. 

This is a heartwarming and heartbreaking story of personal pain, acceptance, compassion, love, understanding, hope, and strength. It is also sweet, humorous, sexy, inspiring, and swoony. I fell for both of these broken heroes. I enjoyed getting dual points of view in the present and also getting to read their personal emails from the past.

Even though the ending is resolved enough, these guys are still young and I hope that since it is labeled the first part of a series that they will have another book exploring more of their future. Although the side characters of Lucas' friend, Conner and Gabriel's room mate, Ezra are also dynamic and I would not mind reading more about them as well. Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn really nailed this collaboration. They created two amazing young men with such sweet hearts and souls, but that are also complex, flawed, and struggling in their own ways.

ARC provided by authors in exchange for an honest review. 

When Lucas and Gabriel meet online, they are both teenagers struggling with normal teenage stressors as well as the additional stress of coming out to their families. Just before they had committed to sharing with their families together and being there to support each other, Gabriel disappeared, leaving Lucas to face his fears alone.

Lucas’s choices spiraled after Gabriel’s disappearance, landing him in jail and leaving him with guilt about his mother’s death. Gabriel didn’t leave Lucas alone on purpose, nor did he have any choice in his sudden lack of contact.

Five years later, a chance encounter puts them face to face in the same city. Their lives have changed drastically since they were teenagers, but both held on to the memories of the friendship they once shared.

I love the way their friendship was the most important thing to each of them. Having that basis in their past meant that while they had some issues to overcome when they first meet again, that friendship was a strong one and would serve them positively even as they worked through the past.

As they share their dreams, it becomes clear that each is holding on to past pain that is preventing them from reaching their dreams and goals. Those dreams haven’t changed from when they were younger, but the belief that they could reach their dreams hits a roadblock.

Mental health is such a huge part of this storyline that from the very beginning it was clear this was going to be an emotional journey for the characters. Not only is one of the characters diagnosed with a mental health concern, but the other character hold guilt and grief in unhealthy ways. Both characters had a mine field of mental challenges to overcome before he could truly give his heart away.

At times, particularly at the beginning, I had a hard time differentiating the characters in my mind. After a few chapters I was able to sort it out and clear the fog, so part of the confusion was definitely my own mental clouds rather than confusing writing.

It was nice to read a MM where both men were already out prior to the beginning of the main timeline. It seems that several of my recent MM reads have had coming out of the closet as a large part of the character conflict. I enjoyed not having that additional drama added to the story -- these two men know who they are and are comfortable with that aspect of their lives. 

There were much deeper emotions than I was anticipating. Lucas and Gabriel’s dreams, their pasts, and their current hangups combined to make a story that was full of depth and emotion.
ARC provided by authors in exchange for an honest review. 

Nyrae Dawn

Nyrae Dawn can almost always be found with a book in her hand or an open document on her laptop. She couldn’t live without books—reading or writing them. Oh, and chocolate. She’s slightly addicted.

She gravitates toward character-driven stories. Whether reading or writing, she loves emotional journeys. It’s icing on the cake when she really feels something, but is able to laugh too. She’s a proud romantic, who has a soft spot for flawed characters, who make mistakes, but also have big hearts.

Whether she’s writing young adult, new adult, or adult you can always count on a healthy dose of romance from her books. She likes to tackle tough subjects, and believes everyone needs to see themselves in the stories they read.

Nyrae is living her very own happily ever after in California with her gorgeous husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two incredibly awesome kids.

Christina Lee 

Once upon a time, I lived in New York City and was a wardrobe stylist. I spent my days shopping for photo shoots, getting into cabs, eating amazing food, and drinking coffee at my favorite hangouts.

Now I live in the Midwest with my husband and son—my two favorite guys. I've been a clinical social worker and a special education teacher. But it wasn't until I wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper that I realized I could turn the fairytales inside my head into the reality of writing fiction. 

I write Adult, New Adult, and M/M Contemporary Romance. I'm addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. I believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job. 


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