Monday, April 11, 2016

[ARC Review]: "Selfie"

Selfie by Amy Lane
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (April 18, 2016)
Series: Bluewater Bay, 13
Genre: M/M Romance -- Contemporary 

One year ago, actor Connor Montgomery lost the love of his life to a drunk driver. But what’s worse for Connor is what he still has: a lifetime of secrets born of hiding his relationship from the glare of Hollywood. Unable to let go of the world he and Vinnie shared, Connor films a drunken YouTube confession on the anniversary of Vinnie’s death.

Thankfully, the video was silent—a familiar state for Connor—so his secret is still safe. He needs a fresh start, and a new role on the hit TV show Wolf’s Landing might be just that.

The move to Bluewater Bay may also mean a second chance in the form of his studio-assigned assistant. Noah Dakers sees through Connor’s facades more quickly than Connor could imagine. Noah’s quiet strength and sarcastic companionship offers Connor a chance at love that Hollywood’s closet has never allowed. But to accept it, Connor must let Vinnie go and learn to live again.

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My Review:

I looked up at him unhappily. "I've got nothin'." I was not sure where I was supposed to go with that.

"That's a lie." He sounded unhappy. "You've got plenty, you're just not letting anyone see it."

We talk about a book giving us “all the feels”. Hell, I’ve used this phrase quite often (and FYI, it’s been accurate every time). But Selfie? It truly punched me in the heart with ALL the “all the feels”. No, really. From beginning to end, I was a wreck while reading it. A happy reader, yes, because it was just so damn good, but a wreck nonetheless. Just know that you’re going to need some chocolate. Or ice cream. Or both. Both is always good. Quite possibly tissues as well. But it’ll be worth it in the end, I swear.

Selfie is truly an emotional roller coaster. Connor lost his best friend, Vinnie. What the world doesn’t know is that Vinnie wasn’t just his best friend: they were lovers, and had been since they met many years before. They’d had to hide their sexuality from Hollywood, their friends, and everyone else, including Vinnie’s family (Connor’s family knew when he was in high school, and kicked him out for it). So not only does Connor have to deal with the grief of losing someone he’s loved for most of his life, but he has to do so silently. It’s so hard to keep all of his and Vinnie's secrets, but Connor does it and it's tearing him apart. On top of that, Connor also has to come to the realization that while he loved Vinnie dearly, and Vinnie loved him just as much, Vinnie was far from perfect. Things start to crumble around Connor, all the secrets and heartache threatening to finally break free, and he’s struggling to hold it all together – to hold himself together. 

Because Noah -- Noah -- put his arms around me and rocked me as I sobbed, gibbered against his shoulder, and ranted at the ghost of the guy who'd betrayed me in the worst way of all.


Luckily Connor finds solace in Noah. Noah, who helps Connor to come to terms with the past and the secrets he’s held, and most importantly is there for Connor, no matter what. With Noah’s help and support, Connor’s able to start picking up the pieces again and revealing the truth to the world. He starts, of  course, by coming out publicly, and eventually he’s able to work through the final phases of grief and embrace life again, complete with a future that includes Noah. It’s not easy, it’s going to hurt, and you’re going to want to give Connor all the hugs. But Amy Lane does such a beautiful job with this heartbreaking story, and gives Connor and Noah the HEA they deserve.

I fell in love with all these characters, not just Noah and Connor, but the other residents and actors in Bluewater Bay, too. I can guarantee I’ll be coming back to explore more of this series. Since I really enjoyed Lane’s writing style, this will not be a hardship. At all. J

Oh, and don’t worry: between all the feels and heartbreak and all that, there are some fun lines sprinkled throughout.

"I'm a philosophy major, Connor. Sarcasm is our defense against the workforce disappointment."

And the sex? Hot. As. Hell. There’s a bit of light BDSM, but nothing too heavy. Connor likes being dominated and told what to do, and Noah is more than happy to help him in this way. They use a few toys, but again, nothing too crazy, and more importantly it just seemed to fit these two and their relationship. Plus, did I mention how sexy it was? Damn. [I'd share a passage to prove it, but I couldn't find any short ones. Sorry!]

"Safeword?" I asked, because yeah, I read the porn.

"I'd prefer you say, 'Stop it, baby, it doesn't feel good'," Noah said, his mouth turned up, "but sure. Whatever you want the safeword to be."


He buried his face against my throat and snickered. "You are not making it easy for me to be all sexy and dominant, you know that right?"

"It's just, you know. If we had one, we'd have to stop having sex when it came in the room."

He swallowed a smile and framed my face with his hands, while I kept mine obediently behind me. "Connor Mazynsky, you are something really special."

I fought sudden tears. "Make it better," I begged.

Prepare your heart before you start Selfie, but know that you’ll be completely consumed by this beautiful story. I know it may hurt along the way, but it’ll be okay in the end. More than just okay. I promise. 

4 1/2 STARS! 

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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest opinion.

*Note: The quotes used belong to Amy Lane; TBQ's Book Palace does not claim them. Any mistakes or typos in the quotes are my own fault.

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If you've read Amy Lane, do you have a recommendation for which book I should read next?

Also: what was the last book to give YOU all the feels?

*NOTE: I did notice the inappropriate racist comment while reading; sadly, I didn't make a fuss about it in my review, as I should have. Regardless, in light of this, I will not be including Selfie in the April Royal Picks Giveaway after all. 

Did I love the book? Yes. But the quote and the fact that this is apparently not the first time the author has done something like this in her books has drastically dimmed my excitement over the book. :( 


Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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