Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Worthy Man by Jaime Reese - Blog Tour with Review and Giveaway

Title: A Worthy Man
Series: The Men of Halfway House #5
Author: Jaime Reese
Genre: M/M Romance
Release: May 2, 2017
Photographer: Eric McKinney of 6:12 Photography

A story of two men and the boundless love that forever changed them. 

Vannguard Shaw has spent the last ten years serving a life sentence and adjusting to the ache of solitude. He accepts his fate, a sacrifice for the only man he ever loved and the one person who saw beyond his rough edges.
Drayton grew up with a trust fund and pre-planned future, but an unexpected encounter one night forces him to abandon everything and start from scratch. He is now a self-made man and developer of one of the most sought after electric exotic automobiles in the world with a fortune greater than that of his birthright. Yet, he’d surrender it all—again—for the only man who’s still ever-present in his heart.
After a decade and entirely too much distance between them, Vann is suddenly released back into a world that has been nothing but cruel. Drayton never lost hope they would once again reunite and pick up where they left off, but Vann’s stubborn nature and repeated encounters with a heartbreaking world prove to be a challenge.
Vann needs to tap into his fighting spirit’s reservoir of strength and hope life doesn’t punish him for taking a chance. Only then will he realize his own value and feel worthy enough to finally have Drayton’s heart. And their chance at forever. ---

* Although part of a series, this full-length novel can be read as a stand-alone. *Word count: 124K

“Emotionally, beautiful and inspiring” - Amanda L Amazon Reviewer 
“A great addition to this series. One of the most romantic books I've read this year.” - Bayou Book Junkie 
“Overall...Their story is beautiful, heartbreaking, inspiring, sexy, and moving.” - Two Book Pushers

“C’mon,” Drayton said, tugging Vann by the hand. After breakfast and a countertop quickie, they had immediately returned to the bedroom and had been hibernating there since. He had no objection to spending all day in bed, but he had a surprise for Vann and couldn’t stand waiting any longer. “I want to show you the rest of the house.”
“But I like the bedroom.”
Drayton chuckled, pulling him up with more force. “We can come back after.”
“Fine,” Vann grumbled, finally sitting up on the bed with a dramatic pout.
“You’re cute when you don’t get your way.”
“Cute enough to stay in bed?” He waggled his eyebrows and petted the bed. “It’s really soft.”
Drayton leaned in and gave Vann a chaste kiss, jerking back quickly to avoid his grasp.

Vann’s laughter filled the room. “Damn. You’re still super-fast.” He reluctantly stood and stretched his arms over his head.

Drayton’s lips parted, enjoying the flex of muscles.

“Like what you see?” Vann asked, delivering a cocky grin as he seductively licked his lower lip. “Let’s get back in bed—”
Drayton threw his head back and laughed. “You’re still persistent as hell. C’mon. I want to show you something.”

“I want to show you something too.”

“This is important.” Drayton crossed his arms. “We can skim the other rooms but there’s one that’s special. It’s…yours.”

Vann sobered. “You’ve given me enough to cover every event for the rest of my life and then some. I don’t want—”
“It’s also for me. I’ll watch you while you use the room.”

“Hmm.” Vann pursed his lips. “Okay, you’ve got my attention.”
After a little more bargaining, Drayton finally lured Vann out of the bedroom and down the hallway. He opened the door to his office and stepped inside. “This is the room I’m usually in when I’m here.”
“Not anymore.”
He chuckled as they exited the office. They walked down the hall to the room he’d had converted into a gym.
“Damn, this is nice.” Vann checked the different weight options and looked at each of the machines.
“You’ve got everything here for all types of routines. And if you don’t like the view, you’ve got a TV.”
“The view’s beautiful.”

“Whatever we need to change out or add, we’ve still got space. I do a lot of thinking while I’m on the treadmill, so we’re not getting rid of that.”

Vann chuckled. “Okay.” He walked over to Drayton and leaned in for a slow kiss.
“Mmm. What was that for?”
“Is this the room I’ll use while you watch me? I promise I’ll make you sweat too.” 

5 out of 5 stars

A Worthy Man is the fifth book in The Men of Halfway House series. While this is part of the series, it could easily be read as a standalone. A few of the characters from the previous books make appearances, but unlike the previous books they don't feature as prominently. So you won't lose any of the storyline not having read the previous books. 

I think this has become my favorite book of this series. Now I loved the previous books and the characters, but there was something about both Dray and Vann that pulled me deep into this story from the first page. That feeling never went away through the entire book, and for this reader/reviewer there aren't many books that can carry that feeling from start to finish. 

Dray and Vann met as teenagers in high school, both from very different backgrounds but finding  common ground because they didn't fit in. Vann became Dray's protector almost from day one, and Dray became Vann's support system along with his biggest cheerleader. Over time their feelings changed and deepened beyond friendship to much more. One night changed the course of their lives  and they were physically separated for more than a decade. But Dray never gave up that they would be reunited eventually. While Vann didn't either it was much more difficult for him to believe they'd be together again. Ultimately fate and luck change the course of their lives yet again, and they are reunited. 

A Worthy Man is told both in present time and in flashbacks to Vann and Dray's teen years. The flashbacks fit in well with the flow of the story and don't idly drop you into and out of scenes as they transition. These two men are the perfect example of a love story, including first love and even a second chance at love. Even though they never break up, they are truly granted a second chance at their love story. I absolutely loved the way this author wrote Vann and Dray. They felt very real and acted very realistically. They were both strong, solid characters on their own but together they were a force to be reckoned with. 

I honestly want to fan girl over this story because, for this reviewer, it was pretty damn perfect just on the character side alone. The flow of the story, the storyline, and all the secondary characters added into that mix and made it a highly readable, and even re-readable book. 

I'm not sure how the author is going to top this story with the next book in the series. I do hope that she plans on giving a story to Ben, who was a secondary character who became friends with Vann. I highly recommend this book for fans of this author, and anyone looking for a story that will hook you from the first page. 

Jaime Reese is the alter ego of an artist who loves the creative process of writing, just not about herself. Fiction is far more interesting. She has a weakness for broken, misunderstood heroes and feels everyone deserves a chance at love and life. An avid fan of a happy ending, she believes those endings acquired with a little difficulty are more cherished.


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