Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Fool Of Main Beach by Tara Lain - Blog Tour with Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

The unlikeliest of lovers. The sweetest of loves.

Fool of Main Beach(Love of Laguna Series, Bk #5)by Tara Lain


Merle Justice wants to reach for the stars, but it’s tough to get respect when playing a teenybopper vampire on TV. Then he meets a famous director anxious to give him all he thinks he wants—and maybe a bit more. Everything’s looking up until a life-threatening encounter with some homophobes on Main Beach puts Merle face-to-face with a Sasquatch-sized hero in a pink puffer coat.

Tom Henry defies description. As unsophisticated and simple as an angel, he walks through life content with who he is and asking for very little except to care for his sister, Lily, and the dogs he loves. Then he meets Merle, the embodiment of dreams he barely knows he has. Merle knows the people who hold his future in their hands might love Tom—but they’ll never understand Merle and Tom together. Tom knows it too. With lives this far apart, who’s really the fool of Main Beach?

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Tom tiptoed up the stairs carrying the two big boxes. He’d knocked, but no answer. Mist met him at the top step, giving him a little hop. He nodded at her, patted her with one hand, then carried the pizza quietly to the kitchen. Merle was sound asleep. Boy, he must be tired. Maybe I should put the pizza in plastic bags and carry Merle to bed?

“Don’t even think about eating all that pizza by yourself.” Merle laughed behind him, and it made his whole body feel warm to hear it.

He turned. “I think me and Mist can do it. She gets one and I get the other.”

Merle stood, and he looked yummier than the pizza. “Can dogs eat pizza?”

“Nope. It’s bad for them. But they do it anyway sometimes.”

Merle nodded. “I guess we’re all like that, aren’t we?”

“Eat pizza?”

He shook his head. “No. We like to do stuff that’s bad for us.” Merle wiped a hand over his face.

The words made his ears feel tingly like they wouldn’t stop repeating. Tom swallowed. Yeah, Merle thinks I’m bad for him. People would make fun of him for having me around. I bother him for sex when he should be making friends with people like Renee. Important people. He turned so Merle couldn’t see his face.

I forgot how much this hurts.

Tom grabbed the plates and set them in front of two stools by the island. “This is a good place to eat, and it’s easy to clean up.”

Merle touched his back. It made him jump. “I really love the way you worked out the feeding station for Mist. How did you ever think of it?”

He tried to smile. “That’s what I’d do if I lived here. I thought Mist would like it.” He looked up. “I just made it for her. The boys ate on the floor. They didn’t mind.”

“Where are the boys?” Merle opened the refrigerator. “Oh good. You want beer?”

“Yes. In the sewing room.”

“What?” Merle looked up really fast.

“The boys are in the sewing room at Mrs. A.’s and yes, please, I’d like a beer.”

Merle opened the bottles and put one in front of each place; then he dished salad onto the plates. “How come you left the boys there? Will Lily watch them for you?”

Tom got the forks. “No, I’ll take them out when I go home.”

“Oh.” Merle looked really surprised. “I thought you were staying here.”

His heart leaped so high it tickled his throat. “Oh, I—”

Merle frowned. “Sorry. I don’t mean to take advantage of you. I’m sure you want to be in your own place.”

Tom stared at the pizza. It didn’t look quite so good as it did before. “I don’t have a place, Merle.”

“What do you mean? Aren’t you staying with Mrs. Allison anymore?”

“Lily lives in my room now. I just stay in the sewing room with the boys.” He didn’t want to feel bad about that. He liked having Lily stay, but he didn’t have anything that was his.

“You can stay here.”

He nodded and pushed the slice of pizza on his plate. “Yes. Thank you. I’ll bring the boys back Monday night and look after Mist and watch the place.”

“Oh.” Merle looked unhappy. He took a bite of his pizza and chewed slowly. “I was thinking you might want to stay tonight.” He looked up. “You know, go get the boys first.”

Something strange happened in Tom’s chest. Like growing and shrinking at the same time. It hurt, almost. Words came out before he could stop them. “That’s okay, Merle. Thank you. But you need to have fun in your house. I better go be with Lily since I haven’t been with her too much and she probably gets lonely too.” He stood before he could even stop himself. “If you don’t mind, I’ll take some of this great pizza to Lily because she really loves it. You know that.” He rushed over to the drawer where he’d put the plastic bags, got one, and stuffed it full of pizza slices. Merle stared at him really funny. “You have a good sleep, and I’ll come back Monday and stay for as long as you need me to, okay? I’m really glad you like your house. That makes me happier than anything.” He waved and hurried toward the steps. “Bye, Merle.”

Just like that, he was down the steps and out the door and into his truck with the warm pizza kind of squished in his hand. The front door of the house opened, so he backed out really fast and gunned it up the street before he could see Merle and change his mind.

He made it all the way to the Pacific Coast Highway before the first sob made him bite his lip. Why did I do that? Why? I wanted to stay with Merle so bad.

He drove straight down the highway in the right lane so he didn’t have to pass or go too fast ’cause he couldn’t see so good. He hooked his shoulder to wipe the wet from his jaw where it was about to drip.


Because it hurts so much worse when it’s over.

4 out of 5 stars 

Fool Of Main Beach is the 5th book in the Love In Laguna series by this author. I highly recommend reading the series in order as the characters make many appearances outside of their own books. 

The book is Merle and Tom's story. We met Merle previously in Prince of The Playhouse when he was working on the play with Gray and then fell in love with Laguna Beach enough to build a house there. He's developed a close friendship with Ru and Gray and all the others of their friends and he spends almost as much time in Laguna as he does in LA.  One night during an event Merle wanders away from the crowd down and down to the beach. Unfortunately for him, a group of homophobes decide to come after him. In comes Tom, like an avenging angel in a pink puffer coat to 'save the day' so to speak. After Tom saves him, Merle isn't quite sure of what to make of him, other than he's attracted to this handsome man. Eventually they officially meet at Merle's house, as Tom is part of Billy's crew. Merle and Tom are both attracted to each other but they are two very different people and that does cause some issues on both sides as they develop feelings for each other. 

In reality this is a sweet, lightly angsty story about two men who both need the other even though they're different. Tom may be outwardly simple, he's a very intelligent man who is fiercely loyal to those who are important to him. Even though life has kicked him in the teeth he's not jaded, nor is he cynical, although at times he severely doubts that people want to be around him because he's not as smart as they seem to him. While he isn't worldy, his almost innocence and gentleness make Tom a character that you will absolutely fall in love with. His little chats with his two dogs, and then the dogs he works with at the rescue, those alone sealed the deal for him to be one of my favorite of this author's characters. 

To be very honest though, in reality I'm not sure how Merle and Tom would work with the unrealistic pressures put on anyone in the public eye. There were also a few moments in the story where I wondered if Merle was a good fit for Tom, and that's not because of how Tom is but more of what Merle's career and time in the spotlight might do to Tom. While they are a bit of an odd couple, they do end up working in the end. I did enjoy what Tom brought into Merle's life, between adding a sweet dog to his home and opening Merle up to the possibilities of a love he didn't expect, his world is now something to enjoy and not just live through. 

I recommend picking this up especially if you're  a fan of the series, but also as a new to the series reader because this might just be the best characters in the series to date. 

Love in Laguna Series

Bk #1

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Bk #2

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Bk #3

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Bk #4

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Grab your copy now!

About the Author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in gay romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 40. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, Best Romantic Suspense, and more. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

You can find Tara at Lain



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