Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Way Back by Carter Quinn ~ Review and Giveaway


Title: The Way Back (2nd Edition)

Author: Carter Quinn

Publisher: Carter Quinn Books

Release: 22nd January 2014

Genre: M/M (contemporary)


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In his freshman year of college, Riley Evans met the best friends he ever thought he'd have, Jason and Eric. When his friendship with Eric turned into something much more, it ended as suddenly as it began, leaving Riley devastated. He hasn't let anyone near his heart since. Until now. When Riley needed him most, Jason was there to help pick up the pieces. Six years later, he's back in Riley's life.

Riley is slowly letting Jason past his defenses and is starting to accept how good they are together. They're even planning their first romantic weekend getaway when, out of the blue, Eric calls, claiming he wants Riley back. Riley has been pining for Eric for six years, but now he has a brand new relationship with Jason to consider.

Jason—who has always been there when Riley needs him, who puts Riley's happiness above his own, even if that means his own heart will suffer—insists Riley face his old feelings for Eric to make sure they're really gone. But are they? How long will it take Riley to figure it out? And how long will Jason wait?

Second Edition (+4000 more words)
Kansas Book #1

Bonus Short Story:
The Way Back Together
(+6000 words)
Riley and Jason have carved out a weekend together to plan their upcoming event, but those plans take a backseat when Eric shows up on their doorstep an emotional wreck.


Mark’s Review

Now if this isn’t a convoluted story of emotions then I don’t know what is. Three men, two brothers and one caught in the middle. Three men who were all friends in high school until one starts going out with the other and then inevitably one will be left out - ouch! I must admit my head hurt at times just trying to fathom out what the heck these three were playing at, but that made it a thoroughly entertaining read from beginning to end.

Riley has just started dating Jason and it looks as though this could be leading to greater and bigger things in the relationship stakes. Although neither of them have mentioned the “L” word yet, but it seems that it possibly won’t be long in coming. You have a nice comfortable feeling starting this book as you are introduced to a couple that are very much in love even if they haven’t admitted to each other yet. A happy couple, happy with their situation and happy with each other.

However, this is about to go completely pear shaped. Riley still has feelings for Jason’s younger brother Eric who had, what I can only call, a fling with him six years before. Riley was totally infatuated by Eric and after Eric couldn’t come to terms with being gay and all that this entails, leaves Riley cold by running off and marrying his high school girlfriend. Riley was left devastated. So for me the hard thing to understand here personally was the fact that all this happened six years before and Riley is still pining away for Eric? I mean if someone did what Eric did to me (well actually they did) maybe I would still have feelings but after six years they would be so well buried that I wouldn’t give him a second thought. Not even if he stood in front of me begging to come back. Normally after six years lives would have moved on so far that this shouldn’t be a theme anymore. Well, at least in Mark’s world – lol!

When Eric phones Riley out of the blue then his whole world is placed into a flat spin. Again if it was me I would tell him to go f*** himself. He enters the scene again, hallelujah ~ a born again gay after seeing the rainbow light. OK, it was actually quite heart wrenching to read what Eric had gone through and why it took six years for him reappear again. All quite believable, real and wonderfully written, but then to want to try and rekindle the flame of six years ago? Geez, this guy doesn’t give up easily and this causes complete emotional turmoil with Riley and sees himself racing towards a potential train wreck of a relationship. He is now caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, be damned if you do be damned if you don’t

So either Riley is very weak and has it bad or just can’t put the past behind him. He tells Jason who hasn’t been on talking terms with his brother ever since and Jason pushes Riley away by telling him to go out with his brother. At this point my head really starts to hurt. OK Jason wants to know for sure whether Riley is his or not and feels that as long as the ghost of his brother is hanging around then he can never be sure if the commitment on Riley’s side is what it should be. So basically Jason shoves Riley at his brother as a kind of test to see if Riley can withstand temptation. On the one hand I can understand this on the other he doesn’t put up any sort of fight to keep Riley which becomes key to the whole brother thing going on later. Jason, who is out and has no identity hang-ups about being gay unlike his younger brother had, had been madly in love with Riley from the beginning while they were in high school but could never bring himself to tell Riley. OK, so Jason has issues and is obviously an emotional cripple when it comes to telling people exactly the way he feels when things get uncomfortable.

So by this time my metaphorical headache has turned into a migraine as I’m watching two brothers who loved each other playing an emotional tug-o-war with one very emotionally fucked up Riley. Relationship train wreck about to happen. To be honest as weak as I thought Riley was at times I couldn’t help but not feel for him being used as some kind of pawn between two brothers who obviously love each other but can’t communicate as Riley is the epicentre of their own personal feud. I think if I was Riley I would possibly leave both brothers well alone, clear my heels and skip off into the sunset on my own and a lot happier for it.

This book had me on tenterhooks whether Riley and Jason would ever get their act together and Eric would leave the pair of them in peace. Also whether Jason and Eric would ever find a way back and be able to talk to each other as brothers. Rily has to find a way back to Jason but my goodness what a journey this was. Some readers may ask the question whether or not this book deals with cheating, a subject that some don’t like. Well, you can be assured that there really isn’t any cheating going on, everything is out in the open and totally truthful with each other. Riley slips up once, but regrets it later but can’t be blamed as it was as much as Jason’s fault as his own.

So I’m looking forward to reading the second book in the series Fire and Rain and to see where these guys have moved on since the end of this book.


About the Author

Carter Quinn was born and raised in a very small Western Kansas town where cattle vastly outnumber humans. He began spinning tales in fourth grade. After high school, he shelved his creativity in favor of a career. Now that he knows gay fiction doesn’t have to be depressing, he’s told Corporate America to kiss his books. Carter lives in the Denver area, near his beloved Colorado Avalanche.

Connect with the Author





Carter will be giving away one ebook copy of The Way Back to one lucky reader. Just enter the Rafflecopter draw below.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Love your review! I like the tug o war to an extent. I always want to see who wins in the love game!


  2. Thanks for the review and the giveaway. Sounds like a lot of emotions involved in this one.

  3. Nice review. I'm not huge on triangles. But this one doesn't sound too far fetched like so many others do.


  4. Haven't read the book but the review was certainly entertaining. I've got to read this one.

  5. I think the plot sounds great, and the review makes it even more interesting...Albeit quite messy, according to Mark :) Anyhow, I am intrigued now. I'm going to add it to my TBR list

  6. great review...please count me in

  7. Seems like a lot of angst to pack into a relatively small word count, but experience tells me to trust in your guidance. And messy isn't always a bad thing, you know? Thanks for the giveaway, and best of luck with this book as well as the upcoming sequel!

  8. The books sounds really good and thank you for the review. I'm adding the book to my wishlist.

  9. It's been a while since I read the first edition, and I'm curious about the update and sequel!


  10. Enjoyed the post. Looking forward to reading. Thanks for a chance in the giveaway.

  11. i like the excerpt interesting the first guy had his chance but jason is sweet i like where he puts rileys needs above his own. but i think riley should stay with jason.

  12. Thanks for the opportunity to read a new author to me.

  13. Great review - I have not read this yet so would love a shot at a copy.

  14. Thanks for the post and review. Carter Quinn is a new author for me, so I'm definitely interested in read this one.

  15. I love the review. It makes this sound like an amazing read.

  16. What a complex game they are all playing and as Mark says it appears to be a messy one. However I can almost understand Jason's reaction, as he is probably aware that there is some latent and unresolved issues that need to sorted out first (as heartbreaking as it might be for him, as doubts might eventually sneak in?).

    Thank you for a chance to win a copy of this book :)

  17. I enjoyed the review and the book sounds interesting.

  18. Great review. I can definitely understand the frustration you expressed. If the writing is good, however, it makes even the hard-to-believe actions of characters believable. :)

  19. Loved your review Mark. I could feel some of the frustrating you had at what was going on with the brothers and the one (Riley) caught in the middle. Thank you for the review, I'll be adding it to my wishlist.

  20. I avent read the book but it is totally added to my trb

  21. Well,as was said in the review I'd probably escape from all drama too and leave brothers on their on...but,I'm intrigued,and feedback is mostly positive,so I'll be reading it.

  22. I am totally intrigued after reading the review! It is definitely on my WANT TO READ List.

  23. Well It is so hard to love and then to be hurt while you are young. Though even as you get older it still can mess with your head and to be in the middle of a love triangle. I call that being between a rock and a hard place. How do you choose because the way you do can get you everything you want or left out. That is a difficult thing to be in. I so want to read this book just so I can find out how Riley lives with his decision.