Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Review: This Fire Inside (Home is a Fire #3) by Jordan Nasser

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Title: This Fire Inside

Author: Jordan Nasser

Published: 24th February 2017

Genre: M/M (Contemporary)

Rating:

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Synopsis

Luke Walcott may have finally come out of the closet, but that doesn't mean there aren't shadows still lurking in the corners of his past.

Luke has never been happier now that his relationship with Derek is out in the open and their small Southern town has accepted them for who they are. But in an effort to get away from the commotion that arose after their relationship was revealed, Derek and Luke head to New York City for a well-deserved break. Little do they know that turmoil is waiting for them in those steamy city streets--and it will test the strength of their love.

This Fire Inside is the delightfully entertaining third installment of the Home Is a Fire series and invites readers back into the heartfelt world of Derek, Luke, Uncle Barry, and the Southern charms that shaped them all. Written with wit and warmth, This Fire Inside inspires readers to re-examine their own personal journeys.

As Derek and Luke find themselves redefining who they are together and what they might want apart, both men must fight for their own authentic truths. But through these trials, will their love survive? Will Derek and Luke find their happily ever after?

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Mark’s Review

Oh my, talk about trouble in paradise! I loved this third book in the Home Is A Fire series by Jordan Nasser. Just as we left Luke and Derek at the end of second book in what we thought is domestic bliss after mastering a number of sizeable obstacles together, in this book we have to face the reality of life and its unquestionable stress and strains on everyday relationships. Also we get to see more of Uncle Barry who plays a more prominent role with his own story. Altogether making for a riveting read that I could hardly put down.

For those readers who like low angst books, unicorns, rainbows, fluffy bunnies and dreamy happy-ever-afters ~ then be warned. DON’T GO HERE! This book dishes out the harsh reality of life, warts and all, no holds barred. And my goodness life is certainly happening in bucket loads in Parkville, Tennessee. Many beautiful moments but also a good portion of authenticity. A book that left me with tears of pure joy streaming down my face at the end for fragile new beginnings.

The relationship meltdown all starts as an innocent trip planned to New York for Luke and Derek. Luke has never been to NY and Derek would like to show him his old stomping ground. No harm in that you would think until things start to go very wrong. Luke being a bit of a yokel and having a certain naivety, adding to his cuteness for me, has never really gone anywhere and NY turns out to be an eye-opener for him and a trial for Derek to say the least. Luke meets up with his old high school friend and football star, Fletch. Fletch was always Luke’s idol until they lost touch, an accident putting pay to Fletch’s football career. Once these two meet up, Luke morphs into something that is completely unrecognisable. It’s like they are over grown frat boys. To be honest I could totally understand Derek while he looks on at Luke not recognising him anymore the way he behaves around Fletch. There is definitely a lot of misplaced hero worship going on from Luke. I would be so angry too when you’re boyfriend whom you thought you knew mutates into something you don’t understand anymore and a third person wedges their way between your relationship. To the extent where Derek is being almost completely ignored on all levels.

OK, to be fair Derek can be a bit of a drama queen and control freak but he is justified to be angry at Luke in my opinion and the way his selfish behaviour drives a wedge between them is mortifying. Well, it all goes so far that they come back from NY hardly talking to each other and then the trouble really begins when Fletch pitches up at their place and gets his feet under the table. Seriously? I found Fletch a totally objectionable character in the fact he has no feelings whatsoever on the effect he’s having on Luke and his relationship with Derek. He is the most inconsiderate person you could ever meet. The fact that Luke can’t or refuses to see this makes the whole thing even more infuriating. This is the last straw for Derek and he does the only thing that he can do and leaves Luke to get on with Fletch and hope he’ll come to his senses. This was so heart-breaking to see a relationship that is obviously made in heaven go down the pan due to one person’s ignorance, selfishness and Luke’s weakness for not being able to stand up to someone. As I read the interaction between Luke and Fletch it was like they were both having an early midlife crisis and trying to relive their teenage years. I could have slapped Luke on so many occasion for being such an idiot.

In the meantime Uncle Barry has fallen in love – YEAH! Here again not what everyone would expect and he has be keeping his new boyfriend a secret from everyone as he can’t believe his own luck. Well, the secret is out when Derek stumbles upon the new boyfriend in the hot tub when he turns up unexpected. Now Uncle Barry has to deal. What I love about Uncle Barry is he is literally and old queen – lol! I mean this is in the nicest possible way. He is another generation and for him just being open and coming out is difficult because when he was young it just wasn’t possible and you kept things secret. This also is not easy to shake off even if things are better today, some things remain ingrained. However, when he does come out it is as always with his usual flair and panache that you would expect from this flamboyant and totally adorable character.

I have just loved all the books in this series and this one was no exception, it added and just put that something extra on top of the previous books. The characters are all so vivid and vibrant it makes reading a real joy. There are highs and lows and everything nicely balanced out. Even with all the trouble going on with Luke and Derek, there are times where I laughed out loud, especially the fight scene at Amber’s engagement party, OMG! it was all built up so brilliantly and then all hell breaks loose and I just couldn’t stop laughing at the whole situation. It would be normally everyone’s nightmare but it is brilliantly written and just that little bit over the top that gave it a touch of comedy for me. Of course afterward a number of secrets and revelations come to light that just leave everyone, including myself, absolutely gobsmacked. I tell you these southerners have more secrets than the CIA. Yes, I had belly laughs and this is all balanced out with the heartbreak situation going on with Luke and Derek.

So, do Luke and Derek get a HEA at the end of this book? Well, I must admit I was getting quite desperate for some kind of resolution to their relationship hiatus but just as I got my hopes up they were dashed once again. Geez, I went myself from being infuriated with the pair of them to desperation, from no hope, to hope and back to no hope. Jordan keeps the reader hanging there right until the very end. Cruel I say, absolutely cruel – lol! However, the ending is all the more beautiful and extremely poignant for it and it brought a few tears to my eye and left a huge lump in my throat. When a book can do that to me then it’s because I’m so invested in the lives of these characters, it gets five stars no questions asked. So where do Derek and Luke go from here. I’m going to threaten Jordan Nasser with his life if he doesn’t continue Derek and Luke’s story. As tender and emotionally moving the end of the book is, I was also screaming inside because we can’t leave it there. I HAVE TO KNOW if things are REALLY going to be OK between them. So Mr Nasser you had better be working on that fourth book already otherwise I’m coming to camp outside your home until it is done. And you know I don’t have far to come – lol!

If you haven’t started on this series already then I highly recommend you do. All books are beautifully written with loads of empathy and insight. Vivid characters you can fall in love with, who feel like best friends by the end of each book. Situations to laugh out loud over and to shed a tear over. What more could you want in a story.

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Series Reading Order and Purchase Links

download (1)

Title: Home Is A Fire

Author: Jordan Nasser

Rating: 4.5 Stars

BUY ON AMAZON

Synopsis

The 4 train is barreling down Lexington Avenue and I can see the reflection of my face in the glass of the subway door. I’m not pretty.

After twelve years in New York City, Derek has the life he always wanted. A fun job, a fantastic social life, and a handsome boyfriend he’s about to marry. Everything is perfect.

Except that it’s not.

Staring at his reflection in the subway door, Derek realizes he lost himself somewhere along the way, and that the search must start where it all began—his hometown in Tennessee.

Overnight, Derek goes from cocktails in Manhattan’s trendiest lounges to drinking at the local bar with childhood buddies. He hangs out with his colorful family, attends football games and reconnects to the South.

As he spends time in places he’s always gone, with people he’s always known, Derek clearly sees himself—what he wants and where to find it—for the first time in years.

::: MARK’S REVIEW :::

download

Title: The Fire Went Wild

Author: Jordan Nasser

Rating: 4.5 Stars

BUY ON AMAZON

Synopsis

Derek and Luke found love in each other’s arms, but is their small Southern town ready to accept them—or reject them?

He left trendy nightclubs behind for local bars, traded all-night parties for high school football games, and said good-bye to New York for the comfort of family and childhood friends.

Drawn in by the heart of his Tennessee hometown, Derek has never been happier—especially now that he’s together with Luke, the Parkville High School football coach.

But when they decide to go public with their romantic connection, it isn’t long before rumors begin to fly—and “concerned citizens,” intent on forcing them to leave their jobs at Parkville High, put the men’s personal and professional reputations on the line.

In the captivating sequel to Home Is a Fire, find out how news of Derek and Luke’s relationship sets their small town ablaze—and whether this happy couple can manage to escape unscathed from the devastating flames.

::: MARK’S REVIEW :::

58642371_TFI_BookCover5x8_Cream_316_Final_120217-page-001 (1)[3]

Title: This Fire Inside

Author: Jordan Nasser

Rating: 5 Stars

BUY ON AMAZON

Synopsis

Luke Walcott may have finally come out of the closet, but that doesn't mean there aren't shadows still lurking in the corners of his past.

Luke has never been happier now that his relationship with Derek is out in the open and their small Southern town has accepted them for who they are. But in an effort to get away from the commotion that arose after their relationship was revealed, Derek and Luke head to New York City for a well-deserved break. Little do they know that turmoil is waiting for them in those steamy city streets--and it will test the strength of their love.

This Fire Inside is the delightfully entertaining third installment of the Home Is a Fire series and invites readers back into the heartfelt world of Derek, Luke, Uncle Barry, and the Southern charms that shaped them all. Written with wit and warmth, This Fire Inside inspires readers to re-examine their own personal journeys.

As Derek and Luke find themselves redefining who they are together and what they might want apart, both men must fight for their own authentic truths. But through these trials, will their love survive? Will Derek and Luke find their happily ever after?

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Meet Jordan Nasser

Jordan_Nasser_AuthorJordan Nasser left his dream job behind and took the opportunity to re-examine his life--an experience he highly recommends if you ever have the chance. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, he was raised in the South before moving to New York City. He currently lives and writes in Stockholm, Sweden and Nice, France.

In his debut novel, "Home Is a Fire," he drew upon his experiences growing up in the South. Outstanding reviews placed the book on the Amazon top ten rated LGBT fiction list. That story continues in his second novel, "The Fire Went Wild.”

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1 comment:

  1. Mark, you have me in tears! I am so grateful for this review. This was a tough book to write, but I wanted to inject a reality-based issue into Derek and Luke's relationship. Love isn't always easy! And thank you for calling out Uncle Barry. I love his story in this book! The ending is open to so many possibilities, and I love that you understood that.

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