Monday, October 16, 2017

Release Day Review: In Over Our Heads (Stories From the Shore Book 2) by CJane Elliott

in over our headsTitle ~ In Over Our Heads

Author ~ CJane Elliott

Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press

Published ~ 16th October 2017

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance





A Stories From the Shore Book

Anthony Vallen is the life of any party. Full of energy and fun, Anthony adores romance and enjoys playing matchmaker for his friends while dancing the night away with a series of Mr. Right Nows. But he’s given up on his own happy ending. A bad breakup years ago made him a secret cynic about love… until he runs into Walter Elkins—the boy who broke his teenaged heart—on a scuba-diving vacation in Key West. Suddenly, Anthony’s reasons for shunning romance no longer hold much water. Being with Walter again forces Anthony to get serious—about himself, his worth, and his heart’s desires.

Brilliant and self-contained, scientist Walter Elkins prefers deep thoughts to other people. He’s a good boss and a model citizen, but Walter doesn’t let anyone get close. After a tragedy drove him out of his science career, Walter landed in Key West and became owner of a dive shop and a bar. Things are fine until Anthony Vallen—the only person who ever penetrated his defenses—shows up, and Walter’s calm, controlled life capsizes. He and Anthony have a second chance for love, but Walter must confront the old fears that threaten to torpedo their happiness.


Freya’s Review

Anthony is a bit of modern-day version of Jane Austen’s Emma with a twist. He is a ‘cheerleader for romance’ hooking up everyone else except himself.  Anthony is out, proud, and loud, unless the subject matter contains the name, Walter. Walter, was an introverted science nerd, and the boy who, twelve years previous, let Anthony go and broke his heart. Little did Anthony know that karma was going to be a bitch. Walter was now the owner of a bar and dive shop in Florida’s Key West. The very place that Anthony and friends were about to spend their vacation.

What happens is a holiday full of memories, overcoming fears, wishful thinking, fun, and some bridge building.

Anthony is immediately likeable; he is as flamboyant in his personality as he is in his dialogue. However, he goes quiet when it comes to Walter – at least he does at the start. In the beginning, he prefers not to talk about him, then inevitably does. He’s consistently upbeat and a man who, once he sets his mind to something, goes for it - usually.

Walter is the polar opposite. He has this huge hang-up about being able to protect the people he loves, and if he fails to do so, then he pushes them away. So, it is up to Anthony to know what he wants and accept no excuses in the pursuit of said goal. Walter wants Anthony – he’s the one he regrets letting go of – but his fears overrule his actions. Which I have to admit, I occasionally wanted to slap him for.

The story is mainly from Anthony’s POV in the first person. It also has elements from Walter’s POV in the third person. The change of perspective, on these bits, for me, didn’t flow. It was as if someone was adding snippets to a story someone else was telling. Given the rest of the manuscript was in the first person, and the infrequency of input from Walter, I feel the first person aspect would have worked better for Walter, too.


What this story has are some lovely people, two of which aren’t together, but want each other, need each other, and regret losing each other. But, due to the past, they skirt around for a long time in a will they won’t they scenario, unwilling to face each other, with oceanic elements having their part to play.

Purchase Links




allthewaytoshoreAll the Way to Shore (Stories From the Shore #1)

Jonathan Vallen has never felt good enough. A gentle musician who loves to garden, he’s woefully unsuited to running Vallen Industries, the family business. When his father hires a hotshot executive, Marco Pellegrini, to save the company, Jonathan moves away and leaves his humiliation behind. A year later and forty pounds lighter, Jonathan runs into Marco on an LGBT cruise. Marco doesn’t recognize him, the sparks fly, and Jonathan pretends to be someone else for the week—Jonah Rutledge—someone good enough to be loved.
Marco Pellegrini has always been driven. He rose from poverty to the pinnacle of business success, and he’ll do anything to protect his reputation—including hiding his bisexuality. Having saved Vallen Industries, he’s weary of the rat race and ready for a more meaningful life. When Marco meets his soul mate for that new life—Jonah Rutledge—on an LGBT cruise, he prepares to stop hiding and start living.
Back on land, the romance crashes when Marco discovers his perfect man is not only a lie but the son of his boss, Frederick Vallen. Jonathan resolves to win Marco back, but Frederick takes vengeful action. Jonathan and Marco must battle their own fears as well as Frederick’s challenge to get to the future that awaits them on the horizon.

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Meet CJane Elliott

After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn't looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.

CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories. In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.

CJane is the author of the award-winning Serpentine Series, New Adult contemporary novels set at the University of Virginia. Serpentine Walls was a 2014 Rainbow Awards finalist, Aidan’s Journey was a 2015 EPIC Awards finalist, and Sex, Love, and Videogames won first place in the New Adult category in the 2016 Swirl Awards and first place in Contemporary Fiction in the 2017 EPIC eBook Awards.



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