FINDING NORTH BY CARMEN JENNER RELEASE DAY BLAST with my #Review
Title: Finding North
Author: Carmen Jenner
Genre: Erotic Romance M/M
Release Date: February 25, 2016
Red Maine’s blue-collared bad boy, North Underwood, has a dirty little secret—Will Tanner.
Friends since kindergarten, North had been the one to jump first, and his fall into Will’s bed ten years ago had been no exception. Will and North had been inseparable, but things change, people grow apart, and even a blazing flame can dwindle to a dying ember over time.
The more things change the more they stay the same.
After a run in with a bottle of Bundy rum, Will and North find themselves in a compromising and all too familiar position.
Blurred lines, bad decisions, and one wrong foot after another lead these two down a spiral of sarcasm, secrets, and sex, but when North’s hetero status is called into question he can’t figure up from down. And despite Will telling himself he wouldn’t fall again, he’s head over heels and wandering without a compass.
Love is love.
Love is truth.
Love … shouldn’t be this damn hard to figure out.
“Relax, Will,” he says, smoothing my cheek with his thumb. “Don’t you want to know what it feels like?”
I swallow hard, and close my eyes. If only he knew. If only he had some idea of how long I’ve wanted this.
I shove my hands against his chest. He stumbles back and catches himself before he can lose his footing. I take a step towards the door and find myself thrust up against it. North clutches my arm, and twists it painfully behind my back.
“I know what you want, Will, and I know it isn’t pussy. It’s cock,” he whispers the last in my ear, sending a shudder down my spine.
I shake my head and whimper, “No.”
“Yes.” His hot breath on my neck sends all my senses into overdrive, making me fucking crazy. I grind my erection against the door and moan, desperate to relieve the ache. “Let me do this, and you’ll know for sure.”
“Know what?” I hiss, struggling. He grasps the nape of my neck and holds me in place, my cheek firmly pressed against the wood.
“You’ll know if that’s what you are.” North buries his face in my neck and licks the salt from my skin. “And you can finally stop torturing yourself.”
I push my glass towards him for another refill, downing the shot of liquid courage. “You ever think about what might have been?”
Will scoffs and sets his glass down. “You’re seriously asking me this?”
“What?” I say, getting pissy now, because he acts as though he’s the only one who lost something. “I can’t ask a question?”
He takes another sip, avoiding my gaze. The humour has left his face; his mouth forms a tight line as he stares down into his drink. “You can’t ask that question.”
“Okay then,” I say, agitated that he’s calling the shots. I ask a question I’ve been wanting the answer to for a very long time. “Why didn’t you leave?”
“Jesus, not you too.” Will shakes his head. “You sound like Josh.”
“Who the hell is Josh?”
He slams back the rest of his drink and beats his fist against his chest. “Fuck buddy.”
“You have a fuck buddy?” I clench my jaw. I’m starting to see why Bundy has a bad name. Right now, I’d like to find Josh and beat his fucking head in.
Will laughs. “Look at you getting all jealous.”
Is he fucking kidding me?
“How long?” I say through my teeth.
“How long have I been fucking him? Or how long is his cock? It’s about five for both.”
“Five what?” I snap. “Days? Weeks?”
“Months.” He rests his elbow on the bar, dangling his glass from his long fingers. “And inches.”
“You been fucking this Josh for five months, and you didn’t think to mention it?”
“I’ve fucked a lot of men in the last twelve years, North. Why would I mention any of them to you?”
“I kissed you.”
“Yeah, and I didn’t ask for it,” he says, swirling the liquor in his glass. “How many women have you slept with in the past twelve years?”
I don’t have an answer for him. I don’t even remember half of their names, only that I was fumbling around in a drunken stupor, trying to grab onto just a little bit of happiness. On the outside I have all my shit together, but inwardly I’m hollow. I’m the worthless piece of shit my father always told me I was, and I’d bury my dick in anyone in an attempt to find something that made me feel even half of what Will had that summer.
He releases me, smoothing a clumsy hand down over my newly torn shirt. His large palm presses against my thundering heart. For a long time, we both stand in silence, staring at his hand on my chest. “This is Red Maine, not Sydney. Ain’t nobody marching down the street here with their rainbow flag shouting about gay rights. You do that shit here and you get your head beaten in. I can’t watch you go through that. I can’t go through that.”
“Then come away with me,” I plead, but I know already what his response will be.
“I don’t know why you’re making this more difficult than it has to be,” North says.
“Because I can’t turn it off like you can,” I shout. “I can’t fucking walk away. I wish I could. Fuck, some days it’s all I wish for. Sometimes I wish that night had never happened because I knew that this is where it would lead us.”
“What do you want from me, Will?” North’s voice rises to meet my own. “You want me to tell you that pussy just doesn’t cut it for me anymore? Huh?” North pushes me against the wooden railing, and I almost lose my balance. “Is that what you want from me?”
“I want you to stop fucking lying. To me, to this town, to yourself.” I dart my tongue along my bottom lip and taste blood. I hadn’t realised I’d been biting so hard. North watches the movement. He looks like he wants to kiss me, but he glances instead at the darkening water beyond. “Fuck. Forget about the town; forget about those arseholes out there. They don’t matter. Just be honest; just once, give me all of you.”
“You daft prick. I already did give you all of me. I’ve given you every-fucking-thing I have.”
Carmen Jenner is a thirty-something, USA TODAY and international bestselling author of the Sugartown, Savage Saints, and Taint series.
Her dark romance, KICK (Savage Saints MC #1), won Best Dark Romance Read in the Reader’s Choice Awards at RWDU 2015.
A tattoo enthusiast, hardcore MAC addict and zombie fangirl, Carmen lives on the sunny north coast of New South Wales, Australia, where she spends her time indoors wrangling her two wildling children, a dog named Pikelet, and her very own man-child.
A romantic at heart, Carmen strives to give her characters the HEA they deserve, but not before ruining their lives completely first … because what’s a happily ever after without a little torture?
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Carmen Jenner is a new author to me, but one I will definitely be watching for after reading, Finding North. She has written a beautiful, heartfelt, and emotional story between two best friends who are trying to just get through each day alone, but finding it almost impossible to accomplish it.
Falling in love with your childhood best friend was sure to be a disaster for Will. There were many days he wanted to come clean with North but fear of rejection and loss kept him silent. When North made a move towards Will, he couldn’t have been more relieved and yet still very leery in case it was a big joke.
The boys grew up together but their home life couldn’t have been more different. Will had a loving and nurturing father and North had an alcoholic and abuser for a father. North’s father was also extremely homophobic and constantly throwing out sneers about Will. When it gets to be too much for North, he cuts ties with his best friend. The only way he knows how to protect Will is to stay away, but that decision would haunt him for the rest of his life.
Will’s pain is a living and breathing entity that literally jumps off the page. His pain and hurt (over losing his best friend aka the love of his life) is so palpable and you will be hard pressed to not shed tears…have the tissues ready.
North’s pain is even worse. He is miserable without his best friend and trying to always pretend he doesn’t want anything to do with the “fag” his co-workers and father throw insults out to every single day, is killing him.
I wanted to hate North for not having the guts to stand up to the town, mostly to his asshole father, and for destroying Will in the process. But, dammit…I couldn’t because hell’s fire that boy is suffering so bad that I wanted to grab him and hug him and tell him it would be alright.
Watching North, behind closed doors, the only place he can be honest with himself, was hard to take. His pain and anguish is gut-wrenching and it broke my heart to witness the devastation he’s in.
You may think, as you’re reading, that Will has suffered the most by losing his best friend. I mean, hell, the whole town just about hates him for who he is. But, that’s the thing. He does get to be who he is, a gay male, living his life, not cowering to anyone or taking anyone’s trash talk too seriously.
North is living dangerously on the edge of sanity. The abuse and torment he has suffered at the hands of his father and the fear that was instilled in him is … it’s bad. But, OMG, when he is with Will and they can be themselves and love each other, it is so freakin’ beautiful.
Will gives North what he knows he wants and that is to dominate him. The sex is rough, raw, and animalistic at times and it is HOT. Will tries to punish North by being so rough but it only turns North on more and let me tell ya, it’s intense, and I think I held my breath the whole time.
I guarantee your heart will be beating double time through these sex scenes. You may want to read them over, just in case, ya know - you missed something the first time around. Just sayin'
The friendship and the love these two have for each other make for some incredible reading and the feels you will have will be all over the place. I was hooked from the first chapter and the author took me on an incredible journey and I wasn’t ready to stop. I wanted much more of these two so this will definitely be a re-read for me, many times over.
Ms Jenner writes with passion and a descriptive narrative that will suck you and keep you from start to finish. I was completely enamored with Finding North and was 100% invested in their journey.
Overall, I didn’t just read this story, I felt it, I was moved by it, and I connected on a level that you hope to find each time you pick up a book but very seldom do. I highly recommend this book to any and all lovers of the m/m genre or even if you aren’t…Finding North will make you a lover. 5 stars for me.
**Edited Note: There are M/F scenes in this book (maybe 1 or 2), but they are brief and didn't derail the story... for me, anyway.
** I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from the promoter**
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