Monday, August 25, 2014

Business or Pleasure by Ashley Ladd: Guest Post, Review, & More!

Business or Pleasure - Tour Banner

Cover Artist – Emmy Ellis

Business or Pleasure
by Ashley Ladd

Genre: Contemporary GLBT Erotica

Tommy Boudreaux is extremely attracted to Guy Rogers even though he’s a passionate vegetarian and animal rights activist and Tommy’s family owns the most popular barbecue joint in town.

Guy Rogers is extremely attracted to his new realtor, Tom Boudreaux. As a passionate vegetarian and animal rights activist, he’s ecstatic that Tom is a kindred soul. He could never be with a carnivore. Unfortunately, Tommy isn’t really a vegetarian or an animal rights activist. He never said he was, either, he just didn’t eat meat when he was with Guy. And maybe he emptied his house of all meat and dairy products before inviting Guy over. In fact, Tommy’s family owns the most popular barbecue restaurant in town and, if his family has their way, he’ll manage the new location.

When Guy finds out that Tommy eats meat and his family owns a restaurant that’s a monument to eating meat, he’s livid and doesn’t know if he wants anything else to do with Tommy.

But then Guy’s life gets crazy—his dad’s paranoia blossoms into violent dementia, Guy gets arrested for picketing a doggy mill then he winds up in even more legal trouble. When Tommy sticks by him through all his problems and does everything he can to help him, Guy wonders if he’s been too militant and narrow-minded. Perhaps he can learn to live with people who have opposite views.
The Consequences of Living A Lie
By Ashley Ladd
It’s tough to live a lie.

Using a pseudonym for books is in effect, living a lie. I do it to protect my day job. I also use a pseudonym keep my friends and extended family from getting upset with me for writing gay romance.

I’m afraid if they found out that I might get fired from my day job. I’m also afraid that some of my friends and extended family would disown me. Some of them are very religious.

I wonder if I should come out of the closet so to say to my two best friends. It might be better if they hear the news from me instead of through the grapevine.

A woman at work suddenly unfriended me and froze me out. She refused to tell me why. As she’s quite the Internet surfer and busybody I presume she discovered my secret identity and didn’t like it.

But I don’t know if that really speaks to the consequences of living a lie.

I have another example.

My oldest child is transgender female. She only told us about this around three years ago, however, she says she’s known from the time she was five that she was female on the inside. She’s thirty-three now.

All this time, she’s been living with a lie, covering up her true identity to make society and her family happy, to fit in. Meanwhile, she was so unhappy she started to drink and almost wound up killing herself. Finally, she had to stop the lies. The consequences were just too harsh.

It wasn’t easy to show her true face to the world but I’m proud of her for doing it. I’m glad that she’s happier now. There’s still problems however she’s better able to deal with them since she feels better now that she’s telling the truth.

In my recent erotic MM romance ‘Business or Pleasure’, Tommy starts to live a lie when he pretends to be a vegetarian. He does so because his new love interest, Guy, is an avid vegetarian and animal activist. Although Tommy’s lies makes their relationship simple in the beginning, it makes things much tougher when Guy discovers he’s been lying. Guy breaks up with Tommy, upset by his lies as much as by anything else.

I know lying isn’t good and has consequences. Does that mean I’ll start publishing erotic MM romances under my real name? Very doubtful. I’ll chance it. Does it mean that I’ll come clean to my two best friends? Maybe.

Gunshots rang out as they turned onto Guy’s street.

Tommy looked at him and mouthed, “Shit! You don’t think…?”

“I hope not. I don’t know.” Guy pressed the gas pedal to the floor and the car shot forward, fishtailing.

Tommy fisted the door, hanging on tight. “I hope we're wrong.”

Guy’s intuition told him he wasn’t. His knuckles turned white they held the steering wheel so tightly. Unafraid for himself but scared for his dad, he pulled into his driveway and jumped out of the car, with Tommy close on his heels.

The woman next door ran outside screaming, tearing out her already tattered hair. She pointed at her front door. “Your father’s shooting up my house and is holding a gun at my dad’s head. He’s going to kill him. You've got to do something.”

Tommy yelled as he began dialing on his phone, “I'm calling the police.” As if on cue, police sirens blared in the distance and grew louder by the second.

“I’m going in. I have to stop him.”

“Wait for the police. Don't put yourself in danger,” Tommy ordered forcefully.

“I have to take the chance. He could kill someone before the police get here. I can’t let that happen.” He put himself in harm’s way for animals, so certainly he could risk his life for his own father and other fellow human beings. He had no choice. It would be his fault if someone got hurt.

So he ran through the open door flailing his arms, hoping he would be in time. “Dad! It’s Guy. Don’t do anything. I’m here. You’ll be okay.”

“He’ll be okay? What about me? He’s got a shotgun pointed at my head threatening to blow it off,” the elderly neighbor cried.
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Tommy is a realtor who is happy with his chosen profession but feeling pressure from his family to take over a franchise in their restaurant business.

Guy is living with and caring for his aging father, but feels the need to get a place that he can call his own.

When the two start searching for a home for Guy, the sexual attraction between them is instantaneous, as is the potential for a deeper connection that both men feel.

Guy is passionate about everything in life, throwing his whole being into actively working to change the injustices he sees in the world, and living a lifestyle that supports his beliefs.

Tommy respects Guy for his seemingly limitless energy, but worries that his new love interest's black-and-white views of the world may border on the extreme. At first, Tommy justifies the secrets he is keeping by telling himself that he is just giving Guy a chance to get to know him better, but like all webs, the lies continue to grow and quickly become a tangled mess that threaten to ruin the love he seeks to keep.

I enjoyed Business or Pleasure, but struggled with the overall character development. There just wasn't quite as much depth as I would have liked to see in the main characters, considering the potential of the story line. I also had a hard time connecting with the secondary characters, especially the men's fathers, who were a significant part of the story. Further exploration of the characters and their motivations could have made a good story great.
Ashley Ladd lives in South Florida with her husband, five children, and beloved pets. She loves the water, animals (especially cats), and playing on the computer.

She's been told she has a wicked sense of humor and often incorporates humor and adventure into her books. She also adores very spicy romance, which she weaves into her stories. You can contact Ashley by Email.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for being part of the tour & taking the time to review. Great guest post.