Sunday, September 7, 2014

Rescued by Felice Stevens: Guest Post & Review

by Felice Stevens

Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance

Ryder Daniels has spent the last year recovering from rejection: his parents couldn’t accept his sexuality and his lover chose drugs over his love. The only bright lights in his life are his younger brother and his rescued pit bull. But now his mother's punishment for his lifestyle has cut him off from his brother he loves so deeply. Devastated, he throws himself into the work of the Pit Bull Foundation he and his friends started.

Jason Mallory can no longer hide the dissatisfaction of his relationship with his longtime girlfriend. When her marriage ultimatum pushes him to break things off, he's determined not to jump into the dating scene. But when a group of injured pit bulls are found on his construction site, he can’t forget the guy who shows up to help.

After Jason adopts one of the dogs, he and Ryder become fast friends—until one night, Ryder lets down his guard and Jason recognizes his desire. Soon, they can’t deny the passion between them but will family differences and ugly prejudices keep them apart, or can they fight to prove that love is precious, no matter the flavor?
Sticks and Stones
by Felice Stevens
When you have a child, you take on a responsibility to protect them from harm. But harm doesn’t only mean physical hurts, like bumps bruises and holding you’re breath as they take that first perilous bicycle ride without training wheels.
There is emotional harm, that can sometimes and more often than not, is more devastating with ramifications that last well beyond the slap of words and sting of insults. There is a child’s saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me.”
When a parent calls a child a name, degrades them or humiliates them, it is something that child will take with them forever. Though they may not speak about it, it has a lasting effect on the child’s emotional psyche, and stays with them, impacting their future relationships with people.
I remember when I told my father I wanted to be a lawyer, like him. He was older and pretty conservative, a product of his Eastern European upbringing and pre-WWII thinking. He looked at me and said, “I don’t think you’ll be a good lawyer.” I know he didn’t mean it to hurt me, because when I did go to law school and graduate, he told me how proud he was of me. Still, his words stay with me, some thirty years later.
In my book, Rescued, one of the main characters, Ryder Daniels, is rejected by his mother because he is gay. I portrayed her as cold, heartless and completely self-centered. Sadly, I know women like this, even today. When people state that they feel her characterization is over the top and mother’s don’t act like this, I’m sorry to say they do.
Two weeks ago the internet was alive with a video of a teenaged boy who secretly taped his mother’s vicious verbal assault on him because he told her he was gay. She threw him out of his home simply because of who he was, even though he is a part of her.
His mother.
Thankfully, he has since relocated and is safe. But unfortunately he isn’t the only one, and because he’s an amazing young man, he’s donating so much of the money he received to help others.
So the next time you read or hear about a mother denying her child, or abusing her child, know that it is real. And the stories need to be told. 
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The only family Ryder has left are his dog, Pearl and brother Landon. His parents disowned him after Ryder told them he was gay, and do everything they can to keep Landon, a high school junior, and Ryder apart.  After a series of failed relationships, Ryder has nearly given up on ever finding love. Forced to leave his job at a high-profile law firm due to his sexual orientation, Ryder now works at Rescue Me, a pit bull rescue organization founded by his best friends, Connor and Emily. He loves his combined legal/rescue work, and is happy with his professional life, even though his heart is battered by the constant emotional rejection.

Jason has known nothing but loving support from his parents and brothers, and after breaking up with his long time girlfriend they become even closer.  The day Jason calls Rescue Me, to collect a group of dogs that were abandoned on his construction site, Ryder catches his eye. The instant connection he feels towards the beautiful man with the haunted eyes confuses Jason, after all... he's straight; isn't he?  As their friendship develops, Jason must come to terms with his deepening feelings towards Ryder. As the situation between Ryder and his family worsens, Jason can no longer stand to see his friend in pain, but becoming involved may cost Jason more than he ever anticipated.

Rescued is a heartfelt and emotional love story with characters that are beautifully written because of, not despite, their flaws. An example of how imperfect life can truly be, I loved how RESCUED drew me in to the storyline and kept me engaged. While the development was a bit slowly paced at times, and I was occasionally confused by the timeline progression, I'm still giving RESCUED five stars due to its honesty, emotionalism, and because I truly enjoyed this touching romance. I'm looking forward to reading more stories by Felice Stevens as they are written!

A copy of RESCUED was a gift given to me by Felice after she discovered that my own four legged family member passed away. It was given with compassion, love and without expectation of a review.
But somewhere along the way, my tastes shifted. While I still enjoys a juicy Historical romance, I began experimenting with newer, more cutting edge genres and discovered the world of Male/Male romance. Once I picked up her first, I became so enamored of the authors, the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion of the books, I knew I wanted to write my own.

I live in New York City with my husband and two children and hopefully soon a cat of my own. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

Learn more about me on my website.  There is also a wonderful group of dedicated readers who call themselves Felice's Fierce Fans who'd love for you to join them on Facebook to talk about Rescued. You'll also find out about the other books I have in progress!

** Additional artwork by the fabulous Lindsey Ross of Cut & Paste! **


  1. First of all, congratulations to Felice for this sounds really deep. Second of all, The Sticks and Stones post was really important to me: I admin a FB account about StopBullying and others against Bullying. Thank you for writing and posting it. It made a difference to me.
    Thank you for the giveaway.

    1. Alex I'm so honored my post made a difference to you. Bullying is so pervasive, and people need to understand this really does happen in real life

  2. Congratulations on your first book. I started reading it the other day and didn't want to set it down. Thank you also for the great post.

    1. Hi Jen1 so glad to hear you are enjoying the book.

  3. This is a really good book. I always smile when I discover new authors. Your post was really touching and you are right...Words hurt and those words almost killed me in the past. Thank you for this giveaway. Count me in, please.

    1. Anna, thanks for sharing, and I'm thrilled you enjoyed the book. Wrods are the most important tool we have, and we need to be careful

  4. congrats on your first book, I love finding new authors :)