Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Love and the Real Boy by J.K. Hogan: Review, Interview, & More

Cover: KHD Graphics
Love and the Real Boy
(Coming About, Book 2)
by J.K. Hogan
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

How­­ much heartache can one man take before he breaks? Rich Langston asks himself that question every day.

A Seattle advertising exec who uses his designer suit and showy car like a suit of armor, Rich refuses to let the world get to him. His traumatic childhood has ruined any faith he had in people, friendship, and love. After a meltdown that led to him alienating everyone in his life, Rich agrees to help with the restoration of an antique sailboat as a form of penance.

Roped into heading up with the boat repair by his mother, marine restorer Patrick O’Dowd finds himself having to babysit a moody, spoiled rich boy with absolutely no carpentry experience. His easy-going nature is sorely tested, but he quickly realizes that things are not always what they seem; sometimes a fancy suit is nothing but an elaborate deflection from what’s real.

Through unavoidable personality clashes and fierce attraction, both Rich and Patrick explore their hidden pain and inner demons, and they end up finding with what really matters—love.

Rich forced himself to relax. Why shouldn’t he give his brain a little mini-vacay? He was of a stressful nature—he had to constantly stress over work, over making enough money to keep himself in suits and expensive toys to remind himself he wasn’t homeless anymore, that he wasn’t going to end up like his mother. He stressed over the wrong people finding out he was gay, while stressing that he might just go mad from lack of companionship—and that was just the tip of the crazy-berg.

Underneath it all sat his pent-up grief, anger, and guilt from his stolen childhood, cowering like a beast in the dark, a sleeping monster. That was Rich’s biggest, most constant fear—that one day he would no longer be able to contain it. What would happen then? Would he lose his mind?

So all things considered, why shouldn’t he just let it go for one night? What was wrong with letting a big, burly Irishman take him in hand—heh—and drive the boat for a while.
Carly: If you could pick one thing to impact readers after reading ‘Love and the Real Boy’, what would it be and why? 
J.K.: The one thing I hope people take away from this book is the fact that you never know what someone else’s story is, or what may be causing them to do the things they do. In Love and the Real Boy, Rich is hiding a lifetime of pain behind a snarky, bitchy attitude, and it takes someone willing to look beyond that to finally break through that wall. 
You never know what could be causing someone to act out. There could be more to the story than them simply being a bad person. I’m not saying that if someone has a painful past it should excuse everything bad that they do, because everyone is still responsible for their own actions. But you know how the old saying goes, until you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes… 
Another small thing that I hope people will take away is that it’s never too late to turn it around if you’re on the other side of the wall. It’s never too late to do some self-reflection and let people in, no matter how you’ve acted in the past.
Ahem…*steps off soapbox* Sorry! Writing this story and being faced with the task of redeeming Rich when I purposefully set him up to be hated really got to me. He wormed is way into my heart and hopefully he will do the same for you!
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the most unlovable characters in I Survived Seattle, Rich Langston is back.

LOVE AND THE REAL BOY is the story of Rich's life, starting in his early teenage years and moving up through the present. J.K. Hogan shows readers the other side of the coin as we learn what makes Rich tick, how he got to be the way he is, and what it takes, not only to break a man down, but to build him back up again.

Rich's attraction to the handsome and laid back Patrick O’Dowd brings out a side of him we have never seen before. As their feelings towards each other change from lust and move towards love, Rich is forced to face his past and the secrets he has never before shared.

A story about friendship, forgiveness, redemption and love. LOVE AND THE REAL BOY is guaranteed to touch readers hearts in unexpected ways. The transitioning scenes between the past and present are especially well written, and this unexpected romance opens reader's eyes to the heart that lies beneath the suits and snark.
J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and story-lines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them. J.K. is hoping to one day have a little something for everyone, so she’s branched out from m/f paranormal romance and added m/m contemporary romance. Who knows what’s next?

J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives in the country with her husband and young son, a cat, and two champion agility dogs. If she isn’t on the agility field, J.K. can often be found chasing waterfalls in the mountains with her husband, or down in front at a blues concert. In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading!

1 comment: