Sunday, May 10, 2015

Heart Knot Mine by Lily Velden: #Review #ExclusiveExcerpt #Giveaway @LilyVelden

Heart Knot Mine
by Lily Velden

Length: 218 pages
Genres: Gay (M/M), Contemporary, Romance
Despite a successful college teaching career, Noah Daniels has become depressed. He feels he’s leading a monochromatic life: love has eluded him. When he’s offered a chance to teach in London as part of an exchange program, he accepts, hoping a change of scenery will do him good. But once he’s there, his outlook on love and sexuality changes in ways he never expected.

Robert Callinan is Noah’s English counterpart in the program. The men exchange not only their jobs, but also their homes, and it is what Noah stumbles across while staying at Robert’s house that sends him on a journey of self-discovery—both mentally and physically. A journey that puts color back into his life… just not in the way he expected. When the exchange program ends, Noah has to go home, but he doesn’t know if he wants to return to the life he left behind.
Life Changing Moment

After placing my glass of wine on the bedside table, I strode to the sideboard, and upon opening the first set of doors, one glance informed me the DVDs were arranged alphabetically. I ran my gaze over the titles and removed one or two possibilities before moving to the second set of doors and doing the same.

The final set of doors stopped me in my tracks. There, on the bottom shelf, was an old-fashioned lockable box. As soon as I saw it, I knew I’d finally found the home of my mystery key.

Considering where he kept the box, and its size and shape, I surmised it housed his porn collection. The fact he kept it under lock and key intrigued me. Was it to keep it safe from the prying eyes of his cleaning lady, who I had yet to meet? Or was it because it was one hell of a deviant collection? My curiosity got the better of me, and I quickly retrieved the keys. Surely, had it been off-limits, he’d have removed the key from the ring?

All the labels were handwritten. Labels I didn’t read. Labels I only glanced at.

With the wisdom of hindsight, that observation should have told me they were home movies.

But it didn’t.

I didn’t hesitate for so much as one moment. Not one.

I pulled the first one from the box and slotted it in the player. Taking a step backward, I pointed the remote and hit play.

And then life as I knew it changed forever.

One minute my life was headed in one direction, the next it headed in another, totally new one.

Robert Callinan was standing exactly where I was.

The difference being I was fully dressed in sweats and a tee.

He wasn’t.

And I was alone.

He wasn’t.

Kneeling before him was a blond youth of maybe twenty-one, gripping Robert’s buttocks with his hands as he bobbed his head back and forth against Robert’s groin.

I should have turned away.

I should have hit the stop button.

I should have done something.

Instead, I stood, cemented to the spot, not breathing.

I couldn’t tear my gaze from the screen.

It wasn’t the shock of seeing man-on-man action, though I’d never seen that before.

It was Robert’s face.

The cords in his neck. His long arched neck.

His Adam’s apple, pointed skywards.

His closed eyes and his softly parted lips.

And the sounds.

It was the sounds coming from those barely parted lips.

The sighs and gasps and moaning exhalations.

They played harmony to the wet sucking sounds emanating from the blond.

I remained frozen, my gaze riveted on Robert’s face and neck. I swallowed, trying to suck air into my starving lungs, and whimpered at my inability to drag my stare away. But his face… the naked expression of ecstasy… I’d never seen anything like it before. It was nothing like the bit of porn I’d watched over the years.

It was more. So much more.

And though my gaze was glued to his fluttering eyelids, I still somehow saw the way he curved his body to meet the guy’s sucking mouth, the way he curled his fingers in the youth’s hair.

I wanted to move. I wanted to close my eyes. I wanted to drown out the sounds of their pleasure. I wanted my heart to slow down and my stomach to relax. I wanted my lungs to expand; I wanted them to contract.

But most of all I wanted my dick to soften.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Noah Daniels is falling in love with Robert Callinian. As the two men get to know each other through emails Noah is enchanted by Robert's personality. A little bit of snooping on Noah's part as has revealed... a naughty little glimpse of the rest of him. Noah has never experienced the soul deep pull he has towards Robert in any of his past relationships, but facing that this time, this MAN, is what makes the difference is something that Noah is going to have to work through on his own long before he considers revealing his attraction to Robert.

With a solid friendship between them and the sizzle of chemsitry that hints at the potential for something more, Robert and Noah embark upon a summer of travels and adventure. Without a clear destination in mind, it's easy to get lost along the way. When summer comes to an end they will have to face the consequences of their time spent together and decided if they will be able to remain friends, drift apart, or if they dare to reach together for something more.

The only think I didn't like about HEART KNOT MINE is that it is told entirely from Noah's perspective.  Because Robert's character is equally developed and experiences his own hopes and fears throughout the course of their relationship I felt like I was missing an important piece of what makes them click. Essentially, having two points of view would have made this good book even better! Despite that missed opportunity, I still loved the idea behind this story. It's fresh, fun and free spirited while also expressing the poignantly emotional journey Noah, and to a lesser extent, Robert experience throughout the course of the story.
Lily Velden lives on the east coast of Australia, her family having emigrated from Holland when she was a child.

She’s both a left and right brain person, holding qualifications in both Finance and Fine Arts. She tells her friends that her way with numbers will make her a profitable artist and writer… one day.

Lily has always had a love of language and a beautifully crafted sentence, and admits to having a fetish for collecting quotes, poems, and song lyrics. What she won’t admit to is how many notebooks she’s filled with those quotes… Her fascination carries on into her artworks where she often incorporates text. When a shoulder injury slowed down her art practice she decided to explore her love of the written word more fully and began writing. “I’ll paint my pictures with words.”

Not that she’s abandoned artmaking in its entirety—Lily collaborates on the designs for all her book covers.

There are many things Lily loves, here are just a few of the PG rated ones: a good laugh (all the better if caused by a naughty joke), the smell of freshly baked goods and mown grass, a smile from a stranger, rainbows after the rain, and witnessing a promise kept.

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