Monday, July 20, 2015

Turning His Life Around by Grace R. Duncan: #Review #GuestPost #Giveaway @GraceRDuncan

Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Turning His Life Around
by Grace R. Duncan

Length: 240 pages
Genres: Gay (M/M), Contemporary, BDSM, Erotic, Romance
Can Kane recognize what's right in front of him before he loses everything?

When Kane Harris’s world turns upside down, his lifelong best friend is the only one to catch him.

Years ago, Ian Kelly accepted Kane would never return his love, since he knows Kane believes he’s incapable of it. Ian is willing to settle for what he can get—a best friend, sometimes casual lover, and occasional submissive. He's learned he can’t live without Kane, but he can’t let Kane know. Because when, not if, Kane confirms that Ian’s love will never be returned, Ian won’t be able to take it. But when Kane loses his job and asks Ian to step up their play to help him deal, Ian’s ability to hide his feelings falters. Then Kane starts his own computer security firm and asks Ian to join him, and Ian struggles further.

It’s not until they visit the exclusive BDSM club the Iron Door that things come to a head. Kane screws up big time, and he’s afraid he can’t fix it. He’s sure he’ll lose his best friend, his Dom, his everything… forever.
Hello and welcome to the Turning His Life Around blog tour! I wanted to do something a little different this time around so I’ve put together a running short story. This story happens a couple of years before Turning takes place, when Ian is learning he’s in love with Kane but hasn’t quite accepted what all that means for him yet, since Kane doesn’t return that love. 

This is the first episode in the story. You will find episode 2 at The Novel Approach Reviews and follow along from there. The story will continue for all nine tour stops! Be sure to catch each one because everyone who reads all nine, and can answer a scavenger hunt questionnaire based on the story, will be entered to win $25 at Dreamspinner Press! Check the end of this post for a link to the tour page.
“Come on, let me take this off,” Kane grumbled again and reached up to pull at his blindfold.

Ian laughed and swatted his hand away. “No. You couldn’t decide where to go to celebrate the new job, so I get to surprise you. And if I’m going to surprise you, I’m going to go all the way with it. So, you’re just going to have to deal.”

“Ian…” Kane whined.

Reaching over from the driver’s seat, Ian gave Kane a light pinch to his leg. “Stop. We’ll be there soon.”

Kane sighed and mumbled something Ian didn’t catch, but he stopped complaining. Ian turned his attention to driving and was grateful when, a few turns later, he pulled into the restaurant’s parking lot. “Okay, stay put. I’ll be around to get you.”

“Okay,” Kane said, gripping the side of the seat, obviously working to keep from moving the blindfold.

He hurried around the car and opened Kane’s door then guided his friend out. “Okay, ready?”

Kane bit his lip, undoubtedly holding back a retort that would piss Ian off, then said, “Yes. Please.”

Ian grinned and pulled his mom’s silk scarf from around Kane’s eyes. “HOLY SHIT!” Kane nearly shouted then spun around, huge grin on his face. “Really?”

Smile spreading even wider, Ian nodded. “Yeah, really. I take it you’re okay with it?”

“Oh hell yeah! I’ve been wanting to go here forever. Holy shit, thank you,” Kane said and grabbed Ian in a hug, followed immediately by a hard kiss that briefly left Ian stunned.

When Kane turned back around, Ian had to shake his head hard to get his sanity back. He tossed the scarf into his car and shut the door. “Well, then, shall we?” Ian asked and they started around the building.

Kaishoku was one of the few truly authentic Japanese restaurants in the city. One of the Japanese gentlemen Ian worked with had recommended it some time ago. He’d said the food was very much like he'd had at home even if some of the sushi choices were still western. But the rest of it reminded him of home and that had been good enough for Ian.

The understated building certainly looked like a transplant from Tokyo, or, at least, from suburban Japan. One long, wide level rose up from the ground slightly with a long porch stretched across the front of the painted white exterior. Cherry wood trim ran around the windows and doors and along the bottom of the black, pointed roof. The doors were also done in a cherry wood with slatted windows inset and they slid open like traditional shoji doors.

When they stepped into the interior, Ian’s breath caught. It was gorgeous. A small stream ran behind the hostess station with a variety of koi swimming in the water, all of them almost as large as Ian’s forearm, some in bright red, a few with orange spots and some black and white. One looked almost translucent. Ian had to fight the urge to kneel down next to the stream to look closer.

Instead, he took in the rest of the relatively small room. The stream ran under walls on either side of the entry way, disappearing into the rest of the building. A lighter wood here in the interior, made up most of the walls and floor. The rest of the walls were white and looked like traditional rice paper, as were the shoji doors leading off to the left and right. Across from them and over a tiny footbridge, an archway led to a hallway filled with more shoji doors.

Soft music that sounded like it was some sort of lute and flute combination floated from invisible speakers to accompany the burble of the stream. The hostess’s voice added to the sound as she talked to someone on a cordless phone. Ian couldn’t tell if she was speaking English, Japanese, or some other language because she was talking too fast for him to make it out.

As they approached the stand, she looked up and smiled at them. “Yes, thank you. We will see you then,” she finished in a heavy Asian accent. “Very good. Good bye!” She pushed the button on the phone and set it down, looking up at them. “Good evening!” she greeted them, bowing slightly. “Welcome to Kaishoku! How may I help you?”

“Hello,” Ian said, returning her smile and putting his hand on Kane’s back. “Reservations for Kelly.”

“Oh yes! Very good. Very good,” she said, pulling out menus. She consulted a map of the restaurant as she pulled out a long piece of paper, then glanced up at them again. Her eyes widened a little when she spotted Ian’s hand on Kane’s back and Ian tensed, not sure what to expect for a reaction.
My Review: 5 of 5 stars
Turning His Life Around is one of the most entertaining BDSM stories I've read in a while. I have personal experience in the lifestyle and must say that one of my favorite aspects of Turning is how realistically the D/s relationship develops between Ian and Kane over time. While certain personalities do tend to incline a person towards one side or the other, the truth of the matter is that Doms are not born with the knowledge of how to lead, subs are not automatic naturals. That these are skills developed over time, nurtured between partners and, more often than not, learned at home or within a small group of like-minded friends, is a truth Duncan nestles beautifully within the pages of her story.

Kane and Ian's characters are so genuine, the connection between them is almost tangible. The obvious chemistry found in their deliciously frequent scenes are 'Did somebody turn the heat up in here?' sexy. They make their fair share of mistakes over time, but in doing so learn to communicate, trust and depend on each other. Reading Turning His Life Around is like opening a window into someone else's life, fully expecting it to be a completely foreign experience, only to discover that it's not that much different than your own. 
Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

1. One person who comments here by telling me your favorite type of restaurant will win an ebook of any of my backlist titles published prior to Turning. ~Grace

2. Be sure to follow the entire tour for chances to win backlist ebooks and more! Questions for the scavenger hunt will be posted here on August 3rd, so check back for your chance to answer them and win $25 at Dreamspinner Press!


  1. My goodness! I'm a total foodie, so picking one type of restaurant I'd difficult, but I have to go with dim sum. It's a kind of Chinese "brunch" of small plates filled with dumplings of all types. My kids crave this, and it's always a big splurge for Father's Day.

    Thanks for the chance and good luck with this launch. Sounds great!

  2. Oh that's a tough question. I would have to say that my favorite type of restaurant is seafood. Thanks for the chance and for the great book tour!

  3. Thanks for the giveaway and the excerpt!

  4. i would say the mexican resturant by my house is my most favorite EVER

  5. I love going to the Korean BBQ Buffet near our house where we grill the meats and vegetables. There is a selection of beef, chicken, pork, and seafood so there is something for everyone. There are also the usual array of side dishes provided. Yum!

  6. I love Mexican food! Any thing on the menu is good! Would love to try some Thai though.

  7. I love going to a good seafood restaurant, with Greek food a close second :)

  8. I've been craving korean but I can go with italian too.

  9. I don't eat out very often, but I do enjoy Mexican :)

  10. I would say BBQ, love Sticky Fingers!!!! Thanks for the review and giveaway!! The book looks really interesting and would be a great read!!

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