Friday, August 14, 2015

Andrew's Promise by Nic Starr: #GuestPost #Review #Giveaway @nicstar000

Cover Artist: Bree Archer
Andrew’s Promise
(Heroes, Book 2)
by Nic Starr 

Length: 200 pages
Genres: Contemporary, Gay (M/M), Romance
Young mechanic Andrew Campbell’s life couldn’t be better. He is about to restore a Ford Mustang with his dad before heading off on the ultimate cross-country road trip with his best friend, Tanner McKenzie.

But tragedy strikes, and Andrew’s life is shattered. Worried his family will be torn apart if he doesn’t step in, Andrew makes a tough choice between following his heart and doing what he needs to do to protect his little brother.

When Andrew pushes Tanner away, Tanner heads off on the planned trip alone. Once Tanner leaves town, his life takes a different path and it’s ten years before he returns. Now a firefighter, he’s never forgotten his first love, and no one has ever taken Andrew’s place in his heart. He’s determined to see if Andrew feels the same way. He just hopes Andrew’s excited to see him, hopes that he’s available—and finally out—after all this time.

They might not have been ready to deal with emerging feelings years ago, but now might be the time for their second chance at love.

Second Chances
Hi. Nic Starr here. Thanks for having me visit as I release my latest novel, Andrew’s Promise, book two of the Heroes series.

I’m so excited to bring you Andrew’s story because I’ve wanted to give Andrew his happy ending since he was first introduced in Charlie’s Hero. Andrew gave up so much to save his small family, he deserved a happy ending all of his own. :)

Andrew’s Promise is a story about second chances. In the first half of the book, Andrew has dreams and hopes. He’s developed feelings for this best friend, Tanner, and his future is bright. Drew is on the verge of realizing his dreams when the course of his life is forever changed. From that time on, he devotes himself to raising his younger brother, and puts his own wishes on hold. Ten years later, Andrew gets a second chance at life and love when Tanner returns to town.

It’s not often we get second chances, but when we do, we need to grab the opportunity with both hands. I know people who have been afraid to change the status quo or been scared of being hurt again. Not Andrew. Andrew doesn’t allow his chance at happiness to pass him by. But Andrew’s second chance is only possible because Tanner decided to fight for what he gave up so long ago. Tanner believed in second chances too.

I hope you enjoy Tanner and Andrew’s story and take advantage of any second chances that come your way. Doing so just might make your dreams come true.

Happy reading,
Nic xx
THE SWEET pungency of garlic wafting through the air combined with the aroma of hot and spicy pepperoni with mushrooms—heaven. Andrew tried to watch his diet, conscious of his carbs and fat intake, but a weekly pizza was his one weakness. Meeting Tanner at the Pizza Place gave him an excuse to indulge while catching up with his best friend.

“Are you going to eat that?” Tanner indicated the remaining slice on the plate in the middle of the table. “Because if you don’t take it in the next ten seconds, it’s mine.”

“Hey, hands off,” Andrew said as he snatched the piece of pizza and placed it on the empty plate in front of him.

Tanner held his hands up, palms facing Andrew, in mock surrender. “All right. It’s all yours. I wouldn’t want to come between you and your pizza.” Andrew warmed at the familiarity of the words. They’d been coming here on Thursday nights for years and the routine never changed. Tanner always gave Andrew more than his fair share of the pizza, and Andrew took it, but not without a bit of lighthearted banter.

“You know, you could do with a bit of fattening up,” Andrew said, taking in his friend’s lean frame.

Tanner just raised his eyebrows and kept on eating. It was another routine with them—Andrew’s friendly teasing about Tanner’s looks—but in reality, Tanner’s frame had started to fill out over the last year, something Andrew had begun to notice. He’d also noticed other people looking and assumed Tanner wouldn’t have any trouble attracting a guy, if that’s what he was looking for. Although Andrew knew Tanner’s preferences, he was relieved Tanner didn’t share any other details.

Andrew gave Tanner a once-over as he filled his mouth and chewed thoughtfully. At six feet, Tanner had the body of a swimmer, tall and lean with sleek muscles. Andrew thought he moved like a swimmer too. He was smooth and graceful, and purposeful in his movements. Even now, as he brought the pizza to his mouth, he did so with slender hands and delicate fingers—fingers Andrew found himself staring at while Tanner sucked the grease from them. Tanner pulled the last digit from his mouth with a soft popping sound and smacked his lips. “Yum.” He looked at Andrew. “What?”

Andrew tore his gaze away from Tanner’s shining lips, cleared his throat, and turned the conversation to the trip they’d been discussing before the meal arrived.

“Dad brought home some more brochures last night. I think he’s more excited about the trip than we are.”

“Nah. Not possible.” Tanner grinned. “I can hardly wait. Beginning of summer and we’re outta here, man. Six months. I’m counting the days. Six months till freedom. Bring it on.”

Tanner’s enthusiasm was as infectious as always, and Andrew couldn’t help but smile at him. The background music in the restaurant switched over from a slow track to some Italian mambo track, the upbeat tempo matching his mood. Andrew stacked the plates on the table and moved them to the side, making room for the folder he placed in front of Tanner. He then took the map tucked into the back cover, unfolded it, and spread it across the red-and-white tablecloth.

“Dad got another brochure on the Grand Canyon, but we’ve already covered that.” He used his finger to point to Arizona. It was going to be the destination for an overnight hike that would test their skills. They were used to hiking around Halls Ridge but not to the extremes of temperature and lack of water in the canyon. “We haven’t really spoken about Florida yet.” As he spoke, Andrew took a glossy foldout from his pocket and flattened it to the table. “See here—”

“Hold up, Drew.” Tanner reached across and stilled Andrew’s hand as it hovered over the map. “I have a wild idea. Radical, yes? But how ’bout we don’t plan everything to the nth degree and just play it by ear.”

Tanner’s hand was surprisingly soft where he held Andrew’s hand. Andrew expected roughened skin from Tanner’s work as a mechanic. He blushed as he became aware of Tanner waiting for him. “Huh?”

“You know. Just arrive and go with the flow. Stop when something’s interesting, and move on when it’s not.”

Andrew dragged his thoughts back to the conversation as Tanner released his hand. “But how will we know how long we should plan for? Or what we need to take? What if we’d be best to book something in advance or we miss it? I’d hate to get all the way home and realize we should have stopped somewhere.”

“Don’t you ever want to take a chance? Throw caution to the wind?” Tanner tilted his head and looked at him, but Andrew knew he’d never feel relaxed or comfortable without some sort of road map and plan.

“I… ahh….”

Tanner laughed. “It’s okay, Drew, we can have a plan. I’m lucky I’ve got you to do all the preparation and make sure this trip is everything we want it to be. But maybe, just maybe, I’m not saying you have to, but just think about relaxing a bit? We don’t have a deadline and can take as long as we like to see the country.”

“We can. Take as long as we like, that is. But the money’s going to run out sometime. I know we’ve both put away a bit, but it’ll only go so far.”

“And then we’ll be on even more of an adventure.” Tanner’s eyes gleamed as he winked at Andrew. “Just imagine, we can camp by the roadside and get laboring jobs. We can pick fruit, sow grain, shovel horseshit.” He threw his head back in laughter, his full belly laugh giving Andrew no option but to join in.

“Idiot,” Andrew said as he tossed a sugar packet from the container on the table at Tanner.

Although he knew Tanner was only joking, the idea of being stranded in the unknown without any money gave Andrew the chills.

Tanner eventually stopped laughing and sat back upright in his seat before taking a long swallow of his Coke and pulling the Florida brochure toward him.

“Okay. Show me where you suggest we visit. I assume we need to decide so Josh can put it in the book?”

Andrew nodded. “Yeah. I said he could do it on the weekend, once we’d discussed it.”

“Cool. He’s a great kid. I love what he’s done with the book already.”

Andrew watched Tanner flip through a few pages that were a mix of neat handwritten notes and immaculate cutouts from the various brochures—places to visit, things to see, costs, durations for each destination, what to pack, and all manner of other information. Information Andrew had painstakingly researched and written into the book, but Tanner didn’t need to know that. He didn’t need to know the countless hours Andrew spent on that notebook, on their dream. Andrew had taken note of every place Tanner had mentioned when they discussed the trip and made sure he’d included activities he knew Tanner would enjoy. The notebook had become a labor of love.

And soon the already full itinerary expanded yet again as they discussed alligators, beaches, theme parks, and fishing.'
4 of 5 stars
Andrew is a character that was previously introduced in Charlie's Hero, book 1 in the series, which I haven't read. I've been told that book one introduced Andrew after he'd started taking care of his younger brother and I'm glad I didn't have that information ahead of time. Andrew's friendship with Tanner prior to his the upheaval is important because it's the foundation that their newer romantic connection is built on.

Andrew's part of this story is so sad. He willingly gives up his dreams in order to care for his brother, which is something not many young men in his situation would be willing to do. The emotional turmoil that he undergoes is daunting. Add having to grow up in the blink of an eye and it isn't any wonder that it rocks his world and ends up changing him forever.

Tanner stands by Andrew through it all, but once he start to adjust to the changes in his life Andrew pushes Tanner away. Having just witnessed his best friend give up everything for his brother I'm surprised that Tanner didn't figure out that Andrew was acting true to form by insisting he take their road trip alone rather than give up their shared dream as well. I was disappointed that he left and didn't fight for harder harder. It smacked of abandonment to me and even though were meant to feel compassion for him as his first love drives him away, I couldn't.

That he eventually comes to his senses and arrives back in town to fight for a second chance with Andrew is the best part of this story. After all the heartache I was relieved that something in Andrew's life was starting to go right. I would have liked to see more character development, especially during the time that they were apart, but I'm a huge fan of second chances, which is the backbone of this story. Andrew's Promise is a highly emotional journey and I loved the happy ending.
Nic Starr lives in Australia where she tries to squeeze as much into her busy life as possible. Balancing the demands of a corporate career with raising a family and writing can be challenging but she wouldn't give it up for the world.

Always a reader, the lure of m/m romance was strong and she devoured hundreds of wonderful m/m romance books before eventually realising she had some stories of her own that needed to be told!

When not writing or reading, she loves to spend time with her family-an understanding husband and two beautiful daughters-and is often found indulging in her love of cooking and planning her dream home in the country.

You can find Nic on Facebook, Twitter and her blog. She'd love it if you stopped by to say hi.


  1. The book sounds good. I really enjoyed the first book Charlies Hero. Look forward to reading this book

  2. Thanks for hosting me and for providing such a lovely review :)

  3. Looking forward to reading this series! Thanks for the chance!