Monday, October 5, 2015

House of the Rising Son by Trevann Rogers: #Review #GuestPost #Giveaway @TrevannRogers

House of the Rising Son
(Living After Midnight Book, 1)
by Trevann Rogers

Length: 280 pages
Genres: Gay (M/M), Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Sex. Rebellion. Rock and roll.

Cheyenne is a half-human incubus whose star is on the rise in the Unakite City rock scene. His father, the leader of the supernatural races, would prefer he keep a “low profile”, but screw that. Cheyenne has as much music in his veins as royal incubi blood.

Alexander's future is all set—finish law school, join the family firm, and marry someone who'd be good for business. Not that he has a say in any of it. He's barely met the woman his father expects him to marry.

As Cheyenne's musical career takes off, his carefully constructed life begins to unravel, exacerbated by an ex-lover who can't let go, a crotchety barkeeper with a dirty mind and a pure heart, a drag queen who moonlights as a nanny, and Alexander—who's not sure if he's falling for the incubus or the rocker.

Cheyenne denies who he is, while Alexander hides what he wants. Together, they learn that getting what they truly want means being who they truly are.

Everyone is affected by the expectations of others. Our bosses and teachers expect effort and performance. Spouses usually expect things like fidelity and partnership. From before we’re born, our parents have plans and expectations of us. They know who and what they want us to be. 

No matter the expectation, two things are certain: If someone's expectation of you fits with your own, you feel supported. Happy, even. But if the expectation is out of sync with yours, you feel burdened, angry, or stressed out. In House of the Rising Son, our heroes, Cheyenne and Alexander, are drowning in their father’s expectations.

When we first meet Cheyenne, the expectations of his father, ruler of all supernatural beings, stress him out terribly. He can't comply. Seeing himself as “a lover not a fighter”, he just wants to eliminate the pressure. He hides. As for Alexander, there was never a doubt in his mind he’d follow whatever path his father mapped out for him, so he did.

As is true for most of us, Cheyenne and Alexander’s lives take hugely unexpected turns, and they both question the plans their insistent fathers continue to push at them. As they grow and change, their response also changes.  Laid back, “roll with the punches” Alexander feels put upon. Formerly avoidant Cheyenne gets angry. Very angry. It turns out living the lives they want means, in part, honoring their own expectations.

What expectations did your parents have for you? Did you fulfill their plans, or go your own way?
He spotted Alexander settling his tab and headed over to the bar. He hopped onto a bar stool next to him and winked at Eddie. “Give me whatever he’s drinking.”

Eddie swiped down the space in front of Cheyenne and set down a short glass. “Bourbon rocks, with a twist. The good stuff. Quite a change from your usual rotgut. It’s coming out of your check.”

“No. Let me.” Alexander took a bill out of his wallet and pushed it toward Eddie.

“Cheyenne, you gonna introduce me to this gorgeous side of beefcake?”

“Sure. First name Nunya. Last name Bidness.” He turned to Alexander. “This nosy old woman is my boss, Edwina, as in...” Cheyenne held his arms out and spun around gesturing towards the stage, the dance floor and the bar.

“Edwina is...Eddie?” Alexander wiped his hand on his pant leg before extending it. “Pleased to meet you, ma’am. Name’s Alexander. You have a great place here.”

Eddie took his hand with a firm grip and shook it. “Here, there, I get around.” She turned to Cheyenne and pointed her thumb in Alexander’s direction. “Now that’s what I’m talking about. You hear him, you tiny twit? He’s a gentleman. Be nice to this one.” Eddie leaned her impressive girth across the bar to scan the tall man from head to toe. “Remember, the store room is pretty small.”

“Oh, that’s subtle.” Cheyenne drummed his index fingers on the edge of the bar with a quick staccato beat. “No worries, old woman. He’s not my type.”

Eddie’s laughter echoed throughout the emptying bar. When it began to fade, she looked from Cheyenne to Alexander, shook her head and started laughing again. Cheyenne fed on her amusement and returned it to her. She giggled as she resumed cleaning the bar.

“What was that about?” Alexander’s confusion brought Cheyenne’s attention back to him.



Cheyenne didn’t have to look at Alexander to know the man was growing tense. He tasted it. “Crazy Old Woman Syndrome. Don’t worry about it.” Cheyenne doodled in the moisture that had pooled at the base of the glass of bourbon and then stuck his tongue into the dark amber liquid. “Ugh! Yuck!” He coughed. “You drink this stuff or strip furniture with it?”

Alexander shrugged. He swirled the ice in his glass and took a drink. “Take a little and give it a minute.”

“What the hell. I’ll try anything twice.” Cheyenne brought the glass to his lips, hesitating before taking a sip. He closed his eyes as the liquid’s warmth traveled down his throat and settled in his stomach. “I see what you mean.” He leaned around Alexander to check out the empty seat next to him. “So where’s the babe you were with earlier? Ditch you for a better prospect?”

“What?” Alexander shook the ice in his glass, and swirled it again.

Cheyenne found Alexander’s fidgeting interesting. “You were with a girl earlier. Where’d she go? She ditch you, or did you dump her?”

“Oh, that was a friend. Prudence. She didn’t... I mean, she wasn’t feeling well, so I took her home.” Alexander gulped his bourbon, grimaced and cleared his throat.

“Huh.” Judging from the delicious new jolt of cayenne he’d just ingested, he knew even talking about the woman was making Alexander agitated and angry. Why didn’t he admit that he’d been angry at her? Cheyenne filed the information away. He’d dig a little further into this curiosity some other time. “I don’t remember seeing her here before. Well, maybe you’ll bring her back sometime when she’s feeling better.”

The spicy taste of Alexander’s discomfort kicked up a notch. It was delicious. Cheyenne imagined making him furious would be mouth-watering.

“Listen, I better be going. Early morning and all that.” Alexander stood up and dropped a twenty into the tip jar. “See you around,” he said, walking away.

“Conflicted much?” Cheyenne retrieved the twenty from the jar and stuffed it into his pocket. Maybe big, sexually confused guys with money were his type after all.
Setting The Scene
I was intrigued by the title. My mind began to hum while scanning the synopsis, "There is a house in New Orleans | They call the Rising Sun | And it's been the ruin of many a poor boy| And God I know I'm One," (Lyrics from The House of the Rising Sun by The Animals) and words are popping out at me: rock and roll. half-human incubus, music, royal blood, law school, drag queen, contains hot were-tiger sex. I was expecting angst, romance, sexy characters, paranormal royalty and smexyness, clearly these are all excellent reasons to select a book.
More than anything else, House of the Rising Son is a family drama. It does contain the elements I mentioned above, but there's a lot more. It's about Cheyenne’s very messed up dad and all the political pies he's got his grubby fingers stuck in, Alexander’s hoity-toity parents and their equal pretentious expectations, and how two pretty great guys managed to scrape themselves away from all the parental fuckery mostly intact, to make an awesome family of their own. The kids are amazing, everyone should have a drag queen for a nanny, and I would LOVE to sit down and have drinks with Eddie sometime.
Final Impression
Honestly, the story line isn't all that fluid; it stops and starts, veers off track, gets caught up in unnecessary sub-plots and is quaintly cliched.... so what. It's got heart, it's different, I liked the characters, it was honest and true and yeah... I'd totally read it again.
My Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Trevann Rogers is a writing pseudonym. She is two authors with day jobs, living in the wilds of Connecticut with Molly, a chubby rescue mutt who'd rather eat and snuggle than just about anything else, Chloe, a tough as nails terrier mix who never met a pillow she didn't want to kill, and Lil Monkey, a sock monkey who thinks he's real and hopes no one catches him sneaking out of the window in the middle of the night to live his own adventures. (He claims, among other things, to have written several SyFy movies and had a gig as a male stripper at one of the local establishments. Who knows?)

Apropos for writers, the two women met as pen pals and stayed connected through their love for words and an unquenchable addiction to music. They use a pen name to spare their families questions regarding why their relatives write about gay male rock stars, incubi, attorneys, Were's and vampires.

Okay, that's not true. But it could be.

Social worker and executive by day, their hours to write are long after the sun goes down and the creatures who live in the shadows come out to play. Between day jobs and other obligations, they learned long ago that being themselves means living after midnight.

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  1. Sounds like a fun one, but BUSY! No doubt it left the track a few times...
    V :)

  2. Congratulations on your new release Trevann I wish you many sales!

  3. Thanks, Veronica. It's no doubt a wild ride...but a fun one! I hope you enjoy it!

  4. Thank you so much, ShirleyAnn. I appreciate the kind words.

  5. Thanks, Carly, for hosting me and also for the heartfelt review. Glad you enjoyed the story.

  6. Thanks for sharing your review, sounds like an awesome book - I'm looking forward to reading it.

  7. Thank you and I hope you enjoy the book.

  8. I enjoyed the guest posts and the excerpt, thanks for sharing them and your review, sounds like a good book,

  9. Thanks, Eva. It was a pleasure being here. Glad you liked the excerpt--hope you like the book, too!

  10. Looks like a great book. Thank you for the excerpt and review =)


  11. I'm glad you liked the post Rita

  12. Thank you, booklovez. I appreciate the kind comments.

  13. I really enjoyed the excerpt and the review. I can't wait to read more! Thank you.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt and hope you enjoy the book.

  14. It sounds like a great read! How many books are in the series? Will they all have the same main couple?

    1. Hi Serena. There will be at least three books in this series but it is really open ended. There is a new adult book in the works that has different people but is still set in this world.

      Chey and Zander will be the main couple in at least the three.

  15. The cover and the excerpt is wonderful. Do you ever use people you know or have met as characters in your books?

    1. Sherry, thanks so much for the nice comment on the cover. I love it too. I suppose I take bits and pieces, and the occasional quirk, from people I know, or have met, or observed in some situation. At least they start that way and then go off in their own direction.