Under the Boardwalk an all-new, heart-warming MM romance by Felice Stevens is LIVE!
Under the Boardwalk
by Felice Stevens
Publication Date: August 10th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance
Beneath the famous Brooklyn landmark, love is hidden but not denied:
All his life, Alexi Kharpov has dreamed of traveling to unknown exciting places instead of working at his family’s frozen custard stand on the famous Coney Island boardwalk. Every year is the same until a gorgeous man picks a spot in front of his stand to sing, captivating him with his beautiful voice. After two summers of listening, it might finally be the time for him to cross that boardwalk and take a chance.
Opera singer Cameron Maxwell has traveled the world, but the sight of the beautiful man serving custard to tourists touches his heart like nothing ever has before. A summer fling might be exactly what he needs to put his problems out of his mind, but the last thing Cam expects is to want the summer to last forever.
It’s a season of discovery for both men who learn to dig deep within their heads and hearts to decide whether secrets old and new should remain buried, or if love is too important to keep hidden under the boardwalk.
Under the Boardwalk (ARC) was graciously provided to me by Social Butterfly PR for an honest review.
“Lyubov’ i sem’ya”
Cue Under the Boardwalk by, The Drifters. Yep, it’s true. Ever since I came across the title of this new book, this particular song from the 60’s had made a comfortable spot within my brain, and has not left. And, that’s a good thing. I guess. *shrugs* However, having any song be set on a constant replay isn’t, that I know. But, in this case, it’s a welcomed..and happy inconvenience.
When I came across this new book, Under the Boardwalk, by Felice Stevens, and had the opportunity to read it, as that song re-set itself on replay, I quickly glanced at the blurb, and saw that one of the mc’s was an opera singer. As I’m somewhat of an opera buff, my ears had perked, and I had to read it. So..it’s true, it is the seduction of an opera singer’s voice that draws an opera enthusiast into the arms of the melodious song, that also has the enthusiast returning again and again. It’s the same concept as with books from this author. Under the Boardwalk is the second book that I’ve read by this author, and, I’ve returned for more. Having already read, The Shape of You, I wanted to get to know more of Felice Steven’s style of writing.
One of the most important themes for me, is one in which has the mc being extra brave, and, strong, and living as s/he should. As they have every right to live. Without sounding preachy, “The world is changing, either accept it or move aside,” and so, as others become aware of this, this theme of acclimation of the mc’s, is high on my list, and, I will drop everything when I come across a book with this type of theme. And, I did. Under the Boardwalk, is about two men, Alexi Kharpov and Cameron (Cam) Maxwell, and, how they go about living the best they can, while being comfortable within their own skin.
First, can we all just take a collective *dreamy sigh* at the absolute sweetness of Alexi? I adore him… Alexi is a college-age young man, who comes from a very close Russian family, who work together at one their family businesses on the famed Coney Island Boardwalk. Coney Island! YES! As soon as I saw those two words, I immediately thought of it’s beach, it’s hot dogs, The Cyclone, and all the yummy desserts which also can all be found in Brooklyn, NY.
And then there’s Cam..*sigh* A determined and incredibly brave young man, who has the most beautiful voice, who spends his summers on the boardwalk singing, and the rest of the time in a classroom as a music teacher. *another sigh*
Under the Boardwalk, is a heart-wrenching, beautiful and ultimately heart-warming story, that had me on a constant emotional roller-coaster. I felt like I was on The Cyclone as I read the book. While there were many parts that frustrated me, there were also many parts that I loved. I found myself cheering like a cheerleader, trying to hug my kindle, glowing like a low-watt light bulb, and, crying big crocodile tears as well.
*Unfortunately, throughout the book, I felt that one of the mc’s was dominant and pushy. And, that broke my heart. I feel that there’s a difference between being a “regular” dominant, and that oddly doesn’t bother me, and being a dominant who is pushy. Either way, I feel that, as in The Shape of You, for Under the Boardwalk, I felt that there is yet another potential gray-area for a trigger. And, for the second time, I’m shocked that it exists. Throughout the book, I found that this dominance was too much, and, felt that intimacy, very often, had occurred regardless of what the other person said or did.*
As I made my way through the book, and as I went up and down the rickety rails of The Cyclone, I had also developed whiplash from not only all of the emotions that I had experienced but also, due to the seemingly constant aura of repetitive wonderings of will he, won’t he, are we, yes we are, and, once the dominant dust, and, insta lust, had settled, and there was an honest relationship developing with such a warm, loving, and, protectiveness about it, I began to enjoy the book more. It was heart-breaking to witness the mc’s having to go through such turmoil, and, I felt like I wanted to, again, jump right into my kindle and hold their hands as they went through what they had to go through.
And then….I reached those parts.. Those parts that had me safely holding my breath, while trying to read through tears, those parts that brought about additional crocodile tears, and finally..those parts that had me signing with relief. I frequently melted. This book brought everything out of me.
One of the things I enjoyed in Under the Boardwalk, was the beautifully and accurately described surroundings of Coney Island’s Boardwalk. I really felt like I was in Brooklyn and was enjoying the many sights and sounds and the aromas of the area.
I also found that the secondary characters were very realistic and well written. I absolutely loved reading, feeling, and almost being immersed within another culture; the incorporation of the Russian language and the family interaction was spot on. Loved it. While being kept on the edge of my seat about one of the secondary characters, I began hoping for a future book for this particular character. *cough* Dmitri *cough*
Even though I thought that the ending was a bit abrupt, and, there were some things that were left unanswered, and, a bit confusing, I thought that it was written with an overall good plot and pace, and, despite going through a box of tissues, along with frustration making it’s presence, I enjoyed the book, and if it was possible, I’d jump right into my kindle, right now, just so that I could give Alexi and Cam such a big and squishy hug..:)
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2wqK7YY
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2vjaZtC
Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/ABFCxj
I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, My characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love, but getting there is oh so fun and oh so sexy.
I live in New York City with my husband and two children. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass (or two of red wine). I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there are bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.
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