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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

New Release - Blog Tour & Giveaway~ A Preacher’s Son by Lisa Henry & JA Rock

Blog Tour:

A Preacher’s Son by Lisa Henry & JA Rock

Release date: January 16, 2018

Book Blurb:

Jason Banning is a wreck. His leg’s been blown to hell in Afghanistan, his boyfriend just left him and took the dog, and now he’s back in his hometown of Pinehurst, Washington, a place that holds nothing but wretched memories…and Nathan Tull. Nathan Tull, whose life Jason ruined. Nathan Tull, who will never believe Jason did what he did for a greater good. Nathan Tull, whose reverend father runs the gay conversion therapy camp that Jason once sought to bring down—at any cost.

Nathan Tull is trying to live a quiet life. Four years ago, when Nate was a prospective student visiting UW, his world collapsed when senior Jason Banning slept with him, filmed it, and put the footage online. A painful public outing and a crisis of faith later, Nate has finally begun to heal. Cured of the “phantoms” that plagued him for years, he now has a girlfriend, a counselor job at his dad’s camp, and the constant, loving support of his father.

But when he learns Jason is back in town, his carefully constructed identity begins to crumble. As desperate to reconcile his love for God with his attraction to men as Jason is to make sense of the damage he’s done, Nate finds himself walking a dangerous line. On one side lies the righteous life he committed himself to in the wake of his public humiliation. On the other is the sin he committed with Jason Banning, and the phantoms that won’t let him be. But is there a path that can bridge those two worlds—where his faith and his identity as a gay man aren’t mutually exclusive?

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Teaser Excerpt  (NSFW):

He leaned in, and Nate panicked for a moment, thinking Jason was going to kiss him and that he wasn’t ready yet. But Jason just brushed the hair from Nate’s eyes and pressed his forehead to Nate’s. Nate matched his breathing to Jason’s, so that each breath they took collided. Finally he nodded.

“We don’t have to do anything but sit here,” Jason said.
“I want to fuck,” Nate said harshly. He met Jason’s gaze. “I mean I seriously want to fuck. I want it to feel—like—like everything, and I want it to—to be real. I want to forget all the bad things I’ve ever done.”

“Me too.” Jason’s voice was thin and hushed.

Nate leaned back. Stretched out on the blanket and stared at the barely-distinguished black silhouettes of the tree branches. The blanket wasn’t quite long enough, and pine needles scraped his calves.

Jason pulled off his shirt. Tossed it aside. He looked down at Nate. “We’re gonna start slow, okay?”

Nate shifted. Imagined the dangers that lurked in the woods. Sharp-toothed animals and poisonous plants and all the fucking shadows that kept you from seeing where you were going, where you’d come from. He wanted this to go fast. He wanted to get out of here.
But Jason lifted his shirt, just enough to expose a few inches of Nate’s belly. He scooted back on the blanket and rolled onto his stomach, his head at Nate’s hip. He kissed Nate’s hip bone, his lips soft and slightly damp. Nate sighed and tried to relax.
What if someone sees?

Jason kissed his way across his stomach. Nate’s muscles flexed and released, and his breathing roughened into sharp gasps. Jason paused and licked a slow circle around his navel then pushed his tongue down the trail of light hair leading to Nate’s groin. He undid Nate’s fly, and Nate, shaking, lifted his hips so Jason could pull his jeans down.
The cool air made Nate’s exposed skin prickle. What if someone sees? The thought wouldn’t go away.

Jason ran his tongue along the edge of the waistband of Nate’s briefs. Nate’s stomach contracted, and then he exhaled, some of the tension leaving his body.
Jason pressed his nose against the front of his briefs and let out a warm, damp breath Nate could feel through the fabric.

“Oh, shit,” Nate whispered as Jason nosed his swollen balls. Kissed the outline of his dick. Took the cotton in his teeth and tugged, until the head of Nate’s cock poked through the slit. Jason released the fabric then slowly leaned forward. Nate knew what was about to happen, and his lower body clenched, his hands forming fists as Jason pressed the tip of his tongue to the slit of his dick.

Nate jolted, one knee bending. His head snapped back, his eyes closed, and he gripped the blanket, willing himself not to end this too fast. Jason’s tongue remained where it was, and after a moment, Nate forced himself to open his eyes. Jason was watching him. Jason grinned, then placed his lips around the head of Nate’s dick.  Slowly sucked the fluid that was beading at the slit.

“Jason...Jason…” Nate panted. He bent both knees, his legs falling open. He wanted to kick his jeans off. Wanted to lie here spread open for Jason, and who the fuck cared if anyone saw?

“Take these down,” Jason whispered, hooking his finger under the elastic of the briefs. He moved his finger back and forth, tickling Nate’s hip.
Nate hesitated, then lifted again and slid his briefs to his knees, squirming as his bare ass made contact with the blanket.

Jason traced the crease between Nate’s hip and groin. “You look freaked out.” Nate could hear the smile in his voice.

“Maybe I’ll always look like this when I’m having sex. Would that be hot?”
Jason laughed. “You always look hot. But you should definitely relax.”
“Okay.” Nate took a deep breath, then let it out. Gave himself a moment to study the stars before turning his gaze back to Jason. Jason looked so fucking gorgeous that for a second Nate was stunned. He’s mine. Even if it’s just for tonight. His breath caught and his back arched slightly, and he smiled at Jason. “Better?”


How profound. 

I can't say this is my favorite, because I've decided stories involving religion (not to be confused with faith) makes me uncomfortable, but it is very well written and makes you think about things. 

I don't even want to say I liked Jason or what he did and the way he thought he could change the world...but the fact that he even tried to is commendable. His and Molly’s conversation at the end of the book also made me think. They talk about people how they feel about people in the closet. In not so many words they feel like: they're out and proud and in the front lines working for basic rights, while everyone not out is sitting back waiting to enjoy the perks. Of course it isn't as cut and dry as that, but it certainly opens your eyes and makes you think. 

"People said the mind narrowed as it aged. That youth was a time of malleability, that children were blank slates— innocent; as though lack of information were a form of purity rather than a hindrance— that teenagers were society’s revolutionaries. There was some truth to that. The rebelliousness and wonder of being young let you shrug off your parent’s prehistoric ideas and replace them with your own progressive values."

Jason and Nate's chemistry, to me, say the least. I personally didn't feel that it was a "burning" chemistry, but more out of desperation. Nate with his fear of coming out and the way he leaned on (and still leans) on Jason to be his rock with coming out. Did he lean towards Jason because he was the first male to show interest in him? I couldn't really tell. 
For Jason: did he just feel bad for what he did to Nate and just wanted to make it up to him? 
He does think Nate is "beautiful", but it seems they just hopped into bed all the time- all nervous and awkward and lusty. 

Reverend Tull, Nate’s father, was an anomaly. You wanted to hate him for what he was doing, but he genuinely believed he was helping this kids and loved them and was doing something good for them. He was a compassionate person with no hate in his heart. It wasn't until something pretty extreme happens to open the reverend's eyes to see the route he is going is more hurting than helping. It doesn't help the fact that Nate is lying to him. Yes, he tells him he has "phantoms" and they try to pray it out, but Nate doesn't tell him the extent and that it's never going to really work, and how would the Reverend actually know? I feel like, if Nathan had been more honest in the beginning, instead of becoming this "Poster Boy" for conversion therapy, maybe it wouldn't have gone on as long as it had. That comes now full circle to Jason and Molly's conversation about those not coming out.... just, profound. 

Nate has major conflict between his “sins” and his love for God. He must separate his faith from religion. He honestly believes God loves him, and everyone else who "sins". How could he not, if everyone was made in His image? If I were truly a religious person and fully believed in God, this would also be my beliefs. He also has conflict between wanted to be so angry at Jason for what he did, but also loving/lusting after him anyways. 

“This has been really confusing. Just…figuring out if I can still have a relationship with Him. It’s almost like …like we had a miscommunication? Like, He’s always loved me, and I was going out of my way, doing all this harmful shit to try to get his approval, when He was just right there like… like what the fuck, Nate? You’re fine the way you are.”
Jason laughed softly. “I like that your God says ‘what the fuck.’”
“He’d have to, right?” 
Nate laughed too. “All this shit that goes on in the world, all the shit people do in His name… He’d have to laugh, sometimes.”

In the end, Nate seems to figure out his balance between Family, Love, and Faith. Somethings don’t end all that happy, but that’s life, right? But for our MC’s, things will start to look up. 

"What made forgiveness hard was looking into the eyes of the person who’d wronged you and seeing your own reflection. Knowing you had to give up your little patch of territory on the side of Right, and join your antagonist in that vast gray expanse between God’s light and complete darkness. Because your righteousness was an illusion. Your certainty, a danger. Was that ever how God felt? If He’d made people in his image, did that mean He looked at all these flawed sinners and saw his own reflection? Did he realize that His place wasn’t high above, looking down, but right here amid the mess? Or was He fearless? Was He truly flawless? Did He have a plan?"

About the authors:

Lisa Henry likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.
Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.
She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied history and English, neither of them very thoroughly.
She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

Connect with Lisa Henry:

J.A. Rock is the author of over twenty LGBTQ romance and suspense novels, as well as an occasional contributor to HuffPo Queer Voices. J.A.’s books have received Lambda Literary, INDIE, and EPIC Award nominations, and 24/7 was named one of the best books of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews. J.A. lives in Chicago with an extremely judgmental dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.

Connect with JA Rock:

Giveaway: Win 1 of 3 e-copies of any Lisa Henry or JA Rock back catalog book! Open Internationally.


Win 1 of 3 e-copies of any Lisa Henry or JA Rock back catalog book! Open Internationally.
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