Review: Beyond the Surface by Felice Stevens

Posted May 10, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 30 Comments

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Review: Beyond the Surface by Felice Stevens
Beyond the Surface

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
four-flames


Series: The Breakfast Club #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on August 17, 2015
Pages: 248
Format: eBook
Source: Free Book
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The Delight

Sadly, this has been setting on my shelf forever.   The blurb caught my attention and I wanted to try a new to me author and series especially when the first couple involved a firefighter hero who was hurt in 9/11.  And, yep, the cover grabbed me.  So cute and so perfect for the story.


Review

Beyond the Surface is a second chance romance.  They were teen sweethearts until Nick pushed Julian away.  Nick was afraid and insisted he wanted ‘normal’ let it destroy what they had.  Eighteen years later, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge.

At it’s heart, this is a story about a guy figuring out who he is and what he wants and being honest about it while another guy has to decide if he can reach out and trust again.  There was more to it than that.  Coming out for Nick was a slow and painful work in progress mixed with his survivor’s guilt, real scars, and struggles with PTSD from his experiences on 9/11.  Julian is also at a crossroads because he wants something more after getting poor reviews for his design after a competitor stole his designs and beat him to the runway.

There are bitter and painful moments, heartwarming times, and caliente sexy going on.  I enjoyed this first story and meeting the Breakfast Club members who have been best friends and are not nearly brothers.  I can’t wait to get Marcus and Zach’s stories now.


Challenges

Romance Roundabout #162 LGBT
Mt. TBR #61
Let’s Read Indie #60


Recommendations

  

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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shootingstarsmag
shootingstarsmag
2 years ago

Aw, I do love a good second-chance romance. This sounds like an enjoyable read – thanks so much for sharing.

-Lauren
http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

It was a cutie and an easy read. You bet, Lauren.

Melliane
2 years ago

I don’t read a lot of MM I confess but this one looks touching and well done

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

Yes, it was a combo of spicy and sweet. Much of the story is the pair of them figuring out person issues and then if they can be together. If the bedroom action got to be too much, I suppose you could skim. 🙂

Kimberly Caffeinated Reviewer

I like that this is a story about self and trust both personal and relationship wise.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Yes. It gave a bland story some seasoning that made it a lovely read.

Carole's Random Life
2 years ago

I don’t think that I have read too many stories that touched on 9/11. This sounds like a great read, Sophia Rose. Glad you enjoyed it!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

I hadn’t either. This one actually doesn’t do scenes from that day, but just refers back to his role and how it affected him. Definitely an enjoyable one. Thanks, Carole!

xinying
2 years ago

一个博客能让人流连忘返,讲真,靠的是实力!

Lexxie
2 years ago

This sounds really good, Sophia, and I love second-chance love stories, so there’s that as well.
Have you read Hot Head by Damon Suede? That’s also in the aftermath of 9/11, and I loved it.
Great review 🙂

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Lexxie

No, I haven’t read it yet. I knew it had a firefighter backdrop, but didn’t realize it was set against 9/11. I’m more interested now. Thanks!

Jenea Whittington
2 years ago

It sounds really good! I love the second chance romances and Nick and Julian sounds like they would be a great couple to follow on theirs. Great review. 🙂

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

I was so glad they got a second chance. My heart broke for Julian when Nick pushed him away after they were so good together as friends and more, but the rest of the story made up for it. 🙂

Lola
2 years ago

It sure is a great cover and it seems to fit the tone of the story well. And how interesting it’s set around 9/11 I haven’t seen many stories set around that time. And add in the PTSD, survivors quilt and other issues they’re dealing with, it sounds like there’s a lot going on in this book. I like it when a romance book can strike a good mix between the different types of scenes. Great review!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Lola

Yes, the cover really does match this pair. You don’t get that too often when a book has live models on it. The PTSD and survivor’s guilt along with feelings of distrust and inadequacy really gave the story good layers. Thanks, Lola!

Barks Book Nonsense
2 years ago

Sounds like so much angst. I don’ think my heart could take it right now but it does most excellent.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

It could have gone there with a lot of angst, but the author kept it just the right side of balanced for me. I hear you about not wanting to deal with certain elements in your pleasure reading. 😉

Mary Kirkland
2 years ago

Sounds like an emotional read but it sounds good.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

It was- more sweet than dramatic though there was a great deal of introspection as they worked out issues.

Karen
Karen
2 years ago

Sounds like something I would enjoy!

Karen @ For What It’s Worth

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Karen

Oh good! Glad to put it in your sights, Karen. 🙂

增大网
2 years ago

增大壮阳、丰乳缩阴、泡妞把妹,价值十万资料无限下。

逆向推荐,上线替下线赚钱,什么不用干,坐收二百万。

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抓紧来!

Vanessa
2 years ago

I love heartwarning stories, and I want to meet these Breakfast Club members too!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

Yes, the other two have me curious about their stories, too. 🙂

增大网
2 years ago

增大壮阳、丰乳缩阴、泡妞把妹,价值十万资料无限下。

逆向推荐,上线替下线赚钱,什么不用干,坐收二百万。

增大网:

111.zhuan.in

RO
RO
2 years ago

This sounds like a really good love story! Hugs…and Happy Saturday! RO

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  RO

It was tender and sweet with some sizzling moments. They had a lot to figure out.

Thanks, Ro! Enjoy the rest of your weekend. 🙂

Melanie Simmons
2 years ago

I could see a lot of real life second choice romances similar to this one. Not so much the 9/11 part, but the gay boy who wants to be “normal” before he learns that he is “normal”. Sounds like a great story.

Melanie @ Hot Listens & Books of My Heart

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

You’re so right about that. It can’t be easy in some environments where there is no one else you know like yourself to just step out and be different.

Carole's Random Life
2 years ago

I don’t think that I have read too many stories that touched on 9/11. This sounds like a great read, Sophia Rose. Glad you enjoyed it!