Today we welcome E.K Blair to our blog as she celebrates her new book Freeing which released on September 13th.
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Knowing who you are and accepting who you are come at different prices.
Jase Kinrick grew up in your typical, all-American household. But after the death of his sister, his parents shut down, forcing him to deal with everything life throws his way alone. Terrified of the person he’s discovering himself to be, Jase has his way with every willing girl to try and rid himself of what he fears he is—gay.
Escaping California and moving to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, Jase frees himself to the reality that he likes men. Never staying with any guy long enough to get to know them, he doesn’t realize that he’s still hiding from who he is until he meets Mark. Scared of having real feelings for another guy stirs up the questions and fears he’s fought hard to bury.
To strip away the barriers to the heart of what is real, and to be okay with what lies underneath, will be Jase’s moment of truth. But he’ll need Mark to lead him there.
**This is a companion novel to the USA Today Bestseller, FADING.**
“I need you to be mad.”
Taking a step toward me, he asks, “Why?”
I walk over and sit on the arm of the chair before admitting, “Because I need to feel it. So that I know that you can see this for what it is.”
“And what’s that?”
“Imperfect. Unequal.” Dropping my head, I release a deep breath before looking back up at him. “I’m undeserving and selfish. You’re worth so much more than what I’m capable of giving you.”
He moves to stand in front of me and takes my face in his hands as he questions me intently. “You don’t think you give me what I need? You think I’d stick around if you didn’t fill up pieces inside of me that only you’ve been able to?”
As he moves his hands to my shoulders, I drop my eyes when I tell him, “My pieces feel stripped bare.” I catch his eyes when I look back up and tell him, “I’m not sure I even have enough of them.”
“Maybe I have what you’re missing. But if you keep holding back, you’ll never find out. You’ll never know how well we can fit together unless you try.” I grip his shirt in my hands, almost pained by my confessions when he affirms, “I need you to try.”
“So that’s it?”
E.K Blair does it again with her captivating prologues that suck you right in. I enjoyed Jase in Fading and couldn’t wait to read his story. Freeing is the companion novel to Fading and though both can be read as standalones, I do recommend reading Fading first to get the complete story of this wonderful cast of characters.
Though being gay is more accepted these days, there are still negative perceptions and biases for being a homosexual man. There are still struggles to come out thus exposing yourself to criticisms from the world around you and Jase, sadly, is no exception to this.
Jase has spent a lot of time hiding his true self and being who he wants to be because he is afraid of who he is and what he is feeling. Jase is scared of defining himself as a gay man and most of all, he is afraid of what his parents will think. Growing up, he lost his sister at an early age and has had no real relationship with his parents and I am sad from the loneliness that he feels. Jase moves away to college hoping to be able to find himself and to be able to experience and enjoy life. At college, Jase meets Candace who immediately becomes his best friend but even more than this, she is like his sister. I truly enjoy all of their interactions and it warms my heart to see Jase so happy and for both of them to love each other so much – Candace is truly the only family that Jase has and is the only one that has really accepted him for who he is on the inside and out.
Jase meets Mark who studies architecture with him. We, the readers, can see the intense chemistry and attraction between them but Jase is afraid of giving himself completely to Mark. In my mind, I just want Jase to be honest with himself and to open himself up to this new relationship because it is a step in the right direction for him. Watching Jase and Mark interact is like fitting two pieces of a puzzle together – it just makes sense.
Will Jase be able to overcome his feelings of being in a committed relationship with a man? Or will he continue to run from any happiness that life could offer him? And will Jase finally realize that he deserves happiness?
You will have to read this book to find out!
I enjoyed this book and seeing scenes from Fading in Jase’s POV. I had several emotional moments reliving scenes of Candace in the hospital as it was torturous reading it from Jases’s side knowing how much he loves her like a sister – she is his heart.
I have read m/m books before and the sex scenes are definitely HOT! I loved seeing Jase and Mark together and watching his growth throughout the book and seeing him think of his partner rather than of himself.
E.K Blair did an incredible job naming this book as Freeing is definitely an appropriate name. Seeing where this relationship goes and reading the epilogue put a huge satisfying smile on my face. This was an engaging read and a series you will enjoy – job well done! <3
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