Thursday, 15 May 2014

[BLOG TOUR + REVIEW] Chartreuse by T.E. Ridener

Chartreuse by T.E. Ridener
 April 2014
Age Group: New Adult

Copy provided by T.E. Ridener in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

This is the third book I've read by T.E. Ridener and it's probably my absolute favourite. I also have to commend the author for writing such an amazing book.  I was apprehensive at first when I realized that the story was an m/m romance (male/male) as oppose to the generic heterosexual relationships. I've never read any same sex stories and I wasn't really sure what to expect with the story line or the character relationships   Chartreuse showed me that regardless of sex, a story can still be beautiful if it's solely focused on the love of two people.

Chartreuse follows the story of a shy, barely legal boy called Kasen who hides himself and his sexuality. Then there's the older, new resident of Chartreuse, Rowan who is much more comfortable with his sexuality and accepting it.  They meet while both dog walking. Let's be honest they're basically two different people that are practically perfect for each other. You have the domineering, more masculine Rowan , and the innocent, wide-eyed Kasen who takes the place of the more feminine role. The two characters do somewhat reflect a stock character feel but their romance is genuine in the story and not forced which is very hard to find in some books. 

"No place appreciates the summer like Boston, because Boston knows in its bones what the alternative is" - Living in Canada I can completely understand. But this quote not only pertains to the weather but for me the idea of accepting life and running with it because the alternative of living a closed, sheltered, and worried life is far worse. Possible foreshadow of the story? I think so.

For those apprehensive about the "sex scenes" in new adult and adult romance novels I can tell you that this story isn't as explicit as other stories. All actions are implied and described very loosely. Which I appreciate. It makes the focus of the story on the budding romance rather than the sexual attraction between the two characters that way you truly feel their connection grow and bud into a true romance. 

Where the story started to get predictable was when the townspeople started hating on Kasen and Rowen. Let's be honest there had to be some drama. I think the only flaw in the story for me is the change of pace for the last few chapters. No longer was the time gap several days but rather several weeks. Scenes were rushed and seemed hurried as opposed to the drawn out romance game that encompassed the first part of the book. The ending also seemed much too optimistic. A HEA in a way. Maybe I'm being a cynic but I can't fully accept it as turning into reality, it just seemed too fantastical. 

"The thing that's so screwed up about humanity is that people are taught to fear what's different. They think they have to question it instead of just accepting it." - This is as true a statement as any other and I completely agree with it. It is very common to fear the unknown, I'm guilty myself as I'm sure many are as well, but sometimes taking the plunge and just accepting something is a lot of better than not. 


Cover Designer: Double J Book Graphics-  Facebook
Kasen Reed was a lonely guy with hardly any friends. Sheltered by his domineering, cynical mother, he never gained much of a social status and he’s never known true affection. At the age of 19, he finally moves out to start his own life and he has no idea where he’s going from here. Rowan Kelly moved to the tiny town of Chartreuse, Alabama in hopes of starting anew. After a messy breakup that lingers over his head, and his heart, he believes he’s finally found the perfect place to open his clinic and do what he loves best; helping animals. Despite how picture perfect the quaint little town seems, the 26 year old feels like something is missing….. Two lonesome hearts will have a chance encounter in a town that doesn’t seem to be ready for the acceptance of love equality, but will it stop them from being together?
100 % of proceeds made during the blog tour (May 10 - May 23) will be donated to The Trevor Project and the Ronald McDonald House Charities
T.E. Ridener entered the world in the magnificent year of 1985. She's an avid reader, crazy writer, and photoshop addict. She started writing stories at a young age, and will probably do so until she takes her last breath. Forever the daydreamer, not a day passes in which Miss Ridener isn't working on something book related. Her books may be a work of fiction, but there is a lot of truth in each one.
Creating relatable characters and believable storylines mixed in with make-believe is what she is best known for. She always includes a strong female lead, a compassionate male, and tons of every day events that readers will be able to connect with. Miss Ridener is a lover of music, movies, TV shows, and her family.
During the months of November and December, she participates in the charity she helped create called Random Acts of Christmas, an online program geared towards making Christmas happen for families in need. In 2013, they gave over $69,000 in gifts to kids who otherwise would not have had presents to open on Christmas morning. Coming from a childhood of poverty, T.E. understands that life isn't always easy and she has experienced living from paycheck to paycheck. This has fueled her drive to always lend a helping hand in every form possible. She is very active in the group "Books for Troops", a program designed to send ebooks and paperbacks to soldiers currently serving overseas.
T.E. Ridener is the youngest of 3 children, a surviving twin, and an extremely proud aunt. She claims to be married to her books and the characters she creates are her kids. Thus far, she has produced three ongoing series entitled Blood Betrayal (vampires), The Kadenburg Shifters Series (bear-shifters), and The Descendants (elementals). There are loads more and new ones popping up each day. She LOVES her fans and readers, and not a single one of them appear as a number to her. She knows that without them, she wouldn't be where she is today. Every day is a new possibility, a new adventure, and a new dream. Life doesn't get any better than that.
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