Title: Happy Birthday
Author: B.D. Roca
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 13th 2016
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Erotic Romance
Page Count: 62 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Jake Rushman is on the run, but it’s too late. He’s being tracked by an expert.
Motorcycle Club Enforcer Nick is tough, but even he has a conscience. It’s slowly destroying him, together with memories of his parents’ ugly deaths. Nick eliminates the guilty, but Jake Rushman is the innocent witness to a murder. It will be one kill too many.
Determined to find redemption, Nick plans to trade his life for Jake’s. Neither man counts on the fierce, powerful bond that the collision of their opposing worlds brings, and Jake refuses to let Nick sacrifice himself. He offers Nick the one thing he’s never had: hope.
But with a violent past tracking them, Nick might be forced to do the one thing he promised himself he never would—kill again.
Author Guest Post
Hi all, it’s great to be here at Gay Book Reviews! Along with other topics, I’m posting about Happy Birthday, my novella released mid January.
When I was discussing this post with Gigi, she was curious about my influences as a writer and what in particular draws me to M/M as a genre. The influences part is trickier, because there’s a lifetime’s worth of books and TV, movies and music behind it and all of that has fed my imagination.
Basically though, I love powerful characters, flawed and otherwise, beautiful words and storytelling that keeps me awake way past any reasonable hour. Yep, gotta love those just-can’t-stop-reading numbers. So that means romance, horror (yay Stephen King), and good old and new fashioned noir.
What draws me to M/M is much simpler. Across an incredible diversity of storytelling styles, I love the character dynamics of M/M. Many incredibly, brilliantly talented writers are working in the genre. Perhaps (aside from the hot guys and steamy sex 😉 this is why increasing numbers of traditionally M/F romance readers are crossing over into reading M/M.
In short, personally, I like strong characters, male and female and powerful storylines. But just as Nick, the MC enforcer in Happy Birthday, is tough, he’s also vulnerable and can be broken. One thing does not rule out the other, and characters don’t have to be scary MC enforcers for me to be drawn to them. Complex, well-written characters do that. Strength comes in a lot of different packages and the many great titles and characters in M/M attest to that.
As for Happy Birthday, it has a motorcycle club background and starts as a kind of a road trip story—with killer stalkery overtones—but ultimately, it’s the story of an MC enforcer with a deathwish and the witness he’s meant to eliminate, but finds redemption with. Which perhaps sounds kind of grim, but hopefully is tons more of a fun, roller coaster good read than that.
I loved writing the story of Nick and Jake, the MC’s in Happy Birthday, but must admit, I’m curious about one of Happy Birthday’s secondary characters. Just what his next move would be could be great to write. Maybe some of you have read Happy Birthday, or have added it to your TBR, and if so (and thank you!), you may be wondering which character I’m referring to. I’ll see how it goes 😉
In finishing, hit the comments section, because I’d love to hear about why you read M/M romance and how you found your way to it. My guess is that there are a wide variety of answers to that one. Let me know!
Bikers, a hitman with a death wish & the witness he just can’t walk away from.
Jake Rushman witnessed a deal gone wrong and is now on the run from one of the most vicious and notorious motorcycle gangs in Australia. Nick is the enforcer sent to get rid of Jake. Instead though, Nick is determined to give Jake a change Nick never got…and help him get out. He doesn’t expect to fall for Jake, or for Jake to fall right back. He sure doesn’t expect the offer to run with Jake.
This was fast, a little dirty, and a whole lot of fun! I liked the characters, the set-up and the payoff in the end with a bright, shiny HEA.
Advanced Review Copy
B.D. Roca spent her early years in Brisbane, in a series of crumbling old houses laced with the smell of frangipani and surrounded by the hum of cicadas. Her gran raised her on ghost stories, quirky family history, and told her to beat up anyone who gave her attitude. This was not advice she took, although it does make a certain amount of sense. It may also account for her love of tough characters with a heart of gold. Between the old houses, feral cats, steamy heat, and history lessons, it was pure Australian gothic. She’s traveled a lot since then, but those times are still a powerful influence both on her worldview and writing.