Earning His Trust Review and Giveaway
Upcoming Release and Review
Earning His Trust
By Alicia Nordwell
Title: Earning His Trust
Author: Alicia Nordwell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Sept. 6th, 2017
Evin lost the only two men he ever loved. But he might get a second chance with one of them—if he’s willing to take the risk.
Following the death of his husband, Evin is living in Portland and raising the infant son they had through a surrogate. Six-month-old Micah is his life, and if it means no time for activities or friendships beyond his minuscule support network, that’s a sacrifice Evin is willing to make. When he suffers a burn baking teething biscuits, the last person Evin expects to encounter in the ER is Ben, his lover from college—and the man who left him without a word of explanation.
Ben knows it won’t be easy to earn Evin’s trust and prove he’s not the same man Evin once knew, but he can’t bear to watch Evin struggle to care for Micah, hurting and alone. He wants back in Evin’s life, as a friend and hopefully more, but Evin’s heart is fragile, and the years have changed him too.
Review by SJ
I can say with honesty that I have never been disappointed by a Nordwell book, and this is no exception.
Earning His Trust was a sweet, charming second-chance novella that made my heart hurt and crack along with the characters. One of the reasons this book appealed to me so much was I could see myself in the characters.
At one point or another in my own life, I have been both Evin and Ben. Evin was sent adrift by Ben's seeming defection when they were young and in college after their years-long relationship ended with Ben's departure for medical school. Evin went on to find a new love with his future husband, but tragedy struck just as Evin thought he was getting his happy-ever-after. Widowed with a new baby, Evin is exhausted, grief-stricken, and in need of a steady support system and a friend. He has people who care for them, but they have their own lives and can't be there for him 100% of the time.
Ben went on to finish medical school and is a doctor, fulfilling his own dreams--but he's lonely. He regrets breaking it off with Evin, and when fate drops them in each other's paths, Ben takes the chance and reaches out to Evin. One of the biggest selling points for this book was the fact that they were friends first before they were ever boyfriends and Ben, after a few hiccups, steps back into that role in Evin's life. I like how they reconnect, and as they do, I can tell that neither of them was ready for each other back in their college days. If Ben hadn't broken it off with Evin back in college, they wouldn't have lasted. They needed to age, to grow up so more, both of them. Reconnecting now as adults with responsibilities and mature personalities was a joy and made me smile.
I kept expecting a horrific blow-up in regards to the way Ben broke up with Evin back in the day, and while there were some arguments and angry words, the dreaded screaming and volcanic eruption of blame never happened. The renewal of their relationship was gradual, a delicate slow burn, and I loved how the book ended. It felt real, felt natural, and I put the book down with a happy sigh and a smile.
From the Author
Earning His Trust evolved over time from a short flash story in the Wednesday Briefers, to a longer story posted as a serial to an eBook. Writing it as part of a flash group that posts 1k updates each week was definitely different. As a challenge to myself while I was posting it online, I alternated the viewpoint between each character each week.
That left me with whiplash when I tried to make it an eBook!
Evin, Ben, Evin, Ben, Evin, Ben… twenty-eight times.
Not so good for showing readers who the characters really are. So I started at the beginning and began shifting things around, adding here and there… and boom! My story grew by ten thousand words to the 38k novella it is now, with the wonderful assistance of my editing team headed by Rose Archer. It gained a cohesiveness it lacked, and I could really envision the journey Evin was on as he went from husband, to widow, to new dad, to… well, he’s not sure what he is when Ben comes back into the picture.
But Ben’s sure he wants to be better than the man Evin once loved, to really deserve a second chance after their years apart, and he’s willing to do anything to make it happen.
Even change stinky diapers.
The curtain slid on the overhead rails, and Evin held in his urge to snap about how long it took to get to him when the nurse said the ER was slow, but he froze with his mouth open.
“Hello, I’m Dr. Perez. I see you burn—” The doctor snapped his jaw shut and stopped before he reached the head of the bed. Micah was oblivious, sitting between his legs and playing with his fake keys, chewing away on the rubber tips and drooling. He clutched the soggy remains of a biscuit in his other hand.
Evin had to swallow hard himself. Of all the hospitals, in all the cities, his old boyfriend had to be in this one.
He looked… good. Older, some wrinkles at the corners of his eyes. It had been… how long since he’d seen him? Not since Ben was graduating medical school the same year Evin was graduating with a business degree. Evin certainly never expected to see him here, and by the shocked look on Ben’s face, he hadn’t known Evin lived in Portland either. Evin waited for Ben to say something else, but he just kept staring. Evin took a deep breath. He could be an adult. He was a dad now.
“Burned my hand,” he finished the sentence Ben never did. “I did it about an hour ago, and it really hurts.” Maybe he could move this along. Plus, Micah was on his third biscuit and getting fussy again. He probably needed to be changed, have some lunch, and then would fall asleep for the afternoon, just so he could keep Evin up all night again.
Ben dropped his gaze to Micah and then looked up to stare at Evin again. “What happened to you?”
Did he mean how Evin probably looked like he’d aged at least ten years since Ben bailed right before graduation, the last night they’d spoken? Well, spoken wasn’t a very good description for the fight they’d had after weeks of Ben ducking Evin’s questions about what he was planning. Maybe their relationship had run its course; maybe it was better for them not to be together.
But he’d never expected Ben to just up and leave. It’d been hard, but Evin had a job offer in Portland and he’d taken it. Fortunately, his best friend, Gianna, came with him, and they got an apartment together in a not-so-great area of Happy Valley. It’d been nice to have a friend he knew would stick by him, but then she met Carl, and they fell in love. Not long after that he met someone, but that had gone wrong too.
Gone was the bright, glittery guy who lit up the room in a flash, and this version of himself was all Evin knew how to be anymore. It was probably a disappointment. His hair was cut short instead of hanging down to his shoulders, and he was in a blue T-shirt and a pair of gray sweats instead of skintight everything. Nothing at all like how Ben would remember him.
Was he wondering how in the hell Evin had a kid, since he’d never even kissed a girl—at least before when Ben knew him? Probably.
Or had he brushed off their history, leaving Evin as the only one thinking about how the years had changed them—Ben definitely for the better. Most likely, he meant how Evin got the burn. He was a professional after all, and Evin was probably just another patient to him.
In the end, it didn’t really matter. His appearance, how he got hurt, it all came down to just one thing.
Universal Amazon Link: http://mybook.to/earninghistrust
The number one question folks ask Alicia when she shares she's a MM romance author: "Why gay fiction? Why write men when you're a woman?" and her answer is: "Why the hell not!" Alicia Nordwell is one of those not so rare creatures, a reader turned writer. Striving to find an interesting story one day, she decided to write what she wanted instead. Then the voices started... Yep, not only does she talk about herself in the third person for bios, she has voices in her head constantly clamoring to get out. Fortunately, with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided for her own sanity to keep writing.
Now you can find her stories both free and e-published. When she’s not on the computer typing away, she's a wife and a mom of two in the dreary, yet ideal for her redhead complexion, Pacific Northwest. Except for when she disappears into one of the many worlds in her head, of course! She can also be found quite often at her blog, where she has a lot of free fiction for readers to enjoy or working hard, or maybe hardly working, as an admin on GayAuthors.org under her online nickname, Cia.
Cia’s Stories: http://www.ciasstories.blogspot.com
[Prizes: Amazon Fire 7” *US Only* $20 Gift Card (Amazon or Dreamspinner) (2) Backlist title winners]
Thank you for stopping by! Happy reading!
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