NEW RELEASE!! Who We Were by Melissa Collins ~ Sarah A’s Review

Who We Were…

Two awkward teenagers – the loner and the nerd, trying to find our place in the world. Paired in wood shop, we knew nothing of each other, except that we wanted to know everything. Then one life altering moment changed it all and we were left with shattered dreams and broken hearts.

Who We Are…

Two grown men – braver and smarter than we used to be, trying to heal the damage from that irrevocable moment. Even though the past was behind us, dead and buried long ago, we found it impossible to move on without ripping open the scars of our deep wounds.

With twelve years of unanswered questions fueling our desperate need for the truth, we must figure out if who we were will destroy who we are.

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I’ve had a hard time deciding on how I feel about this book. On the one hand, I loved it and thought Ryan and Quinn were adorable, but on the other, several things just didn’t work for me. In the end, I did love Quinn and Ryan together, I just felt like some things were built up to be more than they were.

I thought Ryan and Quinn had fabulous chemistry, both while they were in high school and when they reconnected as adults. I was happy that Ryan had somewhere to go, someone to lean on when he was floundering in a world that didn’t seem to care for him. Ryan’s relationship with Quinn provided him with so much more than just their connection, for the first time it seemed like Ryan had the support of a family behind him, even if it wasn’t his own. I loved that he got that, even for a moment, because my heart broke for how little love and support he got from his own family.

I’m happy that Ryan finally took a hard look at himself and got the help he needed to heal from the pains of his past. He needed it, and I don’t think he could have been a good partner to Quinn had he not dealt with all the ugly he’d lived with for so long. I’m on the fence about his forgiveness and relationship with his abusive brother, Patrick, though. I couldn’t forgive him, and it would take a lot for me to believe he is worth redemption. Same with their parents, they were neglectful at best, and I didn’t care how much they were proud of Ryan in the eleventh hour, they weren’t there for him when he needed them most.

I have just a few wishes for this book: first would be Ryan. In the first part of the book, it was easy to feel empathetic toward him because we saw everything he was suffering through. In the second part, though, it was harder to feel bad for him because it seemed like he had a pretty idyllic life and even the ‘big’ secret he’d been carrying around didn’t feel like it justified his woe-is-me attitude and anger toward Quinn for wanting to know what was going on in his life. I also would have loved to have seen Quinn stand up for himself more, in the few moments he did I absolutely love him, but he spent a lot of the book kowtowing to Ryan’s mercurial moods.

Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.

Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.

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Who We Were by Melissa Collins ~ COVER REVEAL

Who We Were…

Two awkward teenagers – the loner and the nerd, trying to find our place in the world. Paired in wood shop, we knew nothing of each other, except that we wanted to know everything. Then one life altering moment changed it all and we were left with shattered dreams and broken hearts.

Who We Are…

Two grown men – braver and smarter than we used to be, trying to heal the damage from that irrevocable moment. Even though the past was behind us, dead and buried long ago, we found it impossible to move on without ripping open the scars of our deep wounds.

With twelve years of unanswered questions fueling our desperate need for the truth, we must figure out if who we were will destroy who we are.

***  PREORDER NOW ~ RELEASES OCTOBER 26  ***
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TITLE: Who We Were
AUTHOR: Melissa Collins
RELEASE DATE: October 26, 2018
COVER DESIGN: Sommer Stein at Perfect Pear Creative Covers
PHOTOGRAPHY: Wander Aguair at Wander Book Club
MODELS: Jacob Cooley and Tristan E.

Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.

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Join me on Facebook where you will find a $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!
Melissa Collins Author Page

NEW RELEASE!! As I Am by Melissa Collins ~ Sarah A’s Review

Chase Hansen. Broke. College drop out. Male stripper.

My life wasn’t at all what I imagined it would be. I should have been finishing up college, interning with a well-respected business, partying with my friends. But instead, I was raising my seventeen-year-old brother, struggling to make ends meet. Love wasn’t even on my radar. Besides, what did I have to offer? A few crumpled singles pulled from my G-string? Defeated and exhausted, I knew I had zero chance of finding someone to love me just as I am.

Noah Carpenter. Angry. Betrayed. Doctor.

Just when I thought my life was going exactly as it should, everything turned upside down. With my final rotation in medical school complete, I finally achieved my lifelong dream of becoming a doctor. What I never expected was to catch the man of my dreams in our bed with the man of his. Beyond infuriated, I struggled to piece together the remnants of my life. Just when I’d decided to give up on love altogether, I found a man who loved me just as I am.

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As I Am was a mixed bag, for me.  There were parts of this book I absolutely loved and parts that fell flat.  It was still an enjoyable reading experience, and I loved the couple, I just wish there was a little more focus put toward a few very specific aspects of Chase and Noah’s story.

As I Am is a standalone novel.  The main characters, Chase & Noah were featured in a previous short story for part of an anthology, that story has been worked into this novel, so there is no need to read it before reading this book.  As I Am is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Chase and Noah.

Noah and Chase were fascinating as individuals and as a couple.  I was glad we got to know them each alone, what they were going through, what their personalities were before we saw them as a couple.  Having that prior knowledge about them made it easier to understand each of their hesitance about entering a relationship.  It didn’t make their disagreements and misunderstandings less frustrating, but they were easier to comprehend.

I loved how supportive they were of each other, especially how understanding Noah was of Chase and his tragic situation.  When they were together and not letting their issues get between them, they were a wonderful couple.  They had fantastic chemistry, cared deeply for one another, and complemented one another perfectly.  Each of them had broken pieces, but those shards fit into the other’s sharp edges and allowed both men to heal.

I wish Ms. Collins would have made the reason Noah had gone into medicine a more significant part of his story.  It was only briefly mentioned once, then was never revisited, when the circumstances likely informed most of who he became as a person.  There was also a situation in the epilogue that came out of nowhere; it seemed like it was just thrown in at the last minute to punch up the emotional impact of what was already a very poignant ending that I wish would have been more of a running thread through the book.  Beyond that, there were a few scenes where the tone changed abruptly, and I found myself rereading sections of the book to see if I’d missed something to no avail.

Melissa Collins is an author I always enjoy reading.  She seems to fly under the radar, which has allowed me to miss a few of her books, and it’s really a shame.  She’s a talented writer who develops interesting, sympathetic characters, and the stories she tells are compelling and emotionally charged.  Ms. Collins’ passion for her art comes across in her writing, and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next.

Melissa Collins has always been a bookworm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst, and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.

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GIVEAWAY!! As I Am by Melissa Collins ~ COVER REVEAL

Chase Hansen. Broke. College drop out. Male stripper.

My life wasn’t at all what I imagined it would be. I should have been finishing up college, interning with a well-respected business, partying with my friends. But instead, I was raising my seventeen-year-old brother, struggling to make ends meet. Love wasn’t even on my radar. Besides, what did I have to offer? A few crumpled singles pulled from my G-string? Defeated and exhausted, I knew I had zero chance of finding someone to love me just as I am.

Noah Carpenter. Angry. Betrayed. Doctor.

Just when I thought my life was going exactly as it should, everything turned upside down. With my final rotation in medical school complete, I finally achieved my lifelong dream of becoming a doctor. What I never expected was to catch the man of my dreams in our bed with the man of his. Beyond infuriated, I struggled to piece together the remnants of my life. Just when I’d decided to give up on love altogether, I found a man who loved me just as I am.

TITLE: As I Am
AUTHOR: Melissa Collins
RELEASE DATE: 4/25/2018
GENRE: Contemporary M/M romance
COVER DESIGN: Sommer Stein at Perfect Pear Creative Covers
PHOTOGRAPHY: Christopher John at CJC Photography
MODELS: Sam Wiles and Aaron Michael Bell

Meet Chase and Noah today in this FREE short story!

Melissa Collins has always been a bookworm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst, and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.

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Join Melissa on Facebook for a $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway here!

Release Blitz ~ Unsteady by Melissa Collins ~ Sarah A’s Review

Micah Hudson and Jude MacMillian were both lonely teenagers. One the new kid and one the target of relentless bullying, they quickly became friends. But when friendship grew into more, the relationship was too much for either to handle. As their tenuous bond was tested, everything tumbled down, leaving them lonely once again.

A decade later, Micah is on the brink of losing his will to live. Beyond exhausted from lying to everyone, including himself, Micah thinks of the one person who knows his deepest secret. Desperate and alone, Micah makes the only decision he feels he has: he must leave. But his need for closure depends on one thing.

Can Jude make room in his Unsteady life for Micah once again?

AVAILABLE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED!!
Amazon US

Unsteady was a deeply emotional book for me.  It touches on an issue near and dear to my heart and I’m going to take a minute and touch on it right now: suicide.  Suicidal ideations, to be exact.  Micah speaks about how much easier it is to die rather than keep waking up each morning and he is not alone in those thoughts, especially as a veteran.  United States veterans commit suicide at a rate of 22 per day, one every 65 minutes, nearly double the rate of civilian suicides.  We can’t stand idly by while the people who’ve risked so much for our country are battling a war inside of their own minds.  If you know anyone, veteran or not, who is struggling with thoughts of suicide, help them find support.

I loved this book, for so many reasons, the biggest part of which was Micah.  His struggles and self-loathing called out to my heart and made me want to just hold him and comfort him until all he could remember was what being loved for exactly who he was felt like.  As much as Jude had struggled with accepting who he was and learning to live with the things he’d lost, I always felt like he had a far better handle on how to cope with the struggles he faced.  Micah appeared to have everything a person could need for most of his life but once we glimpsed beneath the surface it was painfully obvious everything he had was nothing more than a façade.  And to me, it is far lonelier, far more upsetting to have those things at your fingertips and not be able to touch them, than it is to know the things you need are no longer available to you.

The flashbacks to Micah and Jude’s time together when they were in high school are what made this book so great, to me.  Seeing those struggles, realizations, and heartbreaks first hand, rather than having them recounted in other ways let me understand more the hesitancy and fears they experienced in the present day scenes.  There were a few more scenes I would have loved to have fleshed out in that way, but I know that I would never be satisfied that I had enough of Micah and Jude.  Both of their love stories, past and present, touched me in different ways and I am glad to have been able to experience each of them.

I love M/M, especially when done well, and Melissa did a great job with Unsteady.  The vulnerability she demonstrated in both of men, especially Micah made this book for me.  There is a fine line to skate between making emotionally charged, vulnerable male characters and still keep them powerful and masculine that makes an M/M romance so special to me, and she definitely did it in Unsteady.  I am also impressed with how she dealt with important social issues experienced by both gay men and veterans.  If Ms. Collins continues to write with the poignancy and intensity of Unsteady I can only see her rising through the ranks of my must read authors.

Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.

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Melissa Collins Author Page

Cover Reveal ~ Unsteady by Melissa Collins

 

Happy Cover Reveal Day!
We are so excited to share this amazingly HOT cover with you!

Unsteady by Melissa Collins
Release date: 4/28/2017
A stand alone, M/M romance

Cover design: Sommer Stein at Perfect Pair Creative Covers

Photography: Wander Aguiar at WANDER AGUIAR :: PHOTOGRAPHY

Models: Jacob Cooley and Ryan Dick

BLURB:

Micah Hudson and Jude MacMillian were both lonely teenagers. One the new kid
and one the target of relentless bullying, they quickly became friends. But
when friendship grew into more, the relationship was too much for either to
handle. As their tenuous bond was tested, everything tumbled down, leaving
them lonely once again.

A decade later, Micah is on the brink of losing his will to live. Beyond
exhausted from lying to everyone, including himself, Micah thinks of the one
person who knows his deepest secret. Desperate and alone, Micah makes the
only decision he feels he has: he must leave. But his need for closure
depends on one thing.

Can Jude make room in his Unsteady life for Micah once again?

Pre-order Unsteady today for a special price of $2.99!
Grab it here –> Amazon

As an extra special treat On Solid Ground is FREE!
Grab it here –> Amazon

And! You can catch up with Dax and Beck in On Higher Ground for only 99 cents!
Grab it here –> Amazon

Join me on Facebook where you will find a $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!
Melissa Collins Author Page

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.

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On Solid Ground by Melissa Collins ~ RELEASE BLITZ

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Title: On Solid Ground

Author: Melissa Collins

Genre: M/M, Contemporary, Romance

Release Date: January 15, 2015

goodreads

Synopsis:

When Jacob “Dax” Daxton returns home from war, he has to fight a new battle – the one to find his place in the world. The man who normally has a clear path to victory surrounded by brothers in combat is suddenly lost and alone. After meeting Beckett Ridge, a bearded tattoo artist, Dax’s journey begins winding down an unexpected path.

Still reeling from events that shook his foundation, Beck has never been part of anything meaningful. Now faced with responsibilities foreign and daunting, Dax’s broken spirit mends Beck in ways he never even knew he was destroyed.

As both struggle to find balance, they are healed by the comfort they find in one other. On the other side of chaos, they hope to find themselves On Solid Ground.

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Purchase Links:
Amazon Kindle
Apple iBooks
Barnes & Noble
Google Play
Kobo
Signed Paperback

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About the author:

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Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.

Get up to date information on all Melissa’s work by signing up for her newsletter here. You can also find her on these sites:

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