14 March 2011

Review: Brian & Jamie stole my heart - J.P. Barnaby's Enlightened

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Little Boy Lost, Book One: Enlightened
ISBN-13: 978-1-61581-817-4
Pages: 200 
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Categories: Novels, Contemporary,
Little Boy Lost by J.P. Barnaby
Book Type: eBook

File Formats Available: .epub, .lit, .prc, html, pdf
Little Boy Lost is the story of Brian McAllister, the boy next door.
Brian goes to school, does his homework, and helps his foster parents around the house. Brian also has a secret: he is in love with his best friend, Jamie. But in Crayford, Alabama, being in love with another boy is the worst kind of sin.


Brian and Jamie will discover just how deep their emotional bond runs, and at what cost. What will they do if their secret is discovered? From fumbling though their first sexual experiences to hiding all aspects of their relationship from everyone in their lives, Brian and Jamie battle for the one thing that is truly theirs - love.

Note reviewer: Though ENLIGHTENED was released by the publisher the complete series found a home at Dreamspinner Press, so today is the official DSP release of ENLIGHTENED YAY! This is cause to put the spotlight once more on this awesome story with my review. I have heard from the author that the DSP release of ENLIGHTENED has three added scenes *woohoo* which comes down to 10.000 words extra!

My Review: I will be the first to admit I don't read much within the Young Adult genre but when I won ENLIGHTENED I was intrigued by this coming of age M/M story. I don't think anything could've prepared me for the reading experience I was about to have. What I found so intelligently written was the teenage angst of an almost seventeen year old exploring his gay sexuality and romantic feeling towards his best friend. There is no over-embellishing of the drama or emotions but a very sincere story that won my heart over with the soul-deep first love blossoming between Brian McAllister and Jamie Mayfield.

The story is voiced from Brian who is an orphan living with his foster parents, the Schreiber's, in a small town in Alabama. From the sparse young adult novels I've read it is often difficult for me to connect with the adolescent protags. It was because of the life-altering discoveries Brian and Jamie made, the repercussions of being found out and the way they dealt with it all, that really made me find that connection. The struggle is a universal one; discovering who you are and want to be, only Brian is gay...in a very small and religious town. Of course not exactly the perfect setting to freely explore one's sexual self but it does such a fantastic job of becoming a platform for all those angst's, doubts and those many questions that riddles Brian and Jamie.

ENLIGHTENED delivers such a beautiful m/m coming of age story where I found the realism of the story something that resonated with me from beginning till end. It pretty much revolves around the daily life of Brian but the themes in this story infuse it with attention grabbing inner struggles. The blossoming of an intense first love, those tentative first passionate steps, the joy and fear that accompanies each new step and the ever present angst for discovery, it blended in to something so profound I yearned for Brian and Jamie to reach a happy forever together.

It didn't take long for me to be absorbed completely by the two protags and enjoy the fluent and emotive writing style from J.P. Barnaby. The author takes her time to set-up the story but at a certain point things start to happen rapidly and I almost couldn't believe what I was reading and then the story was over. Leaving me utterly shocked. J.P Barnaby provided a cliff hanger of gigantic proportions which left me at such an emotional high that I stared at those last words for a few minutes, almost not believing this is where it ended. There had to be a book two, I just knew it would not...could not end like that.

I found out that ABONDONED will hopefully be released soon so I'll say this; Go out, buy ENLIGHTENED for the heart-rendering beautiful tale it is but know that reading it is to crave book two; ABANDONED! Brian and Jamie's journey is long from over and I need to be there every step of the way! This young adult M/M story is impressive in its sincerity of the themes handled!

4.5 stars

Quote:
Then, in the lightest of touches, soft but unyielding, his lips pressed against mine. My eyes closed, and I felt a rush of emotion, sexual tension - something – building within me. As his mouth molded over the contours of my lips, we reveled in the untamed surge of passion that flowed between us. The kiss was delicate, sweet, and lingered just long enough to make me want more. I had waited my whole life for my first kiss, and while it wasn’t exactly how I’d pictured it in my youth, it was perfect. His lips were warm and smooth as they moved against mine, causing a swelling tension in my stomach. The rain continued to pound the tree house roof as my arms nearly ached to go around him. I was scared to break the spell that had enveloped us. It was everything that a boy’s first kiss should be.
Only it wasn’t with a girl.


Info:

Little Boy Lost: Abandoned
Release: May 2011
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Little Boy Lost: Vanished
Release: 2011
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Little Boy Lost: Discovered
Release: 2011
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Little Boy Lost: Escaped
Release: 2012
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Little Boy Lost: Sacrificed
Release: 2012
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Virtual Book Signing

I have a virtual book signing scheduled for each release which means that the first twenty books sold will be signed by me using an inserted vellum sheet.

Release party I will be hosting a release party on March 14th at the Dreamspinner blog, so please stop by and say hi. Visitors will get an exclusive downloadable gift, I will be interviewed by a couple of guys that you know and love, and I will also be giving out a copy of the book.

Fiction Vixen On March 17th (which happens to be my birthday), I will be hanging out with Fiction Vixen for an interview and giveaway on her blog - http://www.fictionvixen.com/ Stop by, say hi, and enter to win a copy of Enlightened!

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6 comments:

  1. I've heard lots of good things about Enlightened and am looking forward to having the chance to read it. :)

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  2. You do make it sound good, I will give you that :)

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  3. @Chris - I already read ABANDONED too and it keeps getting better and better IMO. By the end of each book I feel like I've read a full length novel, even though the books are about 180 pages.

    @Blodeuedd - If you love or just even like M/M then this is good stuff ;)

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  4. It sounds very nice. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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  5. I enjoyed this book very much. Excited to see where the rest of the series goes.

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  6. Will I be safer to wait until next year for the final book in the series to be released - not sure I could cope with constant cliff-hangers.

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I love to hear all your voices and opinions so thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.