Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Blog Tour: Chartreuse by T.E. Ridener

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?

4 Star Review by Jen Skewes

I really loved this book and the characters.  I have read many m/m romance books before but I think that this one is a little different in the sense that it is not about the physical attraction or sexual connection between the two characters.  It is about the emotional connection that they have but it also touches on a topic that is so real and true to life.  Kasen and Rowan’s relationship was one that the small town of Chartreuse frowned upon.  This is their story of how they fought hard for their love.  We see the struggles that they faced; a mother who was unwilling to accept her son’s sexuality to the hatred that some of the residents felt towards these two.  But Kasen and Rowan proved that love is strong enough to survive it all.

Kasen is only 19 years old and just moved out of his home that he shared with is mother.  He has a job that he loves, is finally living on his own and somewhat free of his mother.  Kasen lived a very sheltered life, which is mainly due to his mother.  He never even experienced the little things, a first kiss, holding someone’s hand, or even leaving the small town of Chartreuse.  Kasen is also gay which is not something that is acceptable in the small town that he lives in.  He doesn’t really have many friends now or even when he was in high school.  Mostly staying to himself.  When he meets Rowan at the dog park one day there is something about him that has caught Kasen’s attention.  Kasen has no idea if Rowan is gay, and if so if he is even interested in Kasen.  But regardless of Rowan’s sexuality he finds a friendship with Rowan that is something he never had before.

Rowan has recently moved to Chartreuse, hoping to forget and leave behind his cheating ex boyfriend.  Rowan is a 26 year old vetanarian.  He spends his days helping animals and his nights at home with his dog, a good meal and the voice of Cool Kasey on the radio.  He’s even called into the radio startion a few times to make a request.  Little does Rowan know that the voice that he listens to at night is the voice of the same young man who he met at the dog park.  When these two finally realize the connection they begin to see more of each other.  Rowan takes Kasen on some journeys to see and do things that Kasen has never had the opportunity to experience before.  What I loved about the beginning of their relationship is that it wasn’t really rushed.  Neither one of them knew if the other was gay.  Both trying to convince themselves that they were hanging out doing things that two normal guy friends do together, except they weren’t.  Their connection slowly started to build and you could feel that sexual tension up until that very first kiss when they both realize that what they have is a lot more than a friendship.   And that very first kiss was filled with so much emotion.  

Rowan and Kasen started falling for each other but to the outside world the love that these two shared was not acceptable.  And because of their love they had to deal with a lot of hurt, pain, hatred and honestly some horrific incidents.  I loved both of these characters.  Kasen was only 19 and had this innocence about him.  At times he seemed so vulnerable but at the same time he could handle himself.  He had never been with anyone before on a sexual level and Rowan was there to give him all of those firsts, that all teenagers cannot wait to experience.   Rowan was patient and caring and in a way nurturing when it came to Kasen.  He wanted to protect him from the bad.  Together, they honestly made a beautiful couple.

Chartreuse is one of those books that will touch your heart.  What these two went through and seeing how much they suffered was so real.  This story wasn’t about the hot sex between two men or even the physical attraction.  It was about real life, about the reality that people face when they love someone of the same sex.  It is emotional at times but also happy.  Rowan and Kasen fought the fight and never gave up.  It would have been so easy to leave the town of Chartreuse and go to a place where their love was more acceptable.  But this was their home and they planned on staying and fighting.  This book is a very touching and inspiring and and I loved it.  A must read. 

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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