Thursday, 11 May 2017

Wake by K. Evan Coles & Brigham Vaughn

Publisher: Pride Publishing
261 pages
Available for Early Download on the Pride Publishing website: Now
General Release: May 30


A love worth the wait.

Carter Hamilton and Riley Porter-Wright room together as Harvard undergraduates. An immediate friendship forms, but as the years pass it deepens into something neither man understands. As attraction simmers under the surface, lines begin to blur. When they move back to Manhattan, they gradually slip into the lives their families have envisioned for them.

Both men marry, but in time, Riley realizes he’s ended up in a passionless relationship like his parents’ while his career takes center stage. Although he loves his wife, Carter misses the emotional and physical connection he shared with Riley.

The weight of Riley’s feelings and his growing discontentment with his life eventually push him to tell Carter the truth about how he feels. Shocked and unable to face his own feelings, Carter rejects Riley.

As each man comes to terms with the lies they’ve told themselves, each other and the people around them, they find their lives changing in ways they never imagined. They soon discover that the truths they’ve been longing to tell shake the foundations of their friendship.


As people who’ve been following my reviews will know, I love books that are different, surprise me and/or challenge genre expectations. So it won’t come as a huge surprise when I say that I loved Wake, because to say that this story breaks virtually every rule associated to romances really only scratches the surface.

In fact, the book comes with the following reader advisory:

‘This book contains polyamory and infidelity, expressions of homophobia by multiple secondary characters, divorce, scenes of M/F/M intimacy, references to parental neglect, disownment, one brief scene involving an physical altercation.’

And you know what? As a result Wake was one of the most fascinating, captivating, and engrossing reads I’ve enjoyed this year so far.

Riley and Carter — bear with me while I sigh — I fell for these two men as soon as they were introduced to the reader and to each other when they both start at Harvard. The two men are friends from the moment they meet, and only grow closer as time goes by. Things get confusing when especially Riley realises that his feelings for Carter run a bit deeper than ‘just’ friendship. But Carter and Riley being who they are and preparing for futures that have been determined for them long before they were old enough to have a say in the matter, have no idea how to deal with whatever it is they can feel developing between them.

Sharing women allows Riley and Carter to be intimate without actually having to confront the confusing and possibly life-destroying connection they feel and it works for them, more or less, until it doesn’t anymore.

When I’m honest I have to admit that this book should have been too angsty for me. It is testament to the quality of the writing these two authors produced that it wasn’t. Quite the opposite in fact. As much as it was clear to me that these two men belong together, I completely understood the reasons why they weren’t. Despite the fact that I’m not a fan of cheating, I couldn’t help admiring the solution they found for their dilemma. And yes, I did fully appreciate the very hot scenes their ‘compromise’ resulted in.

My heart broke, time and again, for both men, but more for Riley than for Carter. In fact, I have to admit that although I adored him, I did feel like slapping Carter on several occasions. I’m not going to tell you why — read the book — but really! In all fairness, I did understand where he was coming from but that didn’t make it any easier to watch Riley’s suffering.

If my review is somewhat obscure, that is on purpose. While I do want to let you know what this book is about, I do not want to give any spoilers or give so much away that you start this book with preconceived ideas. All I can say is that this book is more than worth taking the risk, regardless of how you feel about any of the topics laid-out in the reader advisory.

Exquisitely written, beautifully told, and gripping from start to finish, Wake is a book to experience as much as it is a great read. And it is only the start of Riley and Carter’s journey. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the book ends on a cliff-hanger, but it is obvious there’s a lot of story left to be told. And I for one can’t wait for Calm, the second book, to be published. I’ll be hitting that early download button as soon as Calm becomes available. Is it August yet?

Overall I have to say this may well be the best 5 Euro I’ve spent in recent times.

The Authors

K. Evan Coles is a mother and tech pirate by day and a writer by night. She is a dreamer who, with a little hard work and a lot of good coffee, coaxes words out of her head and onto paper.

K. lives in the northeast United States, where she complains bitterly about the winters, but truly loves the region and its diverse, tenacious and deceptively compassionate people. You’ll usually find K. nerding out over books, movies and television with friends and family. She’s especially proud to be raising her son as part of a new generation of unabashed geeks.

Brigham Vaughn is starting the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.

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