The Way Back by Carter Quinn

711QKscC9sL._SL1350_Title: The Way Back, 2nd edition
Series: Kansas, #1
Author: Carter Quinn
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novel (268 pages)
Publisher: Carter Quinn books (January 22nd, 2014)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
Reviewer: Tams
Blurb: In his freshman year of college, Riley Evans met the best friends he ever thought he’d have, Jason and Eric. When his friendship with Eric turned into something much more, it ended as suddenly as it began, leaving Riley devastated. He hasn’t let anyone near his heart since. Until now. When Riley needed him most, Jason was there to help pick up the pieces. Six years later, he’s back in Riley’s life.

Riley is slowly letting Jason past his defenses and is starting to accept how good they are together. They’re even planning their first romantic weekend getaway when, out of the blue, Eric calls, claiming he wants Riley back. Riley has been pining for Eric for six years, but now he has a brand new relationship with Jason to consider.

Jason—who has always been there when Riley needs him, who puts Riley’s happiness above his own, even if that means his own heart will suffer—insists Riley face his old feelings for Eric to make sure they’re really gone. But are they? How long will it take Riley to figure it out? And how long will Jason wait?

Second Edition (+4000 more words)
Kansas Book #1

Bonus Short Story:
The Way Back Together
(+6000 words)

Riley and Jason have carved out a weekend together to plan their upcoming event, but those plans take a backseat when Eric shows up on their doorstep an emotional wreck
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Review: I loved this book! I laughed, I cried, I laughed while I cried… this book is just a complete plethora of emotion.

Riley Evans has finally found happiness with his long time friend, Jason. It was a long road travelled to get to where they are. Six years ago Riley was in love with Jason’s brother, Eric. In denial about not only himself, but his feelings for Riley as well, Eric broke something inside Riley when he left and married a women. Jason has only just come back into Riley’s life and is helping him rebuild his broken heart when Eric calls out of the blue, telling Riley he wants him back.

I was thankful that Riley didn’t try to hide anything from Jason, he was open and honest with him from the start. Riley isn’t quite ready to give Eric that second chance at his recently mended heart, but he’s spent the last six years wondering what if? Jason knows that if Riley doesn’t deal with the situation he will always wonder, so he makes Riley promise to meet his brother and then decide if he wants to give him a second chance.

My heart broke slap in half as Jason had to watch his brother court the man he loved. Jason had already buried his feelings for Riley once for the sake of his brother and what he thought Riley wanted. Now he has to know definitively if Riley loves him, his brother, or the shadow of the man Riley thinks Eric is. Has Riley found the man he needs with Jason? Or is this second chance with Eric opening the door for them to finally be together? Or is Riley so screwed up that he ends up pushing both men away, destined to be alone and miserable?

I will tell you that you will get your HEA. I just can’t tell you who exactly gets that HEA. I loved the author’s ability to make the reader actually feel what the characters were feeling throughout the story. Definitely an emotionally wrought, passionate and intense read, with a lot of ups and downs. Riley grows so much throughout the story, and I loved his character development. He was flawed but real and unsure of himself, what he felt. But once he figures out who he is, therefore exactly who he’s meant to be with, he will stop at nothing to attain his goal.

Must read for fans of the genre, but I’d recommend this one to those hard-core romantic readers as well. There is some hot as hell guy action, let me tell you! The “bareback” scene is my absolute favorite. But the lunchtime scene is a close second. Quinn managed to keep the story light with a bit of humor, like Riley’s best friends husband (I did not need that visual!) and some quirky anecdotes (helium!) as well.

*UPDATE* I’ve recently read the second edition of this story, and I tell you it is just as good as the first! Quinn didn’t take anything out per say, just elaborated on a few things here and there. In my initial review I didn’t talk much about Jason, so I will now.
Jason has loved Riley since they were in high school, but he stepped aside when Riley chose his brother Eric. The result left both Jason and Riley heartbroken in the end, but as fate would have it, they found their way back to each other. Riley is hesitant to get too attached to Jason, he doesn’t want to get his heart broken again. But Jason slowly works his way into Riley’s heart, and just when it looks like they are going to get that second chance at love, Eric calls. “I still love you, I made a mistake, and I want you back.” Now most people would tell Eric to go piss up a rope! But Riley spent a long time loving Eric, and he has always wondered what if.

Jason knows that if he doesn’t allow Riley a little time to find out for himself, once and for all, that Eric is not the man for him that Riley will always wonder. So as much as it pains him, he pushes Riley toward Eric. It doesn’t take long for Riley to FINALLY realize he doesn’t love Eric, he loves Jason. But a trust has been broken now and Riley’s only chance to be happy will be if he can show Jason the way back to him.

I devoured this book just as I did the first time around. Quinn seriously captured the pain and anguish Jason felt that morning in the kitchen, I mean even having already read this story and knowing it was coming, I was a blubbering mess all over again. The love that Jason and Riley share just jumps out at you. This book has drama, a teensy bit of angst, heartbreak and most of all love. Sexy, steamy, passionate LOVE! Spot on character development the blends perfectly with the writing. This is a must read! And look for Eric’s story coming soon from Carter Quinn books, Not just friction fiction.
** I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through MM Good Book Reviews **

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