Thursday, May 4, 2017

Review, Blog Tour & Giveaway ~ Toxic (Treacherous Chemistry, Book 2) by Avylinn Winter

Buy Links: Pride | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Length: 79,690 words

Treacherous Chemistry Series

Volatile (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK


When true love is a lie and pleasure turns to pain.

Adam Webb spent most of his teenage years in love with his best friend, Gabriel Connor, only to be thrown out of their shared apartment when he finally found the courage to reveal his feelings.

Seven months later, Adam’s effort to save their lost friendship finds him more than he ever asked for. After all, being thrown out has to be better than thrown into a wall. However, Adam isn’t ready to give up. Trapped and isolated in a dangerous relationship, he falls deeper and deeper into Gabriel’s world.

Despite Adam’s attempts to push them away, his friends are determined to help, but the man who fights hardest is Cameron McCain, Adam’s photography teacher—a man who treasures what Gabriel does not.

They say love should conquer all. But when passion breeds fear and love turns toxic, will Adam make the right choice?

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of domestic violence and dubious consent.

May 2 - Love Bytes Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
May 4 - Lustful Literature, Books Laid Bare Boys, We Three Queens, Gay Book Reviews, Diverse Reader, MM Good Book Reviews
May 8 - The Novel Approach
May 10 - Making It Happen 
May 12 - MM Book Escape, TTR's Wicked Words Blog
May 15 - Diverse Reader
May 17 - Bayou Book Junkie
May 19 - Sinfully MM Book Reviews

I can understand how this was a very difficult book to write. It was also pretty hard to read. Not because it was bad writing or story, but the subject matter itself is a tough issue, and so very heartbreaking. I thought Avylinn did a great job with Adam. Being inside his head and seeing what would make him keep going back to Gabriel. I personally wouldn't, but that's just me. 

Adam and Gabriel have been friends for some time. Close as close can be. They shared secrets and Gabriel only opened up to Adam. Sneaking out of the house to get away from his parents, Gabriel spent a lot of time at Adam's house. 
So, it would be easy for Adam to fall for his best friend. Only Gabriel's reception of it at first, didn't really bode well for Adam. 

I kind of wish we got to know what the decline of Gabriel's attitude was towards Adam. Adam always asked but there was never any definites. Was it just a cowardly thing to do? Was he mad that he was gay and couldn't come out so he took it out on Adam? There's just so many possibilities. Adam was so confused, because he had never seen that in Gabriel when they were just friends. Though it seems like his family may have saw something they didn't like in Gabriel. Adam may be start struck though, since Gabriel saved him from being bullied the rest of hos high school days. 

Anyways, we go through all the mental termoil with Adam while he is going through such a confusing time. First he's so elated that Gabriel still loves him and wants him back, and not only as a friend. But he's also confused why the first time is a little rough. Gabriel is so hot and cold all the time and it's throwing Adams world into one confusing cyclone of emotions. So much so that he can see the signs but because he loves him as a BFF and a BF, he feels that he can help him. Everyone around him can see what's good and right for Adam, they just don't know how to get Adam to see it as well. They get so desperate that they end up taking matters into there own hands. 

I really felt bad for Adam. His stomach and mind are so twisted by the situation that he doesn't know which way is up anymore. After his friends intervention, he decides to try one last time for answers, against his better judgement, and it may have almost been his last time. 

Reading about abuse is really such a hard thing to stomach. If you can't handle it, then definitely do not read this book. I do think Avylinn did a good job with touching the subject, but not going too far into detail. It was more of what happens to you mentally than physically in this type of situation. 

I am giving this book a 4.25 </3 heart-bleeding stars, because I was completely engrossed in Adams story and Avylinn 's writing in general, but I can't say I'd ever have the guts to go through it again.

A Note from Avy...

Toxic is the second novel in the Treacherous Chemistry series, following characters introduced in Volatile. However, it can be read as a stand-alone. It's a story about love, but also about the dangers of loving what you shouldn't.

I wrote this story as an attempt to understand why we sometimes fail to recognize what's bad for us, but most of all I wrote it for Adam, and all the Adams out there across the world. I wanted to give him strength, resilience and hope in a situation far too many has to navigate.

Toxic is by no means a light read, and it would be unfair of me to label it as such. I've been known to play with readers' emotions, and Toxic is no exception. And, although it is a story about love, some will likely say this novel contains elements of general fiction. However, as long as you know what you're up against, Toxic will hopefully give you something to remember and something to ponder.

You will get to meet Dante and Chris again, but also make a new acquaintance in Cameron. If nothing else, these three will undoubtedly make you smile when you most need it. I promise.

Toxic has been posted on Wattpad as a draft, which is the reason you see ratings before the release date. It collected over a million reads on the site before I took it down for publication, which gave me some confidence that Adam's story was worth telling despite the toll it took on me.

I hope you'll let sweet Adam tell you his story because it's an important one.

Author Bio

Raised in one of the cold corners of the world, Avylinn spends her days either wrapped up in a blanket or basking in the precious sunlight. When she can’t choose herself, she’s holed up in an office working with climate research that has little to do with the worlds and characters she creates in her vivid dreams.

Always the emotional one, she has found her outlet in writing, voicing thoughts, emotions and fears through her characters that feel very much alive to her. And, what began as a hobby soon took more and more time in her life until she realized that she had left her old life behind and entered a new one where her emotions turned into a super power—ready to launch at her poor readers.

She recharges with the help of coffee, cinnamon buns, popcorn and occasionally a healthier alternative.

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