Title: Reckless Hope (Letting Go #2)
Author Name & Publisher: J. Leigh Bailey (Carina Press)
Publication Date & Length: August 24, 2015 – 193 pgs
What’s life without a little risk?
Or a lot of risk, if you’re Sebastian Carlisle. He’ll never live up to the legacy of his dead brother, so why try? Being the wild child in a family of stuck-up rich snobs suits him just fine.
Until he meets Micah Burke, and everything changes.
Micah’s got too much going on for a relationship. Even if he could trust Sebastian, a distraction—a sexy, reckless distraction with a death wish—would only derail his carefully scheduled life. If it were just Micah, maybe that would be fine, but his mother and sister depend on him, and he can’t let them down. Or at least that’s what he tells himself.
A hot moment leads to a hot night leads to a connection neither of them are ready for. And when a crisis hits Micah’s family hard, Sebastian will have to shed his bad-boy image and decide whether he can be the man Micah needs—and Micah needs to decide whether he’ll let him.
Micah has had a hard life. Too young, he was responsible for far more than he should have been. But, he never lost hope in himself. He it juggling three peoples’ lives and doing his best to ensure that he provides the care and guidance to his younger sister that he received.
To that end, because he has never had anyone he could count on, when Sebastian comes along, it’s a foreign concept for Micah. In turn, it’s a foreign concept for Sebastian as well. Why is he so intrigued by Micah?
I think one of my favorite characters in this story was Mr. Powers. I loved how he was able to see past Sebastian’s facade.
I think this story had a ton of great ideas – however, it seemed that there was so much going on at times that it was hard for the reader to track. Sebastian would feel put out or confused, so instead of going home, he would be out partying, but you only ever caught a glimpse of who he was with. I think the story would have been stronger had it focused more on the characters rather than their short tantrums.
I was overly happy when Sebastian was able to have a breakthrough. I was glad that the grandfather became the character I wanted, hoped for and I wanted to know more about the jealous Conrad and how he played a part – he seemed like such a large part of the story, but in the end, he just fell off. Nothing was addressed around him. Finally, it would have been nice to have a look further down the road.
Overall, this was a sweet story.
“I thought I knew what kind of person you were.”
“Yeah, you made that pretty clear.”
Micah cringed, but kept going. “You take for granted everything I work my ass off to achieve. It’s easy for you. And now I know there’s more to you than that. I don’t understand your choices, or the need for an adrenaline rush you seem to have.” He held up a hand to keep Sebastian from saying anything. He scooted up, resting his back against the handlebars. “I don’t have to understand. It’s part of who you are.”
“Somehow I don’t think this discussion is heading in a direction I’m going to like.” Sebastian drew his knees to his chest and wrapped his arms around them.
“The thing is, you’re a bad influence on me.”
“You don’t even have to do anything. Take tonight, for instance.”
“I have a midterm tomorrow. I should be studying. Or even sleeping. Instead I’m here. I never have trouble doing what I’m supposed to do. Setting aside my ‘want tos’ to do my ‘have tos.’ Except around you.”
“I’m not trying to make your life harder. I’m just trying to be part of it.”
“That’s what I don’t get. You could have almost anyone. You could find someone a hell of a lot less complicated than me.”
“You may not believe it, but I don’t mind complications.”
1) Tell us something no one else knows about your characters.
Sebastian, the total adrenaline-junkie, extreme sports, darer of death, is afraid of spiders. He’s willing to jump out of a plane at 1400 feet, but an eight-legged critter creeps him out. He won’t admit it, but if one shows up anywhere near him, he squeaks jumps a foot in the air.
2) Have you ever had writer’s block? How did you overcome it?
I have had writer’s block. It usually happens at least once per project, and almost always when I reach a point where I don’t know what should happen next. And as long as I’m tied up in that spot, I can’t write anything. I can’t move forward and come back to it. I can’t brainstorm other projects or anything.
Basically, when this happens, I stew about it and let ideas play around in my head. I’ll talk with my critique partners and see what options are out there. Eventually I’ll figure out what I need to move forward and I’m all good.
3) What book you’ve written would you like to see made into a movie?
My mother told me that Guyliner, my YA m/m romance that comes out in November, sounded like a made-for-TV movie… I’m still not sure if that was good or bad. That being said, I think there would be a lot of potential for Guyliner as a movie, complete with over-the-top grand romantic gesture at the end.
My other YA novel, which I’m still polishing and hasn’t been submitted anywhere yet, has a great action-oriented story (mercenaries and weapons of mass destruction in Africa with two boys held hostage and a daring rescue) that would make a great movie, but so much of the story is in the character’s internal thoughts. But who knows… maybe I’ll work towards that end when I finish it up.
4) Do you work on an outline or plot or just let the story takes you where it wants to go?
I stew. I don’t outline and mostly let the story take me where it will, but before I start, I already know how it’s going to start and how it’s going to end, and have at least one of the major scenes figured out in the middle. It’s getting from the beginning to the middle to the end that I’m winging it. In Reckless Hope, I had the opening scene in my head from the very beginning. In fact, that was the scene that inspired the book. I had the scene in mind and created an entire story around it. Sadly, I don’t plot. If I did, I’d have a lot less trouble than I do (see the answer to question #2 above…).
5) Rapid fire questions:
1 – Favorite meal: My mom’s homemade chili.
2 – Favorite color: Usually yellow, but sometimes it’s orange or red,
depending on my mood
3 – Favorite ice cream flavor: vanilla (boring, huh?)
j. leigh bailey is an office drone by day and the author of Young Adult LGBT Romance by night. She can usually be found with her nose in a book or pressed up against her computer monitor. A book-a-day reading habit sometimes gets in the way of… well, everything…but some habits aren’t worth breaking. She’s been reading romance novels since she was ten years old. The last twenty years or so have not changed her voracious appetite for stories of romance, relationships and achieving that vitally important Happy Ever After. She’s a firm believer that everyone, no matter their gender, age, sexual orientation or paranormal affiliation deserves a happy ending.
She wrote her first story at seven, which was, unbeknownst to her at the time, a charming piece of fan-fiction in which Superman battled (and defeated, of course) the nefarious X Luther. She was quite put out to be told, years later, that the character’s name was actually Lex. Her second masterpiece should have been a best-seller, but the action-packed tale of rescuing her little brother from an alligator attack in the marshes of Florida collected dust for years under the bed instead of gaining critical acclaim.
Now she writes Young Adult LGBT Romance novels about boys traversing the crazy world of love, relationships and acceptance.