Chase the Ace by Clare London Review Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Hi guys, we have Clare London stopping by today with the tour for her re-release Chase The Ace, we have a great excerpt, a brilliant giveaway and Lisa’s review so check out the post and click that giveaway link! ❤ ~Pixie~

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Chase The Ace

(Perchance to Dream 01 / London Lads 01)
by

Clare London

Newly single in his late twenties, and bored with his life in a London insurance company, Daniel Cross soon discovers the lure of social media. Excited at the chance of tracking down his old mates from a schooldays sports club, he launches a personal quest to find out what kind of man each boy has become. 

Dan’s first mistake is chatting online to the wrong man—Nick Carson isn’t one of the boys, but his brother. Nick isn’t offended and offers to accompany Dan on the trip to find the others. It’s the first step to friendship and something more for both of them. 

For Dan, the reunions with the “Gang of Four” range from startling and heartening to disturbing. Nick’s company is a constant support, though neither of them are prepared for the exposure of personal secrets they’d thought long hidden. Dan begins to suspect he’s really looking for a direction in his own life—and the excitement and purpose he craves may be closer to home than a quest with its roots in a boyhood dream.

First Edition published by Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure, 2012.

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Excerpt

Those school days were twelve years in the past, and I wondered how Nathan would look nowadays. I remembered a short, skinny kid with horrible acne, two left feet when it came to football, and hair that frizzed out in the rain. But he was the only one who’d responded to my search so far.

“So he wasn’t actually one of your Gang of Four?” Alice picked up her bag from the floor and joined Josh. She caught my look of surprise and smiled. “You talked a lot about them that year. There were four of you who were football mad and hung out together at the club. You always had a tale to tell when you came home each day, even if it was about mischief and the trouble you’d been in. I suppose that was expected of sixteen-year-old boys. But I was sorry you didn’t get to go back there the next year….”

Her voice trailed off and she looked suddenly sad. That had been the year our parents were in the car crash, when I was just seventeen, Alice barely nineteen. Grieving and confused, we’d moved to Hampshire to live with family friends for a few years, at least until Alice finished university, got a teaching job and a flat, and we could move back to London together.

Nothing had been the same since that year; there’d been a lot of things we never returned to. But Alice and I had made our independent way at last. Eventually I got a good job as well, and my own small place, and we stayed close.

“I’m fine.” I stood to give her a quick hug. “And looking forward to getting started on my quest.” To make her smile, I put air quotes around the word.

The pub door opened and I looked around to see who’d entered. A single man, looking around for someone. I turned, a welcome smile ready on my face.

“Is that him?” Alice hissed in a stage whisper people must have heard miles away.

The man looked our way, nodded in acknowledgement to me, and started over to our table.

What the hell?

“Daniel? What’s the matter?” Josh frowned at me, then back at the man.

My welcome smile remained in place, but it wasn’t quite as ready.

The man paused a couple of feet away. He looked at each of us in turn, then back to me. His cheeks flushed. “I’m not the person you expected, am I?”

“I’m… well. Not really. You’re not Nathan Carson, are you?”

“No, I’m not.”

“Daniel?” Beside me, Alice was almost vibrating with concern and curiosity.

I held out my hand to the newcomer. “Daniel Cross. But you were looking for me, weren’t you?”

He nodded and shook my hand. “Yes. I’m Nick Carson. I’m so sorry I startled you. I’m Nathan’s older brother.”

I was still trying to unravel this. “Nathan’s meant to be meeting me here. I mean… is he on his way?”

“No.” Nick grimaced. “Shit. This is awkward, isn’t it?”

I sneaked a better look at him. I’d realised at once he wasn’t spotty, skinny Nathan, even though I’d tried to extrapolate what Nathan would look like now. There hadn’t been much to go on, as his Facebook profile didn’t have personal pictures on it, but this man—Nick Carson—was taller and much better-looking than I could ever have imagined poor Nathan. Nick was leaner than me, with short, well-styled hair—no frizz in sight—and clean-shaven. His clothes were smart casual­—a polo shirt, fitted jeans, and Converse Hi-Tops. I’d wanted a pair of them myself a couple of years ago, but Eric persuaded me they weren’t for “old farts like us.” Yes, and that was one of the reasons why we were no longer together, even if I’d chickened out of buying the Converse at the time.

“Can someone explain what’s going on?” Josh asked. The pub was filling up with evening punters who jostled us as people wriggled their way to the bar. “We need to get going, but Alice will explode if she isn’t updated before we go.”

I introduced Alice and Josh quickly, and we all sat back down at our table.

Nick ran a hand through his hair nervously. He was wearing a pleasant, woody cologne that tickled my senses. “You were looking for anyone who knew the Scorching Summer Sports Club, weren’t you? The kids who went there in the summer of 2004? Well, I didn’t, but my brother Nate did. I answered your post because I knew the SSSC name.”

“Is that any help to Daniel?” Alice leaned over the table towards him.

“I hope so.” To his credit, Nick didn’t flinch away from her scrutiny. “I remember the kids who were there too.”

“Wait.” My stomach gave a hideous flop. “I friended you on Facebook. We’ve been talking for weeks.”

He nodded again.

“But all the time I thought you were Nathan.” My voice came out in a squeak.

“Is that what they call catfishing?” Alice’s voice was shrill, but Josh hushed her. He looked shamelessly entertained by our conversation.

“God, no. Please don’t think that. I wasn’t pretending to be Nate!” Nick looked horrified. “I just wanted to help.”

“No, it was my mistake.” I sighed. “I saw the name N. Carson, Chessington, West London, and just assumed it was Nathan.” What kind of idiot was I?

Nick shrugged uncomfortably. “It’s happened all through our lives, especially as we’re barely two years apart in age and have the same initial. You know how it is.” There was high colour in his cheeks. I had to admit it was very attractive. “But Nate’s not on Facebook nowadays. And when you went into detail about wanting to find your friends, I realised at once you thought I was him. So I suggested we meet up. I thought a face-to-face explanation would be better than just shooting you down online.”

“Um, thanks,” I said, still feeling like the greatest berk that had ever lived. “Can I get you a drink? I mean, you’ve come all this way….”

“Not far at all,” he said. “Just a couple of miles. I’m freelance, and I’m currently working in Tolworth, so Surbiton’s local for me.”

“I’ll get the drinks,” Josh said. “Then Ali and I are off home.”

He took our order and set off at his most assertive. Josh was tall and broad, and he was always our best chance of getting a drink at a crowded bar. I was left sitting with Nick Carson and my sister.

Awkward? Yes indeedy.

I caught Nick’s gaze on me. Lovely dark eyes with crinkled laughter lines at the edges. His smile was very striking, though wary at the moment. For a brief second, I saw a resemblance to my memory of Nathan. But during that summer I spent at the SSSC, I didn’t remember ever thinking Nathan Carson was my type, even if he hadn’t claimed obnoxiously and vociferously how straight he was.

Whereas Nick….

Alice leaned over to Nick again, eyes wide. “I’m so sorry, Mr. Carson.”

“No, it’s fine. Call me Nick, please.”

“Ali,” I said pointedly, “I can make my own apologies.”

She ignored me. “Since Daniel’s launched out into the social media world, there have been a few hiccups. Not that I’ve been poking my nose into his laptop, but I can’t help catching sight of things….”

I thought I saw a twitch at the corner of Nick’s mouth. Ali wasn’t going to quote anything scandalous from my browser history, was she?

“He went browsing somewhere called Pen Island. He got all kinds of pictures that had nothing to do with stationery.”

She was—and had.

“Athletic Men was the same,” she happily gabbled on. “No sports shoes in sight, except the pairs perched up on another man’s bare shoulders. And you remember that Wikipedia site you called up, Daniel, that had nothing at all to do with drinking tea?”

“Tea-bagging,” I muttered under my breath. “And that’s why my laptop has a password now.”

Now Nick was definitely smiling. And when he looked at me, there was the slight suggestion of a wink in solidarity. He understood what my dear sister was telling him about my preferences, didn’t he?

“I can’t believe I made such a mistake, chatting on to you like that,” I said to him, still mortified. “And, shit—” Alice’s foot kicked my ankle. “—I mean, sorry. I’ve been rambling on about the old days, harassing you for the addresses of our club mates. Well… mine.”

“I know. But it’s no problem. You thought I was Nathan, after all, and you’d been in the same football team. It was perfectly reasonable to think he may have kept in touch with the other kids who played.”

“It was perfectly nuts,” Josh muttered behind me. He put a couple of pints on the table, then swept Alice’s coat from the back of her chair. He pointedly held it out for her to put on. “Let’s get going, shall we?”

Ali glanced quickly between Nick and me.

“Things are fine,” I said wryly. “If he’s an axe murderer, I’ll call for help from the bar staff.”

Nick looked confused.

“Have a good time, Daniel. I hope it works out for you,” Josh said. He put a hand on my shoulder; he sounded genuine. “It’s a long time since any of us were sixteen, so I don’t know what you’ll find. But good luck.”

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About Clare

clare-london-author-pic-sClare London took her pen name from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant.

She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic, and sexy characters.

Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter three stage and plenty of other projects in mind… she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.

Clare loves to hear from readers, and you can contact her here:

Website|  Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Google + E-mail: clarelondon11@yahoo.co.uk

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Review

Clare London - Chase The Ace STitle: Chase the Ace (2nd Edition)

Series: London Lads #1 (Perchance to Dream 01)

Author: Clare London

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novella (87 Pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 4, 2017)

Heat Level: Low  

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Newly single in his late twenties, and bored with his quiet life in a London suburb, Daniel Cross soon discovers the lure of social media. Excited at the chance of tracking down his old mates from a schooldays sports club, he launches a personal quest to find out what kind of man each boy has become.

Dan’s first mistake is chatting online to a complete stranger—friending the wrong Carson brother on Facebook. But Nick Carson isn’t offended and offers to accompany Dan on the trip to find the others. It’s the first step to friendship and something more for both of them.

For Dan, the reunions with the “ Gang of Four” range from startling and heartening to disturbing. Nick’s company is a constant support, though neither of them are prepared for the exposure of personal secrets they’d thought long hidden. Dan begins to suspect he’s really looking for a direction in his own life—and the excitement and purpose he craves may be closer to home than a quest with its roots in a boyhood dream.

ISBN: 978-1-63533-234-6

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/chase-the-ace-by-clare-london-7992-b

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: I haven’t really had a chance to read many stories by this author however it was an interesting story.  Although I did have some issues with it, such as how does one to get the man’s age and not have used any social media just seems wrong.  I don’t see how it could be possible at this time.  I also felt that the blurb told the story itself.  

Daniel has decided to take a road trip and look up his old friends.  Too bad he contacted the wrong guy but ends up being the right man for him.  It’s one of those stories to see where old friends are now days.  However I just didn’t see the connection to the past at all.  Now Nick is actually an older brother to one of the guys and decides he wants to go along with Daniel on this trip.  It might turn interesting, but if you want to know read the book.  

Now as I said there were a few issues I had with the story but I won’t go into it because each person has an opinion that might not be so bad for another.  It is a cute little story with just a hint of kink to it.  I liked how the guys seemed to grow together if that is the right word.  There are some funny scenes which made it rock for me. 

However the story itself felt a bit off, the story is set in England and for an American it comes off a bit strange but perfect for the story.  It is very defined and fully developed for such a short story.  The characters were so real like that it seemed like a person would know them on sight.  It is an entertaining story and also a nice read.  I could have used a bit more heat but it was pretty good either way. Now the story itself was very good but I find that it wasn’t for me.  It was a little too sweet, if you know what I mean.

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Check out the other blogs on the tour

January 6 – Back Porch Reader
January 13 – Making It Happen
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