This Is Not A Love Story by Suki Fleet Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!

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Hi guys, we have Suki Fleet popping in today with This is Not a Love Story, we have a fantastic excerpt, a brilliant giveaway and Tams review, so check out the post and click that giveaway link! ❤ ~Pixie~

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This Is Not A Love Story

(Love Story 01)
by

Suki Fleet

When fifteen-year-old Romeo’s mother leaves one day and doesn’t return, he finds himself homeless and trying to survive on the streets. Mute and terrified, his silence makes him vulnerable, and one night he is beaten by a gang of other kids, only to be rescued by a boy who pledges to take care of him.

Julian is barely two years older than Romeo. A runaway from an abusive home, he has had to make some difficult choices and sells himself on the street to survive. Taking care of Romeo changes him, gives him a purpose in life, gives him hope, and he tries to be strong and keep his troubles with drugs behind him. But living as they do is slowly destroying him, and he begins to doubt he can be strong enough.

This is the story of their struggle to find a way off the streets and stay together at all costs. But when events threaten to tear them apart, it is Romeo who must find the strength within himself to help Julian (and not let their love story turn into a Shakespearean tragedy).

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Excerpt!

We are Meant to be Ephemeral

Romeo

THERE’S THIS boy (isn’t there always?), this beautiful, glowing creature who makes me feel alive. Even here, living on the street with all the shit that happens—the cold, the hunger, the terror of spending one more day like this, one more night like this—somehow he makes me want to survive it, despite everything, just to spend another fucking minute in his starry-bright glow.

Even now, especially now, as we stand on the embankment next to the busy main road. This is the red-light district for boys like us. This is where we sell ourselves, one piece of our souls at a time.

Four coins rest in the palm of his hand, the rest hidden in the strap beneath his threadbare sleeve.

He holds them out to me, and I am entranced by the warm gold skin of his wrist—people pay a fortune to get a glow like that, for something he just has naturally.

“For you,” he mouths, fixing his light brown eyes on mine.

Yeah, for me to go and get warm in Joe Brown’s stinking cafe while he gets fucked under the railway arches by some dirty creep who doesn’t give a shit if he hurts him. I wish Julian didn’t act like my big brother. I wish just once he’d trust me to look out for him. I’m not as fragile as he thinks.

But I take the coins, when really what I want to do is throw them into the road and beg him not to go.

He knows, and our gazes lock, the both of us trying to communicate something the other doesn’t understand, or doesn’t want to.

It’s like this every time he gets picked up.

As if on cue, the guy in the car blasts the horn. We both jump.

“Hurry the fuck up,” the creep hisses.

Through the steamed-up car window I can’t see the face attached to the voice, but the rest of him looks old and thin—hands gnarled as the roots of the trees that line this part of the embankment grip the steering wheel. And though I know that his age doesn’t mean he’s harmless, I can pretend, I can hope.

Julian tries to smile, his eyes telling me it will be okay. But how will this ever be okay? I can’t bear it.

But we have nothing.

We are nothing.

His warm fingers brush my cold ones, and I long to grab his hands and pull him away with me. I want to run along the embankment with him until my lungs burst. Maybe I will anyway.

Alone.

“Twenty minutes,” he mouths.

I nod robotically. He gets in the car and watches me from the window as he’s driven away. I make a note of the color, model, and registration number. Knowing this makes me feel safer: if anything were to happen, I would have a tether, a proof that this car exists and Julian exists within it.

Nothing is going to happen. I bite back a sob. And run.

 —

JOE BROWN’S cafe is full of wasters. Technically, I guess that includes me.

“Hey, Romeo!”

I ignore the shout. I don’t even want to acknowledge Cricket. He’s high. But he gets up and comes over to the counter where I’m stood waiting for Cassey to pour my tea.

“Where’s Jules?”

I turn around and shrug. It’s none of his fucking business. Whatever Cricket’s got to sell, I’m not buying.

“Lend us a quid.”

He drapes a skinny arm around my shoulder. I hold my breath and shrug him off.

I try not to look at the clock on the wall above the counter, but it’s become a sick compulsion. Ten more minutes.

“Pleeease.”

I take a clean napkin out of the dispenser and write fuck off with the pen from my pocket.

I’ve been desperate before too, and Cricket took that opportunity to kick me while I was down. Maybe he thinks I’ve forgotten.

Cassey hands me my tea along with four packets of sugar. She keeps the sugar behind the counter now. She eyes Cricket warily.

“Leave the boy alone. He’s never done you any harm.”

Cricket backs away, holding his hands up. “Hey, I was just being friendly.”

“Aye, course you were,” she says, grimacing.

I have this effect on women, especially after they find out there’s something wrong with me—when they find out I can’t speak, that I’m mute. They want to look out for me, mother me, protect me. Well, apart from my own mother. I never had this effect on her. I wouldn’t be here if I had.

“How you doing?” Cassey asks me. And it’s not an empty question. She really wants to know.

Got moved on again last night. Tired, I write on the back of the fuck-off napkin.

“Hungry?”

If the rest of them ever found out she was giving me food for free, the place would get trashed.

“Come around the back in five minutes,” she says quietly.

 —

MY POCKETS are full of crushed toast that’s getting even more pulverized as I run down the embankment toward the railway arches.

Julian’s late.

He’s been late before but never this late.

As twenty minutes turned into forty, I started to feel sick. So sick Cassey thought I was ill.

Oh God, oh God, please please please let him be okay.

Last week the police found the body of a boy on the heath. The heath is miles from here, but we all knew the boy. He used to hang around the embankment selling himself like Julian.

I knew I should have stopped Julian getting in that car. I had a bad feeling about this from the start. I should have followed them. The thought of him hurt or in pain makes me retch. At the bottom of the embankment, I stop and steady myself against a wall as I stare out toward the railway arches.

Where is he?

I wish I could call his name, hear a voice that is mine ringing with it. Instead I scream silently, my heart about to implode in my chest.

Please, I plead to the silence, let me find him. He’s all I have.

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About Suki!

Suki Fleet author picAward Winning Author. Prolific Reader (though less prolific than she’d like). Lover of angst, romance and unexpected love stories. 

Suki Fleet writes lyrical stories about memorable characters, and believes everyone should have a chance at a happy ending. 

Her first novel This is Not a Love Story won Best Gay Debut in the 2014 Rainbow Awards, and was a finalist in the 2015 Lambda Awards.

Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Website | Twitter | Email: sukifleet@gmail.com

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Giveaway!

Win a backlist Ebook from Suki Fleet!

(Just click the link below)

Suki Fleet Rafflecopter giveaway!

(Ends 12th June 2017)

Review

Suki Fleet - This Is Not A Love Story CoverTitle: This Is Not a Love Story

Series: Love Story 01

Author: Suki Fleet

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Suspense

Length: Novel (270 pages)

Publisher: Harmony Ink, Dreamspinner Press (May 22nd, 2014)

Heat Level: Moderate for a YA book

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Tams

Blurb: When fifteen-year-old Romeo’s mother leaves one day and doesn’t return, he finds himself homeless and trying to survive on the streets. Mute and terrified, his silence makes him vulnerable, and one night he is beaten by a gang of other kids, only to be rescued by a boy who pledges to take care of him.

Julian is barely two years older than Romeo. A runaway from an abusive home, he has had to make some difficult choices and sells himself on the street to survive. Taking care of Romeo changes him, gives him a purpose in life, gives him hope, and he tries to be strong and keep his troubles with drugs behind him. But living as they do is slowly destroying him, and he begins to doubt he can be strong enough.

This is the story of their struggle to find a way off the streets and stay together at all costs. But when events threaten to tear them apart, it is Romeo who must find the strength within himself to help Julian (and not let their love story turn into a Shakespearean tragedy).

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/this-is-not-a-love-story-by-suki-fleet-5789-b

Review: Julian and Romeo are two homeless teenagers thrown into each other’s lives due to an act of violence. Romeo is mute, which makes him a target to gangs and generally nasty people. When they learn of his disability, it makes him a target, the boy who can’t call for help. Julian saves him and the two become friends. Julian takes on the role of protector and makes choices in an effort to keep them both alive and together. But choices have consequences, and sometimes the threat of danger. Romeo realizes he’s in love long before Julian does, but the cold harsh reality of the life they are forced to lead doesn’t leave much room for a happy ending.

When Romeo is hospitalized with possible pneumonia, a social service gets involved. At the same time Julian is being pursued by someone he owes money, someone dangerous. It’s inevitable that they are separated, but Romeo is scared. Scared to be without Julian, the young man he’s fallen in love with, that has cared for him and protected him these last few months. He’s also scared for Julian, he knows why Julian has gone into hiding, and he fears they will never see each other again. An unlikely ally helps Romeo leave the hospital and search for Julian. When Romeo finally finds his love, his worst fears may be realized.

This was a hard read. There is violence, brutality, rape, anger and just about every angry emotion on the spectrum in this book. It’s a story of two young men that hit rock bottom, seemingly having nowhere to go, no hope of a normal, happy life. The struggles they go through and the risks they take to stay together. The title is completely accurate. This is NOT a Love story, but rather, a story about Love. Unyielding, unwavering, and unconditional love. The shit Julian goes through to make sure Romeo is safe literally made my stomach turn. And Romeo, abused by people because of his disability, because he can’t talk back they can get away with it. So, I’m not going to lie, this was a difficult read.

That being said, it was a very well written read. The content may be raw and dark, but it is very realistic and conceivable. Julian is written as the protector, constantly shielding Romeo. But to spite his inability to speak, Romeo will surprise you with the strength he possesses. A very colorful cast of secondary characters round out the story, from the shop owners that help them as much as they can to the social worker that truly only has Romeo’s best interest at heart. And the unlikely ally, Crash, another young man without the ability to speak becomes a different kind of friend for Romeo.

While I recommend this book, I urge you not to read it if you are depressed or even in a bad mood. Make sure you are in a happy place because the content is graphic and slightly gruesome. But the payoff is worth it in the end. My only complaint was that the epilogue was too short and too rushed. I thought these two young men deserved a little more detail to their ending. Nonetheless, it was a good ending.

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Check out the other blogs on the tour!

May 22 – Booklove
June 2 – Inglorious Bitches
June 5 – Keysmash
June 9 – Diverse Reader
June 12 – Bayou Book Junkie
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