Friday, 21 August 2015

Blog tour, giveaway & 5* review - Knave of Broken Hearts by Tara Lain

Knave of Broken Hearts
(Love in Laguna Series, Bk #2)
by Tara Lain

Jim Carney has a full time job—running from himself. Since he walked out on his wealthy family at sixteen because he’d wrecked his best friend’s life over some yaoi graphic novels, Jim has lived a macho, blue-collar existence of too much booze and too little responsibility. Then Billy Ballew, the man Jim most admires, gives Jim a chance to come through as his construction supervisor. For once, Jim is determined to make someone proud. Then Jim goes in for a physical for his new job and his yaoi dream comes to life in the form of cardiologist Ken Tanaka. Jim discovers he has two heart problems—a wonky mitral valve and a serious attraction to his doctor. But Ken is a major player, and Jim might be just a notch on the doc’s stethoscope. To Ken, Jim is unforgettable—but the living embodiment of his traditional family’s worst nightmares.

How come the minute Jim decides to be responsible, he finds himself taking care of his kid brother, getting a proposal from a wealthy woman, making a deal with the devil, and winding up in the hospital—when all he really wants is the Knave of Broken Hearts?

Available for purchase at 


Paperback from Dreamspinner 


I absolutely loved the first book in this series, so I had high expectations for this book - and Tara Lain didn't let me down! Knave of Broken Hearts made me laugh and it made me cry, I really felt for the two main characters Jim and Ken.  This is a story about two men who are always putting other people's happiness above their own, and their journey to their own happy ending is an emotional roller coaster. 

Jim has spent years denying his true self and convincing himself that he was straight. At twenty seven I did find it slightly unbelievable that he didn't realise he was gay when he couldn't get hard for women but could when looking at his dream guy in a yaoi comic, but this didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book.  When he has to go for a medical for his new job he's shocked to find that he has a heart problem and is even more surprised to find that his cardiologist is the spitting image of his favourite yaoi character.  Ken is out and proud, but is struggling to keep his traditional Japanese family happy as they want to find him the perfect spouse. Jim and Ken are attracted to each but with meddling families and Jim still firmly in the closet, can they really make a relationship work?

I loved Jim and Ken, and it was great to see Billy and the fabulous Shaz from the first book again. The new supporting characters were interesting too, especially Jim's younger brother Ian. The storyline is full of twists that kept me on the edge of my seat. There were so many obstacles in this couples way, they both went through a lot of emotional turmoil which was fascinating to read. Knave of Broken Hearts is another great book from this talented author, and I can't wait for the next book. Five fabulous stars!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.



He looked up at Ken Tanaka standing in the door to the inner office. The doc came to get Jim himself.

“Are you okay? You look upset?”

“Oh no, not exactly.”

“Want to come in?”


He stood and walked through the door, inhaling Tanaka’s spicy/sweet scent that filled his head like smoke. God, he felt disoriented, like he didn’t know which world he lived in—one where he went out on dates with a rich woman, or one in which he gazed into the beautiful eyes of Yaoi Man and got a hard-on. Hell, both of them had to be fantasyland.

Ken motioned him into a private office that wasn’t an examining room. “Please, take a seat.”

Jim sat in a guest chair in front of Ken’s desk, and the doc walked all the way around to sit in his big leather chair. Very professional. Very distant. Very not a good sign. “So I got back the results of your echocardiogram.”

“Yeah?” Shit, they should take another test right now. The way his heart hammered in his ears, he’d sure as fuck fail.

“Your mitral valve prolapse is what I would call moderate to severe. It’s difficult to tell exactly without doing surgery.”

“Surgery?” Close your mouth, idiot.

“Yes, that’s how a severely, shall we say, floppy valve is corrected.” He smiled tightly.

“Floppy?” It came out like a squeak.

“I’m not recommending surgery now. We’re going to observe over the next few months. I want you to let me know any problems, arrhythmic heartbeats, racing heart, chest pains, anything irregular that might occur, okay?”

Shit, all of that was so regular for him, and he was so not going to tell Tanaka that. He nodded.

“Don’t worry. Mitral valve prolapse is quite common. Most people never have any real difficulty. Just follow my directions. Don’t drink excessively, eat healthy food, even organic would be advisable, and avoid stress.”

Jim’s mouth opened, then closed. He was okay on the drinking thing so far, although this news made him want to down a bottle of Jack. Still, on the other stuff, the doc might as well say fly to the moon and bring back some green cheese. Hell, even being around Tanaka could give him a fucking heart attack. Sitting here thinking he might die any moment, and his cock still wanted to escape his jeans just from looking at the doctor’s lips. Maybe that’s how he’d go out. Lean over and kiss Ken Tanaka. Bye-bye, Charlie.

“Does that all seem doable?”

Jim nodded. “Does, uh, that mean I don’t get the insurance?” Jesus, that would be bad.

“No. As I told you, mitral valve prolapse is common. I’ve signed the papers and turned them in. You should get the approval with no problem. You’re officially no longer a patient.”

That felt both good and bad. “Thanks, man.”

“My pleasure. As I say, it’s not an inherently worrisome diagnosis.” Ken sat back in his chair. “So you’re hooking up with our sexy landlord, huh?” He smiled, but something seemed phony about it.

“Uh, no. She was just talking to me about how to build out her suites. And she, uh, has some more work for us.”

Ken stood and walked toward the door of his office. “I don’t know, buddy. I’d look out for her. You could find yourself hooked.”

Buddy? Seriously? “I won’t worry too much. You told me to avoid stress.” He walked over to the door, looked at Ken, then glanced away. “You seem to have a new boyfriend. Cute guy.”

He frowned. “My mother fixed us up.”

“Seriously?” Jim snorted a laugh.

“You, my friend, are not Japanese, or you’d understand.”

“You were born in Japan?” Ken had no accent at all.

“No, I was born in Costa Mesa, but—well, it’s complicated. So don’t worry about your heart. My office manager is gone, but she’ll call you to make an appointment in about two months. Meanwhile, I’m serious about contacting me if anything unusual occurs.”


“With your health, crazy man.” He smiled, and this time it reached his eyes.

Two months. He had no excuse to see Ken Tanaka for two months. Hell, that was good news. Maybe he’d get his feet back under him, if he didn’t die of a heart attack first.

“Thanks again for helping me with the architect thing.”

Ken raised an eyebrow. “Is it working out with Willings?”

“Yeah. He assigned one of the young guys in his office to handle the drawings, and he’s great. He’s really saved my ass.”

“Good. See, I helped relieve your stress.” He sounded sad.

“Yeah.” He stuck out his hand. Ken took it, and heat traveled up Jim’s arm all the way to his heart. “Guess I’ll see you in two months.”


“Don’t marry any guys you don’t want to marry.” He tried to grin.

Ken didn’t grin. “I’ll try.”

About the Author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 23. Her bestselling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. 
She lives with her soulmate husband and her soulmate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

You can find Tara at



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1 comment:

  1. Jackie, thank you so much for reading KNAVE OF BROKEN HEARTS! I'm honored and delighted that you enjoyed it!! : )