Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: Husband Hunters, Rick R Reed
On Top Down Under Book Reviews is thrilled to again welcome Rick R. Reed, author of the new Husband Hunters, released by Dreamspinner Press on September 1st. Rick is giving away a signed copy of Chaser or Hungry for Love, so make sure you check out the giveaway at the very bottom of this post!
You can read Cindi’s 4.5 star review of Husband Hunters here.
Cindi: Thank you, Rick, for stopping by On Top Down Under as part of your Husband Hunters tour.
Rick: Thanks so much for having me. OnTopDownUnder is a lovely place to be; I think I’ll vacation there.
Cindi: Husband Hunters is the ultimate friends-to-lovers story but with a twist. It’s about two best friends, Matt and Cody, both looking for love, who go on a reality show in hopes of finding their future husbands. Where did the reality show idea come from?
Rick: I admit it: one of my biggest guilty pleasures is reality TV. It’s often mindless and low-brow, which is precisely why I like it—it gives my mind a break from the near-constant reading and writing I do. My favorites are Top Chef, Project Runway, and of course, House Hunters. I like the idea behind House Hunters, which is putting yourself in the potential homeowner’s shoes and evaluating the three houses profiled, not so much for them, but for yourself. I asked the question I think all writers ask before starting a story, which begins with: What if…? This time I ended the question with: What if there was a House Hunters that featured potential mates instead of potential homes? Both, after all, are major life decisions.
Cindi: Cody, at times, doesn’t come across as a likable guy. However, he is only being honest and sometimes honesty can be painful. This was definitely the case for poor Matt, who loved him and knew he wasn’t loved in return. Instead of having Cody let Matt down easy, you had him being brutally honest, though that honesty hurt his best friend. What would you like to tell the readers about Cody?
Rick: Cody is a character who can’t see the forest for the trees. He wants to find someone, amid the endless hooking up, that he can settle down with, someone with whom he can have the kind of family he gets a glimpse of in his relationship with his dog, Ryder—that easy comfort and caring. Like a lot of us, he doesn’t appreciate what he has until he (almost) loses it. Matt was in front of him all the time, offering him just what he sought, but he couldn’t see it. At least, not right away….
Cindi: Then there’s Matt, who I adored. I mentioned in my review how one minute I wanted to hug him and the next I wanted to swat him on the back of the head and say “Move on already. He’s not into you that way.” But, even so, you can’t not want to see him finally win the man of his dreams, with that man being Cody. Matt wasn’t described as the ultimate perfect looking character that we so often see these days. I should stress that there is absolutely nothing wrong with perfect looking characters but Matt was written a bit differently as far as his description. Why did you want to write him that way?
Rick: I wanted to show, as I have in a few other books of mine, that sexy comes in all different shapes and sizes. And Matt is an example of that. He’s far from perfect, but he’s hot too, once you appreciate him for all he is. Maybe, in the final analysis, he’s actually the hottest character in the book. Here’s a pic I sent to the cover artist, Paul Richmond, for inspiration for Matt (and I think this guy is very hot):
Cindi: Cody, at one point, gets a big dose of reality. At this point in the story, things have ventured off in a surprising direction (one I was quite pleased with). Without giving anything away, what can you tell us about that?
Rick: What can I tell you without giving away the ending? Nothing much! I’d just like to say this was Cody’s a-ha moment, and for him, it took being hit over the head with a dose of unpleasant reality to see the truth that had been right in front of him the whole time.
Cindi: In a lot of your books, you include a strong female character. In Husband Hunters, we were introduced to Martha Stewart. With Martha, you either love her or hate her. I loved her instantly. Tell us about Martha Stewart.
Rick: I love Martha! She’s a bitch…but she proves herself to really be all heart (especially when she helps Cody out after a very traumatic experience). Martha is tough out of necessity (she pretty much runs the TV show), but she’s also vulnerable (she has her own flaws—which include a fondness for mind-numbing substances). I think I thought a little of Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada when writing her and, of course, Martha’s namesake. Both are strong leading women and both, I think, pay the price for that, which gives them power at the price of love. My Martha, though, really cares about the people around her…and I think that shows in the book.
Cindi: Tell us about the cover. It’s amazing and perfect for the story.
Rick: As I mentioned, Paul Richmond did the cover and I agree that it’s amazing. I asked him to use the artist Roy Lichtenstein as his inspiration. I include one of Mr. Lichtenstein’s works below to show you what we were going for. I wanted the cover to have a real pop culture, yet romantic, feel. Paul nailed it, as he always does.
Cindi: Again, thank you for stopping by On Top Down Under. It’s always a pleasure having you visit with us!
Rick: It’s always a pleasure—otherwise I wouldn’t be here.
Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). Raining Men and Caregiver have both won the Rainbow Award for gay fiction. Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.” Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”
You never know where the love of your life might turn up.
When Matt Connelly suggests to his best buddy Cody Mook that they head to downtown Seattle to audition for the gay reality TV show Husband Hunters, both agree the experience might be a lark and a chance to grab their fifteen minutes of fame. What they don’t know is that the show, modeled after HGTV’s House Hunters, will open doors of longing neither expected. For Matt, the secret love he has long harbored for Cody might be thrust into the spotlight. Cody might realize his search for his perfect-forever-man extends no farther than the man who’s always been at his side.
Husband Hunters promises laughter, tears, and, just maybe, a happy ever after. Will Cody and Matt’s story be one of best-friends-to-lovers—or an outright disaster?
Dreamspinner Ebook: Dreamspinner Press
Dreamspinner Paperback: Dreamspinner Press
Amazon Kindle: Amazon
Amazon Paperback: Amazon
AllRomance eBooks: AllRomance eBooks
“You ever heard of a TV show called Husband Hunters?” Matt asked.
Cody let a short bark of a laugh escape. “Dude. It’s House Hunters. On HGTV, like, a thousand times a day.”
“No, no. There’s really a show called Husband Hunters. It’s on the gay channel. Haven’t you even heard of it? It’s the new gay show, even more popular than Drag Race. Where have you been?”
“Husband hunting?” Cody asked.
“Exactly. And how’s that working out for you?”
Cody paced his studio apartment and thought his friend Matt wasn’t as clueless as he had assumed about Cody’s romantic situation. “So far, my wish to be desired by many, won by few has gotten twisted around so it’s ass backwards.”
Matt obviously had to think about that for a moment. When he put it all together, he laughed. Not for the first time Cody thought of how his friend’s laughter too strongly resembled a donkey’s bray.
“Anyway,” Matt went on. “This show is kind of like your House Hunters in that it showcases someone looking for something and gives us three scenarios to watch and help them decide. Except instead of houses, it’s husbands!” Matt shrieked this last with something like delight—or lunacy.
“You’re kidding.” Cody rolled his eyes. He walked over to his kitchenette and began pulling out the makings for his breakfast: a couple of eggs, a loaf of Dave’s Spelt bread. “Is there a reason you brought this up? I can’t imagine anything more horrible. They actually get people to go on this show?” Cody sighed. “Whatever happened to romance?”
“The Internet,” Matt replied without missing a beat. “It’s a new day, as Miss Nina Simone once sang. Men get their manmeat digitally now. Soon Amazon will have drones delivering studs to your front door.”
“Whatever.” Cody was getting tired of the conversation. “You want to go out tonight or what?”
“Cody!” Matt complained. “You didn’t let me tell you the best part! Husband Hunters is right here in Seattle… today! They’re doing a talent search for some Pacific Northwest episodes.”
“And this affects me how?” Cody filled a pan with water, threw in some white vinegar and a little kosher salt, and set it on the stove to come to a simmer for his poached eggs.
“We can try out. Are you dense?” Matt went on, a little breathless with excitement. “What with the snow, there won’t even be as much competition. With your hotness and my wit, we’ll both be shoo-ins.”
Cody laughed. “You’re kidding me, right? What about the school?”
“You think they’d mind? Have you noticed that our principal is a legally wed leather daddy?”
Cody chuckled. “Only in Seattle….” He set two pieces of bread in the toaster and checked the water again for signs of boiling. A watched pot…. “You feel free to trot on down to the auditions, but this is nothing I want any part in. It’s gross.” Cody scratched the top of his head. “What do you have to do to audition, anyway? Kiss guys?”
Matt laughed. “One can hope. Come on, Cody. It’ll be fun. And you never know. It could change your life.”
“So could a car accident.”
Matt blew out a big sigh. “Don’t be a spoilsport. You know you can’t resist my charms. The casting call is being held at the Westin downtown. What time should I pick you up? My four-wheel drive will plow right through this shit.”
“I’m not going. It’s undignified.” Cody cracked the two eggs into separate ramekins.
“Dignity is overrated. What time should I pick you up?” Matt repeated.
“Didn’t you hear me? I’m not doing it!” Cody pushed the bread down in the toaster.
“Look. You may not think I’ve noticed, but I know you want to find that special someone, that soul mate character. I’ve seen how you moon over Pete at school.”
Pete was a biology teacher who bore an amazing resemblance to Colin Farrell. He had just married his sweetheart of eleven years, Johan. The couple was seldom apart. It was sickening. Except it wasn’t. It was sweet and gave Cody a glimmer of hope that somehow, somewhere, someday there was a man out there for him. Cody’s heart gave a little lurch. He knew it was true. He wanted what Pete and Johan had.
Matt went on, “So why not just try this? The truth is neither of us will probably make the cut. But it’ll be fun to go to the tryouts, see who else turns up. And who knows? The man of your dreams may be twitchin’ down at the Westin, looking for the same thing you are.”
Cody had to begrudgingly admit Matt had a point. “Okay,” he said, defeated. “But after? We go to Terra Plata for appetizers and lots of Bloody Marys. And you’re buying.”
“Deal. If it’ll get you there.”
“Is that it, then?”
“Yeah, yeah. I’ll pick you up at one. The casting call starts at two.”
“Okay, good-bye. My water’s boiling.”
“Your water broke?”
“Oh, shut up!” Cody was about to hang up when Matt shouted into the phone.
9/8: Joyfully Jay
9/11: A.J. Llewellyn
9/15: Rainbow Gold Reviews
9/18: Fallen Angel Reviews
9/22: Prism Book Alliance
9/25: 3 Chicks After Dark
9/29: On Top Down Under
10/2: The Blogger Girls
Thanks so much to Rick R Reed being part of the blog with his fantastic book. And Paul Richmond sure captured the brief for the cover art!
Yes, another huge thank you to Rick R. Reed for asking us to be part of his blog tour for such a great book.
I love the artwork. The cover is perfect and so is the author photo.
Haven’t found him yet (sob!)…but the book sounds excellent!
It is excellent, Trix. I can’t recommend it enough. 🙂
[…] ask when starting a new tale. This time it was, "What if House Hunters replaced houses with men?" OnTopDownUnder Reviews called Husband Hunters: "The ultimate friends-to-lovers story…" COVER BACKSTORY The cover […]