Vagabonda Reads

Bohemian in Thought and Deed . . .

Release Day Blitz and Review: Noah by Cara Dee









51gg7n93gbL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_Have you ever woken up and expected to see destruction everywhere?

In 48 hours, I lost everything. I came home to find my girlfriend of four years with another man. The next day a plane crash ripped my family away from me, shattering me in the process. In many ways, I died that day, too. The fun-loving man who’d lived in the fast lane and loved his career in the film industry was gone. Left was a forty-year-old shell that dwelled at the bottom of a bottle.

Only one person knew what I was going through. My sister’s stepson, who hadn’t been on the plane. Julian knew what it was like to lose everyone he loved, too. He’d stopped showing up at reunions when he was a teenager, so I didn’t know him very well. But I told him at the memorial service he could come out and visit me in LA whenever. One day he did, and I guessed it was as good a day as any to start picking up the pieces and see what was left of us.




“ . . . Does love conquer all?” . . . “No,” he answered . . . “but I believe it gives us what we need in order to fight.”

– Julian Hartley

Kindle Loc. 3309 of 3584

By the age of forty, Noah Collins seemed to have it all — looks, success, the love of family, the love of a woman. But life is fragile and the truth is not always what it seems. Within a matter of days, Noah suffers stunning betrayal: he discovers his longtime girlfriend, Emma, in the act with another man. Reeling from this discovery, Noah is then hit with the staggering loss of his entire family in an airplane crash. Seeming alone in his grief, Noah comes to the realization he’s not the only one devastated by the loss of his family. He reaches out to the one surviving person distantly related to him — his sister’s step-son, Julian.

Julian Hartley, twenty-three, is in his family’s home in Berlin when he receives word of the plane crash. Distraught and fragile, Julian attends the memorial service in Pittsburgh, and it is there that Noah offers Julian his support. Recognizing that he may be the only family that remains for the young man, Noah extends Julian an open invitation to come and live with him in Los Angeles.  It’s a sincere offer made by Noah, who considers himself to be a poor excuse for a half-uncle. So when Julian shows up at Noah’s door, looking for shelter and the chance for a fresh start, Noah welcomes him into his life. Noah needs a fresh start, too.

Grieving their shared loss, both Julian and Noah find comfort in one another — the simple act of holding each other gives them relief from their emotional pain. It’s gentle, beautiful and healing. When Noah begins to realize his feelings for Julian are beyond familial in nature, he’s horrified at his thoughts. It’s not the idea he finds himself attracted to a man — Noah is a person who puts gender aside — it’s the thought that he may be preying on someone who looks upon him as family. Julian thinks of Noah as family, doesn’t he?

Given this scenario, the reader might think that Cara Dee’s Noah is about breaking taboos and predatory behavior. Disabuse yourself of any notions in that regard, because Noah is at its core a beautiful and emotionally charged love story.

Set in the entertainment industry and populated with the characters we first met in author Dee’s Breaking Free, Noah and Julian find themselves deeply attracted to one another. Written entirely from Noah’s POV, the reader struggles along with Noah as he tries to wrap his mind around a relationship with the much-younger man. Credit Cara Dee with writing a character who is oblivious to gender when it comes to need, whether it be sexual or regarding matters of the heart. Her characterization of Noah’s sexual fluidity is flawless and absolutely masterful.  Julian has been attracted to Noah for years, so when Noah finally gives in to his desire for Julian, they combust into some of the most torrid sex this reader has encountered. Again, give credit to author Cara Dee — the passion between these two, while raw and demanding, is fueled by the underlying deep emotion Noah and Julian have for one another.

Noah is unequivocally Cara Dee’s best work to date.  The development of the main characters are well crafted, and their growth throughout the story is another testament to the talent of this author. The plot moves quickly, and the sub-plots are woven into the story seamlessly. On particular sub-plot, highlighting the making of a movie whose main character suffers from a mental illness, is especially poignant and is written with great care and compassion.

The ancillary characters are solidly written, and, as noted above, old friends to those who have read author Dee’s Breaking Free or With Brave Wings.  But note: one does not need to have read Breaking Free or With Brave Wings to fully enjoy Noah — it is a standalone novel, complete with epilogue.

Brilliantly written, Cara Dee’s Noah is a compelling, romantic love story — a reminder to us all that love, as Julian stated, gives us what we need in order to fight.

Note: Noah contains explicit sexual M/M scenes, as well as a sexual relationship between two members of a blended family that are not blood relations.

























There aren’t many things better than picking up my Kindle and getting completely sucked into a whole new world—where words morph into images and characters’ moods suddenly reflect my own. Aside from good plot and writing, for me, it boils XnM0mwWT_400x400down to relatable characters.

As a writer, I’m not finished until the men and women in my books come to life, until I can see them as real people, until I can connect with them. Which means I write what I want to read: everyday heroes and heroines who have the same struggles we all do. They evolve, have flaws, make mistakes and amends, learn, and find the endings they fight for.

Those are the characters who take the readers on a journey away from work, laundry, grocery shopping, and to-do lists.

When I’m not writing, researching, or brainstorming, I’m either planning my next trip (never-ending bucket list!), reading, watching hockey, or spending time with family and friends.





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