The Glow Up by A.M Johnson _ Blog Tour & Review

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Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway:
The Glow Up
By A.M. Johnson

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Franklin University Series, Book 5

Chris Delaney

I’ve promised myself that this was going to be the year to finally buckle down. I’m a junior, and I’ve settled on a major. I’ve got focus and determination. The one thing I haven’t figured out yet? How to deal with the massive crush I’ve been harboring on the guy in study carrel six.

I don’t know his name and some of my friends think it’s time for me to move on, but he has this whole sexy, broody, dark eyes and messy hair thing going for him. And yeah, he seems like he could be my polar opposite. The kind of unapproachable, serious type who doesn’t smile much, but I’d like to think he’s all rays of sunshine underneath his stormy expressions and disheveled demeanor. All that intense energy… I dig it.

I want to know him.

The rub?

I’ll have to find the courage to actually introduce myself.

Aiden Russo

The college experience is supposed to be parties, drinking, and fun with a few classes mixed in. It sounds pretty amazing, right? For me, it turned out to be endless lectures, avalanches of homework, and copious amounts of caffeine. The study carrel might as well be my dorm room. And that guitar under my bed? It’s got two years of dust growing on it. But this is the life I have to lead if I’m ever going to help my dad.

Pre-med isn’t for the weak.

The problem? Loneliness holds me hostage.

If only I could find someone willing to break through my ever-present cloud bank, and remind me what it’s like to have fun again.

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Thick smoke curled from the joint’s tip as I held it to my lips. The cloudless sky overhead bore down on my exposed shoulders, baking my skin in the California sun. I frowned and stared at the sidewalk for the hundredth time in the last ten minutes from my perch on the rooftop of the science building.

“Shit…” I wheezed and sputtered, choking and waving away the exhaled smoke.

“Such a novice. Are we feeling dramatic today?” Tommy asked, and I decided he wasn’t the most supportive friend I’d ever had.

Tommy was the Tommiest of all the Toms with his perfectly styled deep side part, polo t-shirts, and his love for being the life of the party.

“I don’t usually smoke this shit. You know that.”

He rolled his eyes and took a smooth drag like it wasn’t dragon fire. “Edibles are for the weak.”

“Edibles are for people who’d rather not pollute their lungs. But thank you for sharing,” I said without much conviction as my eyes snagged on a guy coming up the path.

I sighed. It wasn’t him.

“He isn’t coming.” My shoulders slumped as I leaned back onto my elbows.  “My life is over.”

“Yup, definitely fucking dramatic.” He held his hand to my forehead, and I swatted it away. “Your obsession is starting to worry me, my friend.” Tommy licked his fingers and dashed out the joint. “This guy doesn’t even know you exist.”


He laughed, his bloodshot eyes squinting in the sunlight as he stared at me. “Your optimism will be your downfall.”

“Thanks.” I sat up and pulled my legs from over the roof’s ledge. Standing, I wiped my hands on my jeans. “I better get back to work.”

“Don’t get mad at me, dude. I’m only speaking the truth. You’ve been salivating over this guy since freshman year, and you don’t even know his name. That’s kind of… weird.”

“One… I’m not mad.” I held up my fingers.  “Two… in my opinion, names are overrated. And three…  fuck you, I am not weird.”

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To celebrate this exciting release, Amanda is giving away an eBook and a Paperback of the winner’s choice from A.M. Johnson’s backlist!


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AM Johnson

About the Author:

Amanda is an award-winning and best selling author of LGBTQIA and contemporary romance and fiction. She lives in Utah with her family where she moonlights as a nurse on the weekends and hikes in the mountains as much as possible.

If she’s not busy with her three munchkins, you’ll find her buried in a book or behind the keyboard where she explores the human experience through the written word, exploring all spectrums and genres.

She’s obsessed with all things Hockey, Austen, and Oreos, and loves to connect with readers!

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[ I received a digital arc for an honest review]

The Glow Up by A.M. Johnson is the fifth book in the Franklin University universe. Chris Delaney has been observing “science guy” at the library for two years but has been too nervous to approach the handsome stranger. An unexpected meeting brings Chris face to face with Aiden Russo, the man he has been observing in the library. Aiden exists to study for his pre-med classes only so he can take care of his father. Chris decides that he must bring Aiden out of his shell even if that means just being friends. Aiden feels an intense connection with Chris but he struggles to open up completely to the ray of sunshine in his life. But Chris won’t give up that easily.

Chris Delaney lives in the stoner house and is a very calm presence who has finally decided what to do with his life. He has always been too nervous to approach Aiden in the library so when fate throws him into his path and onto his massage table. Chris just wants to help Aiden come out of his shell and embrace college life. He tries to just be his friend but their chemistry is undeniable. Once Aiden opens up to Chris, he cannot help but fall even harder for the shy beautiful man.

Being in Chris’s orbit was like floating on a raft in the pool with the sun on your face. He was the calm, cool breeze to my gale-force hurricane thoughts.

Aiden Russo has dedicated his entire college experience to passing his classes and moving towards med school. He has missed so many social occasions and experiences. Chris is this breath of fresh air who comes in and brightens his days with texts and their glow up experience list. He knows he’s attracted to Chris immediately but hesitates to really let himself get attached. Allowing himself to trust Chris both emotionally and physically leads to the two men developing a very intense relationship quickly.

“What would you say if I told you I’ve never felt…this connected to anyone before?” I closed my eyes. “Is that too big?”
“No… it’s not too much.”
I raised my gaze and found a lopsided smile on his lips. “It’s a lot. But I feel it too.”

The Glow Up is a very different addition to the Franklin University universe. This story has less humor and more angst but fits well as the characters are extremely loveable and you want them to find their HEA. Chris and Aiden relate to each other immediately for their love of music and it brings them even closer as they play/sing together. This story was beautiful and I loved watching Aiden and Chris grow closer and embrace how special their connection is.

4 stars for Chris and Aiden finding they glow brightest together.

—Written by Katie—

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