Speak Low picks up where Speak Easy left off. Tiny saves her father but they aren't off the hook yet. The DiFiore's still want their cut which means l...moreSpeak Low picks up where Speak Easy left off. Tiny saves her father but they aren't off the hook yet. The DiFiore's still want their cut which means less money for Tiny's family. Tiny is still lusting after Enzo DiFlore and soon he makes her an offer that gives her everything she thought she wanted. But when old pal Joey starts coming back around, Tiny discovers that what she wants is standing right before her eyes.
As enjoyable as book one, Speak Low continues on with the action and thrills though the romance occupies a much larger portion of the storyline. (less)
An enjoyable NA based on the roaring 20s. Jazz, prohibition, and violence all revolve around a young lady, Tiny, whose small time bootlegging father i...moreAn enjoyable NA based on the roaring 20s. Jazz, prohibition, and violence all revolve around a young lady, Tiny, whose small time bootlegging father is kidnapped by a gangster. Tiny lies, scams, and works all angles as she tries to save her father and resist falling in love with the son of the man who kidnapped her dad. A fast paced with plenty of action and steam. Looking forward to book 2-Speak Low. (less)
A sexy heartfelt romance between a inmate and a prison literary teacher. Uneasy emotions spill off the pages as our heroine tries not to fall for a pr...moreA sexy heartfelt romance between a inmate and a prison literary teacher. Uneasy emotions spill off the pages as our heroine tries not to fall for a prisoner in the prison she volunteers at. When Eric begins to court her through explicitly romantic love letters, Anne finds herself reluctantly falling in love. But when Eric is released and comes to find Annie, she discovers that the Eric in person is different from the one in the letters and soon falls in love all over again.
I liked that even though McKenna's heroines seem to look for reasons to be unhappy, this particular storyline realistically addresses and allows for the h/H to work through their issues and have a good chance at a future together. (less)
Not bad. The MC portion SUPER low key. The romance was odd. A lot of push and pull. I would have liked to have seen some resolution with heroine's par...moreNot bad. The MC portion SUPER low key. The romance was odd. A lot of push and pull. I would have liked to have seen some resolution with heroine's parents. The heroine was a bit Mary Sue and acted like a doormat though she has reasons but I expected the hero and his friends to be a little less judgmental. Funny how Tex completely turned me off completely in his book but I liked him again in this one. He's the only one who acted like he really cared how Tildy felt while the others were quick to label her. (less)
Topher Carlisle; young, gay, and fabulous (if he says so himself) has just scored a summer at his best friend’s parent’s home on Lake Michigan. A whole summer to work towards college without his dysfunctional family constant interference and judgemental comments. When he meets his best friend’s heavily closeted father, all his functioning brain cells go south and he finds himself involved in a clandestine affair that eventually leaves him homeless, friendless, and jobless. In a nutshell, Topher is a screw up. Just like his family always says.
When he meets Jace, a visiting artist, he finds a man who likes him for who he is. Jace doesn’t see a screw up and fights to get Topher to see himself as Jace sees him. But old ideas are hard to shake and when everything comes toppling down on Topher, Jace’s love may not be enough to pull Topher out from beneath the weight he’s buried under.
I admit I wasn’t gung ho to read this. A new adult M/M romance? Too many genres mixing it up was my first thought. Plus, I think that NA has a tendency to stereotype this age group and goes overboard on the angst and emo feelings. Imagine my surprise when I started reading and realised that regardless of my misgivings, Saugatuck Summer was an enjoyable story about a young man’s coming of age and learning to accept himself-flaws and all.
Told completely from Topher’s point of view, we see a flamboyant, enthusiastic, slightly narcissistic, twenty one year old man who is unknowingly at a cross road in his life. He’s not a likeable character at times but Gromley portrays him honestly. A product of an abusive family, Topher’s self esteem is at ground zero. We get interjections from his past that shows he both loves and hates his family; especially his mother. His mother is an alcoholic whose erratic behavior left an ineradicable impression on Topher. Sent to live with his aunt and uncle, he was taught that his homosexuality and behavior were a direct reflection on them and to never make waves. He is distrustful and questions everyone’s intentions. He cannot ask for help and views any offers with suspicion. Yet, despite his obviously less than stellar childhood, he is amazingly happy about life if not a little too self deprecating.
Gormley builds her story around such themes as prejudice, bigotry, ignorance, pride, and how the need for family approval can shape us. She doesn’t climb on a soap box and lecture the reader. Rather, she uses the people in Topher’s life to show us an emotional timeline of Topher’s state of mind during the story. From rock bottom to on top of the world, Topher goes through the gauntlet as he make some questionable decisions that sets forth a series of chaotic events. Heavily character driven, the people we encounter in this small lakeside town all affect Topher in some form or fashion. Some lift him up while others try to bring him down. Topher expects to fail at every avenue and his journey is filled with both joy and sorrow.
Though there is some cheating, I didn’t find myself as affected as I normally would. I felt the circumstances surrounding the affair went much deeper than the normal excuses that are often given. I do wish we could have gotten some explanations from the Braeden, though. He felt more like a plot device to push Topher onto a certain path rather than a real emotional connection in his life.
The romance between Jace and Topher is a mash up of sweet and erotic interludes. The bathhouse scene…goodness gracious. *fanning myself* Jace is delightful in his charm and sincerity. A virtual neverending font of dirty talk and touch feely hands, Jace confounds, titillates, and takes Topher on sexual journey he never thought possible. Older than Topher, Jace has been where Topher is at now and understands the emotional turmoil Topher is experiencing. Jace gives Topher the personal space he needs but also provides him with the unconditional support and affection he has craved all his life.
My only qualm is the story had too much of a Cinderella theme to it. Topher is always ‘saved’ by someone in some form or fashion and it lends an unrealistic air to the story. You never really get to see him stand on his own two feet for very long.
Overall I enjoyed, though the ending dragged on past the necessary cut off. It’s a sweet sexy fast read that addresses some of the misconceptions and problems many LBGT teens and young adults face.
Not bad but the storyline was weak and didn't develop into much. The hero bails on the heroine 30 minutes before they were due to be married. He disap...moreNot bad but the storyline was weak and didn't develop into much. The hero bails on the heroine 30 minutes before they were due to be married. He disappears-no contact and no real explanations. A few years later, her mother passes away and heroine learns she has to travel the world and visit certain locations with the hero in order to secure her inheritance. The entire book is them traveling while he repeatedly says he's sorry and she tells him it doesn't matter, she hates him. Then, it just ends. You have to pick up book two to find out if she forgives him and if he ever tells her the truth about what he left. No romance at all.
Justice Crawford has many problems. As a severely closeted gay southern man with a debilitating anxiety disorder, Justice knows his trip to Seattle for his best friends wedding is asking for trouble. Disowned by his family and unable to come out to his friends, Justice has given up on love and foresees his future being nothing more than a series of random meaningless hook ups.
Nic Valentine, a charter boat captain, is grieving the loss of his father when the man of his dreams falls literally into his lap. Nic never expects to see him again but when his boat is rented out for a bachelor party, Nic is surprised and pleased to see Justice again. Nic tries to avoid his attraction to Justice as he spent three years of his life loving a man who would not come out of the closet and has no urge to repeat that experience. But Justice’s looks and quirkiness calls to Nic and before he knows it, he and Justice are exploring their hot and heavy attraction.
Justice adores Nic but he just can’t handle the thought of losing his friends if he comes out. When a situation forces his hand, can Justice handle the fallout? Or will he once again run from the pain and this time lose his heart in the process?
I Survived Seattle is Hogan’s debut M/M contemporary romance and though there were some issues, the overall outcome was a lightweight cute sexy romance with a well developed storyline. The characters are all delightfully quirky and wonderfully flawed with a deep vein of realism running through them. The story is written in an enjoyable conversational style with engaging dialogue that will keep you entertained all the way to the end.
The story itself is pretty straight forward in its delivery. Boy meets boy, attraction forms, conflict is introduced, conflict resolved, the end. While I enjoyed this tale, it’s the characters who breathed life into it and elevate it beyond a simple contemporary romance. Dynamic in development, Hogan gives us real people who react as we might. They are easy to relate to. Their joys, fears, wants, and needs are laid bare and we are allowed to share in their journey as they experience the lessons life hands us. The journey isn’t perfect and both protagonists have issues that need to be resolved. The execution, with alternating points of view, flows smoothly, offering a unique view into their thoughts. It’s a nice way to see what each took away from certain scenes.
Justice and Nic are entertaining protagonists separately and together. Hogan does a wonderful job of introducing them and letting us get to know them as individuals first. Justice’s phobias are revealed in a realistic fashion. I liked he isn’t portrayed as a victim in need of saving. He knows he has issues and throughout the story, he learns that he needs to address the causes behind those issues if he is to live a normal life on his own terms. Nic is utterly delightful. Fun, charismatic, and sexy, he is the perfect match for Justice. He grounds him in a way that offers Justice hope. Their chemistry is explosive and only increases with the storyline. Though there is a strong instant love vibe, it doesn’t take away from the overall enjoyment.
I did have some issues in that our main characters seemed to struggle to define themselves within the story. They would slip into personas that didn’t fit comfortably on them. Justice and Nic would speak and think in terms that didn’t sound natural. For example; ‘adorbs’, ‘bitch please’ and so one. Nic looked into Justine’s anime eyes. Or Nic thought about Justice and ‘chubbed out.” I don’t know anyone who describes their lovers eyes as anime. Most would say large. Also, no man I’ve ever met, gay or straight, has ever described a hard on as ‘chubbing out.’ It smacked a little of stereotyping and you could tell it was a female voice speaking to us through them.
Engaging secondary characters round out the story and add lots of humor and help to carry the story along. The villain is predictably comedic and over the top vile in his need to create problems for Justice. I’m looking forward to seeing if his reasons are what Justice suspects.
The ending is predictable but interesting in how it plays out. I Survived Seattle is a sexy engaging M/M romantic contemporary that will leave you giggling at times as you watch Justice fight his way through his fears to be with the man he loves.
Christina Bell remembers a time when her family was happy and whole but that was taken from her the night her mother, Nicole, disappeared and never returned. Christina always refused to believe her father had anything to do with her mother’s disappearance. Relying heavily on her best friend to help her get through the pain, she soon begins to take another look at the man who has always been at her side.
Guy Miller has always loved Christina but after a wild weekend in bed, Christina places them firmly back into the friend zone. Guy refuses to give up but when new information comes to light concerning Nicole and what happened the night she disappeared, Guy may not have a choice.
The third and final novella in Shiloh Walker’s Secrets & Shadows prequel trilogy wraps up the ongoing mystery and brings plenty of heat to the romance of the last sibling, Christina (Tink) Bell. The mother’s body is found and an autopsy shows how exactly how she died. This in turn affects Guy Miller, Tink’s best friend and the man who has l has always loved her.
Long for Me brings to the forefront all the pain, hurt, anger, and sorrow that has permeated the trilogy. Our heroine has suffered the most of all her siblings. The youngest child, she has some learning and behavioral issues that were exacerbated by her mother’s disappearance. Ingrained fear from that traumatic event keeps Christina poised on the edge, unable to move forward with her life beyond the cursory.
Guy is lovely in his all encompassing love for Christina. He has carried a torch for her for so long and even thinking she doesn’t feel the same, he continues to be her rock. His emotions flow from the pages; leaving no doubt of his feelings.
The romance extremely sexy. Christina and Guy’s chemistry smolders hot and heavy as they each struggle to deal with the changes in their lives and their relationship. It’s a strong part of the storyline and complements the evolving conflict. Intense sexual tension only adds to the overall appeal.
Out of all three novella’s this was probably my least favorite. While I’m a fan of friends to lovers trope, I’m not a fan of one party knowing how the other feels but still clings to them, refusing to acknowledge the attraction due to fear. It seems cruel to me. Deal with it or let them go. Christina wouldn’t do either. Being in her head was not comfortable. I found her selfish and needy at times.
Long for Me wraps everything up, leaving no unanswered questions concerning and I enjoyed seeing the siblings finally get the closure they deserved. This prequel trilogy offers a brief but intense preview of this small town and inhabitants. I look forward to the full length novel of this series, Deeper Than Need, which is set to release June 3, 2014.
Favorite Quote: “He’d only been waiting half a lifetime, it seemed. Maybe his entire life.”
Jensen Bell’s mother disappeared when she was twelve. Sent to foster care with her siblings, they were later reunited with their father when he was cleared of any wrong doing. Jensen’s childhood pushed her to becoming a police officer; dedicated to helping those in need. When a shocking discovery in made in her mother’s case, she finds her saving grace in a man whose strength and passion demands her total surrender.
District Attorney Dean West has wanted Jensen Bell for a very long time. Not a native to the town, he is unfamiliar with the tragedy and mystery that surrounds Jensen Bell and her siblings. A break in the Bell case sends Jensen running into Dean’s arms and she discovers she has finally found her way home. But the circumstances surrounding the case could destroy Jensen and unless Dean holds tight, it could tear them both apart for good.
Break For Me is the second in Shiloh Walker’s romance suspense series-Secrets and Shadows. Three novellas begin the series; each novella focuses on one sibling and the ramifications of a decades old cold case involving the disappearance of their mother. The full length novel-Deeper Than Need-releases June 2014.
Break For Me has a much lighter conflict romance wise then the first novella. Still emotional and suspenseful in regards to the ongoing arc, we don’t get the intense push and pull between the protagonists. Dean and Jensen have an established work relationship and it’s apparent from page one that both want more from each other. The chemistry is striking and the sparks fly with every scene they are in together. I enjoyed watching the bloom of awareness and subsequent reaction as these two begin to act on an attraction that exists between them.
Walker brings Jensen and Dean together with relative ease, allowing the main conflict to heighten the emotions that resonate through this novella. Hot steamy love scenes assure us that Jensen and Dean are well matched both physically and mentally. I loved how gentle Dean was in his dominance. A born and bred southern boy, he treats Jensen with a reverence that speaks of his deep feelings for her. A strong protective streak emerges when Jensen needs it most and Dean shows us and Jensen that he is more than willing to be her anchor in the storm that is coming. Jensen, similar to Ali from Burn For Me, is a strong heroine who isn’t one for games and has no qualms about grabbing on to what she wants and enjoying the ride.
Previously met secondary characters continue to add layers to the overall mystery. Each one a viable player in the final outcome. As with any good suspense, there are multiple sub plots running through the main storyline and each one is a possible key to the final outcome. Walker pushes us gently along in here, giving us more clues towards what happened that fateful night so many years ago, preparing us for the finale novella with the promise to reveal everything.
Break For Me pushes us towards the finale and is a must read for those readers who love their romances dark and emotional. I am looking forward to the release of her next novella in the series, Long For Me, set to release May 2014, from St Martin’s.
I'm not really even sure where to start with this book. I read the warning attached to the book claiming there is abundance of cursing, alpha behav...moreOy.
I'm not really even sure where to start with this book. I read the warning attached to the book claiming there is abundance of cursing, alpha behavior, and OTT drama. However, Ms. Casey fails to inform the reader there is bullying, slut shaming, gratuitous violence, and an emotionally abusive relationship. Oh yes, no matter how many times you giggle during this book, the relationship between the MCs is abusive.
Similar to Beautiful Disaster in the set up-bad boy who illegally fights and is used to getting what he wants meets a good girl who is emotionally cut off from the world and rejects him and his love.
Sadly, it's all down hill from there. We watch as the hero bullies, insults, and sexually assaults the heroine to show her he likes her. Wait, it gets better. His gives voice to his attraction by calling her a phat arse (that's suppose to be a complement), slut, crazy bitch, and my personal fav...c*nt.
Be still my heart.
The heroine is no better. She's belligerent, verbally and physically abusive to him in return. She makes her feelings known repeatedly that she wants nothing to do with him yet after he beats up a boy who she's friends with for the 3rd time she decides to try being his girlfriend because why fight fate. *head desk* . I think what cheesed me off more then anything is his and her family saw nothing wrong with the way they acted. They just poo pooed and brushed it off because that was just the way this couple is, ya know? No, I don't know. I don't want to know.
I know this review sounds frivolous but it's really not. This book is so anti romance it isn't even funny. If you looking for a how to manual on abusive YA relationships then here you go. If your looking for a YA romance that celebrates young love and healthy relationships then I suggest you skip this one.
Favorite Quote: “I’m with you until my last breath.”
**Tiny spoilers from book one, Last Hit**
At the end of book one, Last Hit, we learned that while Nick was able to save his lover Daisy, they weren’t able to save Daisy’s room mate, Regan. Kidnapped with Daisy, Regan finds herself sold into human sex trafficking and struggles to not lose her humanity in the face of her continuous degradation. Nick calls in a favor from a fellow mercenary who has spent the last eighteen months searching for his sister who was also kidnapped. Nick gives him clues towards his sister’s whereabouts asking that Daniel also search for Regan and bring her home.
Daniel Hays’s investigations lead him to Rio and Regan. Though his original plan was to save Regan and place her on the first plane home, Regan’s traumatic experience has her clinging to him. As they spend more time together, Daniel begins to develop feelings for Regan. Her indomitable will and powerful inner strength wraps Daniel around her little finger. Though Daniel knows he needs to let her go, each passing minute binds them tighter together until letting her go is the last thing Daniel will ever do.
Though Last Breath can be read as a standalone, the characters and a soft ongoing arc flows through the series. I enjoyed Last Hit and looked forward to book two. Last Breath is definitely darker and more emotionally structured romance suspense with a strong sexual base. Those with sexual triggers should read with caution. Claire and Frederick tackle a serious subject matter with honesty and consideration. I appreciated that the authors stuck to the facts without sensationalizing or dragging it out to try and amp up the drama levels.
Our protagonists, Regan and Daniel, are strong characters together and separately. Compelling narrative switches between Regan and Daniel, giving us the story from their points of view. Fast pacing keeps the storyline flowing a reasonable rate, not allowing for the choppiness that sometimes occurs with dual POV narrative. An action packed thriller whose multiple subplots keep the reader engaged while humor interjects at pivotal points to provide a reprieve from the serious undertones. Though romance is the end game it’s not the main objective. Neither of our characters are in a good place to fall in love yet the authors allow the chips to fall where they may and we are gifted with a love affair worthy of our protagonists.
We open with Regan and her thoughts as she is being sexually abused in the brothel where she is being kept prisoner. We learn exactly how she was taken and what has happened to her in the two months since. She tells us in a disinterested voice that makes the scene(s) even more chilling. She has learned to thwart her captors in the only way she knows how.
“I did everything I could to distance myself from what was happening to my body. [...] I lived inside my head. And I didn’t let myself think about the men. They are nothing to me.”
After her rescue, Regan is a mess of contradictions. She is unsure, untrusting, scared, hurt, and confused. She is standing in the eye of a hurricane, waiting for the next storm to hit. The authors do a brilliant job of portraying Regan’s fragile psyche and the internal conflicts that bombard her. Her fear, guilt, and anger are all natural, expected, and justified. “…because they couldn’t be bothered, I’d been left behind for someone else to find.”
Daniel Hays is one of the good guys. Plain and simple. He carries a lot of guilt these days. His sister was kidnapped while on a vacation he pushed hard for her to take. His parents blamed him for it and told him he can’t come home without her. That, combined with increasing dissatisfaction as an assassin for hire, Daniel is tired and ready to go legit. Deadly and dangerous with an outstanding sense of humor, he’s the perfect person that Regan never knew she needed.
Daniel unknowingly starts to fall for Regan from their first meeting. Though faintly attracted to her, he admits that is totally inappropriate at this time, he finds her strength and unwillingness to give up even more amazing in light of what she has gone through. Even when she does some questionable things that surprise and disgust him a little, he can’t condemn her for protecting herself. He understands what true survival is.
“Can you get me a gun?” “Do you promise to stop crying?” “I will if you get me a gun. Then I’ll just shoot you if I get upset.” “I think we can manage that.”
With intimacy being a luxury Regan feels she can no longer enjoy, the romance is extremely slow to ignite though the sexual tension pulsates through the story. Daniel does everything he can to give Regan back her freedom both physically and mentally. She needs to feel safe and in control? He gets her a gun. She needs to cling to him? Then she can shadow him all she wants. She needs to get back her sexuality? He allows her to use and experiment on him…with him in order to regain what she fears she has lost. He shows her in numerous ways that not all men are bastards and she can always trust him.
“There’s a storm inside of her and I don’t know how long it’s going to take to die down but as I cradle her on my lap I realize that the world could burn up and I wouldn’t let her go.”
Amusing new and old secondary characters solidify the mobster/gang mentality this series is built on. Nick and Daisy remain adorably cute as Nick struggles with being a landlord and Daisy tries to help him adjust to normality. We meet some of Daniel’s military buddies who have seriously gone off the reservation and one of Nick’s ex-employers drops in on Daniel and Regan, blowing everything wide open. I would have liked more insight to Regan’s kidnapper’s reasons. It seemed a little trite in the grand scheme of things.
The ending is a climactic violent finale that resolves the main conflict, giving Regan some desperately needed closure, and opens new pathways in the ongoing arc. We also get clues to future storylines and possible couples. Claire and Frederick have penned a sexy thrilling romantic suspense with a strong heroine and a to die for hero. Romance readers won’t want to miss their latest.
I believe this one is my favorite to date in this series. A sweet & humorous story of young woman who announces her love to a long time crush only...moreI believe this one is my favorite to date in this series. A sweet & humorous story of young woman who announces her love to a long time crush only to have him gently push her away. Four years later, she meets back up with him and the sparks fly. The problem? She's not so sure she wants him anymore.
Favorite Quote: ”I like pizza” “If you didn’t, I don’t think we could be friends.”
Die-hard baseball fan Alice Darling loves being a minor league umpire but being a woman means any and all baseball players are off limits; a lesson she learned the hard way nine years ago. With a daughter and brother to care for, she can’t afford a single mistake. But when the sexy catcher for the San Francisco Felons arrives in Florida for spring training, Alice finds herself rethinking the no dating rule.
San Francisco Felons catcher Alex Ross plays hard, on and off the field, but one look at Alice has him suddenly turning his A game to other pursuits-mainly her. When Alex’s concentration and batting goes south, he finds himself booted back to the minors to get his act together and things between him and Alice began heat up. When an innocent kiss suddenly throws their relationship into the limelight, Alice finds herself having to decide what’s more important to her…her job or her heart.
Perfect Catch is the second in Sierra Dean’s Boys Of Summer series. A sport dominated romance contemporary that balances the ins and outs of baseball with a humorous light hearted romance. Steady pacing with a personable cast of characters, witty dialogue, and multiple points of view on baseball from top of the mound to behind the plate keeps readers entertained up to a certain point.
Alice Darling is an interesting protagonist. She’s a single mom who struggles with raising a child, supporting a mentally ill brother, and working in a male dominated field. Dean shows us that discrimination is alive and well in baseball. A bit of a spaz, Alice’s reluctance to involve herself in a relationship with Alex is understandable. She has already been burned by a major league baseball player which resulted in the birth of her daughter. A daughter he refuses to acknowledge publicly. Intelligent and funny, her fears are real, especially when they prove to be true.
Alex Ross is a good old boy who just wants to play baseball. Not your typical ego inflated sports star, Alex is the perfect antidote for any romance reader who needs a break from domineering alphas. Cute and funny, his warmth shines through the story and I enjoyed getting to know him. Having played the field for awhile, he sees Alice and knows they have a chance for something more than just a few hot steamy nights spent beneath the sheets. You instantly know that Alex will do anything for Alice and that goes a long way in making me fall for him myself.
The romance is slow to start even though the physical aspects are explored right off the bat. Car sex + nosy cops = lots of laughs. Alex and Alice have wonderful chemistry. Dean takes it beyond simple attraction; letting them build a tentative friendship through texts and phone calls. A majority of their time in the book is spent apart when spring training ends and Alex heads out with the Felons. This both helps and hinders the storyline. Through the separation, Alice and Alex attempt to deal with issues affecting them individually. It also leads to misunderstandings and assumptions between them that makes the reader question the connection between them. There is a lack of trust that isn’t so much resolved as it’s passed over. Alice wants reassurances that Alex is there for the long haul but realistically this isn’t possible as they just started seeing each other. Alex doesn’t really understand how deep Alice’s mistrust goes. One highlight in all this is that at least Alice realizes how crazy she is acts at times.
While I enjoyed the story overall, it’s really cute, I felt that the multiple plotlines weren’t resolved beyond a cursory glance. More answers were needed. I had expected Alice’s job as an umpire to have a larger hold on the story. I was surprised after her job is threatened, she just accepts and walks away. As this was a major obstacle in her refusal to date Alex, it was dropped rather quickly. Alice’s child’s father was merely a plot device used to explain Alice’s reasons behind some of her actions as was the person behind the release of a damning picture. We know what they did but Alice never confronts them to find out why they did it.
The ending is predictable as the main conflict wraps up in a nice neat fashion with some mild external help that once again doesn’t reveal beyond the surface. It felt rushed and unfinished. We leave off with an epilogue that tries to assure us Alex and Alice are on their way to happiness though again, we don’t see the steps leading us to that conclusion. I do hope that Dean addresses some of these issues in future installments as I would like to see more Alex and Alice.
Though I had issues, I found Alex and Alice to be delightfully down to earth and I enjoyed the humor that infects the storyline. Fans of humorous lightweight romance sports contemporaries should find this a welcome addition to their library.
Tracy Brandt has a wonderful job, fabulous friends, and a family who adores him. It’s his love life that leaves something to be desired. He and his lover broke up four months ago when Tracy found out he cheated. When Tracy is the victim of an assault, his ex-lover shows back up in his life, bringing along some baggage from his past that could get Tracy killed.
Inspector Cord Nolan has loved Tracy for years but his reputation as being a player keeps Cord from telling Tracy how he feels. He wants to show Tracy he has changed and is ready to settle down but sometimes the past is hard to forgive.
Tracy and Cord have danced around their feelings for years, turning their attraction into antagonism to keep each other at arms length. With a huge target painted on Tracy’s back, Cord sees this as the perfect way to break through Tracy’s barriers and be his knight in shining armor. But when the stakes get higher and the killer bolder, Cord will have to make sure Tracy stays alive if he wants a shot at his happily ever after.
Floodgates is a classic Mary Calmes novella. A beautiful bumbling protagonist, a pushy ex-lover, a quiet mega alpha potential lover, a loving overprotective family, and a mystery. Fans of Calmes Matter of Times series will see a strong similarity to Jory and Sam throughout this story. In both the character makeups and storyline.
We open with Tracy in his office where he works as an accountant for an import business. Gunman break in and shoot the place up, catching Tracy in the crossfire. We are led to believe that his boss’s brother, a notorious Russian gangster, has something to do with it. Is he responsible? Unknown as this storyline is only used to bring the ex lover and potential lover into the picture. From there we learn Tracy is in danger because his ex bi sexual love seems to have developed a stalker who wants to make him pay for some choices in his past. As Tracy struggles to discover who wants him dead and why, he is also dealing with his ex who won’t go away and a potential lover who scares him to dead.
While I enjoyed the story, it was more because of the characters than the actual storyline. I adored meeting Tracy and the people he interacts with on a daily basis. His family was utterly delightful and the strong connection of love and respect that exists between them was comforting. The sexual tension and witty banter that existed between Tracy and Cord kept me laughing. Frenemies to lovers is a great trope and always fun to watch the romance develop. I did feel their romance developed fast but it made sense as they had been heading in this direction for five years.
The story itself was a problem. Loose and unstructured with random nonsense plotlines that came and went with impunity. The mystery was vague with a keystone cops investigation mentality and a villain that elicited more sympathy rather than horror. The ex lover’s reasons for leaving his family for so long was never fully explained and I found Tracy was just too forgiving in regards to his actions. I was also confused by some of choices Cord made in regards to the Tracy’s safety and felt he knew more but we weren’t privy to the knowledge. The ending is predictable as was the epilogue. Again, Matter Of Time version 2.0.
While Mary Calmes remains a comfort read for me and I will continue to read her stories, this one definitely needed some tightening up.
I liked this one though I felt the storyline was dramatically tamed and looser in structure from the first one (I have yet to read all of the secon...more3.5
I liked this one though I felt the storyline was dramatically tamed and looser in structure from the first one (I have yet to read all of the second). Show was delightful but Shannon irritated me a little. Such a drama queen at times. I liked that Shaw was able to move on past what happened in book 2 and find some peace within himself. Shannon's drama also resolved though I felt it wasn't as bad as the author tried to make it out to be. (less)
A quick enjoyable read that involves a few favorite tropes of mine-friends to lovers, ugly duckling to swan, and revenge. While I enjoyed overall, I d...moreA quick enjoyable read that involves a few favorite tropes of mine-friends to lovers, ugly duckling to swan, and revenge. While I enjoyed overall, I did find the hero a bit tedious and high handed in his reluctance to accept his feeling for the heroine. I loved the heroine and found her journey to happiness to be humorous. (less)