Until July is July Mayson's story. Fans will know her as the oldest child of November and Asher Mayson. Well, their little girl is all grown up now anUntil July is July Mayson's story. Fans will know her as the oldest child of November and Asher Mayson. Well, their little girl is all grown up now and has fallen for someone JUST. LIKE. HER. DADDY. lol Now she just has to find away to tell her dad.
A sexy, steamy, humorous quick read that balances the romance with an engaging suspense storyline as July Mayson and Wes Silver try and build a relationship while investigating who is leaving injured fight dogs at her vet clinic. I enjoyed this story though some scenes and characters reminded me of KA's Motorcycle Man.
I really liked July. She has her life together. She doesn't need rescuing from anything and that's a nice often rare storyline in these particular romances. I also liked she wasn't a push over. Wes is sex on a stick but screws up a bit here and there and July lets him know quick like she refuses to be treated like one of sweet butts that frequents his MC. In fact, their first date consists of her walking out because a buddy of Wes's walks in, takes her seat, and Wes completely ignores her. LOL No insta love here though a bit of insta lust and really, who can blame her? *wink* Especially once they iron out their differences and Wes realizes she is it for him. An explosive ending wraps up the main conflict and gives us hints to the next few couples' HEAs. ...more
Favorite Quote: “I love it when you talk homonyms to me.”
John Logan, a star hockey player and junior at Briar University, has no problems getting girls…except the one he wants. She happens to be dating his best friend, Garrett Graham. With his family issues bearing down upon him the closer he gets to graduation and his seemingly unrelenting crush on Hannah, he is surprised by a sexy chance encounter with freshman, Grace Ivers. The more time he spends with her, the more confused he becomes over his feelings for her and Hannah until a thoughtless remark pushes her away. After a summer of calling, texting, and begging for another chance, Logan plans to spend his senior year winning Grace back and proving to her she is the only one for him.
Grace’s freshman year was not so stellar and she is determined to not repeat the mistakes she made last year…especially her mistake with John Logan. Now a sophomore, she is putting herself out there making new friends and breaking out of her shell while trying to ignore the gorgeous hockey player she almost gave her virginity to. She refuses to be another one of his conquests and demands he prove to her he is worthy of another chance. Because this time Grace is calling the shots and she is looking to win.
His Mistake is a sexy, humorous, and moderately emotional new adult (NA) romance that takes us back to Briar University and the four gorgeous and talented hockey players whose ability to score on and off the ice is often complicated by family issues and affairs of the heart. I’ve been a long time fan of Elle Kennedy and her erotic romances. Her voice and obvious talent in creating realistic and personable characters is a breath of fresh in a genre that seems too stagnate at times. While we do see some prerequisite drama and angst, it never tips into melodrama or used as a predictable device to propel the conflict into never never land. She digs beneath stereotypical young adult behavior to give readers an engaging and swoon worthy romance that requires some work and compromise from both parties.
We first met John Logan in book one. Funny, sexy, gorgeous, and far more complex than we first assumed, Logan is a mess of epic proportions. His family situation is extremely sad and he hasn’t much to look forward to after graduation. Similar to the set up to The Deal, Logan maintains a devil may care attitude, sexing his way through the female student population, while silently screaming inside.
I’m totally destined for the NFL. Going pro all the way! I love spending my summers as a grease monkey in my dad’s hop. It’s great pocket money! I’m not lusting over Hannah. She’s dating my best friend!
Lies, lies, and more lies
Best friend to fellow hockey player Garrett Graham, he helped Garrett win the girl but unfortunately developed a crush on her at the same time. This leads to some uncomfortable situations in the first part of the story. Though it directly feeds the conflict that Grace and Logan’s story is based upon, Kennedy resolves it fairly quickly and easily. In fact a little too easy for the depth of emotion Logan seems to have towards Hannah. I can’t believe I’m sitting here saying this, but I wish that plot line had played out a little more.
“I’m comfortable enough in with my hetero status to say if I didn’t play for the other team, I wouldn’t just fuck Garrett Graham, I’d marry him. That’s what makes this a trillion times harder. I can’t even hate the dude who’s tapping the chick I want.”
Meeting Grace Ivers made me feel much, much better. She is the perfect NA heroine. Pretty, sweet, and shy but no pushover. Witty, intuitive and a touch of snark to let us know that she has no problems speaking her mind nor staying true to herself. She is also NOT a hockey fan which just adds to her appeal. She finds it boring, has no issues telling everyone she finds it boring, and that made me love her a little more. While I didn’t feel she fleshed out as well as Hannah as an individual; she doesn’t star in a viable separate storyline that revolves just around her, I do believe personality wise she was more harmonically balanced with Logan.
“It’s funny. Less than a week ago I was bemoaning the lack of excitement in my life and now look at me-sexy hockey players showing up at my door to excite the hell out of me. Fuck it. I’m giving myself an award.”
The romance slowly builds (after the V Day/V Night fiasco) between Logan and Grace, infusing the story with yummy sexual tension and laugh out loud scenes that Kennedy uses to show us and Grace that Logan had indeed changed. I cheered Logan’s grand gestures and attempts at groveling to get back into Grace’s heart. They have such addictive banter and delicious crazy chemistry. In the beginning, it was all about the sex but now, it’s all about getting to know someone you like and propelling the spark between you into a roaring flame. To find out what makes them smile, what makes them happy, what makes them…them. Though the romance is the main theme, Kennedy intertwines it with some mild external plot lines, using them to further elevate Logan and Grace’s romance and guide it along the path to true love.
“We’re same-siding? That’s…” “That’s…?” “Perfectly fine by me.”
A dynamic and rambunctious cast of secondary characters helps keep the story following its predestined path and offer clues to the next possible hero and heroine’s book. We see some new friends made and some old friends left behind as Logan and Grace grow both individually and as a couple. “Lorris” *snort* Laughter is the prime ingredient on which they are developed and they certainly kept me laughing with their advice, observations, attempts to help.
Once again, Kennedy captivated me with her fun, sexy, and playful romance that reminds me why I enjoy her stories so much. While I admit I didn’t get quite the same charge from this installment as I did with The Deal, my love for this one was still quite high. I really, really, REALLY hope Dean’s book is next. He looks to be the dark horse of the group.
Favorite Quote: You’re the only real thing in my life.
Cory Easton is a tattoo artist at Raw Ink and has just gotten out of a relationship that lost him his boyfriend but gained him a dog. Openly gay and still coping with a past tragedy, he finds his eye turned by a gorgeous reclusive tatted skateboarder who haunts the park where he walks his dog, Chopper. When Chopper decides one day to make a break for it, it’s Cory’s crush who comes to the rescue.
Jude York keeps to himself for very good reasons. When he helps Cory catch his dog, a tentative friendship begins to form. But Jude is a complex mystery and the rumors swirling around him has Cory on edge as he notices Jude’s ties to the local motorcycle club. As Cory and Jude spend more time together and their attraction grows by leaps and bounds, Cory begins to wonder if he can handle what Jude’s secrets may reveal. Because Cory has already been devastated once and Jude could very well be the one that finally destroys him.
There You Stand by Christina Lee is #5 in her Between Breaths series but can easily read as a stand alone. A debut M/M romance hits all the right feelz buttons as Lee pens a bittersweet romance between two people who are carrying some serious emotional and physical pain. A slow steady start filled with sexual tension and tentative chemistry allows more than ample time for our boys to meet, grow a viable realistic friendship, and eventually gain the courage to take their relationship to a new level. Intriguing subplots and interesting secondary characters takes the story beyond a simple romance; adding some delicious drama and suspense.
Lee does a fabulous job of balancing the romance with the mystery surrounding Jude. Strong writing and a steady pace allows us to follow along with no confusion. She doesn’t rush the protagonist’s relationship, allowing it to grow in a realistic manner as she slowly reveals the background information needed to understand where both men are at in their lives and the reasons they are hesitant to completely open up.
”We were both hiding…”
A lush and steamy sexual relationship gives us open scenes with a firm emotional base. I enjoyed that Lee doesn’t rush this aspect and use the bed as an instant solvent for Cory and Jude’s issues. There are strong external factors that complicate this relationship that demand resolution before anyone can move forward. Lee draws this particular storyline out thoroughly, giving it the seriousness it demands.
“Goddamn it, why do I have to play guessing games with you?”
“Because I don’t want your life to be in danger…simply from associating with me.”
“It’s too late, I’m already involved.”
A dynamic secondary cast brings in people from previous installments while introducing new faces. I love the camaraderie that Cory enjoys with his fellow employees. Lee gives Cory a full bodied social life that plays out well against the solitary nature of Jude’s. The inclusion of the MC is slightly predictable in the setting they are used but their characterization and actions ring true and gives clues to possible future storylines. Another M/M? We can always hope. :)
The conflict resolves easily and off-screen. I would have enjoyed more interaction with the villain . As it was, all information concerning him is second-hand so the gravity of Jude’s past and current situation didn’t flesh out as dramatically as I think Lee intended. Regardless There You Stand is an engaging story that will appeal to lovers of romance across the board. I look forward to reading more from her in the future.
Favorite Quote: She doesn’t have a lot of tolerance for stupidity and well, I’m an infantryman. I’ve got a lot of stupidity I’m still working out of my system.
First Sergeant Gale Sorren lost more than he gained when he joined the military. His wife divorced him and left, taking his daughter with her. But after fifteen years, he has a chance to make things right when he is finally stationed close to his family. Now all he he needs to figure out is how to be the man he should have been from the beginning.
Melanie Sorren never stopped loving or caring for her ex husband but she couldn’t handle being essentially a single parent. She divorces him after one too many deploys and tries to put her life back together. When Gale appears back in her life and informs her he’s stationed near by, she is shocked and dismayed to find their chemistry is still as potent as ever.
Can Mel forgive Gale for breaking her heart so many times? And more importantly…can Gale forgive himself?
Jessica Scott has an astute and empathic voice for military life and the romantic problems that can accompany it. As a career officer married to a career NCO, I can imagine that she has not only seen it all but possibly lived some of it. My first husband was in the military and I can honestly say, being a military wife is not easy. The military is often an unwanted bed partner whose needs and desires will override your own. Add in kids and years of separation, and the stress and pressure can become unbearable. It takes a lot for a person to accept someone who comes with a million plus at their back and a commitment to duty that will take them from you at the blink of an eye.
Homefront is an emotionally bittersweet second chance love story that focuses on such a relationship. Well written with a flowing steady pace and well developed characters. Scott addresses the pain of war and not only the casualties wounded in service but also those who remain at home. Heavily character driven, Scott chooses to focus more on the couple and their issues in here then her usual MOD of balancing complicated romance with a strong defining conflict.
Gale and Melanie (Mel) married young when Mel became pregnant. If that wasn’t hard enough, Gale had already enlisted into the Army when they found out. He had to go and Mel knew that thought she felt abandoned all the same. Jamie, Mel and Gale’s daughter, was a fretful baby and miserable toddler. Mel’s anger over having to deal with Jamie’s needs by herself caused her to become bitter towards Gale and she gave up on him and the marriage after a few years; serving him with divorce papers and moving back home with her parents.
Your heart will hurt for this couple as you get an intimate look at their marriage and the emotional state they were in then and now. The love they have for one another is still a potent blend but time and bad decisions on both their parts has made the gulf between them seem uncrossable. Gale readily admits he wasn’t a good husband or father. Over a decade of his life has been spent skyping with his daughter and seeing her on the rare occasions he was stateside. Not a derelict dad but more that the career he chose left him with little in the way of choices when it came to his personal life. And he accepts the blame for that.
“He’d given the Army everything he’d had. And he could never get that back. The war, work, all of it was a convenient excuse for being a shitty father and a terrible ex husband.”
Mel never wanted to leave Gale but she was young and just couldn’t deal with it all alone anymore. Too many tears and broken promises left her with little choice. After the divorce, she valiantly accepts it’s just her and Jamie with Gale popping in when he can. Though he offers financial support, he is unable to offer the physical and emotional support she and Jamie need from him. When he shows up out of the blue, offering to Shock, anger, and more distressing…longing and attraction.
“She needed a few minutes to put everything back in the box marked “Gale” and did her best to ignore. Because she’d damned if she was going to cry over this man one more time.”
A slow and sensual romance builds; a tentative dance between two people who are still suffering from the guilt, sorrow, resentment, and anger over their shared past. The attraction is strong but the trust is at a bare minimum. Gale goes above and beyond to show Mel that he truly means to take an active part in his family’s life. His daughter is suffering from some serious issues and Gale sees that Mel needs him more than ever to be a hands on father and take some of the responsibility off her shoulders. Erotically charged love scenes add a punch to the storyline; showing readers that this was one area that never needed fixing for them.
“I think I want to skip dinner.”
“I think I want you for dinner.”
A pair of subplots intertwine, introducing some low-key conflict to the story and a way for Gale to finally exercise the demons that have been haunting him for years. Old friends make multiple appearances, giving us hints to how their lives are doing since reading their story. We also meet some new ones and gain hints to future stories. If I any qualms, I would have liked to go more in-depth on Jamie’s issues and hear her reasons behind her actions. Scott does a wonderful job of bringing Jamie to life with realistic behavior and dialogue for a teenager.
Homefront gives readers the perfect blend of romance and emotional entanglements as Scott once again divulges into the real time problems facing the military and their families. I look forward to reading the next in the series, After The War, which releases May 5, 2015 from Forever.
One True Heart is about trust, forgiveness, and working through the past in order to have a future. Six lives are intertwined through chance when four people are lured to Harmony and find themselves embroiled in a mystery. The story starts out strong as we meet each character and learn their backstory.
Captain Millanie McAllen and Drew Cunningham have both experienced and survived life altering tragedies. Harmony offers them a chance to hide and heal without anyone divulging too deeply into their pasts. A chance meeting between them leads to a possible future if they can learn to trust each other.
Johnny Wheeler and Kare Cunningham have both been disappointed by those who should have loved them unconditionally. Left alone in the world, neither of them were looking for love but are pleasantly surprised when a dreamer and the realist form a connection.
Beau Yates left Harmony years ago and has now returned a famous musician. He and Lark used each other as teenagers to escape their problems but when he discovers she’s the local bank’s VP, he wonders if the girl he knew is still worth the trouble he always wanted.
I’ve been a fan of Thomas’s Harmony series from the first book, Welcome to Harmony. A small town contemporary series that follows the descendants of the town’s three founding families. Romance, suspense, intrigue, heartbreak, and laughter all blend together to offer readers a window into the lives and loves of this town. In the beginning, the series focused on Reagan Truman and her life. Since then, Thomas has expanded her world and intertwined other character’s storylines, giving readers a never ending story in which to lose themselves. Because of the soap opera style set up, I don’t recommend you start the series here. Though each book introduces new couple(s), it also proceeds to advance the lives of various other couples from other books with the assumption you are intimately familiar with their lives.
I will admit this particular installment was a miss for me. I mourned the sense of comradery, gossip-y nature, and humor that has been a strong selling point of the series for me. Some previous characters make cameo appearances, letting us know what’s been going on, but their interactions felt forced. I felt a sense of rush in the weak conflict development, random plot lines, unusual character development, and an incomplete ending. Each “romance” seems to only touch upon the concept without really divulging too deep into it. It’s all very linear. There was no anticipation. Thomas never promises an HEA in every book. Some stories require multiple books to work out all the issues but if I hadn’t read the other seven books, I would have thought each of these couples (with the except of Beau and Lark) had some history together. So much seems skimmed over in the rush to get to the end.
Millanie and Drew have an instant connection from moment they meet but I never bought the attraction. Their chemistry and communication skills were severely lacking, dragging out the conflict. Millanie gets upset because Drew avoids her questions about his past but she herself isn’t truthful with him. Also, Millanie is very judgemental of Drew-thinking of him as boring, unattractive, and most likely to never be noticed. For someone whose entire career was based on her ability to notice things I was constantly amazed by her inability to see him.
Beau and Lark had to be the strangest couple in the book. Having met as teenagers, Lark (Trouble) used to come find Beau and they would lose themselves as they raced the back roads in her little red convertible. Having been always attracted to her, Beau knew he had to find his own way before he could be a “couple” with anyone. Years pass and he is pleased to see her again but dismayed by her obvious lack of interest. I was intrigued by the blurb that hinted at a dark secret that might keep them apart but we never learned what the secret was. Or maybe I’m obtuse and missed it. Not having Lark’s POV hurts because we never really learn what exactly her issues were in the past or now when it comes to a relationship with Beau.
Johnny and Kare were the life of the book. Cute and funny, their scenes together come off like a vaudeville act. At times Kare’s naivete tried my nerves and I really wished she didn’t feel the need to hide her intelligence. Of all the romances, this one had th most potential. We see the progression from friendship to more as Kare helps Johnny while he’s in jail. Of course, when Johnny makes his feelings known, Kare is uninterested. Then a few chapters later they are a couple. I think. I’m not sure because we never see what makes Kare change her mind about Johnny. And that was the cusp of the whole book. So much is told and not much is seen. Things have a way of working themselves out right after we are told they have no chance of working out.
An interesting mystery touches all three couples as Millanie works to discover a terrorist supposedly hiding in Harmony. Random acts of violence proves they are close and it’s only when they all work together are they able to bring them to justice. The ending is abrupt and leaves us hanging there, wondering what just happened. Nothing is really resolved in any of the storylines-the book just ends with a feeling of “we’ll see.” I felt as thought this was an introduction book to a new major storyline as the previous long running arc was resolved in the last book. I’m hoping this is just an anomaly and the next book will revert back to the greatness I am used to from Ms. Thomas. A brief look into the new story which is scheduled to appear later this year in an anthology looks promising.
Good Gravy. This was sexy sexy sexy. A hot french arrogant rugby player with a criminal past. A sweet american college girl seeking to spend time withGood Gravy. This was sexy sexy sexy. A hot french arrogant rugby player with a criminal past. A sweet american college girl seeking to spend time with her mom. A fast paced storyline that dabbles in quite a few tropes. Drama, action, racy sex scenes, and heart swooning ending. My first time reading this author but won't be my last. ...more
Vengeance of the Demon is a high octane abet frustrating book as Rowland pushes boundaries without seeming to really go anywhere. Multiple story linesVengeance of the Demon is a high octane abet frustrating book as Rowland pushes boundaries without seeming to really go anywhere. Multiple story lines and intense characterization keeps the reader highly engaged as we watch those we have come to love and hate change up their roles as even more secrets are revealed, making our heroine's choices even more difficult. Though satisfying in some ways, in others we left with even more questions as we watch impatiently for book eight....more
I received a lot of recs for this particular author. Almost everyone told me her voice and subject matter was right up my alley. A typical over the toI received a lot of recs for this particular author. Almost everyone told me her voice and subject matter was right up my alley. A typical over the top dramatic NA romance about a young lady w/negligent abusive parents and the an anger driven young man she falls in love with.
I liked but had some issues with the characterization of the leads and the storyline itself. I have heard the series gets better so I will definitely be revisiting this series again. ...more
The Slayer slays the heart in Moon’s 2nd book of her Untamed Hearts series. Love, hate, family, betrayal, hope, and redemption all blend together to bThe Slayer slays the heart in Moon’s 2nd book of her Untamed Hearts series. Love, hate, family, betrayal, hope, and redemption all blend together to build a lush and heart wrenching love story between a former gang banger, Chuto, and a preacher’s daughter, Aliane. If this sounds trite, it’s anything but. The brilliance lies in the characters who live in this story. Life is never easy and sometimes the hardest blows come from those you love the most and nothing even begins to prepare you for the blows this couple has to take for their love and happiness. Dark and forbidding at times, Moon doesn’t try to explain away the criminal element that permeates Chu’s life in order to give him a happy ending. Rather, she uses it as a learning guide, giving us the readers a chance to see the real man behind the deeds. Using the past and the present, Moon slowly shows us Chu’s life from the beginning and the friendship that has built between him and Aliane over the years. We learn the reasons why Chu has tried to stay away from her and the lengths Aliane will go to be with him. Fan will adore the heavy interaction with our favorite Italian boys-Novo and Tino; along with inclusions of past couples. Moon rips out out your heart and soul with The Slayer but in an exceptional fashion, she hands it back to you stronger than ever....more
Favorite Quote: “What, did they grow’em for their muscles around here? Really, it as ridiculous. “
Ex military turned security expert Jack Quinn has played the field for many years, never seeking to settle down until he locks eyes with a new bartender at his favorite watering hole. The secrets in her eyes and the aura of trouble that surrounds her only adds to his attraction. Jack wants to peel back all her layers until there is only him and her but some secrets are meant to stay buried.
Maddie Baker is a woman on a mission. The abusive man she ran from four years ago has put a bounty on her head and she is determined to not only destroy him but also the secret life he has built. When a teenager is kidnapped from a small town, Maddie knows he is behind it and time is running out. Nothing will stop her…not even the one man who has made her feel something besides revenge in a very long time.
Jack unknowingly drags Maddie out of hiding, placing her directly into the path of a killer. Maddie has to decide if placing her heart and trust in Jack will bring her the justice and peace she so desperately craves or destroy her once and for all.
Trust Me by Ella Sheridan is the second installment in her Southern Nights series but can be read as a stand alone. Boldly flavored writing, dynamic characters, and an insidious suspenseful plot will keep readers on the edge of their seats as Sheridan leads you down a dark path of abuse and human trafficking towards one woman’s all encompassing need for justice. The story starts slow and steady, giving us character backgrounds and setting up the plotlines. The running dialog between the characters is fast and smooth-allowing you to slip right into the story with them. As the plot reveals itself and picks up speed, the ripe tension stays till the very last page.
Southern belle Maddie Baker thought she had found heaven when she married a prominent lawyer. Instead she found hell and learned the hard way that the devil wears many disguises. Abused and raped for years, Maddie finally escapes and slowly evolves into a new person in order to bring down her husband. Gone is the innocent school teacher. What has arisen in its place is a warrior of strength, intelligence, and fortitude.
“The only thing she allowed herself to need was justice…”
Fans who are familiar with this series will be happy to be learning more about Jack and meeting the woman who steals his heart. Jack Quinn served in the Marines before coming home and setting up a security firm with his best friend. A tall cool drink of yummy, Jack is 100% alpha male with a strong protective instinct. An instinct that kicks in full force when he meets Maddie.
“One look at those boots and his dick shot straight up and strained in her direction as if she were true north and he was a compass.”
Maddie and Jack are a delightful mixture of contrasts and similarities. Their romance holds a very strong place in the story with the main plot weaving in and out, enhancing the story. They are fabulous together-both stubborn and protective of those they love. They butt heads repeatedly. The sexual tension is an explosive entity to be reckoned with as they spend time together getting to know one another (in and out of bed). Jack has a very, very dirty mouth. My kind of hero. *wink*
“I’m gonna lay you out. Spend hours tasting your body, sucking your nipples, feeling all that hot cream drip over my cock as I drive into you.”
Maddie is a survivor. Intelligent, tenacious, and strong willed, she survived and escaped from what would have destroyed most people. She says what she means and challenges Jack in ways no one else dares to. Though she has some serious baggage from her past, Jack understands more than she thinks and takes his time with her, gaining her trust and proving and that he can and will protect her with his life.
“Every instinct screamed at him to keep her close, to glue himself to her side…”
The secondary characters are as rich and inviting as our protagonists. Each one adding personality, drama, and insight to the story. The dynamics between the characters are crisp and defined. The cast is a solid foundation in which our two protagonists work and build from. The villain(s) of the story are evil personified; wrapped in normality. Though we are alerted early on to who the villains are, the nature of their crimes and the extent at which they are committed is unbelievably cruel and vicious. It’s disheartening to know this happens in real life every single day.
The ending comes at the reader fast and furious. Loose ends are wrapped up, questions answered, and the wrongs of the past are made right and finally laid to rest. Sheridan pens a thrilling suspense with a strong romantic lead. I look forward to book three.
I can honestly say I think this is Begley's best book to date. Not only does she manage, for me, to redeem a character I could not stand, but she alsoI can honestly say I think this is Begley's best book to date. Not only does she manage, for me, to redeem a character I could not stand, but she also writes an intense and bittersweet opposites attract love story with strong plotlines, well developed characters, and a fantastic arc resolution.
I will write more later as for right now I must finish my ugly cry. ...more
Cherish & Blessed are actually two separate novellas bound into one book for it’s second print. Cherish was originally released in 2012 and because of that I have decided to review each one separately.
Evan and Matt have been a couple for many years, having built a life and home together with Evan’s children. Though it was rough in the beginning when Evan fell in love with man after his wife’s death, the trials and tribulations seem to have faded.
Or have they?
Evan and Matt get the surprise of their life when the oldest daughter, Miranda, starts talking marriage to a boy she just met three months ago and then decides to invite the boyfriend and his family home for Thanksgiving. When it becomes obvious Miranda hasn’t been completely honest with the boyfriend, his parents, or herself, Evan and Matt will have to step in to ensure that Miranda knows she is cherished.
I have been a fan of this series since the beginning. Though not a huge fan of the ‘gay for you’ trope, Michaels’ does a fabulous job of building Evan’s and Matt’s relationship, starting with a friendship that morphs into attraction, than love at a steady and realistic rate. Michaels’ doesn’t shy away from the issues when dealing with the children, a deceased spouse, and homophobic relatives.
All of Evan’s kid’s have accepted Matt into their lives except for Miranda. She has had the hardest time accepting her mother’s death and the inclusion of Matt into their lives. Humor and mayhem lead the way as Miranda’s power play not only causes her family grief and embarrassment but also places strain on her relationship with her boyfriend and his family. Evan and Matt band together, along with her siblings and some friends to help Miranda see that her mother hasn’t been forgotten and that Matt is not a threat to her father’s love for her. I did approve of the manner in which it was handled. No kid gloves were used and Miranda got a rude but much needed awakening in how her behavior was unacceptable across the board. Personally, I think she got off rather easy but her issues run deep and it will take more then one weekend for her to overcome them.
As always, the chemistry between Evan and Matt is explosive and sex fueled but in here it is tempered by love and a quiet but fierce tenderness. Early on in their relationship, Evan would have pulled away from Matt in order to deal with this issue but now Evan embraces Matt and holds on tight because they are a couple-a team-and Evan will never let Matt go. Matt’s relationship with Evan’s children (the ones who like him-lol) continues to sweet and engaging as he truly adores them and vice versa.
Jim and Griffin find themselves floundering in their relationship as both are ready for something more permanent but scared to broach it to one another. Matt and Evan are looking to reconnect emotionally and physically as careers and two children still at home leave them very little alone time. When Daisy and Bennett invite the two couples to the Hamptons to celebrate the christening of their new child, the weekend opens the doorway to some much needed communication.
I have to admit I wasn’t as enamored with this installment. The story jumping between the two main couples was abrupt causing the flow to be shaky and not as well developed as her other installments. Jim and Griffin hold no appeal for me. I never connected with them as secondary characters. Michaels’ doesn’t really resolve Jim and Griffin’s communication problem and basically an epiphany that Jim has to ‘magically’ fix their issues. I did enjoy seeing Daisy and Bennett and Helen and Shane. Everyone has come such a long way.
Matt and Evan are sweet, sexy, and funny as usual with both continuing to open up more both physically and emotionally with one another. Certain long term issues are coming up and choices must be made.
Michaels’ ends both novellas on a soft positive notes, letting readers know that the couples we have come to enjoy continue to work towards their happy ever after.