There will be certain controversy when it comes to this book,...moreThis review was originally written for MM Good Book Reviews and can also be found there.
There will be certain controversy when it comes to this book, from the matter of personal taste to the amount of detail that just might not be everyone’s cup of tea. The author was new to me, the subject not as much as the execution itself.
The story starts with a dose of mystery where I got to meet Jack and some of his kinks as well as his professional life. He is heavy into play but his partner is an anonymous guy who seems more like a dangerous stalker, especially because I didn’t get to meet him until the very escalation of the… well let’s call it a scene spread over a longer period of time. I liked Jack, and at first I liked his choice of men as well.
Gray seemed dangerous but knowing, and just there for Jack, while Jan seemed like the perfect romantic counterpart and enough of a playful character to counteract the seriousness of the story. However, as things finally became clear and that mysterious aspect of the story was done with, Jan flipped ‘to the dark side’ and became someone totally different, while Grey turned out to be someone I couldn’t really respect.
Jack never changed for me. A man with issues and certain desires – I just liked him. But as Gray and Jan changed, my enjoyment of the story drastically dropped. I lost most of my interest when I felt the BDSM rules were broken (or just bent enough to lose meaning for me), and what should have been consensual ended up being forced.
This is a book for those with specific tastes, and it might have some serious triggers. It’s definitely not fluffy or mild when it comes to the lifestyle, but it might appeal to those who like the opposite. My issues weren’t related to BDSM part of the story (other than the thin/non-existent rules), but rather the characters and their behavior which just wasn’t likeable at all. The writing was confusing at times but overall okay and I would suggest you take a look at it if based on other reviews this seems as just your thing. (less)
Short road trip story with a lot of heart and a bit of a fair...moreThis review was originally written for MM Good Book Reviews and can also be found there.
Short road trip story with a lot of heart and a bit of a fairy tale ending is probably perfect for those of you who like it slow paced and sweet.
This is a story about Dan who decides to go on a road trip twelve years after the fun summer with his Gang of Four. They’ve lost touch and maybe it’s melancholy or just that need to know, but Dan wants to revisit the past and discover a secret that’s been bugging him for years.
Not an expert on social media, Dan meets up with a man who he’d mistaken for one of the members of the club and despite the misunderstanding, they go on the road together. Dan’s friends are far from the kids they used to be, and while their lives are surprising, in the end Dan’s discoveries about himself are the most unexpected ones.
This was an okay story, with good characters, it just wasn’t interesting enough for me. The romance was pretty much predictable and while there was that dose of curiosity to the story – mainly what Dan would find when it came to his friends – it still moved slowly and without much challenge to keep me engaged. I’ve read much better books by this author.
What is it about me and porn that I have to grab each book th...moreThis review was originally written for MM Good Book Reviews and can also be found there.
What is it about me and porn that I have to grab each book that just mentions it and add it to my read list? Maybe it’s the expectation of naked men making sacrifices for the money they eventually earn, or the conflicts that come of it when they find that perfect someone and need to explain what is it that they actually do.
In this case Spanish/John is a body double for a movie star who makes porn covers of the actual movies for the Asian and European market. He’s got a great body and enough likeness that he’s wanted and makes some good money. It doesn’t hurt that the man he’s portraying on screen is someone he admires.
Then came the party where the two actually meet, with instant attraction, just a tad slower sex and the eventual beginning of something more. What resulted is the everlasting question – to come clean or hope for the best?
The content of this story wasn’t all that explicit or for that matter deep, certainly not what I was expecting. There are some details about filming and a really fast paced development of the relationship, but the main conflict passes just as quickly and at the end there’s not much to this story. The characters weren’t explored enough to give them that necessary significance and although I saw the potential, the author went too quickly about this story to make it significantly enjoyable.
It was nice, but not enough to remember for more than a few days. (less)
This is JD Ruskin’s first book and she certainly opened with...moreThis review was originally written for MM Good Book Reviews and can also be found there.
This is JD Ruskin’s first book and she certainly opened with a bang. Characters with issues, a compelling story line and excellent writing will most certainly push When One Door Opens to the top of many reading lists.
Logan is fresh out of prison, finally sober and holding a job. It’s only part time, but hey, everyone has to start somewhere. He’s still at that phase when every superior’s question makes his breath catch and every awkward situation makes him crave a beer, but he’s taking it day by day and doing better than he had in years. Then his boss asks him to deliver groceries and check on his nephew Caleb as another part time job, and all that hard acquired control starts slipping away with a simple sight of too tight sweats.
Caleb is a whole different story, innocent, somewhat naïve, gorgeous and agoraphobic. He hasn’t left his apartment for three years and doesn’t react well to change. But there is something about the ex-con giant who makes him laugh and tries his best to make Caleb happy.
When One Door Opens was a slow paced story, gradually developing the relationship between the two main characters, letting them fight their battles with staying sober and obeying the rules for Logan and making a simple trip to the store for Caleb without having a panic attack.
Their interactions were so fun I could have read about them for hours, but it was their flaws as well as the tension between the two studs that kept my attention and eventually kept me thinking about this book long after it was read.
The main conflict was subdued as well, there but not the harsh focus as one might expect and it suited the story well, letting the reader stay intent on what was important, without broken trust but with all the explicit details the characters’ situations involved.
This is the one I will recommend, for everyone who likes imperfect characters and needs a comfortable book to relax to. It was a first, but I sincerely hope it’s not the last we’ll see of JD Ruskin. (less)
Room at the Edge is the second book in the Room at the Top se...moreThis review was originally written for MM Good Book Reviews and can also be found there.
Room at the Edge is the second book in the Room at the Top series about two submissives and a dominant working on their relationship and exploring their limits. When compared to the first book it’s missing the same tension and expectation when a lot of it was up in the air and their future was uncertain. Here the three have a more equal relationship and their needs have certainly matured.
Austin and Jay have come to depend on their Dom Liam, needing his attention as well as presence and while once their weekly meetings were more than enough, now they not only crave more, they need it.
Liam is really careful with their boundaries, doing his best to give both men what they need with simultaneously satisfying his own desires, but all three are afraid of their relationship falling apart, and while Austin and Jay are still and unbreakable unit, Liam is feeling as the third and is just as reluctant to rock the boat.
Evolving their relationship – both in the conventional sense as well as when it comes to their level of ‘play’ – was an absolute success for the authors of this wonderfully kinky story. It introduced some new aspects of BDSM as well brought other needs to the front and center, making their interactions as well as their dependence of each other nothing less of a beautiful, pain stung dance.
It flowed slowly, which in this case was a bit of a negative trait, requiring more focus as well as persistence, but still, I completely enjoyed this sequel and wouldn’t mind reading more about Austin, Jay and Liam. (less)
If a book has some type of a tricky subject it’s almost guaranteed I’ll read it as well as find something inspiring/interesting about it. A father and son falling for the same guy fits right in there with the unusual and I barely hesitated when it came to jumping into the story and seeing the world through the characters’ eyes.
Sayen is a medical student who’s been struggling to get by since the death of his mother who’d brought him to America in order to protect him from his own family and the customs still maintained in the Middle East. Help came in the form of a sugar daddy, an older man of a hidden identity who paid for Sayen’s necessities in exchange for sex as well as secrecy. But now a student of Sayen’s age is interested in him, and offering things Blake – the sugar daddy – never could. The money is still there, necessary and a big part of the relationship, but Cameron doesn’t care and Sayen tries not to.
It all comes to head when Cameron brings Sayen home to meet the family, and his straight father turns out not to be quite straight.
This book was essentially a realistic interpretation of life as well as relationships where s**t hits the fan when you least need it and no automatic happy ending is forthcoming. It had some wonderful details like religion which was a big part of Sayen’s life and a rebellious sister who I just had to love. Still it all sums to the fact that this wasn’t a book I wanted to read. The characters had their depths, the writing was excellent and the plot twisted enough to make this book stand out from just an ordinary contemporary. But when it comes down to it I wasn’t happy with any of the characters or with the resolutions. Their emotional investment was nothing but words into the wind and what author interpreted as stubbornness was pure idiotism to me. Not to say I disagreed with certain decision – or approved others – just that the paths the men have taken and the hold they had to what was the ‘right thing’ gave me a headache. So just like I’ve said at the beginning, this book was just like real life, and I read romantic fiction precisely because I don’t want to live in the real life for those few hours, but rather escape into someone’s perfect ending.
I rooted for Sayen and Blake for the most of the book because I do like May/December romances, but I doubt I would have been happy even if that pairing took the focus in this book. Both the father and the son were too insecure and self-centered to make for loveable characters and Sayen was just too lost most of the time. He followed the money even when he said those magic words and without any more substance to him I couldn’t find any will in me to romanticize him in any way. The readers should also be aware of incestuous abuse mentioned in the book, not explicit but with a somewhat romantic note to it that certainly wasn’t the high point of the book.
As my first venture into this praised author’s work I can say I didn’t receive what I’d expected and certainly have my reservations when it comes to his other work.
I'm not quite sure where to start with this book. The blurb had me really intrigued and just based on it, this...more3.5 but what the hell... here's 4 stars
I'm not quite sure where to start with this book. The blurb had me really intrigued and just based on it, this was definitely a book that could have appealed to me, and it did, to a point.
I think the hardest part of it for me was the writing. There were too many unnecessary thoughts and observations that pulled me out of the flow and just stretched the whole story out. The characters weren't bad, likable even, but I felt I only got to scratch their surface and the rest was something I just needed to accept. Rowan especially was really vague as a character, really defined by his addiction as well as his art, but there was nothing else to him, certainly not enough dept to make me care.
The plot is complex enough to make you stick out to the end but there weren't any significant side characters to develop it to the full potential.
It's a good book, characteristic for some spectacular details as well as the great title. I actually really love the title which is probably the first time one stood out enough for me to mention it.(less)
RE-SUBMISSION is I think the second story set in the same world...moreThis review was originally written for The Romance Reviews and can also be found there.
RE-SUBMISSION is I think the second story set in the same world, something I didn't know when I started reading this book. But if you are even a bit observant, you will notice that there seems to be a story missing as you're reading. That story is Sub-Mission.
This one is told from Tyler's point of view, which at the end I found really strange and was annoyed about. So I'd decided to ignore it, and rate the story as if that ending never actually happened and all that great writing from the beginning was the only impression I got from this book. That's where my four star rating comes in.
Tyler forces his way into a BDSM club by issuing a type of challenge to the club's owner Francis. He's daring himself to endure a month as a sub without really knowing the meaning of the term. Francis accepts and pairs him up with another Top in the club, Shae. Now there is more to Shae than meets the eye, and there is way more to Tyler than his supposed submission. But the real player behind the stage is Francis, Dom to the core and the man who likes to hold on to all the cards.
This is not a hard core BDSM story. The scenes are rather mild and there is more focus on vanilla sex with a bit of kink. Or at least I saw it that way. There are no boundaries about sharing, and when starting this, keep in mind, that there will be sex between the three main characters, and neither of them will show jealousy about it.
I like the writing, especially at the beginning when the author made the effort to keep things interesting and keep us in suspense on how the book would actually end. But once you realize your hopes aren't likely to come true, you will probably miss the emotional side of every man, something the ‘told' aspect of this story just doesn't cover so well.
To wrap it up, I hated the ending, didn't see the point in the chosen point of view, but really liked the world as well as the characters, despite the lack of their deeper personalities. I think this will appeal only to the selected few, but that's not a reason not to risk it.(less)
This short story was again one of those with great chemistry, g...moreThis review was originally written for The Romance Reviews and can also be found there.
This short story was again one of those with great chemistry, good enough to smoke up the sheets if not to light an actual flame, but its focus was more on therapy than romance and that's something a potential reader should keep in mind.
A young therapist, Ken, receives a new patient who's had two tours in Iraq, was diagnosed with PTSD and has trouble sleeping. They quickly establish a patient/therapist relationship and slowly Paul starts to open up. It results in healing, but Paul is not really the issue.
The story is told from Ken's point of view, and the man has some really unprofessional thoughts, not to mention reactions to the ridiculously handsome ex-soldier. He's trying to suppress it, but Paul isn't quite helping, and as their conversations lean more toward personal, Ken's feelings turn to impossible.
I do love some sexual tension in my books, and this one wasn't far off the mark. I would have appreciated to see a bit more of Paul as well as read about his thoughts, but even like this, I ended up reading a nice little story. Like I already mentioned, the focus was more on therapy, leaving the romance for the very last few pages. It jumped between their appointments to Ken's personal life while I really wanted to read about the couple. The ending was wrapped up quickly, not something I was overjoyed with, but which somehow still worked out.
So if you have time, feel like reading a bit about this type of a strange combination, go for it. It might be perfect for you.(less)
I'm quite glad authors are writing more about cross-dressing in...moreThis review was originally written for The Romance Reviews and can also be found there.
I'm quite glad authors are writing more about cross-dressing in their books lately, especially when those books are well written and kinky reviewers like me have plenty of fuel for our demanding imagination.
LACE turned out to be everything I'd expected, from an insecure student with issues to the larger subject of being accepted for who you are and not for what you wear. The author did an amazing job of incorporating all of the character's touchy spots into a bigger picture and she did it with enough sympathy it really wasn't a problem for me to enjoy this story.
Caleb is a gay man who likes to dress up. He's not one of those men who can hide his preference, like his boyfriend Levi can, so he hides his even more unordinary desires and satisfies himself by just wearing a bit of lace underneath his clothes. Caleb is a target for a local bully who doesn't really give him any breathing space and keeps harassing him, but Caleb isn't one to just walk away. He has an aggressive streak in him and reacts to provocations with violence. It's not just about words with him, he's used to being rejected, by his father, his uncle and the society in general, so letting someone in to the person behind the tough exterior is something Caleb doesn't think he can do, not even for his boyfriend Levi, who he desperately doesn't want to lose.
I loved this story, especially Caleb with both his insecurities and low self-worth as well as his aggressive side where he wasn't afraid to stand his ground and show teeth. For me he was a true star and it rubbed me the wrong way that he had to basically crawl for Levi. I know Levi wasn't a bad guy, but even at the beginning of the story I secretly hoped the bully would turn around and end up the perfect guy for Caleb instead of Levi. Yes, the guy never sat well with me, and as the story progressed I honestly liked him even less and couldn't agree with his attitude or his point of view at all.
LACE was a great book—wonderful writing with an amazing subject and this was almost perfect for me. While this author's work is mostly excellent or completely off the mark for me, I still dare to recommend you try one of her books, you might turn out to be a fan.(less)
Usually a fan of this author, I was surprised when this particu...moreThis review was originally written for The Romance Reviews and can also be found there.
Usually a fan of this author, I was surprised when this particular story turned out to be so unsatisfying. The very story was promising but everything else just had clouds of question marks surrounding it.
The story starts with Hadryk coming home from the war as a pup host. Which basically means he's agreed to be impregnated to save his lover Vodwynn. The main conflict of the story is Vodwynn's reaction to the pregnancy.
I did like the idea behind this five minute read, about a man returning home pregnant with a child – pup in this case – who is meant for other parents and fearing the reaction of his lover. But this was another race in question, a whole new concept about females impregnating men and children called pups and none of it was explained. Not the war or the very secret Hadryk is protecting for his lover. Even the very conclusion of the story seemed weak and left me with more questions and none of the answers.
As I expected more from this, I can't say I'm happy with what I got. Hopefully the next one will be more to the standard I'm used to when it comes to this author.(less)
DEMON LOVE was another short by Jack Greene, lighthearted, funn...moreThis review was originally written for The Romance Reviews and can also be found there.
DEMON LOVE was another short by Jack Greene, lighthearted, funny and incredibly sexy.
Lucas gets persuaded by his best friend to summon a demon one night, and after a lot of pestering, he finally agrees. It's a funny situation that ends up looking like everything but a serious summoning and while neither of them really expects anything to happen, a demon does appear.
Corson is Lucas' wet dream and with the messy way he was summoned, Lucas ended up being a bit more firmly bound to the demon – not that he terribly minds.
Although fairly simple and a somewhat common demon story, DEMON LOVE does possess that Greene charm that makes it special. It is instant love, a bit predictable, but also really sweet and more than one could wish for on a cloudy afternoon. Well, we could all wish for a sexy demon who could get us a million bucks with a snap of his fingers, but until that's actually possible, I recommend losing yourself in these two sexy men.(less)
This particular short story starts with a bang - funny, erotic...moreThis review was originally written for The Romance Reviews and can also be found there.
This particular short story starts with a bang - funny, erotic with amazing sexual tension where a sheriff/ Santa lusts after an oblivious librarian/elf. I was chuckling along, loving the stuttering lawman and impatiently waiting for that moment when everything is revealed and they get their happily ever after.
While everything pretty much does happen in that order, the second part of the story pulled out all these unrealistic and, at certain moments, even cruel situations that the magic for me just evaporated and I was left there reading a simple and predictable story.
I disliked the side characters and that was probably what colored my whole impression of the book. It was one of those situations where enemies would have been preferable to friends and family, and that's not something I like to read about.
The main characters were pretty cute, just not developed as well as they could have been, but they did make for a simple enjoyable story that will give you a bit of a Christmas boost.(less)
These is something mysterious when it comes to reading antholog...moreThis review was originally written for The Romance Reviews and can also be found there.
These is something mysterious when it comes to reading anthologies, because each story is a big unknown until you actually start unwrapping the present. In this one, the biggest mystery for me was that lack of vanilla the title promised and while I got a couple of interesting wrapped up gifts, the rest was in the lines of average or even a bit strange.
In Boughs of Love by Rebecca Brochu, I got to know Reese who took on raising his brother's daughter Holly after the accident that took away her parents' lives. He does everything for Holly and each joy she experiences puts a smile on his face, so it's not all that strange when he indulges her and goes to buy the biggest tree she can find. What he didn't expect was to find a hot worker (Keifer) there and for the man to refuse to leave his thoughts.
This was my favorite story of the bunch, simply because of the great tension and the wonderful descriptions of want between the characters. It's surprisingly low on sex, but the sparks between the characters make up for it and I did wish the story was longer.
Dressed for Dinner by Pelaam on the other hand was all about sex with Kevin and his Master Stefan attending a type of themed party revolving around their lifestyle. The story is really BDSM focused, but I found it to have little actual substance and had trouble connecting to the characters or enjoying their play. This one was not for me.
I loved Paul, the main character in Tied with a Bow by Nicola Cameron. His story was probably the most inspirational one of the bunch and his secret life as writer of gay ménages definitely made it more playful. I loved the humor in this one and his somewhat awkward way as he fought his attraction to his two neighbors. I loved how he put them in his story, especially since it filled the air with expectation. My remark would be the too quick switch to the ending and the very realization of his fantasies. As a big ménage fan, I do want a bit more work in such relationships.
Enough about Earl by Giselle Renarde was a bit unemotional, or I experienced it that way. Jodee and Cam are best friends, but Jodee used to have a crush on gay Cam and now she's talking constantly about her gay college friend Earl, making Cam bite his tongue almost each time she speaks.
They are attending a Christmas party where they would meet Earl and his best friend Kyle, who also has jealousy issues, and the pairings happen from there. The very couples, though obvious, didn't really work for me. I knew too little about Jodee and Kyle, and yet they took so much page space, while Earl and Cam wanted different things and seem to take the edge off or forget more than they actually wanted to have any type of a relationship.
The Christmas Cookies by Troy Storm was terribly confusing to me. It all starts with Ben, the mailroom clerk eating some spiked cookies and his bosses, the company owner Art and the office manager Marv, rescuing him from further embarrassment. The story had a good start, but the resulting ménage seemed strained and the story jumps only jumbled it further.
Each of these stories brought a little kink into Christmas cheer and while some are better than others, overall this is a well-rounded anthology and not a bad way to meet some new authors. (less)
This way too short story was more than a pleasant surprise with...moreThis review was originally written for The Romance Reviews and can also be found there.
This way too short story was more than a pleasant surprise with adorable characters, solid story and absolute cuteness just bursting at the seams.
It must have been a trick of faith that Ryan gets stuck with making a Christmas gift for the flamboyant and openly gay classmate Jamie in a school project. It's definitely not his first choice, not that Ryan has anything against Jamie. He just doesn't want to be the center of attention the same as Jamie by simple association. Still, with all the stuff Jamie puts up with at school, he does deserve something special…
And so it goes into the embarrassing, funny as well as adorable while Ryan tries to make that perfect gift at his mother's craft workshop and still stay anonymous while slowly realizing his continuing guilt for hiding his friendship with Jamie has little to do with his morals, but rather with who he is.
SOCK IT TO ME, SANTA! was one of those stories that have all the potential for making you feel good. It brings back memories of those high school crushes and awkward situations all of us had found ourselves in at one point or another, but the author pulled it off so well it is likely you will read through every single moment and desperately want more. The same as I did.
This wonderful story deserves all the attention it can get and Madison Parker is an author you have to add to your to-read list. It's mandatory.(less)
With Christmas around the corner, there is no better way of get...moreThis review was originally written for The Romance Reviews and can also be found there.
With Christmas around the corner, there is no better way of getting into the holiday spirit than reading playful love stories that will give you that push to actually smile even when there is nothing but pressure around you.
WHAT I SEE IN YOU is one of those stories, where Kennedy, a jeweler who hates Christmas and keeps to himself, gets a surprise of his life precisely during the most annoying holiday. Angel, a rich, handsome man set his eyes on the shy Kennedy and decided he had to win the man over, no matter to what lengths the determination took him to.
I always appreciate the differences between the characters, when they are not just a copy of each other, but rather made up of differences that are the attracting factors between them. This was one of those stories that kept on being good and surprising despite only in little ways. Kennedy turned from Grinch to a man who smiled and the author took us through that transformation so that we saw the man who hid behind the average exterior exactly as Angel discovered him, and the whole process was just wonderfully romantic.
This is definitely one of the pearls this holiday season, so don't miss out.(less)
What happens when the man you love tells you no instead of yes...moreThis review was originally written for The Romance Reviews and can also be found there.
What happens when the man you love tells you no instead of yes and stands behind his decision despite the law finally being on your side and giving you the possibility to tie the knot? Dumping him might be the first thought to come to mind, but in the case of this story, the man in question made his own bed when he decided it was the perfect time to visit relatives.
This is a story about Owen and Seth who have very different views on marriage but neither of those are as hard core as the attitude Seth's parents have and it all comes to clash in this holiday story.
Funny, emotional, deep and simply romantic, this story covers it all. But aside from that, it touches the hard questions and even more difficult answers as simple paths are not always so black and white. It shows the annoying side of family but it also celebrates their support and understanding.
This short tale encompasses it all and probably gives the realistic side of family holidays, because I know it's never all joy and great food at my house. There has to be at least one fight, a lot of yelling and in this particular case – a shotgun.(less)
Although I usually appreciate this author’s excellent writing...moreThis review was originally written for MM Good Book Reviews and can also be found there.
Although I usually appreciate this author’s excellent writing, in this holiday story the characters and their interactions didn’t really hit the spot.
Bianca only wants a boyfriend for her father Gavin for Christmas, and she has the perfect candidate in mind – Curtis, their close friend and neighbor. The only little issue about the wish is that Curtis is straight and despite Gavin’s obvious feelings, it’s not likely his orientation will change.
So while Curtis wants a family, Bianca is not giving up on a boyfriend for her father and enlists Curtis to help her, who ends up witnessing one disaster after another.
It was the denial that killed it for me, because it was rather forced and it made the conversations between the main characters somewhat strained. Usually I love kids in books, but Bianca was a bit strange and never seemed to act the appropriate age. Maybe it was just my impression, but I kept thinking she was a few years older and kept getting surprised each time it turned out she was not. I think I disliked the ending the most. Not the eventual ‘twist’ but rather the fast flip over from straight to enthusiastic accompanied by teeth rotting sweetness that just didn’t work for me.
This is a holiday story by a great author which will probably pass with most readers as cute. It does have its high points and I’m sure it will be a big hit with a lot of people but it just didn’t work out for me.(less)
My second encounter with this author’s work this year passed...moreThis review was originally written for MM Good Book Reviews and can also be found there.
My second encounter with this author’s work this year passed much better than I’d expected. Two men with plenty to offer get themselves into a challenging adventure – because what’s worse than surviving your friends – and find their way to the top and a happy ending.
It all came to be thanks to fantasy football, something Blake has been playing with his college friends for years. All of them have paired up and eventually won first place except Blake and while with the chance for the title come the pranks and merciless teasing, this year Blake is determined and doesn’t even back down in front of the challenge of dating someone.
Landon, the bartender in the bar friends frequent, and Blake have been eyeing each other for some time, but Blake has never wanted a serious relationship and has had most of the gay and regular patrons of the establishment. Landon is ready, but what he wants won’t come with a one night stand, exactly what he would be in Blake’s eyes. So he jumps at the chance to challenge Blake, five dates, no sex, and a chance to win the man he’s been aching for.
I was amused for the better part of this book, thoroughly enjoying Landon and his lovely personality while Blake presented the perfect challenge to make the story stick out a bit. Their interactions were funny, Blake’s friends somewhat crazy and the challenge dates kept things going.
This book was nothing short of fun with a good idea and likeable characters, perfect for a slow afternoon. (less)
I've discovered my love for hockey stories quite a while ago, b...moreThis review was originally written for The Romance Reviews and can also be found there.
I've discovered my love for hockey stories quite a while ago, but nothing tops those focused on a gay couple. I guess it just rocks my boat and the first story I've read by this author concerning the subject set up a high standard that just wasn't reached by this one.
I got a different impression about the characters and what might have been a plus in the short THERE'S COCK IN THIS STORY than in this lengthier book that I struggled with it.
Mac is having trouble with his slowly dying hockey career. He's never made it to professionals and is getting too old to stay in the sport and make a living with it. Fritzy got his big break and they are now making it work long term, facing the trials that keep on coming -- alone, and keeping their secret.
There might have been ‘cock' in the first story, but there was way more sex in this one. Too much in fact and instead of letting me get closer to the characters it created a certain distance where I just needed the story to move on. I especially felt that with Fritzy while Mac kept changing his mind and overall attitude. One minute he would be super closeted and the next he would have these bouts of need for public affection. Then he would go back to hiding.
Fritzy's reasons were somewhat understood, to me anyway, and while I do appreciate the general fear, what annoyed me was the hot and cold displays that frankly really made for inconsistent personalities. I did like the hockey theme as well as the bits and pieces of romance which seemed really sweet. But most of their relationship consisted of pieces of humorous banter and sex. Not much to pull it all together into a solid whole.
I would still recommend this to those who like to read about sports in books and those who do want to revisit Mac and Fritzy, but I did expect more from this story and will think about taking on another potential book in this series.(less)
While I've previously read the work of this author, this world appealed to me more. I'm usually a fan of books set in the 'world after' but not all of...moreWhile I've previously read the work of this author, this world appealed to me more. I'm usually a fan of books set in the 'world after' but not all of them incorporate the fantastical aspects so intensely.
I did like Marquez and thought him a strong character, but Jared was weak and in my opinion had a too big of a role in the whole book. Bigger in fact than the other MC who appeared late in the book. That was also the biggest drawback - the first part of the story was too long considering its importance, and while I do see the significance of showing the rapes and the suffering, at one point it just became repetitive instead of useful characterization.
The lizard world suffered for it, and while there were descriptions and a certain dose of bonding between the two MCs for a big part of it I was still under the impression of the first half of the book and its different, more depressing setting.
The imaginative part worked for me, but I usually love reading about something new and interesting. I actually wanted more details, but still very much enjoyed the story.
Going into this, be prepared for violence and abuse, but what you will most likely feel even more intensely is the negative, even evil, representation of women.(less)
Since I’ve been following this series from the very start and always more than enjoyed the life of two unlikely partners, I was overjoyed that there was more to look forward to.
This one, actually shorter than the previous books and more of a snippet of the lives of our favorite characters, revolves around Miranda, the oldest daughter. She is feeling abandoned and more of an outsider when it comes to her family and is the source of headaches, particularly for her father. She’s been dating while off to college and has apparently met the man of her dreams in Kent to the point where she’s talking marriage. It’s clear to everyone that her actions are more a product of spite, but Kent’s parents are coming to Thanksgiving dinner and serious or not her father feels pretty close to a heart attack.
I do love the couple as well as their relationships and I do tend to list Tere Michaels as one of those authors everyone must keep in mind when it comes to contemporaries. That said, this story focused more on the family and less on Evan and Matt. When they were in the picture it was mostly about sex or Evan’s self-doubts, which didn’t really sit well for me. But it was Miranda who annoyed me the most. She was way too childish for her age and behaved in a way that was damaging primarily to her. I couldn’t understand that and the quick flip from a ‘villain’ to someone somewhat supportive made me want to ground her for life.
Matt was a delight as always, no objections there, but Evan was always a difficult man to love continuously. He is set in his ways and constantly riddled with guilt, to the point that you feel bad for Matt. It does get old after a while and there’ve been three books already.
However, I loved the whole family event type of thing, because there was drama and affection and lots of humor. The humor particularly made it all refreshing and had me upping it for half a rating. Overall this was a lovely holiday story with some irritating characters, but that’s just how families work. (less)
The incentive to read this book came from the simple mentio...moreThis review was originally written for Hearts on Fire Reviews and can also be found there.
The incentive to read this book came from the simple mention of disability from the blurb. Extra difficulty tends to make already hard situations more complicated, and if I love anything it’s complicated.
Kason came in daily to a certain coffee shop to write. Although in a wheelchair, Kason still had eyes and it wasn’t difficult to notice the owner of the shop, Ryan. But Kason is terribly insecure and shy, the result of his relationship with Blake, the ex. The insensitive man left Kason after the accident that took his ability to walk and was anything but considerate about it.
The romance between Kason and Ryan flares up instantly and almost before you can blink they are the image of perfect. Their families are good together and their plans for the future are just flourishing. The only smudge in the whole story is Blake.
I’ll start off by saying this book was just too far from what I consider my preference. I was attracted to the subject, a veteran and a man in a wheelchair who need to overcome their difficulties to be together and make their relationship work. Yeah, there were no difficulties. Kason, while in a wheelchair, had very few issues for someone who started off as insecure and in the past year and a half had to adjust to a whole new life. Ryan’s issues were only mentioned and the rest was all rainbows. I disliked the fact that certain scenes were glossed over and the whole book was rather rushed. It reminded me more of a shifter story with inevitable quick bonding than a contemporary where feelings are usually better worked through and the reader eased into the romance so he/she actually cares for the characters before the happy ending without the incredulity factor.
I did like the subject but the resolution of the story and the overall flow just weren’t for me. I would suggest this story to people who like it tooth aching sweet while I’ll check out the fantasy story with hope it will be more to my liking.(less)