“Sometimes time doesn’t matter. When you really, truly love someone, I don’t think that ever dies. No matter how much time you spend apart.”
“Sometimes time doesn’t matter. When you really, truly love someone, I don’t think that ever dies. No matter how much time you spend apart.”
Fearless is the second book in Nicole Edwards’ MM series entitled Pier 70. In this series were are introduced to the men who own and operate Pier 70 – Cam Strickland (featured in book one), Roan Gregory, Dare Davis, and Teague Carter. I fall wholeheartedly in love with anything Ms. Edwards writes and if you know anything about her books you know that she tends to write about copious amounts of sexual variations (MF/MFM/MM, etc.) and you also know that her books are HOT AS FUCK as we watch each of the characters Ms. Edwards creates succumb to passion and love. I am certainly a huge fan and love the fact that this is her first entirely MM series! I love getting wrapped up in a sexy romance with enough emotional turmoil to fulfill any angst lover. This book definitely fit the bill as we watch two old sweethearts clumsily forge their way to a second chance at love.
Dare Davis and Noah Pearson were once in a loving and committed relationship. It was everything young love should be – passionate, raw and fierce. However, when Dare, who was nineteen at the time, wanted to take things to the next level, twenty-three year old Noah got scared and used the excuse that Dare was too young to be making such life-changing decisions. This marked the end of their relationship. The two young men parted ways, something that changed both men irrevocably.
Fast forward fifteen years later and both men have certainly moved on with their lives never having crossed paths again. Dare owns Pier 70, an exclusive and highly coveted full service marina, along with his four friends. He works hard and plays hard. Noah has fulfilled his dreams of becoming a firefighter for the Austin Fire Department. He also owns a small roofing company that he works at on his days off. While both men are certainly leading successful professional lives, neither have ever taken a chance on love again. A broken heart can do that.
Dare and Noah unexpectedly come face to face once again on a Caribbean cruise. It is definitely not easy for the two men being in each other’s presence again. The pain, the hurt and the animosity all come rushing back to the forefront and the emotional turmoil that surrounded the end of their relationship envelopes both men into this complex whirlwind of emotions. Despite all this, there is no denying that both men are still attracted to one another. And, when circumstances lead to Dare and Noah sharing a room on the cruise matters certainly get extremely heated. So begins a complicated game of push and pull as they spend time with each other in and out of bed. However, soon Noah realizes that he should never have pushed Dare away when they were younger and now he finds himself wanting nothing more than to spend the rest of his life with the man who has held his heart for so many years. But, the tables have turned. It is Dare’s turn to be running scared. How can he trust in a second chance when he was pushed away the first time? Is he fearless enough to dive into another chance at love with the one man who owns his soul?
Dare and Noah certainly have a few obstacles to overcome. Both are carrying some emotional baggage from his past and then there is the fact that Dare is hesitant to get in too deep with Noah. Both men certainly realize there is a lot at risk. It takes more that lust and physical attraction to build a lasting relationship especially when the first attempt went so wrong. But, the heart wants what it wants and as our two protagonists get pulled in deeper and deeper, they discover that taking a risk once will be the best thing they ever did.
Noah and Dare’s story was a sweet and emotional one. Despite all the time that had passed they rediscovered just how much they worked. It was not an easy road for them to travel when it came to being together again; however, they both realized that the connection between them was something neither one of them could walk away from ever again. And, really this should go without saying considering who the author is but there was no shortage of some down and dirty sexy times. It made things interesting and HAWT, HAWT, HAWT!!!!! Seriously, read this one with caution. As a matter of fact, read any book by this author with caution. Or, at least have a fan handy. ;)
All in all, Fearless is a wonderful addition to this series that I am now absolutely hooked on. I loved getting a glimpse into the lives of the four friends and I truly enjoyed catching up with Cam and Gannon (featured in book one). We also get some other POVs in this one and I loved that! I am really hoping the next book is about Teague and Hudson!
Finding love once in a lifetime was a blessing. Finding the same love twice…that was rare.
****An advance reading copy of Fearless by Nicole Edwards was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
Prince of the Playhouse is the latest book in Tara Lain’s contemporary MM romance series entitled Love in Laguna. We finally get Ru’s story, a character that has appeared in this series. While this book does feature a character that has been in the background in this series, you can definitely read this book as a stand-alone. This was definitely a sweet and fun read with a side of squishy goodness. From the first page I was hooked and wanted to see just how things would play out between the flamboyant fashioner designer and the mega action movie star.
Ru Maitland is on the verge of breaking out in the fashion world. He’s worked hard to become a successful fashion designer and with fashion week fast approaching it is even more important for Ru to keep his questionable past deeply hidden. While his professional life is going fantastically, Ru’s love life has somewhat taken a back seat. This flaming fashion queen is happy quietly obsessing over his favorite mega-star actor and allowing that to be his excuse for not going out and meeting the right guy. But, what happens when his obsession collides with his reality?
When Ru is asked to design costumes for a local performance of Hamlet at the Playhouse in Laguna, he is reluctant to dive in as this would cut into the time he needs to devote to his clothing designs that will appear at fashion week. However, when Ru discovers that Hamlet will be played by none other than his fantasy man, Gray Anson, there is no way he will turn down the opportunity to come face to face with his wet dream. What he does not expect is to discover that Gray is an enthralling mixture of reserved and outgoing. Ru also does not expect to be on the receiving end of all these mixed signals from the sexy actor, a fact that is making his man parts jump up at the attention and salute.
Gray has taken on the role of Hamlet to give his acting career more credibility. He is more than just an action star and he wants to prove it to the world. On set he’s taken aback by the gorgeous and effeminate costume designer that sets his heart racing. But, there is nothing he can do about this sudden attraction. Gray is deep in the closet and maintaining the perfect action-hero image is what he signed up for when he decided to become an actor. Coming out as a gay man and ending his engagement to his socialite fiancé would certainly mean the end of his career. Wouldn’t it? When Gray begins to doubt his acting abilities he asks Ru for his help with the complex script. Matters become even more complicated when the two men begin spending more and more time together. Can Gray risk it all for a chance to be who he truly is and for his shot at a happy forever?
This was a cute and fun book read to read plus I loved the whole theatre setting! There was something just so endearing about both Ru and Gray that had me rooting for them. Although, there were many moments that I want to junk-punch Gray for keeping Ru as his dirty little secret. Ru certainly deserved better than that. Both Ru and Gray were these multi-layered and complex individuals. Who would have thought that Ru had a shady past that he has worked hard to overcome? There is certainly more to him than meets the eye. And then there is Gray who is struggling with his sexuality. Ru comes into his life and turns it upside down. Definitely a feel-good read that had me laughing out loud as much as it had me swooning. Not to mention, our two protagonists certainly have some sexual chemistry that is off the charts. Sheesh! I loved the fact that Ru was a flaming top. Not what anyone would expect but very hot nonetheless.
All in all, Prince of the Playhouse is a fun, low angst tale that had me smiling from start to finish and left me happily sighing in romance lala land. It is one of those books that romance junkies like myself inhale as it is all about making your heart happy and leaves you all squishy inside. A recommended read for all MM romance lovers.
****An advance reading copy of Prince of the Playhouse by Tara Lain was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
“You’re the answer to every question I’ve ever had, Drew,” he said, his warm breath dancing over my skin. “The only one I’ve dreamed of fo
“You’re the answer to every question I’ve ever had, Drew,” he said, his warm breath dancing over my skin. “The only one I’ve dreamed of for so long.”
Blown Away by Brenda Rothert is a new adult, contemporary romance and it also my first book by this author. I tend to not read too many NA books as I often do not connect with the characters in this genre; however, this turned out to be an enjoyable read for me. This is a well-written, thoughtful, and real look at the journey of two individuals who have been brought together by an unexpected, tragic incident that links them.
Drew McGovern and her two siblings haven’t had the easiest life since their father passed away and their mother essentially “checked out”; however, she’s worked hard and is looking forward to a happy forever with the man who has stolen her heart. When tragedy strikes and her fiancé unexpectedly passes away, Drew’s life is forever changed once again. For one year after the accident, Drew coasts through life basically going through the motions on a daily basis. That is until she decides to join her ex-fiancé’s storm-chasing team on their next excursion. It’s completely out of her comfort zone but Drew feels it’s the jump start on life that she so desperately needs.
Embarking on this new adventure, Drew reconnects with Aiden O’Neal. He was her ex-fiancé’s best friend and someone she has not seen since the funeral. There’s definitely an unanticipated sizzling undercurrent between them that Drew had never noticed before (obviously). What Drew does not know is that Aiden has harbored deep feelings for her ever since she got into a relationship with his best friend. It’s something he is not proud of and is certainly something he never acted upon. With the undeniable and intense connection between the pair, will Drew and Aiden act on what they are feeling? Can they do this without being enveloped by guilt and letting that get in the way?
I did like both our protagonists. Drew is this sweet girl who has overcome a lot in her life. Aiden has lived through his share of tragic circumstances and is very good at distancing himself from those he cares about. He tries to keep Drew at arm’s length but is unable to not reach for something he has dreamed of for so long. The attraction between the two is present instantaneously; however, it is a slow burn as Drew and Aiden try and figure out what is happening between them and the push and pull that develops kept things interesting. I was not a big fan of how Aiden tried to keep his mind off Drew in the beginning and usually stay away from books where the author goes to certain places that I do not like with the storyline. But, I was able to overlook it all and did feel like Aiden truly has deep feelings for Drew and simply had no idea what do about it. After all, she was his deceased best-friend’s fiancé. How complicated!
All in all, Blown Away was a well written story and a very genuine portrayal of how two individuals find something worth fighting for and seek out a chance at love, a new beginning. While this book was not one that was truly a spectacular read for me, I would definitely recommend it for all NA romance lovers.
*****An advance reading copy of Blown Away by Brenda Rothert was generously provided to me via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review....more
“Yeah?” I feel that tiny little flutter under my hand again and a grin tugs at the corners of my lips.
“That day when you feel in
“Yeah?” I feel that tiny little flutter under my hand again and a grin tugs at the corners of my lips.
“That day when you feel in the lake, the first day we ever met…”
“Yeah?” I wait.
“You didn’t pull me in with you.”
Feels Like Summertime is a stand-alone contemporary romance by Tammy Falkner. I am a huge fan of this author, particularly her “The Reed Brothers” series. Ms. Falkner sure has a penchant for writing love stories filled with pure sweetness and I would not have it any other way. This was a wonderful read. Filled with tender-hearted moments, witty banter and sexy good times, this book sure did not disappoint. Happy sigh!
Katie Higgins and Erik Jacobson, Jr. (Jake) met many moons ago in their teens during one summer at Lake Fisher, a place owned and operated by Jake’s family. Despite promising each other to never lose touch once the summer was over, life did in fact move on and Jake and Katie went on with their lives. Now it is eighteen years later and Katie finds herself back at Lake Fisher. However, this time Katie is there with her three children. She is a widow and is pregnant with her fourth child and is attempting to escape someone who has put her whole family in danger.
Jake is also back at Lake Fisher helping his father after he had a stroke. His life is a mess and he is on a leave from the police force. When Katie shows up at the lake with her children, Jake is certainly taken aback. One this is certain though… he will protect Katie and her children with everything he’s got. As Jake and Katie spend more and more time together it is evident that the feelings they once had for one another are resurfacing and about to bloom full force. Despite where life has taken them both, can they somehow make it work between them and get a second chance at a forever kind of love?
Like all books by Tammy Falkner, Feels Like Summertime is sugary sweet with a huge dollop of gushy and wonderful moments. Is it a little over-the-top at times? Perhaps. But, I would not have it any other way. I sure love being transported into a love story that is nothing but sweetness, one that gives me butterflies. I enjoy reading a book with little to no angst where I simply want to see the hero and heroine fall in love and proceed to dance with unicorns in the rainbows all the way into a happily ever after. Sure, Katie and Jake have a bit to work out and their happy forever is not going to come super easy; however, they both know real when they see it and what they share is worth the fight. I also enjoyed the added suspense in this book with regards to who was after Katie. While it did not play a huge part of the over-all story arc, I felt like it added a nice bit of tension to the story.
One of the best things about this book was Jake’s father. I loved his snarky and his crass attitude. He certainly provided a great amount of comedic relief. Here’s one example:
“You’re only as old as you feel, Pop,” Jake says with a chuckle.
“I have sperm in my nut sack older than you, boy. Not to mention the dirt between my toes.”
I do enjoy it when authors add children to their romance stories, but it has to be done well as the children can often take over the story leaving the romance part falling short. Gaby, Alex and Trixie won me over right from the start. I could not help but fall in love with these three amazing children who had lost so much in their young lives. Jake fell into the role of surrogate father so easily and had so much love to offer. There were so many moments between him and the children, individually and collectively, that simply clutched at my heart strings. I loved it!
All in all, Feels Like Summertime is a wonderful romance that is a must read for anyone who likes a low-angst, gushy-sweet love story. I truly do love this author’s writing style. She has yet to let me down as a reader.
…I want her forever. I don’t want her for a moment, or for a short time, or for an experience. I want her always. I want her early morning and her late night. I want her midday and I wand her bedtime. I just want her.
“To me, you feel like summertime. You feel like warm weather and sunny skies. You feel like the occasional storm, but they always pass, and they keep things interesting. You feel like my future. You are my past. You’re my world.”
****An advance reading copy of Feels Like Summertime by Tammy Falkner was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review....more
In Your Dreams is a spin-off book in Ginger Scott’s Falling series. While this book does form part of a series as characters from the 4 "Jump." Stars!
In Your Dreams is a spin-off book in Ginger Scott’s Falling series. While this book does form part of a series as characters from the last book (#3) do appear here, you can certainly read this one as a stand-alone. Although, I do highly recommend reading all the books in this entire series. I am a huge fan of this author and am completely enamored by her style of writing and the beautiful love stories she pens. She is seriously one of the few authors that can get me to read the New Adult genre. This book is yet another example of a story that will touch your heart and make you believe that love does conquer all. It allows one to believe in second chances and also take that leap of faith and follow your dreams.
“My mental list of defects is so long that I forget the old ones to make room for the recent ones.”
We met Casey Coffield in the last book in this series as he’s Houston’s best friend. He’s a lot to take in with his good-looks and over-the-top personality. His family may think that he is nothing but a failure, particularly his father, as he’s stepped away from the structured and more acceptable lifestyle they want him to lead; however, Casey is determined to prove that he has got what it takes to make it in the cut-throat music business. Casey’s father does not believe in following your dreams. Life is all about hard work and providing for your family. Casey wants to show him that you can certainly follow your dreams and be successful as well. He has some mad DJ skills and has recently starting working for a well-known producer. When a video comes to his attention of a girl singing a song about him at a local bar, Casey knows that he has to meet the singer/songwriter. Not only is Casey curious about the song but he can’t help but be captivated by the stunning voice singing the song.
She’s an enigma. She’s beautiful. If my music had a physical form, I think it might just be her.
Murphy Sullivan is reserved, a little shy and is one of those girls that sort of coasted through high school unnoticed, never really leaving a huge mark. She’s overcome a lot and music has served as an important outlet for her. It gave her a voice when she so desperately needed one. Murphy is a wickedly talented singer/songwriter. If only she could fully conquer her fears and reservations and pursue music full force.
Casey and Murphy went to high school together and both had vastly different experiences. One was always in the spotlight while the other was always in the background. While Murphy has many vivid memories about Casey from high school, Casey can’t remember who she is. It extremely awkward when they do come face to face. All Casey knows is that he wants to help make Murphy a star. Murphy is hesitant considering she’s been burned in the past. She’s not easily swayed by the cocky DJ. Maybe the only girl immune to his charms. However, as the pair spend more and more time together the friendship they slowly form begins to get a little blurred as Casey can’t help but realize just how amazing Murphy is and not just when it comes to her singing. And, Murphy starts to see the real Casey. Perhaps he’s not so self-centered after all.
I’m all awkward and flustered, and I hate feeling this way. This chick is like my antidote, only the opposite of an antidote. I guess that makes her my poison. Shit.
Told in dual POVs, this book is definitely a slow burn when it comes to the romance. Casey and Murphy ended up being exactly what the other needed. With Casey’s support, I loved watching Murphy grow into the strength that she carried all along. I also loved seeing how much Casey grew and matured. Murphy made him want to be a better man. He had the patience and perseverance to chisel his way through the highly erected walls that Murphy had up, particularly when it came to him. It really was a journey for both of them, one that Ms. Scott captures so well. My only complaint about this book is that I found that it ended rather abruptly. I would have liked to see more at the end. I am not sure what. I just knew that I needed a little more time with Casey and Murphy.
All in all, In Your Dreams is a beautiful book with writing that is executed impeccably. This is one of those books that touched my heart, made me smile and had me happily sighing. It is what a romance should be. When I read a romance, I want to be transported into a fictional world where anything is possible. Ginger Scott has this innate ability to transport her reader into her book world allowing us to experience and feel right along with her characters. It is beautiful, raw and gripping. I am forever a fan of this author.
****An advance reading copy of In Your Dreams by Ginger Scott was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review....more
Imperfect Harmony by Jay Northcote is a sweet and emotional tale about being brave enough to take that second chance at love. When you have 4.5 Stars!
Imperfect Harmony by Jay Northcote is a sweet and emotional tale about being brave enough to take that second chance at love. When you have experienced a devastating loss that leaves you questioning how you will go on it takes a lot of courage to emerge from a grief-ridden state and open your heart once again to possibilities. There may be a light at the end of your dark tunnel; however, sometimes you need a push in the right direction so you can once again begin to dance to the music.
His grief had long settled into a cold, grey pall that he wrapped around himself to keep the world out. He did miss making music, but he missed so much more than that.
Forty-two year old John Fletcher’s life forever changed when he lost his partner of twenty-two years. His life was filled with love and music and in the blink of an eye, John lost it all. With his partner in his life for so long how could John even fathom experiencing anything further without him by his side? He is lost, stuck in limbo where he has managed to steer clear of anything that reminds him of his former life with his deceased partner. When John’s mother passes away adding to his devastation, he returns to the small town where she was residing. Still grieving the loss of his partner and now his mother, John takes on a substitute teacher position and essentially takes one day at a time.
He was everything John wasn’t – young confident, vibrant, and full of life, and John couldn’t look away.
With a little nudge from his neighbour, John is persuaded to join a local community choir. Music was something he shared with his late partner so John is very reluctant to venture into anything musical. When he meets the choir director, twenty-three year old Rhys Callington, John feels a stirring in his heart (and other areas of his body) that he has not felt since his meeting his beloved husband. He is unable to take his eyes of the vibrant director and it is enough to keep John coming back to the weekly choir rehearsals.
Despite his young age, Rhys has also experienced a tragic loss and returned back to the Cotswold town of Lambury to start fresh and be near his family. Despite the under-riding current of attraction between the pair, there is no way John feels ready for any type of romantic entanglement. Further, there is the age gap between the pair. What would a gorgeous young man even see in John? A tentative friendship forms between the pair which eventually develops into more as they deal with the myriad of emotions they have for one another. Can Rhys be the one that finally makes John see that he once again needs to embrace his love of music and that life is still worth living?
The attraction between the pair becomes too hot to handle so it is only a matter of time before a physical relationship develops. Rhys is such a lovable and vibrant character. He was the one that definitely pushed for more. Despite his hesitations, John could not help but give in and succumb to Rhys’ charms. I loved how Rhys slowly chipped away at all the carefully-placed layers that were guarding John’s heart. John was this complex individual who was dealing with so much emotional turmoil. To the outside world John is this quiet individual who prefers his solitude, but underneath that indifferent façade there is a fragile man too scared to allow anyone in again. The reality of having to possibly lose someone again is too much for John to fathom. As both protagonists begin to spend more time with one another and their relationship deepens, John struggles to make sense of how Rhys makes him feel and what this means for their futures.
This was a tender, sweet and sexy tale as we watch the two men go from a friendship type of situation to something more. Something neither one of them expected when they ventured down the road of harmless flirtation and lust. John certainly had a lot of hang-ups regarding the age difference between him and Rhys and I could understand that. Essentially it all boiled down to whether John was willing to open his heart once again and allow himself to fall in love. Could he trust someone with his heart again? Especially a man who had his whole life ahead of him and was in the process of reaching for his dreams.
All in all, Imperfect Harmony was a poignant tale that touched my heart. What you get is a sweet and emotional second chance love story that shot straight to my heart as the story unfolded. The road to a happy forever for John and Rhys was chalk full of emotional obstacles and turmoil but there is something to be said for having to rise above the hardships to get to that place of unconditional love. We often have to walk through darkness to get to the place of beauty and light. In the end, it is always worth it.
****An advance reading copy of Imperfect Harmony by Jay Northcote was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
“Touching the sky,” I say as if it is so simple. So easy. One day it will be.
Touch the Sky is a contemporary new adult MM romance written by authors Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn. I have read books by both these authors and was very excited to see that they would be working together in this collaboration. There was never any doubt that I would end up loving this one. These authors certainly have what it takes to pen a seriously awesome MM romance. A tale about two young men who find their way back to one another.
Lucas Barnett and Gabriel Stewart met on an online chat room when they were young teens. It was through the exchange of e-mails that the pair became close friends and shared their deepest and darkest secrets with each other. Despite the fact that the boys came from very different backgrounds, they each had to endure their own hardships and they became a lifeline for one another. Lucas and Gabriel had dreams for their futures. Dreams that included each other. The plan was for both of them to move to Hollywood and meet as soon as they were of legal age. Just when they were so close to fulfilling their dream of escaping, Gabriel stopped all communication leaving Lucas feeling abandoned and wondering what exactly happened to his best friend.
A long time ago, my friend had sewed himself into the very fibers of my skin – my heart – and since then, he’s added a few more stitches.
It’s fucking ridiculous, and a waste of time to still think about Gabriel all these years later, I picture him in other guys I see strolling down the street. He was my domino. He knocked me down and disappeared.
Life goes on for our two protagonists. Lucas get in trouble with the law as a teen but eventually finds his way to Hollywood where he is trying to straighten out his life and be the very opposite of what his mother was. Long gone are his dreams of one day designing skyscrapers even though they still remain very much a part of what he thinks about on a daily basis. Gabriel ends up in Hollywood as well. He needed to get away from his parents’ control and begin to live a life simply for him. Five years have passed since Gabriel and Lucas last exchanged e-mails. Both have never forgotten about the other.
When Lucas and Gabriel unexpectedly come face to face, tensions certainly run high. Lucas is still deeply hurt and angry. He doesn’t understand where Gabriel disappeared to. Despite all this, the connection that both men shared as young teens is still there and only amplified by the fact that they are now in each other’s presence. Both Gabriel and Lucas are still dealing with their own personal demons. The fact that they somehow found their way to one another just as they had planned so long ago is certainly profound. However, can they both allow the other to see who they truly are without the smokescreen of the computer screen no longer in their way? As both Gabriel and Lucas struggle to achieve the dreams they once had, is there any room left in their lives for the other?
The book is well written and made me feel. I became wholeheartedly involved in the beautiful imperfection that was Gabriel and Lucas and so wanted them to get the happy forever they had dreamed about. The chance encounter between our two protagonists suddenly thrusts them back into their teen years once again. The feelings, the profound connection…. It’s all still there. Lucas discovers that Gabriel’s life has been anything but sunshine and roses. Suffering from bipolar disorder, Gabriel’s whirlwind of a life is filled with definite highs and lows. Both men are unwilling to walk away and they both decide to give their relationship another try. Can they help each other face their demons head-on or will they be led down a path of destruction that will engulf them both?
While these authors do take on a very touchy and hard-hitting subject such as mental illness, I felt like there was a great balance between the heaviness of the subject and the romance that was between Gabriel and Lucas. Yes, Gabriel was a prisoner to his disorder at times; but, he was also a strong individual who eventually took responsibility and knew exactly what he had to do. This book certainly exemplifies how difficult and painful love can be at times. Both authors did a great job accurately depicting issues that are very real and that can be the uglier side of living with a mental illness. After all, we are all fucked up in one way or another. For some it just happens to be more of an extreme.
All in all, Touch the Sky is a beautifully written book that will certainly touch your heart. I highly recommend this read for all lovers of MM romance.
“That’s my heart right there,” I say, closing each of his fingers into a fist. His eyes snap open and he looks down at his hand. “I give it to you freely. You’re the only one who’s ever had it anyway.” ~Gabriel
****An advance reading copy of Touch The Sky by Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
Pawsitively in Love is a stand-alone MM contemporary romance by M.J. O’Shea. While I did have some issues with how the plot dev 3 “Doggy Loving” Stars!
Pawsitively in Love is a stand-alone MM contemporary romance by M.J. O’Shea. While I did have some issues with how the plot developed, I did enjoy this author’s charming writing style.
Austin Lloyd has worked hard to make his pet salon a success. He may not be the luckiest man when it comes to romance but he is content with his life, friends, family and his cute dog (Maggie). When Evan Partridge and his little puppy (Dexter) walk into his shop (and his life) they don’t necessarily start off on the right foot, especially with the couple of incidents that happen at the pet salon between them. Despite all this, the two men somehow manage to enter into a tentative and fragile friendship. Evan is very clear from the beginning that he is not looking for anything more than friendship as he believes that he does not make a great boyfriend. However, as the men (and their two dogs) spend more and more time together, it is hard to deny the chemistry and the connection between them. Just as things seem to be heading in the right direction for Evan and Austin, a surprise visit from Evan’s sister turns everything inside out. Can Evan somehow come out from under the unending gloom brought on by his family and truly give his relationship with Austin a chance to thrive or will he once again allow his family to dictate how he lives his life?
Ms. O’Shea has written a story with two very endearing protagonists, although Evan could be a real jerk at times. To the outside world Evan has been this standoffish individual who lives a pretty solitary life not really allowing anyone to get close, but underneath that removed façade there is a man with a good heart. His family dynamics have taught him to keep to himself and not get too emotionally invested in anyone so he would rather remain locked up tight with his emotions in check. Austin comes into the picture and essentially turns Evan’s life inside out. As both men begin to spend more time with one another and their friendship deepens into something more, they both seem to be on the same page until Evan’s sister unexpectedly shows up. My frustrations with this book commenced when this occurred. Up until that point I was enjoying the slow building romance between Austin and Evan despite the fact that things moved at a snail’s pace. I did feel a little detached at times but when Evan’s sister came into the picture I felt like this was not the much needed plot device the book seemed to be missing. All Evan’s sister brought to the storyline was a lot of unnecessary frustration and the fact that Evan turned into a spineless individual all of a sudden made things that much worse. It was nice to see this cute love story come to fruition and see just how Evan and Austin finally get their shot at love even though the ending felt very rushed and incomplete.
All in all, Pawsitively in Love was an entertaining read even though it did not blow my socks off.
****An advance reading copy of Pawsitively in Love by M.J. O'Shea was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
“Uh, hate to break it to you.” Jason laughed. “Dax is a dude. One hundred percent hot, gay male. That means you’re into dudes.”
“First of all, quit saying dude. It makes you sound like you’re thirteen,” I scolded him. “Second, I’m still not really into guys. Most of them do nothing for me.
“So it really is a case of him being the special snowflake, huh?” Justin asked.
Never Too Late is a stand-alone MM contemporary romance by author Sloan Johnson. This is a heartwarming story about two men who are linked together by one life-changing incident in their past. I enjoyed reading this tale of love that not only was a slow-burn romance but also featured an adorable little boy that stole the show. It is not always easy to find the courage to finally open up and admit what you are feeling especially when obstacles may stand in your way.
Dax Collins’ life was headed down a dark and dreary path until one accident made him realize that he needed to change his life and begin to make some crucial changes. Now Dax is headed back to the small town of Marshall. This is where the accident occurred. This is where he was saved by a mysterious man. This is where his new job as a kindergarten teacher will commence.
Michael Underwood once had it all – scholarships, acceptance into various medical schools, and a wife and child. One night, one accident changed it all. Ever since Michael held a dying man in his arms after a terrible motorcycle accident he has been consumed by guilt. He’s lost his wife, pushed his closest friends away, works a dead-end job and is barely holding it together enough to take care of his young son. It’s only a matter of time before something will crack.
Dax moves in next door to Michael and his young son, Jagger. Michael does not exactly make the greatest first impression; however, as Dax begins to get to know him he realizes that Michael is a good person and father. He’s just lost and struggling. The two men build a tentative friendship and slowly Michael and Jagger work their way into Dax’s heart. Dax is definitely attracted to Michael but there is no way he’ll make a move on a straight man, especially one that he considers a good friend. When Michael cautiously reveals that he is developing romantic feelings for Michael, the relationship between the two men goes into some unchartered territory. Can they really throw caution to the wind and take a chance on exploring “more” with each other? Is Michael even ready for something like that?
Once our two protagonists reveal how they truly feel about one another the progression of their relationship is natural and sweet. Michael may be having a hard time coming to terms with these new revelations regarding his sexuality and the ramifications these new discoveries would have on his life and his son, but he is certain about how he feels about Dax. Both men want to explore what they share between them. Michael is so inexperienced and I simply loved how supportive Dax was. The pair have a few obstacles to overcome and have a bit to work out and their happy forever is not going to come super easy; however, they both know real when they see it and what they share is worth the fight.
Ms. Johnson has written a story with two very endearing protagonists. I did enjoy this sweet tale despite some minor issues. There were some parts that were a little slow going and some confusion with some of the timeframes. Also, I did feel like some of the drama near the end was a little too contrived and unnecessary especially given how quickly it all came to an end. However, it was nice to see this emotional love story come to fruition and see just how Dax and Michael fit into each other’s lives. It really was a beautiful tale of love. I did love the slow and organic progression of the relationship. Nothing was rushed as the two men gave into the pull between them. They both had this life-altering incident that linked them together, even though they may have not figured it out for a bit. Adding the element of attraction made their blooming romantic love all the more tender and powerful.
All in all, Never Too Late is a sweet and touching novel that I recommend.
****An advance reading copy of Never Too Late by SloanJjohnson was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
When it comes to biker books I will readily admit that I am like a crack whore looking to get that next fix. I am addicted to the MC world. 3.5 Stars!
When it comes to biker books I will readily admit that I am like a crack whore looking to get that next fix. I am addicted to the MC world. Therefore, when given the opportunity to pick up a new MC series, I am all over that shit! Ruthless by Gillian Archer is the first book in her True Brothers MC series. I was excited about this one. This book turned out to be an overall good read.
Twenty-eight year old Jessica Miller has a loving, yet meddling, family and some great friends. She has a decent job working the front desk at Mother Lode Casino and has a pretty safe and satisfying life. So, when her interfering mother sets her up on yet another blind date Jessica goes, albeit begrudgingly. What she does not expect is said blind date to be a huge douche-canoe who attempts to maul her in the parking lot. Jessica also does not expect to be saved by a menacing biker who she can’t help but be intrigued by. Her night takes an unexpected turn at that point.
After a heated night with the sexy biker, thirty-six year old Zag, Jessica disappointingly accepts that it is highly unlikely that she will see him again. It’s for the best, after all. They are from two very different worlds and Jessica is not sure if she could even accept and get involved with the biker MC world. However, one night with each other simply was not enough and the more time Jessica and Zag spend with each other, the deeper they fall. When Jessica witnesses something she should have not seen and her life is threatened, Zag will stop at nothing to protect the woman who has somehow managed to work her way into his heart. He believes that Jessica is too good for him but he just can’t walk away, especially with her in danger. Can Jessica accept all that is Zag and take a walk on the wild side?
This was a sweet romance with an alpha-male biker going after the sweet, yet feisty, heroine. I loved the fact that this hard-edged biker managed to break through when it came to Jessica. Also, Jessica truly saw who Zag was deep down and also pushed her way past his insecurities and defenses. They were both what the other needed. With an ex-brother from the True Brothers making it his mission to go after Jessica and some other unexpected surprises, can our two protagonists find their way to a happy forever or will all that they are working towards go up in flames?
Told in dual POVs, the premise for this book was definitely well thought out and I did enjoy certain elements to the storyline. I felt like this is not a dark, gritty and raw MC book and I was truly ok with that. There is a lot going on plot wise which kept my attention. The focus of the story was definitely the sweet romance between Zag and Jessica. I did enjoy the secondary aspects to the overall story arc and how we get to see just how the True Brothers MC work. You definitely get the sense that these biker men truly are a family who may have some scrupulous morals but are there for their brethren. Ms. Archer does a wonderful job setting the back drop to this MC world and introducing all the characters.
All in all, Ruthless was an enjoyable read and one that I would recommend to anyone lover of biker romances.
****An advance reading copy of Ruthless by Gillian Archer was generously provided to me via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review....more
One to Take is the eighth book in Tia Louise’s One to Hold series. This is also the second book about Stuart and Mariska in this series with O 4 Stars!
One to Take is the eighth book in Tia Louise’s One to Hold series. This is also the second book about Stuart and Mariska in this series with One to Leave being the other book specifically about this couple. I would highly recommend reading the previous book, as well as the other books in the series, in sequential order as the overall story arcs in each of the books are loosely connected. I am a big fan of this series and was definitely excited to see where Tia Louise would take her readers in this book. She definitely did not disappoint.
Stuart Knight, the sexy marine who is now a cowboy, is engaged to the woman of his dreams, Mariska Heron. It may have been a rough and bumpy road for the pair, but they have somehow made it to the other side and are happy and secure in what they share. With Mariska out of school for summer holidays, the pair decide to vacation at Stuart’s family ranch in Great Falls, Montana. This is a place very special to both of them as it was where they connected in the first place. While at the ranch, Stuart and Mariska’s relationship is certainly tested. Will they be able to withstand a new set of obstacles? Will they be open enough with one another as they learn more and more about who they are at their core?
Writing more than one book about the same couple can be a tricky and complex endeavor, particularly when the said couple has already been given a happy ending. And, if I am to be completely honest, I usually stay away from books/series that are set up in this way. I have been disappointed many times when authors decide to take on further books about the same hero/heroine. Tia Louise is an author that has a knack when it comes to revisiting her beloved characters. We get a wonderful story that not only gives the reader further depth into the two protagonists but also provides something new and exciting. This is what we get with Stuart and Mariska and I loved it!
All in all, One to Take was a wonderful addition to this great series with a truly heart-warming epilogue. I truly recommend this series. You will not be disappointed!
Side Note: If you want to see my casting for Stuart and Mariska check out my review for One to Leave:My Review
*****An advance reading copy of One To Take by Tia Louise was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review....more
Nothing could have prepared me for this: feeling like I’m in the right place, with the right person. Like a weight I didn’t even realize had always been pressing down on my chest has suddenly vaporized, leaving me ungrounded, but free.
Alright, Roan Parish!
You have me. I am a complete and utter fangirl!
Our love affair started with your first book, In the Middle of Somewhere. Er…wait….let me rephrase that. How about…. MY love affair with you started …. Better? Anyways, I thought your debut novel was phenomenal and was obviously expecting great things with your second book. I am so glad that you delivered. Gah! My heart is still reeling!
Out of Nowhere is a MM contemporary romance and the second book in Roan Parrish’s Middle of Somewhere series. While this book is about a different couple than in book one, there is some overlap with the time frame in both books. I do recommend reading book one before diving into this one simply because I believe you’d get a greater reading experience by reading these two books in sequential order.
We met thirty-six year old Colin Mulligan in book one as he is the brother of Daniel Mulligan, one of the protagonists in that book. He came across as a complete ass-hat and bully, especially when it came to Daniel’s sexuality and his life choices. Colin’s life is actually quite sad and lonely. He works as a mechanic at the family’s auto shop and spends most of his time putting his body through physical hell to try and escape from his panic attacks and intense fits of rage. The truth of the matter is that Colin is secretly gay. He’s so wrapped up in in ensuring that he will never lose his father’s approval that he’s willing to sacrifice his happiness and, further, he frankly does not care who he hurts when it comes to hiding who he is. Colin is ashamed of who he is, ashamed of the emotionless sexual encounters with faceless and random men. His life seems like it is spiraling out of control with no way to stop the dismal fall. That is, until one day he’s rescued by a dark knight in shining armour.
Thirty-eight year old Rafael Guerrera has a dark past, one where he made copious amounts of mistakes that eventually led to him having to face some serious consequences. He has to live with his past but working with at risk LGBT youth is certainly a way for him to give back to society and somehow make amends for his bad choices. Rafe’s job may be fulfilling; however, it does not leave him much time for a social life or even a little romance. When Rafe meets Colin, there’s something about him that calls to him. He immediately sees that there is more to this self-loathing and self-destructive man and decides that he is worth his time.
Rafe is like a tornado and I meet it with everything I have, until we’re straining together, sweaty and shaking. Until I’m obliterated. Gone.
As Colin and Rafe start to build a somewhat tentative and fragile relationship, there is no denying that what they share is intense and special. It certainly has the power to change the course of their lives forever. But, is what they share enough? When you open your heart to someone it leaves you vulnerable and raw. There can be no secrets and shame if things are going to work. Will Colin and Rafe be able to withstand all the obstacles that are in their path?
At the crux of this entire story and reading experience is Colin himself. This book is told solely from his POV. I truly disliked him for some of the book, maybe even loathed him at times. He was just such an emotional wreck and was always diving head-first into a pool of turmoil and pain. My emotions for Colin mostly culminated around being completely furious at him and also being stunned and saddened at how he chooses to live his life. Usually when I read about broken and despondent characters I always want them to get to their happy place and find love. I certainly wanted this for Colin, especially as we begin to see who he truly is deep inside. I loved the fact that Rafe saw through Colin’s brutish demeanour. He saw that underneath all that gruffness was a good heart.
Despite the fact that Colin does go through a really rough emotional journey of growth and self-discovery, the love story between him and Rafe will leave you sighing and all sappy. I was completely engrossed in the passion and intensity that the two protagonists share. While this book certainly depicts and totally exemplifies how hard and painful love can be at times, Colin and Rafe somehow make it through the cloudiness and despair. They somehow withstand the challenges and are unable to walk away from one another. Was it healthy and beautiful all the time? Hell no. Was it real and achingly raw? Absolutely.
I would remiss if I did not acknowledge the fact that Ms. Parrish does a stellar job accurately depicting issues that are very real. The shame and self-destruction that comes with one’s own sexuality. How important family understanding and acceptance is. Even all the issues that Rafe’s story brings up. Such masterful storytelling! This precise and truthful interpretation is ultimately why I am giving this book 5 stars. While I most definitely disliked Colin at times and all the unpredictability and volatility that came with him, I can no longer state that I don’t understand it. At some point compassion and love needs to come into play and this is where Rafe comes in. His steadfastness, love and support is ultimately what Colin needed in this life.
All in all, Out of Nowhere is such a wonderful addition to this amazing series. Roan Parrish is definitely an author to look at for. This book was such an incredible read that I find myself still thinking about. I highly recommend it!
“Tell me, Colin. Just say it, whatever it is. Say it quick.”
I squeeze my eyes shut and breathe in the smell of his hair. “I think…. I need you.”
***An advance reading copy of Our of Nowhere by Roan Parrish was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
Melanie Hansen is quickly becoming a go-to author for me. Her latest, Love and the Exorcism, is a short Valentine’s Day novella that left me h 4 Stars!
Melanie Hansen is quickly becoming a go-to author for me. Her latest, Love and the Exorcism, is a short Valentine’s Day novella that left me happily sighing and with a huge smile on my face. It is no easy feat to write a novella with a bit of substance, leaving your reader satisfied and not wishing they got more to the story. I’d say Ms. Hansen definitely accomplished this and has penned a sweet and sexy romance about two protagonists who take things to the next level when they both end up attending an anti-Valentine’s Day party.
Against his better judgment, Tom Hannity agrees to attend his friend’s Valentine’s Day “Ex-orcism” party. It is not exactly his idea of a fun night; however, what else is he going to do on the day of love with no boyfriend to speak of. After all, he needs to prove that he is not the boring individual that is ex is proclaiming to whoever will listen. Doesn’t he? When Tom runs into Mario Tellez at the party, his night starts to look up. The hunky Latin landscaper is someone Tom never thought he’d have a shot at but there are certainly reciprocal sparks flying between the two. The night definitely starts off on a great note only to move quickly into the horrendous category. Tom and Mario end up seeing each other at their absolute worst; however, is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Can the two men somehow make it work beyond the bumps in the road and reach for their shot at unconditional love and a future with one another?
This was a cute novella and it had a copious amount of sexy times. So that’s a win in my book! There was something just so endearing about both Tom and Mario that had me rooting for them. There some minor issues and insecurities to work out before taking it any further than hot sex. But, don’t worry this is a short novella and has very little angst. You get a lovely happy forever all presented to you with a pretty bow.
Definitely a feel-good and light-hearted read that you can quickly devour. All in all, Love and the Exorcism was a great holiday read perfect for when you are in the mood for a quick and cozy book that will leave your heart happy, regardless if you are anti-Valentine’s Day or not. ;)
***An advance reading copy of Love and the Exorcism by Melanie Hansen was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
“I don’t know,” Alec replied honestly. “I just know we have to do it.”
Ed nodded. “Me too.”
The Law of Attraction is a stand-alone, contemporary M/M romance by Jay Northcote. This was a sexy, low-angst love story about two strong-willed and driven men who were certainly not expecting each other. What can be hotter than the forbidden? Hmmmm??? Perhaps inappropriate office sexy times. ;)
Alec Rowland is a successful lawyer who is on the fast-track to becoming a partner at one of the largest and more prestigious law firms in London, Baker Wells. One destructive incident in his teens has led Alec to keep his sexuality a secret instead of living his life as a proud gay man. Alec’s life is all about his career so relationships have been put on the back-burner. When he feels like “scratching that itch”, his sexual involvements are all one night stands with men that he picks up at gay bars. This also allows him to keep his personal and professional life distinctly separate. That is…until his latest one night stand walks into his office as the newly hired temp.
Ed Piper is a new lawyer who is determined to make a great impression at his new job. While out with his friends one evening Ed decides to go home with a broody and intriguing man. It’s not usually his style but Ed can’t help but feel a profound connection with the man. After a mind-blowing night, the last thing he expects is to come face to face with his one-night-stand at his new job. To make matters worse, it’s his new boss!
Both Alec and Ed attempt to keep things strictly platonic and professional; however, there’s no denying the sizzling attraction they have for each other. Spending so much time with one another makes it too hard to resist temptation. But, can the two men really make it work? Particularly when Alec is not even out to his family and co-workers and Ed refuses to be a dirty little secret.
I loved how Alec and Ed could not help but to slowly fall into one another - the insecurities, the awkward beginning of encountering the other in an office setting, the desire, the inexplicable passion. It was all there and so realistically done. Alec struggles with all that his heart is telling him when it comes to Ed. He has no idea how to handle this new turn in his life, how he is going to handle the fact that he has finally met someone that makes his want to step out from the dark and live a life where he can be himself. Once our two protagonists reveal how they truly feel about one another the progression of their relationship is natural and sweet despite the uncertainties. Ed is certain about the fact that he wants Alec to be a big part of his present and his future but he is unwilling to have a relationship in the closet. The pair have a few obstacles to overcome and have a bit to work out and their happy forever is not going to come super easy; however, they both know real when they see it and what they share is worth the fight.
I really did enjoy reading The Law of Attraction. It is a sweet novel about embracing who you are and facing the obstacles that may stand in your way head on. Let’s face it, how many of us start lasting relationships effortlessly and flawlessly? Alec and Ed certainly didn’t. Anything real and worth it is always going to be messy, mistakes will be made and the awkwardness is simply part of it all. When I finished the book I had a huge smile on my face. This was a wonderful, character-driven romance, a book that left me happily sighing by the end. Plus, is was hot! Bonus!!
***An advance reading copy of The Law of Attraction by Jay Northcote was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
Edge of Temptation by Megan Crane is the second book in the dystopian series entitled The Edge. I really enjoyed the first book in this series 4 Stars!
Edge of Temptation by Megan Crane is the second book in the dystopian series entitled The Edge. I really enjoyed the first book in this series so picking this one up was a no-brainer for me. Once again this author has penned a winner and I loved being taken into the unique, depraved, raw and morally questionable world she has created.
I would highly recommend reading the first book in the series before diving into this one as you will get a better sense of the overall story arc. After the Storms that took place over one hundred years ago, the world as we know it ceased to exist. With much of the land destroyed, it is now a world where people will do anything to survive. Gunnar is a powerful raider, part of a group of vicious men who abide by no laws and live very differently from the rest of the remaining population. Even though he does not have complete faith that this will work, he is on the hunt for a virgin to use in a spell to bring back his dead mate, Audra. When he encounters Maud, a young woman who has escaped from the nunnery where she has been a submissive slave since age eleven, he can’t help but be drawn to the beautiful woman. However, despite the attraction, Gunnar wants to go ahead with sacrificing Maud (who is a virgin) in order to bring back his lost mate. As Gunnar and Maud continue to passionately collide, will he somehow realize the truth about Audra and reach for what he can share with Maud? Gunnar brings out all of Maud’s submissive tendencies and she can’t help but fall prey to his dominance and control. Is all this a recipe for disaster or can Gunnar and Maud carve out a little happiness in the desolate world they live in?
I am a huge dystopian fan so to have this author pen an engrossing tale with the added bonus of copious amounts of sexy alpha-males AND some serious filthy sexy times….well, now…. that’s just a win-win situation in my books. For those readers who are not necessarily into reading the dystopian genre, I would still suggest giving this series a go. I did not find anything too overly complicated. As the story progressed and we are provided with a more complete picture of the overall story arc, it became easier and easier to make sense of this imaginative, rich and vivid world and immerse myself in the tale this author was weaving.
I absolutely loved our two protagonists, Gunnar and Maud, even though I wanted to throat-punch Gunnar quite a few times. Ok, maybe more than a few times. They both cannot help but succumb to the overwhelming and profound connection they had for each other. Their passion was real and raw in the midst of such uncertainty and danger. Gunnar was this wicked and lustful force to be reckoned with and he was definitely an ass-hat of epic proportions to begin with. Despite his insatiable needs and dangerous lifestyle, when Maud comes into his life he is completely taken aback and enthralled. This book may have hand numerous action-packed sequences but there is no refuting that the romance was passion-filled.
This book is as intense as it is dirty and that is what made is so much fun to read. Right from the start I was swept away into this fast-paced and electric ride, enjoying all the twists and turns that came at me. Edge of Temptation was a wonderful addition to this gritty series and I continue to be intrigued and am looking forward to more!
****An advance reading copy of Edge of Temptation by Megan Crane was generously provided to me via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Wild Aces is the latest stand-alone erotic novel by author Marni Mann. I have been a fan of this author for quite some time now and absolute 4.5 Stars!
Wild Aces is the latest stand-alone erotic novel by author Marni Mann. I have been a fan of this author for quite some time now and absolutely love her intense and passionate writing style. With each subsequent book release I feel like Ms. Mann only gets better and better as she delivers powerful romances full of intrigue, lust and sensual delights. What we get here is yet another wonderfully-written and multi-layered story that had me hooked right from the start! This author knows what she is doing when it comes to erotic intrigue so when you pick this one up I suggest you hang on for the sexy, dirty hot ride.
We meet Brea Bradley in Ms. Mann’s serial novella series entitled Unblocked. She’s the mysterious employee and best friend of the heroine in that series. Do not hesitate to dive into this book even if you have not read the series (although, I do highly recommend it). This is definitely a stand-alone book and the overall story arc stands on its own two feet. Brea has worked hard to amount the professional success that she has and now forms part of a powerful real estate duo with her best friend, Frankie. She is now part owner of a successful company and doesn’t really have much of a life outside of her professional one. Watching her business partner and friend find love has made Brea restless, seeking out something that will fill that hungry void that has been missing from her life ever since her losing her boyfriend a few years ago.
Enter the mysterious and enigmatic Trapper Montgomery, a man she meets at a private masquerade party hosted by her best friend and her husband. The lust-filled attraction is immediate despite the fact that Brea and Trapper are unable to see each other’s faces. The need is all-consuming. Both can’t quite comprehend, nor can they walk away from, the powerful connection they share. With Trapper leaving for Las Vegas, their next face to face meeting (without masks) must wait. However, that does not stop our duo from exchanging sexy texts and having some heated telephone calls. When Trapper and Brea finally get the chance to see each other without masks for the first time, neither are prepared for what is about to be revealed.
So begins the complicated journey that Brea and Trapper can’t help but embark on. Neither truly know or understand what they are getting into and I absolutely loved the element of mystery that kept me reading and quickly turning the pages. There is more than meets the eye to our gritty and intense, tattooed hero. Once again I have fallen head-over-heels for another literary hero as Ms. Mann has concocted. This book touches on some hard-hitting and harsh subject matter; however, this author has managed to intertwine this with a passionate love story and balance it out with by adding a little mystery into the mix. Brea and Trapper certainly have a great number of obstacles to overcome before they can reach for their happy forever. Will these two emotionally vulnerable and broken individuals be able to fight their way together or it all tear them apart?
One of the things I loved about this book was catching up with Frankie and Derek (from the Unblocked serial novella series) and all their antics. It was nice to see just how much their relationship has progressed.
All in all, Wild Aces is a fantastic, fast-paced and seriously novel by Marni Mann. The writing is wonderful as Ms. Mann takes us on a whimsical ride of emotion, passion, lust, desire and new beginnings. I continue to be a huge fan of this author and can’t wait for more from her!
****An advance reading copy of Wild Aces by Marni Mann was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review....more
The Stolen Suitor be Eli Easton is a quirky contemporary M/M romance. I want to preface this review by indicating that I have loved the books 3 Stars!
The Stolen Suitor be Eli Easton is a quirky contemporary M/M romance. I want to preface this review by indicating that I have loved the books written by this author that I have read in the past. Ms. Easton has a penchant for writing sweet, unique and hilarious books that always leave me happily sighing. While this story is certainly engaging and fun, it did fall a little short for me.
So what is this book about? This story takes place in the small town of Clyde’s Corner, Montana, a place with its share of eccentric inhabitants. Trix Stubben is a young widow who is the heir to the wealthiest ranch in and around Clyde’s Corner. A ranch that some individuals want to get their hands on. Namely, Mabe Crassen is the culprit here. She is determined to see her son, Eric, marry Trix so that she can get her dirty little paws on the successful ranch. There is one problem though. Trix is supposedly dating Chris Ramsey, a young man who she has been friends with for quite some time and whose family owns the main source of groceries in town (Clyde’s Corner Mercantile). Further, it is rumoured that Chris is about ready to pop that magical question that would tie him to Trix indefinitely. Mabe is a stubborn woman though and has come up with a plan. You see, Mabe knows that Chris swings both ways so her plan involves her youngest son, Jeremy Crassen, seducing and then outing Chris while Eric moves in and works his magic with Trix.
So many things can go wrong here, right?
Jeremy hates his mother’s asinine plan but he feels like he has no choice but to give in to her demands. He wants to get out of Clyde’s Corner and seducing Chris is his ticket out of the small town. How will Jeremy accomplish his task when Chris is determined to marry the young widow?
I had a really hard time liking the characters in this novel, and that includes both the main protagonists. Jeremy’s reasons for following along with his mother’s crazy plan were a little selfish in my opinion. It made me dislike him right from the start to be honest. I am unsure if he ever won me over after that. Then there is Chris. He eventually gives into Jeremy’s advances even though he is engaged to a woman. I realize that he was marrying Trix more out of obligation, but that still was not right. I guess where I am going with all this is the fact that I may have been one over a little easier by both protagonists if they were given more time together. With the multiple POVs and the secondary romance between Trix and Eric, I feel like the romance between Jeremy and Chris fell a little short.
All in all, The Stolen Suitor was an enjoyable read despite my issues with it. This is a low-angst, sugary romance where you get handed a nice HEA wrapped up with a pretty bow. Nothing wrong with that! I really love Eli Easton’s writing style and her original humour. I just wish I ended up liking this one more than I did. However, I am certainly looking forward to more by this author.
***An advance reading copy of The Stolen Suitor by Eli Easton was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
Happy Birthday is a stand-alone short novella by B.D. Roca. A quick and intense read about a biker with a death wish and the man he is trying to save.
After witnessing a murder, Jake Rushman is on the run and trying to evade his imminent death at the hands of the Bastard Legion MC. Nick is the club enforcer who has been charged with eliminating the “problem”. In other words, Nick is supposed to get rid of the witness that can land the biker club in a whole lot of hot water. However, Nick is done with the biker way of life that he had no choice but fall into at a very young age. Nick plans to walk a difficult path to redemption, one where saving Jake will be the last thing he ever does. When Jake and Nick come face to face, neither one expects a profound connection to develop. Neither one expects to fall in love.
This is a very quick read and there is a lot going on. While I did like the style of writing and the overall story arc, I did have some issues with its execution. I do realize that this is a novella and things between our two protagonists are supposed to move at a faster pace due to the length of the story. However, I wish the author would have developed the characters a little more, particularly Nick’s character. Nick goes from this individual who is simply done with life to someone who has hope, possibly for the first time in his life. I would have liked to see the author dive a little deeper. She certainly has talent as a writer and I feel like I would have connected with both Jake and Nick a little more had I been given more story. We do get a very decent story with a few sizzling hot stolen moments amidst all the chaos. And, I must say, those scenes were not only passion-filled and sexy but they were also a lot of fun to read.
All in all, Happy Birthday was an enjoyable read by B.D. Roca. This is not an overly long novella so if you are looking for something with little angst, is fun and a fairly easy read, this would be worth picking up.
***An advance reading copy of Happy Birthday by B.D. Roca was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
“So the dragonfly saves the frog,” he whispered. Staring into the darkness, he added, “You know, Charlie, some might call that an abominatio
“So the dragonfly saves the frog,” he whispered. Staring into the darkness, he added, “You know, Charlie, some might call that an abomination. When the frog eats you alive, what will you do, little bug?”
…. “Fly away, I suppose,” I finally said.
Progress by Amalie Silver is the first book a new series. I decided to request this book on NetGalley for a couple of reasons. One, I have never read a book by this author and really wanted to give her writing a go. Two, the synopsis intrigued me. I also went into this book not knowing that there would be a sequel.
This is a very gut-wrenching story that was a little hard to read at times. It’s a book about two broken individuals, both damaged for very different reasons. Twenty-two year old Charlie Johnson is a hostess with a plethora of issues related to the fact that she is overweight. Twenty-five year old Jesse Anders is a delivery driver with his own personal truck-load of issues. The pair meet at the Crimson Cellar, a local restaurant that they both work at. Charlie has a crush on Jesse, or at least she is intrigued by the mysterious playboy who seems to go after all the under-aged girls. When Jesse begins talking to her and paying her a little bit of attention, a strange and very toxic relationship develops between the two.
Throughout the story, which slowly plays out in the course of one year, Charlie loses a whole bunch of weight and goes on this journey of self-discovery. Jesse is there every step of the way and their relationship seems to get even more dysfunctional as time progresses. Jesse is a cruel jerk and does not hold back his “charms” when it comes to Charlie. There were many times where his degrading insults that were directed at Charlie were hard to take. Despite the fact that there were many time breaks where our two protagonists did not speak to one another, they seem to always fall back on whatever it is that is growing between them.
This was a very depressing story and I really did have some issues with how it all played out. To me, Charlie lost her weight for all the wrong reasons and in all the wrong ways. This was not a healthy journey where she is determined to change for herself and become a stronger person. Nope. She loses weight for a guy and somehow finds her self-worth in this. Further, I do understand that Jesse was dealing with some very serious mental health issues; however, that in no way excuses the fact that he is such a deplorable human!!! Sheesh! The back and forth between Charlie and Jesse was really bothersome and I almost quit reading so many times. I hated the amount of times Charlie forgives Jesse. I wish she would have had enough self-worth to realize that no one deserves to be treated in that manner. I hated the ending and did lose all the remaining respect I had for Charlie at that point. Yes, I understand that the author is trying to make a point with this story and I am certain that this angst-filled journey will progress in the next book. I just felt like there were so many things wrong with the direction that the entire storyline took.
All in all, I think that Progress was simply not the book for me. Do not get me wrong, Ms. Silver is a talented writer. I just think that this book was too frustrating of a read and it delved into some very serious issues in a manner that I did not find all that appropriate. This is just my two cents. If you are intrigued by this book, I say give it a go and formulate your own opinion. Charlie and Jesse’s story will continue in Progress: Interrupted. I do not think I will be reading the continuation.
***An advance reading copy of Progress by Amalie Silver was generously provided to me via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review....more
Us is a collaboration by authors Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy and is the sequel to their book Him. I must admit that I am not the biggest fan of when authors extend the story about the same characters beyond one book. The subsequent book (or books) usually end up having a lot of unnecessary drama. While I did end up enjoying the first book a little more than this one I do think that both authors have managed to create a sweet and sexy continuing story about two best friends turned lovers. I could not help but get wrapped up in this enchanting tale and see how things would work out between our two protagonists who had just begun their journey down the rocky road of love.
This sequel starts off shortly after book one ends. Jamie Canning and Ryan Wesley are now living together in Toronto. Wes is having a successful rookie season in the NHL and Jamie is employed coaching hockey. Despite the fact that both men are very much together and very in love, they have decided to keep their relationship under wraps until Wes’ rookie season is over and he has proved himself on the team. While Jamie does understand the reason for keeping their relationship in the closet, it is nonetheless difficult to keep what he shares with Wes a well-guarded secret. Add in the stresses that come from both men traveling a lot, not being able to go out as a couple and also having one of Wes’ teammates move into the same building where they live and… well…. things are getting hard for Wes and Jamie.
This story is told in alternating POVs and both Jamie and Wes continue to be such endearing characters. The simplicity of what they feel for one another is so beautiful and raw. However, even with such a strong connection and feelings for each other, can both men handle the hardships that come with keeping their relationship a secret? And, when their lies begin to unravel can Wes and Jamie survive and make it through to the other side?
I really did enjoy diving right back into Jamie and Wes’ story. Their love for one another is so apparent and it really did transcend off the pages. Plus, you once again copious amounts of sexy times that will definitely leave you fanning all your special parts! With all this being said there was some added drama and plot devices that I did not think were necessary. However, that is just my simple opinion. Did this book work for me? Absolutely. Was a sequel absolutely necessary? I am still on the fence about that one.
All in all, Us was a beautifully written story that was steamy, fun and tender-hearted. With two captivating protagonists that captured my heart right from their initial introduction in the first book, how could I not fall in love with their love story? I definitely recommend this duet of books!
****An advance reading copy of Us (Him #2) by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
Love Me Tenor is the second book in Annabeth Albert’s series entitled Perfect Harmony. I am a huge fan of this author and definitely love her quirky writing style. Her books tell fun and heart-warming stories that leave you happily sighing in romance lala land – my favorite place to be. This book was no exception from her norm. From the first page I was hooked and wanted to see just how things would play out between the two very opposite singers who are suddenly having to play the role of “cute boyfriends” on a reality show.
We met Trevor Daniels in book one in this series as a secondary character. He was one of the singers in the acapella reality show that hailed from the conservative college in Iowa called Mount Monticello. When the acapella singing competition comes to an end, Trevor discovers that he has nowhere to go particularly since his family has disowned him for coming out as gay. When the opportunity arises for him to be on another reality show, this one aimed at finding the next big boy-band, Trevor reluctantly accepts and heads to Vancouver where the show will be taped. He’s now had some experience in the “reality tv” world so how hard can this be, right? What he does not expect is that the producers expect him to act like he is in a loving relationship with one of the other members of his group, a sexy jock that reminds him of his dirtiest secrets in college.
Jalen Smith has agreed to come to Vancouver and be a part of the “boy band” reality show as a favor to his foster sister. He loves to sing so being on the show won’t be too much of a hardship. That is, until he discovers that the producers have decided to give each group a brand and his group will be all about “cute guys in love”. Yup. That’s right. Jalen is paired up with the judgmental one of the group who somehow can’t believe that Jalen is gay. He can’t disappoint his sister so he’s about to make Trevor his “boo”.
Jalen and Trevor certainly do not start off on the right foot but with the pair sharing close quarters, the attraction between them eventually becomes too hot to handle. When the lines begin to blur between our two protagonists it is hard to tell if how they are with one another is all for the show or if something real is truly developing. It does not help matters that Trevor’s sexuality is wrapped up in so much shame and self-loathing. Will he even be able to move past his inner demons and allow the tentative relationship to grow some wings and fly?
I loved how different both guys were. Despite their obvious dissimilarities, they just seemed to work. Trevor is this lovable guy who really does not see just how amazing he is and all that he has to offer. He may not realize it at first but Trevor needed to break free from the choke-hold of self-loathing that his conservative family imprinted on his psyche. He has no idea just how much he needs someone like Jalen in his life, not until the sexy jock saunters into his atmosphere. Trevor goes through quite a journey when it comes to how he feels about himself and his sexuality. Yes, he was frustrating at times simply because you just wanted to shake him out of the despondent stupors of abhorrence with himself and his actions. However, there are many others like him. We are often defined by how we are raised and stepping away from that is not something that happens easily.
I absolutely LOVED Jalen. Holy crap! He was so understanding, patient and loving towards Trevor. He did have his own struggles but that did not stop him from being exactly what Trevor needed. Gah! He was just so sweet!
This was a tender, sweet and sexy tale as we watch the two men go from an antagonistic type of situation to something more. Something neither one of them expected when they ventured down the road of harmless flirtation and lust.
All in all, Love Me Tenor was a wonderful addition to this series. I love how real and different the characters this author creates seem to be. Trevor and Jalen were no exception. They had their flaws but in the end all that matters is finding someone who accepts you, the good and the bad. Someone who wants you to fulfill your dreams and perhaps make some new ones with you. This is definitely a series to check out for lovers of the M/M genre.
On another note, the little tease about the next book has me salivating. I absolutely cannot wait for Michelin’s book!!!!!
****An advance reading copy of Love Me Tenor by Annabeth Albert was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
“A hundred years ago, or so the stories went, the great Storms came over the course of a few tumultuous decades and kicked the world’s ass.
“A hundred years ago, or so the stories went, the great Storms came over the course of a few tumultuous decades and kicked the world’s ass. Cities fell. Seas rose. People died.”
Edge of Obsession by Megan Crane is a stand-alone, gritty, dystopian book. This is also the first time I have read anything by this author. Jumping into a novel from an unknown author is always somewhat of a risk, a crap-shoot if you will. You never know if you will be pleasantly surprised or find yourself in the land of the abysmally awful. I am happy to report that I did enjoy reading this book and being taken into the unique, depraved, raw and morally questionable world this author has created.
After the Storms that took place over one hundred years ago, the world as we know it ceased to exist. With much of the land destroyed, it is now a world where people will do anything to survive. Tyr is a powerful raider, part of a group of vicious men who abide by no laws and live very differently from the rest of the remaining population. Tyr lives for his clan and this is where his loyalty lies. When he encounters Helena, a beautiful and feisty prisoner, during one of their raids, he can’t help but be drawn to the spirited woman. However, appearances aren’t always what they seem. Helena is not one of the usual compliant prisoners he is used to encountering. She may just be the key to leading Tyr to his sworn enemy, someone he is desperate to kill. Helena has her own agenda and secrets, one she must fulfill before winter is upon them again and she is thrust into another “marriage” for breeding purposes. She may be attracted to the over-bearing Viking; however, nothing can stop her from continuing what her deceased parents were attempting to do.
I am a huge dystopian fan so to have this author pen an engrossing tale with the added bonus of copious amounts of sexy alpha-males AND some serious filthy sexy times….well, now…. that’s just a win-win situation in my books. For those readers who are not necessarily into reading the dystopian genre, I would still suggest giving this one a go. I did not find anything too overly complicated. As the story progressed and we are provided with a more complete picture of the overall story arc, it became easier and easier to make sense of this imaginative, rich and vivid world and immerse myself in the tale this author was weaving.
I absolutely loved our two protagonists, Tyr and Helena. They both cannot help but succumb to the overwhelming and profound connection they had for each other. Their passion was real and raw in the midst of such uncertainty and danger. Tyr was this wicked and lustful force to be reckoned with and he was definitely an ass-hat of epic proportions to begin with. Despite his insatiable needs and dangerous lifestyle, when Helena comes into his life he would do anything for her, protect her until his last dying breath. This book may have hand numerous action-packed sequences but there is no refuting that the romance was passion-filled.
This book is intense and that is what made is so much fun to read. Right from the start I was swept away into this fast-paced and electric ride, enjoying all the twists and turns that came at me. While Edge of Obsession can certainly be read as a stand-alone I do think this author left it open to continue this series. I am definitely intrigued and would love to have more!
“I have never had a person who is mine alone. I never thought I would.”
“Now you do,” she promised him. “And you always will.”
****An advance reading copy of Edge of Obsession by Megan Crane was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review....more