It has been a while since I have read a book by Annabelle Jacobs. Therefore, discovering that her next book was not only a paranormal shifter 4 Stars!
It has been a while since I have read a book by Annabelle Jacobs. Therefore, discovering that her next book was not only a paranormal shifter book, but also a MM romance, was certainly a gleeful moment for me. Yay! Bitten By Mistake is a fast-paced, fun and sexy story that had me engrossed right from the start. What happens when a mistake brings an over-confident shifter and a jilted anti-shifter together? Both men discover that some things are simply not that easy to control.
Nathan Kohl is a wolf shifter who is loyal to his pack. He’s got a bit of a lothario reputation and has no interest in finding Mr. Right and forming a bond. Nathan has no issues enticing humans into his bed and that’s the way he prefers it. Forming a permanent bond with a human is not a likely scenario so Nathan plays it safe when it comes to his choice in lovers. Jared Taylor is a human who isn’t exactly looking to become another notch on a shifter’s bed post. After a bad experience with a shifter, Jared vowed to stay away from all shifters. When Nathan approaches Jared at a bar, he’s given the good ole brush-off. Little do both men know that their paths would soon cross again in a way that leaves both of them in hot water.
When circumstances bring Nathan and Jared together, so begins an antagonistic game of cat and mouse between the domineering shifter and the resistant human. Both men are forced to spend the better part an entire month together and in doing so quickly progress from enemies to lovers. Jared and Nathan are unable to ignore the powerful forcing pulling them towards each other. But, is what they are both feeling and experiencing real or will it disappear when their time together comes to an end? Throw in some trouble with rogue shifters and a rival pack and matters quickly get even more complicated.
Watching Nathan and Jared go from a hostile and antagonistic relationship to one where powerful feelings that neither man can ignore begin to blossom was essentially what made this book for me. Our two protagonists certainly have a few obstacles to overcome. Both are completely derailed by this turn of events and are hesitant to get in too deep with each other as they realize there is a lot at risk. It takes more that lust and inexplicable physical attraction to build a lasting relationship especially when so much can go 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 just may be the best thing they ever did.
There is also no shortage of some down and dirty sexy times. It made things interesting and HAWT, HAWT, HAWT!!!!! I love the passionate and heated moments between Jared and Nathan. Seriously, read this one with caution. As a matter of fact, have a fan handy. ;)
All in all, Bitten By Mistake was an enjoyable MM paranormal read. Ms. Jacobs has penned a very intriguing shifter romance giving us enough world building information without it becoming too cumbersome. She hints at a potential love story between two secondary characters so I am hoping that she will continue on in this world and this will become a series. Recommended read.
****An advance reading copy of Bitten By Mistake by Annabelle Jacobs was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
The Hard Count is the latest stand-alone book by author Ginger Scott in the young adult genre. I am a huge fan of this author and am complet 4.5 Stars!
The Hard Count is the latest stand-alone book by author Ginger Scott in the young adult genre. 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/Young Adult genres. 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 the purity and goodness in life and how it has the power to conquer.
I am not going to go into an in depth synopsis of this book. Honestly, this story is some much more than that. What Ms. Scott has penned here is a beautifully intricately forbidden love story interwoven with a passionate and descriptive look at high school football. It’s about a young man who overcomes the hand he’s been dealt with and steps into a quarterback position at a private school. Facing a copious amount of obstacles, love was never supposed to be part of this picture. In the face of adversity, and as love blossoms, our two protagonists discover when you simply believe.
All in all, The Hard Count is definitely one of my favorite books written by Ms. Scott. However, take this with a grain of salt as I have honestly loved everything she has written. Her writing as grown exponentially since I first started reading her wonderful romances. What an inspirational and captivating book about a hero with steely determination and an equally strong heroine who learn that nothing is fiercer than the power of love. Highly recommended read.
****An advance reading copy of The Hard Count by Ginger Scott was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review....more
“Just a boy loving a boy and wanting everything with him.”
The Hardest Fall is book three in Christina Lee’s Roadmap to Your He 4 “Dark Eyes” Stars!
“Just a boy loving a boy and wanting everything with him.”
The Hardest Fall is book three in Christina Lee’s Roadmap to Your Heart series. While this book is part of a series, it can certainly be read as a stand-alone. It’s a book that I truly enjoyed reading. This author has proven to me that she can write some seriously wonderful M/M contemporary romance. In my personal opinion, I think that Ms. Lee once again did a great job penning a low-angst and tender-hearted tale about two very opposite men who find their sizzling connection too hard to ignore.
Sebastian Clark is not sure why he keeps showing up at Ruby Redd’s Bar and Grille, a West Village Bar in New York where the main attraction is the drag queens shows. However, he’s a man with a reason to be there even though the lines are getting a little blurred with his fascination with Frieda Love, one of the talented drag queen’s that performs at the bar. Frieda Love is the reason he ventured into Ruby Redd’s in the first place. Sebastian just has to find the courage to actually carry out his plan.
Tate Sullivan is as beautiful as he is vivacious. He is who he is and makes no apologies for it. Tate left New York after a bad break up, but now he is back trying to reclaim his life once again. And, there’s no better way to do that then to transform into his alter ego, Frieda Love. Tate is all about the make-up, wardrobe and flash; however, underneath all that brazen beauty is a boy who is hiding.
Tate is certainly curious about the gorgeous dark-eyed man that keep regularly attending his shows and burning a hole right through him with his intense stare. The curiosity is reciprocated and Sebastian is just as intrigued by the charismatic drag queen who is also a stunning man when the stilettos come off. The pair travel down the rocky path of interest but it does not take long for both men to go from tentative friends to wanting to give in in to their lust-fueled fantasies. Pretty soon the stolen kisses shared between our two protagonists and the sizzling hot passion building between them has Sebastian wishing for things he knows he has never imagined. Sebastian is as equally captivated by the brash Frieda Love as he is the vibrant Tate. The men connect on a level that transcends anything they have known before. Tate and Sebastian are from two very different worlds? Furthermore, there’s a deep, dark secret hanging between them that can threaten the fragile bond that is developing. Will it all be ripped away from them before they even have a chance to truly get started?
I absolutely loved the slow and hard fall that both Tate and Sebastian take with one another. I loved how Sebastian appreciated Tate the man but also loved Tate as Frieda Love, essentially accepting all the parts that made Tate who he is. Tate was a bundle of contradictions and insecurities and had a hard time fully giving himself away. Sebastian chipped away at his armor, piece by piece.Finding their way may not have been an easy venture for either one of them; however, our protagonists discover that what matters in life is often what we have to fight the hardest to obtain. Watching two very different men open up and become utterly vulnerable with one another was beyond beautiful. The wonder and passion of their relationship was explosive as both deal with their insecurities and inner turmoil regarding their profound connection. I loved watching their feelings grow for one another. Both men fell hard and needed to come to a conclusion as to whether they could actually make it work.
The sex in this book was hot, raw, sweaty and erotically passionate. After all, Sebastian has a lot to learn about gay sex and Tate is oh so willing to teach him. When they finally give in to the escalating tension between them... HOT DAMN! Pair these two together you most definitely get fire-inducing sex that would leave anyone with a pulse panting. You get rough, dirty, and passionately scorching sex! The dirty perv in me loved every minute of it. Lol!
All in all, this author has delivered a sweet love story that also managed to keep me intrigued as I rooted for our two sexy protagonists. As they begin to discover one another and explore what they could share, you could unquestionably feel the palpable and profound bond they shared. The Hardest Fall turned out to be an enjoyable read. I can’t wait for more in this series!
****An advance reading copy of The Hardest Fall by Christina Lee was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
Beautifully Decadent by L.A. Fiore is the third book in her Beautifully Damaged series. I have been a fan of this series since its onset. I
Beautifully Decadent by L.A. Fiore is the third book in her Beautifully Damaged series. I have been a fan of this series since its onset. I simply connect with this author’s style of writing and the witty and passionate romances that she pens. This third installment turned out to be my favorite in the series so far. I loved watching our hero meet his match and fall head-over-heels for a sweet pastry chef with a heart of gold.
Rafe McKenzie is a character that has been present in this series since the very first book, Ember and Trace’s love story. He’s certainly intrigued me right from the beginning and rightfully so as we discover more about his past in this book. When Trace asks him to rent out space in his restored carriage house to his new pastry chef, Rafe is willing as he’s been wanting to rent out the space. What he does not expect is said pastry chef to be a beautiful, witty and charming young woman who captivates him from the moment she pulls up to his home. Avery Collins may not be who he was expecting; however, Rafe can’t help but want Avery to become a part of his world.
As our two protagonists spend time in each other’s presence the guarded walls Rafe has hidden behind slowly begin to crumble. Avery has this way about her that puts Rafe at ease and making him laugh. I loved how she effortlessly broke through all his defenses. What they begin to feel for one another is something tangible and real, something that neither one of them can deny. Can they find their way to a happy forever even with Rafe’s past threatening to take it all away?
I found this book to be a little lighter on the mystery and suspense that it’s two predecessors. I absolutely loved this as more time was spend on the beautiful romance building between Rafe and Avery. Sure, there was some suspense and Rafe and Avery were truly put through the ringer. To me, it all somehow managed to cement their relationship and love and fight for a happy forever.
Another pleasant surprise about this book was the fact that we get more of Trace and Ember as well as Darcy and Lucien, the two couples from the previous books. They play a significant role in this tale and it was simply wonderful to catch up with four characters and get more to their story.
All in all, Beautifully Decadent was a wonderful third book to this series. I am not sure what L.A. Fiore has planned in the future for this series but I will definitely be picking up whatever she writes.
****An advance reading copy of Beautifully Decadent by L.A. Fiore was generously provided to me via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review....more
A Second Harvest is the first book in Eli Easton’s new series entitled Men of Lancaster County. I am a huge fan of this author. It is no sec 4.5 Stars!
A Second Harvest is the first book in Eli Easton’s new series entitled Men of Lancaster County. I am a huge fan of this author. It is no secret that I have become a fan of this author with her fun and heart-warming books that leave you clenching your heart, laughing out loud, and happily sighing. This story was no exception. From the first page I was hooked and wanted to see just how things would play out between our two protagonists who are so vastly different and yet find something special with each other.
Christie Landon is a successful graphic designer from Manhattan. He’s a thirty year old gay man who has not really moved past the “party hard” stage of life. When his best friend experiences a close call with drugs, Christie knows that it is time to re-evaluate his life. He decides to take some time away and visit the house he’s inherited from his deceased aunt located in a small farming community in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Time away from New York will do Christie some good and will also give him the opportunity to take it easy for a while and reflect.
Soon after moving into his new home, Christie meets his new sexy neighbour. Forty-one year old David Fisher has lived his whole life in the small farming community and it is all he knows. He was born into a deeply religious Mennonite family and has always lived by everyone else’s rules. David lives his life all alone, running his farm, pretty much doing the same thing day in and day out. His children are both in college and his wife is deceased. His sad existence is something that David reflects on, somewhat awaiting the end of his days. There is no joy in David’s life and he has somehow come to accept this as status quo.
Christie and David soon strike up a tentative friendship when Christie offers to cook meals in exchange for shared grocery expenses. The two men soon find themselves actually eating with one another and getting to know each other. Yes, they are vastly different but there is no denying the spark that begins to blossom. But, David is a straight religious man whose entire belief system goes against what he is feeling towards Christie. Or, is this truly the case? And, can Christie finally risk his heart for the first time to a man that is so wrapped up in a religious community that stands against the potential love they could share?
This was a beautiful love story. I absolutely loved how David and Christie started off as friends and their feelings developed slowly and organically from there. They truly enjoyed spending time with each other. The inner struggle that David goes through trying to step away from the stranglehold his family and community had on him was so well written. His journey was amazing to watch as he grows into a man that finally begins to live for himself. Both Christie and David choose love… and they have to fight for it. Nothing short of heart-wrenching goodness.
All in all, A Second Harvest is a wonderful start to what looks like a very promising series. I love how this book was so much more than a simple love story. It was about to men finding their way, not only to love but also finding their way to a better life for themselves. It’s about embracing that second chance. Eli Easton sure hit one out of the ball park with this one. I can’t wait for more. I have such high hopes for this series!!!!!
“You’re the end that matters. Because I’m all in.”
****An advance reading copy of A Second Harvest by Eli Easton was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
You know those books that sort of envelope you, making you feel all squishy and all wrapped up in a warm hug? Well, Practice Makes Perfect by Jay Northcote was one of those books for me. It was funny, charming and sweet with a little dirty sexy thrown in for good measure. I loved watching our two protagonists discovering just how wonderful it is when practice leads to sweet perfection.
Devrim Karadere (a.k.a. Dev) is a quirky, first year physics student who is determined to finally gain some sexual experience. After a disastrous experience with some homophobic ass-hats in his old dorm, Dev moved into a more LGBT-friendly place with different housemates. With his living situation all sorted, Dev is ready to tackle this whole “virgin” situation. He believes that he needs some experience before searching for Mr. Right. So, out comes the to-do lists and Dev looking for some loving in all the wrong places.
Ewan Campbell is a second year university student from Glasgow, Scotland. He lives next door to Dev and the pair cross paths. When Ewan accidentally opens a delivered package that he thought was meant for him, he discovers that there is more to his cute new neighbour than meets the eye. That’s one awkward encounter. Then Ewan comes across Dev’s profile on Grindr and feels like he needs to step in before Dev is eaten by the wolves. Make that two awkward encounters.
Dev and Ewan come to an “agreement” of sorts. Dev will tutor Ewan in math in exchange for Ewan helping him out with the whole no sexual experience situation. What ensues is some hilarity especially when it comes to Dev’s matter-of-fact ways and straight-forward talking. What also ensues is the beginnings of a tentative friendship and some seriously sexy times as both guys work their way through Dev’s “to-do” list. But, what happens when it becomes more than a good time between the sheets and feelings begin to emerge? Will it be more than either one of them can handle?
Dev and Ewan were both so adorably awkward and unsure. I loved that! However, there was some serious chemistry when they got down to it and all inhibitions disappeared. Dev’s eagerness to simply experience it all for the first time was so endearing. The fact that he was a little socially stunted only added to his charm. I absolutely loved him. Ewan was the perfect person to introduce Dev to the wonderful world of sex. I loved how he could not help but fall for his enthusiastic “student”. Something he was not expecting as he was certainly loving his free and single life before Dev came along.
I truly enjoyed reading Practice Makes Perfect. I pretty much had a smile on my face the whole time I was with Dev and Ewan. While this book is technically the third book in Ms. Northcote’s Housemates series, it can certainly be read as a stand-alone. A recommended read for contemporary MM romance fans!
****An advance reading copy of Practice Makes Perfect by Jay Northcote was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
We are getting to the end, people! This is the second to last book in the series and things are 5 Stars!
“War makes a good excuse for recklessness.”
We are getting to the end, people! This is the second to last book in the series and things are getting INTENSE. The ride that we have embarked on is wild. All you can do is hold on for dear life. Holy shit on a huge stick!!!!!!!!
Beyond Ecstasy is book eight in the Beyond series written by the writing duo known as Kit Rocha. It is no secret that I am hopelessly addicted to this series and the fantastically kinky world this pair of authors has managed to create. I highly recommend that you read this series in sequential order as all the books flow into one another with overlapping storylines and world building. Each book in this series does focus on one central romance; however, the overall story arc builds over each successive book so it is better to read each book in order. The raunchy and gritty dystopian world that this pair of authors has created is unmatched in its creativeness and uniqueness. In this installment to the series we discover what it’s like for a farm boy and a city girl to fall into the depths of love in the middle of war.
He was massive. Unshakeable, like a tree with roots that went deep. Except for his eyes. His eyes were hungry.
This book picks up roughly a month after the end of book seven. The sectors have been dark for about one month and there is so much tension and uncertainty that the O’Kane’s are having a hard time containing it all. Sector Four is unraveling. Hawk grew up in Sector Six where farming and working hard were ingrained into him. Romance, love and pleasure were not things that Hawk ever had the opportunity to truly put first in his life. That’s simply not how it worked in his old sector. Hawk joined the O’Kane’s to ensure the survival of his family, he hopes. The Sectors are on the verge of war with Eden and he needs the O’Kane’s to protect Sector Six. Since his arrival in Sector Four, Hawk can’t take his mind off one sexy dancer. He may be a bit stunted when it comes to the nuances of lust and pursuit, but Hawk knows without a shadow of a doubt that he wants Jeni. And, not just for one night. She calls to the darker, primal and dominant side of him. A side that he was unable to explore until coming to the O’Kane’s.
Jeni is a strong, sassy and independent woman. She’s carved her own path in the sectors. Jeni definitely wants Hawk and all the intensity that he brings to the table. When he offers her a collar, she’s weary about jumping in too quickly. Yes, she craves love and commitment; however, is this something she should even dare to dream of when everything is so uncertain? With the impending war fast approaching, life can end as they all know it. Jeni can’t see past the war. She can’t bring herself to envision a future where she is lucky enough to spend forever together with Hawk. Perhaps it self-preservation.
The love story between our two protagonists was very heart-felt and emotional. Something I was not expecting. Jeni is someone that is trying to avoid feeling too much with Hawk and she now finds herself immersed with someone who does nothing but make her feel. Hawk wants it all with Jeni. The problem is that he may be reaching for it far too fast. I loved how fiercely protective he was with Jeni and how he wanted to be everything she needed. As the two venture into a passionate explosion of lust and emotion, will it all erupt when the insecurity of their lives due to the escalating tension with Eden, the question of life and death, becomes too much?
The O’Kane’s didn’t just believe in the pleasure that came with power. They believed in the responsibility, too. For that, Hawk would follow them to hell. Maybe literally.
This was the part no one outside these walls could ever understand. O’Kane’s didn’t bend, didn’t break. They were stronger than steel because they held one another up. If one of them needed help, their brothers and sisters would step in and shoulder some of the load.
Getting caught up with the O’Kanes and their kinky fuckery is always one of the things I look forward to most when diving into a new book in this series. The O’Kane’s are all very flawed; however, I love how they represent family, freedom and simply do not care what the outside world thinks about them. Their indulgent ways can be intoxicating and can seduce even the most cynical bastard. With all this being said, what I absolutely adored about this book was the fact that we are getting to see the O’Kane’s during desperate times. They are fighting for their future and above all else they are fighting for the family that they are to each other. We are seeing the toll the war is taking on each O’Kane yet they are exemplifying how brave they truly are as they take on lead role of going up against the monstrous power that is Eden. The imaginations of these authors know no bounds when it comes to this dystopian world. Kit Rocha continue to add layer upon complex layer and intricately interweave an overall story arc that is not only fascinating but brilliant as all heck.
And, if you are wondering if this book in the series follows its predecessors and is smutty goodness at its absolute best. Well, do you really think it would be any other way? Jeni is all too familiar with the pleasure-seeking and debauched lifestyle of the O’Kanes and Hawk falls into it with a natural ease. And, holy fiery crotch-rockets! Kit Rocha has penned some erotically charged, filthy and panty-wetting goodness. Be prepared for your girly parts (or your boy parts) not only to tingle but to be explosively electrocuted. I’m not kidding. Hawk’s dominant edge had me reeling. Phew!
All in all, Beyond Ecstasy proved to me once again why I am such a fan-girl of these authors and this series. You simply never know what to expect with each book. The overall story arc as it pertains to the O’Kanes and all that is going down is cleverly interwoven into each book. Further, with each book you get a deliciously sexy love story. I can’t get enough of this series and the people who make up Sector Four. They have all somehow weaved their way into my panties heart. I am so thoroughly hooked and can’t wait for the final book.
…it felt like destiny. Fate. Two objects in different orbits drawing closer and closer together until they collided.
***** He tilted her head back, the fingers tangled in her hair suddenly firm and demanding. “There’s no such thing as enough of you. Not unless it’s forever.”
“I love you, Jeni, with everything in me. All the bad parts and especially the good ones.”
****An advance reading copy of Beyond Ecstasy by Kit Rocha was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review....more
It is no secret that Elizabeth Finn is one of the few authors that I jump at the chance to read. Yes, her books annihilate my heart into smith 5 Stars!
It is no secret that Elizabeth Finn is one of the few authors that I jump at the chance to read. Yes, her books annihilate my heart into smithereens and proceed to spit it out on the floor. Yes, many tears have been shed reading her stories. Yes, the angsty torment that she writes so effortlessly always leaves me wondering why I put myself through the emotional rollercoaster that I am sure to embark on every time I pick up a new book. HOWEVER, despite all the emotional trauma I usually undergo with a story by Ms. Finn, she certainly knows how to make me feel. I get so wrapped up in her tales of love and woe that it is hard to come up for breath. Kissed is yet another book that I essentially inhaled. I could not put it down. Once again Ms. Finn has proven that she is the queen of creating beautifully angst-filled love stories with characters that etch their way into my heart.
I am purposely going to keep this review vague. I do feel that it is a book that you should go into without any misconceptions and/or preconceived notions. I am glad that I did. It made this reading experience all the more powerful. And, if you know anything about Elizabeth Finn books, you already know that all her books pack a powerful emotional punch. I want to also let you in on a little secret. I am not the biggest fan of when authors go with a certain “trope”, one that is found in this book. And, if it were any other author I would not have even thought about reading this book. But…alas…I knew that this would be no ordinary read. Not with this author. I was completely proven correct. Only Ms. Finn could wrap my heart around and sympathize with our protagonists.
Keegan Lauri and Gabrielle Kitrick (a.k.a. Gabe) meet under tension-filled circumstances on two sides of the fence. Keegan is a political PR strategist whose job is to keep the reputations of his political clientele squeaky clean. Gabe is a young woman who poses a threat to the images of the men that Keegan is hired to protect. When Gabe shows up at an event with a prominent alderman in Chicago who Keegan has been hired to look out for, he knows that he must ensure that she walks away and stays away from his client. What he was not expecting was the undeniable attraction between the two of them. The temptation is too great to stay away from and soon Keegan discovers that Gabe is not the worldly seductress that he pinned her for. Her looks are nothing but a façade and there is so much more to the brunette beauty. Keegan is captivated and the more he gets to know Gabe, the more he begins to understand that she is simply a young woman who is doing the best that she can even though the path she has taken is riddled with mistakes. Keegan knows he should stay away from her but he can’t. He wants more. He wants to break through the carefully guarded smokescreen that is her shield. There’s so much at risk. What happens when you can’t stay away?
Elizabeth Finn has this innate ability to draw me in and bring out a plethora of emotions. While this book is not one of her angstier ones and is a little lighter than her other books, it was no less fascinating and potent. She delivers these emotionally powerful tales firmly grabbing a hold of my heart and refusing to let go until the last word is read. Ms. Finn has penned these two unforgettable characters that will be etched on my heart for some time to come. It also goes without saying that she also throws in some super sexy erotica. It is not an Elizabeth Finn book without some passionate and steamy love scenes and some good ole dirty-taking. Seriously, this book had some scenes that were downright panty-melting sexy. Phew! That is great reading ladies and gents!
All in all, Kissed was yet another novel by Elizabeth Finn chalk full of her brilliant writing powers. This book had me feeling deeply and by the end I was left completely satiated. The ups and downs, the tears and the laughter, and the depth of love felt by the hero and heroine for each other all make this book truly shine. A journey truly worth experiencing. I highly recommend this one.
“Our lips could make the world disappear.”
*****An advance reading copy of Kissed by Elizabeth Finn was generously provided to me in in exchange for an honest review....more
Dirty Angel is the latest stand-alone MM romance by author Barbara Elsborg. I am a huge fan of this author and her witty and unapologetic writing style. She certainly excels at writing some very unique books and creates quite fascinating fantasy/paranormal worlds. This book was absolutely gripping from start to finish. Ms. Elsborg explores some harsh realities as well as makes one think about how you are living your life.
Aden has lived a very unforgiving life with one hard knock coming at him after another. He’s had to grow some thick skin just to survive and all this has led to Aden heading down the path of selfishness and dishonesty. Survival of the fittest so to speak. His life comes to an end abruptly. One minute Aden is at a concert in London and the next minute he standing before an angel (Raphael) and a demon/fallen angel (Dante) who are arguing as to whether he belongs in heaven or hell. Aden is in denial at first and believes he’s just having a really vivid dream; however, he soon realizes that this is his new reality. Further, there is no denying the new wings he is sprouting, one white and one black.
Since Dante and Raphael are unable to come to an agreement over Aden, there’s only one way to solve this dilemma. Aden is sent back to earth. He has one month and seven chances (lives) to prove that he can be a good person and that he can find love. Will Aden be able to successfully maneuver his new existence?
Aden meets Brody soon after he arrives back on earth when Brody accidentally hits him with his car. Brody is a successful veterinarian who has had his share of hard knocks. He’s hiding from his much older ex, Mark, who he has been in a volatile relationship with since he was fourteen years of age. Brody’s relationship with Mark was anything but healthy considering the fact that Mark is abusive, married and has children. Brody has convinced himself that he deserves the pain. He’s so broken and twisted. When Aden comes into the picture he is convinced that he can be the one to help Brody end things with Mark once and for all.
I loved the romance between Aden and Brody. I loved how it was so passionate and intense yet it developed slowly and organically. Despite the uncertain and unpredictable circumstances both men were in, they seemed to be exactly what the other needed. A shining light in their drab and murky worlds. Regardless of the darker undertones to the overall story arc, and trust me when I say that Ms. Elsborg explores some difficult themes in this one, the actual love story was truly sweet and heart-felt. They both have a lot to lose; however, they are unable to walk away from the inexplicable pull they feel towards each other.
Both our two protagonists are these complex characters and this author does a wonderful job stripping away the layers and intermixing it with some heavy steam and a truly appealing storyline. Wanting to find out how things between Aden and Brody would play out kept me turning the pages completely engulfed in all that was happening. Further, as in most Barbara Elsborg books, we get quite a few hot and heavy scenes. I loved how passionate both men were with one another as they explored all that was between them.
Once again Barbara Elsborg has penned a captivating and moving tale with Dirty Angel. It was quite the journey but the ending had me happily sighing and feeling very satisfied. A highly recommended read!
****An advance reading copy of Dirty Angel by Barbara Elsborg was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
I think my addiction to Nicole Edwards’ books may have reached new heights.
I may need therapy.
Speechless is the third book in Nicole Edwards’ MM series entitled Pier 70. In this series we have been introduced to the men who own and operate Pier 70 Marina – Cam Strickland (featured in book one), Roan Gregory, Dare Davis (featured in book two), and Teague Carter. I always 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 antagonistic co-workers forge a path on the rocky road of lust and love.
Twenty-five year old Teague Carter is the youngest owner of Pier 70 Marina. He does not have an idyllic past and spent most of his young life in and out of foster care. He knows all too well how being rejected can lead to feelings of desperation and sadness. Teague began working at Pier 70 when Cam Strickland gave him a chance when he was sixteen years old. Teague proved himself and was then given the opportunity to own a stake in the business at the age of twenty-one. While Teague certainly has his act together professionally, he is a mess when it comes to his emotions and personal life. He’s tense and explosive at times and refuses to get close to anyone.
Thirty-five year old Hudson Ballard is the mechanic for Pier 70. He has also known his fair share of loss and rejection, especially given the fact that he is mute. Hudson and Teague have worked together for quite some time. Their relationship is hostile and tense, more so on Teague’s part. There is just something about Hudson that pushes all his buttons and that leaves Teague on edge. Hudson has always been attracted to the sexy younger man but has kept his distance. Until now. If Teague wants to use sex as a means of escape, Hudson is going to be the one to take him along on that lust-filled ride.
When Teague takes Hudson up on his offer of sex with no strings, neither one is prepare for what begins to develop between them. It does not take long for their relationship to envelope both men into this complex whirlwind of emotions. So begins a complicated game of push and pull as they spend time with each other in and out of bed. However, is Teague ready for someone like Hudson to take up so much room in his life and in his heart? Hudson blows into Teague’s world and wants nothing more than to be the calm, soothing balm that the Teague so desperately needs. When everything comes to a head, will both men come out on the other side unscathed or will the promise of forever be ripped away from them before they even have a chance to truly get started?
Teague and Hudson certainly have a few obstacles to overcome. Both are carrying some emotional baggage from their past and then there is the fact that Teague is hesitant to get in too deep with Hudson. 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 there are so many issues that require attention. But, the heart wants what it wants and as our two protagonists get pulled in deeper and deeper, they discover that taking a risk may be the best thing they ever do.
This story is a sweet and emotional one. It is also a complex one as Ms. Edwards tackles some very real and harsh issues. It was not an easy road that Teague and Hudson eventually embark on when it comes to being; however, they both realize that the connection between them was something neither one of them could walk away from. And, really this should go without saying considering who the author is but there was no shortage of some down and dirty sexy times. Hudson’s dominant edge was extremely sexy. 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, Speechless is a wonderful addition to this series that I am now absolutely hooked on. I loved getting a glimpse into the lives of the other characters featured in this series. We also get some other POVs in this one and I loved that! I can’t wait for more!
****An advance reading copy of Speechless by Nicole Edwards was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
Lisa:On Higher Ground by Melissa Collins is the continuation of Jacob “Dax” Daxton and Beckett Ridge’s (a.k.a. Beck) love story, two beloved characters that we met in On Solid Ground (book one). I have a confession to make. Ready, Mark? I usually HATE when authors decide to continue a story about the same characters in a second book, particularly when the said characters have already gotten their happy ending. So, why in the heck would I decide to dive right into this book you may ask? Well…. It’s really simple, actually. Melissa Collins. That’s it. This author can honestly write the phone book and I would read it. And, I am so glad that I did not say no to reading this one. Catching up with Dax, Beck and Violet was everything! Seeing the two men continue to move forward from their traumatic pasts simply solidified just how much I love these two characters that have etched themselves right onto my heart. What were your initial thoughts, Mark?
Mark: HAHA – I’m with you all the way on the phone book, Lisa! And I know where you’re coming from with continuing a second book when we already had a happy ending in the first. But for me personally I always think that once our MCs have gone skipping off into the sunset with their HEA and we’re all left with rainbows, unicorns and the fuzzies in our hearts, I’m always a little curious as to know how things develop from here. As we all know, when the honeymoon phase is over and real life kicks in, that’s when the hard work starts! The trial and tribulations of mastering everyday life with a relationship, a marriage, family and kids, how do we cope with these things? And it’s exactly because of all these reasons I couldn’t wait to get stuck into this book. After the “happy ever after” is reached this is when life’s true adventures really begins. Melissa does a WONDERFUL job in showing us all that although you have found your soulmate and partner for life the work doesn’t stop there. You have to constantly work at it. It’s all about understanding, patience, forgiveness, support, a healthy amount of jealousy, having a tantrum and letting off steam, but despite all this knowing that the love and respect for your partner will always be there. So even though there is no heavy angst in this book, as you know Dax and Becks are inseparable, all the above elements will still be found in spades. Let the adventure begin!
Lisa: This story picks up approximately one and a half years after we leave both men in On Solid Ground. Dax and Beck are engaged and have been for a while; however, no date for the wedding has been set. They are somewhat stuck in this awkward limbo, happy to be in a relationship with one another but not moving forward either. Dax, our honourable soldier who has lived through so much, continues to struggle with his PTSD and is experiencing a lot of nightmares. Beck is his rock, his support, but even with his partner right by his side, Dax has no idea if he will ever be able to overcome his demons and fully heal. He loves Beck and Violet with all of his heart and soul. He just doesn’t know if he deserves them. Here is a man who has served his country and he is still lost, trying so hard to deal with the after effects of his time in the Army as well as attempting to cope with PTSD. Beck and Dax met at a time in their life when everything was chaotic and muddled for both of them. They found a beauty they never dreamed possible in their messy circumstances. Can Beck prove to Dax just how much he sees him as a strong and protective man and that their little family is enough? Can they even get past this latest hurdle and truly take the remaining steps towards a future that includes forever?
Mark: I hear you on Dax’s issues Lisa and they made my heart ache, really. But I’m going to look at things from Becks’ view point. What do you do when the man you love and want to spend the rest of your life with just doesn’t want to make that final commitment? Yes, Becks is Dax’s rock, his solid ground, but he wants to get married. No little thing either when you consider his background too, but he has no illusions that this is right. I could feel his frustration and exasperation with Dax at times and totally understand it. You’ve just got engaged and at some point the plan is to get married. I don’t think Becks’ idea was to stay engaged for the rest of his life. So as much as I understood Dax and his issues I found his attitude on this a little self-centred or self-absorbed too. I could also totally relate to Becks to the extent where I just wanted to give Dax a slap for being such a pussy. I just wanted to shake him and say, “For goodness sake just do it already! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain you honk!” So yes, as understanding and supportive as anyone likes to be, but like Becks would you also be prepared to spend the rest of your life engaged? Big sigh of relief though from me when Dax pulls through, gets his act together and makes an honest man out of Becks – lol! I sat there with my Kindle, let out a big breath I was holding back while uttering the words, “Thank goodness. About damn time!”
Lisa: I think this book honestly made me fall in love with Dax, Beck and little Violet all over again. I simply LOVED how Beck, the rough and gritty tattoo artist with a harsh upbringing, was so supportive of Dax. You can feel his love for Dax (and, frankly, the love both men had for each other) transcend the pages. This story honestly reminded me that any strong and stable relationship is going to take work. Lot’s of it. If you truly love someone, you will fight for them, stand by them and be their anchor when they need you the most. When things get hard, you do not walk away. I loved the raw honesty between both men, how they were so open and vulnerable with one another. That took great courage. Anything real and worth it is always going to be messy and Dax and Beck certainly exemplify this as they muddle their way through the “tough stuff”.
This story is very much a journey. It showed us just how far Dax and Beck have come but it also revealed just how much healing still needed to take place, especially with Dax himself. I simply adored how this book was so much more than the continuation of a love story for our two protagonists. It’s also a tale about family. Seeing Dax and Beck be the best parents they could be for little Violet, who is still going through a lot herself, simply melted my heart. Gah! Their little family definitely had a lot of obstacles in their path, but they definitely had each other and that never faltered.
Mark: Exactly Lisa! A tale about family, in all its facets. I would like to pick up on the parenting role illustrated perfectly in this book. Even today I very often hear the statement that a child needs the classic roles of a mother and a father to be well adjusted. This statement always makes me a little angry as it just negates many things and puts the parents first and not the child. What a child needs above all is love, support, stability, routines, encouragement and attention. This Victoria gets from Dax and Becks in spades. She is the centre of their universe and rules it – lol! These two big guys are reduced to putty in her hands and they would both lay down their lives for their little girl. They have the same hopes and fears of any parent. Constantly asking themselves if they’re doing right by her all the time, second guessing themselves on whether what they’re doing is OK. Coping with the routines of getting her to school in the mornings, getting meals on the table, driving her to dancing classes, various clubs and friends while trying to fit in work and jobs too. The normal things that any parent will understand. But it’s in this constant questioning of whether you are doing the right thing that gives Victoria all the love and attention she needs and drives Dax and Becks on to be the best parents they can be. Victoria gets lots of “girl time” on her own too with Becks’ friend Chloe and Dax’s boss Heather, so there is also no lack of positive female role models in her life either. Another thing that Dax and Becks make happen. And what is the result? A well adjusted, adorable little girl, who happens to have two dads with all the love and attention she could ever wish for. And we all know secretly how most fathers are complete saps when it comes to daughters or “their little princess” and here Victoria has two. Wouldn't like to think what a future boyfriend will have to go through to prove himself worthy to Dax and Becks that he’s good enough for their little girl – lol!
Lisa: All in all I absolutely loved On Higher Ground from beginning to end. It is an emotional and beautiful tale about fighting for love and family. When I finished the book I had a huge smile on my face. That is the sign of a wonderful romance, a book that leaves me happily sighing. Even though this book left me in romance la la land, it was so much more than a simple romance. It’s about pure, unadulterated love. The kind that you bleed for and cry for. It’s the kind that takes a hold of you and never lets go. It is also the kind that you build a family on.
Mark: ……. and Amen to that Lisa!
****An advance reading copy of On Higher Ground by Melissa Collins was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
Searching for Harmony is a stand-along contemporary romance by author Kelly Elliott. I now have a few books by Ms. Elliott under my belt and I
Searching for Harmony is a stand-along contemporary romance by author Kelly Elliott. I now have a few books by Ms. Elliott under my belt and I readily admit that I am a fan of her sweet and gushy tales of love and woe. There is just something about reading a low-angst romance that you can easily fall into and be swept away by all the love and happiness.
Preston Ward and Harmony Banks are linked by tragedy. The day that Harmony lost it all is the day that she also met Preston. He was the firefighter that could not save the day. Preston is unable to forget and walk away and he slowly becomes a part of Harmony’s life. He’s there on the outskirts as he watches her struggle to put her life back together once again. The pair eventually form a tentative friendship which leads to feelings developing for each other. Preston finally wants to take a chance at love but is Harmony ready? Can she be brave enough to risk her heart once again, especially to someone who often risks his life because of his job?
I really loved how this book started out. What Harmony went through was devastating and it took a lot of strength and courage to begin moving forward with her life once again. I loved how Preston slowly became a part of her life, how he was unable to simply walk away from her after the accident. He’s such an honourable guy and not being able to be the hero that catastrophic day truly gutted him. What develops between our two protagonists was so very sweet as they begin to care more and more for the other. I really wish the author would have simply kept it at that. The drama created towards the end of the book when Harmony makes a pretty stupid decision is what prevented me from rating this book higher. I simply did not buy into her reasoning and the amount of time she put Preston through hell really made me not like her any longer. This is just my personal opinion.
If you are familiar with Ms. Elliott’s writing style and her previous books you will know that she pens very sweet books often with a big dollop of inst-love. For me, personally, I enjoy books that are over the top when it comes to sunshine, love, happiness, rainbows and unicorns farts. Every now and again it is nice to read a book with little to no angst and simply take in all the cheesy goodness that is love and a happy forever. That is what this book did for me. It put a smile on my face (at least until the part that I mentioned in the last paragraph took place).
All in all, Searching for Harmony was an enjoyable read despite the fact that I wish the author took a different direction when it came to creating some drama. I would certainly recommend this one if you like your books filled with sugary goodness. ;)
****An advance reading copy of Searching For Harmony by Kelly Elliott was generously provided to me via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review....more
How to Wish Upon a Star is the third book in Eli Easton’s Howl at the Moon series. I absolutely adore these books. This is a unique, sweet and 4 Stars!
How to Wish Upon a Star is the third book in Eli Easton’s Howl at the Moon series. I absolutely adore these books. This is a unique, sweet and hilarious M/M PNR-esque series that will leave you clutching your heart as well as howling with laughter. While the second book, How to Walk Like a Man, still remains my favorite of the series because of Roman, I still loved reading this tale about an uptight and clueless doctor and a newly quickened young man.
Dr. Jason Kunik is a third generation quickened and grew up in the town of Mad Creek but he moved away from with his family and pursued the world of academia. He’s returned to the small town that is a safe haven for the quickened (dog shifters) to continue his genetics research. The problem is that Jason has zero people skills –absolutely none- and isn’t exactly wanting to spend any more time than necessary with his shifter brethren. He’s having a hard time adjusting to pack life and the fact that everyone in town is a little too curious.
Milo has just arrived in Mad Creek. He was a hospice dog who bonded with the patients and has recently gained the ability to become a human. He’s sensitive and has this innate ability to understand sickness and pain. When circumstances have Milo living with Jason in the same cabin, the two slowly begin to worm their way into each other’s hearts. But, Jason’s aloofness and absolutely cluelessness about how to even deal with his emotions for Milo put a barrier between the pair. Milo has known much loss in his life and is highly sensitive. He just wants to belong. In particular, he wants to belong with Jason…. forever. When a mysterious illness appears in Mad Creek, Jason and Milo must work together to find a way to stop the virus from spreading. Can they both prove themselves to the town of Mad Creek and to each other?
I loved Milo! Everything from his innocence to his pure heart had me smiling from ear to ear. He was so untainted and trusting and I just wanted to hug him! Everything from his need to belong to the fact that he wanted so desperately to help and prove he could be worthy of Jason’s affections was so endearing.
I really enjoyed this sugary tale of love with little angst and moderate steam levels. Both characters were endearing and I could not help but root for their relationship. It did take me a little longer to warm up to Jason as he was so driven by his work and so put off by his dog nature that I wanted to slap him upside the head a number of times. What starts off as a simple friendship between Jason and Milo blossoms into something more. I loved how both Jason and Milo were a little clueless when it came to themselves in a relatively “normal” relationship; although, Milo followed his heart with such a gumption that he wanted to jump in with both feet. It was a fine balancing act between both males as they attempted to navigate the bumpy road to a happy forever and truly discover just how much they meant to each other. Jason and Milo both had a lot to learn but the more entwined they became with one another, the more the risk of falling in love seemed worth it.
All in all, this light-hearted romance that was a lot of fun to read and I am definitely looking forward to more books in this delightful series. How to Wish Upon a Star is yet another quirky, engaging and well-written story by Ms. Easton. Definitely worth the read for all lovers of M/M romance.
****An advance reading copy of How to Wish Upon a Star by Eli Easton was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
“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.
Bound Beneath His Pain is the first book in Stacey Kennedy’s new series entitled Dirty Little Secrets. This is a spin-off from her popular Clu 4 Stars!
Bound Beneath His Pain is the first book in Stacey Kennedy’s new series entitled Dirty Little Secrets. This is a spin-off from her popular Club Sin series and it takes us into the erotic BDSM world of the Dominants’ Council, four men who are not only friends but also own the four sole sex clubs in the city. If you are familiar with Ms. Kennedy’s writing style you know that she pens fairly quick and lighter reads with no highly angsty rollercoaster moments. This is something I enjoy very much. This author’s take on the BDSM genre is definitely less gritty than many other books dealing with the same subject manner. This series looks like it will follow what we are used to from this author.
Micah Holt is as powerful as they come. He’s built a real estate empire and while he is certainly of interest to the press due to his high profile, he keeps his personal life very private. When Micah’s company buys out a smaller real estate company, he comes face to face with Allison Parker (Bennett). She’s the company’s top real estate agent and when Micah makes an offer she is unable to refuse, Allison and her assistant agree to work for Micah. There is no denying his attraction to the beautiful blonde who seems to want to keep him at arm’s length despite the fact that Micah knows she reciprocates his attraction. There are definitely quite a few sparks flying as the pair discover that they awaken something in each other. However, Allison is as innocent as they come and has no idea that Micah has this whole other BDSM lifestyle that is something that keeps him sane. Will Micah let Allison see his true self, kink and all, or will he decide to give up the one thing in his life that grounds him? Will Allison share her secrets and be vulnerable enough to allow Micah to come to know who she truly is?
Overall I found Micah’s and Allison’s story to be well paced and entertaining despite the fact that this book is not overly lengthy. There is this immediate connection that both our protagonists were not expecting, something they found hard to deny. As the two spend more time with each other, they begin to discover that they are the perfect fit. With ever-growing feelings they are both developing, how can a relationship work between them if Micah is unwilling to bring her fully into his world and if Allison is unable to let her guard down when it comes to the rich billionaire?
The sex in this book was nothing too overly graphic and intense. I believe it would be safe to call this a BDSM-lite book. Yes, Micah and Allision do share some highly erotic and sexalicious moments; however, nothing shared between the pair was extreme in any way. I suppose if you are interested in BDSM books and don’t want to read anything too extreme, this series would be a good start seeing that there is nothing too risky being thrown at the reader. Frankly, everything that I have read from this author can be classified as relatively tame when it comes to the BDSM genre.
All in all, Bound Beneath His Pain was a great read that held my attention. I loved how the book ended and am so excited about the next book. It better be about Darius!!!!
*****An advance reading copy of Bound Beneath His Pain by Stacey Kennedy was generously provided to me via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review....more
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.
The Harder He Falls is the first book in a new series by author Lynda Aicher entitled Kick. Upon discovering that this series was about gay Marine Doms who own and operate an outdoor adventure company, I knew I would be all over this. Seriously, who wouldn’t? Certainly a very promising and very sexy premise for a series.
White-water rafter guide, Grady Kelley, hasn’t been the same ever since he led a rafting expedition that caused the death of one friend and put his cousin in a coma. Now Grady spends his time by his cousin, Finn’s, side hoping that he will awake and forgive him for the tragedy he feels he caused. Grady meets Micah Swaine at the hospital that Finn is a patient at. Micah has his own reasons for volunteering his time with comatose patients. While their first encounter is anything but smooth, both men are certainly attracted and intrigued by each other. As they get to know a little more about the other, Micah is determined to help Grady overcome the guilt he is carrying over the rafting accident. Grady runs hot and cold and is equally as determined to put roadblock after roadblock in Micah’s path. As both men venture down the road of lust, BDSM and kink, do they have what it takes to open up, share their secrets and take their fragile relationship deeper and beyond the physical?
The overall story arc was definitely one that I found very enjoyable. I am a sucker for damaged men who need a little love or, in this case, a little rough and tumble. I loved Micah as he tried so hard to break his way into Grady’s heart. Grady, on the other hand, was someone that I really disliked for almost the entirety of the book. Yes, he has his reasons for being the way he was; BUT, I could not handle just how much of a jerk he was with Micah. He was so antagonistic and pushed Micah away every chance he got. The push and pull between them that takes place got a little much and eventually turned out to be too cumbersome for me. Despite all of this, I still did want Micah and Grady to reach for a happy forever.
The ending wasn’t necessarily rushed but I do wish the author gave a little more page time to Grady and Micah finally being in an open and healthy relationship. It would have certainly solidified their connection a lot more in my mind. Grady only really comes around near the end and by then I simply wasn’t interested and also wasn’t as emotionally connected to the couple as I would have liked to be. By the time we get the Epilogue I was at least hoping to get a little sweetness and tenderness one would expect from two people in love. Eh, it didn’t really happen. I suppose my romantic heart needed more gushy love and hearts to get over the overdose on all the angst that was thrown at me throughout the story.
All in all, The Harder He Falls was a good start to what I think is a very promising new MM series, despite my issues with it. I will be reading book two, The Deeper He Hurts, when it is released.
****An advance reading copy of The Harder He Falls by Lynda Aicher 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
“This is crazy. So, so crazy. And it’s painful. So, so, painful.”
The Purest Hook is the third book in in Scarlett Cole’s Secon 5 "Snowflake" Stars!
“This is crazy. So, so crazy. And it’s painful. So, so, painful.”
The Purest Hook is the third book in in Scarlett Cole’s Second Circle Tattoos series. While the first two books in the series have dealt with different couples and each subsequent book to follow will also do the same, I do recommend reading this series in sequential order as right from the onset you begin getting to know all the characters that have been and will be featured. I really enjoyed the previous book in this series. It seems this author has quite the knack for writing lovable romances with just the right amount of humour mixed in with some super steamy scenes. This third installment followed suit. I loved watching Pixie and Dred go from a lustful attraction to one where they cement their relationship and stumble their way into a happy forever. This turned out to be my favorite book in the series so far! Definitely a fun read with many characters that I am coming to love!
Twenty-three year old Sarah-Jane “Pixie” Travers owes so much to Trent and Cujo who took her in when she was desperate and at her lowest and got her the help she needed. Since then she has taken on more and more responsibility at Second Circle Tattoos and has become part of the tattooed “family”. Pixie has come a long way and as the receptionist (and part manager) of the tattoo shop, she has become an essential part of the business. Pixie tries to not think about her abusive past too much; however, that does not mean she remains completely unaffected. She’s not one to trust so easily and don’t even try and get into her issues with men.
Theodred “Dred” Zanders is the lead singer and guitarist of the popular band Preload. He has his share of issues considering his upbringing; however, music is an outlet for him and the rest of his band who come from similar backgrounds. Due to a project he is working on with Trent, he is no stranger at Second Circle Tattoos and no stranger to the beautiful receptionist who he can’t help flirting with every time he is there. Dred wants nothing more than to spend some alone time with Pixie, preferably between the sheets. If only she would say yes!
Right from the onset of their first encounter, there is no denying the attraction between Pixie and Dred. However, Pixie’s issues from her past prevent her from listening to her heart for once and she’s absolutely terrified of exploring something with Dred. The sexy rocker is persistent though and there is no stopping his flirtatious advances every time he is around Pixie. Dred figures he will eventually wear down the purple-haired beauty and she’ll cave.
Dred’s persistence and determination eventually pays off. Or, perhaps it was his rocker sex appeal and good looks? It quickly becomes apparent that what is between Pixie and Dred is more than lust-filled attraction. It won’t be an easy road to a happy forever for our two lovers. Their difficult pasts, distance, the pressure of fame and so much more are all obstacles standing in their way. With a tentative and fragile relationship emerging between the couple are they destined to fall apart even before they get the chance to get truly started?
I really enjoyed the love story as it unfolded between our two protagonists. It was very engaging and organic as we slowly watched Pixie and Dred realize that the connection they shared was based on much more than lust. I also enjoyed how they both got stronger as they begin to shed some of the burdens they were carrying due to their messed up pasts. I loved how patient Dred was with Pixie and all her hang-ups that stemmed from what she had experienced in her past. The pair were there for each other and went through some painful moments which only solidified their relationship and made them stronger. I also enjoyed the suspense/mystery aspect introduced in the overall story arc unlike the preceding book in this series.
In The Purest Hook Scarlett Cole delivers a very entertaining story with a hot romance, humorous dialogue and a great assortment of family, friends and other colorful characters. For me the heart of this book was the love story between Pixie and Dred as they try and figure what exactly draws them together. It was so sweet and passionate that I could not help but root for the young couple. It's a great read where the author sets up the potential for further books. I am truly hoping that each member of Preload gets their own book in this series or a spin-off series. I fell so hard for them! I for one am hooked and will be anxiously awaiting the next book in the series or anything else this author wants to hit us with.
****An advance reading copy of The Purest Hook by Scarlett Cole 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.
Wrong Place, Right Time is the second book in Elle Casey’s series entitled The Bourbon Street Boys. I am a big fan of this author and her vers 4 Stars!
Wrong Place, Right Time is the second book in Elle Casey’s series entitled The Bourbon Street Boys. I am a big fan of this author and her versatile writing style. While I did not love this one as much as the first book in the series, this turned out to be a fun read with a great blend of action, humour, and romance.
We meet our two protagonists, Jenny and Dev, in book one in this series. While they have nothing to do with each other in the previous story we do get to know them a little. Jenny is a busy, single mom of three. Her ex-husband barely pulls his weight and she feels like all the responsibility of raising their children has landed at her feet. She may be overwhelmed but Jenny has no other option but to keep plugging away at life. Jenny finally has a couple of days to herself and all she wants to do is take a bath, drink some wine and sleep. But when her sister, May, asks her to do one consulting project for the Bourbon Street Boys, Jenny has a hard time saying no to her younger sister’s annoying persistence.
Jenny has no idea why she gave in to her sister’s pleas. What the Bourbon Street team is involved in is something she should stay far away from. After all, she needs to play it safe. She’s a mom! Almost immediately upon her arrival, Jenny gets wrapped up in the Bourbon Street world. She wants to run but it keeps sucking her in. The more time she spends with the team, the more they begin to change her perception of who they truly are. Of particular interest is the sexy, dimpled giant who makes her want to forget all the reasons that she needs to play it safe. The more she involves herself with the Bourbon Street Boys and with Dev himself, the harder she is finding it to keep herself from jumping on the Dev choo-choo train of lust.
I found this book to be a cute and funny read. Jenny’s inner rambling did make me giggle at times but they did become tedious at times. I did love the fact that she had a backbone and proved that she had some mad computer skills when it came to being a part of the Bourbon Street Boys team. Her relationship with Dev was a very slow build. They are both parents and finding the time to pursue the ever-growing feelings developing between the two of them was a hard task. It took quite some time for anything really substantial to happen between Jenny and Dev. Although, it was entertaining to watching and the giant alpha-male fall head over heels and get all tangled up in each other.
All in all, Wrong Place, Right Time was a great addition to this series. I took this book for what it is – a fun and light read that put a smile on my face. Yes, it did end rather abruptly and the ending seemed rushed in my opinion but other than that I really enjoyed this one! I can’t wait for more.
****An advance reading copy of Wrong Place, Right time by Elle Casey was generously provided to me via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review....more