In Chasing the Horizon, Garner Holt (who is first introduced in Sunrise over Savannah) has arrived in Key West. Garner is living as carefree a life as someone who has been described as uptight on more than one occasion can live. What he finds when he arrives is not what he was expecting. Hawken Bristol is a rough looking character to most people. Big, bald, tattooed and pierced, he makes quite the impression and not always a good one. This is how Garner and Hawk meet – with Hawk seeing Garner as an uptight guy and Garner labeling Hawken “Mr. Clean” for the shaved head.
They end up seeing each other around town and the attraction they have for one another is electric. After Garner helps Hawk out during a storm, the attraction between them ignites, although both men admit that they are not the relationship type. They agree to enjoy it while it lasts with no strings attached. Famous last words.
Garner is a man that runs – physically runs - from relationships. He apparently has not had successful relationships in the past and prefers to avoid them. Hawk keeps himself emotionally distanced by never having sex with a guy more than once. No strings, no commitments, no heartache. These two think they have it all worked out. Except they really hit it off and Hawk breaks his once only rule. This could be the start of something they both have full intentions of avoiding.
With Garner being a psychiatrist, he wants to know what makes Hawken present himself as the bad boy. What we find is someone who is much deeper than his outward appearance. Although Hawk had a rough start in life, it has actually turned out pretty good. He has his charter boat and a best friend, Justin, who becomes an important part of the story and instrumental in how these two men work things out. I loved the way the characters get to know one another. There are moments of conversation mixed in between some of the more passionate moments that made the depth of their connection feel more realistic, even though they had not known each other for very long.
For those who have read the first book, Hank and Thompson make appearances throughout this book. We are given enough information to know who they are and how they are part of Garner’s life without reading their book, but when I finished Chasing the Horizon, I wanted to know more about their story.
Chasing the Horizon definitely met my expectations for an enjoyable romance. There are likeable main characters that have a great chemistry between them, some very passionate encounters, a well rounded secondary cast of characters, mild angst and a happy ending.
This is my first Scotty Cade book. After reading the author bio, I could see his love for sailing shine through in this book, so if this is something you enjoy then that will be a bonus. I also like that I have found another author that loves happy endings. I am looking forward to reading more of his work which will most likely start with Sunrise over Savannah....more
We briefly met Jamie in the first book of the series, Salvage, as Gabe's best friend since childhood. He was irresponsible, thoughtless and selfish to begin with, but was trying to make reparations for his past behaviour at the end of that book.
In Recovery Jamie, at twenty-eight, has been sober for a year with the support of his original sponsor, Alec Bailey, and Alec's wife Belle - people Jamie has come to think of as the parents of his heart. The couple's grown son, Owen, has been semi-estranged from his father for years, in spite of Alec's years of sobriety. Owen seems incapable of moving past the hurts of his childhood due to his father's alcoholism. As a consequence, Jamie and Owen have a somewhat adversarial relationship. Jamie can see how much Alec loves his son and feels nothing but remorse for the pain his son endured during those years. Owen has little sympathy for Jamie, his perceptions coloured by his own childhood experiences with his father's alcohol abuse, hampering Jamie's attempts at reconciling father and son.
Not long after the Baileys welcome Jamie into their lives like a second son, Belle was diagnosed with brain tumour. Now almost a year later, they had all hoped that battle had been won, but the treatments have not worked as well as they had wished for and the prognosis is not good. This is the point where Recovery picks up the story.
It's during the launch party for Alec's new magazine publication that Jamie meets Daniel. They click from the beginning, even with an almost twenty-year age gap. It's an age difference that never really comes into play between them, even though Daniel's daughter from his almost thirty year marriage with his ex-wife is a year older than Jamie. That's written as very believable. They truly come together as equals and Jamie's past experiences and his battle with alcoholism give him a realistic maturity by this point in his life. Both Daniel and Jamie have little experience when it comes to dating, but they each recognise in the other the person they wish to spend their life with, although the realisation of it comes a little slower. It did feel as though the foundation of their developing relationship was comfort and sex and I found myself wishing that a couple of the sex scenes, as hot as they were, had been replaced with ones showing the reader the MCs getting to know each other on all levels, not just burning up the sheets. I had got a pretty good sense of who Daniel was even with the POV being only from Jamie, and I liked him, but I hadn't got much of a sense of Daniel and Jamie as a couple. They'd either been around one or more of the Baileys or, every time they'd been alone, it was about sex and not them just spending time together getting to know each other and interacting with each other in ways other than sex. I did finally get that scene, and even with how that particular scene ended, getting to see them just talking and interacting, letting each other and telling their pasts, was exactly what I was feeling the lack of so much previously.
For the most part, the writing was very good, but there was a bit of a propensity to jump over important events and then telling what happened after the fact which made the story feel a bit disjointed and over-explained at times. I liked the sub-theme of redemption between father and son with Alec and Owen. It was sensitively dealt with, becoming neither soap operish nor blasé. The majority of the book has a gentle, even pace that gathered all the plot threads together as it went, bringing them together nicely. The characters were good. I liked both the MCs, and the secondary character of Owen and his journey back to his father is interesting and, at times, heart-wrenching. I'm guessing Owen is being set up to be one of the MCs of the next book in the series. I hope so, anyway! Belle's battle with her cancer and how her family dealt with it was beautifully done. Her scrapbook was absolutely brilliant. Beautiful and brilliant. You'll have to read the book to see what I'm talking about, but I'm sure you'll agree when you do.
This isn't Jamie and Daniel's love story, although their romance is definitely there. It isn't even Jamie's story alone in some ways, even though it is told solely from his POV. It's Belle's story. And Owen's. And Alec's. It's about the things that tear families apart and the things that bring them back together. It's about battles fought, some lost and some won. It's about forgiveness and redemption and love. Above all else, this book is about love; in all its forms.
"He wondered as he wiped his eyes if a brand-new star - bigger and brighter than all the others - had just appeared among them."
I love superhero books so I just had to read this one. It was also a new to me author and I’m always up to try out something new. There is some very light BDSM. I’d say it’s mostly Eddie likes to submit with restrictions. Shadow’s superpower abilities and dominant behavior favor this part of the story. The story is told from Eddie’s POV only so there is quite of bit of trepidation, analyzing and consideration over Shadow and his true self through little glimpses into the man behind the mask. Eddie has a degree in Psychology and isn’t afraid to use it. ;)
Eddie is the only one in his very high profile, almost royalty in the superhero world, family. It puts a BIG target on his head. He’s continuously kidnapped by one of the members of the League of Evil, an organized group of supervillains. There’s also a council of Superheroes. Despite his many kidnappings, Eddie lives a pretty normal life. Until he finds himself once again a captive of a villain named Shadow. It’s not one he’s ever seen before. There are shadows that seem to do his bidding. A couple of escape attempts prove getting away this time won’t be an option and he agrees under the threat of his friend to remain hidden away with Shadow.
During their time together Eddie sees something in Shadow. He’s even given Shadow’s real name. This is a big deal to super people as it keeps their identities hidden. Shadow is still hiding things but there’s an attraction Eddie decides he won’t deny. Shadow doesn’t want to start anything with Eddie under the assumption he’s doing it to please his captor. Or because there is nobody else there. Eddie squashes that worry and things progress into a physical relationship. Both are into the BDSM scene and play out the fantasies they’ve been dreaming about while resisting the attraction.
Things are going really well until the King baddie decides he’s tired of hunting for Eddie and takes things into his own hands. Essentially forcing Eddie to come out of hiding.
There were parts I really liked but there were also parts really hit on some of my personal pet peeves in books. Mainly, Eddie’s character. Everyone loved him and he made many silly choices putting everyone in danger. Yes I know this set up the big stand off but by that point of the story I think I’m the only person in the book who doesn’t adore Eddie. We also seemed to lose some of Shadow, the most intriguing character IMO, towards the end of the book. He’s just not on page as much.
The baddies were pretty awful and again I like the made up personas and powers of them. A super baddie is just so much fun to hate. There was a part with Eddie’s friend Lycas towards the end of the book that I honestly have no idea why it was in the book. It came out of no where and really felt disconnected to the storyline.
The beginning of Eddie and Shadow’s relationship was a fun struggle to read about. I liked how Shadow was dark and mysterious. Maybe a little scary at first. Some of the sex scenes were pretty damn hot. The relationship went from yearning tension to sweet as the book went on. The battle scenes were engaging.
So this was a pretty good read. I liked the first half more than the rest. If you’re into superheroes or a captive falling for his captor you would probably enjoy this one. I see it’s the beginning of a series. Wonder what else is to come?...more
First of all, a big thank you to the author for writing a story for Luki and Sonny that comes post “Yes”. It was wonderful to see Luki healthy, happy and as in love as ever with his husband, whom Luki lovingly calls “the most beautiful thing that ever happened to the world.” :-) With that being said, as someone who has read (and re-read) this entire series, and taken the characters into my heart, I found the blurb upsetting! I had to steel myself for the read, but of course, through Lou Sylvre’s signature artistry, she navigated the pain of Josh’s death, and subsequent events with utmost nurturing love and compassion. :-)
The story begins with happy anticipation. Luki and Sonny have been together for ten years. Luki’s cancer is in remission. The two men are more in love than ever, and are feeling, well they are feeling very alive. Luki’s nephew Josh and his wife Ruthie are expecting a baby to add to their family, which already consists of 5 year old Jade. Jade is known as “little girl that I love” in the hearts of her uncles Luki and of Sonny. Tragedy strikes and the men find themselves named as custodians of Jade. The two men are devastated, but rise to the occasion and take care of business – Josh’s brother Jackie had come from London to visit, but he is still too emotionally fragile to handle the arrangements surrounding his brother’s death, not even with his lover Brian by his side.
Make no mistake – this is not a book about death and tragedy. It is a story of love. Love that is absolute, strong and pure. Luki and Sonny have such a love, and it is due to this that they are able to fold Jade into their arms and their home so seamlessly. The story consists largely of adjusting to day to day life with the five year old. How it changes the men – for the better. They both have more room in their hearts for Jade than they would have thought, and they all make a marvelous transition, albeit with a learning curve. Jade is a stoic, intelligent and lovable little girl. She loves her uncles and at times they find themselves learning as much from her as she from them.
I am so grateful the author avoided such potentially obvious scenarios such as Jade refusing the guys home and love, or of one of them being envious or not on board with raising Jade. The three of them fit believably well. One particular aspect that I loved was how the men utilized the fact that their beloved dog, Bear, (whom Jade had met) had passed on when speaking to Jade about her deceased parents. These scenes where they spoke of Bear and visited his burial site were written with undeniable beauty and emotion, and Jade demonstrated great comfort from them. I wept. There are plenty of lighter moments, such as the little family shopping for a mini-van and Sonny organizing a car pool with other kindergartner families. The men have their close friend Margie as well as other friends and family – including Luki’s uncle Kaholo – who adore Jade. Together, they all become her extended family.
Of course, in typical Luki and Sonny fashion – nothing can stay peaceful in their lives for long. Trouble brews, starting with the bigoted father of one of Jade’s fellow classmates and culminating with someone crawling out of the woodwork with evil intent. The author ties all of this back to some seemingly benign facts that were brought up earlier in the story. Luki of course spends some time kicking himself for not being more on top of things, but he calls on his crack team of investigators to come to the rescue. Ultimately, the disturbing events end up ensuring a secure future for Jake, Luki and Sonny.
So you might ask, do Sonny and Luki lose any of their intimacy? That would be a resounding -no! One of the most romantic and sultry scenes I have read in a long while takes place in this book on the night of Luki and Sonny’s tenth anniversary. The scene is particularly moving because it is Luki who planned it all, without Sonny knowing ahead of time. Gah, swoon, and melt. These two have one of the most intense, moving, loving relationships of any pairing I have read in fiction. I love them, their fierce love for each other and those people close to them – especially Jade. Luki remains ever the bad- ass, however his softer side definitely shifts close to the surface in this story. It has been brought to light by Sonny’s love, his maturity in general, his cancer survival, and now by because of Jade – and his love for her. ♥
Lou Sylvre, please do not ever stop gifting us with tales of Luki and Sonny, and their family. :-) ...more
Sandy Sullivan was just supposed to remodel Everett Blake’s kitchen. Both men were incredibly attracted to the other but failed to act. Surprisingly, Everett, the shy violinist stepped up and asked Sandy out for a drink. After going to a gay bar both men realized that yes, they were both gay and both interested. Unfortunately, neither man has realized the other is actually looking for a long term relationship. Everett is not a casual dater and never has been. Sandy can have short term casual relationships, but he’s been wanting to start a life with a husband and settle down to have kids for years. He spent so much time in the closet in the military he fears he’s missed his opportunity to get the family he really wants. Sandy also doesn’t want to tell Everett about his problems with PTSD. Unfortunately for Sandy, he was only able to hide his PTSD until he accidentally fell asleep at Everett’s apartment. Sandy has to admit to the nightmares he suffers. Sandy decides to go see a therapist to deal with his problems. Everett is left wondering just how severe Sandy’s problems really are and if he’s going to be able to handle them in the long term. Both men are telling themselves they’ll stay in the relationship casually, and they’ll have fun with no strings attached.
Things work well for Everett and Sandy for a long time. They’re happy despite the fact Sandy still hasn’t shown Everett his house and admitted he wants a husband and children, and Everett still hasn’t dealt with his parents who will undoubtedly want Everett to be with someone more educated, more polished, and from a better family background. Everett really doesn’t care what his family thinks. He has no problems whatsoever being a violinist in love with a builder and his family’s opinion doesn’t affect his. He just has to get Sandy to realize that and accept Everett is really in the relationship for the long haul, despite the PTSD, and including kids.
I love Kate McMurray’s use of New York as a backdrop for her story. It is at turns descriptive of everything including the scent of trash, and also reliant upon our knowledge of the city’s neighborhoods to help describe the characters’ social background. I also love that I never feel talked down to to when reading a book of hers.
Sandy and Everett were both flawed and in their own way not self aware. That they had just come from relationships with controlling men was a nice twist. In some ways Sandy and Everett were the guys next door. Neither of them had larger than life personalities which was rather comforting. Unfortunately, it can be rather too comforting. I felt the book was perfectly crafted, but in some ways I was not blown away by Sandy and Everett and their story. That’s not to say I disliked them, as I absolutely did like them. I like that we have a story of PTSD that I can actually relate to. I will meet someone like Sandy at some point in my life, or likely already have. The guy next door needs a story just as much as the man in the mansion on the hill, or the urchin crawling his way out of the gutter....more
All of Me is a short story that is part of the Dreamspinner Press Daily Dose “Mended” Anthology 2014.
Able and Kai are destined to be together. Their parents, both Alphas of their packs, stepped outside the norm for wolf shifters and became best friends. They thought it would be a good idea if their children were bonded mates as it would bring strength to both packs. With this in mind, Abel and Kai were bonded before they were even born. Even though there was a five year age difference between them, it did not stop the bond that they felt for one another and their love and friendship grew as they approached adulthood.
Per custom, Abel and Kai must wait until Kai turns eighteen before they can complete the mating bond. This does not stop them from secretly keeping in contact with one another and planning for the day they will be mates. When Kai’s father dies, Kai is still too young to take his role as Alpha. His mother remarries, then when tragedy strikes again, Abel does not hear from Kai for over a year. He is concerned but thinks it is due to Kai grieving. He waits until Kai turns eighteen before deciding he is going to go to him and find out what is happening so they can then finish the bonding. When he arrives at Kai’s home, what he finds shatters his dreams and he leaves without even asking why.
For ten years he leads his pack alone, always wondering why his mate betrayed him, until one day an unexpected visitor arrives at the pack house demanding to speak with Abel and opens old wounds that have never healed. When he is asked to help Kai, can he put those feelings aside?
All of Me is an interesting take on Alpha mating/bonding and pack politics. It moves quickly, as it is a short story rather than a full length novel, and pulled me into the world and the relationship between Able and Kai. The story is told from Abel’s point of view and although it has some serious and tragic events, it is interspersed with the humor that I have come to associate with this author. The lack of communication between them was a little frustrating but the reuniting and rekindling of their love for one another was sweet. The story had some fun secondary characters, I especially enjoyed Kelly, Kai’s younger sister and Ben, Abel’s youngest brother.
Overall, I enjoyed how the story unfolds, and how the relationship develops. I was also very happy with how the epilogue wrapped up the story....more
Although it's the second book in the Least Likely Partnerships series, Holding Out For A Fairy Tale is the standalone story of Ray Delgado and Elliot Belkamp, whom we both met briefly in the first book A Casual Weekend Thing, and can definitely be read on its own without losing anything of the story or character development.
It's been eight months since Ray Delgado lost the only man he thought he'd ever loved to another man. As a matter of fact, it was Ray's previous work partner, Christopher, that made him stop denying his attraction to men as well as women. Although he's accepted that attraction, he's still struggling with what it would mean for both his work and the already strained relations with his estranged crime family. After conceding defeat with Christopher's new boyfriend, Ray consoled himself with FBI agent, Elliot Belkamp. It was a lot of fun for the week it lasted, until Elliot turned decidedly frosty and they both went back to work in different parts of the country. Now he and Elliot have been thrown together for a case involving drug dealers, missing money, a missing cousin and psychotic family.
Holding Out For A Fairy Tale is an action-packed crime mystery/romance that delivers well on both fronts, although the personalities of the two men make it lean a little more to the crime mystery side. Ray is a sometimes abrasive, somewhat socially awkward, very intelligent, focused man who masks his more sensitive, vulnerable side behind laughter and practical jokes. A mask very few people have managed to see past. Until Elliot's interest is piqued and he starts to wonder if there is more to the man than the impression the end of their fling had left him with. Elliot is confident, smart, good at his job and knows what he wants. And what he wants is the whole fairy tale - a loving man to end the day with and wake up to the next morning as they grow old together. A man that previous experience had told him would most definitely not be Ray.
It took me a little while to really warm to Ray, but seeing him through Elliot's growing realisation of who Ray truly is and what makes him tick was both fascinating and enlightening, and I found myself growing to like the man along with Elliot. Both the MCs were interesting and layered, sometimes frustrating and remained consistent in their actions and reactions throughout the whole story. There were times where I got completely frustrated with Ray and thought the author might be heading toward some fairly common plot cliches, but the actions were actually kept true to both personalities and ended up being really well handled between the two characters and in a very believable way. Once the motivation behind the actions became apparent, it made me reframe how I had been seeing them and did made sense in the context of the character's personality. There weren't any sudden acceptances, but things weren't unnecessarily drawn out, either.
I loved the touches of humour and moments of banter. The crime/mystery was well paced with a tight plot that wove effortlessly through the romance of the two men. Their interactions felt believable and, when they get together, were undeniably hot. And the last line is a great one! It stayed with me long after I finished the book and still makes me smile....more
This is an amazing book! I am trying to ignore the fact that this is a first time published book for this author. That’s right – Kenzie Cade is a fledgling author; and wow! She is going to soar! I am sooooo looking forward to more books from this very promising new author.
It is only a little book – just some 32 pages, but she has got the timing and weight of the romance in this book just perfect. So many times I pick up a book and it is way too much, way too soon – yes, I’m talkin bout sex, baby. I cannot connect with the guys if they get together too soon – it really is just words on paper to me. Even if the book carries on for 300 plus pages – the kapow has gone. I need to feel for the characters before I can give a toss about them being together. Weird on my part? Probably. So how does an author manage to achieve this connection (and then some!) in a book of only 32 pages? Read “Son of a Fish” and you will see how!
Sam meets Casey after Casey takes a fall and needs some help. Each guy thinks the other guy is pretty cute. Feelers are put out by asking some questions about any girlfriends in the hopes that the other guy is gay. Result! No girlfriends. The physical attraction is instantaneous but in a short space of time the guys actually get to know enough about eachother for the connection to be more than just physical. And I, the reader, was totally on board and invested in their burgeoning relationship. It was believable. It felt real. A finely crafted short story indeed. And that is pretty much all I can tell you other than…
I cannot recommend this book highly enough! Here’s hoping the entire Mended collection is as good. Go. Buy the Book!...more
Romance continues on the Isle of Wight as we get to Nibs and Wig’s story in Isle of Waves by Sue Brown. A long established couple, Nibs and Wig are facing some difficult times. The world around them seems to be crumbling and it is really creating a lot of stress and uncertainty. Their restaurant is targeted by their new neighbors, a competing restaurant. Seems they are doing everything in their power to run Nibs and Wig out of town and the police are basically ignoring the situation. Seems homophobia runs strong in town. Then you throw in a big storm, family illness and the drama continues to pile on. Thankfully the Owen’s clan is out in full force to help save the day. Well actually it’s more than a day but seems weeks on end of trouble and thankfully everyone jumps right in. The story shows the power the Owen’s family has with their large clan. I love stories with large, close families!
There are a lot of characters in this story so it was tricky following all the dialogue when you essentially have four different gay couples. I found the story a little dialog heavy. Nibs and Wig make a cute couple and I loved the bear/twink descriptions. Ms. Brown does a good job showing all of their insecurities even though they’ve been together for years they both worry about losing the other. I did love Paul in the story the most. Even though he’s really a secondary character, his humor and commentary cracked me up. I found his relationship with Olaf really sweet but there is a lot more to be resolved between the two. I’m hoping there is another book to fix some open issues. Of course I fell in love with Sam and Liam in book one so I loved to see them be a big part of this story.
The vandalism story took up a good portion of the beginning of the book and added excitement but then it kind of died off until the end when the mystery was solved. I found it rather anticlimactic. Along with the vandalism there are some other issues Nibs has been keeping from Wig which causes a lot of tension. The two clearly love each other so much that I never saw their relationship in jeopardy. Overall it is a nice addition to the series and quick/light read. Sweet HEA at the end with some good sex interspersed throughout the book....more
There is so much to love about this book. Though it’s true that Jack, one of the main characters, is a ghost throughout the bulk of the story, this story is about life. About living. About loving. About learning from one’s past. About making a difference for somebody. About making the most out of what we have been given here on earth.
I was drawn into this story immediately, becoming completed immersed in Jack’s turbulent Hollywood life in 1955. It didn’t take long to realize that the young actor had starry eyed dreams that were probably not going to match up with harsh realities that he had yet to acknowledge, or even identify. Being gay in that era of Hollywood was not a problem behind the scenes, far from it, but being the boy-toy of a big name male star was not going to put Jack on the fast track, at least not the one he was hoping for. I felt like such a helpless bystander as Jack was played and betrayed. My heart went out to him. There was some pretty tough reading here, I’m sure my jaw dropped and I know I cried.
Fade out to where we meet present day Tag. Tag is on a road trip, literally searching for meaning in his life. The world is completely grey to him. Even his first ever viewing of the Grand Canyon elicits zero emotion from him. He had been hoping it would jump start some, any, feelings from within his cold despairing heart. He had always had good luck, but not the good fortune or sense to keep from screwing up what it brought his way. And his latest screw up had been huge. While driving along tired and wrung out on an Arizona desert highway, Tag is the recipient of an intervention of sorts by a kind hearted cop. After being ordered to pull over and sleep at the next exit, Tag does just that, and realizes the next day that he picked up a passenger of the incorporeal persuasion.
Tag assumes he has really gone around the bend, he is surely hallucinating. His mother had been mentally unstable, why not him too? Gradually through speaking with Jack and witnessing firsthand some of what Jack could do, Tag has to admit to himself that yes, Jack is a ghost. A very solid, cigarette smoking ghost that Tag could touch and feel, but a ghost none the less. Jack is ecstatic to have Tag’s company, and to be traveling. Seems he has been relegated to existing as the lone ghost at the grounds where a motel used to stand, and has had no contact with anyone of either the spectral or material variety for years.
Tag plans to head to Vegas, the two proceed together. They talk about many subjects, including why some dead people hang around as ghosts, others don’t, and still others do for a while, then they move on. Along the journey, Jack encountered other ghosts and was able to communicate with them. The consensus with them was that the ghosts who were “hanging around” had unfinished business. Once they had seen their business to a satisfying end, they moved on. Jack was highly puzzled as to just what his unfinished business could be. All he could think about was how much he had wanted to be a major movie star and garner all the trappings, fame, and adulation such an accomplishment would garner.
Jack and Tag bonded and grew intrinsically close. To Tag’s surprise, they were able to have sex, and if that wasn’t surprise enough, it was extremely gratifying and emotional sex. The guys were drifting along, trying to find their answers, settling into a fragile happiness - only to have it yanked away. Perhaps they had been fated to meet this way, to help each other out and move on, each alone in their separate planes of being. Or perhaps higher forces had something else in mind for them…
The following are some lovely quotes from the two guys. I feel these words get right to the core of their hearts:
“If nobody remembers you, it’s like you never even existed. I know I was never anyone big, Tag, but I existed.” –Jack to Tag
“I want a happy-ever-after with the man I love. I want to be able to lean on him forever and know he won’t let me fall. I want him to lean on me. I want to lie in bed with him and feel our hearts beat in tandem.” –Tag to a blackjack dealer
I love the cover of this book. It oozes nostalgia and ambience. I’ve been on old Rt. 66 and to Las Vegas several times, and I know the author has road tripped along there as well. The authenticity throughout the story is apparent and appreciated, and makes for a very vivid and rich setting for this story. The secondary characters of Buddy and Rick became very important to both Jack and Tag. Buddy won me over with his, been there, done that easy going, yet extremely caring approach to life. They had quite a positive impact on both Jack and Tag, and me!
A minor plot point niggled at me. I did wonder about ghost-Jack being able to get an erection, and orgasm. He did not require food, had no heartbeat, no circulation, and did not even have a sense of smell or taste. It seemed… convenient. Then again, I have just fully embraced and enjoyed the hell out of a book that featured a ghost – so if this ghost was wired that way, more power to him!
Jack and Tag won my heart. It took a while in Tag’s case. At first he seemed a sullen mystery, and even a bit of a woe-is-me type. As his life history and head space became clearer to me during the course of the story, I became much more empathetic towards him. I loved how the author resolved everything – including Jack’s unfinished business ♥ - and brought the guys to their HEA. There were some really great twists and surprises along the way – not least of which was the mission they went on at the end of the story – I was expecting something else, but was very glad to be wrong :-)
Loving Jay is an easy-going, cute little romance between an in denial Liam and the Jay of the title. Liam had been noticing the tall, slim blonde on the morning train ride to work for months, constantly telling himself he couldn't be finding the flamboyantly beautiful man attractive because he wasn't gay. He couldn't be because his father would never accept a gay son, he'd said it often enough that no son of his would ever be gay. Liam is very close to his family and the thought of not being welcome to his parent's Sunday Roast with his four brothers and their respective wives/girlfriend just breaks his heart. So no, there's no way he's gay. Except for the fact that he's obsessed with a guy he's never even spoken to. Then one morning he misses his morning train due to an old leg injury, and just as he's thinking there goes his morning chance to admire the man he's named Jay in his head, he turns around to find the man himself has apparently also missed the train. And he suggests they go and have coffee while waiting for the next train. Together.
Once the ice is broken, Liam and Jay's friendship quickly develops. When Jay is the victim of a gay bashing, it has Liam flying in to save him and realising that Jay certainly means more to him just friendship would warrant. From this point, there's no denying that Liam is most definitely, one hundred percent gay and possibly in love with the feminine, out and proud Jay. If only it didn't mean losing his family. Unlike Jay's family, who love and accept just the way he is, Liam very much fears that his own family will be less than supportive. While Liam was right about his father, the rest of his large family were awesome. I especially loved how they all went into bat for him against his father and all their supportive text messages.
The main characters were easy to like, I adored Jay especially (a few less Oh. My. Gawds wouldn't have hurt, but he really was gorgeous - bubbly, over the top, delightful and loving). Liam and Jay really were very cute together and they often made me smile. Some of the dialogue got a little cheesy, but I really loved the humour. Liam seemed to fall out of character every now and then, one moment being adamant that there was no way he was gay (and that constant insistence had me thinking that I had got that several exclamations ago, thanks) and the next seemingly perfectly willing to indulge in an imaginary sex scene that kind of came out of the blue and went on for too long. It got my imagination going along at the start, but then I just kind of got bored with the whole imaginary sex scene and ended up skimming most of it as it didn't really seem to have much reason for being there at that point. Having said that, though, they're relatively minor niggles in an otherwise engaging story with two very endearing MCs. All the characters are believable and well-developed. Even the father isn't portrayed as "the villain". His views about homosexuality are from the dark ages, but he isn't an inherently bad person.
The end was very sweet - I truly could picture that photo in my mind - but it felt a little too abrupt and Liam's father's turn around seemed resolved unlikely fast. Loving Jay was light and fun, and even though it got a little over the top at times, it was nonetheless a very enjoyable read. The writing was good and I'll be looking out for future books by this author....more
Firstly, I am not a knitter. After reading Amy Lane’s Super Sock Man with her pattern at the end, I was tempted. Then I read The Winter Courtship Rituals of Fur-Bearing Critters. I was smitten. I devoured each book in the series as it became available and fell in love with the characters as well as the setting. Set in the Colorado Rockies in the small community of Granby, the stories center around Rance Crawford’s mill where he raises alpacas and rabbits then spins their fur to make gorgeous one of a kind yarn. The warmth and love that is written into these stories is beautiful. There is humor and tender moments as well as personal struggles to overcome.
Blackbird Knitting in a Bunny Lair is the sequel to Knitter in His Natural Habitat. These books need to be read in order to really get to know the characters (although book two, Super Sock Man, does not have the same characters as the others in the Knitting series and even though it is not a prequel to Chase in Shadow (Johnnie’s 1), this is where I first met Chase’s character).
At the end of book three, Jeremy has stood up against a mob boss to protect his friend Johnny’s lover from harm. Jeremy feels he owes Johnny for saving his life years before. Jeremy had lived a grifter’s life, traveling with his father, pulling con’s until his father was killed and Jeremy himself landed in prison. After meeting Rance Crawford in book one and being given a chance to become an honest man, life has gradually gotten better. He has friends that have become family and a boy, Aiden, to call his own. Now, he is in the hospital with severe injuries and figures he deserved what he got - someone like him has had all the happiness he deserves - and it is time to pay up. Of course, Aiden does not see it this way and works to reassure Jeremy of his love and worth.
What we get in this story is both heartbreaking and joyful. We get to see Jeremy become the man that Aiden and his friends already know him to be and his struggle to believe in himself. When his friend,Ariadne, finds out that her baby will be born with a birth defect that will require multiple surgeries, Jeremy steps up and sets things in motion to help her and her family out. It is beautiful watching this evolve and at the same time seeing Jeremy and Aiden’s relationship mature.
While the events that put Jeremy in the hospital are told from Stanley’s point of view in Knitter in His Natural Habitat, in this book we get to see it from Jeremy’s and Aiden’s points of view. I really enjoyed this and loved the way their relationship comes full circle and they get the happiness they deserve. I cried several times while reading Blackbird Knitting in a Bunny Lair, but it was so worth the tears....more
This is the second book I've read and enjoyed by this author. I, of course, had to read it the minute I see hockey mentioned in the blurb. Unlike a lot of romance books, this one did have quite a bit of hockey being played. Lots of ice time because the MC, Justin, is a once hockey player turned professional ice skater returning to his home town with some issues to work through. I cringe to say demons because that word was use so frequently in this book. We are talking triple digits total and probably 25 times in the first chapter. Yes, it was distracting and too much IMO, but I suggest you push through that because I thought this was a pretty good book.
I had no idea where we were going when this book started. I expected something really horrific to have happened to Justin for him to be the angry bitter man he comes off as in the beginning. His mother died and it ripped his family apart leaving Justin on the outside alone. He returns to stay with his sister to escape his hectic life and spend his days training for his upcoming competitions. I didn't really understand why it was so important for him to train at his father's college or how that was any less stressful or distracting than what he had going on in California because it was never really explained but I just rolled with it. Seemed like there should have been some explanation given the extreme behavior of Justin to returning to his family under the circumstances.
When he shows up to his sister's place he learns his secret ex lover, Danny, is staying at his sister's, too. I thought this might be the love interest. In fact, despite his ex being a complete ass there was a very powerful moment between them that made me cry. Danny is a total overcompensating closet case prick, who does love Justin but won't come out. Justin thinks he's in love with Danny so their break up scene made me put my hand to my chest because it hurt. This scene gave me flashback to Jake and Adrien, because you can feel how much of himself Danny is crushing down to keep his secret and you can't hate him for it like you want to. The author doesn't let you. This line gutted me! I read it three times. “I love you.” He paused. “No matter where you are or who you are with, never forget that.” Then he leaves! :'( It hurt!
Danny is the main reason for Justin's issues with “hockey boys”. Then a new one transfers onto his dad's team and into the bedroom Danny just abandoned. The new guy named CJ is totally likable and doesn't fit into Justin's stereotype of what a hockey player is. Justin has a very real hang up on hockey despite the fact he used to play. This was explained pretty well as the book goes along. Initially I was like WTF is Justin's problem?!
CJ and Justin have chemistry. There's that “is he gay” moment CJ clears up with a kiss one night. CJ has something serious he's keeping secret from CJ about where he came from. Justin is getting over a break up and training hard. Neither think it's an ideal time to start a relationship but that's what CJ wants. Justin is in denial about his interest in CJ. They just kind of ignore the secrets between them and enjoy each other afraid to burst their little bubble with reality. This became frustrating because you knew it was going to explode at some point. AND it did.
I will say the sex scenes and chemistry were smoking hot in this book. I felt a strong connection between Justin and both the men he's with in this book. I really should have disliked Danny's character but I can't deny there was something there. CJ is the real deal for Justin though. Pretty much everything he wants minus the secrets. CJ even follows and really enjoys figure skating.
The secondary characters in this book were really enjoyable. I didn't have a moment of page time where I whined to myself about wanting the MCs to get back on page because the interactions between the other characters kept me thoroughly entertained.
So, to sum this up. The first chapter was a bit of a struggle for me. The demon thing entire book was annoying but the first chapter was a struggle. The next 2/3 of the book was really good. Then the ending was very angsty and dramatic with an HEA. I did really enjoy this book and I will be looking forward to this author's other books. ...more
When I am in the mood for a fun, entertaining romance one of my favorite authors to go to is Cardeno C. The characters are witty, vibrant, sweet and sexy. When I had the opportunity to review Perfect Imperfections, I was thrilled.
I read the description of the book and was a little skeptical of there being such a creature as a sheltered rock star, but “The Jeremy Jameson” has led a sheltered life. Growing up with famous parents, his entire life has been controlled by either his parents or managers or publicists. His music is what he truly loves, everything else is just the baggage that goes along with being one of the most popular musicians of his time. At thirty-one, Jeremy (the man, not the rock star) is tired of all the fame and fake friends, the running from the paparazzi and always having to be aware of everything he says or does. The man needs a break.
Escaping into a local bar, he hopes to find a few moments of peace, just a regular guy having a beer. When the bartender, Reggie Moore, strikes up a conversation with him, Jeremy is hesitant at first then decides the guy seems sincere and the conversation begins to flow easily between them. Jeremy thinks it’s great connecting with someone, especially when they treat you like an average guy, not a rock star. At the end of the night when Reg tells Jeremy he has to leave because the bar is closed, Jeremy’s less than pleasant rock star attitude comes through until he realizes that Reg isn’t brushing him off, but offering him a place to stay until he sobers up. When Jeremy finds out that Reg knows who he is but doesn’t make a big deal about it, he decides to take him up on the offer.
After talking a while longer and hearing about Reggie’s plans for travel and adventure, Jeremy comes up with a crazy idea, why not take Reggie on tour with him? He can hang out with someone he actually likes and wants to be there, that isn’t looking to be around him just for the publicity, and have fun! He can tell everyone that Reg is his boyfriend – well – pretend boyfriend. Crazy, right? Reggie tells Jeremy that if he makes the offer again when he is sober, it’s a deal. When Jeremy asks him again the next morning, Reggie says yes. Who could pass this up? Hang out with the handsome rock star, listen to awesome music, travel and, on their days off, get to do some of those adventures he has always wanted to do. Win-win.
I loved Reggie. He is an awesome character. He is calm, friendly, self-assured and easy going. He truly has no idea what the world that “The Jeremy Jameson” lives in is like. Jeremy’s manager, Bill, doesn’t believe for a minute that Jeremy and Reggie are in a relationship. He has been Jeremy’s manager for years, seen the people that he has dated and is himself gay, no way is “The Jeremy Jameson” gay. After a heated discussion with Jeremy, Bill decides he will work with it as long as Jeremy keeps to his schedule. Jeremy is a high maintenance guy, under pressure from all sides and has been alone in a sea of people for a long time. Spending time with Reg is just what he needs and Reg is perfect at handling Jeremy. After months on the road, Jeremy starts to question his feelings for Reg and Reg is hoping he figures it out soon, because he is more than ready to move beyond just friends.
I really enjoyed Perfect Imperfections. I almost thought Jeremy was too naive for a rock star, but he really did lead a sheltered and controlled life. The story is angst free, with very likeable characters. The camaraderie between Jeremy and Reg is immediate but their friendship really develops when they go on tour together. The more they are together, the more Jeremy looks to Reg for comfort and support and Reg is wonderful in that role. The friendship to romance is slow to develop but evolves at a nice pace, and once they make the decision to take it to a more intimate level – it is hot. Reggie IS the Bomb (you have to read the book to know why). I thought the way the author handles a character not realizing he is gay until age thirty-one is well done. The way Jeremy’s manager viewed Jeremy and his relationship with Reg was annoying at times but also felt realistic for the circumstances.
If you are looking for a light, sweet, romantic story this would be one I would recommend....more
One of the fun things, for me, about reading B.G. Thomas’ books is that he tends to have characters and places appear from one book in another even though they are not actually a series. I love this. Now we have this first in a series, Spring Affair, from the new Season’s of Love series and this book focuses on Sloan McKenna, who we met briefly in the book Hound Dog & Bean.
Sloan’s mother has recently passed away. They were very close and her passing has been difficult for Sloan. He lives alone in the house now and sees his mother everywhere, from the floral sofa to the lovely blooms just now appearing in her gardens. Luckily, Sloan has his three best friends who, along with himself, make up the Fabulous Four. They get together regularly and while this has been wonderful for Sloan during his grieving, at the same time even they can feel overwhelming. There is Asher, the gorgeous aspiring actor that, unfortunately, Sloan made the mistake of falling in love with after a brief fling years before. Somehow, they have remained friends even with Sloan still carrying a torch for Asher knowing all the time that Asher will never commit to a relationship with anyone (but secretly hoping). Then there is Scott. He is one that comes across as the pessimist in the group, unhappy with himself and life in general. He tends to put other people down and tries to buy his way into happiness with designer clothes, glasses and a fancy car. Lastly, we have Wyatt. Good-hearted, always ready to lend a hand, tell a corny joke and is usually wearing something outlandish.
When they all meet at Sloan’s one evening, the friends spy Sloan’s neighbor, Max. Max approaches Sloan the next day, asking him if he would like to go running with him. Sloan is surprised but flattered until Max’s wife, Lauren, reminds him they need to hurry to get to the airport. Of course, he would be straight and married. Not someone to get interested in, just friends. Maybe running together would be okay.
It is after Lauren leaves for France for her job that Max accidently discovers something that leads him to believe his fourteen-year-old son is gay. He has so many mixed feelings about this. He has all the concerns of a parent worrying about how their child will be treated by others, but more than that, Max is forced to deal with his own past and the conflicting emotions this brings with it.
Of all the books I have read by this author, this one seems to be the one most introspective for the characters. It is a complex look into what being gay means to each man in the story. What they think it means in our current society and how it was for them during their childhood and teen years. At times, it was difficult to watch Max struggle with his feelings, dealing with guilt from his childhood and doubts and indecision. He knows he has not been honest with himself or those he loves about who he is and taking that leap is frightening. His relationship with his brother Dennis and Dennis’ husband, Armel, provide a nice balance as a happily married couple, with both men comfortable with who they are. The story explores different types of relationships, both open and monogamous. I admit that it felt like there was a fine line on what would be considered cheating, outside of actually having sex with someone other than your partner. I thought this dilemma was handled realistically, and left the reader to decide how they felt about the decisions the characters made.
Max’s character is very spiritual and relies heavily on his Buddhist beliefs for strength, searching for answers, and finding peace through meditation. Max’ son, Logan, seems mature for his age but not unrealistically so. Although it may seem like a heavy story, it really isn’t. It is filled with humor, light moments, witty banter and friendships. I enjoyed the moments that Sloan draws on his memories of his mother when he needs guidance. Max’s wife is not very endearing but neither is she painted as a villain, although she has her moments there, too.
Overall, I enjoyed this book very much. The characters are engaging and the storytelling pulled me into their lives. I was pleased with the conclusion and I am happily looking forward to the next book in the series. ...more
I'm pretty sure I shouted my love for Slide to everyone that would listen. I loved it so much I made Garrett Leigh an auto buy. Not that I wouldn't have picked this up anyway. I love a wounded military man.
Jed was pretty much born to be a soldier. He initially signed up to escape a drunken father but soon realized he excelled at it. The years in combat have sculpted who he is. The way he looks at life. The way he thinks. How he responds to a situation. Jed has a very practical view of things. An explosion left him physically scarred and wounded. For the first time in many years Jed finds himself as a civilian. His kid brother does what he thinks is his duty and invites him to come stay with him. The unresolved history there causes a clash but conveniently the brother of Jed's sister ill8n law has a nice quiet cabin where he can stay.
Max is such an easy going guy. Happy and content when he could be bitter about the hand fate as dealt him. Max has only heard stories about Jed from his brother-in-law. Whom he strongly dislikes, but he loves his sister so he agrees to let Jed stay with him. Both men find the other attractive. Slowly as the book progresses the friendship turns into more. There's not a lot of flirting. It's kind of a subtle build that has you anticipating the moment the guys profess their feelings. It never really comes though. This couple just kind of slide from friends to lovers. I personally would have liked a little more yearning for each other. They just kind of fall into it. I'm not saying it's bad but it never really reached the intensity I've come to expect from this author. Maybe that's unfair? My expectations are SO high! ;) Ash and Peter gut punch you with their chemistry. Jed and Max are more of a cool breeze on a hot day. It's nice but not all consuming.
There were a lot of flashbacks. These did pull me out of the story at times but it does help you understand Jed better. There was a lot going on in this book. Jed kept his illness and a lot of his feelings secret. Max has his own illness but is very honest about it. However, he does have his own secret. There were less sex scenes in this book but that kind of fit the characters. They weren't young guys looking to get off all the time. They had real issues and lives to put back in order. Pasts to deal with.
As always the characters were well sculpted. The story has layers. I was very intrigued by Glenn. I'd love to see him again. Good book. Garrett Leigh is still a must buy for this fan girl....more
I have read K.C. Wells Collars & Cuffs series and loved it. After I read Love Lessons Learned, I realized that several of the characters in this book are also in her Learning to Love series. Although I haven't yet read that series, it did not take away from my reading experience at all, but rather enticed me to go back and get the background on these characters through the Learning to Love series.
I enjoyed this book very much. The characters are well developed (even without having the back-story of some) and very likeable. John Wainwright just landed his first teaching job. While celebrating with his younger brother Evan, and Evan’s husband Daniel, John meets Max. This encounter finally makes John admit to himself that he is gay. Not a huge stretch for him to accept, but he is experiencing some major life changes and being a gay primary school teacher may not be well received, so he decides to keep it private. In addition to the new job, John needs to find a place to live, preferably close to the school where he will be teaching. As luck would have it, John answers an advertisement for a “roommate needed” that turns out to be perfect, close to work with three roommates, so the cost will be manageable. While touring the house, Martin, the person that had placed the ad, wanted to make sure that John does not have a problem having three roommates that were gay. No, this is definitely not going to be a problem!
John loves his job, the kids he teaches and the staff he works with. He is also attracted to his mentor and head master, Brett Sanderson. Thinking Brett is straight, John pushes these feelings aside and strives to focus on doing the best he can at his new job.
Brett Sanderson has been living separate lives for a very long time. He takes his holidays to Brighton, where he can be himself even if he does go by another name there. During the rest of the year, he keeps his distance from his co-workers and his professional persona in place. This division in his life has never been a problem for him before, at least not until John Wainwright enters his life.
I truly loved John’s housemates Stu, Alec, and Martin. They are lovely and become great friends to John. The relationship between John and Brett was a tough one to read at times. Ms Wells had me crying early on, then furious on John’s behalf, then skeptical, and ultimately having an “awww" moment.
I enjoyed that the story drew me in and evoked such strong emotions. A well written story with depth, there is the lovely romance between John and Brett, wonderful secondary storylines that are developing, and a bit of drama too. I am hoping, very much, that Alec, Martin, Stu and Max get their own books - they are wonderful characters. I am definitely looking forward to the next book in this series. Until then, I think I will start her Learning to Love series and get to know Evan and Daniel a bit better.
Juniper wine and long shots of gin That's where this damned hell all begins Blood on a mirror, taint of sin He'll break my heart And get under my skin Can't help myself. Butterfly on a pin. Lord help stop this damned madness 'Cause he's done pulled me in. --Crazed and Moonshined"
It's Valentine's and while with Damien, who's shopping for a Valentine's Day present for Sionn, Miki starts to doubt that his gift for Kane is good enough. After all, Miki himself is not worthy of the man, why would his present be?
The Devil's Brew is told from Miki St John's POV and takes us through his relationships with the three most important men in Miki's life: his brother, Damien; his love, Kane; and Donal, the man who finally shows Miki what a father figure is meant to be, and Donal is just all kinds of awesome. All three of these men love Miki beyond description and want nothing more than to see him happy. Although he doesn't doubt their love, Miki still thinks he's too broken to be truly deserving of it. Damien he has known long enough by now to accept that theirs is a true love born of brotherhood no matter how damaged he may be, even if it's brothers bonded by the heart rather than blood. I really loved getting to see Miki and Damien together without anyone else with them; seeing that unique, unbreakable bond that they have with each other as strong as ever, but also how they've each made room in their lives and hearts for Kane and Sionn.
Miki may have doubts, but I think his presents for Kane were perfect. Especially his second one. Can't wait to see what happens in Tequila Mockingbird.
Although a novella, Rhys Ford manages to pack a lot into The Devil's Brew. There are the scenes dealing with the three main relationships in Miki's life, but there is also the other members of Sinner's Gin who are gone but not forgotten. Even though we never actually met Johnny and Dave, the deep loss of them that Miki and Damien feel is palpable in the author's description - "Death amputated some of their limbs, and now they stumbled, unable to walk straight or grab at things properly because neither one of them could grasp the loss of their bandmates." There are questions discussed that hint at possible future decisions. And there are hot sex scenes and wicked humour and most of all, there is love. It'll be interesting to see how the seeds planted in this book unfold as the series goes along.
Also, the song lyrics are brilliant.
Oh, and I have to admit, I enjoyed the little cameo from my friend Felix, the "handsome silver-haired Hispanic man with an eye for pretty boys" of the Fish & Chips shop!...more
This series features so many different types of couples. From porn stars and play boys to heart broken widowers and reformed sluts. I honestly have no idea what I’m going to get when I pick up a book in this series. We did meet Brody, one of the MCs, in the last book but he’s so different in this book. You think you know a guy. Pffttt…. ;)
In the last book we left Brody pining over his college ex. He’s still hooking up but looking for love. When he doesn’t find the one he starts to get frustrated. Brody has a long list of no nos that he’s convinced are deal breakers in his search to find the perfect guy to settle down with. One of those things is he won’t date a guy with kids. He grew up in a not so stable home environment and is certain he has nothing to offer a child.
At Van and Zach’s engagement party Brody is the only one left in their group of friends still flying solo. To escape he offers to pic Van’s cousin Eric up from the ferry. When he sees him he’s interested. Until he sees his daughter. With the possibility of a relationship out the window, Brody just acts like himself and wins the daughter over. The daughter is NOT your normal kid. Very sassy and honest. The guys are thrust together over the next few days. Eric is oblivious to Brody’s attraction and in fact lets him believe his husband is still around when Eric is actually a widower. Everyone else sees what’s going on but poor Brody thinks there’s no chance. Eric has to decide if he can move on or if he should let Brody go.
I think I had some really high hopes for this series after the last book. Which I LOVED!!! This one was sweeter and didn’t seem to capture the clueless romantic build the last one had. One of the MCs was clueless or avoided the possibility and then BAM! Sex and love. The daughter and family dynamic definitely gave it a different vibe. No worries. The down and dirty is very present in this book it just comes late and then it’s pretty frequent. This author writes some serious naughty talk! Whew! There’s lots of sass from the secondary characters that again captures that teasing family thing groups of friends seem to have. The ending is a total HEA wrapped up in a big sparkling bow. Like I said, all the books in the series have a very different feel to them. They can be read as stand alones IMO....more
I love college coming out stories and the blurb sounded great. I’d never read a book by this author before and know so many people who loved Billy Bones, so I grabbed this one to review. I think it had some highs and lows but mostly just hung out in the middle for me personally.
I liked a lot of the quirky characters. They were fun and they seemed very comfortable with themselves. Sometimes to to the point of me questioning what the hell they were doing. For example, the naked party? I’ve been to a lot of parties but that one’s never come up. There’s no way I’m letting some guy who won’t shower put my pillow on his crotch. Bleh! Actually there was a lot of nakedness in this book. Showering in front of each other, naked parties, naked sleeping and a naked run to the room.
The sexual and emotional tension between the MCs was good. The escalation of their relationship from smiles and touches to mutual masturbation and eventually sex was pretty damn sexy. I enjoyed how much Jake wanted more from Danny almost from the start. Danny has some issues with himself being “boyfriend” material based on a bad experience from high school that really set him on a path of casual sex as his preference. Danny certainly wasn’t your typical anything. On one hand he’s so traumatized but he really just acts like it’s no big thing. He asked for it. In his head it was bad but his own fault. Mostly he just adopts the whatever mentality while internally chastising himself.
Jake was more your typical m/m romance closet case. Falls head over heels for his first gay crush in college. Comes from a family where the dad is a total overbearing homophobic prick. Oh, and there are brothers that match daddy’s abusive attitude. Jake is also a virgin. Him moving into the arts dorm is really his first chance at freedom he’s ever had but he still has the fear of his father’s disapproval hanging over him at all times.
I found a lot of the LARP and dungeon and dragons stuff cute in a geeky way but there was also just too much of it. I started skimming when things became over detailed. That could just be me not finding it quite THAT interesting.
I thought Danny’s mom was really fun. The guys staying at her house was a highlight of the book for me. I laughed. The guys became closer. Emotionally and sexually. It was interesting to see where Danny came from. I’d have loved it if she got the chance to kick those boys from Danny’s past asses! She could have done it,too!
So, I didn’t exactly love it but I’m glad I read it. I know this was supposed to be a lighter work for this author. I just never became invested in the couple on a level that makes me need to get to the point of the book that it happens....more
I don’t know if everyone feels some trepidation when picking up a sequel or the next book in a series, but I do. Sometimes, that feeling is warranted and I’m disappointed, but sometimes…well, I’ve finished Rhys Ford’s “Dirty Deeds,” Book Four in the Cole McGinnis series and I’m happy dancing. HAPPY DANCING.
Rhys grabbed me in Chapter 1 as Bobby, Claudia and Cole work what should be an “easy paycheck” stakeout for an insurance company. I laughed out loud several times as the trio’s simple job becomes a complex free-for-all and the neighborhood comes alive with colorful, curse slinging, opportunistic, wonderful characters bent on taking what’s not theirs as Bobby fends off his droopy-pajama-wearing, insurance defrauding suspect who who has been eyeing Claudia as his “Afternoon Delight” and a little, elderly woman with a protective Chihuahua. The images Rhys’ words conjure are priceless and all the while, the majestic Claudia stands above it all. I love Claudia. In this book her role as Cole’s mom-of-the-heart deepens and is cemented. I’ve looked forward to that moment because Cole deserves this mom who has reared eight sons to keep him on his toes and to love him.
Rhys’ writing is richer and more full-bodied with each book she produces. In this one, the plot is tighter and more focused. Cole is working on giving Jae time and space to heal after Cole’s dead partner’s wife, Sheila, shot Jae in the previous book “Dirty Laundry.” When Cole learns Sheila was in police custody, but was released, he is livid and consumed with protecting Jae from his dead partner’s maniacal, addict widow because losing his former lover was enough pain for a lifetime. (If you haven’t read this series, begin with “Dirty Kiss” so you fully appreciate the the characters’s growth and the back history. You will be so rewarded.)
Once he knows Sheila is free and too close for comfort, Cole begins a methodical search for Jae’s attacker and we are plunged into Rhys’ amazing world where she mixes cultures with ease into a teaming, layered, vivid backdrop for mystery/suspense and Cole’s evolving relationship with Jae. “Dirty Deeds,” which is told from Cole’s point of view, is funny, sad, frightening and satisfying. Along the way, we reconnect with Jae, who is out of the closet with his family and seemingly happier; Cole’s protective brother Mike and Neko, Jae’s cat. Cole’s best friend Bobby and Claudia are on the scene and, interestingly, Cole reaches a detente with Detective Dell O’Byrne who first appeared in “Dirty Kiss.” I love this fascinating cast of characters who provide texture, warmth and tension for this ongoing series. Rhys’ careful development of secondary characters is a joy to read as they mature into a heady support team for our boys.
As the investigation proceeds, Cole walks a fine line between the present and the past. He plunges into a morass of old friends, drugs, death and exotic women and dangerous men. Secrets are revealed, questions are answered, but happily new questions surface. I’ve said this before, but Rhys can write a villain. Just WOW. Her descriptive prose and the attention to detail she pays to these despicable characters are remarkable, but in this story, she also deftly gives us glimpses of Sheila’s humanity. Tough to do for a woman whose soul is shriveled beyond recognition to Cole.
And, the ending in the epilogue is a cliffhanger that is seriously WICKED. OK, no one can be surprised, I can’t wait for the next one.
Hank is privileged. His family’s wealth and prestige get him anything he wants and allow him to flout the laws of Heaven that most other people suffer under. Ian has nothing and has worked to literally reach higher levels of existence. The higher you are in Heaven the better you are. Ian doesn’t have any of the protections that Hank has. Of course, Hank and Ian have fallen a bit in love with each other but can’t admit or do anything to acknowledge the situation as Ian is one of Hank’s bodyguards. This is a good thing for Hank, as Ian has a strong need to save him and someone is trying to kill him. Ian is moved closer to Hank to protect him. Hank, being able to have whatever he wants for most of his life is happy as maybe finally he’ll be able to get exactly what he wants from Ian. Ian finds himself doing his best to deny his feelings for Hank as that is the surest route to being either fired or executed. Ian doesn’t want to simply have an affair with Hank, he wants a full fledged D/s relationship with Hank. Hank is sweetly submissive and behaves terribly for attention. After yet another attempt on Hank’s life, Ian is given time off by Hank’s brother. Ian suspects the worst of Hank’s brother but has no power to deny him anything. Ian also desperately needs to relieve some stress and leaves Heaven to do so. Before leaving, Ian hand picks two other guards to protect Hank in his absence.
Not long after Ian leaves Hank comes to the conclusion Ian will never have a relationship with him while he’s an employee. Hank comes up with the brilliant plan to fire him so they can have sex. He escapes his new guards and follows Ian down out of Heaven to the largely lawless Earth. He has been there a couple of times in the past and it’s mostly a horrible place. Hank finds Ian in a club, whipping a man onstage. He’s aroused and upset. These actions are against all of Heaven’s morality laws. He does want that from Ian but he doesn’t want to admit to his perversions. Hank leaves suddenly after he realizes his plan of firing Ian and having wonderful romantic sex is silly. It’s not what Ian wants. While on his way back to Heaven Hank is mugged and his identity chip is stolen. While talking to people in the club, Ian realizes Hank was there. He goes to find him and thankfully does. Ian takes Hank to a friend’s house to recuperate. While going to get a vehicle to take them home Ian learns there has been another attempt on Hank’s life. The guards were killed and Ian is being put forth as the main suspect in Hank’s apparent death.
Hank and Ian realize there is now nothing preventing them from having the relationship they both want. And they’re going to be having it on Ian’s terms. Hank is stunned at how much he wants and needs the D/s relationship. They do have to make their way back into Heaven to set the record straight. They enlist the help of Demons to do it. When they do finally get back into Heaven they find they were double crossed by the Demons. Ian ends up being held by the Angels. They plan to reprogram his soul to take away the perversions. Hank can only turn to one person with the power to help them. He realizes he’s willing to give anything to have Ian back.
I didn’t like this book. I felt there was an effective plot but overall the characters were either black or white with little to no shades of grey. Science fiction has a long established history of highlighting some kind of social problem. This book did so in what was for me a glaring fashion. Religion and corporations had merged in such a fashion as to fully entrench the upper echelons, literally, of society. The Angels dispensed an unfair justice only to those who were poor or without influence. The corporations killed whoever they needed to for profit. Merit and hard work had no place. Whereas I think these are all valid complaints about the perils of modern society, I didn’t need to have the obvious shoved in my face in such a way that felt preachy and contrived. I do not want to dismiss as cartoonish our collective greatest fears for society, but I felt myself doing so.
Even though the social aspects of this book really turned me off, I do think the relationship between Hank and Ian was good. They really fit each other. It was nice to see their needs finally being met....more
I flipping loved Denying Yourself so of course I was going to read this. There’s no way I didn’t want to see Carl find his man after everything he went through. I don’t know that you HAVE to read the first book but you want to. Pressure Points was more of a traditional sexy shifter book. Definitely less heartbreaking than Denying Yourself. Less angsty, too.
Carl is a tortured soul. Mostly of his own doing. Being pack Alpha is a very important but stressful job. Then there’s the added responsibility of managing the resort and still struggling with his alcoholism. So, it’s a perfect set up to have someone with weight of the world on his shoulders fall for the carefree human who’s job it is to relieve tension. Carl is very attracted to Justin the summer season masseuse. He should stay away. Carl’s too messed up and casual sex with his employee pretty much screams disaster. Especially since it can never lead anywhere. Justin is one of those free spirits that floats from place to place. Then there’s the fact that the Alpha dating a human is seen as weak by some members of the pack. When Justin reciprocates the attraction there’s no denying the chemistry and passion the guys feel for each other. Carl tries to be clear that it’s just a fling but they both develop feelings. Not that either man admits it of course.
This was a very sexy read. I liked how growly and mine Carl was when it came to Justin. Even when he was trying to pretend it was just a casual thing. It’s one of those obvious to everyone but the one involved type of things but it really worked for Carl. He was so wrapped up in his duties and guilt for the way he abandoned his brother for the bottle, he can’t just accept something as simple as finding the one you love and living happily ever after. Hell, he tortures himself with not being able to keep Justin.
Justin is sexy and adorable. So easy going. He was a really good balance for Carl. I was a little worried one of the Moon parties was going to end in a manage of some sort but thankfully, for my tastes, it didn’t. It’s just not my thing. Justin was certainly up for whatever but Carl just couldn’t stand the thought of sharing him. Even though he’d been all about the free love that occurs at the parties before. This was the turning point of the book. Everything comes to a head at the Moon party. It was kind of intense waiting to see how Carl handled it all.
While I can’t say I LOVED this one like I did Denying Yourself it was a very good book. Very sexy and engaging shifter book. I’m really looking forward to Egan and Alex’s book. Egan is so intense and raw. There’s so much history between him and Alex we don’t know about yet. It’s going to be so good! I’m really wondering which of their POV’s it will be from. Either would be good for me. Looking forward to it. Another good read from this author!...more
Ryan Paullson has aspirations. He wants to be a high powered attorney, and he wants to work for Joseph Van Aardt. Ryan also wants to ignore his more troublesome urges that have led to illicit encounters with men. He’s engaged to a wonderful woman and has his career all planned out. Ryan does get the job working for Van Aardt and is immediately plunged into huge amounts of work. What he really wants is to to work directly with Joseph himself on the McNeil case. Ryan eventually gets his wish. He is working with Joseph and it’s thrilling. Not only the work but the man. Ryan’s interest in Joseph as more than a lawyer seems to be reciprocated by Joseph. While on a business trip the two begin to have an affair. Many of the other attorneys at work suspect Ryan and Joseph are having an affair and don’t necessarily remain completely professional at all times. Ryan does get on well with one co-worker, Fiona. Eventually, the stress of the job and the affair turn out to be too much for Ryan and he confesses everything to his fiancée. He moves in with Joseph. Initially, it’s a place to stay until he can find something else and Joseph is rarely there.
After an explosive incident at work where he was accused of cheating in front of the whole office, there is little secret left that Joseph is the “other woman” of the dynamic. Despite that, things seem to be going smoothly. Ryan is relieved he isn’t in a marriage he didn’t really want and the McNeil case seems to be doing well. Ryan does learn his father may have information that could help them with the McNeil case. He also learns his parents are very upset he isn’t getting married to the woman they thought was perfect for him. When Joseph begins speaking to his father about testifying for them Ryan knows he won’t be able to tell them the full truth until the case is over. Then, Fiona dies in a subway accident. She fell onto the tracks. But time marches on. Joseph and Ryan are getting closer and their relationship outside of work is so good. They even enjoy knowing they have the other to go home to every evening. Then, at a coffee shop, Jack McNeil sits down and has a long conversation with Ryan. Nothing is as it seems.
Can I just say I really hate present tense? I really and truly hate present tense. I don’t know why, maybe it’s too good at creating immediacy and the perception you don’t know what’s going on. I like to feel I know what’s going on. I don’t want to read a whole book that has me wondering where or when the next shoe is going to drop. Being worried and tense completely fit Ryan’s character at this point in his life. He was coming to terms with his own sexuality, learning a new job, falling in love, and dealing with betrayal from his own family. Ryan was a disaster and as such being in his head was confusing and a little unpleasant. I find myself in the position of not having enjoyed something that wasn’t really meant to be enjoyable. It was well done.
It wasn’t really until the end of the book when the title really clicked for me. I had been thinking it was dangerous for Ryan to be in his situation. He was sleeping with his boss, cheating on his fiancée, and lying to his family. Those things were dumb, but ultimately they weren’t truly dangerous to Ryan. Ryan needed to be honest with himself about his sexuality and his lack of desire to be married. Ryan has the grounds to sue Joseph for sleeping with him, and Ryan deserves to have his parents know the truth about who he truly is. The seduction was dangerous for Joseph. Ryan knows almost everything and Joseph has fallen in love.
Some things are very unresolved. Both Joseph and Ryan have the best of intentions as of the end of the book, but nothing is set in stone. McNeil is very angry and will want some kind of revenge. Everyone seems to be hiding something except Ryan. Something has got to give and no one wants to be the one to do so.
What a wonderful, sweet and charming story this was..... don't let the cover or blurb mislead you! It kicks off with a scene in Devon’s BDSM club – and I though “Oh yeah! Now this is what I am talking about!” as Devon strutted onto my kindle :-) unfortunately it was not for a scene of his own, but to break up a scene in the club that had gone too far. A Dom was punishing a sub for some reason, and the guy was out of control – Devon quickly steps in and rescues the sub, Chase, and pretty much as soon as Devon sees Chase – it is game, set and match. He will be his. I love that instant lust. That ownership.
Chase’s story is quite heartbreaking – and I really don’t want to spoiler anything; so I am trying to be vague and yet still tell you something. I actually read the book blind - without reading the blurb, so the events as they were revealed had a big effect on me! In some ways I think blurbs can take away from the the drama of the book. Anyhow ... Chase is in his early 20’s and ran away from home in his teens because he was terrified of the fallout from him being gay. He soon meets a man, Kingston, in the city – and he takes Chase in. Literally and figuratively. Sadly for Chase, Kingston is not a nice man. And trust me that is a massive understatement. Kingston and Chase are living together in a full on D/s arrangement when Devon rescues Chase in the club; so now Kingston is after Devon to regain his possession i.e. Chase. We soon discover that Devon and Kingston have a bit of history which makes their battle for Chase even more personal.
Devon is just sublime. A perfect Dom , I guess. He wants Chase so much, but is unsure whether Chase was a sub purely because he was bullied into it by Kingston, or whether he is as beautifully and naturally submissive as he seems. He is determined to wait and see what Chase wants and needs once he has fully recovered, and is able to make his own decisions – a tough time for a young guy who has been forced into a situation in his formative years. The choices and plain old life experiences Chase has missed out on while with Kingston will break your heart. When Devon arranges for him to meet his family again I cried. Just a bit. But tears were shed. :-(
While there was a definite BDSM theme to it - it is not why I recommend the story. The romance is what will stay with me - it was beautiful and the connection between Chase and Devon was wonderful, but if it is the BDSM trope that you after then I honestly think this book isn’t edgy enough. The term “sweet boy” was used far too often for my liking; I love terms of endearment but I honestly think authors need to refrain from overusing them. And the BDSM scenes which were hot as HAWT can be just seemed too sweet for some reason – they just weren’t gritty – almost like the MC’s were just going through the motions. In saying that – I really do strongly recommend this book – it was lovely, and if you like some sweet in your BDSM then you will definitely not be disappointed with this read. Go. Buy the Book!...more
Final Admission was a difficult book for me to review. It deals with a disturbing topic - domestic abuse. I went through many emotions while reading and, although the author leaves us with a positive ending, this may not be for everyone.
Ethan Williams is the new guy in the office. Even before he goes to his first company meeting, he has heard of the infamous James Trenchard, a man with a reputation as being a dick and an outrageous flirt. After some very inappropriate behavior towards Ethan by James at the meeting, Ethan is determined to stay away from him, even if he does find himself attracted to the man. He knows James is bad news. While Ethan is at a gay bar with his friends, he sees James. James makes it obvious he wants Ethan, but Ethan turns him down. Then at three o’clock in the morning, James calls for help, leading to some very troubling revelations about James and changing Ethan’s opinion of him.
James Trenchard is a successful attorney with a secret. He and his husband Clay were in an auto accident that left Clay with physical as well as mental problems. He has gradually become unstable and abusive, causing injuries to James so severe that James has been hospitalized multiple times in the last year. James is carrying a lot of guilt about the accident even though he had nothing to do with it. He also feels guilt that he is working at a job that had previously been offered to his husband before the accident.
Ethan takes care of James at the hospital and afterwards takes James home with him at his boss's, James' cousin, request. James turns to Ethan for comfort and they develop a relationship that is, at times, painful to read because of the abuse, the complication of James being married and James not willing to seek help for either himself or his husband. It was frustrating to see nothing being resolved. James would not allow anyone to press charges against Clay, but at the same time, no one was getting help for Clay, even as his violence turns almost deadly and is directed at others around him, not just James. I thought the author handled the issue of domestic abuse well. It is not one that is easily resolved.
While the focus of the story is on James and Ethan there are secondary themes playing out with office politics and family dynamics. I know these themes were there to help build on why James behaved the way he did and how difficult it can be for everyone this abuse touches, whether the abused, the abuser, family or co-workers and friends. Discovering the abuse, then getting them the help they need meets with many obstacles as the story portrays.
I did find some of the inter office behavior and relationships to seem unrealistic in our day and age of sexual harassment awareness and workplace etiquette, as this seemed to be a large firm and those involved were trying to keep it secret. Overall, I enjoyed the story and how the abuse was resolved. The last two chapters centered on Ethan and James relationship after the abuse situation has been resolved, moved quickly and felt removed from the rest of the book. There were new problems introduced regarding business plans and trust issues, then the resolution to these in the last chapter felt much like the beginning of the book at least regarding the workplace behavior. Even so, I am glad the characters had a happy ending. ...more
This was a sweet little read about flatmates in their first year of Uni. Yes, this book is very English. Which I loved. Between the way the characters speak and the partying and hooking up in this book, it definitely set the scene. This is the first book, for me, by this author but I'll be checking out others. It just had a nice and easy flow to it. Good build and tension between the MCs. Likable secondary characters that support the story. There is some angst as is to be expected given the age of the characters and the fact one is just discovering he's gay.
The entire book is told from Lewis' POV. He's just broken up with his long time girlfriend. Lewis told himself it was so they could enjoy their first year of college properly. He knows that's not the complete truth. Lewis is completely captivated by his new roommate Max. Max is openly gay and tells the guys the first night over get-to-know-you drinks. I loved that all the guys were accepting but still said totally stupid shit you'd expect a straight guy to say. It just made the dynamic more believable. Lewis doesn't admit to crushing on Max right away. He's confused and in a new place. Max becomes his best friend at school and you're not supposed to crush on your mates.
Eventually Max finds a boyfriend which just punctuates how much Lewis likes Max. He's jealous but cares enough for Max to not get in the way. When the new boyfriend turns into a cheating shit, Lewis is there to help Max feel better. They get drunk and kiss. Get off. Lewis wants to jump right into a relationship with Max but Max has just gotten his heart stomped on, so he puts a halt to that possibility. This crushes Lewis. He pines away for a while but eventually Lewis joins up with a group of gay students and meets a new guy. He's newly out at college. He should be jumping at the chance to gain some gay sex experiences but the new guy isn't Max and there's no avoiding that sad truth.
First of all, there's no way you don't get why Lewis is so smitten with Max. He's flirty, fun and witty. You fall for Max right along with Lewis. You can practically feel the unrequited love yourself while reading this book. To be fair, Max thinks Lewis is straight for a good portion of this book. The sex was pretty hot when it finally happened. I can only imagine how torturous getting to read Max's POV would have been. Those longing looks and smiles......There was some serious yearning in this book. Pretty good straightforward romance. Angst, virgin sex and lots of tea drinking. I'd recommend if you're in the mood for a charming love story. Cheers!...more
I’m a huge fan of the Spy vs Spook series. If you haven’t read it, I recommend reading it. Theo aka Sweetcheeks and Will are secondary characters in the that series.This is essentially a spin off telling their story. I guess it’s not necessary to read that series before this book but I think the crossover was my favorite part of this book. Either way you’re going to have some revelations about these characters no matter the order you read them in. I feel like there were three distinct parts to this story.
Part one of this book is finding out just how Sweetcheeks ended up being a rent boy. This part of the book was just as crushing as you’d think. A sweet teenage boy goes from a family life to being disowned because he admits he’s gay. From there he gets hooked up with the worst kind of man, forcing him into prostitution and then eventually fleeing his hometown. He hitches a ride to DC and that’s how he ends up with the group of teenage prostitutes. I thought this portion was a little tough to read but not as gut wrenching as it could have been thank goodness. It still had an impact without making me sick to my stomach.
Part two was the everyday life of teenage prostitutes and how they make it in the big bad city. You’d think this part would be disturbing but the guys just went about tricking like it was just the way it was. I guess you could say they were resolved to their lives. Parts of this section even made it sound almost cool which I DID find disturbing. There was even a rent boy year ball where they crowned a king! The way they made some of their Johns out to be such nice guys and yet they paid boys for sex? Really squicked me out honestly. I guess it’s nice somebody cared for them enough to help them. I was happy when Sweetcheeks finally started to realize prostitution wasn’t something he’d like to do forever.
Finally we get to the love story. This part was sweet and super angsty. Will has a secretive job that he never really tells Sweetcheeks, now known as Theo since he stops prostituting once he hooks up with Will. This coupled with Theo’s insecurities really created most of the tension this book had to offer. Their relationship ups and downs were frustrating but kept me interested. I think the insta lust and then love worked well here. Things were just so intense and new between the guys. Theo never really thought he’d find love. Especially not with a guy that knew he was a rent boy. Theo is Will’s first with a man. He’s fooled around but never taken it to the level he experiences with Theo. This makes for some really hot sex scenes. I mean a rent boy and a gay virgin?
I did think this book was too long. There were a few scenes that played out that never really went anywhere. Like they were just thrown in. Such as a family kitten being killed by a vicious Pit Bull? Personally I thought that part was a little cliché and served no purpose what so ever. AND I don’t agree with the stereotyping of the breed. The gay uncle stopping by to freak Theo out? Why? These scenes really slow the pace of the story for me and pulled me out because I couldn’t understand what the purpose was.
So if you’re a fan of the Spy v Spook series you will want to read this. I absolutely LOVED seeing Mark and how his actions were seen through Theo’s eyes. The entire book is from Theo’s POV. I think I would have enjoyed Will’s POV and what he does when he goes away. Maybe a short? It’s possible that may have changed the tone of the book because we know what Will does isn’t hearts and flowers. Again, my favorite part was how the stories overlap. I caught myself smiling and thinking of what was going on in those books, while everything played out from a different perspective in this book. If I had to compare the two series I’d say S.v.S is grittier and has more clever dialogue. The characters in that series demand it! These guys are spies after all. This book was more of a tragedy turned love story. I’m guessing by the #1 behind this book we’ll be getting more from these characters. Maybe even get to see Paul again soon?...more
Jamie Anderson leaves his entire life behind to go look for his brother. His brother is something of a ne'er do well, but that doesn't stop him. Rudy is Jamie's only family. When he was reported dead by Czech authorities only to then have his body go missing Jamie was on his way to find him. The language barrier didn't help, nor did being a foreigner obviously out of his element. No one seems willing to help. Rudy's old land lady refuses to talk at all, language barrier or not. Jamie continues to search and finds himself repeatedly rescued by an attractive but scary German man named Tomas. In addition to saving him from creeps, Tomas agrees to help Jamie find information about his brother. He also stars in some erotic dreams. Tomas tells Jamie his brother Rudy died in a gang war. In some ways Jamie finds that plausible, but it's also fairly obvious Tomas is hiding something. Jamie decides he wants to find things out for himself and finds himself amongst a bunch of vampires. Literally he's in a dance club full of vampires who are doing everything from dancing to having sex and feeding from humans or some combination of all three.
Jamie has to quickly accept vampires are real and he's willing to work with them and engage in sexual activities with them to find out what really happened to his brother. Pretty quickly Jamie realizes he doesn't mind the sex with Tomas, but there is no way he's going to let Tomas drink his blood. Tomas does help Jamie learn what has been going on in Rudy's life for the past few months. He has been a human who agrees to feed vampires for a French vampire princess but was kidnapped. She has no idea what happened to him. The relationship between Jamie and Tomas continues to blossom and Jamie finds himself agreeing to feed Tomas as he doesn't want anyone else to do it. Afterwards, Jamie thinks he wants to leave Tomas as he simply can't handle being kept around as food. As he realizes the relationship is much more than that he finds himself kidnapped. His fate looks to be very similar to that of his brother.
I really enjoy paranormal stories, in case you guys haven't noticed. And I will say I enjoyed this one as it was much like many others I've read over the years. But that's also the problem. This story was much like many others I've read over the years. There is a fine line to walk when world building to stick enough with the traditional so your creations are recognizable and to create a new and interesting iconoclastic world. I don't feel this story broke anything in a new and interesting way. Overall the storyline was good, but also a little bland. The characters were good but I didn't really want to know more. I was actually a bit disappointed. Based on the blurb I felt this could have been fantastic. All in all I would say if you're a die hard vampire fan and are looking for a hint of instalove with your bite this is the book for you. It has potential to be a charming afternoon read if that's your criteria....more
As the blurb suggests this book was a ghost story but it’s also a book about healing. There’s a connection of physical and mental child abuse between one of the MCs and a haunting spirit.
It’s not a romance, though there is a really beautiful and realistic relationship that’s established before the book even begins. So, don’t expect angst in this book at all. There’s no denying the couple is in it for the long hall. The conflict really comes in dealing with their pasts.
Jonathan is at a great place in his life. He’s a published writer, married to a man he loves and, owner of a brand new home in a new town. His husband Eddie has a few weeks until he starts his new dream job, so they decide to fix up the house. Almost right away, weird things start to happen. Strange noises. Things out of place. Cold spots in the house. Jonathan starts dreaming of a blond haired man he learns is named Alan. Alan grew up in the house he’s just bought. The weird thing is their pasts are mixed up in his dreams. Jonathan witnesses the most painful and horror filled moments of this stranger’s past but has no idea why. Jonathan has his own demons and abuse he’s never totally dealt with. The dreams trigger memories Jonathan would rather stay hidden. With Jonathan’s past issues of PSTD, and strange behavior, Eddie thinks maybe he’s cracking. That’s an easier explanation than ghosts haunting you, right?
The prologue of this book had me hooked. I was almost disappointed when it switched characters because I wasn’t happy with how Andy’s story ended obviously. Then the author slowly lets you get to know Eddie and Jonathan. How they’re enjoying their fresh start. Then the creepiness seeps in. It wasn’t hair raising creepy for me but it did pull me in. Then the ghost gets violent which takes it to another level.
Although this is a ghost story, I think the emphasis is on child abuse. Both Andy and Jonathan were physically abused as children. That and sharing a home-made a connection between the guys that transcended life and death. The flashbacks were horrific. Not overly graphic but man did they have an impact. Andy’s father had turned his life around and was on the road to mending the relationship with his son when tragedy struck the final blow to their family. I cried almost every time he came on page as a regretful man. It’s so easy to hate an abuser but reading about his pain and regret made my heart hurt. I’m not one who forgives easily, so this part particularly struck me.
The book’s tone is kind of heavy with the haunting and abuse but there is a love story. Eddie and Jonathan love each other. There’s no denying that. No drama about their relationship. Their relationship is the constant and the hope that keeps the entire book grounded. It was pretty refreshing.
The ending with the woman and the powers has me intrigued. Will there be more to come? I enjoyed this book. It’s certainly a great break from your normal m/m romance. I’d recommend it....more