Category Archives: Sarah

TWO 5 Stars and 4 Stars for Son of Money by Brandon Witt #MM #Romance @Dreamspinners

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Title: Son of Money
Author Name & Publisher: Brandon Witt (Dreamspinner)
Publication Date & Length: July 11, 2016 – 284 Pages

Synopsis

Randall Morgan, youngest son of one of Seattle’s wealthiest families, rejected his family’s money to live free of their control and pursue his career as a photographer. To make ends meet, Randall does erotic photography and massage—a secret he keeps from his family so he can remain a part of his young niece’s life. But the price of that relationship is high, and Randall is once more slipping under his family’s thumb.

Noah Carroll is the spokesperson for the Seattle Humane Society, and the city holds a special place in his heart. When fate intervenes during a pet adoption, Noah finds himself face-to-face with his first love—Randall.

While Noah and Randall are not the teenagers they once were, the flame of a first kiss long ago draws them together. Their romance is beginning to grow, but someone is out to destroy Randall and expose all he keeps hidden.

When secrets and rumors thrust Randall into the public eye, his relationship with Noah isn’t the only thing that comes under threat.

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Review

FiveStars

Wow talk about betrayal by those who are supposed to love you the most. This book has way more then it’s fair share of betrayal and pain. But this book also has hope, long lost love, friendship, family, and it has new beginnings.

Randall has tried to pull away from his families money and live his life the way that he wanted and keep certain aspects under wraps about what he does in his free time but all the secrets that he has blows up in his face and is outed for his extracurricular activities that he does. In turn it turns his family against him. In my opinion that is when the story really and truly begins.

Noah and Randall both have been in love with each other since they were teenagers but they lost touch and then reconnected right before all of Randall’s troubles started. The way that Noah was willing to stand by Randall through all of the bad so close to them reconnecting is the true story of how strongly they both love each other. The things that would tear a normal couple apart brought these two men closer and made them stronger in their relationship and individually.

The things that Randall faced nearly broke him but because of the love Noah had for him, it made him stronger and into the man he always pictured himself to be. Randall hit his rock bottom and picked himself up and started over again to only decide living was better then giving in.

I really enjoyed the twist and turns in this book and I enjoyed taking the journey with Randall and Noah through their love story. This was a very good read and I look forward to reading more by Brandon Witt in the future.

Tosha

FourStars

Oh My Gawd – the drama!  The machinations of Randall’s family would make Shakespeare proud – or at least provide a great storyline for a daytime soap opera.  This is a tumultuous rollercoaster of a romance.

I loved the fact that Randall isn’t an entirely good leading man.  I liked his unapologetic sexual freedom and his independent spirit.  For me, Noah was a little bit too noble, but I enjoyed watching his character gain strength and confidence as the story progressed.  

I really enjoyed The Imperfection of Swans by the same author, but this is a very different book.  Where the former was a warm, realistic and charming romance, this is high angst drama among the rich and famous.  This is a much steamier, sexier read.  Once again, there are positive references to polyamory and more unconventional sex, while still ensuring a heteronormative, monogamous HEA.     

Randall’s scandalous outing and his subsequent downfall makes for quite distressing reading.  I’m not sure this story is always believable, but the melodrama is a lovely guilty pleasure.  I really enjoyed the romance and the intrigue.  I was surprised and excited by characters and plot twists and I loved the chemistry between Noah and Randall.

Sarah

FiveStars

I have enjoyed reading anything by Brandon Witt, and he did not disappoint me in this story either. His writing is fluent and strong. It is easy to follow even with all the drama and angst involved. I loved the twists throughout the story, as it kept me on my toes. There were a few different story lines in this book, but it was well created and played out.
I liked that Randall and Noah have known each other since they were kids and shared that first kiss. Everyone remembers that first kiss. I think if they hadn’t had a past together, even on the friendship side, I don’t know if I would have liked this story. For Noah to push so fast is understandable. He lost Randall once and doesn’t want to lose him again. So even though he wants to move forward fast, he is also still being patient.
Randall’s family…ugh. Why can’t all families just love and respect each other? My heart kept breaking for Randall throughout. I wanted to comfort him yet smack him to say “you are strong, don’t give up like they want you to.” His family was a real piece of work. No wonder he wants to make it on his own without their money. Randall has pride.
The interaction between Noah and Randall was genuine, sweet, compassion, and sexy. What these two went through together made a strong and unbreakable couple. Their hearts made a perfect whole.
I would recommend this book and all of Brandon Witt’s books. They are all so well written, and hits on subjects from real life.
Keri

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TWO 5 Stars for Practice Makes Perfect (Housemates #3) by Jay Northcote @Jay_Northcote #MM #Romance

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Title: Practice Makes Perfect (Housemates #3)
Author Name & Publisher: Jay Northcote (Jaybird Press)
Publication Date & Length: June 22, 2016 – 122 Pages

Synopsis

Getting experience with the guy next door seems like a great idea—until the lines blur.

Dev, a geeky first year physics student, has zero sexual experience and he’s determined to change that ASAP. After a bad time in halls of residence, he’s starting the summer term with different housemates and a new plan of action.

Ewan lives in the house next door to Dev. He’s young, free and single, and isn’t looking to change that anytime soon. When awkward circumstances throw them together, Ewan offers to help Dev out in the bedroom in return for maths tutoring, and Dev jumps at the chance.

They work their way through Dev’s sex-to-do list, but what starts as a perfect no-strings arrangement gets more complicated as their feelings for each other begin to grow. If they’re going to turn their lessons in lovemaking into something more permanent, they need to work out how they feel about each other—before they get to the end of Dev’s list.

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Review

FiveStars

I love this series, and I might even have to say this one is my favorite so far (I hope there’s a “so far”…). Dev is ridiculously adorable and geeky, and Ewan is sweet and sensitive. That right there is reason for me to be head over heels. The two of them together, though? They make it all worthwhile.

Like all the books in the series, this one is light on plot and heavy on character and steamy bedroom fun. Each one matches the personalities of the characters so perfectly, and this one I think does the best job. The whole thing is a delicious blend of nerdy, funny, smart, and sexy. I love right down to my toes how Dev and Ewan talk when they’re in bed together. It’s both funny and hot the way Ewan is so turned on by Dev’s geeky analysis of pretty much everything. It’s just plain adorable.

Naturally, there has to be some tension, and I like that it’s light and easily resolved. I’m not reading these books for gut-wrenching heartache and psychologically deep relationships. I’m reading them because they’re fun. So for me, I like how these two interact. Their reluctance to admit their feelings had me wanting to smack my head against the wall, but it worked well in context, and I adore how they resolve it all.

The characters from the previous two make their customary appearance, and I’m going to throw in my tiny cheer that Jez and Mac are still assuring us of their bisexuality as well as how wild about each other they continue to be. Rupert and Josh are not only fun, it’s nice to see them well-settled with each other too. We also got to meet a few new characters, and my hope is that maybe one of them will get a story next. Oh, and while I know the author writes m/m, someone pretty pretty please needs to write a f/f story for Ewan’s roomies. I’m already shipping them in my head.

All in all, this delighted me, and I’m ready for more!

Amy

FiveStars

This series just keeps getting better.  The third book features a wonderfully innocent yet still rather filthy relationship between two young students.  Much longer than Helping Hand, this is the story of maths geek Dev (his to do list includes creating a Grindr profile and gaining experience) and his sexy neighbour Ewan who accidentally gets Dev’s dildo in the post.  

Just like in the first story, the arrangement between Dev and Ewan is practical at the start – a tutoring exchange of sorts.  

I love the way Jay Northcote captures students and student life in this series.  Familiar to anyone who has ever experienced life in a student residence, Dev and Ewan are vaguely independent, not quite grown up enough to master basic life skills (like cooking pasta) and randy as hell.  This is as funny and sweet as the sex is incredibly hot.  

While much of this story is a filthy and very guilty pleasure, Dev and Ewan also evolve into very real characters.  At times, Dev is very much on the Autism spectrum and his calculated, earnest approach to sex education is brilliant.  Ewan may have more experience in the bedroom but Dev runs circles around him in other areas.  While the two are perfectly matched, clumsy post-adolescent angst makes the romance in this book both amusing and very tender in parts.  

This is graphic, sexy fun.  Jay Northcote is a favourite new adult writer and this is one of her best books yet.

Sarah

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FIVE 5 Star Reviews for Smoke & Mirrors (THIRDS #7) by Charlie Cochet #MM #Paranormal @charliecochet

Cover

Title: Smoke & Mirrors (THIRDS #7)
Author Name & Publisher: Charlie Cochet (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: July 8, 2016 – 230 pgs

Synopsis

Life for Dexter J. Daley has never been easy, but he’s always found a way to pick himself back up with a smile on his face. Taken from his home, and the arms of his boyfriend and THIRDS partner, Sloane Brodie, Dex finds himself in a situation as mysterious and lethal as the Therian interrogating him. Dex learns what he’s secretly believed all along: his parents’ death wasn’t an accident.

Discovering the whole truth about John and Gina Daley’s homicide sets off a series of events that will change Dex and Sloane’s lives forever. As buried secrets rise to the surface and new truths are revealed, Dex and Sloane’s love for each other is put to the test, with more than their relationship on the line. If traversing the waters of murder and secret government agencies wasn’t enough, something inexplicable has been happening to Dex—and nothing will ever be the same.

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Review

FiveStars

I really enjoyed my first complete story in this series.  I thought that Cochet did an amazing job at creating emotion and mystery throughout the story.

There were really strong primary characters, Dex and Sloane were great together. They had a great chemistry and a great working relationship, which only added to their personal relationship.

The secondary characters were great as well.  Ash and Cael were amazingly funny and sweet – while also keeping the main characters in line.  I also liked how Tony was able to weave in to the story in a great way – it was complex, but not so much that it made things complicated.

The story itself was full of emotion and turmoil, but also with sweetness and a great background.  I cannot say enough good things about this story and all that it encompassed.  I hope that you take the time to read it, as it is a quick read.

I am looking forward to more books by Cochet for sure!

AvidReader

FiveStars

Holy plot twist! I absolutely love this series and I am amazed by the imagination employed to not only keep the story going but to add such an incredible and unexpected new arc after six books. If book six felt a little bit like a wrap-up and goodbye, book seven opens up a whole new set of ideas and introduces some exciting new characters.

Book seven takes readers back to Dex and Sloane. While I am growing tired of the insecurities and commitment issues between these two characters, I really enjoyed the fresh new paths Cochet takes the familiar couple down in this book.

I am still waiting for Seb’s book (okay, I’m greedy – I want all the books!) but after this book, I understand why Cochet brings readers back to Dex and Sloane for a new start. This feels like a redirection for the whole series and I’m not sure it would have worked with any other couple as the focus.

As I am reviewing an ARC I really don’t want to give too much away. Fans of the series will love this and as always, new readers need to start at the beginning – this is not a stand-alone.

Sarah

FiveStars

Charlie Cochet is just such an amazing author and with each book that she writes in this series we as readers are able to see just how amazing she truly is. This series caught me and grabbed my attention and heart from the very first book and with each book I fall a little more in love with the characters in this series.

Each book seems to be more amazing then the last. Charlie never seems to let us down with her books and she always leaves me wanting more and waiting impatiently for the next book to come out.

I have to say that every book in the series has left me thinking that it was my favorite so far but then a new book comes out and I realize that I love that book more then the last. This book is no exception. This book blew me away completely and now I want the next book so I can see if it will be better then this one.

In this book Dex and Sloane are faced with some very troubling times and it seems that no matter what, they find that staying strong with each other is the way to face everything that is happening to them. They face so much uncertainty, pain, fear, heartache, and trust issues that any normal couple would have caved and given up but not these two. Instead of giving up or giving in they band together and face it head on. They work through all of it together even when they aren’t together.

The both face the uncertainty of whether Dec will live or not from being kidnapped and tortured and also from Dec’s mysterious illness that is crippling to Dex when the symptoms occur. But regardless of the uncertainty of all that and the people who seem to be trying to kill them at every turn, both men take the love of the other man and use it to make each of the stronger so that neither of them want to give up. Even Ash is coming around to excepting that Dec and Sloane are destined for another and that is a miracles in itself.

This book will not disappoint those that read it. It is full of mystery, love, heartache, uncertainty of the present and future, hope, friendship, family, and so much more. Until Charlie I had never read a book with shifters in and now I am a huge fan. And “The Thirds” series is definitely one of my favorite. Another amazing book Charlie. Keep up the incredible work and I cannot wait till the next book.

Tosha

FiveStars

I just love this series, I am always on the edge of  my seat and waiting to  see what  happens  next and never want to  put the  books down. I have a  soft spot for  Dex,  he is one of my favorites and  this  book  just  made  my love for him deeper. How no one could know what was happening to him after Sloane marked him is beyond me, you had to know what was going to happen eventually! I can’t wait to see what happens next and I really, really hope that Hudson gets his HEA.

Angie

FiveStars

I have to say this could very well be my favorite book in the series. However? That wouldn’t really be fair as I feel it was quite different than the other books as well. The other ones have been about falling in love and entering a relationship while this one is about a relationship that has already been established, but going through some new things.

While I absolutely loved the Dex and Sloan storyline, I really enjoyed the Seb and Hudson side story. I really hope we get a full story on them because there is so much there.
This continues to be one of my favorite series since we do get to see all the characters from all the books and its really just a big family we watch grow and change.
Charlie Cochet absolutely knows how to write an awesome story with love, action and suspense all weaved together. I can’t wait for more!!
Renee

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5 Star and 3 Star Reviews for Eight Seconds by William Davrick #MM #Romance @LT3Press

CoverTitle: Eight Seconds
Author Name & Publisher: William Davrick (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date: August 31, 2016

Synopsis

Dustin Marston, wannabe professional bull rider, cannot stay on a bull for the required eight seconds. Suffering from sinister flashes of suppressed memories from his childhood, Dusty has a panic attack during a hazardous sexual encounter that lands him in serious legal trouble.

When he proves to be uncooperative, his health counselor, Diana, turns to a colleague for assistance—only for the to learn that Joe was once the boy Dusty loved when they were kids, and who was lost to him twenty years ago. Then Joe proposes a highly unorthodox treatment to save Dusty, a treatment that wakes old nightmares and threatens any chance they have of a future.

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Review

FiveStars

WARNING: Do not read if you have triggers to child abuse, rape, violence, and murder. I am no trying to turn anyone away from this book with those warnings because that is not the whole of the book but all of those are talked about and mentioned in this book.

This book is a book I would describe as true strength, and not letting the horrible child hood traumas to ruin the future. It is about excepting the past and looking forward to a better future. This book is a true survivors story.

I felt so many emotions reading this book. Dusty had the most horrible childhood at the hands of someone who was supposed to love and protect him and instead because of that person his adulthood was left in shambles and he could not remeber what the cause behind it was because he blocked out as much bad as he could. It took Joe coming back into his life for him to finally find the strength within himself to face the demons of his past to be able to become the man he has always wanted to be.

This book in my opinion should be considered a true inspirational story about survival and about seeking the help that ones needs in these situations to be able to accept what happened and to be able to move on to better things in life despite it all. William Davrick did an amazing job on this book and should be very proud of it. I hope that many more people will take opportunity to read it because it is a very touching story that will stay with you.

Tosha

ThreeStar

This is a very gritty look at the repercussions and aftermath of child abuse. A fan of cowboy romances, I was (perhaps naively) expecting a little bit more rodeo and a little less graphic child abuse.

I’m not sure it is possible to enjoy this story. At times it is incredibly moving and at other times it is extremely disturbing but this is never a comfortable book. There were times I found myself falling for both Joe and Dusty, but just when I started to invest in one of them, I would find myself conflicted.

Joe is supposed to be a respected doctor or psychiatrist or therapist…(what exactly are his qualifications?) but he ignores the huge conflict of interest that comes with treating Dusty and operates far outside any possible professional code of conduct. I found it increasingly difficult to respect his maverick approach to therapy and as a result, I found it increasingly difficult to believe in the character as the book progressed.

At least Dusty is supposed to be a hot mess. But like Joe, his actions hurt people and it is difficult to ever fully love his character. Dusty’s progress from hot mess to stable partner is impossibly quick.

I was managing the Dusty/Joe/Diana/Katelyn storyline until near the end. But if the extreme revelations about Dusty’s past didn’t push plausibility completely out the window, the plot twist Joe pulls out of a hat to solve all of Dusty’s problems certainly did. Unfortunately, this descended into a soapy drama by the end.

Ultimately, there were moving parts to this book but unlikeable leading men and an implausible plot made this story difficult for me to get through.

Sarah

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THREE 5 Stars, 4.5 Stars and 3 Stars for Live for Love (All Cocks #5) by T. M. Smith @TTCBooksandMore #MM #Erotic #Romance

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Title: Live for Love (All Cocks #5)
Author Name & Publisher: T. M. Smith (TTC Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: July 1, 2016 – 200 Pages

Synopsis

Beauregard Boudreaux is a native of New Orleans Louisiana, born and raised there, he never thought he would ever stray far from home. The untimely death of his first love left Beau lost, adrift, looking for a place as far away from the pain as possible. Initially, he came to New York to visit a friend, the city growing on him, so he decided to stay. His law degree comes in handy at the LGBT Center he runs, but his bar is his baby.

William Richards grew up in Chicago, his family oddly normal and very accepting of his sexuality. Modeling paid the bills, gigs across the country as a model, male entertainer and a personal trainer giving him the opportunity to see the world. He hasn’t experienced loss or pain as Beau has, the common denominator between them is the loneliness. As All Cocks big, brooding bottom Connor, William has found friendship, family and an outlet for his craving to be more submissive than men of his size and stature usually are.

The two men are perfect for each other, their tastes and lives align and the writing seems to be on the wall. But Beau has a secret he shares with a choice few, a secret that not only threatens to keep them apart, it’s deadly. Determined to keep a wall between himself and William, Beau fights the attraction, pushes William away every time he steps closer. Can one man’s determination and strength be enough to tear down a wall that holds back decades of pain and darkness? And if he can, will either of them survive the flood?

Disclaimer: This book is the fictional story of a man living with HIV. I have put a lot of time and effort into presenting this story as true to fact as possible, without going into gory or gruesome detail. If this subject is a trigger for you, you may want to skip this read. But my hope is that you give Beau a chance to capture your heart as he has mine, and William’s.

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Review

FiveStars

I love this series and this book enforced my love for it. Beau lost the love of his life 15 years ago, hasn’t been with anyone since and he has a good reason. William is one of the All Cocks members and has wanted Beau for a while and has set his sights on him. These two are perfect for each other, they seem to balance each other out, calm each other and bring peace to each other. After finally wearing Beau down, William and Beau are together, but not fully, not until Beau tells him everything and once he does, he may lose William for good. This story handles a very delicate situation very well, kudos to the author. The book also shows the strength of friendship and love and how you can make it through anything with love, friendship and family. Great story and even better love story. I can’t wait to see who the next story is about.

Angie

FiveStars

This is the first book I’ve read from the All Cocks series. Although I was a bit lost in some areas, I was still able to understand most of the back stories. I received a free copy of this book from Inked Rainbow Reviews in exchange for an honest review.

The fact the author took the time to do all the research to make this story come to life is amazing. Beau and William’s story is wonderful. Everyone deserves a chance at true love, no matter what his or her medical situation may be.

Beau’s life with HIV begins when his lover Isaiah is infected. “Izzie” became a drug abuser while Beau was getting his law degree. By the time they realized Izzie was sick with AIDS, it was too late for Beau. Beau spends 2 years watching while Izzie slowly dies. Taking a little bit of Beau with him when he goes.

After months of William chasing Beau, William has finally been able to break through the barrier Beau has kept up around him all this time. William could never figure out why there was sadness in Beau’s eyes. Determined to have Beau all to himself, William is relentless in his pursuit. Finally, Beau realizes he has fallen in love with William and reveals why he never let William get too close. When William knows the truth he becomes the most supportive partner Beau could ask for.

Kris

ThreeStar

Grrr.  I was never a fan of Mr. Rochester and I’ve disliked brusque, broody (read miserable) leading men ever since.  In this story, Beau remains miserable right up to the moment the story becomes a safe sex infomercial instead of a romance.

I was never quite sure why William, a young, famous porn star, continued to chase after Beau.  William’s appeal was clear but aside from Beau’s philanthropic projects, I really didn’t get the attraction.  I’m also getting tired of books starring porn stars where the porn star is expected to choose between his job and his relationship for a HEA.  It is a tired, heteronormative and fairly judgemental trope that I just don’t want to see ever again.

And then the sex.  HIV is an important topic, especially in m/m romance, but I’ve seen it handled much better.  Once these two finally hook up, readers are treated to a series of sex ed lessons worthy of a moralising Victorian narrator.  It kinda ruined the chemistry for me.  

I enjoyed catching up with characters from earlier stories in the series, but this story just didn’t work for me.  In a book that is part of a series called “All Cocks” that focuses on the relationships of porn stars, I may not expect brilliant characterisation or plot development, but I do expect the sex to be hot.  And for me, this just didn’t work.   

Sarah

FiveStars

This is a book I would describe as love getting a second chance.

Beau in my opinion has written himself off as being alone for the rest of his life. He is HIV positive and he knows first hand what it does to someone to lose the love of ur life to someone to this disease and so he does not want to do that someone in turn, but life has a crazy way of taking what you plan and throwing a big kink into it. That happened to Beau in the form of William.

I think these two men are perfect for one another. William is scared of the disease that Beau has but he is not about to walk away from him because of it. Instead he embrace it and learns what to do to prevent getting the same disease and loves Beau whole heartedly regardless of what the future may hold.

These two men are a shining example in my opinion of what love should be about. Yes it is scared when one of you may become ill and die because of a sickness but it should not define you as a couple and it should not prevent you from loving someone because of it.

I commend TM smith for writing a book about this subject because most would not. Most would want it to be fairytale sand happily ever after and not a book about reality but I think that TM Smith did a phenomenal job on this book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and also being taught more about this subject. I can’t wait till the next book in the series. Great work.!!!!

Tosha

FourandHalfStars

This book was excellent and it was clear that the author did their homework and it felt very real. It was very refreshing to read a book with a HIV positive MC that didn’t have a lot of angst in it. This book was clearly done with care and understanding. I was honored to meet Beau and to see the relationship that developed him and William.

The author writing style was very good and made it an easy read. As I began to read I was able to really get to know Beau and William and I don’t mean just figuratively. This was an author that was able to bring his characters to life. We got to see the struggle that Beau was going through in trying to tell William of his status. But most of all we got to see the love that William was able to shower Beau with. This was an excellent book that just held me captive from beginning to end and was extremely satisfied to see the Beau and William was able to overcome all of the hurdles of building a relationship and get their HEA.

Lynn

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TWO 5 Star and ONE 4 Star Review for Absinthe of Malice (Sinners #5) by Rhys Ford #MM #Mystery @rhys_ford @dreamspinners

Cover

Title: Absinthe of Malice (Sinners #5)
Author Name & Publisher: Rhys Ford (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: June 22, 2016 – 200 pgs

Synopsis

We’re getting the band back together.

Those five words send a chill down Miki St. John’s spine, especially when they’re spoken with a nearly religious fervor by his brother-in-all-but-blood, Damien Mitchell. However, those words were nothing compared to what Damien says next.

And we’re going on tour.

When Crossroads Gin hits the road, Damien hopes it will draw them closer together. There’s something magical about being on tour, especially when traveling in a van with no roadies, managers, or lovers to act as a buffer. The band is already close, but Damien knows they can be more—brothers of sorts, bound not only by familial ties but by their intense love for music.

As they travel from gig to gig, the band is haunted by past mistakes and personal demons, but they forge on. For Miki, Damie, Forest, and Rafe, the stage is where they all truly come alive, and the music they play is as important to them as the air they breathe.

But those demons and troubles won’t leave them alone, and with every mile under their belts, the band faces its greatest challenge—overcoming their deepest flaws and not killing one another along the way.

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Review

FiveStars

Wow! Crossroads Gin is finally on tour, on the road, travelling across America together in a van. Where each of the earlier books in the series told the story of one couple, all of the bandmates are present for this long awaited catch-up.

With various partners joining the band at different stops along the road, fans of the series get to catch up with each couple and watch all of the Sinners’ men interact together in a way we haven’t seen before. I forgot how much I loved each of these characters and each of the couples. And seeing the band properly together for the first time, I fell in love with the band as a whole. More than a romance, this is a story of friendship and brotherhood.

As always, trouble follows the band and Ms Ford adds in some suspense and intrigue to spice up the story. As I’m reviewing an ARC, I don’t want to give away too much, but this becomes a very exciting book by the end.

I absolutely loved this, but it is a catch-up and definitely not a stand alone story. Fans of the series won’t be disappointed but new readers must start from the beginning with Miki and Kane’s brilliant first book, Sinners’ Gin.

Sarah

FiveStars

This book is such a great addition to the others in this series and I cannot wait to read the next book when it comes out. From the very first book in the sinners series till this book it has been a heck of a ride for all of the people in the band from Miki to Damien to Rafe to Forest and then you add in all the Morgan clan and there is always something going down or going on.

As always Rhys Ford brings a level of mystery to this book that has been brought to the previous books and most of the mystery revolves around Miki and his past. I truly believe that someone from his past is out to get him and they will stop at nothing till that is accomplished. It seems as if disaster follows the band and it does not look like it will leave there side anytime soon.

I really enjoyed following each of these couples throughout this book and seeing them come together at each disaster and walk away from it stinger then the last time. I also enjoyed watching the band find there way to becoming a real group and sticking together through the thick and thin even when they are getting on each other’s nerves.

I cannot wait to read the next book in the series and find out what is waiting for them around the next corner because I have a feeling it is going to be explosive and hopefully a turning point for all these men.

Another great book Rhys and keep them coming.

Tosha

FourStars

Ah, I love the Sinner’s Gin universe. I love all the characters and it was so great to get to read about them in Absinthe of Malice. The boys are back and they’re doing a tour for their new band, Crossroad’s Gin. I love that the author didn’t go easy on them. There is action, mystery, romance and family bonding. My favorite character is Miki. I just adore everything about him. He’s been through so much and is a true survivor. Still, his story isn’t over yet cause he and his family gets put through the ringer just when things are starting to look up.
I docked it a star because even though there’s romance, there wasn’t enough. It’s understandable cause the guys are apart from their loved ones, but I was looking forward to it. This book was more about mystery. Still, when the band did interact with their lovers, I was in heaven. Love, protectiveness galore! I really want another book that focuses on Miki and his love life cause I’m such a big fan of his.
If not, I’m still Looking forward to another book.
Cookie

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Filed under 4 Star, 5 Star, Cookie, M/M, New Release, Review, Sarah, Tosha

TWO 5 Star and 3.5 Star Reviews for Heart Ripper: Coffin Nails MC (Sex & Mayhem #9) by K.A. Merikan #MM #Romance @KA_Merikan

CoverTitle: Heart Ripper: Coffin Nails MC (Sex & Mayhem #9)
Author Name & Publisher: K.A. Merikan (Acerbi & Villani Ltd)
Publication Date & Length:. June 15, 2016 – 319 pgs

We knew we’d write Heart Ripper as soon as David appeared on the pages of Split as the MCs younger brother. There was just something about this tertiary character that spoke to us, and in no time, we were hard at work. David comes from a very devout Catholic background, and the overbearing nature of his mother doesn’t do him any favors in discovering his sexual interests.

But then comes Raja, a friend of David’s brother, and he sweeps David off his feet without knowing who he’s dealing with.

This story is much sweeter than many of the other Sex & Mayhem books in the sense that one of the characters is not in any way connected to the criminal world, and that is one of the reasons Raja, the newly appointed club president of one of the Coffin Nails MC chapters, likes him so much. David is a sweet ray of sunshine and normalcy, the kind of boyfriend Raja never had, and he can’t deny himself the attraction, even if he knows he should not pursue this particular guy.

I guess most of us like a story of a forbidden love, one that needs to face many obstacles. It isn’t easy for Raja to openly date a guy, and it is even harder for David to put everything on the line, but their connection is explosive, and neither of them can make himself give up on it.

Synopsis

— You always want what you can’t have. —

David. Catholic. Gay. Set on keeping his purity ring.
Raja. Biker. Manwhore. Never refuses a bet.

David has always tried to be the best son his parents could dream of.
Always at church on Sunday.
Always eager to help with the garden.
Always trying his best at school.
Prim, proper, innocent, and kind.
But deep inside of him, there is a yearning planted by the devil himself, and when a cocky, foul-mouthed biker pulls him a step too far, David doesn’t fall into the abyss. He leaps.
Raja is all he’s ever dreamed of, yet didn’t dare voice. Older, dangerous, a wall of muscle with a grip so strong David can’t resist him no matter how hard he tries.

As a freshly appointed president of a motorcycle club on the verge of ruin, Raja has a lot to live up to. Being gay doesn’t do him any favors in terms of commanding the respect of his men. He has his way of compensating though.
Always first in a fight.
Always bragging about his sexual conquests.
Always up for a bet.
Daring, tattooed, sexy, and unapologetic.
After he boasts he can have any man he wants, he gets challenged to hook up with the preppy guy wallflowering at a party. Raja can’t wait to pop the innocent cutie’s cherry. But when he finds out the guy is his friend’s younger brother, life gets a whole lot messier.

Why is the one guy who should be off-limits always the most tempting?

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Review

FiveStars

This is the KA Merikan I first fell in love with. Raja might just be my favourite bad boy biker yet and David – well, David spends this story growing up and finding his place in the world. He is cute at the start and he is smokin’ hot by the end.

This is one of the more emotional books I’ve read by these authors. I would almost describe parts of this story as sweet and moving. However, after each of these fluffy moments, the language quickly returned to filthy and the violence escalated to brutal until I once again felt securely enmeshed in the Merikan world.

I have to admit that a few of the Merikan books have pushed me beyond my comfort zone with violent sex, non-consensual sex, unusual fetishes and pure graphic violence. While this is still sexy, gritty and graphic, the sex in this story is consensual and non-violent. As always, the connection between the two men is electric. Both men have a thing for talking dirty – so the language is delightfully filthy here.

David’s struggle to justify his sexuality with his faith is a personal, internal battle and his relationship with his parents and his church is complicated. As David is Hunter’s younger brother, it was interesting to watch the same family experienced by the two siblings in very different ways. Hunter is brilliant as a big brother and a father in this story.

Raja’s struggle is also private – the new club president feels he has to prove himself constantly while the people around him judge him for his sexuality and his skin colour. Where David has Hunter and now Asty, Raja has always been alone and it is difficult for him to trust or to care.

I loved the emotional connection between Raja and David as much as their sexual connection. I also loved the increasing complexity of the relationships between the Coffin Nails and their family members.

This is one of my favourite Merikan books; I think I like their slightly softer sides!

Sarah

ThreeandHalfStars

This was just an OK addition to the series for me.  I have only read two of the previous books in this series, but I liked them much more than I enjoyed this book.

The characters were immature, whiny, and so hot and cold that even I was getting dizzy.

I liked how Hunter protected David to a point, but also let him breathe – find his own path.  Hunter seemed like a great big brother who would go to the ends of the earth for family he knew would accept him.  I love how he supported David and even went back to their old house to help his brother when their parents were being horrible.

Then you have Raja.  I felt that he was sort of truncated throughout this story.  You knew a little about him, here and there.  You knew that he went through some horrible things, but in the end, that didn’t excuse his horrible behaviors for me.  In fact, it just made his actions that much more deplorable.  He should have known better.

David is just this shy, meek kid.  He kind of grows up throughout the story, but he’s so stunted from living with his bible loving parents that he takes forever to grow up.  At almost the end of the story, I felt he was kind of coming around to being an equal part of the relationship.

While this story had great aspects to it – I just couldn’t get over Raja’s and David’s behaviors to really like it.

AvidReader

FiveStars

Heart Ripper was certainly a different story compared to the others in this series. But I still loved it.  Raja and David were so cute together, David so naive in any experience regarding life outside of his mother’s home and Raja who is very experienced but has gone through many awful times.  They were perfect together.  I liked the way this book was written with a more softer side not so violent, it was a nice change.

Sherry

Excerpt

The bearded guy from downstairs slid inside, locking the door of the bathroom with a loud, final-sounding clang, and then his dark gaze was on David, rendering him mute and unable to defend himself from that strong presence.

The man was taller than David, and the white T-shirt he was wearing clung to his athletic body as he glided through the bathroom. For a moment, the world slowed down, and David could swear he saw the pitch-black hair float in the air, the curved-up moustache twitch as the man smiled beneath the thick, well-kept beard. Bold black tattoos covered the man’s arms, all the way to his wrists, and some even peeked out from under the round collar of the shirt, beckoning David to have a closer look at the dark, warm-hued skin, which had immediately set the man apart from everyone else present at the party.

“I… I mean, okay, I guess you need it more,” David uttered and attempted to pass the guy, fleeing for the door. He was hot, cold, sweaty all over, and nervous as hell. Life had been so much easier years ago, before puberty hit him in the face like a red hot poker drenched in sin.

The man stood in his way, and before David could utter a word of protest, a palm as hot as molten lava burned the skin of his throat, squeezing gently as the man pushed David back.

David stepped back in a daze, letting the stranger direct him toward the wall, until his knees hit something hard and cool. The man pushed him down, and David obeyed yet again, taking a seat on the closed toilet.

He could barely breathe from the stress of being alone with this guy in a locked room. “I’m sorry if I stared,” he wanted to say, but only managed a hoarse whisper. His body was still processing being touched by this man. Older, bigger, with eyes that could scorch David alive.

“I enjoyed you staring,” said the stranger with a small smirk to his lips as he traced his thumb over David’s lips. It was the sulphur to the match of David’s arousal, and he quickly clenched his thighs in panic. Even his accent immediately set him apart from most people David met. Rich and thick as sugar syrup, it was definitely Southern.

Even fumbly kisses with a girl at church camp weren’t as igniting as one touch from this man.

David would burn in hell for the images crawling out of the back of his mind. His heart was beating so hard it made him light-headed.

The man liked him looking.

So he wasn’t about to scold David for it. But what could a man like this possibly want with him then? A man with all that dark hair on his thick arms, a face as handsome as if it were a gift from the devil himself, and touch that made every hair on David’s body bristle.

“This… this is a misunderstanding,” David mumbled.

The man smirked and pulled down the zipper of his jeans, slowly letting go of David’s neck.

“Nice to meet you, pretty boy.”

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4 Star Review for Mia Kerick’s Greatest Hits by Mia Kerick #MM #Romance @MiaKerick @dreamspinners

CoverTitle: Mia Kerick’s Greatest Hits
Author Name & Publisher: Mia Kerick (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 6, 2016 – 643 pgs

Synopsis

Enjoy these best-selling romantic novels from Mia Kerick! Beggars and Choosers Brett wants to lend Cory hand. But when their relationship evolves into something Brett isn’t ready to need, he reacts… and the consequences may destroy their fledgling future. With scars like theirs, forgiveness is never easy. A Package Deal Savannah has an agenda: She is looking for a love match for her roommate, Tristan. When she meets Robby, she puts her plan in action. Out of Hiding Philippe’s relationship with Dario leads him to a surprising discovery of his submissive sexual tendencies and a greater sense of self-awareness. But tragedy threatens to destroy the connections Philippe has made and forces him to retreat into the shadows of his past. Random Acts From a random act of kindness, romance begins to grow, filling all the dark corners of Bradley’s empty life-until a random act of violence threatens to take it all away. Bradley must step up and be the man Caleb believes him to be. Caleb rescued him from a life without hope. Can Bradley rescue him in return?

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Review

FourStars

Mia Kerick is a great author and I’m not quite sure how I managed to miss all four of these books first time round. As usual with an anthology, I enjoyed some of the stories more than others but I raced through the anthology and thoroughly engaged with each book in the collection. This is definitely a good value collection.

Beggars and Choosers (4 stars)
I loved this one. The slow build relationship between two teenagers struggling to overcome horrific backgrounds was really moving. I loved the way Brett established himself as Cory’s protector and I enjoyed the inner strength of both men.

My only reservation was the age gap between the two boys, especially early on when Cory is quite young. And just when I was starting to get over the age difference, Brett steps in as Cory’s father substitute at a school event – which brought the ick factor right back.

This is a heavy story. Child abuse, neglect, alcoholism and sexual violence are all dealt with carefully and sensitively, but readers need to be in the right headspace to get through some parts of this book.

A Package Deal (3 stars)
This was a little bit of a “what the hell?” read. The tiny anthology blurb didn’t lend me any clues and it took me most of the story to understand the dynamics of the central relationship (sorta m/m/f but not really the f…).

I did enjoy the relationship between Tristan, Robby and Savannah once I figured it out. I enjoyed the contrast between Robby’s background and the experiences of Tristan and Savannah.

What I really didn’t enjoy was the OTT storyline about Robby’s partner Mike and Robby’s father. The extreme homophobia felt more like a plot device than anything heartfelt and it detracted from the central storyline.

Once again, this book covers heavy topics like child abuse and homelessness so readers need to be in the right headspace for it.

Out of Hiding (4.5 stars)
I loved the dance in this book! Kerrick’s descriptions had me enthralled and I loved following Sophie’s dance journey.

Phillipe and Dario’s relationship is a satisfying slow burn and the men are fantastic together. I loved all of the supporting characters in this book and I enjoyed watching the different characters come together in interesting ways.

Phil’s age was a stumbling block for me. Early descriptions had me envisioning a man in his late twenties or thirties – but the seasoned trawlerman taking care of a 17 year old for the summer is only 20? Likewise, Dario’s reputation and experience lent me to envision a man who had retired from dance, not a young person working towards a career.

Nitpicking aside, I really loved this. The dancing is fascinating, the romance is sweet, and tentative and the whole story is charming.

Random Acts (3 stars)
Bradley and Caleb’s story is not my favourite in this collection. For me, Bradley’s insecurities seemed exaggerated and Caleb seemed unnecessarily snooty at times. Add in my least favourite trope in m/m fiction (the hospital emergency that sorts out a relationship) and I struggled to warm to this story.

And then the mystery – if this was a film, it would transition from a Julia Roberts romcom to a Glenn Close bunny boiler within the space of a few pages. The thriller part of this story just didn’t work for me and I didn’t feel it fit within the overall romance.

So – this wasn’t my favourite story in the collection. There were some sweet moments (and the best fictional first date I’ve read in quite some time) but I never fully engaged with the story.

Sarah

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ONE 5 Star, THREE 4 Star and TWO 3 Star Reviews for Surfacing by Daniel Stephens #MM #Romance

CoverTitle: Surfacing
Author Name & Publisher: Daniel Stephens (Wild Rose Press)
Publication Date & Length: April 27, 2016 – 226 pgs

Synopsis

Used to luxurious, high-profile city life, Chris’s world is shattered when tragedy takes his husband and young son. Seeking a life free from pain, Chris returns to his grandfather’s cabin on the shores of Wolf Thorn Lake, Maine.

When Chris meets Jake, the earthy young man who resides across the lake, Chris faces his most challenging decision yet. Does he continue his life alone, or does he risk his heart and the potential of love he sees illuminated in Jake’s warm eyes?

A young man running from pain, a rural free spirit with the ability to heal, and a wolf who haunts the shore-line of Wolf Thorn Lake illustrate the endurance of the human heart, the capacity to learn how to love again, and the heart’s ability to restore even the most wounded of men.

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Review

FiveStars

This is a book about coming home again. A book about finding your way into the light after being in the dark for too long. It’s a book about letting go of the past and looking to the future. It is a book about letting go of fear and learning to love again.
It is an amazing book and has so much depth too it.

Jake has been to H€LL and back. He lost his husband and son at the same time to a drunk driver. When he lost them he quit living. He just remained in the time and space but he did not really participate in life any longer. Jake decides to go back home to his grandfathers cabin and try to get on with his life. He never expects to meet Chris. He never expects that the past will follow him and that in order to move in with his life he has to walk out of the darkness and I to the light again.

Chris sees that Jake is struggling and that he is not over the grief of losing his husband and son and he also sees that Jake is drowning in it. Chris tries to be there for Jake but Jake pushed him away each time he lets him get close. It is a constant tug of rope where Jake is concerned.

This was a very emotional read. I enjoyed it so much. Watching these two characters come together even though it was not easy was truly amazing.

Tosha

FourStars

This is my first book by this author and it was very different them what I’m used to. I really didn’t understand the wolf thing but overall it was a really a great story. This book starts a year and a half after Chris lost his husband and his son in a tragic car accident. This was a story about hope and strength and finding new love. As I read I found myself feeling the loss that Chris was feeling. It was absolutely heartbreaking to see what Chris was going through. I really love an author that can put show much feeling into written word. It really makes for a really good book. This was also a story about hope and finding new love. I had an immediate connection with Chris and immediately fell in love with Jake. I highly recommend this story.

Lynn

FourStars

This was an emotional and healing read about Chris, who lost his husband and son in one accident. It has been 18 months and Chris cannot live anymore in the penthouse they built as a home. He has decided to move back to Wolf Thorn Lake, Maine, and start fresh in his Grandfather’s cabin that was left to him.
Jake, is a laid-back, easy-going, sexy man who lives for the now. He went through his own personal demons and has moved on with the help of his extended family at Wolf Thorn Lake.
When these two meet, it is electric right from the start. But Chris has a hard time letting go of the pain from the loss. Jake is there to help him almost every step of the way, although Chris needs to ultimately do it on his own.
Once Chris accepts the white wolf side of him and learns that his prior love will always be with him but his heart has so much more love to give, he finds Jake and never lets go.
This is about second chances at love, learning how to grieve, find and accept your inner-self, and live in the now for the future rather than the past. My heart shattered and mended back together with the love of the community.
Keri
FourStars

This is a story of grief and new hope. Chris’ grief is wrenching and overwhelming at the start of the story and there are times where honesty of his grief makes this a difficult book to read.

The grief in this book is tempered by a hope of new beginnings and the beauty of the New England setting.

I really loved the lyrical quality of the writing in this story. Some passages are really beautiful to read and some of the descriptions are incredibly moving. But while the prose was moving, there were times I found that I lost the story to the description.

I remain ambivalent about the Native American mysticism in this story but I did love the quirky characters in Chris’ new rural community and I enjoyed the contrast of New England with his New York life.

The central romance didn’t always work for me. Jake felt saint-like at times, putting up with Chris’ self-pity and inner turmoil, but again, grief is ugly and the author works hard to make Chris’ journey honest, even if that doesn’t quite make the leading man heroic or even likeable.

This is a difficult book. Honest grief is difficult to read and I’m sure it is difficult to write. However, there are some beautiful moments that make this story worth reading.

Sarah

ThreeStar

The blurb for this book made me want to read the book right off the bat. The first few chapters were good, I really got into the book and then it took a strange turn. The whole wolf legend threw me off and the way the author tried to write as if they were writing poetry or something. I can’t put my finger on it but it just took a nose dive for me. I wanted more Chris and Jake and less of all the other stuff. I found myself skimming the book at times because some of it was just going on and on about mother nature, the wolf lore, etc.

Angie

 ThreeStar

I’m really not sure What to think of This book. The writing style kind of thew me off. It wasn’t bad, just unexpected. The story is about A Man who lot two of the most important ppl in his life. Almost 2 years later, he moves Back Into his grandfather’s cabin, hoping for A new beginning. Chris meets Jake and realizes That he Isn’t over his past and Is drowning. He needs To Surface from the pain to fully love again.
 
Jake was sweet and supportive. I liked him. The white wolf added the supernatural feel to the story. This isn’t a terrible book, But i just didn’t click with Chris and felt detached to The Chemistry between him and Jake. We’re told That they’re sooo attracted to Each other but i wasn’t feeling it. The ending Was ok but don’t expect this book to have constant naughty Scenes. It doesn’t and that Was fine with This Type of Story.
Cookie

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Filed under 3 Star, 4 Star, 5 Star, Angie, Cookie, Keri, Lynn, M/M, New Release, Review, Sarah, Tosha

THREE 5 Star Review for Five-Sided Heart by Max McGowan #MM #Romance

CoverTitle: Five-Sided Heart
Author Name & Publisher: Max MacGowan (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 16, 2016 – 230 pgs

Synopsis

Noah Trevelyan has lost his moorings. Disowned over his sexuality as a teenager, he hasn’t been back to his home on the Outer Banks since his fisherman father kicked him out. But when he returns for the Old Man’s funeral, he discovers his father left him the house and boat in his will. Noah must choose whether to stay or go, but he won’t be alone. There’s Ian, working to overcome the emotional scars left by a domineering ex-boyfriend, and Ty, a cheerful housekeeper who’s struggling to take care of his Alzheimer’s-stricken aunt. There’s Joshua too, running from the destruction of his old life, and Gabriel, who was once beaten and left for dead, and doesn’t know how to survive on his own.

Will they find in each other the strength and courage to keep living—and learn, together, how to love again? A polyamorous relationship is the last thing any of them expected to find in the Outer Banks, but it might be what they need most, and it might even be their redemption—if they can keep their group from breaking apart under the pressure.

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Review

FiveStars

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book, I am usually not into polyamorous relationships but this one just worked. Each of the five men had something different to bring to the table in the relationship and without one of them, it wouldn’t have worked. Noah, kicked out by his dad when he came out as a teen comes back for his dad’s funeral. Noah’s dad leaves him his house and boat which shocks him. On the way to the house Noah comes across Ian, Ty, Gabriel and Joshua. Ian is outspoken and getting over his jerk of an ex. Ty is running his aunts cleaning business, Gabriel was abused and left for dead and Joshua is fresh out of jail for a crime he didn’t commit. These five men are so different but work so well together and when they all come together it is beautiful. You can feel the love each of them has for each other and it was simply a beautiful story.

Angie

FiveStars

ometimes it takes more then one person to make a relationship whole. In this case it takes five.

Five different men come together that are total opposites with different pasts.

Noah is the long lost son who was kicked out by his father when he was a teenager for being gay. He returned home for his funeral and expected to leave again right away. But the best laid plans do not always happen that way and sometimes when those plans don’t turn out the way they are planned, but that is sometimes for the best. Noah is the steady one in the relationship. He is able to neutralize a disaster before it happens or he is able to calm a situation.

Ian is a mother hen. He is able to take care of those around him and he is able to make those around him feel the love and compassion he has in him. They feel safe with love because of him.

Joshua is the steady one. He is there to stand up for those he believes in and he helps them fight their demons and realize their worth. Even though he has a hard time doing it for himself.

Ty is the one who brings out the laughter and lightheartedness for those around him. He makes those around him feel joy and see things in life in a different way.

Gabriel is the one that brings out the beauty of things for others. He can take what most would think is trash and turn it into a thing of beauty.

These five men together create happiness, love, dependability, family, beauty, and so much more. They have their ups and downs but the five of them have each other no matter what.

This is an amazing story about how five people who were strangers and came together to make a family. It is a beautiful story and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Tosha

FiveStars

I have to admit that I expected a steamy, sexy read, but I was completely unprepared for (and pleasantly surprised by) the depth of emotion or the quality of writing in this story.

Each of the five men in this story is beautifully developed. While this felt like Noah’s story at the start, it soon belonged to all five men. All of the characters bring secrets and heartbreak to a relationship that offers acceptance, healing and comfort. I loved the unique stories and histories of all of these men and I really admire the way the author made five such different men so compatible and ultimately made each of the five men essential to the relationship.

I loved the men’s tiny island home and the characters on the island. The OTT storyline with Ian’s ex-boyfriend wasn’t really necessary, but it didn’t detract too much from the rest of the story. Starting with a funeral for a man that several of the characters knew in very different ways was both a brilliant hook and a believable spark for the connection between the men.

There are few authors who manage to write polyamorous relationships without either fetishising the connections between the characters or painting a very negative picture of polyamory for readers. Here, Max McGowan manages a believable and moving relationship between five characters. I am looking forward to reading more from this author.

Sarah

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