Tag Archives: Angst

TWO 3.5 Stars for One More Time (Thornwood #1) by Caitlin Ricci #MM #Romance

1.5

Title: One More Time (Thornwood #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Caitlin Ricci (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: September 21, 2015 – 200 pgs

Synopsis

Wanting to start over after breaking off a relationship with his married boss, Caleb Robinson is happy to move from Los Angeles to Thornwood, Colorado. He can barely find the town on a map, which is just the kind of place Caleb needs. He’s not looking for a relationship, and Thornwood looks to be the perfect place to get lost in his art. But when Thornwood’s local police officer, Trent Williams, knocks on Caleb’s front door, both men have an instant attraction to each other, and Caleb’s plans for solitude might have to change.

But he soon learns that Trent is a legendary one-night-stand man for a very special reason. His boyfriend has been kept on life support for the past five years after a serious skiing accident. Even though Simon isn’t expected to wake up and Trent says he’s trying to get past him, he won’t entertain anything that comes close to commitment. As compelling as their attraction is, Caleb doesn’t want to be just another hook-up, and he won’t be the other man. But Trent isn’t sure he can risk the pain of losing someone else he cares about, no matter how intense the chemistry between him and Caleb.

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

I think the town stole the show for me with this book. Thornwood Colorado might just be the perfect small town.

The handsome, friendly police officer might add to the attraction but I was a little hot and cold with Trent all the way through. I loved his friendship and tentative relationship with Caleb, but I struggled with his string of one-night stands. His relationship with his father, and his relationship with Simon gave me hope, but his need for casual sex was off-putting.

But if Trent was a little bit slutty, Caleb came off as an uptight prude at times. It is only when we start to see him relax with his friends that he becomes more relaxed and a little bit fun.

This is a very angsty story. Sex and the decision to have sex or not to have sex causes huge conflict. I’m sure there are promise ring wearing teenagers who find sex less complicated and probably more enjoyable than Trent and Caleb do through much of this story. Both men come with sexual baggage and the result is a sexual minefield.

So – overall, I loved the feel-good hometown. I love the setting in the Rockies and I love watching Caleb make the transition from LA life to small-town living. I liked the characters, but I didn’t fall for them completely. I think I would have preferred more sex and less angst, but this was still an engaging story.

Sarah

ThreeandHalfStars

This book just came across totally weird. Trent was so slutty I almost could finish the book. Caleb was so stuffy you had to wonder if he has a stick up his a** but he decided to leave LA and picked Thornwood to move to. There was some humor in the book so at least I got a laugh every once in a while. But there was also sorrow and heartache also. Overall it wasn’t a bad book the author writing style was good. I always say that the writing style of the book can make or break it. This is the only reason I really could finish the book was because to the authors writing style.

~Lynn

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, Lynn, M/M, Review, Sarah

3 Stars for Lovers & Fighters by Nash Summers #MM #Romance @nashvsummers

Cover

Title: Lovers & Fighters
Author Name & Publisher: Nash Summers (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: September 27, 2015 – 127 pgs

Synopsis

Scott Halleck and Julian Reeves are polar opposites in almost every way. Scott, a modern arts curator at a museum in Chicago, relishes the finer things in life. Julian is a strange photographer whose hair color changes as frequently as his mood. As far as Scott can see, Julian is an erratic know-it-all who lives his life one day to the next. To Julian, Scott is an uptight, too-coiffed perfectionist.

As the two men continue to run into each other, their dislike grows, but beneath that animosity, a fire is beginning to spark. Scott is baffled when he realizes he is falling for Julian, a man who burns hotter than a wildfire. Scott will have to decide, for the first time in his life, if he’ll let the flames take over.

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Review

ThreeStar

I really wanted to love this. I felt like I should love this – but it just didn’t work for me.

I think the main problem is that I I just didn’t like the characters as much as I should have. Scott seemed incredibly pretentious. He complained about his parents’ judgemental snobbery, but even by the end of the book he was still complimenting his own taste and opinions.

And Julien was just immature. And self-destructive. I didn’t like him. The tortured artist with his many jobs just failed to capture my interest. For a romance to work, I have to enjoy both characters. I have to want them to find happiness. And I didn’t wish either of these two characters any happiness at all.

Addictions and domestic abuse are two problems that don’t resolve immediately. I felt like the author used all sorts of flowery, emotive prose to make me believe that love alone could defeat such serious problems and any hangover baggage in a couple of weeks.

This book isn’t badly written and aside from a lack of realism, I’m struggling to find flaws. All I come back to is personal preference. I just didn’t enjoy either main character. As narrator, Scott’s constant self-promotion was grating rather than ingratiating. As love interest, Julien was weak and a little insipid.

I have a feeling that this might be a Marmite book. I’m pretty sure other readers will really enjoy the story but it just wasn’t for me.

Sarah

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Filed under 3 Star, M/M, New Release, Review, Sarah

4.5 Stars for The Opera House by Hans M. Hirschi #MM #Romance @Hans_Hirschi

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Title: The Opera House
Author Name & Publisher: Hans M. Hirschi (Beaten Track Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: December 13, 2013 – 268 pgs

Synopsis

Raphael doesn’t believe in a higher power, or in anything, for that matter. After the death of his son, his life shattered, Raphael regrets that he didn’t lie about some perfect paradise, and he pushes away everything that once mattered to him-his lover, his job, his reputation as a top architect. Then he meets Brian, a homeless, maybe hopeless kid, a street kid. When he disappears, Raphael realizes that he cannot fail another person, and he launches a full-out search. What he finds both breaks his heart and begins to heal it. The price of saving Brian is high, maybe too high. But Raphael is no stranger to sacrifice, and he’ll risk everything to save Brian and reunite with the man Raphael now loves. The question is-how? Like the architecture of the opera house Raphael designs, the steps to regaining his life will depend not just on careful planning, but faith, hope, and maybe just the magic of love.

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Review

FourandHalfStars

This story was in some turns heartbreaking and in others uplifting. First be prepared, have plenty of tissue handy because if you don’t cry then you have no empathy.  The author was able to take this story and weave it into something amazing. I can’t imagine losing a child. The author was able to be bring across every emotion across the pages of this book. I would highly recommend this to everyone. Absolutely great!!

Lynn

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4 Stars for Slide by Garrett Leigh (AUDIOBOOK) #MM #Angst @garrett_leigh @dreamspinners

1

Title: Slide
Author Name: Garrett Leigh
Publication Date & Length: October 14, 2013 – 274 pgs

Synopsis

Don’t look back. Don’t you ever look back…

Shy tattoo artist Ash has a troubled past. Years of neglect, drug abuse, and life on the streets have taken their toll, and sometimes it seems the deep, unspoken bond with his lover is the only balm for wounds he doesn’t quite understand.

Chicago paramedic Pete is warmth, love, and strength—things Ash never knew he could have, and never even knew he wanted until Pete showed him. But fate is a cruel, cruel mistress, and when nightmares collide with the present, their tentatively built world comes crashing down.

Traumatic events in Pete’s work life distance him from home, and he doesn’t realize until it’s too late that Ash has slipped away. Betrayal, secrets, and lies unfold, and when a devastating coincidence takes hold, Pete must fight with all he has to save the love of his life.

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Review

FourStars

So… I have to admit… I picked this book up because I’d heard that it was so good. While I can say the first 3/4 of the book I really really enjoyed, the last 1/4 was… disappointing to me.
So many things that were supposed to be surprises, just weren’t to me. Maybe it’s because I knew all the signs and figured everyone else would too.
However, that being said, I absolutely adored Pete. I want to bring him home and just love him to death. He was such a great guy. And while I normally don’t connect or care for most secondary characters, I loved the ones in this book. They really added to the story and helped us understand what was going on.
I didn’t connect as well with Ash. He felt self absorbed and very needy and clueless even though he’d been living with Ellie for a while.
The narrator did a very good job. I do have to say that I felt some of the added sound effects were unnecessary, like some of the sighs and coughs, but some of them really helped the story so it was a toss up with them for me. There was an airy sound to the recording as well that was annoying at first, but I got used to it. Also the volume and pitch of the voice was a bit all over the place for me, but I actually liked his voice for Ash and Pete because he gave them the soft, boy voice I pictured Ash having and the tougher stronger voice for Pete.
Renee

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Filed under 4 Star, Author Interview, M/M, Renee, Review