Tag Archives: Contemporary

5 Stars, 4.5 Stars and TWO 4 Stars for Chasing the Dream by Andrew Grey #MM #Romance @Dreamspinners

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Title: Chasing the Dream
Author Name & Publisher: Andrew Grey (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: July 11, 2016 – 183 Pages

Synopsis

Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Brian Paulson has lived a life of luxury and ease. If he’s been left lonely because of his family’s pursuit of wealth and their own happiness, he figures it’s a small price to pay for what he sees as most important: money.

Cade McAllister has never had it easy. He works two jobs to support himself, his mother, and his special-needs brother. They don’t have much, but to Cade, love and taking care of the people who are important to him mean more than material possessions. When Cade is mugged in the park, he can’t afford to lose what little he has, and he’s grateful for Brian’s intervention.

Cade is given a chance to return the favor when Brian’s grandfather passes away and Brian’s assets are frozen. Cade offers Brian a place to stay and helps him find work, and the two men grow closer as they learn the good and the bad of the very different worlds they come from. Just as Brian is starting to see there’s more to life than what money can buy, a clause in his grandfather’s will could send their relationship up in smoke.

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Review

FiveStars

I so enjoyed reading this book. This is a book about becoming the person you are meant to be and leaving behind those that hinder you. It is about finding love and passion and coming into ones own self.

Brian is used to having people around him. But the thing is that the ones around him did not make him feel any less lonely. I believe it made him more so. Then he stepped in and saved Cade and suddenly everything fell apart and came together at the same time.

I think that until these two men met, neither of them was truly living. They both went through the motions of their lives and even though they both led totally different lives it was the same none the less. They was both lonely, they both wanted love, and they both wanted someone to expect them for who they are inside not what they have on the outside.

I really enjoyed taking this journey with these two men. I enjoyed following them both down the path that life laid out for them and seeing how they handled everything. Andrew Grey never disappoints with his books and this one is another wonderful example of how wonderful of an author Andrew Grey is.

Tosha

FourandHalfStars

This was another winner from a favorite author of mine. Andrew Grey writes stories that touch the heart (not much angst) and this was another. I loved the challenge that Brain’s grandfather left for him (no I won’t tell you, you have to read it for yourself). This was not a plot I’ve ever encountered before and felt inspired by it. I loved both Brain and Cade but I fell in love with Phillip. I loved the different personalities of both MC’s and felt privileged to be able to be with them in their journey of love. Andrew Grey is a go to author for me when I want to read something inspirational. Excellent job and I can’t wait to read another story from this author.

Lynn

FourStars

I thought this was a really sweet book.  I am sure a lot of people didn’t like Brian at first but I did. He was a product of his environment so he couldn’t help how he acted. Cade was super sweet from the beginning and you couldn’t help but love him. This story shows there are still good people out there willing to help others in need, which the real world needs more of. Most people do find out who their true friends are when the crap hits the fan, just like Brian did have to admit, this book made me cry a time or two. I really want to know why Cade didn’t confront his mom on all the missing money and address that situation more. I loved Phillip too, and what Brian does in the end it wonderful. A sweet story with lots of emotions.

Angie

FourStars

Ah, Andrew Grey, I love your writing style.
So, here we have a new book with a fairy tale like twist. Sorta. Brian is the guy born with everything and could as for anything. Cade is barely making anything to stay afloat, but he’s getting by to support his mother and brother. I loved that.
There was nothing too hard to understand about the book. It was straight forward, romantic and hot. Could something like this happen in real life? Probably not, but like I said, it reminded me of a fairy tale. I liked seeing these to interact and reading about Brian’s reaction to his sudden new life without wealth. Cade being by his side and supporting each other. The attraction between them was hot.
Cookie

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AUDIOBOOK: 5 Star Review for Helping Hand by Jay Northcote #MM #Romance @jay_northcote

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Title: Helping Hand
Author Name : Jay Northcote
Publication Date & Length: June 26, 2015 – 33, 000 Words

Synopsis

Wanking with a mate isn’t gay—as long as you keep your hands to yourself.

Jez Fielding and James MacKenzie—Big Mac to his mates—are in their second year at uni. After partying too hard last year, they make a pact to rein themselves in. While their housemates are out drinking every weekend, Jez and Mac stay in to save cash and focus on their studies.

When Jez suggests watching some porn together, he isn’t expecting Mac to agree to it. One thing leads to another, and soon their arrangement becomes hands-on rather than hands-off. But falling for your straight friend can only end badly, unless there’s a chance he might feel the same.

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Review

FiveStars
Another hit by Jay Northcote! I absolutely loved this story from start to finish. Two men who didn’t realize they were attracted to other men, but figure it out together was a nice plot. I loved the way they handled the ups and downs and awkward moments. While this rang a bit like ‘gay for you’ it didn’t at the same time. I really loved the way it all worked together.
It was a great read that was sweet and sexy all at the same time. I loved the secondary characters as they only added to the story and make it just that much better.
The narrator did a good job with the story, except I specifically remember in one sexy scene he started reading it too fast as if it was a bomb going to go off instead of a hot and heavy scene.
Renee

Excerpt

Afterwards, Jez blamed the alcohol for loosening his tongue, because he didn’t think about it before he spoke. The words tumbled out before he could stop them.

“Man, I’m seriously horny now. Have you got any decent porn on that laptop?”

“Huh?” Mac snapped his head around to meet Jez’s gaze. Jez’s heart pounded erratically, but his dick was still standing to attention. “What… you mean, you want to wank in here? Now? Wouldn’t that be weird?” Mac sounded seriously freaked out.

Jez backtracked quickly, cheeks hot. “It doesn’t have to be weird. I’ve done it before with guys at school, and it’s never been a big deal. But don’t worry about it. I’ll go and watch my own stash instead. But I need something soon, ’cause I’m gonna explode after watching that sex scene.”

Jez was expecting an instant no from Mac. He wouldn’t have blamed him. A lot of guys wouldn’t be into what Jez was suggesting. Jez’s heart still thumped hard, but his arousal didn’t abate despite his anxiety. He was shocked by how much he wanted this.

Mac bit his lip and frowned. “Seriously. You’ve done that?”

Jez shrugged, trying to look nonchalant. “Yeah. Like I said, it was no big deal. Just guys messing around.”

Mac stared a moment longer, then he stood, and Jez’s heart sank as he walked away. But Mac only went to fetch his laptop from the dining table. He sat back down and then opened it and tapped in his password.

“What sort of stuff do you wanna watch?” Mac’s voice was gruff and he focused on the screen rather than Jez.

Fuck. They were really going to do this, then.

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4 Stars and 3.5 Stars for Con Boys are Naughty by J. P. Barnaby @JPBarnaby #MM #MMM #Menage #LightBDSM

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Title: Con Boys are Naughty
Author Name & Publisher: J. P. Barnaby
Publication Date & Length: April 20, 2016 – 40 Pages

Synopsis

Shy author Brandon doesn’t understand why his Sir, Sean, wants to break him out of his comfort zone with a fan conference. The very idea makes his skin itch with fear. But, when they head up to the con suite and pick up a hot little Robin cosplayer, the weekend starts looking up—way up.

This title was previously published as Between a Cock and a Hard Dom, a part of the Authors Gone Wild Anthology.

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

I went into this book with completely different expectations than I should have. For starters, it’s a short story or novella, rather than a novel, so I was a bit surprised when I saw that all in all, it was only thirty seven pages including front and back matter. That’s fine, though. I like novellas as much as the next person! 
 
I’m a huge fan of BDSM books. Next to historical fiction, it’s my favourite. Unfortunately, this one fell a bit short. The good: The relationship between Brandon and Sean is great. It was incredibly authentic, and you can really see the exchange of power, with Sean providing a reassuring confidence that Brandon seems to lack. Also, the menage element was really a great addition. I liked the dynamic between the three in bed. The backdrop was also interesting – an author convention. I would have loved to have seen more of the con, but given that this was an erotic short story, I get why we weren’t given more than a glimpse.
The not-so-good: The writing, to me, fell a bit flat. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad writing by any means. But there were certain words and phrases that really pulled me out of the story. For instance, at one point while having sex, there’s this line “Keeping his hips at the same angle, he punched the little button over and over like he was playing Space Invaders with his cock.” Analogies can be really good, but this one didn’t quite hit the mark. I also didn’t really like JUST how tidy the ending was. Coincidences in a story aren’t exactly my cup of tea. Again, the writing wasn’t bad, and if you’re looking for a steamy, short piece to enjoy in a sitting, then this is one you’ll probably enjoy. For me, it just fell a bit short.
Alyson
FourStars
This was a very interesting short story. It had humor, it had the Dom/sub element, it has insecurities, it had confidence, it had m/m/m action, and it had unconditional love.

For a short story it had some very HOT scenes involving Sean (the Dom in the relationship), Brandon (the sub in the relationship), and a third they added for the night Robin (aka Nikki).

Sean knows that Brandon is not comfortable in situations involving people. But as his Dom he also knows that Brandon wants more then to be just an author, he wants to be able to interact with his fans but he is afraid.

So being Brandon’s Dom he knows he has to push him out of his protective shell and be there to catch him if he falls. He also knows that Brandon will work himself into a state before the convention if he does not do something to take his mind off of it. That is where Robin comes into play. And boy does he ever.

Brandon is the type of person in my opinion that does not have confidence in his own iminnee strength but wants to do what is necessary to make Sean proud of him so he is willing to put himself in a situation that he does not feel completely safe in. He is willing to push his own boundaries to make his Dom happy and to achieve his own dreams.

I really enjoyed this read but I wish that it would have more of an ending. It has a great story line but it came to an abrupt end. Other then that I think that is was a very enjoyable read.

Tosha

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THREE 5 stars for ‘Til Death Do Us Part by Addison Albright @AddisonAlbright #MM #Romance

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Title: ‘Til Death Do Us Part
Author Name & Publisher: Addison Albright (JMS Books)
Publication Date & Length: April 3, 2016 – 212 Pages

Synopsis

Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream. They love their careers — which afford each of them opportunities to travel to exotic locations — they love their home, Sam’s caring family, and each other. They disagree on the subject of adoption, but are fully committed to each other in marriage … ’Til Death Do Us Part.

The dream is shattered when Henry’s plane crashes and he’s presumed dead. But four people — Henry, two other men, and a child — survive undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry’s love be able to survive, as well?

Henry fights to endure in harsh conditions, never knowing when disaster will strike. Sam struggles with his loss, but with help moves on with his life. Will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

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Review

FiveStars

When my review team asked if anyone wanted to review this book I said “I know it will make me cry”! Man, was I right! I cried, several times. The back and forth between past and present sometimes drove me nuts but the story was so good that I couldn’t put it down, but then I would put it down because I didn’t want it to end and I didn’t want to see what would happen in the end. What Sam and Henry went through was extraordinary. I am sure most people were thinking it would be like the Tom Hanks movie Cast Away, in some ways it was, making use of the things on the island, braving the elements, etc., but in other ways it was so different. Even typing this review my heart squeezes because I can’t even imagine what Sam and Henry went through and how I would react if this happened to me. This book was filled with all kinds of emotions and was a beautiful love story.

Angie

FiveStars

As I started this review, I couldn’t decide between 4 or 5 stars, but when going back into the book to look at it, I found I reread the whole story which to me means it’s worth reading twice, therefore 5 stars.
 
I absolutely loved this story of love, loss, survival, learning to love again, and conquering fears. There is no way to warn you but you might shed some heart broken tears with love strength tears. The way Albright was able to weave this tale of past and current scenes was balanced and brought forth an amazing story.
 
I enjoyed that the past scenes of each chapter was the same timeline as Henry spent on the island surviving with 2 other men and at first a baby boy, that grew to be a young child in their care. The first day they kissed with the first day of the accident. 2 years into their relationship and 2 years into the survival (by both Sam and Henry), etc. You were able to read the important connecting parts of Sam and Henry’s past which helped you understand who they were in the present. Even though Devon and Garrett gave Henry the credit for his brains to be able to survive by being a marine biologist, it was Sam that kept them alive with all the information he shared with Henry, which was touching, as Henry never lost his love for Sam.
 
It was heartbreaking to read Sam struggle through the 5 years after the accident, trying to go through the steps of grieving all the while we knew that Henry was alive and holding on to Sam’s strength (Sam’s final letter to Henry broke my heart). Scenes were so vivid that I was on the edge of my seat while reading from Henry’s POV living the terrifying crash and the tropical storm that had all 3 men and Buddy clinging on for dear life. I told myself, they could not die at this point in time, they have survived this long!! It was a nail biter. Then more tears came when the Coast Guard cutter finally rescued them and the 4 day travel to Hawaii while reading about them and what they were thinking. Henry, who never wanted children, melted my heart when the first thing he wanted was to file temporary guardianship and adopt Buddy.
 
This whole story kept me on my toes with tears coming from a happy place and a saddened place. It kept me turning page after page after page without stopping.  All characters were amazing (except for Henry’s parents). I actually felt a loss for Devon and Garrett at the end, as they along with Henry and Buddy all became a family.
 
Overall, this story was about physical and emotional survival, not a romance, yet you could feel the deep love that was and is between Sam and Henry. It was a fantastic read and I know that I will read it yet again.
Keri
FiveStars
This book is what most people would consider their worst nightmare in so many ways. It is not hard picturing something like this really happening, especially in this day and age.

All of these characters in this book are so strong in different ways.

Henry is strong because of his knowledge of the ocean, currents, plants and anything he his knowledge of biology and plants. But he is also strong because like the other two men that was stranded on the island, he never gave up hope. He did not lay down and decide to give up. He adjusted and made the best of the situation and he took on Buddy as his son on limited knowledge of being an instant father. He accepted his fate in the island but he never gave up hope and he never waivered in his love for Sam.

Sam refused for long to give up hope that Henry was dead and that he could not survive the plane crash and he knew that if Henry made it to an island that he knew how to survive. After three years of no hope of finding Henry he did what he had to do to keep his promise to him to move on and be happy if anything ever happened to Henry. Regardless of moving on with Nash he still loves Henry with all his heart. Sam was strong in the aspect of eventually moving on with his life but he was also strong because even though out in the most horrible situation of having to choose between Nash and Henry once it came to light that he was alive, he followed his heart.

Buddy of course is my favorite. That little boy adjusted to whatever situation he was placed in and he stole my heart the first time he called Henry dadadada. He grew up knowing nothing other then what he was taught on the island but adjusted to the change once they was rescued and he latched on to Sam as much as he did Henry.

Like I said this book is what most would consider their worst nightmare but at the same time it inspiring because even through the worst of it Henry, Devon, Garrett, and Buddy never gave up with on hope and made the best of the situation and adjusted and learned. And that would be my hope if I was the one in their situation.

Great read. I really enjoyed it.

Tosha

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NEW RELEASE: 4 Stars Becoming Rory by Ashavan Doyon #MM #Romance #NewAdult @GoIndiMarketing

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Title: Becoming Rory
Author Name & Publisher: Ashavan Doyon (Torquere Press)
Publication Date & Length: June 8, 2016 – 75k words

Synopsis

Rory Graeble returns to college determined to reinvent himself. Too many years have been wasted with masks, but becoming a student leader is a step Rory isn’t sure he’s ready for. A new identity takes more than just a new nickname, and Rory knows he has to take the chances that his old self would never risk. When that chance is a party that ends with an anonymous hot skater’s tongue down his throat and a phone number in his pocket, Rory knows what he has to do.

Danny Smits never expected to see stuffy lit geek Rory Graeble trying to be out, trying to be proud, trying to be… Rory. It’s damned sexy, and too much for the entrepreneurial skater to resist. When Rory calls him back the day after the party, Danny knows Rory has changed. But will Danny’s haunted past deter Rory? Or will Rory embrace the chance to experience everything the closet had stolen away? Danny believes in keeping things real, in a brutal honesty he knows means Rory will run screaming.

But this time Rory isn’t running.

Review

FourStars

This story melted my heart, but not for Rory. It melted for Daniel. Yes, Rory was going through a metamorphosis and becoming his own butterfly, and at times it was beautiful and funny. But the true story for me was Daniel and how he was able to open up and be honest with someone about his mental illness, who could very easily turn him away.
Daniel’s character was written quite well and with so much heart and soul. Daniel just broke my heart but Rory was able to piece it back together. I enjoyed watching Lawrence become Rory and for the most part, trust in himself, and be strong. Rory had to be strong for Daniel. Daniel and his rules were just what Rory needed to be able to accept himself. Yes, rules in general for a relationship may be silly but for these two, they truly were what made them shine.
Supporting characters were there to help shine the line. Barry was just so fabulous, you want him as your best friend. Becky can kick some serious shopping and yet would be not be my favorite gal as I do not like shopping at all. Stacy was there for Rory so he could be there for Daniel.
Overall, this story was full of learning how to accept support, and to ask for support. Mental illness is very much alive in the world that people do not want to talk about. I applaud Mr. Doyon for bringing such a beautiful character, Daniel, who has a mental illness forward and proud and then Rory, to who loves Daniel deeply and wants to be there for him.
Keri
FiveStars
Becoming Rory is a very emotional book. It touches on some serious subjects such as mental illness, drug use, gay bashing, and being outed to others without permission. But it also touches on subjects such as acceptance, love, and new beginnings.

Rory was outed by a bully his previous year in college and has decided he is tired of hiding so he decides it is time to reinvent himself and becoming the person he wants to be instead of hiding behind a mask any longer. On the first party of the school year, his life changes when he meets Danny.

Rory is so much stronger than he realizes. He could have hidden after being outed or he could have changed schools but he did not. He came to school and faced his fears and decided to embrace who he is and not let fear rule him. He is also strong because when he found out about Danny’s illness he could have walked away and instead he met the illness and challenges that come with mania head on and did what he had to in order to help Danny when mania overtook him. Rory is an amazing person with so much love to give that I think that Danny found the one person who will never leave his and will instead brace whatever comes their way without giving up.

I do not think that Danny ever expected to find the type of love that he has for Rory or the type of love that Rory has for him. He never expected Rory to stand by and help him when he cannot help himself and is amazed to finally realize that he has met his sole mate.

This is an amazing story and I hope others will read it and take away from it what I have. That love is not meant to be a passing ship and that you give up when times are hard. Love is meant to be cherished in the hard times and in the good times. It is meant to be lasting no matter the situation when you find the person that makes you whole.

Tosha

Excerpt

It was quiet. Rory knew that wasn’t normal. He gazed out the windows. The angle of the building meant that one side was faced toward the campus, a miniature city full of towering buildings scattered in clumps, the other faced the mountains and woods. Two contrary images. It appealed to his poetic soul. That was a part of Lawrence he had no intention of letting go. It spoke to his core, that love of words.

Rory opened a window against the heat. Wentworth was an older building, and Rory half expected in winter that he’d have to keep the window open just to breathe. For now though, with no air-conditioning and a fan that did nothing except when pointed at bare skin, an open window was a welcome reprieve from the late August heat. There wasn’t enough of what he wanted Rory to be, not yet, for him to be comfortable with naked skin—at least not his naked skin.

His dorm room was taking shape. The books were on the bookshelf, two deep. An index card on the end of each shelf cataloged the books on the back row. They were books he wouldn’t want often, but when he wanted them, they’d be easy enough to find. Each shelf had a theme. On each shelf his favorites were in alpha order in front, and those he’d brought only out of fear his dad wouldn’t… Rory closed his eyes and took a long breath. There were reasons for his rebirth as Rory, and not all of them were here at school.

The boxes for the books were broken down and in the back of the closet. His clothes were hung up or carefully folded and in drawers. They spoke of Lawrence, not Rory, but they were what he had. It would be easy to fall back into wearing these. He’d have to for a little while. Clothes cost money, and for the first time in his life, Rory was not confident a call home would yield any more, not even for clothes. Especially not for clothes. What’s wrong with the clothes you’ve got? It’s what his dad would say. Probably his mom too.

With three beanbag chairs, the chair for his desk and the bed, that meant seating for five, at least. Anything over ten was considered a party. Not that he had any real hope of filling even the five spaces he had. Rory chuckled at himself. He could hope, but it wouldn’t happen. Still, he might get Stacy and Barry to join him. He walked up against the window, pinned between the steady whir of the fan and the tiny breeze from the window. It was comfortable. Well, not yet. Not really. But it would get more so over the course of the semester. He had to believe that.

On the desk next to his laptop, too hard to ignore from where he stood at the window, was his student leadership packet. The college had found some money somewhere. The portfolio wasn’t the cheap paper folder he’d expected. The mock-leather portfolio marked with the school seal—embossed on the cover, not just ink—had come with a lapel pin and a school pen. Okay, so the pads of paper inside were cheap, but that the school had done that for all the student leaders who arrived early? The communications major in him couldn’t help but analyze it for the message, and it wasn’t hard for him to guess. Take this seriously; they want us to take it seriously.

Rory wondered if they knew that the fledgling leaders were coming back in an hour as the sun finished its descent with the makings of a party. He wondered if Barry knew. Bronzed. Fit. Popular. Of course Barry knew. Rory glanced at the door he’d left open. He tried to pretend it was for something as mundane as airflow, but in his heart where the dull ache of the afternoon’s discussion still sat like a leaden brick, he knew better.

“This is where you do something stupid, Lawrence,” he whispered to himself. He knew what he wanted to do. Want is a strong term. Maybe it’s just the only way you know how to deal with it. And your name is Rory, dipshit. Lawrence is dead.

He looked again at the pile of leadership materials. How had Aidan talked him into this again? Oh, right. There was no one else. Aidan and Michael, they were gone. John Simmons was gone. All they had was a scattered and broken community.

Rory looked out at the slowly illuminating lights in the buildings across campus. It wasn’t like it would be when classes started. Right now it was just dots of light here and there. Athletes. Student government. Student organization leaders. It was getting dark. The party would start soon. As a leader, he’d been invited, quietly, with everyone else. Would the athletes be there to make him feel inadequate? Rory let out a breath, slow. Lawrence would never have gone. Maybe that meant Rory needed to.

He sat down at the desk and quickly flipped through the packet. Even on a cursory glance it was clear that the real requirement was to be present for the workshops throughout the week. The administration had scrupulously left the evenings to the students. It was a kindness, he noted, they had not extended to the residence life staff. He’d seen Becky and Barry earlier, making door tags for each of the residents. It would take them hours to do, and he’d wondered at the time why they’d started so early. But if Barry knew about the party… Rory sighed. Why did it matter if Barry was there? He wasn’t interested.

He’s comfortable. I’ll know someone. It’ll be bearable.

Rory closed the portfolio and pushed it away. His thoughts turned to how he could almost see skin under that too thin shirt of Barry’s. Also pretty uncomfortable.

He stood up and walked over to his closet. They were nice clothes, but they all fit into a particular mode. He pushed the hangers aside one by one. White shirt. Blue shirt. Pastel shirt. All of them button fronts. Then cardigans. One after another. Trousers and corduroys. Tweed jackets. Two business suits his parents had bought him for interviews. At least one of them was sleeker and more modern.

“They’re all Lawrence. All of them,” he muttered. He rested his forehead in one hand, massaging his scalp with his fingers to try to stall the oncoming headache. His eyes opened wide. “Maybe…”

He went back to the desk, trying to stay calm, and pulled out his laptop. Two quick searches and he’d found it: what good-looking fashion models could do with a cardigan. It wasn’t Lawrence at all. That was good. But could Rory pull it off? He was no top model.

He looked back at his closet. “Better than locking myself into being Lawrence again all year.” He combed his fingers back through his hair and closed his eyes again. “I can do this. I can choose to be Rory.”

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3.5 Star, 4.5 Star, and 5 Star Reviews for Fire and Snow (Carlisle Cops, #4) by Andrew Grey #MM #Romance @andrewgreybooks @dreamspinners

Cover

Title: Fire and Snow (Carlisle Cops, #4)
Author Name & Publisher: Andrew Grey (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 20, 2016 – 200 pgs

Synopsis

Fisher Moreland has been cast out of his family because they can no longer deal with his issues. Fisher is bipolar and living day to day, trying to manage his condition, but he hasn’t always had much control over his life and has self-medicated with whatever he could find.

JD Burnside has been cut off from his family because of a scandal back home. He moved to Carlisle but brought his Southern charm and warmth along with him. When he sees Fisher on a park bench on a winter’s night, he invites Fisher to join him and his friends for a late-night meal.

At first Fisher doesn’t know what to make of JD, but he slowly comes out of his shell. And when Fisher’s job is threatened because of a fire, JD’s support and care is more than Fisher ever thought he could expect. But when people from Fisher’s past turn up in town at the center of a resurgent drug epidemic, Fisher knows they could very well sabotage his budding relationship with JD.

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Review
ThreeandHalfStarsI have only read the book previous to this one, and I really enjoyed that story.  This one, I enjoyed this one enough, however, the story was just not as involved as I would have liked.

The dance that these two main characters do is slow, steady and methodical.  However, they didn’t really have great chemistry for me.

This story was more about finding yourself, being OK with yourself and learning to let go of past experiences.  Each character has his own trials to get over, to work through and Grey does a good job at getting the reader to see things from different perspectives.

So, despite my not really enjoying the romance aspect of this story, I think that it sheds great light on each main characters’ individual growth and how they find themselves in their relationship.

This was not my favorite Grey story, but it had a good message.

AvidReader
FourandHalfStars
This was another really great book from Andrew Grey. It is clear that this author does his homework before writing a book. The characters were absolutely great and I really fell in love with Fisher. I couldn’t imagine having to live the type of life he had to live. I also loved JD and loved how Fisher was able to help him with his family. JD also help Fisher realize that he could be loved and to get over his fears of insecurity. They are dealing with many different issues that luckily they persevere over them. This is a really great story from a great series. This is part of a series but can be read as a standalone.
~Lynn
FiveStars
Another good book to add to an amazing series. This book is of course about a Carlisle cop but it is also about a young man who believes that because of a tramatic brain injury he recieved years earlier that he will never have anyone love him because of his disability.

Fischer struggles wveryday with the lows, highs, and trying to balance it all out with medicine from the brain injury from a car accident years earlier. This injury has caused bi polar disorder and Fischer wants nothing more then to try and lead a normal life.

Fischer feels like no one sees him and that he is invisible. I think that he has low confidence in himself to deal with life situations. I think that he is scared he is not going to be able to handle things and that is why he has the panic attacks. He needs to feel in control in order to have some handle on his disorder. I also think that he does not feel like he is good enough for anyone else.

J.D is a strong individual. He has crapoy things thrown his way and he has picked up and moved on and made a new life for himself. Once he meets Fischer he knows instantly that he is special. He also realizes that all Fischer needs is love and acceptance.

These two men give each other what they both need in a partner. Fischer needs someone to love him unconditionally and JD needs someone who will stand up for him. They both need each other. It is a rough road but they break through the other side in love and stronger than ever. It is not any easy ride this. They are thrown curve balls all along the way.

Really enjoyed this book and was a perfect addition to the series.

Tosha

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3.5 star and 4 star review for Housekeeping by Kim Fielding {AUDIOBOOK REVIEW} @kfieldingwrites #MM #Romance @Dreamspinners

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Title: Housekeeping
Author Name & Publisher: Kim Fielding (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: November 13, 2013 – 98 Pages

Synopsis

When Nicky Hauser walks in on his restaurant-owner boyfriend having sex with a waiter, Nicky loses his lover, his job, and his home all in one night. Although he’s nearly thirty, he’s never settled on a true career, and he has nothing to show for his years with Tom. Depressed and unable to find work, Nicky ends up couch-surfing with friends until he lands a house-sitting gig for a wealthy family.

When Nicky’s clients discover that he loves to clean, demand for his services skyrockets. Word of mouth leads him to Spencer Cartwright, a busy computer consultant and a slob. Spencer and his wife divorced when he came out, but he’s never found the time or courage to settle down with a man. As Nicky sets Spencer’s house to rights, the two men find friendship. But Nicky’s past experiences make him wary of risking everything on love.

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

This was short and sweet, a cozy afternoon read. The characters are likable, and the story flows smoothly.

There’s really not much to say about it, which surprises me. I usually like Kim Fielding’s writing because it has so much depth. This story felt pretty much like most other contemporary romance shorts–there isn’t anything that stands out about it. It’s a fairly fluffy story about a meet-cute and a friendship that becomes love.

I was surprised, actually, that there wasn’t more about the concerning habit Nicky seems to have with being employed by his lover. I kept waiting for that to come up in a bigger way than Nicky’s lack of trust because of Tom’s behavior. “I won’t date my boss because my last boss/lover cheated on me” seems like the least important reason to avoid dating the person you work for, especially given that he was Spencer’s live-in housekeeper. I was surprised there’s never any exploration of that subject.

The falling in love part seemed a bit rushed to me. It was a lot of telling us Nicky and Spencer’s friendship is expanding but very little showing us how it happens. This is surprising, given how the beginning of the story is so detailed and powerful. I wish we could see more of Nicky’s changing feelings or his tension and worry.

Overall, it’s really well-written, it just didn’t do a whole lot for me. I liked it but didn’t love it. I think fans of this type of story (sweet, fluffy, very little angst) will love it, as it’s an excellent example of that kind of tale.

~Amy

FourStars

This review is for the audiobook, read by K.C. Kelly.

This is a light and heartwarming story, beautifully read. This is not one of my favorite books by Kim Fielding, but I still enjoyed it very much.

As Nicky is forced to make some drastic changes in his life, he faces the issues of what it means to grow up, have a career, home, love and family. All these issues are dealt with well as we get to know and love Nicky. Spencer and Nicky’s romance is more in the background as the focus is more on Nicky’s journey. But their romance is sweet, as Spencer learns to let go and Nicky learns to trust again. There is more focus on romance than sex in this story.

I recommend with for anyone looking for a fun story about starting over.

~Amanda

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NEW RELEASE: TWO 5 Stars, 4 Stars and 3.5 Stars for Tiny House (Buchanan House #3) by Charley Descoteaux #Bisexual #Romance @CharleyDescote @dreamspinners

Cover

Title: Tiny House (Buchanan House #3(
Author Name & Publisher: Charley Descoteaux (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: April 29, 2016 – 200 pgs

Synopsis

Pride weekend is over, but for Nathan Lucas, the summer is just heating up. He appears to have it all. He’s tall and blond, ripped and handsome, and half owner of Buchanan House, a successful gay retreat on Oregon’s beautiful central coast. But his joie de vivre hides a fear of abandonment. When he was twelve his mother had triplets, and instead of the cherished only child, Nathan became a scapegoat for his exhausted parents, and he has never truly dealt with that pain.

Portland chef Paulie Nesbitt is head over heels in love with Nathan. They’ve been drinking buddies with benefits for years, while Paulie has not-so-secretly yearned for more. Paulie’s extra pounds and self-doubt have kept him from acting on his feelings. Their friends know they would make the perfect couple, but Nathan and Paulie will have to let go of past insecurities if they want a future together.

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

I have only read the first book in this series.  I enjoyed it.  However, this was not my favorite story.

Nathan and Paulie have been friends forever.  However, they have been too shy or scared to tell each other that they have feelings for each other.

I think I had an issue with this story because there was so much more going on than just their story.  It was less about them, and more about this group of people who have banned together to create their own family.

Then, you throw in the wrench of Nathan’s family coming in to the picture again and it becomes even less about his relationship with Paulie.

I loved the two main characters – they were fun, playful and sweet, however, their chemistry was somewhat lacking for me too.  Maybe that had more to do with the premise stating that Paulie had body issues… I’m not really sure, but they just had ho-hum chemistry for me.

Overall, this was not a great story for me.  However, I did enjoy the sweet moments within the story for all of the couples and do hope that Evan gets a story too.

AvidReader

 FiveStars

Charley Descoteaux did it again. This is another winner in the Buchanan House series. And if is s full of all over the place emotions it is not even a joke.

I already love Paulie and Nathan from the first two books in the series and I could tell by their interactions in the previous two books that these two men had some serious feelings for one another but they were nothing more then best friends and sometimes hook up buddies with no strings attached even though they both wanted so much more from each other. In this book we (the readers) get to see so much more of what the issues is these two men have with not being honest with the other about their feelings.

It is sad really because Paulie and Nathan missed out on so much time together because of their different insecurities. They have known and been in love with each other for 18 years but they have never maned up and told each other how they felt until it was almost too late for the both of them.

Paulie has issues with not feeling good enough for Nathan because of his extra weight and he does not feel that he is good enough because he cannot see himself the same way Nathan does.

Nathan has issues with not feeling good enough for Paulie because he has abandonment issues and is afraid he is a bad person inside and that no one stay once they realize that even though that is the furthest from the truth.

I broke my heart that these two men loved the other so much and completed one another but they was both so insecure with themselves that they was willing to let the other go because of it.

As stated before this book has so many emotions in it and I cannot wait till the next book comes out. I can only hope the next book will be about Kyle, Brandon or Evan. Those are three that I am interested in seeing what is to come for them either separately or together.

Great job thus far on this series and cannot wait for more to come.

~Tosha

FiveStars

I can officially add Charley Descoteaux to my auto-buy list from now on. I loved this series, and this book made me hope with all ten fingers and ten toes crossed that it’s not over yet.

The first thing I loved is that there is much, much more to this story than just the romance between Nathan and Paulie. I normally dislike “will they or won’t they” type plots, but it worked perfectly here in large part because it wasn’t the only thing going on. These two men have a lot of history, both individually and with each other. It would have been unfair to both of them if they’d wrapped it up tidily on page three.

I loved Nathan already in Buchanan House, and I was so ready to see him get his happily ever after. But Paulie, for me, was the one I related to. Their story isn’t a slow-bloom or even a traditional friends-to-lovers tale. It’s a complicated dance, and neither of them wants to give in first. When they finally–finally!–get together, as we know they will, the moment matches the whole tone of their relationship. It’s sweet, steamy, and has just a hint of the insecurities which characterize their love story.

The side characters are fantastic, and a couple of them make me think this isn’t the last we’ll see of Buchanan House and its inhabitants. There are also some indications we may get to see some other complex relationships play out. The secondary characters are as interesting and have as much depth as the main couple.

About the only thing I can say I wasn’t sure about was the ending. It was great, but it felt like a little too much, a little too long. But that’s for sure personal preference, not a flaw with the story.

This is not a book for people who want a very traditional romance. It’s quirky, interesting, and touches on some deep and emotional subjects, such as Paulie’s weight, Nathan’s self-image, and tricky family dynamics. This isn’t done in a hyper-emotional way; it’s handled with humor and heart. As someone who can get bogged down in too many heavy feelings, I prefer the lighter touch, though other readers may feel differently.

All in all, this was a great addition to the series and only served to fuel my hope for more about these delightful characters.

~Amy

FourStars

This book was told from multiple POV and I really enjoyed this book much more then book one. This book still has some problems in the author writing as it took me some time to connect with the characters. I really prefer an almost immediate connection as then when I read I’m not struggling. I was glad to see that Nathan was finally getting his own story. However this book seems to deal more with “Tiny House” rather than Nathan and Paulie’s relationship. I did enjoy seeing them fumble around each other and was excited to see them fall in love. It seemed to build up slowing and that was good as Nathan and Paulie have been friends forever. This book had a lot going on and I loved the direction the author took. I can’t wait to read more from this series.

~Lynn

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5 star and 3 star reviews for Mikey and the Chickadee by Kid Boise @kid8oise #MM #Contemporary

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Title: Mikey and the Chickadee
Author Name & Publisher: Kid Boise (Boise Urban Publishing Company)
Publication Date & Length: February 8, 2016 — 304 Pages

Synopsis

This is a novel about budding love between two men. It seeks to add quality writing and well-drawn characters to a growing pool of gay literature.

Wyatt and Mikey are young, fresh into their careers—and still have a lot to learn about themselves. They were fortunate enough to meet, but only time will tell if their new bond can weather the tumult and confusion that accompanies early adulthood…

“Mikey said things in a way that invoked visions of us spending time together in the future. I considered this while I watched the sun set out my window. Beyond houses, buildings and occasional fields, all of it racing by, I caught flickers of open water and the far-off levee holding it at bay. The next few miles were peppered with conversation borne, still, out of an inscrutable dose of caution and unfamiliarity. How does one coax something from a void? What kind of enigmatic force conjures a friendship between strangers? How fragile those first times together must be, yet with so much depending on them. For one covert second, I swelled with sadness, not just because a continued relationship with this beautifully unchained boy was so improbable, but for the tragedy of all friendships that died in infancy.”

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Review

FiveStars

I didn’t know what to expect from this novel. The blurb really says very little about the plot, so I went in without a whole lot of context. That ended up being perfectly fine. This is not a book with a whole lot of action or tension. It’s a slow-bloom strangers-to-friends-to-lovers that quietly contemplates the process of falling in love.

This is not a traditional romance–it’s almost analytical. Wyatt, the first-person narrator, thinks deeply about each new step in his complicated-yet-not relationship with Mikey. I say complicated because the line between them keeps moving as they get to know each other. Uncomplicated because their communication is open the whole time. They’re not leading each other on or hiding or lying; there are no big, horrible secrets they’re keeping from each other. Wyatt and Mikey are honest right from the start.

I’ll admit I was worried this would turn into a gay-for-you or an “anything but bisexual identity” story. To an extent, it is a bit of the latter, but it works for this context. Mikey is still a work in progress, so it’s reasonable he hasn’t made any conclusions. What I loved is that Wyatt absolutely, unquestioningly accepts Mikey exactly as he is. He never pushes, never pressures, never presumes. He isn’t put off by Mikey’s uncertainty and in fact seems to welcome it with open arms.

As much as I liked Mikey–and I did like him a lot–it was Wyatt who made me fall in love with falling in love. Wyatt is such a gentle and generous soul. It would be easy for that to be a bit much and for him to come across as too perfect. Yet somehow, he doesn’t.

Some readers might not like that the sex often feels a bit clinical rather than emotional or romantic. I found it refreshing, and I loved the way each time they were together we saw a slightly different angle on how they processed it. Mikey is trying to figure himself out, and Wyatt is trying to figure out how to aid him. So it’s not terribly surprising that their physical intimacy also has a vaguely analytical tone to it. I loved all Mikey’s odd little vocalizations–he always seems so surprised at how everything feels.

The end both surprised me and didn’t. I think I was prepared for any one of several endings because of small tidbits dropped here and there throughout. I think I would have felt satisfied no matter what, though a few of the possibilities running through my mind were terribly sad and I’m glad none of those came about.
This is one of those rare books I feel the need to read again in case I missed some small detail, some important thing that might change my life if I noticed it on a second pass. I could probably talk about it for a long time. For anyone who loves highly intellectual love stories, this is one to add to the list.
~Amy
ThreeStar

Although I had some serious issues with this book, overall I came to enjoy the characters and their story.

I found it difficult to really get into this. The language is stilted and confusing at times. I decided to push through until at least the half-way mark and then decide if I wanted to keep reading it. It was at about exactly half-way through that I finally found myself engaged with Wyatt and Mikey’s story. I think in part the writing style improved, but I think it was more that my interest in the story got me through it. The overall feeling I get is that the author is trying too hard. The writing just doesn’t flow, and some of the imagery is a bit odd.

There are definitely some good moments in this story. Wyatt and Mikey are charming and fun characters. The awkwardness in their relationship is somewhat endearing. Wyatt’s personal struggles really bring depth to his character.

~Amanda

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TWO 5 star and ONE 4 star review for Pride Weekend (Buchanan House #2) by Charley Descoteaux #Bisexual #Romance @CharleyDescote @dreamspinners

Cover

Title: Pride Weekend (Buchanan House #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Charley Descoteaux (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: April 22, 2016 – 50 pgs

Synopsis

Overworked cubicle jockey Adam Byron wants to attend Oregon Coast Pride in style but the price of a room at Buchanan House, a popular gay retreat on the central coast, is beyond his budget. So he won’t miss out, he advertises online for someone to share expenses. Corporate drone Silas Grant responds to Adam’s ad, and the two get to know each other via texts before meeting at the coast. They agree on a no-pressure roommate arrangement, yet once they meet face-to-face, their attraction is undeniable. Desire might simmer well beyond Pride weekend, no matter how hard Adam and Silas try to live up to their noncommitment pact.

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Review

 FiveStars

This is a short story compared to book 1 in this series but it was such a good read.

Adam has been wanting to go to Buchanan house for pride weekend but did not have the money to do it on his own so he met Silas online and they agreed to split the room with no strings attached or any preconceived notions of hooking up. They did not realize that upon meeting each other face to face that it would change both their lives forever.

This is a book about no expectations other then meeting and having a good time. But it is also a book about how upon meeting face to face the first time how quickly lust for one another can turn into love.

Even though this is a short story, Charley was able to make the intensity of the situation between these two gentlemen fly off the pages. The attraction they felt for one another and the jealousy they both experienced about the other getting attention from someone other then them was very intense from the moment they laid eyes on one another. Charley was able to portray a lot of emotions in this short story without over playing it and turning it into smut.

It was a very enjoyable read and cannot wait for the next book in the series.

~Tosha

FiveStars

This is a very short companion to Buchanan House. It’s a very quick read, and the main characters from the other books in the series only appear in the background. I found the story to be a nice compromise between a slow-bloom romance and instant love, not really fitting neatly in either category.

Adam and Silas are both likable. They’re both insecure about the potential relationship, for different reasons. On the surface, they’ve simply agreed to room-share so they can enjoy their Pride weekend vacation. It’s clear, though, that both of them are hoping for a hook-up. Naturally, that’s exactly what happens, and it’s lovely and steamy.

I’m not usually a huge fan of “that was so hot I think I’m in love” stories, but I didn’t see Adam and Silas that way. It sounded at the beginning like they were already getting to know each other because of their agreement to share the room, and I liked the way the happy-for-now end had the right blend of hope and realism. These are guys who are infatuated but want to see where it goes.

This is technically a stand-alone, since it’s not really necessary to have read the first book, but I found it helped make sense of the context to have read it. I’m not sure I’d have loved it as much if I didn’t understand the rest of the world in this series. For me, it was like a nice trip back to a favorite vacation spot, and I enjoyed it a lot.

~Amy

FourStars

This was a quick short read and I really got into it more than book one. This book was about two men who meat online and decided to share a room at the Buchanan House as neither could afford it alone. I love how the author brought them together and loved how it ended. We didn’t really get to spend time with Nathan and Eric (in fact there was one brief scene with Nathan when Adan checks in). I loved the descriptions of the house and it was clear that Eric and Nathan did a really great job renovating. I’m not sure where either Adan or Silas lives as the author does not tell us but she did say they end up together in the end. I immediately fell in love with Adam and when Silas come into the picture it was clear to me that both these men wanted more than they thought.

~Lynn

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