Tag Archives: gay romance

5 Star Review for So Into You (The PI Guys #2) by S. E. Harmon #MM #Romance

Cover

Title: So Into You (The PI Guys #2)
Author Name & Publisher: S.E. Harmon (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: January 4, 2016 – 326 pgs

Synopsis

Screenwriter Noah Ashley has a few four-letter words for his agent when she suggests he improve his script by shadowing a PI. Still, because he’s an artist dedicated to his craft and she knows where the bodies are buried, he agrees. Then he spends a little time with the gorgeous PI, and suddenly it seems like a really good plan. The PI doesn’t seem to entirely love the idea, but Noah has never been afraid to go after what he wants.

PI Drew Rodriguez is used to people depending on him. He’s the classic rock for his family. Responsible. Dependable. The classic rock would never succumb to the borderline sleazy temptation of friends with benefits, no matter how sexy that temptation is. Drew is looking for something enduring.

Despite Drew’s misgivings, it’s not long before they’ve got all the requisites for friends with benefits going. Friendly, good conversation? Check. Fun times in and out of bed? Check. Hot, electrolyte-sapping sex? Double check. Falling in love? Yeah. About that….

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Review

FiveStars

S.E. Harmon truly has a wonderful gift for writing phenomenal books and this book is just another example of that.

We met Drew in book one and got just a small glimpse of who he was. But his book shows us just who Drew really is. We also got see see more of Mac (Drews best friend and business partner and Macs boyfriend Jordan) too. And then there is Noah.

Drew is the sarcastic, funny, caring, loving individual. His sarcasm is hilarious. When he is uncomfortable he is sarcastic. When he is nervous he is sarcastic. When he flirting he is sarcastic. But Drew would not be Drew without it. It makes his character and it makes it one of the reason I just love him. He has not always had it easy. He has mommy issues, and he has daddy issues but regardless of all that he is the person that his little brother Zachary looks up too and wants to be like.

Noah has his own issues from being raised in foster care and having to give his all to accomplish all the fame and riches that he has. But the one thing he does not have is a boyfriend because Marshall cheated on him and Noah got rid of him for it. Noah has trust issues and even though when Drew and Noah finally got together and they both knew they were perfect with each other, Noah returned home to LA after his no strings attached hook up buddy with Drew. He broke his heart and Drews heart also.

This is a book about learning to get over your insecurities and trust issues and choosing to place your trust and heart in the one that you loves hands and to hold on for the ride.

This was such a wonderful read. It was full of of sarcastic humor that I found that I had a smile on my face through almost the whole book.

I definitely recommend this book to others.

~Tosha

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4 Stars for Prince of the Playhouse (Love in Laguna #3) by Tara Lain @taralain #MM #Romance @Dreamspinners

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Title: Prince of the Playhouse (Love in Laguna #3)
Author Name & Publisher: Tara Lain (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: April 4th, 2016 – 240 Pages

Synopsis

Driven by his desire to become a successful fashion designer and concerned with hiding his questionable past, Ru Maitland lets his obsession with action movie star Gray Anson on the big screen replace his social life. Then obsession and reality collide when Ru is asked to design fashion costumes for a special performance of Hamlet at the Playhouse in Laguna starring none other than Gray Anson. Gray turns out to be a compelling mix of shy and brash and, despite a high profile engagement to a female socialite, the signals Gray sends Ru have his libido doing the salsa.

Gray Anson has what most people only dream of—great wealth, huge fame, a job he loves. For that, he’s given up any semblance of privacy and the right to say no to the thousands of people who depend on him and the millions who love him. He sees everything he’s ever wanted just outside the bubble of his life, but how can he make the compromises needed to embrace it? When Ru’s shady past crashes into Gray’s paparazzi-haunted present, both men have to learn that sometimes the only acceptable compromise is the truth.

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Review

FourStars

I have read each book in this series, they are all so good. My biggest complaint with this one was the over use of the word ‘darling’, it was too much for me. Ru had a rough start to life but he has made something of himself and his star is still rising. Gray is a huge movie star and is learning that sometimes being a star just isn’t enough. Ru and Gray together are amazing, the chemistry is off the charts! It was a good story and it’s times like these that I wish there were pictures so I could see what the costumes Ru designed looked like. I did enjoy seeing characters from previous books as well.

Angie

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TWO 4 Star Reviews for Learning to Love Cats by M. K. Mahoney @KMMahoney #MM @PridePublishing

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Title: Learning to Love Cats
Author Name & Publisher: K. M. Mahoney (Pride Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: July 19th, 2016 – 53 Pages

Synopsis

It isn’t exactly a match made in heaven.

Mike isn’t much of an animal lover, but his sister insists every little boy needs a pet. Which is how Mike finds himself sitting in a veterinary office, trying to explain the facts of life to his six-year-old nephew while holding a dead hamster in a shoebox. It’s not one of his finer moments. So of course, that’s when he encounters the cute, shy and utterly lust-worthy Riley Laytham.

Riley isn’t used to guys flirting with him, and he definitely didn’t expect it to happen at the local vet office. In the kennels, no less, surrounded by cats and dogs and under the close scrutiny of one overly inquisitive little boy.

Their first date is a disaster. They have nothing in common, and Riley’s cats seem determined to end the budding relationship before it can get started. For some reason, though, Mike is sticking around despite cat scratches, rampant allergies, and nosy siblings. Now Riley just has to decide if he can make it work with a guy who staunchly declares that he doesn’t like cats.

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Review

FourStars

This is my first book by this author and I enjoyed it one I was able to get into it. The blurb sounded interesting and as I began to read I began to think maybe I made a mistake and this might be a DNF for me. It didn’t take me long as long as I thought and I really began to enjoy this book. The authors writing style made it an easy read but what I enjoyed the most was the batter between Mike and Riley. It really was really amusing and I loved how the author was able to really bring out Mike and Riley’s flirtatious side. The secondary characters, especially Charlie, Mike’s nephew were also great. I would definitely read another book by this author.  

Lynn

FourStars

This book was a good quick read with lots of humor, cats, and of course love.

As far as the characters go I really like Mike and Riley. From the moment they met they just seemed to click, well with the exception of the cats which Mike did not really care for. But like with any relationship Mike was willing to compromise and learn to like them because he was not willing to give up Riley.

Riley was skeptical to believe that Mike would stick around for long and when the three little words came into play, Riley was even more skeptical but was willing to give things a try between them.

I think that KM Magoney has a good short story here that is full of humor and was definitely a light hearted read. I really enjoyed it and look forward to future books by KM Mahoney.

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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5 star, 4 star and 3 star reviews for The Little Things by Jay Northcote @Jay_Northcote #MM #Romance @Dreamspinners

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Title: The Little Things
Author Name & Publisher: Jay Northcote (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: April 2016 — 214 pages

Synopsis

There are lots of things that brighten Joel’s life. His three-year-old daughter, Evie, is one. His close relationship with her mother, his best friend from university, is another. Joel’s boyfriend, Dan, adds spice to his child-free nights, and Joel is pretty happy with how things are.

Then one cold and rainy night, everything changes. Joel’s life is turned upside down when he becomes a full-time dad to Evie, and his previously carefree relationship with Dan cracks under the strain.

Meeting Liam, who acts as if getting hurt isn’t a foregone conclusion, shakes Joel to the core. Their attraction is mutual, and Liam makes no secret of how serious he is about Joel. But Joel is wary. He tells himself he’s keeping Liam at a distance for Evie’s sake, when really he’s protecting his own heart. Taking a chance on this new relationship with Liam may seem a small step—a little thing—but is it one Joel can take after losing so much already?

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Review

FourStars

This is a slow, honest story about a very ordinary young man whose life is upended by  a sudden loss.  While this may not be the best paced or plotted of Jay Northcote’s books, she manages to capture Joel’s overwhelming grief with wonderful sensitivity.

I really enjoyed the characterisation in this book and there were a few chapters I couldn’t stop myself from crying through.  While Joel and Evie are the most thoroughly developed characters, the supporting characters are complicated and very real.  I don’t always enjoy children in fiction, but Evie is almost perfectly crafted.

At times, the low-key realism is too slow for me.  The more mundane details of Joel’s life drag and become tedious in parts.  I’m not sure an honest study of grief could be anything but slow and difficult, but I found this a little bit too real at times.  

This is a difficult book.  There are spots of joy and there is some hope offered by the end but this packs quite an emotional punch.  It is advertised as an m/m romance, but while there is a little romance, it is secondary to the story of Joel’s grief and the story of his struggle to keep his little family functional.  

~Sarah

FiveStars

This book had so many emotions coming out in me. It is a happy, sad, heart breaking, frustrating, emotional book.

Joel is a father to 3 year old Named Evie. He and his best friend, Claire, got pregnant with her in college and decided the best way to raise Claire is through co parenting where she is with one or the other for equal amount of time. And it is working perfectly for them. Then one night everything changed when Claire was in a car accident that took her from all those hat loved her dearly. Joel found himself being a single parent raising his beautiful daughter on his own and losing his best friend to boot. Shortly after Claire’s passing Joel kept bumping into a man that intrigued Joel but there was always something in the way of them getting to know one another better (That something was Dan, Joel’s part time boyfriend). Finally the last time they ran into one another at the children’s ward when Evie got sick Joel and Liam exchange phone numbers and that is when the fun and living again begins.

As I said this book was very emotional. I cried when Claire passed away. It broke my heart for Joel losing his best friend and his life being turned upside down. I cried when Evie would ask for her mommy because she just did not understand. I was frustrated when Joel tried keeping in a relationship with Dan when it was so obvious that they was in different places in there lives. I was happy when Joel and Liam started talking and when Liam was not only interested in Joel but also in Evie. Then I was frustrated again with Joel for not realizing that what him and Liam had was a good thing but he was too scared to let it happen and decided it was best to not see where things could go. I was heart broken for Evie who did not understand why people would come into her life and then leave again.

This book was an amazing story of someone’s life being turned upside down and the kindle of strength it took to fight their way back to steady ground even though things would never be the way they once where. It is very inspiring, although still emotional. Jay did an excellent job of pulling all the emotions out of the readers and made this an amazing story because of it.

~Tosha

ThreeStar

Although I enjoyed this book I had a difficult time getting to the end. I feel like some of the story line just didn’t belong in the book. And even though I did that I was still able to understand the plot of the story. I received a free copy of this book from Inked Rainbow Reviews in exchange for an honest review.

I feel bad for Joel because I know what it’s like to share parenthood with someone and then they’re gone. It’s difficult sometimes to accept that life can go on when you’ve lost that someone who feels like your other half.

I liked Liam. He was a no nonsense, tell it like is kind of guy. He knew what he wanted and wasn’t afraid to say it.

I wish I could give this book a 5-star review, but I just can’t. There’s just too much going on throughout the book. I can appreciate wanting to tell us about Joel’s sister and her struggles to have a baby, but then she should get her own story. Don’t include it with Joel and Liam.

~Kris

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