Hello world!

This blog is all about Romance!  We review books about romance (mostly m/m – but there might be an occasional m/f, f/f, m/m/f, space-alien-babies, what have you).

In addition we are inviting fan fiction, slash fiction, fan-art – anything that moves you to create.

We hope you find something that entertains you or inspires you – Enjoy!

Feel free to email us at openskyebookreviews@gmail.com with any questions or concerns.

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Enemies to Lovers: Poke Check (Harrisburg Railers #4) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey

GoodReads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35907068-poke-check

Blurb

One scorching summer in each other’s arms could never be enough.

Stanislav “Stan” Lyamin is happy playing for the Railers. The towering goalie is well-loved, respected, and making a home for himself even though that home only contains him, his cat, and his growing Pokemon trading card collection. Stan prefers it that way. He’d given his heart to a man in a secret affair, and that man walked away, leaving Stan shattered. Now Erik is back in his life, and he has the same tumultuous effect he had on Stan’s heart as before. This time it’s not just a kissable mouth and sweet blond curls that Erik has brought to Harrisburg, there’s a soon-to-be ex-wife and a precious baby. Despite the vow Stan made to hate Erik forever, he’s now finding it harder and harder to turn away.

Erik Gunnarsson’s dream had always been to play in the NHL, he just never imagined he’d land a contract with the Railers. Who would have thought that fate would put him on the same team as Stanislav Lyamin; the man whose heart he’d callously broken?

Secrets and lies had defined their summer relationship, and the choice that Erik made to end it all haunts him still. In the middle of a messy divorce and with a baby in tow, Erik finds himself back in Stan’s life. Now all he has to do is be the best dad he can be, prove to the team that he deserves the chance to stay on the roster and try his hardest to get Stan to forgive him. Is it possible to persuade a man who hates you to give love a second chance?

 

Review

 I thought this was adorable!

Stan is one of my favorite characters – not just in this series – but in general! He’s so sweet, and funny, and sincere!

I kinda wanted Erik to have to work harder for Stan’s forgiveness but I think that’s just Stan, too.

There is a lot of internal dithering in this that probably doesn’t need to be there, but I appreciated the insight into Stan’s mind.

This was really funny as well as super sweet and the smexy times were great, too!

I wanted a bit more hockey and a bit less angst, but it was still a great addition to the series and is probably tied with first for me as my favorite so far!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Posted in 4.5 stars, adult - 18+, Bi-Sexual, Closeted, co-workers to lovers, Enemies to Lovers, Enemies to Lovers, Friends to lovers, Gay, Gay, Hockey, Homophobia, Hurt/comfort, m/m, Mid level angst, Mid level steam/heat, Monthly Theme, Morgan, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), Part of a Series, pining, Purchased, Reconcilliation, second chance at love, Single Parent, Sports, The one that got away | Leave a comment

Release Day Review: Waking Oisin by Grace Kilian Delaney

release day review

Releases Tomorrow: February 26, 2018

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38235138-waking-oisin?from_search=true

Blurb

Oisin Harrison blames his fiancée’s distrust for ruining their relationship. He blames his father for pushing him into law school. But more than all that, he blames himself for letting other people’s expectations stop him from going after his dream. But dressing in drag with his best friend is the one thing Oisin refuses to compromise.

As Sin, he meets handsome Trenton Fisher, a man who appreciates Oisin’s cross-dressing. Trent upends his world by doing things to his body no one ever has, making him want more than just one night together. That is, until Oisin discovers his hot hookup works at his father’s law firm and is angling for a promotion.

To complicate things, Trent doesn’t seem to recognize Oisin out of drag. Or does he?

Will Oisin and Trent’s magnetic attraction grow to something deeper, or will it threaten to jeopardize their careers and futures?

Waking Oisin contains characters from Seven Minutes but can be read as a standalone.

Review

I am not a fan of BDSM or other forms of power/control and though it is not a huge factor in this story it absolutely influenced my enjoyment of this.

I was thinking this would be about coming out of the closet and getting out from an oppressive family – and it sort of was – but it was also a bit disjointed and kind of all over the place.  Oisin is sometimes matures, sometimes a brat, his dad is sometimes supportive, sometimes a jerk, and Trenton is sometimes supportive and sometimes a user.

Oisin isn’t what his dad wants him to be and he rebels and ends up meeting one of his father’s lawyers. When it comes time for them to work together, Trenton is just kind of “blah” about it all and Oisin isn’t as freaked out as I’d have thought he’d be. He’s a bit whiny and petulant and that made the whole power dynamic even more distasteful to me.

I ended up skimming the rest of this because it just wasn’t my thing and had the blurb been more specific I’d have probably skipped it. This is one of those cases of personal preference so I won’t rate it.

Though it can be a standalone, I think it’s better having read book 1, first.

No rating.

Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Posted in adult - 18+, BDSM, Boss/employee, Closeted, co-workers to lovers, College/University, coming of age, Contemporary, Homophobia, Hurt/comfort, lawyer, m/m, Mid level angst, Morgan, NetGalley, New Adult, no rating, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), Part of a Series, Scorching/high heat, Secret Identity | Leave a comment

Enemies to Lovers: Perfect Fit (Book 4 of the Fated Hearts Series) by Aimee Nicole Walker

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28500149-perfect-fit?from_search=true

Blurb: Two incurable bachelors, one incredible journey…

Jagger Jackson hides behind a sexy playboy veneer. He’d rather people see him as a man who doesn’t believe in love, rather than one who doesn’t deserve it. No matter how hard he works, he still sees himself as the unlovable boy from the wrong side of the tracks.
Miller Brexler doesn’t believe he’ll ever meet a man who could make him want to settle down. He’s perfectly happy with his hit it and quit it lifestyle. Behind his easygoing nature is a man who’s passionately devoted to his career, family, and friends.
JJ and Miller are brought together when their best friends meet and fall in love. Sparks fly from the very beginning and no matter how much they try to fight it, their attraction is unavoidable. What starts out as “just sex” has the potential to become so much more if JJ can come to terms with his painful past, and Miller is willing to admit that love may be the missing piece in his seemingly perfect life.

Will these two stubborn hearts admit that they might’ve been wrong about love or will they allow the chance at true happiness to slip away? This is the tale of two imperfect men that together make a perfect fit.

Review

The way these two men fought their attraction, they might as well have been frenemies! This is the 4th book in the Fated Hearts series, but this is the one I started with. It can definitely be read as a standalone.
JJ and Miller, both confirmed bachelors, both with a backstory that keeps them from believing in their own HEA. However, they didn’t count on their powerful attraction to each other.
The fun of the story is how they fought against their attraction meaning anything and the feels start when they open up to each other and when they are tested after tragedy strikes.
This is one of my favourite books to reread.

4.5 stars out of 5

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Copy purchased for review

 

Posted in 4.5 stars, adult - 18+, Contemporary, Dee, Enemies to Lovers, Enemies to Lovers, Finding Family, Gay, Gay, Humor, m/m, Mid level angst, Monthly Theme, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), Part of a Series, Purchased, Scorching/high heat, Standalone, Teacher, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Losing It by Christine D’Abo Blog Tour and Giveaway!

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Hello, my name is Christine d’Abo and I’m so happy to be here today.

All things, no matter how good and loved, must eventually come to an end. When I originally planned to write my Ringside Romance series, it was only going to be three books. But then my lovely Justin came into being and there was no way I could leave this world without giving him his happy ending. So here we are, at the final stop on the journey, with both excitement and a few tears.

Justin’s character was my way of showing myself that every character can be his or her own hero. That we don’t have to be slaves to our circumstances, that given the right motivation and support from those who love us, we can move past our own negativity and become someone more.

Justin thought the person to help him was Grady.

That was because he hadn’t met Finn yet.

By helping Finn find his voice, Justin realizes that there’s more to life, more to himself, than he’d ever realized. I hope you’ll join me for LOSING IT, the final tale in the world of the Ringside Gym, where even the most unlikely of heroes can find his happily ever after.

About Losing It

 

Finn Miller doesn’t do social. He works his IT job from home as often as he can to avoid people. If it weren’t for his weekly training sessions at Ringside Gym, he might never leave his apartment. And he only does that because of Leo, the gym member he’s in love with. When Finn gets talked into attending a speed dating fund-raiser at the gym, his greatest wish is to have the courage to try to say something—anything—to Leo.

 

Justin McCormick has spent most of his adult life being used, whether playing a corporate heavy, or acting as guard dog for his ward. So when he leaves Vancouver for a fresh start in Toronto, he doesn’t quite know what to do with himself.

 

The moment Justin sees Finn at a speed dating event, he knows there’s no way he’ll make it without a little help, so he offers to coach Finn on the art of conversation. What he doesn’t count on is his unexpected attraction to this shy boxer, or his fear that if Finn gets his way, Justin might lose out on his best chance at love.

 

Available now from Riptide Publishing!

 

About Ringside Romance

 

Deep in the heart of Toronto lies Ringside Gym. Once a safe haven for troubled teens, Ringside has gone derelict, a forgotten memory of past days. Until a group of friends set out to do what they can to bring life back to the ring and create a new home for LGBT youths.

 

But when their lives threaten to pull down their dreams, each man must turn to others to help make it a reality. Winners take all—but there are no losers in love.

 

Check out the Ringside Romance universe!

 

About Christine d’Abo

 

A romance novelist and short story writer, Christine has over thirty publications to her name. She loves to exercise and stops writing just long enough to keep her body in motion too. When she’s not pretending to be a ninja in her basement, she’s most likely spending time with her family and two dogs.

 

You can visit Christine at her website www.christinedabo.com, and chat with her on Facebook and Twitter. Want to keep up with Christine’s new releases? Sign up for her newsletter and receive a free book!

 


 

To celebrate the release of Losing It, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 24, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

 

Posted in A Tour/Guest Post/Blitz | 6 Comments

Enemies to Lovers: Pressure Head, Plumbers Mate #1 by JK Merrow

Riptide
https://www.amazon.com/Pressure-Head-Plumbers-Mate-Book-ebook/dp/B078TPW1QY/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr

Blurb
Tom Paretski’s not just a plumber with a dodgy hip courtesy of a schoolboy accident. He also has a sixth sense for finding hidden things. Called in by the police to help locate a body near Brock’s Hollow, he’s staggered to encounter Phil Morrison, his old school crush—and the closeted bully whose actions contributed to Tom’s accident.

Phil’s all grown up now, and Tom’s unwilling attraction to him is back with a vengeance. Phil’s now openly gay—and what’s more, he’s interested in Tom’s personal charms as well as his psychic talents. As a private investigator called in by the dead woman’s parents, Phil is sceptical about Tom’s unusual gift, but nevertheless quick to spot its potential to aid him in his work.

The further they go with the investigation, the less they can ignore their shared past, and the more the pressure and the heat build between them. But Tom isn’t certain he wants to know the secrets he’s helping to uncover, while there’s a murderer on the loose who won’t hesitate to kill again—and this uneasy couple is moving right into his sights

Review
I absolutely loved this story. It reminded me of a modern day Miss Marple, but could have been more to do with the quaint English country village setting (rather than any similarity Tom Paretski has to her). Just like the good old murder mysteries there are red herrings to mislead you from the clues but still kept a good pace leading you to the conclusion. All done with humour. This story certainly kept me smiling.
Tom has a unique gift of finding things. Mostly it’s things people want to keep hidden, which is useful to some and an annoyance to others. One person who finds it useful is Tom’s old school bully who turns up again back home. Phil is now a private detective. Tom is still attracted to Phil but is wary of getting too close especially as Phil had made Tom’s life hell. The way these two circle each other, work together and eventually get intimately acquainted is very well written. Phil is so prickly and Tom is a bit too trusting for his own good.
This book is a great start to the series and I look forward re-reading the remaining ones and the new one coming out next month.

4 of stars out of 5

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Purchased by reviewer

 

 

Posted in 4 stars, adult - 18+, Bullying, class difference, Contemporary, Cop/Crime, Enemies to Lovers, Enemies to Lovers, Gay, Gay, Handyman, Humor, Hurt/comfort, m/m, Mary D, Mid level angst, Mid level steam/heat, Monthly Theme, Mystery, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), Paranormal, Part of a Series, Psychic, Purchased, Riptide Publishing | Leave a comment

And the Winner for January 2018 is…

 

Beneath This Mask by Victoria Sue
The Soldati Prince by Charlie Cochet narr Manuel Pombo

Finders Keepers by NR Walker
How to Bang a Billionaire by Alexis Hall narr Joel Leslie

 

Agent Bayne by Jordan Castillo Price
Felix and the Prince by Lucy Lennox narr Michael Pauley


Congratulations to all our winners and to our Comment winner: Joscelyn!

Posted in A Poll/ Voting | 2 Comments

Valentine Review: Together Tied (Marshals #3.5) by Mary Calmes

GoodReads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38560762-together-tied?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb
To celebrate Valentine’s Day, you’re all invited to spend some time with my marshals. I put a short novella on Instafreebie of Miro and Ian having dinner with their boss Sam Kage and his husband, Jory Harcourt. What could possibly go wrong?

I hope you all enjoy it and I hope you all have a wonderful, shmoopy, candy and flower filled day.

 

 

 

Review

This is a super fun, super sweet, GIANT TEASER of a story that makes you CRAVE the next installment of the Marshalls series.

We get to see some really familiar faces and our guy Miro sees Sam in a new light.  If you’re not following All the stories – The Marshalls – Acrobat – A matter of time – this won’t make sense as a lot of people show up in this short story.

You MUST read this before book 4 so… 

I wish this had been a little bit more about Ian and Miro being in love and less about moving the plot forward for book 4 but it was still adorable and free on InstaFreebie!

3.75 of 5 stars

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Posted in 3.5 stars, Action/Adventure, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Book, Established Couple, Established Couple/Sequel, Gay, Holiday, Instafreebie, m/m, Mid level angst, Monthly Theme, Morgan, Part of a Series, Short Story 1-20 pages (1-5k words), Valentine's Day, Valentine's Day | Leave a comment

Audiobook: The Runner by Parker Williams Narrated by Patrick Zeller

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Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/runner-by-parker-williams-9385-b

Blurb:
Matt Bowers’s life ended at sixteen, when a vicious betrayal by someone who he should have been able to trust left him a shell of himself, fighting OCD and PTSD, living in constant fear and always running. When he buys a remote tract of land, he thinks he’s found the perfect place to hide from the world and attempt to establish some peace. For ten years he believes he’s found a measure of comfort, until the day a stranger begins to run on Matt’s road.

He returns every day, an unwelcome intrusion into Matt’s carefully structured life. Matt appeals to the local sheriff, who cannot help him since the jogger is doing nothing wrong. Gradually, after tentatively breaking the ice, Matt begins to accept the man’s presence—

But when the runner doesn’t show up one day, it throws Matt’s world into chaos and he must make the hardest decision of his life.

Review by Mary

(Book reviewed here previously)

When I reviewed the book I loved it, and I still do love the story. I felt for Matt in his self imposed isolation, his only way of dealing with the traumatic event that triggered OCD. He is a sensitive soul who retreated into isolation when he felt the world too hard to cope with. Charlie coming into his world gives Matt the impetus to change and question what he wants. My heart goes out to Matt and his brother Clay. Hearing the anguish read by Patrick Zeller made it so much more. At first I did think that Matt sounded too old but I soon got used to Patrick Zeller’s sound.

Patrick Zeller is a new narrator to me. I liked his smooth mellow voice but I found the timbre difficult to hear at times. I listen while traveling and I found myself increasing the volume higher than I usually do when I was walking near traffic. This may very well be my headphones. The narrator’s style is to read the book to you rather than performing each character. It still worked for me and I enjoyed listening to it. But it’s not on my top ten audiobooks which is a shame as I loved the book.

3.5 of stars out of 5 for the narration
5 of stars out of 5 for the story

Overall 4 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Review by Dee

 

If there is ever a story made for first person POV, it’s this one. And the narrator, Patrick Zeller, captured the essence of the protagonist perfectly.

I’d read good things about the book but I’m not the hurt/comfort type, so wasn’t too keen to read this. However, I was given the opportunity to listen and I will say that I was blown away by this lovely story – all thanks to the narration.

To me, Mr. Zeller embraced Matt – it really felt as if I were listening to Matt directly telling me the story. I enjoyed the simple, but nuanced narration; it felt almost like a really good acoustic performance. I could feel Matt’s pain, anguish, fear, tentative happiness or irritation – all his emotions shone through the narration.

I wish could adequately describe well suited the narrator is for this story; I absolutely loved it!

BTW – the story is not as heavy or angsty as I thought it would be – I wish I had read it sooner!

 

5 stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

Posted in 4 stars, 5 stars, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Audiobook, Book, Contemporary, Dee, Dreamspinner, Friends to lovers, Gay, Gay, Heat Index, Hurt/Abuse, Hurt/comfort, m/m, Mary D, Mid level angst, Mid level steam/heat, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), PTSD, Purchased, Virgin, writer | Leave a comment

Guest Post: Daddy, Daddy and Me by Sean Michael!

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SM:

 

 

 

Thank you to Open Skye for hosting me today.

 

In Daddy, Daddy and Me, Jeff is a chef at a restaurant. I myself am not a great cook, or maybe I should say that I’m not a bold one. I like meals I can cook with a few ingredients or throw into the instant pot or crock pot, or my dutch oven. However, every now and then I will be adventurous and try something I’ve never made before, no matter how many ingredients it has or techniques it uses.

So, I know sausage and peppers is a thing. Everyone has it and makes it. Hell, even some of my characters have. I however, had never had it and had never made it until last week. I had some wine and shallot sausages and I wanted to do more with them than just cook them and serve them with a bun, so I looked up sausage and peppers. Oh my goodness, they were so very delicious. And not all that hard to make (and not too many ingredients, so yay for that.)

This was the recipe that I used. I found it here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/76808/italian-sausage-peppers-and-onions/

Ingredients:

6 (4 ounce) links sweet Italian sausage (I used wine and shallot sausages)
2 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced (I didn’t have any red onion so I used a second yellow onion, but I will definitely use the red next time I make it)
4 cloves garlic, minced (I love garlic so used about 6 cloves)
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced (didn’t have any green, so I substituted for orange)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup white wine (the liquid disappeared almost right away so I wound up using more, probably half the bottle and drank the other half)

Directions:

Place the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, and brown on all sides. Remove from skillet, and slice.

Melt butter in the skillet. Stir in the yellow onion, red onion, and garlic, and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in red bell pepper and green bell pepper. Season with basil, and oregano. Stir in white wine. Continue to cook and stir until peppers and onions are tender.

Return sausage slices to skillet with the vegetables. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes, or until sausage is heated through.

Tada – easy to make and totally delicious and you don’t have to be a chef to do it!

Sean Michael
Smut fixes everything

Blurb:

When Jeff agreed to be the sperm donor to his best friend Beth, he never expected a tragedy to leave his newborn and three-year-old motherless. Beth’s loss has totally thrown his life into chaos: his lover has left him, his house isn’t anywhere near childproof, and his boss feels the restaurant has been patient enough with Jeff’s time off.

Donny has always known he wanted to work with kids, and he just finished his degree in early childhood education. He didn’t count on the prejudice he’d face as not only a male nanny, but a gay one at that. Job-hunting has been frustrating to say the least, so when he knocks on Jeff’s door and is greeted by the sounds of things breaking and a pair of screaming children, he thinks maybe he can begin this particular interview with a trial by fire.

Becoming the nanny to Jeff’s children might be a dream come true for Danny and exactly what Jeff needs, but are either of them ready to really be a family?

Buy link:
Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/daddy-daddy-and-me-by-sean-michael-9371-b
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Daddy-Me-Sean-Michael-ebook/dp/B079QD53J3/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1518643324&sr=1-1&keywords=daddy+sean+michael
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/daddy-daddy-and-me-sean-michael/1111508713?ean=2940158899393

Bio:

Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.
Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.

Sean Michael on the web:

WEBSITE: http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com
BLOG: http://seanmichaelwrites.blogspot.ca
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites/
TWITTER: seanmichael09
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/seanmichaelpics/

Posted in A Tour/Guest Post/Blitz | Leave a comment

Release Day Review: Pretty in Pink (Housemates #6) by Jay Northcote

release day review

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38205048-pretty-in-pink?from_search=true

Blurb

Ryan isn’t looking for a relationship with a guy—and Johnny isn’t looking for a relationship at all.

Ryan’s always been attracted to tall, leggy blondes—normally of the female variety. When Johnny catches his eye at a party, Ryan’s interest is piqued even though he’s never been with a guy before. The attraction is mutual, and the amazing night that follows opens Ryan’s eyes to his bisexuality.

Experience has taught Johnny that love hurts. Staying single is safer, and there’s no need for complicated relationships when hooking up is easy. When he moves in next door to Ryan, they’re both interested in picking up where they left off, and it seems like an ideal arrangement: convenient, mutually satisfying, and with no strings attached.

Despite their best intentions to keep things casual, they develop an emotional connection alongside the physical one. Both begin to want more from the relationship but are afraid to admit it. If they’re going to work things out, they need to start being honest—first with themselves, and then with each other.

Although this book is part of the Housemates series, it has new main characters, a satisfying happy ending, and can be read as a standalone.

Review
I really like this series! It’s absolutely not necessary to read the others in the series to be engaged here.

This is a case where both guys really have to be open with one another – and while I usually don’t like “misunderstanding” story lines – this wasn’t too bad. It doesn’t take much for our guys to realize all that hot smexy times could lead to something long term.

One thing I didn’t love was the ending. I’d have loved to see these guys a little further down the road…. Or at least a little more committed to one another. Overall this was a fun addition to the Housemates Series and I’d recommend it for the chemistry alone!

3.75 of 5 stars

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Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Posted in 3.5 stars, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Author Provided, Book, Gay, Gay, GFY/OFY, Heat Index, Mid level angst, Mild level angst, Morgan, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), Scorching/high heat, Standalone | Leave a comment