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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.

Recent Release: My Prince (2nd edition) by Anna Martin

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48671727-my-prince

Blurb

After growing up in a rough part of Manchester, George Maguire found his way to Edinburgh and a career as a design engineer. He wasn’t that interested in finding a relationship—his habit of hot and steamy one-night-stands suited him just fine. Falling into a very expensive hotel room bed with Alex really was just another night.

Until George learns that the guy he’d slept with wasn’t just ‘Alex’—he’s Alexander van Amsberg, Prince of the Netherlands.

George puts the incident behind him until he runs into Alex again, and this time Alex makes sure to get George’s phone number. Despite all the reasons why their relationship shouldn’t work, something clicks, and Alex thinks that he might have finally found the right guy.

But Alex’s aristocratic ex stirs up trouble in the tabloid press, and suddenly George’s working class family is put under the spotlight. Alex has to admit that their relationship isn’t a fairy tale, and despite his royal title, he might have lost his chance for a happily ever after.

*This is a second edition, re-release of the October 2015 novel ‘My Prince’ by Anna Martin.

Review

(Original review)

George, a rugby player and sports equipment designer, meets a man out one night and they have a hot night at a hotel. George’s hook-up, Alex, is obviously “posh” so George figures he’ll never see him again. He’s shocked when he sees him on the TV and finds out he’s one of the princes of the Netherlands!

Alex is the fifth in line for the throne (read as never really in line). He’s an architecture student living in Scotland and has no plans to ever go home for any length of time. He has a hot time with George, but doubts to ever see him again. When they meet, months later at a charity event, he thinks it must be kismet. They exchange numbers and from there start a “thing” that becomes a relationship.

There stands a lot between them and happiness including George’s own place in the closet, Alex’s family and expectations, the press and George’s family of 7 siblings. But… after a lot of time and patience they manage to make their own fairy tale happy ending!

**

Anna Martin is an amazing writer! I have admired her work from the first book I read of hers, Tattoos & Teacups and really enjoyed her books Summer Son and Solitude.

This is not only my favorite of her books, but will go on my list as the best book I’ve read this year! I loved it!

George is so very real, but so is Alex. Their relationship is fraught with difficulty and impracticalities but they persevere and survive in a way that seems very authentic and plausible but yet terribly romantic and special.

I loved how open Alex was and how shy George was. I loved the way Alex brought Doug in to “educate” George and how well George responded to the prodding. The need for George to know more about gay history was thought provoking without being preachy.

The sex/chemistry between these guys was incendiary but what got to me the most was their emotional connection.

I was a bit daunted by the length of this book, especially when they hooked up fairly early on. I was anticipating loads of angst and separation or fighting to fill the pages, but what I got was a very organic telling of the blossoming and deepening of their relationship. I really felt that these guys had what it took to make things work by the end of the story because we’d seen their relationship grow.

Anna’s writing is lovely and smooth, her characters are really well developed and three-dimensional. I cannot gush enough about this story. It was really and truly a fairy-tale for modern times and it was wonderful, I can’t recommend it enough!

(All of this and more – with my re-reading I still loved this beyond measure! It was this book that really made me an Anna Martin fan and it’s only been recently that she wasn’t an auto buy for me. This is cute, sweet, sexy, thoughtful and really still quite appropriate even though it’s a few years old now. Highly recommended!)

6 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Recent Release: Fall Through Spring by Amy Lane

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fall-through-spring-by-amy-lane-11443-b

Blurb
A Winter Ball Novel
As far as Clay Carpenter is concerned, his abusive relationship with food is the best thing he’s got going. When a good friend starts kicking his ass into gear, Clay is forced to reexamine everything he learned about food and love—and that’s right when he meets troubled graduate student, Dane Hayes.
Dane Hayes doesn’t do the whole monogamy thing, but the minute he meets Clay Carpenter, he’s doing the friend thing in spades. The snarky, scruffy bastard not only gets Dane’s wacky sense of humor, he also accepts the things Dane can’t control—like the bipolar disorder Dane has been trying to manage for the past six years.
Dane is hoping for more than friendship, and Clay is looking at him with longing that isn’t platonic. They’re both positive they’re bad at relationships, but with the help of forbidden desserts and new medication regimens, they prove outstanding at being with each other. But can they turn their friendship into the love neither of them has dared to hope for?

Review

Now this is the Amy I love! I LOVED book 1 – Winter Ball and was a bit disappointed in book 2. I thought the characters were amazing and was not a huge fan of Terry – even though they definitely all get a happy ending I wasn’t sure Mason and Terry are a “forever” couple.

First, Amy kinda addresses that in this book – IMHO. Through the eyes of Dane and Carpenter we see their worries for that couple, too. Second, I’m SOOOOO glad Amy decided to give Dane his own full story. Sure – a lot of it we speculated about in Mason’s book – but here we get to see it really evolve.

Carpenter is such an amazing guy. Wow. He puts up with a lot of BS from Dane and he will have to continue to do so for a long time. However, I loved how Amy shows us WHY he’s worth the trouble.

I also LOVED the frank discussion about both Carpenter’s issues and Dane’s. We get no happy ever after for those problems – they are a constant work in progress. I thought that Carpenter’s take on his body was insightful and realistic and that struggle with the clothes in his closet was SPOT ON! Man – how many sizes do we all have “just in case” – well maybe not all of us – but I sure do!

The feelz, the smexy times, and the HEA are all wonderful and though you don’t HAVE to read books 1 and 2 – I think you should read book 2 to really appreciate the nuances in this book 3.

Highly recommended to fans of the author, angst, mental illness, body image stress, cookies and animals!

5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Retro Read : Holding the Edge (Cold War #2) by Keira Andrews

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23511650-holding-the-edge?from_search=true&qid=NXt5XKrdKj&rank=3

Blurb

Gay figure skaters keep their relationship secret—and end up on thin ice

Misha Reznikov has an Olympic gold—and a secret lover who just happens to be the silver medalist. Now that their competitive days are over, Misha and former rival Dev Avira are setting up house in LA and giving their relationship a shot in the real world. They agree that keeping their romance strictly under wraps is best for their pro careers and Misha’s family back in Russia. So what if Dev hasn’t told his parents, and they never eat out for fear of being spotted? It’s not perfect, but they’re together.

But as they prepare for a special holiday skating show on Christmas Eve in Dev’s hometown, tension builds. How long can Misha and Dev keep their love secret—and what happens if one of them wants to stop hiding?

Review

This is a lovely sequel to book 1 and maybe gives some more solid “E” to the HEA from book 1.

I loved the family scenes and the interactions with the pairs female partners.

Highly recommended to fans of book 1.

4 stars



Copy Purchased for Review

Recent Release: Downward Facing Dreamboat by Bru Baker

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/downward-facing-dreamboat-by-bru-baker-11362-b

Blurb

Love is trying to catch up to two lonely men. Can they stop long enough to let it?
Running defines Kincaid’s life. It’s not until he loses it that he realizes how isolated he’s become. But even if an injury hadn’t forced him to slow down, the hottie in the yoga studio would have given him pause. In fact, admiring the man each morning is the only thing keeping the spring in his step when it feels like he’s lost everything.
Owen’s busy life as a yoga instructor doesn’t leave him much time to meet guys, let alone date. He’s convinced his passion for helping people is worth the sacrifice, but he’s willing to spare a few moments for the cutie who walks past the studio every morning.
When their lives intersect and romance is set in motion, they stumble off the starting block. But no matter the obstacles in their path, this race won’t be over until they reach the finish… together.

Review
This was terribly cute! I’d forgotten I’d read this when it was first published as a short story on it’s own and I was happy to re-read it! I loved the quick pace that still felt fully fleshed out.

All the yoga is fun and the Sanskrit words make it even cuter!

This is a great short story and perfect for a pick me up!

4 star


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Heartward by Andrew Grey

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/heartward-by-andrew-grey-10879-b

Blurb
He doesn’t know that home is where his heart will be….

Firefighter Tyler Banik has seen his share of adventure while working disaster relief with the Red Cross. But now that he’s adopted Abey, he’s ready to leave the danger behind and put down roots. That means returning to his hometown—where the last thing he anticipates is falling for his high school nemesis.

Alan Pettaprin isn’t the boy he used to be. As a business owner and council member, he’s working hard to improve life in Scottville for everyone. Nobody is more surprised than Alan when Tyler returns, but he’s glad. For him, it’s a chance to set things right. Little does he guess he and Tyler will find the missing pieces of themselves in each other. Old rivalries are left in the ashes, passion burns bright, and the possibility for a future together stretches in front of them….

But not everyone in town is glad to see Tyler return….

Review
Another winner by Andrew Grey!!!

Heartward is a wonderful story. I adored the characters in this story. Tyler has come back to town to try and make a home for his young son Abey. After taking his father’s position on the town council, Alan is determined to help improve life in town for all members of the community. Alan and Tyler weren’t friendly as kids but when they reunite as adults the attraction is mutual and luckily neither let their past hold them back. I absolutely loved the story surrounding Tyler’s son Abey. I was happy to see Geoff and Eli from the Love Means…series show up. There is a little drama in the background in the form of Tyler’s boss who may or may not be up to no good.

I highly recommend this heartwarming story!!

5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Retro Read: Cold War (Cold War #1) by Keira Andrews

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20493931-cold-war?from_search=true&qid=NXt5XKrdKj&rank=1

Blurb

After an explosive locker room confrontation with his Russian rival ends in the most surprising and intense sex of his life, American pairs skater Dev Avira needs to refocus. He’s worked for years to win Olympic gold, and he can’t let himself—or his partner—down. Distraction in the form of steely and smoldering Mikhail Reznikov is the last thing he needs as he prepares for the biggest competition of his life.

But with the Games only days away, they can’t keep their hands off each other. Dev soon learns that beneath Mikhail’s arrogant and aloof exterior is Misha, a passionate man who warms Dev’s heart and scorches his bed. They’re both determined to win, but for Misha his freedom could be on the line. Can Dev put his deepening feelings on ice as he goes for gold?

Review

I’d read this a long time ago and when I recently read another by the author and found there was a book 2 I’d missed I re-read this so I could enjoy book 2. What a find! I forgot about these two and though so much has happened over the last few years – especially at the Olympic level, I feel this is still very apt.

I really loved how willing they both are to keep their relationship going when they really shouldn’t. The way that Misha is willing to go all in – despite the horrible consequences is what romance is all about – in my book.

Highly recommended to fans of the author, angst, skating, toppy tops and athletic bottoms.

4.5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Recent Release: Yuletide Treasure (Goddess-Blessed #3) by Eliot Grayson

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48470441-yuletide-treasure

Blurb
There’s not enough Yuletide spirit in the world to fix this holiday disaster…

Eben Sypeman’s world is falling apart. It’s two days before Yule and his business partner is dead, leaving behind empty accounts and looming bankruptcy. And if that isn’t bad enough, his patron goddess is irritated with him. It seems she’s tired of his tendency to mince words and avoid conflict. She’s insisting—quite forcefully—that he start being totally honest with everyone, including himself. Divinely enforced honesty couldn’t have come at a less opportune time, especially when his clerk’s tall, dark and distractingly handsome son enters the picture.

The last thing on Tim Pratchett’s mind is romance. All the former soldier wants is to fill in for his sick father at work and recover from his war wounds in peace. But there’s something about the grumpy Eben that confounds and entices him in equal measure. Their timing couldn’t be worse. They’re complete opposites. And yet…none of that matters when he’s with Eben.

But if Eben and Tim have any hope of finding their very own happily ever after, they’ll have to survive a dickens of a truth curse and the machinations of a trickster goddess—all while searching for enough yuletide treasure to save them all.

A joyous, relaxing Yule indeed. Bah, humbug.

This is an M/M romance with explicit scenes, a voyeuristic pagan goddess, and an odious nephew. Despite any other possible similarities to A Christmas Carol, there are neither ghosts nor geese, but readers can expect a happy ending and at least one use of the word “dickens.”

Review
Yuletide Treasure is very, very loosely based on Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. Meaning that there are some similar phrases and an appearance of a “ghost” who is a god or patron of some sort.

Eben is a man barely holding it together. His business partner recently died and with his death Eben found out that their import business is all but bankrupt. His clerk is ill and when Eben sends him home to rest his son Timothy shows up to work in his place. Insert some awkward conversations, a meddling ghost-god, an anti-lying curse and search for missing money.

This was a charming, quirky little story that I enjoyed very much.
4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Recent Release: Twice Shy by Sally Malcolm

GoodReads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48559190-twice-shy?from_search=true&rank=1

Blurb
The last thing Joel Morgan wants is to fall in love again. Scarred by his failed marriage, Joel’s determined to keep his life emotionally stable—which means taking a job teaching fourth grade, fixing up his house on weekends, and avoiding absolutely all romantic entanglements. And he’s doing great.

Until he meets sweet but struggling single dad, Ollie Snow.

Following the tragic death of his sister and her husband two years earlier, Ollie became the legal guardian of their two young sons—much to the horror of the boys’ conservative grandparents. They think Ollie’s too young and too unreliable to raise their grandsons. So to prove them wrong, Ollie’s determined to parent the boys without anyone’s help.

Until he meets reserved but caring teacher, Joel Morgan.

As the only two men in the school’s Parent-Teacher Association, Joel and Ollie are thrown together over a series of fundraising events, and somewhere between the Beach Fun Run and the Fall Festival they fall in love. But Ollie has another reason for moving to New Milton—a reason he’s keeping close to his chest—and Joel’s wounded heart won’t trust a man with secrets.

Dare they hope for a future together, or will their past pain keep them apart forever?

Review
Joel and Ollie are two very insecure people. Both of them have had loss3 in one way or another and had to battle to get the life they have now. Twice shy is a sweet story of redemption and Trust. There’s also a cosy feeling to the story it’s gentle when it could very well have been angsty it’s charmingly set around different school events. Which brings a lot of other fun characters into the story. Some are from previous books but I didn’t feel I was missing out from not having read the first two books in the series. I haven’t read anything by Sally Malcolm before and I found this book to be soothing even though the journey Joel and Ollie take is hesitant. I think it is the way the book is written that kept me sympathetic to both characters reluctance to make their relationship public. It ws very much an on and off relationship. Both of them had their reasons for hesitation and it’s these reasons that e me from feeling irritated that they hadn’t got on with it already! Ollie has his nephews to think about and Joel definitely fit in the once bitten twice shy category.
Absolutely a feel good story that makes me want to investigate the first two books.

4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Audiobook: Deal maker by Lily Morton Audiobook narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Audible
https://www.audible.com/pd/Deal-Maker-Audiobook/B07YGWH9MT?pf_rd_p=f7d83ab4-b13f-4b8d-8333-ba0de3107275&pf_rd_r=XT0YA13M5730HHKA4GGJ&ref=a_pd_Rule-B_c5_adblp13nABCD_1_1

Blurb

Sometimes your mouth makes deals that your heart can’t honour.

Jude is a highly successful model, but a very reluctant one. His life is full of casual hook-ups with pretty men in glamorous locations, but it’s still empty. However, circumstances decreed a long time ago that this was his path, so he’s resolutely stayed on it and accepted his fate with good grace. He made a deal with himself and his hook-ups. Get in, get out and no ties with anyone.

However, an accident at home one night leads to him making a new deal and accepting the offer of help from an unlikely source. It leads to an unexpected summer of falling in love with a larger than life man and his child.

But by the end of the summer his reasons for not staying are still valid. Will he turn away? Can he?

Asa is a talented actor who has spent time away from the scene to look after his son. But now he’s back, and the last thing he needs are complications from the gorgeous man who is staying with him. Scarred from too many betrayals, he has no intention of forming a lasting tie with anyone. However, he can’t resist the beautiful man with secrets, and to his horror he develops feelings.

But a deal’s a deal and they said it was just for the summer. What can Asa do with a man who has forever in his eyes and goodbye on his lips?

From the Amazon bestselling author of ‘Rule Breaker’ comes another scorchingly hot romantic comedy.

Review

Unlike the first book in the series that took some effort to get into, I liked this one from the start. Jude is the perfect snarky character to ever grace a books pages, he does his outmost to be a ditzy, clueless model parody to make Asa’s life difficult. And as funny as that was, I liked that the author didn’t take it too far or it could have been annoying. Asa, for his part, is also a clever witty man and catches on to Jude’s act, shifting their relationship to a new territory.
Asa is just a big old cuddly softy that makes the ultimate book boyfriend, and his relationship with his son is sweet and touching. Billy is the cutest, most conniving little boy you can imagine and seeing how Asa and Jude orbit around his was wonderful.
I liked how much Jude was a well-rounded character, he had many good reasons to be the way he was, and Asa did too. It made the conflict of the story that much more interesting because you could clearly take either side. Finding their HEA was not easy and they each had to fight old scars and pain from past relationships to get it.
This book is both funny and genuinely touching, with great supporting characters too. The replies to fan mail Jude writes in Asa’s name at the beginning of ever chapter are hilarious! Choosing to read them out in Asa’s voice is even more so!

The narration by Joel Leslie is, like always fantastic! He fits characters like Jude and Dylan so well and his accent work his so good! I cannot get enough of his accents, he’s like a chameleon, smoothly moving from character to character. This book was hilarious and he just made it that much better with his nuances and acting skills.

Number of stars out of 5
4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Recent Release: Hometown Christmas by Garret Leigh

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48399133-hometown-christmas

Blurb

Yani Nicolaou is sworn off love for good. After fleeing a bad break-up in London, the only blood, sweat, and tears he has left are for his gyro stall at the Christmas market. Rebound fling? No thanks. He’s sticking to one-night-stands.

Ex-army vet Gavin Richie has even less capacity for romance. Managing a homeless shelter while recovering from injury keeps him far too busy. So what if he’s often alone? He’s content being single, or so he thinks until a chance meeting lights a spark he can’t ignore.

Yani is the warmth and affection Gavin hadn’t known he was missing. As Christmas lights up the city, their lives entwine in more ways than one. Falling for each other is easy. Holding on is harder, unless a hometown Christmas proves their love can last longer than the festive season.

Review

A nice, heartwarming read, perfectly in tune with the season. I did sometimes have a bit of difficulty remaining invested in the story, as there is not that much conflict or obstacles to overcome for the MC’s and I didn’t completely grasp Yani’s reservations with regards to pursuing a relationship with Gavin. Throughout most of the story it’s very much a hook-up/friends with benefits dynamic and the jump from new friends to love happened a bit too sudden for me. I did really like those final, revealing scenes between Gavin and Yani though.
I loved the writing, especially the colloquialisms, which really helped give that lovely English flavor to the story.

Number of stars out of 5: 3.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review