Forgive and Forget by Charlie Cochet

release day review

 

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7538

forgive forgetBlurb

He’s hot. He’s dangerous. And he can’t remember anything.

As the owner of Apple’n Pies, Joe Applin leads a quiet, uneventful life, content to spend his days serving customers who come from all over to eat his delicious homemade pies. Along with his motley crew—Bea, Elsie, and Donnie—Joe couldn’t be happier in his little kingdom of baked goods and java.

Experience has taught Joe that love is overrated—and at times dangerous. He has no intention of repeating past mistakes. But then he meets a mysterious, handsome man with amnesia, and Joe can’t deny something sweet is in the works. He isn’t one to take risks, not with his heart and certainly not with his life, but the more time he spends with the man he knows as Tom, the closer he is to losing both.

 

Review

When I read these “Dreamspun Desires” I have to remember that it’s a little bit like going in the “way back machine” (anyone remember that reference?) and to a time when readers were a bit less concerned with probability or realism or … well you get the idea.

Waybackmachine3

So, we set suspend our disbelief and we embrace our love for ooey gooey love stories and viola! – you have a Dreamspun Desire book!

 

In this case, there is a super sweet baker named Joe who has a little pie shop in Manhattan (first suspension of disbelief) where he lives and works with some crazy folks and sells a lot of pies – but he’s very lonely. He’s been hurt in the past and doesn’t ever leave his apartment for fun (2nd suspension).

One day he hears a scuffle in the garden in the back and finds an injured man who tells him “No police, no hospital” so he takes him upstairs to his apartment so he can heal. (3rd suspension)

Once he awakens, the mystery man (later called Tom) can’t remember his name or job but he has a bunch of other memories – like movies, sexual preferences, the fact that he’s not involved in a relationship.

Over time the two grow close, some other crazy stuff happens with the folks who are after “Tom” and another amazing co-incidence occurs (4th suspension).

Now, don’t think I didn’t like this story, because I did – but… I really had to remember that it wasn’t supposed to be “real”. It was fun, cute, lovey dovey (which I adore) and sweet.

If you’re in the mood for real, keep looking, but if you want a light-hearted escape from reality with fun characters and sweet moments – this is the book for you!

4.25 of 5 stars

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Three by RJ Scott

29351159Blurb

Mark is finding his way in life after six years in the army. He’s always wanted to write scripts for TV, and for one show in particular, Tomorrow’s Game.

Half in lust already with the lead actor Zach, he is shocked when he ends up in Zach’s bed. Not just that, but Zach’s co-star Rob is part of the package.

Is this just hot sex or can two become three?

An erotic MMM short from RJ Scott, based on a previous story from 2010. Rewritten, re-edited and re-released. 🙂

 

Review

What?? RJ Scott wrote a ménage novella?? I have to read it!

(Those were my thoughts when I saw this come up on my recommended reads section in Amazon.)

Welp – I wasn’t wrong – RJ Scott can write just about anything well!

This is a very fast-paced novella, so there’s not a heck of a lot of relationship building but it isn’t exactly just PWP either.

Basically, it’s a fantasy – a “in a perfect world” scenario – where a youngish gay ex-military man who wants to make it big in Hollywood stumbles into this perfect situation.

I won’t give away all the plot points but the couple is already established but by the end all three people have a vested interest in the relationship – and they have some really hot sex!

If you’re in the mood for a quick little story of man on man on man lovin’ – give this one a try!

4 of 5 stars

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99 cents on Amazon!

http://www.amazon.com/Three-RJ-Scott-ebook/dp/B01CTBBLYQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1459135454&sr=1-1&keywords=three+rj+scot

Fire and Rain (Carlisle Cops: Book Three ) Audiobook by Andrew Grey Narrated by Randy Fuller

audiobookreview

 

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7571

FireAndRainAUDLGBlurb
Since the death of their mother, Josten Applewhite has done what he’s had to do to take care of his little brother and keep their small family together. But in an instant, a stroke of bad luck tears down what little home he’s managed to build, and Jos and Isaac end up on the streets.

That’s where Officer Kip Rogers finds them, and even though he knows he should let the proper authorities handle things, he cannot find it in his heart to turn them away, going so far as to invite them to stay in his home until they get back on their feet. With the help of Kip and his friends, Jos starts to rebuild his life. But experience has taught him nothing comes for free, and the generosity seems too good to be true—just like everything about Kip.

Kip’s falling hard for Jos, and he likes the way Jos and Isaac make his big house feel like a home. But their arrangement can’t be permanent, not with Jos set on making his own way. Then a distant relative emerges, determined to destroy Jos’s family, and Kip knows Jos needs him—even if he’s not ready to admit it.

Fire and RainReview

Kip is a police officer in the Pennsylvania small town where we’ve met the other MCs in the Carlisle Cops series. He has a big heart and an open mind, and when he meets Jos – a younger man taking care of his even younger brother – his heart immediately goes out to the troubled family.

Though Jos is wary, his determination to help his brother, Isaac, forces him to accept the invitation to stay at Kip’s place while getting his life in order.

There is some drama with Jos’ family and some waffling as Kip navigates his feelings for the much younger man and what his “insta family” will mean to his life, but it’s short-lived.

Kip and his friends (from the previous books in the series) help Jos land on his feet and fight for Isaac. During their time together, Kip and Jos find love for themselves.

**

Andrew Grey gives us another wonderful addition to his Fire and Ice series, fans will surely love Kip and Jos as a couple. This is one of those happily sentimental and sappy series full of Hallmark moments. Underdogs making their way to the top. True love conquering all. Kids, family and home. Do-gooders all around. Happily Ever Afters abounding!

4 of 5 stars for the story

Audio

Randy Fuller is one of those narrators that is hit or miss for me. I’ve enjoyed several of his narrations, enough, but he’s definitely not my favorite. I thought he did a nice job with Fire and Ice, so I figured this would be nice as well… but it wasn’t. While I appreciate his dedication to giving everyone a unique sounding voice, some of his choices didn’t work for me. I didn’t like Jos (it was way different than I’d have thought in my head) and felt he was a bit too light hearted for the emo young man in the story. I also didn’t care for his portrayal of Isaac at all – he sounded far too old and whiny. I liked Kip and the other police officers though. In this case I think the narration detracted from the overall enjoyment.

Narration 3 of 5 stars

Overall 3.5 of 5 stars

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The Carpenter’s Apprentice by Van Barrett

freereads

51Ni5A3ZnAL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Blurb

First Time Gay Romance

A summer job that changed his life.

Ethan was more shy computer nerd than skilled & studly handymanwhen Jake took him as his apprentice, but a few years under the manly carpenter has this late bloomer about to blossom and show his true colors.

Ethan’s on-again, off-again girlfriend isn’t crazy about his career, and she’s made big plans to move half-way across the country. She wants Ethan to come with her … but only if he agrees to leave carpentry behind and go back to school.

Ethan’s head is reeling with questions and doubts. He lovesspending time with Jake — and the thought of giving that up makes him sick to his stomach. Can Ethan pry himself away from Jake for a relationship that’s not built on a solid foundation? Will he discover another reason why he finds Jake so magnetic?

Still waters run deep.

Jake found out too late that he was actually into guys. Tough luck for him — between raising his daughter and running his own business, he’s got his hands full. Love will just have to wait. Not that he has any idea where to find it in the first place …

He knows his crush on his apprentice Ethan is totally inappropriate, not to mention hopeless and stupid. Sure, Ethan’s a cutie — but he’s also totally straight! Hell, he’s got a girlfriend that he’s willing to move half-way across the country for!

But when Ethan and his girlfriend unexpectedly run into some problems and split up, Jake invites the younger apprentice out to his country home for some “guy time” … and sparks fly. Did Jake just do something incredibly unprofessional — or could Ethan actually be curious about getting with another guy?

***

The Carpenter’s Apprentice is a 65,000+ word stand-alone romance with a HEA! Narrated in dual first-person POV. No cliffhangers or cheating. Steamy MM scenes are depicted. Light MF elements depicted.

Review

This is a Kindle Unlimited book and what I love about these is it gives new authors (at least in this case – new to me) a chance to be explored with little to no risk.

Jake is a single father, he knows he’s gay, but it took him until later in life to figure things out. Now he’s dedicated his life to his daughter and insists that means no men (aside from the occasional one night stand).

Ethan is a computer nerd who is fairly lost in life. He finds huge amounts of happiness working as an apprentice for Jake with his small construction company and this makes him re-evaluate his life decisions.

Ethan’s current girlfriend wants him to move to Chicago and attend the University of Chicago with her and several of their friends, but Ethan isn’t so sure of that plan.

To muddy the waters, Ethan finds himself attracted to Jake – a man! – for the first time and he doesn’t know what to make of it.

**

This is a cute book – not super eloquent – not particularly believable – but full of heart.

I liked Ethan and Jake as characters and appreciated the thought behind their actions.

There was a bit of hot smexy times, a bit of sweet feels and first time gay virgin sex!

If you’re interested in a light read with some sweet characters, give this one a go.

3.75 of 5 stars

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Free on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon Link

http://www.amazon.com/Carpenters-Apprentice-First-Time-Romance-ebook/dp/B01CJ5A0W6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459099665&sr=8-1&keywords=carpenter%27s+apprentice

Status Update (Gaymers Book 1) Audiobook by Annabeth Albert Narrated by Sean Crisden

audiobookreview

status audioBlurb

Adrian Gottlieb is winning at life. He’s a successful video game designer with everything a man could ask for, including a warm comfy ride to Denver and a date for his sister’s wedding. But he finds himself in need of a total reboot when he’s left stranded at a snowy campground in Utah. Holiday plans? Epic fail.
That is until Noah Walters offers him shelter for the night and a reluctant cross-country ride. Nothing about the ultraconservative geoarchaeologist should attract Adrian, but once he discovers Noah’s hidden love for video games, the two connect on a new level. Soon, a quiet but undeniable chemistry sparks.
Something doesn’t add up, though. As the miles accumulate and time runs out, Noah must face the most difficult choice of his life. Meanwhile, Adrian must decide whether he’s ready to level up. Is their relationship status worth fighting for, or has this game ended before it’s even begun?
Book 1 of the #gaymers series

Review
(Book Reviewed here previously)

Noah is a professor at a Christian University. He’s in totally denial of his sexuality and has never had sex with anyone. Nothing. Not even a kiss.

Adrian is a very flamboyant and out and proud game designer. He gets left in Utah by his online boyfriend on their way to Denver for Thanksgiving. Noah is kind enough to rescue him and drive him to his family.

While on the road they find that they have way more in common than they thought.

**

This was a very sweet and sometimes HOT OFY/first time romance. Noah fights Adrian at first, but really, who can resist one’s soul mate for long?

Adrian – luckily- has a pretty solid head on his shoulders and doesn’t give up easily.

There was a bit of waffling here and there, but most of this was simply two guys working through the beginnings of a relationship and one guy finally admitting that being gay isn’t wrong.

The Epilogue (often my favorite part of most stories) was awesome!

I enjoyed it and think fans of OFY/first time romances will too!

Audio
Sean Crisden is easily one of my favorite narrators, so it was with great joy that I saw he was doing the narration – great book + great narrator equals amazing listening experience!
He gives Noah a lovely deep and growly voice and Adrian a lighter but not overly effeminate voice which I feel fit them both perfectly. He gives all Adrian’s friends great accents too. A great way to enjoy this wonderful book!

5 of 5 stars

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Audible link
http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Status-Update-Audiobook/B01BFJD6DM/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1458791072&sr=1-1

Taylor Maid Audiobook by Tara Lain Narrated by John Solo

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7614

TaylorMaidAUDLGBlurb

He’ll marry the maid to get $50 million but a secret could queer the deal.

Taylor Fitzgerald needs a last-minute bride.

On the eve of his twenty-fifth birthday, the billionaire’s son discovers that despite being gay, he must marry a woman before midnight or lose a fifty-million-dollar inheritance. So he hightails it to Las Vegas… where he meets the beautiful maid Ally May.

There’s just one rather significant problem: Ally is actually Alessandro Macias, son of a tough Brazilian hotel magnate. But if Ally keeps pretending to be a girl for a little while longer, is there a chance they might discover this marriage is tailor-made?

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

Okay – put on your “suspend your disbelief glasses”- because this story is absolutely wonderful if absolutely unbelievable J

Taylor finds out at the very last second that in order to inherit $50 million he needs to be married before his 25th birthday – which is tomorrow!

He scrambles to find an answer, but when that answer ends up with a broken leg, he’s left to find a miracle. The miracle shows up in the form of the hotel maid who happens to need an escape from “her” father and marriage will do the trick.

The two agree to be married right away and run back to California to perpetuate the image of a happily married het couple. Until… well… stuff happens and then other things are revealed… and feelings … and hot smexy times… and lots of really fun story telling!

I loved this version of the “shot gun marriage” trope and I highly recommend it to fans of guys in drag, evil fathers, nefarious lawyers, sweet but clueless guys with big hearts and millionaires.

Audio

John Solo is a good narrator and has a good sense of pacing and “emoting”. He does a lot to try to differentiate the characters, but he makes no real attempt to do a Spanish accent for Ally so I was a bit disappointed and then when he did one for Ally’s father it wasn’t super great. However, I enjoyed listening to this and still really love this fun, light story with a bright, happy ending.

4.25 of 5 stars

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Spring (Seasons of Love Book 1) by Carol Lynne

retro read

10487713Blurb

On the day of his mother’s funeral, ten-year old Sidney Wilks is silently comforted by the presence of one man, ranch hand Grady Nash. Little did Sidney know that Nash would become the only stable figure in his life for the next forty years.

Years later, after an evening of typical college fun, Sidney is involved in a serious car wreck. It’s Nash who once again steps in to rescue Sidney and nurse him back to health.

While trying to get close enough to Sidney to help him heal, Nash’s feelings begin to change towards the twenty-one year old. For him, loving Sidney was nothing new, but when his body begins to desire the small man, Nash is forced to re-evaluate his protective instincts.

What kind of future could the two men possibly have? Nash’s life is centred on horses and cattle, while Sidney has dreams of escaping the small-town Kansas life to build skyscrapers. How can two men who want opposite lifestyles come to a compromise, or will Nash be forced to allow Sidney to spread his wings without him?

Review

This is a “retro read”  from 2011 – my bud Tracy recommended it and though I hadn’t heard of the series,  I like Carol Lynne’s stuff and Tracy knows good books so…

The book grabbed me right from the start. There is a homophobic a**hole of a father, who abuses his fem son and a protective ranch hand who tries to make things right. Awesome! I love these types of hurt/comfort and May/December stories!

Sidney’s mother is dead and his dad is distant and mean. Nash steps in (at the behest of Sidney’s mother – we later find out) to help Sidney navigate his teenage years. When Sidney goes to college (now a man) Nash can’t help but acknowledge his feelings for him. He feels he can’t act on them or risk limiting Sidney’s opportunities in life (Sidney has big city dreams and Nash is a country boy all the way.)

When Sidney gets injured and is forced to return to the ranch to recover, the two can’t resist one another.

There is a lot of drama in this book (and in the series!) but there is also a lot of tenderness, feels and real emotion.

If you like cowboys, tenderness, May/December romances and a series with a fair amount of angst – this is the series for you!

4.25 of 5 stars

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Amazon link 99 cents!!!

http://www.amazon.com/Spring-Seasons-Love-Carol-Lynne-ebook/dp/B00557M9ZM/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1459098047&sr=8-4

Happy by Chris Scully

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7560

29390689Blurb

Growing up Greek-Canadian, Peter Georgiou always knew his duty was to his family, for whom twenty-first century rules don’t apply. In his early thirties, Peter still lives at home, dates who his parents tell him to, and works at the family restaurant. But watching his two best friends find happiness in each other’s arms has made him worry over his destiny.

When Louie Papadakis returns home to nurse his broken heart and start a new life, he can’t believe his sister is dating his high school crush, Peter. There’s a sadness behind Peter’s eyes that draws him in, and a chemistry he wishes he could ignore. After his closeted ex broke his heart, Louie is afraid to fall in love again, especially with a man who’s keeping secrets.

As Peter finds himself drawn to Louie in unexpected ways, old and new worlds collide. Then a family crisis forces Peter’s hand, and he must decide if he’s willing to sacrifice his happiness for family duty.

Review

Peter considers himself bi-sexual, and though he’s never really “hidden” the fact, he hasn’t really pursued the part of him attracted to men, for fear of retribution from his family. So he decided to take the “easier” route and date women – mostly.

In order to please his family – again – he agrees to “date” another Greek woman his family approves of, though neither of them are interested in the other. They agree to a sham relationship to appease both their families and it seems to work out well enough until his “girlfriend’s” brother, Louie gets involved.

Louie is out and proud and hurt from a past relationship with a closeted lover. He had had a crush on Peter in high school and some of those feelings linger. The three end up spending a bit of time together and those feelings rise up even stronger than before. Peter sends a bunch of mixed signals and Louie can’t help but feel he’s in the middle of another “experimentation”.

Peter has some tough decisions to make, both surrounding his life with a man and his career. Both involve potentially hurting his family. But is Louie worth it? Will Louie even give him a chance to prove himself?

**

I have really enjoyed Chris Scully’s work in the past. Her books are easy to delve into and have likable, engaging characters. I loved the two book series Inseperable and these guys are in this story, so that was great, seeing them again and so, so in love!

However, I never really liked Peter much and didn’t feel much of a connection between him and Louie. This is a relatively short book and it takes until the 70% mark for the two to even kiss. So much of the story is Peter’s inner battles and other family drama and – to me – it got a bit stale.

I’m not sure if it was because Peter’s conflicting emotions were just so palpable that I, too, felt his angst or what, but I didn’t feel good about this – even with the HFN that we get.

Maybe this will have a sequel, too, and we’ll get to see the couple interact more than they did in this story and that will make me feel a deeper connection to them as a couple.  Some of this might be the fade to black sex scenes (there are a couple hot hand jobs, but no other real sex happens on page.), though sex is not required for me to feel a connection with a couple, but it helps 😉

The writing was good and I liked it, but it was sort of bland story for me, no real sparks.

3 of 5 stars

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Close to you (Sunshine and Happiness Book #3) by Skylar M Cates

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7478

close to youBlurb

It’s hard to recover from a first love. Some people never do.

How hard would you fight to keep your best friend? Marc Lucas and Tomas Santos have been best friends forever, but now their friendship is in a crisis. When they were boys, betrayals ripped their world apart. They thought it was fixed, but some parts remained broken. Ever since he saved him from a humiliation at school, Marc has loved Tomas. The last thing he expects is for Tomas to love him back. To keep his best friend, Marc revisits an abusive past he’s tried to forget.

For Tomas, loving Marc has been anything but easy. His upbringing told him it was wrong, so why did it feel so right? Accepting who he is as an adult, Tomas decides he needs a committed relationship. To his deep sorrow, he can’t seem to find it with Marc.

When the two find themselves alone and in the grip of a hurricane, long-buried feelings emerge. Being “just friends” is no longer an option. They must risk it all on love.

Review

Books one and two reviewed here:

Here For You http://kimichanexperience.com/here-for-you-audiobook-by-skylar-cates-narrated-by-paul-morey/

Lovers Losers and You I reviewed for The Blogger Girls.

This is an amazing series. Though, technically, each is a stand alone, the MCs in the other books all lived together at one point and are all interwoven in the other’s lives, so they pop in and out and having read the previous books will only add to your overall enjoyment of this book – plus they’re all so beautiful.

We’ve met Tomas and Marc – two friends who are clearly avoiding the elephant in the room – that is – why aren’t they lovers?

Finally, we find out their backstory. It’s not a pretty one. This is definitely a book where you need your big-girl-panties, because it’s filled with angst and pain and separation.

But, it’s beautifully written and Skylar Cates gives us an amazingly sweet Epilogue (my favorite!) to sort-of balance things out a little.

The bulk of the story is written in both first person present tense as well as in a series of flashbacks. So, fair warning, those aren’t always a favorite way to read a story. For me, the flashbacks worked, but I wasn’t a big fan of the present tense.

That being said, it was still a gripping and beautiful book about two men finally finding the courage to overcome the past to find love and hope, today.

(The cover by AngstyG is also AMAZING!)

4.5 of 5 stars

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