Categories
Uncategorized

Happy by Chris Scully Guest Post – Prizes!

book tour

 

Welcome Chris to Open Skye – Thanks for stopping by!

 

Hello! I’m Chris Scully. So glad you could join me on the blog tour for my new novella, Happy, from Dreamspinner Press. Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to win a gift certificate and ebook of your choice. A very special thanks goes to my hosts today.

As an author, sometimes you get lucky and titles just come to you. Other times (like now with my latest work in progress) it’s like pulling teeth and nothing seems right. A good title not only draws readers in, but also says something about the overall theme of the book. In the case of Happy, the title existed even before I started typing, and the story wove itself around that.

Happy is… well it’s about being happy. It seems pretty simplistic, right? I mean we all know what makes us happy. Don’t we? Then why do I keep seeing so many unhappy people out there? For sure we think we know what should make us happy: money, success, fame, someone to love. But deep down inside is that really it? If it were that easy wouldn’t we all be happy? And which is more important: making someone else happy, or being happy ourselves?

This is Peter Georgiou’s dilemma. When a friend innocently asks Peter if he’s happy, it sends him into a tailspin. He’s stuck in a bit of a rut and everybody around him seems to be able to find happiness, so why can’t he? Peter’s all about making other people happy—his parents, his new girlfriend, his ex-fiancee—but what about him? When he meets his girlfriend’s brother, Louie, he thinks he might have finally found the missing ingredient. But of course, choosing to be happy could come at a cost.

Where and how each of us finds happiness is up to us. In the end it doesn’t reside in a thing; it resides in us.

 

Happy_coverHappy

By Chris Scully

Published by Dreamspinner Press

 

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.

 

Excerpt

“Are you happy?”

It was a simple question. Should have been a simple answer. So why was it still rattling around in Peter’s head an hour after Adam had asked it? And why did his insides squirm uncomfortably every time he thought about it? Of course he was happy. Wasn’t he?

He rinsed his hands under the bathroom faucet and chanced a final glance in the mirror. The man staring back at him certainly didn’t look happy.

You’re a sad fucking case these days, Peter Georgiou, he thought tiredly, taking in the dark circles beneath his eyes and the retreating hairline that even the closest shave couldn’t disguise. His lungs grew tight, and he quickly averted his eyes before he looked too deeply and saw something he’d rather not see.

Peter cupped his hands beneath the water, letting it spill through his fingers before bending to splash his overheated face. He struggled to recall a time when he hadn’t felt this weight on his chest, but if it had ever existed, it must have been long ago. Before he knew what expectations were. What had happened to the boy who was going to get away and see the world? Be his own man?

He straightened and flicked his wet fingers at the mirror, shattering his reflection with droplets. With a sigh he reached for the nearby hand towel to dry it off. His image blurred for a second and then crystalized again as the water evaporated. He made a face and then looked away. Ugh. He shouldn’t have had that last beer. He was a gloomy drunk to begin with, but tonight he was more morose than usual.

When had it all started to go wrong? With his dad’s heart attack? When Elena ended their engagement? Or was it before that, even?

The sounds of laughter filtered up to the second floor through the floorboards of the old house. The party was winding down, but a few stragglers still hung on in the living room, having moved inside after darkness settled in and brought the mosquitos with it. Peter wondered if he could slip out without anyone noticing. Then he remembered he had no way to get home without Julian, unless he called a cab.

He was reaching for the door handle when voices drifted through the open window, too low to hear the words but loud enough for him to recognize the speakers. Curious, Peter crept to the window and squinted into the shadows. The bathroom overlooked the narrow backyard, and sound drifted easily. Through the fluttering streamers and paper bells stretching over the deck, two familiar figures moved about below, illuminated by the glow from the kitchen.

Adam hopped up to perch on the deck railing, facing the house as Joe filled a garbage bag with the litter from earlier in the evening. After a mumbled comment, Joe set down his bag and moved to stand between Adam’s splayed knees, his back turned toward Peter, his hands seeking out Adam’s hips. As Peter watched from his secret vantage point, Adam wrapped his arms around Joe’s neck and leaned down to kiss him.

It was slow and tender, and Peter’s stomach hollowed.

His best friends rarely displayed this side of their relationship in public. They’d always been affectionate with each other—Joe was a chronic hugger—even when they were only friends, so once they’d gone beyond that, not much had changed. Unless you happened to notice the way they looked at each other, or the way they finished each other’s sentences, or how one would know what the other wanted without him saying a word.

Peter did his best not to notice.

There was enough light from the house to see Joe’s hand slide up Adam’s pale thigh and under the leg of his shorts. Peter’s breath hitched. His groin filled with a slow heat.

 

Author Bio

 

CHRIS SCULLY lives in Toronto, Canada. She grew up spinning romantic stories in her head and always dreamed of one day being a writer even though life had other plans. Her characters have accompanied her through career turns as a librarian and an IT professional, until finally, to escape the tedium of a corporate day job, she took a chance and began putting her daydreams down on paper.

Tired of the same old boy-meets-girl stories, she’s found a home in gay romance and strives to give her characters the happy endings they deserve. She divides her time between a mundane 9-5 cubicle job and a much more interesting fantasy life. When she’s not working or writing (which isn’t often these days) she loves puttering in the garden and traveling. She is an avid reader and tries to bring pieces of other genres and styles to her stories. While her head is crammed full of all the things she’d like to try writing, her focus is always on the characters first. She describes her characters as authentic, ordinary people—the kind of guy you might meet on the street, or the one who might be your best friend.

Although keeping up with social media is still a struggle given her schedule, she does love to hear from readers.

Connect with Chris:

Website: chrisscullyblog.wordpress.com

Facebook: facebook.com/chris.scully.author

Goodreads: goodreads.com/author/show/6152322.Chris_Scully

Email: cscully@bell.net

 

Buy Links

Available March 30, 2016

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

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Happy-Chris-Scully-ebook/dp/B01CXT1N10

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-happy-1999999-149.html

 

enter to winGiveaway

 

 

 

 

 

Link to Rafflecopter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ff396dca2/

 

 

Other blogs on the Happy tour:

 

March 24: MM Good Book Reviews

March 28: Open Skye Book Reviews

March 29: Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy

March 30: Hearts on Fire

March 30: Divine Magazine

March 31: Love Bytes

March 31: The Novel Approach

April 1: Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

 

 

Categories
adult - 18+ Angst Level Author Provided Book Contemporary Gay GFY/OFY Humor m/m Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Morgan no rating Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series St Patrick's Day

6 Days to Get Lucky by LE Franks

29403363Blurb

Mixologist Nick Valentine never thought love was in the cards, but after a scorching Valentine’s Day kiss from bouncer Davis “FatBoy” Newman, he’s beginning to think it’s possible. After four weeks of dry spell, Nick’s losing patience—it’s time FatBoy stop acting the gentleman and just throw him over the bar or Nick may just change his mind.

All FatBoy wants is a shot at winning Nick’s heart. As long as meddling bosses, an Irish hurling team and a bar riot don’t ruin his chances forever, he might just get lucky and take the man of his dreams, home.

 

Review

In 6 Days to Valentine, Nick finally manages to get a kiss out of Davis “Fatboy” Newman, the “straight” bouncer at his bar.

Now the two dance around one another in an attempt to get together that is foiled by everything from vindictive co-workers, their hellacious schedules and an Irish Hurling team!

If you enjoy quirky romances with off the wall antics and a unique sense of humor this is for you!

I got a bit tired of the chase and the interruptions, but really like the characters.

Morgan_sig

Amazon link

http://www.amazon.com/6-Days-Get-Lucky-Franks-ebook/dp/B01CHLHGGK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1458502697&sr=1-1&keywords=6+days+to+lucky

Categories
3.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Author Provided Book Contemporary Cowboys Gay Geek/Jock m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract

Then Sawyer Happened by Hurri Cosmo

29354060Blurb

Trace has had a run of bad luck. He lost his job, his boyfriend of two years was cheating on him, and his apartment building burned right to the ground with all his worldly possessions.

So Trace heads for the ranch owned by his aunt Lois. But before he arrives, Lois is in a terrible car accident that nearly takes her life, and Trace finds himself in charge of the ranch kitchen. Sounds simple enough and it’s the least he can do for his recuperating aunt.

Then Sawyer happens.

Sawyer is his aunt’s sexy straight ranch manager. Meeting the man should have been okay, except it was in the middle of his aunt’s kitchen at five in the morning and Trace was nearly naked. Then the next day Trace proceeded to set his aunt’s house on fire and the brooding Sawyer comes to the rescue.

Not to mention Aunt Lois’s “accident” was actually attempted murder and it seems those same people want Trace dead, too.

Looks like Trace’s luck followed him.

How can Trace figure out who’s trying to kill him AND keep Sawyer from finding out he’s hot for the cowboy?

He probably can’t. But he’s going to try.

Review

Trace is a gay, city boy who ends up on his aunt’s ranch back in Texas when he loses his job and apartment and boyfriend all in one fell swoop. Co-incidentally, his aunt ends up in the hospital after a suspicious accident ends up wrecking her car and injuring her pretty severely.

It’s up to Trace and the aunt’s foreman, Sawyer, to keep things running while at the same time trying to figure out who’d want to hurt Trace’s aunt.

Trace lusts after Sawyer whom he assumes is straight and the two dance around one another for most of the book. Finally (at the 70%) mark the two manage to connect and it’s an instant attraction. They still have the mystery to solve and the ranch to save.

**

This is a well written, slow, slow burn romance with a bit of a mystery to keep things moving along.

It’s pretty predictable and a bit slow in the middle, but good nonetheless and I enjoyed it.

Fans of sexy alpha cowboys and shy, stuttering city boys will really find this appealing.

3.5 of 5 stars

3.5-stars-small

Morgan_sig

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Amazon Link

http://www.amazon.com/Then-Sawyer-Happened-Hurri-Cosmo-ebook/dp/B01CKN49S8/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1458503503&sr=1-1&keywords=the+sawyer+hurri

Categories
adult - 18+ Book DA Dreamspinner Gay Heat Index Mild/low level heat Morgan no rating Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words)

Bankers’ Hours by Wade Kelly

release day review

 

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7556

29225470Blurb

 

Even though bankers’ hours leave long weekends for romance, cosmic intervention is Grant’s only option when money doesn’t buy happiness and he’s got virginity in spades.

Grant Adams is a twenty-six-year-old bank teller who’s unlucky at love, yet hopelessly hopeful. After years of horrific first dates, he’s convinced he’s saving himself for true love. Surely he has bad taste in men because it couldn’t possibly be his persnickety nature that’s sent them packing.

Tristan Carr has been in a holding pattern since his daughter was born fifteen years ago, which suits his workaholic lifestyle just fine. This ex-Navy turned auto mechanic never wanted anyone interfering with being a weekend dad. For Tristan to rearrange his perfectly orchestrated life, a guy will need to be special. Or in the case of the newest employee at his bank, the guy will need to be adorable, shy, and open to the prospect of forever when it shows up at his window.

Review

So…. I really admire Wade Kelly and have enjoyed her other works tremendously. I think I’ve read most of them with the exception of “Misplaced Affection” which she warned me was “really angsty”. I thought the blurb for this sounded hysterical and I know Wade is really good at writing quirky characters full of charm.

The story started off really great. Grant is a neurotic 26 year old virgin bank teller who meets a guy at work – Tristann Carr , the mechanic – who really turns his crank. They begin an awkward flirtation each time Tristan comes in to make a deposit that eventually leads to a “date” and then more.

I tried – very hard – to stick with this and had it been shorter I might have done it, but it’s pretty long – over 5000 locations on my kindle (I’m used to most stories being about ½ that) – and I just couldn’t stand Grant any more. He was driving me NUTS.

I’m sure that his neuroses were part of his charm, but I just couldn’t take them any more. I quit rooting for him and kept wondering why Tristan not only put up with them but seemed to find them charming. In fact, the final straw for me, was when – in a fit of retaliation for an absolutely CRAZY ex – Tristan and Grant decide to get MARRIED after only knowing one another for a matter of weeks – I decided I’d had enough.

I just couldn’t get behind this relationship.

From reading other reviews, I know that others have really enjoyed this book and I encourage people to read those and decide with them in mind, because it just might be ME.

Like I said, I really like Wade Kelly and her books and just couldn’t get into this one very well, so I decided to bail, but I will absolutely be looking for more from this author in the future.

DNF

Reviewed by Morgan

Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Categories
4 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary Cop/Crime DA Fated Mates Heat Index Homophobia Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse Insta Love m/m Medical Mid level steam/heat Military Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Siren-Bookstrand

The Pilot Soars with His Bad Boy (Rescue For Hire West Book 4) by Bellann Summer

Siren Bookstrand Presents

http://www.bookstrand.com/book/the-pilot-soars-with-his-bad-boy

29503622Blurb

[Siren Everlasting Classic ManLove: Erotic Alternative Romance, M/M, HEA]

Styx Randall has high hopes for his job interview with Rescue for Hire West. The idea of spending his days fixing the high powered planes and vehicles for the company is his idea of heaven. When he meets Flyer Wakefield, he adds the pilot to his list of wants in life, with want soon turning into need. But why is the nervous man’s phone ringing constantly? Styx finds out the first time he takes Flyer into his arms and discovers his scarred body.

Flyer accepts that he can’t sit still. He knows if he doesn’t keep eating he’ll wind down like a toy top. What he doesn’t understand is why his sadistic ex-boyfriend won’t leave him alone. Meeting the big, bad mechanic should send Flyer running for the hills, and yet the attraction is undeniable. Flyer finds strength and healing in Styx’s arms, but will that be enough when his ex-boyfriend kidnaps Flyer and some of his teammate’s partners?

A Siren Erotic Romance

Review

This is Rescue for Hire West and it follows the same general pattern as the guys from out East.

Alpha male finds his “one and only” in a usually more submissive/hurt/abused/smaller guy and the two find a way to make it work – eventually.

In this case, Flyer is the poster child for ADHD and has a very abusive ex who is stalking him. (In fact we get to see from the stalker’s POV – very disturbing!)

Styx is a tough guy, out of the military, looking for a place to make his home.

Most of the book is about the stalker and it can be very graphic and hard to read – fair warning – I had to skip a lot of that – too painful to read.

But… I loved Flyer and loved his energy and how Styx managed to calm him down. Styx has his own demons but is – for the most part – the solid presence in this relationship – keeping Flyer tethered when he needs to be.

At the end of the book we get a glimpse of who will be next and – wow – that looks like it’ll be a tough one….

For fans of the series I recommend this one – and if you haven’t read at least the books in this series I do recommend reading them in order – though technically they can all be read as a standalone.

4 of 5 stars

4-stars-small

Morgan_sig

Copy Purchased For Review

Categories
3.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary Gay Heat Index Insta Love m/m Mild level angst Morgan Music/Rock Star Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat

Undercover Rockstar (Bulletproof Book 1) by Jenna Galicki

29219214Blurb

A spur-of-the-moment vacation was supposed to jolt Cameron Douglas out of his funk, but it appears he only traded locations. It was a chance meeting with a handsome stranger that changed everything. Brandon stirs Cameron’s interest and his heart, but will the mysterious man reveal his true identity before their vacation in paradise is over?
Sometimes life in the spotlight was a heavy weight to bear for Brandon Bullet. He never knew if men were interested in him as a person or just enamored with his rock star status – until he meets Cameron Douglas. It wasn’t often that Brandon shared a connection with someone who wasn’t aware of his notoriety. He’s determined to keep his identity a secret while the two of them get to know each other and before someone blows his cover.

Review

Cameron is on vacation trying to get over an ex in Rio. He meets a “mysterious stranger” at a bar and they have an instant connection. One thing leads to another leads to hot sex back in the cabana! Eventually Cameron learns his “stranger” is a very famous rock star named Brandon Bullet (though Cameron isn’t familiar with the band) and the two face a decision over what happens next.

**

This is a short story with a promise of more to come. So, with that in mind, and a HUGE GRAIN OF SALT, I give you this review:

I liked it! Sure, there was SO MUCH that was a bit (ahem) unbelievable, but it was FUN! I loved the idea of a hard rockin’ bunch of gay guys with tender hearts finding love on the beach in Rio. (I also kinda love this trope – the secret rich guy who sweeps the plain Joe off his feet…YUM!)

Cameron and Brandon also have unique chemistry in that both are a bit “alpha” and I like it when authors shake up those preconceptions. I also liked that being gay wasn’t “a thing” and that his being famous wasn’t really “a thing”. Instead it was two guys figuring out how their lives could mesh in a seemingly impossible circumstance. (Plus the smexy times were HOT!)

So… if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief and just have fun – give this one a go and look for more in the future.

3.5 of 5 stars

3.5-stars-small

Morgan_sig

Amazon link

(Free on Kindle Unlimited)

http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CXB75VA?keywords=undercover%20rock%20star&qid=1458762937&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level artists Audiobook Book Contemporary Dreamspinner Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index m/m May/December Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series

Better Than Safe Audiobook by Lane Hayes Narrated by Tyler Stevens

audiobookreviewDreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7613

BetterThanSafeAUDLGBlurb

Paul Fallon is a fashion advertising guru. He’s a genius at dealing with difficult editors, art directors, and designers alike. He thrives on the chaotic atmosphere and constant challenges. But in his personal life, he’s hoping for peace and stability. Settling down with a nice doctor or lawyer sounds perfect. Anyone but an artist. He’s been there, done that, and he doesn’t want to relive the heartache.

Seth Landau is a model, occasional guitarist, and aspiring painter. He’s quirky, flighty, and wise beyond his years. Life has taught him some tough lessons, then given him opportunities he never dreamed of. He’s learned to appreciate the fragility of life and to express it in his work. Seth’s flare for the absurd combined with a supple mind and a beautiful body are too alluring for Paul to ignore. Against his best intentions, Paul is drawn to the younger man whose particular brand of crazy challenges Paul to accept that things aren’t always as they seem. Sometimes taking a chance is better than being safe.

Review
In Book 3 – Better than Friends – Curt briefly dated the very staid and British Paul. We know that Paul travels a lot and his dating life has been less than spectacular as a result. Since Curt, Paul has decided to really focus on his personal life and cut back on the travel to find someone serious to date.

Our friendly photographer – Aaron (yay!) introduces Paul to a model, Seth. At first blush there is nothing about Seth that appeals to Paul except – of course – his looks. Seth is late for their first date, cavalier and snide, and …too young. But there’s something about him…

Seth has been hurt before and is not inclined to just dive into a relationship, and as a result he keeps giving Paul mixed signals. The two begin to date but their relationship is on again/off again, on fire when they’re together but there’s a lot that stands between them and a happily ever after.

**

This book has a lot to stand up against. Book one is one of my favorite books, Aaron and Matt are a tremendous couple. In the grand scheme of things, books one and two were pretty wonderful, book three (for me) less so, and with this – book four – we have a run at number one again! It was really, really good!

Paul and Seth have an explosive chemistry that sizzles! Seth comes across as sort of bratty and Paul as sort of stuffy for much of the book, but they seem to complement one another. In fact, I wish we had gotten to see them more as a couple, since they spend a lot of time apart in this story, we don’t get as much time to appreciate them as a cohesive unit.

I loved that Seth fit absolutely no stereotypes, he was such a unique and interesting character. Paul felt rather bland to me by comparison, so I didn’t quite see the appeal of him for Seth, but he was a strong anchoring presence.

This is a quick read, the story only bogs down for a bit in the middle, and is mostly a fast paced ride from meet to happily ever after.

I always enjoy Lane Hayes’ writing and find her characters to be her strongest suit. I liked this story much better than book three and I think fans of the series will be very pleased with this book.

Audio

Tyler Stevens is a favorite narrator of mine. I fell in love with his voice and his acting skills when I listened to Aaron by JP Barnaby. In this he does a great job with Paul’s British accent and then going back to “American” with Seth. Since most of it is told in Paul’s POV he uses the British accent for setting the stage as well as the dialog. It works really well. He’s very good at emoting and his pacing is excellent as well.

I definitely think listening to this is the best way to experience this story as he really brings a lot to enjoy.

4.5 of 5 stars

4.5-stars-small

Morgan_sig

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level artists Book coming of age Contemporary Established Couple Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Homophobia Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased

The Spencer Cohen Series Book 2 by NR Walker

spencer 2Blurb

Finally going from fake-boyfriends to the real thing, Spencer Cohen and Andrew Landon are trying to take things slow. They know what they have could be something special and despite the flammable sexual tension, they don’t want to crash and burn.

Spencer is learning to open up, sharing the secrets of his past with Andrew. Afraid to put his heart on the line, yet seemingly unable to stop it, Spencer knows he’s falling in love with him. Andrew is petrified of leaping in blindly, yet it seems the slower they go, the faster they fall.

As they navigate their new relationship, Spencer worries Andrew will freak out when he takes on a new client. But it’s not a normal case and Spencer soon realises things are not what they seem. When things take a downward turn and they work together to help the client, Spencer and Andrew need to decide if they’re ready for the next step.

Review

We met Spencer and Andrew in Book 1 – see review :  https://openskyebookreviews.com/the-spencer-cohen-series-book-one-by-nr-walker/

This picks up literally where book one stops. Spencer has just confessed his true feelings for Andrew and is recovering from the bender he took thinking he’d lost Andrew forever.

The two agree to “date for real” and thus begins their dance around intimacy and relationship protocols and sex.

Luckily, NR Walker is an amazing writer and what should have felt ridiculously long and drawn out – doesn’t! It’s fun to watch these guys navigate their relationship and all the sudden Andrew has the upper hand, simply because he’s been in a relationship before, where Spencer hasn’t.

There is a side drama with a new client of Spencer’s and some red flags get raised that threaten everyone’s happiness – but even that seems to resolve in a way that will either end happily in book three or lend itself to it’s own new series.

I’m really enjoying this series and loving these guys as a couple and I can’t wait for their big happy moment in book three to arrive!

4.5 of 5 stars

4.5-stars-small

Morgan_sig

Copy Purchased for Review

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

http://www.amazon.com/Spencer-Cohen-Book-Two-ebook/dp/B01CX3TP6G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1458331088&sr=8-2&keywords=spencer+cohen

Categories
3 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book coming of age Contemporary Dreamspinner Gay Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse m/m Mild/low level heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) second chance at love Teacher

The Worst Bad Thing by JE Birk

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7555

29248968Blurb

 

Iceland, Stonehenge, London, Paris….

To the casual observer, it looks like a dream trip. For Tate O’Reilly, it’s anything but. He’s a man on a mission to rectify a critical mistake, and there’s nothing to hold him back—certainly not friends or family. For Tate, it all comes down to one simple thing—he must fix what he has broken.

What he doesn’t count on is meeting Gabriel Carillo. Gabriel is kind, mysterious, and seems to be on his own mission to ensure their paths keep crossing. But Tate’s hiding an awfully big secret—one he’s certain even Gabriel can’t forgive.

Does a man’s past have to determine his future? In the middle of cities filled with history, Tate is going to find out.

Review

(Spoilers)

 

I can’t really review this without giving away something that I think is obvious but might not be so – stop here if you don’t want to know what happens.

 

 

 

 

**

 

 

 

 

This is a very hard book to read. Tate’s headspace is so dark and confused that it’s difficult to be “with him” while he’s so conflicted. This was well done by the author.

I knew what (or suspected) his end game from the beginning and as such it was so painful to watch him develop a relationship with Gabriel knowing that he planned on ending his own life.

As a result, I was not as “behind” the relationship as I could have been – it felt wrong in a way – for him to be involving himself – at whatever level – given his level of depression. I found the two parts hard to reconcile – his steadfast determination to end his life and yet his desire to be “happy” with Gabriel… it was a hard place to be.

The writing was good and the underlying messages were good – I almost wish that it hadn’t been a romance… in a way I needed Tate to decide his life was worth living without Gabriel.

I really didn’t get Gabriel’s ability to walk away knowing what Tate planned but then be willing to fly back to Paris at the drop of a hat…I’d have thought he’d have fought harder – especially considering his back ground.

So while I think this was a well-written and interesting book, I’m not sure I really bonded with either MC very well, nor did I see much hope for them long term, simply because we didn’t get enough time with them past the sudden ending at Notre Dame. So… as a piece of fiction involving a gay man, I think this is a well-written book. As a romance it didn’t quite fulfill my needs.

3 of 5 stars

3-stars-small

Morgan_sig

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Categories
4.5 stars Angst Level Book College/University coming of age Contemporary Exploration Friends to lovers Gay Hidden Lovers Homophobia Hurt/Abuse m/m Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Morgan NetGalley New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Part of a Series Samhain Publishing

Hard Candy (Bend or Break #7) by Amy Jo Cousins

release day reviewSamhain Presents

https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5749/hard-candy

28437199Blurb

How to get over someone? Get under someone else—as soon as possible. 

Vincent Lim always assumed his best friend (and occasional hookup) Austin would be waiting for him—that eventually they’d end up together. But now that Austin’s in love with another man, Vinnie is at a loss.

After the world’s most awkward one-night stand with a dance major, Vinnie knows the drill. Minimize the embarrassment by pretending they’ve never met. Yet Bryan’s vibrant spirit and calm center lure Vinnie like a shelter from an emotional storm.

But Vinnie’s thrown off his game by the rest of Bryan’s total package. Vinnie’s a rowing jock with a single-minded focus on living up to his parents’ academic and social expectations. Bryan might as well be outfitted with glittery butterfly wings—with plenty of pride to match. Vinnie’s haphazard attention to a lover won’t cut it this time.

Physically, they can match each other stroke for booty pop. But for the lovers to meet on common ground, they’ll have to find a way to get moving in the same direction.

Warning: Contains one uptight rower, a dancer who can rock a skirt like nobody’s business, yoga lessons, and the benefits of being very bendy.

Review

This is book 7 in the series, but really you only need to read book 6. (The rest of the series is awesome, though, so … ya know…)

We met Vinnie in Book 6 – he was the boy Austen was pining and pining after. Well – after being summarily dumped by Austen, Vinnie goes on a bender and meets Bryan.

Though their first meeting was less than great, both men realize they want to see more of the other – although Vinnie is clearly on probation as he nearly says and does all the wrong things.

Over time – not unlike Austen and Sean – Vinnie is spending more and more time with Bryan, until it’s clear that Bryan means a lot to Vinnie. The problem is Vinnie lacks the ability to say his feelings in a way that doesn’t offend.

**

I loved Bryan and Vincent together. I would really have loved to spend more time in Bryan’s head as he was clearly a very complex and fascinating person and we didn’t get to see nearly enough of him to satisfy.

The fact that these 21 year olds were so great at communicating with one another was a breath of fresh air – especially after all the nonsense between Austen and Vinnie previously.

I was also glad to see that the parents weren’t going to be a big deal.

All in all this was a very sweet and sometimes funny story and a great way for us to see Vinnie all set up and happy.

4.25 of 5 stars

4.5-stars-small

Morgan_sig

Copy Generously Provided by NetGalley For Honest Review