Categories
adult - 18+ Alternate World Angst Level Bodyguard Book Exploration Fantasy Friends to lovers Gay Hurt/Abuse m/m Magic Mid level angst Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Purchased Scorching/high heat Shifter Virgin

Healing Fire by Sean Michael

healing fireBlurb

What will it take for a dragon prince to defy his father and fly on his own?

Prince Jules, the least favorite of the Dragon King’s children, lives simply, banished to his rooms and the amazing adventures found in his books. He has never left the palace or shifted into his dragon form…he’s never done anything.

Dragon shifter Lem is assigned to Jules as his new bodyguard, and is determined to keep Jules safe from the Graithen, who killed the prince’s previous guardian. Lem grows to hate how the King hides Jules away, and longs to show him how to fly. His love for Jules also grows but it is forbidden, like so much in Jules’ life.

When the Graithen attack again, though, everything changes.

Review

The story starts with both Lem and Jules losing someone close to them. Lem is a guardian and he fights to keep the kingdom safe from the Graithen. Jules is the last and unwanted heir to a throne that hides him away.

When Lem is newly assigned to Jules’ care he and Jules forge an immediate bond, one that rapidly transcends bodyguard/charge.

They explore their relationship in the palace until one day it becomes imperative that they flee. Once they are out in the world magnificent changes occur and Jules and Lem finally learn their true potential.

**

Sean Michael is as diverse a writer as I have seen. He can write some incredibly raunchy, sordid, kinky and super-sexed stories and then he surprises me with something like this.

This is a tender and sweet, though very full of sex, story. Lem and Jules are wonderful together and their magic is spectacular.

I loved almost every bit of it – my only complaint was the way Jules and Lem sometimes thought or spoke in these one word phrases. I think that a few scattered in gives a nice impression but they were fairly constant and after awhile they pulled me from the story.

4 of 5 stars

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To buy

 

http://www.amazon.com/HEALING-FIRE-Sean-Michael-ebook/dp/B013HDK12S/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1439599952&sr=1-1&keywords=healing+fire

 

(Purchased for review)

Categories
adult - 18+ Book Contemporary Exploration Friends to lovers Gay Homophobia Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Mild/low level heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased

Served Hot (Portland Heat #1) by Annabeth Albert

served hotBlurb

In Portland, Oregon, the only thing hotter than the coffee shops, restaurants, and bakeries are the hard-working men who serve it up—hot, fresh, and ready to go—with no reservations…

Robby is a self-employed barista with a busy coffee cart, a warm smile, and a major crush on one of his customers. David is a handsome finance director who works nearby, eats lunch by himself, and expects nothing but “the usual”—small vanilla latte—from the cute guy in the cart. But when David shows up for his first Portland Pride festival, Robby works up the nerve to take their slow-brewing relationship to the next level. David, however, is newly out and single, still grieving the loss of his longtime lover, and unsure if he’s ready to date again. Yet with every fresh latte, sweet exchange—and near hook-up—David and Robby go from simmering to steaming to piping hot. The question is: Will someone get burned?

Review

Robby is a guy who can’t get a break in the boyfriend department – that’s all he wants, but he can’t find a permanent guy. He’s in a great place to find love, Portland, OR – and he’s had quite a few try-outs, but none who are perfect.

David is a “just out of the closet” coffee drinker who casually pushes all Robby’s buttons. They sort of flirt with one another for weeks and months then at a Pride Fest Parade they kiss and thus start their “relationship.”

Here’s the main problem: David doesn’t know how to be in an “out” relationship, his last partner died while in complete denial that they were even “dating”. Robby has so many insecurities that he hesitates to ask for or expect what he wants and deserves. So… for weeks and months more the relationship very (agonizingly) slowly moves forward.

Something’s gotta break though, because Robby can only stand in the shadows so long before he’s going to run.

Luckily – David gets his act together before it all ends in tears.

**

What I loved about this:
The writing: crisp, clear, subtle artistry, deliberate and evocative.
The setting: I loved how well Annabeth described Portlandia. From the gentrification of Alberta to the coffee snobbery to the hipsters on every corner.
The characters: Each was a very three-dimensional person and intriguing on their own merits.

What I didn’t love:
The fact that if Robby had only spoken up so much could have been resolved. It felt a bit contrived, though it did make some sense given his dating history.

All in all it was a wonderful first novel (for me) from this author and I will absolutely be looking for more from her and the series!

4.5 of 5 stars

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To buy

http://www.amazon.com/Served-Portland-Heat-Annabeth-Albert-ebook/dp/B00ONTR778/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

(Copy purchased for review)

Categories
adult - 18+ Audiobook Contemporary Dreamspinner Friends to lovers Gay m/m Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Purchased

Just Desserts Audiobook by Mary Calmes Narrated by Greg Tremblay

just desserts audioBlurb

Boone Walton has tried hard to create some distance between himself and his past. He’s invested in his new life, his New Orleans art gallery, and his friendship with Scott Wren. Things finally seem to be settling down to normal, and Boone couldn’t be happier.

Chef Scott Wren wants much more than normal with Boone. He wants to raise things to the next level, but Boone is terrified—and not because of the ghost in Scott’s apartment or Scott’s relatives. No, Boone’s past is about to pay him a visit, and the only thing that can get between Boone, Scott, and a hinky recipe for chocolate mousse found in a curious cookbook is the river of pain Boone had to swim across to get to this side of The Big Easy. There’s a secret behind the ingredients, though—one that might reveal the trust and love that have been missing from Boone’s life.

Review
(Book review previously seen on kimichanexperience.com)
Boone’s heart was broken years ago and he hasn’t let anyone in since. His buddy, Scott, captures his interest, but he’s a player and Boone can’t risk that kind of hurt again.

When it finally looks like the player might settle down, Boone realizes he can’t let Scott go to someone else and together they embark on the relationship both had been pining for, for years.

This is another wonderful Mary Calmes love story, full of clueless MCs, tough guys, friendship, laughter, well structured secondary characters and hot sex. Add to it the Yakuza, NOLA and some amazing chocolate mousse and you have Just Desserts!

Audio

Greg Tremblay has done it again. He is such an amazing performer! He always adds to the story and brings it to life.  I ADORE the lovemaking scenes and he’s always so great with secondary characters and unique accents.  Simply wonderful!

5 of 5 stars

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To Buy
http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Just-Desserts-Audiobook/B013PUKEE8

(Copy purchased for review.)

Categories
adult - 18+ Age Group Book Contemporary Gay m/m May/December May/December Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Purchased Romance Time Period

Elements of Retrofit (Thomas Elkins Series Book 1) NR Walker

elemets retrofitBlurb

Book one in the Thomas Elkin series
Generation versus generation, traditional versus contemporary, these men are about to learn a lesson in architecture and love. Can they prove that the old and new can be the perfect design?
A successful New York architect, Thomas Elkin almost has it all. Coming out as gay and ending his marriage before his fortieth birthday, he needed to start living his life. Now, four years later, with his relationship with his son back on track, and after a few short-lived romances, this esteemed traditional draftsman thinks he knows everything about architecture, about life.
Cooper Jones, twenty-two years old, is about to take the architect world by storm. Talented, professional, driven and completely infuriating, Cooper is the definition of Generation Y.
Starting an internship working with Thomas, Cooper is about to knock Tom’s world off its axis. Tom can teach Cooper about the architecture industry, but Cooper is about to teach Tom what it means to live.
Review

Thomas Elkins got married young to a woman he mostly loved, they had a wonderful son but then Tom realized as he got older that his love of men could no longer be denied. He got divorced, moved out and moved on.

Now, he lives his life as a rather famous architect in a lonely apartment in NYC, neither miserable nor happy.

One day his son brings home a friend, a very cute, very interested and interesting friend. Eye-ball messages may have been exchanged, but really, Tom thought nothing of it. He’s 22 years older than the guy for Pete’s sake!

When that friend, Cooper, ends up being Tom’s new intern, trouble really starts showing up.

Cooper is 22, trying to make the best impression he can on an icon in the industry who also turns out to be his friend’s father and a super-hot-newly-out-gay-guy!

Cooper doesn’t back down from a challenge and when he notices the looks Tom inadvertently sends his way, not to mention the fact that the two can talk for hours without missing a beat, and the fact that he’s smokin’ hot… he decides to go for it.

What happens next is the two men making room in their lives for a less-than-usual relationship, in a dangerous-for-them environment.

Tom is afraid he’s too old. Cooper doesn’t know what a real relationship even looks like. Tom is scared that Cooper might be using him for his prestige. Cooper is worried he’ll never measure up or be thought of as an equal. Both are afraid of getting caught by their friends and family.

In the end (part one that is) they decide to dive in and make a go of it because what they feel is too wild and amazing to dismiss.

**

This is the first series I read by NR Walker. I have to admit that I avoided it for a long time mainly due to the name. It felt – stodgy. When I read the blurb I was worried it was going to be a very weird father figure type romance due to the tremendously large age gap.

BOY was I wrong. NR Walker is an amazing writer. Her stories simply flow off the page and into your heart. She creates these REAL characters with heart, and flaws, and compassion and fears and then shows us how they can grow/change/heal in the new relationships they forge.

Tom is kind of … boring. He doesn’t take a lot of chances in the personal department and has gotten lackadaisical at work. He’s… comfortable.
Cooper comes along and messes that right up!

Cooper is young, but way older than his years. Sure, he messes up and acts his “age” sometimes, but for the most these two guys are really well suited and never did I feel like there was a father figure vibe whatsoever.  (Amen to the differences between Gen X and Gen Y!)

The sexual chemistry between them is scorching hot, but has elements of realism too. The boundaries they set and the expectations.

All in all I absolutely loved this book (and series) and am happy to promote the new cover!

6 of 5 stars

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To Buy:  http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Retrofit-Thomas-Elkin-Book-ebook/dp/B013E7UN8O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439500494&sr=8-1&keywords=elements+of+retrofit+walker