Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Book Bullying DA Gay Gay High but not hopeless Homophobia Hurt/Abuse m/m Monthly Theme Morgan NetGalley Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Older MCs pansexual Part of a Series PTSD Purchased Scorching/high heat Standalone Steamy Romance

Steamy Romance: Tight Quarters (Out of Uniform #6) by Annabeth Albert narrated by Greg Boudreaux

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40769198-tight-quarters

Blurb

Petty Officer Bacon, a navy SEAL and ace sharpshooter, has been on the front lines of more than his fair share of dangerous ops. Yet when a minor injury relegates him to the beta team, he’s tasked with what may be his riskiest assignment yet: the silver fox journalist he’s babysitting is the hottest, most charismatic man he’s ever encountered.

Award-winning journalist Spencer Bryant may have been named one of Pride magazine’s most eligible bachelors of the year, but he’s not looking to change his relationship status. He’s a consummate professional who won’t risk his ethics or impeccable reputation by getting involved with a source. Even a sexy-as-hell military man. But while Spencer can resist his physical attraction to Bacon, he has less control over his emotions—especially when the mission goes sideways and the two men are trapped alone.

Getting out of the jungle alive turns out to be easy compared to facing the truth about their feelings for one another back in the real world. And whether or not they can build a future is a different story altogether.

Review

This was a wonderful addition to the series Annabeth Albert has given us – filled with angsty, hot, military men and plenty of complicated drama, emotions, hawt sex and heas.

It literally took me months, however, to get through this and it took the coming out of the audiobook for me to actually make it through. This is in no way a reflection of the “goodness” within the book, only a reflection of my willingness to subject myself to more angst.

Without getting on a soapbox, I have found myself with only the barest, most minimal ability to tolerate angst and discord in my reading these days because I am so seriously mind-fucked by how awful the real world is under our current administration. Every day I am reminded that we are one day away from another world war and I just can’t tolerate any fictionalized angst when the current world is full of so much real angst. None of this is pertinent except to explain why it took me so long to get into this.

There is a fair amount of real angst in this and though the solution our boys agreed to in the end – to solve the big dilemma – seemed obvious – I could see how egos getting involved might have made this seem impossible – until it wasn’t.

In any case, I think fans of the series will really like this – I found it to be as enjoyable or more enjoyable than others in the series once I made myself get into it.

Highly recommended for fans of the series, military drama, may/December, angsty reads, hot reads, opposites attract, OFY.

4.5 of 5 stars

Audio

As a side note, Greg Tremblay/Boudreaux did another really great job with this. There are a LOT of people in the story and he really strove to make each a unique person/character and he managed to make the hot smexy times even hotter!

5 of 5 stars

Overall 5 of 5 stars

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Copy purchased for review

 

Categories
4 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Audiobook Bi-Sexual Book Bullying Fade to black/No Steam Gay Gay m/m Magic Mid level angst Mild/low level heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Purchased Re-Release Shifter

Audiobook: Consorting With Dragons by Sera Trevor

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Consorting-with-Dragons-Audiobook/B07F3BGR2N?ref=a_a_library_c4_libItem_3_B07F3BGR2N&pf_rd_p=ae76b2bb-e63d-4a67-b357-dab3dee05ca1&pf_rd_r=XRAHEZ2Z33VXAZ7P1V4V&

Blurb

Lord Jasen of Grumhul, an impoverished young nobleman, has come to the Draelands to find a rich husband to help pay his father’s debts. To the shock of everyone, he ends up attracting the attention of King Rilvor himself and the dragons who control the magic in the land.
Becoming royalty wasn’t something Jasen either expected or wanted, but he can’t control his growing feelings for the kind and handsome king. Scheming factions at Court conspire to keep him from Rilvor’s side, and now, Jasen has to decide if the chance at true love with Rilvor is worth the burden of being the husband of a king.
Contains mature themes.

Review

 

First let me say, that I will absolutely be looking for this author in the future and second, that I had no idea Philip Alces had that accent (his own? Dunno… but it was wonderful!)

 

However, I didn’t love this story.

 

I did love the premise – Cinderella with dragons. I didn’t love that Jasen was a “slut” before we got to meet Rilvor and the steam factor in this is so low. Maybe that’s hypocritical – but my own taste would have been keep to one theme or the other. Keep Jasen and the sex scenes chaste or give us some hot smexy times!

 

I never read the “short version” and only listened to this, so I can’t compare, but I really do wish we’d seen more from Rilvor’s POV. I also hope that , since so much time went into world building, we’ll see more from this world in the future.

 

The writing was really good and as far as I could tell so was the editing.

 

As I mentioned before Philip Alces nailed all the accents and really put the listener in a great frame to appreciate this story/time in place. The secondary characters were good, though some of them I knew better than the 2nd MC.

 

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed this and found myself happily listening without a desire to skip ahead. Well-done!

 

 

3.75 (rounded to 4) of 5 stars overall

 

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Categories
5 stars Audiobook BDSM Book Bullying exhibitionism Exploration Gay Gay Homophobia Humiliation Hurt/Abuse m/m Mary D Mid level angst Monthly Theme Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Older MCs Pain Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat speciality kinks Steamy Romance young adult

Steamy Romance: Special Delivery Audiobook by Heidi Cullinan Narrated by Iggy Toma

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Special-Delivery-Special-Delivery-Book-1-Audiobook/B01DAKXEH2?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_16&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=TZ5R7BG3FAS2ECAB7HWS

Blurb
When your deepest, darkest fantasy shows up, get onboard.

Sam Keller knows he’ll never find the excitement he craves in Middleton, Iowa – not while he’s busting his ass in nursing school and paying rent by slaving away in a pharmacy stockroom. Then Sam meets Mitch Tedsoe, an independent long-haul trucker who makes a delivery to a shop across the alley. Innocent flirting quickly leads to a fling, and when Mitch offers to take him on a road trip west, Sam jumps at the chance for adventure.

Mitch is sexy, funny, and friendly, but once they embark on their journey, something changes. One minute he’s the star of Sam’s every X-rated fantasy, the next he’s almost too much a perfect gentleman. And when they hit the Las Vegas city limit, Sam has a name to pin on Mitch’s malady: Randy. For better or for worse, Sam grapples with the meaning of friendship, letting go, growing up – even the meaning of love – because no matter how far he travels, eventually all roads lead home

Review
One hot book packed full of kinky sex. Quite steamy at times. There is the right mix of sex, angst, humour and heartwarming moments but more importantly this is their story. It’s not just about the sex I got invested in the characters. Sam is a young man who doesn’t know what he wants, he has the vaguest of notions but no real idea. He feels trapped and beholden to his Aunt and Uncle, who are not portrayed in a good way (think of Harry Potter’s Aunt and Uncle). In his own way Mitch is equally lost. He no longer believes in himself and or his desires. He has a turbulent past and doesn’t want to repeat any of it. He takes Sam away across country with him but sends out mixed messages. Sam is desperate to submit, to fill in what’s missing. The sex is hot but Mitch holds back and Sam is determined to know why. Their relationship is one of power exchange with some humiliation and exhibitions, during scenes. The story hots up even more when Randy comes back into Mitch’s life. He is not a likeable character in this book. A lot of his behaviour stems from jealousy. I always sigh with contentment when I finish this book, reading or listening. And to make it even better Sam and Mitch feature in the next book, Double Blind.
To my mind Iggy Toma absolutely captures the essence of Sam and Mitch. Sami’s complaining doesn’t come across as whiny or poor me, just fits with Sam’s character. Mitch has a lovely smoky gravelly voice that fits so well with him and being a trucker. I can’t forget smarmy Randy, wonderful voice Iggy gave him. Narration at it’s best.

5 of stars out of 5

 

Purchased by reviewer

 

 

Categories
adult - 18+ Audiobook Bullying Gay Hurt/Abuse Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Standalone

Audiobook: Never By Tara Lain Narrated by Kale Williams

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/never-by-tara-lain-8971-b

Blurb

A Pennymaker Tale
Wendell “Wen” Darling lives in a world of shoulds and musts. Left to care for his brother and sister by his dull drudge of a father and wacko irresponsible mother, he suppresses his creativity, slaving in an ad agency seventy hours a week, letting his no-talent supervisor take the credit.
Then his bosses blow the campaign for their biggest client and Wen gets a chance to shine—but only if he can find the artist who painted a wild, glorious wall of graffiti in the subway. Hiding behind a pillar at 2:00 a.m., Wen comes face-to-face with the scarlet-haired, elven-faced embodiment of his divergent opposite—Peter Panachek, the flighty, live-for-today painter, singer, and leader of the rock group the Lost Boys. Everything Wen takes seriously, Peter laughs off, but opposites attract, even if their kisses always lead to battles. Peter’s devil-may-care persona hides a world of secrets, self-protection, and hidden fears, until the day a drug dealer, Vadon Hooker, threatens everything Wen holds dear. Guided by the mysterious Mr. Pennymaker, Peter has to choose between facing responsibility or burrowing even deeper into Neverland.

Review
(Book reviewed here previously by Mary)

I so very much enjoy Tara Lain’s reimagined fairy tale series with Mr Pennymaker, the fairy godfather, appearing in each one. I think this take on Peter Pan is my favourite so far. I loved Peter’s vibrancy. He is carefree, an artist and the lead singer of the Lost Boys. Peter lives for the moment. Wendell on the other hand was thrust into responsibility at a young age caring for his sister and young brother. He has to keep his job. Tara Lain does an excellent job of bringing you into their lives and caring about them all. I could feel how tired and stressed Wen is and how spirited and alive Peter is. Together they provided a balance for each other. The only problem being their past. Both of them let past experiences cloud the chance of happiness. This is one of the best opposites attract stories I have read. They want each other but are convinced it’ll never work until a certain Mr Pennymaker helps them see the error in their thinking. The character for Hook is extremely clever and so appropriate for today. All the other characters are included, Tink, the lost boys (each with their own personalities and part to play in the story) smee and a small reference to the crocodile. Such an enjoyable book and one of the best reimagined fairytales I’ve read. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
5 stars out of 5

Review by Morgan

I definitely admire the way Tara Lain is able to make these old fairy tales over into m/m romances! What an imagination! Some of the tales are more transmutable than others and this one – while ridiculously clever – didn’t resonate with me as well as some of the others.

I found the names and the people cute but I didn’t feel the spark between Wen and Peter as well as I have in some of her other tales.

If you’re a fan of the author and the series – I think you’ll love this as much as you did the others – but if you’re new to either the series or Tara Lain in particular this wouldn’t be where I’d start.

3 of 5 stars

Audio

Kale Williams did a fantastic job with this! He gave everyone unique voices, made the humor ring loud and clear and managed to carry it all off with a good amount of panache. Recommended in this format as the best way to experience this story.

5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars

 

 

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Categories
3 stars adult - 18+ Bi-Sexual Book Bullying Exploration Gay Homophobia Little to no angst m/m Mild level angst Monthly Theme Morgan New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Purchased Scorching/high heat Soccer Steamy Romance Virgin

Steamy Romance: Str8te Boys by Evangeline Anderson

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6562748-str8te-boys

Blurb

How far would you dare to go to win it all?

Maverick Holms and Duke Warren share almost everything a college soccer team, an apartment and the same extremely competitive nature. Thanks to that never-back-down spirit, they re about to share more than they bargained for.

The game is gay chicken . The rule: get as close as possible without kissing, and the one that pulls away first is the loser. The problem: neither of them likes to lose. It isn t long before the game becomes an excuse to touch and kiss in every possible forbidden way. And after they pose for a gay website to earn extra money, things really heat up.

Suddenly Duke is talking lifetime commitment, and Mav is backpedaling as hard as he can, not sure if he s ready to accept all his best friend is offering him. Or the truth about what he is.”

Review

Ok, ok. So this was one of my favorites… awhile ago. It’s not quite as “timeless” as I’d thought but… it’s still a lot of fun with a surprising amount of feelz. (And tons of hawt sex!) LOL

So these guys play “gay chicken” – which is pretty offensive when I think about it – but – for the sake of the story – is an effective tool to get these two guys – who are apparently realllllly clueless – in compromising situations that push the limit on believability – but are also pretty erotic.

If you close your eyes to the vaguely offensive and slightly ridiculous plot, and focus on the feels and the eventual results, it’s a quick, hot read about 2 frat boys finding love.

3 of 5 stars

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Categories
4 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Bullying Contemporary Fated Mates Gay Gay m/m Magic Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Purchased Shifter Standalone

Recent Release: Sheltering His Mate (Cackle Lands #1) by Cree Storm

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40122341-sheltering-his-mate?from_search=true

Blurb

When Miller and his brother ran for their lives from the alpha of their hyena cackle, he had no idea he would find sanctuary with the enemy or the fact that his mate would be the alpha of that cackle.
Orson wasn’t any different from any other shifter. He had yearned for a mate since knowing he had one out there in the world. He just didn’t expect him to come to him in the dark of night, running for his life not just from an evil alpha, but a demon trying to take his very soul.
Can the two become one before Miller’s past catches up to him? Or will Orson have to sell his soul to the devil to keep his mate safe?

 

Review

Looking for something fun? Like shifters? Tired of wolf shifters? Like some hot smexy times? This is for you!

This is a great new series with a slightly different take on the shifter theme but with all the good stuff you want in a shifter romance.

We’ve got fated mates, an evil mage and some unfinished business leading us to the next book.

I urge you to ignore the not-so-great cover and give this a shot!

4 of 5 stars

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Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Bullying Cop/Crime Dreamspinner Gay Gay Hurt/Abuse m/m Mary D Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Single Parent

Audiobook: Fire and Flint by Andrew Grey Narrated by: Greg Tremblay

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fire-and-flint-by-andrew-grey-9126-

Blurb
Jordan Erichsohn suspects something is rotten about his boss, Judge Crawford. Unfortunately, he has nowhere to turn and doubts anyone will believe his claims – least of all the handsome deputy, Pierre Ravelle, who has been assigned to protect the judge after he received threatening letters. The judge has a long reach, and if he finds out Jordan’s turned on him, he might impede Jordan adopting his son, Jeremiah.

When Jordan can no longer stay silent, he gathers his courage and tells Pierre what he knows. To his surprise and relief, Pierre believes him, and Jordan finds an ally…and maybe more.

Pierre vows to do what it takes to protect Jordan and Jeremiah and see justice done. He’s willing to fight for the man he’s growing to love and the family he’s starting to think of as his own. But Crawford is a powerful and dangerous enemy, and he’s not above ripping apart everything Jordan and Pierre are trying to build in order to save himself…

Review
I liked this story when I read it but having Greg Tremblay read it to me was great. Fire and Flint is a stand-alone story and an off shoot of the Carlise cops series. I do like how Andrew Grey has carried on with t world building and set several stories in this area. The book mentions the club from Broncos Boys as well as including a few characters from the Carlise cops. It gives me a greater sense of the community. As with many Andre Grey books this is a gentle romance. Pierre is winning over not just Jordan but also his son Jeremiah. He also protects them when Judge Crawford tries to ruin Jeremiah’s adoption. I liked the pace of the story slow and sweet enough but with an element of how are they going to beat this self centred cruel judge and get justice.
Greg Tremblay builds on the story giving the characters vitality and emphasising their determination. He gives them such distinct voices and personalities it’s a pleasure to listen to. I recommend this easy listening audiobook.

4 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Categories
4 stars Bi-Sexual Book Bullying Dreamspinner Gay Gay Hurt/Abuse Little to no angst m/m Mary D Mid level steam/heat Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Older MCs PTSD Standalone Virgin

Coming Soon!: From a Jack to a King by Scotty Cade

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/from-a-jack-to-a-king-by-scotty-cade-9718-

Blurb
New York Times best-selling mystery writer Bay Whitman leads the life of a celebrity—at least on the surface. In public he’s self-assured and in control. Women hang on his every word, while men envy his confidence and swagger. But in reality, Bay is a loner. He’s shy and introverted, and his life consists of sitting in a dimly lit room writing his famous Jack Robbins mystery novels. His one vice—gambling. Winning an escort in a poker game will change Bay’s life in ways he never imagined.

Matthew “King” Slater is one of the hottest tickets in gay porn. He spends his days in front of the camera and his nights as a highly paid escort to the rich and famous. Deep down, he craves romance and a real connection, but his past makes it hard to separate the needs of his body from those of his heart. For now, it’s easier to think of sex as just a job. But while doing a shoot in Vegas, King is hired for a tryst at a famous hotel and casino, and his handsome client might blur the line between work and play

Review by Mary
I do like Scotty Cade. There is a gentleness to his work that makes it a pleasure to read. This story is about two men with similar childhood experiences that continue affect them in very different ways. Bay became an introvert who pulls on the invisible armour of his fictional character whenever he goes out. King developed an addiction to sex and ultimately found work as a porn star and high end escort. Their meeting was skilfully created, especially Bay’s reaction to meeting King and King’s reaction to how Bay behaves. There is a rocky start but Bay’s sincerity is not something King had previously encountered. Together they grow and change and over the course of the story find strength in each other they didn’t know they were missing. Initially I wondered if it was going to be a Gay for you scenario but realised that’s an outdated way to think. It’s more natural for characters to embrace their bisexuality or pansexuality when faced with an unexpected attraction to someone. I appreciated the depth of detail in this story. It’s all to easy to gloss over important issues. Their childhood history shows how events can trigger ultimately harmful coping mechanisms. I especially appreciated understanding more about sexual addiction. I would recommend this story if you are looking for a different romance with no angst just two people getting through the best they can and ultimately winning.

4 of stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Review by Dee

This is my first book by the author and I quite enjoyed it. A porn star with a sex addiction and a shy, retiring writer could not be more opposite, but the story works.

Bay, the writer, lives almost like a hermit. When he has to promote his book, he channels the persona of his most popular book character – Jack Robbins. The only other time Bay willingly goes anywhere is to gamble, even then he’s more or less in character.

King is more outgoing and works as both a porn star and an escort. Funnily enough the professions help him mange his sex addiction, in a way.

When Bay first meets King, it’s not under the best of circumstances and both have preconceived ideas about each other – King thinks Bay may be in denial/the closet; Bay thinks King is only interested because he’s being paid.

Both men meet again and, after few misunderstandings are cleared up, they begin a tentative friendship that slowly becomes more. They address King’s addiction; Bay tries to be more outgoing. Together they become each other’s rock.

 

I liked how Mr. Cade touched on sex addiction – not in depth, but not glossed over either. It allows readers to research more if they are so inclined.

A nice story with a good HEA.

 

3.75 stars out of 5

 

Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review
 

 

 

Categories
Book Bullying Fade to black/No Steam Gay Homophobia Hurt/Abuse Mid level angst Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Standalone Uncategorized young adult

Recent Release: Jupiter (States of Love) by Rhett Heath

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/jupiter-by-rhett-heath-9708-b

Blurb

For fourteen-year-old Jacob Thomas, a Christian and the smartest kid in class, Bobby Versailles is completely out of reach. Jacob wishes a girl named Allie loved him because he still doesn’t get that he’s gay, but he always keeps his eyes peeled at school, hoping to catch a glimpse of Bobby.

It’s Bobby Versailles’s senior year. Captain of his high school football team, he’s bound to win Homecoming King and hopefully a state championship, but he’s been miserable for years. His fear of somebody finding out he’s gay has brought isolation and loneliness. He has hidden that he’s gay by going on dates with girls now and then, and also by working out and excelling at football—which has also helped teachers look past his learning difficulties. When he first eyes Jacob, it’s possibly love at first sight. Bobby becomes a little obsessed. Jacob has got to be gay, and when Bobby makes a move, both of their worlds turn upside down!

It’s 1982, and while the Nebraska Cornhuskers are barreling toward a possible NCAA National Football Championship, everyone in a small town two hours away hopes Bobby can lead them to a state championship. Can two teens with vastly different lives find love amidst the fervor of Nebraska football?

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Review

This is going to sound bad – but – in general I’m not a big fan of football, YA or “historicals” so… but I was really intrigued by this blurb and was looking forward to seeing how it developed.
Well …. This is a YA story and I think that maybe Juvenile lit is more appropriate given that they don’t act terribly Adult. Not to say that they’re kids… well. They are.

This felt like a book for kids. I liked it well enough and I appreciated the fact that this was based on real events so that must have shaped some of the authors writing decisions but – for me – it just felt a little young.

Not my taste in general. But overall good for fans of: YA, football and recent history.

2.75 rounded to 3 of 5 stars

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Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Audiobook Audiobook Month Bullying DA Exploration Gay Gay Homophobia Hurt/Abuse Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Morgan New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series PTSD Purchased Standalone Virgin

Audiobook Month: Brandon Mills vs the V-card (Prescott College book 2) by Lisa Henry and JA Rock Narrated by Joel Leslie

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Brandon-Mills-versus-the-V-Card-Audiobook/B07DR66PNT?qid=1529726847&sr=sr_1_22&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_2_2&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=ACM179XN7HZ446WFQ544&

Blurb

Smart, shy Prescott sophomore Brandon Mills is working hard to overcome his troubled past and be normal. With the help of his friends Mark and Deacon, and his brothers at Phi Sigma Kappa, he’s slowly coming out of his shell. But when he accidentally drenches a freshman in orange soda, he faces something he’s not ready for: a boy crushing on him.

Alex Kekoa pledges Phi Sig because it has everything he wants: a house full of nerds who won’t tease him for being smart, a dog, and Brandon Mills. Brandon is just the type of guy Alex needs to help fulfill his college ambition: losing his virginity. Except Alex doesn’t know that Brandon can’t stand to touch or be touched.

When Alex and Brandon are drafted onto the Phi Sig Academic Challenge team, their mutual attraction grows. If there’s anyone who can help Brandon discover it feels good to touch and kiss, maybe it’s klutzy Alex with his cute glasses and his dinosaur obsession. But as the competition–and their relationship–heats up, Alex’s determination not to die a virgin clashes with Brandon’s vow of lifelong celibacy, forcing them to examine what’s truly important to each of them about love.

Review

Brandon Mills (best friend of Mark who we met in book one) is a shy, nerd, who loves dinosaurs, has an eidetic memory and a really, really crappy childhood.

Alex Kekoa is a giant nerd who also loves dinosaurs, has had a sunny childhood, is totally infatuated with Brandon, and is also a virgin (thus the title).

Alex joins Brandon’s frat just to be near him (and because it suits his style and brain). When he – in a fit of passion- kisses Brandon, it sets loose all sorts of thoughts and feelings in Brandon he didn’t know he had and definitely doesn’t know how to process.

First there’s the whole “gay” thing – which he doesn’t really identify as, but isn’t the biggest thing. The biggest thing is the touching. Brandon doesn’t touch anyone. Not even himself.

Most of the book takes place in Brandon’s head. Figuring things out. Trying to remember to forget. Trying to learn how to be new. Using the hair-brained but wonderful advice of his kooky and sometimes high friend, Mark.

Alex is the most gentle and unassuming soul you could meet, exactly what someone with Brandon’s history needs.

Add into the mix Blake and his contributions to the LGBTQ association as well as Mark and Deacon’s continued coupledom and you have a delightful mix of the quirky and funny with the sentimental, tender and sometimes painful.

**

I couldn’t put this book down! I only skimmed book one. And only after I read this. Book one has some elements that I am uncomfortable with… so I just got the highlights. But… I do love Mark and Deacon as a couple and I enjoyed reading about them before they were a couple.

Brandon is so heart-breaking in this story. Gah! He tries so hard and does everything right but sometimes that still isn’t enough, is it? Alex is a wonderful boyfriend and together, the two of them exploring their feelings – it was so sickly sweet and funny and most of the time it felt really REAL.

I guess that reality is what makes me knock this down from a perfect 5 star book to a 4.5. I wanted and really hoped for Brandon and Alex to remain a couple – FOREVER and we get hints that they might… but no guarantees. In fact, I could honestly say that I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t… just by the way their relationship to this point was handled. (When they do finally make it to boyfriend status, I never quite got the feeling from Brandon that he was as invested as Alex… but that could just be me.)

Anyhow – I loved how the first-time-sex scene was handled and thought it felt really authentic. Messy, imperfect and wonderful. I loved how Brandon grew, but not in a “fairy tale it all goes away” way. Again, that felt very authentic.

Blake is my absolute hero. I lurves him so much! He was so genuine and wonderful and such a tremendous ALLY! What a great way to view the world and what a nice way to open that discussion – gays in sports.

All in all this was a fun (sometimes), heartbreaking (sometimes), full of feels (all the times) and very well written book.

This writing duo makes for awesome character development and I can’t wait to see what they come up with for book three (which Lisa Henry has said is currently in the works!)

So… I highly recommend this to lovers of the v-card, college boy fans, anyone who loves a hard-childhood story and lovers of dinosaurs everywhere!

Audio

Joel Leslie is Frickin’ awesome! I’m so glad the authors chose him since he can do such a wide array of characters! There are so many unique voices and accents and Joel does them all – so wonderfully!

I adored this and his narration and … him!

Highly recommended!

5 of 5 stars

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