Friends to Lovers: Campus Visit by Stella Huerto

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15778273-campus-visit?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

Damian Garza and Alex Murphy became best friends in their closed-minded small town, remained inseparable through Alex’s coming out, and have stayed close while studying at different colleges. They’re close enough that Damian dares a shocking e-mail confession: he’s bisexual and wants to experiment with men. With Alex.

It’s supposed to be a simple friends-with-benefits arrangement, one weekend only. That one weekend turns into two, then three, then a whole season of unexpected passion. But life after graduation can’t be ignored: soon Damian will be obliged to return to his family’s orange orchard, and Alex will fly off to his dream job in Europe. Unless they can admit their feelings to each other and the world, their time as best friends, may be over.

Review
This has been such a fun trip down memory lane for me! This is –again- another really sweet NA book I read years ago and forgot how wonderful it is.

It’s got two high school friends who, while facing college graduation, finally admit that there’s more than friendship between them. Luckily Alex is very confident in his sexuality and gladly opens his arms to Damian’s explorations.

The smexy times are pretty hot and the love between these two is over the top sugary sweet. There is some self-soul-searching and discovering how to stand up for your own beliefs thrown in as well.

If you’re a fan of young love and GFY/OFY this is for you!

4.5 of 5 stars
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Copy Purchased for Review

Friends to Lovers: Step by Step Audiobook by KC Wells narrated by Connor Goff

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Step-by-Step-Audiobook/B074Z3JZCH?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_8&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=797B0C8X1J0PC9WTH9W3&

Blurb:

Jamie’s life is one big financial mess, and it really isn’t his fault. However, the last thing he expected to find in the library was a Good Samaritan. He might have been suspicious of Guy’s motives at first, but it soon becomes apparent that his savior is a good man who has been lucky in life and is looking to pay it forward. Guy being gay is not a problem. Jamie’s not interested…or so he thinks.

Guy is happy to help Jamie, and the two men get along fine. But when Jamie’s curiosity leads him from one thing to another, Guy finds himself looking at the young man with new eyes. What started out as a hand up is now something completely different….

Review: The book has been reviewed previously
https://openskyebookreviews.com/step-by-step-by-k-c-wells/

I enjoyed the story and the narration.
Conner Goff is a new narrator to me. He has a ‘comfortable’ voice, cadence. His narration was well paced, and the characterisations of the older Guy and younger Jamie, nuanced. The narration is not dramatic, (the story is mostly drama free), just even keeled. It was right for the story – warm, fluid, and fun.
Overall, I liked the story a bit more – because Conner added warmth to a sweet, May/December romance.

3.75 stars out of 5

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Copy Purchased for Review

 

Friends to Lovers: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue Audiobook by Mackenzie Lee, narrated by Christian Coulson

Audible Link

 https://www.audible.com/pd/Teens/The-Gentlemans-Guide-to-Vice-and-Virtue-Audiobook/B071NV6DG1?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=XGB2H3B070GV0AXTNQYA&

Blurb:
Henry “Monty” Montague doesn’t care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

So Monty vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Review: This is a wonderful story made excellent by the narration. The story centres on Monty, a seemingly self-absorbed young man who has to clean up his act in order to take over the family business. Monty is also in love with his best friend and companion, Percy.

This is the first time I have listened to narration by Christian Coulson and I will definitely lookout for more of his work.
He managed to capture the essence of Monty as a decadent and somewhat selfish young man, but he also makes you sympathise with Monty. The narrator also voices the other characters – main and secondary – extremely well. The standout character (for me) is Felicity – snarky and intelligent; Mr. Coulson does her justice.
It’s hard to adequately describe how good the book is and how excellent the narration is. All I can say is that I recommend the narration unreservedly.

5 stars out of 5

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Copy provided by publisher

 

Friends to Lovers: Faith & Fidelity (Faith, Love & Devotion #1) by Tere Michaels

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4801582-faith-fidelity

Blurb

New York City Vice Detective Evan Cerelli has lost his wife, the only person he ever loved and slept with. He’s trying to get on with his life, build a life for his children. Former Homicide Detective Matt Haight is a ladies’ man, all sex/no commitment. He’s depressed, having a midlife crisis, and not sure where his life is headed.

The two find friendship in the bottom of a shared bottle. When the friendship turns to love, it shakes two straight men to the core and flips their lives inside out. Kids, families, careers that are not gay-friendly — can all the love in the world overcome the obstacles to faith and fidelity?

 

Review

This is one of my all time favorite friends to lovers books because it’s two “straight” guys who really just fall for one another, regardless their sex. They need one another and besides the obvious sexual tension, they really make a deep, emotional and lasting connection.

It’s one of the most tender love stories I’ve read.

Of course, book one is really the tip of the ice berg but it’s a great start!

My only complaint is that the audio for this series is so bad. I’d have loved to listened to this over and over, but I really can’t recommend the audio at all.

Oh well. It’s a wonderful book to read!

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Friends to Lovers: Road Trip With Conrad by Candice Blake

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38609213-a-road-trip-with-conrad?from_search=true

Blurb

ELIJAH: You saved me and we quickly became friends…

Needing a change of scene from his life, twenty-five-year-old Elijah Collins dreams of living off the grid and traveling across the country. He leaves everything behind and embarks on the trip of a lifetime in a 1973 Volkswagen Westfalia. But halfway through his journey to Los Angeles, the van breaks down on a rural road in Nebraska. With nobody in sight, Elijah is stranded…until a handsome and strapping alpha gives him a hand.

CONRAD: I’ve been straight my whole life until you came along…

Thirty-five-year-old Conrad Westbrook lives a simple life on a farm where he runs his dad’s honey business. When he finds Elijah on the side of the road, Conrad welcomes the young traveler into his home until the van gets repaired. Wanting to return the favor, Elijah invites Conrad to join him on the road trip. Forced together in the small camper van, while exploring the breathtaking sites of western America, neither men know how to handle their growing attraction towards each other.

Our lives are worlds apart, but can we make it work?

Conrad finds it harder to resist his attraction to another man for the first time. While Elijah, who’s so focused on the destination, doesn’t realize that the man he’s sharing his journey with is all he needs. They started the road trip as nothing more than friends, but unexpectedly become much more. What happens at the end of the road when both men have to head their separate ways and return back to their own lives?

Review

Friends to lovers can always be a rocky road. And it’s on a road trip that these 2 discover what opening that door can lead to.

The story has a great open feel to it. Elijah is half way across the country when he meets Conrad. After the kindness shown, Elijah invites Conrad to join him on the rest of his trip. What starts as an easygoing trip turns hot and heavy quickly. Each stop has the 2 men exploring more of each other till they get to the down and dirty.

The story jumps to an almost insta love genre, but with the story it just leads the 2 MC’s to realize that they are so much better together than apart.

The ending seems a little too easy. Things that seemed like big obstacles were suddenly resolved which lead to Elijah and Conrad being able to be together. All in all a sweet story.

3 of 5 stars

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Purchased for review

 

Friends to Lovers: Private Hearts (River Town book 1) by Grant C Holland

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38467034-private-hearts?from_search=true

Blurb

Dak Preston is a deckhand on a Mississippi river towboat. That means four weeks on the river and two weeks onshore. It also means men willing to stick around for a relationship are hard to find. He’s learned to keep his heart protected from the chaos of men drifting in and out of his bed. Lewis, his latest boyfriend, is on the way out, and Dak faces a new month on the boat with no one waiting for him at home.

Brody Sexton, his best friend since elementary school, is reeling from the sudden illness and death of his mother. He calls on Dak to help him move into the house she left behind. While storing items in the attic, Brody stumbles upon a set of photos that changes the way he sees his family. Secrets of love were hidden far away in the heart of a relative he barely knew.

Both men are vulnerable when they get together to celebrate Dak’s last night in town before he joins the boat for another month on the river. The usual pizza, beer, and movies lead to an unexpected kiss, and their lives are changed. They have a glimpse into what could be, but Dak’s ties to the river and the mystery of Brody’s family threaten to intervene. Will they find the way to set their private hearts free?

Private Hearts is a 50,000 word friends-to-lovers romance. It has steamy scenes and no cliffhangers. It’s the first novel in the River Town series, but it can easily be read as a standalone novel.

Review

This is a story where as usual two best friends both want to be more than friends but don’t want to mess up the friendship. Several big things happen and the 2 men suddenly share a kiss. They then are forced to be apart for a month and spend as much time talking and Skyeping as they can. While all of this goes on there is a small mystery to follow. The story meanders along with a misunderstanding and make up.

For me it felt like there were missing pieces to the story. Things were talked about in the past tense, and it felt like the reader should know about it. So while I liked the story it just felt like there were too many holes in it.

3 of 5 stars

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Purchased for Review

 

Friends to Lovers: Brokenhearted: Hope Cove Audiobook by Cate Ashwood; narrated by John Orr

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Brokenhearted-Audiobook/B00JUZSSDW?ref=a_a_search_c3_lProduct_1_5&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=KC4S5EYY9VZR0TN45AYX&

Blurb:

Oliver Parrish has been alone in the world since he was born. So when Sheriff Owen “Mack” Macklin shows up on his doorstep to deliver the news that Oliver’s sister has died, he’s beyond surprised. Still, Oliver returns with Mack to Hope Cove, Maine, hoping to get to know the sister he never knew he had. As he tries to snap these new elements into his solitary life, he’s not sure how they might fit.
His life is shaken up further as he falls in love with the irresistible town of Hope Cove, and with Mack, its equally irresistible sheriff. But when he receives devastating news about his sister’s cause of death, Oliver doesn’t know whether to stay and fight for love and a good life, or cut his losses and run.

Review: When I started to read the book, I couldn’t get into it (personal things going on), it seemed interesting, so I decided to get the audiobook. I’m so glad I did!
The story is good – Oliver travels to meet the sister he never knew he had, only to find out that Maggie has died. He meets Mack, Maggie’s best friend, who helps him get to know what her life was like in the town. Oliver stays on to take over Maggie’s bakery, gets to know and fall in love with Mack. There are some ups and downs – Mack is not really out, Oliver finds out some devastating news and doesn’t handle it well.
John Orr was a pleasure to listen to – he really brought the characters to life, including the supporting characters (especially Hayden). His tone was even, with good, distinct characterisations. An enjoyable listen; I’m looking forward to listening to the other 2 books.

4 stars out of 5

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Copy Purchased for Review

 

Friends to Lovers: The Wolf’s Man Friday by Julia Talbot

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-wolfs-man-friday-by-julia-talbot-9466-b

Blurb
The last thing Sebastian Zeller wants is to be pack Alpha. But when the pack leader, his uncle Ron, is attacked, he has no choice but to leave his beloved Colorado mountains and fulfill his duty as Ron’s heir—at least until his uncle recovers. In the meantime, he intends to lure the attacker out… and make them pay.
When Ron gets wind of Sebastian’s plan to catch the attacker, he doesn’t like the idea of risking his heir.That’s where Jaxon Reedis comes in—he’ll balance protecting the dark and sexy werewolf with pretending to be his personal assistant. He’s walking a fine line that requires all his foxy wit and craftiness… and that’s on top of the inescapable feeling that he and Sebastian are meant for each other. When the attacker returns, will they be able to maintain their deepening bond when danger threatens to tear down everything they’re building?

Review
A delightful, snappy, story about a wolf who doesn’t want to be alpha and a bodyguard pretending to be a personal assistant.

The banter between Sebastian and Jaxon is great. I had a hard time at first when they started talking mind to mind. Thought that would unsettle them more, but it just flowed. Also I’m not sure if Sebastian ever put together that Jaxon was more than a personal assistant. Yes the guy had mad skills, but that issue never came up in conversation. Nobody called Jaxon on him moving from personal assistant/bodyguard to mate. Nothing from the alpha that hired him, or Jaxon’s boss.

The things I liked was how well they played off of each other, mentally, physically and emotionally. I loved their playful side. Running around Dallas following whatever whim was suggested. Julia Talbot was masterful in blending both the human side with the animal. The sex scenes were both hot and tender, and the cuddle times included both skin and fur. I loved how she incorporated the need for touch so deeply into the story.

The main supporting characters really pulled the story together. I’m sure Alan will have a story, and I would love to see Tyrone have one too. I mean really an elk working for a pack of wolves!

This is definitely a fun read, and I look forward to more from the author.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Friends to Lovers: Baby Love by Harper Logan

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38825117-baby-love?from_search=true

Blurb
When Rafe arrives in Rosebridge, he has three goals: escape from the darkness of his past, make a stable home for his two-year-old daughter, and maybe explore his longstanding – and nerve-wracking – attraction to men. The 911 operator decides to check out the local gay bar to see how the whole thing works.

Marshall wants Rafe the moment he spots him at the bar. That is, he wants to set him up with a friend. He’s taking a year-long break from dating due to his habit of falling head-over-heels, and plans to play matchmaker instead – but Rafe pushes him to the brink of his willpower. And then the sexy stranger enrolls his daughter in the preschool where Marshall teaches.

Despite their growing friendship, Marshall’s determined to keep his vow not to date. Can he really set his crush up with someone else? Or will Rafe convince him they belong together?

(Baby Love is a is a 55,000-word steamy M/M friends-to-lovers romance with low angst, no cliffhangers, no cheating, and a guaranteed happily ever after!)

Review
The start of this book is a hoot! The scene where Marshall and Charly meet Rafe in the local bar had me laughing out loud. Follow that up with the next morning at the preschool and Harper Logan sets the tone for most of the story. The story moves on from there and Rafe shows that he is kind and mature and respectful of someone’s choices. Then all of the sudden, after an eye opening situation, he does a 180 and it’s all downhill from there.

Marshall is a character that has decided he is going to improve himself for himself, not anyone else. I love that although he starts this to put himself in a better place to find the right man and keep him, by the end of the story it truly is to make himself happy.

A few things in the story don’t sit right for me as a reader, or at least I wish there had been more said about it, but overall a sweet story.

4 of 5 stars

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Purchased for review

 

Friends to Lovers: My Summer of Wes (Wes & Mal #1) by Missy Welsh

GoodReads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8646908-my-summer-of-wes

Blurb

I didn’t know. How could I? All through high school, I was beaten up and teased for being gay. But I wasn’t gay. Or didn’t think I was. Now Wes, the guy across the street who’s taken me under his wing and been the best friend I’ve ever had, won’t stop invading my dreams, hell, my every waking thought. Am I gay? Because I’m thinking I’d like to kiss him. Actually, I’m thinking there’s a lot more I’d like to do with his mouth and the rest of that tall, confident, muscular body. Ah, man… I’m so gay!

But what if he doesn’t feel the same way about me? And, Jesus, what about my parents? And those bastards from school are still around. And I’m supposed to go to college this fall… Shit, I need to sit down. I can’t breathe and I’m about to shake apart. Then Wes puts his hand on the back of my neck, gives me one of those encouraging squeezes and his bright smile, and everything’s okay again. Yeah, I’m hooked. Oh, boy…

Review

This was such a sweet book! It’s been years since I read it and I’d forgotten how dang cute it is – and sexy!

Mal is still trying to figure out who he is when a new neighbor moves in. They start as friends but it’s soon that they realize they want more from one another. Together they explore their first love and for Mal, first sex.

At times it’s a bit sappy, but in an adorable way. The smexy times feel appropriate and not just for sex sake.

If you like new adult, coming of age stories, give this a try!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review